Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, CT -- Graduates of Manchester Community College (MCC) and other persons with an associate degree who are interested in the field of social services have a unique opportunity to pursue a bachelor's degree from Eastern Connecticut State University. Starting this fall, Eastern's School of Continuing Education will offer courses on a "Fast Track" to a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree on the MCC campus. Other courses leading to the degree can be taken online or at Eastern's other off-campus locations. Students attend classes on Saturday only, with courses scheduled in convenient seven-week modules. "With this scheduling format, students who are employed full time can work on their bachelor's degree by taking just one course at a time on Saturdays," said Carol Williams, associate dean of continuing education at Eastern. "This Saturday Fast Track schedule has been especially popular with individuals who already work in the social services but who never completed a baccalaureate degree."Students who pursue the BGS degree and complete the program will graduate with a Concentration in Human Services. Job opportunities in community and social service occupations are expected to be excellent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. Eastern's program is designed for individuals who desire to enter or advance within the field of social and human services. Graduates of the program, especially those already working in the field, may be eligible to continue toward a Master's in Social Work.
Eastern has always had close ties with Manchester Community College. According to Kim Crone, director of admissions at Eastern, "MCC is consistently one of our primary feeder community colleges and was the community college from which Eastern received the most transfer applications and enrolled students in 2008."
According to Joanne Russell, MCC's dean of academic affairs, "Current research shows that the longer students stay at MCC the more they thrive at their transfer institutions. By encouraging students to complete an additional year of study toward their bachelor's degree while still at MCC, we hope to provide them with an environment and resources that will ensure their success."
Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and "real world" credentials. The college offers more than 75 degrees and certificates, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.
Eastern's School of Continuing Education has been offering courses in the Manchester/Vernon area for more than 25 years and currently maintains a site in downtown Rockville. "We are especially pleased to be on the Manchester campus," said Dean Shelly Gimenez of Eastern. "There are many graduates of MCC for whom this program would be especially appealing. The MCC campus is convenient and familiar to them. Convenience and flexibility are important for this population. We feel that by having classes at MCC, complemented by classes in downtown Rockville and online, students should be able to finish their degree in a timely fashion. The location should add to the program's popularity." Two advanced social work courses will be offered at MCC this fall. A similar program is ongoing at Capital Community College in downtown Hartford.
More information is available at www.easternct.edu/ce or by calling (860) 465-5125 to speak with an advisor.