Brighton, N.Y. – A group of University of Rochester employees is on the path to earning their degrees from Monroe Community College thanks to a new program designed to fit the needs of working students.
“I like that there is a facility that can meet my needs and works with my schedule and I can balance both of them,” said Angella Dixon, a secretary at U of R who is working towards her nursing degree.
The program took shape through an agreement between 1199 SEIU and the University of Rochester.
The university set aside money to retrain its union employees and, in turn, prevent job losses.
“Some things I used to do as a secretary, I no longer do it, so you have to change with the times,” Dixon said.
The workers and the university turned to MCC, which quickly crafted a unique program.
“We have dedicated advisor to help with everything from testing to registration, how do you navigate a large community college, how do you take advantage of the resources here,” said Clayton Jones, assistant to the Vice President of Academic Services.
The group was also aided by numerous night classes and professors who recognized the special needs of working adults.
“It’s a perfect marriage of collaboration so everyone can benefit,” said Siobhain Kemblowski, program director at 1199 SEIU. “MCC will provide training that the University of Rochester will then provide jobs for and our members go on paid time, if they work at the University of Rochester, so everyone wins.”
The program was so successful, Clayton Jones says MCC is ready to expand upon the model.