MWCC student Louis Ayisi at $30K Commitment Statehouse

MWCC student Louis Ayisi, speaking at the State House $30K Commitment announcement, shared how transfer pathways make higher education goals attainable.

A new collaboration between Central Massachusetts’ four institutions of public higher education – Fitchburg State University, Mount Wachusett Community College, Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester State University – will guarantee qualifying students their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in high demand programs for $30,000 in four years.

Presidents and representatives from the colleges and universities joined Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland, Senator Michael Moore, chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and other key officials in announcing the new agreement March 9 at the State House.

The “$30K Commitment,” starting this fall, is a promise from the institutions to support the career goals of Massachusetts residents; prepare students for high-demand degrees; and outline clear paths for students to complete affordable associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in four years. Tuition and fees will be frozen for qualifying students.

According to College Board, the average cost of one year of tuition and fees for a private, four-year college education is $31,000—more than the cost of four years outlined in the $30K Commitment. The average cost of in-state tuition and fees for public institutions is $9,139 a year. The $30K Commitment reduces the cost of a four-year degree program to $7,500 a year.

The commitment aligns degree programs and allows for seamless transfer between the two-year and four-year institutions for programs including business administration, computer science, early childhood education, biotechnology, criminal justice, biology and chemistry. Students who wish to continue their studies beyond the baccalaureate level will benefit from institutions’ articulation agreements with other schools. Those heading straight to their careers will be able to capitalize on internship opportunities and professional networks related to the fields of study included in the $30K program.

Participating students will be expected to maintain good academic standing with full-time course loads each semester. In addition to easy transfer opportunities from the community colleges, students will be guaranteed admission to the state university programs outlined in the agreement.

Secretary Peyser called the initaitive a “very important step in the right direction.”

“The biggest thing we can do do is make college more affordable,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, noting that the $30K commitment addresses many crucial areas, such as college completion, economic development, innovation and college readiness. “The community colleges and state universities of Central Massachusetts enjoy strong collaborative partnerships, and this agreement – creating opportunities and controlling costs – is evidence of those relationships.”

“Equally important…are our partnerships with our K-12 partners, including our dual enrollment work allowing high school students to earn college credit,” he said.

MWCC pre-engineering major Louis Ayisi was invited to address the gathering as one of the student speakers. “When I arrived in this country from Ghana 11 months ago, I made the best decision of my life (to enroll at MWCC). For first generation students like me, the sky is not the limit, but the stepping stone,” he said.

Fitchburg Schools Superintendent Andre Ravenelle noted that the school district is privileged to have partnerships with MWCC and Fitchburg State. “You cannot do this work alone.”

“I enthusiastically support this program because it locks in the price of $30K, and can spur our students to stay on course and complete their degrees. That commitment from our students will improve retention and four-year graduation rates,” said Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland. “It is my hope that the program will dramatically increase awareness of the affordability and high quality of our programs, and serve as a model for what we hope to do on a statewide basis.”


Transfer Fair

September 23, 2014

MWCC is hosting a free transfer fair on Thursday, Oct. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Gardner campus, South Café. Representatives from more than 40 colleges and universities will be on hand to discuss transfer options with MWCC students and alumni interested in continuing on for a bachelor’s degree. Students are advised to bring copies of their unofficial transcript for review.

For more information, contact Transfer/Academic Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197 or visit

Mount Wachusett Community College will host the annual New England Association of College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC) College Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center at the Gardner campus.

This free fair is the largest college fair held in Worcester County during the fall and allows attendees to interact with representatives from approximately 200 public and private colleges and universities, as well as military institutions.

The fair is open to the public. For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 978-630-9110 or

MWCC President Daniel Asquino and Elms College President Mary Reap sign the new transfer agreements in a signing ceremony attended by administrators and faculty from the two colleges. From left, MWCC Executive Vice President Ann McDonald, MWCC Assistant Dean Margaret Jaillet, MWCC Psychology and Human Services Department Chair Janice Gearan; MWCC Dean Eileen Costello; Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Melissa Fama; Dr. Elizabeth Hukowicz, Associate Academic Dean, Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at Elms; and Dr. Ruth Slotnick, MWCC Director of Articulation & Learning Assessment.

Mount Wachusett Community College and Elms College and have entered into an academic agreement that allows students to earn an Elms College bachelor’s degree on the MWCC campus in Gardner. Two programs will begin in August 2013—a bachelor of arts degree with a major in psychology and a bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing.MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, Ph.D., and Elms College President Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D., recently signed a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. Applications are currently being accepted, and classes will begin in August.

Under the new agreement, Elms College will accept an additional 18 credits from MWCC at a community college tuition rate, for a total of up to 78 transfer credits.The psychology degree completion program offers a balance of courses that includes a basic core series followed by concentrations in experimental, clinical/counseling, and developmental psychology. During each of the 10 eight-week sessions, one face-to-face course will be held 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and another course will be offered either as a hybrid or face-to-face. MWCC students completing an associate degree in human services or liberal arts are eligible to transfer into this program.

The RN-BS degree completion program provides a high quality program for registered nurses, which builds upon the skills acquired in an entry level nursing program and prepares graduates who are liberally educated in the arts and sciences and professionally educated in nursing knowledge and evidence-based practice. Classes for this program are scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays over a two-year period. Some afternoon classes may be offered in the hybrid format.

MWCC and Elms College are actively committed to providing greater educational opportunities and services for students transferring from MWCC to Elms College. MWCC and Elms College mutually recognize each other as quality institutions of higher learning. Each institution is dedicated to serving students from all walks of life in accordance with each college’s affirmative action policy. A social work agreement is expected to start in fall 2014.

“These two programs at MWCC will create new opportunities for students to further their educations in psychology or nursing while keeping costs low and convenience at the forefront,” said Reap. “We are delighted to open up our classrooms to these hard-working, talented individuals so that they may make a difference in their central Massachusetts communities.”

“We are delighted with the new academic pathway that these transfer agreements with Elms College create for many of our graduates,” said Asquino. “By completing their associate degree before transferring, our graduates earn credentials beneficial in the workforce, while continuing on for their bachelor’s degree.”

To learn more about the Elms College off-campus program at MWCC, go to or contact Wanda Banks at or 413-313-4287, or Limari Rivera at or 978-630-9197.



Mount Wachusett Community College and Rivier University have established several new transfer opportunities for students interested in the fields of history, political science, nursing, criminal justice, and photography. The transfer agreements enable MWCC graduates in these programs to seamlessly transfer credits to Rivier to earn a bachelor’s degree. Beginning with the upcoming academic year, eligible students will be guaranteed admission as juniors to Rivier, located in Nashua, N.H.

“This new partnership with Rivier opens new opportunities for Mount Wachusett students to further their education,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “We are pleased to partner with Rivier to expand academic options for students interested in careers in these fields. These transfer agreements are ideal for students interested in advancing their career opportunities through higher education.”

“We welcome transfer students from Mount Wachusett to the Rivier University community. This partnership will allow for a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree and beyond for graduates of Mount Wachusett,” said Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President.

Students who continue at Rivier through the Transfer Articulation Program (TAP) are generally able to complete their remaining requirements for the bachelor’s degree in two years full-time, or four to six years of part-time study.

Students completing an associate degree in liberal arts with a concentration in history or political science with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher can transfer into Rivier’s Bachelor of Arts in History or Political Science degree programs. An acceptance of up to 90 credits will be transferred from MWCC.

Licensed registered nurses who graduated from MWCC’s Associate of Science Nursing program with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 can transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Graduates of MWCC’s Criminal Justice program and Criminal Justice Corrections track program with a grade point average of 2.0 can transfer into the bachelor’s degree program in Criminal Justice at Rivier.

Graduates of MWCC’s Broadcasting and Electronic Media degree program with a photography concentration and a minimum grade point average of 2.0 are eligible to transfer into Rivier’s Photography and Digital Media bachelor’s degree program.

For more information and academic advising assistance, contact MWCC Transfer Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197 or