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MWCC Receives Career Readiness and Educational Access Grant

The MWCC Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of the 2020 Career Readiness and Educational Access Grant Program, facilitated by the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.

The grant of $28,000 will be used to support a new MWCC Student Stabilization Scholarship Fund that will be awarded to North Central Massachusetts residents to cover their unmet costs for tuition, fees, and books while they attend Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC).  This scholarship will fund at least 30 full-time and/or part-time new and existing MWCC students of approximately $1,000 scholarships each to meet unmet financial aid need and/or expected family contribution.

“The COVID -19 pandemic has hit our students very hard. Many are out of work or do not have the technology needed to complete their classwork remotely” comments Carla Zottoli, Executive Director of Development and MWCC Foundation, Inc. “This grant will give us the means to reach out to students that have no other options and help them complete their college degree. It will truly allow us to make sure that some of our most vulnerable students can achieve their dreams.”

This scholarship fund will have two funding priorities and recipients will be selected in a collaboration between MWCC’s Retention Office (i.e. the Thrive Center) and MWCC’s Office of Student Financial Services.

The first priority for funding will be intentionally focused on the over 169 students who have dropped out or stopped out of their college education at MWCC between March and April 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis.  Through a partnership with MWCC’s Thrive Center, it is this project’s goal to actively reach out to the students who are closest to their educational goals and attract them back to MWCC to complete their Associate degree or certificate with the assistance of this scholarship fund.

“Amidst these turbulent times, our resilient students at the Mount continue to push forward with their educational and career goals. Providing students this scholarship and wraparound support will alleviate some stress in an already extremely stressful time, and for that we are so grateful,” stated Shelby A. Shaw, MWCC’s Director of Retention.

The second priority for this scholarship fund will be to provide new North Central Massachusetts residents whose original plans for funding their higher education have been impacted because of the COVID-19 crisis and who have an unmet financial aid need that can no longer be met by their families or themselves.  Once a student receives the MWCC Student Stabilization Scholarship Fund, the colleges’ Thrive Center retention specialists will continue to track and provide proactive retention counseling with these students throughout their time at MWCC to encourage retention and completion.

The THRIVE center is a support structure with the goal of increasing the successful achievement of student’s educational goals. A one-stop-shop for students to access personalized educational and career advising, tutoring, and academic, time management, and study skills support as well as peer mentoring.

The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts is a tax-exempt public charity founded in 2001, created by and for the people of the North Central Massachusetts region. Since then, the Community Foundation has been helping people establish charitable funds and make grants to improve the quality of life in the 33 communities across the region. The foundation works with individuals, families, financial advisors and nonprofit organizations.

The mission of the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc. is to secure time, talent, and treasure from private and public sources that will enable the college to provide accessible, affordable education, and to implement social, economical, and cultural initiatives.