The University of Massachusetts Boston was recognized by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, receiving the association’s Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional and Economic Development.
UMass Boston was honored for its development and support of the Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) program, which AASCU identified as a model for institutions seeking ways to advance practices in the field. Chancellor J. Keith Motley accepted the award at AASCU’s annual meeting.
Created at UMass Boston in 2003 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), BATEC brings together stakeholders from education, industry, and the community to collectively build a seamless and robust education-to-work force pathway among students underrepresented in IT fields, including women, students with disabilities, and those from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds. BATEC is housed in the College of Advancing and Professional Studies.
Bunker Hill, Roxbury, and Middlesex community colleges and seven metro Boston school districts were among the founding partners. Today, the resulting regional collaborative includes seven community colleges and their 30 feeder public school districts, along with more than 75 industry, governmental, and community partners. Together, the collaborative is transforming IT education through innovative curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, and professional development that engages students, educators, and industry and community professionals.
These programs focus on the fields of computer science, information technology, web development, and data analysis. They interweave the requisite technical knowledge and skills with professional and entrepreneurial capabilities; enhance education-industry engagement; and provide for advancement from high school- and community-based programs into two- and four-year colleges.
BATEC also leverages the work of this dynamic partnership to impact policy through applied research. Its regionally coordinated system has been highly successful at attracting talented students from diverse demographics and backgrounds to IT careers, promoting lifelong learning of technical skills, and meeting the IT workforce needs of the region. Capitalizing on these successes, BATEC was encouraged to expand its scope by the National Science Foundation in 2011. A five-year grant was secured creating a National Center of Excellence for Computing and Information Technologies, to include the metro regions of San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago. In the 2013-2014 academic year, more than 20,000 students were engaged in BATEC courses and related activities.
About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve more than 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.