Sep 21, 2023  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2010-11 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2010-11 [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. A clearinghouse for the most recent teacher-preparation information and resources, the center offers students a quiet space to review materials and information about pathways to academic licensure, teacher test-preparation, and local workshops 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:

Center for Community Engagement


The mission of MCC’s Center for Community Engagement is to enrich students’ educational experiences, meet community needs, and foster civic responsibility throughout the college and the community at large by integrating service into the academic curriculum. Through participation in thoughtfully organized service experiences that address real community needs, students extend what they learn beyond the classroom. Courses with Service-Learning and community-engagement components are offered in a wide variety of courses at Middlesex.

While Service-Learning courses generally require a minimum of 22 hours per semester in an appropriate community-service placement, community engagement service opportunities have a variety of project-based requirements. Coordinated by the Center’s staff, both Service-Learning and community engagement opportunities enrich student’s educational experiences by developing the knowledge and skills needed to be effective members of their communities.

The Center for Community Engagement is located in the City Building, Fifth Floor (Office 21) on the Lowell campus. In Bedford, it is located in the Enrollment Center (Building 9), Room 108. For more information, call 978-656-3159 (Lowell) or 781-280-3556 (Bedford).

Related topic: To learn more about earning graduation honors as an MCC Engaged Scholar, see Academic Information .

Note: In order for a student to be eligible to participate in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, the student may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. See Admission  for details.

The Common Book


As part of MCC’s annual Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) activities, a Common Book is selected for literary quality and relevance to many subject areas. This book is recommended for inclusion in a variety of courses and college-wide activities. Faculty may choose to assign the book to be read independently, or teach appropriate elements within a given discipline. Therefore, the Common Book may be examined from different perspectives in different courses.

The Common Book for the 2009-2010 academic year is Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama. MCC Common Books in previous years have included When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, Not Born in the U.S.A. edited by the MCC Writing Across the Curriculum Committee, and Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison by MCC Professor Jean Trounstine.

Throughout the year, WAC sponsors events, such as writing workshops, poetry readings, student essay contests and Common Book activities for all members of the college community. For further information, see the Writing Across the Curriculum website:

Cooperative Education, Internships and Field Experience


Designed to provide students with opportunities to gain work experience in their fields of study, cooperative education, internships or field experiences are included in many major programs of study as required courses or recommended electives. In these experiences, students earn academic credit for work related to their major programs of study. There are field experiences in specific areas of program-related work, such as internships for Paralegal Studies students with the MCC Law Center at the Lowell campus.
Cooperative Field Experience (BUS 214), which combines classroom or online lectures with workplace experience, is required in some Business Administration degree and certificate programs. Many students in programs other than business also enroll in this course as an elective. See the section on Course Descriptions  for further information and prerequisites.

Honors Opportunities


MCC’s Honors Program and designated honors courses 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. Outstanding faculty work with these strongly motivated students and offer honors courses across all disciplines. Individual honors courses are open to students who have earned at least 12 credits, including English Composition I, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. Certain courses have additional prerequisites, such as a writing sample or a faculty recommendation. A student may take an Honors Option in a “non-honors” course by signing a contract with the instructor and performing additional tasks for honors credit.

Honors students are invested in their learning and are encouraged to develop a rigorous attitude towards their education. To graduate from Middlesex as an Honors Program Scholar, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and take a minimum of three honors courses, including one that is interdisciplinary. The college celebrates these students with the designation of “Honors Scholar” on their permanent transcript and special recognition at graduation.

Honors Program graduates strengthen their transfer opportunities, increase their eligibility for scholarships, and enhance their employment potential. For more information about applying to the Honors Program, contact the Honors Program Coordinator at 781-280-3553, e-mail or visit the Honors 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. Interdisciplinary courses are noted in each Semester Schedule and more information is available from the Academic, Career & Transfer Centers.  

International Education


Middlesex sponsors study abroad fellowships to Belize, The People’s Republic of China, Ireland, Spain, Russia and the Netherlands. The international fellowships are three-credit courses involving a two-week journey to study first-hand the history and culture of the host countries.

Exchange opportunities, a broad array of cross-cultural activities, and an extensive campus international visitors program all contribute to students’ exposure to the global nature of economic and social development.  International education and training programs are also part of the college’s support for area business and community development. For more information, call MCC’s International and Multicultural Office at 978-656-3258.

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?, Literature Alive!, and How to Succeed in Business.

MCC Theatre Productions


All Middlesex students are encouraged to nurture their interest in the theater by participating onstage, offstage or backstage in the various MCC Theatre 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. Plays and musicals are staged in the newly renovated MCC Theatre, a flexible, 90-seat performance space, located at 5 E. Merrimack St. (rear entrance), in Lowell. For more information, visit the college Performing Arts website:

The Paul H. Sullivan Leadership Institute 

Launched to help identify and develop student leaders, the Paul H. Sullivan Leadership Institute is a one-year, fellowship program named in honor of the late radio talk-show host, Lowell Sun political editor, and longtime Middlesex adjunct professor of journalism, Paul H. Sullivan. 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 internships. 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 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. 

Weekend College

MCC’s Weekend College offers students additional opportunities to earn or complete their degrees. Courses are offered on weekends in a variety of formats, including traditional 15-week sessions and accelerated eight-week sessions, as well as self-paced courses. Accelerated degree programs allow students to earn an associate’s degree in Business Career or Early Childhood Education in as little as 24 months by supplementing weekend courses with online classes.  Students also have access to advising services on Saturdays. Call 1-800-818-3434 for more information about Weekend College.