BCC to Offer Free Course for Local High School Students

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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer a free course for Berkshire County high school students called "Introduction to Interpersonal Communication," a three-credit course. 
 
The course, a hybrid of in-person and online learning, will be held Wednesdays, Feb. 9 through May 18, from 6-8 pm. The instructor is Tattiya Maruco, Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Design / Adjunct Faculty – Communications.
 
The class is designed to actively build strategies for effective interpersonal communication with a diverse audience, including conflict management and self-advocacy, by experimenting with language, non-verbal cues and the art of listening. Students should expect presentations, active projects, guest speakers and both large and small discussions in this hands-on class. In keeping with BCC's small class size, the course is limited to 22 students.
 
The course is open to Berkshire County high school students who meet the prerequisite minimum GPA of 2.7, or who successfully achieve a college-level reading and writing placement via the Accuplacer test. Students of all high school grades may enroll, but freshmen and sophomores must qualify by Accuplacer. Students must have access to a computer and internet for assignments. Textbooks will be provided.
 
Masks are required in all indoor spaces at BCC, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, all students taking in-person classes must be fully vaccinated as of Jan. 3, 2022. All faculty and staff are also required to be fully vaccinated.
 
For more information on BCC's Early College program, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/earlycollege.

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Wants Voice in Use of Body Cameras

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following the City Council's endorsement of dashboard and body cameras on Pittsfield Police, the Police Advisory Review Board would like to review the equipment's policy before anything is implemented.

Chair Ellen Maxon this week asked the board members if they would like to take a vote to support body cameras but some were unsure of their stance. Instead, the panel motioned Tuesday to request that in the event that the Police Department adopts such a program, PARB reviews the governing policies before implementation.

The conversation is in response to the death of Miguel Estrella at the hands of a police officer in late March, which has sparked a significant community response along with conversations about police accountability and the lack of mental health support.

"I still have a pretty mixed opinion because I feel like something like body cameras, people think that's going to be the end all, be all and we don't have to do any more work," board member Erin Sullivan said, adding that there is a bigger problem beyond video surveillance.

Board member Dennis Powell, who is also president of the Berkshire NAACP, wished not to share his thoughts on body cameras at the moment.  

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