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MAICEI Program Overview

The Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) Program, funded by the Commonwealth since 2007, provides dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, ages 18 to 22, with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder, to participate in an inclusive college experience.

Students must be from partnering school districts and be between the ages of;

  • 18 to 22, have not passed MCAS, and are eligible for special education services as documented through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP); or
  • 20 to 21, have passed MCAS, but are still eligible for special education with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) because of significant functional disabilities, transition needs, etc.

Students have the opportunity to take college courses, for credit or audit, at Northern Essex Community College Haverhill or Lawrence campuses. Students benefit academically and transition to young adulthood more readily when they have the opportunity to engage in all college-related activities rather than staying at high school.

The MAICEI program is supported by a state-funded grant awarded to Northern Essex Community College in 2015. Our current partners are;

  1. Andover High School
  2. Georgetown High School
  3. Haverhill High School
  4. Lawrence High School
  5. Methuen High School
  6. Newburyport High School
  7. North Andover High School

Students in the MAICEI Program Have the Opportunity to:

  • Take credit and non-credit courses alongside their college peers
  • Develop self-determination and self-advocacy skills
  • Improve academic, social, and functional skills
  • Participate in career planning, vocational skill-building activities, and community-based integrated competitive employment opportunities

MAICEI Program Students Receive

Educational Coach and Peer Mentor Information

Educational Coach and Peer Mentor Information

The terms “peer mentors” and “educational coaches” are often used interchangeably. In fact, there are very slight differences between these 2 types of supports provided to students with intellectual or developmental disabilities attending college.

Things that peer mentors and educational coaches have in common:

  • Both assist with the inclusion of students in campus life.
  • Both work one-to-one with a MAICEI student and offer them support and guidance.
  • Both provide more intensive, wrap-around supports that are not offered by the Learning Accommodations Center.
  • Both provide more intense support in the beginning but might fade to less support as the semester progresses.

Ways in which peer mentors and educational coaches might differ:

  • Peer Mentors are just that, peers. They are fellow students who attend classes at NECC and are often around the same age as the person with a disability.  Some Peer Mentors are paid and some are volunteers.
  • Peer Mentors will assist students in aspects of college life that are outside the classroom such as social development, health and wellness and study skills.
  • Educational Coaches are not enrolled in the college, may be older than the student and are almost always paid.
  • Educational Coaches assist students in the classroom and in completing their assignments outside of class.

Resources for more information:

Think College: Peer Mentor Resources

Think College: Peer Mentoring: It Can Change Your Life (PDF)

YouTube Video: Coaches and Mentors Helping College Students Thrive

Interested in Participating in the MAICEI Program?

If you are interested in participating in the MAICEI program, please contact your high school Guidance Counselor or Transition Specialist to discuss your eligibility. Once approved by your transition team, a meeting will be arranged to meet with the MAICEI coordinator at NECC.

Contact Us

Lisa DeVita

MAICEI (MA Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative) Coordinator
Behrakis One-Stop Student Success Hub, SC213
Telephone: 978-556-3646

Susan Martin

Director, Learning Accommodations Center
Behrakis One-Stop Student Success Hub, SC213
Telephone: 978-556-3647

Helpful Links

Executive Office of Education – MAICEI
Think College: College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Participating Partnerships in Massachusetts

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