We know this has been a tough time for our students, as well as the community. When the pandemic struck, many lost their jobs or had their hours cut. They were learning from home, their kids were learning from home and trying to make ends meet. It was like trying to find your way in a strange place with all of the lights out. I think we can all agree it was a learning experience for all of us.
Early college… what is it and why should you consider it? The benefits range from self-confidence to being more likely to earn a bachelor degree. Where to start… Start with a running start.
Wow...what a difference a few weeks can make! You may have been all set to move into your dorm and begin your fall semester, only to find the college or university you were planning to attend has switched course and is no longer offering in-person classes. There won’t be any campus events, masks must be worn at all times if you leave your dorm room, and the threat of an outbreak feels imminent. College looks nothing like you anticipated, and it seems rather tempting to take the year off. You might want to think twice on this one… taking a gap year is likely a decision that may have more consequences, particularly during a pandemic, than you think.
What now? Pack up and hit the road or wait for a decision? Or a decision to be reversed? Or change course completely and go fully remote. Over a dozen colleges right here in MA have switched their plans, decided not to let students back on campus or in the dorms. It’s time to take a good hard look at what you want out of college, what you chose, why you chose it and if it still ‘looks’ the way you envisioned and still makes sense. And especially if it still makes sense financially. College is a big decision during normal times and the pressure of a pandemic adds even more weight.
“Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.”
-Albert Camus, The Fall.
Under the direction and oversight of Dr. Kathy Rentsch, Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic and Workforce Initiatives, as well as the Academic Affairs team, we are pleased to announce that we have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Southbridge Public Schools. QCC Southbridge will be moving from 5 Optical Drive to Southbridge High School, 132 Torrey Road later this Summer.
As we acclimate to the changes that have occurred due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, our current and former students and alumni are adapting as well. They are working around the clock to protect our communities as first responders, respiratory therapists, nurses, mental health workers, social service workers, custodial workers, delivery drivers, grocery store and restaurant workers who are keeping essential services running. They have the ability to jump right and and save lives with confidence because of the education they received from their talented, experienced professors.
Quinsigamond Community College has begun a new e-sports team for the League of Legends, a highly competitive, fast paced, action-strategy online game. Nate Mello (QCC learning manager for Interactive Media Design) is coaching this year’s inaugural team.
QCC's President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D., released a strong statement denouncing the recent guidelines by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will force international students to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their college or university offers classes entirely online this fall. According to the guidelines, international students will not be issued new visas for those colleges and universities that are offering all programs completely online.
“The new guidelines are a direct violation of our students’ human rights. Our international students should not be subjected to such blatant discrimination. The decision of colleges and universities to continue with remote instruction this fall is for the health and safety of all students; not a chosen few,” said President Pedraja. “Our international students are an integral and valued part of our higher education system. They expand our students’ and our campuses horizons by opening them up to worldwide perspectives, which is so important in today’s global economy. Additionally, they typically pay out-of-state tuition, and do not receive financial aid. International students free up much needed resources, to allow the under-served and underrepresented members of our community the ability to access higher education. To put this type of pressure on international students and institutions of higher education is reprehensible.”
QCC has chosen to continue with remote instruction this fall, with a limited number of labs and clinical experiences that require direct hands-on participation offered in-person. The decision was made by the college to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community.
“No one should have to choose between pursuing an education or deportation. Forcing students to choose between education and their health is unfathomable. In this current scenario, if there is a surge in the virus and in-person classes are moved to remote instruction, what are these students supposed to do?,” President Pedraja said. “We must all stand together to support our international students and decry this vicious attack on individuals trying to realize their ‘American Dream.’”
Zuheyry Encarnacion has found her secret weapon, her motivation and her self confidence. Since she started criminal justice classes at Quinsigamond Community College, she's has had the support and guidance of a special woman - Dr. Natalie Anumba, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It could have been fate, it could have