McCann, BCC Sign Updated Agreement for Medical Programs
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School and Berkshire Community College have signed updated articulation agreements for surgical technology, dental assisting and medical assisting.
The agreements, which have existed in some form for nearly three decades, allow course credits in the three McCann programs to transfer between the two organizations. McCann Superintendent James Brosnan, BCC President Ellen Kennedy and BCC Dean of STEM and Allied Health Frank Schickor signed the agreement on Monday.
"Over the years, there have been periodic reviews to make sure that what requirements were of the associate degree were matching up with the courses to be taken ... I think, substantially here, was a very good review and walkthrough," Brosnan said.
Brosnan said the updated agreement ensures the future of the school's surgical technology program. He said the program's accrediting organization changed policy to require students have an associate's degree before sitting for their licensing and certification exam.
"That would have meant that our program would close because we are not able to offer an associate degree," he said. "I think, [BCC] coming to the rescue, in this case, to save that both for the students, for the institution and for the medical facilities that met so urgently need those technicians."
Kennedy said she is happy with the programs and sees the new agreements as a model of how such arrangements can benefit communities.
"Students at Berkshire could decide, 'I want to be a surg-tech, I want to be a dental-tech.' They can go back and forth seamlessly through this wonderful partnership," she said. "So it's been pretty exciting to see it happen."
Jocelyne Hescock, the surgical technology program coordinator for McCann, said she thinks students coming from BCC seem to be more prepared.
"I am feeling great about [the agreement]," she said. "Especially with students starting at BCC first, they are more prepared when they are coming to me. This year is the first year I have a student that started at BCC, and she is doing fantastic."
Judy Gawron, chair of the Allied Health Department at BCC, said she worked very closely with the department heads at McCann to update the agreements. She said the process has strengthened the connections between McCann and BCC.
"We can work really closely in pushing students in their pathways to make those connections, after completing medical assisting and dental assisting, come to get their degree."
Schickor said he was grateful to help a partnership that has already been ongoing for so long.
"That's a very very lucky position to find yourself in. On the other side, I've found this very dedicated faculty, both at McCann and BCC, that make my life even easier." he said.
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