Dec. 6, 2011
In This Issue
MWCC and Assumption College Establish New Transfer Agreement for Human Services Majors
MWCC Students Gaining an Edge in a Competitive Job Market
New MWCC Service Learning Course Benefiting Children at the Boys & Girls Club
'A Moment with the Mount' New Radio Program Airs on WPKZ
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TopMWCC and Assumption College Establish New Transfer Agreement for Human Services Majors

Mount Wachusett Community College and Assumption College have established a new transfer agreement for students pursuing academic degrees in the field of human services.


The transfer agreement enables eligible graduates of MWCC's Associate of Science in Human Services program to transfer to Assumption College to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies (HSRS) through Assumption's Continuing & Career Education.


Under the agreement, students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher will be guaranteed admission as college juniors. All MWCC associate degree credits will be applied toward the bachelor's degree at the private college, located in Worcester and recently ranked No. 34 in U.S. News & World Report's "2012 Best Colleges" out of approximately 200 institutions in the North offering bachelor's and master's degrees.


"We are delighted with the new academic pathway that this transfer agreement with Assumption College creates for our Human Services graduates," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "Transfer agreements provide a wonderful opportunity for students to continue their studies at a significant cost savings. By completing their associate degree before transferring, our graduates earn credentials beneficial in the workforce, while pursuing their bachelor's degree," he said.


"Assumption College is pleased to partner with Mount Wachusett Community College to provide additional education opportunities for students in the human services field," said Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo. "Assumption's HSRS curriculum requires an internship that enables students to develop and refine the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for working as a human service professional. Students will find that this experiential learning component, coupled with our strong curriculum, successfully prepares them for the workplace, or graduate school, if they wish," Cesareo said. 


"This is a new and exciting avenue for our students to achieve even greater success. Having a bachelor's degree in Human Services certainly results in increased responsibility and higher pay," said Janice M. Gearan, chair of MWCC's Human Services department. "Graduates will acquire an expanded knowledge base to better serve those who are facing major challenges in their lives. In the future, students will also have opportunities to pursue more advanced graduate level degrees in human services or social work. We are looking forward to this wonderful collaboration with Assumption College."


A bachelor's degree in human services provides students with career options such as caseworker, child care worker, youth counselors, elderly service provider, social work assistant, mental health assistant, intake specialist, community organizer, residential counselor and manager, advocate for victims of crime and violence, alcohol and substance abuse counselor, corrections worker, and a wide variety of related careers.


For more information, contact MWCC Transfer Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197 or

MWCC Students Gaining an Edge in a Competitive Job Market
Intern Brian Laprise and Westminster Police Chief Salvatore Albert
Criminal Justice major Brian Laprise with Westminster Police Chief Salvatore Albert.

Long gone are the days when interns spent their time making copies and grabbing coffee for their supervisors. As students at Mount Wachusett Community College can attest, internships, co-ops and practicums are providing the practical real world experiences they need to gain a competitive edge in the job market.


Early Childhood Education major Heather Morrow is in the midst of a practicum at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education at MWCC. The ECE practicum gives students experiences in the classroom before they graduate. "I always wanted to be a preschool teacher," explained Morrow. "This practicum has taught me a lot so far, such as different teaching styles. I wouldn't know what to do if I was just thrown into the classroom by myself."


For Morrow, her practicum has been an amazing experience. "I love children. I love learning with them and seeing their perspective on things. I wish I could do the practicum longer!"


Morrow is one of many MWCC students gaining real world experience before joining the workforce. "The number of students participating in internships at MWCC has grown exponentially in the past few years," explained Fagan Forhan, director of experiential learning opportunities & civic engagement at MWCC. "Internships, co-ops and practicums give students an incredible edge, whether they are transferring to a four-year school or trying to land a job in this difficult economic climate. They give students a professional advantage that employers are looking for."


An internship is a partnership between education and the public or nonprofit sector offering meaningful, nonpaid work experience in a specific field of study, while earning academic credit prior to graduation. Co-operative education is a partnership between education and industry offering meaningful paid work experience in a specific field of study, while also earning academic credit prior to graduation. A practicum is a required component of a course consisting of work in a specific field, such as education, nursing and other health care programs.


Internships are beneficial for more than just the students involved in them; they can be beneficial for employers too. "It gives employers a chance to develop the interns into the employees they need," Forhan said.


Brian Laprise, a criminal justice major, is currently interning at the Westminster Police Department.

This Navy veteran is gaining experience in small town policing is vastly different from the military policing he participated in at Point Loma Navy Base in San Diego. "I'm seeing a new side of policing," Laprise said. "In the military if you broke a law you were punished. Community policing is more prevention based."


"We like to give interns a taste of small town policing through experiences in each department," said Westminster Police Chief Salvatore Albert. The interns gain experience through office work, going on patrols and going to court with the department's police officers.


After earning his degree at MWCC, Laprise plans to earn a bachelors degree in criminal justice and pursue a career in law enforcement.


Another student participating in an internship is Jacob Coleman. Coleman, who is enrolled in the GM ASEP automotive technology program, is currently spending his days working at Page's Automotive in South Hadley. "I'm gaining greater knowledge of the auto field and skills that will help me in the industry," he said. 


Josh Melanson earned a human services degree from MWCC in 2011. Before he graduated, Melanson took part in an internship at the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts, where he not only gained professional experience, but also landed a job.


Melanson, who previously worked construction, said he loved his intern experience at the Boys and Girls Club. "When I stopped construction, I knew that I wanted to work with kids. The internship was a great experience. When I first started, right away I had a chance to help out with planning programs and activities. I got to see behind the scenes," he said.


Now working as a program director, Melanson is enjoying every aspect of his new job. "I enjoy seeing changes within the kids and helping them with their interests ranging from sports to homework." 

Melanson is currently enrolled at Fitchburg State University, where he is pursuing a bachelor degree in human services.


"The internship experience at MWCC was great. It got me where I wanted to be." 

- Angela Marini 


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New MWCC Service Learning Course Benefiting Children at the Boys and Girls Club
Service Learning class
A game of human checkers at the Boys and Girls club was one of many activities this semester in a new Community Service Learning course.

Every Thursday, a group of MWCC students travels to the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts in Leominster where they spend the afternoon tutoring children and leading activities ranging from human checkers to teaching the children sign language.  

The MWCC students are a part of the new Community Service Learning course offered this semester as part of the college's Second Decade of Civic Engagement. The course, taught by Associate Professor Julie Capozzi, allows students to earn college credits while also giving back to the community. The class meets once a week at the college for class work and program planning, and once a week at the Boys and Girls Club to lead the activities.

"The Boys & Girls Club has raved about the enthusiasm, organization and interest our students bring to the children at the club," Capozzi said. "The students from MWCC are a great, ambitious group. The Boys & Girls Club wants to keep a regular activity spot open for MWCC for next semester."

Each week a different student from the class designs an activity centered on the theme of leadership.


The students at the Boys and Girls Club are having a lot of fun and have been really involved with the activities," said AmeriCorps member Sarah Ellison, who supervises the activities initiated by the class as a part of her duties with the AmeriCorps Job Ready Program, a grant-funded partnership between MWCC and Fitchburg State University.
"Every activity has been different so far," said Ann Reynolds, a human services major at MWCC. "The class has really bonded and works very well together. This service learning class has given us great exposure to a nonprofit while also giving us a chance to give back to the community. It's a win-win," Reynolds said. "It has been a great experience getting to know the kids."
- Angela Marini


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'A Moment with the Mount' New Radio Program Airs on WPKZ 

Mount Wachusett Community College recently launched "A Moment with the Mount," a monthly radio segment on WPKZ's Daily Pulse morning show with host Scott May.

The program airs the second Tuesday of each month on 1280 AM and 105.3 FM from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Upcoming guests on Tuesday, Dec. 13 will be Director of Student Success Karen Costa and Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Financial Aid Ryan Forsythe, who will address spring semester highlights as well as the ASPIRE Strategy initiative.

Past guests have included President Daniel M. Asquino; Vice President Jacqueline Feldman and Associate Vice President Jeremiah Riordon on the topic of workforce development; Gateway to College Director Deb Bibeau and Upward Bound Math Science Director Drew Goodwin on access and transition topics; Veterans Success Center Assistant Director Kristine Larkin and student Jason Catalano on veterans' services at MWCC; and Devens Campus Director Julie Crowley and Ryan Forsythe on MWCC academic programs and fall campus highlights.


The Fitchburg-based station has served Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire for more than 70 years with a unique blend of talk, sports and news.

" 'A Moment with the Mount' provides a great venue to showcase the many programs and opportunities available at Mount Wachusett Community College," said Vice President of Marketing and Communications Robin Duncan. "Our campus representatives who appear on air are doing a fantastic job informing the public of the many ways MWCC serves students and residents of our region. We hope you'll tune in!" 

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Upcoming Events

In preparation for final exams - a free Relaxation Workshop for students will take place Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 342. Students will learn breathing and muscle relaxation techniques during the session. Refreshments will be available.


"Systems," the first solo exhibition by artist and former MWCC student Jason Kotoch, is on display through December 22 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center. Kotoch, now a student at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, will speak about his work during a Meet the Artist event Thursday, Dec. 15 at 12:30 p.m. in the gallery.


MWCC is hosting a Giving Tree to benefit families in need at a Gardner child care center. To participate, stop by the Student Support Services office, room 141, and select a tag or two off the tree. Gifts must be returned to the office by noon on Friday, Dec. 16 with the tag in place. Gifts do not need to be wrapped. Gift cards to Walmart or a local grocery store also will be accepted.

"Warm Your Heart for the Homeless" is a service project to benefit Our Father's House shelter in Fitchburg. Students in Terry Andrews' Introduction to Human Services course began this drive on the Leominster campus and students in the Human Service Club are continuing the effort on the Gardner campus through December 9. The club is accepting donations of new or gently used adult winter clothing, laundry detergent and travel-sized personal hygiene products. Drop off boxes are located in the cafe hallway and at the entrance to the college near the Commons Area.

The Veterans Group is collecting personal care items, coats, gloves, mittens, hats and other clothing for the Alfred H. Marengo, Jr. Drive for Homeless Veterans through Dec. 12. Donations can be made in the Veterans Success Center, room 138.

Tickets are available to Theatre at the Mount's 2012 season! The season kicks off with Fiddler on the Roof with performances on February 24, 25, March 2, 3 at 8 p.m. and March 4 at 2 p.m. The season continues with Father of the Bride on June 15, 16, 22, 23 at 8 p.m., and June 24 at 2 p.m.; Legally Blonde the Musical on August 10, 11, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. and August 19 at 2 p.m.; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on October 5, 6, 12, 13 at 8 p.m. and October 14 at 2 p.m.; and A Very Special Christmas on November 23, 24, 30 and December 1 at 8 p.m. and November 25 and December 2 at 2 p.m. Season tickets for all five shows are just $65. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, call the box office at 978-632-2403. Tickets may also be purchased online at

Orientation for New and Transfer Students will take place Friday, Jan. 13 at the Gardner campus. Check in is at 8 a.m. in the South Café. The orientation runs through 12 p.m. and will include a general information session, academic and student success sessions, student IDs and more. For more information, contact the office of Student Life at 978-630-9142.

MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: A.S. Nursing at Gardner Campus: Dec. 14, 2 to 3 p.m., room 204;  Dental Hygiene: Dec. 7, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank campus, Fitchburg; Physical Therapist Assistant Degree at Gardner Campus, Dec.15, 2 to 3 p.m., room 204. Prospective students interested in attending an information session are asked to call the Admissions Office at 978-630-9110 (TTY 978-632-4916), or email


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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