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Bunker Hill Community College Learning Communities Earn Top Award

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Bunker Hill Community College Learning Communities program has received the New England Board of Education’s Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement. The College will be recognized at the Board’s 10th annual Excellence Awards celebration on March 2, 2012, at the Marriott Long Wharf hotel in Boston. Other honorees include Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri.

The New England Board of Higher Education presents Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations from across the six New England states that demonstrate exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity. Bunker Hill Community College’s Learning Communities, which serve more than 4,000 students, are the cornerstone of a comprehensive student success campaign that has increased student year-to-year retention by 28 percent since 2003.

Learning Communities allow small groups of students to learn and study together. Faculty plan their coursework around common academic themes and engage students in hands-on learning that builds 21st century capacities, including critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork.

According to Dean of Humanities and Learning Communities Lori A. Catallozzi, the program has yielded significant gains. “Learning Communities students are more likely to persist in their studies,” she says, “and they are better equipped to surmount the range of complex issues faced by urban community college students.” Learning Communities, she said, provide engaging and supportive environments that emphasize active and interdisciplinary learning. Through interactions inside and outside of the classroom, the program offers opportunities for students to explore academic disciplines and career paths, reflect on their academic, life and career goals, and develop plans to achieve these goals.

Media Contact:
Karen M. Norton, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 228-2177; Email: kmnorton@bhcc.mass.edu


Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 19,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, three satellite locations and a number of instructional centers throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 1,000 international students who come from 100 countries and speak more than 75 languages.