×

GCC to open doors through new Starter Academy

  • The Greenfield Community College main campus building. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

GREENFIELD — A pilot program will give people a chance to take two college courses for the price of one at Greenfield Community College in the spring semester, starting Jan. 25.

From high school students to senior citizens, anyone can sign up for the new GCC Starter Academy and enroll in a free introductory college level course in science, math and English.

“This is for high school students who want to spend a little more time in college and get college prep; this is for adult learners who had never done college before, for adult learners who had tried college elsewhere ... for students who want to get going again,” said coordinator and academic adviser Alysha Putnam, who runs the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Starter Academy.

The program will kick off later this month, thanks to a new partnership of STEM Starter Academy and College & Career Compass, both grant-funded programs at the college.

While the Career Compass program connects students with resources to help them think about their future academic and professional careers, the STEM Starter Academy, which typically runs in the summer, provides students with one free course.

Now, the two programs will team up to create a program that has the intention of helping students get comfortable with school, whether they are attending college for the first time or returning.

“We decided, ‘Hey, let’s take the best of our two programs and merge them together and run it during the academic year,” Putnam said.

How it works

People who are interested in signing up for the new GCC Starter Academy can sign up online at gcc.mass.edu/gccsa by providing their contact information.

“Now is a great time to take the leap because it’s really something they can help shape and move forward,” said coordinator and academic adviser Tonya Blundon, who runs the Career Compass program.

The counselors will talk with prospective students of the GCC Starter Academy about what they would like to get out of the program and how it can be beneficial toward their goals. Counselors will also answer questions about how to pay for the additional three-credit course, which has a price tag of $727 before any potential financial assistance.

A student will be able to sign up for one of these three free classes: “English Composition I: Expository Writing,” “Introductory Algebra” or “Cosmic Life Becomes You: Scientific Literacy for Today.” Students signing up for one of these free courses will be mixed in with GCC students who have signed up for the class.

They will then be required to sign up for an additional three-credit course at the college in the same semester.

Additionally, students will receive mentorship through the Career Compass program through a range of workshops.

“This is a chance for us to figure things out and run wild a little,” Blundon said. “We’re really open and excited to get students.”

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com 413-772-0261, ext. 264