Verizon Next Step Program
The Next Step Program (NSP) is a nationally recognized workforce educational partnership between Verizon and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in collaboration with selected community colleges in New England and New York. The program, now in its tenth year, gives Verizon employees the opportunity to earn an associate degree in Applied Science (A.A.S.) with a concentration in Telecommunications Technology at company expense and on company time.
Middlesex was one of the first community colleges in New England selected to participate in the NSP. Currently, four groups of students are enrolled at MCC. Each group meets one full day a week, Monday through Thursday, at MCC’s City Campus in Lowell in a room dedicated to the program, taking four years to complete the degree. Throughout New England, over 800 employees have graduated with associate degrees, and 550 more are enrolled for next year.
NSP provides an innovative, educational, skill-based degree that enables Verizon employees to stay current with advancing technology, to understand changing marketplace realities, and to enhance customer service skills. Program graduates become a knowledgeable, technologically competent, customer-oriented workforce. A new addition to the program is Verizon’s recent agreement with a four-year university in New York State to provide online courses to all NSP graduates if they choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
MCC program faculty are committed to including the Verizon corporate competencies of critical thinking, problem solving, teambuilding, and customer focus in the classroom. In addition, all students, faculty and administrators are given laptop computers to enhance the use of computers in the classroom and to provide a vehicle for communication at all levels within a virtual learning community.
“Verizon believes education and training programs must reflect its constantly changing
workplace environment. Employees in this program master both technical and academic
subjects. They are better able to tackle complex issues. They also develop the teamwork,
communication, leadership and mentoring skills needed to build a service network that
inspires customer confidence in a highly competitive industry. Middlesex has been
a vital and long-standing partner for us, always receptive to challenge and change.”
- Dr. Joseph N. Joyce Program Director for New England Next Step Program