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RCC, Madison Park unite to boost student career options

Ted Thomas | 1/8/2014, 11:55 a.m.
Roxbury Community College has distinguished itself by creating educational opportunities such as the Dual Enrollment Program which allows Massachusetts students ...

Roxbury Community College has distinguished itself by creating educational opportunities such as the Dual Enrollment Program which allows Massachusetts students attending a public secondary school or non-public school, including home school, to enroll in a for-credit course at the college.

In the latest example of such cooperation, RCC has joined in a partnership with Madison Park Vocational Technical High School that is called the Massachusetts Academic Polytech Pathway —Roxbury or RoxMAPP. The partnership, which formally began in June 2013 with a joint announcement from the offices of Governor Deval Patrick and then-Mayor Thomas Menino, was hailed as a model for student success.

The announcement stated that, “Beginning in June 2013, Madison Park Vocational Technical High School and Roxbury Community College will establish RoxMAPP … an innovative educational and workforce development partnership that will implement new academic and career development programs, expose students to career options early in their high school years, and provide them with greater access to exciting work-based learning opportunities.”

Making the partnership successful requires “the support of community leaders, members of the business community, and city and state officials,” according to the announcement.

Cecile Regner, interim vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, who coordinates RCC’s participation in RoxMAPP said, “It requires the coordination of several offices here at the college.” She added that for RCC “to support this program successfully means that almost all of the departments are working together.”

Referred to as “a model for student success and community revitalization,” the following is a summary of the stated goals of RoxMAPP:

• Madison Park and RCC will increase student retention and graduation rates … by enhancing the quality and rigor of academic and career programs and providing all students with more comprehensive and individualized support.

• Madison Park and RCC will increase college and career readiness by creating more seamless educational and career pathways for students.

• Madison Park and RCC will increase employment rates for young adults in the region by working in collaboration with the Joint Industry Advisory Board.

• Madison Park and RCC will combine the knowledge, expertise, resources, and facilities of both institutions to provide new services that better respond to the needs of students, parents and family members, employers, and members of the Roxbury community.

There are great hopes for the success of RoxMAPP, according to Regner, which is based on a nation-wide model called Best Practices. She explained that Massachusetts is interested in the model at the Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., which created partnerships with businesses, as well as the local community college.

The Cardozo model includes high school students taking college courses while still in high school, a feature that RoxMAPP also includes in its partnership with Madison Park High School.

A group of 18 Madison Park students were the first to participate in RoxMAPP, a number expected to increase over the next few years.

Expressing her pleasure with the partnership, Headmaster of Madison Park Diane Ross said, “The RoxMAPP Program will provide our students with the opportunity to get a ‘head start’ on their goals to be career and college ready.”