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Monfredo: Worcester Public School Students Excited About College Placements

Sunday, January 15, 2017

 

“I am so excited… I’m going to college!”  “ I can’t wait until I tell my parents about this, wow.” These were just a few of the many comments students were saying after being accepted to college at the annual Massachusetts College Access Celebration (MCAC) at their high school in Worcester. Having attended several of the programs in our high schools last month I can attest to the excitement and the relief of the students knowing that they have been accepted by the colleges.

MCAC is part of the American College Application Campaign initiative sponsored by the American Council on Education. It is sponsored by GEAR UP ( Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)  Massachusetts and administered by the Massachusetts of Higher Education in collaboration with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. Participating MCAC Colleges are American International College, Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Bay State College, Fitchburg State University, Nichols College, Quinsigamond Community College, Rhode Island College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Western New England University, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University.

It’s interesting to note that Massachusetts held its first MCAC in 2012 and at that time only South High, North High  and Worcester Technical were part of this program in the Worcester Public Schools.  Since then all the high schools in the Worcester Public Schools  have participated and the college numbers have grown. GEAR UP, sponsors of the program, is a National Initiative program that encourages young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard and take the right courses to go to college. With encouragement, the MCAC program gets seniors to submit a least one college application in December and the college’s come to the schools and visit with the students.  On the spot acceptances for some students also happened and in addition, scholarship money also came for those students who were accepted.

Let’s look at the following statistics for this year:

  • 5183 applications were submitted by Worcester Public School seniors   
  • 843 acceptances from colleges to WPS seniors took place
  • A total of $4,545, 880 in scholarship offers district wide from the colleges took place

 

Keep in mind that the total number of applications  ( 5183) reflects more than just the colleges that attended MCAC days. Many students also applied to other colleges that were not part of the MCAC so those applications are counted as well in the "applied" data. Some did hear back and many others will be hearing from those colleges soon. Thus, in addition to the MCAC colleges over 100 other colleges received applications from the students.  

As for the MCAC event, every time a student was accepted to a college at the high school a cow bell rang in the school’s library and in most cases leading the charge was Superintendent Maureen Binienda.  As the former principal at South High who was one of the three schools involved in this celebration years ago she continues to advocate for the entire system to make this event a meaningful one for the students.

 According to Heather Parker, College and Career Liaison for the Worcester Public Schools, this event was a partnership with the schools and with the community. The guidance counselors and college access program staff (college access programs included: Gear up (North High), Talent Search ( South, Doherty, Burncoat)- trio programs in those schools supported by Mass EDCo; and Bruce Wells Upward Bound Program also helped at University Park Campus School, and Claremont, Doherty, North, and South), and other school staff collaborated together to prepare, plan, and coordinate the MCAC days at their schools.  The counselors worked with the volunteers from Fallon Health, Hanover Insurance, and UNUM to train them on the college application process so they could then work with students in the weeks leading up to the event and on the event day.  The guidance counselors and college access partners also coordinated and communicated with college admissions representatives, who attended events, met with, interviewed, provided many on the spot decisions, and provided many scholarships to students. 

As Ms. Parker stated, “The events displayed a lot of dedication, time, and collaboration between the district, school staff, college access partners, community agencies, and the college representatives to give the WPS students exciting opportunities to apply, be accepted, and receive money for college.”

Well done and congratulations to all who assisted in this outstanding process and good luck to our students as they embark on their next future endeavor. 

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA’s Top High Schools 2015

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#100 Nipmuc Regional High

Upton, MA

2014 Rank: #134

Enrolment: 627

Mascot: Warrior

Claim to Fame: Aerosmith played its first gig at Nipmuc Regional high on November 6, 1970.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 96.2% (+0.7%)

District spending per pupil: $11,900

Student-teacher ratio: 13:1

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#95 North Central Charter Essential

Fitchburg, MA

2014 Rank: #197

Enrolment: 217

Mascot: N/A

Claim to Fame: Students from over 30 cities and towns in central Massachusetts are eligible to enroll at North Central Charter Essential. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 78% (-8.3%)

District spending per pupil: $13,569

Student-teacher ratio: 9.4:1

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#90 Shrewbury Senior High

Shrewsbury, MA

2014 Rank: #117

Enrolment: 1,684

Mascot: Colonial

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Shawn Loiseau, who played linebacker in the NFL. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 94.9% (+0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $11,612

Student-teacher ratio: 14.8:1

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#87 Lunenburg High School

Lunenburg, MA

2014 Rank: #104

Enrollment: 427

Mascot: Blue Knights

Claim to Fame: Gordon Edes, a sportswriter for The Boston Globe, is a member of the class of 1972.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 98.2% (+1.4%)

District spending per pupil: $12,027

Student-teacher ratio: 12.4:1

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#73 Tahanto Regional High

Boylston, MA

2014 Rank: #80

Enrollment: 297

Mascot: Stags

Claim to Fame: Students, teachers, and faculty now enjoy a $32.2M building that opened in 2013.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 94.2% (+7.3%)

District spending per pupil: $11,644

Student-teacher ratio: 12:1

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#63 Tantasqua Regional High School

Fiskdale, MA

2014 Rank: #63

Enrollment: 770

Mascot: Warrior

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Joel Crouse (Country Singer) and James Lynch (Guitarist for the Dropkick Murphys).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 91.7% (-3.2%)

District spending per pupil: $12,403

Student-teacher ratio: 9.6:1

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#51 Algonquin Regional High

Northborough, MA

2014 Rank: #33

Enrollment: 1,452

Mascot: The Tomahawk (T-Hawk)

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Mark "The Bird" Fidrych (former MLB pitcher), Ryan Gallant (professional skateboarder), Nathaniel Raymond (human rights investigator and anti-torture advocate), and Mike Sherman (former head coach of the Green Bay Packers), and current offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins). 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (-0.4%)

District spending per pupil: $12,929

Student-teacher ratio: 13.7:1

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#45 Nashoba Regional

Bolton, MA

2014 Rank: #76

Enrollment: 1,075

Mascot: Chieftain

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Hal Gill (National Hockey League player with the Nashville Predators), Koren Zailckas (Author of bestselling book Smashed), and Clive Weeden (Professional basketball player).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 95.3% (+0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $13,107

Student-teacher ratio: 14.2:1

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#40 Hopkinton High

Hopkinton, MA

2014 Rank: # 53

Enrollment: 1,122

Mascot: Hillers

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Keegan Bradley (Professional Golfer).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 99% (-0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $13,005

Student-teacher ratio: 13.9:1

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#26 Westborough High

Westborough, MA

2014 Rank: #26

Enrollment: 1,045

Mascot: The Ranger

Claim to Fame: Westborough High offers a wide variety of curricular and extracurricular musical ensembles. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (+0.5%)

District spending per pupil: $14,306

Student-teacher ratio: 12.7:1

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#14 Bromfield School

Harvard, MA

2014 Rank: #13

Enrollment: 414

Mascot: Trojan

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Keir O'Donnell (Starred in the popular comedy movie the Wedding Crashers) and Lynn Jennings (In 1992 she became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in long-distance track). 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (-1.2%)

District spending per pupil: $14,691

Student-teacher ratio: 12.9:1

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#8 MA Academy for Math and Science

Worcester, MA

2014 Rank: #285

Enrollment: 97

Mascot: Gompei the Goat

Claim to Fame: Seniors at MA Academy for Math and Science take a full-time course load at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate:100% (0%)

District spending per pupil: $13,466

Student-teacher ratio: 13.1:1

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#5 Advanced Math and Science Academy

Charter School

Marlborough, MA

2014 Rank: #6

Enrollment: 569

Mascot: War Eagle

Claim to Fame: Advanced Math and Science Academy offers more than ten computer science classes to students: ranging from Game Design to Intro to Java/Networking. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 99% (+0.4%)

District spending per pupil: $14,723

Student-teacher ratio: 12.3:1

 
 

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