American International College Announces Three New Programs
SPRINGFIELD — The School of Business, Arts, and Sciences at American International College (AIC) has begun recruiting students for three new academic degree programs designed to prepare students for fields in high demand. Launching in the fall of 2023, these new offerings expand AIC’s academic portfolio of more than 40 interdisciplinary programs grounded in the liberal arts. AIC’s new cybersecurity program will equip students with the technical and business knowledge needed to secure high-paying and growing jobs in this field. Students will assess modern cybersecurity challenges threatening privacy, security, and safety and gain the knowledge and hands-on technical skills to protect digital assets from cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is an ideal degree for people who want to work in a future-focused field with a high earning potential. And with 33% job growth by 2030, opportunities continue to grow. The new bachelor’s degree in public administration program at AIC was developed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in public-sector roles. This program emphasizes experiential learning, with projects in government administration, public health, social science, history, and more. Public administration is a field for those who want to enact change in their communities and beyond. With more than half of all federal workers nearing retirement age, demand for fresh talent is set to skyrocket in the coming years. The esports and gaming administration program at AIC offers a business degree with a gaming-industry specialization, providing business fundamentals that will last a lifetime. This program addresses the greatest needs in the esports and gaming industry, identified through interviews with major companies, including Capcom and Riot. AIC’s coursework will provide students with the necessary context for understanding the games industry and a basic understanding of how technology-based companies get things done. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of jobs in esports nearly doubled, growing a staggering 85%.
Cooley Dickinson Receives $250,000 Gift from Smith College
NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital announced it has received a $250,000 gift from Smith College to support the expansion and renovation of Cooley Dickinson’s Emergency Department. The gift will support the $19.76 million expansion, reconfiguration, and renovation effort to allow Cooley Dickinson to meet the evolving emergency-medicine needs of the community it serves. To accomplish this goal, the hospital has embarked on an ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign. Approximately $6.4 million has been raised to date. The project is expected to break ground this spring. Smith College has been a long-time supporter of Cooley Dickinson. Significant donations to the hospital have included helping to fund the hospital’s North Building and Kittredge Surgery Center, as well as its Nurse Development program and comprehensive Breast Center. Cooley Dickinson is expected to serve approximately 40,000 Emergency Department patients this year. That care will be provided in a 1970s-era building that was designed for 17,000 patients annually and is currently 40% undersized. A shortage of space means some patients are treated in hallways. The Emergency Department also needs to expand its services to care for an aging population (three times the population from 10 years ago). In addition, the expansion will provide additional beds for people experiencing mental-health emergencies. The two-year project calls for adding 7,500 square feet of space, including nine new patient rooms; two behavioral-health beds and two ‘flex’ beds to use as patient needs arise; and a family waiting area. When the project is completed, the Emergency Department will occupy more than 23,000 square feet. In addition, a computerized tomography (CT scan) machine, which provides timely access to diagnostic imaging, will be added to the Emergency Department.
MCLA Launches BSN Program
NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will launch a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program for the fall 2023 semester. This will be the first BSN program in Berkshire County and the only BSN program within an hour’s drive of the rural tri-state corner of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. This nursing-education initiative will help address the current and future rural nursing workforce shortages. MCLA received final approval from the Board of Higher Education this month and received initial approval to launch a BSN in January from the Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN). The next phase of BORN approval is anticipated after MCLA graduates the first nursing cohort in 2027. MCLA’s BSN degree can be completed over a four-year period. After accepting pre-nursing students this fall, the college will formally accept up to 25 students into the nursing major at the conclusion of their first year of study. Students must complete required pre-nursing courses in math and sciences during that first year for admission into the program. Transfer students may also apply to the nursing program during their first year of study at MCLA and transfer in non-nursing courses for consideration toward graduation. MCLA expects that the first BSN class will graduate in May 2027. At the conclusion of the program, students will be awarded a bachelor of science in nursing degree and be prepared and eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
The MH Group Marks 10 Years, Launches Nonprofit Foundation
SPRINGFIELD — The MH Group (formerly ManeHire Talent Solutions), a Springfield-based staffing and recruiting agency, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Founder and CEO Nicole Polite’s roots run deep in Springfield, as her great-great-granduncle was Primus Parsons Mason, a Black entrepreneur and real-estate investor who is most well-known as the namesake of the city’s Mason Square neighborhood. To continue his legacy, Polite is launching the nonprofit Polite Foundation, focusing on providing career resources to underserved populations. In addition, she has served on multiple nonprofit boards, such as the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (now operating as MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, the United Way of Pioneer Valley’s Dora D. Robinson Women’s Leadership Council, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission council. She also served as a business advisor at the Entrepreneurial & Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford.
HCC, Arizona State University Announce Transfer Pact
HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) announced a new alliance with Arizona State University (ASU) to provide students a seamless transfer experience through the MyPath2ASU program, which allows students to take the steps needed at the start of their college experience to successfully plan their transfer from HCC to ASU, where they can complete their bachelor’s degree online. MyPath2ASU provides a set of customized transfer tools for students from accredited institutions, end-to-end learner navigation through course-by-course guided pathways; advising to assist students in course selection to ensure their credits fulfill requirements at both HCC and ASU; guaranteed general admission to ASU and admission into their choice of MyPath2ASU major, if all requirements are satisfied (some majors have additional or higher admission requirements); more than 400 course-by-course guided pathways into immersion and online ASU degree programs; self-service degree-progress tracking through the ASU My Transfer Guide to minimize loss of credits; and connected experience through personalized ASU communications to prepare students academically and build an early connection to ASU.
Monson Savings Bank Receives 5-Star Rating from BauerFinancial
MONSON — BauerFinancial Inc., a leading, national bank-rating firm, announced that Monson Savings Bank has once again earned its top (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability. Having earned Bauer’s 5-Star rating for 40 or more consecutive quarters, Monson Savings Bank has earned an even higher designation as an Exceptional Performance Bank. This marks the bank’s 53rd consecutive 5-Star rating. Bauer rates every federally insured U.S. chartered bank with the same strict standards, and reported that Monson Savings Bank continues to outperform its peers.
White Lion Brewing Co. Recognizes Holyoke’s 150th with Special Release
SPRINGFIELD — The city of Holyoke, known as Paper City, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. White Lion Brewing Co. collaborated with the city of Holyoke, Explore Holyoke, regional design firm TSM, and Holyoke Craft Beer to create a commemorative label and beer release to celebrate the rich history of the city during its sesquicentennial. Holyoke 150, an American lager, was released during the annual Holyoke Road Race on March 18. Holyoke 150 will be also available at special events and local accounts throughout 2023.
BetMGM Launches Mobile Sports Betting in Massachusetts
SPRINGFIELD — BetMGM, a leading sports-betting and iGaming operator, launched its mobile app in Massachusetts, giving customers access to a variety of online betting options and benefits tied to MGM Resorts’ ddestinations nationwide, including MGM Springfield. The BetMGM app gives Massachusetts sports fans the ability to customize pre-game, live in-play, futures, and parlay wagers. Integration with MGM Rewards allows Massachusetts’s BetMGM users to redeem their gameplay for experiences at MGM Resorts properties nationwide. The mobile app complements MGM Springfield’s BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge that opened in January. The space features a 45-foot LED viewing wall and four betting windows, making it easy for guests to access a variety of sports-wagering options. The resort is home to 18 sports-betting kiosks located throughout the gaming area.
Square One Creates Alumni Association
SPRINGFIELD — It’s time to go back to Square One, where thousands of young children had their first early-learning experience. Formerly Springfield Day Nursery, Square One has been nurturing and educating infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children since 1883. The agency, now in its 140th year, is looking to gather its program graduates to formalize an alumni group. Alumni are asked to contact to complete a brief questionnaire, which can be found at startatsquareone.org, or email Matt deloria at [email protected] to learn more.