Northern Essex Receives $105,000 to Help Students Who Have Not Passed MCAS

Sen. Barbara L’Italien and Gov. Charles D. Baker.

Gov. Charles D. Baker has released $105,000 to Northern Essex Community College to support college-level academic, social and career-development opportunities for public high school students in Lawrence and Methuen with intellectual disabilities.

The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) funds programs to support public high school children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 18 to 22, who have not passed the MCAS exam. Programs are geared to allowing these students to participate in inclusive college courses.

“I am thrilled that Northern Essex Community College will be joining the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Program, and I especially want to recognize and thank NECC President Lane Glenn for his leadership on this initiative,” said Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover, a member of the Legislature's Higher Education Committee.  “These partnerships between local high schools and community colleges provide important opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend college with their same-aged peers.  This helps them learn the independence and self-advocacy skills they will need to secure employment and succeed in the adult world.”

Research shows students with intellectual disabilities benefit academically, transition to becoming young adults more easily and have greater success finding jobs when they have the opportunity to participate in college-related activities and experiences similar to their non-disabled peers.

Funded since 2008, the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program has grown to include 14 public two-and four-year institutions supporting over 800 students.

“Increasing the diversity of our workforce to include more young adults with intellectual disabilities complements our administration’s commitment to developing economic vitality,” Baker said.  “The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative is a national model for building learning experiences and academic achievements for lifelong success.”

During the 2015-16-school year, 130 students were enrolled in the ICEI program statewide.

Massachusetts is one of only a few states to provide college and university opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities while they are still in high school.  Funding for the grant to Northern Essex Community College is provided in the state budget.

“Creating a variety of career development pathways for all students, including those with intellectual disabilities, is an important priority,” Secretary of Education James Peyser said. “The academic and social opportunities in which these students will engage due to this grant program will afford them advantages over their peers and will prepare them well for the workforce demands of the future.”

4 thoughts on “Northern Essex Receives $105,000 to Help Students Who Have Not Passed MCAS

  1. Once I saw this article was about tax payer money and Barbara L’Italien – I knew it was a waste of time.

    Barbara L’Italien is unemployable in the private sector.

  2. Considering that this program has been in effect since 2008, has anyone assessed the effectiveness of it? Are these sub-standard students paying attention in class, doing the work assigned to them, and succeeding academically? Or is this merely a pass that is given to these people to further extend their non-productive life? What is the affect that these students have on the serious students? Are they a disruptive influence when they refuse to study and play by the rules everyone else follows? Or are they buckling down and learning for a change. It is one thing to attempt to give students a “leg-up,” but why did they flunk the MCAS in the first place?

    Where are the studies that support the practice of the granting of $105,000 and the justification for taking taxpayer dollars and spending it in such a manner? This grant has been issued for seven years now, so surely there are statistics that would justify or condemn the practice.

  3. “These partnerships between local high schools and community colleges provide important opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend college with their same-aged peers. This helps them learn the independence and self-advocacy skills they will need to secure employment and succeed in the adult world.” –

    No, it’s Taxpayer monies being thrown at people that can’t pass academic muster to make them feel good. Forget about a rigorous academic curriculum, EVERYONE passes! No wonder The United States is sinking academically.

    Feelings > Academic Rigor