Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined Secretary of Education Matthew Malone and Boston Public Schools Interim Superintendent John McDonough to kick-off the Roxbury Massachusetts Academic Polytech Pathway (RoxMAPP). The first-of-its-kind partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston will allow students attending Madison Park Technical Vocational High School to enroll in a dual enrollment pathway at Roxbury Community College (RCC). RoxMAPP will create clear avenues for students to high-demand careers in health care, information technology and the life sciences, while increasing graduation rates and closing access and achievement gaps for students of both institutions.
"We have made tremendous strides in raising the achievement levels of all Massachusetts students, but there is more we can do to prepare for the 21st century economy," said Governor Patrick. "RoxMAPP is about making significantly better and more effective use of the resources we have to develop the talent we have, to build a stronger economic future."
"The best investments we can make are in our young people and in our schools," said Mayor Menino. "This innovative partnership will put our students on the right track and prepare them for the careers of the future. These young men and women are the best our city has to offer and supporting them now will pay huge dividends to Boston in the years to come."
Eighteen students, including two seniors and 16 juniors from Madison Park, symbolically crossed Roxbury's Malcolm X Boulevard with Secretary Malone and Superintendent McDonough from their high school and walked to their first college class at RCC, where they were met by Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino.
Announced in June, RoxMAPP will allow students attending Madison Park to enroll directly into RCC after high school and graduate with a high school diploma, an associate's degree and a technical training certificate in a high-demand field in as few as five years. The partnership will also connect RCC graduates with local employers in their field of choice for employment options after college, and create more defined pathways to local four-year universities for students who want to pursue higher degrees.
The partnership will be advised and directed by a Joint Industry Advisory Board appointed by Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino. The Boston School Committee and the RCC Board of Trustees will retain control of their respective institutions and will be represented on the new advisory board by members of both boards.
"After meeting these students it is impossible to not feel inspired and determined to help them achieve their dreams," said Secretary Malone. "RoxMAPP is more than just a partnership that will eventually help lift up Madison Park and RCC, it is a vision that invests in a community that deserves it."
Key goals of the partnership include:
Increasing college and career readiness by creating robust and seamless educational and career pathways for students;
Increasing employment rates for young adults in the region;
Increasing student retention and graduation rates and closing persistent achievement gaps by providing all students with more comprehensive and individualized support; and
Creating new opportunities for community renewal and development and revitalizing the Roxbury neighborhood.