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.

  • 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

  • Photo of MCLA Campus

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path

    Accelerated 3+3 program will save students a year's worth of time and tuition

    After a new agreement with Western New England University announced on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has positioned itself as a launch pad for students interested in a law degree.

    In what is termed a "three plus three" agreement between the two schools, a qualified undergraduate student can leave MCLA after three years of coursework to attend Western New England University, where he or she will be on-track to receive a Juris Doctor Degree.

    Typically, a student would receive a Juris Doctor after seven years of college education — four as an undergraduate and three in law school.

    "We are pleased to sign this agreement with the Western New England University School of Law," MCLA President James Birge said. "This 3+3 arrangement will attract qualified and ambitious undergraduate students who seek a career in law. An accelerated course of study, this program will save them one year's worth of time and tuition as it maintains high academic standards and provides a challenging and comprehensive curriculum."

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path - The Berkshire Eagle

  • BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship

    For the first time in 11 years, the Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball team has won the Massachusetts Community College Athletic Association statewide championship.

    During the season the Bulldogs sustained a ten-game winning streak, secured wins against the New England powerhouse Community College of Rhode Island for the first time in the College's history, and rose to 8th position in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings.

    BHCC Men's Basketball players David Stewart and Elijah Rogers made the all-region team, as did Fredens Deneus, whose impressive credentials made him a candidate for the NJCAA All-American team as well. Deneus ranks second in the U.S. in field goals and seventh in rebounds.

    "This year's win is the first post-season title for the Bulldogs since 2005," said an ecstatic Nkrumah Jones, an alumnus of both BHCC and the Men's Basketball team, who is now in his fifth year as Men's Basketball coach at the College. "We were in first place the whole season, and remain confident in our ability to continue our dominance," Jones said. 

    Winning the title will draw more recruits to BHCC, Jones added.  He pointed out that, in a season of firsts, the MCCAC title was the first basketball championship to be won in the College's own gym. The gym is part of the College's newest structure, a LEED-Gold building that went up just six years ago.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship - Yahoo News

    PHOTO: BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • Two students look at equipment in a science classroom

    MA Life Sciences Center Announces STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program for High Schools

    High Schools can apply for grants of up to $250,000 for equipment or $10,000 for teacher development.

    The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the fifth round of the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program, which awards public high schools and middle schools grants that enable the purchase of equipment and supplies. The program also seeks to increase student achievement and student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as support the implementation of state STEM standards. The program has previously awarded more than $12 million to high schools and middle schools throughout Massachusetts and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from the life sciences industry.

    Applicants must request funding to purchase equipment and/or supplies to support STEM education that prepares students with the skills needed for future employment in the life sciences. The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.” Requested equipment and/or supplies must be used to support science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), technology (e.g. robotics, computer science, etc.), engineering, and/or math education and training.

    High school applicants can request grant funding of up to $100,000; or up to $250,000 provided that any amount over $100,000 is matched one-for-one by an industry partner that supports the training program for which the equipment and supplies are needed. Middle school applicants can request grant funding of up to $50,000.

    New this year, the program offers additional funding of up to $10,000 for teacher professional development to ensure that all recipient schools have teachers that are trained to use the equipment and have access to relevant curricula that deploys the equipment in labs and activities that support learning goals throughout the academic year.

    Applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016. 

  • Three students gather around a microscope in a lab. Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

    State Announces Supports for Updated Science and Technology/Engineering Learning Standards

    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be convening science educators in June to identify strategies and resources for transitioning to the 2016 STE standards.

    May 27, 2016– The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is offering districts help in implementing the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted earlier this year.

    The updated, voluntary curriculum framework, also referred to as a set of learning standards, outlines what students should know and be able to do at different grade levels in the areas of science, technology and engineering. Educators at the local level determine what materials and curricula they will use to help students achieve the goals laid out in the framework.

    The 2016 framework includes both the learning standards and a variety of supporting materials. Each district is or will be developing its own plan for transitioning to the updated framework, and the plans will take into account local conditions, initiatives and resources. The Department is making several types of resources available to districts:

    • Online updated strand maps, cross walks and more;
    • Educators trained as science ambassadors who are available to help schools and districts become familiar with the standards and their implications for curriculum and instruction; and
    • Opportunities to engage in multi-district collaborations to share resources and strategies for transitioning to the 2016 standards.
      • Districts who would like to explore opportunities to collaborate can attend a science and technology/engineering District Collaboration Kickoff Event on June 14 or 15 organized in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston.
      • For multi-district collaborations already underway, ESE is supporting ongoing work to share resources and strategies.

    The 2016 science and technology/engineering standards are intended to drive engaging, relevant, rigorous and coherent instruction that emphasizes student mastery of core ideas and how to apply science and engineering practices. Ultimately, the standards support student readiness for citizenship, college and careers.

    "I would like to thank the many educators who helped us update the science and technology/engineering curriculum framework to meet the needs of today's learners," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "All students must be prepared to engage in public discussions on scientific and technical issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technological information and products, possess the scientific and technical knowledge and skills that many careers and college options now require, and have the opportunity to pursue a scientific or technical career if desired."

    The state and educators last updated the science and technology/engineering framework in 2006.

    The Department thanks all individuals and groups that provided input, reviewed comments, and suggested edits to the science and technology/engineering standards during their development. We are grateful for the dedication and expertise of all the educators, scientists, scholars, employers, and other participants who engaged in this important endeavor.

    Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

  • STEM Starter Academy Year 2 Evaluation Report Released

    Key findings include 70% of degrees and certificates completed by SSA participants were in STEM fields, compared to statewide 45%

    Executive Summary

    The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) awarded STEM Starter Academy (SSA) grants to each of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts during FY14 and renewed those awards for FY15 and FY16. The SSA initiative is intended to support community colleges’ efforts to inform, engage, recruit, retain, and graduate significantly more students and enhance their success in STEM pathway programs leading to job placements or 4-year college transfer. SSA sites have worked to address support service and activity gaps through extension of current programs, capacity building, or collaboration across campuses and to articulate these practices with current systems of student support. The UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) is working with DHE to evaluate the SSA initiative, and this report presents findings from Year 2.

    An important Year 2 development was the specification of a program model for SSA, developed by DHEin collaboration with SSA sites. UMDI and DHE have collaborated to align measurement activities with the key outcomes and metrics outlined in the model. The model’s goals and metrics were used to guide planning for Year 3 and also frame the reflections on Year 2 in this report.

    Year 2 of SSA saw substantial participation in SSA programs across sites and the emergence of promising practices related to recruitment, readiness, retention, and completion. This report presents preliminary indicators of SSA initiative impacts, promising practices at SSA sites, and key lessons learned during Year 2. At the time of this report, no cohort of SSA participants (who joined as first-time, full-time freshman) has had the opportunity to complete (at least) two full years of courses. Thus, we do not yet have the data needed to address many questions regarding the impact of the SSA initiative on student outcomes. The executive summary provides a synopsis of Year 2 participation, outcomes, SSA strategies, and strategic considerations.

  • a woman does a science experiment at her booth at the 2014 STEM Summit

    House Speaker DeLeo recognizes MassBay Community College's STEM Starter Academy and STEM Mentor Program

    Speaker DeLeo highlights partnership between MassBay and Sanofi Genzyme at Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on March 2

    In a speech to a crowd of over 300 people at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo outlined house priorities for the next year. He announced new initiatives and praised successful programs like the community colleges' STEM Starter Academies. DeLeo applauded Massachusetts Bay Community College’s partnership with Sonofi Genzyme through the STEM Mentorship Program, in which 38 employees from Genzyme mentored MassBay students to provide academic guidance, job shadowing, and opportunities for bonding at networking and social events.

    Photo: (from left) Valerie Kapilow, Laura Garcia, Robert DeLeo, Chitra Javdekar and Cynthia Arbeeny

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.

  • 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

  • Photo of MCLA Campus

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path

    Accelerated 3+3 program will save students a year's worth of time and tuition

    After a new agreement with Western New England University announced on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has positioned itself as a launch pad for students interested in a law degree.

    In what is termed a "three plus three" agreement between the two schools, a qualified undergraduate student can leave MCLA after three years of coursework to attend Western New England University, where he or she will be on-track to receive a Juris Doctor Degree.

    Typically, a student would receive a Juris Doctor after seven years of college education — four as an undergraduate and three in law school.

    "We are pleased to sign this agreement with the Western New England University School of Law," MCLA President James Birge said. "This 3+3 arrangement will attract qualified and ambitious undergraduate students who seek a career in law. An accelerated course of study, this program will save them one year's worth of time and tuition as it maintains high academic standards and provides a challenging and comprehensive curriculum."

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path - The Berkshire Eagle

  • BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship

    For the first time in 11 years, the Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball team has won the Massachusetts Community College Athletic Association statewide championship.

    During the season the Bulldogs sustained a ten-game winning streak, secured wins against the New England powerhouse Community College of Rhode Island for the first time in the College's history, and rose to 8th position in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings.

    BHCC Men's Basketball players David Stewart and Elijah Rogers made the all-region team, as did Fredens Deneus, whose impressive credentials made him a candidate for the NJCAA All-American team as well. Deneus ranks second in the U.S. in field goals and seventh in rebounds.

    "This year's win is the first post-season title for the Bulldogs since 2005," said an ecstatic Nkrumah Jones, an alumnus of both BHCC and the Men's Basketball team, who is now in his fifth year as Men's Basketball coach at the College. "We were in first place the whole season, and remain confident in our ability to continue our dominance," Jones said. 

    Winning the title will draw more recruits to BHCC, Jones added.  He pointed out that, in a season of firsts, the MCCAC title was the first basketball championship to be won in the College's own gym. The gym is part of the College's newest structure, a LEED-Gold building that went up just six years ago.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship - Yahoo News

    PHOTO: BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • Two students look at equipment in a science classroom

    MA Life Sciences Center Announces STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program for High Schools

    High Schools can apply for grants of up to $250,000 for equipment or $10,000 for teacher development.

    The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the fifth round of the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program, which awards public high schools and middle schools grants that enable the purchase of equipment and supplies. The program also seeks to increase student achievement and student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as support the implementation of state STEM standards. The program has previously awarded more than $12 million to high schools and middle schools throughout Massachusetts and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from the life sciences industry.

    Applicants must request funding to purchase equipment and/or supplies to support STEM education that prepares students with the skills needed for future employment in the life sciences. The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.” Requested equipment and/or supplies must be used to support science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), technology (e.g. robotics, computer science, etc.), engineering, and/or math education and training.

    High school applicants can request grant funding of up to $100,000; or up to $250,000 provided that any amount over $100,000 is matched one-for-one by an industry partner that supports the training program for which the equipment and supplies are needed. Middle school applicants can request grant funding of up to $50,000.

    New this year, the program offers additional funding of up to $10,000 for teacher professional development to ensure that all recipient schools have teachers that are trained to use the equipment and have access to relevant curricula that deploys the equipment in labs and activities that support learning goals throughout the academic year.

    Applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016. 

  • Three students gather around a microscope in a lab. Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

    State Announces Supports for Updated Science and Technology/Engineering Learning Standards

    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be convening science educators in June to identify strategies and resources for transitioning to the 2016 STE standards.

    May 27, 2016– The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is offering districts help in implementing the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted earlier this year.

    The updated, voluntary curriculum framework, also referred to as a set of learning standards, outlines what students should know and be able to do at different grade levels in the areas of science, technology and engineering. Educators at the local level determine what materials and curricula they will use to help students achieve the goals laid out in the framework.

    The 2016 framework includes both the learning standards and a variety of supporting materials. Each district is or will be developing its own plan for transitioning to the updated framework, and the plans will take into account local conditions, initiatives and resources. The Department is making several types of resources available to districts:

    • Online updated strand maps, cross walks and more;
    • Educators trained as science ambassadors who are available to help schools and districts become familiar with the standards and their implications for curriculum and instruction; and
    • Opportunities to engage in multi-district collaborations to share resources and strategies for transitioning to the 2016 standards.
      • Districts who would like to explore opportunities to collaborate can attend a science and technology/engineering District Collaboration Kickoff Event on June 14 or 15 organized in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston.
      • For multi-district collaborations already underway, ESE is supporting ongoing work to share resources and strategies.

    The 2016 science and technology/engineering standards are intended to drive engaging, relevant, rigorous and coherent instruction that emphasizes student mastery of core ideas and how to apply science and engineering practices. Ultimately, the standards support student readiness for citizenship, college and careers.

    "I would like to thank the many educators who helped us update the science and technology/engineering curriculum framework to meet the needs of today's learners," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "All students must be prepared to engage in public discussions on scientific and technical issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technological information and products, possess the scientific and technical knowledge and skills that many careers and college options now require, and have the opportunity to pursue a scientific or technical career if desired."

    The state and educators last updated the science and technology/engineering framework in 2006.

    The Department thanks all individuals and groups that provided input, reviewed comments, and suggested edits to the science and technology/engineering standards during their development. We are grateful for the dedication and expertise of all the educators, scientists, scholars, employers, and other participants who engaged in this important endeavor.

    Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

  • STEM Starter Academy Year 2 Evaluation Report Released

    Key findings include 70% of degrees and certificates completed by SSA participants were in STEM fields, compared to statewide 45%

    Executive Summary

    The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) awarded STEM Starter Academy (SSA) grants to each of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts during FY14 and renewed those awards for FY15 and FY16. The SSA initiative is intended to support community colleges’ efforts to inform, engage, recruit, retain, and graduate significantly more students and enhance their success in STEM pathway programs leading to job placements or 4-year college transfer. SSA sites have worked to address support service and activity gaps through extension of current programs, capacity building, or collaboration across campuses and to articulate these practices with current systems of student support. The UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) is working with DHE to evaluate the SSA initiative, and this report presents findings from Year 2.

    An important Year 2 development was the specification of a program model for SSA, developed by DHEin collaboration with SSA sites. UMDI and DHE have collaborated to align measurement activities with the key outcomes and metrics outlined in the model. The model’s goals and metrics were used to guide planning for Year 3 and also frame the reflections on Year 2 in this report.

    Year 2 of SSA saw substantial participation in SSA programs across sites and the emergence of promising practices related to recruitment, readiness, retention, and completion. This report presents preliminary indicators of SSA initiative impacts, promising practices at SSA sites, and key lessons learned during Year 2. At the time of this report, no cohort of SSA participants (who joined as first-time, full-time freshman) has had the opportunity to complete (at least) two full years of courses. Thus, we do not yet have the data needed to address many questions regarding the impact of the SSA initiative on student outcomes. The executive summary provides a synopsis of Year 2 participation, outcomes, SSA strategies, and strategic considerations.

  • a woman does a science experiment at her booth at the 2014 STEM Summit

    House Speaker DeLeo recognizes MassBay Community College's STEM Starter Academy and STEM Mentor Program

    Speaker DeLeo highlights partnership between MassBay and Sanofi Genzyme at Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on March 2

    In a speech to a crowd of over 300 people at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo outlined house priorities for the next year. He announced new initiatives and praised successful programs like the community colleges' STEM Starter Academies. DeLeo applauded Massachusetts Bay Community College’s partnership with Sonofi Genzyme through the STEM Mentorship Program, in which 38 employees from Genzyme mentored MassBay students to provide academic guidance, job shadowing, and opportunities for bonding at networking and social events.

    Photo: (from left) Valerie Kapilow, Laura Garcia, Robert DeLeo, Chitra Javdekar and Cynthia Arbeeny