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Framingham State University and MassBay Community College Selected to Take Part in New Initiative Designed to Advance Transfer Pathways for Underrepresented Student Populations

Thursday, January 28, 2021

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (January 28, 2021) — Framingham State University (FSU) and MassBay Community College have been selected to take part in a new Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) that is designed to increase transfer rates from 2-year to 4-year colleges for African American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners.

Funded by ECMC Foundation and Ascendium Education Group, the two-year ETI will award up to $27,500 to fund partnerships between community and four-year colleges to advance transfer pathways and align them to increase transfer and completion for underrepresented student populations. The goal of the ETI is to serve 6,000 students from the identified underrepresented groups over the two-year project period. Each team must place at least 100 students on one of five identified transfer pathways by the end of the first year and 300 or more total by the end of the second year.

Framingham State and MassBay represent one of just 16 partnerships chosen to take part in the nationwide initiative, which is being coordinated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at MassBay Community College on this important initiative,” says FSU President F. Javier Cevallos. “Increasing and improving upon transfer and completion opportunities for underrepresented student populations is critical to supporting their educational goals and career aspirations. We are grateful to the AASCU, AACC, and APLU for their support of this effort.”

“This new collaboration, with our partner institution, Framingham State University, is aligned with our College’s mission to bridge the equity gaps for underrepresented students,” said MassBay President David Podell. “We know these students will benefit from the streamlined pathway, keeping them on track to reach their educational goals and college degrees, and ultimately earn higher salaries and retain better job prospects over their lifetime. The support from the AACC, AASCU, and the APLU comes at a critical time for us and for our students, and we thank them for their commitment.”

As participants in the program, FSU and MassBay will receive transfer coaching support to advance work plans that include:

  • An assessment of the current relationship between the two institutions to identify obstacles and develop response strategies that lead to a strong transfer relationship.
  • A review of current and/or new transfer pathways through an equity lens, specifically identifying evidence-based equity strategies or new innovative equity strategies that allow students to matriculate without losing credit and time to degree.

Other benefits include access to technical assistance provided by subject matter experts, participation in convenings to teach and learn from each other, and inform the development of train-the-trainer tools that colleges interested in strengthening their transfer pathways can use. Additionally, participants will focus on strengthening student support services and ensuring that culturally competent counseling, among other interventions, are considered as viable ways to serve these students.

Work on the project will begin in February and run through Fall of 2022. For more information, please visit

MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations, and Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.

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