MassBay Community College student, Toni McCann, had been out of school for several years. She was recently laid off from her job of almost 15 years. In returning to the workforce, she realized that to meet her highest potential, she needed to go back to school and earn a degree. With her four children watching what she does, she wants to lead by example. She wants them to see that if she can do it, they can do it. She had heard of MassBay, but didn't know a lot about it. Evening and online classes were important to her in case she had to take a required subject. She needed the option of flexibility — of joining her class anytime. It has been a great experience for her.
Toni says MassBay has so many great resources—the Advising team and Financial Aid, in particular, have been very helpful, as well as Student Accounts, and Mary, with the MassBay Foundation, who has helped put her in touch with the One Family Scholars Program. Mary went through the application process with her, step-by-step for every question. A small group of the scholarship recipients did their orientation in December (2019), and to Toni, it was a great feeling to be a part of that organization. She’s also a recipient of the MassBay Food Scholarship, which is a tremendous help to her, so she can be fed, and keep her brain “in tune.” The MassBay Writing Center has been a tremendous help. She’s been out of school for a long time and was initially was a bit lost on the writing assignments, but thinks the Writing Center is a great team that has helped her. They will assist her for long stretches of time to work through completion of her assignments.
Toni is now looking into four-year schools, such as Bridgewater State University and UMass. Her ultimate goal, once completing MassBay and receiving a bachelor’s degree, is to be an accounting manager. Her MassBay experience has been different than her other previous college experience, due to the fact that she feels as if she’s part of a group, like a family. At her other college, because she’s a non-traditional student, she felt out of place. But being at MassBay, she sees others who look like her, are a bit older, and who are parents coming back to school after many years. They’re all in it together and it encourages her to keep going. She feels as if she’s not the only one who is going through this right now.