Students from West Middle School in Brockton will visit Massasoit on October 5th and 7th

Throughout this fall, 4,351 7th graders from the local Gateway Cities of Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton will visit one of CONNECT’s public 2- or 4-year institutions in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod to participate in a college immersion program.

Superintendents, principals, and other public education administrators from the six communities have partnered with Massasoit as well as Bridgewater State University, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to plan these exploratory visits, which are designed to promote a college-going culture in communities that have low percentages of adults who have completed college.

The Massasoit visit will include a welcome and ice breaker activity, campus tours, presentations from Massasoit faculty and staff, a panel of Massasoit student speakers, and round table discussions with current and former Massasoit students over lunch.
The CONNECT Partnership and its public education partners from the Gateway City Public School districts, in support of the Commonwealth’s mission to prepare all students for college and career success, contends that a college-going culture must be cultivated during middle school and fostered by educators, families, and community members for children to see themselves as college students. The primary goals of this initiative are to ensure that students gain a heightened awareness of their potential to go to college; have increased motivation to complete middle and high school as a pathway to college; and gain an increased interest in career and vocational opportunities.

Although each of the CONNECT Partnership campuses hosts thousands of students annually, this program marks the first time that a coordinated effort among all five institutions has been imagined and executed.

CONNECT is a partnership of the five public higher education institutions in Southeastern Massachusetts: Bridgewater State University, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College, and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Established in 2003, CONNECT has two primary goals: to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of higher education; and to advance the economic, educational and cultural life of Southeastern Massachusetts. CONNECT realizes its mission by focusing on four major areas, with activities and initiatives that enhance academic programs and ease transfer of students among the institutions; foster economic development through the region; promote cultural programs and projects; and share expertise and resources. The executive officers of the CONNECT institutions act cooperatively to strengthen their institutional missions and to enrich the life of the region.

If you would like more information about this initiative, please contact Stacey A. Kaminski, Ed.D., executive director of the CONNECT Partnership at 508-531-1440 or via email at stacey.kaminski@connectsemass.org.