Academic Career & Transfer Center
Capitalize the name of this center and use an ampersand (&). ACT Center is OK on second reference.
Capitalize the name of this college publication
associate degree (singular) or associate degrees (plural). No apostrophes.
- Associate in Arts, AA
- Associate in Science, AS
bachelor's degree or bachelor's (singular), bachelor's degrees (plural)
- Bachelor of Arts, BA
- Bachelor of Business Administration, BBA
- Bachelor of Education, BEd
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, BFA
- Bachelor of Science, BS
master's degree or master's (singular), master's degrees (plural)
- Master of Accounting, MAcc
- Master of Architecture, MArch
- Master of Arts, MA
- Master of Business Administration, MBA
- Master of Education, MEd
- Master of Fine Arts, MFA
- Master of Public Administration, MPA
- Master of Public Health, MPH
- Master of Science, MS
- Master of Social Work, MSW
Ph.D. and Ed.D.
When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas. John Jones, Ph.D., spoke.
Capitalize the formal names of academic departments: Department of Chemistry, Department of English.
Do not capitalize names of academic departments that begin with the subject (except language departments): chemistry department, English department.
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chairman, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere.
Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chairwoman Jane Wiesner.
Note: MCC uses Dr. as a courtesy title for a person holding a doctorate degree.
Acronyms are acceptable on first reference only when they are easily recognizable, such as FBI.
Spell out names on first reference (with acronym in parentheses); use acronym on second reference:
He received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is one of the worlds foremost research centers.
Don't capitalize in a formal name.
She said acting Dean John Doe would be there. He introduced former MCC President Jane Doe.
Capitalize the name of this college publication (formerly known as the Semester Schedule)
lowercase; capitalize proper name of college advisory body:
Graphic Design Advisory Board; Dental Programs Advisory Board; but: Mary Smith serves on several advisory boards.
Always use numerals. Hyphenate only when the age is used as an adjective before a noun or as a replacement for a noun:
The 3-year-old girl. The competition is for 10-year-olds.
Sally Smith, 41, lives in Bedford. That book is 4 years old.
Use lowercase when describing the college one attended.
Alternative Spring Break
Capitalize this formal service program
alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus
alumna - singular, female
alumnae - plural, women only
alumni - plural, men only or men and women
alumnus - singular, male
alum - singular, male or female; appropriate only in informal contexts
Lowercase with periods. Try to avoid being redundant:
3 p.m. in the afternoon.
Use "among" when referring to more than two people or things. Use "between" to refer to only two people or things.
Avoid unless part of an official name.
Do not use unless it refers to an event that has happened at least two years in a row. Never use the term "first annual."
The community meeting room in MCC's Federal Building. In a sentence:
The event will be held in MCC's Federal Building Assembly Room.
award, fellowship, scholarship
Capitalize when used with a formal name. Lowercase when referring to more than one formally named award, scholarship or fellowship.
bachelor's degree, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
See academic degrees for guidelines.
Do not capitalize "campus"
Address: 591 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730
Bedford Campus Café East
Use caps, it's the name of a room.
Bedford Campus Cafeteria
Bedford Campus Center
Use caps, it's a building on the Bedford campus.
Bedford Campus Library
Located in Academic Resources (Building 1)
Bedford Campus Student Lounge
Located in Campus Center, first floor
Bedford Campus Quad
See among, between.
Refers to twice each year; "semiannual" may also be used.
Refers to once every two years.
Board of Trustees
Capitalize, use "board" after first reference.
hyphenate: A book-signing will follow the presentation.
building names and building codes
- Cowan Center (LC)
- Derby Building (LD)
- Federal Building (LF)
- Howe Building (LH)
- Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS)
- Merrimack Building (LM)
- Pollard Building (LP)
- Talbot Building (LT)
- Academic Resources (AR) (Building 1)
- Bedford House (BH) (Building 5)
- Campus Center (CC) (Building 8)
- Cataldo Administration Building (CA) (Building 10)
- Enrollment Center (EC) (Building 9)
- Facilities Management (FM) (Building 11)
- Farm House (FH) (Building 2)
- Henderson Hall (HH) (Building 3)
- North Academic (NA) (Building 6)
- South Academic (SA) (Building 7)
- Trustees' House (TH) (Building 4)
OK for Computer Aided Design on second reference
MCC has a Bedford campus and a Lowell campus.
(Note: Do NOT use "Cowan Center Campus" for the Lowell campus.)
Names of programs of study - capitalize name of program of study when referring to specific MCC programs:
Computer Science certificate program, Criminal Justice degree program, Nursing degree program; Nursing classes; Dental Hygiene coursework; but: She is providing nursing care to clients.
Campus buildings, rooms -- capitalize proper names
North Academic Hall, Federal Building, Henderson Hall Gallery, Lowell Campus Library; Bedford Campus Center Café East; Cowan Center Fifth Floor, etc.
In Bedford: Use name of building and follow with number in parenthesis:
Academic Resources (Building 1); Bedford House (Building 5); North Academic Hall (Building 6)
An abbreviation for "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory"
Do NOT use these as a leadership title. Use instead, "chairman" or "chairwoman"
Cowan Center Building
Don't capitalize "the" before it, unless at start of a sentence:
Classes will be held in the Cowan Center on the Lowell campus. The Cowan Center is located on Kearney Square.
Address: 33 Kearney Square, Lowell, MA 01852
class identification of graduates
Follow the examples:
John Doe AA-'71, BS-'73
Jane Doe AS-'94
commas (use in a series)
Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series:
The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.
However, do use a comma at the end if an integral element of the series that requires a conjunction:
I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs, for breakfast.
college placement test
Lowercase; commonwealth of Massachusetts (see state)
MCC Federal Building (Room 310)
(See "Assembly Room" entry)
Use commas to set off the year when using full dates:
She was born on September 15, 1985, in Los Angeles.
Do not use commas when using only month and year constructions:
Planning began in September 1985.
Use the year only if not the current calendar year:
If publishing in May 1998:
John and Joan Jones had a baby in December 1997; or The Smiths had a baby in January.
(See also months)
Capital "D" designates this is a special program offered during the day.
Uppercase when used as part of MCC's Dean's List; Lowercase in all general uses:
He made MCC's Dean's List.
She is on the dean's list.
Use Arabic figures to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out; show plural by adding the letter s
See academic degrees
See academic departments.
Address: 88 Middle St., Lowell, MA 01852
Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference. Example: Pam Jones, Ed.D.
drop out (v.)
Dual Enrollment Academy
Abbreviated term for electronic book.
(no hyphen) Abbreviated term for electronic mail.
Capitalize the name of this campus building/department
Capitalize MCC events: Celebrity Forum, One World Series, Civility Day, etc.
Capital "E" designates this is a special program offered during the evening
Takes singular verbs and pronouns:
The faculty has approved the measure.
Faculty members have been invited.
Faculty Staff Association (FSA)
Lowercase. Used for facsimile.
Don't capitalize "the" before it, unless at the start of a sentence:
Classes will be held in the Federal Building on the Lowell campus. The Federal Building is located on Merrimack Street.
Address: 50 Kearney Square, Lowell, MA 01852
See award, fellowship, scholarship
Two words; hyphenate when used as a modifier
The program is designed for first responders. The first-responder community was devastated.
First-Year Experience Program
Preferred for handbills
Formerly "Self-Paced Studies"
Please use full name on first reference: MCC Bedford Campus Food Pantry; MCC Lowell Campus Food Pantry. On second reference, "Bedford Campus Food Pantry" or "Lowell Campus Food Pantry" is OK. (Always include the word "campus" in the title to avoid confusion with town food pantries.)
See acting, former
full time, full-time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier:
She is a full-time student.
Otherwise no hyphen:
She attends school full time.
One word in all cases.
GEAR UP: Massachusetts Program
Precollegiate TRIO student-support program; "GEAR UP" OK on second reference
Acceptable in all references for "grade point average"
Acceptable in all references for "Global Positioning System"
Use a letter grade with quotation marks; no apostrophes when referring to more than one letter grade:
He received a "B" in history.
She received two "As" and three "Bs" on her report card.
Hyphenate in combining forms: a fourth-grade pupil, a 12th-grade student, first-grader, 10th-grader
Takes singular verbs and pronouns:
The group is reviewing its position.
Health Careers Division
Health Careers Programs
Health, Science & Technology Center
Located in the Talbot and Derby buildings on the Lowell campus.
Address: 88 Middle St.
high school diploma
high school teacher
Hyphenate only when used as a modifier:
I am home schooling my children. She is a home-schooled student. The college has a special home-school program.
Honors Program, Commonwealth Honors Program
Lowercase, unless used in a title.
All students enrolled in the humanities are eligible. Professor John Doe, Humanities Division; Humanities Professor Jane Doe.
Informal for identification (see user ID).
Use periods after each initial, but no space: A.E. Burdick
Lowercase in all cases. An interim job title in academia is a position to which a person is appointed between the times an incumbent of a position steps down until a new person is hired to fill that position permanently.
internet -- lowercase as of 4/16 (as per AP)
"It's" is only a contraction for "it is" or "it has."
"Its" is a possessive form of the pronoun it:
The university raised its enrollment requirements.
One word, no hyphen
Liberal Arts and Sciences
login, logon, logoff (n.)
But use as two words in verb form: I log in to my computer.
Lowercase "C" (Note: Please do NOT use "Cowan Center Campus" for the Lowell campus.) Address: 33 Kearney Square, Lowell, MA 01852
Lowell Campus Cafeteria
Use caps, it's the name of a place on campus.
Lowell Campus, Lower Cafeteria
Do not use "Lower Cafe"
Lowell Campus Library
Located in the Federal Building
Lowell Campus Student Lounge
Located at 45 Middle St.
Lowell National Historical Park
LNHP is OK on second reference
MCC students do NOT major in an academic subject; they enroll in a "major program of study" or simply a "program of study"
See academic degrees for guidelines.
Spell out on first reference; abbreviate on second reference, and Middlesex also can be used:
Students who begin their Middlesex experience
Middlesex staff and faculty have one aim.
MCC Concert Hall
Located in North Academic Hall (Building 6) on the Bedford campus.
Two words; OK on second reference for Middlesex Community College Foundation
One word, two caps
Middlesex Community College Foundation
See MCC Foundation
Two words, with caps
Supported by the MCC Foundation
Address: 294 Concord Road, Billerica, MA 01821 - (near MCC's Bedford campus)
Do not put a 12 in front of it (and do not use "12 a.m."). It is part of the day that is ending, not the one that is beginning.
MILES (Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education for Seniors)
No periods, but please include definition of acronym (as above) on first reference
Minute Man National Historical Park
MMNHP is OK on second reference -- situated within the towns of Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, MA
Names of months are spelled out in text when they are not accompanied by a specific date. They are spelled out when accompanied only by a year.
The fall semester begins in August.
In December 2000 Arkansas had a terrible ice storm.
The following months are abbreviated in text when preceded by a day of the week in
the date: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.
The next club meeting is Monday, Nov. 12, 2001. Graduation will be held on May 18, 2012.
more than, over
Use "more than" to discuss numbers: The United Way raised more than $50,000.
Use "over" to discuss spatial relationships: A plane flew over the building.
An exception to the general rule of using a hyphen in "multi-" constructions.
Cowan Center Building, Ground Floor
Address: 33 Kearney Square, Lowell MA 01852
Lowercase, two words, referring to the Middlesex web portal.
The John Nesmith House; owned by the MCC Foundation and gift-leased to the college. Address: 229 Andover St., Lowell, MA 01852 - (near MCC's Lowell campus).
In general, no hyphen when forming a compound that does not have special meaning and can be understood if "not" is used before the base word: noncredit
However, use a hyphen before proper nouns and in awkward combinations: non-nuclear
No hyphen needed
May also use "not-for-profit"
Do not put a 12 in front of it (and do not use "12 p.m.")
Spell out zero through nine.
Use numerals for 10 and greater.
Use a comma with numerals of 1,000 and above (except dates): 5,000, 42,000.
Exceptions to the rules:
• Use numerals when referring to academic credit:
The student earned 3 hours of credit.
• Use numerals when referring to a page number:
The quotation begins on page 5.
off-campus (adj.), off campus (adv.)
Hyphenate when used as an adjective:
The university is looking at off-campus housing as an option.
Write two words, without hyphenation when used as an adverb:
The student moved off campus.
Guidelines are the same for "on-campus" and "on campus"
Capitalize when part of an official name:
She submitted her story to the Office of Marketing Communications.
Use lowercase in all other uses:
He visited the dean's office.
One word when discussing computer connections.
on-campus (adj.), on campus (adv.)
Same as "off-campus"
One word when referring to computer communications.
No hyphen needed
over, more than
See "more than, over"
part time, part-time
Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier: She works part time.
He has a part-time job.
One word, always spelled out. Do not use symbol (%) in written copy.
Always use numerals, but spell out the word percent.
The university saw a 4 percent increase in enrollment.
She received a 90 percent on her test.
Performing Arts Concentration
See telephone numbers.
See a.m., p.m.
One word, no hyphen
Capitalize president only as a formal title before a name:
President Carole A. Cowan
Use lowercase in all other cases:
There will be a reception in the president's office.
Lower case, unless referring to MCC's Office of Professional Development, which is a proper name.
Capitalize these titles as a formal title before a name:
Assistant Professor Joe Smith is teaching that class.
Lowercase in all other cases:
Jane Doe is a professor of art.
Capital "P" if it's a formal name:
Nursing Program, Computer Forensics Certificate Program, Service-Learning Program, Summer Sprint Program, Links Program; but: program of study.
Bedford Campus Quad; "quad" OK on second reference
The period and the comma always go inside quotation marks.
The dash, the semicolon, the question mark and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only.
They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
rooms and room numbers
Use the room number, after the building name:
Cowan Center Building, Room G1
For named rooms, use:
Federal Building Assembly Room
Lowercase, unless part of a formal name:
summer, spring, Winter Olympics, UCA Fall Festival
Lowercase: spring semester, fall semester
Program begins fall semester 2006.
Hyphenate, with caps, when referring to MCC's Service-Learning Program
Hyphenate this compound modifier
Capitalize this formal break period (also "Alternative Spring Break")
Takes singular verbs and pronouns:
The staff has reviewed the document.Staff members are encouraged to arrive early.
Lowercase; the state of New York; (see commonwealth)
State names that are fewer than five letters long and states that are not a part of the contiguous United States (Alaska and Hawaii) are not abbreviated. ZIP code abbreviations in parentheses.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
Use full entry on first reference; "STEM" alone is OK on second reference
student ID card
No caps when referring to a generic ID card.
Student Information Center
One on each campus
Bedford Campus Student Lounge: Bedford Campus Center, first floor
Lowell Campus Student Lounge: 45 Middle St.
Student Union Government Association
Always capitalized. May use abbreviation, SUGA, after first reference.
Summer Sprint Program
Address: 44 Middle St., Lowell, MA 01852
Include the "1" when writing a "1-800" number.
When including an area code, separate the area code with a hyphen (no space) between the area code and the phone number:
Bedford campus numbers begin 781-280-(ext.)
Lowell campus numbers begin 978-565-(ext.)
Use "er" spelling unless "re" form is part of a proper name:
Students will learn about the history of the theater.
But: MCC Theatre; American Ballet Theatre.
Theater Concentration/Theater classes
Upper case references to MCC's degree program of study:
Students my take elective Theater classes.
three-D and two-D
3-D is preferred. 2-D is preferred.
Use figures except for noon and midnight. Never write 12 noon or 12 midnight -- this is redundant.
Only use a colon when separating hours from minutes: 3 p.m., 7:30 a.m. Never write 3:00 p.m.
Always include a.m. or p.m. with the time.
Avoid using o'clock when referring to time.
Capitalize all college titles. For all other titles, follow AP style.
titles of events
Put quotation marks around the names of all full, formal titles of workshops, conferences, seminars, speeches, art exhibitions, and similar events:
A workshop, titled "Technology in the Classroom," will be held on Wednesday.
Do not capitalize articles "a, an, the" or words fewer than four letters unless it is the first or last word in the title.
As in "transferable credits"
Location: Building 4 on the Bedford campus
UML Inn and Conference Center
Address: 50 Warren St., Lowell, MA - "adjacent to MCC's Lowell campus"
University of Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Lowell. No comma, no "at"
UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell
Two words, no hyphen
web -- lowercase as of 4/16 (as per AP)
An abbreviated name for the world wide web, which is a global system of linking documents, images, sounds and other files across the internet.
deviates from AP
One word, no capital.
For the wireless networking standards
Capitalize MCC's formal break between semesters
Work Study Program
Capitalize when referring to the federal financial aid program.
world wide web -- lowercase as of 4/16 (as per AP)