July 23 2019

BHS Earns State Grant to Form Innovation Pathway Program


Burlington High School was one of four schools in the state chosen to receive a state designation for a program designed to connect students with organizations in their field of interest and give them an opportunity to earn college credits. 


Burlington, Agawam, Atlantis Charter School in Fall River and Brockton high schools will launch new Innovation Pathway programs this fall to give students skills and experience in particular industries through college courses and internships after recently receiving official designation status from the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education, the Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced this week. 


More than 1,000 students are expected to be enrolled in these college and career pathways when the new programs are fully enrolled, a release from the governor’s office states. Twenty-five high schools in the Commonwealth now have Innovation Pathway programs designated by the state.


Launched in 2017, Innovation Pathways give students experience in a specific high-demand industry, such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, through coursework and internships at local area employers, the release states. Students earn college credits, at no cost to them, and gain insight as to whether the field is something they want to pursue in college or as a career.


“Innovation Pathways provide students with important additional knowledge and direction so they are prepared to pursue careers in high-demand industries in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is very thankful to the high school administrators who are doing the hard work to launch these new career pathways so students in the Commonwealth are better prepared for success after graduation.”


“Innovation Pathways also create strong partnerships with employers to expose students to career options and help them develop knowledge and skills related to their chosen field of study before they graduate high school,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Governor Baker and I hope exposure to STEM subjects through these newly named programs will inspire students to further their studies and move toward growing careers in Massachusetts.”


The Governor’s education funding legislation, An Act to Promote Equity and Excellence in Education, proposed a new enrollment category that will provide additional funding for high schools that implement Early College and Career Pathway programs, the release states. The bill - still under consideration by the Legislature - would create a dependable revenue stream as part of a school district’s Chapter 70 aid for every student enrolled. Currently there are approximately 2,400 students enrolled in early college and career pathway programs.


“These new pathways will help address one of the Commonwealth’s biggest challenges in education – making sure students are prepared for college and careers,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “Innovation Pathways, and its sister program early college, give students real experience in college and the workplace while they are still in high school, which is critical to ensure their future success.”


In Burlington, BHS is launching an Innovation Pathway in Information, with a computer science focus, that will serve 88 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Amazon Web Services, The MITRE Corporation, and Microsoft, among a number of other area employers.


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