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NECC to Host Forum for Immigrants Interested in College Credit

Submitted by on April 13, 2016 – 3:17 pm
DR Signing

Noemi Custodia-Lora, executive director of Lawrence campus and community relations, NECC; Dr. Victor Hugo de Lancer, chancellor, ITSC, and Lane Glenn, president, NECC sign an agreement between the two colleges.

Many immigrants who arrive in the U.S. are well educated but they frequently find it difficult to get credit for coursework and credentials completed in their country of origin.

Northern Essex Community College, with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, MA, is launching a new program—“PIES Latinos de NECC”—especially for Latino immigrants who want to validate their credits and professional credentials in the U.S.

On Monday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the college is hosting a forum featuring educators and elected representatives from the U.S. and the Dominican Republic who will discuss how immigrants can transfer foreign credits to colleges in Massachusetts and validate degrees through job training.   Panelists will also share updates on higher education partnerships between the two countries.

This free forum is open to all, and will be held in the lobby of the El Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center, 414 Common St., Lawrence, MA.

This forum, as well as the PIES Latinos de NECC program, is designed to help Latinos living in the Merrimack Valley gain access to higher education, according to Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex.

“Only 11 percent of Lawrence residents have bachelor’s degrees which is significantly lower than Massachusetts average of 39 percent,” said Glenn.  “We’d like to help increase those percentages by helping local residents get college credit, credit that will lead to professional careers in fields such as health care.”

The forum panel will feature Carlos Santiago, Massachusetts commissioner of higher education; Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex;  Honorable Daniel Rivera, mayor of Lawrence; Dr. Iván Grullón Fernández, chancellor Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo,  María Corporán Garcia, vice chancellor academic affairs, Instituto Técnico Superior Comunitario de San Luis; and Charles Mariotti Tapia, constitutional senator of Dominican Republic for Monte Plata Province.  Noemí Custodia-Lora, executive director of NECC’s Lawrence Campus and Community Relations, and Dr. Clara Benedicto, general director of collaborations and national and international relations Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo,  will moderate the panel and translate.

During the panel, Senator Mariotti, who represents one of the poorest provinces in the Dominican Republic, will share his plans to improve the education in his country by building “La Ciudad del Conocimiento” (The Knowledge City), an educational center which will cover educational levels from preschool to college.

Northern Essex has already begun to partner with colleges in the Dominican Republic, creating agreements that will allow for the transfer of credits and also provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and student exchanges.

Last August, Northern Essex signed a formal agreement with the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), the public university system of the Dominican Republic, and, in January, an agreement was signed with the Instituto Técnico Superior Comunitario, the Dominican Republic’s first public two-year college, which began offering courses in January 2013.  Read more.

For more information, please contact Analuz Garcia, Lawrence Campus & community relations assistant, or 978 738-7423.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  More than 6,600 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 3,400 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at