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NECC Partners with Merrimack for Popular Bachelor Completion Programs

Submitted by on November 16, 2017 – 4:54 pm

Elysha Heymans transferred from NECC right into Merrimack College’s night bachelor’s completion program.

Two local colleges, Northern Essex Community College and Merrimack College, are partnering to offer non-traditional students an affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

Students who complete an associate degree at Northern Essex can complete their bachelor’s degrees in psychology or child, family & community studies (CFC) at Merrimack in 24 months. The Merrimack courses are offered evenings and every other Saturday so students can work while attending college.  The tuition includes books and meals.

“Students love the special treatment by the Merrimack staff,” says Grace Young, dean of academic and career advising, articulation and transfer.  “Students with busy schedules receive a great education.”

After earning her associate degree at Northern Essex, Elysha Heymans of Andover, was eager to enroll in a bachelor degree completion program that was accessible and convenient. She found what she was looking for in Merrimack’s bachelor’s degree completion program.

Merrimack accepts all of the NECC associate degree credits.

Like many of the nearly 400 non-traditional students who have attended these completion programs over the last 5 years, Heymans works days and attends school at night. The programs are designed as six, 15-week semesters to be completed in 24 months. Hybrid courses combine on-campus classes with online learning. The cohort schedule includes three courses during the fall and spring terms, and two courses during the summer terms.

There are other benefits to this evening program as well.

“Another benefit is that your advisors take all the stress away by signing you up for your classes and getting your books for you… it has allowed me to stay stress free and stay focused on my schoolwork,” Heymans said.

Merrimack uses a cohort model in which students begin classes and graduate with the same group of classmates. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings and every other Saturday.  This has made Heyman’s experience at Merrimack better than she could have imagined. “You get the opportunity to bond with your classmates, motivate and support each other, and create a network of professional contacts in your field as well.”

While Heymans is enrolled in the psychology completion program, it’s the CFC program that is most popular. Students interested in pursuing careers in teaching at the early childhood and elementary education level, education administration, human services, and community advocacy can enroll in this program which has several tracks including teacher preparation leading to licensure, family and community engagement, and leadership and administration.

For additional information on how to transfer in a bachelor completion program at Merrimack College from Northern Essex, contact Grace Young, at or call 978-556-3449.