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Profiles
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13
Fresh Start Policy
Embracing Academic Success
and Leaving the Past Behind
Associate Provost Clea Andreadis (right) worked with returning Middlesex
student Evan Marchman (left) to wipe out his old GPA through the Fresh
Start policy.
C
oming back to Middlesex a decade after finishing high school
has presented a few challenges for Evan Marchman, who is
working full time and going to school. Luckily, bringing up a poor
GPA from his first attempt at college as an 18-year-old is not one
of them.
Marchman is able to focus on his future and put his "academic
past" behind him, thanks to MCC's Fresh Start policy.
"Fresh Start is an opportunity for students who had previously
enrolled at the college and not done well, to establish a new
academic record when they come back," explained Clea Andreadis,
Associate Provost of Instruction and Assessment. "It's all about
promoting student success and acknowledging that people can
grow and change."
Fresh Start allows students who return to Middlesex and
successfully complete at least 12 credits with a grade of "C" or
better in each subsequent course, to apply. If qualified, their
previous grades can be removed from their GPA.
"I've had Fresh Start students with 3.8 GPAs, who totally bombed
out when they enrolled the first time," said Andreadis. "Most of
them are older students and they tell me the same things: `I was
young and immature. I didn't take college seriously.' "
While Fresh Start has always been an option at Middlesex,
explained Andreadis, in 2011 the Provost's Office revamped and
formalized the policy and began to promote it more.
"Based on national research, we know these (Fresh Start)
policies really work," said Andreadis. "If we can give our returning
students this goal if you come back and do well, we'll wipe out
all those past grades it's a big motivator."
Marchman has a fairly typical Fresh Start story. After graduating
from Dracut High School in 2003, he enrolled at Middlesex, but
didn't apply himself. "I was young and didn't really know what I
wanted to do," he said. "So, I lost interest and failed all my classes."
After working a variety of part-time and full-time jobs, Marchman
was hired as a pharmacy technician for the Department of Veterans
Affairs, which has helped him zero in on a career in science.
"I really enjoy this field and working with veterans. I've moved
up at the VA, but have gone about as far as I can go without a de-
gree," he said. "I've always liked chemistry, so it was just a matter
of finding the right niche." The Dracut resident is now enrolled in
MCC's Life Sciences Program.
Marchman is earning a 2.98 GPA, and expects his grades to go
even higher, now that he has reduced his course load to three
courses per semester. He hopes to graduate in 2015.
"Our culture pushes you to know what you want to do at age 18.
That's not something everybody knows," he said.
Kathy Register
"Based on national research, we know
these (Fresh Start) policies really work.
If we can give our returning students
this goal if you come back and do well,
we'll wipe out all those past grades
it's a big motivator."
Clea Andreadis
Associate Provost, Instruction & Assessment
Student Success