Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


1. Can I enroll in classes at either the Gardner, Leominster or Devens campuses?

Yes, you can. You can also enroll in online courses. The contact information for each campus is listed below:

One Jackson Place
27 Jackson Road
Devens, MA 01434

Gardner (Main Campus)
444 Green Street
Gardner, MA 01440

100 Erdman Way
Leominster, MA 01453

2. Do I need to take Placement Tests before I register for courses?

All first-time MWCC students are required to take the Accuplacer placement test(s) in English and math unless they have successfully completed prior college coursework (either at another college or previously at MWCC) or have alternative measures of assessment (such as high school GPA of a 2.70+). Depending upon prior college coursework completed, a student may still be required to complete additional sections of the test.

3. Which math course should I take?

This will be determined by your math Accuplacer placement test score, the program you are pursuing, and/or whether you intend to transfer to another institution to pursue a baccalaureate degree. You should speak with your advisor before registering for a math course.

4. What does “prerequisite” mean?

Certain courses have specific requirements that you must take before you can enroll in them. These requirements are called “prerequisites”. For example, before you are allowed to take SPC 113 (Speech), you must have successfully completed ENG 101 (English Composition I). In other words, ENG 101 is a “prerequisite” for SPC 113.

You will also notice that many course descriptions state the following: “Prerequisites: ENG 098, RDG 098,  FYE 101, MAT 092, or placement”. This means that you can fulfill these prerequisites by either taking the courses specified or by placing out of them via the placement test(s). Prerequisite rules are in place to ensure that you have the necessary reading, writing, and math skills in order to succeed in college-level courses.

Prerequisites usually exist because courses are sequential and build upon the skills developed in the previous course(s). For example, BIO 199 (Anatomy and Physiology I) requires that you satisfactorily complete BIO 109 (Biology I) or BIO 113 (Life Science for Allied Health) prior to enrollment. *Required grades for each prerequisite vary.

Sometimes a course may require another course as a co-requisite, which means you are allowed to take them at the same time.

5. What is the difference between an Associate Degree and a Certificate?

An Associate degree typically takes 60-68 credits to complete and is comprised of both major-specific courses as well as a certain number of Liberal Arts and Science courses. A traditional Associate degree is designed to be completed in two years (4 semesters) if a student attends full-time and enrolls in the required number of credits per semester.

A Certificate program usually consists of 24-30 credits and is designed to give students essential career skills in a specific area. A Certificate does not have the same Liberal Arts and Science requirements as the Associate degree, rather a focused career core. A Certificate is designed to be completed in one year (2 semesters) if a student attends full-time and enrolls in the required number of credits per semester.

6. Do I have to meet with my advisor each semester?

You should! We recommend that you meet with your faculty or staff advisor regularly to ensure that you register for the proper courses and stay on track to graduate. Advisors can help with referrals for services on campus and provide coaching in order for you to attain your educational goals.

7. Who is my advisor?

You can find out who your advisor is by visiting iConnect or contacting the Advising Center.

8. Can I change my advisor?

Yes, but you must first check with the advisor whom you are requesting to be sure that he/she is able to take on another advisee. If the faculty/staff member you want is agreeable to the change, then you should contact the Director of Advising to formally request the change. Changes typically take two weeks to complete.

9. When do I have to declare a major?

Upon admission to the College, a student should declare a major in order to receive the most accurate academic advisement. If you are unclear about which program of study you should select, it is often helpful to meet with an academic advisor to discuss your career options and occupational opportunities, by way of a career assessment. Furthermore, students must declare a major in order to receive financial aid.

10. How do I change my major?

Either after performing a career assessment or you’ve had a discussion about career and transfer goals with an academic advisor, you can change your major by completing a Change of Major form. All change forms are processed through the Advising Center.

11. When is the last day to add or drop a class?

College policy allows students to freely add or drop courses throughout the first week of classes each semester. You will receive a 100% refund if you drop a class during the first week. If you drop a class during the second week you will receive a 50% refund. After the second week through the end of the withdrawal period, no refund is given. See the academic calendar for specific dates.

12. When is the last day to withdraw from a course?

A student may formally withdraw from a course through the end of the ninth week of a full semester or fourth week of a cycle. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students are required to speak to their instructor first, then financial aid and finally with their academic advisor before withdrawing from any course. Please be advised that ceasing to attend a class may result in an instructor initiating the withdrawal from a class prior to the end of the ninth/fourth week.

Course withdrawals will not be processed after the ninth/fourth week of classes. If you stop attending after the ninth/fourth week of class, you will receive an “F” grade. F’s are averaged into the GPA for all students.

Any withdrawal may affect progress toward a degree and future eligibility for financial aid.

** Administrative withdrawals may occur after the ninth/fourth week, only as a result of extenuating circumstances by following the Withdrawal from College policy.

13. How many courses do I need to take each semester?

Refer to your Degree Works audit and speak with your academic advisor to determine a schedule that works best for you. Sometimes students are required to take a minimum number of credits in order to receive the optimal amount of financial aid. There may also be a financial aid penalty for withdrawing from too many courses. Thus, if you drop or withdraw from a class, it could have a negative effect on your financial aid status. See financial aid for specific information.

Furthermore, if you are receiving health insurance benefits through your parents, it is often necessary for you to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. If you drop below the 12 credits, it is possible that your health insurance may be in jeopardy.

Finally, withdrawing from courses may delay your desired graduation date. This can be a complex issue and there can often be several things that you must consider before you drop a class. It is recommended that you meet with your advisor before dropping a course.

14. How do I check my grades each semester?

You can obtain your grades online through iConnect.

15. How do I obtain a copy of my transcripts? What is the difference between official and unofficial transcripts? Which one do I need?

An official transcript is an MWCC watermarked sealed copy of your permanent academic record and includes courses taken, dates of attendance, major, your cumulative grade point average (GPA) and degree awarded (when applicable). You need to request an official transcript if you are transferring to another college. Sometimes, employers also request copies of official transcripts to verify the course(s), certificate(s) and, or degree(s) a student has earned. There is no fee required for official transcripts. Use this link to visit the page with instruction to obtain an official transcript.

An unofficial transcript is simply a copy of all the courses that you have taken. Its content is the same as you’d find on the official transcript, but it is printed on plain white paper and looks similar to what you can access via WebConnect.

16. Can I take courses at other colleges and apply them to my degree at MWCC?

Yes, you can, but you should discuss your desire to do so with your academic advisor first. Not all courses will transfer back to MWCC. We want to ensure you are taking the proper courses for your degree completion. Please visit our catalog for more details.

17. I think I’m ready to graduate, what do I do?

Speak with an academic advisor if you have questions regarding the graduation requirements and procedures. We will assist you in attaining your goal.