Chelsea Times

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Spring 2014

Dear BHCC Chelsea Campus Community,

The Chelsea campus community is comprised of people from an extraordinary range of backgrounds. I believe we should all be aware and proud of the added value that diversity brings to our campus. Our teachers, staff, administrators, and programs are focused on preparing Chelsea students to grow and thrive at all levels. Together all of us can the make the learning experience at Chelsea both challenging and rewarding.

Throughout the school year, we have focused on “student engagement.” Since research has shown that students who connect with a person or organization are more likely to persist, we have worked to strengthen the bonds between students and the college. To keep students better informed and connected, we have initiated Chelsea Times. We are proud of the exciting initiatives and events that enlivened the Chelsea Campus this past year.

In closing, I would like to offer one bit of advice. Many people say these will be the best years of your life. Guess what?—they are right! So, do not stress out too much. Just relax and keep your goals in mind at all times. I look forward to seeing you on campus, and invite you to stop by my office to say, “hello.”

Best wishes,

Dr. Vanessa Shannon
Interim Dean, Chelsea Campus


TRIO students make their summer countTrio Talent Search logo, 190 px

‌BHCC provides college access services to students at Chelsea High School and the Wright Science and Technology Academy. The goal of Trio Talent Search, which started in the 2012-2013 academic year, is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling and encourages participants to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education.

Kudos to the TRIO Program. They have three Posse Scholars who will receive full tuition scholarships, support from the Posse Foundation, and access to the Posse network throughout their college experience and after graduation.

For more information: call 617-466-5075 or visit Trio Talent Search Program.

CONNECTing with the Community

The Chelsea/CONNECT program, which provides basic education for adults, is a partnership between Bunker Hill Community College and CONNECT. Chelsea-based CONNECT brings together in one central and supportive location resources that address the community’s housing, financial, educational, and employment needs and nurtures social networks that help individuals and families in their journey toward economic security. Bunker Hill’s role is to provide educational resources for residents of Chelsea and surrounding communities.

These resources include programs that:

  • Provide or enhance skills for new employment or for bettering current employment
  • Enhance skills for post-secondary education
  • Improve English language skills
  • Boost self-esteem and confidence toward achieving academic and career goals

Two programs are offered: ACHIEVE, which offers an English pre-GED class, and Career Readiness, which serves adult learners interested in entering higher education in allied health majors. This fall the program is offering two six-week sessions.

For more information: CONNECT can be reached at 617-889-1375

In With the New GED Exam

There is now a new version of the GED exam effective January 2, 2014. Recognizing that the current GED credential does not prepare adults for skills they need for college and careers for the 21st century, a new test, called Hi Set, has been developed. This new test is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education. The new test, which can be taken online, is academically rigorous and radically different.

The Adult Education and Transitions Program provides GED classes in English and in Spanish on campus and at partner sites in Chelsea and Revere. To help staff and faculty prepare for the new test the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Chief State GED Examiner Thompson Mechem conducted a workshop on the new test in August. Participants from Chelsea Campus, Office of Community Education, Centro Latino, LARE Training and the Chelsea Public Schools attended. Changes in curriculum will reflect the new standards.

For more information: Phone 617-228-2108 or email

Pharmacy Tech Wins State’s Approval

BHCC’s Pharmacy Technician Training Program and Exam, known as "Pharm Tech," began in fall 2012, has seen a steadily increasing enrollment.

On August 1, 2013, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy approved BHCC’S Pharm Tech program. This will allow students who complete all aspects of the program a direct and rapid pathway to registration as a pharmacy technician in Massachusetts.

Courses in the one-semester, 16-credit program include pharmacy operations, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacology, and pharmacy law. Students also participate in a 150-hour internship in a pharmacy. Professor Richard Yost, the program’s director, came on board June 2012 to develop, administer, and teach the majority of the course work.

Upon completion of the program, graduates may apply to sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Upon passing the PTCB exam, graduates are able to be registered as a pharmacy technician in MA.

"This approval is a very positive action," says Professor Yost. "Students can apply for registration upon completion of the program, which means that they could have their registration as a Pharmacy Technician in Massachusetts within about two weeks after completing the program. Registration is a very good foot-in-the-door when they are seeking employment, especially with community pharmacies."

The Allied Health Certificates Program of Bunker Hill Community CollegeAllied Health Chelsea Campus

The Allied Health Certificates Program, initiated in 1986 with funding from the City of Boston for 20 immigrant workers and ‌refugees, has evolved into an education and training program that offers students four certificate options in four fields of healthcare: medical assistant, patient care assistant, phlebotomy technician, and medical lab assistant.

Based at the Chelsea Campus, the two-semester certificate program enrolls between 115-135 students per year. Each course in the core curriculum works in relation to the other courses and to the world of work in health care. The program has its own student advisor, Ellen Schwab.

An individualized course selection and schedule is designed based on the academic level, goals and personal circumstances of each student. Students may obtain cross-training and multiple certifications, which make employment in several areas of health care jobs possible.

Each student serves an internship where they put classroom learning into practice and gain valuable work experience. Also each student participates in a practicum seminar where they develop professional resumes, references sheets, cover letters, and employment readiness skills.

The Allied Health Program is a close-knit learning community, like a 'school-within-a school,' says Schwab. “The staff gets to know all of the students. Plus there is a strong atmosphere of collegiality among the students."

Assistant Professor Deborah Latina, who chairs Allied Health, adds, "Because we provide a truly supportive learning environment, the program has high retention and completion numbers."

Math RAMP Up Celebrates Its Most Successful Class

The Spring 2014 semester marked the fourth year the Chelsea Campus welcomed Chelsea High School students to participate in the Math RAMP Up Program. RAMP Up is a collaboration of the Chelsea Public Schools, FUEL Education, and Bunker Hill Community College. The Math RAMP Up Program provides free developmental college mathematics courses for Chelsea High School juniors and seniors, many of whom will eventually enroll as first-year BHCC college students.

"We are proud to report that the 2013 graduating class of 30 students," says Sharon Caulfield, Associate Dean, "had a passing rate of 93%, surpassing by 21% the 2012 graduation rate of 72% of completing students."

A hearty round of thanks are extended to participating students; the collaborating organizations (BHCC, FUEL, and Chelsea Public Schools); John Piantedosi, the program’s coordinator and advisor; El Houssine Ghardi and Ralph Hannabury, BHCC Adjunct Mathematics Professors/RAMP Up Math Instructors; Laura Assade, Chelsea High School FUEL Coordinator; and Austin Gilliland, Herman Perez and Handine Jean-Marie, staff of the TRIO Talent Search Program who assisted with the recruitment of students and the administration of the required Accuplacer placement test.

Your SGA Representative

Jennifer Stone, a full-time student majoring in General Concentration, is the Chelsea Campus’ representative in the Student Government Association (SGA), which is an elected body of Bunker Hill students that collaborates with BHCC administration to enhance the quality of student life on campus. She is also the president of the BHCC chapter of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a national student organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in health care and enhance the delivery of quality healthcare to all people. All BHCC students interested in the healthcare field of are welcome to join. HOSA meetings are held at the Chelsea Campus.

Did you know?

An interesting fact about the Chelsea Campus: In October 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation presented the National Preservation Award to BHCC "for the adoptive use of the 1910 Chelsea U.S. Post Office as a new satellite campus for Bunker Hill Community College."

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