GCC to continue dual enrollment program

August 12, 2010

Greenfield Community College (GCC) is pleased to announce that they have received a generous contribution from an anonymous donor for the college’s Dual Enrollment Program. 

Recently, GCC President Robert Pura announced in the local newspaper that the College would no longer be able to serve traditional dual-enrollment students after $24,000 was cut from the budget as a result in state funding cuts for the coming academic year.  After reading the article, the donor contacted the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts where he has a donor advised fund.  The Foundation staff worked with GCC to explore the possibility of restoring the funds needed to continue the program.

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is a public charity serving charitable needs in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties.  The Foundation manages over $100 million in charitable assets, administers 528 individual funds and makes over $8 million in grants annually to support nonprofits and students receiving scholarships and no interest loans.  Many donors choose to establish donor advised funds with the Community Foundation which allows them the flexibility to make grants when they choose, especially when they wish to remain anonymous.

“It is actions like these that demonstrate again and again how this community supports our college and its students,” said Pura. “This gift by this donor is exactly the right thing at the right time to ensure that qualified high school students have the opportunity to earn high school and college credit simultaneously, easing the transition from high school to college and providing them with a challenging experience.”

The dual enrollment program subsidizes a portion of the tuition and fees for Massachusetts high school students who may not otherwise have access to an early college experience. According to Shane Hammond, Associate Dean for Enrollment Management at the college, “the ultimate goal is to build the numbers of high school graduates who are college ready and without this wonderful donation we would not be able to continue the program.”  Hammond noted that, prior to the state budget cuts, an average of 22 students from Franklin and Hampshire Counties received 80 credits total per semester, on average, during the ’09-10 academic year. Typically, dual enrolled students take 3 to 4 credits at the college level while they continue their high school program.

GCC and sending high schools are responsible for establishing agreements that ensure that high school students receive credit from both the college and the high school for courses taken as part of dual enrollment.  Participating students must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Be enrolled in grade 9, 10, 11, or 12 in a Massachusetts public secondary school or non-public school, including home school.
  • Meet all course prerequisites established by the college.
  • Have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or demonstrate their potential for academic success through submission of evidence of steadily improving high school grades, high class rank, special talent, strong grades in the field of the dual enrollment course, strong recommendations, etc.

For additional about the Dual Enrollment Program, contact 413-775-1804.

Mary McClintock, ’82