Press Release

Press Release  Ahead of Supreme Court Decision on Race-Based Admissions, Healey-Driscoll Administration Takes Action to Promote Representation in Education

Creates Advisory Council to Advance Representation in Education, Expands College and Career Readiness Tools
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Executive Office of Education

Media Contact   for Ahead of Supreme Court Decision on Race-Based Admissions, Healey-Driscoll Administration Takes Action to Promote Representation in Education

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — Ahead of the Supreme Court’s pending decision on the legality of race-based higher education admissions criteria, Governor Maura Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler today announced their administration is forming an Advisory Council for the Advancement of Representation in Education and expanding access to college and career readiness tools for current Massachusetts students. The Advisory Council will work with the administration to ensure Massachusetts will always be open, welcoming, and inclusive of students of color and other students typically underrepresented in higher education. 

The Healey-Driscoll Administration is also proactively making MEFA Pathway, an online college and career planning resource, available for free to all current students in Massachusetts through a comprehensive outreach campaign targeting Gateway Cities. In addition, the administration is expanding professional development offerings for educators about the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s free My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP) to 50 new high schools and 50 new 6th to 8th grade schools in FY24, with grants for implementation totaling $600,000. By expanding college and career readiness tools, the administration seeks to connect more Massachusetts students, especially those who are historically underrepresented in higher education, with the support they need to seek out the high-quality college and career opportunities they deserve and make sure they know that there is a place for them in the state’s institutions of higher education. The funding for the MyCAP expansion grants will come from the FY24 Early College and Innovation Pathways budget line item. 

“We want to send a clear message to students of all backgrounds – you are welcome here in Massachusetts. We are a national leader in education, home to the first university and first public school, and we are strong because of our commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We’re backing up that commitment today with action to expand access to tools that will help break down barriers to higher education, especially for students of color, LGBTQ+ students and first-generation students. We will continue to monitor the Supreme Court and any future decisions, and work with the advisory council to inform any additional action needed at the state level to keep Massachusetts welcoming and inclusive of all students.” 

“No Supreme Court decision can change the fact that Massachusetts welcomes and celebrates students of all backgrounds and experiences. We’re taking proactive steps today to help more students envision themselves on their chosen path toward higher education or a career," said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our administration is spearheading efforts committed to bringing people together to improve representation in higher education, which is critical for the success of our education system, our economy and our entire state.”  

The Advisory Council for the Advancement of Representation in Education is made up of stakeholders with expertise in higher education; civil rights advocacy; diversity, equity and inclusion work; and the experiences of students of color. The advisory council will convene for its first meeting today, June 14, under the leadership of the Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler and Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega. Over the next year, the advisory council will share information across sectors about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision after it is released and will work creatively to break down barriers to higher education to ensure Massachusetts remains open, welcoming, and inclusive of all students.  

“A multitude of backgrounds, perspectives, and worldviews will always be a value-add at our institutions of higher learning, both public and private, and our administration is committed to advancing those values,” said Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler. “The experts joining us on this advisory council are great thinkers and key leaders at the forefront of the fight for equity for historically underrepresented students in Massachusetts, and together we will figure out the best way to continue inclusivity and representation in education. I’m also thrilled we can expand MEFA Pathways and MyCAP to help more students plan for college and career success, particularly students who have too often been excluded from the college planning process.”  

“This advisory council will enhance critical cross-sector communication to ensure stakeholders in the Commonwealth are working together to break down barriers of access to higher education, particularly for those who have been historically marginalized and our students of color,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega. “And, by expanding these college and career readiness tools, this administration will make sure all current Massachusetts students have equal access to helpful resources to plan for success at any of our 29 public and our 82 private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.” 

MEFA Pathway is an online resource for middle and high school students, and their parents, that enables them to plan for college and career pathways. Previously, this tool has only been available in some districts. But now, through a coordinated outreach campaign, every student in Massachusetts will be able to access this interactive digital resource that will help students and their families successfully navigate the college application and selection process, empowering them to envision the future that they deserve. 

MyCAP is the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s in-school initiative that helps students plan for academic, personal, social, and career success. MyCAP was initially available for districts and schools to use at the high school level and later expanded to middle school. The planning model allows students to seek out learning opportunities – including classes or designated pathways such as Early College or innovation career pathways – that align with their individual interests and self-defined personal and academic goals. Starting this program in middle school will allow educators to engage students in academic and career planning at a younger age, hopefully reaching even more students who need that extra support in order to see themselves achieving a college degree.   

“By expanding the use of MEFA Pathways and MyCAP, we are enabling even more students who were historically underrepresented in higher education to access college and career planning guidance,” said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey C. Riley. “Supports like these can be particularly helpful for students who might not otherwise envision themselves in college.” 

 Advisory Council for the Advancement of Representation in Education 

  1. Nefertiti A. Walker 
    Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion & Professor of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

  1. John D. Keenan  
    President, Salem State University 

  1. David Podell 
    President, Massachusetts Bay Community College 

  1. Aaron Polansky 
    Superintendent-Director, Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical 

  1. Aisha Francis 
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology 

  1. Kevin Lang 
    Lawrence A. Bloom Professor of Economics, Boston University 

  1. Mary R. Jeka 
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University Relations Division, Tufts University 

  1. Mary Strother 
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Northeastern University 

  1. Joyya P. Smith 
    Vice President for Diversity, Access & Inclusion, Suffolk University 

  1. Harry E. Dumay 
    President, College of Our Lady of the Elms 

  1. Michael A. Kippins 
    Lauren Sampson Fellow, Lawyers for Civil Rights 

  1. Tanisha M. Sullivan 
    President, NAACP Boston 

  1. Traci Griffith 

          Racial Justice Program Director, ACLU of Massachusetts 

  1. Robert J. McCarron 
    President and CEO, AICU Mass 

  1. Suzanne Lee 
    Affiliated with Massachusetts Asian American Educators Association and Chinese Progressive Association 

  1. Greer Spatz Croxford 
    General Counsel, Division of Occupational Licensure 

  1. Henry Thomas, III 
    President Emeritus, Urban League of Springfield 

  1. Yvette M. Frisby 

         Interim President & CEO, Urban League of Springfield 

  1. Rahsaan D. Hall  
    President and CEO, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts 

  1. Amanda Fernández 
    CEO and Co-Founder, Latinos for Education 

  1. Amanda Hillman Seider 
    Executive Director, One Goal 

  1. Bahar Akman Imboden 
    Managing Director, Hildreth Institute 

  1. Clinton Dick 
    General Counsel, Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation 

  1. Colleen Richards Powell  
    Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, American Tower 

  1. Dale R. Hendricks 
    Director of Admission and Financial Aid Systems and Strategies, Amherst College 

  1. Derrick Young, Jr.  
    Co-Founder and Executive Director, Leadership Brainery 

  1. Femi Stoltz 
    Massachusetts Policy Director, uAspire  

  1. Genesis Carela 
    State Policy Associate for Massachusetts, The Education Trust 

  1. Ginette Saimprevil  
    Executive Director, Bottom Line 

  1. Gregory Chery 
    Executive Director, Minds Matter 

  1. Mindy Wright 
    Founder and Executive Director, Upward Project 

  1. Tyra Anderson-Montina 
    Chief Program Officer, Thrive Scholars 

  1. Cassandra L.M. Prince 

  1. Raquel J. Webster 

  1. Zachary Dyer 

Student Representative, UMass Chan Medical School 

  1. Angel Garcia 

Student Representative, Northshore Community College 

  1. Darie Martinez 

Student Representative, Middlesex Community College 

  1. Joseph Bonilla 

Student Representative, Westfield State University 

  1. Vina Le 

Student Representative, Worcester State University 

  1. Yanelis Ortiz Aquino 

Student Representative, Salem State University 

  1. Taylor Hope 

Student Representative, MCLA 

  1. Kenzler Joseph 

Student Representative, Framingham State University 




Media Contact   for Ahead of Supreme Court Decision on Race-Based Admissions, Healey-Driscoll Administration Takes Action to Promote Representation in Education

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are committed to bringing people together and making Massachusetts a place where every worker, business and family can succeed.
  • Executive Office of Education 

    From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

    While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.
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