Go Higher! Discover Your Community Colleges, State Universities & UMass Campuses

  • Go Higher Logo

    What is Go Higher?

    Go Higher! promotes college readiness and raises awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

    Go Higher! is a campaign by the Department of Higher Education, in partnership with Massachusetts' 29 public colleges and universities, to raise awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

  • Photo of Boyden Hall at Bridgewater State University

    Bridgewater State University special education program ranks nationally

    The special education program at Bridgewater State University recently earned a top 10 national ranking from Teacher.org

    In its annual Best Colleges in Education Special Education rankings, Teacher.org used graduation rates, size of program, default rates and affordability among its criteria as it analyzed more than 400 colleges and universities across the nation that offer special education degrees.

    Through its College of Education and Allied Studies, Bridgewater State University offers special education degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels and, in the Teacher.org ranking, rated number six in the nation.

    “We are thrilled to learn of this prestigious ranking,” said Lisa Battaglino, dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies. “Bridgewater is one of America’s oldest teacher education institutions, and with this strong foundation, we continue as leader in educator preparation.”

    With a graduation rate of 62.16 percent, a percent of program graduates out of all graduates per year score of 31.46 and a tuition affordability score of 40.07, Bridgewater became only one of 20 institutions named to the special education list. Teachers.org also rated top programs in early childhood education, educational leadership, elementary education and master’s in education using Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey files.

    “Undergraduates at Bridgewater are encouraged to be passionate about their chosen vocation of special education teachers, as the field is still in need of dedicated individuals ready to teach special populations in a contemporary classroom environment,” according to the listing on Teacher.org.

    The Department of Special Education offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in special education, a five-year dual licensure program — Bachelor of Science in elementary education, Master of Education in special education, a minor in special education and Master of Education in special education.

    Graduates of the program pursue careers as special education teachers in public and private schools, counselors, consultants and school administrators.

    Bridgewater State University special education program ranks nationally - Wicked Local Bridgewater

  • Massasoit Campus from above

    Grant gives Massasoit region's first vet tech school

    Massasoit's Canton campus received $442,000 from the state to construct a facility for the first vet tech program in Southeastern Massachusetts

    This region is one of the most lucrative places in the country to be a veterinary technician, but it’s also an area with no vet tech school. Massasoit Community College will change that this year, thanks in part to a $442,000 grant from the state.

    On Monday at the State House, Sen. Marc Pacheco (D - Taunton) announced a $442,517 Skills Capital Grant to outfit a vet tech clinical instructional facility on the Massasoit Community College Canton campus. The facility broke ground on construction in June.

    Citing the “utmost importance” of workforce training for Southeastern Massachusetts and the state as a whole, Pacheco said the vet tech program will help students interested in STEM and Animal Science get the practical education they need to succeed in these fields.

    “We must ensure that individuals can develop and improve skills to meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s economy,” Pacheco said. “The success and vibrancy of our communities depend on it.”

    The new vet tech program, which last fall began enrolling its first students, targets high school seniors or recent high school graduates, including students currently enrolled at Norfolk County Agricultural High School with whom the program has a dual enrollment articulation.

    The program is also open to current vet techs who may be displaced without licensure, and un-employed or under-employed adults looking to make a living wage in the animal health care industry.

    According to May 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet techs in the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area are some of the highest-paid in the country, with an annual median wage of $46,670 compared to the national annual median wage of $33,280.

    “The rapidly expanding animal health care industry has created a distinct need for Veterinary Technicians,” Massasoit President Charles Wall said Monday. “The career opportunities available to graduates of this program are varied and in-demand, and we are excited to provide training that helps address a regional need.”

    There are currently five vet tech schools in Massachusetts, but none in the Southeastern part of the state.

    Mount Ida College, in Newton, houses the closest vet tech program.

    The instructional facility on the Massasoit Canton campus will include a surgical suite and a digital radiology room, and it will house dogs and cats for students to gain hands-on training of surgical prep, imaging, examinations, and animal care.

    The facility will cost $1.4 million in total, according to a Monday press release from Pacheco’s office.

    The grant will help outfit the space with state-of-the-art equipment, and will allow the school to provide additional training opportunities, a spokesperson from Massasoit said.

    The facility will be managed by a certified veterinary technician, who will work closely with our assistant professor of veterinary medicine, who is a licensed veterinarian. Students in the program and part time animal care attendants will help provide coverage at the facility as well.

    Grant gives Massasoit region's first vet tech school - The Enterprise

  • Students work together at a laptop

    UMass Amherst gets $15 million for cybersecurity program

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., better known as MassMutual.

    The MassMutual Foundation will donate the money over 10 years, with $12 million going to the university’s Center for Data Science. The center, founded last year, studies methods for analyzing vast amounts of information about complex systems. Insights from data science can be applied to almost any area of knowledge, from retailing to medicine to national security.

    Another $3 million will go to the university’sCybersecurity Institute, which will launch a new security training center in Springfield, where MassMutual is located. The center will offer a certification program in cybersecurity, where students can boost their network security skills without having to complete a four-year degree program.

    “We’re going to be using that money to jumpstart faculty hiring,” said UMass Amherst chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who said the faculty roster at the two facilities would be boosted to 40 members from its current 20. Subbaswamy said the university has already received the first tranche of funding and “we’re hiring faculty even as we speak.”

    Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science, said MassMutual may have been swayed to provide the money by its success in hiring UMass data scientists. “MassMutual hired some of our Ph.D students,” said McCallum, “and they were seeing tremendously positive results.”

    Nick Fyntrilakis, president of the MassMutual Foundation, said UMass Amherst is already a nationally recognized leader in data science and cybersecurity. “This gift really helps take us to the next level,” he said. In addition, Fyntrilakis said the grant would benefit the entire Pioneer Valley economy, by providing an ample supply of trained data scientists.

    UMass gets $15m for cybersecurity program - The Boston Globe

  • American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons - photo of building

    Massachusetts Maritime Academy First in Commonwealth System to Achieve LEED® Platinum Certification

    Mass Maritime's American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons is the first of the state's public college and university buildings to be awarded Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification

    This is the first LEED Platinum building in the commonwealth’s college and university system. The ABS Information Commons is home to the Academy’s Academic Resource Center, 360º bridge simulator, library and archives collection, and classroom and meeting space. The project achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable solutions in the following:

    Energy efficiency – heating and cooling generated by a 48-well, closed loop, geothermal heat pump, electricity provided through 103kW, rooftop, solar photovoltaic array and procurement of wind energy renewable energy credits, use of daylighting, motion sensors and LED lamps, and chilled beam HVAC system. The building is designed to run at least 35% more efficient than standard construction.

    Innovation and design – the building utilizes a sloped roof specifically designed for solar photovoltaics.nThe sloped roof also allows for maximum wind flow over the building that improves performance of thenAcademy’s wind turbine. A rotund column inside the building effectively provides space for the Academy’s bridge simulator that trains cadets on the operation and handling of vessels, while other spaces in the column are used for academic resources. Water conservation – restrooms are equipped with low flow fixtures. The sloped roof allows for flow of rainwater to a bio-swale that provides habitat for flora and fauna; no irrigation is provided.

    Construction materials selection – framework constructed of 100% recycled steel, concrete comprised of 20% recycled content, insulation made from 40% recycled materials, and use of rapidly renewable wood.

    Sustainable site selection – the building was placed on a former parking area and did not replace existing or open green space. The building is elevated above flood levels as measure of resiliency.

    Vice President of Operations, Paul O’Keefe, stated, “The Academy takes pride in being the first Massachusetts state college/university to achieve LEED Platinum. This accomplishment is one of many the Academy has taken to be a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are looking forward to continuing this process and providing a learn-do- learn environment for our cadets.”

    The ABS Information Commons is the third LEED certified building on campus and joins the LEED Gold 1st and 2nd Company Dormitory Expansion completed in 2008 and the LEED Silver 4th Company Expansion completed in 2014.

    The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

    Leading LEEDS - Mass Maritime News

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • Cape Cod STEM Network logo

    900 Students from 16 Schools Attend Cape Cod Regional STEM Network's 'Egghead Helmet Experiment'

    The egg-drop challenges are designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions

    February 3, 2017 – In recent days, STEM education on Cape Cod sounded like eggs breaking - hundreds of eggs.

    More than 900 students from 16 schools on the Cape - and one in the Dominican Republic - participated in egg-drop challenges that saw them pushing carefully wrapped raw eggs off platforms at intervals of 1, 2, 3 and 4 feet.

    Called the Egghead Helmet Experiment, the project was sponsored by the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network and designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions.

    Each student or student team received an egg-protection kit consisting of pipe cleaners, a straw, string, a tissue, a napkin and a bit of bubble wrap.

    It was up to them to figure how to best use the materials - contained in a plastic cup "helmet" - to protect the eggs from cracking and smashing.

    "It challenges students to think beyond their regular classes," said Fran Laporte, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grades classes in entrepreneurship, engineering and digital citizenship at Mashpee Middle-High School.

    Continute reading: Egg-drop troupe tests engineering skills – Cape Cod Times

    Learn more about Cape Cod STEM Education: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

  • Group photo from the announcement of the New Skills Grant on January 11, 2017

    Massachusetts Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education

    Commonwealth among recipients of New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO

    The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.

    The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

    "Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant." 

    "We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."

    "This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."

    "Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."

    "I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."

    "This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."

    Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.

    This includes:

    • Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers; 
    • Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and
    • Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.

    "Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed." 

    "Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant"This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."

    "As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."

    In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.

    The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.

  • Shutterstock photo from Boston Globe

    Training the Next Generation in Science and Technology

    Read the Op-Ed by Karyn Polito, Joe Kennedy III and Jeffrey Leiden in the Boston Globe about the importance of exploring STEM careers in high school

    When Glady Baez came to her Vertex Pharmaceuticals internship as a high school junior, she was uncertain of her future. While she was interested in science and business, she didn’t know the range of career options possible.

    During Glady’s paid internship at Vertex, she and her class of 30 high school interns worked alongside scientists steeped in research on cystic fibrosis and other diseases. The experience sparked her imagination in science and propelled her down a track that, three years later, has her feet firmly planted as a biology major at UMass Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college.

    Glady’s internship at one of the nation’s most dynamic biotech companies opened doors too often closed to high school students, especially females and students of color. The dearth of similar opportunities not only prevents promising young people from excelling in deeply rewarding careers, it stymies our economic growth.

    Keeping Massachusetts competitive requires a workforce that excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. More than 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s economy centers on jobs in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biotech.

    Massachusetts has more open positions in these fields than employees to fill them, a void that threatens our economic drivers. Industry analysts and CEOs repeatedly identify this gap as the single greatest challenge facing the Commonwealth’s STEM economy.

    Massachusetts isn’t alone. Across the country, states with strong technology, biotech, medical, and engineering economies struggle to provide employers with educated, work-ready employees. And STEM readiness has global implications: There is an international race to create a highly skilled workforce capable of driving an increasingly innovation-centered world.

    That is why it’s so important that students like Glady have opportunities to learn about STEM careers. And that is why we’re making a simple but powerful ask of Massachusetts businesses: Hire at least one high school student for a STEM internship.

    Continues on BostonGlobe.com >

  • Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T

    New Report Highlights Business-Education Partnerships

    A new report released by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, “Shaping the Future Workforce,” showcases partnerships businesses have created with public schools, community colleges and universities.

    The report features best practices and key drivers of success to engage and inspire the next generation of workers in three categories: 1) Engaging & Inspiring the Future Workforce; 2) Targeted Curriculum & Training Partnerships to produce workers with the skills they need most; and 3) Advancement Opportunities for Current Workers.

    Business leaders consistently cite five common drivers of success that apply to partnerships yielding the best outcomes. These themes offer a foundation for policy makers and educators to develop and scale future initiatives:

    • Adaptability. Adapting the goals of the program over time enables both businesses and educational institutions to evolve to meet changing needs, thus increasing the likelihood of the success;
    • Responsiveness. Acknowledging and being responsive to the different needs of students is necessary to ensure the maximum number of students are able to complete the program;
    • Accountability. Empirically measuring outcomes of these partnerships (i.e. completion rates, costs, attendance) allows for concrete analysis on the program’s impact;
    • Affordability. Emphasizing low cost is incredibly important to maximize the number of students able to participate thus increasing the impact of the program; and,
    • Leadership. Commitment by senior-level leadership is imperative and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership

    Photo: Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T. Credit Cydney Scott

  • 2016 STEM Summit logo

Go Higher! Discover Your Community Colleges, State Universities & UMass Campuses

  • Go Higher Logo

    What is Go Higher?

    Go Higher! promotes college readiness and raises awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

    Go Higher! is a campaign by the Department of Higher Education, in partnership with Massachusetts' 29 public colleges and universities, to raise awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

  • Photo of Boyden Hall at Bridgewater State University

    Bridgewater State University special education program ranks nationally

    The special education program at Bridgewater State University recently earned a top 10 national ranking from Teacher.org

    In its annual Best Colleges in Education Special Education rankings, Teacher.org used graduation rates, size of program, default rates and affordability among its criteria as it analyzed more than 400 colleges and universities across the nation that offer special education degrees.

    Through its College of Education and Allied Studies, Bridgewater State University offers special education degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels and, in the Teacher.org ranking, rated number six in the nation.

    “We are thrilled to learn of this prestigious ranking,” said Lisa Battaglino, dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies. “Bridgewater is one of America’s oldest teacher education institutions, and with this strong foundation, we continue as leader in educator preparation.”

    With a graduation rate of 62.16 percent, a percent of program graduates out of all graduates per year score of 31.46 and a tuition affordability score of 40.07, Bridgewater became only one of 20 institutions named to the special education list. Teachers.org also rated top programs in early childhood education, educational leadership, elementary education and master’s in education using Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey files.

    “Undergraduates at Bridgewater are encouraged to be passionate about their chosen vocation of special education teachers, as the field is still in need of dedicated individuals ready to teach special populations in a contemporary classroom environment,” according to the listing on Teacher.org.

    The Department of Special Education offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in special education, a five-year dual licensure program — Bachelor of Science in elementary education, Master of Education in special education, a minor in special education and Master of Education in special education.

    Graduates of the program pursue careers as special education teachers in public and private schools, counselors, consultants and school administrators.

    Bridgewater State University special education program ranks nationally - Wicked Local Bridgewater

  • Massasoit Campus from above

    Grant gives Massasoit region's first vet tech school

    Massasoit's Canton campus received $442,000 from the state to construct a facility for the first vet tech program in Southeastern Massachusetts

    This region is one of the most lucrative places in the country to be a veterinary technician, but it’s also an area with no vet tech school. Massasoit Community College will change that this year, thanks in part to a $442,000 grant from the state.

    On Monday at the State House, Sen. Marc Pacheco (D - Taunton) announced a $442,517 Skills Capital Grant to outfit a vet tech clinical instructional facility on the Massasoit Community College Canton campus. The facility broke ground on construction in June.

    Citing the “utmost importance” of workforce training for Southeastern Massachusetts and the state as a whole, Pacheco said the vet tech program will help students interested in STEM and Animal Science get the practical education they need to succeed in these fields.

    “We must ensure that individuals can develop and improve skills to meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s economy,” Pacheco said. “The success and vibrancy of our communities depend on it.”

    The new vet tech program, which last fall began enrolling its first students, targets high school seniors or recent high school graduates, including students currently enrolled at Norfolk County Agricultural High School with whom the program has a dual enrollment articulation.

    The program is also open to current vet techs who may be displaced without licensure, and un-employed or under-employed adults looking to make a living wage in the animal health care industry.

    According to May 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet techs in the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area are some of the highest-paid in the country, with an annual median wage of $46,670 compared to the national annual median wage of $33,280.

    “The rapidly expanding animal health care industry has created a distinct need for Veterinary Technicians,” Massasoit President Charles Wall said Monday. “The career opportunities available to graduates of this program are varied and in-demand, and we are excited to provide training that helps address a regional need.”

    There are currently five vet tech schools in Massachusetts, but none in the Southeastern part of the state.

    Mount Ida College, in Newton, houses the closest vet tech program.

    The instructional facility on the Massasoit Canton campus will include a surgical suite and a digital radiology room, and it will house dogs and cats for students to gain hands-on training of surgical prep, imaging, examinations, and animal care.

    The facility will cost $1.4 million in total, according to a Monday press release from Pacheco’s office.

    The grant will help outfit the space with state-of-the-art equipment, and will allow the school to provide additional training opportunities, a spokesperson from Massasoit said.

    The facility will be managed by a certified veterinary technician, who will work closely with our assistant professor of veterinary medicine, who is a licensed veterinarian. Students in the program and part time animal care attendants will help provide coverage at the facility as well.

    Grant gives Massasoit region's first vet tech school - The Enterprise

  • Students work together at a laptop

    UMass Amherst gets $15 million for cybersecurity program

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., better known as MassMutual.

    The MassMutual Foundation will donate the money over 10 years, with $12 million going to the university’s Center for Data Science. The center, founded last year, studies methods for analyzing vast amounts of information about complex systems. Insights from data science can be applied to almost any area of knowledge, from retailing to medicine to national security.

    Another $3 million will go to the university’sCybersecurity Institute, which will launch a new security training center in Springfield, where MassMutual is located. The center will offer a certification program in cybersecurity, where students can boost their network security skills without having to complete a four-year degree program.

    “We’re going to be using that money to jumpstart faculty hiring,” said UMass Amherst chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who said the faculty roster at the two facilities would be boosted to 40 members from its current 20. Subbaswamy said the university has already received the first tranche of funding and “we’re hiring faculty even as we speak.”

    Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science, said MassMutual may have been swayed to provide the money by its success in hiring UMass data scientists. “MassMutual hired some of our Ph.D students,” said McCallum, “and they were seeing tremendously positive results.”

    Nick Fyntrilakis, president of the MassMutual Foundation, said UMass Amherst is already a nationally recognized leader in data science and cybersecurity. “This gift really helps take us to the next level,” he said. In addition, Fyntrilakis said the grant would benefit the entire Pioneer Valley economy, by providing an ample supply of trained data scientists.

    UMass gets $15m for cybersecurity program - The Boston Globe

  • American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons - photo of building

    Massachusetts Maritime Academy First in Commonwealth System to Achieve LEED® Platinum Certification

    Mass Maritime's American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons is the first of the state's public college and university buildings to be awarded Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification

    This is the first LEED Platinum building in the commonwealth’s college and university system. The ABS Information Commons is home to the Academy’s Academic Resource Center, 360º bridge simulator, library and archives collection, and classroom and meeting space. The project achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable solutions in the following:

    Energy efficiency – heating and cooling generated by a 48-well, closed loop, geothermal heat pump, electricity provided through 103kW, rooftop, solar photovoltaic array and procurement of wind energy renewable energy credits, use of daylighting, motion sensors and LED lamps, and chilled beam HVAC system. The building is designed to run at least 35% more efficient than standard construction.

    Innovation and design – the building utilizes a sloped roof specifically designed for solar photovoltaics.nThe sloped roof also allows for maximum wind flow over the building that improves performance of thenAcademy’s wind turbine. A rotund column inside the building effectively provides space for the Academy’s bridge simulator that trains cadets on the operation and handling of vessels, while other spaces in the column are used for academic resources. Water conservation – restrooms are equipped with low flow fixtures. The sloped roof allows for flow of rainwater to a bio-swale that provides habitat for flora and fauna; no irrigation is provided.

    Construction materials selection – framework constructed of 100% recycled steel, concrete comprised of 20% recycled content, insulation made from 40% recycled materials, and use of rapidly renewable wood.

    Sustainable site selection – the building was placed on a former parking area and did not replace existing or open green space. The building is elevated above flood levels as measure of resiliency.

    Vice President of Operations, Paul O’Keefe, stated, “The Academy takes pride in being the first Massachusetts state college/university to achieve LEED Platinum. This accomplishment is one of many the Academy has taken to be a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are looking forward to continuing this process and providing a learn-do- learn environment for our cadets.”

    The ABS Information Commons is the third LEED certified building on campus and joins the LEED Gold 1st and 2nd Company Dormitory Expansion completed in 2008 and the LEED Silver 4th Company Expansion completed in 2014.

    The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

    Leading LEEDS - Mass Maritime News

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • Cape Cod STEM Network logo

    900 Students from 16 Schools Attend Cape Cod Regional STEM Network's 'Egghead Helmet Experiment'

    The egg-drop challenges are designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions

    February 3, 2017 – In recent days, STEM education on Cape Cod sounded like eggs breaking - hundreds of eggs.

    More than 900 students from 16 schools on the Cape - and one in the Dominican Republic - participated in egg-drop challenges that saw them pushing carefully wrapped raw eggs off platforms at intervals of 1, 2, 3 and 4 feet.

    Called the Egghead Helmet Experiment, the project was sponsored by the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network and designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions.

    Each student or student team received an egg-protection kit consisting of pipe cleaners, a straw, string, a tissue, a napkin and a bit of bubble wrap.

    It was up to them to figure how to best use the materials - contained in a plastic cup "helmet" - to protect the eggs from cracking and smashing.

    "It challenges students to think beyond their regular classes," said Fran Laporte, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grades classes in entrepreneurship, engineering and digital citizenship at Mashpee Middle-High School.

    Continute reading: Egg-drop troupe tests engineering skills – Cape Cod Times

    Learn more about Cape Cod STEM Education: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

  • Group photo from the announcement of the New Skills Grant on January 11, 2017

    Massachusetts Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education

    Commonwealth among recipients of New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO

    The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.

    The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

    "Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant." 

    "We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."

    "This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."

    "Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."

    "I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."

    "This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."

    Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.

    This includes:

    • Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers; 
    • Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and
    • Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.

    "Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed." 

    "Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant"This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."

    "As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."

    In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.

    The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.

  • Shutterstock photo from Boston Globe

    Training the Next Generation in Science and Technology

    Read the Op-Ed by Karyn Polito, Joe Kennedy III and Jeffrey Leiden in the Boston Globe about the importance of exploring STEM careers in high school

    When Glady Baez came to her Vertex Pharmaceuticals internship as a high school junior, she was uncertain of her future. While she was interested in science and business, she didn’t know the range of career options possible.

    During Glady’s paid internship at Vertex, she and her class of 30 high school interns worked alongside scientists steeped in research on cystic fibrosis and other diseases. The experience sparked her imagination in science and propelled her down a track that, three years later, has her feet firmly planted as a biology major at UMass Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college.

    Glady’s internship at one of the nation’s most dynamic biotech companies opened doors too often closed to high school students, especially females and students of color. The dearth of similar opportunities not only prevents promising young people from excelling in deeply rewarding careers, it stymies our economic growth.

    Keeping Massachusetts competitive requires a workforce that excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. More than 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s economy centers on jobs in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biotech.

    Massachusetts has more open positions in these fields than employees to fill them, a void that threatens our economic drivers. Industry analysts and CEOs repeatedly identify this gap as the single greatest challenge facing the Commonwealth’s STEM economy.

    Massachusetts isn’t alone. Across the country, states with strong technology, biotech, medical, and engineering economies struggle to provide employers with educated, work-ready employees. And STEM readiness has global implications: There is an international race to create a highly skilled workforce capable of driving an increasingly innovation-centered world.

    That is why it’s so important that students like Glady have opportunities to learn about STEM careers. And that is why we’re making a simple but powerful ask of Massachusetts businesses: Hire at least one high school student for a STEM internship.

    Continues on BostonGlobe.com >

  • Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T

    New Report Highlights Business-Education Partnerships

    A new report released by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, “Shaping the Future Workforce,” showcases partnerships businesses have created with public schools, community colleges and universities.

    The report features best practices and key drivers of success to engage and inspire the next generation of workers in three categories: 1) Engaging & Inspiring the Future Workforce; 2) Targeted Curriculum & Training Partnerships to produce workers with the skills they need most; and 3) Advancement Opportunities for Current Workers.

    Business leaders consistently cite five common drivers of success that apply to partnerships yielding the best outcomes. These themes offer a foundation for policy makers and educators to develop and scale future initiatives:

    • Adaptability. Adapting the goals of the program over time enables both businesses and educational institutions to evolve to meet changing needs, thus increasing the likelihood of the success;
    • Responsiveness. Acknowledging and being responsive to the different needs of students is necessary to ensure the maximum number of students are able to complete the program;
    • Accountability. Empirically measuring outcomes of these partnerships (i.e. completion rates, costs, attendance) allows for concrete analysis on the program’s impact;
    • Affordability. Emphasizing low cost is incredibly important to maximize the number of students able to participate thus increasing the impact of the program; and,
    • Leadership. Commitment by senior-level leadership is imperative and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership

    Photo: Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T. Credit Cydney Scott

  • 2016 STEM Summit logo