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February 26, 2024
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February 26, 2024

Boston Public Schools and UMass Boston sign off on agreement

Olivia Reid
Students walk toward McCormack Hall. Photo by Olivia Reid / Photography Editor.

At the recent State of the City Address, Mayor Michelle Wu announced several partnerships of higher education institutions with schools in the Boston Public Schools system. Among these announcements, UMass Boston was highlighted for signing an agreement with BPS to make the Boston Community Leadership Academy-McCormack high school the district’s first University-Assisted Community Hub School. 

Beyond just providing BCLA-McCormack students with the opportunity to take college courses, the new partnership will provide benefits to the UMass Boston community as well. According to the Caught in Dot magazine, this agreement will “partner talented educators from both institutions, help develop UMass graduate students into future teachers and counselors, and create a seamless pathway into UMass Boston for BCLA-McCormack graduates.” [1]

A press release from UMass Boston stated that this partnership was “developed over a year of research and strategizing.” [2]

This is not the first time UMass Boston has collaborated with BPS. For example, in 2023, UMass Boston and Fenway High School launched the first “Year 13” program, which is an expansion of the already existing “Early College” program. With the Early College program, high school students can take college courses and earn college credits, but it is limited to current students. [3]

The Year 13 program expands this concept by allowing high school graduates to keep earning college credits, as long as they were already enrolled in Early College. The best thing about these programs is that it comes at no cost to the students, thus allowing them to save on college tuition.

Year 13 will proceed with its second year this September, according to Caught in Dot, as “Bunker Hill Community College and Charlestown High School launch… a full year of free college courses to Charlestown graduates.”

Aside from UMass Boston and BHCC, another educational institution named in the State of the City Address was Roxbury Community College. RCC will launch the first Early College program for multilingual students at English High School, the Margarita Muñiz Academy and Boston International High School’s Newcomers Academy. 

Mass General Brigham will also deepen its partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers “to ensure Boston’s healthcare professions reflect the community,” according to Mayor Wu. [4]

UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco had this to say in the recent press release: 

“I thank Mayor Wu, Superintendent Mary Skipper and BCLA/McCormack Head of School Ondrea Johnston for their partnership in what will be the first university-assisted community school in Massachusetts. As Boston’s premiere public research university, we are committed to providing BPS students with an equitable pathway to and through UMass Boston. We look forward to working alongside the mayor and superintendent with BCLA/McCormack leadership, teachers, students, parents and the community to ensure this is a successful collaboration.”

Chancellor Suárez-Orozco had previously worked with high schools in California in his role as dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

In the backdrop of ongoing challenges like the influx of migrants to Boston and the country as a whole, expanding education in the city is a necessity. Not only for students and families already living in Boston, but also for the ones who will continue to come here. 

Graduating high school and earning a college degree can open many doors in life. Making programs like Early College or multilingual education available to young students in Boston is a great step forward toward those goals.

  1. https://caughtindot.com/mayor-wu-delivers-her-2024-state-of-the-city-address-heres-the-breakdown/
  2. https://www.umb.edu/news/recent-news/bps-and-umb-partner-to-establish-hub-school/
  3. https://www.dotnews.com/2023/mayor-wu-proposes-year-13-pilot-program-partnership-umass-boston
  4. https://www.boston.gov/news/state-city-2024
About the Contributor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor