BATEC Wins $5 Million Grant from National Science Foundation
September 29, 2011
Office of Communications
This major funding elevates BATEC (Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections) from a Boston-area center to an NSF-designated National Center for Computing Technologies. BATEC will now leverage its ability to advocate, facilitate, and coordinate IT education reform in the national context, working with an initial cohort of three urban regions – San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
First funded in 2003, BATEC is dedicated to the complex mission of developing career-focused pathways to high technology education and practical work experience for motivated, typically underserved high school and community college students. Preparing well-trained, entrepreneurial workers for careers in the technology sector is the endpoint in BATEC’s network development strategy.
Deborah Boisvert, executive director and BATEC founder, stresses the significance of establishing these new advanced technological education centers.
“The ‘C’ in BATEC stands for ‘Connections,’ and this has been the focus of our work – building connections among educators, businesses, government, and communities,” Boisvert says. “These three regions were selected on criteria that align with our scope of service – a high demand for skilled labor coupled with great opportunities for building new connections in skills training and workforce development. We look forward to continuing to serve that role in our expanded reach.”
Premised on establishing mutually beneficial partnerships among educators, the high-tech industry, and the communities in which they operate, BATEC assesses industry needs and correlates this data to drive reforms in high school and college curricula and pedagogy, directly and effectively teaching to those in-demand skills.
In addition to UMass Boston, partner educational institutions include: Bunker Hill, Roxbury, Bristol, Middlesex, Northern Essex, MassBay, and Quinsigamond community colleges; TechBoston Academy; and Boston Public Schools and thirty additional school districts. More than 100 courses have been transformed, over 12,000 students have taken these courses, and hundreds of IT educators have been retrained with new content knowledge and pedagogical skills.
An example of how successful BATEC’s programs are can be seen at TechBoston. Seventy-five percent of Tech Apprentice graduates are now pursuing IT majors/careers – a remarkable achievement for an urban school district whose population is 74 percent low-income and 40 percent ESL/ELL speakers.
For further information about BATEC, and its network of partners, please visit the BATEC website.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.