February 2019

Updates from the President


Steve Robinson, president of Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, recently started a social media campaign – #EndCCStigma – designed to change the way parents and high school students see community colleges. His thesis states that in order to recruit more students straight from high school, it’s time to admit that community colleges have an image problem.

mabry_#EndCCStigma.jpgAs we all know, many four-year college graduates start at community colleges – national statistics show that among all students who completed a degree at a four-year college in 2015-16, 49 percent had enrolled at a two-year college in the previous 10 years. And, community college are a great way to reduce the financial stress and necessity of taking out college loans for many students

Yet, as Robinson says, we are all too often still viewed as second class.

So he (and other community college leaders joining the campaign) are tweeting links to columns by students who found purpose at community colleges and transferred to four-year institutions. They are highlighting pieces in which alumni talk about “overcoming the stigma” of attending a community college, testimonials from celebrities such as Tom Hanks, and data on the benefits of attending community colleges.

MCC will be taking part in this #EndCCStigma campaign and sharing our own stories about student success. Alumna Fiona Almeida (Class of 2014) will be sharing her #EndCCStigma story on our Middlesex Pathways blog as our next guest contributor.

I encourage all of you to join in and share your stories on Twitter to help #EndCCStigma.

All the best,

Jim Mabry

Table Of Contents

  • Upcoming Events
  • MCC in the News
  • Current Grant Initiatives
    • AANAPISI Grant
    • MCC 360 Update
  • Academic Divisions
    • Communications
  • Student Affairs
    • Advising
    • Enrollment
    • Financial Aid
  • Institutional Advancement
    • College Advancement
    • Community Education & Training
    • Corporate Education & Training
    • Marketing Communications

Upcoming Events

MCC in the News

Current Grant Initiatives


Asian American Connections Center – Spring Open House

On February 5th, the Asian American Connections Center held a Spring Open House to involve the MCC community in learning more about the programming and services offered by the staff. Students, staff and faculty enjoyed a delicious Khmer meal from a local restaurant and engaged in a showcase of performances from students.

open house 2019 collage - Linda Thiem.jpg

First-semester student Jian Suos shared her creative-writing piece, which centers her characters on the Asian American narrative. Second-semester student Max Phommashinh shared with guests his hobby of break-dancing and its role in the lives of young Southeast Asian men in Lowell. Julie Lun, the center’s graduate fellow from UMass Lowell, read her college-entrance essay that highlighted the realities and responsibilities associated with growing up as a woman in a Khmer-American household. Julie used comedic buffers to tell a deeply, personal story that is reflective of the Southeast Asian students at MCC. The Open House attracted more than 30 guests who learned about many of the initiatives that has been implemented to enhance the college experience for MCC’s Asian and Asian-American students.

MCC 360 Update

mcc_360_fin_colorWorks continues on the MCC Navigate platform that will provide students with timely access to advising support as well as assistance in selecting and enrolling in courses. The coming weeks will see an information campaign to make students aware of the self-service features and advantages of Navigate with the goal of 100% student use for Fall 2019. Continuing the training sessions we began in the late summer and fall, there will be ten “Introduction to Navigate” training sessions for faculty and staff this spring. Also, we continue to develop a robust collection of online training materials available in the PD Blackboard site. Title III implementers are also exploring Navigate Intelligence, an analytics application that will show advisors select risk factors in connection with student profiles and thereby provide faculty and advisors with additional information for their work with students. The creation of dashboards and visualizations of information is also taking place with a data warehouse to be fully in place later this Spring. The dashboards and visualizations will provide the college community with student trend information in aggregate to inform analysis and the development of institutional strategies to better serve students. In addition, the Title III External Evaluator report on the first two years of the project will soon be made available to the college through the FSA website.

Academic Divisions


Rick Pozniak, Adjunct, Communications, was a Judge in the annual New England Newspaper and Press Association newspaper industry awards competition, for daily and weekly papers which recognized excellence in news reporting, photography and website design.

Academic Affairs

The Pathways Center Welcomes Students Back to MCC after Winter Break

On January 24th, the Pathways Center (located in Cowan Center, Room 306) hosted a Welcome Back Bash for students to kick-off the spring semester. More than 60 students attended and enjoyed making new friends, meeting the Pathways Center staff, and finding out all that the Pathways Center does to support students and their academic success. Refreshments were served and participants engaged in fun and games, including ping pong, chess, Uno and Jenga. There were several giveaways of MCC T-shirts and other branded items. Former MCC student Jose Jimenez and current student Manuel Abreu were winners in the North Face backpack raffle drawings.

For more information about the event or the summer programs, visit the Pathways Center at https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/pathwayscenter/ or contact Audrey Frater, Director of the Pathways Center, at fratera@middlesex.mass.edu.

Dual Enrolled Students Awarded Scholarships through the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Starter Academy Grant

MCC19_1161.jpgMiddlesex Community College’s Pathways Center held a Dual Enrollment Scholarship Dinner on January 31st, honoring 22 dual-enrolled students with a STEM Starter Academy Scholarship. Students were nominated by a high school representative or MCC faculty member based on their interest in a STEM-related field and academic achievement. The scholarship covers the cost of one MCC STEM course. The dinner took place from 6-7 p.m. in the Lowell Campus Cafeteria. Parents and guardians joined the scholarship recipients in celebrating their awards, and recipients received certificates highlighting their accomplishment. Students were also made aware of opportunities to enroll in the STEM Starter Academy summer programs, which are offered free of charge through the Pathways Center, and are designed to help students succeed in STEM subject areas, like math, as well as engage in STEM-career exploration.

For more information about the event or the summer programs, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/pathwayscenter/ or contact Audrey Frater, Director of the Pathways Center, at fratera@middlesex.mass.edu.

Student Affairs


The Admissions staff began the New Year assisting the Advising Centers during the very busy Walk-In Enrollment weeks. In addition to our regular recruitment activities, such as campus tours and health-admissions overview sessions, we continue to be busy off-campus as well – visiting high schools and community programs, attending college fairs and holding On the Spot Admissions Events. Jeff Tejada visited with the Strive-Department of Youth Services Program. Jenna Engelsen attended a busy college fair at Tyngsboro High School. Jason Reynolds, along with Kristie Faletra and Jeff Tejada, participated in a day-long On the Spot Admissions event at Nashoba Valley Technical High School. Additionally, Jennifer Migliozzi hosted On the Spot Admissions events at North Reading High School and Wilmington High School.

We also have had a number of campus visitors. Jason Reynolds toured the Bedford campus with a group from the Bedford Bridge Program. Jeff Tejada hosted a group of students from the Lowell Career Academy, who toured both campuses and had the opportunity to take the campus shuttle.

Lastly, Admissions staff have been busy seeking professional development opportunities. They had the opportunity to participate in Cultural Competency training, sponsored by the Asian American Connections Center, and on February 15th the entire Admissions staff took part in a staff retreat. After taking Strengths Finder, the staff came together to better understand their strengths with the help of facilitator, Judith Kramer. It was a great way for the staff to get to know one another and learn how our individual strengths have an impact on our students.

Save the Date! We will be welcoming prospective students and their families to campus for Open Houses on the following days: Wednesday, April 10, at 4:30 pm in Lowell, and Tuesday, April 23, at 4:30 pm in Bedford. We appreciate that many of you will be joining us for those events! We will also be welcoming high school students for our biannual Pathway to Success Day on Wednesday, April 3rd in Bedford.


Spring 2019- Key Dates and Activities

Mini-mester II is being actively promoted and students can register until March 25.

Drop for Nonattendance Due Dates
Mini-mester II– April 10

Last Day to Withdraw
Full-Semester  – April 11
Mini-mester I  –March 1
Mini-mester II – May 3

Faculty and staff should have conversations with students who are struggling before the withdrawal deadlines to discuss the option of withdrawing versus completing the course. Faculty and staff should encourage students to speak to Financial Aid or other applicable areas (e.g. Veterans & International students).

Midterm Grades Due
Full Semester – March 15
Mini-mester I – February 22
Mini-mester II – April 26

Final Grades Due
Full Semester  – May 22
Mini-mester I – March 15
Mini-mester II  – May 22

Student Evaluations available for pick-up

March 11 – Mini-mester I
April 22 – Full term and Mini-mester II

Graduation Application Deadlines

February 22 and March 22  – Please encourage eligible students to apply as soon as possible by selecting “Apply for Graduation” from their MyMCC menu.

Summer 2019

Summer 2019 registration opens on February 25.  Online, day and evening classes will be offered during all summer sessions.  Key sessions are:

Quick Start (May 28-June 14): 3 weeks – Classes generally meet 4-5 times a week
Session 1 (May 28-June 27): 5 weeks – Classes generally meet 3 times a week (TWR)
Session 2 (May 28-July 24): 8 weeks – Classes generally meet 2 times a week (MW or TR)
Session 3 (July 9-August 8):  5 weeks – Classes generally meet 3 times days a week (TWR)

Fall 2019

Fall 2019 registration is scheduled to open on April 8.  Students will be receiving letters with registration information by the end of March 2019.  Promotion through text and e-mail will be sent following the mailing of student letters.

2019-2020 Catalog Update

It’s time to update the Academic Catalog! Starting in March, every area will be asked to review and make major changes, and/or minor edits and corrections, to the catalog.  The goal is to have all the change and edits completed by the end of April.

Two Acalog training sessions have been scheduled for anyone who will be involved in updating the catalog. The dates and times are:

BEDFORD: March 13, Wednesday 2:30 to 4 pm in AR 101  (Snow date: March 29)
LOWELL: March 26, Tuesday 2:30 to 4 pm in Lowell LC 203

If you would like Acalog training, please contact Evelin Ovalles at ovallese@middlesex.mass.edu.

25 Live

MCC is transitioning from R-25 to 25Live Pro, the newest version of CollegeNet’s academic and event scheduling application. 25Live is fully hosted by CollegeNet and enables event planners and academic schedulers to search and schedule dates, venues, and resources all in one program.  User training will take place the week of March 18 for room approvers, with full roll-out later this year.

Financial Aid

The start of a semester at MCC is always a busy time for the Financial Aid Team. The 1819 Academic Year welcomed two new members to the department, our Director, Barbara Winchell, and Gina Pearce, our newest Senior Financial Aid Counselor.  We encourage all to come and meet these two wonderful additions to the department.

MCC Financial Aid offers assistance with FAFSA filing throughout the year. Our front office staff Karen Tarr, Mona Barck, Dany Mot, and Nat Frissore regularly provide students and their families with hands-on assistance in both our Lowell and Bedford Offices.

In addition to in office assistance, outreach to surrounding communities is on the forefront of services that the Financial Aid team offers. Recently, at Lawrence High school, Barbara Winchell, Deb Marsella, Mary Mullens, Gina Pearce, and Roxana Zeledon assisted students with their FAFSA filing.

On Saturday February 9th the Financial Aid Office hosted the annual FAFSA Day on the Lowell campus.  Coordinated by Deb Marsella, volunteers from MCC and other colleges, the event was again a success and served more than 30 participants. FAFSA day is designed to help students and their families navigate the financial aid process towards success in their college enrollment. Whether it is at a local school, venue, or an IDS class here at MCC, the financial aid staff support students and their families with any questions and concerns throughout the academic year.

Professional development is ongoing in the Financial Aid Department as well, to ensure compliance and to learn and implement new policies and procedures.  Barbara Winchell and Deb Marsella traveled to Atlanta for the weeklong Federal Student Aid National Conference in December. Deb Marsella also presented a session on academic issues that affect financial aid eligibility at our MCC Professional Day.

Here are some additional events MCC’s Financial Aid staff participated in most recently:

Deb Marsella presented financial aid planning information to parents at local schools as part of MEFA’s College Planning Seminars.

Jackie Crotty, Deb Marsella and Gina Pearce presented to Senior English classes at Lowell High School.

Roxana Zeledon and Gina Pearce presented to high school students participating in the MCC Admissions Pathways to Success program.

Institutional Advancement

College Advancement

MCCF_PianoMen_ Save-the-Date - Teresa Medina_Page_1

MCC Foundation Middlesex Fund Grant Awards

The MCC Foundation has awarded 10 grants to MCC faculty and staff members totaling $46,649.25 in grant awards.  The funds for the awards are from generous donations from college supporters to the 2017 & 2018 Middlesex Fund.  Attached is a list of the grants awarded and the faculty/staff recipients.

The MCC Foundation is proud to support the work of dedicated faculty and staff members though the Middlesex Fund.  The 2019 Middlesex Fund campaign continues through June 30, 2019. To donate or for more information on the Middlesex Fund, go to https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/mfund.aspx.


MCC Foundation 2019 Scholarship Awards

On March 6, the MCC Foundation will recognize outstanding scholarship students at the MCC Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony to be held at 3:30 pm in the Bedford Campus Center.  At the ceremony, over $65,000 in scholarships will be awarded to 49 MCC students. The MCC Foundation welcomes the entire college community to the event to celebrate student success and to thank the generosity of the scholarship donors.  For more information, contact Amy Lee, leea@middlesex.mass.edu.

Community Education & Training

Community Education offers a variety of activities and educational programs for youth. Exceptional programs are delivered and developed to empower and guide youth as they reach personal goals and achieve academic and professional success. Vacation week, after-school, and summer programs are offered at our Bedford and Lowell campuses. College for Kids Timeless (1)

College for Kids — Summer 2019 College for Kids summer registration is now open! In addition to our existing programs – including  Aviation, Vet Medicine, Science and Web Design – Community Education is offering new programs this year through which students will learn about Healthy Eating, Creative Writing and Drawing. We are very excited to offer new programs geared toward high school students, such as Medical Laboratory Science, Career Exploration, and a high school Theater Production, directed by Karen Oster at our new Academic Arts Center.

The following career training programs began January/February: Accounting Fundamentals, Local Anesthesia Certification, HR Certification Exam Prep, CE course Preventing Medical Emergencies in Dental Hygiene Practice, Tools and Technologies for Technical Writers, ESL for Life in America, MTEL Exam Prep, TEAS Exam Prep, Beginning Portuguese, Digital Photography, Babysitter Certification for Youth, Personal Trainer Certification, Pharmacy Technician training, CE class Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care, Strategies for Working with Student Disabilities, Buying/Financing a Home.

Corporate Education & Training

Corporate Education and Training delivered, or will be delivering:

  • Becoming a Strategic Leader and New Leader Onboarding training in Engaging Employees for Lowell General Hospital at the Tyngsboro campus.
  • Emotional Intelligence training at E Ink in Billerica.
  • Building Competent and Confident Leaders training at Pace Industries in North Billerica.
  • Group Leadership and Supervisory Leadership Training at Nova Biomedical in Billerica. Training topics included Effective Communication Skills, Effective Conflict Management Practices, and Mentoring Others and Developing New Leaders.
  • Quality Technician Training Program at Nova Biomedical in Waltham.
  • Collaborated with the Early Childhood Department to offer Multicultural Communication course through the Region 3 Professional Partnership Grant.
  • Introduction to Python training at Juniper Networks in Westford.
  • Personal Protection/Active Shooter training at CTI in Lowell and Juniper Networks in Westford.
  • Optimizing Productivity through Time Management training at Reliable Fence in Woburn.

Partnered with Shawsheen Valley Technical High School’s Advanced Manufacturing Welding Program to offer Blueprint Reading and Technical Math through a grant from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).

Marketing Communications

NEW Marketing Communications Request Form

New-Form.jpgWe are excited to announce that we have streamlined the Marketing & Social Media request forms. You will now be able to request marketing services, press releases, and social media services all in the same form. The form has been shortened in length to make it easier to fill out and we have added the ability to upload files with your request (Please note: to upload files you will need a Google account. If you do not already have a google account, you can create one using your college email address). Additionally, all requests that are submitted will be sent back a receipt via email. If you have any questions about the new Marketing request form, please email marketing@middlesex.mass.edu for assistance.

NEW Marketing Request Form

Please, Tell Us Your Stories

Don’t forget: Marketing Communications is always looking for “good news” to include in news releases and social media. So, don’t be shy: Please let us know when you or your division/department receive an award or grant – or any other good news about students, faculty and staff.

Submit an online Marketing Communications Request Form to request a news release. Include the WWWW info – who, what, when & where – with your Request Form. We will do our best to share your good news with the wider community.

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