For Immediate Release
September 9, 2015
New Campaign Urges High School Students to Prepare for College & Career Options After High School
Boston, MA – September 9, 2015 – The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is launching a new campaign to promote student access and awareness of opportunities across the public higher education system, with a slate of events for high school students and a new web site to help them prepare for college and career choices after high school.
The “Go Higher!” campaign reminds students that by 2020, 72% of the jobs in Massachusetts will require some post-secondary education. At high school events across the state, students from the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges will speak directly to more than 8,000 high school students to share their experience choosing a college and a major, adjusting to campus life, and preparing for careers through internships and research opportunities.
“I am really excited about the chance to present my experience as a community college honors student moving on to a four-year university,” said Micah Klayman, a graduate of Quinsigamond Community College who has transferred to Worcester State University to earn his bachelor’s degree. “What I really want high school students to know is that our public colleges and universities are not only affordable but also amazing places for students to grow as leaders and scholars. After my experience, I am steadfast in that belief.”
The campaign was developed in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 15A, Section 5, which mandates the Board of Higher Education to conduct “a sustained program to inform the public of the needs, importance and accomplishments of the public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.” It is produced by the Department in collaboration with the GEAR UP college access program and the 29 campuses of the public higher education system.
Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago will help kick off the high school event series on Thursday, September 24th at Montachusett Regional Vocational High School in Fitchburg. A total of seventeen events will take place at high schools across the state and at the Metrowest College Planning Center, where an evening event for parents is scheduled. The center, the first such publicly-funded regional college planning center in the state, was designed by MassBay Community College in collaboration with Framingham State University and funded in part by a grant from Department of Higher Education. It is slated to open on the Framingham State campus in September.
“We are proud of the fact that Massachusetts is home to some of the best public and private institutions in the world, and this rich balance is one of our greatest strengths,” said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. “Our administration is focused on helping to increase access to excellent, affordable higher education options and ensure that students are prepared to succeed once they arrive on campus.”
“The Commonwealth has the highest percentage of college graduates of any state in the nation,” said Commissioner Santiago. “But for students who will be the first in their family to go to college, it is often difficult to get the right information or to see that college can indeed be part of their future. It is tremendously inspiring for high school students, especially those in urban communities or Gateway cities, to hear from college students who overcame obstacles and have gone on to become successful in college."
The Department will also use the “Go Higher!” event series to alert high school students to new admission standards, taking effect at the University of Massachusetts and state universities in fall, 2016, requiring four years of high school math, including math in a student’s senior year.
"We're proud to host the first "Go Higher!" event this fall and look forward to welcoming college students to Monty Tech in a few weeks," said Sheila Harrity, Ed.D., Monty Tech's superintendent who is also a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. "This event will create a venue for our students to learn about the college process first hand and see it through the eyes of college students. It allows our Monty Tech students to imagine themselves as college students. I know that they will be much more interested in listening to the “Go Higher!” student panel because these students are much closer to their own ages, and will be sharing real stories.”
The Department of Higher Education’s new on-line portal will promote dual enrollment programs, honors programs, transfer opportunities and financial aid information for students, and also include direct links to all campus web sites. The complete Go Higher! event schedule is available at the site.