GCC and Worcester State University Sign Agreement for $30,000 Baccalaureate Degree Program

June 17, 2015

Starting in Fall 2015, incoming full-time Greenfield Community College students may enroll in a program to complete their GCC associate’s degrees and Worcester State University bachelor’s degrees in four years for approximately $30,000. On Wednesday, June 17, Greenfield Community College (GCC) President Robert Pura and Worcester State University (WSU) President Barry M. Maloney met at GCC to sign a $30,000 Baccalaureate Degree Program Agreement. GCC and WSU collaboratively created this model to provide access to an affordable baccalaureate degree to residents of the Commonwealth. The $30,000 Baccalaureate Degree Program Agreement expands on a current MassTransfer program implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education that streamlines the process for community college students who want to transfer to any Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus. The new curriculum pathway of joint degree 2+2 programs of study will be offered in a “stackable” manner to enable students to complete a GCC associate degree en route to completion of a WSU baccalaureate degree. The pathway is designed to accommodate full-time, non-residential, in-state students at approximately a $30,000 degree price point in four years. The model focuses on local residents and will support access for graduates into high demand careers in central and western Massachusetts, while minimizing student loan debt.

Commenting on the new collaboration, President Pura said, “This GCC/Worcester State agreement will provide affordable access to an excellent education. It is just what is needed in this economic environment. We are pleased to have forged another partnership with an excellent University on behalf of the students and families of our community. I am appreciative of the faculty and staff who are so vigilant about access and excellence in education, whether it is on our campus or, in this case, for those able to attend in Worcester. I also want to thank President Maloney for his visionary leadership in education. What a great opportunity!”

“We are here to tell you today: Quality education can also be affordable,” said Worcester State University President Barry M. Maloney. “Worcester State University is pleased to partner with Greenfield Community College, with whom we share a commitment to excellence, and to bring this option to residents of central and northwestern Massachusetts. The $30,000 baccalaureate degree program will help ensure that Massachusetts is meeting the workforce demand for more bachelor’s level degrees, which is a critical need in this state’s knowledge-based economy.  Those enrolled full time would earn two degrees in four years for $30,000—less than the cost of one year at many private colleges. President Pura and his team deserve credit for their leadership on this initiative.”

The agreement became effective upon signature by both institutions’ Presidents and includes details of each institution’s responsibilities and student requirements. The following academic programs are targeted for enrollment in the Fall 2015 term: Art/Visual Arts MassTransfer Option (AVC), Business Administration Transfer (BAT), Liberal Arts/Art (LAA), Liberal Arts/English (LAE), Liberal Arts/Environmental Science (LEN),  Liberal Arts/Health Science (LAH), Liberal Arts/Math-Science (LMO), Liberal Arts/Music (LMU), Liberal Arts/Social Sciences (LSS), and Liberal Arts/Theater (LAT).

For information about the $30,000 Baccalaureate Degree Program, contact the GCC Transfer Office, 413-775-1207, maisto@gcc.mass.edu or the WSU Transfer Center, 508-929-8018, transfer@worcester.edu.

By Mary McClintock, ’82

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