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Center for Adult Education Graduates Honored 

Submitted by on July 3, 2023 – 2:22 pm

Haverhill, MA (June 28, 2023) – Family and friends gathered on the Northern Essex Community College Haverhill Campus to celebrate loved ones who recently graduated from programs with the Center for Adult Education. The evening ceremony honored the more than 200 students who completed personal, professional, and academic developmental programs, such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and high school equivalency degrees.

Eric Webster spoke about receiving his GED

Several students shared their experiences with the crowd. Gabriela Vanegas emigrated from El Salvador 13 months ago with her 9-year-old daughter. She is trained as a dentist and enrolled in ESOL classes so that she can work on the requirements to practice here in the United States. “We are making progress,” she said. “I feel much more comfortable with the language.”

“After taking this class, I have improved my English skills,” echoed Jessica Martinez, who has a similar story to Vanegas. Martinez is a dentist from the Dominican Republic and completed one of the ESOL Career Skills programs. These classes are geared specifically toward learning English in the context of a chosen career field.

Another student speaker, Eric Webster, just earned his GED. He says his experience has given him a new-found confidence. “Earning a high school diploma opens doors once closed. Nothing is impossible if I work hard and do my best.”

Ervin Lopez received his certificate from NECC President Lane Glenn

Ervin Lopez also earned a high school diploma. He completed the High School Equivalency Program and passed the exam. “Education helps us to develop our potential,” he told the audience. “It’s very important when it comes to building a society.”

Many of the programs were free this year, thanks to funding from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and additional funding from the college to expand the offerings. Several programs are always free to those who receive SNAP as part of the SNAP Path to Work Program.

The Center for Adult Education (CAE) offers a variety of programs, such as ESOL Level 1-6, GED/HiSET, MassSTEP, ESOL Supported Career Skills, and Transition to College. Many individuals start at CAE and continue to Community Education, credit courses, or enter directly into the workplace. Those interested in learning more can visit the webpage or call (978) 556-3000.

Downloadable images from the event are available here.

The children of a graduate told the crowd, “Never give up. Always keep studying.”


English for Speakers of Other Languages
These classes are for students who want to learn English or improve their English skills. There are six levels in the ESOL program, and instruction focuses on language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, advanced grammar, computer literacy, and vocabulary for community, online career exploration, workplace, and educational settings. Students are assigned an NECC counselor who can help establish a clear path to achieve their educational and career goals.

ESOL Supported Career Skills
ESOL Career Skills programs are geared toward English Language Learners at an Intermediate to Advanced level. They are taught in English but supported by an ESOL instructor. Students expand their knowledge of the English language by applying it to the context of specific career areas.  ESOL instruction and activities closely follow the career skills learned in class.
All certificate programs begin with a two-week Digital Literacy course and end with a short course on Personal Finances. A career coach is assigned to each student to help guide them along and prepare them for employment.

High School Equivalency Program (GED/HiSET)
This program prepares students to earn a GED or HiSET degree under High School Equivalency (HSE). The CAE offers two levels of free classes (Pre-High School Equivalency Test and High School Equivalency Test) in the following areas: English Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Transition to College
This program is designed for students who have completed their GED/HiSET but want to improve their skills to prepare for college. Students receive two semesters of academic preparation in reading, writing, math, and computers as well as time management, computer, note taking, technology, and study skills.

The MassSTEP programs build pathways that prepare adult learners for promising careers with local businesses. These programs provide concurrent adult education, workforce preparation activities, and workforce training contextualized to in-demand occupations or industries and conclude with participants earning one or more industry-recognized credentials. Courses include Accounting & QuickBooks Program for English Learners.