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MWCC, FSU agreement will benefit transferring education students

Pact would open six transfer pathways for students pursuing careers as secondary educators.

GARDNER – Mount Wachusett Community College students pursuing degrees in middle school or secondary education will now have an easier time transferring to Fitchburg State University thanks to a new agreement between the two schools.

The announcement of the agreement was made by MWCC President James Vander Hooven and FSU President Richard Lapidus at MWCC on July 12.

“Our graduates stay local,” said Vander Hooven. “Most of our students are raising families right here in town, their kids are attending local schools, so having that next opportunity to be able to complete their bachelor’s degree, and then be able to go into the workforce in our region, is really important.”

Under terms of the agreement, qualifying students enrolled in MWCC”s associate programs in biology, chemistry, or liberal arts and sciences will be able to take three key education courses at Fitchburg State at the community college rates. They will then be able to transfer to FSU as juniors to complete their undergraduate degrees in middle or secondary education.

The goal of the agreement was to allow students to progress from MWCC to FSU as seamlessly as possible, Lapidus said.

“I think both of our campuses see ourselves as student-centric,” Lapidus said. “This agreement will support students by making it easier to transfer between institutions, while also helping fill the need for highly qualified middle and secondary school teachers.”

FSU had been a leader in preparing educators since its founding in 1894, and the new agreement was another example of the school’s continuing evolution, Lapidus added.

Laurie Occhipinti, MWCC’s dean of liberal arts, education, humanities and communications, said the pact would open six transfer pathways for students pursuing careers as secondary educators.

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