very student-centered, according to
Sciences, and that is especially true in the arts
and humanities. "We want education to be
more relevant and meaningful to our students.
And we want them to be more active learners,
by tying their own situations to the learning,"
Assistant Dean of Humanities
extensive, and offer rigorous mental discipline,
and opportunities for students to develop broad
perspectives -- and learn skills that are
valuable in any setting."
particular, have slightly different needs,
according to Olson. Being focused on
developing portfolios and preparing for
auditions, those students "need enough
acquire those skills," he said, "as well as the
general-education courses that provide context
for those skills."
courses, Olson explained, students take
classes that promote critical-thinking and
problem-solving skills, and improve their
ability to handle complex communication
between diverse groups -- all hallmarks of
a liberal arts education.
Ellen Nichols, Assistant Dean of Humanities,
can help students begin successful careers in
traditional arts fields, as well as in other areas,
such as media, economics, law, teaching,
business even science.
gets nurtured, and their critical-thinking side is
developed at the same time. Those two things
complement each other. Sometimes you have
to be creative to look for new approaches to
science or business," she added.
has seen an increase in enrollment, and an
increase in course offerings both on campus
and online, said Nichols.
concentrations: Literature and Creative Writing.
"Those are growing fields at MCC, as well as
other institutions, like UMass Lowell," said
and Literature offerings, and we did it in such
a way that the credits transfer well. These
programs are very popular."
two faculty members to 12, and has increased
online and on-campus course offerings. The
Studio Art and Graphic Design programs have
expanded to about 200 students annually and
more than 20 faculty. And, MCC's Theater
Program, though small, is steadily growing.
said Nichols. "Students come here and are
introduced to, and get involved in, the arts on
campus but also in the community. Seeing
the community respond to the high-quality
work from our students is exciting."
is also growing. Middlesex recently received
$11 million in capital funds from the state to
complete the transformation of the historic
Boston & Maine Railroad Depot Building into
an academic arts center on the Lowell campus.
performance-level work and they need a space
to do that," said Nichols. "We are so excited.
This new building will help keep the college
connected to the community, and will attract
students and give them a space to connect
with each other."