Cornerstone Bank has pledged $20,000 to the Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) Foundation Inc. to continue and enhance its higher education offerings to Southbridge and surrounding communities. Cornerstone will donate $5,000 annually for four years, beginning in 2022.
“Since opening its Southbridge location in 2010, Quinsigamond has been the only brick-and-mortar higher education option in that town,” said Cornerstone Bank CEO Todd Tallman. “A significant poverty rate in Southbridge and limited mass transit services present significant barriers to residents seeking higher education. We are proud to help support the foundation’s efforts to ensure accessible and affordable educational opportunities to this community.”
QCC is a public higher education institution in Central Massachusetts providing postsecondary education and training to almost 8,000 students per year at its Worcester and Southbridge locations, regional satellites, and online. QCC students represent the communities they live and work in from first-generation, low-income college students, and racial and ethnic minorities, to full-time workers, non-native English speakers, parents, adult learners, and traditional-age college students.
“Our Southbridge location provides convenient and affordable college coursework to about 300 students each year and is expanding to include transitional early college coursework at no cost to students in partnership with Southbridge Public Schools,” said Linda Maykel, president of the QCC Foundation. “Cornerstone’s generosity will support our college programming and early college initiatives for local high school students, strengthening and increasing retention and completion in general education, certificate, and degree-specific courses.”
QCC Southbridge provides general education courses and some lab courses towards an associate degree or certificate and/or transfer to a bachelor’s degree at a state college or university. In addition, QCC Southbridge offers pre-college programming for high school students in person and remotely. Day, evening, and weekend classes have been available since September 2020 from the college’s location at Southbridge High School, giving students access to add non-credit workforce development coursework. Student support services are also provided, including advising, tutoring, accessibility, and career placement services.