Academics

Business Lunch & LearnMWCC’s summer business luncheon series returns this year with a variety of professional development, supervisory and management sessions. The college’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development has bundled several of its popular course offerings for entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits as well as corporate staff.

On June 6, the session “Creating a Collaborative Workplace” will introduce the fundamental aspects that drive effective coaching and mentoring programs in organizations. Participants will learn ways to improve leadership and reduce key employee turnover, and be introduced to the critical skills needed to conduct coaching conversations, adapt one’s coaching style to fit changing situations, and become familiar with developing a coaching plan for business.

On June 20, “Human Resources and Business Staffing Fundamentals” will provide insights into ways to protect your business, your employees, and yourself from legal liability. In this session, participants will receive practical legal business advice from hiring to firing from a legal advisor and private sector human resources executive.

On July 18, “The Art of Giving a Performance Appraisal” will provide new and seasoned middle managers with tips to constructively and effectively inspire greater involvement, innovation, and business results from staff members Participants will learn about “the management by objectives process” as one example to support the appraisal process.

On Aug. 1, “Making the Transition to Management” will provide an overview of three leadership skill sets necessary to ensure individual and organizational performance. Participants will learn ways to adjust their management style to empower employees to find their own answers to business challenges and discover why coaching employees is essential to ensure maximum performance, motivation and retention.

On Aug. 15, “Negotiating to Win: Persuasive Communication” will cover essential techniques and approaches to positively influence and persuade customers, colleagues and stakeholders for a mutually desired outcome, such as resources for a project, funding for a new initiative, or establishing a team initiative to support a new product or service.

The luncheon series will conclude on Aug. 22, with an information session on the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund. Information about obtaining training grants, as well as recent changes to the program, will be provided.  The Workforce Training Fund is a state fund financed entirely by Massachusetts employers. Its purpose is to provide resources to Massachusetts businesses and workers to train current and newly hired employees.

All sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC’s Gardner campus, 444 Green Street. The cost for each session is $15 when pre-registered or $17 at the door and includes a complimentary lunch. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for one or more sessions online at  http://mwcc.edu/wf/business-luncheon-series, by phone at 978-630-9575, or email training@mwcc.mass.edu.

 

Whos Who 2014 CJ Grace and Sandra

MWCC students recognized in the 2014 Who’s Who list include, from left: CJ Husselbee, Grace Hartin and Sandra Bushey.

MWCC students enrolled in a range of academic programs and involved in numerous activities have been selected as national outstanding campus leaders and will be included in the 2014 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

The students were selected based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and the potential for continued success. They join an elite group of students from more than 1,000 higher education institutions in the United State and several other countries. The tradition of recognizing noteworthy college students in a Who’s Who biographical volume began in 1934.

The honorees were among the student leaders recognized by the office of Student Life during a reception April 24 at the Gardner Museum.

Students named this year include: Lourdes Abreu, Maria Alicea, Sheila Beane, Nicholas Bonfilio, Koral Brooks, Constance Brown, Mary Burns, Sandra Bushey, Ramon-Alejo Correa, Kathleen Craigen, Brianna Cullins, John Day, Anna Farwell, Nelida Figueroa Lopez, Grace Hartin, Thomas Hill, Charles  Husselbee, Jillian Johnson, Rachel Kalagher, Naomi Kiarie, Erin Leamy, Leandro Lopez, Heidi Lupien, Amber Martel, Kathleen Matson, Joan Mellanson, Dawn Murphy, Linda Patterson, Seth Pease, Elizabeth Reiser, Edward Sanchez, Bryan Sanderson, Hayleigh Sundstrom, Austina Towle, Brigitte Wong, Bridgette Woodcock and Jeffrey Young.

PTK All Massachusetts Award

Award winners Bryan Sanderson and Kathleen Craigen are congratulated at the State House ceremony by President Daniel Asquino.

MWCC student leaders Bryan Sanderson and Kathleen Craigen were honored as members of the All-Massachusetts Academic Team during a recognition ceremony at the State House on April 24. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society, community college presidents and the Massachusetts Community College association sponsored the event.

Sanderson, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and president of the college’s Veterans Group, will earn an associate degree in Human Services in May. A highly engaged figure on campus, Sanderson has continuously named to the President’s and Dean’s lists. He is also a Commonwealth Corps Member, a student ambassador, peer veteran liaison/mentor, and work study student for the college’s Veteran Success Center. He founded the MWCC’s Students Serving Our Students (SOS) office, now located within the Center of Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and was a recipient of the Campus Compact’s national Newman Civic Fellow Award in 2013.

Craigen also will graduate in May with an associate degree in Human Services. This year, Craigen is serving as the AmeriCorps MACC*VISTA for MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement. She also serves on the Student Government Association and participates in the Leadership for Life Series. During this spring semester, she is completing an internship with the Students Serving Our Students (SOS) office located within the center, working on capacity building and volunteer management at local nonprofit organizations. Craigen works directly with the new General Studies capstone courses, ISC 220, working with students placed within the community at the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

 

Linda Coyne

MWCC Student Linda Coyne will major in the new Health Information Management program.

MWCC will present an information session on its new Health Information Management associate degree program and career opportunities in this growing field. The free information session, led by Associate Professor Mary Jo Bowie, MS, RHIA, RHIT, will take place Wednesday, May 14 at 5 p.m. at the Gardner campus, room 127.

Health information management is a vital component of the healthcare process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business and legal, and play a key role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage and release of all medical data. In this career, individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills contribute greatly to the healthcare industry without being direct care providers.

This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives, including the conversion of all medical records to electronic medium at a national level, and the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the U.S., as well as a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed employees to meet workforce needs over the next 10 years.

In addition to serving as an Associate Professor Ms. Bowie is a consultant and owner of Health Information Professional Services in Binghamton, New York.  She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association and has been a consultant to acute care, long term care, drug and alcohol, ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities for 22 years. She has worked in the health information management profession for 27 years and is the author of several textbooks including Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices and Understand ICD -10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: A Workbook.

MWCC is currently accepting applications to this academic program, which will begin this fall. For more information call 978-630-9292 or email mjaillet@mwcc.mass.edu.

STEM Starter Academy event April 2014

High school students extract DNA from strawberries during a STEM Starter Academy demonstration.

Approximately 250 students from several North Worcester County high schools sampled college life and STEM careers during Mount Wachusett Community College’s STEM Starter Academy event on April 4. The event, coordinated by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Access, Transition & Development, featured a variety of science and health sciences demonstrations, hands-on experiments, and information about financial aid and college readiness, and served as a prelude to MWCC’s STEM Starter Summer Academy.

Mount Wachusett is currently recruiting 30 students to participate in its STEM Starter Summer Academy, which will run July 7 through Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gardner campus. Participating students will receive two free college courses, textbooks, a $1,750 stipend, academic support, tutoring, and community service and industry tours.

Funded through a $300,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the summer academy is open to students who graduate from high school in 2014 or earlier; place into English Composition and Intermediate Algebra or higher; and enroll in one of MWCC’s STEM starter qualifying majors in the fall 2014 semester.

Qualifying STEM majors include biology, biotechnology, chemistry, clinical laboratory science, computer information systems, dental hygiene, fitness leadership and exercise science, natural resources, nursing, physical therapist assistant, physics or pre-engineering.

Courses offered during the summer academy include intermediate algebra, statistics, introduction to functions and modeling, life science for allied health, introduction to biotechnology, and introduction to psychology.

For more information about the STEM Starter Summer Academy and other STEM programs at MWCC, contact the admissions office at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu.

Several MWCC faculty and staff shared best practices with colleagues throughout the state during the 2014 Massachusetts Community College Conference on Teaching, Learning & Student Development. The March 28 event, held at Northern Essex Community College, focused on the theme of Social Justice and the Community College.

“I am extremely proud of the Mount Wachusett Community College faculty and staff who presented five unique workshops that were well attended and spoke to the conference theme of social justice,” said Dr. Melissa Fama, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “I enjoy attending a conference where best practices in teaching are shared among the community college educators.”

The MWCC presenters focused on the topics of overall student success; civic engagement and service learning; and support for veterans transitioning to college.

In her presentation, “Active Learning Promotes Success in Science,” Professor Christine Kisiel discussed ways to provide opportunity for all students to succeed in science, regardless of their prior educational experience, background or skills. She shared examples of classroom activities that give students a voice in their learning, which empowers students to succeed.

Advisor and adjunct professor Robert Mayer presented “Soldiering On: Helping Soldiers Become Students and Active Citizens.” Soldiering On is a program for veterans transitioning to college and creates a cohort of students enrolled in a specialized First Year Experience course and English Composition 1. Examination of social, economic and environmental issues are integral parts of the curriculum to teach critical thinking, time management, writing, oral presentation and study skills.

Daniel Soucy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Civic Engagement, discussed the new General Studies capstone course, “Global Issues and Veterans.” This unique course teaches social justice through the intellect and intuition, using the classroom and community veteran sites as learning spaces.

Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning opportunities and Civic Engagement and Director of the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and Associate Dean of Students Greg Clement presented “Strategies for the Institutionalization of Civic Learning.” The session explored successful ways in which MWCC integrates social justice and civic learning into the student experience. The model begins with a foundation that supports collaboration among faculty, co-curricular programming and community partners.

Shelley Errington Nicholson, Director of Community Learning, and Human Services student Bryan Sanderson, founder of the Students Serving Our Service (SOS) program, described the launch of this successful new peer support program. Sanderson, who viewed his classmates’ struggles as a social justice issue, worked with the Center of Civic Learning and Community Engagement to develop the program. The program is aimed at increasing student retention and services by facilitating access to basic needs such as housing, transportation, child care, which can become obstacles to students’ success.

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Mount Wachusett Community College is recruiting adults of all ages, experience and education for training in the growing field of advanced manufacturing. Full scholarships are available for eligible students who enroll in an upcoming six-week day program or five-week evening program that will be offered at MWCC’s Devens campus.

Students who successfully complete either program will earn an MWCC Certificate of Completion, OSHA 10-hour Safety Certification and the National Career Readiness Certificate.

The six-week Advanced Manufacturing Industrial Readiness Training will meet Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes will begin on April 28, and a second session will be offered beginning on June 9. The course includes hands-on, lecture-based material as well as self-paced KeyTrain curriculum leading to the National Career Readiness Certification.

Information sessions for the day program will take place at MWCC’s Devens campus, 27 Jackson Road, on April 10 and April 15 at 10 a.m.

The five-week, 75-hour Medical Device Manufacturing Program will meet Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The course will be offered April 22 through May 22, and again from May 27 through June 27.

Information sessions for the evening program will take place at the Devens campus from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 7, April 14 and April 16.

The training programs are designed especially for unemployed or underemployed adults, veterans and recent high school graduates who want to train for careers in medical device manufacturing and related industries. Programs provide students with training in skills required for entry-level employment as technicians in manufacturing, validation, quality control, documentation, process operations and more.

Students must possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Students will have access to staff members who will assist them with the registration process, facilitate access to support services, and help them with their search for employment when they have completed the certificate program successfully. Tutoring and job search support is also available.

Manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the workforce in North Central Massachusetts, employing more than 14,000 people in the region. The demand for skilled workers continues to grow as a result of new opportunities and the retirement of older workers.

Both programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The evening program is also funded by a grant to MWCC and Operon Resource Management by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Rapid Response Program.

For more details about the program or to register for an information session, call 978-630-9569.

Robinson Broadhurst scholars 2014

This year’s Robinson Broadhurst Scholars at MWCC include, from left, Dakota Wood, Courtney Paradise, Devan Tenney, Shelby Slemmer and Laura Cosentino.

This academic year, five Murdock High School seniors are simultaneously earning their high school diploma and an academic certificate from Mount Wachusett Community College through the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation Career Tech Scholarship program.

The one-year, full-time dual enrollment program, funded by a generous grant from the foundation, allows Winchendon students to earn academic credentials to enter the workforce or to apply toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Through this program, now in its second year, students are provided with scholarship funds to begin a trade or technical program in automotive technology, allied health, information technology support or accounting certificate. The Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation grant provides full scholarships for the students.

The scholarship program provides the students with an opportunity to learn a trade that will allow them to enter the labor force once they finish high school or soon after and earn a higher wage than they would with only a high school diploma. This year, all five participants are seeking a certificate in Allied Health. This year’s Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation Career Tech Scholars are Dakota Wood, Courtney Paradise, Devan Tenney, Shelby Slemmer and Laura Cosentino.

“We are most grateful to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for their generous and continued support of this initiative to benefit Murdock High School students,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “This program not only helps students achieve their goal of obtaining a college education without accruing tremendous loan debt, but ultimately supports the economic development of our region by preparing young people with skills they can directly apply in the workforce.”

Completion of the program with a high school diploma and a college certificate will allow students to enter the workforce with a marketable skill, increase their lifetime income and provide the opportunity to continue with their higher education.

“The Robinson-Broadhurst program means everything to me. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet new people and experience what independence really means. I joined the program so I could feel my way through what I wanted to do with my life and build a good foundation to pursue my dream,” said Deven Tenney.

“I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to get a year of college done while I was completing my senior year of high school,” said Shelby Selmmer. “I knew that I had the chance to earn college credits before I graduated and to get an early start in my college career.”

The program is led by Veronica Guay, Director of Dual Enrollment, and Shaunti Phillips, CVTE Transition Counselor, in MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition, in partnership with Murdock Guidance Counselors.

 

 

MWCC will present an information session on its new Health Information Management associate degree program and career opportunities in this growing field. The free information session, led by Associate Professor Mary Jo Bowie, MS, RHIA, RHIT, will take place Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. at the Gardner campus, room 127.

Health information management is a vital component of the healthcare process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business and legal, and play a key role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage and release of all medical data. In this career, individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills contribute greatly to the healthcare industry without being direct care providers.

This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives, including the conversion of all medical records to electronic medium at a national level, and the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the U.S., as well as a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed employees to meet workforce needs over the next 10 years.

“MWCC is poised to meet these industry needs through the implementation of this new program,” said Margaret Jaillet, Associate Dean of MWCC’s School of health Professions, Public Service Programs and Social Sciences.

“Our new Health Information Management program offers students an opportunity to attain a credential as a registered health information technician or certified coder. Both of these credentials will be highly sought after in the coming years due to the national initiatives,”

In addition to serving as an Associate Professor Ms. Bowie is a consultant and owner of Health Information Professional Services in Binghamton, New York.  Previously she served as an instructor in the Health Information Technology program at Broome Community College in Binghamton. She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association and has been a consultant to acute care, long term care, drug and alcohol, ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities for 22 years. She has worked in the health information management profession for 27 years and is the author of several textbooks including Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices and Understand ICD -10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: A Workbook.

MWCC is currently accepting applications to this academic program, which will begin this fall. For more information call 978-630-9292 or email mjaillet@mwcc.mass.edu.

Jillian Johnson in library

Student Trustee Jillian Johnson, who aspires to become an orthodontist, began her academic studies at age 16 in MWCC’s Pathways Early College Innovation School.

Motivated teens interested in paring two years of time and expenses off their college education should check out the Pathways Early College Innovation School at Mount Wachusett Community College. Praised by state education officials, parents and participating students, the two-year, dual enrollment program allows high school juniors to simultaneously earn their high school diploma and a transferable associate degree in the academic program of their choice.

Twenty new students will be accepted into the program for the fall semester, beginning Sept. 3. A series of required, two-day information sessions have been scheduled throughout the spring and summer.

One of the first two innovation schools created in Massachusetts in 2010 under Governor Deval Patrick’s education reform bill and the state’s first early college innovation school, Pathways provides high school juniors and home schooled students the opportunity to accelerate the pace of their academic careers using school choice funds to cover tuition and fees.

“Pathways has given me a support net that I will use for the rest of my life,” said Jillian Johnson, a Liberal Arts and Sciences major who serves as student trustee on MWCC’s Board of Trustees. “I have grown as a person and would not be who I am today without it. I have discovered new passions and rediscovered old ones. This program has shown me to not just meet expectations, but to surpass them. It taught me to go above and beyond. I recommend this program for any student who is willing to put in the work and wants something more than just average,” she said.

“This program was ideal for me. I love the atmosphere, the teachers, and my peers. Everyone wants to see you succeed and encourages you to do your best. Pathways taught me to not ignore opportunities and to experience new things. I have become a new person and I’m proud of my accomplishments and who I am thanks to the Pathways program.”

Her mother, Julie Johnson, also praised the program for the opportunities it creates. “It was great for Jillian to have an alternative to high school. She needed to be challenged and put in an environment that supports and encourages personal and academic growth. Pathways allowed Jillian to finish her high school requirements while tackling new subjects to work toward her associate degree. The flexibility of the Pathways program allowed Jillian to become her own person and have the independence and responsibility that a young person needs. I have nothing but good things to say about the program. It was the perfect match for her.”

The Pathways innovation school is a partnership between MWCC and the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District. Students are enrolled in college courses and integrated into campus life, and receive personalized advising from MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition throughout their studies. Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester and Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland have been among the officials to visit the Pathways school and praise it as an innovative, successful model.

To be eligible, students must live in Massachusetts, possess a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0, be at least 16 years old and entering grade 11 by the start of the fall semester, and be recommended by the sending school.

“Pathways students are motivated and mature,” said Pathways Director Natalie Mercier.  “They are not just passing classes at MWCC, they are thriving,” she said.

Upcoming information sessions will take place April 8 & 10; May 6 & 8; June 10 & 12; June 24 & 26; July 8 & 10; July 22 & 24. The first day of each session is the information portion and will be held in room W11 from 6 to 7 p.m. On the second day of each sessions, students are required to take the Accuplacer test. This will take place at noon in the Testing Center, room 129.

For additional information or to arrange an appointment, contact  Natalie Mercier at nmercier@mwcc.mass.edu or 978-630-9248.