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December 17, 2013

Three colleges team up to provide a path to education

LAWRENCE — Area residents can get associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all in Building 9 at Riverwalk, 360 Merrimack St.

Northern Essex Community College has formed a partnership with Cambridge College and Suffolk University, with the intent to make Lawrence “a college town.”

“When a city has a college, it not only educates residents, but it helps create a thriving economy and a wonderful place to live, “ said Lane Glenn, president at Northern Essex.

Area residents will have a range of degree options at the schools. Northern Essex offers associate’s degrees in criminal justice, deaf studies, health, performing arts, technology and engineering. At Cambridge College, students can earn bachelor’s degrees in psychology, human services and management. They also offer master’s degrees in education, management, psychology and counseling, and certificate programs in alcohol and drug counseling and trauma studies. Suffolk University offers master’s degrees in accounting, finance and taxation, as well as joint degrees with the college of arts and sciences and the law school.

Glenn said the student population at NECC’s Lawrence campus has grown by 22 percent in the past five years, and it was only logical to partner with Cambridge and Suffolk to offer students more opportunities.

George Moriarty, executive director at the Center for Corporate and Community Education at Northern Essex, helped facilitate the partnership.

“It helps change people’s perspective about the city,” Moriarty said. “It shows that Lawrence is proactive and a vibrant community and employers are going to start thinking about sending their employees here.”

The three institutions of higher learning will share the third floor at Building 9 which has 20 classrooms, five computer labs, conference rooms and staff offices.

Joseph Bevilacqua, president of Greater Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, said that having Northern Essex join Suffolk University and Cambridge College at Riverwalk, will help boost the city’s economy, as students shop at local restaurants and retail stores and help city businesses by providing skilled workers.

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