New pact with MWCC creates pathways for educators

July 12, 2022
President Lapidus and MWCC President James Vander Hooven sign an articulation agreement on July 12 2022

A new transfer agreement between Fitchburg State University and Mount Wachusett Community College will help streamline the transfer process for students pursuing degrees in middle school or secondary education.

Under terms of the agreement, qualifying students enrolled in MWCC’s associate programs in biology, chemistry, or liberal arts and sciences will be able to take three key education courses at Fitchburg State at the community college rates. They will then be able to transfer to Fitchburg State as juniors to complete their undergraduate degrees in middle or secondary education.

“We are pleased to work with our partners at Fitchburg State to offer our students a new educational pathway,” Mount Wachusett Community College President James Vander Hooven said. “There’s an incredible willingness between Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg State to bridge these divides. Our graduates stay local. Having that next opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degrees and go to work in our region is very important.”

“This agreement will support students by making it easier to transfer between institutions, while also helping fill the need for highly-qualified middle and secondary school teachers,” Fitchburg State President Richard S. Lapidus said. “Fitchburg State has been a leader in preparing educators since our founding in 1894, and this agreement is just another example of our continuing evolution.”

Mount Wachusett Dean of Liberal Arts, Education, Humanities and Communications Laurie Occhipinti said the newly announced pact will open six transfer pathways for students pursuing careers as secondary educators. 

“It allows them to transfer very smoothly so they can enter Fitchburg State as juniors,” she said.

Fitchburg State Dean of Education Nancy Murray acknowledged the work by individual academic departments in designing seamless paths for students. “When these students get to Fitchburg State, they’ll be ready to go,” she said. “They will feel that sense of belonging that we know is important to student success.”

The pathways will connect qualifying students graduating from the Mount with associate’s degrees in biology or chemistry, or liberal arts and sciences, will be guaranteed acceptance into Fitchburg State’s middle school or secondary education programs in biology (grades 8-12), chemistry (grades 8-12), English studies (grades 5-12), history (grades 5-12), interdisciplinary studies major with a general science initial teacher license (grades 5-8) or mathematics middle level (grades 5-8) or mathematics, secondary education (8-12).

Interested students are encouraged to learn more by contacting the Mount at or Fitchburg State at