EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 30, 2012

Hispanic students boost Northern Essex enrollment

Northern Essex Community College led the state’s 15 community colleges in full-time student enrollment increases this fall with the largest increase being among Hispanic students.

“Hispanic students now represent 34 percent of our student population, a 16.2 percent increase in just one year,” NECC President Lane Glenn said in a recent statement. “This isn’t surprising since the number of Hispanics living in the communities we serve has also increased.”

NECC, with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, had a 5 percent increase in full-time students from 4,255 to 4,482.

“At Northern Essex, we work hard to ensure that Hispanic students feel welcome and supported on both our Haverhill and Lawrence campuses,” said a statement released by NECC spokesperson Ernie Greenslade.

“Hiring faculty and staff who are bilingual and bicultural is a priority for us. What we are most proud of are the resources that we have in place to help all of our students, including our Hispanic students, to succeed,” the statement said.

“Last year, with the help of private donations and public grants, we opened a Student Success Center in Lawrence designed to provide retention programs, along with an early alert system to identify and help students who are struggling. Our goal is to help students clarify academic and career goals and provide them with the support and resources to be successful, whether success is a new career after earning a certificate or associate degree or transfer to a four-year college or university,” the statement said.

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