MCC’s ‘Gold Standard’ is at Core of State Reform

Feb 25, 2012Council in the News, Lowell Sun

The need for strategic alignment among the various missions within the Massachusetts community-college system is necessary for many of the reasons cited in Sun reporter Lyle Moran’s piece (Business groups backing community-college reform, Feb. 21).

Missing from the story were my frequent references to the state’s gold-standard within the community-college system: Middlesex Community College.

For decades, MCC has been at the forefront of aligning curriculum with the evolving needs of the area’s technology-heavy economy, preparing students for critical technical-writing careers (1980s) to homeland-security careers with the TSA (today).

President Carole Cowan and her team have created in one community college what we expect from each of the other 14 colleges within the system. However, the state lacks an ability to effectively coordinate the system’s collective strengths, and power to address the weaknesses of individual colleges.

From my perspective, the reforms discussed in the article would allow schools like MCC to compete for more of the financial resources it deserves from the Statehouse on the basis of its relevance to the area’s workforce requirements.


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