MWCC e-News

April 20, 2016

In This Issue
DHE Commissioner Santiago Visits MWCC
Gateway and Pathways Dual Enrollment Programs Reach 10-Year Milestone
MWCC Student Shares Fast-Track Path to Nursing Career at State DHE 'Go Higher' Event
Regional Economic Forecast Indicates Improvements Ahead
Political Scientist & Author Robert D. Putnam Shares Solutions to Closing the U.S. Class Gap
At Diverse Women in Healthcare Forum, Synergy Happens
Tea Time Speaker Series Continues with 'Immigration and the Undocumented Student'
MWCC Employees Raise $56,306 for Charitable Causes
Week of the Young Child
Upcoming Events
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DHE Commissioner  Carlos Santiago Visits MWCC
Continuing his mission to spend a full day at each of the state's public colleges and universities, Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago took a whirlwind tour of Mount Wachusett Community College on Thursday, April 14.

The day began at MWCC's satellite campus in Devens - which rekindled fond memories for the commissioner, who spent several years there as a child when his father was stationed at Fort Devens - and ended at MWCC's main campus in Gardner with a meeting with the Board of Trustees.

In between, he met with students, faculty, staff, administrators, K-12 partners and business and community leaders, exchanging thoughts and ideas on a wide range of topics including an enhanced K-16 approach toward education, college accessibility, transfer pathways to four-year schools, industry partnerships, MWCC's new science and technology building under construction and student support services. By late afternoon, he had this to say to college leaders:

"You're innovative. You are getting it right here," he told the trustees. "Now we've got to learn from your success and scale it up. I need this campus to spread the word about the work you are doing here."

Under the leadership of President Daniel Asquino, MWCC's ground-breaking work in dual enrollment, civic engagement, unique K-12 and industry partnerships and wrap-around services have grown into model programs, Dr. Santiago said.

"The campus is well positioned on a number of fronts," he said. "The support services that are provided to students on this campus are superb. The students feel well-served by everyone."

Pictured: Commissioner Santiago joined students for a lunchtime discussion on challenges, goals and accomplishments.


Gateway and Pathways Dual Enrollment Programs Reach 10-year Milestone
MWCC is marking the 10th anniversary of two distinct dual enrollment programs for teenagers and young adults - the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program. The programs, run in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, allow students to complete requirements for their high school diploma while also earning credits toward a college degree. School choice funding covers the cost of tuition and fees of both programs. Upcoming information sessions for each program will take place this spring and summer.
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MWCC Student Shares Fast-Track Path to Nursing Career at State DHE Go Higher Event
MWCC student Kaila Lundgren, an aspiring Registered Nurse, shared college tips and strategies with 1,000 juniors and seniors during the state Department of Higher Education's "Go Higher" event, held April 7 at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden. Scheduled throughout the academic year across the state, Go Higher gives Massachusetts high school students the opportunity to learn about academic programs and career options available at the state's 29 public college and university campuses.

Regional Economic Forecast Indicates Improvements Ahead
On the evening of April 7, the current and three immediate past chairs of the U.S. Federal Reserve held a summit and declared the nation's economy is on a steady growth path. The following morning in Fitchburg, North Central Massachusetts business leaders were happy to provide a similar assessment for the region during the fifth annual Economic Forecast Breakfast. President Asquino was among the featured speakers, sharing the podium with Jeff Fuhrer, executive vice president and senior policy advisory at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Chris McCarthy, President and COO of Fidelity Bank, and former Worcester city manager Mike O'Brien, now with Winn Development.

Political Scientist & Author Robert D. Putnam Shares Solutions to Closing U.S. Class Gap
The growing divide between the haves and have nots in America is "the most important domestic problem facing our country today," renowned political scientist and bestselling author Robert D. Putnam told an attentive audience of students, educators and community leaders recently gathered at MWCC. Over the past four decades, "America has become a more segregated society in terms of education. Our country has become more divided and split among social lines than it used to be. This is a crucial matter for the future of our country and our economy," Putnam, a Harvard University professor, said during an hour-long presentation filled with staggering statistics, tragic anecdotes and sporadic humor.

At Diverse Women in Healthcare Forum, Synergy Happens
Gather a panel of successful, healthcare professionals to share how they got where they are today, put them in front of high school students aspiring to similar careers, and something wonderful happens. Synergy. Six women - three nurses, a doctor, a medical interpreter and a radiographer - captured the attention of nearly 30 freshmen and sophomores during a "Diverse Women in Healthcare" presentation sponsored by MWCC's new Project Healthcare program. The speakers were equally enthused to share words of encouragement and advice to a group of young women, and a handful of young men, as they begin to discern their own career interests.

Tea Time Speaker Series Continues with 'Immigration and the Undocumented Student' 
Whether their relatives relocated to the U.S. generations ago or arrived just recently, participants in MWCC's dialogue on immigration realized their family histories share a common theme: Their parents, grandparents, ancestors or even they themselves emigrated for the hope of a better life and greater opportunity. More than 80 students, faculty, staff and community members turned out to discuss "Immigration and the Undocumented Student." The March 28 Tea Time Speaker Series event was sponsored by the college's Diversity Consortium and Gateway to College program, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the American Association of Colleges & Universities.

MWCC Employees Raise $56,306 for Charitable Causes
MWCC faculty and staff have donated $56,306 to the 2016 Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employees Charitable Campaign (COMECC) and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts.
"I am very proud of the generosity our faculty and staff demonstrated during this year's campaign," said President Asquino. "Collectively, the contributions made by Mount Wachusett Community College employees greatly benefit residents in our region and throughout the Commonwealth."

Week of the Young Child Art Exhibit Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Mix paintings, sculptures and other assorted artwork created by dozens of children, add cupcakes, some glitter, and a heaping batch of commitment and enthusiasm from MWCC's Early Childhood Education faculty, students and community partners, and what do you get? The 10th anniversary celebration of the Week of the Young Child Art Exhibit at MWCC's Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education. This year, the event was also paired with an information session about MWCC's academic programs for prospective teachers, sponsored by the Admissions Office.

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Job Fair 2016 Draws Over 250 Students & Community Visitors
Thirty five companies and organizations participated in Job Fair 2016, held at MWCC's Gardner campus on March 30 and sponsored by the Career Services/Experiential and Service Learning Department. The event provided students with an opportunity to explore career options and learn about job openings in a diverse range of fields. Coordinator of Career Planning and Placement Patricia Brewerton said she was delighted with the employer support as well as the number of students who benefited from the fair. More than 250 students and visitors attended.

Upcoming Events
  • Earth Day Celebration: April 21
  • Tea Time Speaker Series - Understanding the LGBTQA Community: April 25
  • The Mount Players present "Check, Please": April 26

For information about upcoming events, click here.

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