UMass discusses future use for Mount Ida campus - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

UMass discusses future use for Mount Ida campus

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

We are learning more about the deal reached by the University of Massachusetts Amherst to purchase the assets of Mount Ida College, a small private school in Newton.

Undergraduate students in good standing at Mount Ida will be offered automatic admission to UMass Dartmouth, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the flagship campus of the UMass system will use the 74-acre Mount Ida campus for career preparation programs.

The vague nature of a press release written by the University of Massachusetts sparked questions about what career preparation programs are and how they differ from typical university classes.

As UMass Amherst acquires the 74-acre Mount Ida campus, the UMass system is fielding questions about what it will be used for.

Mount Ida College is about 88 miles east of UMass Amherst.

In a phone call with Western Mass News, UMass Amherst spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski said that Newton campus will be used for students to take their studies to the Boston area for a semester or two, where they will have internships, co-ops, work in research, laboratories and build professional relationships with Boston-based companies.

Students would be enrolled as UMass Amherst students, spending the vast majority of their time in Amherst, but with the opportunity to spend a semester or two in the eastern part of the state advancing their studies by getting involved with Boston businesses in fields such as:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Computer science
  • Life sciences
  • Finance or accounting
  • Business management

They are study areas where there are more opportunities in Boston than in Amherst or Springfield.

Thursday afternoon, UMass President Marty Meehan released a statement, writing in part:

“UMass had no role in Mount Ida’s closing…UMass Amherst will relieve Mount Ida of its debt by acquiring Mount Ida’s physical assets and the university will provide Mount Ida students with admission to UMass Dartmouth and expedited transfer applications to other UMass campuses.  The alternative to the university’s engagement was Mount Ida closing without these opportunities.”

Meehan's statement went on to add:

"While this is not a perfect solution for Mount Ida’s students, who are faced with a difficult transition through no fault of their own, we have worked hard to provide a clear path to degree completion for most Mount Ida students.”

For those students still seeking a small, private school education, they can attend Elms College in Chicopee.

“It was a really easy decision for us.  We are a very similar school to Mount Ida.  The history of Elms College is one that has been driven by the Sisters of St. Josephs here, whose mission is to help our neighbor.” said Xiomara Delobato with Elms College.

Blaguszewski said that the university projects students in their junior or senior years will utilize this new opportunity as they approach graduation and the workforce.

To view UMass President Marty Meehan's full statement, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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