Northern Essex Community College (NECC) is an accredited public, two-year college that aims to serve the people of the Greater Merrimack Valley as a caring and comprehensive center of educational excellence. It also strives to provide a broad range of occupational programs and community services that enhance the social, cultural, and economic life of the region. Major campuses are situated at Haverhill and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Sharp increases in enrollment brought extension campuses to Andover, Newburyport, and Methuen. NECC is managed by the Northern Essex Community College Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1972. The College Foundation, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Advancement, assists the college by making connections with the business community, foundations and other potential revenue sources, and by hosting a variety of special fundraising events. The college offers comprehensive programs of study leading to an associate in arts degree, the associate in science degree and certificates of program completion. More than 70 academic programs include career programs in such areas as nursing and allied health, computers, criminal justice, paralegal studies, deaf studies, and dozens of transfer programs. Yearly, more than 5,000 individuals study there, either full or part-time. Up-to-date facilities, solid academic support services and a dynamic student activity program are part of the educational opportunities there. The hallmark of NECC is its quality of instruction. Classes are taught by experts who concentrate their education, experience and effort in the classroom. NECC’s student services are designed to ease a new student's transition into the community college environment. The Women of Northern Essex Community College, a volunteer organization formed in 1997, generates funds for student scholarships and special projects by conducting a variety of fundraising events throughout the academic year. The Office of Financial Aid, operating at the campus, allocates funds to assist eligible students in paying for the cost of their college education.