NCC President David L. Levinson, Ph.D. was honored by the Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) at a May 21 luncheon celebrating the second cohort of students to graduate from NECA.
President Levinson helped establish NECA in 2014 and has been instrumental in its continued success. This Pathways to Technology (P-Tech) school is a dual enrollment program for Norwalk high school students in grades 9-14. It was jointly established by Norwalk Community College, IBM and the Norwalk public schools.
NECA students simultaneously earn a high school diploma and a tuition-free associate degree from NCC within six years. They finish college debt-free and with the skills to compete in well-paying technology fields.
“Dr. David Levinson has made a career of changing the world one student at a time. In his 15 years as president of Norwalk Community College, David has transformed the institution in many ways. David is responsible for NCC being recognized as one of Connecticut’s most successful community colleges,” said NECA Director Karen Amaker. “For his work, David has won many awards, served on many boards, and in collaboration with IBM and Norwalk Public Schools, was instrumental in starting NECA.”
Levinson was praised at the luncheon for committing funds to keep NECA open, despite funding cuts in its early year, and for being “a true change agent” who has eliminated barriers to obtaining a college degree.
“Let’s be clear: David is the reason NECA still exists,” Amaker said. “… David stood by his commitment made in 2014 and it was this commitment that ultimately led to us awarding 12 NECA scholars no-cost college degrees last year. All 12 of those graduates are continuing their studies at four-year colleges and universities, with advanced standing, and with no debt. And, it is this unyielding commitment that allows us to graduate another 16 students today…again at no-cost to student or family.”
In his honor, NECA has created the President Levinson Early College Scholarship. The scholarship is for NECA students who complete both the high school diploma and college degree within four years. The first recipients of the Levinson scholarship were announced on May 23 at a NECA senior scholarship event.
“David, I am most grateful for having had the opportunity to work with you to build our school,” Amaker said.