NECC Announces New Dean of Students
Haverhill, MA (July 12, 2023) – After a nationwide search, which yielded dozens of qualified candidates, Northern Essex Community College is pleased to welcome Jason Arey as the new dean of students. He will begin his new role on August 2, 2023.
Arey has nearly two decades of experience in higher education, including five years as the dean of students at York Community College in Wells, Maine; two years as the associate vice president of student affairs at Manchester Community College in Manchester, New Hampshire; and 11 years as the associate/assistant director of residential life at the University of Southern Maine. He most recently worked as the Employee Relations Manager for the City of South Portland, Maine.
“Helping college students achieve their individual academic goals is both professionally challenging and rewarding,” he says. “I think the dean of students position is unique because you wear so many hats. You are a counselor, advocate, cheerleader, disciplinarian, educator, and coach. My job is to create an atmosphere where all students feel welcomed, included, and supported so they can pursue their individual academic goals.”
NECC Provost, Paul Beaudin, says Arey’s experience helping students balance life on, and off, campus will make him an asset to Northern Essex students. “Jason Arey comes to Northern Essex with some twenty years of student affairs experience, including seven years as a dean of students at two local community colleges. His respect for students and the transformative role that community colleges have to play in the lives of students impressed the search committee very much,” remarks Beaudin.
Arey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Southern Maine. He says his interest in student affairs started when he was a student himself: “I participated in intramurals, athletics, hall government, and student activities. From there, I became a leader on campus as a resident assistant,” he remembers. Upon graduation from UNH, he started working in the insurance field but found it wasn’t the right fit.
“After some soul searching and thinking back on my past experiences, I realized I wanted to work in a college environment, so I decided to pursue my master’s degree and work as a hall director.”
Here at Northern Essex, Arey says students can expect him to listen to their concerns, advocate for their needs, and support their ideas.
“It’s not enough to just say you have an open-door policy. You must meet students where they are at. Engage with them, take an interest in who they are and what their goals are, and make connections…I plan on doing a lot of listening in my first few months on the job. I want to know what works well for students, what is missing, and what may need some improvement.”
The dean of students oversees a variety of student support services in the areas of Counseling and Psychological Services, Compliance, Veterans and Military Services, Student Life, the Center for Accessibility Resources and Services, Community Standards, Student Government Association, and the Care and Concern Outreach Team, including student conduct and student wellness initiatives. The dean is also responsible for oversight and development of extracurricular and student retention activities at the college.
About Northern Essex
Northern Essex Community College, the first Federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution in New England, is an education leader for the Merrimack Valley. Through a supportive learning environment and cultural inclusion, NECC embraces all identities and inspires initiative and excellence through top-notch, affordable certificate and associate degree programs online and at campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence. NECC offers many bachelor’s degree transfer options, workforce development, and community education classes, and is host to the NECC Police Academy, MassHire Merrimack Valley, and Gallaudet University’s Regional Center for the deaf and hard of hearing. Visit Northern Essex online at www.necc.mass.edu.