Photo: Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy and Elms College President Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA.

To expand degree-completion options for working people in the Berkshires, College of Our Lady of the Elms and Berkshire Community College have added a new early care and education bachelor’s degree-completion program.

The agreement allows BCC graduates from the associate of science (A.S.) early childhood education degree programs, both the cohort and career tracks, and the traditional associate of arts (A.A.) early childhood education degree program into the Elms College B.A. program in early care and education program.

The program is designed for people who are interested in working with children from birth to age 8 in education and child care at employers such as Head Start, National Association for the Education of Young Children-accredited centers.

“Education is the most versatile and most important tool to change lives, and students who take advantage of this new agreement will find endless opportunities to teach and inspire at the earliest possible time in a child’s life,” said Elms College President Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA. “We are proud to partner with Berkshire Community College to expand degree-completion options for working people in the Berkshires, empowering them to change lives for the better in Western Massachusetts and beyond. And we are particularly pleased to partner on education, one of the traditional strengths of Elms College.”

Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy agrees: “BCC has a close relationship with Elms College already, and they offer a lot of classes here at the campus – especially for students in our nursing programs – so it’s an easy fit to continue that meaningful relationship with our new Education Department.”

“We are excited,” Kennedy continued, “to continue the long tradition of working with Elms College to ensure our students are able to smoothly transition from one institution to another to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams.”

This new bachelor’s degree completion program can be completed in 20 months. Classes are held on Saturdays in 10 eight-week sessions at Berkshire Community College, with some of the classes offered online.

To qualify for transfer to Elms or enrollment into the off-campus program, BCC students must transfer at least 60 and no more than 78 credits, with a minimum grade-point average of 2.5.

Elms College and BCC partnership also offers a bachelor’s degree completion program in social work for candidates who already have an associate’s degree; that program prepares students to take the state social work licensing exam in MA at the L.S.W. level.

Applications for the 2018 session are now being accepted. For more information, visit www.elms.edu/bcc, or contact Wanda Banks at 413-265-2336 or banksw@elms.edu.