2019-2020 Catalog

Admissions

General Admissions Policy

Students who want to enroll in one of BCC’s degree or certificate programs, whether full- or part-time, must be admitted to the College. Enrolling in a program is called matriculating.

Some programs restrict entrance to applicants who have not already met specific requirements. Applicants who have not yet met those requirements can be admitted to the College to enroll in prerequisite courses.

For applicants who have a name change, the Admissions Office will need legal documentation of change of name.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission include:

  1. An official final high school transcript issued from the school that includes senior grades and graduation date; or
  2. Official college transcripts from a regionally accredited institution, demonstrating 60 or more credits earned; or
  3. A High School Equivalency Credential official score report.

Although not required, meeting with an Admissions Counselor is especially recommended to clarify choice of program, applicability of previous coursework, requirements for international students and any other questions. Prospective students and/ or their parents are encouraged to visit the campus and may request a guided tour by contacting the Admissions Office at 413-236-1630 or admissions@berkshirecc.edu.

BCC will not admit students concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs: Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care, LPN or Nursing.

Advanced Standing and Non-Traditional Credit Options

Full- and Part-Time Students

Students who are admitted to a BCC program of study may choose to enroll as either full- or part-time students in any given semester. BCC defines a full-time student as one who enrolls for 12 credit hours or more per semester. Most agencies and programs, including financial aid, veterans’ assistance, varsity athletic eligibility, the Social Security Commission and insurance benefits, also define a full-time course load to be at least 12 credits per semester.

Immunization

Health Records

To comply with State legislation (Chapter 76, Section 15C, General Laws of Massachusetts) BCC has adopted the following procedures on student immunizations:

  • All health records will be confidentially maintained in the Immunization and Medical Records Office,  the Student Engagement Center.
  • Health records may include, but are not limited to, immunizations, physical exams, and physician correspondence/referrals.
  • Any request by a student for his/her health record requires a signed authorization from the student.
  • Release of any medical records to a college or contractual agency is only with the expressed approval of the student. Note, however, that immunization information (not medical history) for all Nursing and Allied Health students may be shared with the Dean of Nursing, Health and Social Sciences, Department Chair and contracted agencies to allow for clinical experiences.

State Mandated Immunizations

Depending upon a student's status, there are certain immunizations that are required in order to attend college in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These include medical proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap), measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B, Varicella (chicken pox) and a tuberculosis test is required for international and allied health students. If a student is obtaining antibody laboratory blood tests (titers), the laboratory report proof of immunity paperwork is required. The student is responsible for submitting documentation of his/her immunization record to the Immunization Records Office within 30 days of starting classes. Students who are not in compliance with these mandated immunizations will be unable to pre-register for classes. Nursing and Allied Health students must complete all medical requirements and a Verification of Student Health History & Physical Exam form by the deadline set by BCC in order to begin classes or clinical rotations.

International Students: All international students must provide complete immunization. This includes current tuberculosis testing (TB or chest x-ray), tetanus-diphtheria (Td or Tdap), measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox) and meningococcal: 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Antibody laboratory blood tests (titers) must include laboratory report proof of immunity. Medical forms from doctors’ offices should include vaccinations in English.

Requirements for Nursing and Allied Health Students

In addition to the requirements listed above, students enrolled in any Nursing and Allied Health program are required to have a Verification of Student Health History & Physical Exam form. Immunization information (not medical history) for all Nursing and Allied Health students may be shared with the Dean of Nursing, Dean of STEM and Allied Health, Director of Nursing and assistant, Department Chair and contracted agencies to allow for clinical experiences. Please be advised that students enrolled in certain Health and Behavioral Sciences programs which require clinical or fieldwork study may be required by the placement affiliate agency to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible. Students who either fail to pass, or refuse to submit to a drug screening analysis will be deemed ineligible for clinical placement, which may affect their status in the program. Additionally, nursing students are required to obtain laboratory evidence of immunity to varicella or medical proof of varicella, a current Tb result throughout the program, and the influenza vaccine every flu season. Nursing students are also strongly encouraged to confirm immunity to hepatitis B via a titer. Antibody blood tests (titers) must include laboratory report as proof of immunity. Please direct any questions pertaining to this policy to the office of the Dean of Nursing, Health & Social Sciences.

The regulations for each vaccine preventable disease are described below:

  • Hepatitis B: a series of three injections of vaccine given over a six-month period. If there is an interruption in the schedule, the series should not be started again. Continue with the series until all three doses have been administered. Laboratory evidence of immunity is acceptable. If there is a question of immunity, have a titer blood test drawn one month after the final vaccine has been administered. A reminder will be sent to the student from the Immunization and Medical Records Office if the series is not complete. Nursing and Allied Health students must begin the Hepatitis B series at least six months before the start of clinical rotations since these programs are under obligation of a contracted agency to provide proof of the student inoculation. Nursing students are strongly encouraged to confirm immunity via a titer.
  • MMR: 2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and the 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable. Birth in the U.S. before 1957 is acceptable only for non- health science students.
  • Tdap: 1 dose; and history of a DTaP primary series or age appropriate catch-up vaccination. Tdap given at ≥7 years may be counted, but a dose at age 11-12 is recommended if Tdap was given earlier as part of a catch- up schedule. Td should be given if it has been ≥10 years since Tdap.
  • Tuberculosis (TB): A yearly test for all Nursing and Allied Health program students as well as for any incoming international students.
    • TB tests require a reading done 48 to 72 hours after the test has been administered. If the test is not read 72 hours later, the student must redo the test. Please note that if an MMR inoculation has been administered within the last 6 weeks, a student must wait to have TB testing done as the test could result in a false positive. A TB test can be performed first without a waiting period. If a tuberculosis test result is positive, a negative chest x-ray is required. Negative chest x-rays are acceptable within the last 5 year period. If the chest x-ray is positive, a treatment schedule must accompany the result.
  • Varicella (chicken pox): 2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1; a reliable history of chickenpox* or laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable. Birth in the U.S. before 1980 is acceptable only for non- health science students. Nursing students are required to obtain laboratory evidence of immunity to varicella (titer confirming immunity) or medical proof of varicella.
  • Meningococcal: 1 dose; 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Doses received at younger ages do not count towards this requirement. Students may decline MenACWY vaccine after they have read and signed the MDPH Meningococcal Information and Waiver Form provided by their institution. Meningococcal B vaccine is not required and does not meet this requirement.

Note: BCC is required to maintain immunization records for Tdap, MMR , hepatitis B and varicella on all full-time (12 credits or more) students, all Nursing/Allied Health students (regardless of the number of credits,) and all foreign-born students (regardless of number of credits).

These vaccines may only be declined for medical or religious reasons. In the event a student declines due to religious reasons, the student must complete and file the necessary forms, which may be obtained at the Immunization and Medical Records Office. If a student is unable to receive an immunization due to medical reasons, documentation from the student's physician must be filed in the Immunization and Medical Records Office. It is also highly recommended that these students have blood testing done to show possible immunity.

If an outbreak of measles, mumps or rubella occurs, students who are not immunized will be notified by the Immunization and Medical Records Office via telephone and/or certified mail. It is then the responsibility of the student to determine whether or not to attend classes. It is advised that students update telephone numbers and addresses to assure proper notification.

International Students

Berkshire Community College is pleased to welcome international students to our campus and is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. Applications must be received three months prior to the intended semester start date.

International Student Admission Requirements

  1. An official translated high school transcript (or high school equivalency program);
  2. Official transcripts from any other colleges attended (indicating graduation date);
  3. An affidavit of financial support (estimated at $21,000 to reflect tuition, fees, health insurance and all housing and living expenses); and
  4. Completion of the Berkshire Community College International Student Application Form.

Upon arrival, international students are required to take an Accuplacer assessment to determine the appropriate level at which coursework should begin. Based upon these test results, placement in college preparatory English, reading and mathematics courses may be required in preparation for a student's success in college-level courses.

Students from other countries, who hold a student visa (F1) enabling them to attend BCC, should be aware of regulations specific to their situation. An international student must normally maintain full-time status, that is, 12 credits or more, throughout each semester. International students must contact the Admissions Office before withdrawing from full-time enrollment, leaving the country, or transferring to another institution.

Tuition for international students remains at the non-resident rate for the duration of the student's time at BCC.

All International students must provide complete immunization. This includes current tuberculosis testing (TB or chest x- ray), tetanus-diphtheria (Td or Tdap), measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox) and meningococcal: 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Antibody laboratory blood tests (titers) must include laboratory report proof of immunity. Medical forms from doctors’ offices should include vaccinations in English.

Some additional admission requirements may be in effect for the Nursing and Allied Health programs.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students whose official language is not English must provide the scores of their TOEFL test. The scores should be 500 or above if the test was done on paper, 173 on the computerized test, or 61 on the Internet-based test (IBT). To find out about the TOEFL, visit www.ets.org/toefl. TOEFL scores must be sent to the Admissions Office at Berkshire Community College.

Re-Admission to the College

Students who have previously attended BCC and are returning after a lapse of two semesters or more must apply for re-admission to the College. Students who withdraw from the College, graduate from a program, change from degree to non-degree status, or are otherwise not in continual attendance (i.e., miss a spring or fall semester) must apply for re-admission to the College. Such changes may affect program requirements. Most students who miss a single semester will be re-admitted under their prior program requirements. All other students are re-admitted under the requirements currently in effect. Students must consult the Admissions Office about re-admission procedures.

Special Requirements

Students interested in any BCC Nursing, Allied Health, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education or Human Services program of study should be aware of the following:

Health Care Programs and Nursing

Most Nursing and Health Care programs at BCC have specific entrance requirements listed in the Programs of Study section. These programs include the Practical Nurse and Massage Therapy certificate programs; and the associate degree programs in Health Science (except Physical Fitness), Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant and Respiratory Care.

Admission to these programs is restricted to applicants who meet the requirements, and also depends upon available space in the program. Students applying to these programs use the same application form as other students plus a matriculation form specific to each individual program. In addition, the Respiratory Care and Physical Therapist Assistant programs are offered on a cyclical basis.

For the associate degree in nursing program, applications and matriculation forms must be received by the Admissions Office by June 1 to be considered for the fall semester. This program has a selective admissions process. Decisions are mailed to students by mid-June.

All students in Nursing and Health Care programs (except Physical Fitness) must comply with state legislation (Chap. 76, Sec. 15C, General Laws of Massachusetts) and provide proof of inoculation to contracted agencies that serve as clinical sites. Students should refer to the matriculation form for their program, which will outline immunization requirements and deadlines.

Students must provide proof of a physical examination and proof of disease or laboratory testing for immunity by the deadline established by their program.

To allow for clinical experience, proof of immunization will be shared with the Dean of Nursing, Dean of STEM and Allied Health, the Director of Nursing (DON), the department chair and contracted agencies.

BCC will not admit students concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs: Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care, LPN or Nursing.

Criminal and Sex Offender Record Information Checks (CORI/SORI)

Students interested in participating in an academic, community or clinical program that involves working with a vulnerable population (children, the disabled or the elderly) will be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. Students found to have certain criminal convictions or pending criminal actions will be presumed ineligible to participate in such activities unless cleared by BCC’s CORI Review Committee following procedures set forth by the Commonwealth’s Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS). The College is authorized by the DCJIS, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 167A, 172, Chapter 30A, and regulation 803 CMR 2.00 to review and assess criminal history records. Sex Offender checks shall be performed pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, and Section 178J.

For more information regarding the College’s CORI/SORI check process, please contact Julia Curletti, CORI Administrator, at 413-236-2142. If you are enrolled in a program which requires a CORI authorization, paperwork may be completed in the Student Engagement Center.

Students under Age 16

The College reserves the right to limit or deny enrollment of any student under the age of 16 in a course or program based on a case-by-case consideration of a variety of factors, including but not limited to: the student’s maturity, life experience, placement test scores, prior education, course content, instructional methodology and potential risks associated with participation in a particular course or program.

Students with disabilities

Berkshire Community College values inclusion and equal access to its programs and activities and is committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation. Our goal is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. If you are an individual with a disability and require reasonable academic accommodations, you are advised to con- tact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) prior to the start of a course to discuss your accommodation needs and options. The DRC will work collaboratively with students with disabilities to develop effective accommodation plans. The DRC is located in the Student Support Center in the Susan B. Anthony Building (A-118). For an appointment, please call 413-236-1660.

Transfer-in students

BCC welcomes transfer-in students, including veterans with prior military training and/or experience. Applicants requesting transfer of previous college experience to BCC must provide BCC with official transcripts from their previous college(s) and high school. Official transcripts are also needed to meet the admission requirements for Nursing and Allied Health.

BCC may grant credit from regionally accredited institutions where a grade of C (2.000) or better has been earned and where the course content parallels the requirements in a student’s pro- gram at BCC. Students may also request the granting of credit for transfer courses that are not degree requirements if the courses can be applied toward completion of the MassTransfer general education block (Gen Ed Foundation), provided the credits are added to the BCC transcript prior to graduation.

Transfer students planning to graduate from BCC may not account for more than three quarters of a program’s graduation credit requirements by transfer, credit by exam, prior learning experiences or any combination of these.

International transcripts must be reviewed by an external evaluation service. Contact the International Admissions Counselor at 413-236-1636 for more information.

Veterans, National Guard and Reserves

The Registrar’s Office assists veterans, their dependents or spouses, and members of the National Guard/Reserves in determining their eligibility for education benefits. Students who are eligible for benefits through a program administered by the Veterans Administration are provided with assistance in filing for benefits.

PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY THE VA INCLUDE:

  • Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008;
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill® — Active duty (MGIB-AD), Chapter 30;
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill® — Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), Chapter 1606;
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program, Chapter 1607;
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Chapter 35; and
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR&E), Chapter 31.
  • In addition, the Registrar’s Office administers the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tuition waiver programs for eligible veterans with specified wartime service and eligible members of the National Guard. As each program has a different set of eligibility, filing and compliance rules, students are encouraged to contact the Registrar’s Office for an explanation of program benefits and requirements.

See Valor Act Academic Credit Policy.

Delayed VA Payments

Under SS248 PL 115-407 Section 103, BCC will not impose a late fee, denial of access to facilities, or other penalty against a veteran or eligible dependent due to a late payment of tuition and/or fees from the VA up to the certified benefits amount. Any portion of the student bill not covered by VA benefits is still expected to be settled by the due date.