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These AHS Seniors will Jump Start College

Submitted by on June 5, 2017 – 6:04 pm

Nineteen Amesbury High School seniors who are graduating with at least 24 college credits from Northern Essex Community College were honored at an NECC/AHS Early College Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, May 25.

These students have been taking college courses since their sophomore year in high school, earning high school and college credits.  Since the credits can be transferred to Northern Essex and other colleges and universities, most of the Early College students will be starting college in the fall as sophomores, including student speaker Andrea Stanley, who will enroll at Mt Ida College.

Stanley, who will study forensic science, compared the group to a family saying “We all faced challenges and struggled together.”   She felt the program helped her academically.  “I’m fairly certain that early college made all of us better students.”

Student Speaker Andrea Stanley (second from right) and her family.

Early College Programs are designed to raise college readiness skills and college completion rates, according to NECC President Lane Glenn. “We want to raise the bar for students who might not have college on their radar. The hope is that students who participate in the program will graduate from high school better prepared for college and will be more likely to attend college and graduate on time.”

AHS Principal Elizabeth McAndrews, provided history on the partnership, which was started in 2008 with the goal of untapping student potential.  “We wanted students to believe they could succeed in a college environment,” she said.  Early College graduates will attend a wide variety of colleges in the fall, according to McAndrews, ranging from small private colleges such as Merrimack to large public universities such as UMass Lowell.

In order to be accepted to the program, students must pass an assessment test that measures their aptitude for college work.  They express interest in their freshman year and begin Early College classes as sophomores.  Courses are taken as a group at the high school during their sophomore and junior years and then during their senior year they can choose courses offered online or on the college campus.

Also speaking at the graduation ceremony were: April Rivers, faculty speaker; Gary Reese, superintendent, Amesbury Public Schools; Euthemia Gilman, coordinator, K-12 partnerships, NECC; and Noemi Custodia Lora, vice president of the Lawrence Campus and community relations, NECC.

Amesbury High School students honored included Ray Arsenault, Lauren Byron, Andrew-Jason Carter, Aaron Cross. Hannah Fortier, Matthey Gaffey, David Grandmaison, Kayleigh Hooper, Sydney Knowlton, Kayla Mullins, Sydney Perkins, Zach Prentiss, Cameron Sanborn, Mariana Sanborn, Alexa Schlicher, Andrea Stanley, Benjamin Townsend, Ethan Vient, and Daniel Sylvester.

Northern Essex partners with many local high schools, offering programs which are designed to prepare students to succeed in college. In addition to Amesbury High School, Northern Essex has partnered with Amesbury High School, Haverhill High School, Lawrence High School, Methuen High School, Newburyport High School, Pentucket Regional High School; Triton Regional High School; Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School; Phoenix Academy, Lawrence; High School Learning Center, Lawrence; Notre Dame Cristo Rey, Lawrence; Sanborn Regional High School, and Timberlane Regional High School.

For more information on high school partnerships available through Northern Essex Community College, contact Adam Cutler, assistant director, secondary-postsecondary linkages, or 978 738-7546.