Mount Wachusett Community College student and Worcester resident Jasson Alvarado Gomez was a featured speaker to nearly 300 high school seniors from North, Burncoat, and Doherty High Schools in Worcester on Wednesday October 12 at the Department of Higher Education’s GO HIGHER! event, a partnership with Massachusetts’ 29 public colleges and universities to raise awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

Alvarado Gomez, an aspiring filmmaker studying Media Arts & Technology at MWCC, participated in a student-to-student panel discussion about choosing a college and a major, navigating campus life, and the challenges that undocumented students face. Alvarado Gomez impressed upon students that “there are plenty of financial and support services available to all students in the community college system. You just have to ask.”

At MWCC, Alvarado Gomez has served on the Student Government Association, as president of the ALANA Club, and on the Campus Activities Team for Students and SAGA organizations. He has served as a student ambassador and a volunteer for the United Way Day of Caring and the SGA annual food drive, and is a recipient of the Gateway Community Service Award. He is also an appointed member to the college’s Board of Trustees, following a spring election by his peers. Earlier this fall, the Worcester resident was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education as a full voting member representing all students attending the state’s 29 colleges and universities. Upon graduating from MWCC, Alvarado Gomez plans to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a Bachelor’s degree and begin a career in media arts.

According to Mount Wachusett Community College Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Marcia Rosbury-Henne, the GO HIGHER! events celebrate the academic excellence and affordability of not only MWCC, but all public higher education institutions in the Commonwealth. “The financial advantages of attending a community colleges are often more obvious than the academic and social advantages,” according to Rosbury-Henne. “The GO HIGHER! events offer high school students an opportunity to hear firsthand from community college graduates that have transferred.” Rosbury-Henne continued, “And the student speakers today spoke of how their college experience has been enriched by attending two different institutions, as they experience two student bodies, two campuses, and for some even two different geographic regions in the Commonwealth.”

Immediately following the student panel session, all Worcester high school students in attendance had the opportunity to meet Mount Wachusett Community College faculty and staff at a college fair in the North High gymnasium to learn more about academic program offerings, the admission process and financial aid at the Commonwealth’s community colleges.

ComCom + MassTransfer Logo - Horizontal - RGBMassachusetts students and families now have access to a new, full-service web portal that will allow them to explore a wide range of academic offerings at the state’s public colleges and universities and chart a course to an affordable bachelor’s degree through transfer from a community college to a state university or University of Massachusetts campus, the Baker-Polito Administration announced today.

The new MassTransfer web portal will, for the first time, allow the Commonwealth’s high school and college students to identify and compare a wide range of degree programs, transfer options, and college costs at all undergraduate campuses. They will be able to see what is required to transfer seamlessly between campuses, including course-by course “degree maps” available for some majors.

They will also be able to use a savings calculator to find the typical savings associated with earning an “A2B” – associate to bachelor’s – degree. The portal’s features also include a detailed description of the three different transfer options available to students, a course-to-course equivalency database to allow them to see exactly how various course credits will transfer, and an additional tool to view cost savings associated with an A2B degree earned through the Commonwealth Commitment program, announced in April by Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and the leaders within public higher education.

“This new online tool will save students valuable time and money while completing their degrees, and I hope that many students take advantage of the Commonwealth Commitment as early as this fall,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our colleges and universities are critical partners in ensuring a strong workforce pipeline and through this new program, it will be even easier for students to take the classes and earn the degrees they need to succeed.”

“The national research is clear that even a few hundred dollars can make a powerful difference in whether students stay on the path toward college completion or leave school because they cannot afford to continue,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are thrilled to offer the students in our Commonwealth substantial savings off an already great deal on college credentials.”

“I am grateful to the leadership of all three segments of public higher education and the Department of Higher Education for stepping forward and collectively creating the Commonwealth Commitment to ensure we make college as affordable and transfers as seamless as possible for all students,” Education Secretary Jim Peyser said. “What’s incredible is that the savings a student will see in this new online tool could be even greater than what’s listed, with the addition of scholarships and other financial aid awards, which can lower the cost of an associate and bachelor’s degree even further.”

“With college costs identified as a chief barrier to college completion, we knew we needed a more seamless, efficient system to allow students to transfer from one campus to another and graduate in a more timely and cost-effective manner,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. “The new MassTransfer portal provides all the information students need to complete their academic journey without delay and added debt. I think many students will be pleasantly surprised by the academic excellence, diversity of degree programs and affordability available at each of our public campuses.”

Through the Commonwealth Commitment program, students who enroll full-time at one of the state’s 15 community colleges will be able to transfer to a state university or UMass campus and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in one of a number of select programs. They must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and graduate in no more than four and a half years. Students in the program will realize substantial savings off the “total sticker price” of a traditional bachelor’s degree, qualifying for a freeze in tuition and mandatory fees, 10% per-semester rebates, and a full tuition credit in their last two years of school worth an average of $1,200.

During the student’s enrollment, he or she would receive part of the savings in the form of per-semester rebates, which could be used for textbooks, transportation costs, child care or other expenses that can often derail a student’s college aspirations. A student wishing to live in a dorm could also apply the savings to defray the cost of on-campus housing.

The list of degree programs offered through the Commonwealth Commitment program includes liberal arts and sciences programs such as Biology, Psychology and Economics, as well as degrees leading to careers in fields such as Printmaking, Facilities Management and International Maritime Business.  The full list of programs offered in Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 is available here.



GARDNER — Labouré College and Mount Wachusett Community College are partnering to support the continuing education of local nurses.

The colleges have established a transfer agreement providing licensed practical nurses (LPNs) graduating from Mount Wachusett Community College a pathway to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Labouré College and obtain licensure as registered nurses.

Providing working nurses with a flexible, high-quality baccalaureate education has been the goal of Labouré College since the launch of its RN-BSN program in 2009. Labouré’s RN-BSN is offered in a hybrid format: courses are mostly online with two to three on-campus meetings per semester.

St¬udents find that this format provides the flexibility of online learning, while fostering important connections with their RN classmates as well as with their professors. “A baccalaureate education builds on a strong nursing foundation and emphasizes leadership, critical thinking, and safe patient care.

The BSN degree has become an entry level credential in many area hospitals, and we want to make sure our graduates have the chance for success,” said Al DeCiccio, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Labouré and a member of the team that orchestrated the agreement.

MWCC’s Practical Nursing certificate program provides short-term education leading to a rewarding healthcare career and prepares students to continue for a bachelor’s degree.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for graduates of our practical nursing program,” said Eileen Costello, Dean of MWCC’s School of Health Professions, Public Service Pro¬grams and Social Sciences.

“Mount Wachusett Community College encourages all of its graduates to participate in lifelong learning.

By providing LPNs the means of obtaining RN licensure and a BSN degree though this articulation, we are supporting our state-wide initiative of seamless academic progression for nurses at all levels of education.”

The colleges will continue to review this collaboration annually to make sure the agreement benefits students.

Both institutions have agreed to share data and to collaborate on new theories and best practices for student success.

To learn more about this agreement, please visit or call the Labouré College Office of Admissions at (617)322-3575 or, or contact the MWCC Office of Admissions at (978)630-9110 or


Commonwealth Commitment Pres Asquino and Sec Peyser

Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel Asquino and Education Secretary Jim Peyser shake hands during the signing ceremony of the Department of Higher Education’s new transfer agreement, the Commonwealth Commitment.

Beginning a college career at a community college and then transferring to a public or private four year college or university continues to be a popular strategy for students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost.

From teens to adult learners and career changers, more students are taking this route for its many advantages, including cost savings, small class sizes, online courses, transfer agreements with public and private colleges and universities and the opportunity to explore academic and career options.

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, and Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago joined public college and university officials to announce the Commonwealth Commitment, an innovative college affordability and completion plan to help more students achieve the dream of a college degree.

Beginning this fall, the Commonwealth Commitment commits every Massachusetts public campus to providing a 10% rebate at the end of each successfully completed semester to qualifying undergraduate students, in addition to the standard MassTransfer tuition waiver received upon entering a four-year institution from a community college. Students who meet the program requirements will, depending on the transfer pathway they choose, be able to realize an average savings of $5,090 off the cost of a baccalaureate degree.

This plan is the first agreement of its kind in the nation and was inspired by the $30K Commitment adopted last year by the four Worcester County public higher education institutions: MWCC, Quinsigamond Community College, Fitchburg State University and Worcester State University.

Under the $30K commitment, qualifying students are guaranteed their associate and bachelor’s degrees in high demand programs for $30,000 or less in four years. MWCC students have the added benefit of choosing from either of these options, as well as many others.

“The biggest thing we can do is make college more affordable,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “Collaborative agreements such as the Commonwealth Commitment and the $30K Commitment create opportunities while controlling costs and addressing crucial areas such as college completion, economic development, innovation and college readiness,” he said.

After earning an associate degree in Liberal Arts: Biological Sciences in 2015 from MWCC, Emily Lapinskas transferred to UMass-Amherst, where she is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, on the pre-med track.

“Medical schools do not give out scholarships, so I was not going to let an undergraduate degree put me into debt before I even started,” she said.

“Beginning at MWCC saved me a huge amount of money. I completed two years of general education classes and some higher-level classes and all of my credits transferred. The Mount provided a good foundation for me to build upon.”

This spring and summer, MWCC is hosting “Enrollment Express” events for students interested in enrolling for new summer and fall courses that begin on May 31, July 11 and Sept. 6.
The Enrollment Express sessions will take place on Tuesdays on May 10, May 24, June 28, July 26, Aug 9 and Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Interested students are asked to bring a photo ID, high school diploma or equivalency certificate and prior college transcripts, if applicable.

Financial aid advisors also will be on hand to discuss applying for financial aid. Applicants are advised to bring their social security number, 2015 federal tax returns, documentation of un­taxed income, and a PIN or FSA ID number if previously applied for FAFSA.

Registration is recommended by calling 978-630-9110, emailing

For more information about MWCC’s transfer pathways, visit For more de­tails about the new Co­mmonwealth Commitment at


nu-sealMount Wachusett Community College and Northeastern University have established a new transfer agreement that allows eligible MWCC graduates to seamlessly transfer associate degree credits into Northeastern University College of Professional Studies to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies offers bachelor’s degree completion programs in fast-growing fields such as information technology, health management, biotechnology, and management, with robust academic, student, and career support resources to promote student success. Students will participate in experiential learning activities and projects throughout their studies. Details of specific transfer paths are being developed this spring between the two institutions for fall 2016 enrollment.

To be considered for this transfer, MWCC students must complete an associate degree with a strong academic record.

“We are delighted to partner with one of the country’s top universities to expand transfer options for our graduates,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “This new partnership will open doors for our students, while demonstrating our shared commitment to making quality education accessible and affordable.”

“We look forward to welcoming students from Mount Wachusett Community College into a community of enterprising students focused on completing their studies and advancing in their careers”, said John LaBrie, Dean, College of Professional Studies. “And we’re pleased that this partnership reflects our shared goals of student-focused academic excellence.”

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies is one of nine colleges that form the university. Northeastern is renowned for experiential education, and the College of Professional Studies incorporates this strength in career-focused professional education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Degrees reflect business needs, the reality of the present economy, and areas of professional growth and demand.

Over the past half-century, Mount Wachusett Community College has built a tradition of providing innovative undergraduate education, workforce development, personal enrichment, and community service to North Central Massachusetts and beyond. MWCC offers more than 70 academic degree and certificate options and serves approximately 12,000 credit and noncredit students each year at its 269-acre main campus in Gardner and satellite campuses in Devens, Leominster and Fitchburg. An award-winning, national leader in the area of renewable energy and sustainability, MWCC is also nationally recognized for its veterans’ services, civic engagement and K-12 partnerships.


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