- Executive Office of Education
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Designations to High Schools with New Programs that Help Students Gain College and Career Experience
Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded designations to 19 high schools for launching new programs, known as Innovation Pathways, that will connect students’ learning to a career pathway by providing work-based learning experiences with rigorous technical coursework. These early career programs provide high school students with a coherent course of study focused on a particular field, while also offering them access to college-level courses and internship opportunities to gain work experience and insight about whether the field is something they would like to pursue in college or a career after high school.
The Baker-Polito Administration launched these early career programs in 2017 to help students develop knowledge and skills related to a chosen field of study before they graduate high school. Many of the early career programs at high schools are in STEM-related fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, environmental and life sciences, health care and social assistance and business and finance.
“These early career programs engage students through valuable work experiences and career-oriented coursework that gives them a head-start on their futures,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Innovation Pathway programs provide students tremendous opportunities for future success in and out of the classroom.”
“Innovation Pathway programs build strong partnerships with local employers to give students exposure and experience in their chosen field of study,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Not only do students benefit from this experience, but Massachusetts employers also gain skilled workers who are ready to hit the ground running when they are hired.”
With these new designations, there are now 42 high schools with Innovation Pathway programs, with a total of 99 different pathways. More than 4,000 students are projected to be enrolled in an Innovation Pathway program next year.
“Students who gain skills and knowledge in a particular field of study they have chosen become more engaged in their studies and excited about their potential career options,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “These early career pathways open doors for many students who may not have thought about careers in biotech, information technology, or environmental science.”
“I’m happy to see so many high schools embracing these early career programs as a way to make learning more relevant and engaging for students,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley said. “Students in Innovation Pathways have a better idea of what a career in a given field might look like and how they can prepare themselves.”
Last October, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito announced the availability of $1.8 million in grants, over three years, from American Student Assistance (ASA), a national nonprofit based in Massachusetts. The grants will help high schools across the Commonwealth develop programs that prepare students for college and careers. Today’s 19 schools receiving designations were awarded a total of $284,675 from the first round of grant funding.
The ASA grants were awarded to the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet to help fund Innovation Pathway programs at high schools across the Commonwealth, and marked the first time that ASA awarded a major grant to a state to support college and career pathways in high schools.
“ASA is extremely proud to support the Innovation Pathways program, which provides critical work-based learning experiences to high school students across the Commonwealth. Right now, this type of exploration and career exposure can play a role in our immediate and long-term workforce recovery, as well as to individual student success, said American Student Assistance CEO Jean Eddy. “Tying real-world experience to classroom learning motivates students, and it helps build the skills and social capital needed to transition into the working world or higher education. We applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for their continue commitment to this program.”
Schools that apply for designation for an Innovation Pathways are required to follow five design principles:
- Equitable access for all students
- Guided academic pathway relating to one of five specified broad industry sectors
- Enhanced student supports
- Relevant connections to career
- Deep partnerships between high schools, employers, and workforce development boards
The following high schools received designations:
Attleboro Comprehensive High School - Attleboro
Attleboro Comprehensive High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Manufacturing that will serve 80 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Bristol and the Attleboro Area School to Career Partnership (AASTCP), along with several area employers, including Sensatsa Technologies, Turnkey, QinetiQ North America.
Barnstable High School – Barnstable
Barnstable High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Business & Finance that will serve 200 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Cape and Islands and the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce. Students will benefit from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) curriculum and entrepreneurial education opportunities, including internships with area businesses.
Chelsea High School – Chelsea
Chelsea High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Health Care & Social Assistance that will serve 25 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Metro North and Cambridge Health Alliance. Through internships and specialized mentorship from industry professionals, students in the pathway will gain exposure to the array of opportunities in the health field. Students will also take college dual enrollment courses at Bunker Hill Community College.
Dearborn STEM Academy - Roxbury
Dearborn STEM Academy is launching a Innovation Pathway in Manufacturing that will serve 90 students when fully enrolled. The school is collaborating with the MassHire Boston Workforce Board, Gillette as its employer partner to offer internship experiences, and Wentworth Institute of Technology to offer dual enrollment college courses.
Community Charter School of Cambridge – Cambridge
CCSC is launching three Innovation Pathways including Environmental & Life Sciences, Healthcare & Social Assistance, and Information that will serve 100 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board and several employer partners including CIC Cambridge, Life Science Cares, Inc., Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, and YWCA Cambridge to provide students with high-quality, industry-specific internships.
Everett High School – Everett
Everett High School is adding two Innovation Pathways in Business and Finance and Information Pathways that will serve 375 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with iBoss and Everett Cooperative Bank as employer partners. Students will enroll in dual enrollment college courses at Bunker Hill Community College, and in senior year will complete a 100-hour capstone project that will tie together elements of the program.
Fitchburg High School – Fitchburg
Fitchburg High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Manufacturing that will serve 100 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire North Central and employers Boutwell Owens, Greif, Inc./Fitchburg Containerboard, and New England Wire Company. Students will have the opportunity to earn relevant industry certifications. The school is working with Mount Wachusett Community College to align to the college's associate degree in Advanced Manufacturing.
Gardner High School and Gardner Academy for Learning and Technology – Gardner
Gardner High School and Gardner Academy for Learning and Technology are jointly launching four Innovation Pathways – Manufacturing; Business & Finance; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Information. These programs, across the two schools, will serve 395 students when fully enrolled. The district is partnering with MassHire North Central and the following area industry partners: Garlock Printing & Converting; Heywood Hospital; City of Gardner IT Department; and GFA Federal Credit Union. Students will take college dual enrollment courses at Mount Wachusett Community College and each will complete a capstone project, which will entail research and require students to reflect on workplace experiences.
Turners Falls High School – Montague
Turners Fall High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Healthcare & Social Assistance that will serve 15 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MasssHire Franklin-Hampshire and Community Action Pioneer Valley to provide students with internship opportunities at community health organizations.
Haverhill High School – Haverhill
Haverhill High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Healthcare & Social Assistance that will serve 80 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MasssHire Merrimack Valley and Whittier Health Network. As seniors, working with an industry mentor, students will develop a proposal for a capstone project, integrating concepts and skills learned throughout their four years in the pathway.
Holyoke High School – Holyoke
Holyoke High School is launching two Innovation Pathways in Environmental & Life Sciences and Health Care & Social Assistance that will serve 156 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Hampden along with Pioneer Valley Coral & Natural Science Institute (PVCNSI) and Holyoke Medical Center. Students will complete a capstone project that entails a full-time intensive field placement for research purposes and concludes with an adjudicated presentation.
Hopkins Academy – Hadley
Hopkins Academy is launching two Innovation Pathways in Business & Finance and Environmental & Life Sciences that will serve 40 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Franklin-Hampshire and multiple employer partners in the area. Students in the pathway will participate in internships and produce culminating projects, which they will showcase on public media.
Lawrence High School – Lawrence
Lawrence High School is launching two Innovation Pathways in Business & Finance and Health Care & Social Assistance that will serve 430 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Merrimack Valley and area employers, including Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), Lawrence General Hospital (LGH), Lawrence Partnership, Reading Cooperative Bank, and Jeanne d’Arc Credit Union. Senior students will complete a capstone project that entails a mini-internship or summer employment opportunity aligned to the pathway industry and field-based research.
Springfield Conservatory of the Arts – Springfield
Springfield Conservatory of the Arts is launching an Innovation Pathway in Information that will serve 84 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Hampden, multiple area industry organizations, and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in development of a curriculum that provides integrated instruction and credential preparation aligned to the Information sector. Students will complete a capstone project designed to address a challenging issue the student identifies.
Taunton High School – Taunton
Taunton High School is launching two Innovation Pathways in Information and Health Care & Social Assistance that will serve 300 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Bristol and Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP), Hub Technical Services, Morton Hospital, among other employers, to support these pathways. Students will take college dual enrollment courses at Bristol Community College and complete a capstone project.
Westfield High School – Westfield
Westfield High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Health Care & Social Assistance that will serve 80 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Hampden, Westfield Education to Business Alliance (WE2BA), and multiple employers including Western Massachusetts Hospital. Students in the pathway will complete a capstone project in which they will work with a certified life science teacher as well as a Registered Nurse to prepare for the Certified Nursing Assistant license.
Woburn Memorial High School – Woburn
Woburn Memorial High School is launching two Innovation Pathways in Environmental & Life Sciences and Manufacturing. The school is partnering with MassHire Metro North, Building Mass Careers, The Custom Group Center for Manufacturing Technology, L.L.C., Boston Centerless, Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), and Amgen Biotech Experience Education Development. Students will complete a capstone project with an industry representative advisor, and then present their project to a panel of experts.
Worcester Public Schools – Worcester
Worcester Public Schools is launching an Innovation Pathway in Business & Finance at its six comprehensive high schools (Burncoat, Doherty, North, South, Claremont, and University Park). This pathway will serve 60 students across the six high schools when fully enrolled. The district is partnering with MassHire Central, the Chamber of Commerce, and Machado Consulting. Senior students will participate in work-based learning in conjunction with the capstone project, cooperatively developed with industry partners. Students will also take dual enrollment courses at Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester State University.