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ABLE 4 STEM aims for more degrees for more students

UMass President Robert Caret has aligned the resources and goals of the state’s public university system with an ambitious initiative to the double the number of STEM degrees it awards to underrepresented minorities. ABLE 4 STEM, a program led by the University in collaboration with the community colleges of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), and the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, will establish defined pathways for associate’s degree graduates from the state’s community colleges to enter STEM majors at UMass campuses and will also designate specific UMass courses for “reverse transfer” of credits to community colleges, allowing students who have previously earned community college credits to complete their associate’s degrees while attending UMass and working towards their bachelor’s degree.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for community college students to pursue four-year degrees in the critical STEM fields,” said Charles F. Desmond, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. “We know from a recent UMass Donahue Institute analysis of College Board data that, among Massachusetts SAT takers, African American and Latino students show greater interest in certain STEM majors than white students. ABLE 4 STEM offers a way to leverage and build upon that interest through college transfer and job training.”

The announcement was made at a Capitol Hill forum hosted by the Business-Higher Education Forum and comes approximately four months before the Massachusetts STEM Summit, an annual event bringing together educators, business leaders and policy makers  from throughout the state for a day of workshops, seminars and networking sessions around the state’s STEM agenda. This year’s event takes place Thursday, October 18 at Gillette Stadium.

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