Haverhill High, Northern Essex Community College Move Forward with STEM Tech Academy

Haverhill K-12 Supervisor of Science and Technology Kevin R. Higginbottom. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill High School and Northern Essex Community College are moving ahead with a new STEM Tech Career Academy aimed at preparing students for careers in manufacturing, healthcare and environmental and life sciences.

As WHAV reported first last month, students participating will earn between 18-24 college credits before graduating high school. They will then transition to Northern Essex, where they will finish their associate degrees. Haverhill High School Science and Technology Curriculum Director Kevin R. Higginbottom told School Committee members last week how the program came into being.

“The STEM Tech Academy Grant came about as a result of the state recognizing a key need, which was that the current work force within a variety of STEM fields is just not large enough to fulfill the current and future needs of a variety of industries. They also recognized that there are some gaps and disparities in credential attainment as well as wages as well as diversity,” he explained.

The $1 million grant, which is spread over a four-year period, helps pay for existing training programs in science, technology, engineering and math. The first part, $50,000, is being used for the planning phase which will be done in concert with Northern Essex Community College.

The bulk of the grant will be phased in during years two, three and four and will be used for purchasing equipment and other operational expenses.

In addition to traditional in-class education, the programs are work based, allowing students to receive hands-on, real-world training in industries and other businesses, with an eventual goal of having 400 students taking part and receiving associates degrees from Northern Essex.

The program is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2025.

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