Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

UMass and the city of Springfield cement partnership

Last November Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and University of Massachusetts Chancellor Robert C. Holub signed a long term partnership agreement aiming to stimulate the city’s slumping economy.

Along with University funding, a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce totaled a combined $320,000 towards achieving the mission set forth by the city of Springfield and UMass. The partnership will mainly look to boost energy conservation and green fuels production that are available at UMass, but will also contribute much needed support to Springfield’s public school system.

Unemployment stands at 8 percent within the city, but with low proficiency ratings of 28 percent on MCAS scores, the future looks uncertain. Coupled with these low test scores, Springfield public school’s drop-out rate currently stands at 12.3 percent, four times the Massachusetts state average of 3.4 percent. Roughly half of the students attending these schools graduate within a traditional four year period.

Poverty has also had its crippling effect on the community’s education, as most students qualify for free or reduced priced meals.

The goal of the Chief of Grants Management in the school system is to allot federal resources, such as the grant received from the University, to fully educate all students and boost academic achievement.

SEI, or Sheltered English Immersion, is a program required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is specially designed for students with limited English. Nearly a quarter of the students enrolled in Springfield’s public schools do not speak English as a first language. Training teachers in one of the four SEI categories is just one of the initiatives of Springfield public schools.

Additionally, resources will be used to increase the number of students who have to attend summer school. Another primary objective is to boost the low proficiency ratings of not only MCAS scores but the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA) and the oral test (MELA-O) as well.

The partnership between UMass  and the Greater Springfield area will also be geared toward nutrition education for low income families, continuing and professional education and youth development.

At the official ceremony held at the Old First Church of downtown Springfield, Paul Kostecki, vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass reflected on what he hopes the partnership will accomplish.

Kostecki said, “Bringing education to the masses and developing the intellectual capital that we do on campus, to the society.”

Matt Sullivan can be reached mdsul0@student.umass.edu.

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