Haverhill and Lawrence Public Schools Grow Early College at Northern Essex Community College

Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn takes a selfie with Haverhill High School students recognized for their participation in NECC’s Early College Program in 2019. (Courtesy file photograph.)

Correction: Because of an error in a press release from the state Executive Office of Education, an earlier version of this story incorrectly reported an early college partnership with Saugus High School. Saugus is entering a partnership with North Shore Community College.

Haverhill and Lawrence public schools were recently awarded $75,000 each to expand their Early College partnerships with Northern Essex Community College.

Luisanna Crespo, assistant director for PK-12 and International Programs at Northern Essex said her office is currently working with both schools to determine how the best use the money.

“The idea is to reach more students and to implement more supports for our current Early College students to increase success rates for them,” she said.

In all, nearly 700 local students are enrolled in Early College at Northern Essex, from more than 20 high schools.

Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School and Saugus High School were also approved to begin Early College partnerships with North Shore Community College as part of the state’s added support for the programs.

“The more communities that launch early college programs, particularly in our Gateway Cities, the more we can provide opportunities to students that help close achievement and workforce gaps,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “By creating and supplementing designated early college programs with our municipal partners, our administration aims to break down barriers that persist between high school and higher education.”

The Executive Office of Education said increasing the number of high school students who take college courses and earn college credits at no cost was the aim of this round of grants totaling $1.3 million. The state expects approximately 8,700 students will be enrolled in early college programs by the 2024-2025 school year. The programs combine traditional high school courses with an opportunity to earn college credit at a college or university. Currently, there are approximately 5,400 students enrolled in early college courses at 50 high schools across the Commonwealth.

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