NECC Observer

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

Transfer Day: PACE Students

Every year, NECC hosts a Transfer Day for students to meet with representatives from different colleges and this year, 58 colleges were represented. Rossalie Catalano, the Transfer & Academic Advisor, said that she was very pleased with the turnout this year.

At the Haverhill campus, attendance to the transfer day almost doubled from last year due to the weather being pleasant this time around.

One program at NECC that helps students with the process of transferring is called PACE.

Kristen Arnold, PACE Program Transfer Advisor, says, “Transfer Day is an awesome opportunity for NECC students to gather lots of information about their potential transfer schools very quickly and without leaving campus. We always encourage all PACE students to attend Transfer Day, and our students who attend always report that it was helpful to them.”

PACE stands for Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence, and are a TRiO Student Support Services program.  They are one of 1,027 TRiO-SSS projects all over the U.S.  Each year, they select 250 NECC students to be part of their program, and provide extensive academic, transfer, career and scholarship advising.

Arnold says, “Most of students have to be first-generation (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree) and income eligible to join PACE.  Our mission is to help students successfully graduate from NECC and transfer to four-year colleges. Some of the services we provide include student success workshops, which we offer in-person and through Blackboard, field trips to four-year colleges, and intensive/supportive one-on-one advising.”

This week, PACE will be traveling to UMass Lowell, South campus. Students that are apart of the PACE program go on college visits for free, food and travel expenses included.

“As the PACE Transfer Advisor, it’s my job to help students develop a transfer plan and follow through with all the steps required for a successful transfer.  It’s an exciting but sometimes daunting time for students, and I love being able to help them understand the process, complete the necessary steps, and review the information each school provides so they can make the best decision about where to go,” says Arnold.  

Students tend to go to transfer and get lost in the paperwork, deadlines, and miss out on serious scholarship opportunities that the PACE program points out for you. Other opportunities provided through PACE include: resume critique job searching, professional development and more.  

Arnold says, “Gathering information about financial aid, scholarships and transfer credits are critical to making an informed transfer decision.”

One of the popular schools to transfer to from NECC is the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Deborah E. Smith, Associate Director of Transfer Admissions at UMass Lowell, says, “(Students) can speak to a transfer counselor at their community college. We are a research institution with amazing faculty, opportunities for internships and coops, and a diverse population.” Students can also visit the transfer admissions office at the University to find out if UMass Lowell is their next step in their college career.

“The main reasons students transfer to UMASS Lowell are price, program and place,” says Smith. Check out UMass Lowell at their transfer Facebook page:

Arnold says, “My goal for each student is that they leave NECC and transfer to a college that best fits their needs and goals for a price they can afford.  Academically, they each have the tools in their toolbox to be successful, no matter where they end up.”