Middlesex Community College Celebrates 50 Years of Student SuccessNew9/22/20209/22/2020 3:58 PM
Middlesex Community College celebrates 50 years on Thursday, September 24. From expanding the campus in Bedford, to establishing the college as a vital institution in Lowell, throughout its 50 years, Middlesex has striven to guide students on their paths, to give them opportunities they might not have gotten elsewhere, and to mark the college as a leader throughout the community.

On opening day in 1970, MCC welcomed 570 students, 17 to 66 years old, from 52 cities and towns. Over 50 years, more than 26,000 students have walked through the doors to seek MCC out for a variety of reasons. With 10,957 students now enrolled at the college, in the 2020 class alone, MCC graduated 1,073 students, ages 17 to 68, from 51 countries.

Kids, high school students, traditional-aged college students, adult learners and senior adults can now take advantage of MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs – with 11 degree programs and six certificates fully online – and hundreds of courses for credit and noncredit purposes. MCC’s over 20 years of experience as a leader of online education has also allowed the college to offer its online programs across the country.

Student success is the main goal of Middlesex and this includes building a sense of community on-campus. Both in-person and online, MCC has more than 40 student organizations and clubs and eight athletic programs. MCC students participate in Service-Learning opportunities, internships, conferences and competitions both locally and nationally. For the past decade, the college has also offered a Commonwealth Honors Program.

Since 1992, MCC has provided International Education Fellowships for students to visit a country and study its history and culture. Countries include Belize, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Greece, Ireland, Peru, Russia and Spain.

The college has seen four presidents and thousands of faculty and employees over the past five decades whose legacies are long lasting. MCC commemorates the work of all those who got them here and appreciates all those who continue to lead by example, promote MCC’s mission of student success, and try to make Middlesex accessible, equitable and safe for all students.

MCC is an extended family, from the nurturing roles of mentors and teachers that each of the college’s faculty members play, to the advisors, support staffers, and administrators who help provide the services needed to guide each student to achieve their personal successes.

As a community college, Middlesex is in a unique position to support a diverse population of students. The personal back-stories of the students are inspirational, heartwarming and uplifting. The support of this family network provides the backdrop for so many Middlesex success stories.

As one of the first students at Middlesex, Joe Orfant helped build it. Even in the beginning, he understood that the college was the start of opportunity for many and taught students to face their futures with confidence, no matter the circumstances. Orfant believes the college will always remain “unfinished” because every student has the opportunity to leave their mark.

“Each generation confronts new challenges and gets to build it anew,” he said “Today’s students are faced with an almost unimaginable global challenge and their Middlesex experience will be different but uniquely their own. What lessons it has to teach them! They may not know it yet either, but they made a great choice. The perspective of half a century tells me so. I hope that one of them will get to look back in another 50 years. What marvelous stories she will have to tell about how she and her classmates built a college in challenging times. Prepare to be amazed.”

Middlesex understands that the college celebrates its achievement at a time when many are suffering worldwide, including within the MCC family. Since the Spring 2020 semester, the pandemic has created an unprecedented obstacle that MCC students, faculty, staff and administrators continue to face together.

Much innovation, hard work and dedication went into these past few months – reminiscent of how Middlesex has endured throughout the college’s storied history – and despite these challenges, it is important to remember how far MCC has come in these past 50 years.

In a 1980 written history of the college by six members of the administration, including third president and former professor of Business Carole Cowan, this message of resilience is clear: “Over the years, the back has been bent; the hope has diminished; but the work has gone on and the accomplishments have been substantial. All of this is possible because of the spirit which has prevailed at the institution from the beginning, because of the cooperation and the hope and the belief in the basic worth of what is being done and in what might yet be done.”

That hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed by the community. Middlesex has made itself a leader by developing hundreds of partnerships with local businesses and organizations, helping to strengthen the Massachusetts’ workforce and economy. Thus far, MCC’s economic impact has been $146 million in the Commonwealth.

Having witnessed MCC’s growth over the past five decades, Judge Robert A. Barton has come to know many students and employees at the college. He served on MCC’s Board of Trustees for 10 years and is now on the Middlesex Community College Foundation. Judge Barton thinks highly of the character of the people of Middlesex, including their devotion to their work.

He also cut the ribbon on MCC’s opening day as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen in Bedford. In his reflection of the college, he kept using two words – “I’m impressed.”

“I’m impressed with Middlesex,” he said. “There are many people who cannot afford college or haven’t really decided what they want to do with their life. At Middlesex, you can really learn a trade and you can take steps towards nursing or getting into all these different occupations. It’s much more down-to-earth than some of the four-year institutions.”

As always, Middlesex continues to look forward. Despite the pandemic postponing in-person events, the college plans to celebrate its 50th throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

In dedication of 50 years of Middlesex’s service to students and the community, the MCC Foundation is kicking off its “Give $50 for 50 Years” fundraising campaign. The Foundation asks all who can to please consider making a donation in honor of the college’s 50th celebration to go towards an unrestricted fund for students.

As Middlesex welcomes all who seek it, the MCC Foundation works hard to raise funds for students struggling with financial burdens. Donations made during this campaign will go to a variety of student and college needs.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/50for50 for more information and to donate.

If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at leea@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3028. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ to join MCC’s free alumni association.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Enroll at LMACS for Strong Hybrid Online and In-Person ClassesNew9/22/20209/22/2020 3:55 PM
More than ever, high school students need a safe and inclusive learning environment in which to discover their potential and earn a high-quality education. Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS) holds students to high standards and ensures they reach their goals. LMACS is kicking off the school year with a hybrid model which combines online and in-person learning. Registration will remain open until September 30.

LMACS believes in teaching the whole student – holding emotional and mental health in equal regard to academics and providing opportunity for students who need it most. Marge McDevitt, LMACS Executive Director, believes that maintaining a safe space for students has never been more important, especially as the anxiety levels in the country have are so high.

“We have a family-like culture in the school,” she said. “We’re able to have that small school environment and the students are very supportive of each other – they help each other out all the time – and the teachers are very warm and caring.”

The accredited public high school partners with Middlesex Community College to serve students between the ages of 15 and 21 who have left school or are at risk of dropping out. The program provides academic, social and career skills necessary to succeed post-graduation – emphasizing the importance of college education. Graduates receive a high school diploma. LMACS students also have the opportunity to take courses through MCC’s Dual Enrollment program.

LMACS started the new academic year on Wednesday, September 16 with great success. Students are broken into two cohorts of about 40-50 people. When they are in-person, there are seven classes running each period. This allows for five to seven students in one classroom at a time. Each cohort attends lessons two days every week and the school is open every day except for Wednesday, when they close for deep cleaning.

During their online school days, students meet with their advisors like normal and then complete their work under supervision – and with support from – certified teachers who act as tutors to keep students on track and motivated.

When the school had to shut down near the end of the last school year and transition fully to online learning, teachers used Google Classroom. Although it was a success and teachers went “above and beyond” according to McDevitt, the school upgraded to G Suite for this school year, in addition to ordering Chromebooks for each student.

To prepare for the school year, teachers engaged in 10 days of professional development. Their level of preparation and care for the students left a lasting impression on McDevitt.

“I was absolutely amazed at the way my teachers just knew exactly what to do and just did it at the end of last school year,” she said. “We closed on a Friday, absolutely in a stunned state like everyone else and the teachers, without anyone saying a word, contacted every one of their advisees to ask them if they felt safe and to tell them we’re going to get through it.”

To keep students safe at school, McDevitt and Assistant Director Anne Monoxelos, greet them at the door and organize them into a six-foot separated line to wait for the school nurse, Amy Hendl, to ask them screening questions and take their temperatures. All students are required to wear masks – although the school has scheduled outdoor mask breaks for two classes at a time throughout the day.

“The students came to us extremely happy to return to school, which was really gratifying for us,” McDevitt said. “They feel very safe and we keep stressing that if we don’t stay safe, we won’t be able to have in-person time and that’s what they all want. They’re teenagers, they need socialization.”

According to McDevitt, Ken Bello, LMACS Facilities Manager, has been working hard over the summer to keep the school safe and clean. He built plexiglass partitions for students’ and teacher’s desks, as well as fixed up the building’s ventilation system, which has been running purifiers and filters for the past few weeks. Bello also figured out which windows have to be open at all times to maintain proper air flow.

The school is following guidelines set by the Department of Public Health and have been open about protocols with both students and faculty. Teachers wipe down desks after each class with antiseptic spray, additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been added to hallways, and air hand dryers have been replaced with paper towels in the bathrooms.

Maintaining a sense of community is also a matter on which McDevitt is focusing. Although she understands there are some events and opportunities that cannot be done this year because of the pandemic – including field trips and cooking lessons – the school is working on figuring out how to continue offering special events. On Wednesdays online, students work on Life Skills classes which involve team-building. They’re also trying to organize an online pumpkin decorating contest and healthy eating courses.

A new addition to the school is the grab-and-go-lunch program, which McDevitt believes has been a hit so far. Students pick up a bagged lunch, as well as a breakfast for the next day. It is important to LMACS to ensure students have their basic needs met, in addition to academic and technological support that will help them be successful.

McDevitt believes now is a great time to enroll at LMACS because in addition to adapting successfully to the hybrid model and setting up health and safety measures, they have always been a close-knit community centered on student success. Every faculty, administrator and student know each other’s name and support one another. They also have excellent MCAS pass rates, particularly in science and ELA.

“It’s a wonderful school and we have great teachers,” McDevitt said. “That’s what makes our school work – the teachers and the students – and it was wonderful to see the students these past few days. We’re so happy to have them back.”

As for circumstances due to COVID-19, McDevitt said, “We’re going to try to make the best of it and have a little fun along the way.” To enroll at LMACS, visit www.lmacs.org/ or contact McDevitt at 978-656-3400 or mcdevittm@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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For a Couple of Adult Learners, MCC is a Family Affair9/17/20209/22/2020 3:55 PM
For the Jodars, Middlesex Community College is a family affair. Josep and Brenda Jodar came to Middlesex as adult learners at separate times in their lives. They loved their experiences and are grateful for their education. And now, their daughter Michele Stein is MCC’s Chair of the Computing and Engineering Technology Department.

Mrs. Jodar attended Middlesex first. She was a first-generation student – and a mother – who was looking for convenience in her education and to set an example for her daughter.

“I liked it here a lot,” she said. “I found that you could go to the professors and talk to them. You could explain, ‘I need help with this’ and it was affordable and close to home.”

A self-starter, Mrs. Jodar believed in advocating for herself, including going to Salem State to ask what classes she would need to take at Middlesex in order to attend MCC for three years and only have to attend a four-year school – which was farther away – for one year. She went back to her advisor at MCC and made it work.

“I love Middlesex,” she said. “I didn’t feel like a face in the crowd.”

Mr. Jodar worked on a cruise ship and had a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Spain – he’s originally from Barcelona – but it wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his career. The Jodars moved from Miami to Massachusetts and Mr. Jodar continued working in the hospitality industry in a hotel. Motivated by his wife, he decided to pursue a degree in business.

While working full-time, Mr. Jodar took his five courses on weekends and in the evening.

“If you try it and it starts to work out for you, there’s the motivation,” he said. “I worked in the same place for 40 years and even now, there are young people who come from different countries and I always tell them to go to school, take courses.”

Mr. Jodar attended his graduation ceremony in 1994, but had one class left before he could accept his diploma. He finished in 1998 with an astronomy class and gained a new passion. Even now he pulls out his telescope in their home to pinpoint where planets are at certain times of the year.

He was in the astronomy class when his daughter walked in on a tour of the college with her high school. Both found this to be funny at the time, but it has a little more meaning now.

“The circle,” Mrs. Jodar said. “We started here and now she’s teaching.”

They are proud of what their daughter does as a professor and how she influences her students.

“Michele took students to a bridge that was being built as a field trip,” Mr. Jodar said. “The engineer on-site came to give them the hard hats and called her ‘Professor Stein.’ He’d been a student of hers and she could say to her students, ‘if you stick with it, see?” The Jodars know firsthand how MCC’s professors can leave a lasting impression on students. Dr. David Kalivas – who recently retired from the college after 40 years – was one of the professors they both had who inspired them.

“The professors are amazing,” Mrs. Jodar said. “Professor Kalivas, I’ll never forget. There are a few professors we both took together, at different times. I told Josep which professors I really liked and he was able to take a few of the same classes.”

“The professors were very informative,” Mr. Jodar said. “I was already in the business and I learned a lot of things.”

As Mr. Jodar continued on with his career at the hotel, one piece of advice a professor said stood out to him and has shaped the way he approaches business: “You’re not really selling the project, you’re solving someone’s problem.”

Mrs. Jodar went on to get a bachelor’s degree from Salem State and a master’s from Suffolk University.

“Middlesex was the foundation – and I went all the way up to Suffolk – became an Executive Director,” she said. “It’s up to you about what you want to do. If you have a good foundation like what you get here, you can do anything.”

While Mrs. Jodar attended classes in Burlington and the VA, MCC’s Lowell campus was open when Mr. Jodar arrived. Mrs. Jodar remembers a field trip to Walden Pond and Mr. Jodar reminisces about being published Voices, the college’s publication at the time. Both were inspired when Elie Wiesel, author of “Night” spoke at the college.

They are amazed at how far along MCC has come, and how many academic and social opportunities there are available for students now – even though many of those activities have moved online due to the pandemic.

“I think anyone who comes here,” Mrs. Jodar said. “If they set their minds, they can do it.”

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at leea@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3028. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ to join MCC’s free alumni association.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Mini-mester II courses, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Awarded Approval to Offer Online Programs Nationwide9/14/20209/22/2020 3:55 PM
Already a leader of award-winning online learning for over 20 years, Middlesex Community College has now received approval from the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) to offer its online programs to students across the country.

“The college is recognized as having a long-standing history of excellence in online courses, certificates and degrees,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our recent SARA approval allows us to further extend our reach beyond the Mass. border and promote high-quality, affordable online learning opportunities to a national audience of online learners.”

NC-SARA is an agreement in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands establishing quality standards for college-level distance programs. Over 2,100 colleges and universities participate in the initiative nationwide.

MCC’s strong background in online education helped the college successfully transition Spring 2020 coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff remain a priority at MCC, and high-quality online learning ensures that our community remains safe and students continue to progress toward their goals. In Fall of 2020, 95 percent of courses were moved online without compromising quality.

“Middlesex is not rushing to move to online learning like so many other schools,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “MCC has had general approval from our accreditor to offer distance education programming since back in 2003! Now with the NC-SARA Authorization we have a national stamp of quality for both our online instruction and our consumer protection policies.

The college completed a voluntary process documenting MCC’s quality standards for online college education to be approved, according to Olson. Middlesex joins other members in making an agreement to meet the common course quality and consumer protection standards that the SARA initiative requires.

MCC’s online program options for the initiative include an associate or certificate in Psychology; Liberal Studies; Fine Arts; Liberal Arts and Science; Music; English Literature; Criminal Justice Transfer and Law Enforcement; Fire Protection and Safety Technology; Travel Services Management; Computerized Accounting; Business Administration Career, Accounting, Transfer and Hospitality Management; Entrepreneurship; Culinary Arts; Fashion Merchandising; CAD; Computer Science Secure Software Development and Transfer; IT Cyber Security Entry; IT Cyber Security; Mathematics; Engineering Technology; and Early Childhood Education Transfer.

MCC’s Fashion Merchandising program can be completed 100 percent online, according to Ashli Ree, MCC’s Associate Professor of Fashion Merchandising. This provides students from across the country with an opportunity to complete their studies at Middlesex and transfer to a four-year college or university regardless of their current location.

“This is a great opportunity for both in-state and out-of-state students,” she said. “As there are only two community colleges in Massachusetts offering Fashion Merchandising programs, we already have students who do not live near campus and complete the courses online. We have transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities in Mass., as well as in New York City and Los Angeles.”

Paulo Barrio, MCC’s Chair of Human Services & Psychology, urges students to check with their state board of licensing to make sure all licensing requirements are met, but he said “it’s great that people have the opportunity to shop around and know they are getting a quality education.”

According to the SARA website, being part of the initiative includes improved online learning platforms, access to online courses, collaboration with other institutions, and shared data. The website lists the contributors who helped create the initiative: an advisory committee, regional higher education compacts, state regulators, state higher education executive officers, accrediting organizations, U.S. Department of Education, and institutional leaders.

Visit https://www.nc-sara.org/ for more information on the SARA initiative.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu to learn more about all that Middlesex offers, including 11 online associate degree programs, six online certificate programs and hundreds of online courses.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Fall semester – including Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Theatre Program Builds Socially Distant Space for Performances9/10/20209/22/2020 3:55 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Performing Arts program is returning to the stage later this month with a unique take on Qui Nguyen’s play “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.” When the pandemic struck, Middlesex canceled the spring musical. Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts, and the theatre department decided that for the fall semester, MCC needed to be creative in finding a way to get students back on stage.

When Nguyen updated his play “She Kills Monsters” with a version designed to be staged virtually, Oster went to her team and asked, “how can we make this happen?” In response, the team built personal cubicles to allow students to perform in a safe and socially distanced space.

She knew she could direct a show via Zoom, but Oster wanted to bring everyone together to use MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center. While they originally thought about keeping performers apart on stage, she wanted to take extra safety precautions.

“We decided to use our resources to create cubicles for each of the actors who are socially distant,” she said. “We give each student web cameras, bring them into the theatre, and have the show streaming via one computer.”

The show uses eight total cameras that are sent into the main show computer in groups of four, according to Shane Bourgeois, MCC’s Sound and Media Designer. The first show computer controls the cameras focused on the actors’ movements, as well as the size and look of scenes. This camera also adds a background layer and top special effects layer.

“These three layers are sent to the second show computer that pulls the show together,” Bourgeois said. “Here we use a multilayer chroma key effect and add sound from the actors. At this point the show has one polished video feed we can send to Zoom. “

To add the visual effects the show requires, Oster and her team came up with the idea to paint the cubicles with a green screen background.

Nguyen’s play features the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons and includes fantastical creatures and references to nineties popular culture. The show focuses on a young woman who is trying to connect with and learn about her sister who just passed away.

“This particular production of ‘She Kills Monsters’ is important in so many ways because it deals with our own monsters that we may have to battle in our lives,” Oster said. “We’re battling a big monster right now which is this pandemic and I believe that we can triumph over all of this and will come out the better because of it.”

Many characters in the show see the game Dungeons and Dragons as an escape from personal struggles, which is how Sylvia Nichol – a Theatre major from Acton – feels. Being able to perform on stage again also helps her feel better and cope with what has been happening.

“I feel bad without theatre,” she said. “It’s just fun and I like to bring stories to the stage. I feel safe because Karen has made a safe environment with everything that’s been going on.”

Jomei Demonico is a Theatre major from Wilmington who also believes creating and staying in touch with her professors and classmates is important, particularly during the pandemic. She sees these circumstances as an opportunity to learn.

“I feel very safe,” she said. “We have our own cubicles and our own bathrooms. I personally like this cubicle green screen set-up because it’s something I’ve never done before and I’m learning a lot about film and effects.”

While building the cubicles helped to physically create a safe environment in which to perform, Oster also finds it important to foster an emotionally safe space for students to connect.

“This theatre is our home and we’re a family,” she said. “Being able to literally be in the same room with each other – even though we have masks on and are distanced from each other – the energy is incredible. Everyone thrives on that energy and needs that boost to feel like this is not an art form that’s going away, we’re just doing something different for awhile.”

Rehearsals started on Zoom and transitioned to the Academic Arts Center when the cubicles were complete. Upon arrival, students are asked to wear masks, have their temperatures taken before entering, and stand at least six feet apart from others. The students then enter their cubicles and are safely separated from other performers.

Middlesex will perform Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” live, on-stage at MCC’s Academic Arts Center at 7 p.m. September 25-27. The show will stream to an online audience.

“It’s totally worth it,” Demonico said. “We worked really hard and it’s going to be a great time!”

Visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DKRxTaDLS-ilBA50OhVuBw to register to stream the show.

There is still time to register for the Fall semester – including MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Alumna Credits MCC for Helping Her Return to College9/9/20209/22/2020 3:54 PM
Four years after graduating from UMass Amherst with her bachelor’s degree, Amy Fidalgo was still figuring out what she wanted to do for her career. She started researching Paralegal Studies programs, but was not ready to commit to anything expensive or long-term. Fidalgo found Middlesex Community College’s Paralegal Certificate matched what she was looking for best.

“The certificate program at MCC offers students an opportunity to learn at their own pace at a fraction of the cost of other surrounding schools,” she said. “A certificate program is a great way for students to learn if a particular career path or academic subject is interesting and fulfilling, prior to making a commitment to a four-year degree or graduate program.”

One of Fidalgo’s requirements was that the program be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and she was surprised when she found many schools did not have that credential. She also needed flexible class formats, including online and evening courses to fit her schedule. MCC met both requirements and had the added benefit of one of the college’s campuses being located in Fidalgo’s hometown of Bedford.

“My overall experience at MCC was very rewarding,” she said. “The option to take evening and online classes allowed me to continue my education while I worked full-time. The class sizes are intimate and conducive for students to build lasting relationships with professors and peers.”

MCC’s faculty and staff made a difference in her education. Fidalgo credits the dedication and hard work they put in to inspire students both personally and professionally. She is grateful for her professors’ “thoughtful” and “interesting” ways of teaching.

She names Judge Robert McKenna, Esq.; Matthew Demaras, Esq.; Linda Butterworth-Till, Esq.; and Halye Sugarman, Esq., MCC’s Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Paralegal Studies, in particular for making her education meaningful. They also helped her navigate her online classes to help set her up for success.

“The online portal for taking classes is easy to use and professors make the expectations of online courses clear and easy to follow,” she said. “Professors offering online courses also make themselves readily available via email for questions that arise.”

While Fidalgo was concerned about balancing her work responsibilities with coursework before starting at Middlesex, MCC eased her transition back to school.

“MCC was incredibly helpful in regards to taking classes and working at the same time,” she said. “I didn’t need to adjust my work hours because I was able to fulfill all of my required coursework through evening classes on the Bedford campus.”

Once she started, Fidalgo gained the confidence she needed to continue her education, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to help her succeed in the workforce. After graduating from MCC, she earned another certificate and got a master’s degree from Suffolk University.

Fidalgo believes now is the time for students to continue their education.

“By continuing their education, students can push themselves to learn, grow and better understand the world,” she said. “It allows them the opportunity to meet people they may have never met, and be part of a dialogue they otherwise may not have been a part of.”

There is still time to register for the Fall semester – including MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information and to join the Alumni Association.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Helps Students Find Meaningful Career Paths9/16/20209/22/2020 11:21 AM
Middlesex Community College prepares students for the future. The mission of the Career Development Office at Middlesex is to educate students in all phases of their career search with the tools necessary to make important career decisions and to develop and transition successfully into the workforce. By providing skill building and networking opportunities, MCC helps students on their educational and professional paths to set them up for continued success.

As the college has transitioned 95 percent of classes to run online for the Fall semester, many departments are offering online student services and events. The Career Development Office has created several online events throughout the Fall that will provide opportunities for students to hear industry professionals speak on their fields of interest, help them develop skills, and network with alums and other professionals.

Online events include the Diplomat in Residence Series for discussions on working at the U.S. Department of State, STEM career speakers, resume building, information on how industries are handling the pandemic, a writing in the workplace panel, and the 2020 Fall Internship Fair.

MCC’s Career Development Office builds connections with local businesses and organizations to offer students the best job and internship opportunities. Karen James, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Planning & Placement, and Catherine Cosgrove, MCC’s Coordinator of Career Planning & Placement, believe in teaching students how to use the resources that are available to them so they can be active participants in their job search process.

“Our dedicated staff are experienced professionals who regularly engage with employers to gain relevant industry insights and connections,” they said. “Our staff utilize these employer connections by hosting employer panels, information sessions, internship fairs and career readiness programs, thereby expanding students’ employer networks and industry knowledge.”

According to James and Cosgrove, students who work with the Career Development Office learn how to identify their strengths and interests to match with a potential career path, develop realistic goals, explore life and career options, learn how to use effective job search skills, build and sustain professional relationships, and translate their knowledge to employment skills.

These important professional and life skills help students find jobs that will be meaningful and rewarding for them. MCC offers a new online resource Career Coach that features four essential functions to help students narrow down programs of study to match them with career options.

Career Coach includes an assessment to help students explore their interests, a career component to list current job descriptions broken down into fields of interest, a list of programs MCC offers to match students with a pathway based on their interests and skills, and a resume builder to assist in creating a strong resume to apply for jobs.

The Career Development Office also recently partnered with Handshake – an early talent acquisition recruiting platform – providing students with an online resource designed to find internship and job opportunities.

“Handshake is used by all Mass. four-year schools and Fortune 500 companies,” James and Cosgrove said. “This platform expands the opportunities for all students and provides a seamless transition for their career path upon their completion at MCC or transfer to a four-year school.”

The first event hosted by the Career Development Office is at noon on Wednesday, September 23. Other events will follow throughout the Fall semester.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careerservices/careerevents.aspx for more information, a list of online events, and to register for an event.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Stream Live Recordings of “World of Music” Concert Series9/15/20209/22/2020 11:21 AM
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed many live events, Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2020 “A World of Music” will continue virtually throughout the semester. Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department and Director of the World of Music, will kick off the concert series with a live recording of a piano recital.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 2, MCC’s Music department will release a performance by Rodriguez-Peralta filmed at the Concert Hall on MCC’s Bedford campus. Bedford TV will air the recording online for free.

Rodriguez-Peralta’s performance will draw inspiration from puzzles, including two sets of Preludes and Fugues in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach and Larry Bell; Sonata in A flat Major, Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven; Prelude from “Pour le Piano” by Claude Debussy; and four “Preludios Americanos” by Alberto Ginastera.

"During the lockdown when everyone was busy doing puzzles, I spent time working on fugues – the musical equivalent to a puzzle,” Rodriguez-Peralta said. “My recital program – which I put together during these past few stressful months – is the result of my fascination with fugues and the preludes which often precede them. The music I will be playing is often very logical, but it is also expressive, dramatic and colorful.”

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Rodriguez-Peralta has appeared as a piano soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Peru and Mexico. She is often invited to give lecture recitals on Latin American music at universities in the U.S.

More online performances – recorded at locations in both Bedford and Lowell – will take place throughout the semester. Lowell Threads: Mozart, Marshall, Nabors and Nakatani will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9; guitarist Jerome Mouffe will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 30; the Lowell Chamber Orchestra will perform “Hidden Landscapes” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20; and there will be an MCC Student Recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 11.

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Workforce Training Fund Grants Virtual Info Session Offered by MCC9/14/20209/22/2020 11:21 AM
Middlesex Community College will host a virtual Information Session for businesses seeking Workforce Training Fund (WFTF) grants from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 30. The deadline to register is Monday, September 28.

“Middlesex has helped 30+ companies receive over $4 million in WFTF grants,” said Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Director of Corporate Education and Training. “MCC is proud of the many relationships the college has formed with local businesses and organizations as a community partner. We work directly with our employers to train employees based on their specific needs and help them to grow in their individual roles, as well as part of the overall team.”

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, administered by Commonwealth Corporation, provides resources to businesses to train current and newly hired employees. The goal is to help improve employee skills and maintain the economic strength of the Commonwealth’s businesses.

At the virtual info session, an WFTF representative will present an overview of the grant options and answer questions in an informational setting.

WFTF provides training grants to Massachusetts employers up to $250,000 per application. MCC’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program has helped many businesses secure and implement these grants.

Visit the Commonwealth Corporation website at www.commcorp.org/wtfp for more information on specific Workforce Training Fund programs.

To register for MCC’s WFTF session, contact Teresa Medina at medinat@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3009. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/workforcetraining for more information.

There is still time to register for the Fall semester – including MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Hybrid Courses for Students to Finish Lab Requirements9/2/20209/22/2020 11:20 AM
A leader in providing high-quality and affordable education, Middlesex Community College is transitioning 95 percent of courses to run online for the Fall semester. Middlesex understands some courses require in-person experiences, including select science labs. To ensure students gain all of the practical experiences they need to be successful, MCC is allowing faculty and students on campus in limited numbers while following strict health and safety protocols.

The blended hybrid course format is one of the college’s four learning modalities that will be offered in the fall. Hybrid courses allow students to watch lectures and complete coursework online, while going to campus in-person to work on experiments in the lab.

Students are provided with MCC safety guidelines and a self-checklist before coming to campus. While in the lab environment, students and faculty wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitize all equipment and workspaces, and stay six feet apart from others. The PPE include masks, gloves, lab coats and face shields. Protocols also include a list of articles and videos that feature precautionary measures that need to be taken in order to return to campus.

A Biology major from Oregon who now lives in Boston, Rachel Peinkofer hopes to transfer to Boston University in the fall of 2021 to receive a bachelor’s degree and then go onto medical school. Peinkofer enjoyed taking a hybrid course this summer. She believes working in the labs helped her to better understand the content she learned in online lectures.

“The take away for me has been the integration of the information from the online lecture into the tangible, hands-on aspect of the labs,” she said. “I absolutely love the online learning platform and chose MCC to continue my education for that reason. The time saved by not commuting is essential for me to take on a heavy course load, however I was shocked how much I enjoyed the hybrid course.”

Laura Ferguson – a nursing student from Arlington – has found that keeping in touch with her professors helps her succeed in hybrid classes. She also enjoys the flexibility she has in creating her own schedule.

“What I have found is you can study and complete assignments at any time, which allows for some freedom you wouldn't necessarily have in a regular class,” she said. “I find I can compose any questions I may have more concisely to either email or speak to the professor in-person on the lab day. [Doing labs in-person] truly shows you if you are on track or where you need to better concentrate your efforts.”

Reed Konsler, a Chemist who works as a Laboratory Technician for MCC, also believes hybrid courses are beneficial because students can learn the content on their own time in their own environment, while taking a practical approach to experiments in the lab. According to Konsler – former high school chemistry teacher who worked in academic research – it is also important for students to hold themselves accountable in doing their work.

“The hybrid model is most beneficial for people who are motivated and interested in doing things efficiently,” he said. “If you are present in the lab, your objective is to learn the experimental techniques and to observe substances and reactions between them that you probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.”

Konsler keeps the lab organized, checks equipment and materials, ensures experiments will run as expected, and suggests any changes to experiments as needed. It is important to run efficient labs – especially throughout the pandemic – and Konsler makes that happen.

All of the experiments have been able to run, although some parts have to be changed because students need to remain apart. Konsler spends more time setting up materials and cleaning them himself to make sure everything is properly sanitized. The goal is to prevent students from having to move around too much or gather in small spaces.

The use of fume hoods in the labs adds another safety precaution in the labs. They remove a large volume of air, which means there is less of a chance of aerosols accumulating over time.

MCC’s Biotechnology program also reopened labs for this summer’s courses as many students needed to complete requirements for classes starting in the fall. Classes ran at half capacity – about 12 students per section – in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines

Mariluci Bladon, MCC’s Professor & Director of the Biotech Program, taught four sections of a biotech course on MCC’s Lowell campus this summer. The course involved five hours of hands-on lab work and is required for students to be able to find a job in the industry.

“Hands-on labs are necessary and efficient for this subject, and this class has shown that it is possible to have in-person classes when necessary,” she said. “It was very successful thanks to all the students who followed directions and CDC guidelines.”

While many of MCC’s science courses use virtual labs to simulate experiments in a valuable and meaningful way, Eva Leiman, MCC’s Biology Laboratory Technician, believes in-person labs are necessary for many of the college’s biotech and biology courses.

The lab experiments students are performing in these classes require materials that can only be found in the labs and cannot be replicated online or at home, according to Leiman. Handling materials and working through steps offers a better understanding of these concepts. She said working in a lab “is about producing something tangible and learning visually.”

Although wearing additional PPE at all times and following all of the protocols is an adjustment, Leiman believes everyone did a great job of keeping themselves safe and their spaces clean.

“Slowly coming back to work is a better plan until the pandemic is over,” she said. “We are learning to live with this current situation while trying to stay safe. We have learned to be more innovative in distanced working and classes.”

Ralph Sherwood, an MCC science faculty member, also taught a hybrid course this summer in Bedford. He compares the importance of hands-on lab work to how a person effectively learns an instrument – “one must physically pick it up and do the required physical practice.” “Working in the laboratory is a skill for not only applying the academics of various scientific disciplines, but also for involving the physical manipulation of tools which coordinate both hand and eye to adequately research and understand those disciplines,” he said.

In addition to the hybrid model, MCC will run most classes fully online in two formats – asynchronous and synchronous. In asynchronous online classes, students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials. In synchronous online classes, students attend classes at specific dates and times while professors and students engage in live classes using a camera and microphone via a remote setting.

Some classes may also run fully in-person. Every student, faculty and staff member who come to campus are required to follow MCC’s strict health and safety guidelines.

This Fall, MCC is running over 50 science courses – featuring both in-person and virtual lab opportunities – with flexible formats including accelerated eight-week classes, hybrid and online options. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

For more information, contact Kathleen Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM, at 781-280-3609 or sweeneyk@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Commemorate Constitution Day with Virtual Speaker9/3/20209/22/2020 11:20 AM
A leader of online learning for over 20 years, Middlesex Community College knows how to provide community and celebration for students even with 95 percent of all classes running online this Fall semester. At 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 17, Middlesex will commemorate the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution with an event hosted on Zoom.

“Middlesex is proud to continue our tradition of commemorating Constitution Day,” said Kelly Bowes, MCC’s Coordinator of Civic & Service Learning. “The events of this year have led many of us to grapple with the ideals our nation was founded upon, our storied history as a country, and the future we strive to create for all its citizens.”

During the event, MCC will feature speaker LaTosha Brown, cofounder of Black Voters Matter Fund and a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, among other titles. Brown will also offer a Q&A for students to discuss the future of democracy and organizing in the U.S.

Her biography emphasizes Brown is “an award-winning community organizer, philanthropic consultant, jazz singer and political strategist with over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights.”

Bowes hopes Brown’s talk will inspire MCC students to get involved in civic engagement and participation. She believes Brown’s experience will help students develop their political and social justice voices and understanding.

“LaTosha is a trusted voice on issues relating to civil rights, the political landscape and organizing groups to create change,” she said. “I'm so excited for students, faculty, staff and our community to hear her speak on the historical context that led us here, the current challenges we are facing and how each of us play a role in shaping our democracy for years to come.”

To join the virtual event, visit https://zoom.us/j/99845585455?pwd=NGRqQnZoRDRzR2c2Z1BTSm1PTnlPZz09 with passcode 821588.

For more information email civiclearning@middlesex.mass.edu or visit, https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/studentlife/communityengagement/constday.aspx

This Fall, MCC’s courses will feature flexible formats, including two accelerated eight-week Mini-mesters, hybrid and online options. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is also offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

Fall semester starts on Wednesday, September 9. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Throughout Pandemic, MCC Believes “The Show Must Go On”9/2/20209/17/2020 2:55 PM
When the pandemic struck, Karen Oster, Performing Arts Chair at Middlesex Community College, got to work. As Middlesex transitioned to online formats for classes and student services in the spring 2020 semester, Oster started thinking of creative ways she could continue giving students the knowledge, tools and support they need to succeed.

“This is a major historical event in our lives and we have to continue to thrive even though it’s happening,” she said. “We can’t just sit back and not acknowledge it. Everyone needs a sense of normalcy. We have to feel like our brains and bodies are still working – we’re still moving and active. It’s so easy to get complacent with it and sit back until it’s over, but it’s not going to be over – it’s going to be different and change. We have to stay connected and engaged.”

Most of MCC’s Performing Arts courses this fall will be offered online in a live synchronous format. Oster believes classes that have more of a lecture component are easy to offer online. In her acting classes, watching over the camera allows her to get a closer view of her students. This helps her to explore the nuances of a student’s craft in a different way than she does in person.

“We’ve gotten to the point where students are excited about creating,” she said. “Everybody has been comfortable working on Zoom. It’s been really fun to stay connected.”

Some of the classes – including the backstage set class and those that include monologues ¬– may also have opportunities for students to come on campus while remaining socially distant, wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and following safety guidelines. Students will also get their temperatures checked before entering the theatre.

Oster wants to remain connected to her students because in her classes and throughout the shows she directs, she promotes a family feel in which her students flourish. It is this shared passion and comfort level that helped Abby McIsaac adjust to college during her first semester.

A Performing Arts major from Tyngsborough, McIsaac plans to graduate in Spring 2021 and transfer to Emerson. She is grateful for all of the opportunities MCC has gifted her throughout her time in the program, including working as the Assistant Stage Manager for the college’s production of “Noises Off” in the Fall 2019 semester.

When the pandemic struck, McIsaac was unsure of how her creative courses would proceed, but she knew she could not afford to stop taking classes.

“With life being put on pause due to the pandemic, I've found that it is more important than ever for me to continue my education,” she said. “By doing so, I'm still moving forward instead of letting quarantine hold me back from pursuing my goals. Also, having a routine that adds structure to my days while simultaneously teaching me new ways to keep being creative has made the transition from in-person to online learning much easier to handle.”

Lizzie Cormier, a Theatre major from Dracut who graduated in Spring 2019, also believes that both Oster and the Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center give Middlesex an advantage and students a wonderful experience that rivals four-year schools.

Although the pandemic presented a challenge, Cormier believes Oster and MCC overcame it.

“It was simple for Karen to transition to an online theatre program with the same compassion and encouragement as always, making her not only a dedicated educator, but a necessary leader who, in times like these, the students are desperate for,” she said. “I have seen firsthand the magic made in this theatre department and I know it will continue, despite the state of the world.”

In order to continue performing and being active in the community, the department is working on an exciting and innovative performance in a safe space that will be livestreamed.

McIsaac will be the Assistant Stage Manager for the new project and is involved in a read-through of “Into the Breeches” that will also be live-streamed. While adjusting to performing in front of the camera felt awkward at first, she adapted.

“I grew to learn that our online interpretations held a much deeper meaning that couldn't be replicated live – and for the more comedic scenes, I found hilarious jokes that couldn't be done on the stage,” she said. “As for my other classes, I struggled a lot with staying on top of my work and not letting procrastination take over. Eventually, I figured out how to manage my time better and plan on using those mistakes I made to learn from and succeed this coming semester.”

Cormier is the Production Stage Manager for fall, winter and spring productions. She found that the weekly Zoom check-ins and reassurance from Oster was what kept her going. Although Cormier loves live theatre, being able to perform online has kept up her motivation and drive.

“The same goes with any of the academics,” she said. “Once you stop it’s hard to get back into the muscle memory of it, so it’s good to keep doing as much as you can – despite how much of a change it is.”

Over the summer, Oster took the opportunity to get creative with online teaching.

Oster partnered with Merrimack Reparatory Theatre and Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner to put on a workshop for 10 MCC students to create content, give advice and put together an audition video. The group met virtually over the course of eight weeks.

When MCC’s College for Kids summer theatre program was canceled due to the pandemic, Oster and other Performing Arts faculty volunteered their time to offer a free camp for kids. Participants spent two full days a week on Zoom to put together a revue of songs and scenes.

The kids and their parents appreciated having a fun activity and sense of normalcy to look forward to each week.

“We have about 30 kids who were so excited to be doing something and it made a huge difference when we’re dealing with such financial hardship right now to provide something for them that they didn’t have to worry about paying for,” Oster said. “We just wanted to make sure we were staying connected.”

In the spring, Oster met weekly online with her classes and the members of what would have been the spring production of “Man of La Mancha.” The group even created an animated video of them singing songs from the show. Oster also kept up with online rehearsals of the college’s improv group “Random Acts” and the Shakesportable Players – a group of students who perform scenes from Shakespeare and join in talkbacks for local high schools.

Oster wants to keep her students engaged with the community, as well as the performing arts industry. Throughout the upcoming semester, Oster is organizing master classes with industry professionals, including Randy Graff who was an original member of “Les Misérables” and playwright Deborah Brevoort whose play “Women of Lockerbie” MCC put on last fall.

It’s important that students see people other than me and they are connected with industry professionals,” Oster said. “It’s important for people to know that Middlesex is not just a small place. We have some outstanding programming and it’s a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about and study theater. It’s a much more viable option financially and it’s high-powered.”

Oster has numerous projects lined up for the Fall semester within the local community, including a project with the organization Free Soil Arts Collective. MCC will partner with playwright Idris Goodwin for online performances of his five short plays and a talkback to discuss racism. The project highlights the creativity of people of color and will feature diverse actors and directors.

In December, MCC’s theatre department also plans to put on an online performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play.”

Oster is going above and beyond to ensure her students have a safe space to learn and grow throughout the pandemic. She also wants to make sure they have the necessary skills – that now includes video, audio and working with the camera – to lend to their success in the industry.

“I belong to theater resource groups online that are providing a lot of resources and there are people who are now just starting to think about this for the fall and I’ve been thinking about it for awhile,” Oster said. “We’re now at the point of creating something new and exciting that is going to be able to carry students through in other ways for the rest of their lives.”

As Cormier said, “The arts have the power to change lives and they will continue to at MCC, no matter what the future holds.”

This Fall, Middlesex is offering over 25 Performing Arts courses, including theatre, dance and music classes. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is also offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Learning Online Practice Course Ahead of Fall Semester8/27/20209/16/2020 10:45 AM
Middlesex Community College will offer about 95 percent of courses online for the Fall semester. Middlesex has 20+ years of award-winning online learning experience and effective teaching to help students fit education into their busy lives at an affordable price. With student success at the center of MCC’s mission, the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) and Libraries created a free Learning Online Practice Course for students who are new to online learning – and for those who want a better understanding – to be prepared, productive and successful in the coming semester.

“This self-paced bootcamp style course is designed for students to experience how online courses are organized and to help them understand what it takes to be a successful online student,” said Noreen McGinness Olson, MCC’s Director of Academic Support Programs & ACE. “By participating, students can practice many of the activities required in online classes, such as posting to a discussion board, submitting assignments, and working in a virtual classroom.”

In the course, students also learn how to interpret the course syllabus, use available resources, take tests, check grades, interact in an acceptable and professional way, and request tutoring sessions. A natural partnership between ACE and the Libraries, the practice course helps make technology and education more accessible to all students.

In response to the pandemic, both departments transitioned services to online platforms in the Spring 2020 semester. ACE offers eTutoring services, as well as RAMP-UP open labs and sessions for students who need additional help. In addition to expanding their digital collection, the MCC Libraries updated course and subject specific research guides and systems that tie in directly to the digital classroom. They also offer curbside pick-up for print books and printing orders, and use virtual research help via chat, text, video calls and screen sharing.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our librarians quickly began the planning for and establishment of long-lasting systems and resources to ensure students’ academic success regardless of where they research and study,” said Donna Maturi, MCC’s Director of Libraries. “We recognize the need for technological literacy – especially in such an environment. Our librarians have the opportunity to work with students as they are in the midst of their studies. Academic research requires the use of a variety of technological systems – this allows us a deep understanding of our current and prospective students’ needs.”

As part of the bootcamp style course, Mark T. Matook, MCC’s Success Librarian, Systems & Electronic Resources, produced MCCLibVids to cover all aspects of the research process for students. The videos include information and FAQs on guidance, best practices, accessibility features and insight into the college experience while using technology.

Middlesex offers 11 online associate degree programs, six online certificate programs and hundreds of online courses – all designed to be immersive and interactive. The practice course will help students understand the differences between the online learning formats – asynchronous and synchronous online learning.

In asynchronous online learning, students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials. Synchronous online learning allows students to attend online classes at specific dates and times while professors and students engage in live classes using a camera and microphone via a remote setting.

MCC will also offer blended face-to-face with online learning and in-person courses. In these hybrid courses, students complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences. During in-person courses, students come to campus for the entirety of the course. When on-campus, students, faculty and staff will be in a safe and controlled setting and are expected to follow MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.

Students who have already been admitted to MCC can self-enroll for the practice course through the MyMCC portal. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/onlinebootcamp/ to prepare for online learning at MCC!

Middlesex helps students start a career, transfer to a four-year college or university, and upgrade skills with flexible learning formats, including accelerated eight-week classes, hybrid and online options. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Programs Designed to Help Students Reach Goals8/25/20209/15/2020 11:24 AM
Middlesex Community College helps students reach their goals with affordable prices, flexible schedules and multiple course format options. As a leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex offers interactive and immersive courses designed to run online. As the program transitions to online courses, the goal of MCC’s Graphic Design department to guide students to success remains the same.

Courses in MCC’s Graphic Design program will meet live online in the Fall 2020 semester in a synchronous online format. According to Joe Eiler, MCC’s Graphic Design Professor & Program Coordinator, the program prepares students for three options. All include building a portfolio that students showcase to start a business, apply for a job or transfer to a four-year school.

“The Spring semester gave us a great leg up to figure out how to bring our courses into an online version and still maintain the high standards this program requires,” Eiler said. “Our instructors are spending their summer trying to increase their ability to teach online in a meaningful and exciting way. Our main goal is for all of our students who graduate to come out with a very strong portfolio that is geared towards their individuality, not any formal cookie cutter form.”

The market for graphic design jobs is strong and students can go into a number of different industries that interest them, Eiler said. To help students figure out their work styles and interests, MCC’s program has an internship component. Students find their own internships, some of which are remote and others in-person while following safety guidelines at this time. Many students receive job offers at their internship site after they graduate.

In order to stay relevant in the field and to ensure MCC graduates are both hirable and prepared to transfer, Eiler and the department keep the content up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry, as well as with the knowledge and skills employers and other colleges are seeking.

“We firmly believe in new projects and outcomes so that we stay fresh and the students stay fresh,” he said. “We try to change things up so we are constantly adding digital components or new approaches and projects so everybody stays at a new level of creativity that is cutting edge.”

Students present their portfolios in a review to current professionals and alumni. In these presentations, students gain experience talking about their work, networking, and receiving feedback from people who are active in the field.

Heather Shaw, Professor & Department Chair of Design at Lesley University, looks forward to MCC’s portfolio reviews each year.

“Participating in their juries enables me to see the skills they are learning and the creativity applied to their final projects and crafts,” she said. “The long-term benefits of this relationship have led to an established cohort of MCC graduates continuing their Design education at Lesley – fostering a continuum of community amongst students.”

Shaw believes it is important for MCC students to make a connection to someone like herself – who works at a four-year school and in the industry – at these reviews, so students can better understand their options once they graduate from Middlesex.

Students who start at MCC gain experience in the field, learn how to plan for what comes next, and connect with a department of faculty and classmates who stay connected and help each other succeed.

Gabrielle Menard graduated from MCC in Spring 2020. From Montreal, Menard wanted an academic experience that benefitted both her professional and personal life. MCC stood out and she calls her experience at Middlesex “beyond amazing.”

It is the interactive team approach to education that has made a difference for her. In addition to collaborating with her fellow students, she worked as a tutor at the college.

“It’s very satisfying to see passionate students who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone in order to improve their graphic design skills,” she said. “We also share ideas and do small critiques during classes and lab hours, so it really helps when they’re being challenged with their design skills.”

Menard also enjoyed going on a department field trip to local businesses. The experience provided time to bond with students and faculty in the department, while exposing them to real-world work environments.

The “family” feel in the Graphic Design program also left a mark on MCC alumna Courtney Patti who graduated in 2013. She chose Middlesex to pursue her passion for design because it was affordable and offered small class sizes. Eiler in particular – along with her classmates – made the department a safe space to explore her creativity.

“The department taught me valuable lessons and I got the one-on-one teaching experience I needed as an individual,” she said. “I didn’t want to just be a number, I wanted to be a person. They saw me as an individual with unique talents and helped me harness it for practical uses in the real world.”

Patti now works full-time as a Graphic Designer at Spectrum Marketing Companies in New Hampshire. Having the opportunity to present her portfolio at the reviews prepared her for the “terrifying” interview process and increased her confidence.

For Patti, Graphic Design remains exciting because “it’s fun and always changing and adapting.”

Alum Justin Johnson – who graduated from the program in 2011 – agrees, believing that although digital media may change, “the need for creatives has never faltered.”

Johnson calls his MCC experience “fantastic” and one of the “smartest and best decisions” he made for his future. Now a Senior Graphic Designer at Veracode, Johnson credits professors such as Eiler and Jeanne Cronin, for their dedication to student success.

“Joe and team gave honest feedback on the work environments we would encounter, provided help and nurturing when needed,” he said. “One thing that I have taken away from the Design program is that ‘you get what you put into it.’ This was told to me during my time in the program and it has never not been true.”

Coming to MCC helped Johnson save money to pursue his dream job.

“I would 100 percent recommend it,” he said. “MCC gives people a chance to enhance their life goals while not being strapped down to 30K+ worth of debt.”

MCC’s Graphic Design program offers an associate degree and certificate option. This fall, the college is running over 30 Art and Graphic Design online courses. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/art/ for more information on MCC’s Art and Graphic Design programs, or contact Margaret Rack, MCC’s Art Department Chair at 781-280-3803 or rackm@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information and to join the Alumni Association.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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In Online Courses and Services, MCC Offers Community for Students8/26/20209/14/2020 1:59 PM
Middlesex Community College aims to help students build connections, find their paths and reach their goals. Due to the pandemic, the college has transitioned about 95 percent of courses to run online for the Fall 2020 semester. An award-winning leader of online education for over 20 years, MCC knows how to offer a community to students even when they are off-campus.

“All members of the Student Engagement and Student Affairs teams have been working hard to reimagine what engagement looks like in this new virtual environment,” said Steve Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement. “From learning new technology, to pivoting existing programs in new directions, to working alongside faculty in new and exciting ways – we understand that engaging students in and out of the classroom is paramount to their overall success and leads to greater retention of students persisting to graduation.”

Since the Spring 2020 semester, MCC transitioned coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. The college was creative in maintaining a community-feel at Middlesex, especially as the need for connection grew in these uncertain times. Student services continued to meet online, while student clubs and organizations offered online events for students to remain part of the community.

“We have had so many online connections and have offered hundreds of hours of online services,” said Ann Buskey, MCC’s Director of TRIO Student Success Program. “We have had great success reaching students virtually – helping them to complete financial aid applications, register, make transfer plans and more!”

Malayah Montgomery, from Bedford, is a Graphic Design student expected to graduate in Spring 2021. As an Orientation Leader (OL) for MCC, she stays in constant contact with the college and her fellow students. Montgomery also works in the Multicultural Center where they hold online meetings and participate in interactive activities.

“As an OL, my experience has been great,” she said. “I have been able to become more familiar with using an online format to do everything. It has really taught me to be flexible and learn more about using technology to do things. I also feel like I am connecting with way more students this time around because we are required to make calls and do trainings on Zoom.”

When Montgomery’s classes transitioned to Zoom in the Spring 2020 semester, her professors helped ease the adjustment, making necessary accommodations and checking in on students. Her professors created a safe environment that made students feel comfortable.

“My professors made it feel more like an actual classroom and as if we were more connected by giving us these warm-ups before classes,” she said. “We would play games that would get us to talk more about how we’ve been doing, what we have been doing, or little things that would just make everybody laugh. It got us all to talk more and ultimately learn more about each other! I feel it was great because I learned more about my fellow classmates than I would have in-person because of this!”

Montgomery is happy about the shift to online courses in the Fall semester. She plans to continue taking her regular classes as well as to participate in Student Government Club and hopes to keep working at the Multicultural Center.

“It’s important for me to keep going,” she said. “With online courses, we are given more flexibility which is a better environment for me because I am majoring in graphic design. I feel I have a better grasp on taking my time with assignments and really focusing on the quality of my work. I feel I have more freedom and time to create.”

As an OL, Michelle Shipka is helping prepare first year students for MCC.

“I had to adapt as a student employee,” she said. “I did try to provide all the help and guidance I could. My role certainly changed. As first year experience courses go forward, I’ve learned how to play icebreakers and facilitate a sense of community online.”

Shipka is also a Graphic Design student from Bedford. Expected to graduate after the Fall semester, she wants to continue with her classes because she is close to finishing.

Transitioning to online courses in the Spring was an adjustment for her both as a student and a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for an English course. She found it helped to stay in contact with her classmates to see how they were doing.

“There were many emails exchanged every day,” she said. “I made a point to regularly check in with students, and also made frequent posts on the MCC app to try to reach more students – most of whom I have no contact with, but seemed like they could use cheering up.”

Although Daniella Dankwa found the transition to online learning challenging, her connection to online services at the college helped her finish. In her classes, professors stayed in contact with frequent emails, Blackboard updates and web conferencing. She also took advantage of the MCC mobile app to maintain her connection to MCC.

Dankwa is from Ghana and now lives in Lowell. She was named MCC’s Student Trustee for the 2020-2021 academic year. For the Fall semester, she also plans to continue on her path with online courses.

“I think this is the best time to take advantage of education,” she said. “Even though we can’t be physically in class, there is web conferencing, online meetings and other ways we can always use to ask questions and keep in touch. There are a lot of support services and resources – they help assist and guide students to be successful.”

MCC’s Office of Admissions is offering Virtual Drop-In Student Services 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. New and current students can meet with staff from Admissions, Enrollment, Placement Testing, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and Advising. These events help students develop and maintain a relationship with the college as they adjust to online courses and resources.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information.

This Fall, MCC’s courses will feature flexible formats, including two accelerated eight-week Mini-mesters, hybrid and online options. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is offering incentives to help students financially continue their education. One incentive gives students who were laid-off due to COVID-19 50 percent off their first class. The college is also giving 50 percent off to new students to celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

See www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

The college has created a Fall 2020 Registration website with questions, tips and tools students may need to get ready for the upcoming semester. For more information and to have important questions answered, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/fall2020.aspx

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Helps 7th through 12th Grade Students with Math & English 9/8/20209/14/2020 11:09 AM
This summer, Middlesex Community College made a successful transition of the college’s College for Kids summer programming to online platforms. A leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex develops immersive and interactive online courses that promote meaningful learning at all ages. MCC is offering online courses this Fall semester to teach important math and English skills to students in seventh through twelfth grade.

"Transitioning to online learning this spring was a varied experience for many, especially for our youth,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training. “In an effort to help support our children, MCC has created a handful of courses to assist students who may need a refresher or extra help in math and writing. It takes a village and Middlesex is here to ensure access to content, resources and student success."

While many schools and colleges may have struggled to adjust to online learning, Middlesex was prepared and can now help fill in learning gaps to guide students to success.

MCC will offer an online Algebra I Review course starting on September 15. The course is taught by an MCC mathematics faculty member and will review concepts, complete problems and answer questions. Topics include simplifying expressions, definition of like terms, combining terms, linear and polynomials, solving and graphing linear equations, equations of lines, and solving and graphing linear inequalities. Classes take place 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

An Algebra II Review course starts on November 10. Students will go over topics such as systems of equations, quadratics, graphing, factoring, solving with and without quadratic equations, absolute value and radicals. Classes take place 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

In Foundations of Geometry, students are introduced to basic concepts and principles. Students learn how to find the area and volume of figures; learn about points, lines and planes; understand perpendicularity and parallelism principles; and use tools from algebra, measurements and the Pythagorean Theorem to better understand shapes and figures. The class takes place online 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on October 6.

MCC is also helping students become better writers. Starting on September 29, students will learn about the major areas of language arts, including the eight parts of speech and the correct usage and mechanics of proper punctuation. The class runs 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays online and will help build skills important to writing.

In The Game of Writing: The Steps to Becoming a Creative and Effective Writer, students go over the Five Step writing process: prewriting, writing, revising, editing and publishing. Students develop vocabulary, learn how to use a dictionary and thesaurus, and improve speaking and listening skills. The course runs 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays online starting October 1.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/asnoncredit.aspx for more information on all of these course options or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

There is still time to register for the Fall semester – including MCC’s Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts November 2. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Helps Employees Get Into the Workforce8/31/20209/10/2020 1:25 PM
In this digital world, employees need to learn valuable knowledge and skills related to technology. Middlesex Community College’s Community Education and Training (CET) offers online courses and certificates taught by experts in their fields. Adult learners, laid-off workers and furloughed employees can gain the theoretical and practical experiences needed to be successful in industries that require technological, written and administrative support.

“As the business world shifts to a digital landscape, students need to be prepared with a variety of skills in their toolboxes – including knowledge of digital marketing, social media, writing and design,” said Beth Noël, MCC’s Director of Marketing Communications. “MCC’s CET department knows what businesses are looking for in their employees and offers classes and certificate programs to help students build those skills, even in this challenging economy. Now is the time to come to Middlesex and jumpstart or advance your career.”

Noël teaches MCC’s Digital Media Marketing certificate program. Students learn about different media outlets for digital marketing and build their own campaigns. Topics include the fundamentals of marketing, as well as how to optimize marketing emails, use search engine and website optimization, track digital media, and advertise for mobile and online platforms.

MCC’s Social Media certificate program covers how to use social media in a workplace or small business. Students learn how to connect to audiences on all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and blogging websites. Students will also have the opportunity to create and present a social media marketing plan.

The Business Computer Applications certificate prepares students to work in an office environment with skills necessary to being an administrative assistant, providing customer service and completing data entry. Students learn the Microsoft Office suite as well as filing management, system backup, printer set-up, internet basics, word processing, creating spreadsheets, managing calendars and presenting.

In many businesses, Microsoft Excel is an important and valuable skillset. MCC’s course takes students through the basics to more advanced features; providing a comprehensive understanding of a complicated, but useful tool. The college also offers a new Goggle IT Support Professional class to help students begin a career in IT and learn how to troubleshoot, provide customer service, network, operate systems and be a system administrator.

Students can improve their writing skills or pursue a writing career with MCC’s Technical Writing certificate. The program helps job seekers in a variety of industries – such as IT, software, education, journalism and business ¬– learn to write clearly and concisely for an audience. Courses also provide students with important writing samples to show to employers.

MCC’s Digital Photography certificate helps students hone photography skills. In this program, students can turn their passion into a career, learning how to take quality photos, use them for business and marketing purposes, and perfect images with adobe photoshop.

As a leader in professional development and career training opportunities throughout Massachusetts, Middlesex is prepared to get students the jobs they want now. With a variety of online certificate and course options, students are set up for success with the knowledge and skills they need to start or advance in their careers.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/default.aspx for more information on all of these course and certificate options or contact Sheila Morin at 781-280-3608 or MorinS@middlesex.mass.edu.

To register for classes at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Fall Semester starts on September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Jumpstart a Career in a Dental Field with MCC8/19/20209/9/2020 11:02 AM
Middlesex Community College helps students get the jobs they want faster. Students who earn an associate degree or certificate from Middlesex can go directly into the workforce or transfer to a four-year college or university. With three Dental Program options, MCC prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and be hirable in thriving dental industries.

MCC’s Dental Laboratory Technology (DLT) Program is registering now for the Fall 2020 semester. The program will be offered in a hybrid format with lectures online and lab sessions in-person. Students who come to campus will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitize work stations, and follow social distancing guidelines.

Dental Lab Techs work behind the scenes to fabricate prosthetic devices based on prescriptions from a dentist. According to Apollon Bouzerdan, MCC’s DLT Program Coordinator, the field is not widely known, but – even in a struggling economy – offers excellent employment rates, entrepreneurship opportunities and earning potential.

“Unlike other health professions, DLT is a career with minimal to no patient contact, which makes it ideal for those who want to lower their risks of being exposed to viruses – especially during a pandemic,” he said. “Our graduates are in high demand by local and out-of-state dental laboratories and dental companies.”

MCC alum Dany Karam graduated in 1999. He now works as the General Manager at Advanced Dental Technologies in Stoneham, which has a full service 30+ member team.

“Now is a good time to become a dental technician,” he said. “Within the past decade, the industry has been moving in the direction of digital work. Well-educated and trained dental technicians continue to have the chance to do very well professionally and financially.”

Having the opportunity to work in a hands-on field appealed to Karam. The experiences he gained in the Middlesex DLT program still translate well to his job. He believes those who just receive on the job training “miss out on the important intricacies of the dental field in general.”

“Having graduated from MCC, I can see the differences it makes and has made in my career,” he said. “In this industry, it is easy to spot who went to school for this profession and who learned on the job. I believe this says a lot of how I think MCC prepared me. I continue to apply theories and techniques I learned over two decades ago at my bench on Central Street.”

Karam is from Lebanon and decided to become a dental technician the summer before his senior year of high school. After shadowing a friend at work, he was inspired and wanted the opportunity to help people regain their smiles.

He chose Middlesex after researching programs in the U.S. Because of the small class sizes and strong curriculum, Karam believes students are set up for success by learning important skills – such as waxing, gypsum, design, fit and finish – on devices that include an orthodontic appliance, a partial denture, complete denture, ceramic crowns or crown and bridge.

Although all of the MCC faculty and staff he worked with were supportive, Karam was especially inspired by his instructor Jerry Kessler, who helped each student reach their potential.

“The instructors were very helpful, knowledgeable and always encouraging,” he said. “MCC’s multicultural community made adjusting to campus life and my surroundings easier for me coming in as an international student.”

MCC’s DLT associate is a two-year, 69 credit full-time program. The certificate is a three semester, 28 credit part-time program considered a stepping stone to the associate degree. Graduates from the program go on to work in various dental environments, including a dental office, school or laboratory. The job is in high-demand, despite challenging times.

“MCC was a great experience and after all these years if I had to, I would do it all over again,” Karam said. “If anyone loves science and technology and would like to combine it with biology, there’s no better career more rewarding than dental technology. After all – who doesn’t love making people smile again?”

For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dltdepartment/ or contact Apollon Bouzerdan at BouzerdanA@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3056.

This fall, MCC is offering courses in three dental fields – Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Dental Laboratory Technology. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information and to join the Alumni Association.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Continues to be a Leader in Online Learning with New Policy8/20/20209/8/2020 3:09 PM
As a leader of online education and effective teaching for over 20 years, Middlesex Community College knows how to use technology in its curriculum to help students reach success. Middlesex continues to incorporate technology into all course formats – including in-person, online and hybrid courses – because the college believes it leads to more meaningful learning for students. To increase the use of technology in all course formats, MCC developed the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to encourage students to bring a digital device to their courses.

“The college’s BYOD policy is a major step forward in student success by requiring students to bring, buy or borrow an approved device to enhance and support their education at Middlesex,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs. “Especially during this particular time of extensive online learning offerings at the college, every student needs to have access to the technology to accomplish their goals and the college is ready to respond by providing those tools through a formal loaner/borrower program for those who don’t currently own or cannot afford to obtain that technology.”

The policy was developed by a team of employees from IT, Student Affairs, the Libraries and faculty.

“We know from research, the more engaged the student is in class, the more successful the student will be in achieving their academic goals,” said Joseph Patuto, MCC’s Chief Information Officer. “Their device promotes access to educational resources and digital collaboration in the classrooms and more importantly, external to the classroom. With the college shifting the Fall semester to 95 percent online in response to the COVID-pandemic, access to personal devices is even more crucial to the success of our students.”

Pam Flaherty, MCC’s Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, emphasizes that the BYOD policy gives students what they need to be successful in their classes – whether they are learning online at home or in-person in the classroom.

“The purpose of the BYOD initiative is to make sure our students have access to technology,” she said. “We will work with students and will have a loaner program for students who do not have the ability to purchase the technology.”

Middlesex also loaned out Chromebooks in the Spring semester when the pandemic caused MCC to transition all courses and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems.

Jill Keller, MCC’s Department Chair of English, believes the BYOD policy transforms how professors and students interact with the curriculum. Using online resources and apps provides more hands-on, practical learning experiences for students to take an active approach to their learning. This includes learning how to more effectively write and revise in Keller’s courses.

“There are a number of professors in my department who like to use technology when face-to-face in the classroom to project something on the board to have the whole group working on a shared document,” she said. “It helps a lot with things like peer review or demonstrating revisions and techniques if we’re all looking at the same thing – and that really requires the students having something they can work on.”

While some students are used to online courses and know what they need to do in order to be successful, others are working hard to adjust, according to Keller. The BYOD policy helps MCC recognize what students need in order to be more comfortable with learning online and use online resources to their advantage.

Students must be able to access the college network and internet on their devices. For classes that are in-person or hybrid, the devices must be portable.

To sign-up to acquire a device, to read the MCC user agreement policy for Computers and Electronic Devices, and for more information, visit: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/technologycenter/byodpolicy.aspx

To help keep students on track with their goals, the college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community.

MCC is also offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Start a New Career with MCC’s Community Education Courses8/24/20209/3/2020 12:23 PM
Middlesex Community College helps students get the jobs they want. This Fall, MCC’s Community Education and Training (CET) is offering online courses and certificates to help jumpstart and advance careers. At Middlesex, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective employee as an adult learner returning to school, laid-off worker seeking a new profession, or furloughed employee looking for professional development.

Offering more online course options means students do not have to put their education or future plans on hold, according to Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of CET. MCC’s CET remains committed to providing high-quality and immersive classes taught by industry professionals.

“MCC has always been at the forefront of career training,” she said. “Learning and continuing education is a lifelong process, even if you completely love your job or already have a four-year degree. Now is the perfect time to assess your employability.”

MCC’s CET management courses develop and hone leadership skills that make an employee more comfortable and confident in their work. The Essentials of HR Management course benefits those who are looking to start a career in HR or for managers and business owners wanting to improve employee relations.

In the Management and Leadership certificate, students learn team building, critical thinking and effective decision-making skills, as well as how to demonstrate a high performance work-style and put group ideas into action. Some courses offer timely guidance, such as Effective Performance Management Done Remotely and Leading Effectively During Turbulent Times.

The Nonprofit Management Certificate offers an overview of the nonprofit business world. Classes cover how to manage finances, boards, program development and evaluation, fundraising, building support and strategic planning from a nonprofit perspective.

MCC’s CET also offers courses focused on building skills companies need in specific roles, such as in Accounting and Bookkeeping Fundamentals. Students are prepared to enter the workforce by learning to better understand accounts, debits and credits, analyzing transactions, journaling, general ledger, closing and adjusting entries, post-closing trial balance and financial reporting.

Crisis Communications is another course relevant to the times that prepares employees to evaluate and respond to a crisis that negatively impacts the image and reputation of a business or organization. Students can take an individual class or earn a certificate to learn how to plan for the unexpected and to handle crises internally and externally if and when they arise.

CET also offers training in medical fields. Pharmacy Technicians can work in hospitals, pharmacies and a variety of other healthcare settings. In MCC’s course, students learn operations, laws, calculations and medical abbreviations, dosage forms and regulations. The course includes an externship for students to gain practical experience in a local pharmacy. Students are also prepared to take the certification exam.

MCC’s Vascular Technology course is self-instructional. Students gain knowledge about how to perform vascular sonography and prepare to take the certification exam. Students can study at their own pace while having designated times to speak with instructors about the content.

In the Medical Interpreting program, students who are bilingual have the opportunity to learn how to break into this field and prepare for the national certification exam. Students learn the standards of practice, ethics, HIPAA regulations, cultural competency and medical terminology.

Healthcare professionals, frontline staff and students who are interested in helping patients who have Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia can complete the certification program. Topics include the fundamentals of care and how to enhance patients’ quality of life, foster sensitivity and respect, teach communication skills and provide a sensitive approach to assisting patients.

Middlesex is a leader in providing professional development and career training for employees and businesses and organizations throughout Massachusetts. Although the pandemic has created challenging times for many industries, earning a certificate or taking classes at MCC gives students the knowledge and skills they need to be competitive in the job market. MCC gets students back on their feet to start or continue their dream job.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/default.aspx for more information on all of these course and certificate options or contact Sheila Morin at morins@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3608.

To register for classes at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Fall Semester starts on September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Fall Courses at Middlesex Community College8/17/20209/2/2020 1:25 PM
In these unprecedented times, students need a plan in place to help them reach their goals and continue their education. Over 20 years ago, Middlesex Community College was one of the first in the state to offer online learning. In the two decades since, the college has designed award-winning online curriculums that allow students to interact with content, professors and their fellow students in immersive and meaningful ways. This Fall, MCC will run about 95 percent of courses online, which includes two accelerated eight-week sessions.

Try Middlesex on for size and – college students can get a better understanding of their path and earn transferable credits; high school students can gain college experience and take advantage of effective online learning platforms; and adult learners can go back to school and upgrade or learn new skills – all while staying healthy and safe at home.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week sessions cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and contain the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

By finishing general requirements with MCC’s Mini-mesters, students will not have to put their education on hold. Students can then go directly into the workforce or transfer to a four-year college or university as a second semester freshman or higher – depending on how many credits they earn at MCC – all while saving thousands in tuition costs.

Middlesex will feature four modalities of teaching in the Fall:
  • Asynchronous Online – students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.
  • Synchronous Online – students attend classes at specific dates and times while professors and students engage in live classes using a camera and microphone via a remote setting.
  • Hybrid (Blended) – students complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.
  • In-Person – students come to campus for the entirety of the course in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.
MCC understands that students need to feel financially stable and supported. In addition to freezing tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year, the college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track.

Middlesex is also offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

MCC’s Office of Admissions will host Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions every week to answer students’ questions regarding admissions, course placement and financial aid. These online sessions are held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. These one-stop enrollment sessions include staff from Admissions, Enrollment, Placement Testing, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and Advising.

For more information, contact admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434.

The Fall semester – including Mini-mester I – starts on Wednesday, September 9. Mini-mester II will run Monday, November 2 through Wednesday, December 23.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Partners with VA to Shoot a Series of U.S. History Web Shorts8/25/20209/2/2020 11:28 AM
The many partnerships Middlesex Community College enjoys with local businesses and organizations benefit both the students the college serves and the industries Middlesex strengthens with its well-prepared and knowledgeable graduates. This spring semester, MCC’s Communications department collaborated with the VA New England Healthcare System to create a series of short features on New England Veterans and U.S. military history.

Francois De Costerd is MCC’s Media Production Coordinator. Starting in February 2020, De Costerd managed the MCC interns as they produced the VA’s new weekly series of web shorts about U.S. military history narrated by Michael McNamara.

MCC interns researched and gathered content for the scripts that were provided by McNamara before putting together a rough edit using the visuals and narration over music. De Costerd then reviewed the work and completed the shorts with additional sources and motion graphics.

“It’s a win-win collaboration where the VA gets great production services at a reduced fee and our Communications students get a first-rate professional and experiential learning experience,” De Costerd said. “With an episode each week, the production pace was brisk. That initial research and assembly phase is real team work – projects are split up and assigned to each intern, content is shared online, and everyone contributes to the overall production.”

In total, the department produced almost 20 episodes of the series, creating the visual content and the graphics. The MCC interns researched historical content, looked for motion graphics, designed logos and developed animations. The group also completed all of the closed captioning, which is a valuable skill for the industry according to De Costerd.

“All the MCC Media Production interns from Spring 2020 and Summer semesters have contributed to this work and were crucial in the success of this partnership,” he said. “Our VA partners have been thrilled with the quality of the media content we have been producing.”

Dr. Jennifer Bauer, MCC’s Communications Department Chair and Professor, began the partnership with the VA in April 2019. Bauer wanted to develop an in-house production company where students could be mentored through hands-on learning experiences, while serving the community. She hired De Costerd who then took on the project with the VA.

“These partnerships are so essential to the students and the COM program because they provide a real-world environment and production experience that allows students to practice what they have learned in the classroom while building their resume and production reel,” Bauer said. “To see this come to life so quickly is a testament to Francois’ talent and production management skills. Francois is an integral part of the partnership because he provides the professional link between the VA and our student interns.”

The partnership with MCC and the VA continues with new projects, including with the YouTube show SITREP. MCC also ran a photoshoot to help with the VA’s graphic needs.

These experiences allow MCC students to develop important work and practice valuable industry-related skills.

“Working on the VA project was a terrific experience that gave me a better view of the hands-on work for my major,” said James Briere, an MCC Communications student. “I learned so much about the technical process and enjoyed being a part of a professional environment.”

In addition to Briere, the MCC interns who worked on the VA project include Cameron Dawson, Johannes Crueger-Cain, Dalton DeLima, Nassir Mandrafino and Jonathan Zurawski.

MCC students also had the chance to work on video production for the Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices group to document their Juneteenth Celebration in Andover. Both Bauer and De Costerd are looking forward to building more partnerships – including with nonprofits and small businesses – and expanding opportunities for students in the Communications program.

“We are excited to expand our services and collaborations with new organizations and businesses between Bedford and Lowell,” De Costerd said. “MCC’s future partnerships in the local media production economy can only strengthen the professional opportunities of our Communications students.”

This fall, MCC is running over 20 Communications courses, with flexible formats including accelerated eight-week classes and online options. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

For more information on the Communications department, contact Dr. Jennifer Bauer at BauerJ@middlesex.mass.edu, 781-280-3910, or follow on Twitter @MCCcomdept.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Earn a Certificate with MCC’s Early Childhood Education Program8/13/20208/31/2020 11:31 AM
Student success is at the heart of what Middlesex Community College does. As a leader of online learning for over 20 years, Middlesex makes education accessible while keeping students safe and healthy at home. MCC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program offers a Career Pathways Grant to provide funding for professional development experiences necessary for students to advance or start their careers.

“MCC’s ECE department’s programmatic mission is to provide students with the educational background and supervised training needed to work with young children,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of ECE Career Pathways. “The ECE department is offering new certificates to students working in early childhood education settings."

The ECE department focuses on appropriate child-centered developmental and cultural practices in accordance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The new Assistant Teacher and the Leadership certificates are in addition to the currently offered Child Development Associate Plus (CDA+) credential – which qualifies students to apply for an Early Childhood Teacher certification.

Students are prepared to provide classroom support for children and other teachers in the Assistant Teacher certificate program. Students are encouraged to apply if they are new to the field and want to gain knowledge and experience.

The Leadership certificate is for students who have at least six months of lead teacher experience. In the program, students hone their leadership skills and gain research-based best practices, professional standards and competencies, and licensure requirements.

The online ECE summer classes – such as MCC’s Health, Safety and Nutrition course – enhanced students’ learning and experience in the early childhood education field.

Michelle McLaughlin has worked in education for over 18 years. Although she has a lot of experience, she learned a lot from the class.

“My professor highlighted each topic so well and really had us dive into the importance of each,” she said. “She was very hands-on and interactive with her students and was there to answer any question we may have had. Aside from simply learning from a textbook, our professor provided incredible articles, PowerPoints and links to help us further our knowledge.”

When Constance Cooper’s summer program was canceled due to the pandemic, she stayed relevant and productive in the field by working towards her Leader Teacher certification.

“I think the pace of the class was excellent and the assignments were planned out to engage us with each other, learn and observe things in our professional environment and to reflect on how things we learn would be applied in our day-to-day professional lives,” she said. “I highly recommend this class and professor and I feel grateful to be able to participate in the program.”

The ECE Career Pathways grant is available for eligible students who are pursuing their CDA and coursework towards their EEC certification. Registration is ongoing and fills up quickly.

Contact Nancy Pynchon at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu for more information.

To request fall courses, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe0XWNtUAE6s1_yuuHHjbZ6Rqz8Xauw3Tr0cx3C9trtTOF5zA/viewform

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community.

MCC is offering three incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off a course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Science Department Uses Virtual Labs in Online Courses8/12/20208/27/2020 2:50 PM
Many colleges are struggling to adjust to the new normal, but Middlesex Community College has been creative in developing curriculum and opportunities to keep students on track. As a leader of online learning for over 20 years, Middlesex will run about 95 percent of courses online for the Fall semester – this includes the use of virtual labs in many of MCC’s Science classes.

When COVID-19 hit in the middle of the Spring semester, science classes – including anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, physics and chemistry – transitioned fully online. Faculty were creative in sharing worksheets, homework assignments, quizzes, videos and articles. They also found free resources online and from other colleges and universities.

Dr. Iveta Dinbergs, MCC’s Chairperson and Professor of Science, has been teaching hybrid online and face-to-face courses since 2003 and believes Middlesex makes the effort to invest in quality virtual labs for courses.

“Middlesex has always been on the frontline of technology,” she said. “We were one of the first to offer online courses. We have all the latest and greatest virtual lab technology and we have phenomenal training, support and professional development. We are state-of-the-art.”

Dinbergs appreciates that MCC has always remained focused about staying ahead of the curve, teaching with cutting edge technology at an affordable price.

Olivia Kane, from Dedham, graduated from Boston University in the spring with a B.A. in health science. She needed to finish prerequisites in order to apply for nursing school and registered to take MCC’s Anatomy and Physiology I course. She had a positive experience using virtual labs in the online class taught by Ali Ahrabi, MCC’s Assistant Professor of Science.

“Being able to learn in the comfort of my own home – especially during these unprecedented times – was something that I was extremely grateful for,” she said. “Now, more than ever, it is important to further your education. Education can change your perspective and provide you with the tools to go and change the world – and no one can take that away from you.”

MCC uses the virtual simulation Labster for a number of disciplines. Students go through the experience as though they are in a real lab, beginning the process by entering the lab, putting on a lab coat, and following safety protocols, including throwing away used gloves in the appropriate way. They cannot skip steps.

“The Labster simulations allow students to experiment with concepts, perform a series of experiments that yield authentic results, and use simulated laboratory equipment that behaves in almost the same way as it would in a real face-to-face laboratory,” Ahrabi said. “In a real lab, we often see some students who need more time to understand a lab concept better or need extra opportunity to repeat the lab exercise in order to learn better. In a simulated environment, the students can repeat the labs as many times as they wish to learn in complete details.”

Having an opportunity to redo labs not only improved Kane’s grades, but led to a deeper understanding of the material. Both her and Ahrabi agree that another positive was performing experiments online that may be considered dangerous in real-life.

“The online labs allow students to engage in experiments and perform simulations that would have either been impossible or taken hours to complete in person,” Kane said. “From creating explosions when studying molecular chemistry to viewing how specific conditions impact homeostasis of the human body, the virtual labs performed on my computer helped further my education than I could have ever imagined.”

MCC’s Science department also uses the virtual lab ADAM for anatomy and physiology to allow students a realistic look at the human body. Dinbergs describes the process as analyzing “slices” in the body that show the way muscles, bones and blood vessels all connect to move body parts.

Another virtual lab, Visible Body, offers students three-dimensional views of the body. Students interact with body parts – such as the lungs – and move them in a way that would mimic a dissection. This is important in science lessons because according to Dinbergs, “You have to envision molecules and how they rotate and spin – how they bind.”

The labs are asynchronous, so students work on their own time. To hold them accountable and to check on the quality of work, Dinbergs will have students print out results or a picture of what they’ve been working on, such as a completed petri dish or data chart that has been filled out.

Some of the upper-level physics, chemistry and biotechnology labs are still being offered in-person while adhering to strict health and safety guidelines, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and following social distancing. While these courses need in-person lab experiences, Dinbergs believes virtual labs are here to stay.

“Students like the convenience and all the other aspects of it,” she said. “The constant feedback that I am receiving from the Science faculty indicates to me that we are being quite successful at the switch from in-class to online teaching.”

This fall, MCC is running more than 30 different science courses, with flexible formats including accelerated eight-week classes, hybrid and online options. MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track with their goals.

MCC is offering incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Start a New Career in a High-Demand Industry with MCC8/10/20208/26/2020 2:51 PM
Now is the time to jumpstart a new career in a thriving industry! Middlesex Community College offers high-quality education to prepare students directly for the workforce – with access to industry leaders and internship experiences – at an affordable price. MCC’s Paralegal Studies program will offer fully online classes for the 2020 Fall semester to help students fit education into their busy schedules and ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff.

“The legal profession does well in both good economies and bad economies,” said Halye Sugarman, MCC’s Professor and Program Coordinator of Paralegal Studies. “There is a need for lawyers, legal help – the court systems are open and operating and there’s also specific areas of the law that tend to get very busy even in an economy that is not strong. I am hearing from employers, there are jobs available. I’ve been speaking with our alumni and they are working.”

Jennifer LeMasurier – who graduated in 2020 – came to MCC as an adult learner seeking a career change after being a stay-at-home mother for 17 years. During her time at MCC, she was named a member of the Advisory Board and a recipient of the Muriel J. Hervey Paralegal Scholarship.

LeMasurier started researching programs when she was inspired to get into Paralegal Studies after being a co-personal representative for her great aunt’s estate.

“My decision was based upon affordability; location; online course availability; flexibility of courses being offered during the day, night and online; the variety of courses offered; and that the paralegal program is American Bar Association (ABA) approved,” she said.

Once she started taking courses for the certificate program, LeMasurier realized her past coursework from a bachelor’s degree counted toward an associate in Paralegal Studies. Middlesex helped her fit education into her life.

“MCC offers the flexibility and scaffolding necessary for students who come from different backgrounds and various stages of life to succeed,” she said. “Small class sizes foster a more personalized learning environment and are conducive for various learning styles. The faculty are knowledgeable, caring and supportive educators. They go above and beyond to support their students through life’s challenges in order to support continued learning and to help them reach their goals. When the students succeed it is a success for everyone.”

With MCC, she was also able to earn a Legal Technology Certificate, Basic Community Mediation Training Certificate, and became a Mass. Notary Public. LeMasurier held an internship at the Boston Municipal Court where she had the opportunity to learn more about the Massachusetts Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedures.

“The internship provided me the opportunity to observe cases with different judges, perform legal research and writing, and gain insight into the application of the law,” she said. “I was able to see the importance of each person’s role in the courtroom, the significance of organization, and of accurate and thorough legal research and writing.”

The internship and networking opportunities students have at MCC help them learn more about what industry interests them for their future careers.

“We’re really well-connected with the Massachusetts Paralegal Association that provides networking,” Sugarman said. “We hold a networking event of our own each semester, Paralegal Career Night. We’re also connected with the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire.”

These networking opportunities include a relationship held with MCC’s Law Center that allows students from MCC’s Paralegal Studies Program to intern every semester.

According to ABA guidelines, all of MCC’s Paralegal Studies classes that were previously held in-person can now be offered in a synchronous online format. These classes will meet virtually and in real-time – at the same time every week – and students will be able to interact live with colleagues and professors.

MCC’s program also offers asynchronous courses that were already in place and are designed to offer an interactive and immersive online learning experience. Students are provided access to resources and materials they need to be successful, while meeting deadlines, completing coursework and engaging in class discussions on their own time.

MCC’s Paralegal Studies program offers three paths to assist students in entering the workforce or transferring to a four-year program: post-graduate Paralegal Certificate; Associate in Science, Liberal Studies – Paralegal Career; and Associate in Science, Liberal Studies ¬– Paralegal Transfer.

All program pathways prepare students to assist attorneys and provide the legal knowledge, practical skills and ethical values necessary for a fulfilled and successful career, which may include working in law firms, government agencies, business and nonprofits.

Approved by the ABA, MCC’s Paralegal Studies Program was ranked in the top five in the state in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Readers’ Poll for 2019.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/paralegal/ for more information about MCC’s Paralegal Studies Program or contact Halye Sugarman at sugarmanh@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3768.

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community.

MCC is offering three incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off a course to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. For students who have completed 45 credits at MCC but have not taken classes recently, there is a completion scholarship available. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rule.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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High School Students Earn College Credit with MCC Dual Enrollment8/6/20208/25/2020 12:32 PM
Middlesex Community College helps students of all ages gain the college experience they need. As a leader of award-winning online learning for over 20 years, Middlesex has the tools and experience needed to guide students to success. Dual Enrollment at MCC offers high school students an opportunity to take college-level courses that count towards both a high school diploma and a college degree.

The Dual Enrollment program at Middlesex allows high school students to complete general college course requirements and explore majors and possible fields of interest at an affordable price – saving thousands in tuition costs overall. In Massachusetts, Dual Enrollment students pay a state subsidized rate of $92 per credit versus the $252 current per credit rate.

Once students graduate from high school with MCC courses, they can transfer their earned credits to a four-year college or university as a second semester freshman or higher – depending on how many credits they have finished at Middlesex.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed teaching and learning. The college is collaborating with high school leaders and teachers to find solutions that provide students with the best education possible in these challenging times. MCC is prepared to support families who want to homeschool for the first time due to health risk concerns.

“The idea of homeschooling can be overwhelming for parents who do not feel they can teach the course content – this is where MCC can be instrumental in alleviating this concern and engaging students through both synchronous and asynchronous online courses,” said Ellen Grondine, MCC’s Dean of K-16 Partnerships. “MCC is an excellent option as students can be fully online, earn credit toward high school graduation and college degree attainment, and remain fully at home until school finds innovative ways to bring students back – at a significantly reduced rate.”

In asynchronous online learning, students work independently and engage with materials and other students on their own schedules while meeting deadlines. Synchronous online learning offers students an assigned time for classes to meet weekly in live online formats, such as on Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate. Both formats offer classes that are designed to run online and provide interactive and immersive experiences with high-quality content.

There is no minimum age requirement for Dual Enrollment students. Students who are interested in being challenged by the “stimulating and supportive learning environment” at MCC will often start taking classes and then continue for the duration of their high school career, according to Camille Brown, MCC’s Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment.

“Middlesex has a long history in Massachusetts of supporting Dual Enrollment and as one of the largest community colleges in the state, we have a wide variety of course offerings,” she said. “Our face-to-face classes have been newly designed for an online environment and with 98 percent of our courses being offered online this fall, there is no better time for Dual Enrollment students from across the state to join us.”

Students who participate in Dual Enrollment have access to all that MCC offers students, including support services, specialized advising, tutoring, small classes and participation in campus activities, events and clubs and organizations – all of which offer online options.

Prospective students and their families must attend a virtual Dual Enrollment Information Session. Sessions are held twice a week throughout August and help families get information, connect with Admissions staff, process applications and register for classes. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/default.aspx for more information and to register for an information session.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Reach Goals Faster with MCC’s Accelerated Course Options8/4/20208/24/2020 12:21 PM
Now is the time to continue an education – whether to earn transferable college credit or jumpstart a new career. Middlesex Community College is prepared to offer a high-quality and affordable education with flexible course options. Middlesex’s two accelerated, eight-week Mini-mesters help students meet their goals faster in a way that best fits their schedules.

With over 20 years of experience with award-winning online learning and effective teaching, Middlesex will run about 95 percent of all courses online for the Fall semester. The world may be full of unknowns during the pandemic, but MCC remains focused on helping students succeed.

Try Middlesex on for size and – college students can get a better understanding of their path and earn transferable credits; high school students can gain college experience and take advantage of effective online learning platforms; and adult learners can go back to school and upgrade or learn new skills – all while staying healthy and safe at home.

By finishing general requirements with MCC’s Mini-mesters, students will not have to put their education on hold. Students can then go directly into the workforce or transfer to a four-year college or university as a second semester freshman or higher – depending on how many credits they earn at MCC – all while saving thousands in tuition costs.

“Mini-mesters allow students to more quickly achieve their future goals while often working at the same time,” said Dr. Toni Ledger, an MCC Instructor of Math and Science. “Minis reduce monotony and also allow students to get a ‘quick view’ of a given discipline to determine if they wish to continue in that discipline without spending an entire semester to do so.”

MCC’s accelerated sessions cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and contain the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

Ledger’s understanding of the value of Mini-mesters grows the more she teaches them and finds that students effectively absorb information in a short amount of time.

“From my experience, I have found that students who participate in Mini-mesters more easily connect concepts since they are presented in a shorter time span,” she said. “Since the time spent in a Mini is short, all concepts flow more easily and students achieve more cognitive understanding of major seemingly unrelated concepts. That concentrated learning enhances the ability of students to connect concepts across disciplines well.”

Mini-mester I runs Wednesday, September 9 through Wednesday, October 28. Mini-mester II will run Monday, November 2 through Wednesday, December 23.

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community.

MCC is offering three incentives to help students continue their education. One incentive offers 50 percent off a first class to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. The college is also offering 50 percent off to new students in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary. For students who have completed 45 credits at MCC but have not taken classes recently, there is a completion scholarship available. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

To register for Fall courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Limited In-Person Enrollment Appointments8/10/20208/20/2020 12:25 PM
Middlesex Community College can answer all of your enrollment questions virtually. If you still need in-person help, MCC is offering limited, 15-minute enrollment appointments for students to come on campus in either Bedford or Lowell on Tuesdays and Thursdays – between 10am and 2pm - starting on Tuesday, August 11. The appointments need to be scheduled in advance by calling or emailing.

Please note all visitors must wear a mask, practice social distancing, and follow the health and safety guidelines MCC has put in place.

To learn more, call 1-800-818-3434 or email registrar@middlesex.mass.edu, admissions@middlesex.mass.edu, studentaccounts@middlesex.mass.edu, financialaid@middlesex.mass.edu or academic advising@middlesex.mass.edu.
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Lowell Teachers Learn Cambodian Art & Culture Online with MCC8/11/20208/19/2020 10:52 AM
Middlesex Community College – an award-winning leader of online education – is a fixture in the communities the college serves in Bedford and Lowell. For the past seven years, Middlesex has collaborated with Lowell Public Schools to offer teachers an opportunity to learn Cambodian art and culture sponsored by a National Endowment for the Arts and MCC. This summer, the class made a successful transition to an online format.

Yary Livan is a Cambodian master ceramist who works as an adjunct professor for MCC’s Art department. His work is part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sackler/Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. When he needed to transition his classes to online formats in the Spring 2020 semester, he was hesitant but knew he had to keep going.

“It’s so important for me because I love to be around people,” he said. “I want to keep teaching all of my skills. I had to do something, not just stay home. I am practicing how to teach online. Before I wasn’t sure how, but when we started online, they worked with me how to continue teaching. I figured out how to get everybody to understand.”

MCC’s Facilities and Security departments distributed packages of clay and other tools Livan provided for students to pick-up at the college’s Cowan Center. For the class, Livan also pre-recorded demonstrations of each step-by-step process. Using a projector and Google Meet-Up, he watched his students work in real-time and was available to answer questions.

Margaret Rack, MCC’s Art Chair, worked with Jacqueline Miller, a Lowell fine arts teacher, to develop the class for Lowell public school teachers that is now offered as a three-credit graduate course through Fitchburg State University. Miller and Livan co-teach the course.

“Yary Livan is a priceless Master Artist and resource to Cambodian culture and art,” Miller said. “This course offering would not have been possible even in the slightest without MCC’s support, council, resources and determination. Myself and all who have had the honor to work with Yary realize the importance of keeping the Cambodian art community alive, while providing much needed education to those who serve this community.”

After taking a trip to Cambodia in 2010 to try and build a kiln, MCC’s Rack wanted to help introduce Cambodian ceramics, arts, culture and history to Lowell teachers for them to bring back to their classrooms and develop a curriculum.

“The whole idea of the kiln project was not just to have it benefit Middlesex students,” she said. “But something that existed at the time as a Fine Arts Pathway envisioning a coordinated path from kindergarten to university to study the arts within Lowell.”

Many of the teachers who took the class this summer were interested in earning credit towards their graduate degrees, but they also appreciated learning more about the history and culture of Cambodia so they could relate more to their students and their families.

Brittany Brennan, an art teacher, found the lessons to be helpful and is excited to incorporate what she learned into her teaching, while Sean Glasheen, a science teacher, feels he can now relate more to the Cambodian students who play on the volleyball team he coaches.

Kindergarten teacher Christine Sweeney was interested in taking the class because of Livan’s influence in Lowell, having heard of a sculpture he created that is featured downtown.

“I didn’t know when else I’d get an opportunity like this,” she said. “It seemed like the perfect way to expand my knowledge and stretch myself as a creative person.

Stephen Gervais, a world languages teacher, was inspired learning how important art is to culture. He also credits Livan’s patience in his teaching for the effectiveness of the class.

“I’m not very good at art and I know it’s something that I need more knowledge of and that was important for me to work through,” he said. “I did have moments of frustration with how my product was looking, but I also realized the whole process was important. It gave me the perspective of the students who might be in a class that they are not very comfortable with and they have to keep trying. Yary was extremely supportive.”

K-1 teacher Alison Gervais believes Livan created a safe environment for his students to practice their art by encouraging them to work at their own pace.

“Yary did an awesome job of modeling things for us,” she said. “We started out with a drawing of a chan flower and he had it up on the board showing us step-by-step how to do it. We met with him twice a week and it was during those times we worked with him on the clay and for those who finished their tile a little faster, he gave us extra clay so we could work on another project.”

Hope Eacrett, a first-grade teacher, also appreciates the modifications Livan added to his lessons.

“Not only did he differentiate for people who were faster or slower, he also made accommodations for my visual impairment,” she said. “He did things at the beginning for me that probably no one knew he was doing for me. I can’t read black on white – I’m legally blind – so he put one corner of his chan flower in color so I was able to differentiate.”

Moving to an online format is just one of the ways Livan has proven he is good at improvising. Much of what he uses to create art involves tools he has built from old credit cards and pencils.

“He came up with some really great ideas for us,” Gervais said. “If we didn’t have a compass, we could make it with a piece of paper and two pencils.”

To finish up the projects with glazes in the kiln, Livan plans to do it himself or come up with a safe way for students to come in one or two at a time in the fall.

Even throughout the pandemic, Livan believes meaningful and effective learning can – and should – continue.

“To the students who signed up for online classes, you can do the same things as in-person,” he said. “I have the experience – this summer, the class for the Lowell teachers worked really well. Everybody was happy. If you want to learn about clay, please sign up. It’s really fun.”

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community.

MCC is offering 50 percent off the cost of one course to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19. In celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary, Middlesex is also offering 50 percent off one course to new students. For students who have completed 45 credits at MCC but have not taken classes recently, there is a completion scholarship available. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules on all financial savings.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Amid the Pandemic, MCC Offers Financial Incentives to Help Students7/30/20208/18/2020 11:06 AM
As part of Middlesex Community College’s commitment to student success, the college strives to make a quality education accessible to all. Middlesex understands students are suffering financial repercussions from COVID-19, but the college also knows the importance of starting – or continuing – an education now. MCC wants to help ease costs and ensure students remain on their paths by offering financial savings.

Qualifying students may receive 50 percent off a first course if they sign up by September 10. One 50 percent off incentive aims to help students who were laid-off due to the pandemic and need assistance. The second 50 percent off incentive celebrates the college’s 50th anniversary and welcomes new students to MCC. Students who have completed 45 credits at MCC but have not taken classes recently may also qualify for a completion scholarship.

“MCC is offering incentives to our students to reduce the cost of attending during the Fall semester,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “We understand that the pandemic has had a severe financial impact on many of our students and the college is doing all we can to keep them on the path to educational success.”

At Middlesex, students do not need to put their education or needs on hold. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community. MCC can guide students towards the best financial options for them, including applying for grants, scholarships, work studies and loans.

“MCC is committed to making college accessible as the need for education that is affordable is more important than ever with the pandemic,” said Frank Nocella, MCC’s Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “Community colleges – and Middlesex in particular – are invaluable, offering students opportunities to start their education or work towards a new career without racking up debt. Our incentive is another way MCC puts students and their successes first, helping them jumpstart the next chapter in their professional and personal lives.”

MCC does high-quality, affordable online learning best and in these unpredictable times, the college is an asset to learners of all ages with a variety of needs. Traditional-aged college students, high schoolers, adult learners and those laid-off or furloughed due to the pandemic can save thousands on tuition costs, get more for their money, and reach their goals faster.

Students can then move into the workforce for jobs in high-demand industries or transfer credits to a four-year college or university as a second semester freshman or higher – depending on how much time was spent at MCC.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules for all saving incentives.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Credit for Prior Learning Gives You the Credit You Earned8/4/20208/17/2020 10:52 AM
Workers who were laid-off or furloughed due to COVID-19 need a jumpstart to their careers. Middlesex Community College combines the experience students already have with an updated college education. At Middlesex, students are more prepared to re-enter the workforce with relevant and upgraded knowledge and skills. With affordable pricing, flexible schedules and a 20-year history of award-winning online education, MCC helps students reach their goals faster.

MCC’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) ensures students earn credit for what they have learned through work or previous school experience. CPL is for adults who have never started or completed a college degree but have gained experience through academically related employment, training programs, military service or other relevant work experience.

In these challenging times, MCC gives job seekers an advantage.

“With an unprecedented unemployment rate of 17.5 percent in Greater Lowell, it is important to provide resources and avenues to residents seeking to return to the workforce,” said Peter Farkas, Executive Director of MassHire Greater Lowell. “By awarding credits to students for their prior life experiences, Middlesex Community College’s Credit for Prior Learning program better positions jobseekers to enter the job market.”

Robert Kaulfuss, MCC’s CPL Coordinator, has been advising adult and returning students for over 10 years to assist them in sorting out career, academic and CPL possibilities based on their individual situations, experiences and aspirations. As MCC’s Curriculum Chair for over 20 years, Kaulfuss is familiar with most departments and programs at the college. He works with students by email, phone or in-person, and Zoom throughout the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 crisis has created a severe economic and employment disruption,” Kaulfuss said. “Some businesses will never recover and others will need to adjust to new realities – both short-term and long-term. For many people, this can be a good time to reflect upon and reassess their career options and goals. If obtaining a college degree is under consideration, adults may benefit from exploring the possibilities of earning college credit for prior learning and work experience. This can often help to accelerate progress toward an academic certificate or degree.”

Jim Skelly returned to college after 30 years. He was seeking an option that was affordable and fit into his schedule because he works full-time and travels a lot for his job. He decided on MCC’s IT/Cybersecurity Transfer major because he spent his career working in IT and wanted to match his education with his background and experience. After starting in Spring 2019, Skelly will graduate in the Fall 2020 semester.

“I found it easier to break down my degree aspirations in chewable parts,” Skelly said. “I started and failed numerous times on a degree path. Looking at 120-credit goals part-time was always such a distant approach. After evaluating my prior college work and CPL, an associate was within reach. I have taken a mix of classroom/online, and interacting with current students and having the ability to share my experience and answer questions that they have has been rewarding.”

Having worked in his field for over a decade while balancing other responsibilities, Cory Flynn came to MCC to finish his education. He was looking for a program that was cost effective and didn’t take too much time. While he was looking at a commitment of several years at other colleges, MCC offered the best fit and fastest path to his goals.

“CPL allows for people similar to myself to decrease the time needed to matriculate as well as lessen the overall cost burden with having to take classes just to get credit when you already have the experience the class teaches,” he said. “It made my time to my objective shorter which in my life was critical due to uncertainty in the market. It has given me opportunity to achieve credit for hard work in the field that otherwise would have gone unnoticed and unrewarded.”

Middlesex offers over 80 certificate and degree programs that can help get students into industries that are actively hiring. Some of these areas where CPL credit has been awarded at MCC include the Military; Business, Management and Hospitality; Computer Applications, CAD, IT, Computer Science and Programming; Education; World Languages; Biotechnology; Fire Science; and Art and Graphic Design.

To get started with CPL, register at https://myexperiencecounts.mass.edu/home or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/priorlearning/ for more information.

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community. MCC understands the financial burden the pandemic has created. The college is offering 50 percent off the cost of one course to students who were laid-off due to COVID-19.

In celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary, Middlesex is also offering 50 percent off to new students. For students who have completed 45 credits at MCC but have not taken classes recently, there is a completion scholarship available. Qualifying students must register by September 10.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules on all financial savings.

To register for Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Weekly Virtual Drop-In Enrollment Sessions7/27/20208/13/2020 2:36 PM
Take charge of your pathway to success! Fall semester classes at Middlesex Community College begin Wednesday, September 9. MCC’s Office of Admissions will host Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions every week to guide students to success starting on Tuesday, July 28.

The Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. These one-stop enrollment sessions will include MCC staff from Admissions, Enrollment, Placement Testing, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and Advising. They will answer questions regarding admissions, course placement and financial aid.

“Middlesex has so much to offer this upcoming Fall semester and we want to ensure students have the guidance and support they need as they go through the enrollment process,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “In these sessions, students can learn more about the college, meet with our staff and advisors, and be more prepared for the semester. Please join us on our Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions to have all of your questions answered!”

With Virtual Drop-In Enrollment, students can learn about MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs without leaving their homes. They can also receive information about student support services – including tutoring, career counseling and disability support.

Also learn about MCC’s many transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Transfer counseling and transfer-credit evaluation will also be available.

To register for an event, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EwC5wldpU6wLF1aWVnFKb4NuNBj9wdqctkdG5-0QaYo/edit

For more information, contact admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Fall classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Fall Classes at Middlesex Community College7/15/20208/12/2020 12:09 PM
Make this year count by registering for Middlesex Community College’s 2020 Fall semester. A leader of online education for 20+ years, Middlesex continues to build on its solid foundation of success and effective teaching to ensure students remain on track with their educational and professional goals. With 95 percent of the Fall semester online, students will earn the credits they need, save money, stay on track with their goals, be more prepared for what comes next, and remain safe and healthy throughout the unknown.

Try Middlesex on for size if you are – a college student looking to earn transferable college credit; a high school-aged student wanting college experience and effective online learning platforms; an adult learner or someone laid-off as a result of COVID-19 interested in learning a new skill or starting a new career; or a furloughed worker taking advantage of the time to complete professional development opportunities.

"The outstanding and diverse faculty and staff at Middlesex have always been innovative in accommodating the needs, desires and goals of its students,” said Dr. James Dottin, MCC’s Department Chair of Business Administration and Economics. “Through the use of a number of technology platforms to provide a safe space for teaching and learning, we will continue to do so particularly during these uncertain times. Coupled with a wide range of student services, we will support the college's core educational mission of student engagement and empowerment for all."

Middlesex will feature four modalities of teaching in the Fall – each featuring immersive and interactive educational experiences:
  • Asynchronous online learning – students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.
  • Synchronous online learning – students attend classes at specific dates and times while professors and students engage in live classes using a camera and microphone via a remote setting.
  • Blended face-to-face with online learning – students complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.
  • In-person learning – students come to campus for the entirety of the course in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.
If students do need to come to campus for classes or services, the college has taken comprehensive health and safety measures based on Governor Baker’s Four Phase Reopening Plan and following CDC guidelines.

These measures include occupancy restrictions in classrooms, elevators and bathrooms; unidirectional flows of foot traffic; single point of entry in buildings; required masks or face coverings; required six feet of social distancing; educational signage in common areas; plexiglass barriers in face-to-face locations; and increased cleaning and disinfecting of all common areas.

Getting an education now means investing in the future. MCC understands that students need to feel financially stable and supported, especially in this current climate. Middlesex has frozen tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year and has resources – including financial aid, scholarships and payment plans – available so students do not have to pause their education. The college will also waive enrollment fees for payment plans.

To learn more about the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for Fall classes – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Recent Lexington High Graduate to Start at MCC This Fall7/29/20208/11/2020 11:00 AM
Kaleigh Jenness has a plan for her professional life and it starts at Middlesex Community College this Fall semester. As a recent Lexington High School graduate starting college in the middle of a pandemic, Middlesex makes the most sense for her financially and logistically.

One of nine children, Jenness is paying for her own education. She plans to continue working at Abbott’s Custard in Lexington Center while she takes classes to finance school.

“My first choice wasn’t to stay at home for college, but financially that’s the best idea for me,” she said. “I want to start out at a good point where I don’t have all these loans to worry about.”

Being able to take classes at Middlesex – especially online – will help her save money and keep a flexible schedule while she balances school and work. Jenness thinks it’s important to continue her education now – rather than waiting for after the pandemic – because she doesn’t want to delay her plans.

“[Continuing school] shows me I can power through many different scenarios to get where I want to be one day,” she said. “I think it’s important that we all know to stay on track and keep going even in these tough times.”

Once Jenness graduates from MCC – as a Biology Transfer student – she will transfer her credits to a four-year school and then onto medical school to become a cardiologist.

Her advanced planning has already involved shadowing several different positions in the healthcare field, inspired by her mother. While she has considered becoming a nurse, paramedic, physician’s assistant and a doctor, she chose cardiology because of her uncle.

After talking with him, it seemed overwhelming to have to be in school for so long, but she knows she’s on the right track – and has a solid work ethic – to meet her goals. It starts with building a solid foundation in her studies at Middlesex.

“It’s important that people take advantage of community colleges because they are very resourceful and give so many opportunities I wouldn’t be able to get from other colleges,” she said. “I think that’s the most important part of it.”

Jenness credits her boss and owner of Abbott’s Custard Jason Denoncourt for helping her navigate starting at Middlesex. He was a huge advocate for her going to the college, including telling her about the Commonwealth Honors Program MCC offers and connecting her with people at the college who can help her adjust to college-life.

Denoncourt believes in the importance of partnerships between MCC and local businesses, including his own. He believes if a student can handle working and taking classes at the right time, there is a lot of value to working because employees gain business and entrepreneurship skills. As he said, “Working is not about earning, it’s about learning.”

“In my prior career, I worked for Congressman Seth Moulton and I was his economic advisor,” he said. “I worked closely with President James C. Mabry and Judy Burke (MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement) for three years on all of these issues, trying to get these students from their academic studies into the workforce. There are hundreds of companies that require certain skills, so MCC is a perfect place to develop that talent. I was always eager to match companies with students from MCC.”

At the shop, Jenness started in customer service and worked her way up to a student manager. She kept working throughout the pandemic, organizing deliveries. She said it was “a lot of work” that was “figured out as we went along.”

“Working and taking classes is a smart idea because you don’t lose your work ethic,” she said. “I can take my classes, knowing I have to pay for them. It’s important for me to work while I’m also learning so I don’t fall behind money-wise later on.”

Before COVID-19, Jenness taught kids who have down syndrome how to ride horses. Her volunteer work is important to her and she’s interested in possibly pursuing a similar activity during her time at MCC.

“Middlesex has a good reputation,” she said. “I’m just waiting to see where the ride takes me.”

To help keep students on track with their goals, MCC offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans, flexible course formats and a supportive community. The college is also celebrating 50 years by offering 50 percent off one course for all NEW students who qualify if they register before September 10.

“As a community college serving a diverse population, we are attuned to our students’ ever-changing needs,” said Frank Nocella, MCC’s Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “We are enduring the pandemic together as a community and want to ensure students have access to a high-quality education that they can afford. With our 50th celebration approaching, we can think of no better way to honor our commitment to student success than by offering students a more cost-effective opportunity to start their college careers.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/save for participation rules.

MCC’s Fall semester starts September 9! To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Re-enter the Workforce with MCC’s Certificate & Noncredit Programs7/22/20208/10/2020 4:33 PM
Now is the time to jumpstart a new career! Middlesex Community College’s Corporate and Community Education and Training offers several certificates and professional development opportunities for adult learners going back to school, laid-off workers seeking a new profession, and furloughed employees wanting professional development.

“Community colleges have been a leader in workforce development with our flexible education options,” said Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of Community Education. “Our high value career training programs can get people back to work quickly or train people for a career change. While a career change can be scary, it also can be exciting. In addition to a traditional two-year degree, students come to us when they are seeking a change and upgrading or learning a new skill.”

Middlesex offers a Technical Writing Certificate for job seekers interested in writing for a variety of industries that are actively hiring employees – such as IT, software, education, journalism and business. This Fall, MCC is offering live, virtual instruction for remote learning so participants can remain safe and healthy while receiving a high-quality education at an affordable cost.

Lois Kilberg, a recent graduate of MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate, has done technical writing in the past, but she needed to upgrade her skills and writing samples in order to be relevant in the field. Kilberg’s goal was to find a job that allows her to work remotely.

“[MCC’s program] was extremely helpful,” she said. “I improved greatly as a writer and learned new skills and concepts. I ended up with recent writing samples that I could use in my job search and I could put new skills on my resume. As a direct result of the new skills and writing samples that I gained from the program, I now have a fully remote technical writing job that perfectly fits my situation and needs!”

Technical Writers are essential to the workforce, according to Morin. MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate was developed in cooperation with an advisory board and is taught by industry leaders. The curriculum is a blend of standards and knowledge of how to write clearly and concisely for an audience, and provides a vast range of tools used by professional writers.

Meera Nagarijan, a 2019 graduate of the program, wanted to get back to work after 12 years away while raising her children. She started MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate to gain relevant skills and learn about current trends. She considers the program a “launchpad” for her new career.

“The program was a perfect blend of the art of writing plus technology,” she said. “It gave the students a detailed semester of the do’s and don’ts of writing technical content and another semester with an overview of the several tools and technologies one needs as a technical writer in today’s world. I personally benefited from the course a lot – it was exactly what I needed.”

Because the courses in the certificate are taught by industry professionals, students gain valuable experience writing effective technical content, learning about tools and technologies, updating mindsets for working collaboratively, and increasing abilities to adapt quickly and learn new situations, according to Kilberg and Nagarijan.

In the 120-hour, two semester noncredit program, participants learn the knowledge and skills necessary to entering – and being successful in – the workforce. In Fall 2020, courses will take place remotely at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, starting on September 10.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/techwrite.aspx for more information about MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate Program or contact Sheila Morin at 781-280-3608 or MorinS@middlesex.mass.edu.

To register for classes at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Fall Semester starts on September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Start a New Hobby with MCC’s Personal Enrichment Courses8/5/20208/10/2020 11:07 AM
Throughout the pandemic, it is so important to remain connected to the community and to spend time doing stress-free activities in order to stay mentally healthy. As more people work remotely and spend free-time at home, now is the perfect opportunity to start a new hobby or update skills. Middlesex Community College’s Community Education & Training offers personal enrichment courses for students to participate in a safe, online environment while being productive and having fun during an otherwise challenging time.

MCC alum Scot Weisman, instructor and developer of MCC’s Backyard Beekeeping course, believes taking personal enrichment courses helps people lead more fulfilled lives.

“I think it is important to stay connected with the world around us and to continually strive for personal growth,” he said. “We should always be trying to learn about new things – it makes our lives more interesting and rewarding.”

The beekeeping course covers the life cycle of an individual bee, as well as the hive as a whole. Everything is interconnected in the bee world, according to Weisman. In order to survive and flourish, every bee knows its role and how to contribute.

“Beekeeping always fascinated me because a beekeeper has the opportunity to interact with the natural world in a way that most people do not,” he said. “The more I learned about the abilities of bees, the more fascinated I became. There is always more to know – each season I will do something different than I did in the past to see if the bees like it better. It’s all about making the bees happy!”

Brian Noël got into beekeeping because he wants to make a positive impact in the world and help the environment. Bees are vital to the planet, but hives are struggling. From MCC’s course, Noël learned how beekeeping is “a long-term commitment” – but one he has enjoyed diving into.

“I had been toying with the idea of starting beekeeping for nearly a decade but I did not know where to begin,” he said. “The class gave me a solid foundation in beekeeping fundamentals and it gave me the confidence I needed to get started on my own. I now have two hives and well over 10,000 bees.”

In MCC’s course, Noël learned about the equipment used, diseases and pests, and the history of beekeeping. He explains, “beekeeping is about providing a safe space for my bees so that I can make sure they are healthy. Healthy colonies mean a healthier environment” It’s a beekeeper’s job – as Weisman also explained – to help the bees do their job of pollinating communities. Weisman also teaches about proper hive inspection skills and how to generate cash flow from beekeeping.

Having taken courses at MCC before, Noël expected great things from the course. He finished the class just before the pandemic and as he is working from home and no longer has a long commute, has enjoyed the time he has been able to dedicate to beekeeping.

The hobby has also offered a much-needed, safe distraction during these challenging times. “Learning new things is important to being a healthy person,” he said. “It’s enriching, can be fun and you learn more about the world around you. Plus you get to learn a bunch of interesting bee facts that you can use at parties.”

Noël lives in Lowell with his wife and daughter – who have joined in on beekeeping. He is a Software Quality Assurance Analyst for a Waltham-based health information company and is a member of both the Middlesex County Beekeepers Association and the Merrimack Valley Beekeepers Association.

Taking personal enrichment courses at MCC – especially online in a safe and healthy environment – allows people to be productive and have fun during a time where many need a positive distraction.

“Personal enrichment courses are a fantastic way to learn something new,” Noël said. “I had a great experience with the beekeeping course and am excited to see what MCC offers in the fall.”

Due to COVID-19, the Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping course will transition to an online format for the Fall 2020 semester. The 10-hour online course will run 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and starts Wednesday, September 16.

For more information about MCC’s personal enrichment courses, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact career_training@middlesex.mass.edu.

To learn more about all of the classes and opportunities MCC offers – and to register for the Fall semester – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Keep Kids Engaged with MCC’s Virtual College for Kids7/28/20208/6/2020 11:42 AM
Middlesex Community College is helping to keep kids ages 8-17 busy and engaged this summer with virtual College for Kids and a partnership with Black Rocket for online classes. College for Kids allows children to have a productive and fun summer while exploring careers, learning new skills, meeting new friends, and boosting self-confidence.

"This summer, College for Kids has been creative in keeping students engaged, having fun and learning with our virtual classes,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education & Training. “For our virtual Cakes & Cupcakes program, parents picked up supplies MCC provided to ensure every participant had what they needed to complete the class and bake yummy treats. Wearing masks and gloves, we followed all the necessary health and safety precautions to keep the MCC community safe!"

Kids in the College for Kid’s photography class taught by Tory Wesnofske gained photo-taking skills and confidence in their weeklong online class.

“The camp session was such a nice way to spend a few days during this stay-at-home summer,” said Alexis Treat ¬– from Chelmsford – whose daughter Caroline took the class. “I was so impressed by what she was able to do after just a few hours! We appreciate how well the sessions were structured and how it allowed for both instruction and hands-on time. We also appreciated how it allowed her to participate and engage independently.”

Alison Chase, from Ayer, said her daughter Jaiya has now become the family photographer after taking the class.

“I think the format worked great,” Chase said. “She normally hates Zoom classes but she was totally engaged with Tory and her instruction. And it was great seeing her come up with her ‘photoshoots.’ Kudos to Tory for how she kept the ‘open door’ on Zoom throughout the day and gave them a good amount of time to go to work on the assignments. She was busy, engaged and happy all day! And now she has a great base of learning that I know she’ll keep working on – especially in this time of pandemic when she cannot be doing a lot of her other normal activities.”

MCC’s College for Kids offers one- and three-week, full- and half-day summer programs for children and teens. The program runs through August 13. Classes will either be on ZOOM, Google Classroom or Google Meet. Having classes in a virtual format ensures kids stay safe and healthy while learning. Upcoming classes include creative writing, exploration art studio, veterinary science, choreography and healthy eating.

For the complete 2020 College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

Middlesex’s partnership with Black Rocket and other local Mass. community colleges allows the college to offer more online class options that includes high-quality content at an affordable price. Kids explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in innovative ways.

Black Rocket classes will be offered through the week of August 24. Each class is $149 for a week of classes – five sessions – and runs Monday through Friday.

Visit http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/Summer-Youth-Programs_c_2132.html for more information on Black Rocket classes. Please note the link goes to Holyoke Community College’s website. All classes taken with Black Rocket will still be associated with Middlesex.

MCC is registering for the Fall semester which features enhanced online options and starts on September 9. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Adds Nursing Courses to Commonwealth Honors Program7/23/20208/5/2020 10:55 AM
Middlesex Community College is adding Nursing courses to the college’s Commonwealth Honors Program. MCC’s Honors Program started a decade ago under the recently retired first director of the program and history professor Dr. David Kalivas. The program provides advanced-level course options and seminar-style classes for students who have at least a 3.2 GPA upon applying to the program.

Binnur Ercem is MCC’s new Director of the Commonwealth Honors Program and a Professor of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology. She has worked with the faculty of the Nursing Program to designate Nursing Care of the Adult I and II, as well as Ethics and Society to be seminars eligible for honors credit for the nursing students who qualify.

“I am excited to announce that MCC’s Nursing Program and Commonwealth Honors Program have partnered to add honors courses for nursing students,” Ercem said. “This unique and creative new partnership is the first of its kind and will provide an opportunity to nursing students to take honors level nursing classes and graduate as honors scholars.”

According to Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Director of Nurse Education, MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program and Nursing Program are a natural partnership because both programs have values of “integrity, honesty, perseverance, academic achievement, independence, intellectual curiosity, self-reliance and a collaborative spirit.”

“The benefits for nursing students to become honors scholars are many, but belonging to an intellectual community may be one of the most important advantages for nursing students, who, by their nature, are inherently inquisitive,” Dr. Shapiro said. “As members of the Honors Program, they will now be recognized for their intellect and curiosity. Additionally, nursing students will be able to network and grow from their association within the honors scholars’ community.”

The Commonwealth Honors Program offers Middlesex students an increased opportunity for scholarships, guaranteed transfer to any Commonwealth Honors Program or Honors College in Massachusetts, and an enhanced prospect for acceptance to private four-year colleges and universities. Students who participate also gain leadership, research and networking skills.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/honors/ for more information on MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program or contact the department at honors@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3553.

Middlesex offers both full-time day and part-time evening/weekend options to prepare nurses to earn an Associate in Science, as well as eligibility to take the NCLEX. For more information on MCC’s Nursing Program, visit www.middlesex.mss.edu/nursing/ or contact Jennifer Migliozzi, MCC’s Assistant Director of Admissions, at migliozzij@middlesex.mass.edu.

The Fall 2020 semester starts on September 9 and will feature expanded online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Get Started On Your Path to an In-Demand Career with MCC7/21/20208/4/2020 1:29 PM
At Middlesex Community College, students in the Dental Assisting Program can earn an associate degree or certificate to gain the knowledge and skills needed to assist at chairside in a dental office. MCC’s program features hands-on experience working in an active Dental Assisting clinic that is currently being renovated, as well as preparation for the Dental Assisting National Board exam.

The college’s updated clinic features brand new, state-of-the-art equipment, including CAD/CAM for students to practice taking digital impressions and assisting in design of appliances. According to Mary Jenny, MCC’s Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Dental Assisting Program, MCC is the only program in Massachusetts – and one of a few in the country – to offer this advanced technology.

In addition to practical experience in MCC’s clinic, students also participate in externships. Students choose two general practice and two specialties – pedodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, prosthodontics, etc. – to receive a wide-range of experiences.

“Dental Assistants are always in-demand, even during an economic recession as dentists cannot work without their assistants,” Mary Jenny said. “We work closely with the dental community. That is how every year almost all of our students each get three to four job offers even before they graduate as we have over 60 affiliated dental clinics for externships.

Many MCC alums – and the dental offices where they complete their externships – believe MCC provides the tools and practice needed in order to succeed in the high-demand industry.

Neda Man is finishing up her time in MCC’s program. Man chose Middlesex to pursue her certificate and associate in Dental Assisting because she is familiar with what the school offers and it is close to home. She has a passion for pediatric dentistry because she enjoys helping children have a positive experience at the dentist.

“My experience at MCC was challenging but rewarding,” she said. “Professor Jenny has taught me that hard work does pay-off – that we need to work hard for what we want in life. Middlesex prepared me for what comes next for my career by having me learn hands-on experiences.”

Man worked for Dr. Geraldine Garcia-Rogers at Sugarbug Dental Suite in Chelmsford for one of her externships during the pandemic. Dr. Gigi believes it was helpful to have Man in the office as the office had to increase their protective measures. Because of Man’s educational experience, she learned how to adapt effectively to new situations.

“MCC has a strong Dental Assisting program,” Dr. Gigi said. “The students are given an excellent foundation and transition very well into the dental office setting. Building partnerships with programs like MCC’s is vital to the sustainability of our profession. In general, dentists cannot function without a good assistant by their side. Having a well-trained assistant is paramount to delivering exceptional care to our patients.

“I trust and believe in MCC’s education and I am proud to say that I have hired graduates from their Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs.”

Dr. Gigi believes now is a good time to pursue a career in dental assisting because there is a national shortage and dental offices are competing for availability. She believes the salary and benefits, as well as the variety of opportunities a Dental Assistant can pursue makes the profession relevant and interesting.

“By joining the dental team, you can make a difference in how people perceive their oral health,” she said. “Not only will you help create beautiful smiles, but you will also be instrumental in helping prevent dental disease.”

For Gertrude Namulindwa, it’s the difference a Dental Assistant can make in the life of a patient that inspires her to pursue the profession. This inspiration comes from when Namulindwa was living in Uganda, where she has a background in dentistry.

She’s also interested in pediatric dentistry because she witnesses the difference she makes in helping children gain confidence when they have a nice smile and healthy set of teeth. MCC’s program was challenging, but pushed her and other students to perform at a high-level.

“It’s the best decision I ever made,” Namulindwa said. “I tell everyone if you want to go to school, go to Middlesex. I’ve had the best experience. Middlesex is like a family. I wasn’t bored and I didn’t feel alone.”

One of Namulindwa’s externships was with Dr. Balkrishna Gentyala at Arlington Smiles in Arlington. According to Dr. Gentyala, Dental Assistants are highly involved in the practice and need organization, multi-tasking and collaboration skills in order to succeed.

“Gertrude has been a great addition to our team,” Dr. Gentyala said. “We were able to teach her a lot about chairside assisting, in return she was able to help us become more efficient. It is important to build partnerships with programs like MCC’s because it allows us to get the best and brightest of talents in the marketplace. This also allows us to mold and train assistants the way we like them, and also gives the assistant a real-life view of what a Dental Assistant does.”

MCC also enjoys a partnership with Dr. Arthur Lyford of Lyford Smiles in Hollis, N.H. He believes in the importance of getting as much education as possible – even after graduating – and training in different types of offices for diverse experiences. It is also important to remain up-to-date in technology skills and to be prepared to always be moving because Dental Assisting is “no profession for a couch potato!”

“Understand the difference between working in a profession where the patient comes first, no matter what,” Dr. Lyford said. “The profession of dentistry relies on real world experiences in conjunction with the academic world and partnerships with program like MCC helps keep MCC’s program relevant and our work with students helps give them real world experience. Both the profession and MCC benefit from these relationships.”

Middlesex offers one of only seven accredited Dental Assisting programs in Massachusetts. Accreditation allows graduates to apply for their license and sit for the chairside portion of their exam upon finishing the program.

For more information on MCC’s Dental Assisting Program, contact Mary Jenny at JennyT@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3060.

MCC will feature expanded online options this Fall semester. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Offer Immersive Online Experiences for Language Learners7/9/20208/4/2020 11:15 AM
Middlesex Community College is committed to providing access to a high-quality education at an affordable cost to students – while keeping all students, faculty and staff safe and healthy. This fall, the college’s World Language Institute (WLI) and Intensive English Institute (IEI) for English Language Learners (ELL) will be offered online.

“Learning any language successfully involves a number of communication skills that have to be developed in order to grow and flourish,” said Marilyn Glazer-Weisner, MCC’s Director of WLI & IEI. “At MCC, we are both excited and proud that we can bring these learning opportunities to students who wish to learn languages online and in a safe environment. We balance our concern for everyone’s safety and good health with positive learning experiences.”

In these online courses, students learn skills for active listening and understanding, speaking and fluency, reading and reading comprehension, writing to demonstrate knowledge of grammar, and understanding of different cultures.

The college’s WLI offers seven different language options as online courses, including Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Russian and Spanish.

Priya Thangapandian, an MCC WLI faculty member, has helped create an immersive online learning experience that will teach students how to communicate with confidence, learn critical thinking skills, and complete memory-building exercises – including playing online games to learn vocabulary and structure of languages.

“Get attuned to listen and imitate what you hear,” she said. “You can listen to the conversation at a slower speed and imitate a native speaker using the audio lessons in the electronic book. The diverse range of new technologies ensures students will find content perfectly suited to their language skill level, preferred learning style and personal interests, and let the cultures come alive – setting up students to forge deeper connections with languages.”

The IEI helps students develop self-confidence and learn to read, write, speak and listen in English. The 16-week, 18-hours a week program is for ELL students who want to become successful and culturally aware for a U.S. college or university.

According to Susan Wheeler and Rachel Emelock, MCC instructors for the IEI, Middlesex provides courses for non-native speakers of English for students to then start at MCC for a degree or certificate. These online classes allow students to meet with their instructors and fellow students daily. Students will also have access to pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.

“Students can expect daily writing prompts in journals, speaking during collaborative face-to-face sessions, and weekly assignments building their skills so they can succeed in U.S. higher education,” Wheeler and Emelock said. “At MCC, we empower all learners to become productive and socially responsible members of our local and global communities.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldlanguageinstitute/ for more information on the World Language Institute. Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/ell/ to learn more about the Intensive English Institute. Contact Marilyn Glazer-Weisner at 978-656-3350 or glazerm@middlesex.mass.edu with questions.

MCC’s Fall semester will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Middlesex CC to Host New and Prospective Student Virtual Open Forum for Fall Semester7/22/20207/30/2020 11:34 AM
The mission at Middlesex Community College is to ensure the academic and personal success of every student. Middlesex has the resources and 20+ year history of award-winning online education to help students who are new to online learning. The college also understands the need to detail plans for the upcoming semester for students who want to take classes in the Fall. MCC’s Office of Admissions is offering a Virtual Fall Semester Open Forum to answer questions that students and their families may have about taking college classes this September.

“At Middlesex, it’s more important now than ever that we stay in contact with our prospective students and their families,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Our Virtual Open Forum is an opportunity to check-in with new students and members of our community about all that MCC can offer them, and to answer their questions about the semester. Although there are a lot of unknowns in our current climate, MCC has a plan in place to ensure that students remain healthy, safe and on track with their educational goals.”

MCC’s Virtual Open Forum will cover the college’s plans for online and on-campus learning options for Fall, as well as Middlesex’s plans to keep students healthy and safe. Students and their families will then have an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with Admissions staff, academic advisors, enrollment counselors and college leadership.

The open forum will start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29 on Zoom. To register, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1U7ofIhUtUn1LC-TkwxTM8MD3ptcd2gTK6HP5GqSVxz4/edit
For more information, contact admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or 1-800-818-3434.

To register for the Fall semester, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Classes begin September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Middlesex Community College Awarded $841,000 for Biotech Program6/30/20207/29/2020 12:44 PM
Middlesex Community College has been identified by Strategic Grant Partners (SGP) as the recipient of an $841,000 grant intended to help the college scale up its already successful Biotechnology program by infusing a Learn and Earn Experience for students.

MCC – the first community college to receive a grant from SGP – was selected because of the Biotech program’s high-quality curriculum, its successful graduation rate, the quality of faculty, and the large number of minority and low-income students enrolled in the program who successfully find employment with industry partners.

Middlesex will use the grant funding to create the Biotech Learn & Earn Experience – a new experience within the program focused on helping students complete their associate degree faster. This experience is a unique collaboration with industry partners designed to ensure students gain relevant work experience at the same time as they are completing their academic studies.

“The Learn & Earn Experience developed through our work with Strategic Grant Partners and innovative Biotech companies will help MCC students progress more quickly through their studies and get them into critical industry jobs,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “Our industry partners will get a steady stream of well-qualified employees who will help them meet their research and production goals. This is another creative partnership between the community college and industry partners to support a vital and growing sector of the MA economy.”

Most Middlesex Biotech students are enrolled part-time – taking classes over several years – due to existing job responsibilities, scheduling conflicts and affordability. With this new funding, students in the Biotech Learn & Earn Experience will take face-to-face and hybrid courses at MCC and will be matched with relevant employment opportunities at partnering companies. Students receive the same high-quality and industry ready curriculum the MCC Biotech program is known for – and at the same time – complete a paid work experience with an employer that is invested in their success and understands the academic commitment they have made.

SGP has been working closely with Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Phil Sisson; Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Kathleen Sweeney; Director of the Biotech Program, Mariluci Bladon; and Biotechnology faculty to design a program schedule that aligns with a student’s work schedule. The partners have also worked at identifying industry partners and how to best connect employer need with student participants.

“This partnership will provide financial, academic and professional experience for the students,” Bladon said. “Because the biotechnology field continues to grow, there is a great demand for well-trained MCC students and graduates to accommodate the needs of the industry. At the same time, this grant will allow students to continue their education – this is a ‘win-win’ situation for both parties. I feel the experience is a unique opportunity for the improvement of students’ lives and their professional development.”

The grant from SGP will allow MCC to support students through the experience over the next two years with the first cohort beginning in Fall 2020. Companies who have committed to employing students as Manufacturing Technicians include AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester and Takeda in Lexington and Alewife (Cambridge).

MCC was the first community college in Massachusetts to offer a Biotech program. As more biotechnology labs opened in Massachusetts, there was an evident need for trained technicians. Bladon established MCC’s award winning program in 1990 when she first came to the college. At the start, the program had 25 enrolled and has risen to over 200 students.

“I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Mariluci Bladon, MCC students and biotech companies through the Biotech Learn and Earn Experience,” said Stefana Soitos, MCC’s Director of the Learn & Earn Experience. “It’s an honor to work alongside the Biotechnology program at Middlesex Community College to provide students with the opportunity to gain direct professional experience within the biotech industry while completing their associate degree.”

Middlesex is committed to preparing its students for the 21st Century workforce and strives to create innovative and out-of-the-box options to drive student success. The college is already in the process of renovating the Biotech Lab in order to continue providing students with the necessary technology, knowledge and skills needed to be competitive in the workforce. With the launch of this unique Biotechnology Learn & Earn Experience, the college will be better equipped to focus resources where they are needed most and create meaningful pathways to employment and career success.

MCC’s Biotech program has started scheduling labs for students to take classes this summer. The classes will run at half capacity in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. MCC requires full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – masks, gloves, lab coats and face shields – be worn in order to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty working in the lab. Students are provided with MCC safety guidelines and a self-checklist before coming to class.

“We had scheduled five sections of three lab courses for the first summer session that are integral to the Biotechnology program – Advanced Techniques, Methods in Biotechnology and Immunology,” Dean Sweeney said. “Without these classes, students would not have been able to progress in the Biotech program this fall. The Methods course is critical for those students interested in our Learn and Earn Experience.”

For more information, contact Kate Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM, at 781-280-3609 or sweeneyk@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Two Virtual Walk-In Enrollment Sessions7/7/20207/28/2020 11:29 AM
Take charge of your pathway to success! Fall semester classes at Middlesex Community College begin Wednesday, September 9. MCC’s Office of Admissions is hosting two Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions to guide students to success.

The Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15. These one-stop enrollment sessions will include MCC staff answering questions regarding admissions, course placement and financial aid. Advisors will also be available to meet new students and assist with registering for classes.

“Middlesex has so much to offer this upcoming Fall semester and we in Admissions want to ensure students have the guidance and support they need as they go through the enrollment process,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Over these two days, students can learn more about the college, meet with our staff and advisors, and be more prepared heading into the semester. Please join us on our Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions to have all of your questions answered!”

With Virtual Walk-In Enrollment, students can learn about MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs without leaving their homes. They can also receive information about student support services – including tutoring, career counseling and disability support.

Also learn about MCC’s many transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Transfer counseling and transfer-credit evaluation will also be available.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information on Admissions virtual events.

For more information about Admissions at MCC, admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or 1-800-818-3434.

Students can also register for classes by visiting www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or by calling 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Employee & Alumna Raises Funds for MCC’s Emergency Fund7/14/20207/27/2020 10:34 AM
Maria Gonzalez is running to support the Middlesex Community College Foundation’s Emergency Fund. Gonzalez has worked at Middlesex as an Academic Advisor for the past 10 years and graduated as a Liberal Studies major in 1989. As both an employee and alumna, she is passionate about MCC’s mission – and that of the MCC Foundation – to support students.

The MCC Foundation strides to provide equitable access to a quality education and to help students succeed academically and professionally. The Emergency Fund raises money for students suffering from financial stress based on one-time emergency needs, such as house fires, floods and unexpected job loss.

“Students inspire me with their stories and that’s what keeps me loving the work,” Gonzalez said. “College is expensive but so important, especially today. COVID-19 has affected our students financially and emotionally. Every run I take during this challenge will be in honor of those who are struggling. The atmosphere in our country is causing additional stresses to our students. Education can change the world for the better so our students need support to continue their education now more than ever.”

For the 4 X 4 X 48 challenge, Gonzalez ran four miles every four hours for 48 hours – a total of 48 miles in 48 hours. The challenge is based on the book “You Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins and was recommended to Gonzalez by a student. An avid runner, Gonzalez is the Run Club advisor at Middlesex where participants run weekly 5Ks together.

Leading the club helps strengthen her skills as an Academic Advisor and allows her an opportunity to share with students. While running is excellent exercise, Gonzalez believes getting involved in any college activity helps students perform better academically, and builds friendships and a support system.

“Students support each other by being positive, listening, supporting and speaking up for causes that are important to them,” she said. “Running teaches discipline, self-confidence, hard work, time commitment and fosters relationships. These attributes can transfer to the classroom. When students run alongside each other they are relaxed and it quickly becomes easier for them to share personal stories. They make the connections that are needed to feel connected to their college.”

As a first generation student attending college, Gonzalez came to MCC right out of high school because it was affordable and allowed her to live at home to be supported by her family. Although she wasn’t sure of what she wanted to pursue, she understood the importance of getting an education.

Her advisor and professor, Julian Farland – who still works at MCC – helped align her interest in psychology, sociology and ethics courses to select a major, plan her career, and transfer to a four-year school. She went on to Salem State University to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master of Education in Higher Education Student Affairs.

“My foundation at MCC was extremely important for me personally, academically and professionally,” Gonzalez said. “Since I had such a good experience, I wanted to come back to help students as MCC faculty and staff had helped me. I feel at home at Middlesex.”

She started teaching English Language Learner classes part-time as an adjunct before moving into her current role as advisor. Her experience at Middlesex as an alumna helps her build deeper connections to her students in this role, particularly in Run Club.

“I tell students my stories about my MCC experience in hopes of inspiring them,” she said. “Students often don’t believe in themselves, but I tell them the importance of doing so. I tell them I believe in them because I was just like them. I'm hoping this new challenge will be an additional story I can share.”

To contribute to students in need, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/emergency/ to donate online, or make a check payable to the Middlesex Community College Foundation – with a notation to the MCC Emergency Fund – and mail to PO Box 8681, Lowell, MA, 01853.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Fall semester classes at Middlesex. The semester begins September 9 and features expanded online options.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Music Faculty Film At-Home Performances7/8/20207/23/2020 12:28 PM
The Music faculty at Middlesex Community College want to stay connected with their students and the Middlesex community throughout the summer. Several faculty members have filmed at-home performances to stay engaged and continue the ‘A World of Music Concert’ series.

Carmen Peralta-Rodriguez, MCC’s Chair of Music, kicks off the performances by playing “O Polichinelo” by Heitor Villa-Lobos on the piano. She also offers an introduction to the compilation of faculty at-home performances.

“Although my colleagues and I have been able to continue teaching online instruction, we really miss performing at the college,” she said. “Sadly, we can’t return yet, but we’d like to offer you some short at-home performances we will be posting over the next few weeks.”

Other faculty performances include Marcus Santos, a percussionist, playing Hand Drumming Solo phrases from Guinea; Orlando Cela, a flutist, playing “Etude de Salon” by Johannès Donjon; and Aaron Rosenberg, a composer-pianist playing “A Contrivance.” More performances will be added in the coming weeks.

Visit www.youtube.com/channel/UCOEBeNUAl_TcbcnCdB73wLA to enjoy.

These faculty performances are in addition to a student at-home recital released in the spring. MCC students filmed themselves at home and sent it to Cela, who created a compilation video to share with the community. Performances include singers, guitarists, a cellist and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble.

Visit https://youtu.be/2YvHQVic_D4 to watch.

To learn more about the Performing Arts department at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/music/ or email Peralta-Rodriguez at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is offering expanded online classes for the Fall semester. To learn more and to register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Dancing His Way to Oral Health at Middlesex Community College7/2/20207/22/2020 2:24 PM
Growing up in a low-income family that moved all over the country, having no health or dental insurance and lacking knowledge of the importance of dental care caught up to Richard Peebles when he was 21 years old.

“I went to the dentist for the first time in eight years and had to have a scaling and root planning procedure (aka deep cleaning) due to the accumulation of bacteria that had caused the beginning signs of bone loss,” he said. “I had to pay $1,000 out-of-pocket for this deep cleaning — after that, I began to brush, floss and research dentistry.”

At that time, Peebles had a career as a professional dancer, having attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for two years on a full-talent scholarship and spending a summer at Alvin Ailey’s Dance School. He had also worked in restaurant management, but was unfulfilled professionally.

“That difficult experience at the dentist made me think about how I could help others with dental education,” he said. “I wanted to teach others how to brush and floss so they wouldn’t end up in the same boat as me.”

He danced into the dental field by earning a certificate in Dental Assisting from Everest College in 2010 and worked as a dental assistant until 2016 when he quit that job to enroll in Middlesex Community College’s Dental Hygiene Program.

Peebles chose MCC because he knew two alumni of the program who spoke highly of the experience. Living closer to Boston than Lowell at the time, he was concerned about the commute, but the cost difference of $8,000-10,000 less per year at MCC than at a school in Boston sealed the deal.

“MCC saved me so much money for the same ¬– if not better – education,” he said.

The highlights of that education, Peebles said, were having a dental clinic on campus that gives students the experience of working in the real world, participating in community outreach and working in harmony with other students in study groups.

The MCC Dental Hygiene Clinic provides low-cost dental procedures and education to MCC students, faculty and the community-at-large, serving more than 600 patients in the 2018-2019 academic year.

“MCC keeps such high standards in the clinic, it is hard to see it any other way now that I am in the community working,” Peebles said. “I have instituted changes in both offices I have worked in because the MCC dental clinic has such high standards — they taught us the right way a clinic should run.”

The community outreach program allowed Peebles to work with elementary school students in Lowell, patients at Tewksbury State Hospital and inmates at the Billerica House of Corrections.

“These challenging situations take you away from the comfort of the MCC dental clinic and help you understand the other aspects of dentistry,” he said. “There are many ways you can provide dental services without being in a dental office. MCC and the outreach program helped me see dentistry in a different way and many different paths for my career.”

Peebles said the array of support services offered to students helped keep him on track.

“From tutors to counselors to fun events, the school offers so many additional aids for students, especially those who are struggling,” he said. “I realized at MCC the education process is not just black and white — there are many ways to learn and educate.”

Peebles graduated from MCC in 2018. At 33 years old, he is a dental hygienist for an Aspen Dental office in Gloucester that opened earlier this year.

What is the most important dental advice Peebles can give?

“Floss, floss, floss!” he said. “The food that gets in-between our teeth cannot be removed even if we have an amazing electric toothbrush that we are using 12 times a day. If you had dirt all over your hands and you washed your hands with your fingers closed, once you dried them and opened your fingers, you would still have dirt between your fingers. If we look at teeth the same way, we may be better off.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dentalprograms for more information on MCC’s Dental Programs, including Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Dental Lab Technology.

MCC is still registering for Summer Session 3 and the Fall 2020 semester – featuring expanded online options. For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Names Daniella Dankwa 2020-2021 Student Trustee6/24/20207/22/2020 12:52 PM
Daniella Dankwa, of Lowell, has been named to the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees for the 2020-2021 academic year as Student Trustee.

An international student from Ghana, Dankwa has been studying at MCC since January 2019. She has been taking general studies courses – having started with English Language Learners (ELL) courses – and plans to apply to MCC’s Nursing Program to become a registered nurse.

“Comparing my experience adjusting to this country and my new educational experience, I just felt like I need to help people,” she said. “I can use my time and my experience at MCC to help others. I’m excited about all the roles and responsibilities – everything about becoming the Student Trustee. I’m honored and excited to be on the Board of Trustees.”

Dankwa immigrated to the U.S. in March 2018 to join her father and sister. Her goal is to further her education, so she can help people as much as she can. It helps to have her sister with her at Middlesex as the two support each other throughout their academic journeys.

As a future nurse, and hopefully a doctor, Dankwa wants to help make positive differences in people’s lives, as she imagines doing so is rewarding both personally and professionally.

It’s her drive to help others that led Dankwa to work on the frontlines of COVID-19 as a part-time Nurse’s Assistant at a nursing home. She is also a Writing Tutor at MCC’s Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) and continued tutoring as MCC transferred spring 2020 coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems because of the pandemic. She figured out the best way for her to connect with students was by calling them and reviewing their writing over an online system.

“When I first started at MCC, I was introduced by the Orientation Leaders to the Tutoring Center and it has really changed my life,” she said. “We have amazing faculty and staff that help you, listen to you and explain everything to you, so I felt the need to do the same for people.”

An active member of the MCC community, Dankwa participates in several clubs including the African Cultural Club and the Philosophy Club. Getting to know the people and places on campus helped her adjust and become a better leader and communicator, which led to her becoming Student Trustee.

“A professor told me if you’re a student and you’re active on campus, it will help you with your academics because you know where to go,” she said. “Being active on campus helped me to develop and build up my skills, especially leadership skills and getting to know people – understanding and respecting diversity, and seeing people’s differences.”

Having the support from the “amazing” professors at Middlesex has also helped Dankwa adjust. She credits them for always guiding her and other students to improve their knowledge and skills, and setting students up for success.

“Middlesex has prepared me very well for my future, my career, my family – everything.”

MCC is now registering for the Summer and Fall semesters, which will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Professional Development Webinar for Alumni 7/16/20207/21/2020 1:32 PM
Middlesex Community College’s commitment to student success continues well after graduation. Celebrating 50 years starting in September, Middlesex is proud to honor the past and celebrate the future – which centers around the over 26,000 students MCC has welcomed over its storied history. The college’s free Alumni Association will host a free webinar for alumni with MCC graduate and adjunct faculty Jeffrey Davis – 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21.

“The MCC Alumni Association offers opportunities for MCC alums and former students to connect with one another, providing social and networking engagement for alums,” said Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. “The Alumni Association also provides a way for alumni to give back to the college, fundraise for the MCC Foundation, and support student success at MCC.”

If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alum! The college is proud of every student who has taken classes on campus in Bedford and Lowell, and online – including recent high-school graduates, first generation students, adult learners, veterans and more.

Now is the time for many – including MCC alums – to reflect on goals and career paths, according to Davis. He believes that taking advantage of opportunities like this webinar helps to connect with the community and continue life-long learning.

The webinar – “Preparing & Conducting Effective Online Meetings” – will cover topics on the “principles and practicals” to help managers and teams have more productive meetings, make good decisions, and develop workable plans to stay on track with goals.

Due to COVID-19, places of work are forced to learn how to adjust to a “new normal.” As circumstances remain unknown and often feel overwhelming, Davis will help employers and employees plan and execute goals more effectively.

“Much like what we experienced as students, MCC is a community with so many people who are willing – and who are capable – to offer help, guidance and support,” Davis said. “Many alums find their lives and careers in a state of 'impermanence' due to the global pandemic. This is an opportune time to reconnect with a community you know and trust – where you know you will find empathetic ears and helping hands.

“Together, we alums can lift each other up. We can encourage and support each other as we 'skill up' to take on the challenges of our current career and life.”

Davis graduated from MCC in 1981 with an associate degree in social work and is the Principal of Organization Renewal Associates, a consultancy he started in 2008. He began as an adjunct for MCC in 1994 and was recently selected to serve on the Alumni Association Board.

Space is limited to the first 50 alums. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/events.aspx for more information and to register for the webinar.

To join us in celebrating 50 years of MCC – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC is registering for the Fall semester, which begins on September 9. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Seek Justice & Equality in NYC7/1/20207/16/2020 12:03 PM
When Dr. Jennifer Bauer, Middlesex Community College’s Chair of the Communication Department and Professor of Communication, was approached to lead the Interdisciplinary Studies course 140 - LGBTQ+ History in NYC, she pounced at the opportunity.

“I never took a course like this in college,” Bauer said. “I never had the opportunity to see people like me front and center. Not only featured, but legitimized and celebrated. To be able to bring that to my students is really powerful.”

The LGBTQ+ History in NYC course is a three-day experiential learning travel seminar that takes students to New York City over spring break every March. For two years now, Bauer has been in charge of planning the class. Last year, Kirsten Morrow, MCC’s Coordinator of Student Engagement and Retention, was approached by the administration to help support the trip through the Office of Student Engagement.

“It’s a great example of how we can use the integrated learning model with co-curricular activities, along with academics to support learning outside the classroom,” Morrow said.

Prior to leaving, students complete a series of assignments to prepare themselves for the trip.

“They learn about some of the pioneers in the LGBTQ+ history movement, like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson,” Bauer said. “We learn about Stonewall, they listen to archival footage, listen to podcasts, they read some primary source documents and articles, and then they do a reflection on each piece – what struck them, what they didn’t know, what they were surprised to find out, and then they follow it up with any questions they might have.”

During their three-day visit, students go see a Broadway show – they saw Kinky Boots in 2018 and 2019 – visit an art museum that features LGBTQ+ artists, receive a guided tour of the Village to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and then tour Harlem so they can learn how the Harlem Renaissance intersects with the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

“I think it’s really important to show that intersectionality and to also underscore the fact that a lot of the pioneers – much like the civil rights movement and almost any movement for justice and equality – have often been Black people, people of color and indigenous people, and that they tend not to get the same credit as their white counterparts do,” Bauer said. “I find it really important – especially given the mission of equity here at the college that we are trying to strive toward – that we center their experiences and contributions.”

Morrow – now a veteran trip leader – was shocked by how much history the students learn.

“There were things I didn’t know about LGBTQ+ history of New York, even though I’ve been out for a very long time,” Morrow said. “While it was a learning experience for me, it was amazing to be able to experience it through our students’ eyes as well.”

She sees this class as an opportunity for all students to expand their worldview through the power of education.

“I firmly believe that a liberal arts education – and education overall – is about expanding a person’s world view,” Morrow said. “One of my biggest goals and why I’m so excited to be involved with this class is around that expansion of the world outside of what a student’s individual experience may be.”

Bauer feels like this class is a step in the right direction and hopes to see more students – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – participate.

“I think it’s so important to have a course like this where people can see themselves represented, and I think it’s equally important for folks who identify as cis or straight to take this class,” Bauer said. “Just because you are not from a specific marginalized group doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know that history.

“It’s equally important and I think it helps you understand the world, become more empathetic, and really be able to better support people who aren’t necessarily like you and have been historically marginalized.”

Although the course did not happen in the spring 2020 semester because of COVID-19, Bauer and Morrow are looking forward to a time when they will be able to bring back the class and travel to NYC with students.

MCC’s Fall semester starts on September 9 and features enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC and Black Rocket Offer Virtual Summer Classes for Kids6/23/20207/14/2020 10:54 AM
It’s not too late to sign up for College for Kids at Middlesex Community College. Middlesex understands the challenges the community is facing, and the college continues to support students and keep them on their path with online learning. As summer approaches, MCC has transitioned the College for Kids Program to virtual online platforms for students to have the chance to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence.

“We are excited about all of the ways MCC is providing fun and informative learning opportunities to the kids in our communities this summer,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “We are partnering with Black Rocket and other community colleges in Massachusetts to offer online Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classes, in addition to our virtual College for Kids Program. There are so many options for students to enjoy an entertaining and productive summer!”

Middlesex’s partnership with Black Rocket and other local Mass. community colleges allows the college to offer more online class options that includes high-quality content at an affordable price. Classes start as early as June 8 and as late as August 24. Each class is $149 for a week of classes – five sessions – and runs Monday through Friday.

Black Rocket helps kids explore STEM in creative ways. Their website lists “six pillars of learning” that their classes follow – creativity, technology, make it yourself, peer learning, 21st century skills and project based.

Class options include designing video games, building 3D models, creating video game animations, becoming a streamer and gamer, coding for interactive storytelling, and more – using familiar and popular gaming systems for inspiration.

MCC’s College for Kids also offers one- and three-week, full- and half-day summer programs for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program runs July 6 to August 13. Classes will either run on ZOOM, Google Classroom or Google Meet. Having classes in a virtual format ensures kids stay safe and healthy while learning.

Programs are taught by public-school teachers or professionals who are experts in their field. Topics include photography, Dungeons & Dragons, decorating baked goods, arts and crafts, Minecraft, science, graphic design, writing, dancing and nutrition.

Most College for Kids full-day offerings run Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Half-day programs run from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For the complete 2020 College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

Visit http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/Summer-Youth-Programs_c_2132.html for more information on Black Rocket classes. Please note the link goes to Holyoke Community College’s website. All classes taken with Black Rocket will still be associated with Middlesex.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum and Lowell-Native Publishes Book6/25/20207/9/2020 5:27 PM
Lowell-native David Moloney published his book “Barker House” in April 2020. A Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell alum, he now lectures in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. Before becoming an author, Moloney worked at Valley Street County jail in Manchester, N.H. – his time there inspired him to write his book.

Moloney’s original concept for the book was to write non-fiction based on his experience, but feedback from friends helped him develop his writing into a novel. Characters and storylines are somewhat based on his real-life experiences, with necessary changes to protect the people he knows and to make the overall story more interesting.

While some of the content can be dark, Moloney said he infused his stories with some light-heartedness and humor so each chapter can feel like a fresh start. “Barker House” offers the point-of-view of nine different narrators over the course of a year. Some perspectives have multiple chapters, others disappear or return as secondary characters.

“I wanted to use that structure because that’s how prison works,” Moloney said. “People come and go, it’s a revolving door. I did it that way because it’s a novel in stories – each chapter is its own story but when you read it all together, it’s another larger story. You can read one chapter and still be satisfied, or you can read the whole book and it will come together.”

While working at the jail, Moloney took classes at Middlesex to get an associate degree in Liberal Arts. He had started at another college a decade before, but the credits expired. With a baby at home, his goal was to finish his education as quickly as possible and MCC helped him get there.

“I did the MassTransfer program,” he said. “It guaranteed that my credits transferred to UMass Lowell – that was mostly what I was concerned about. I was 26 and I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting any time. That program guaranteed that every minute I spent on campus would be used towards a four-year degree. It was a seamless process.”

When he first got to Middlesex, Moloney thought he would be the oldest in the classroom and that he wouldn’t fit in. He soon realized there were other students in their 60s and 70s and age didn’t matter. It also wasn’t a problem that it had been 10 years since he was first in school. MCC made him feel comfortable and set him up for success.

“The teachers are great [at MCC] and they understand a lot of the students are working a lot of hours, working third shift, they’re showing up to class in uniform or they have young kids,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing you get with community colleges and Middlesex – professors and adjuncts and support staff at community colleges just know the students they have and the support they need.”

MCC professor Emeritus, prison activist and accomplished writer Jean Trounstine taught Moloney’s English Composition courses. According to Moloney, they would talk about his experiences working in the prison – and still continue to meet and talk about writing every few months.

Trounstine also inspired his decision to teach at the college-level. Now as a lecturer, Moloney believes in promoting a classroom that is welcoming and inclusive, rather than intimidating. Although he was nervous to start at MCC, the culture on campus and the support from his professors put him at ease – and that’s how he wants his own students to feel in his classroom.

“You shouldn’t feel lucky to pass a class,” he said. “I think Middlesex and the way the teachers approach their classes, they understand what college is supposed to be. It should be a learning experience and it should set you up for your next plan in life.”

It’s this culture of openness and success that helps Moloney teach a course ¬– on MCC’s Lowell campus – for the Lowell court system called Changing Lives through Literature. The course gives people in the court system an opportunity to read and discuss literature. Many of those who finish the course may see a reduction in court fees or time on their probation.

“A lot of them reluctantly take my class because they hate reading or they haven’t read a book in a long time, and then by the end they wish they could take more classes or read more books,” Moloney said. “We read a book and we talk about the characters’ actions and what they could have done better or differently and I can see them thinking about themselves within the character and within the book.”

Reading helps people learn about different people and perspectives, according to Moloney.

“A lot of times when I see people with hateful comments or rhetoric, I always wonder if they read good literature about characters that don’t look like them,” he said. “I feel like if we just read more, if we just allowed ourselves to see what other people experience, that would help a lot.”

Moloney also reads a lot in order to work on his writing process. He lists authors Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Tim O’Brien and William Faulkner among his favorites. Moloney suggests to read books outside of a normal comfort zone and to just write and see where it goes.

Every day, Moloney writes about 500 words – enough to flesh out a story but not too much that his writing starts to feel rushed. But developing the story doesn’t stop when he stops writing – he’s always thinking about his characters and working through ways they would react in particular situations. The people and the places he writes about are inspired by the Merrimack Valley – his home and what he loves.

To students, he also advises they continue taking classes so they don’t have to pause their education, despite any circumstances that may arise.

“I love Middlesex,” he said. “And especially during this time, I think community colleges are going to be a smart move. Do your first two years at a community college instead of going to an expensive university online. It’s smart to be cost-effective with the same quality of classes.”

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

To register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Summer Session 3 is five weeks and starts on July 7. Fall Semester will start on September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Keep Kids Engaged This Summer with MCC’s Virtual College for Kids6/10/20207/8/2020 12:32 PM
Summer is around the corner and Middlesex Community College wants to help bring back a sense of normalcy, learning and routine. Middlesex has transitioned College for Kids to virtual platforms for this summer’s programming. Enrollment is now open.

College for Kids offers one- and three-week, full- and half-day summer programs for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program runs July 6 to August 13. Classes will either run on ZOOM, Google Classroom or Google Meet. Formatting classes to these virtual platforms ensures kids remain safe and healthy as they learn.

These fun and engaging summer programs provide children and youth with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence. Programs are taught by public-school teachers or professionals who are experts in their field.

“Self-inspiration, easy-to-access, adaptability, easy access to experts and diverse students – this is what remote learning looks like with College for Kids at MCC,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “Enjoy our online classes and you will see that we are not just learning in a remote environment, but having fun in an online world of learning. I am so very thankful that I have such a wonderful team of educators who have been able to jump right in and transition to remote learning.”

This summer, explore topics such as photography, Dungeons & Dragons, decorating baked goods, arts and crafts, Minecraft, science, graphic design, writing, dancing and nutrition.

Instructor Tory Wesnofske is a photographer who will teach Digital Photography and Traditional Film Photography. She’s planning to teach on ZOOM from her studio and community darkroom.

“We will be getting down to the basics in both classes by learning to shoot manually, which is a great foundation for anyone interested in taking better pictures,” she said. “In film photography, we’ll be learning about all types of films and cameras, how to use them and how to make sun prints from negatives.”

Most College for Kids full-day offerings run Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Half-day programs run from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For the complete 2020 online College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

MCC and other local Mass. community colleges are also partnering with Black Rocket for more virtual programming that includes high-quality content at an affordable price. Classes start as early as June 8 and as late as August 24. Visit http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/Summer-Youth-Programs_c_2132.html for more information. Please note the link goes to Holyoke Community College’s website. All classes taken with Black Rocket will still be associated with Middlesex.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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An MCC Alumna Story in Her Own Words6/18/20207/7/2020 11:15 AM
Olivia Reposa graduated from Middlesex Community College in December 2019 as a Liberal Arts & Sciences major. When she first came to Middlesex in the fall of 2017, she was hesitant to extend herself beyond taking classes. It is the community MCC offers that altered her mindset and helped transform her education. The following is her MCC story in her own words.

I remember my first day at MCC because I wanted to be invisible. Two months prior, my entire life had turned upside down. I moved across the country leaving behind my life, family members and self-confidence.

Ducking my head two rows back in history class, I was ready to spend the next two years of my life as “the quiet kid.” MCC however had other ideas. The first day of my Honors Macroeconomics class I was thrown into an environment where everyone cared – and suddenly I realized that I cared too.

Eight months later, I boarded a plane to Florida accompanied by five of my fellow Business Club members and Professor Vikram Sharma. I had recently taken over as President of the Business and Economics club. With the help of Professor Rob Kaulfuss, we had grown the club into one of the largest and most active student organizations on campus.

Now, we were on our way to DECA Internationals.

This year's conference represented over ten thousand finalists from across the world. Despite the staggering size of the competition we were one of the only community colleges to make it to the international event. Nevertheless, we were determined for our voices to be heard. Andre De’Gregorio – one of my fellow business club members – and I were elected as the Massachusetts voting delegates, which allowed us to advocate for our fellow community college students across the international stage.

I was proud to represent my college because – in a lot of ways – it had become my second home.

Taking on leadership roles in the Business and Economics Club – as well as Philosophy Club –allowed me to find my place. Past my involvement in clubs, I had become a Statistics Supplemental Instructor (SI) after falling in love with the subject during Professor Hayat Weiss’s statistics class. My role as an SI opened doors of opportunity – as well as doors of community.

I found a second family at MCC through the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). Beth Kelley and Christine Bell are incredible people who any student is lucky to have the opportunity to work with. Furthermore, as an SI, I had accomplished the “impossible” – bringing together an amazing group of students who were actually excited to learn statistics at 8 a.m.

One of the single most defining moments of my life came my last semester at MCC. I stood on stage at MIT – full suit, mic in hand, ready to present my company, VotED, to the world. I realized on that stage I was no longer the girl that wanted to be invisible – instead I was the person who was ready to speak, ready to be seen, ready for my voice to be heard.

However, the difference I was striving to make didn’t start on stage at MIT – it all started in a classroom in Henderson Hall through the incredible DifferenceMaker program led by Professor Stacie Hargis. Through the program my business partner – Mike Dignan – and I developed our idea into reality, learning how to create a business and pitch our ideas to a panel of experts.

We went on to win the 2019 National DifferenceMaker social impact award. From there, VotED was picked up by a local TV network. Mike and I appeared as guest stars on a talk show, spoke at various startup events, and even had the opportunity to speak to a group of a couple thousand high school seniors at a UMass Lowell event. Almost a year after completing the DifferenceMaker Program, we were selected as one of the five companies to present at MIT Enterprise Night. In the past ten years of the event’s history, we are the only community college students ever to be selected.

I assure you our success was accompanied by many long days and all-nighters, but it was also brought together by the incredible community that supported us – a community I never would have found without MCC.

When it comes to my post MCC life, I was recently the regional director of a GOTV (Get Out the Vote) campaign, and I am currently working as a digital campaign specialist on a progressive political firm to make various issue-based campaigns go digital. I have also been doing some mentoring with different start-up companies and free online tutoring for kids in low income areas – all of which have been tremendously rewarding experiences.

I plan on continuing my education in the fall at Middlebury College with a proposed double major in Economics and Political Science. I am beyond grateful for where I am today – although I can honestly say I never thought I would get here. Thank you to every single person at MCC for allowing me the opportunity to do the impossible, be the impossible, and become a part of something bigger than just myself.

Originally from Parkland, Fla., Reposa now resides in Carlisle, Mass. During her time at Middlesex, she was president of the Business and Economics Club and an officer for Philosophy Club. She also actively participated in DifferenceMaker, a campus start-up workshop that led her to starting her own company VotED. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/ to learn more about how MCC can help you discover your path.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

To register for Summer and Fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum Thrives on Sets of Local TV & Film Productions6/16/20207/2/2020 1:31 PM
Brad Polak discovered what he wanted to pursue for his career while attending Lowell High School and he took his first class in film production with now Middlesex Community College Department Chair of Communications Jennifer Bauer. At first, he thought he was below average in the class, but Bauer saw his potential.

With some prompting from his father – and at the prospect of taking more courses with Bauer – Polak came to Middlesex to get an associate degree in Communications in 2016.

“Brad and I made the move to MCC at the same time, providing me with the rare opportunity to work with a student for five years,” Bauer said. “Bringing the same level of enthusiasm and dedication to his college studies as he did to his high school courses, Brad quickly stood out among the communication majors at MCC.”

After two years at MCC, Polak transferred to Fitchburg State University where he continued to study TV and film production and earned his bachelor’s degree in 2018.

“It was a seamless transfer to Fitchburg,” Polak said. “I was able to pick up from where I left off. With my time at Middlesex, I was able to go full-time film when I got to Fitchburg. I did all my math and my history while I was at MCC and I’m glad I did because I liked them a lot.”

Polak credits MCC for giving him the foundation he needed to succeed.

“I could not have made a better decision,” he said. “Middlesex was an easy choice. I really enjoyed my time there and all of my teachers, not only including my film classes. A lot of them had a really big impact on me. They made it a really good experience.”

In addition to his studies, Polak completed two internships while at Middlesex, including working at the Merrimack Valley Film Festival. He interned in the media department at Lowell High where he got technical experience working on access TV, graduations and town meetings.

Bauer believes it is Polak’s work ethic and amiable personality that helped him succeed in his internships and also made him the recipient of the Communications department’s Outstanding Student Award when he graduated.

Polak works full-time in production on films, TV shows and commercials across Massachusetts. His first role on set was in the locations department. Although it wasn’t what he had expected when he first planned to work in productions, he came to love the work and opportunities he gets.

In this role, he helps find and plan locations where productions will take place, including managing a lot of smaller and larger picture details. Since the locations department has to both open and close sets, Polak often works for 12 to 16 hours at a time.

Middlesex prepared him for the grind.

“A lot of my classes at Middlesex taught me ethic and to keep working,” he said. “That transfers over to everywhere you go. Not even just my communications classes, but a lot of my harder professors showed me what it’s like on the film set. There’s a lot of chaos, but if you’re prepared and you do your job, it runs smoothly.”

Polak emphasizes that on sets people see the hard work being put in and that makes people want to hire you again and again – and ultimately, that’s how you move up.

MCC’s Communications department prepares students with these technical skills and theoretical and ethical knowledge for students to continue on into the production industry – and to be successful amid the chaos – according to Bauer.

“Employers want someone who can communicate clearly, analyze information, work as a team, and think creatively,” she said. “Communications majors learn all these things, and more! As part of your major, you build a portfolio of work, whether it be press clippings, media productions or social media posts.”

Because he flourished at MCC, Polak enjoys being an alumni connection to current students in the Communications department.

“Jen has called me back a bunch to talk to people in the department,” he said. “I love to see people who are kind of like me and can’t wait to get on set.”

Now that he’s made it on set, Polak plans to take advantage of every opportunity he gets – while using the skills and knowledge he learned at Middlesex.

“I hope to move up in my department as much as I can within my next couple of shows and eventually become a locations manager,” he said. “A lot of locations managers become producers because it’s a very similar job. I’d like to just see where my department takes me.”

Some of Polak’s production credits include the recently released Defending Jacob on Apple TV, The Society and The Sleepover on Netflix, and a to be determined film on Disney +.

MCC’s Communications department offers courses in Film and TV Production, Radio Broadcasting, Print & Digital Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing, Corporate Communications and Social Media. Communications majors have a wide range of potential job offerings, such as in business, government, politics, law, health care, human resources and education, in addition to entertainment.

This summer, the Communications department is offering several accelerated online courses – running between two and six weeks – such as Intro to Communication & Media, Public Speaking & Professional Presentations, Message Design, Film & Society, Media Writing and Social Media.

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester will feature an expanded roster of online classes. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Goes Online for Summer and Fall Semesters6/9/20207/1/2020 12:03 PM
To keep the Middlesex Community College community healthy and safe, 95 percent of all classes will run online for MCC’s Summer and Fall Semesters. Middlesex has offered award-winning online programs for over 20 years and has built on its solid foundation of success and effective teaching. During these challenging times, having mostly online courses prevents any disruption to learning and student success in case of a second wave of COVID-19.

“MCC will be moving most of its courses online for the Summer and Fall semesters,” said MCC President James C. Mabry. “This will provide students with access to high-quality and affordable courses that will transfer easily. This is a great way to make progress toward your educational goals while staying safe and close to home.”

MCC’s plan is based on Governor Baker’s Four Phase Reopening Plan. In Phase 2, MCC will allow people back on campus in limited numbers for specific courses and programs. The college will ensure the health and safety of everyone arriving on campus by following state workplace safety guidelines and enforcing necessary protocols including signage and other measures.

“Faculty are currently developing rich, high quality online learning environments that will provide all our students with a broad array of courses to continue their education and to meet their career and transfer goals,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. “We have a long history of award-winning online programs, and this fall will be no exception as we greatly expand our online offerings and services to further meet students’ needs. Quality, convenience and competitive costs are the hallmarks of a community college education. Middlesex has invested in creating a fall semester where those hallmarks are at the center of all we that we offer.”

Middlesex will use four modalities of teaching – asynchronous online learning, synchronous online learning, blended face-to-face with online learning, and in-person learning. Teaching modalities are specially assigned to each course depending on what works best for student learning and safety.

Middlesex faculty and staff develop courses that are specially designed to run online, creating immersive and interactive educational experiences. In the asynchronous online format, students work independently but still engage with materials and other students on their own schedules while meeting course deadlines. Students have on-going access to pre-recorded lessons and tutorials, as well as links to online resources.

In synchronous online courses, specific dates and times are assigned to each class – which are published on MCC’s course schedule. Professors and students engage in live classes in a remote or virtual setting, like Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate. Students must have access to a camera and microphone on their computers in order to participate and complete synchronous classes.

Some programs and classes require hands-on, in-person work. For these blended classes, students complete work online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting. When coming to class, wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and following social distancing guidelines are required.

Classes that have to meet completely in person– such as some STEM and Performing Arts courses – will require wearing PPE and following social distancing guidelines. MCC has strict safety protocols in place in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes to the campuses.

Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts, is impressed by the “creativity, innovation and hard work” that went into the 2020 spring semester. He credits the dedication of students, faculty and staff – as well as the college’s long history with online learning – for the success. He also believes the Summer and Fall semesters will build on this success – especially as faculty and staff continue to work on designing curriculums.

“The support coming from our Director of eLearning, Roxanne McCorry, and Instructional Designer, Daniela Loghin, has been phenomenal,” he said. “We have been able to quickly develop a full schedule that will allow our students to keep progressing in their academic programs and give visiting students high quality, transferable classes.”

McCorry outlines the academic and tutoring services that are available to students as they learn about online education. For students who need guidance navigating the online learning experience, MCC’s Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) provides tutorials on how to use different platforms.

“MCC has student leaders who have taken online classes embedded within some faculty’s courses in order to provide peer-to-peer support,” she said. “Students can take a self-assessment to determine if they are prepared to take an online course. We also offer Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) courses on Digital Literacy to help students succeed with technology-related materials and have our IT service desk to provide student support for any IT issues.”

Loghin believes current circumstances have ensured these teaching modalities be perfected – an effort that has strengthened MCC’s position as a leader in online education.

“Faculty, staff and students are 100 percent invested in learning existing and new technologies,” she said. “And thus, we are in a good position to prepare for the future successfully."

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester courses at MCC.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Math Department Credits Collaboration for Success6/11/20207/1/2020 10:25 AM
Middlesex Community College – like other colleges and universities across the world – had to transition spring 2020 coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. As a leader of award-winning online education for over 20 years, Middlesex reacted quickly to continue helping students on their academic paths. It was a team effort for MCC’s Math department.

“The Math department as a whole has been having ZOOM get-togethers every few weeks to check in with each other,” said Linda Dart-Kathios, an MCC Math faculty member. “We were able to record a message of encouragement to our students this way. It has been a lot of fun and certainly a stress relief for many.”

The Math faculty were a beacon of support for their students and for each other. This collaboration ensured students had access to the resources, knowledge and tools they needed to succeed, according to Dart-Kathios. Faculty recorded lectures and shared them on Blackboard to be viewed at any time, in addition to including written documents and PowerPoint slides.

In real-time virtual sessions, faculty used a whiteboard feature to have students practice problems and breakout sessions for small group work. Having the chat feature allowed students to work through problems with each other.

To help in these stressful times, faculty gave students more time to complete tests and assignments, especially as the students became more familiar with completing the assignments online. Faculty also ensured students had access to one-on-one instruction when needed and offered virtual office hours, individual sessions to go over problems, and mini lecture videos to address specific problems and concepts.

Making sure students were aware of tutoring via Supplemental Instruction (SI) and the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) was also important.

Matthew Rondeau, an MCC math student and tutor, believes the math department was communicative with students throughout the semester and understanding of those who had technology issues or other problems. Although tutoring over a virtual system was a new experience, Rondeau was happy to still be able to offer help to those who needed it.

“The math faculty was great,” Rondeau said. “Everyone I worked with – as a student and as an ACE employee – did such an amazing job. It seems as though the school came together and everyone did their best to make the semester work.”

Laura Ferguson is an MCC nursing student who has always struggled with math. Ferguson is working on the frontlines of the pandemic in a testing tent and found remote learning to be intimidating. Guidance from her professors made it easier. Ferguson calls Marie Caruso, MCC adjunct faculty in Math, and Susan Hutchinson, MCC’s Academic Advisor, “miracle workers” for helping her get through her class.

“Professor Caruso was amazing,” she said. “She fully supported me, got involved in helping me succeed knowing I had limited math experience and work in healthcare. I truly believe they wanted me to succeed and that because of their incredible support, they have become a treasured part of my journey.”

While the pandemic presented many challenges globally, Middlesex came together as a community to continue providing students with the tools needed for success.

“I love the people at MCC,” Rondeau said. “Other students, faculty, staff ¬– they are what make the school. I made my experience more personal than I ever thought was possible.”

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Session will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Workforce Training Fund Grants Virtual Info Session Offered by MCC6/12/20206/30/2020 12:42 PM
Middlesex Community College will host a virtual Information Session for businesses seeking Workforce Training Fund (WFTF) grants from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 24. The deadline to register is Monday, June 22.

“Middlesex has helped 30+ companies receive over $4 million in WFTF grants,” said Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Director of Corporate Education and Training. “MCC is proud of the many relationships the college has formed with local businesses and organizations as a community partner. We work directly with our employers to train employees based on their specific needs and help them to grow in their individual roles, as well as part of the overall team.”

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, administered by Commonwealth Corporation, provides resources to businesses to train current and newly hired employees. The goal is to help improve employee skills and maintain the economic strength of the Commonwealth’s businesses.

At the virtual info session, an WFTF representative will present an overview of the grant options and answer questions in an informational setting.

WFTF provides training grants to Massachusetts employers up to $250,000 per application. MCC’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program has helped many businesses secure and implement these grants.

Visit the Commonwealth Corporation website at www.commcorp.org/wtfp for more information on specific Workforce Training Fund programs.

To register for MCC’s WFTF session, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/workforce-training-fund-information-session-this-session-will-be-virtual-registration-80875026381

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Adult-Learner & Alumna Sews & Donates Masks6/3/20206/25/2020 12:01 PM
Lynda Zarrow came to Middlesex Community College as an adult-learner seeking a start to a new career. When she graduated, she came away with a certificate in Graphic Design and a job – Graphic Designer at the college.

The North Reading native had left her career in Business to raise her two daughters. When one of her daughters was taking a high school Graphic Design class, Zarrow was impressed by the technology and grew curious. Inspired, she now needed to figure out how to pursue this newfound passion.

Research of local colleges led her to Middlesex where she earned a certificate in 2015 and made a group of friends who she went through the program with – and with whom she still connects with today through MCC’s Facebook Alumni group.

“MCC prepared me very well,” she said. “The professors in the department were some of the best teachers I’ve ever encountered – and over my life I have taken a lot of classes! I learned a lot about design principles, as well as techniques in using the design software.”

As she was completing her certificate and growing excited to jump back into the workforce, Zarrow felt a renewed passion for education and all that the Graphic Design program had done for her. A job opened up in MCC’s Office of Marketing Communications and now as a designer, she works on projects to promote the college’s efforts to support student success.

One of the most important messages of late is the college’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m proud to have a small part in communicating changes caused by COVID-19 to the MCC community,” she said. “To think that professors and students were quickly able to transition to online learning is impressive. I feel that the school is doing a great job of supporting a variety of student needs via social media channels. Our website is continually updated to provide the most current changes impacted by the coronavirus.”

Zarrow is also an avid sewer who makes weighted therapy blankets. She was asked by a friend who works at a healthcare agency if she could sew masks for her staff and the project grew from there. Zarrow turned to social media to get a group of six other sewers involved to finish a total of 1,000 masks – 200 of which she has made herself.

In addition to donating them to her friend’s agency, Zarrow has gifted the n-95 masks to friends with at-risk family members and Bridge Over Troubled Waters – a nonprofit in support of homeless at-risk youth.

To ensure safety, Zarrow washes and dries the materials before sewing and asks users to do the same when they receive the masks. She makes sure to continue practicing social distancing when she drops them off – or leaves them on her porch for others to pick-up.

Zarrow is glad to be doing her part to help her community – and for having a project to keep her busy during her downtime from work. She’s also thankful for Middlesex – both in her academic and professional careers – for providing her with the opportunity to pursue her passion.

“Being home more and having time to think, I realize how lucky I am to have found my path a little later in life,” she said. “Every day I get to do something I love. I advise anyone thinking of exploring a new career path to consider MCC. I got a high-quality education close to home at a price and a pace I could afford.”

For more information on MCC’s Art & Design programs, contact Margaret Rack, MCC’s Art Department chair at rackm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3803.

Registration is now open for MCC’s Summer Session 3and Fall Session. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Finishes First Cohort of Nonprofit Management Certificate 6/17/20206/24/2020 11:40 AM
Middlesex Community College is committed to training employees to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the Massachusetts’ workforce. MCC’s Community Education & Training Program offers courses to help current employees excel in their positions, furloughed workers learn professional development, and out-of-work job seekers find new jobs.

In spring 2020, Middlesex launched its first Nonprofit Management Certificate to prepare students with key concepts and critical management components for all nonprofit organizations.

Participants – from businesses and MCC partners, such as Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Enterprise Bank and the Phoenix – learned about essential aspects of nonprofit management, including fundraising, board development, volunteer management and program evaluation.

Sarah Glatt, MCC faculty member and Founder and Principal Consultant of Paper Crane Associates, believed the course benefitted a range of student needs – from those starting out in the nonprofit world to those wanting to take on leadership roles.

“Middlesex’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management provides its students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the nonprofit sector and to develop new skills and knowledge they can put into action immediately and accelerate the impact of their organizations,” Glatt said. “The course complements and accelerates the on-the-job training that nonprofit employees receive – building a stronger and more impactful nonprofit sector.”

Kerri Keeler is a Development Associate with Mill City Grows in Lowell and has moved into working for a nonprofit after years working in corporate jobs. Keeler chose MCC due to the flexibility in the schedule and affordability of the class.

“I loved the practical, real world examples that were used to illustrate each concept and showcase successes and challenges experienced by other organizations,” she said. “MCC’s course was a great way for me to get myself up to speed in my new career in nonprofit work quickly and with a solid foundation for me to learn more as the work grows.”

This is the third certification course Carl Gallozzi has taken. He is a retired Hewlett-Packard Company Relationship Manager in the Server Division now focused on his volunteer work. He credits MCC’s course for helping him learn a strong overview of the subject matter.

“The modules about both strategic planning and fundraising are also extremely timely and valuable,” he said. “I would recommend these courses to obtain an overview from a practiced professional – who is knowledgeable and supportive.”

Michelle Silveira, Executive Director of the Power of Flowers Project, enjoyed the conversations that stemmed from the class and everyone’s different experiences.

“As a new Executive Director in the nonprofit world – I became ED August 1 and worked in the financial industry for over 30 years – I took away something from every class,” Silveira said. “I shared my learning experiences at my monthly Board meetings, asking them to think about certain topics, such as the life cycle of a nonprofit. This was a great Segway into my career in the nonprofit world.”

MCC’s Community Education & Training offers a host of courses, including on topics such as Management and Leadership, HR training, Project Management, Team Building, Goal Setting and more. Due to the effects of COVID-19 – and to keep the MCC community safe – many courses are now offered online. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to learn more and to register for courses.

For more information, contact Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training, at EllisL@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3669.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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DHE Names MCC Student Samuel Laderoute One of ’29 Who Shine’6/2/20206/23/2020 11:18 AM
Middlesex Community College student Samuel Laderoute, of Dracut, was named one of this year’s Mass. Department of Higher Education’s 29 Who Shine – an annual program recognizing outstanding students representing each of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities: 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses.

“Each honoree is nominated by a faculty or staff member, or by a university awards committee,” said Steve Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement. “We are always amazed and proud at all of the wonderful talent and effort from our 29 Who Shine nominees. These students represent some of our best and brightest stars in the Commonwealth!”

Laderoute was chosen because of his academic achievements, record of leadership, and commitment to community service and civic engagement. As an Academic Enrichment Center (ACE) Supplemental Instructor (SI) and math Peer Tutor, he is known for being patient, reassuring and kind. In his nomination form, he is said to “model integrity and what is to purposefully contribute to the good of society.”

“My experience at MCC has been amazing,” Laderoute said. “It gave me the opportunity to explore my options and see what I liked before committing to a major. I hope I can live up to what this award entails. I genuinely enjoy learning and love helping fellow students with their academic achievement.”

He credits Nina Shirk, MCC’s SSTA-Academic Support Specs Voc Ed, and Beth Kelly, MCC’s SI Learning Specialist, for offering him encouragement and helping him grow more confident.

After graduating from MCC in May 2020 with an associate degree in computer science, he hopes to transfer to UMass Lowell to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He wants to pursue a career as a software engineer doing database analysis as he enjoys solving difficult challenges. Laderoute is also an artist who thrives because of this unwillingness to give up under tough circumstances – an ability he honed through his studies.

Because of COVID-19, this year’s in-person ceremony to honor the 29 Who Shine was canceled. Visit http://www.mass.edu/29whoshine/home.asp – the Mass. Department of Higher Education website – for more information.

Take advantage of MCC’s enhanced online summer offerings to make this summer a productive one. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register Now for Online Classes This Summer at MCC5/22/20206/18/2020 12:38 PM
A leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex Community College offers high-quality instruction at a fraction of the cost. Middlesex faculty have a history of teaching award-winning online programs – an immersive experience that uses specially designed curriculums. Due to the effects of COVID-19, the college is expanding its online offerings this summer. MCC’s online Summer Quickstart Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 start May 26.

Taking online classes at Middlesex ensures students can remain safe and close to home. With circumstances challenging across the world, MCC has a solid foundation and a proven track-record of success to guide students on their academic paths using online learning. This success is grounded in the college’s faculty, staff and the systems in place to make online education a seamless process.

“I am incredibly impressed with how our faculty have been so quick to find creative solutions for helping students to finish the semester despite the current conditions and constraints,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “The majority of our faculty have started using a variety of web conferencing tools so they can talk in real-time to students, delivering lectures and answering questions. They have done this through support from our Educational Technology department – headed by Roxanne McCorry – and through impressive peer support.”

At MCC, there is a place for everyone – returning students can keep on their paths; high school-aged and dual enrollment students can take college-level courses and transfer credits to a four-year college or university; college students home for the summer can keep on pace with their academic goals and finish general requirements; and furloughed and out-of-work students can get back on their feet, enjoy flexible schedules, and become workforce ready.

"Summer is a wonderful time to take an online course,” said Cathy McCarron, MCC professor of English. “I have taught the Short Story course for many years and have enjoyed having a wide range of students from Middlesex and four-year institutions from across the country. Students can learn on their own time and still be collaborative by engaging with their peers in a stimulating, interactive online environment."

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

The college understands that the COVID-19 crisis has financially burdened many students. To ensure student success, MCC’s Student Accounts is offering summer payment plans for the first time. In addition, the college will waive all $20 enrollment and $10 late payment fees.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Music & Art Programs Get Creative with Learning6/5/20206/17/2020 12:53 PM
Middlesex Community College’s 20-year history of success with online learning helped the college transition the 2020 spring semester coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems efficiently. Programs – like Music and Art – require hands-on instruction and practice, and MCC faculty rose to the challenge of developing creative alternative options for students to continue towards their success.

The remaining performances scheduled for the Spring 2020 World of Music Concert Series were canceled because of COVID-19, but the Music department organized an At-Home Student Recital for students to have the opportunity to perform for the MCC community.

Music students – including singers, guitarists, a cellist and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble – filmed performances at their homes and sent in the videos to Orlando Cela, MCC’s Assistant Professor of Music. Cela compiled the videos and edited them into a recital that the Music department shared on YouTube.

“Since we could not present a live recital at the college due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to celebrate the students through this at-home recital,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chairperson of Music. “The students were very excited about this.”

MCC student and vocalist Em Russell faced some challenges during the transition to remote learning for her voice lessons, but the music faculty were supportive and guided her through any concerns she had. As Russell said, “they have always treated me with so much respect, and I feel very at home within the department.”

Russell called the rehearsal an “interesting” process because she recorded herself singing and then sent it to Rodriguez-Peralta to record her accompaniment on the piano. For her final product, Russell sang along to the piano recording as though it were a karaoke track.

“This was actually my first time recording myself for a performance,” she said. “It was exciting to see the finished product – the recitals are always fun and diverse, but this format made it especially unique.”

Nathaniel Abreu, a recent Duel Enrollment graduate, was grateful to continue having practical learning experiences despite the circumstances. He credits his professors for their support and for helping him find performance and learning opportunities – even when they are remote.

Abreu believes the remote learning experience was similar to in-class instruction and feels he learned a lot. For his at-home performance, he played the cello.

“I filmed a few takes in my living room and ended up choosing the first one funnily enough,” he said. “It was nice knowing people would hear it in the context of a virtual concert. Playing for a camera as opposed to an audience is definitely a skill to get used to.”

The concert premiered on Friday, May 8. Visit https://youtu.be/2YvHQVic_D4 to watch.

MCC’s Facilities and Security departments teamed up to distribute loaner instruments – like keyboards for piano students – and equipment students needed in order to finish their classes. This was crucial for students who may have relied on the community center or other public locations to practice and could not visit these locations when COVID-19 struck.

The Facilities and Security teams also distributed modeling clay for students in Yary Livan’s ceramics course. Livan is MCC’s Kiln Project Coordinator and a Cambodian master ceramist. He offered feedback online to his students and planned to apply heat treatments to the projects at the end of the semester.

“Always seeking to improve, for the fall semester Professor Livan is creating high quality videos of various techniques to help his students learn better online,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “Despite being online, we feel that art classes should be as educational and enjoyable as when we are on campus. In fact, this spring we had many student art pieces showcased in an online student show despite being remote.”

The online art show features projects by students in MCC’s Studio Art and Graphic Design programs. Pieces include drawings, paintings, sculptures and ceramics, photography and digital images, typography, logos, digital drawings, posters, campaigns, and website and app designs.

Visit https://sites.google.com/view/mccstudentartshow/fine-art?authuser=0 to enjoy the art work.

MCC is offering expanded online classes for Summer Session 3 and the Fall Semester. To learn more and to register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Health Programs Finish Clinicals Following Safety Protocols5/26/20206/16/2020 11:09 AM
Although Middlesex Community College transitioned to remote, virtual and limited contact systems for its spring semester coursework and student services due to COVID-19, there are still skills that need to be learned in a practical, in-person setting. Middlesex is able to allow students in the college’s health programs to finish necessary lab work while following strict safety protocols and practicing social distancing.

“Hands-on learning and clinical placements are essential components of our curriculum for our health programs for a high-quality, comprehensive learning experience; for student work-readiness; and for accreditation purposes,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. “Our goal for May and June is to provide the safest, face-to-face completion experience – in small numbers, following detailed CDC and state guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing.”

In order to proceed with finishing clinicals during this time, Middlesex ensures students are comfortable with their participation.

“We asked every student before and after the re-entry about how comfortable they are with the procedures in place,” said Mary Jenny, MCC’s Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Dental Assisting Program. “All students were given the option to opt out at any given time. None chose that. They all stated they felt safe coming into the lab with the safety measures in place.”

Jennifer Mason, an MCC Adjunct Faculty member for Phlebotomy, has also received positive feedback from students.

“Students have greatly appreciated the commitment by the department to ensure they are able to get clinical time and to have such a strong process in place to make it happen,” she said. “They are happy to be able to put their knowledge to work in the lab.”

Mason lists the safety measures the college has been taking in order to finish the work while remaining safe – rotating the class in small groups, screening for COVID risks, supplying appropriate PPE, cleaning appropriately, washing hands frequently, and assuring students their health and safety are vital.

Christine Laviolette, Assistant Professor in the Medical Lab Tech Program, lists more safety measures the college has put in place – wearing masks into the building, signing in at the front door to keep numbers at 10 or below in one area at a time, and filling out questionnaires.

Laviolette also emphasizes hand washing, wearing PPE – including lab coats, gloves, masks and face shields – and practicing social distancing. Undergoing these safety measures and being able to practice skills in a lab is essential to preparing students properly, Laviolette believes.

“Our field of medical laboratory science is in the forefront of this pandemic,” she said. “Our communities need more medical laboratory technicians, so we felt it important to get them completed so that they could join the battle against COVID-19.”

Much of what Dental Assisting students need to do in the lab requires lab equipment, according to Mary Jenny. The program also has to follow protocols set in place by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which mandates the completion of clinical hours. However, the students can practice on mannikins rather than people during this time.

In the phlebotomy program, students learned skills online and through lectures and now can put the theory into practice. Skills include blood drawing, performing EKGs, safety, order of draw and aseptic technique. According to Mason, performing and watching these techniques in person is more effective.

For Laviolette, it seems unfathomable that students who have been working for two years or more would not be able to graduate because of the pandemic. She’s glad MCC can help students complete their work.

“The value of continuing education during these trying times is to get these citizens – who desperately want to make a difference in our communities – to work on the front lines, she said. “Our students are ready, willing and able. We are so very proud of them!”

Mason emphasizes that now is the time to finish preparing the students directly for the workforce – because their help is needed more now than ever.

“This is what all of us in healthcare have trained for,” she said. “Use the proper PPE and provide the best care possible to patients. This is the time to train for a career in healthcare.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissionrequirements/health.aspx or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information on MCC’s Health Programs.

To register for Summer and Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses 5/27/20206/12/2020 10:29 AM
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business program – an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business – just wrapped up an intensive semester.

The students had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding in a virtual ceremony over Zoom on May 14, 2020.

Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Associate Professor of the Business Division, believes the program benefits students who are not ready for debt funding, but are seeking a “friends and family” round of funding without having access to it.

“This grant approach is filling a real market need for low to moderate-income everyday entrepreneurs within our ecosystem,” she said. “We believe this is a unique value proposition to MCC’s program and makes us a natural partner to the rest of the funding ecosystem. Local small business growth means jobs for local people – our friends, family and neighbors – and our community college.”

During the virtual ceremony, the students each had 10 minutes to present their business plans and 15 minutes to answer questions from the EEVF committee.

Students’ businesses invested in include:
  • $17,000 invested in Fleek Beats Beauty – seller of beauty products and services
  • $10,000 invested in MoooWing Wings & Bar –fast/casual café & sports bar
  • $7,500 invested in LoWellNess – wellness center
  • $7,500 invested in WholeSoul Wellness – personal health coaching
  • $5,000 invested in Kai Photography – photography studio
  • $3,000 invested in Mello Bookkeeping – financial bookkeeping and consultancy for small businesses
Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020 and 2021.

Gabrielle Rodriguez is the owner of Fleek Beats Beauty. While this was her first class at Middlesex, she is interested in taking more after her experience.

“MCC has not only provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to launch and grow a business, but the mindset that is required,” she said. “I highly recommend the course to anyone that is trying to start a business but doesn’t know how or where to start. The value within the education you receive in this accelerated course is priceless – completely changed my life.”

For Kai Rodriguez, of Kai Photography, she needed a boost to her business because she wasn’t ready to give up.

“I went and got exactly what I expected – more knowledge and hope in my future with my business,” she said. “MCC helped me reach my potential by allowing me to continue my business and put me on the right track as an entrepreneur.”

Aleksa Wilk, owner of WholeSoul Wellness, has been looking forward to taking the Launch Your Business Now course. She says although it took her three business ideas to find the one she wanted to pursue, she’s excited and proud to share it.

“Stacie Hargis has been working with me since the beginning,” she said. “She has been a wonderful resource to reach out to for classes, my career and this program. Franky [Descoteaux, an MCC adjunct faculty member] also very much inspired me on the first day I enrolled. I loved her energy and wanted to work with her.”

MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months.

Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground. EEVF is a committee of the Middlesex Community College Foundation.

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for summer and fall courses at MCC.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offering Free Early Childhood Education Course This Summer6/4/20206/11/2020 12:54 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to provide education that is accessible and meaningful. This summer Middlesex is offering free online Early Childhood Education courses that will prepare educators to meet the EEC teacher qualifications and help students progress on their academic pathway at MCC. MCC’s Early Childhood Career Pathways Grant is providing these courses for qualified students through the Early Education and Care (EEC) office.

“We are offering these courses to help students who would like to advance academically,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Pathways Grant. “Completion of these courses will help students advance in their careers to become teachers as part of the state’s ECE certification process.”

Courses include Digital Literacy for College Success, CDA Coursework, and Professional Development Workshop Series. MCC is offering virtual information sessions on ZOOM to discuss pathways. To join, email ececareerpathways@middlesex.mass.edu.

Reem Abuhamdeh is a 2020 MCC graduate who received the Outstanding Achievement in the Associate in Science ECE award this spring. She is grateful for her experience with the program.

"My advisor listened to my vision in teaching and guided me each semester to earn the certificate in ECE in two years,” she said. “The teachers were well informed about their subjects, and opened a window to current issues in the education field through updated articles and videos, besides their well-engaged lectures. I enjoyed the on-campus and online lectures – they both were clear on instruction, and easy to navigate."

MCC provides free college credit courses for employees of childcare programs in the Greater Lowell area. Participants can work towards their associate degree or one of the new Early Childhood certificates that will be offered this Fall through the Education Department.

MCC has been a leader in online learning for more than 20 years. Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options.

For more information or to enroll in the program, contact Wendy Valentine, MCC’s Director of ECE Career Pathways, at valentinew@middlesex.mass.edu or Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of ECE Career Pathways, at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/education/pathwayspg.aspx for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Community Education & Training Awarded for Enrollments5/29/20206/10/2020 1:02 PM
Educating students for today’s workforce is a core principle of Middlesex Community College’s mission. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Holmes Corporation (HC) named Middlesex’s Community Education and Training in the Top 10 Enrollments for the Essentials of HR course.

“MCC’s Community Education and Training department has partnered with SHRM for over 11 years to provide high-quality coursework to HR professionals,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “We are grateful that employers are turning to – and counting on – MCC for the professional development of their employees and are so proud of the Top 10 SHRM Enrollment achievement!”

MCC will accept the award during a virtual conference. The department will have an opportunity to share a video of themselves talking about the importance of the program and the partnership between MCC and SHRM.

Middlesex and HC/SHRM collaborate on professional development and certificate programs for HR professionals of local businesses and organizations. As more people work from home, are furloughed, or laid off, this is the perfect time to take classes, gain knowledge and skills, and work towards career advancement or starting a new profession.

The SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management course provides a detailed overview of all aspects of HR. Participants gain foundational knowledge in addition to an introduction to behavioral competencies essential to success. The course is geared towards current and entry-level employees who are starting out in HR.

The next SHRM Essentials of HR course will run on Zoom, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 10, 17 and 24.

To learn more, contact Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of Community Education & Training, at morins@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3608.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Class of 2020 Esteemed for Their “Resiliency”5/21/20206/9/2020 1:06 PM
The Spring 2020 semester brought challenges faced globally. In the midst of the pandemic, Middlesex Community College students, faculty and staff acclimated to this new norm and finished the semester – and for the 2020 graduating class, their time at MCC – successfully. Middlesex is proud to confer 1,155 degrees and certificates to 1,073 graduates – 82 of whom earned multiple awards for their accomplishments.

The college held a virtual ceremony to celebrate the commencement on May 21. The video includes speeches from President James C. Mabry, Phil Sisson, Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, reading of names by Program Deans, and speeches by the student speakers. To watch, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms39zLuJPsI&feature=youtu.be

In his address to the graduates, President Mabry thanked students and MCC faculty and staff for their resiliency these past few months. Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the mission of Middlesex continues forward – leading students towards success.

“You are a special class who have proven once again that community college students are smart, tough and strong – no matter what,” he said. “I know that because of what you have overcome, you will continue to learn and grow and will make a big impact in this rapidly changing world. I ask that as you continue to follow your dreams, stay involved in your communities and help build a world that is open and tolerant – a world where all can lead safe and healthy lives.”

Provost Sisson introduced the Program Deans reading the names of the graduates. In his speech, Sisson commends faculty and staff for their guidance and dedication to the students, and for providing “transformative opportunities” both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Your successful completion of a certificate or degree is a clear milestone in your academic journey,” he said. “Each and every one of you – through your hard work and perseverance – has demonstrated your potential to become a leader in your profession, in your transfer institutions, in your local community, and in our global community. As the great leader Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’”

Middlesex serves a diverse population of learners – the age range of MCC’s class of 2020 is 17- to 68 years-old, and the graduates represent five states and 51 countries. There are 58 veterans, 13 Dual Enrollment High School graduates, 84 MCC employees, and 484 first generation students.

In her introduction to President Mabry, Linda Nara – 2020 graduate and 2019-2020 Student Trustee – highlights MCC’s vast range of students who all come to Middlesex with one purpose.

“Today’s graduates made a decision to start on a path to a brighter future,” she said. “Some are the first in their family to go to college, some started taking classes as high school students, and some returned to college after raising a family. Like many of today’s graduates, I am transferring to finish a bachelor’s degree. Others may be joining the workforce with real-world skills or changing careers. But we all have prepared ourselves for success.”

The 2020 graduating class have made a number of accomplishments during their time at the college. MCC’s Health Programs pinned 160 graduates who will continue on with their academic journeys or begin working on the frontlines of COVID-19.

MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Scholars program graduates 27 students, and 109 graduates are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges. Cara Hartsgrove, Sokharath Koy and Andrea M. Wallis were named to the 2019-2020 All-Massachusetts Academic Team,and MCC graduate Samuel A. Laderoute was named one of the”29 Who Shine” by the Mass. Department of Higher Education.

Student speaker Ijebusonma Agundu received the 2020 James E. Houilhan Jr. Student of the Year Award. She came to MCC from Nigeria because she wanted to go to college in the U.S. She will continue on towards her bachelor’s degree at UMass Lowell and plans to go to medical school. An avid supporter of equal rights for women, she dreams of becoming an OB-GYN.

Agundu is proud of her MCC roots and for the opportunity her education provided her.

“I hope you will represent yourselves as Middlesex Community College ambassadors,” she said. “Please remember that we have been built up in content and in character. We have been taught to be leaders and problem solvers. MCC is a fantastic institution that gives every student equal opportunity to excel. The cultural diversity represented here allows students to explore their abilities and discover their full potential.”

Celia Garron was also chosen to be this year’s student speaker. She graduates from Middlesex more than 30 years after she first started. In-between her tenure at MCC, she married, had children and worked, but she never forgot what it felt like to be part of a college community, especially Middlesex. Garron also battled a life-threatening illness that reinvigorated her drive to live and to pursue her passions. Attending MCC was part of her “live list” – a list of dreams she plans to put into fruition.

In her address to her fellow graduates, Garron thanks the faculty and staff for their support.

“Some of the greatest gifts this time that faculty gave me was their willingness to meet with me individually,” she said. “Their constant support and encouragement of my ability to succeed enabled me to feel safe stumbling until I felt confident in my learning. I have built lasting relationships with the faculty and staff.”

Middlesex Community College Alumni Association is proud to invite the class of 2020 to the community. In honor of the graduating class, the Alumni Association and the Middlesex Community College Foundation established the $20.20 for 2020 Grads Campaign to go towards the Alumni Association Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2020 to a part-time MCC student working toward degree completion.

Visit https://www.givecampus.com/schools/MiddlesexCommunityCollege/give-20-20-in-honor-of-2020-grads#updates to donate in honor of MCC’s 2020 class.

To become a part of the MCC community, start by enrolling. MCC offers a variety of summer and fall course options. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Launches Career Coach – an Online Career Services Program5/28/20206/5/2020 11:03 AM
Middlesex Community College prepares students for today’s workforce. In partnership with data company Emsi, Middlesex presents Career Coach – an online resource to allow students and members of the MCC community access to skills that will help them become competitive in the economy, lead great careers, and be successful in their professional journeys.

“Career Coach is a powerful tool to add to our resources for our current students and our prospective students and their families,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Career Coach provides helpful, user-friendly career assessment tools and detailed, real-time information on regional job markets, which will be invaluable to all of our students. We are pleased to be able to add this resource to further enhance career services at the college.”

The new program is part of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) initiative at the college in partnership with Credential Engine. Career Coach is valuable for students who come to college undecided in their program of study or are still unsure of what career path they want to take, according to Sisson. The partnership and program launch are intended to support the success of the students and the community Middlesex serves.

The program is also beneficial for adult-learners coming back to school to earn an associate degree, certificate, or to take classes to jumpstart a new career. For students who have been laid off or furloughed, MCC – and resources the college offers like Career Coach – can help get employees back on track.

Career Coach offers four essential functions to help narrow down programs of study to guide students towards successful and meaningful careers.

An Assessment component offers three different questionnaires for students to explore their fields of study and work. Students answer questions based on interests and the Assessment provides responses to connect those interests to matches in the workforce.

The Career component lists current job descriptions prevalent in the workforce with details such as career profiles, median salaries and required level of education. Careers are broken down into fields of interest to provide a wide-range of potential options.

Career Coach also provides a list of Programs MCC offers to help students find the best matched pathway based on interests and skills. MCC’s pathways offer a range of options, including Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health, Non-Credit Career Development, Public Service, Social Science and STEM. The program uses CIP-to-O*NET to connect programs with careers.

The Resume Builder component helps students build professional resumes students can use as they apply to jobs or advance in their academic careers.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careercoach to get started with Career Coach. Email questions to MCC’s Office of Career Development at careerservices@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester will feature new online courses. Summer Session 3 runs for five weeks, starting on July 7, and Fall Semester begins on September 9. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Credits MCC for Helping Her Become a Leader5/20/20206/4/2020 1:17 PM
When Linda Nara came to the United States from Cambodia, she set out to become a leader. Though she was shy and lacked confidence, she kept telling herself she had to set an example for her sisters, her peers and for herself. At Middlesex Community College, she succeeded.

Nara found friendship and connection at MCC’s Asian American Center, which helped her adjust to her new home. In those first few weeks of starting school, she felt homesick and alone, but she said, “seeing myself reflected in the staff made me feel motivated.”

“Coming to Middlesex is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said. “Had I not chosen MCC, I would not have had these enriched experiences, I would not have met my friends. I would not have met the amazing people at the Asian Connections Center or all the people who have helped me.”

As she grew comfortable at the school, she started becoming more involved. Nara has served as president of the International Club, is an active member of Asian Students in Alliance (A.S.I.A.), and is a student Orientation Leader and tutor in the Writing Center.

One of her greatest accomplishments at the school was being awarded a scholarship from the Chelly Foundation. When she went back to visit Cambodia, she met with the organization and spoke to young students about her experience at Middlesex and going to school in the U.S. – an adventure she highly recommends.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, The MCC Board of Trustees named Nara the Student Trustee. She was proud to be the first female Cambodian student to be awarded this honor at Middlesex.

As Student Trustee – and a member of the Multicultural Club – Nara attended events as a representative of the college. Taking her oath at the Statehouse in front of Governor Charlie Baker and speaking in front of W. Patrick Murphy, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, when he visited the college were two of her biggest accomplishments during her time as Student Trustee.

These moments helped Nara gain confidence and work on her networking skills, as well as understand the importance of diversity. Being involved in other events and clubs on campus meant learning from her peers who come from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences. This helped shape her worldview.

“MCC loves diversity,” she said. “We celebrate diversity and everyone is welcome here, regardless of where you are from. Once you step foot in here, you are part of the community. That’s what makes me feel like I belong here and I could reach my potential here.”

One of Nara’s missions is to be a leader in fighting for women’s rights. Last year, she worked with Colleen Cox, MCC’s Chief Administrative Officer, to advocate for having female hygiene products available on the Bedford and Lowell campuses. As president of the International Club, she also helped promote International Women’s Day at the college.

At Middlesex, she enjoys the way people help each other– from classmates to faculty and staff. The “family-oriented” environment at the college, she believes, helps people reach their potential.

In one of her English classes with Professor Joseph Nardoni, she wrote an essay on self-actualization and the idea that people become the best versions of themselves when they are in a supportive environment resonated with her. She is also grateful to Professors David Kalivis, Cathy McCarron and Binnur Ercem for their classes and support.

Nara leaves Middlesex with a solid understanding of her personal and professional purpose. She credits her studies, her professors and her experiences in student clubs and organizations for preparing her for what comes next.

“I am absolutely going to miss this place,” she said. “I have learned a lot. Graduating means I built a solid grounding for my path. I have worked hard. I have used my time here wisely and got the most out of it. And I’m ready to get on to another stage of my path.”

She graduates with an associate degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences with a History, Politics and Global Studies Concentration. Nara is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She expects to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Global Studies before launching a diplomatic career in the future.

“Community college students are hard workers,” she said. “We chase our dreams. Each and every one of us come from a very interesting background. We all have struggles in life. We all have responsibilities. You can work and get a degree at the same time. It’s awesome!”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Calls MCC ‘Hub’ for Cambodian Students5/19/20206/3/2020 11:23 AM
For Farrorza Lim, Middlesex Community College offers opportunity. Lim came to the United States from Cambodia to go to college and to be closer to his father. His initial interest was due to the efficient customer service the college offered him in his search process. When he called, Middlesex answered. When he had questions, MCC guided him to the right places.

Once he arrived, Lim soon learned to call the college a “hub” for students from Cambodia to “start their journey.”

“I like the way they treat and help students,” he said. “For people who left their home and comfort zone to go to a new environment, it’s not easy. It’s something so hard to adapt to, but the lesson I learned from that was things will get better from day to day.”

During his tenure at Middlesex, Lim devoted a lot of time to helping others. As part of the Helping Hands Club, he volunteered throughout the local community, including at the Greater Lowell Boys & Girls Club. Having access to the club – and being part of the community – helped Lim adjust to this new chapter in his life.

Another place of comfort for Lim was going to the Asian Connections Center where he could talk to friends in his native language and learn about the culture and ethics of the U.S. He also held a work-study job at the Center where he helped organize events and kept the area clean.

“I learned from them,” he said. “MCC – the Asian Center, the school – I always hang out there when I’m free because that’s where I get my mind away from homesickness. With the large Cambodian community at MCC, I feel like home.”

MCC’s Asian Connections Center is funded with support from the college’s AANAPISI grant – a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program in 2017. The Center provides Asian American students a range of support services and co-curricular activities to improve their experience at the college, as well as completion and transfer outcomes.

Lim believes learning from other students was essential to his MCC experience. One of the more rewarding parts of his time at the college was with the Academic Enrichment Center (ACE). His first experience with ACE was during his first semester when he needed help writing essays. The next semester, he was recommended for a job by one of his professors and Lim became a writing tutor. For him, being on both sides was a perfect give-and-take of learning.

“You feel close to the students who teach you,” he said. “It’s not about me teaching people, but talking with people to learn from them and sharing knowledge with each other.”

Although he was nervous when he first started tutoring, Lim said faculty and staff were supportive and guided him to succeed. This support was a constant during his time at Middlesex.

“Instead of email, I could just go and talk with them directly,” he said. “The people from ACE and where I would study at the Asian Center, they are very helpful. It was hard for me to find recommendations back home, but here people reach out to you when you need help and I am very thankful.”

When he first arrived at MCC, Lim said his advisor offered him support – recommending an initial course load, following up with him as he got started, and telling him about a free English class he could take over the summer. His advisor also helped him with his plans to transfer to a four-year school.

In his final semester at the college, COVID-19 forced the college to transition to remote, virtual and limited contact systems and Lim was once again thankful for MCC’s quick response to his needs. Lim’s advisor ensured they continued to meet virtually and checked in to make sure he was doing okay.

Before COVID-19, Lim relied on the college’s resources to do work online and he did not have immediate access to wi-fi. Once social distancing went into effect, he reached out to MCC’s library and they provided him with a hotspot so he could complete his work from home.

Lim graduates this spring with an associate degree in History, Global Studies and Political Science. A Commonwealth Honors student and member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, he will continue on at UMass Lowell to get a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a Concentration in International Relations.

In the future, he hopes to get a master’s degree and work for the government at the state or federal level. Lim’s advice to current and future students at Middlesex is to play an active role in the campus community.

“Take opportunities at Middlesex,” he said. “Instead of just taking classes, take other opportunities and try different activities. Try to engage in school. Playing games or going online to check for scholarship activities, those are two different things but they all engage in school. They offer a lot.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Nursing Alums Work on the Frontlines of COVID-195/6/20206/2/2020 11:27 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to prepare nurses. Although the effects of COVID-19 have required the college’s Nursing Program and faculty to be creative in their teaching styles, the program’s mission of student success remains the same. For Middlesex alumni – Lauren Dominguez, Jennie Lim and Rachel Williams – who are now battling on the frontlines of the pandemic as nurses, they believe their education served them well for the workforce.

“Nursing is a practice profession and every pre-licensure nursing program requires hours of practice to ensure graduates are prepared to transition safely into the workforce,” said Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Program Director of Nurse Education. “This is important work, educating nurses has never been so vitally important to our local and global communities than it is now!”

Dominguez calls her experience at MCC “life changing.” She has wanted to be a nurse since she was a child and came to Middlesex as an adult-learner looking to pursue her dream. Now she works in the Emergency Room at Emerson Hospital.

“Middlesex prepared us to be good nurses,” she said. “They know what they’re doing. The level of expertise with the professors is unbelievable. I really respect that they helped and taught me.”

Lim believes that because of MCC, she feels prepared to do her job. As a nurse at Lowell General Hospital on D4 – an intermediate care unit – she provides care for both COVID and non-COVID patients. Although this is challenging, she remembers the persistence she learned at school.

“I loved my time at MCC and I’m so glad I went there for nursing,” Lim said. “It was tough, but no one ever said nursing school was going to be easy. If you put forth the effort, you will get through it and be successful. I never gave up.”

For Williams, nursing is a rewarding experience and she cannot picture herself working in any other profession. Having worked as a nurse for almost a year in the ICU, she now fully realizes the value of her education from Middlesex.

“It wasn’t like Middlesex was preparing me to take a test or get my license,” she said. “In all of my practice and lectures, they really prepared me to be a nurse and brought together the full picture of what it means and what your goal is. I felt that way in the program, but now that I’m a nurse, I can vouch for that.”

Dominguez, Lim and Williams all keep in touch with their professors and classmates. Most recently, people have been checking in to see how everyone is holding up or asking how each hospital is handling COVID-19 treatments.

This support from faculty was a fixture throughout their academic journeys – learning how to transfer the skills and theoretical approach they learned in school to the real world of nursing.

Dominguez says she grew a “thick skin” thanks to her professors, which helps in all of the challenging parts of nursing every day.

“They really need to prepare you because this is a tough job,” she said. “I remember one of my professors telling me, ‘you need to know the things that you don’t know.’ It means that when you don’t know something, be ready to learn and receive constructive criticism, correction and direction.”

Lim credits several of her professors for their influence, including Professors Bradley, Small and Lavallee. Each of them brought different strengths and assistance when she needed it.

“I loved all of the professors, but there were a few who stood out to me,” she said. “My professors were always available whenever I had questions or struggled with a topic and my classmates were always very supportive.”

Williams gained a lot from each of her professors for a number of reasons, but it is their understanding and passion for their subjects that stands out.

“The nursing faculty was super supportive of us and really wanted us to succeed,” Williams said. “All the professors were passionate about the areas of their focus and about teaching. They were really helpful in building those foundational skills and the values I’ve taken with me in my nursing practice.”

Having a network of support – whether with former faculty, classmates or current co-workers – helps them endure. The biggest challenge through this pandemic is not something that could be taught, but learned in the moment. Having to witness the isolation their patients feel in the wake of families not being allowed into the room is a struggle they all face.

“I can only do so much with a mask and a shield and these big gowns,” Dominguez said. “They can’t see my face, they can’t see me smile, they can’t see me cry. They might feel the emotion, but they can’t see it and that is really difficult. That has really changed how I treat my patients. It’s sobering and it’s sad and I’m trying to be a little bit more verbal on my plan for them."

Lim finds it challenging to leave a patient’s room because of how lonely and afraid they feel.

“These individuals are fighting for their lives alone,” she said. “Families are depending on us to support and advocate for their loved ones. Through it all, my colleagues and I are rolling with the punches – doing the best we can while still providing quality care for our patients.”

Williams has helped be creative in allowing patients to connect with their families.

“It’s been hard not letting family members in,” she said. “But they’ve been using technology to be creative – an iPad to connect to Zoom for families to be present with them, and I can give them privacy to be together.”

Despite these challenges, their hard work and determination has shown their resiliency.

As she works through the pandemic and sees how it changes every day, Dominguez believes Middlesex prepared her for how to respond to it.

“We need to adapt and change and be willing to learn in order to do our job effectively,” she said. “It changes the way I look at my colleagues. We are so in this together. I could not be prouder of the people I work with and the management who’s leading us. We’ll learn from this and we’ll learn together.”

COVID-19 has created new stressors to an already demanding job, according to Lim – especially the fear of the unknown and a heavier workload. Now a primary nurse, she delegates tasks to a team. When they work on a patient, there is always another right behind with little time to process what is happening in the moment.

“Despite everything that’s being thrown at us, we still remain resilient and hopeful,” Lim said. “We have our good days and days when we feel absolutely defeated. But regardless of the circumstances, we will show up for our next shift, whether it be for 8 or 12 hours, ready to work as a team.”

In the beginning, Williams said it was hardest with there being so many unanswered questions and having to figure out new plans to deal with COVID-19. But the goal to treat patients above all, remains the same.

“The core nursing practice hasn’t changed,” Williams said. “We’ve definitely had to make a lot of adjustments to the way we do things.” It has reinforced how vital our role is and how resilient we are. How much we make a difference in the outcome of these patients is an important role.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing Program. Registration for MCC’s Summer and Fall Programs are now open. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum Works on Frontlines of Testing for COVID-19 5/14/20205/29/2020 10:52 AM
Alex Pum works on the frontlines of testing for COVID-19. A Middlesex Community College alum of the college’s Medical Laboratory Program, Pum works as a second shift Senior Medical Technologist at Lowell General Hospital. In this role, he performs lab testing and processes and provides results, which includes for COVID-19.

Although the practice of assuming patients are infectious when treating them is not new to COVID-19, Pum believes it is more important now than ever to remain adaptable at work because “yesterday’s information might already be too old.”

“One of the best pieces of advice I have heard is to act as if you have a current infection with the coronavirus,” he said. “We have a responsibility to protect each other. Our actions truly have a certain weight to them.”

The student in him also wants to remind people to check sources to ensure they are “credible and reputable” as so much information streams in about COVID-19.

It was at Middlesex where Pum learned how to relate the theory he studied in his classes to practical experiences in the lab. He credits his professors – Sue McHale and Chris Laviolette – for their guidance.

Having professors who also worked in the field was valuable and relevant to him.

“Science is an ever-changing field,” he said. “So a fresh and current perspective is always enlightening.”

The program was like a little family of support for him. Pum worked full-time at night while taking classes, so he would sleep when he could – including at school, in-between classes. He believes that because MCC has a diverse population of students with an assortment of needs, his classmates and professors were understanding and would wake him up for class.

“It was comforting to know that my professors knew my story and that they believed in me,” he said. “I was absolutely expected to do my work, study and attend classes. They just had the gentle hand I needed at the time.”

Amid the pandemic, McHale has had to alter the Med Lab Tech program to keep students safe and on track with their learning – and to continue offering support.

Under normal circumstances, students complete a competency-based bootcamp before being allowed to complete clinical experience at a hospital. This would usually be on-campus, but as MCC has had to adhere to social distancing, McHale instituted a virtual laboratory experience in its place.

“Faculty developed intensive simulations in the areas of microbiology and urinalysis using photography and videography to build patient case studies, while the college supported our needs in other clinical disciplines allowing for the purchase of software to enhance student learning,” McHale said. “Students complete these assignments independently using our LMS and the faculty provide continuous support and guidance when needed.”

In addition to spearheading donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Lowell General from Middlesex, McHale also collaborates with faculty and clinical experts in hospitals and in the industry. The team shares tips and tools to enhance the learning outcomes for future medical laboratorians. This allows graduates of the program an opportunity to develop more advanced clinical thinking skills in the field.

It’s this commitment to success from McHale, the Med Lab Tech Program and MCC that prepares students like Pum to be workforce ready – despite unexpected challenges that arise.

“I do not think I could have done as well as I could have if I had done it anywhere else,” Pum said. “It is not an exaggeration to say that MCC has been life changing.”

For more information on MCC’s Medical Laboratory Technician program, contact Suzanne McHale, Program Coordinator, at mchales@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-322-8412.

MCC’s Quickstart Summer Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 will feature enhanced online learning options. Summer is a great time for students to take general requirements.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Finds a Home at MCC5/21/20205/28/2020 11:25 AM
Altagracia Sanchez is part of Middlesex Community College’s 2020 graduating class. She came to Middlesex because of its affordability and proximity to home, she stayed because it became another kind of home.

“There are so many people from all over the world that there is no chance someone could feel like an outsider,” she said. “Diversity is intrinsic to MCC, it is obvious with the diverse staff and student population here.”

As an adult-learner and mother, Sanchez juggled school with other responsibilities, including working part-time. She especially appreciated the flexibility of online learning, calling online classes a “huge advantage for many non-traditional students like me.”

Her initial plan at the college was to learn English in order to get a job. Once classes started and she became more involved on campus, her mindset changed.

“If I wanted my kids to be successful in a foreign country, I needed to be a role model for them,” she said. “MCC gave me the tools to be up-to-date with my profession.”

Sanchez began her journey at MCC with the Prepare to Attend College (PAC) free non-credit program because she didn’t speak English. After taking basic English classes, she took a break for a semester before registering for college-level courses.

She only scored one point below the necessary score for English 101, but instead of re-taking the test, Sanchez registered for the Academic English for Bilingual Students and Grammar and Editing courses on the recommendation of MCC Professor Willy Ramirez, who has a program for advising Latino students.

The Academic English for Bilingual Students course was taught by Professor Anahit Shahinian who became a mentor for Sanchez – through her guidance and confidence in her. Sanchez says Shahinian was part of all of her accomplishments at the college.

“I am afraid that my words might not be enough to express what she means to me,” Sanchez said. “I am completely sure that my story would have been very different without her. Professor Shahinian wants everyone that crosses paths with her to be successful.”

After Sanchez finished her first courses, Shahinian recommended her as an English Language Learner tutor. Sanchez found support and friendships during her time at the MCC Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). She calls her experience with ACE and as a tutor “game-changing” because of her passion for helping people.

“Working at the ACE department gave me something that I didn’t have,” she said.” It gave me a sense of belonging. I felt at home. At ACE, I grew up personally and professionally, and had the honor of meeting marvelous people which I am grateful for.”

For Sanchez, going from an ELL student to an ELL tutor was key to her success and pushed her further. She went on to become a writing tutor, Supplement Instructor (SI) Leader, and an accounting tutor for the math department. These opportunities allowed her to be an active member of the MCC community – on- and off-campus.

As an MCC SI Leader, Sanchez participated in conferences around the area, including running a workshop at the Northeast Regional Conference for SI leaders in March 2019 and sitting on a panel at the 4th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning, Challenging Language Inequities in Education at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center in April 2019. She has also participated on a panel at the Teaching Multilingual College Students conference in a collaboration between Middlesex and UMass Lowell.

Representing the ACE Department, Sanchez attended CareerCon events on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses where she met with students, MCC staff members and potential employers. She has participated in La Guagua reading groups – once as a moderator – and in Latinos Unidos.

In addition to Shahinian and Ramirez, Sanchez credits Professor Vikram Sharma, Virginia Drislane, Noreen McGinness Olson and Mari Sapina-Kerkhove for helping her succeed.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all faculty and staff for the help they provide to all students and for their unconditional encouragement,” she said. “MCC counts on wonderful people who are committed to do their best. Thank you for the extraordinary support throughout the arduous path towards your students’ success.”

Sanchez graduates as a Business Administration-Accounting major. She received the Outstanding Achievement in Associate in Science, Business Administration Accounting Program Award, as well as the W. Brian Van Lierop English Language Learners Prize for her achievements.

With a bachelor’s degree from the Dominican Republic, Sanchez will attend UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business for an MBA.

“Graduating feels very good,” she said. “It means that immigrants like me – not so young woman, mother of two boys – can have dreams, but despite all adversities, if we persevere and work hard, we can achieve those dreams.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Virtual Admissions Sessions to Local High Schools5/11/20205/27/2020 11:17 AM
Middlesex Community College understands that students cannot afford to pause their academic journeys. Middlesex has worked hard during this COVID-19 crisis to transition coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems that keep students on their academic path. In an effort to accommodate prospective students and their families, MCC’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment is offering virtual sessions.

As a leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex has made an efficient and successful transition to remote systems. Jeffrey Tejada, MCC’s Director of Diversity Outreach and Recruitment, believes it is critical to offer virtual platforms to guide current and future students.

“I think now more than ever, in light of the crisis we are experiencing, students and families need to feel reassured that MCC has their needs, interests and concerns in mind as we help them navigate through the college enrollment process,” he said. “Attending college is an equally exciting and nerve-wracking experience.”

The Getting Started @ MCC sessions – which began weekly in March – help students understand and complete the enrollment process. Sessions answer questions related to the community college experience and feature the resources, services and opportunities available to students, including Mass Transfer, Academic Advising, Student Engagement, Academic Map and Pathways.

Sessions will now be offered bi-weekly in addition to being catered to local high schools, including in Lowell and Lawrence – which will feature a bilingual session to accommodate the city’s large Latinx population.

Maintaining connections with local high schools is beneficial to prospective students to learn what is available to them. Karyn Cassidy, College Relations Counselor at Lowell High School, believes MCC has been responsive to Lowell High’s needs.

“Jeff Tejada has continued to provide virtual opportunities for our seniors in an effort to keep them connected and moving towards their goal of attending college in the fall,” she said. “These services are a reminder to our students that college is still a possibility.”

While applying for college can feel overwhelming, Tejada believes these sessions answer questions, help eliminate fears, and show students that they are not alone in this process.

“Many of our applicants are first-generation students who are both feeling tremendous pride and sense of accomplishment in being the first members of their families to go to college,” he said. “But they are also concerned about the various unknowns that come with applying, enrolling and attending college.”

The webinars also include sessions on Dual Enrollment for high school students wanting to earn college credit, Health Programs for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, and International Admissions for students who wish to come to the U.S. for their studies.

Education does not have to be put on hold because of COVID-19 and Middlesex understands that students need guidance on the college process now more than ever.

“Despite these extremely difficult and unprecedented circumstances, the critical function of educating our students continues at Middlesex,” Tejada said. “The connectivity offered through our Getting Started @ MCC virtual sessions and other webinars allows us to continue our critical work of recruiting and guiding students to Middlesex Community College.”

To participate, students receive an email invitation with a link to the webinar of choice. Participants can choose to use the mic and chat function or the camera as they connect with the Admissions representative.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information and to sign up for a virtual session.

To register for summer and fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Nursing Program Faculty Go Above and Beyond5/12/20205/26/2020 11:32 AM
Middlesex Community College celebrates its phenomenal Nursing Program. The program transitioned to remote and virtual learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For Middlesex, students and their success continue to be the number one priority, and faculty have risen to the challenge of altering their teaching styles in a manner of weeks.

Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Program Director of Nurse Education, believes that educating nurses has never been so important – on the local level and globally. She credits the MCC faculty for their creative approach to making the transition to remote learning.

“Every nursing faculty member in the department has been courageous, flexible, creative, collaborative and simply amazing as they have had to move – without preparation – from face-to-face teaching to remote learning,” she said. “They are all doing a herculean job within each of their courses to ensure that students are able to meet the student learning outcomes, are supported in their efforts to learn remotely, and are acknowledged for the challenging times that they find themselves in.”

Dr. Shapiro believes the pandemic has shifted the way the Nursing Program will continue in the future and has created an opportunity and circumstances to allow for positive changes despite the challenges.

Faculty have been using voice-over PowerPoint presentations, case studies and Blackboard Collaborate sessions. Susan Miller, a new full-time faculty member in the ACUE course, created a research assignment for her students called “The COVID-19 Student Presentation Project” – an assignment Dr. Shapiro calls “new, appropriate and timely.”

“When the March break ended, they were able to continue the learning in a remote fashion as if they had been doing it that way all along,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Each faculty member took this opportunity to grow and be creative.”

The biggest challenge for the program is providing opportunities for students to practice in a clinical setting. To combat this, Middlesex provides software to simulate clinical experiences so that students have access to a virtual simulation model that continues to provide valuable and deep learning.

Although the program has made a successful and well-rounded transition to remote learning, behavioral skills – such as giving injections – need to be taught and practiced in a classroom or lab setting. Dr. Shapiro looks forward to when this can happen again.

“The nursing faculty await a time in the near future when students – even in small groups – can return to the classroom and gain competence in these skills,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Until nursing education at MCC once again takes place in our classrooms, faculty will continue to adapt, be nimble and be creative in order to provide a quality education during a pandemic.”

When making these changes, faculty also have to take into account the regulating agency – the Board of Registration in Nursing – and the accrediting agency – the Accrediting Commission for Nurse Education – both of which oversee the program and any changes that are made.

Dr. Shapiro – and the Nursing faculty – have received positive feedback from students.

“It has been humbling to the faculty that in times of great turmoil students are valuing their professors,” Dr. Shapiro said. “From one student to her professor, ‘You have worked so hard to keep us all updated as you move everything to online and remote learning. I can’t express how appreciative I am that you are so organized and open with us. You have put so much effort into all of this for us. You made us feel worthy of being nurses of the future.’”

Middlesex offers both full-time day and part-time evening/weekend options to prepare nurses to earn an Associate in Science, as well as eligibility to take the NCLEX. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing Programs.

To register for classes at MCC – for the summer and fall – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Learn More About MCC’s Enrollment Process with Virtual Webinars for Parents & Families5/18/20205/22/2020 1:43 PM
Middlesex Community College understands applying to college can be an overwhelming process for prospective students and their families. Middlesex provides high-quality education that is accessible and affordable, especially during these confusing and challenging times. As a leader of online education for over 20 years, MCC is prepared to make the enrollment process an easy one using a virtual platform. The college’s Office of Admissions has created virtual Information Sessions for parents and families.

These Parent and Family Information Sessions will cover the benefits of community college and how to support the future college student on this new journey. The webinars will answer questions, help eliminate fears, and show families they are not alone in this process.

Education does not have to be put on hold because of COVID-19 and Middlesex understands that families need guidance on the college process now more than ever.

“We know that a lot of families are trying to figure out how to approach the fall semester,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Middlesex is in a position to offer meaningful and enriching academic experiences to students, some of whom may not have previously considered community college.

“Participating in a virtual Parent and Family Information Session is a great way to learn about the wonderful things MCC and our campuses can offer your student. These events provide parents and families with a one-stop opportunity to learn about how to get started on their Middlesex journey.”

The first session will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 and another will occur at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.

Webinars also include sessions on Getting Started @ MCC to help students understand and complete the enrollment process; Dual Enrollment for high school-aged students wanting to earn college credit; Health Programs for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare; and International Admissions for students who wish to come to the U.S. for their studies.

To join, participants receive an email invitation with a link to the webinar of choice and can choose to use the mic and chat function or the camera as they connect with the Admissions representative.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information and to sign up for a virtual session.

To register for summer and fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC To Celebrate Class of 2020 with Virtual Commencement5/18/20205/21/2020 1:23 PM
Middlesex Community College is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and success of its students. MCC’s class of 2020 cannot celebrate in person because of COVID-19 and the temporary closure of The Lowell Memorial Auditorium. The college has orchestrated a virtual celebration that will air at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 21 on Lowell’s local access station LTC. At 9:30 a.m., the ceremony will start with a photomontage of the graduates from the past year.

In her 30 years of working in higher education, Pam Flaherty, MCC’s Dean of Students, has witnessed the “determination” and “strength” of community college students working towards their goals. For the class of 2020, she describes the “grit, perseverance and resiliency” they have shown, even under a virtual lens.

“Many of us are missing the distraction of spectator sports in this unexpected and difficult time,” she said. “In the face of adversity, fear and anxiety, the determination and resolve of our graduates has brought the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. You are champions! I honor, respect and applaud the class of 2020 in this virtual celebration and know that they will leave their ‘imprint’ in purpose, spirit, endurance and generosity in our world forever!”

A virtual commencement ensures each graduate will be recognized, while all of MCC’s students, faculty and staff remain safe. There will be special messages from the college President James C. Mabry and Provost Phil Sisson. Program Deans will read the names of the students.

Flaherty believes the two student speakers – Ijebusonma Agundu and Celia Garron – exemplify the determination and strength of the 2020 class.

"Writing this speech made me vulnerable because I was sharing a part of me that people hardly knew about,” Agundu said. “This year really taught us a lot about flexibility, strength and perseverance! We might not be together in our robes this year, but this is our ode, our moment, so let’s be proud of it!

“These are challenging times but let’s smile because we didn’t mount this milestone alone – because it took a village. It took your hard work, sleepless nights, patience and help from the teachers. Let’s not allow this virus to take away our joy or ruin our parade! Salute to the Class of 2020, because we made it!”

For many years, Colleen Cox, MCC’s Chief Administrative Officer, has led the cross-college group that plans the event. For 2020’s commencement, they made the decision to do everything possible to still create a time and way for MCC’s students to be celebrated.

“We are extremely proud of the program we have,” she said. “We have included footage of past ceremonies that includes a platform party, faculty and staff processional from the Cowan Center across the street to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, bagpipes playing, and the more than 50 flags carried by Lowell High School ROTC that represent the countries of our students. Although we are not able to celebrate in-person, we are committed to offering the same pomp and circumstance to our 2020 graduates.”

While this year’s ceremony is virtual, the group believes MCC’s class of 2020 deserves to wear their caps and gowns and walk across the stage.

“Although we cannot celebrate together in person, I want students to know that – along with the faculty and staff of the college – I am tremendously proud of their accomplishments,” said James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “Even though the class of 2020 will have officially graduated, we are inviting the more than 1,000 graduates to next year's commencement ceremony, giving them the opportunity to wear their cap and gown and officially cross the stage.”

The 2020-2021 year will mark the college’s 50th Anniversary, providing the 2020 and 2021 graduates a celebration with faculty, staff and alumni from across the college’s 50-year history.

To make room for this larger group, the 2021 ceremony will be held as Lowell’s Tsongas Arena. According to Cox, at this time “we will highlight and celebrate our hardworking and resilient MCC alums and graduates.”

To make this year’s commencement more personal, MCC’s Department of Marketing Communications has created digital ways for graduates and their families to celebrate, including providing details for students to host virtual watch parties.

“Commencement is the most important day in the life of a student,” said Beth Noel, MCC’s Director of Marketing Communications. “On the College’s website, you can download printable posters, graphics to share on social media, and backgrounds to use during watch parties. On the graduation website, you can also find a list of all graduate names, academic honors and awards. Our graduates worked hard for this moment and we want to make sure that even during this pandemic, they are acknowledged.”

All that is required to watch the virtual commencement is internet access and a device. Visit https://www.ltc.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/LTCLowell/ to join in on the celebration.

Register for MCC’s online Quickstart and Summer Sessions 1 & 2 starting on May 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Foundation Establishes Student Emergency Appeal4/30/20205/21/2020 9:25 AM
As Middlesex Community College finds new ways to teach and support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of the college’s Foundation is more important now than ever before. MCC serves a diverse population and many community members suffer from financial, food and housing insecurity – and these struggles have been heightened due to the current health crisis. In response, the Middlesex Community College Foundation established the Student Emergency Appeal to support students who are directly affected.

The MCC Foundation’s mission is to provide equitable access to a quality education and help students succeed academically and professionally. Raising funds for students suffering from financial stress due to the repercussions of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing is at the heart of what the Foundation does.

“This appeal augments our efforts as student need has increased substantially due to job losses, loss of childcare, the loss of the access to technology – never mind the increase in the challenges with food and housing insecurities,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancements. “Our Student Affairs and Financial Services departments are doing a great job working with students to address and meet those needs.”

The Foundation’s appeal is in addition to the Student Emergency Fund that the college had in place to support students for one-time emergency-based needs, such as house fires, floods and unexpected job loss.

More students than usual have reached out for assistance, according to Jonathan Crockett, MCC’s Coordinator of Essential Needs & Community Resources. Many inquire about accessing the Food Pantries – located on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses – and for Market Basket gift cards community members have donated.

“Right now, we have a lot of students dealing with un- or underemployment and food and housing challenges,” Crockett said. “We’re seeing a ripple effect for some of our students. I know that there are so many people right now who are feeling like they’d like to be helpful in any way they can. The need is now more than ever. I’m grateful to the Foundation both for recognizing the need and for their outreach.”

Crockett expects the requests to increase in the next few weeks. He also emphasizes that students have appreciated the outreach effort, whether or not they have needed extra support.

To contribute to students in need, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/emergency/ to donate online, or make a check payable to the Middlesex Community College Foundation – with a notation to the MCC Emergency Fund – and mail to PO Box 8681, Lowell, MA, 01853.

For more information on the MCC Foundation, contact Sherri McCormack at mccormacks@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3034. To get in touch about MCC’s Food Pantries, contact Jonathan Crockett at crockettj@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3785.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Classes at MCC – A Leader of Online Education4/21/20205/20/2020 11:20 AM
In these difficult times, students need to be assured that they are receiving an education from an institution with a proven track record of success in online learning. Middlesex Community College has been a leader of online education for over 20 years. This summer, MCC will offer an expanded roster of online learning for its Summer Quickstart Session, as well as Summer Sessions 1 and 2 – all starting on May 26.

“Middlesex Community College has a decades long history of providing high-quality, affordable hybrid and online course offerings,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty have consistently been supported with excellent professional development to create strong, customized online content and many faculty, courses and academic programs have won state and national awards/rankings for outstanding online work.”

Because of the college’s achievements, Middlesex was able to act quickly and effectively in transitioning to remote, virtual and limited contact systems during this COVID-19 crisis. In a matter of weeks, faculty members have had to alter their courses to remote learning – and they have risen to the challenge of relaying content in a creative and successful fashion. This is because at Middlesex, student success is at the core of what the college does, according to Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts.

“When faculty prepare to put a course online, we talk about teaching – not about technology,” Olson said. “Technology changes frequently, so it is important that instructors select and learn the tools that are important to teach their subject matter in the way that makes sense to them and supports their unique teaching styles. Middlesex has always been about using the online tools to develop personal connections among teachers and students so deep learning can happen.”

In the fall of 2019, MCC offered 390 online and hybrid courses – a combination of online and face-to-face instruction. Online enrollment continues to grow and constitutes about 20 percent of total enrollments at the college.

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

The college understands that the COVID-19 crisis has financially burdened many students. To ensure student success, MCC’s Student Accounts is offering summer payment plans for the first time. In addition, the college will waive all $20 enrollment and $10 late payment fees.

This summer, current MCC students can complete general education requirements; college students home for the summer can keep their minds fresh for learning or improve their GPA; high school-aged students can gain college credit; adult learners and those who were laid-off as a result of COVID-19 can learn a new skill or work towards starting a new career; and furloughed workers can take advantage of the time to complete professional development opportunities.

MCC offers a three-week Summer QuickStart Session – May 26 to June 12. Summer Session 1 is five weeks and runs May 26 to June 25; Summer Session 2 is eight weeks, running May 26 to July 22. Summer Session 3 will run for five weeks from July 7 to August 6.

For more information and to register for summer classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Health and STEM Programs Donate PPE to Lowell General3/27/20205/19/2020 11:15 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to partner with local businesses and organizations to offer help to those who need it most. The college had a surplus of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they donated to Lowell General Hospital (LGH) during this COVID-19 crisis.

Suzanne McHale, Chair of MCC’s Medical Laboratory Technology program and employee at LGH, orchestrated the donations along with the Biotechnology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs at the college.

“Since these PPE are not currently being used for in-person learning due to the COVID-19 shelter at home situation we are all experiencing, these articles can be better used and are desperately needed by hospitals such as Lowell General,” said Paul Patev, an MCC Biotechnology professor.

MCC students have clinical and internship experiences at LGH, thanks to the partnership the two institutions share. Students use the same PPE as hospital professionals during their laboratory and cleanroom work. The equipment – and the clinical and internship experiences – allow MCC to prepare students to work in Health and STEM related-fields upon graduation.

“This is a great thing we can do as a college – with whatever excess we have – to give to our local hospital,” McHale said. “LGH supports our healthcare programs tremendously and this is one of our ways to give back to them.”

The college was happy to donate the extra materials they had in storage, which included over 500 face masks, more than 40 boxes of gloves, 15 plus packages of lab coats, 50 face shields, over 50 bottles of hand sanitizer, nearly 50 Coveralls, over 5 containers of wipes, 900 Bouffant caps and thousands of booties.

On Monday, March 25, McHale presented the majority of the donations to Shirley Murrant, LGH’s Laboratory Director and the LGH security team – Luis Lopez Pezzotti, Tyler Michaud, Cody Krygowski and James Urbaez. She also delivered equipment to the hospital’s satellite location, the Saints Campus, on March 18 and March 25.

Visit www.lowellgeneral.org/news-and-media/news/lowell-general-hospital-is-accepting-donations to make a donation to Lowell General Hospital.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Remote Courses to Community Partners5/13/20205/18/2020 2:33 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education & Training (CET) partners with local businesses and organizations to provide professional development to employees. During this COVID-19 pandemic, MCC transitioned courses to remote, virtual and limited contact systems, including CET. As more people work from home or are furloughed, this is the perfect time to take classes, gain knowledge and skills, and work towards career advancement.

A leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex is adept at providing its courses and instructors with the tools needed to transition classes to remote learning.

“This is a perfect example of how MCC supports our employer partnerships – and has done so for over 30 years,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “Even throughout the pandemic, we continue to support our employers with cost-effective, flexible and customized education and training so they can continue to flourish – despite the difficult circumstances.”

Tim Scanlon, MCC’s Program Manager of Business & Industry, collaborated with Marci Barnes from Juniper and instructor Chris Soucy from Innate Forces to transition the Essentials of Communications and Interpersonal Skills courses to Zoom.

“The three of us had a few meetings as a team to develop a plan to move forward that is mutually beneficial for Juniper, MCC and the training provider, and worked through any kinks along the way together,” Barnes said. “They have both been very flexible and easy to work with to make this experience the best it can be for our employees.”

Soucy’s in-class format of the course is a single half-day delivery. For the remote version, the workshop is delivered once a week for three weeks. Although there were challenges involved – including missing face-to-face interaction – Soucy enjoys witnessing the improvement of an employee’s skills grow over time rather than just working with them for one day.

“My sense is this helped deepen the learning,” he said. “We studied it and practiced during the workshop and then shared how we applied it at the start of the next session.”

Barnes believes Zoom allowed for a smooth transition as the instructor was able to interact with the employees, and employees could interact with each other. Having a video component aided in employees’ comfort levels and created a cohesive environment of learning.

“Middlesex’s flexibility to adjust and move the classes to a virtual platform was imperative to the success and completion of the grant,” Barnes said. “I am impressed that MCC was able to shift so quickly to make these content areas and classes available to our teams.”

In the transition, Soucy added content to his learning materials – a participant guide and slide deck ¬¬– ¬to include more written detailed information. In the learning exercises, he uses small group discussions and partner exercises. A benefit to using Zoom, Soucy believes, is being able to record the sessions for employees to view later.

“Given near-universal closure of non-essential businesses, the main benefit of online learning is that it allowed the training engagement to happen in April, versus needing to postpone or cancel,” he said. “The interpersonal communication skills sessions are an ideal topic. We are all experiencing a strain in communicating with others so that any skills can be immediately applied.”

Soucy related the content of the Essentials of Communications course to working from home and Barnes said feedback from the employees was positive. As working from home is new for many, being able to discuss these skills provides employees with the strategies needed to perform better.

“We are all being challenged and stretched right now, and that is a primary way for us to grow,” Soucy said. “What cements this growth is how well we can apply what we’ve learned right now in isolation and then when physical distancing ends.”

To learn more about MCC’s professional development courses, contact Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Program Manager of Corporate Education & Training at tuzzolol@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3109.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Culinary Arts Program Gets Creative with Remote Learning 5/5/20205/18/2020 10:48 AM
Middlesex Community College – like many colleges and universities across the country – transitioned to remote, virtual and limited contact systems for the college’s coursework and student services due to the effects of COVID-19. MCC’s faculty had to make quick and creative solutions to continue offering students hands-on learning experiences.

As a leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex was able to make a smooth transition to remote courses. Kim Morrissey, MCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Arts Program Coordinator, also credits the college’s students for their resiliency during these challenging times. The students coming together “in this new virtual world” has been inspiring.

“They have been working hard to create fantasy restaurants and creating presentations to share with their classmates,” she said. “They have also been virtually planning large scale events and taking virtual tours of restaurants, hotels and event venues. Many of my students have been sharing photos of their own recipes and food they have been making at home.”

Andy Sirois is an adult-learner who came to Middlesex to get a certificate in Culinary Arts. He is impressed by the quality of instruction at MCC and lists the community, the support, and the ease of the registration and payment process as the best parts of attending the college.

“Being able to continue with these courses has provided some structure to my day and I feel I am still making progress,” Sirois said. “I enjoy it so much that after I get my certificate, I’ll stay and take a few more business courses to get my associate in Culinary Arts/Hospitality.”

His Business courses with Morrissey are asynchronous classes, so materials can be accessed at any time. Morrissey provides videos, narrated presentations, a discussion board, readings and assignments in addition to live virtual meetings.

The transition to this style of learning was smooth, but Sirois’s Food Science & Sanitation class requires more hands-on, practical learning. To combat this challenge, Professor Jim Giordano includes instructions for students to bake on their own. Students just need to have access to a kitchen, stove and baking utensils.

Giordano has been making demonstration videos for his students along with schematics and diagrams. He has even been working with a video editor to ensure his instructional materials are high-quality and easy to follow.

For the class, Sirois baked a fruit tart and a Torte De L’opera at home – creating a slideshow depicting each stage of the process, from how to make a ganache to a chocolate glaze.

Andrea Melanson is also a Culinary Arts student taking Giordano’s class. She made a Joconde Sponge Cake and documented the process with a one-minute video that included descriptions of her process.

“I have been trying to bake things that we baked in the previous baking class to improve my skills and do the projects that we would have been doing in the kitchen classes,” Melanson said. “During this uncertain time, it is something that I look forward to. It is interesting to be able to do the projects at home and that helps me stay calm when I feel stressed or anxious.”

Although she doesn’t always have the necessary ingredients for every recipe, Melanson said coming up with substitutions is part of the fun.

Melanson is expecting to graduate in 2021. Her favorite part about Middlesex so far has been meeting and working with a diverse group of people who she has learned from, both in her studies and socially.

Both Sirois and Melanson miss the in-class component and connection to their fellow students and professors, but see the benefit to working at their own pace at home.

Giordano has been inspired by his students and their perseverance, despite the circumstances.

“I know that connecting with them as if I were in class will be more meaningful,” he said. “We’re also trying to communicate with video conferencing just to keep in touch and see each other.”

For more information on MCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Arts program, contact Kim Morrissey, Program Coordinator, at morrisseyk@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3170.

MCC’s Quickstart Summer Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 will feature enhanced online learning options. Summer is a great time for students to take general requirements.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Places First, Second and Third at Mass. DECA Competition5/7/20205/14/2020 12:12 PM
On February 22, Middlesex Community College took home first, second and third place in various categories at the Massachusetts DECA Competition held at Stonehill College. The competition allows students majoring in marketing, finance, hospitality and management an opportunity to compete with other local colleges and high schools.

Professor Vikram Sharma attended the event with six MCC students. Middlesex won first and second place in the Human Resources event, while they took third place in Accounting. The college placed fifth in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing categories.

“Competitions like these prepare our students for the real world,” Sharma said. “They enhance learning beyond the realms of classrooms and textbooks. Students learn how to network and build professional contacts.”

The events are judged by professionals within the industry and their feedback is valuable to the students who hope to enter the workforce, according to Sharma. Students also gain presentation, leadership, organization and team-building skills.

Gabriel Sarrategui is an MCC Business Administration student who hopes to transfer to a four-year school to continue studying Business. He’d like to work in management for nonprofit organizations once he graduates.

“These competitions are important to education because they teach communication, presentation, skills from each specialized role play, and adaptation to quick learning and confidence,” Sarrategui said. “No matter what major an individual studies, participating in DECA provides an experience to learn and better themselves.”

Participants at the event engaged in individual or team role play events, according to Sarrategui. They were given a situation and 30 minutes to create a statement and solution before presenting it to the judge.

Throughout the competition, Middlesex students competed against students from four-year universities who are in their junior and senior years – many of whom have taken more advanced courses in their fields. For Sharma, this emphasizes the significance of MCC’s accomplishments.

He especially appreciates witnessing students who started off shy gaining confidence by participating in events like these. Faculty and staff get to see the dedication they provide for their students be rewarded – which further inspires them to continue trying to make a difference in their lives.

“From the college’s perspective, this fulfills the mission to prepare our students to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Sharma said. “It increases student engagement and serves as an inspiration to other students that they are on par – if not better – than their competition.”

Registration for summer and fall courses is now open. Call 1-800-818-3434 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ for more information and to register for courses.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Named to All-Massachusetts Academic Team4/29/20205/13/2020 11:58 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to celebrate student success. Three Middlesex students have been recognized as outstanding two-year college students and members of Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) 2020 All-Massachusetts Academic Team.

Cara Hartsgrove of Tewksbury; Sokharath Koy of Lowell and originally from Cambodia; and Andrea Wallis, formally of Lowell and now in Pelham, N.H., were honored in a virtual “PTK Community College Excellence Week.” MCC Students were featured on the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges’ (MACC) social media pages on April 29.

Every year, MACC honors the All-Massachusetts Academic Team to showcase the best and brightest students in the 15-college system. Phi Theta Kappa – the international society for two-year colleges – the Coca-Cola Foundation, community college presidents, and community college state associations annually co-sponsor the All-State Academic Teams.

Cara Hartsgrove graduated with an associate degree in Criminal Justice in the Fall of 2019. She plans to attend UMass Lowell for her bachelor’s degree and her ultimate goal is to become a police officer. She believes MCC was a stepping stone for her future and credits her professors for their support.

“I liked Middlesex a lot,” she said. “The teachers were always helpful and there was always someone available to give guidance. Middlesex has a lot to offer, whether it be with using the library, having tutoring services or having advisors available.”

Hartsgrove enjoyed taking both in-person and online courses. In addition to her studies, she worked with the food pantry as part of a service-learning opportunity to run drives for winter clothing and personal items. She said that helping other people makes her happy.

“PTK is like a family, in which we all work together because of our accomplishments,” she said. “We are recognized because of how hard we push ourselves to excel.”

Sokharath Koy is a Psychology major who will graduate in May. He enjoys MCC’s flexible schedules so he can manage his classes while working full-time. Koy came to the U.S. in late 2016 and plans to study Sociology at UMass Lowell. MCC provides him with a solid educational background and intensive learning experience that he said benefits his personal life in addition to his academic journey.

“I love the campus with diverse students from different towns and countries,” he said. “I learn more about myself than I ever thought within such an environment. I get a lot of support from the tutoring center, especially for my writing because English is my second language.”

Koy enjoys working with the knowledgeable professors at MCC, as well as with Virak Uy, MCC’s Director of Asian American Student Advancement Program. Through PTK, Koy has been able to attend events where he shares ideas and experiences with other members.

“I would like to express my thankfulness to MCC and PTK for their strong support and for allowing me to be a representative in the All-Massachusetts Team,” he said. “I am very glad to know someone believes in my dream, inspiring me to work harder in order to change my life.”

Andrea Wallis is pursuing Medical Office Administration and hopes to graduate within the year. Many of her courses have been completed online as she balances her studies with her job. Wallis was inspired to work in hospice after going through the experience with her mother and their family.

“Middlesex is so accommodating and I would recommend it to anyone no matter your age or if you think you can’t possibly go back to school,” she said. “Do not doubt yourself. You can do it. No matter what, MCC will help you get through any obstacle, so never say never.”

Wallis originally started at a different school, but transferred to MCC for the Medical Office Administration program. She is thankful for the guidance from her professors and MCC staff members.

“I would always tell myself as long as you pass, you will be alright,” she said. “Once I started getting good grades, I pushed myself to make sure I continued and that makes me feel wonderful. I am honored to be part of PTK.”

Since 1918, PTK has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students, while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join PTK.

For more information about MCC’s All-Massachusetts Academic Team members, contact Steven Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement, at rossis@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3789.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Teams Up with Community Partner for Remote Course4/28/20205/12/2020 12:24 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education & Training (CET) has partnered with Community Teamwork of Lowell (CTI) for several years to offer employees professional development opportunities. When COVID-19 struck, the two organizations teamed up to transition the planned Crucial Conversations course to remote learning.

MCC has been a leader of online learning for over two decades. When it came to transitioning the course to a virtual platform, the college collaborated with CTI and instructor Laura Kangas – who has taught at MCC for 20 years as an adjunct professor and loves working with the supportive and dedicated team – to format the class to Zoom.

“This is a perfect example of how MCC supports our employer partnerships – and has done so for over 30 years,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “Even throughout the pandemic, we continue to support our employers with cost-effective, flexible and customized education and training so they can continue to flourish – despite the difficult circumstances.”

In the course – for directors, managers and supervisors – Kangas helps her students learn the necessary skills to engaging in difficult conversations that could be emotional and high stakes. Although the course covers sensitive topics ¬¬– and CTI employees had expected to take the course in-person – Lisa Wholey, SPHR, HR Director of CTI, said feedback from the class was positive and that Middlesex “didn’t miss a beat.”

“We count on Middlesex and feel fortunate to have them as a partner because they listen to what our needs are and to what’s going on,” Wholey said. “It’s been great. The facilitator was able to make it like they were almost in the classroom.”

The remote format allows Kangas and the 21-person class to be able to connect with each other in the larger group, have breakout rooms for small-group discussions, play videos and use the whiteboard feature. The conversations, Kangas said, have been rewarding.

“Being able to talk to another human being in a very protected, calm and relaxed atmosphere for two hours was very special,” Kangas said. “Students were amazed by how intimate it was. Even though you’re on a computer, the conversations were amazing and people really opened up.”

Both Wholey and Kangas believe this time of working or being at home during the pandemic is an excellent opportunity for employees to work on professional development.

“The curriculum is really tailored to what’s going on at this time,” Wholey said. “The instructor used examples of working from home and what kind of conversations come up. She made an adjustment to the curriculum so that it was relevant and timely.”

For Kangas, being part of a class – and having access to other people via a remote service like Zoom – helps foster a community, despite being away from the office.

“The students are really dedicated to learning everything they can and being the best they can be,” Kangas said. “Even in these worst of times, people are still working hard to do everything they can to learn all the skills they can to be a better contributor.”

While Wholey said, “In this time, it keeps people connected. Many of them felt it was so great to see their colleagues across the agency,” Kangas said, “You get some personal contact and it’s not just writing to each other.”

To learn more about MCC’s professional development courses, contact Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Program Manager of Corporate Education & Training at tuzzolol@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3109.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Student and Security Officer Helps Keep MCC Healthy & Safe4/23/20205/11/2020 12:17 PM
In the face of the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has transitioned coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. As an open-access institution, the college’s Public Safety department is on-campus for students and employees who require access. Stephanie Guerra, an MCC student and Security Officer on the Lowell campus, has been on the frontline of keeping the college community safe as MCC navigates the COVID-19 crisis.

As a student and a Security Officer for Securitas on MCC’s Lowell campus, Guerra has had a positive experience both academically and professionally. In her position during this crisis, she has been helping employees and students get materials they need to continue teaching, working and learning.

“I’m able to help students and staff with maintaining safety practices throughout the college,” Guerra said. “We’ve been able to provide students with laptops so that they can continue their classes online, as well as provided home delivery to students who are not able to pick them up. It’s been a great experience and the students appreciate it.”

Guerra – and the rest of MCC’s Security and Facilities departments – have been instrumental in keeping the college running. The best part of the job for her – especially now – is helping students and employees stay healthy and safe.

“During this pandemic our public safety team has been there to assist the college in whatever way possible,” said Patrick Cook, MCC’s Executive Director of Public Affairs. “In Stephanie’s case, she has been helping maintain the continuity of learning for students, faculty and staff by assisting us with the distribution of laptops and chrome books, clay for the sculpting class, musical instruments, and access to our food pantries. It feels especially appropriate because Stephanie herself is an MCC Student and is able to help her fellow classmates in this manner.”

When employees or students do have to come to campus to pick up materials, the public safety team ensures that everyone follows the proper protocols, which includes wearing gloves and masks, and maintaining a six-foot distance from others. The team also washes their hands often, offer sanitizing stations across campus and floors, and have a cleaning crew come in to sanitize the building every day.

“I feel like everyone’s been very understanding and cooperative,” Guerra said. “Everyone’s been great about following the rules, signing in, and maintaining the six-feet distance. The staff and faculty that we work with, including the Public Safety department, get things done – which is great.”

Every morning, Guerra starts the day by checking the news and emails for campus updates. She’s eager to help as best she can as part of the team. While there are not a lot of people on campus at a time – and the campus is quiet for a large part of the day – she believes it’s important for someone to be there when something is needed.

“Stephanie has proven herself to be reliable, attentive to detail, and extremely supportive to our entire college community,” said Dan Martin, MCC’s Director of Public Safety. “Less than a year on the job, Stephanie has been promoted to shift supervisor due to her ability not only to problem solve, but to be a leader with her peers.”

Guerra is a Mechanical Engineering student who is interested in STEM club. She’s enjoyed taking math classes and working with her fellow Security Officers. In the past, she’s worked details at the Nesmith House, including when the college welcomed W. Patrick Murphy, United States Ambassador to Cambodia, and at President James C. Mabry’s Soupfest.

Working with detectives to gather information has also provided an interesting experience for Guerra who appreciates being able to implement practices learned from work into the real world.

Faculty and staff have been supportive of Guerra as she goes through her Middlesex journey, including helping her learn the right skills and knowledge she needs to be successful.

“I really enjoy working with the entire Security department and MCC staff,” she said. “Everyone has been really helpful in these difficult times.”

To register for classes at Middlesex Community College, including MCC’s four Summer Session offerings, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Helps Students Stay Financially Well with Comprehensive Guide4/9/20205/7/2020 3:23 PM
Stress arises during challenging times, but Middlesex Community College is here to help. Middlesex has always worked hard to support students with their finances. The college’s Financial Wellness Program compiled a list of resources to help during this unexpected crisis.

Juan Breton, MCC’s Financial Wellness Specialist, emphasizes the importance of financial health, especially during times of hardship.

“Unfortunately, many times we forget that we might qualify for financial assistance,” he said. “Many factors are taken into consideration during the application process – you just need help finding what’s out there.”

MCC’s Financial Wellness Program works with current and former students to better understand their finances. The program offers coaching on personal financial literacy, knowledge of higher-education financing and repayment, and how to improve financial behaviors for budgeting, saving and reducing debt. MCC’s program partners with iGrad ¬– a free service providing 24/7 assistance – to help students with money management, financial-aid education, resources and tools.

iGrad offers a special Coronavirus and Your Financial Health page. Students can learn tips on how to protect their personal finances, investments and retirement; how to continue their education, career or employment search; how to plan for their futures; and how to navigate the stresses the effects of COVID-19 are having on their mental health, society and the economy.

iGrad’s comprehensive guide for how to stay financially well during this time also offers resources found around Massachusetts that may be beneficial to students.

Breton suggests students contact their service providers for internet, cable, cell phone and utilities. Many companies have announced a delayed late fee charge and disconnections. This also applies to some banks and credit unions who may waive late payment and overdraft fees. Metro Credit Union is offering Hardship Loans for those whose employment is affected by COVID-19. For students struggling to find work, iGrad offers a link to apply for unemployment benefits.

The guide is updated as more information becomes available. Make sure to contact your local providers for more information on how they can help you.

Visit https://middlesex.igrad.com/landing/coronavirus-and-your-financial-health for more information, or contact financialwellness@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3230.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Lists Activities to Keep Kids Busy & Engaged4/22/20205/6/2020 11:04 AM
Middlesex Community College wants to help keep students engaged and on-track with their education during these difficult times. The college’s Education and College for Kids departments have collected a number of activities for families to do together in order to keep learning and having fun during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Dobrin, MCC’s Chair of Education, recommends establishing routines and activities to provide a sense of normalcy – even when in this “new normal”– as best as possible. Activities include walks outside, family meals, homework time and bedtime stories.

“A sense of routine and predictability help children feel safe,” she said. “In these times of uncertainty, this becomes especially challenging and even more important. It’s important to maintain routines as they’re a key way of helping children mark time. This may even be an opportunity to start some new routines – involving kids in the process makes them more meaningful.”

MCC’s College for Kids helps maintain a sense of normalcy for kids throughout the summer. Students who attend are not just kept busy, but are constantly engaged and learning in a hands-on environment that is stimulating and interactive.

“College for Kids is a room full of open doors for a diverse group of youth to learn about themselves, a few different careers paths and gain access to college,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training. “The youth that attend College for Kids learn that attending college will give you many options and Middlesex Community College is one of them. Summers are about making memories, friendships and discovering your path.”

Ellis shared a few photography and science lessons – inspired by College for Kids – for families during this time to get everyone outside or moving around the house.

For kids learning colors and ABCs, Ellis suggests assigning a new letter or color each time the activity is completed and taking pictures of objects that match the color or letter. Families can also go on a ‘Word Hunt’ by taking typical flashcards outside and having children find the word that matches the card and snapping a picture of the item to start a collection.

Adding photography to a game of BINGO is also a great way to spark kids’ imagination. Have them try out cooking or a new hobby, snap a picture of their pet, or go out for a walk and see what interesting photographs they can capture. Then share what they find on social media and tag MCC’s accounts.

To work on writing and storytelling skills, Ellis recommends having a child take a picture of a scene in or outside of the home and then writing or telling a story based on the photograph.

For space and science fanatics, Ellis suggests a DIY moon sand project using flour and oil for kids to make and then play with. Kids can also craft mini constellations using just a few supplies, like paper and toilet paper rolls. These science projects are easy to put together, but spark kids’ creativity and imagination.

For more art project ideas, Bethany Peck (MCC College for Kids teacher and Corporate & Community Education instructor, Chelmsford resident and artist, and preschool teacher for Chelmsford Community Education) suggests simple and fun projects using materials most people have on-hand.

Kids can dip leftover tubes from paper towels or toilet paper into paint to transform a blank surface into a layered, colorful masterpiece. She also offers tips on how to take sidewalk art to the next level by using masking tape to create different shapes and patterns, and then coloring it in with chalk. Kids can also transform their front door by making stained glass using the same tape technique with paper mache or washable markers.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/activities to find out more about these activities.

Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663 to register for MCC’s College for Kids this summer.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Remote Services to Students4/7/20205/5/2020 11:37 AM
In a manner of weeks, Middlesex Community College faculty and staff transitioned coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. Because MCC is an open access institution serving a diverse population, these changes were designed with a focus on a quality education that is accessible, meets academic outcomes, and supports student success.

“The speed with which we have moved to remote teaching, learning and working is quite stunning,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “This amazing pivot has only been accomplished through the sustained creativity, hard work and collaboration by everyone at the institution. What we have learned and what we have accomplished in the last few weeks has given the institution new and different ways to serve our students.”

MCC is committed to ensuring that the student learning experience continues during this global health crisis. Understanding that not all students have access to the technology they need to learn remotely, the college distributed over 200 chromebooks to students in need. Providing this technology for students who would not otherwise have access is a step towards keeping the semester running smoothly and students on their academic paths.

For students in need of extra help, MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) offers eTutoring services in a variety of subjects, including writing, math, science and nursing.

ACE has created two different methods of tutoring. Asynchronous Tutoring allows students – in any subject – to upload writing assignment directions and a draft to receive comments from a writing tutor. Synchronous Tutoring – live sessions via Zoom – allows for students to have tutoring in real-time. Students may also request tutoring in subjects not currently provided based on availability. Supplemental Instruction (SI) Sessions will also be offered via the college’s online learning management system.

Students who receive support from MCC’s Office of Disabilities Services (DSS) will continue to be able to receive assistance. DSS has set up WebEx and online meetings in order to have private breakout rooms for students to connect with them. These private breakout rooms are also available for general advising sessions through MCC’s Advising Center. Advising will begin with group sessions and use private rooms for personal questions.

Bryan Wint, MCC’s Director of Advising & Academic Pathways, believes the transition to remote advising has challenged faculty and staff, but has also provided an amazing opportunity for the college.

“We can gain a lot through providing remote services to students,” he said. “If we can continue to refine our practice in remote learning, we can serve a broader range of students, meeting their needs and providing them with a comprehensive experience.”

For students needing help on a research paper or project, MCC’s librarians and library staff are also available to assist students remotely. The library’s remote hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Fridays – online materials are available 24/7.

“We offer essential services and resources to support remote learning and instruction,” said Donna Maturi, MCC’s Director of the Library. “Reference Services may be accessed via email, chat and text during our normally scheduled business hours. Contact us if you wish to schedule a research consultation or library instruction session. While it may be at a distance, we look forward to serving you.”

Students can do more than learn remotely. They can also register for the summer and fall semester classes, make payments, check their billing status, get refunds electronically, and setup installments plans without having to come to campus or mail checks – all online. According to Chris Fiori, MCC’s Director of Student Financial Services, MCC made a timely investment in their new Ecommerce system – Touchnet.

“This has allowed staff to focus more time on individual financial wellness counseling with our students, and created a better customer service experience as well,” he said.

Mental wellness is a huge priority for the MCC Community. Middlesex is offering Distance Counseling on a case-by-case basis, over the phone or online in private breakout rooms. Additionally, the college has many students who suffer from financial, housing and food insecurity. To provide on-demand money management, financial aid education, resources and tools for our students and faculty, MCC offers an online Financial Wellness program called iGrad. Students and staff who may need to access the MCC Food Pantries – in Bedford and Lowell – can contact the college. The pantries will be opened on an as-needed basis.

Maintaining a sense of community is beneficial to mental health. The Multicultural Center launched a virtual office for students seeking connection. Staff will be available for remote services and support 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to meet, socialize and study. Many MCC student clubs including the Bible Study Club, the Gamers Guild and the Veterans’ Club are also hosting virtual meetings and events where students can connect.

MCC wants all students to know that just because classes and services have moved to remote or limited options – and even though the MCC community is apart – MCC’s students are not alone. MCC is here for them and working hard to provide the support and connections they need to succeed.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/deanofstudents/remoteres for a complete list of all of the ways MCC is helping students ease the transition from in-person to remote services. Contact information – such as emails and phone numbers – are listed on the website.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Remote Noncredit Classes at Middlesex Community College4/17/20204/30/2020 12:09 PM
In the face of this global crisis, Middlesex Community College has had to move quickly in transitioning coursework and support services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. MCC’s Corporate & Community Education & Training has consistently offered online class options, but in order to protect its students and employees, many of the traditional face-to-face courses in the program were transferred to remote learning.

Middlesex has been a leader of online education for over 20 years. Because of the college’s vast history of success with online learning, the transition to remote learning has been done efficiently and successfully. Online classes offer flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same quality of education as face-to-face options.

As more people stay at home, this is a great time to take courses. Professional development and personal enrichment courses teach valuable knowledge and skills students can use in the workforce or in life. Students can choose to finish a certificate program or take specific classes based on their – or their company’s – needs.

High Performance Work Style in a Virtual World is a live webinar that will take place 6 – 8:30 p.m. on April 21. The webinar covers the RESPECT model – Recognition, Empowerment, Supportive Feedback, Partnering, Expectations, Consideration and Trust – for new managers, contributors and teams now working in a remote environment.

The live webinar Leader as a Team Builder in a Virtual World will take place 6 – 8:30 p.m. on April 28. For new managers, contributors and teams learning to work in a remote environment, the webinar will help establish leadership skills.

An Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia live webinar for healthcare professionals, front line staff and students provide fundamental knowledge and skills related to caring for patients. The webinar will start 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on May 12.

MCC’s Nonprofit Management Certificate courses have moved online. Classes include Program Development & Evaluation, Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations, and Strategic Planning & Capital Campaigns. The certificate program introduces concepts and skills related to management components for nonprofits. Classes start as early as April and go into June.

Beginning 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 1, CompTIA Exam Prep will prepare students interested in entry-level IT technician work. Students must have basic computer user skills and during class will be prepared to troubleshoot, problem solve and understand issues related to networking, operating systems, mobile devices and security.

Classes such as Adobe Photoshop, Digital Media Marketing and Social Media cover topics important to enhancing communications skills. Adobe Photoshop teaches students how to batch process images and add advanced masking techniques, special effects and filters to create the best photos possible.

In Digital Marketing Media, students learn how to gain the most out of different media outlets, including how to use platforms, emails, search engine and web optimization, and mobile and online advertising to build a marketing campaign.

Classes for the Social Media Certificate provide a foundation and skill set in a range of social media platforms. Courses begin May 26 and cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and blogging sites, as well as how to build a social media marketing plan.

The online Medical Interpreting course starts 6 – 9 p.m. on June 1. The 60-hour program trains medical interpreters with knowledge of standards of practice, ethics, HIPAA regulations, cultural competency and medical terminology.

MCC’s Personal Trainer National Certification teaches biomechanics, exercise physiology, fitness testing, equipment usage and health assessments starting 9 a.m. to noon on June 6.

SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management is an introductory certificate course providing the necessary foundational knowledge needed to start a career in HR. The course also benefits managers interested in improving leadership and training skills. Students will learn topics such as HR Function, Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Benefits, Learning and Development, Performance Management and Employment Law. The course begins June 10.

Check out MCC’s Corporate & Community Education & Training’s spring 2020 catalogue – www.middlesex.mass.edu/uniflip/sp20noncredit/ – to learn more about the above classes and all that MCC has to offer.

To register, call 1-800-818-3434 or email career_training@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Promotes Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19 Crisis3/18/20204/29/2020 10:46 AM
In these scary and confusing times, it is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical well-being. Middlesex Community College cares about its community and wants to ensure that people are taking care of themselves and remaining mentally fit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health “includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

Lynn Gregory, MCC’s Personal Counselor, encourages the community to take “fasts” away from news and technology because they often lead to over-stimulation for the brain.

“Our culture likes to separate the ‘body’ and the ‘mind’ and the ‘heart,’ but as research now shows, they are all interconnected,” she said. “Many of these strategies are common sense, but sometimes we forget the basics when we are very stressed. Eat and drink healthfully, get adequate sleep for your body, move your body in ways that feel good (exercise), practice meditation and relaxation, reach out for connection and for help if you need it. Remember social distancing does not mean social isolation, look for the helpers and be one yourself if you can – and pay attention to attitudes and beliefs – consider incorporating gratitude, compassion for self and others, mindfulness and optimism.”

MCC students are finding ways to stay connected to campus- and regular-life.

“Using video and voice chats, I feel like I’m able to continue to interact with my friends and peers,” said Ira Libby, ’22. “I feel like I’m able to bring a little bit of school life home with me so that I don’t feel so isolated.”

“In this pandemic, I’m finding sanity in an otherwise crazy time by socializing with my friends in MCC’s Gamers Guild,” said Austin Hamilton, ’20. “We are building, creating and having fun to keep our spirits up.”

The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) offer advice on how to take care of yourself and your loved ones. People handle situations differently, so it is important to remain calm and open-minded, as well as to be a source of support and comfort.

The following information has been compiled directly from the CDC and WHO websites.

The CDC suggests:
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of daily activities for several days in a row.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 to better understand the actual risk to yourself and loved ones.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member.
  • For taking care of your children:
  1. Take time to talk with your child or teen about the outbreak. Answer questions and share facts in a way they can understand.
  2. Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset and share how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  3. Try to keep up with regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  4. Be a role model and follow the advice from above.
WHO recommends:
  • Don’t attach COVID-19 to any ethnicity or nationality. Be empathetic to those who got affected, in and from any country, those with the disease have not done anything wrong.
  • Don’t refer to people with the disease as “cases”, ”victims”, or “the diseased.” Refer to them as “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, and “people who are recovering from COVID-19.”
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.
  • Find opportunities to amplify the voices, positive stories and positive images of local people who have experienced the new coronavirus and have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery and are willing to share their experience.
  • Honor caretakers and healthcare workers supporting people affected with COVID-19 in your community. Acknowledge the role they play to save lives and keep your loved ones safe.
  • For children:
  1. Help children find positive ways to express disturbing feelings such as fear and sadness.
  2. Keep children close to their parents and family, if considered safe for the child, and avoid separating children and their caregivers as much as possible.
  • For older adults:
  1. Provide practical and emotional support through informal networks and health professionals.
  2. Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce the risk of infection in words older people with/without cognitive impairment can understand.
  3. Encourage older adults with expertise, experiences and strengths to volunteer in community efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak (for example the well/healthy retired older population can provide peer support, neighbor checking, and childcare for medical personnel).
  • For people in isolation:
  1. Stay connected and maintain social networks. Try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines. Stay connected via e-mail, social media, video conference and telephone.
  2. Pay attention to our own needs and feelings.
The CDC also lists signs of mental stress to watch out for:
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  • Signs in children may include:
  1. Excessive crying or irritation
  2. Returning to behaviors they have outgrown
  3. Excessive worry or sadness
  4. Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  5. Unexplained headaches or body aches
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html for more information from the CDC.

Visit https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2 for more information from WHO.

Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/covid19 to stay updated on all MCC COVID-19 related information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Remains a Leader in Online Education for Over 20 Years3/25/20204/28/2020 11:15 AM
Online education is accessible, convenient and a fit for everyone. Middlesex Community College has been a leader of online education for over 20 years and offers a host of online options every semester. During this challenging time, MCC joins schools around the Commonwealth in transitioning courses to remote options in order for students to finish the semester.

Middlesex was one of the first colleges in the state to offer remote learning. The Comprehensive Distance Education Program launched in 1998 and over the last 20 years, MCC has taken a careful, consistent and innovative approach to transforming their online platform. The program began with 77 students and now serves thousands each semester. The college invests considerable resources into supporting online faculty and making online academic support available to students 24/7.

“Middlesex has been a leader in quality online learning for well over a decade, having received numerous awards for exceptional online programs,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our online course completion numbers for our students are very strong – sometimes stronger than our face-to-face courses. Students can really thrive in an online environment and are often stronger participants overall in online courses.”

Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options. Review materials, take practice exams, complete assignments, and interact with students and faculty – enhanced by the ever-evolving capabilities technology allows.

“It was very easy to follow with the instructions the teacher gave us through Blackboard,” said Gabrielle Menard, a Graphic Design student graduating at the end of the semester. “The website is very ergonomic friendly for students who are not used to online learning and there’s useful services provided as well, like the Blackboard Student Manual and other college resources – i.e. library, helpful links, etc.”

Online learning provides students with opportunities to engage with the curriculum in different and exciting ways. This can include performing virtual biology dissections and chemistry experiments, watching the latest Ted Talks and other videos, and taking virtual tours of the Sistine Ceiling.

Online classes appeal to a variety of students who make up the core of Middlesex – professionals learning a new skill; adult learners seeking a new profession; high school students wanting college credit; or traditional college students earning credit while working full- or part-time.

“Until online courses came into my life, college was just a thought for the future,” said Dawn Stickney, an MCC Graduate. “They allowed me to prepare my schoolwork in a timely manner around my kids’ sporting events and my work schedule.”

For students who are new to online learning, MCC offers these tips on how to maximize your online learning experience for success:
  • Be open-minded to trying a new way of learning
  • Be flexible and patient when technology isn’t as efficient as you want
  • Establish a routine and avoid procrastination
  • Stay connected and ask for help if needed
  • Maintain your computer and files so you don’t lose valuable information
  • Participate on your own time with reflection and consideration
  • Communicate clearly with your own words in a concise way
Middlesex offers 15 degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, including Accounting, Criminal Justice, Business, Hospitality Management, and Liberal Arts.

MCC’s faculty and online programs have received several awards over the past two decades. MCC’s Online Business Administration Program was named no. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program was ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/Online/student_tips.aspx to learn more about MCC’s tips for mastering online education.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC & Community Teamwork of Lowell to Offer Free Online Course4/14/20204/23/2020 2:09 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to provide education that is accessible and meaningful. In collaboration with Community Teamwork of Lowell, Middlesex is offering a free online Child Growth and Development course. MCC’s Early Childhood Career Pathways Grant is funding the course for qualified students. The online course starts May 1.

“We are offering this course to help students who would like to advance academically,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Pathways Grant. “Completion of the course will help students advance in their careers to become teachers as part of the state’s ECE certification process.”

The course will include an examination of the development of children from pre-birth through puberty and is required for Early Childhood Education students working in childcare programs, according to Pynchon.

MCC provides free college credit courses for employees of childcare programs in the Greater Lowell area. Participants can work towards their associate degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development through funding from the Office of Early Childcare and Education.

MCC has been a leader in online learning for more than 20 years. Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options.

For more information or to enroll in the program, contact Wendy Valentine, MCC’s Director of ECE Career Pathways, at valentinew@middlesex.mass.edu or Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of ECE Career Pathways, at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Hosts Virtual Admissions Events for Prospective Students3/31/20204/22/2020 12:42 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Office of Admissions is introducing Virtual Admissions Events. To keep its students and staff safe, the college has suspended all in-person services, but MCC wants to ensure that prospective students and their families can still gain all of the important information needed to get started at MCC.

“Participating in a Virtual Admissions Event is a great way for students to learn about all of the wonderful things our college and campuses have to offer,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “These events provide students with a one-stop opportunity to learn about how to get started on their Middlesex journey.”

The first MCC Admissions webinar debuted on Monday, March 30, which covered Getting Started at MCC. These sessions answer questions related to MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs, noncredit courses, online learning options and honors opportunities. Students will learn about specific areas of academic interest and the admissions process. Some support services Middlesex offers include academic and career counseling, tutoring, disability support and other special programs.

The other topic in these webinars is Dual Enrollment at MCC. This event appeals to motivated high school and homeschool students who want to take college level courses while still enrolled in high school or are taking homeschool classes. Students who participate in Dual Enrollment at MCC can graduate with their high school diploma and associate’s degree in the same year.

The next scheduled Getting Started at MCC Events will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 and 10 a.m. on Friday, April 10. The next scheduled Dual Enrollment at MCC Events are 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1 and 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. More sessions will be added as needed.

Admissions is also hosting Lunchtime with Admissions events. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about how to get started at MCC. These events will take place 12:30-1:30 Mondays through Fridays. These sessions are virtual and participants can type or speak their questions to counselors in real-time.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx to sign up for one of these special Virtual Admissions Events.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Join MCC’s FREE Alumni Association in Time for the 50th Celebration2/27/20204/21/2020 11:35 AM
Middlesex Community College celebrates 50 years in September. Since its inception in 1970, the college has expanded its Bedford campus and extended its outreach into Lowell. Middlesex provides opportunity for every student who walks through the doors. If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alumni!

Join MCC’s FREE Alumni Association to take part in the college’s 50th celebration, to connect with your fellow alumni, and to be updated on all college happenings.

Over the past 50 years, Middlesex has been comprised of faculty and staff whose main goal is providing students with the education, knowledge and skills they need to flourish.

With 26,000+ alumni, the college has a strong networking base ¬– for current and former students – ensuring that MCC continues to be a leading force in the communities the college serves.

“The mission of the MCC Alumni Association is to inspire lifelong connections with MCC,” said Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. “By joining the Association, alums have the opportunity to connect with fellow graduates as well as MCC faculty and staff to share their stories and post-MCC journeys with one another – and to support future MCC students and alums on the path toward achieving their goals.”

MCC works for students with a multitude of needs – international students seeking to improve English-language skills, returning adult learners studying a new skill, veterans returning to start their education, or recent high-school graduates getting an associate degree before transferring to a four-year college.

Middlesex students are proud of what they accomplish – whether it be in the work they put in for their majors, internships, clubs, organizations or other experiences the college offers. Learn about how programs have grown, catch up with old friends, and check in with the faculty members who made a difference in your education.

“Because of financial constraints, I did not attend college as a traditional-aged student,” said Sheri Stuart Denk, 1990 graduate of MCC. “Twenty one years after graduating from high school, I enrolled part-time as an MCC student. This academic opportunity was instrumental to my success – pursuing a Liberal Arts degree from Middlesex, an American Studies degree from Smith College, and a Masters in Community Social Psychology from UMass Lowell.

“These academic programs rekindled my love of learning and the faculty and staff provided an experience that transformed my life.”

Alumni Association Benefits include lifetime use of MCC Career Services, subscription to MCC’s magazine Profiles, invitations to alumni networking and social events, volunteer opportunities for MCC and the Middlesex Community College Foundation, seasonal discounts at MCC’s bookstore, discounts on auto and home insurance from Arabella Insurance, a reduced rate rental fee of MCC’s historic homes – the Middlesex Meetinghouse in Bedford and the John Nesmith House and Federal Building in Lowell – and engagement with fellow alumni.

Joining is easy! Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ or contact Amy Lee at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. If you are already part of MCC’s Alumni Association, make sure your information is up-to-date – so you don’t miss any exciting updates or events.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Hosts 15th Women in STEM Luncheon4/15/20204/17/2020 10:40 AM
Middlesex Community College held its 15th Women in STEM luncheon on March 4. Five female panelists – all active in STEM-related professions – visited with students, faculty and staff to share their experiences in their careers.

“It is not often that we get to recognize the great women we have in the STEM fields,” said Amanda Bordenca, MCC’s Cybersecurity EDP Systems Analyst and coordinator of the event. “This event is an opportunity to show our students, faculty and staff that women are becoming much more visible and prominent in the STEM fields. We want to encourage our students to pursue STEM careers and learn about the possibilities that a STEM career provides.”

After listening to the panelists speak, students had the opportunity to ask questions and network. The panelists included Jamie Coryea, Julia Kelly, Danielle McGeary, Jane Downing and Christina Papadopoulos.

An MCC alum, Jamie Coryea, was a member of STEM club and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society before transferring to UMass Lowell for her undergrad in Electrical Engineering.

“It is important for the students to be aware that women can be successful and obtain a leadership role in STEM fields even though they are in a minority,” she said. “Women in STEM demonstrate that regardless of your age, background, ethnicity, etc. you can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter what you have or where you come from, it is your drive that makes a successful engineer.”

MCC Professor Julia Kelly believes in the importance of breaking down stereotypes that may hinder women from pursuing a career in STEM.

“I think it is important to see women in STEM as it shows we have retained women in the field, not only attracting them in the introduction phase,” she said. “More women in visible positions in STEM might also inspire young women to not think of spin-off clubs – such as Society of Women Engineers – for women as ‘reverse sexism,’ but an effort to claim and maintain more women for STEM.”

Danielle McGeary, Vice President of Healthcare Technology Management, talked about coming from a small town and emphasized that “it doesn’t matter where you come from” as a matter of empowerment for the students.

“Hosting events like these is essential to fostering a strong pipeline of diverse professionals in STEM careers,” she said. “It is so important to empower those who are underrepresented in STEM since having a diverse workforce is essential for the success of our disciplines moving forward. The more diversified our outlooks, thoughts and conversations are, the stronger our work and solutions will be overall.”

Jane Downing, Chief, Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Branch, spoke about her education history as a means to emphasize building a foundation for her career. She said she was inspired by the interest of students at the event.

“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics provide key foundations for the future workforce,” she said. “The Environmental Protection Agency was pleased to support MCC’s STEM program to inspire students to engage in public service and studies needed to tackle our most pressing environmental challenges.”

Christina Papadopoulos, Chelmsford Town Engineer, spoke on the challenges she experienced during her journey to becoming a civil engineer.

“These students got to see firsthand what it looks like to be a confident woman in STEM and hear our stories,” she said. “We didn’t let others dictate our futures – we achieved our personal goals despite all the obstacles – and so should they.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/stem/ for more information. Contact Kate Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM, at sweeneyk@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3609.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Places Third in National Engineering Competition4/8/20204/15/2020 11:09 AM
At Middlesex Community College, practical experience is vital to student success. Middlesex Professor Cristopher Algarra led a team of three engineering students – Xynone Cabal, Justin Murphy and Andre Reyes – to participate in the ATEA 3D Futures Competition sponsored by Dessault Systemes. The team built an automated bottle filling machine from scratch and placed third in the national competition.

Algarra has wanted to lead a research project since he first started at MCC three years ago. Thanks to LSAMP – a program offering support for minority students interested in research projects and conferences – the project was greenlit. Algarra selected students from three of the major Engineering disciplines – Environmental, Civil and Mechanical – in order to bring in diverse mindsets and learning experiences.

During what should have been everyone’s summer break, the team worked an average of eight hours a day through June, July and August. The third place designation is an excellent reward, but Professor Algarra considers finishing the project to be an accomplishment of its own.

Algarra describes a near-disastrous experience that almost ended the project when water flooded the system and the machine started smoking. They called it quits that afternoon, but the students were determined and emailed him the next day asking for another shot. Their persistence worked.

“Putting your students into a challenge drives their motivation, which makes them do great things,” Algarra said. “Projects and certifications can show that here at Middlesex, we take into consideration every little step of how to be a great engineer or technician.”

Cabal is considering her next options and plans to attend a state university to major in Environmental Science. At Middlesex, she majored in Civil and Environmental Engineering and was an Orientation Leader, OSE Office Assistant, LSAMP scholar and participant of a few clubs. She calls MCC “home” and with this project, appreciated the real-life experience she was offered.

“I wanted to be educated on how projects are run from start to finish,” Cabal said. “To me, joining this project meant that I could tell future employers that I have experience working in the field. It has given me the experience needed to be competitive because I now know the technologies that are industry standard.”

At MCC, Reyes majored in Computer Engineering, was an LSAMP scholar and participated in STEM club. He is continuing his Computer Engineering major at UMass Lowell and wants to minor in Robotics because of his experience with the project.

“Because of this project I was able to broaden my knowledge of different parts of the process as well as have a reason to jump head first into learning new skills in order to complete the project,” he said. “It was a grand experience to have the opportunity to meet Professor [Michelle] Stein and Professor Algarra through STEM club and being an LSAMP scholar. Their teaching and guidance motivated me and gave me confidence to continue my career in engineering.”

Now at UMass Lowell, Murphy is continuing his education in Mechanical Engineering. At MCC, he participated in LSAMP and STEM Club and felt these experiences – along with his studies – prepared him with a solid foundation.

“I absolutely loved my time at Middlesex,” he said. “I acquired many skills and a valuable education. The professors at Middlesex are amazing, especially Professor Algarra and Professor Stein. They really care about their student’s success both in the classroom and in life – and they definitely made a major impact on my experience.”

Algarra sees value in assigning projects to all of his classes, including having the students present their work. Before teaching, he worked as an engineer and discovered his passion for higher education while working as a student teacher at Merrimack College. He especially appreciates all that Middlesex has afforded him and his students.

“It’s amazing the things you can see at community colleges and the opportunities that students can get,” he said. “I’m a big promoter of community colleges now – I think the students can start their education at an affordable rate and find amazing opportunities.”

To learn more about MCC’s Engineering Science Program, contact Department Chair Michele Stein at steinm@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3932. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/stem/engscitran.aspx for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Registration Is Now Open for 2020 Summer Sessions at MCC2/25/20204/14/2020 12:31 PM
Relax on the beach, catch up on that book (or Netflix) list, enjoy those summer weekend getaways – and make your summer productive by taking courses at Middlesex Community College. Registration is open for MCC’s four Summer Sessions, running May 26 through Aug. 6.

“Our MCC Summer 2020 schedule offers flexible, accelerated course options to meet a variety of needs by including online and in the classroom courses,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Management. “Our goal is to provide core courses that are convenient at an affordable price. This schedule is intended to further benefit our current students, students who are home for the summer, high school students, and adult learners as they seek to earn credits, improve their GPAS, or come closer to finishing their degrees.”

Middlesex is offering a three-week Summer QuickStart Session, as well as three regular Summer Sessions between five- to eight-weeks long. A variety of day and evening courses – in Bedford and Lowell – and online courses are available.
  • QuickStart Summer – three weeks; May 26 to June 12
  • Summer Session 1 – five weeks; May 26 to June 25
  • Summer Session 2 – eight weeks; May 26 to July 22
  • Summer Session 3 – five weeks; July 7 to August 6
For more information and to register for summer classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer or call 1-800-818-3434.

Registration is also open for Spring Mini-mester II ¬– MCC’s accelerated, eight-week session – running March 23 to May 15. For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy Visits MCC3/5/20204/9/2020 1:19 PM
Middlesex Community College welcomed W. Patrick Murphy, United States Ambassador to Cambodia, to the college’s Nesmith House during his visit to Lowell on March 3.

The event allowed Middlesex to show Ambassador Murphy all of the wonderful ways in which the college supports Cambodian students, including the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) grant Middlesex was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2016. Through the AANAPISI grant, the college opened the Asian Connections Center and strengthened the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA).

During the event, Ambassador Murphy described his vast experience in international relations, as well as his service to the country. He offered some history into America’s support in Cambodia, as well as explained the benefits and challenges the countries have faced. The relationship, he said, is a work in progress, but he remains positive.

Ambassador Murphy also expressed his appreciation for the value of community colleges – having attended one when he was in college during summer break while he worked during the day and took classes in the evening with faculty who offered practical expertise, rather than theoretical.

“I was incredibly impressed by the student body because there were so many students as I recall – and I think it’s still the same at many community colleges – overcoming obstacles, juggling jobs, looking to get ahead and avail themselves,” Ambassador Murphy said. “And of course the student body was always very diverse – older, younger, American, immigrant – and the tone was so serious about studying. It was conducive for all of us to be the best that we could be.”

The ambassador explained how his department – as part of the 70th anniversary of America’s involvement in Cambodia – has dedicated themes to each month of the year in order to “focus on the good news in the relationship, to build understanding and closer ties.”

January focused on agriculture, February invested in youth education and technology, and March is celebrating women and gender issues.

Rady Mom, Lowell Representative and MCC alum, extended a warm welcome to Ambassador Murphy, calling MCC “home.” He was excited for the ambassador to witness the community MCC has created and for students to listen to the ambassador speak.

“This is the product of MCC. And I can say that through all the professor and student bodies, they unify and make stuff happen on a daily basis,” Representative Mom said.

Bopha Malone, MCC Board of Trustee from Bedford, also emphasized the importance of Ambassador Murphy’s visit, as well as MCC’s influence in the city of Lowell.

“Community colleges like MCC are an essential part of the community, providing access to a quality education to those who otherwise might not have access,” Malone said. “We're proud at Middlesex Community College to serve an especially diverse range of students of all backgrounds, including a large Cambodian population. It was an honor to have a chance to introduce the Ambassador to MCC and have him see for himself the wonderful work we do here every day.”

Sokhary Chau, Lowell City Councilor, was also a guest at the event. He spoke of the importance of merging cultures and bringing an understanding of Cambodia’s history to the youth population.

Linda Nara became MCC’s first female Cambodian Student Trustee in 2019. Although she was hesitant and homesick at the start of her college career, she credits the AANIPISI grant and the Asians Connection Center for helping her adjust to campus life. Seeing herself represented in the other students and staff – and participating in college activities – was vital for her success.

“Coming to MCC is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life,” she said.

While Nara presented Ambassador Murphy with a t-shirt from the Asian Connection Center, MCC adjunct art professor and Cambodian master ceramist Yary Livan – one of the only master ceramists who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide – gifted the ambassador a handmade cup. Livan’s work is part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sackler/Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.

It is evident that Ambassador Murphy supports the relationship between Lowell and Cambodia – especially in regards to Cambodian students coming to the U.S. to receive their education. He believes community colleges in particular are a great option for students to have “a bridge to other things.”

“It’s good for the American economy,” Ambassador Murphy said. “It’s good for the relationship, it’s good for Cambodia when students come and avail themselves of our finest institutions and bring those skills back to Cambodia to help the country progress.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Award-Winning Poet and Alum 3/9/20204/8/2020 11:37 AM
Middlesex Community College will welcome home poet and MCC alum Anthony Febo as part of its Visiting Writers Series. Febo will perform and discuss his art at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30 in the Lowell Campus Federal Building, Assembly Room. The event is free and open to the public.

A spoken word/performance poet, artist, actor and arts educator, Febo is a dedicated supporter of the arts and youth education. For over a decade, he has worked with non-profits in the Lowell and Greater Boston areas, coaching youth slam teams and touring as a solo artist.

“I approach all coaching and teaching from a place of human development,” Febo said. “I often say to any group of people I’m working with that I am not here to talk ABOUT poetry, I’m here to talk about personal growth and healing – I just happen to do that with poetry.”

At MCC, Febo found family. Being part of productions at MCC taught him about collaboration and the performance process. He honed “the skills needed to feel validated in my work.”

His teachers not only understood how to teach the craft, but were active participants who helped him to “feel first-hand what can happen when teaching is approached with showing love first.”

The mentoring he received from Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster left a big impression on him. When he was opening his first play at MCC, Oster supported him through the grief of losing his grandmother by advising him to channel his emotions into performance. In 2018, she attended his wedding along with other Middlesex faculty.

“I feel as if now – more than ever ¬– poetry is being used as a tool for self-exploration and discovery. It’s putting a megaphone to your heart and an audience to listen to it. It is connecting community ¬– a thread that brings our experiences together,” he said.

When asked what inspires him, Febo offered his thoughts through poetry.

“This. You. Here. Breath. Gratitude. Humbling myself. Honoring those before me. Listening to those who came after. Love. Showing love. Choosing joy. Accepting. Adding. ‘Anding.’ Forgiving. Redefining. Standing in my own truth. Seeing you stand in yours.”

Febo works as a freelancer, artist and teaching artist in Cambridge. His teaching credits include Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) in Boston’s South End, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and Powderhouse Studios in Somerville.

His new book “Tonight I Will Be An Island” – published by Game Over Books – will be released in the spring. As a poet, he has been featured at the Mass Poetry Festival, Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City – the birthplace of modern spoken poetry – and at cafes, theaters, schools and performing arts centers across the country.

He co-founded M.O.M.S. – an MCC and UMass Lowell college slam group – as well as Mill City Slam Slam at the Brew’d Awakening Coffeehause, and FreeVerse!, a spoken word youth organization in Lowell.

In 2019, Febo and his Adobo-Fish-Sauce partner Ricky Orng were awarded residencies at the Boston Center for the Arts, the National Teen Arts Convening at the ICA Boston, and the Strange Foundation in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

MCC’s Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. For more information, call 978-656-3363 or email StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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