New and returning Mount Wachusett Community College students will begin the academic year amid a sea of change at the Gardner campus, following more than a year of construction and extensive renovations.
Approximately 950 new students got an early look at the campus’ transformation during day, evening and program-specific orientations held over the past week in advance of the new academic year, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Students will notice substantial changes to the Haley academic building and theater, as well as a new 44,000-square-foot science and technology building. The college will transition into the new building this month.
A majority of the new day students attended orientation on Thursday, Sept. 1, which included a half-day of seminars and other activities. MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and college administrators greeted the incoming students and encouraged them to become involved with campus activities and to tap into college resources and services.
President Asquino emphasized that during their time at MWCC, students will be working in partnership with faculty and staff to reach their academic and career goals.
“Together, we want to make certain that you achieve that dream, that goal and that aspiration.”
The president also announced that plans are underway for construction of a new student center and repaving of the college’s driveways and parking lots. Both projects are in the planning stages with construction anticipated next spring summer.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be at MWCC,” said Dean of Students Jason Zelesky. “These changes represent our commitment to excellence in education and meeting the needs of the students and communities that we work so hard to serve.”
Coordinated by the office of Student Life, the orientation sessions provide students with an opportunity to learn about college life and MWCC programs and activities. Students met with faculty, deans and advisors, toured the campus, received information about academic resources, and attended a student club expo.
Alberto Olivas, founding executive director of the Congressman Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service at Arizona State University, was the keynote speaker. Olivas, who also addressed faculty and staff, spoke on the importance of embedding civic engagement within classroom instruction in a way that allows students to make “connections between what they’re learning in the classroom and what is going on in the world and in their lives.”