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NECC Creates Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in Parking Lots

Submitted by on September 15, 2020 – 3:45 pm

Dean of Students Jonathan Miller tries out the new wi-fi in the parking lot of the Dimitry Building in Lawrence.

Northern Essex Community College surveyed students last spring after the pandemic hit to find out what challenges they were having with remote learning. What they learned is that some students were struggling with spotty Internet access from home and/or finding a quiet place to study.

To address that, the college has created Wi-Fi hotspots in parking lots on the Haverhill and Lawrence Campuses, where students—as well as community members—can come and access free internet.

Students, faculty, and staff can log-in with their college credentials and anyone not attending Northern Essex can choose the “visitor” wireless network.

Wi-Fi coverage is provided at the Technology Center, Student Center, and Library parking lots in Haverhill and the Dimitry Building , El-Hefni Allied Health Technology Center, and Haffner Education Center parking lots in Lawrence.

“We want to make sure that our students have access to the technology that will help them be successful,” said Danny Rivera, assistant director of client technology & media services.

Northern Essex decided early that 90% of the fall semester would be online with a very limited number of courses, primarily health and science labs, offered face-to-face.

This summer the college invested a half million dollars to prepare faculty who have previously taught face-to-face for online teaching; $100,000 for a new peer ambassador program that will help students succeed in online courses; and $200,000 to help students purchase laptops. In addition, the computer labs in Haverhill and Lawrence are open to students by appointment.

For more information on Wi-Fi parking lot access, contact IT Services, or 978 556-3111.

Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers approximately 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Each year, 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  For more information, visit the website at or call 978-556-3700.