Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst Opens Smoothly in Newton

Student Life director Margaret Felis, left, enjoys opening day at the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst with her student staff: Gianna Munroe, Nicole Chabra, Caitlynn Maida and Meghan Choquette.
Student Life director Margaret Felis, left, enjoys opening day at the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst with her student staff: Gianna Munroe, Nicole Chabra, Caitlynn Maida and Meghan Choquette.

The new Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst is off to a strong start, as the university welcomed veterinary technology students to their residence hall on Sept. 1.

Meanwhile, a range of UMass Amherst officials are working with Boston-area businesses and industry to develop plans on how to connect the Newton campus with employers to help prepare UMass Amherst students for their careers. Details on these new opportunities will be shared as they are firmed up in the coming months.

This fall, about 150 veterinary technology program students, who previously attended the now-closed Mount Ida College, are continuing their studies in Newton. These students will graduate with a UMass Amherst degree. In addition, the university intends to continue the program permanently going forward, given its quality and strong interest in the major. The long-term structure of the program is in the process of being developed.

On Sept. 1, UMass welcomed about 50 returning students who will be living in New Hall, a campus residence hall. More 200 people, including students, parents, faculty and staff, gathered for a welcome barbecue on the grounds and celebrated continuation of the vet tech program. Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy was on hand earlier in the day to help students move in. Overall, about 75 students will live in New Hall, supported by Director of Student Life Margaret Felis and four student resident assistants, all former Mount Ida students.

In addition to the 150 Vet Tech students in Newton, a substantial number of other former Mount Ida students are continuing their studies through the coordinated efforts of UMass and other institutions:

UMass Dartmouth has welcomed more than 200 former Mount Ida students, including many in the specialty program of Interior Architecture and Design and the specialty program of fashion design.

Regis College will continue the Mount Ida dental hygiene program. Plans call for the dental hygiene courses and clinics to remain on the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst for the 2018-19 academic year. Beginning in the fall of 2019, the dental hygiene program will be operated entirely on the Regis College campus in Weston. These students will not live on the Newton campus, but will use the dental facilities.

Cape Cod Community College has received state approval to carry on the funeral services program.

Beyond specialty programs, a number of former Mount Ida students have transferred to the four UMass undergraduate campuses. Final numbers have yet to be determined.