Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to receive $190,000 from Mass. Department of Education to support The Westfield Promise early college program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2019
CONTACT: Troy Watkins, twatkins@westfield.ma.edu, 413.572.5523

Westfield – Westfield State University will receive an allocation of approximately $190,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to support the University’s Westfield Promise program in calendar year 2019.

Designated as a Massachusetts Early College Program by the Board of Higher Education and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Early College Joint Committee in the summer of 2018, the Westfield Promise pairs Westfield State with public school systems in Westfield, Holyoke, and Springfield to provide an early college experience for underserved student populations.

With some 180 high school students currently enrolled in the program, Westfield State accounts for 21 percent of the total student enrollment across all Designated Massachusetts Early College Programs among the nine state universities. Westfield State will receive 21 percent of the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Plan funding.

“The early success of this program is due to the hard work of our facilitators and faculty members who have made this program a priority,” said Westfield State President Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D., who explained that Westfield State faculty have welcomed and integrated high school seniors into their courses on the University’s campus and have co-taught stretch courses to juniors in the three public high school settings. “This important collaboration between secondary and higher education provides greater accessibility and demystified pathways to a four-year degree.”

Now in its second year, the Westfield Promise enables local high school juniors and seniors to earn up to 12 college credits by the time they graduate from high school, and provides preferred admission to Westfield State. The majority of the student participants are first generation college students. This program provides exposure and insight to help them visualize themselves as bachelor degree candidates. It also preserves the University’s commitment to accessibility and our neighboring communities.

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

For more information about Westfield State University, visit www.westfield.ma.edu, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/westfieldstate, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WestfieldStateUniversity.

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