Framingham State University and MassBay Community College Selected to Take Part in New Initiative Designed to Advance Transfer Pathways for Underrepresented Student Populations

Framingham State University and MassBay Community College Selected to Take Part in New Initiative Designed to Advance Transfer Pathways for Underrepresented Student Populations

Jan 28, 2021

Framingham State University (FSU) and MassBay Community College have been selected to take part in a new Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) that is designed to increase transfer rates from 2-year to 4-year colleges for African American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners.

Funded by ECMC Foundation and Ascendium Education Group, the two-year ETI will award up to $27,500 to fund partnerships between community and four-year colleges to advance transfer pathways and align them to increase transfer and completion for underrepresented student populations. The goal of the ETI is to serve 6,000 students from the identified underrepresented groups over the two-year project period. Each team must place at least 100 students on one of five identified transfer pathways by the end of the first year and 300 or more total by the end of the second year.

Framingham State and MassBay represent one of just 16 partnerships chosen to take part in the nationwide initiative, which is being coordinated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

"We are thrilled to partner with our friends at MassBay Community College on this important initiative," says FSU President F. Javier Cevallos. "Increasing and improving upon transfer and completion opportunities for underrepresented student populations is critical to supporting their educational goals and career aspirations. We are grateful to the AASCU, AACC, and APLU for their support of this effort."

"This new collaboration, with our partner institution, Framingham State University, is aligned with our College's mission to bridge the equity gaps for underrepresented students," said MassBay President David Podell. "We know these students will benefit from the streamlined pathway, keeping them on track to reach their educational goals and college degrees, and ultimately earn higher salaries and retain better job prospects over their lifetime. The support from the AACC, AASCU, and the APLU comes at a critical time for us and for our students, and we thank them for their commitment."

As participants in the program, FSU and MassBay will receive transfer coaching support to advance work plans that include:

  • An assessment of the current relationship between the two institutions to identify obstacles and develop response strategies that lead to a strong transfer relationship.
  • A review of current and/or new transfer pathways through an equity lens, specifically identifying evidence-based equity strategies or new innovative equity strategies that allow students to matriculate without losing credit and time to degree.

Other benefits include access to technical assistance provided by subject matter experts, participation in convenings to teach and learn from each other, and inform the development of train-the-trainer tools that colleges interested in strengthening their transfer pathways can use. Additionally, participants will focus on strengthening student support services and ensuring that culturally competent counseling, among other interventions, are considered as viable ways to serve these students.

Work on the project will begin in February and run through Fall of 2022. For more information, please visit

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.