Governor Deval Patrick met with students and announced the awarding of $2.5 million in grant money to further the state’s status as a national leader in public higher education during a recent visit to Framingham State University.
“Massachusetts students are outperforming their peers in every other state in America,” Patrick told a crowd of more than 150 faculty, staff, students, politicians and state education leaders who gathered in the McCarthy Center Forum. “I’m very, very proud of that. There is more innovation going on in classrooms today than there has been in decades. But this is no time to rest on our laurels.”
The grant money is part of the Vision Project – the state’s master plan to establish the Commonwealth’s public higher education system as a national leader.
FSU will receive $59,100 to go toward an effort to redesign lower level STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) courses in order to increase student interest in those academic subjects, which align with key areas of workforce need in the Commonwealth.
Other objectives of the Vision Project include increasing college-going rates of high school graduates; increasing college graduation and success rates; increasing academic achievement on campus-level and national assessments of learning; and eliminating disparities in educational success among different ethnic/racial, economic and gender groups.
Prior to making the grant announcement, Patrick met with about 15 FSU students for a wideranging discussion that touched on college affordability, the job market and education. Patrick told the students that a highly-educated workforce is what attracts companies to Massachusetts.
“What we have here is brain power,” Patrick said. “We have an economy that requires the highest level of education.”
Framingham State Senior Barbara Pierre said she enjoyed getting a chance to chat with the governor.
“I thought he was really engaging and very genuine in his responses to our questions,” Pierre said following the discussion. “It was exciting having him here.”
FSU President Timothy Flanagan said he appreciated the governor taking time out of his schedule to talk with students.
“It was a very impressive and diverse question-and-answer session between the governor and our students,” Flanagan said. “We really appreciate him coming out and spending time on our campus.”