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NECC Creates New Center for MassReconnect Students

Submitted by on March 9, 2023 – 1:34 pm

Lawrence and Haverhill, MA (March 9, 2023)– More than 1.8 million adults in Massachusetts could be eligible for free community college under Governor Healey’s MassReconnect Program. The Governor, surrounded by the Workforce Skills Cabinet and community college presidents, officially unveiled her $20 million plan last Wednesday on what Northern Essex President Lane Glenn called “A momentous day for higher education in Massachusetts.”

MassReconnect will support state residents who are 25 years old and older and have not yet earned a college degree or industry credential. It would offer students last-dollar financial support to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies.

The plan is included in the governor’s $55.5 billion state budget proposal. While final budget approval isn’t expected until the summer, While final budget approval isn’t expected until the summer, and will need the support of both the House of Representatives and Senate, Northern Essex is poised to accept MassReconnect students by developing the Center for Adult Academic Pathways, or CAAP. The Center will have office space on both the Haverhill and Lawrence Campuses. The center will guide adult learners to assess their goals and determine the proper pathways to achieve them while also helping learners navigate the college process using wraparound support services.

The CAAP will help MassReconnect students connect with advisors and services.

“Our college is a leader in innovative practices that honor the prior experiences of our learners and the care and concern of our faculty,” said Dr. Paul Beaudin, Provost.  “Our new centers will be built upon a foundation that listens to the voices of our ‘more adult’ learners and reconnects them with their dreams for the future.”

The CAAP will additionally offer testing and technical support and serve as a hub for students to connect with others returning to school after a hiatus.

Provost Beaudin says these students will also benefit from an increase in 7-week courses offered in various formats, giving students more flexibility in how and when they complete their degrees.  These plans will be enfleshed with the input and expertise of our faculty and student affairs staff.

“The MassReconnect program is just what hundreds of thousands of adults in Massachusetts who started college and have not yet been able to complete their degrees need to help them cross that finish line, and it’s just what the state’s employers need to help them fill in-demand jobs in our workforce,” said President Glenn. “NECC looks forward to welcoming these students back to campus.”

Those interested in MassReconnect can fill out this interest form to start connecting with advisors today. Learn more about the program, CAAP, and current resources for adult learners by visiting

The governor’s budget funding includes several other investments in education and workforce development programs, such as Early College and Innovation Pathways, the Community College SUCCESS fund, the Healthcare Worker Training and AFL-CIO Workforce Development programs, Career Technical Institutes and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

“Workforce shortages have impacted nearly all sectors of our economy, but we have an incredible opportunity before us to train the next generation of workers and increase opportunities for all,” said Governor Healey in a press release. “The MassReconnect program, as well as the other investments in education and workforce development that we call for in our budget, will be transformative for hundreds of thousands of our residents. More students than ever before will be able to advance or complete their educations and set themselves up for a successful career in in-demand industries like health care, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and tech.”