Tuesday, October 4, 2016
High school seniors from all Springfield Public Schools (SPS) learned about higher education opportunities through the state’s public colleges and universities, including the new “Commonwealth Commitment” program to lower college costs, as Governor Charlie Baker brought the 2016-17 “Go Higher!” event series to Springfield today. Governor Baker was joined by Education Secretary Jim Peyser, Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, and Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick.
“Go Higher!,” a state-sponsored program bringing college students and admissions officers to school districts across the state, will take place at the Basketball Hall of Fame on October 4th and 5th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days . It is the result of a partnership between SPS and the Department of Higher Education and represents the first time a school district has worked with the state to organize a “Go Higher!” program that will be attended by every one of its high school seniors.
Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick said more than 1,600 students from Central High School, the High School of Commerce, the High School of Science and Technology , Roger L. Putnam Vocational –Technical Academy, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield High School and Springfield Public Day High School were expected to attend.
Colleges represented included: Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Greenfield Community College , Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Maritime Academy , Salem State University, Springfield Technical Community College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst , the University of Massachusetts Boston, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth , the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Westfield State University and Worcester State University.
Several of the campuses attending the program brought interactive demonstrations to help students explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, which are part of the college curricula.
Warwick said the event provides a rare opportunity for students to gain a great deal of knowledge about local community colleges in one setting. “We are so excited about all of the information that will be shared with and gleaned by students over the course of these two days,” said Warwick. “We are grateful to the Department of Higher Education for forming such a wonderful partnership.”
Mayor Sarno stated, “It’s great to have Governor Baker and his administration back in Springfield. I commend Governor Baker and Superintendent Warwick for their efforts to lead the way for our students to know and believe that they can and will achieve higher education opportunities.”
“We love coming to Springfield,” said Santiago. “This district has embraced the notion that all students, not just a select few, deserve the chance to “go higher” at the college of their choice. In working with school officials, we have seen a strong willingness to collaborate and flexibility in scheduling that has made it possible for every student to gain some ‘college knowledge’ by attending these events.”
The Department of Higher Education’s GEAR UP college access program counselors worked closely with SPS to plan event details and logistics.