West Springfield among 11 high schools launching Innovation Pathway programs


BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – 11 high schools in Massachusetts, including West Springfield, will launch Innovation Pathways programs.

The programs are designed to connect students’ learning to a particular career pathway through college-level coursework and work-based experiences.

High school students will gain knowledge and skills in a particular field by taking college-level courses, technical instruction, and working at internships with employers who partner with local high schools.

West Springfield High School will launch a manufacturing program that will serve 171 students when fully enrolled. 

The school is partnering with the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board and several employer partners. Some of the partners include Peerless Precision, Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing, Advance Welding, International Laser Systems, and Universal Plastics. Students will take college courses at Springfield Technical Community College. 

Students will start enrolling in Innovation Pathway programs this fall.

Schools that applied for designation for an Innovation Pathways were required to follow five design principles:

  • Equitable access for all students
  • Guided academic pathway, which, in the case of Innovation Pathways, must relate to one of five specified broad industry sectors
  • Enhanced student supports
  • Relevant connections to career
  • Deep partnerships between high schools and employers or workforce development boards

Some Government officials commented on the new programs.

“We are pleased to continue offering these opportunities so more Massachusetts students can enroll in an Innovation Pathway program and gain vital experience in growing industries that will set them up for future success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. 

“Innovation Pathways expose students to STEM-related fields like healthcare, manufacturing, and life sciences that will prepare them to meet the needs of Commonwealth employers seeking skilled labor to fill open positions,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

“Students enrolled in Innovation Pathways take a coherent course of study and receive real-world work experiences relevant to a broad industry sector. This provides them with valuable insight into what is required for certain fields, so by the time they get to college or further certification, they are well-prepared,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.

Other schools launching Innovation Pathway programs:

  • Monument Mountain Regional High School – Great Barrington
  • Dearborn STEM Academy – Roxbury
  • Danvers High School – Danvers
  • Everett High School – Everett
  • Lowell High School – Lowell
  • Mashpee High School – Mashpee
  • Norwood High School – Norwood
  • Quabbin Regional High School- Barre
  • Shepherd Hill Regional High School – Dudley
  • Uxbridge High School – Uxbridge

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