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Through the division of Access and Transition, MWCC administers several College Access and Preparation Programs which provide middle and high school students, as well as adults, with an array of academic, college, and career awareness services including MCAS remediation, academic and career counseling, tutorials, workshops, and activities.  Services are generally provided through targeted grant initiatives.  In addition, MWCC hosts several annual events and activities designed for students and parents, which are open to the public.  Most programs are free of charge.  For more information on any program call 978-630-9248 or visit our website at http://mwcc.edu/access.

Dual Enrollment: A Head Start on College

Whether in high school or homeschool programs, juniors and seniors (age 16 or older) can enroll in MWCC classes prior to high school graduation and take courses that may transfer to most two and four-year public and private institutions while having completed their high school graduation requirements.  Participants are considered MWCC students and enjoy all the same benefits.  Students are encouraged to participate fully in college activities and programs, including the Honors Program, academic support services, and other co-curricular activities.  Students may enroll at MWCC on either a part-or full-time basis.  See page 8 for admissions requirements to the program.

Educational Talent Search

This program is funded by the US Department of Education and serves 1,195 students in grades 6-12.  Currently, the program services participants in the Gardner, Winchendon, Leominster, North Central Essential Charter School, Ralph C. Mahar Regional, Athol, and Fitchburg school districts.  Services offered include: academic counseling and advising, tutoring, career exploration, financial aid and scholarship information, college admissions assistance, leadership and enrichment activities.  To participate, students must meet the eligibility criteria for this program.

Gateway to College

Through this program, eligible students who have stepped out of traditional high school receive a true second chance to achieve educational success.  Students ages 16-21 can enroll at MWCC to earn both high school and college credits toward a high school diploma and associate degree or certificate.  This program is offered through a partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District at MWCC’S Gardner Campus.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)

This program is funded by the US Department of Education and is administered by MWCC in partnership with Fitchburg Public Schools, the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, the Spanish American Center, and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority.  GEAR UP offers college awareness activities, academic advising, tutoring, after-school enrichment and student must be in the class of 2016 and 2017 and enrolled in a participating Fitchburg school.  In addition, GEAR UP offers students at MWCC the opportunity to volunteer in one or more of these activities as service learning experiences.

MCAS Academic Pathways to Success

This program is a chance for current juniors and seniors or older students who have not yet passed the MCAS exam to prepare for college admissions while exploring other options available to them.  The program offers the chance to enroll in a fall, winter, or summer program designed to offer a unique and true to life academic college experience, allowing the student to focus on coursework that will be relevant to passing the MCAS exam and other college or career entrance requirements.  Students will be offered the chance to take the November and March MCAS exam.  Classes generally run in the evening at the Gardner Campus.  Students will receive math and/or English classes, college seminars, text books, materials, meals, and transportation assistance free of charge.  MCAS Academic Pathways to Success is funded by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

MCAS Works!

This program is collaboration between MWCC and Fitchburg High School.  The goal is to strengthen academic skills by providing meaningful work-based learning instruction and creatively reengage students in their education and provide them with an impetus to pursue graduation.  Participating students will receive intensive, in-school small group instruction that addresses identified gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  Additionally, career exploration activities including job shadowing, structured internship placements, community service learning projects, guest lecturers, and field trips are provided.  Also, Student Success Seminars are offered such as career counseling, instruction on test taking skills, team building and leadership development.  MCAS Works! is funded by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Pathways Early College Innovation School

An Early College high school opportunity for motivated high school/home school juniors who would like to get a jump start on college.  The Pathways program provides an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and Associate’s degree while completing their junior and senior year of high school at MWCC’s Gardner Campus.  Admission into the program is a competitive process.  This program is offered through a partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District and Mount Wachusett Community College.

MWCC Student Success Center

Located at Fitchburg High School and Murdock Middle High School, our student success centers are designed to provide all local residents with a place to access the latest in college admissions, financial aid, and test preparation resources, while offering tutoring and academic support to students.

One Stop Career Pathways for Youth

This program is a partnership between the North Central Career Center, the Workforce investment Board, and MWCC.  It is designed to allow a resource specialist to be sited at the career center that will outreach to current seniors through students from the class of 2003 and re-engage them in planning and preparing for their futures.  The resource specialist will provide students with options that address their unique academic, employment, and career needs to attain the skills necessary to pass the MCASS in order to obtain the state required competency determination of high school graduation.  One Stop Career pathways for Youth is funded by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS)

A Federal TRIO program funded by the US Department of Education, the mission of UBMS is to assist 63 targeted high school students who have the desire to pursue postsecondary education programs that lead to careers in the fields of Math and Science.  Currently, Upward Bound math and Science services participants in the Gardner, Winchendon, and Athol school districts.  Students take part in an intensive after-school, Saturday, and summer academic program that exposes them to extensive preparation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields while offering many college preparatory and exploratory activities.  To participate, students must meet the eligibility criteria for this program.

Summer Programs

The Division of Access and Transition provides educational and recreational summer programs to over 800 students each year in the Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and Winchendon communities.  Included in its summer programming are:

  • Summer UP, which provides employment opportunities for middle and high school students, as well as safe places to play for local children;
  • ACCT, providing MCAS instruction and recreational opportunities to students; and
  • CyberKids, offering fun computer skill-building activities.