Aug. 22, 2011

In This Issue
MWCC Receives $2.7 Million in Talent Search Grants for College Access Programs
MWCC and Anna Maria College Join Forces on Public Safety Transfer Programs
Seventh Annual Leadership Camp Serves Youth, Veterans
Free Trial Online Course Offered in Advertising
Upcoming Events
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MWCC Receives $2.7 Million in Talent Search Grants for College Access Programs

Mount Wachusett Community College has been awarded two five-year TRiO Talent Search grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $2.7 million. The projects will prepare 1,195 middle and high school students in north central Massachusetts for secondary school graduation and post-secondary enrollment. Two-thirds of students will be from low-income and potential first generation college families.


Beginning this fall semester, the college will receive $1,150,000 over the next five years - $230,000 per year to launch a new Talent Search program to serve 500 students annually in the Athol, Mahar and Murdock school districts, and the North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg. Additionally, MWCC received continuation funding for its existing Talent Search program. This program is entering its 21st year and will receive $1,656,805 - $319,768 in the first year and $309,855 in years two through five - to serve 695 student annually in Leominster, Fitchburg and Gardner.


"Expanding access to higher education, focusing on college completion and preparing an educated workforce with advanced skills to enable business and industry to compete in a global market are paramount to a fully recovered economy for the U.S. and for Massachusetts," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "Community colleges play a vital role in our nation's economy, and we are grateful for our Congressional delegation's continued support of students who benefit from these TRiO programs," he said.


"These two federal TRiO grants will serve nearly 1,200 students in seven area school districts, providing them with the support needed to be successful in middle school and high school, and ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of post-secondary education," said Rebeccah Sonn, assistant dean of Access & Transition at MWCC. "MWCC will be these students' first expose to college, as they are prepared through Talent Search programming for the possibilities of post-secondary educations." 


Talent Search begins reaching out to students in the sixth grade, preparing participants to choose and succeed in a pre-college curriculum; receive help with academic weaknesses before their important high school years; and explore careers and the higher education required to enter those careers. Middle school participants receive a parent/guardian orientation; referrals to high quality tutoring; grade specific course advising workshops; an early college preparation program; success skills workshops; STEM career fair and after school career awareness program; computer instruction program; and social/cultural enrichment trips.
As participants reach high school, the Talent Search program provides them with expanded depth, breadth, and range of services. All high school participants receive a parent/guardian orientation and follow-up meetings; drop-in academic tutoring and referrals; secondary school course selection advising; personal and career counseling; guidance and assistance in secondary school re-entry, alternative education programs, and GED; in-school workshops; parent/guardian workshops; college tours; e-mentoring; and social/cultural enrichment opportunities and trips. Freshmen and sophomores also have access to state mandated test preparation and a career fair. Juniors and seniors have access to SAT and ACT preparation, Accuplacer preparation; dual enrollment courses; advanced placement exam preparation; a college fair; college admissions assistance; financial aid assistance; and postsecondary course selection advising.     


- Heather Layton

MWCC and Anna Maria College Join Forces on Public Safety Programs

MWCC and Anna Maria CollegeMount Wachusett Community College and Anna Maria College in Paxton have established two transfer agreements for students pursuing academic degrees in the public safety fields of fire science and criminal justice.

Under the new agreements, qualified graduates of MWCC's associate degree programs in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Concentration, Criminal Justice - Corrections Concentration, and Fire Science Technology can seamlessly transfer into Anna Maria's bachelor's degree programs in Criminal Justice and Fire Science, respectively.

"This new partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College opens up significant opportunities for students to further their education," commented Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D., President of Anna Maria College. "The addition of both the criminal justice and fire science articulation agreements demonstrates our joint commitment to making quality education accessible and affordable. We are pleased and excited to be able to work closely with our colleagues at Mount Wachusett and we look forward to welcoming their graduates to our campus community."

"We are delighted to partner with Anna Maria College to expand academic options for the men and women who courageously serve others in the fields of public safety," said Daniel M. Asquino, Ph.D., President of Mount Wachusett. "These transfer agreements are ideal for students interested in entering the field of public safety, as well as for those already serving in these capacities who wish to advance their career opportunities through higher education."

MWCC has offered academic programs in public safety fields for more than 35 years. MWCC's Fire Science Technology program is affiliated with the National Fire Academy's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) network, which aligns the program with the national, standardized curriculum advocated by the NFA, a division of the U.S. Fire Administration.  AMC is also well-known for its programs in public safety, specifically its master's and bachelor's degree programs in both fire science and criminal justice.  Anna Maria College's Fire Science Program is also FESHE affiliated.

Current MWCC students interested in learning more about these transfer agreements may contact Transfer/Academic Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197 or Transfer students may contact AMC Admissions at 508-849-3360.

Pictured:  Dr. Jack P. Calareso,  President of Anna Maria College in Paxton, seated at left, and Dr. Daniel M. Asquino, President of Mount Wachusett Community College seated at right, finalized two new public safety transfer agreements in the Criminal Justice and Fire Science Technology fields. Also pictured, from left, AMC Vice President of Academic Affairs Billye Auclair; Professor Michael Donnelly of AMC's Business, Law & Public Policy division; Reed Hillman, Chairman of MWCC's Criminal Justice Program and former commander of the Massachusetts State Police; Fred LeBlanc, instructor and advisory board member for MWCC's Fire Science Program, and retired chief of the Leominster Fire Department; Everett Pierce, AMC's Fire Science program director; and Mary Lou Retelle, AMC's Executive Vice President


Seventh Annual Leadership Camp Serves Youth, Veterans

Leadership Camp 2011The office of Student Life's 7th annual Summer Leadership Camp provided nearly 50 incoming students with an introduction to student success and leadership opportunities at MWCC. The two-day program, held Aug. 15 and 16, offered team building activities, educational workshops and civic engagement projects.

Among the service projects, the participants held collection drives in conjunction with the college's Center for Democracy & Humanity to benefit veterans through the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center and children in foster care in Massachusetts. MVOC received a wide assortment of blankets, personal care items and other necessities that will be distributed to veterans in 32 welcome packages; and 38 backpacks filled with school supplies were assembled for elementary school children in foster care through the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families. The incoming students also assisted on a variety of projects at the Spanish American Center in Leominster, helped landscaping and other projects at MWCC's Gardner campus, including painting the Auto Tech center and assisting in the library.

"The students who participate in Leadership Camp represent over a dozen different towns, a variety of age groups, and from each of our campuses," said Greg Clement, assistant dean of students. "Part of our foundation at Mount Wachusett Community College is our service learning and volunteer initiatives. It's all about giving back and keeping our communities strong.

The Leadership Camp, which has grown from one dozen participants in its first year, is designed to give newcomers a jump start on their first semester at MWCC. As in previous years, the success of the program relies on dedicated faculty, staff, alumni, current students and other community members who participate in the program, Clement said. "It's a great way to involve the whole college in  integrating new students into the college community."


Pictured: Dr. Vincent M. Bates, third from right, dean of the school of Liberal Arts, Math, Education & Developmental Studies at Mount Wachusett Community College, and several of the MWCC 2011 Leadership Camp participants, filled backpacks with school supplies donated by the college community to benefit children in the state Department of Children and Families.

Free, Trial Online Course Offered in Advertising

online courses at MWCCAlthough 24 percent of all registered Mount Wachusett Community College students last academic year took at least one online course, there may be some who are curious to see what distance education is all about. MWCC is offering the opportunity to experience an online course for free for three weeks, beginning Sept. 6.

Dr. Vincent Ialenti, dean of Academic and Institutional Technology, is offering a free trial of his online course MKT241 Advertising, which has standard college prerequisites. At the end of the three-week trial period, students have the option of registering and remaining in the course at regular tuition, or withdrawing.

"There is no risk or cost to try the online experience," Dr. Ialenti said. "At the end of the three weeks, you can say, "I am enjoying the learning experience' and continue on or say 'no thanks,' you have seen enough and walk away."

The opportunity is made possible through the publishing company McGraw-Hill, which is offering a "try before you buy" pilot to provide an online version of the textbook for free for three weeks. Students who wish to continue in the three-credit course must register and pay for the course and the online text by Sept. 26.

"Students from all academic disciplines will find Advertising of great interest and importance," Dr. Ialenti said. The course may be used as a business or general elective, or as a professional elective in some programs. Business, marketing, mass communications and computer graphic design students will find that an understanding of the principles and procedures of advertising is vital to their career development and performance.

For a sample syllabus, more information about this project, or to register for the free trial period, contact Dr. Ialenti at or call 978-630-9356.


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Upcoming Events

MWCC will highlight degree and career opportunities in a wide range of fields, as well as support services for student veterans, financial aid, transfer programs, student life, child care assistance and more during an Open House Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gardner campus. The event will feature a range of information for prospective students and newly enrolled students, as well as give-aways and refreshments. For more information or to register, call 978-630-9566. 

Orientation sessions for new and transfer students will take place over the next two weeks prior to the Sept. 6 start of the new academic year. Orientation for evening students will be held Thursday, Aug. 25 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in room 127. A family and support network orientation will take place Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. in the South Cafe. Orientation for day students will take place Thursday, Sept. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gardner campus. In addition, MWCC will host a welcome brunch for student veterans on Friday Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Murphy Conference Room. Information about campus and community resources, the Veterans Group and the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success will be available. Reservations to the veterans' brunch are required by Aug. 28 and may be made by contacting Kristine Larkin at or 978-630-9408.

MWCC's Summer Business Luncheon Training Series, sponsored by the Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, will conclude with the session, "Process Improvement and LEAN Manufacturing" on Friday, Aug. 26. The LEAN process flow for operations will be emphasized to help participants learn how to better identify areas of improvement and steps to take to implement changes and measure effectiveness. The session will be led by James F. Leonard, a consultant who specializes in teaching the principles of Dr. W. Edwards Deming as a new system of management. The session will take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC's Gardner campus. The cost is $10 when pre-registered or $13 at the door and includes a complimentary grilled lunch. Register by calling 978-630-9575 or email

RentTheatre at the Mount continues its production of Rent on Aug. 26 & 27 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 2 p.m.  Based on Puccini's opera La Bahome, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City. In 1996, Rent won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, taking home four, including best musical. Recommended for mature audiences only. Tickets are $20 for evening shows, $15 for the matinee, and $10 for students and may be purchased at the TAM box office, by phone at 978-632-2403 or online at


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Archived issues of Mount Wachusett Community College e-News can be found online at To submit to the MWCC e-News or request coverage for your event, contact the Public Relations Office at (978) 630-9547. 


Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College
(978) 630-9547