GCC & Elms College to Offer 4 Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs

January 30, 2015

4 Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs to be available on the GCC Main Campus

At Greenfield Community College, 2+2 equals more than four, it equals earning an accredited Elms College Bachelor of Arts degree delivered on the GCC campus. Culminating a highly collaborative effort by Greenfield Community College and Elms College faculty and staff, GCC President Bob Pura and Elms College President Sister Mary Reap met at GCC to sign the Memoranda of Understanding authorizing the new programs. Starting in Fall, 2015, GCC students who want to pursue bachelor’s degree programs in Business Management & Marketing or Early Care and Education will be able to complete their degrees on the GCC main campus. The two new degree completion programs join two existing Elms College degree completion programs available to GCC students: a Bachelor in Social Work program that is offered on the GCC campus and a fully online Bachelor of Speech Language Pathology Assistant program. This expanded partnership will continue to grow in the future with the addition of other 2+2 content area associate’s to bachelor’s completion programs.

GCC and Elms College’s collaboration expands the options for students who have received a GCC associate’s degree to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree affordably and close to home. Students start at GCC, are carefully advised to complete a two-year GCC associate’s degree while satisfying Elms College admissions requirements for selected programs, then continue at GCC with the Elms program for up to two years to complete their bachelor’s degree. Courses for the new Bachelor of Arts Degree Completion Programs will be taught by faculty approved by Elms on Saturdays at GCC’s campus in Greenfield. Elms delivers the program at the GCC campus for a significant discount in comparison to studying at the Elms campus in Chicopee.

Applauding the expanded partnership, GCC President Bob Pura said, “Working collaboratively to increase access to the Baccalaureate Degree here at GCC is important to our current students as well as our alumni.  Many GCC students, however, are place-bound because of work and family commitments. It is for those students that we have worked with Elms to create these opportunities. This is a win for our students, a win for the community, and a win for both colleges!”

Elms College President Sister Mary Reap said, “The GCC/Elms 2+2 agreement is one more effort in the partnership begun two years ago with the undergraduate completion program offered on the campus of GCC. America faces a challenge of affordable, high-quality higher education. I am pleased and proud that the joint efforts of our two colleges allow us to respond to this challenge and to find new and innovative approaches to meet the higher education needs of our local communities.”

Collaboration was of the highest level in creating this richly expanded set of options where students can complete the two degrees with the greatest use of their time and credits.

Faculty at GCC and Elms worked closely to articulate GCC’s associate’s and Elms bachelor’s degree requirements to provide a smooth and meaningful educational pathway so students can utilize their GCC course work to effectively enhance their skills and knowledge at a more advanced level. Faculty and staff from both colleges have also worked to coordinate recruitment, admissions, and advising systems to make sure students get the best of both colleges.

Leading the partnership effort have been GCC Chief Academic and Student Affairs Officer Sher Hruska and Elms Vice President of Academic Affairs Walter C. Breau and GCC Dean of Business & Information Technology, Professional Studies, and Social Sciences Kathy Vranos and Elms College Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Elizabeth Hukowicz. These four leaders applauded the expanded partnership:

Hruska said, “We particularly appreciate this opportunity to work with Elms given the dedication we all share regarding individualized attention and support for students.”

Breau said, “These new programs are accelerated, accessible, and affordable, allowing students to fit continuing education into their busy family and work lives. Higher education is transformative. Our collective goal is to assist students in obtaining both degrees on their way to future success.”

Vranos said, “GCC is thrilled to offer an affordable bachelor’s degree of the caliber of Elms College on its campus in Greenfield. GCC understands the needs of a select group of students who work full-time, often are working parents and for whom it is hard to leave Franklin County for continuing education. Offering programs of this caliber meets a long-time demand for four-year programs on the GCC campus.”

Hukowicz said, “The GCC & Elms 2+2 Partnership means that students will study in familiar settings and remain close to home, family and work during their accelerated sessions. The students benefit from the GCC and Elms community that supports and enriches them.”

The Elms College Business Management & Marketing Bachelor of Art degree is built on top of the GCC Business Administration Transfer Associate of Arts degree and GCC’s Early Childhood Education Associate of Science degree feeds into the Elms Early Care and Education Bachelor of Art degree.

For more information on the GCC/Elms College 2+2 Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs:

Students who have not completed GCC degrees should contact GCC Admissions at (413) 775-1801 or admissions@gcc.mass.edu.

Students who have completed GCC degrees and want to apply for admission to a two-year Elms College Bachelor’s Degree Completion program should contact Kristine Gomes, Elms College Coordinator at (413) 835-1772, gomesk@elms.edu.

By Mary McClintock, ’82