SOAR (Seize Opportunities, Aspire to Rise)

About the Program:

SOAR staff, in collaboration with participating students, will promote increased persistence of academic and career goal completion by creating a trusted, familial, community through forming connections, empowerment, and holistic, individualized, support.

Students are encouraged to join SOAR at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) through targeted outreach that follows an opt-in approach. Eligible students may reach out directly for more information and are automatically enrolled unless they request not to join. All SOAR students at NECC are supported by the program until they earn their certificate or degree. By design, students are aware that they are receiving services through SUCCESS. Other units that support SOAR at NECC include Academic Coaching, Advising, Career Services, and Tutoring.

Student Eligibility

To participate in SOAR, students must have a college GPA of 2.0 to 2.9 and at least 6 earned credits. Beyond this requirement, students who are eligible for SOAR at NECC include:

  • Continuing students
  • Part-time students
  • Full-time students
  • English language learners
  • Students with developmental needs in English and mathematics

Cohort Focus Population

In line with the legislative intent to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable student populations, the following student populations are actively recruited for SOAR at NECC:

  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • First-generation college students
  • Minoritized students (i.e., Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, Cape Verdean, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and multi-racial students)

Support Services

The following supports are available to SOAR students at NECC:


Academic Advising

Career Advising

Transfer Advising

Scholarship Advising

Case Management

Community Events


Discussion Groups



Tutoring/study groups

Field trips to 4yr schools

Summer Programs


Student Planning

Support Network

SOAR at NECC is supported by a director, two assistant directors, administrative assistant, engagement and logistics assistant, two academic & transfer advisors, three student support coordinators (formerly known as case managers), and three academic coaches. Additionally, eight part time academic fellows, three SOAR student ambassadors, and two social media student employees help support the SOAR program.

SUCCESS receives funding through the Massachusetts legislature and is supported by the 15 state community colleges, the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC), the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE), and the SUCCESS Leadership and Coordinating Committees.