NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Why students choose community college

Students face a lot of pressure to make decisions about their future after high school. 

Among those choices is whether to go straight to a four-year college or university, or start with a two-year community college.

Students believe that attending community college is not the same as attending a four-year school. 

There is a significant difference between the two, but in the end students receive an education.

NECC is a catalyst for freshly graduated high schoolers, a step in receiving a new degree, and a finishing point for some. 

Some students believe that if they don’t go to a four-year college or university, then they will not be able to get a better job in the future.

“I used to think that if I didn’t go to a four-year school, then I wouldn’t compare with people that did go to them. I figured if I were consistent at a school instead of transferring, a possible job prospect would want me more, but it’s not true,” said NECC Student Olivia Lucey.

Within six years, about 62 percent of students who transferred from a two-year school in 2005 and 2006 graduated with a four-year degree. 

In addition 8 percent were still working toward a degree, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s annual Signature      Report.

Students also believe that people frown on them for attending community college. 

Today’s economy is making people turn around to see how smart community college students are. They are taking courses, to prepare for the next step.

“I started off in the fall of 2013 at NECC, and I am now attending the University of New Hampshire. I still take a math course at NECC to save money. So I have couple extra bucks in my pocket,” said Lucey.

“My loan situation in the future won’t be severe. That was my focus,” said General Studies major Maddi Wilson. 

“I enjoy community college. I transferred from Stetson University in Deland, Fla. to NECC, said Communication major Nick Mazzone.

Since attending NECC, Mazzone has interned at the Matty In The Morning Show on Kiss 108,  and now works with 100.7 WZLX beacuse of the NECC internship program.

“I fell in love with radio working at Kiss 108, which made me look for a job. 100.7 WZLX from  CBS Radio was the first tocontact me, and hired me on the spot,” said Mazzone.

Mazzone is the perfect example of a student who left a university, to attend a community college, and still be just as successful.

Also, NECC offers a newly founded internship program for journalism, communication, business, and computer  information science majors.

“If I never left Stetson University, I would have never attended NECC. I also would never had a chance to intern in one of the best radio markets in the country,” said Mazzone.

There is a determination in community college students, that is surfacing.

“My grades are much better from high school,” said Wilson.

Students academically challenge themselves to prepare for the following years when going to transfer.

 They want to prove, that even though they are in attendance at a community college,  it does not set them apart from a student attending a four-year college or university.

NECC offers a wide variety of majors, which is a perfect start for students who plan on transferring to four-year schools.

“It is good preparation. I wasn’t the best in high school, but I have a better focus now,” said Lucey.

NECC also has numerous clubs, organizations, and events happening just like any other college.

“The Haverhill Campus gives off the college vibe. The only thing is driving and dorming. It’s not a big deal,” said Lucey.

There is always something happening on the NECC Haverhill campus. 

As you turn into the front driveway, there is a lit up sign advertising upcoming events. 

When walking through the hallways between classes, there are numerous displays of flyers, and pictures of clubs, sports, schedules, and events.

In the central area of The Spurk Building there are usually clubs or organizations promoting themselves, and trying to socialize with the student body to get the word out, or to have students join.

“I like walking out of The Spurk and seeing people studying, listening to music, chatting, playing catch, or just sitting cliche under a tree. Even though it’s a community college, it doesn’t hold to it’s name. It’s a campus to me,” said Lucey.

Attending a community college is not a bad choice. It can save money, and may even be less stressful. 

Some students want to get right out there and have the “college experience.”  It’s not it is all cracked up to be. 

The simple things like missing home cooked meals, friends, family, their own pillow, bed, the couch, their own bathroom, driving, and not having to wear flip flops in the shower.

 They all add up, and some students may not be ready for that.

Some students will commute to school because they prefer having the ammenities of living at home.

 Whether it is attending a four-year college or university, or attending a community college.

Community college resolves that by being a commuting school. 

They have the freedom to go home after classes, and possibly work part time. 

 Students need to prioritize and think about how they want to go about their education after high school. 

Community colleges such as NECC offer similar course, they host events, have clubs, sports teams, and organizations. 

They have most amenities that a four-year college has, but they don’t have the title of being a four-year college.

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