Mount Wachusett Community College


Paralegal Programs at Mount Wachusett Community College

Mount Wachusett Community College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Online Paralegal Degree Programs.

Mount Wachusett Community College is a community college that offers academic programs that prepare students for working in paralegal positions at top firms across the state. Each program teaches students the legal terminology that they will use every day and helps them understand some of the things that occur behind the scenes in the field. Students can choose between a legal studies degree program and a paralegal certificate program.

The legal studies program asks students to take at least 60 credits of college courses. Most students will complete their degrees at the community college and then transfer to a four-year university or college to finish a bachelor’s degree. Some of the college’s graduates also attend law school later. Students will take Introduction to Law and Introduction to Family Law as well as classes such as Business Law I, Estate Planning and Legal Research and Writing I. The college also offers a pre-law track for future law school students. Majors must take the same required courses and classes such as Criminal Procedure to earn their degrees.

Students in the online paralegal certificate program only need to take a total of 28 credits of classes. Introduction to Law, Business Law I and Legal Research and Writing I are worth nine credits and required of paralegal students. They will also take nine credits of legal/law electives, which can include any courses offered by the college. Students can learn more about real estate or civil law and other fields, including estate planning and criminal law. The paralegal certificate program helps students meet some of the bare requirements for working as paralegals in Massachusetts.

About Mount Wachusett Community College

Massachusetts is home to several community colleges that include Mount Wachusett Community College. Also called MWCC, it opened in 1963 at the same time that the state established other community colleges. Unlike other schools that have strict admissions requirements, MWCC will accept any student who wants to attend college. Students can earn both Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees from the college and get certificates too. MWCC now offers more than 70 programs and gives students the option of taking online classes also. The college’s system now consists of a large campus in Gardner and two smaller campuses in Leominster and Devens. Fitchburg is home to a separate campus that offers opportunities for nursing and automotive technology majors.

MWCC received several awards and national recognition for its sustainable energy programs that reduce the amount of energy used by its campuses. The college built two wind turbines in 2011 that produce clean energy and reduced the energy consumption of its main campus by more than 90%. Students from nearly 30 cities across Massachusetts now attend the college. MWCC also accepts students from other states, which helped its enrollment climb to more than 11,000. The college has two programs for high school students who want to earn credits early and those who plan to attend college.

Mount Wachusett Community College Accreditation Details

MWCC wants to make sure that it maintains its institutional accreditation, which is why the college established a review committee. Though its accreditation only comes up for renewal every 10 years, the committee meets every five years to identify any issues that might affect that accreditation. The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) granted MWCC accreditation and renewed that accreditation multiple times over the years. This is what gives the college’s students the chance to apply for financial aid and to get any of the available aid offered by the government. It also makes it easier for students to transfer from MWCC to another school.

Mount Wachusett Community College Application Requirements

Students applying to the college’s paralegal certificate or legal studies program need to meet the same admissions requirements. The college offers a general application that any student can use. Students applying as a guest need to complete a different application. Guest students are those who plan on taking just one class or a semester of classes from the college. This includes students attending another college or university full-time. Students can select usernames and passwords to use on the site and sign in with that information later. MWCC offers a paper application for those who prefer applying through the mail.

MWCC only requires an application from prospective students, but it requires transcripts from those who already have college credits. Students will receive a response within a few weeks, and some get an answer within days. Accepted students will need to apply for financial aid with the FAFSA and sign up for a placement test. Placement tests are available from the college at one of its computer labs. Those who previously took a placement test and students who took the ACT/SAT can submit their scores and enroll without taking the test through the college first. All other students must take the test to help the college place them in their future classes.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Massachusetts residents are students who can prove they lived in the state for the last six months before enrolling. Those students and resident aliens qualify for the college’s in-state tuition rate of $25 per credit hour. The college also charges a $197 per credit hour fee, which brings the total for residents up to $222 per credit hour. Students who live in other parts of New England qualify for the college’s discounted tuition program, which asks them to pay $234.50 per credit hour for fees and tuition. All other students pay MWCC $427 per credit hour. For $2,390 per year, students can also purchase health insurance from the college.

MWCC asks students to complete the FAFSA to get financial aid for the school year. The main options for students include employment from the college and grants and loans from the government. Students can qualify for loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program, but the government also offers loans for the parents and guardians of enrolled college students. The Pell Grant provides students with up to $6,195 per year but only goes to students from low-income households. There is also a grant available from the state government for residents attending college. Mount Wachusett Community College allows paralegal and legal majors to get financial aid that covers the total cost of attendance.