FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I enroll in classes at either the Gardner, Leominster, or Devens campus?

Yes you can. Students can apply to the College, take the College Placement Test, and complete financial aid applications at any campus. The addresses, phone numbers, and hours for both campuses are listed below:

Devens Campus
One Jackson Place
27 Jackson Road
Devens, MA 01434
978-630-9569

Gardner Campus
444 Green Street
Gardner, MA 01440
978-630-9110
Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Leominster Campus
100 Erdman Way
Leominster, MA 01453
978-630-9810
Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

2. Which math course should I take?

This will be determined by your math placement test score, the program you are pursuing, and/or whether you intend to transfer to another institution to pursue a baccalaureate degree. You should speak with you advisor before registering for a math course.

3. Do I need to take a Lab Science?

Many majors require you to take at least one lab science. Some majors, such as Liberal Arts and Sciences and Nursing, will require you to take more than one. If you are planning on transferring to another institution to pursue a baccalaureate degree, you may need to take two lab sciences. For clarification, you should discuss this with your assigned advisor.

4. What is the difference between a Behavioral and a Non-behavioral Social Science?

Behavioral Social Sciences include Psychology (PSY), Sociology (SOC), Anthropology (ANT), and Deaf Studies (DSI). Non-behavioral Social Sciences include History (HIS), Political Science (POL), Economics (ECO), and Geography (GEO).

5. What are the differences between General, Restrictive, and Professional Electives?

You can use any college level course to fulfill a General Elective requirement (note: ENG 099, ENG 100, MAT 090, MAT 092, MAT 096, RDG 100, SSS 101, CSS 100 and most ESL courses cannot be used as General Electives).

A Restrictive Elective means that you may choose from any courses within a specified discipline. For example, a Restrictive Elective in the Business Administration Program can be any course with a BUS, MKT, MGT, ACC prefix.

A Professional Elective means that you must choose an elective from a specific list of courses provided by your major.

6. Can any upper level English course be used as a Literature Elective?

No. There are specific courses which can be used as Literature Electives. Among them are: ENG 203, 210, 213, 214, 218, 219, 221, 224, 227, 233, 235, 236, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 280. Please note that Creative Writing cannot be used as a Literature Elective. If you have questions, please contact your advisor.

7. What does “prerequisite” mean?

Certain courses have specific requirements that you must take before you can enroll in them. These requirements are called “prerequisites”. For example, before you are allowed to take THE 113 (Speech), you must have successfully completed ENG 101 (English Comp I). In other words, ENG 101 is a “prerequisite” for THE 113.

You will also notice that many course descriptions state the following: “Prerequisites: ENG 100, RDG 100, MAT 092, or placement”. This means that you can fulfill these prerequisites by either taking these classes OR by placing out of them via the College Placement Test. This is to ensure that you have the necessary reading, writing, and math skills in order to succeed in college level courses.

Prerequisites usually exist because courses are sequential and build upon the skills developed in the previous course(s). For example, ART273 (Sculpture III) requires that you satisfactorily complete ART271 (Sculpture I) and ART272 (Sculpture II) prior to enrollment.

Sometimes a course may require another course as a co-requisite, which means you are allowed to take them at the same time.

8. Do I need to take the College Placement Test?

All students are required to take the College Placement Test unless they have successfully completed prior college coursework (either at another college or previously at MWCC). Even then, students may still be required to take one or more section of the College Placement Test, depending on what courses they have previously completed.

9. What do CLEP, Life Experience and DANTES mean?

These are non-traditional methods of receiving college credits. Please see the college catalog for specific information.

10. What is the difference between an Associate Degree and a Certificate?

An Associate Degree is designed to be completed in two years if a student attends full-time and enrolls in the required number of credits per semester. It usually takes 62 or more total credits to complete an Associate Degree. The Associate Degree is comprised of both major-specific courses as well as a certain number of Liberal Arts and Science courses.

A Certificate is designed to be completed in one year (full time) and usually consists of 24-30 credits. It is designed to give students skills in a specific area and does not have the same Liberal Arts and Science requirements as does the Associate Degree.

11. Do I have to meet each semester with my advisor?

All day students are assigned to specific advisors. All new and evening students are assigned to the enrollment center for their advising needs. It is recommended that you meet with your advisor regularly to ensure that you are taking the proper courses. Advisors can help with referrals for services on campus, as well as give advice in order for you to efficiently obtain your educational goals.

12. Who is my advisor?

You can find out who your advisor is by visiting  iConnect.

13. Can I change my advisor?

Yes. But you must first check with the advisor whom you are requesting to be sure that he/she is able to take on another advisee. If the person you want is agreeable to the change, then you should contact Deb Boucher (dboucher@mwcc.mass.edu or 978-630-9134).

14. When do I have to declare a major?

In order to receive the most appropriate and efficient academic counseling, it is best to declare a major as soon as possible. Furthermore, students must declare a major in order to receive financial aid. If you are unclear about which program of study you should select, it is often helpful to meet with a Career Counselor to discuss your options and occupational opportunities. Career Services

15. How do I change my major?

You can change your major by going to the enrollment center and completing a Request for Program Change form. It’s as easy as that!

16. When is the last day to drop or add a class?

College policy allows students to freely drop or add courses throughout the first week of classes. You will receive a 100% refund if you drop a class during the first week. If you drop a class during the second week you will receive a 50% refund, and if you drop a class during the third week you will receive a 25% refund. See the academic calendar for specific dates.

17. When is the last day to withdraw from a course?

A student may formally withdraw from a course through the end of the ninth week of a full semester or fourth week of a cycle. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students are required to speak to their instructor or assigned advisor before withdrawing from any course. The procedure for course withdrawal includes getting the proper form from the Enrollment Center in Gardner or from the receptionist at our branch campuses (Leominster, Devens, Burbank), bringing the form to their instructor or assigned advisor, and returning the signed form to the Enrollment Center or branch campus. Please be advised that ceasing to attend a class may result in an instructor initiating the withdrawal from a class prior to the end of the ninth/fourth week.

Course withdrawals will not be processed after the ninth/fourth week of classes. If you stop attending after the ninth/fourth week of class, you will receive an “F” grade. F’s are averaged into the Q.P.A. for all students.

Any withdrawal may affect progress toward degree and future eligibility for financial aid. Contact the record’s office for information on your student records.

** Administrative withdrawals may occur after the ninth/fourth week, only as a result of extenuating circumstances by following the Withdrawal from College policy.

18. Are there any consequences if I drop a class?

Sometimes students are required to take a minimum number of credits in order to receive the optimal amount of financial aid. There may also be a financial aid penalty for withdrawing from too many courses. Thus, if you drop or withdraw from a class, it could have a negative affect upon your financial aid status. See financial aid for specific information.

Furthermore, if you are receiving health insurance benefits through your parents, it is often necessary for you to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. If you drop below the 12 credits, it is possible that your health insurance may be in jeopardy.

Finally, withdrawing from courses may delay your desired graduation date. This can be a complex issue and there can often be several things that you must consider before you drop a class. It is helpful to meet with your advisor before dropping a course.

19. How do I check my college grades?

You can obtain your grades on-line through iConnect.

20. How do I obtain a copy of my transcripts? What is the difference between official and unofficial transcripts? Which one do I need?

An official transcript is on special transcript paper, and has the signature of the Director of Student Records. You should request an official transcript if you are transferring to another college. Sometimes, employers also request copies of official transcripts to verify the course(s), certificate(s) and, or degree(s) a student has earned. There is a $5 fee required for each official transcript.

An unofficial transcript is simply a copy of all the courses that you have taken. Its content is the same as you’d find on the official transcript, but it is printed on plain white paper and there is no fee. Use this link to visit the page with instruction to obtain an official transcript.

21. Can I take courses at other colleges and apply them to my degree at MWCC?

Yes, visit our catalog information for details.

22. What is “Amnesty”?

Students who change to a new program may request that “D”, “F”, and “WF” grades acquired in the previous program not be counted in the calculation of the GPA (Grade Point Average) for the new program – unless such courses are also required in the new program. To qualify for Amnesty, you must complete at least 12 credits in the new program with a GPA of at least a 2.00. Students may also request Amnesty for the same program if they are returning after a 3 year (or longer) absence from the college. Grades removed under the Amnesty Policy, while not applicable to the GPA, do remain on the official transcript.

23. I think I’m ready to graduate, what do I do?

If you have questions regarding the graduation requirements and procedure, please visit our policies, rules, and procedures page.