FRAMINGHAM – MassBay Community College and Framingham State University have been awarded $10,000 by the Baker-Polito Administration that will support outreach to underrepresented students in Framingham and Milford Public Schools to participate in early college programs.
Early college programs combine traditional high school courses with an opportunity to earn college credit at a public college or university, typically in a particular career pathway.
Under the plan, outreach to students will begin in middle school and will be focused on the following career pathways: business management, education, sociology and criminal justice, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) life sciences.
“Early college programs are crucial for exposing students to the opportunities higher-education can create and with these designations, more students will be able to earn college credits at no cost,” Governor Charlie Baker said, in a statement. “We are pleased to work with these school districts to expand or launch early college programs so their students are better prepared for successful academic and professional careers after high school.”
The $10,000 competitive planning grant allows FSU and MassBay to become “designated” early college programs by the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education. Schools granted preliminary designation are expected to apply for final designation in February, with the goal of launching programs this fall.
“Preparing students for the rigors of college-level courses while they are still in high school eases the transition to college and makes it more likely that they will succeed,” says FSU President F. Javier Cevallos, in a media release. “This is a fantastic opportunity to provide underrepresented students with greater access to early college programs.”
“MassBay is excited to build on our partnership with Framingham State University to help more high school students access college education early,” said MassBay President David Podell, in a media release. “This grant will help us connect more underrepresented high school students with free access to college-level courses during a time when the cost for a college education is at a premium.”
“Helping our students to get a jumpstart on earning a college degree while simultaneously earning their high school diploma is an amazing opportunity for our families,” said Framingham Superintendent Bob Tremblay. “The partnership between the Framingham Public Schools, MassBay Community College, and Framingham State University demonstrates a community synergy that is squarely focused on affording opportunities to students in a way that is unprecedented in Framingham.”
“We are very excited to partner with MassBay and Framingham State to develop Early College Pathways that support student access and college admissions and post-secondary degree completion,” said Milford Superintendent Kevin McIntyre, in a press release. “We are all living in a world that is rapidly changing and becoming progressively smaller where education continues to be the gateway to success. The potential of the Early College programs are incredible and I appreciate the resources that both institutions can provide our students and community!”
Framingham State university is based in Framingham. MassBay has a campus in Framingham on Flagg Drive.