By Holly Feola & Rayana Petrone – Opinions Editor & 1851 Contributor
Becker College, with locations in Worcester and Leicester, has announced it will be closing its doors at the end of this academic year due to ongoing financial struggles. “Ultimately, the impacts of COVID-19 turned what was a very challenging situation into an unsustainable situation,’’ said Becker College President Nancy P. Crimmin in a March 29 press release.
The college will be assisting its students and faculty with transitional services throughout the summer in hopes of getting them enrolled, or employed in other institutions.
“Our commitment going forward is to do everything we can to ensure our students finish this year strongly positioned to continue their education, and that they and all our faculty and staff get access to the best education and employment opportunities available,” said Christine L. Cassidy, Chair of Becker’s Board of Trustees on the Becker College website.
Lasell has partnered with Becker through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which is an agreement made between two groups for common goals. As part of the MOU, Lasell has decided to match scholarships and grants once promised to Becker students.
Lasell has agreed to become an academic pathway “for students to continue their education with minimal disruptions,” according to Becker’s Academic Pathways site. A variety of Associate degree programs will be able to continue on at Lasell such as business, early childhood education and criminal justice. Lasell will also be a potential destination for Bachelor degree programs in biology, business, criminal justice, esports management, exercise science -health and fitness, forensic science, graphic design, health science, legal studies, psychology, and sports management.
As of April 21, Lasell received 36 applications from Becker students with the most common major being forensic science, according to Director of Admissions Yavuz Kiremit. Out of the 36 applications, only two have put down a deposit at Lasell so far.
Over the past few years, Lasell has become experienced with accepting transfer students from other recently closed institutions such as Newbury and Mount Ida.
“Since we’ve already done this twice, we’ve gotten good at this. We were able to quickly adapt and put together the Becker microsite where we had all the information there, and the application,” said Kiremit. The microsite mentioned is in reference to the Becker tab on Lasell’s website.
Becker College informed their students of the closure in the middle of the spring semester and has been constantly assisting students and faculty with future education decisions. “I think the students probably would have appreciated if [news of closure] was a little bit earlier in the year, but … look at what they put together. It is pretty impressive that they actually broke it down by majors, [depending on your] major, these are schools that have programs for you,” said Kiremit.
As part of the MOU, students from Becker have until September 2022 to apply to Lasell. If they haven’t completed their applications by the outlined date they will not have the same consideration as those who applied by the specified deadline.