Northern Essex Community College (NECC) and LHS have along-standing partnership. About 25% of NECC students are from Lawrence and an increasing number of LHS students with apply to NECC (86%) or enroll in post-graduation (33%). It is mutually beneficial for both institutions to reduce the need for remediation by offering rigorous college preparation through early college. As such, NECC has been the primary partner during the Planning Phase of the LHS Early college Program. By participating in the NECC early college program, students will have the opportunity to earn up to 24 college credits, which is equivalent to a year's worth of course work, by the time they graduate, and will effectively save their families close to $10,000 in expenses.
The Merrimack early college partnership aims to attract honors track students, like those in ALA, who are likely to attend top-tier 4-year institutions post-graduation. While these students are generally high achieving, most are low-income, first-generation college students and, as such, are less likely to enroll in college than their affluent peers (55% compared to 78%) and only half as likely to complete college (25% compared to 53%). Moreover, they are also likely to face considerable challenges due to the financial pressures and culture shock of attending affluent, white-majority institutions. To be prepare students to overcome these challenges, the early college program will embed socio-emotional support and coaching on how to navigate the college system, become self-advocates, and build social capital. Students who participate in the Merrimack program will earn up to 12 college credits, which is equivalent to semester of course work, by the time they graduate and will effectively save their families close to $30,000 in expenses.
The Lawrence Partnership is a public-private collaborative working to maximize economic opportunities for current residents by bringing together business, education, nonprofit, and government leaders. In 2016, the Lawrence Partnership established a Training Consortium, which consists of local business leaders, and surveyed regional employers to better understand their hiring needs as an initial step to filling the "skills gap". Since then, it has been working to connect regional employers with a skilled force by developing pipelines in healthcare, manufacturing, and management. To best match the LHS curriculum to industry standards. Lawrence will be invited to participate in mapping and reviewing technical and professional skills that young people need to enter employment. The Lawrence Partnership and the LPS Work-based Learning Manager will be the link between the high school, NECC, and the employers. The Lawrence Partnership will work toward two main objectives:
Engaging regional employers to support large-scaled work-based learning component of the LHS college and career pathways initiative, by activating existing networks of regional employers and establishing new ones.
Acting as a community-based intermediary to the entire initiative, through the promotion of a community-wide value proposition for long-term investment in this work and organizing of large groups of stakeholders around a common purpose.
Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is a recognized national leader in bridging education and work increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy. JFF will offer LHS coaching and guidance in work-based learning, career awareness and guidance, college high school collaboration, and stakeholder engagement.