As I reflect on the achievements of the past year, I cannot help but be in awe of the students, faculty, and staff here at Mount Wachusett Community College. I’ve had the pleasure of attending graduations, pinning’s, exhibits of student work, and theatrical performances. I’ve read stories to the children of our students while their parents attended class. I’ve watched as bridges were built between our local elementary, middle, and high schools and the college, and looked on with pride as we helped students to cross. I’ve watched as new degrees and certificates were brought online, and saw the first graduates from those programs start careers.
All of this progress is made possible by the strong partnerships we have with the members of the wider community we serve. As the needs of our region evolve, our partners provide us counsel and aid us in developing the programs best suited to meet the needs of the region. Partners such as our local Chambers of Commerce, dedicated non-profits including the Veterans and Rotary Clubs, and sister higher education institutions like Fitchburg State University and our fellow Massachusetts Community Colleges. It is with their guidance and support that we are able to put in place programs to address regional needs such as the critical need for healthcare professionals and early childhood teachers, as well as continuing education for the local workforce.
The stories below are only a sampling of the great and meaningful work of the past year. I encourage you to explore them and join me in my pride and admiration for the MWCC community.
James L. Vander Hooven, Ed.D.
Thoughts from President Vander Hooven on our 2019 Highlights
Early College Designation
“This designation creates a new pathway for area students to accelerate their education and begin college courses in high school. We are fortunate to have such strong local partners and I look forward to expanding the opportunity for early college to more students.”
“MWCC is committed to providing programs that prepare our students to enter the workforce and get well-paying jobs. It is imperative that the educational training we provide be linked as much as possible to the real-world work environments students will experiences. This grant will allow us to improve an already fantastic Automotive Technology program and implement changes that will directly benefit our students.”
$3.2M to Create Health Career Opportunities for Students
“It is through the committed work of the teams at MWCC and our partner schools and medical institutions that we have received this highly competitive grant. This grant benefits not only for the students who will be given additional opportunities, but for our communities that need additional healthcare workers.”
$4.5M GEAR UP Grant to Assist over 800 Fitchburg Students
“This long-term program has a lasting impact on the students we serve. But it is not only a boon to them, but also their family and the greater community. Everyone benefits when higher education is made more attainable. I am so pleased we have received this grant and have the opportunity to work with all our partners once again to ease the transition into post-secondary education for these students in Fitchburg. We could not do this without all of our partners, both locally and in Washington, D.C.”
“This degree puts the “M” in STEM. MWCC has a long-standing commitment to the sciences and this new program expands the options for our science students. Now students interested in working in investment, education, engineering, medical and insurance fields have another pathway that leads to easy transfer thanks to its alignment with MassTransfer.”
Grant to Provide Early Childhood Education Training
“Childcare is essential to the businesses and residents in our communities and we are honored to have received this grant that allows us to provide training that will directly lead to expanded and improved childcare in the region. This grant allows MWCC to provide education and training to childcare providers and those working in the field, but all of North Central Massachusetts will benefit.”
Awarded Continuation of Adult Education Transition Program
“This program provides a bridge for students transitioning to college, enabling them to build the skills necessary to be successful in college, and overcome barriers in pursuit of their education. The support we are able to provide these students enables them to not achieve academic and career success.”
Working with our population of students has taught me that “talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” as the saying goes. I meet skillful, hopeful, ambitious students all the time. And every semester, I read their personal stories. Their applications for scholarship frequently tell me they are hungry, have an unstable housing situation, and are balancing some heavy responsibilities at home and work while trying to earn a degree.
They are applying for MWCC Foundation scholarships to fill the gap between their income, financial aid and the cost of college. Nearly half of all our financial aid applicants have unmet needs even after they receive all available state and federal aid. That adds up to a total of $19,727,189 our students need to stay in school.
If you feel moved to help, I encourage you to make a donation to our students.
Robert Antonioni, Antonioni & Antonioni Law Office – Chairperson
Richard Cella, Cella Law Office
Amanda L. Curtis, Health Alliance Hospital
Sheila M. Daly, EMR Clinical Operations
Claire M. Freda, Leominster City Council
Jamy Gaynor, HealthAlliance Hospital
Denise Kindschi Gosselin, Professor Emerita, Western New England University
Tracy L. Hutchinson, GAAMHA, Inc.
Donata J. Martin, Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg, Leominster, and Gardner
Kenneth C. Tomasetti, ACT Fastening Solutions
Dylan Doyle, Student Trustee
Foundation Board of Directors
Mr. Raymond Martino
Mr. Walter J. Dwyer, IV
Mr. Scot Barrett
Mr. Keith Boissineau
Mr. Charles P. Bowles
Mr. Winfield Brown
Mr. Wayne Canty
Mr. Richard A. Cella
Ms. Eve Marie Nezich Ceryanek
Ms. Jeanie Connolly
Dr. Robin Duncan
Mr. Arthur Feehan
Mr. Richard Flannagan
Mr. James Garrison, Ex-Officio
Mr. George D. Jones III
Mr. Raymond LaFond
Mr. Roy Nascimento
Mr. Douglas J. Petersen
Ms. Gail Steele
Mr. Michael J. Toomey
Ms. Regina Wironen
Mr. Mark Geoffroy (alumni) Ms. Carla Zottoli, Executive Director
James L. Vander Hooven, Ed.D. President
Robert LaBonte Vice President, Finance & Administration
Peter Sennett Vice President, Human Resources & Affirmative Action
Lea Ann Scales Vice President, Enrollment and Public Affairs
Joseph Stiso Vice President, Development, Planning & Institutional Advancement
Rachel Frick Cardelle Vice President, Lifelong Learning & Workforce Development
Paul Hernandez Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs