It's a success story that is written again and again.
And Greater Haverhill, its students and their families are all the better for it.
Northern Essex Community College has helped thousands of students, young and old, to better their lives.
The school aids people who have lost jobs and decided to change careers. NECC retrains them and helps them find work.
The college also provides retirees with courses that help them learn about topics they have long thought about, but never acted on.
But the largest group NECC serves is that of the traditional college age student, the one whose pockets are not deep or who is not certain of what they want to major in.
The school's varied and affordable courses allow those students to test the waters without blowing their college budget, and also build up credits that will be of use if they move on to other schools to pursue a bachelor's degree.
And when it comes time to transfer, NECC goes the extra mile for students who may have trouble visiting other colleges because of time or financial constraints.
NECC recently hosted a transfer day attended by representatives of 53 colleges and universities. They met with students and explained everything from available courses to tuition costs to how to apply. (See story, Page 1.)
So for students who could not go to visit those schools, the schools came to them — courtesy of NECC.
“It’s really important for students to know the deadlines and what the application process is for each school,” said Kim Montague, associate director of undergraduate admissions for the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who attended the transfer event.
Some students — like Cesar Mesta of Haverhill, a laboratory science major — already had plans for their post-Northern Essex experience and just needed information on how transferring to another school works.
“I just want to know about the transfer process and what I need to go into the specific program I want,” Mesta said. “I’m looking for something specific.”
He found it at the NECC event. So did many other students.
The city is lucky to have NECC. The school continues to fulfill its mission, providing a solid bridge to the future for Greater Haverhill students.