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Nichols College

Learn. Lead. Succeed

Nichols, Community Colleges Partner to Create Affordable Pathway to Higher Ed for Transfer Students

DUDLEY, Mass.—Nichols College—a four-year, private, business-focused school—has formed partnerships with four public community colleges in three different states—Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) in Warwick, R.I.; Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Mass.; Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) in Danielson, Conn.; and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) in Worcester, Mass.—to create an affordable and smoother pathway for community college students seeking to further their education.

These four articulation agreements are part of a Nichols-launched initiative called Affordable Business and Leadership Education (ABLE). They streamline and maximize the transfer credit process; transfer students will have the benefit of knowing that their credits at the community college level will be accepted by Nichols and that they will be guaranteed admission if they meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.0.

“Nichols College strives to become the most community college-friendly private college in New England, and it can provide the bridge between an associate’s degree and the career that community college students want to pursue,” said Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D. “Transfer students will find at Nichols that they receive high-level instruction and experiential learning opportunities in many business tracks.

“In addition, students transferring from community colleges to Nichols will gain leadership and professional development skills—all from a warm, welcoming campus community,” added President Engelkemeyer. “Nichols has always been about fostering economic mobility, turning students from varied backgrounds into prosperous professionals. The Nichols ABLE initiative is consistent with the College’s mission and gives us strength in an important segment of the changing higher education landscape.”

William Boffi, vice president for enrollment at Nichols College, said: “Community college students contribute to the learning environment in different ways than students entering straight from high school. Many choose community college because it is a financially prudent pathway. We want to help those students get the skills to succeed as a professional and multiply their earning potential. A Nichols College degree can do that.”

Most pathway partnerships from community college to a four-year college or university are between institutions in the same state and are also between two public schools or two private schools. In the case of the Nichols agreements, the public-to-private pathway from schools in three different states is unique. And while other four-year colleges also guarantee admission, it is to their continuing education divisions, not as a fully matriculated student. At Nichols, students have the option to be a day student or enter the Undergraduate Adult Education Program. Special pricing means that Nichols offers students who earn associate’s degrees from its partner institutions a rate that is lower than other private, four-year colleges.

“Nichols provides a clear, articulated pathway that is easy for all students and advisors to see course equivalencies,” said Boffi. “It is also a very individual approach.”

The presidents of the four community colleges said that their partnering with Nichols will help their students obtain a bachelor’s degree at a more affordable cost.

“Mount Wachusett Community College students have benefited tremendously from our partnership with Nichols,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “Students have expressed that they have received outstanding support from faculty at both institutions. It is critical for both our students and our regional economy that this unique pathway in higher education remains robust.”

Noted QCC President Gail E. Carberry, Ed.D.: “Great careers start at Quinsigamond Community College. We are proud of our partnership with Nichols College that allows students to earn their associate’s degree at QCC and transfer seamlessly to Nichols to earn their bachelor's degree and beyond. Programs like these offer affordable pathways for students to begin their careers with less debt and enter the next phase of their lives as business leaders and cornerstones of our community.”

Said QVCC President Carlee Drummer, Ph.D.: “Quinebaug Valley Community College is delighted to be part of the ABLE initiative with Nichols College. The partnership will enable QVCC students to complete the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at a nationally ranked business college for a fraction of the cost.”

Added QVCC Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services Alfred Williams: “Quinebaug Valley Community College is thrilled about this partnership with Nichols College. It is a significant opportunity for our students to receive affordable bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in business from two high-quality institutions. In a time of increasing college costs, it is vital that QVCC find innovative ways to help its students achieve success with a significant cost savings. We are grateful that Nichols College is contributing to this effort.”

“CCRI is proud to partner with Nichols College to offer our students a new transfer pathway to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an institution well-known for its business and leadership educational programs,” said CCRI President Meghan Hughes, Ph.D. “It is clear that the Nichols faculty and staff understand the value that community college students like ours bring to the classroom, and this partnership presents an opportunity for our students to further their education in high-growth business fields.”


Nichols College is a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-focused and leadership-based approaches to learning, both in and out of the classroom. Founded in 1815, Nichols transforms today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders through a dynamic, career-focused business and professional education. Nichols serves students interested primarily in a comprehensive business education that is supported by a strong liberal arts curriculum.


Lorraine U. Martinelle
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Nichols College
123 Center Road
Dudley, MA 01571
Twitter: @NicholsNewsroom