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Kathy Matson

For her dedication and commitment to serving others, Mount Wachusett Community College student leader Kathy Matson has been presented with Campus Compact’s national 2014 Newman Civic Fellows Award.

A Business Administration major, Matson represents college students across Massachusetts in her role as the student member on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, and as a liaison between the board and the state-wide Student Advisory Council, on which she also serves. As a member of the Board of Higher Education, she advocates on behalf of students across the Commonwealth for public policy changes that will impact the ability of students to succeed in higher education. Two policy issues she has helped champion include the restructuring of the math sequence and the integration of civic education at all 29 public colleges and universities across Massachusetts.

In addition to working two jobs and consistently making the President’s List and Dean’s List, the Baldwinville resident has provided more than 400 volunteer hours to various organizations and student groups during this academic year alone. She serves as president of MWCC’s Student Government Association, as an officer in the Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma honor societies, as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions office, as a SALT Ambassador in the Financial Aid office, as a mentor with the Students Serving Our Students office, on the MWCC Alumni Association, and is an active volunteer with numerous Student Life events. She is a second time MWCC student, having first earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice in 1985.

“We are extremely proud of Kathy for her leadership on campus, at the state level, and in the community,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “We are delighted that she has been recognized with this distinguished award. As a student leader, she serves in many capacities and diligently works on behalf of students throughout the Commonwealth. She has a true passion for helping others.”

The Newman Civic Fellows Award recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. College and University presidents nominate student leaders representing the next generation of civic leaders. This year, 197 students from 36 states received the national award.

The award is named for educator Frank Newman, co-founder of Campus Compact, past president of the University of Rhode Island and author of Higher Education and the American Resurgence. Since 1985, Campus Compact has grown to represent more than 1,100 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.

“Being named a Newman Civic Fellow is an amazing honor,” Matson said. “I received this recognition for my civic engagement and volunteerism, but being civically engaged and volunteering is a way of life for me and not something that I do for recognition. I am appreciative to the president, staff and peers at the college who submitted my nomination. They have all been an inspiration to me during my time at MWCC.”

Matson’s ability to be a strong advocate for students make her an exceptional role model, said Fagan Forhan, director of MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

“Kathy is an excellent illustration of what it means to be an engaged student and citizen, and exemplifies hard work and determination. She provides alternative perspectives and a strong clear voice as an advocate for herself and others. Kathy is not afraid to be the dissenting voice in a discussion and is always willing to engage in dialogue and debate about important social issues facing our students. Her no nonsense attitude serves her well in this capacity as she empowers other to make positive change in their lives.”

Outside MWCC, Matson is an active volunteer within her community, including serving on the Templeton Community Emergency Response Team as administrative assistant to the Emergency Management Director. In addition, she also volunteers her time to maintain a database of over 4,500 families and volunteers for MassHOPE, the Massachusetts Home School organization.

She and her husband Calvin have three grown sons who are also alumni or current students at MWCC and are entering military service. Prior to returning to MWCC for her second degree, Matson was a stay-at-home parent who home schooled her children for 22 years.

This is the second consecutive year a Mount Wachusett has received the prestigious recognition. In 2013, Human Services major and student veteran Bryan Sanderson of Lunenburg received the award for his initiative founding the Students Serving Our Students peer mentor program.

 

Women's Herstory 2014 croppedFaculty and staff members who play an instrumental role in the lives of MWCC students were recognized on March 26 during the college’s annual Women’s Appreciation Day. The celebration capped a month-long of activities and events in celebration of Women’s History Month.

For the past several years, students in Professor Susan Goldstein’s Journalism I class interview and write feature articles on women who are making a difference in the lives of others. The Women’s HerStory project this year recognized Michelle Brennan, volunteer coordinator, Students SOS Office, United Way Youth Venture outreach specialist; Karen Costa, adjunct professor, First Year Experience; Elaine Gagne, adjunct professor, English and Reading; Andrea Gendron, tutor; Veronica Guay, director of Dual Enrollment; Sharmese Gunn, resource specialist, Gateway to College; Debra Holloway, professor of Psychology; Heather March, professor, American Sign Language; Dr. Rosanne Morel,  professor, Early Child Education; Shelley Errington Nicholson, director of Community Learning; Dr. Carol Reed, professor, Computer Information Systems and Medical Assisting; Sarah Savoie, student services and veterans clerk; and Melissa Bourque Silva, academic advisor, Division of Access & Transition.

Their photographs and inspiring stories are on display in the South Café throughout the month.

“While it’s always nice to be honored, it means even more when it comes from the students,” said Nicholson, who coordinates service learning, volunteer and internships programs for MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

 

Job Fair Fashion Extravaganza March 2014

Student John Day organized a career fashion show to promote the upcoming Job Fair 2014. Pictured at left, three students who are dressed to impress, and on the right, three who are not.

Students and area employers are gearing up for MWCC’s annual job fair, which will take place Wednesday, April 2 in the Commons. The event is open to MWCC students from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and to students and the general public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress for success and bring their resumes.

The MWCC Job Fair is an annual event on-campus that is growing in popularity each year as evidenced by the increased attendance of participating employers, students, and community members, said Patricia Brewerton, Coordinator of Career Planning and Placement.

MWCC students attended workshops throughout the spring semester focusing on resume writing skills, dressing for success, and developing soft skills that are critical to the interview process. To showcase the upcoming job fair, student John Day organized a boisterous career fashion show on March 25. The fashion extravaganza featured students dressed in appropriate and inappropriate attire for the workplace.

A wide range of local employers offering job opportunities in a number of growth oriented fields will be in attendance, including human services, criminal justice, business, retail, and the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

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.

Kelli Bator

MWCC student Kelli Bator sang the National Anthem during a Naturalization Ceremony held at the college. Also pictured, from left; Judge Timothy S. Hillman, Mayor Mark Hawke, President Daniel Asquino, and Luis Chavez of the USCIS.

Mount Wachusett Community College served as the backdrop welcoming 222 Massachusetts residents from 47 different countries as new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony on March 19 in the Fine Arts theatre.

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services selected MWCC as the setting as part of its ongoing initiative to bring ceremonies to local communities, said Joseph S. Forte of the USCIS, an alumnus of MWCC. The USCIS presented the candidates for naturalization to the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, before the Honorable Timothy S. Hillman, United States District Judge, District of Massachusetts.

President Daniel M. Asquino and Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke welcomed the new citizens and their families gathered for the ceremony, and MWCC student Kelli Bator sang the National Anthem.

The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. During the last decade, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services welcomed more than 6.6 million naturalized citizens into the fabric of our nation.

This semester, Leominster Campus Dean John Walsh and Academic Counselor Jose Mangual have been working with the United Neighbors of Fitchburg to provide preparation classes for those wishing to apply for naturalization. Ai Co Abercrombie, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management, is also assisting by providing outreach to students and community in the greater Gardner area.

The Citizenship Preparation Program is designed to help legal permanent residents who qualify to become U.S. citizens.Volunteers help candidates fill out forms, provide citizenship classes, provide transportation for those who need it, and translation of documents. The assistance is offered on Friday afternoons from 12:30 to 2:30 through April 25.

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.

Pictured from left, QCC President Gail Carberry; QCC biotechnology student Jose Cruz; Governor Deval Patrick; MWCC Allied Health student Jenna Bonci; MWCC President Daniel Asquino; and Beth Nicklas, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center General Counsel and Vice President for Academic and Workforce Programs.

Governor Deval Patrick has announced nearly $1 million in grants to support life sciences related capital projects for Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Community College to better respond to the region’s growing need for skilled workers in biotechnology, biomedical engineering and pharmaceuticals. The Governor made the announcement at QCC on March 6.

“In order for Massachusetts to continue to create jobs and prosper, we must train our workers for the jobs of the 21st century global economy,” said Governor Patrick. “Our innovation economy relies on a well-educated, well-skilled workforce, and these grants will expand opportunity and grow jobs in central Massachusetts.”

MWCC was awarded a $500,000 grant to upgrade aging and outdated equipment and add new equipment that aligns with current industry standards for its core life sciences courses in biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and plant science. These courses provide the basic foundation for MWCC’S existing biotechnology, natural resources and clinical laboratory science degree programs and three new proposed degree programs in quality and analytical technology, liberal arts and sciences biology and chemistry to be rolled out in fall 2014. The funding will make it possible for MWCC to substantially improve its curriculum to integrate more hands-on, real-world laboratory experiences and add an organic chemistry course, an equipment heavy foundational course for biological sciences and molecular biology studies. The grant will enable MWCC to fully upgrade its laboratory science equipment and to ensure employers have the skilled workforce they require for creating and retaining jobs in the life sciences.

“As Mount Wachusett Community College prepares to break ground this fall on a new science and technology building, the continued support of the Commonwealth, through this generous grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, could not be more timely and appreciated,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “This funding will enable us to provide cutting-edge equipment for our new laboratories, as well as much-needed upgrades to existing laboratories to enhance the academic experience for our students and ensure that employers have the skilled workforce they need for creating and retaining jobs in the STEM fields.”

Student Jenna Bonci, who is preparing for a career in health care, also represented MWCC at the event.

“I believe that all students enrolled in life science courses and programs at the Mount will benefit from this updated equipment and from the commitment it represents to their academic success. With this grant, students will be able to transition to their future jobs with a better understanding of the ever-changing equipment and strategies within the life sciences,” she said.

Earlier that day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that Massachusetts added over 55,000 jobs in 2013, the largest number of jobs created in a single year in nearly 15 years.

Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts has emerged as the global leader in life sciences. Through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences ecosystem. To date, the MLSC has awarded more than $330 million to support life sciences-related capital projects across the state, creating thousands of jobs and more than 1.3 million square feet of new education, research and manufacturing space.

“The life sciences sectors are now the fastest job producers in Massachusetts so a key strategy of the Life Sciences Center is to use our capital dollars to ensure that students all across the Commonwealth are prepared to compete successfully for these jobs,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. “The projects at Quinsigamond Community College and Mount Wachusett Community College are great examples of our investments to achieve that objective. Community colleges, and the six high schools we are recognizing today, play major roles in training the next generation of our state’s life sciences workforce, and they ensure that training for innovation economy jobs is inclusive and available all across the state. Our grants help ensure that these schools can provide students with first-rate training facilities.”

“One reason our innovation economy is strong and growing is because of our state’s strong higher education institutions,” said Secretary Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “This funding will help ensure that these facilities are equipped with the tools and support they need to provide world-class education and training opportunities.”

“Mount Wachusett Community College is uniquely poised to innovate in the life sciences sector because it is a top public educational institution,” Senator Stephen M. Brewer. “I am honored to support this grant, and to represent the Mount Wachusett community in the Senate.”

“This funding comes at a perfect time for Mount Wachusett Community College, as they begin making major renovations to their science facilities in the coming months,” said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan. “Many thanks to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; the Mount, as they always do, will do great things with this support.”

“Mount Wachusett Community College is an important part of our community and it is wonderful to see them have the opportunity to continue to grow,” said Representative Jonathan D. Zlotnik. “Many thanks to the Massachusetts Life Science Center for their support of the new upgrades for MWCC that will benefit students and educators for many years to come.”

Jerry Sabatini, front row, second from right, and the Indian Hill Big Band will present a free jazz concert on March 28 at 8 p.m. in MWCC’s theatre. Broadcasting and Electronic Media students will record the concert to create a DVD.

The Indian Hill Big Band, led by trumpeter, composer and educator Jerry Sabatini, will present a free jazz concert Friday, March 28 at Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green Street. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the theatre of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

Founded in 1998 and based in Littleton, the Indian Hill Big Band performs America’s greatest music at venues throughout Greater Boston and beyond. Several of the members are active professional musicians from the local area who perform regularly with orchestras, chorales, musical theater organizations, ethnic music ensembles and other jazz groups.

Sabatini is recognized in the Boston jazz scene as an adventurous, creative and diverse trumpet player, improviser, composer and educator. Known for his wide range of musical taste, he performs in projects ranging from traditional jazz and Balkan brass bands to the music of the Middle and Far East and the avant guard. As an instructor, he directs jazz ensembles at Indian Hill Music School, Joy of Music Program in Worcester, and Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, where he also teaches jazz history.

The concert will serve as a live training event for MWCC’s media students, who are also involved with promotion and event management.

Audio Engineering students will record sound that night with nearly 40 microphones and later mix the raw recording in the college’s audio production studios.  The audio mix will be synchronized to a multi-camera video recording of the event produced by MWCC’s Video/Film students, who will record the concert with six synchronized cameras.

Photography students will take photos at the event for imagery needed by Graphic Design students who will create DVD package designs. The end result will be a full concert DVD and cable television program.

“As the music and performing arts program continues to grow at Mount Wachusett, I met with Susan Randazzo, Executive Director at IHMS, to explore prospects for partnership between our two schools, said Dr. Stephen Grieco, Dean of MWCC’s School of Liberal Arts, Education, Humanities and Communications. “This concert not only creates a collaborative partnership but allows for a unique learning experience for our students. As dean, I am excited to extend this opportunity to our community and am looking forward to this concert production led by Jerry Sabatini, his talented musicians, and our dedicated MWCC Media Arts & Technology faculty and students.”

During this public event, concert attendees agree to be recorded in the audience in photos, video and/or audio for DVD, Internet, television and other promotional materials. Seating will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

The Indian Hill Big Band is an ensemble at the Indian Hill Music School, which offers private lessons and group experiences for all ages, styles, and levels. For more information, call 978-486-9524 or visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Broadcasting and Electronic Media program prepares students for careers in television, radio, cable TV, sound recording, photography and related electronic media programs. For more information, contact MWCC at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu, or visit http://mwcc.edu.

 

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki toured the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Certification Center at Mount Wachusett Community College’s Devens campus on Feb. 27.

During the tour, a live training class was in session, providing a firsthand glimpse of the hard work that occurs at the center on a daily basis. The tour highlighted the center’s ability to provide space and tools for hands-on experience to participants seeking skills recognized by their industry as critical to their success.

“These centers are the driving forces behind providing our workforce with the skills they need to compete, and are a critical part of the reason why Massachusetts is leading the nation in growing a 21st century advanced manufacturing sector,” said Secretary Bialecki. “We remain committed to supporting this vital industry and ensuring a strong manufacturing workforce for our future.”

“Mount Wachusett Community College is proud to be recognized as an educational leader that delivers quality, advanced level training to learners of all ages. We are fortunate to be selected as stewards of federal and state resources that enable us to build upon our successful community and industry partnerships, in collaboration with the Commonwealth, to bring the very best training opportunities to our regional workforce,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

The center is funded in part by the federal $20 million Community Colleges grant, provides industry-recognized assessments to companies looking to evaluate current and potential staff in the areas of mechanical, electrical and programmable logic circuitry skills.The center also serves as a venue for industry meetings and workshops and is a resource to the region.

MWCC was also chosen as the recipient of a grant in 2012 as part of Governor Patrick’s Community College initiative to put more people in Massachusetts back to work and to strengthen the connections between community colleges, employers and the workforce.The $272,000 grant was used to increase college readiness and ultimate attendance rates, improvement of student success at the College and a new commitment to civic engagement activity.

Other assessments, including the nationally recognized WorkKeys program, are available to employers. Curriculum designed to meet specific incumbent worker training needs is also available, as is the ability to work with companies to develop grant proposals for training through the state Workforce Training Fund.

Prior to the tour, Secretary Bialecki led a roundtable discussion with the North Central Advanced Manufacturing Consortia, comprised of workforce, education and employer partners to discuss the partnership work to support manufacturing in the region and future plans, including an update on the current Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, and Rapid Response grants.

This meeting is one in a series taking place at manufacturing sites across the Commonwealth to discuss regional manufacturing partnerships. These partnerships are led by workforce, education and business leaders who are working together to train entry level workers to increase the talent pipeline and training incumbent workers as part of succession planning for hundreds of manufacturers across the state.

Brittany Brewer began her academic career at MWCC through the ABE program.

For decades, Mount Wachusett Community College has been the regional go-to site that helps adults who never completed high school begin a new chapter in their lives by earning their General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

The supportive environment at Mount Wachusett has helped thousands of students, like 23-year-old Brittany Brewer of Gardner, set and reach new goals. Brewer, who left high school at age 16, enrolled in MWCC’s free Adult Basic Education classes at age 21 and earned her high school equivalency diploma in 2012. Since then, she enrolled in the college’s ABE Transition to College program, where she is earning great grades in English and math courses in preparation for pursuing a college degree in business and accounting.

The first in her family to attend college, Brewer is determined to build a better future for herself and her two-year-old son, Leo.

“He’s the reason I returned to school. I want him to have things in life that I never had. I don’t have any footsteps to follow, but I want to leave some for my son to follow. I’m making my own way to clear a path for my son.”

In January, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education selected Educational Testing Service (ETS) to administer the new high school equivalency assessment in the state. The new assessment, called HiSET, will replace the GED credential in Massachusetts.

Mount Wachusett Community College has administered the GED exam for many years and will be certified to offer the HiSET assessment to residents of North Central Massachusetts.

MWCC’s GED Test Center will now be known as the High School Equivalency Test Center. Adults who are 18 years old and older may take the high school equivalency test if they have not previously received a high school diploma. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds may take the test only if they are no longer enrolled in school. Testing will begin this spring.

MWCC is committed to providing adults and out of school youth the opportunity to obtain a high school equivalency credential in order to assist them in accessing post-secondary education and skills training programs.

Academic advisors are available to work with students on evaluating their options once they complete the Massachusetts High School Equivalency credential. This new activity has been added in all Adult Basic Education programs statewide, to provide college and career readiness for all HiSET graduates.

Extensive research has proved that in order for citizens to be more successful, they need to have some sort of post-secondary education or training.

MWCC’s free Adult Basic Education courses to prepare students for the HiSET test are available at the college’s campuses in Gardner, Leominster and Devens. These classes are funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The college also offers classes for Winchendon residents at the Winchendon Community Action Center. The Winchendon Skills Program is funded through a generous grant from the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation.

For more information, contact Pamela Dempsey-O’Connell at 978-630-9259 or email pdempsey-connell@mwcc.mass.edu. For general information about the new HiSET test, go to http://hiset.ets.org.