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SPS High School Students Kickoff State’s 2017 “Go Higher!” Program

October 02, 2017

With trivia contests and scavenger hunts to make the experience interactive and fun, high school seniors from all Springfield Public Schools (SPS) will learn more about the financial benefits of transferring from community colleges to state universities or UMass campuses during the state’s 3rd annual “Go Higher!” event taking place this week at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

For the second year in a row, the statewide event series will open in Springfield, in recognition of the district’s commitment to expanding college-going opportunities for all students. “Go Higher!” events bring college students and admissions officers to school districts across the state to showcase programs and opportunities at Massachusetts public colleges and universities. Students will also hear directly from half a dozen students now attending community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses, and have a chance to ask questions and learn more about campus life, from a student’s perspective.

Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick said more than 1,400 seniors from the district’s high schools are expected to attend. Each student will have a chance to win prizes as they complete a scavenger hunt intended to help build their college knowledge and sharpen their awareness of skills and interests they might pursue after high school.

“The number of Springfield Public Schools students becoming first-generation college goers in their families continues to grow year after year,” said Warwick. “Programs like the state’s ‘Go Higher’ event make a real difference for our students as they consider their options for higher education. We are very grateful that the state continues to invest in and support this initiative, and of course, we are honored to once again be the school district to kick it off.”

This year’s theme is the state’s new MassTransfer pathways, which allow students to save on college costs by beginning their post-secondary education at a community college and then transferring to a four-year institution. A new, interactive transfer web site, considered one of the most comprehensive such sites in the U.S., allows students to map a pathway between two-year and four-year credit without losing credit or wasting money on courses they don’t need to take. The site also includes information about the state’s signature college discount program, the Commonwealth Commitment, which reduces the cost of a traditional bachelor’s degree by an average 40 percent through transfer and additional financial discounts.

“Springfield is the perfect place to launch our efforts to build awareness of the benefits of the new MassTransfer,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. “We’re hoping that more Massachusetts students will explore the dynamic offerings of our 15 communities and learn more about how they can reduce debt load through our new ‘A2B’ (Associate to Bachelor’s) degree pathways.”

Colleges represented are expected to include: Bridgewater State University, Framingham State University, Fitchburg State University, Greenfield Community College , Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Maritime Academy , Salem State University, Springfield Technical Community College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst , the University of Massachusetts Boston, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Westfield State University and Worcester State University.

Several of the campuses attending the program plan to bring interactive demonstrations to help students explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities they would engage in as college students. 

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