New Program Aimed at Closing Achievement Gaps Among Male Students Launches at FSU

New Program Aimed at Closing Achievement Gaps Among Male Students Launches at FSU

Feb 26, 2016

One hundred male high school students from Framingham gathered at Framingham State University on February 26th for the launch of a comprehensive new program aimed at getting the students through college.

“Today may be the most important day of your life,” said MassBay Community College Interim President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “Today you are committing to go to college. We are making a big bet on you because we know you can deliver.”

The 100 Males to College initiative provides a comprehensive support structure to a cohort of 100 young male students to help them successfully graduate from high school, gain entry to college and earn a post-secondary degree. The support structure is an asset-based youth development model that embraces culture, identity and community.

“Every child deserves the same opportunity to attend and succeed in college,” said Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos. “These students represent the future for their communities, which is why we are so excited to take part in this important initiative."

The program - which is a partnership between Framingham State, MassBay Community College, Framingham High School, Keefe Technical School and local community groups - was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to help close achievement and opportunity gaps for male students and boost the state’s shrinking workforce.

Data compiled by the Department of Higher Education shows that low-income male students in Massachusetts enroll in college at a far lower rate than their female counterparts. Students were selected to participate in the program based on GPA, attendance rate and family income.

Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago spoke to the students about how he didn’t think college would have much of an impact on his life until he enrolled.

“It changed my life. It transformed me,” Santiago said. “I know it can have the same impact on each and every one of you.”

During the kickoff, the students were divided into groups and paired with a success coach, who will meet with them every other week to take part in various activities and lessons.

The Department of Higher Education awarded a $100,000 grant to help fund the program, which will provide a comprehensive support structure to the 100 students through partnerships with the MetroWest College Planning Center, MetroWest Boys and Girls Club, Metrowest YMCA, Jewish Family Services, and Chyten Premier Tutoring & Test Preparation of Framingham.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.