NECC Observer

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

MAICEI program sets up students with disabilities for success

There are many ways for students to access the Northern Essex Community College, whether its as a full-time student, a part-time student, or an Early College Student but there is one program that never gets mentioned and that is the MAICEI program.

The Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) program is a partnership of Massachusetts public two and four year colleges and universities with local school districts to support students with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders to become students on the college campus and participate in an individualized inclusionary experience. The students are dually enrolled in their public-school district and at the college.

There are many benefits to being enrolled in the MAICEI Program. “The program supports student choice for audit or credit classes, work internships when possible and also Peer Mentorship, if the student is interested,” says Theresa Yurewicz, the MAICEI program coordinator at NECC.  Students are full members on the NECC campus and may fully participate as students in or around campus.

The process to get into the MAICEI program is one that requires a lot of steps, so anyone who wants to participate must be ready to put in the hard work.

“First and foremost, the student should talk to their Educational Team at their high school or Transition program and express their interest in the program. The student’s team can and will help them guide the interested student’s possible application to the program,” Yurewicz continues. The MAICEI program currently has a formal MAICEI program partnership with the following local school districts: Andover, Georgetown, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, Newburyport, North Andover, and Triton Regional.

“We hope to add additional school districts in the future,” Yurewicz says.

The MAICEI program is a Massachusetts state budget funded grant program. Each year, NECC applies to continue its grant program. NECC has been a part of the MAICEI program since 2015.

The MAICEI program has had an incredibly positive impact on everyone who has been involved in it.

“I have been in the program for two years, haven taken three classes, and I have felt both supported in it and have had fun while in the program,” said Glen Middleton Cox, a NECC student who participates in the program. “The people in the program have treated me with good respect and helped me pick good classes. They made me feel comfortable at the college and helped me make friends. They made me feel great inside.”

“I have been in the MAICEI Program for two years. I`m currently taking two classes, as I was able to advocate to take more than one class per semester. I think it`s been a positive experience, as I get to take classes for college credits,” says William Parker,  a NECC student who also participates in the program.

“The accommodations in the MAICEI program are great and if I could give one piece of advice to students who are interested in this, I would use them,” Parker says.

The impact of the MAICEI program has been felt through the NECC community as well.

“The MAICEI program at NECC is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience college with their peers while still getting support in their courses and around the campus,” says Jillian Knox, Learning Accommodations Liaison for the MAICEI program and Disability Services Specialist in the Learning Accommodation Center.

“The college has received a great deal of positive feedback from NECC staff and faculty, our public-school partners, students, parents, community partners, and the entire NECC community,” Knox says.

The MAICEI program also offers a way for students who are not involved with the program to be in it as well through the Peer Mentorship program. This program offers students the chance to be paired with a student in the program and offer them help with all aspects of college life.

To learn more about the MAICEI program or the Peer Mentorship program, please either visit this website: or contact Theresa Yurewicz whose information is below.

Theresa Yurewicz

MAICEI Program Coordinator

Learning Accommodations Center

Behrakis One-Stop Student Services Center, SC-111