“Devan had a great first day, and really enjoyed her Piano class and her teacher. She is making a lot of friends, and really likes her peers and support staff. As a parent, this truly is a day that you look forward to and then reflect back on.
“As a mother of four, it was always my hope that Devan would attend college just like her other three siblings. She saw her sisters and brother all move out and go off to college, and she wanted to go to college as well. Her entire family is so very happy for her. I cannot thank you enough for helping her with this transition, and I could not imagine a better program that suits her needs. I am very impressed, and look forward to seeing Devan learn and grow at Middlesex. Thank you again for all that you do.”
The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) Program at Middlesex Community College began in 2014 under the leadership of President Carole Cowan. This dual enrollment opportunity serves high school students with severe intellectual disabilities, ages 18* to 21, who attend a participating school district. The program directly aligns with MCC’s mission statement, values, and strategic direction to “drive innovation, enrich community and broaden the learning experience for all by fulfilling our shared responsibility for diversity.” (*18-19 year old students must not have passed MCAS)
Students who are appropriate for MCC’s MAICEI Program are enrolled in a partner school and are interested in working and improving their job skills, auditing college courses, increasing independence, participating in co-curricular activities, and receiving support from Educational Coaches and Peer Mentors. Partner schools include the Bedford Public Schools and the LABBB Educational Collaborative which serves students in seventy communities.
Participating students spend two to three full days each week on campus, and work in the community on other days. A typical day at Middlesex includes students traveling to/from campus using public transportation, attending classes and campus activities, completing assignments, having lunch, exercising and socializing. Students enrolled in the program have full access to MCC clubs, student activities, Fitness Center and academic resources, as well as selective co-curricular events at UMass Lowell.
Students enrolled in MCC’s MAICEI Program are supported by Educational Coaches, an Employment Specialist, Peer Mentors, the Program Coordinator, Student Support Services, and the Center for Health & Wellness.
Coordinator, Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative
Middlesex Community College
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, MA 01730
“When our son was diagnosed with autism, our dreams for his future died. A few years ago we drove by Middlesex Community College and Brian told me he wanted to go there for college. Tears welled up in my eyes as we drove home. I just never thought it could be possible. When we learned about the MAICEI program, my husband and I realized it was a way to make Brian's wish come true.
“We had to change our own outlook on what college meant and how students with intellectual disabilities could go to college just like their siblings. Our son started at Middlesex a few weeks ago. He is so pleased to be on campus, enjoys his acting class, has built a strong relationship with his educational coach and is so excited to be doing travel training. This program was a real leap for us as parents. We are thrilled to have the support to make it a reality.”
Jacob is a 21-year-old student who resides in Bedford, MA. He began his participation in the MAICEI funded program at Middlesex Community College during the Spring 2017 semester. During this time, Jacob has worked at community job sites three days a week supported by his sending high school’s vocational program and has had an internship at New England Yachad in Brookline, MA. Jacob takes public transportation to and from college and his internship.
This is Jacob’s fourth semester at MCC and he has taken one or two courses each semester. He enjoys helping people and is interested in jobs that involve customer service. His courses at Middlesex have included Public Speaking, Intro to Acting, First Year Experience, Food and Beverage Management, and Intro to Hospitality. He is currently taking Computer Applications and gaining skills that he hopes to transfer to future employment and increased responsibility at his current jobs.
As an engaged member of the college campus, Jacob is always willing to participate in student activities offered throughout the year. He tried out for the basketball team and the improve group, and was offered a volunteer position in the Sports and Recreation Department. Jacob’s dedication to his volunteer position at the college has led to an offer for a paid position too!
Jacob learned to work with his educational coaches’ support while continuing to increase his independence, “I think I have changed and grown since I attended the ICEI Program by being more aware of my surroundings, improving my self-control and problem solving.”
When asked what he would like to tell students thinking about attending MCC’s MAICEI Program, Jacob said, “It’s fun because everyone is inclusive and friendly and not judgmental. You can be who you are and this program is very special. My favorite part of being with the ICEI Program is having the opportunity to make nice close connections with people.”
ICE students at Middlesex Community College use the campus located in Bedford, Massachusetts. More than 13,000 credit students and 7,000 noncredit students attend the college on both Lowell and Bedford campuses. MCC’s mission statement is: At Middlesex Community College, everyone teaches, everyone learns. Collaborative in nature and innovative in practice, we educate, engage, and empower a diverse community of learners. Through transformative opportunities, we challenge and support every student to succeed and lead. Recognizing equity and inclusion as the foundation for excellence and creativity, Middlesex
Community College meets the evolving educational, civic and workforce needs of our local and global communities. MCC offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs, including the Transition Program which is designed for post-secondary students with significant learning disabilities. These students work at unpaid internships in local business settings and earn a Certificate in Office and Business Support after completing two years of specialized non-credit courses in consumer and business skills, independent living, and personal sand social development. Beyond its academic functions, Middlesex stays attuned and responsive to all its varied constituencies through outreach programs and partnerships with schools, businesses, and professional and cultural organizations.