This is a guide for GCC students who need assistance with Section C of their TOP Application.
If you are (or are about to become) a full-time student at GCC and you have an open unemployment claim with the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), you may qualify for the DUA Training Opportunities Program (aka. “TOP” or “Section 30”).
Ultimately, the DUA is the authority on TOP – and other unemployment related programs and questions. However, GCC is able to provide you with the following resources and recommendations. Additionally, the Career Services Coordinator is available to advise you and your Advisor on how to best design a Degree Plan (not Degree Audit) for TOP. Once your Degree Plan is complete, the Career Services Coordinator will fill out Section C of your TOP Application.
Official TOP Information:
Only proceed with these next steps if:
- You have an unemployment claim open with the DUA;
- You have reviewed the TOP eligibility requirements, program website and brochure;
- You have received unemployment benefits for less than 20 weeks;
- You are enrolled at GCC as a full-time student in a qualifying GCC program.
Steps for GCC Student TOP Applications:
- Go to the JobQuest ‘Locate Training’ tab to make sure you are enrolled in a qualifying GCC program:
- Enter ‘Greenfield Community College’ in the ‘Provider Name’ field, and see if the GCC program you are enrolled in full-time is listed here by searching through the A-Z list of programs (vs. using the not always user-friendly ‘Search’ field). Entering a key program word under “Key Word” can simplify the search. When it doubt, please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com.
- If you are entering a full-time GCC program, which is not listed in the JobQuest, the DUA TOP office may still approve your TOP Application.
- Go to your personal DUA unemployment claim portal:
- Look for information about TOP and follow any prompts provided.
- Download your Training Opportunity Program (TOP) Application.
- If you are not able to find a TOP Application in your unemployment claim portal, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 626-5521.
- Students/TOP Applicants, please review the TOP Brochure and Website for official DUA/TOP Information.
- Email your blank TOP Application to the appropriate GCC contact, to get Section C filled out:
- Fill out the GCC TOP Data Collection Agreement.
- You will receive a copy from your GCC TOP Application contact. (See step #3.)
- Make sure GCC has received any or all transcripts from past schools you have attended – if you are enrolled in a for-credit GCC program:
- Visit past school websites for information on how to request official transcripts.
- Contact GCC Admissions, if you have questions about how to submit official transcripts to GCC.
- After requesting that official transcripts be sent to GCC, check your GCC Student Profile regularly, until they are uploaded.
- Connect with your GCC Advisor about creating a Degree Plan – if you are enrolled in a for-credit GCC program:
- Get a Degree Audit completed by your Advisor.
- Get a Degree Plan completed by your Advisor:
- For one GCC Program / Concentration only. (Please note that GCC programs listed in JobQuest are more likely to be approved by the DUA TOP Office. However, other GCC programs can be included in a TOP Application, and the DUA TOP Office will make a determination.)
- Include only remaining program-required courses listed in the Degree Audit.
- List how many program-required credits (only) will be taken during each semester and session. Optional: Use this Degree Plan Template.
- TOP requirements do not always align with GCC programming and schedules. However, when possible, an advisor will create a degree plan that accounts for the following TOP requirements:
- TOP Application Evaluators will only account for time that students are taking program-required credits full-time.
- Front loading the degree plan with full-time semesters or sessions is preferred.
- A break that is 3 weeks or more will likely interrupt or end TOP benefits. (It is not clear if this will be the case for the Winter Session, so please schedule 3 credits if the student would like to ensure that any TOP benefits awarded will not end during this time.)
- Please email a copy of the Degree Audit and the completed Degree Plan to email@example.com.
- Email your completed Degree Plan to your GCC TOP Application contact:
- Email your completed Degree Plan to firstname.lastname@example.org – if you are enrolled in a for-credit GCC program.
- Email your completed Degree Plan to email@example.com – if you are enrolled in a non-credit GCC program.
- Your GCC Career Services will fill out Section C of your TOP Application and email you a copy.
- After you receive completed Section C (p.5-6) from your GCC TOP Application contact:
- Check Section C for completion and accuracy.
- Contact GCC Career Services right away, if you have any questions.
- Keep a copy of your completed TOP Application for your records.
- Submit the entire completed TOP Application (p.1-6) to the DUA:
- Follow any directions provided by the DUA Training Opportunities Program (TOP).
- Additionally, email your TOP Application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Monitor your TOP Application Status:
- Check your unemployment claim portal regularly for updates.
- Check any other email addresses you provided to the DUA regularly.
- If you don’t hear back from TOP in 3-4 weeks, call DUA/TOP at (617) 626-5521.
- When you receive a determination from TOP in response to your TOP Application:
- Provide GCC with information about your future education and employment status, which will make TOP available to students in the future.
- If you did not already, fill out the GCC TOP Data Collection Agreement.
- When you are contacted by GCC in the future for information about your education and employment status, please respond in a timely manner to ensure that TOP continues to be an option for GCC students.
TOP can only provide an extension of unemployment benefits to qualifying unemployed candidate; it does not cover education costs. If you would like to find out if you qualify for DUA programs, which will help finance your education, go to DUA programs that might help you with education costs.
Additionally, visit the GCC Financial Aid website for additional information on how to make education more affordable.