BFIT Celebrates Successful Summer Learning Projects for BPS Youth

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Celebrates Successful Summer Learning Projects for BPS Youth through Partnerships with Local Organizations

Boston, MA—The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), as part of the Success Boston Initiative, and in collaboration with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) hosted a ceremony on Friday, August 23rd to celebrate the successful completion of a pilot summer educational and workforce program between the two organizations. Twenty-seven PIC students, all of whom are recent immigrants, gave presentations about their summer learning and work experiences. The BFIT-PIC Boston International Summer Learning Project 2013 integrated academic classes and summer jobs with community organizations for a comprehensive seven-week summer learning experience.

For two hours each morning Monday through Thursday, a cohort of twelve students from Boston International High School took an MCAS preparation course in biology taught by a Boston Public School teacher, followed by a credit recovery course in either English or Math taught and funded by BFIT. On Fridays, students’ classroom time was dedicated to career exploration activities. In the afternoons, students worked paid summer jobs (30hr/week) with Boston area community organizations including Whittier Health Center, Castle Square Technology Center, and Huntington YMCA, among others. PIC compensated the students for their 30hr/week summer jobs through generous funding from the Barr Foundation and Boston After School and Beyond.

While PIC ran similar programs elsewhere in the city, the BFIT-PIC Boston International Summer Learning Project 2013 was the only one of its kind to serve an exclusively immigrant population. According to research from a study by Parthenon Group, one of the four segments of students most at risk of dropping out of high school are late entrant English Language Learners (ELL). The impetus behind this pilot program was to increase retention of high school students and strengthen the pipeline to college and the workforce. Hilary Brayton, Classroom at the Workplace Coordinator at the PIC, was pleased with the pilot program’s success. I was impressed to see the students speak about their summer experiences with such confidence and professionalism. It’s great to hear how they benefited from participating in classes, at work, and in career exploration workshops…it is truly a testament to the hard work of the students and the collaborative efforts of staff at BFIT, Boston International, and the PIC.”

BFIT also donated additional classroom space this summer to students in the Classroom at the Workplace program sponsored by the PIC. Ms. Brayton adds that “of the many spaces where PIC worked this summer, the teachers who taught in the classrooms at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology raved about the functionality, accessibility and technology available at the College.”

BFIT also hosted a third summer learning opportunity in which a cohort of 7 students from BPS schools enrolled in the College’s free dual enrollment and college access program. Students from TechBoston Academy, Boston Art Academy, Brighton High School, Madison Park, and Dorchester Academy participated in BFIT’s Early Access to College (EAC) program. Following classroom work, the students also held jobs with BFIT community partners for which they were compensated through funding from the PIC. All 7 students are planning to enroll at BFIT in the fall of 2013.

Director of BPS Partnerships, Charlie Cremens, stressed BFIT’s commitment to Boston area youth. “One of BFIT’s core values is to help every young person succeed. By giving each student access to a college and helping them through graduation and to a good paying job, we not only empower that student, but we make our community a better place for everyone. The BFIT-PIC partnership is just one example of how BFIT is working to strengthen our community and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

To learn more about the EAC program at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, please visit http://www.bfit.edu/Academics/Early-Access-to-College--EAC-

About Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is a private, two-year, non-profit, technical college with approximately 500 students in Boston’s South End neighborhood. The College offers an array of programs leading to careers in Automotive Technology, Computer Technology, Biomedical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Building Technology, HVAC&R, Electrical Technology, and Eye Health Technology fields leading to certificate, associate, and bachelor degree credentials. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Additional information about the College and its programs can be found online at www.bfit.edu.

About Boston Industry Private Council (PIC)

The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) is a nonprofit organization that connects business, the Boston Public Schools, higher education, government, labor, and community organizations to create innovative workforce and education solutions that benefit Boston residents and businesses alike. Classroom at the Workplace (one of PIC’s programs) combines academic preparation for the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) or the SAT with a paid summer job or school year career exploration experience. Classes are held at professional worksites to help students internalize the connection between education and a career, and to provide meaningful motivation to graduate from high school and pursue a postsecondary pathway. For students who need academic support as well as a job to contribute to their family’s income, Classroom at the Workplace provides the immediate benefit of a paycheck with the long-term benefits associated with academic support and professional work experience. Additional information can be found at www.bostonpic.org. BFIT-PIC Ceremony