The SouthCoast Development Partnership recognizes that education and economic development are inextricably tied together.
Excellent economic development strategies and business environments are only effective at attracting business when they are accompanied with a highly educated workforce.The SouthCoast needs to achieve higher levels of educational attainment and must retain those who are educated in the region. The SCDP is focused on education at all levels, ranging from elementary school through post graduate levels.
In order to increase educational attainment and create a college going culture, the SCDP is focusing on:
- Working with CONNECT, a partnership of the five public higher education institutions in southeastern Massachusetts: Bridgewater State University, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College, and UMass Dartmouth. Established in 2003, CONNECT has two primary goals: to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of higher education; and to advance the economic, educational and cultural life of Southeastern Massachusetts. CONNECT realizes its mission by focusing on four major areas, with activities and initiatives that enhance academic programs and ease transfer of students among the institutions; foster economic development through the region; promote cultural programs and projects; and share expertise and resources.
- The SCDP is working with SouthCoast superintendents to expand dual enrollment opportunities at UMass Dartmouth for students in the SouthCoast. Research shows that students who participate in dual enrollment programs attain higher rates of high school graduation and are more likely to succeed in post-secondary education than non-participating peers. The SCDP is focused on identifying funding opportunities that will enable more students, especially minority and low-income students, from more schools in the SouthCoast to take college level courses on the University’s campus.
- The SCDP is committed to leveraging its relationships with the SouthCoast business community to maximize internship opportunities for UMass students. Creating a pipeline for SouthCoast students to attend UMass Dartmouth and graduate with employment opportunities at SouthCoast businesses is critical for the trajectory of the region.. This effort is being done in conjunction with the UMassD Career Development Center and the Charlton College of Business.
- The SCDP is engaged in discussions on school finance in Massachusetts, and identifying how statewide policies either advance or hinder the efforts of our SouthCoast educators and school systems. The SCDP understands the how Chapter 70 aid allocated to our school systems impacts the future of our economy. The SCDP will be advocating for policies that provide SouthCoast schools with appropriate and consistent funding.
- The SCDP is working with UMass Dartmouth to find opportunities to assist our public school systems with teacher recruitment, especially in the areas of STEM, special education and English Language Learners education.