Tuesday, June 18, 2013 -- Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston to increase student achievement and prepare students at Roxbury Community College (RCC) and Madison Park Vocational Technical High School (Madison Park) for success in a 21st century economy. RoxMAPP, the Roxbury Massachusetts Advanced Polytech Pathway, will create clear avenues for students to high-demand careers including health care, information technology and the life sciences in the region and beyond, while also helping increase graduation rates and close access and achievement gaps for students of both institutions.
Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino made today's announcement at RCC's Allied Health Nursing Program, where they outlined their vision for the RoxMAPP partnership with the expectation that community leaders, teachers, parents and students will help develop the RoxMAPP plan and bring it to life over the next five years.
"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."
"Our city's residents are Boston's greatest asset," said Mayor Menino. "That's why this new partnership is so important -- it invests in our people to give our city an even more skilled workforce and creates more opportunities so everyone can share in the success of Boston's economy."
The RoxMAPP partnership will increase coordination among RCC, Madison Park, business leaders and the greater community in order to ensure that students at both institutions have greater access to essential information about specific career pathways and greater opportunities to participate in exciting work-based learning programs. 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 local leaders who will serve on the board are still being considered. 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.
The Chair of the new advisory board, RCC and Madison Park, working in coordination with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education and the Boston School Department will develop a work plan for the establishment of RoxMAPP by October 1 of this year.
"What is unique about this partnership is that it creates a clear pathway for students to see and touch the future," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "With the help of the leaders of this important and vibrant community this partnership will become a model that should be replicated all over Massachusetts."
During today's announcement, Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino outlined several key goals of the partnership, including:
- 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.
"By working together, Madison Park and Roxbury Community College can fully prepare students for tomorrow's economy," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. "The partnerships and innovations made possible through RoxMAPP will result in real, lasting achievements inside and outside our classrooms that will benefit this generation and the next."
"If we are going to best serve the students who attend Roxbury Community College we have a responsibility to ensure our programs are on the cutting-edge," said incoming RCC President Valerie Roberson. "RoxMAPP gives us a new opportunity to think about our future while also respecting the strong foundation our college is built on. I look forward to being a part of bringing this vision to life."
"An investment in the children of Boston is one that not only benefits student achievement but also the long-term success of our local economy," said Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish. "We are fortunate to have a Governor and a Mayor who have joined with the business community to focus on key issues of education, labor, and workforce development that make our community stronger."
"The Partnership has the potential to be enormously valuable for students, parents and the community. It represents a huge step in the right direction, for the right folks, and at the right time in their emerging careers," said Darnell Williams, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. "We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with this initiative as it takes shape and impact the lives of our community residents."
"This new partnership will be especially valuable for students and their connection to employers," said Veronica Turner, Executive Vice-President of 1199SEIU. "RoxMAPP will create a solid link between education and career pathways by working to eliminate the skills gap many employers are finding in today's workforce. We welcome the opportunity to join with this initiative as it enhances the area's skilled workforce."