“Don’t Graduate to the Basement”


by ESCC President Dr. Jim Shaeffer

To all of the families of the high school graduating class of 2021 – congratulations to you and your child for this accomplishment!  Graduating from high school is a huge step leading to your child’s future. 

Like most of your Eastern Shore neighbors and friends, I enjoyed looking at the bright and energetic faces of the graduates.  And as you watched your student receive his or her diploma you may have had mixed emotions. Memories of their journey, pride and probably relief that they had made it – and perhaps some anxiety as you wonder what is next for your child.  

As I was growing up and completing my high school, I’m sure that one of my parents’ great concerns is that I would graduate from high school to their basement.  We can understand how this can happen; freshly out of high school many of us weren’t sure what we wanted to do with our life.  

These decisions are even more complicated given the challenges we faced as we wrestle with COVID 19 and the new realities of today.  As a parent myself, I understand the concerns you have in the uncertainty of the new environments that are in front of us.  The wonderful news is that opportunities close to home may be just the beginning you and your child are looking for that provide the perfect launch for their next stage of learning and life. 

Your Eastern Shore Community College offers career pathways that lead directly to high wage jobs in healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, and trades. ESCC also offers excellent programs from short-term certificates to guaranteed transfer degree programs to four-year universities and colleges at 1/3 the cost of most four-year institutions.  Your Eastern Shore Community College offers excellence in higher education and affordability, all close to home. 

Why community college?  In addition to having access to high quality programs at affordable prices, studies have shown students who go on to community college after high school do better financially in the long run.  According to a new report from The Boston Foundation and MassINC.  high school graduates from 2010 to 2018 who attended community college were 6-18 percentage points more likely to be employed than their peers who ended their education at high school graduation.  In addition, those going on to community college earn nearly $2,000 more per year. 

Your Eastern Shore Community College provides the distinct advantage of flexible scheduling, high quality programs, affordability, financial support, and we are in your back yard, YOUR Eastern Shore Community – part of your community because we are your community.

This coming year, Your Eastern Shore Community College is celebrating 50 years of service to the Eastern Shore.  We are here to kick start the careers of our Eastern Shore High School Graduates.  As my Dad would say to me, the best way to pursue a great career begins with education. 

My wife, Peggy, and I are the proud parents of five children and 8 grandchildren.  We shared the same concerns you are experiencing when we worked with our children in deciding the next steps in their educational journey.  You want them to make good affordable decisions, decisions that will lead to good jobs and fulfilling careers.  Your Eastern Shore Community College is here to help. We can help with seeking financial aid, enrolling in classes, and outlining an educational path to your child’s dream.  

Thank you for considering ESCC.   This part of their journey is just a phone call away at 757-789-1720, or email us at studentservices@es.vccs.edu.  Visit our website at es.vccs.edu for details on financial aid, scholarships, registration and more.  We hope your student becomes a YES! at YOUR Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa.