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NECC and Northeastern Partnership Benefits Under-Represented Students

Submitted by on January 17, 2017 – 5:30 pm

While enrolled in Northern Essex Community College’s Computer Aided Drafting II class, students Jeffrey Cuesta of Haverhill, CAD certificate, and Andrew Sheehan of Methuen, engineering science, designed and built a solar powered DeLorean using NECC’s 3D printer.

Northeastern University (NU) recently received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that could benefit Northern Essex Community College engineering science students.

Northern Essex is one of five colleges selected to partner with Northeastern on the grant, which is designed to support college transfer students from under-represented backgrounds who are studying and doing research in energy.

Each year, three NECC engineering science students, who are interested in the energy industry, could receive a $2,500 a year scholarship to support their engineering education at NECC, beginning this fall. This opportunity is for the next five years with a potential opportunity to enroll at Northeastern University’s (NU) prestigious School of Engineering.

The five-year program titled Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources or S-POWER, ties in with a national initiative to increase diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields as well as the energy sector.

Paul Chanley, NECC Engineering Science Program coordinator, will coordinate the S-POWER Scholarship Program in partnership with Northeastern University.

“Northern Essex Community College’s engineering science program has collaborated with Northeastern University on many projects over the past 15 years,” said Paul Chanley, coordinator of NECC’s Engineering Science Program. ‘The S-POWER grant is another example of our solid partnership and dedication to engineering education in Massachusetts.”

The intent of S-POWER is to successfully educate transfer students, particularly those with financial need, minorities, females, and first-generation students.

The program provides scholarships for up to 160 undergraduate and graduate students. Participating students will each be eligible for up to $30,000 direct financial aid once they transfer to Northeastern.

NU is partnering with two historically black southern colleges – Clark Atlanta University and Hampton University – as well as Massachusetts Bay, Middlesex, and Northern Essex community colleges.

Here is how it works. Northern Essex faculty and staff from admissions and financial aid will work together to identify students enrolling in the NECC Engineering Science program who have an interest in “green” technology or energy and are interested in transferring to NU.

These students, if they have earn a 3.0 GPA their first semester at NECC, will be eligible to apply for the S-POWER Scholarship when NECC’s general scholarship application process opens in late February. If they receive the $2,500 a year scholarship they will be encouraged to attend Northeastern’s annual transfer conference in Boston.

NECC Engineering Science majors accepted into NU’s S-Power program, will attend a summer bridge program to help them acclimate to Northeastern, before officially enrolling. While completing the last three years of the five-year bachelor’s degree at NU students will participate in two, six-month work co-ops in the energy field.

One of the program’s objectives is for S-Power graduates to be fully employed in an engineering or science field within six months of graduation.

Northern Essex offers an associate degrees in Engineering Science: Technology Option; Engineering Science; Electronic Technology: Computer Systems; and Electronic Technology. NECC also offers several technology and engineering certificates.

For additional information visit the Engineering & Technology website or contact Chanley at