NECC Observer

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

Early College program offers opportunities to high school students

Going to college is an important step in many people’s lives.

The early college program at NECC gives high school students a head start on their future in college.

The early college programs gives students from Massachusetts a chance to take college classes while still in high school.

They are able to go off campus from their normal high school to take classes at NECC. The classes that they take at NECC will count as credit on their high school transcript but can also go to their college transcript.

“The Early College program helps students get an advance start on what college is all about. Students learn how to choose their schedule, talk to an advisor, expectations of a college course vs high school course, use the college resources such as tutoring, academic coaching, organization and self-advocacy with college professors. One Early College students graduate from high school they should know what college is all about and know which major they are interested, ” said Early College staff member Myrna Percibal.

The early college program is also helpful for high school students because they are able to test courses in majors that they are interested in before committing to a major in college to see if it is the right fit for them.

“In addition to the general education courses, you can also take courses that interest you to test the waters in a certain career option or to see if a particular field is right for you. These courses may transfer as well,” according to NECC.

Joining the NECC college program can also help future college students obtain scholarships for other colleges that they plan to go to after they complete the early college program.

“At NECC, we have several ways for you to get a head start on a degree. Starting early is smart – you can save money and time, get an early introduction to college life, and start investing in your future,” according to NECC.

Any high school student can be involved with Early College. The guidelines to be an Early College student is apply, assess and register. Once the student applies each EC student needs to choose a pathway. This will give us a better idea which courses the student can register. In order for a student to be part of EC the student has to show that they are ready for college courses. The assessment is a way to determine if they student qualifies and is ready in reading and writing at the or close to college level. If a high school student is a senior and they have a 2.75 GPA or higher the assessment is waived. Students that the assessment is waived will start with English Comp I and if they decide to take a math course the student can start with our first level college math course applied math or statistics depending on the students pathway, said Percibal.

To become apart of the early college program you have to meet with your high school guidance counselor to see if it is a good fit for you.

“We have three high schools that have our largest cohort at NECC. Haverhill High, Lawrence High and Whittier,” said Percibal. “Most of the students start as a junior and when they graduate from high school they graduate with 30 credits. This means that most of these students start as a sophomore at any college or universities that they decide to attend. The only advice I give all my students is that the Early college credits are transferable to any state of Mass universities or colleges. If it is a private or out of state school it will be under the schools discretion. In the most part most schools have accepted the credits but this is a conversation the student needs to have with the advisor.We have also have had seniors that have graduated from high school with their associates degree.”