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HOLLISTON – When Will Morelli of Holliston was a senior in high school, he dreamed of attending the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst, but believed this dream would be tough to accomplish.

“In high school I didn’t do as well academically as I wanted and knew I needed to figure out an alternative way to get to UMass. My family members suggested that I begin my college career at MassBay to earn credits, build better academic skills, and save money before transferring to UMass,” said Morelli.

When he researched what MassBay offered, he discovered the MassTransfer program, which allows seamless transfer of credits between Massachusetts state colleges and universities.

“Once I learned that I could easily transfer credits, it solidified my decision to come to MassBay,” he said.

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“I didn’t know much about community college before coming to MassBay, and I honestly never considered it,” Morelli continued. “My friends were headed to four-year universities and they didn’t understand why I wanted to go to MassBay. I am thrilled that I didn’t let anyone influence my decision. The experience I received here was incredibly valuable.”

“The small class sizes allowed me to know my professors on a personal level, and the multi-generations of students gave me a perspective I typically wouldn’t have had otherwise. MassBay was my second chance to prove to myself and everyone else that I could do college-level work. In high school, my lack of time management was an issue. I needed to address this if I was going to be successful in college,” said Morelli. “My MassBay transfer advisor, Karen Akukwe, helped me learn how to best schedule my classes to use my time wisely. In addition, she was always available to answer my questions and help me create a plan to transfer to a four-year college and pursue my bachelor’s degree.”

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“Will focused on the next steps that would allow him to transfer,” said MassBay coordinator of transfer affairs and articulation Karen Akukwe. “I watched Will thrive at MassBay, and he told me that he hadn’t experienced this level of academic success previously. It was amazing to witness his excitement. His eagerness to participate and engage in the process made him a natural problem solver, which will serve him well into his future college career and beyond.”

“My goal was to come to MassBay for two years and transfer my credits to UMass Amherst. I’m happy to say I completed my goal in one year, and I’m headed to the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management in fall 2022 as a sophomore,” said Morelli.

“I would tell anyone looking at colleges, don’t pre-judge community colleges, look at it as an opportunity. A community college will lead you to where you want to go and will help you save money. At first, I was hesitant to attend MassBay, but I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have been accepted to UMass otherwise. I’m glad I didn’t listen to others and only focused on what I needed to do to reach my goals,” said the Holliston resident.

Morelli studies business administration, has been named to the Dean’s List every semester he has been at MassBay, and holds a 3.9 GPA.

MassBay Community College student Will Morelli, 2021 (Photo/ Tom Morelli).

MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations, and Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.