Contact: Josh Martin
Office of Institutional Communications
jmartin [at] qcc.mass.edu
WORCESTER, MA—The word is out - community college is no longer the best kept secret in town. A recent U.S. News and World Report listed their top 19 jobs for community college associate degree grads, with healthcare, technology and science professions topping the list. These professions offer solid salaries (ranging in mean salaries of up to $70K - $80K) in addition to continued growth potential for the next decade and beyond.
At Quinsigamond Community College, this news comes as no surprise. The college has positioned its programs to meet the demands of a changing workforce by offering over 120 associate degree and certificate programs that align with the careers students and employers are looking for today. In fact, over half of the professions on the U.S. News and World Report list can be attained at QCC. Programs such as Radiologic Technology (ranked 14 on the U.S. News list), Dental Hygiene (ranked fourth), to Computer Information Systems Web Development and Programming (ranked third) and Occupational Therapy Assistant (ranked first) are just some of QCC’s offerings that match up with the needs of today’s workforce.
QCC has positioned itself as an educational leader in the region, awarding over a third of health profession degrees in Worcester county. QCC has also conferred over 50 percent of the education degrees in the area, and it delivered the lion’s share of engineering degrees by 76 percent, as well as 80 percent of engineering certificates awarded.
“Our programs have put thousands of students on the path to success by offering associate degrees and career training certificates that mirror the needs of our local and global economy,” said Dr. Lillian Ortiz, Vice President for Student Engagement, Enrollment and Community Connections at QCC. “We also work closely with local and regional companies and organizations, offering specific training to enhance employees’ skills. This helps to keep employees’ viable members of their organization’s workforce.”
However, at QCC, meeting workforce needs is only one piece of the puzzle. For many potential students, having the funds to attend college can be the deciding factor. Over the years QCC has worked diligently to maintain a cost structure that leaves no student behind. A demand survey the college had performed found that 74 percent of those surveyed would be more interested in furthering their education if they were provided with financial aid.
“QCC has been and continues to be committed to helping students receive the financial assistance they need to attend college. Most all of our students are able to qualify for financial aid. In fact, many students have attended for little or no cost through Federal Pell Grants, other Massachusetts grants, loans and work study options,” Dr. Ortiz said. “We encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing higher learning to come see us and not have cost be a deterrent.”
In addition, campus location and convenient times for working individuals are also concerns for potential students, with 77 percent of those surveyed in the QCC study citing location as a factor and 78 percent citing the need for more convenient times.
“We have met those concerns by adding additional QCC campuses along with our main campus. Today, QCC is in downtown Worcester at the Healthcare and Workforce Development Center; at the Senior Center in Worcester (Burncoat High School in Worcester; in Marlborough at Assabet Valley and the Marlborough Senior Center, and 5 Optical Drive in Southbridge,” Dr. Ortiz continued. “In addition, we offer hundreds of classes and degree programs completely online.”
Recognizing there was still more that needed to be done to support its students once they were admitted, the college went a step further.
“It’s much more than just getting students through the door. We want them to succeed,” said QCC Director of Admissions Mishawn Davis-Eyene. “We have numerous tutoring opportunities for students who might need that extra assistance. Resources include one-on-one and small group tutoring, study skills materials specific to various disciplines, course textbooks for a variety of subject areas, and open areas for group study. Computers in the general academic areas tutoring center are uploaded with a variety of software to support classroom instruction. This all comes at no additional cost to the student.”
With fall classes beginning on Sept 6, QCC is currently holding a One-Stop Registration event that offers students a way to obtain more information about financial aid, admissions and placement tests, all in one place at the same time. The event is going on from now until August 11, 2017. Information can be found at QCC’s One-Stop Registration website at www.qcc.edu/one-stop .
“We want everyone to know it is possible to attain your career goals,” Dr. Ortiz added. “It’s as simple as taking that first step.”
For more information, contact Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513 or jmartin [at] qcc.mass.edu
Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.