We have officially moved our Southbridge location to the Southbridge High School. This will make it easier for those in Southbridge and the surrounding communities to have access to quality, affordable higher education. QCC at Southbridge will begin in-person and online classes for the fall 2021 semester.
Two peas in a pod…that’s what most people think of when they meet South High School students Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez. These seniors are virtually inseparable and are now preparing for their futures through the Early College Program at QCC. This is a program that allows high school students to take college courses for college credit at no cost, while simultaneously attending high school.
Imagine a place where the divisions of race, gender, and ethnicity are non-existent, a place where an equitable education and support is a right of all. QCC student Zuheyry Encarnacion (Class of ‘20) knows that place. Thanks to QCC’s Mentoring Program and her mentor, Dr. Natalie Anumba, a
forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Zuheyry found the support she needed to help her succeed.
It is hard to believe that it has been three years since I joined the QCC family. It seems like it was just yesterday that we embarked on our joint journey. As I prepared to assume the presidency, I sought advice from experienced presidents. In their advice, common themes emerged: seek the advice of experts and listen to them; surround yourself with capable people and empower them to get the job done; live with integrity and humility; be visible and accessible; be fair and consistent; when possible seek input, data, and make informed decisions in a timely manner; be respectful; take
criticism gracefully; do what you believe is right for the college and the people it serves; give credit to others when things go right, take responsibility when they don’t; be courageous; etc. But the most important lesson I learned is that leadership is about serving others, not yourself. I do not know if I’ve always been able to live to these ideals, but I will always strive to do so. Throughout the years in various roles, I have learned that while a position might give you authority, respect and trust has to be earned. I hope to continue to earn yours.
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.
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.’”
They say a smile is worth a thousand words and students at Quinsigamond Community College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, (main campus) are in total agreement. Since the doors opened in 1972 (updated in 1999), dental hygiene and dental assisting students have had the opportunity to administer affordable dental hygiene care to Worcester and the surrounding communities. It's proven to be an invaluable resource to students as well as those seeking lower cost alternatives for dental care.
Ever since he was a kid, Keith Anderson saw firsthand what it was like to be a fighter. Both of his parents were firefighters in the U.S. Air Force which allowed him to spend time in different fire houses as a youngster. The early experience stuck with him.
Sometimes, just when you think you have your life figured out, something goes awry. That was the case for Josh Biernacki, a QCC graduate who had planned to join the Marines after high school. Today, the Marines are a distant memory and he's poised to begin the next chapter in his life as a high level technical recruiter for an IT consulting and recruiting firm in Boston.