Events

Final-MWCC-Graduation-HatNationally, adults age 25 and over make up the fastest growing demographic of students enrolling in college, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. To assist area residents interested in achieving a college degree, Mount Wachusett Community College is offering a free, new program in August at its main campus in Gardner.

MWCC’s Adult College Experience (ACE) program will feature a variety of workshops designed to guide adult learners through the application, financial aid and course selection processes and provide information about commonly used technology, managing coursework and balancing school with work and family life. All participants attending the first session will receive a free gift, and participants attending all four workshops will be eligible to win a free, three-credit course.

“Over the past 23 years, I’ve had several conversations with adults about attending college,” said Missi Sargent, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at MWCC, and one of coordinators of the new program. “I have heard the anxiety and uncertainty in their voices. Some who haven’t been to school since high school worry that it’s been too long, and many feel they are just too busy to be able to commit to school or our concerned about the cost. I once felt the same way, too,” said Sargent, who overcame those doubts and now holds an associate degree in general studies, and a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in adult and higher education administration.

“I am here to say, you CAN do it and it IS worth it. Take it one step at a time, meet one goal at a time and I assure you, you will get there.”

MWCC’s four-session ACE program, geared toward adult learners age 24 and above, will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. with the workshop, “Adult Roadmap to College.” A panel of MWCC alumni who returned to college as adults balancing work, family and studies will share their stories and answer questions. Participants will receive assistance completing their MWCC application, learn how to navigate the Blackboard online learning system and set up computer files for class, and use technology and other tools to make the college journey easier.

“College Survival 101” will take place Tuesday, August 11, from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. Participants will receive assistance completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, learn about preparing for the writing portion of the college placement test, and learn about the expectations of college writing classes. Additional topics during this session will focus on overcoming math anxiety, following a course syllabus, and the variety of student learning styles.

The session, “Time to Enroll,” will take place Saturday, August 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Working with an advisor, participants will develop an academic plan, explore financial aid and payment options and enroll in classes.

The series will conclude on Tuesday, Aug. 25 with the session “Ready, Set, Go!” from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. Newly enrolled students will receive assistance reviewing and understanding the components of their financial aid package, including knowing the difference between loans, grants, scholarships and work study aid. The session will end with a pizza party celebration.

Each year, millions of adult students return to college to earn a degree or academic certificate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment of students age 25 and above increased by 42 percent between 2000 and 2010 and is predicted to increase by another 20 percent by 2020. In comparison, enrollment of college students age 24 and under increased by 34 percent between 2000 and 2010, and is expected to increase 11 percent by 2020.

To register for MWCC’s free ACE program, contact the admissions office at 978-630-9110 or email admissions@mwcc.edu. Registration can also be completed online at mwcc.edu/build/ace.

 

Information Sessions

June 30, 2015

Come learn about all of the academic programs, career preparation and financial aid opportunities available at MWCC. The college offer information sessions every Wednesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Leominster Campus, 100 Erdman Way. These events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

MWCC is hosting an open house featuring “on the spot” acceptance on Thursday, June 18 at 4:30 p.m. at its main campus in Gardner.

Prospective students will have the opportunity to speak with academic advisors, explore academic programs and bachelor’s degree transfer options, learn about the college’s wide range of student support students, and receive assistance filing for financial aid and a transcript evaluation for transferable coursework.

Registration is recommended and can be made online at mwcc.edu/rsvp or contacting the admissions off at 978-630-0110 or admissions@mwcc.edu.

MWCC offers more than 70 associates degree and academic certificate program options, as well as dual enrollment programs for teenagers, transfer agreements with public and private colleges and universities, workforce development training, adult basic education, and preparation for the HiSet high school equivalency exam. For more information, visit mwcc.edu.

 

MWCC’s 42nd Annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place Thursday, May 21 at 5 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Students will be welcomed into the profession by having the program’s nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a fellow nurse, a family member, a friend, an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member.

MWCC’s 50th Commencement will take place Wednesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Gardner native Kevin Berg, Vice President of Production for the CBS Network in L.A., will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate of Humanities and the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award. This year’s Service Above Self Award will be presented to James O. Garrison, who will also receive an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society is conducting its 12th annual “Project Graduation” food drive. All graduates and their guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the rehearsal or ceremony, which will be donated to the Gardner Community Action Council, the Winchendon Community Action Council, and the Students SOS office.

First MWCC graduation 1966

MWCC’s first Commencement exercises took place on June 12, 1966 with 71 graduates. This year, the college will award more than 840 degrees and certificates to 781 graduates. Pictured, from left, 1966 graduates and award recipients Mary Pieloch and Doris Townsend; Dr. Arthur F. Haley, President; graduate and award recipient James Eacmen, Jr.; and Commencement speaker Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, president of Clark University. (Photo courtesy of The Gardner News)

Fifty years ago, lifelong Gardner resident Helen Lepkowski was among a handful of Mount Wachusett Community College faculty members to congratulate the college’s first graduating class.

On Wednesday, May 20, the former business division professor and her husband, Ed, a former MWCC trustee, will maintain their longstanding tradition of attending the celebration. Unlike the first ceremony, where 71 graduates received associate degrees in six academic programs, the college will award more than 840 associate degrees and academic certificates to 785 graduates enrolled in nearly 50 program options.

Mount Wachusett’s first commencement, held outdoors on Sunday, June 12, 1966 at the Elm Street campus, featured Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, the third president of Clark University, as the speaker.

“It was very small and it was just wonderful and intimate. It was a beautiful day,” Mrs. Lepkowski recalled. “It’s always a wonderful opportunity to be there and there are always people you know who are graduating or are there for the occasion.”

MWCC’s 50th Commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the college’s Fitness & Wellness Center.

Among this year’s highlights, Gardner native Kevin Berg, executive vice president of production for CBS Network Entertainment in Los Angeles, will deliver the commencement address. Berg also will receive an honorary doctorate of Humanities, as well as the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award.

Community leader and long-serving volunteer James O. Garrison will receive is the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2015 Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college’s service area. Mr. Garrison, former MWCC Board of Trustees chair and benefactor of the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education scholarships, will receive an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. Prior to the commencement ceremony, President Daniel M. Asquino and the Board of Trustees will recognize Mr. Garrison and his wife, Peggy, for their generous gifts and commitment to students during a rededication of the Garrison Center.

Business Administration graduate Yasmine Kanaan has been selected to deliver the Class of 2015 Student Address.

Five retiring professors will receive emeriti status: Joel Anderson, Media Arts & Technology; Paul Laverty, Mathematics; John McNally, Health Sciences, Fitness & Wellness; Elena Natalizia, Criminal Justice; and John Reilly, Business Administration.

New this year, two food trucks will be on site to curb appetites: The Dogfather Truck of Worcester, and Dylan and Pete’s Ice Cream Truck of Boston. The MWCC Alumni Association will return with flowers for sale, and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society will conduct its 12th annual Project Graduation food drive. Graduates and their guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the commencement rehearsal and/or ceremony. Donations will be delivered to the Gardner Community Action Committee, the Winchendon Community Action Committee, and MWCC’s Students SOS office.

Evening of Excellence

May 8, 2015

The academic achievements of MWCC students will be celebrated Thursday, May 14 during the annual Evening of Excellence. The event will take place at the DoubleTree in Leominster and will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and an awards ceremony. Students will be honored with merit and scholarship awards during this special ceremony.

business_tableMount Wachusett Community College’s Summer Business Luncheon Series returns this year with a focus on entrepreneurship and marketing for small businesses, as well as an overview for businesses of all sizes interested in applying for state workforce training grants.

The college’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development has bundled several professional lunch & learn workshops geared for entrepreneurs, owners of small businesses, managers and nonprofit organizations. All sessions will take place from 12 to 1 p.m. at MWCC’s Leominster Campus, 100 Erdman Way.

“Leaders and managers with entrepreneurial abilities are vital to the sustainability and growth of the economy in Massachusetts,” said Jeremiah Riordon, Associate Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development. “Businesses with 19 employees or less represent 86 percent of all Massachusetts firms, making this summer’s series a perfect training opportunity to help businesses grow for increased profits.”

The series will kick off on June 5 with an information session geared toward businesses of all sizes that are interested in learning more about the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund grant program.  This session will provide an overview of General Program Training Grants as well as Consortium Grants, Express Program Training Grants & Technical Assistance Grants. MWCC will highlight client successes in fundable areas such as lean, continuous improvement, leadership, and ESL, as well as other technical and non-technical training areas in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, technology and other industries. This overview will cover the features and benefits of each program, the amount of available funding, and how to apply.

On June 12, the session “Establishing Your Business” will help owners of small businesses determine their tax entity classification and whether they should establish their companies as sole proprietorships, corporations or as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Any option can offer a range of advantages for entrepreneurs, however a corporation or LLC protects entrepreneurs’ personal assets.

On June 19, the session “Three Tips for a Better Business Website” will provide participants with the essential ingredients needed to enhance their websites to drive business. This non-technical session will focus on ideas and suggestions for improving business websites. Attendees will leave the workshop with understanding the importance of good web design.

On July 10, the session “Marketing Communications” will help businesses discover an approach to developing brochures using design elements to enhance interest and create impact. This workshop is designed to encourage participants to consider branding and how customer perceptions affect business.

On July 24, the session “Marketing and Sales on a Lean Budget” will help businesses develop an overall online prospecting strategy that facilitates growth of revenue and meets sales objectives. With an emphasis on direct marketing, participants will discover proven, essential campaign strategies for finding and acquiring new customers and generating sales.

On August 7, the session “Legal Dos and Don’ts” will provide the fundamental rules and regulations that ensure your business is a safe and healthy place to work. Participants will learn more about critical compliance requirements, as well as scenarios to avoid from a seasoned attorney specializing in business law.

On August 21, “Small Business Consulting Advice,” a Q&A session, invites small businesses to take advantage of technical assistance support. This session is geared toward micro-enterprises (five employees or less) and will highlight business counseling assistance and resources available.

The cost for each session is $15 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 mwcc.edu/noncredit, by phone at 978-630-9575, or email training@mwcc.mass.edu.

 

 

GARDNER – Nurses and those interested in a career in nursing are invited to celebrate National Nurses’ Week on Tuesday, May 12 with the American Nurse Project, hosted by Mount Wachusett Community College’s School of Health Professions, Public Service Programs and Social Sciences. Nurses attending the free event may apply for continuing education credits through nurse.com.

The documentary explores some of the biggest issues facing this country – aging, war, poverty, prisons – through the experiences of five nurses at work. The film premiered to sold-out crowds during National Nurses’ Week in 2014. Screenings will take place at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the MWCC Fine Arts Center theater.

The photographs and narratives aim to inspire audiences to think about nurses in a way that they may never have before, with a newfound appreciation for this indispensable figure on the front lines of health and healthcare today: the American nurse.

Following the 2 and 5:30 p.m. showings, college representatives will be available to answer questions regarding education programs offered at Mount Wachusett. A mini job fair with several healthcare employers will take place theater lobby, and advisors from the health programs will be available to answer questions.

Register online at mwcc.edu/wf/american-nurse or call 978-630-9124.

Gail Steele

Professor Gail Steele

Professor Gail Steele, director of Theatre at the Mount, not only will be recognized with a community service award during the House of Peace and Education’s annual Celebrating Women event, she’ll also share the stage with one of the country’s greatest performers, Rita Moreno.

The Grammy, Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winning performer will headline the annual event to raise awareness of women’s issues and funding for House of Peace & Education, Inc., a non-profit serving women and children in North Central Massachusetts. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 21, at Great Wolf Lodge of New England in Fitchburg.

Under Professor Steele’s supervision TAM has received local, regional, and national acclaim. In her 38-year career, over 2,500 individuals have appeared in TAM productions and over 8,000 have participated in summer drama and choir programs. Many have gone on to pursue their own careers in theatre after literally growing up at Theatre at the Mount. In addition to her work at TAM, Professor Steele has shared her expertise and been active in many organizations throughout the community.

HOPE empowers women and children by providing employment and educational skills, and nurturing self esteem, so they can to transition into independence. Because HOPE is a no-fees organization, it must raise considerable funds each year to continue its many services.

This year’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. and consists of cocktail hour with cash bar, dinner, a performance by Boston’s Divas with a Twist, presentation of awards, and finally Rita Moreno’s inspirational story through spoken word and song. Tickets are available in advance only: online at www.hopegardner.org, by calling 978-632-0400, or stopping in at the HOPEful Boutique at 33 Parker Street in Gardner.

In addition to the HOPE Celebrating Women Award, in April, Professor Steele received the Community Leadership Award from the ARC of Opportunity of North Central Massachusetts for her leadership and creativity in launching a sensory-friendly theatre performance for families who support children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities or on the autism spectrum.