May 25, 2024  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2016-17 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2016-17 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Opportunities

Middlesex offers an array of educational opportunities to enrich and enhance the college experience. MCC students can play a role in college theater productions, enroll in honors courses, explore a teaching career, and expand their horizons through Service-Learning or fellowships to study abroad. (For the convenience of the reader, the following information is listed alphabetically.)

Center for Careers in Teaching


Created to encourage aspiring teachers, MCC’s Center for Careers in Teaching assists students who are beginning or continuing their career preparation at Middlesex. It’s a clearinghouse for the most recent teacher-preparation information materials and information about pathways to academic licensure, teacher test-preparation, and seminars about careers in teaching. Contact the Center for Careers in Teaching for individualized services by appointment at 781-280-3563 or e-mail:


Cooperative Education, Internships and Field Experience


Some degree programs at MCC require students to take Cooperative Field Placement (BUS 214). This course combines job-related experience with classroom lectures. Cooperative Field Placement or internships can be one of the most rewarding and valuable college experiences. It guides students in using the workplace as a site for learning about a new career field, developing job skills, and gaining more employment experience. It can enhance the educational experience by giving students a chance to see how information they have learned in their courses applies in real work settings. Cooperative education also helps students develop a solid resume of work experience while they complete degree requirements. See the section on Course Descriptions  for further information and prerequisites.

Commonwealth Honors Program


MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) is accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and provides graduates with transfer rights to all state universities. The CHP at Middlesex has designated honors courses that have been developed specifically for high academic achievers – students who enjoy working together and sharing ideas while they challenge themselves with exciting readings, assignments and independent research. Dedicated faculty work with these strongly motivated students and offer honors courses across all disciplines.

All CHP graduates have transferred, with significant scholarships, to a wide range of institutions, including Cornell University, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts system, Wellesley College, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. In addition to the 100 percent transfer rate after graduation as a CHP Scholar, our graduates have also earned many full and partial scholarships.

Eligibility in the Honors Program is reserved for students with a minimum 3.2 GPA who have successfully completed 12 or more college-level credits. Acceptance letters are sent each semester to eligible students inviting them to participate in the program. To graduate as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, students must complete a minimum of two honors seminars and at least one additional honors-level course with a grade of “B” or better, and participate in the annual Honors Poster Conference (usually held in April). Successful students usually take more than the three-course minimum to maximize their honors experience and strengthen their opportunities for transfer to a four-year college/university.

Honors students are invested in their learning and are encouraged to develop a rigorous attitude toward their education. The college celebrates these students with the designation of “Commonwealth Honors Scholar” on their permanent transcript and special recognition at graduation. Additionally, entering students with no prior college experience must have graduated from high school with a minimum 3.2 GPA, place into “Honors English Composition I,” and get approval to join the program from the Honors Program Director.

Commonwealth Honors Program graduates strengthen their transfer opportunities, increase their eligibility for scholarships, and enhance their employment potential. For more information about the Commonwealth Honors Program, contact the Commonwealth Honors Office at 781-280-3553, email:, visit the honors website:, or make an appointment to meet with the Program Director. 

The First-Year Experience


The First-Year Experience (FYE) is an academic program designed to support first-year students as they transition to college life. The program engages and encourages students to become active members of the larger MCC community. Making new students aware of academic and co-curricular opportunities helps them become more involved and successful in their studies. The First-Year Experience introduces students to the following Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs): written and oral communication; critical thinking; quantitative literacy; multicultural and global literacy; social responsibility; personal and professional development. First-year students also work with advisors to create a unique academic and financial plan for their education and future.  

First-Year Experience Seminars

At the core of MCC’s First-Year Experience is the First-Year Experience Seminar, a one-credit Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) course that is linked with a three-credit introductory college-level course to form an FYE Learning Community. Students learn essential success skills, strategies and behaviors that are necessary for the successful completion of their college classes.

There are a variety of other IDS courses that can be taken as stand-alone courses. Interdisciplinary Studies courses incorporate a wide variety of concepts and experiences, and are meant to lead and support the overall First-Year Experience at Middlesex Community College.  

FYE Seminars are academically and socially enriching and engaging. IDS courses foster a strong sense of community through the use of small classroom settings, group projects, presentations, and course offerings that are topical and accessible to all students. IDS courses incorporate a wide variety of concepts and are designed to support the development of students’ oral and written communication skills, while promoting strong relationships among students, their instructors, and the college community.

Other one-credit, IDS courses include: Service-Learning, leadership, Interdisciplinary Weekend, Diversity Weekend, career exploration, and wellness.

Global Education


Middlesex Community College empowers learners to participate in a diverse global community, and since 1988 has been a leader in offering opportunities that intentionally transform curriculum, promote intercultural competence, and engage the college community in deeper cross-cultural understandings of our ever-changing interconnected world.

International education and training programs at Middlesex transcend borders and divisions, connecting our college and local community to people, customs, cultures, values, history, religions, languages, and the economic and political systems of the world.

Strongly committed to preparing our college community to be global citizens, Middlesex sees internationalizing the curricula and co-curricular as key components of the skills our students need to study, work and live in the 21st century. As part of this commitment, the Global Scholar Program prepares students to be global citizens who are interculturally competent, informed advocates for meaningful change, and innovative leaders for tomorrow. Middlesex also sponsors a variety of short-term and semester study abroad and internship opportunities, including MCC Foundation-supported two-week International Education Fellowships to Belize, China, Ireland, Spain, Russia, Peru, the Netherlands, Cambodia and Costa Rica.

In the realities of this new global century, international education creates cross-disciplinary knowledge, cultural literacy, and an active awareness of individual and collective responsibility within a diverse and ever-changing interconnected global community.

For more information on Global Education opportunities, contact the Global Education Office at 781-280-3678, email: or visit the Global Education website:

Health and STEM Pathways Center


 The Health & STEM Pathways Center offers a variety of student supports that are focused on academic achievement and successful career outcomes for all Health and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students.

Support and services include the following:

  • Resume building
  • Peer and faculty mentors
  • Career-related  field trips & workshops
  • Supplemental instruction for health & STEM classes
  • Financial awards for STEM LSAMP scholars
  • STEM and health advising
  • e-Portfolio training
  • Summer Bridge opportunities
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

For more information, contact the Pathways Coordinator at 978-322-8411, visit the Pathways Center in Lowell (Pollard Building, Suite #300), or visit us on the MCC website: 

Independent Study


Full-time students in good standing (a minimum 2.00 GPA) who have earned a minimum of 12 credits may develop, in cooperation with a faculty member, a program of study which is not formally offered at the college. Independent study can only be pursued after the student’s first semester. A maximum of six semester hours (three per semester) may be taken under such an arrangement. Contracts for independent study must be approved by the cooperating faculty member and the division dean. Final approval must be made by the provost.

Interdisciplinary Studies


Each semester, the college offers a variety of interdisciplinary courses. Some are co-taught by two instructors, and others are two separate (paired) courses. Both types of interdisciplinary courses interrelate knowledge, facts and ideas through the integration of several subject areas.

By enrolling in one interdisciplinary course that combines, for example, humanities and social science, students have the opportunity to fulfill two of their core curriculum requirements with one course. In addition, the college now offers General Education Seminars that can be taken separately, or three seminars can be bundled together as a three-credit General Education elective. For more information and course offerings, visit the Interdisciplinary Studies website. Interdisciplinary courses are noted in each Semester Advising Schedule and more information is available from the Academic, Career & Transfer Centers.

Learning Communities 


Learning Communities are interdisciplinary course offerings in which two highly interactive courses are combined to deepen and intensify the learning experience for students. In totally integrated Learning Communities, two or more team-taught courses are joined as if they were one larger class. In linked Learning Communities, two separate courses are thematically connected and use shared assignments and activities.

By focusing on contemporary themes, Learning Communities enhance student interest, and foster understanding of how subjects and issues are interrelated. In addition, because the same students work together on projects and assignments in both classes, Learning Communities foster the development of peer relationships, which enhance and support the learning experience.

Learning Communities offered in the past include: Write for Law and Order, Theater in Action, Power: Who has it? Who gets it?Born Identity, and How to Succeed in Business. Only the individual courses included in the Learning Community are listed on students’ transcripts. For example, students enrolled in Power: Who has it? Who gets it? will have ENG 101 English Composition I and SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology recorded on their transcripts.

For more information and course offerings, visit the Learning Communities website. 

MCC Theater Department Productions


All Middlesex students are encouraged to nurture their interest in the theater by participating onstage, offstage or backstage in the various MCC Theater Department productions staged throughout the year. Any currently enrolled MCC student can participate, and may choose to receive course credit in elective Theater courses. Students can also enroll in MCC’s Performing Arts: Theater Option or Fine and Performing Arts Concentration: Theater Option. For more information, visit the college Performing Arts website:  



Service-Learning is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized activity that meets identified community needs, and then reflect on their service. Combining service with learning allows students to gain further understanding of the course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. Service-Learning’s unique collaboration between students, faculty, staff and community partners also connects the college with community priorities, and MCC students with career exploration.

There are four models of Service-Learning at Middlesex. All models integrate thoughtful and intentional reflection, and upon completion receive the Service-Learning transcript designation: 

  • Individual Service-Learning is associated with a specific course and requires students to spend 22 hours a semester (two to three hours a week) at a community site over an eight- to eleven-week time period during the semester.
  • Project-Based Service-Learning allows some or all members of a class to work together on an identified community project, while also meeting course outcomes.
  • One-Credit Service-Learning Course (IDS 102) is designed as part of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Vision Project to empower students to learn about general community issues or a specific theme-based topic. Service for this model can be an individual 22-hour Service-Learning placement or Project-Based Service-Learning.
  • Global Service-Learning occurs when Project-Based Service-Learning is integrated into MCC International Education Fellowships. The service projects are designed to allow Middlesex students to serve local communities abroad. The goal of the curriculum is to expose students to community issues facing their host countries, and broaden understanding of their roles as global citizens.

MCC’s Service-Learning Department is located in Bedford House (Building 5), Room 209, on the Bedford campus. On the Lowell campus, it is located in the City Building, Fifth Floor, Office 21. For more information, call 781-280-3556.  

The Paul H. Sullivan Leadership Institute


Launched to help identify and develop student leaders, this one-year, fellowship program is named in honor of Paul H. Sullivan, the late radio talk-show host, Lowell Sun political editor, and longtime Middlesex adjunct professor of journalism. The program is designed to encourage students to go outside the classroom and develop new skills, and give back to the community.

Student fellows are nominated by MCC staff and faculty, and selected by committee. Programming includes intensive on-campus workshops, off-site summits, special social and community events, and mentorships. Programs are facilitated by leaders from government, business, nonprofit organizations and the college. For more information, call 978-656-3164, e-mail:, or visit the Paul H. Sullivan Leadership Institute website. 

The Transition Program


Designed expressly for students with significant learning disabilities, MCC’s nationally recognized Transition Program is a two-year, noncredit certificate-of-completion program that teaches consumer and business skills, independent living, and personal and social development. The cornerstone of the program is an internship each semester in local business settings.

The Transition Program helps students who would find traditional college-level academics too challenging, even with extensive support services, achieve their potential through specialized coursework and hands-on experience in work settings.  Students work two days per week in competitive employment situations in office and business support environments. During the other three days, students complete specially designed courses in the following areas: computer skills and vocational preparation, consumer education, personal and social development, job seeking and job survival skills. Small class size ensures that students receive individualized attention and a program tailored to meet their unique needs. Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion in Office and Business Support Skills.  (See Transition Program  for the complete curriculum.)

The Transition Program is selective, accepting only 20 students each year. Prospective applicants and their families MUST  attend an information session to receive application materials. Information sessions are held periodically throughout the year. For information about the Transition Program and application procedures call 781-280-3630, or register to attend an Information Session at: