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NECC Reading Initiative Recognized by International Nonprofit

Submitted by on March 3, 2017 – 12:22 pm

Trish Schade, NECC professor, Developmental English, faculty fellow, Center for Professional Development.

In 2011 Northern Essex Community College incorporated a Reading Apprenticeship initiative into its then fledgling College Success Seminar. It proved so successful it was expanded to gateway or foundational courses.

The results were impressive.

Now NECC’s achievement is featured as a success story on the website of WestEd, a nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities throughout the world to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults, which developed the Reading Apprenticeship framework.

The idea behind the Reading Apprenticeship is to apprentice students into reading, writing, thinking, talking in a subject area in order to build high level comprehension.

NECC was also featured in a chapter of WestEd’s new publication “Leading for Literacy”.

Trish Schade, professor, Developmental English, faculty fellow, Center for Professional Development NECC, introduced Reading Apprenticeship to Northern Essex. It was adopted as part of the curriculum for the College Success Seminar, which was designed for “academically underprepared students”. The College Success Seminar was a success and retention rates grew by nearly 20*.

Leaders from another student achievement program – Achieving the Dream – encouraged Northern Essex to expand the Reading Apprenticeship initiative to first-year gatekeeper classes Like Business 101 and Dental Assisting 101. Students’ grade point average in Business 101 went from 68 to 82 *.  Dental Assisting saw a 100 * pass rate on the state boards for the past two years.

“This kind of change takes time to nurture, but most faculty want to help students read in their discipline, and some will be willing and hungry to incorporate Reading Apprenticeship strategies into their classes,” said Schade.”The message should be that if enough folks who are interested start implementing Reading Apprenticeship strategies, if they share their results, and if they have support and professional development, it will grow.”

For additional information on the Reading Apprenticeship Program contact Schade at