LOWELL — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talked coronavirus restoration within the Bay State, telling a room stuffed with Lowell High School college students and employees, in addition to the leaders of Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell, that ”the masks are off, however the pandemic remains to be with us.”
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan invited Cardona to spend a day at LHS for conversations with college students making an attempt to recuperate from the pandemic academically, with wanted psychological well being assist in addition to connections to high-quality workforce alternatives.
Cardona mentioned the pandemic-caused pause made it doable to deal with disparities in entry, fairness and alternative.
It was additionally an opportunity for the secretary to listen to from college students enrolled within the Early College Lowell and Lowell High School Pathway packages in regards to the distinction these initiatives have made of their lives.
Cardona, who began his profession as a fourth-grade instructor in Connecticut, has been a instructor, principal, superintendent and state secretary of schooling.
In his new job, he mentioned, “I have 50 million students.”
Early College Lowell permits college students to take college-level programs whereas nonetheless in highschool, incomes actual school credit score. The programs are supplied for free of charge to the scholars. When they graduate, college students enrolled within the separate Early College Promise program can attend MCC for one yr for free of charge.
The Pathways program contains three STEM packages and a number of other different paths that join studying to real-world work experiences.
Cardona first visited an engineering class the place college students defined an task to ascertain a brand new product and resolve engineering issues round its manufacture. Then, they went on to develop enterprise and advertising and marketing plans for his or her merchandise. Thus, the tasks built-in engineering and writing abilities.
Next he visited an Advanced Placement English class and requested college students to narrate Wisława Szymborska’s “The End and the Beginning” poem in regards to the burden of battle on on a regular basis residents.
He ended his go to with a roundtable dialogue with scholar members within the Early College program.
The Early College program, he mentioned, isn’t just about getting a head begin on incomes school credit for free of charge. “It’s also about getting a head start on confidence.”
Students shared their ideas on the packages, and one mentioned that taking an introductory engineering class at MCC helped him turn out to be “confident in saying I want to be a mechanical engineer.”
Other college students spoke in regards to the alternative to do a “new kind of research” past what’s often accessible to highschool college students.
Cardona promised that he and the Department of Education shall be pushing for change and shutting the chance hole.