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State Higher Ed PoliciesMassachussetts

Massachusetts Statutes
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy and Planning
Last Updated: 2014 Legislative Session

ACCELERATED LEARNING OPTIONS

State law requires the board of education to create a grant program that awards grants to school districts for the costs associated with establishing Advanced Placement courses. The board must also establish an AP test fee grant program that reimburses school districts for AP test application fees for students based on financial need. With respect to dual/concurrent enrollment, a qualified student enrolled in a public secondary school may enroll either full time or for individual courses in Massachusetts public institutions of higher education. The student earns both secondary school and college credits. The board of education, in consultation with the board of higher education, defines which students qualify for this program, establishes criteria for admission, and administers the program. Students in nonpublic schools are eligible to participate in the program, provided the crediting of such attendance for the purpose of receiving a high school diploma is at the sole discretion of the nonpublic school. (Last updated 2008)

Advanced Placement / Advanced Standing

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 69 1D - Statewide Educational Goals; Academic Standards; Vocational Training; Grant Program

Dual or Concurrent Enrollment

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 15A 39 - Secondary Education Students Qualified to Enroll in Higher Education Institutions

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ADULT LEARNERS

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS), a unit within the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, oversees the state's adult basic education program. ACLS, with federal and state grant monies, funds a variety of programs taking place in local school systems, community-based agencies, community colleges, libraries, volunteer organizations, and correctional facilities. Programming includes basic education, English language literacy, high school equivalency/adult diploma programs, family literacy, heath education, distance learning, workplace education, and technology. Massachusetts law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15D 5) allows adults to earn credit for prior learning related to early education and childcare. In accordance with Massachusetts state statute (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71A 8), five million dollars per year is allocated for the purpose of funding free or subsidized programs of adult English language instruction to parents or other members of the community with the intent that they can then provide personal English language tutoring to Massachusetts school children who are English learners. Lastly, there are several financial aid programs in Massachusetts that are targeted to adults. MA legislation funds the One Family, Inc. Scholarship Program and the Educational Rewards Grant Program Fund to provide scholarship support to homeless adults pursuing education. State statute (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15A 16) mandates that participating approved Massachusetts institutions of higher education receive an allocation from the Council so that they can provide grant or work study assistance to eligible adult learners with demonstrated financial need. (Last updated 2013).

Adult Basic Education/Literacy

M.G.L.A. 71A 8 - Community-Based English Tutoring
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71A 8 - Community-based English Tutoring

Adult Learners, Financial Assistance

M.G.L.A. 15A 16 - Scholarship Programs; Guidelines

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15A 16 - Scholarship Programs, Guidelines
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy FAAP 06-03 - One Family Inc. Scholarship Program Guidelines
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy FAAP 07-22 - Massachusetts Educational Rewards Grant Program

Credit for Prior Learning

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15D 5 - Workforce Development System; Implementation Plan

Military/Veterans Education

Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy FAAP 06-28 - National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver Program Guidelines
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ARTICULATION, TRANSFER, AND ALIGNMENT

In June 2008, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education accepted the Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group which included a new statewide transfer policy: MassTransfer (www.mass.edu/masstransfer). MassTransfer seeks to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts' public higher education system. MassTransfer has two main purposes: 1) to provide community college students who complete approved associate degrees under MassTransfer with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each benefit based on the student's final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs; and 2) to provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system the intermediate goal of completing a portable transfer block ("MassTransfer Block") which satisfies general education/distribution/core requirements across institutions (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses). MassTransfer integrates and replaces the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, Joint Admissions, and the Tuition Advantage Program as of fall 2009. Community college students who matriculated prior to fall 2009 and who choose to continue in the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and/or Joint Admissions Program will be required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state college or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014. (Last Updated 2011)

K-12 / Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69 1D - Statewide Educational Goals; Academic Standards; Vocational Training; Grant Program

New Delivery Systems to Increase Access to Underserved Populations (Technology, Distance Learning, Learning Centers)

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 20 - Educational Opportunities Information Center
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 3A - Statewide Educational Ttechnology Plan; Goals; Development and Implementation
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DATA AND ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS

The Board of Higher Education in Massachusetts manages a student unit record system that tracks enrollment, graduation and demographic data across the state's public two- and four-year institutions. It is linked to Employment Services' Unemployment Insurance data, but is not linked to the state's K-12 data systems. The K-12 data system has been rapidly developing in recent years. Legislation requires that the Massachusetts State Board of Education evaluate the performance of both school districts and individual schools on an annual basis, reporting the extent to which schools succeed in improving student performance. The Board of Higher Education is similarly charged to conduct a benchmark study at least every seven years to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the public system of higher education and to make recommendations on how the system may fulfill its mission more effectively. Massachusetts colleges and universities are required to annually report on a set of performance indicators. In addition, the legislature established a requirement for a student assessment to be administered within the system of higher education to measure student improvement between the first and fourth years of attendance in order to assess the performance of higher education institutions in fostering learning and academic growth. (Last updated 2008)

Performance Based Measures for K-12

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69 1I - Performances of Public School Districts and Individual Public Schools; Evaluation System; Assessment Instruments; Reports

Performance Based Measures for Postsecondary

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 32 - Student Assessment System
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 33 - Report Assessing Overall Faculty Productivity and Teacher Effectiveness
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 34 - Benchmark Study of Public Higher Education System
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 7A - Board of Higher Education; Performance Measurement System
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EQUITY AND DIVERSITY


Course Equalization

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 1 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Findings and Declarations
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 2 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Definitions
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 3 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Census
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 4 - Transitional Bilingual Education: English Language Education
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 5 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Parental Waivers
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 6 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Legal Standing and Parental Enforcement
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 7 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Standardized Testing for Monitoring Education Progress
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 7A - Transitional Bilingual Education: On-site Evaluations of English Learners
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71A 8 - Transitional Bilingual Education: Community-based English Tutoring

Desegregation

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71 37C - Promotion of Racial Balance
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15 1I - Elimination of Racial Imbalance; Assistance in Formulation of Plans; Effect of Non-compliance; Denial of State Aid; Transportation Costs; Equal Education Improvement Fund; Guidelines
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71 37D - Racial Imbalance; Definitions; Statistics; Transfers; Priorities; Plans for Elimination; Public Hearings; Regulations; Jurisdiction; Costs; Attorney's Fees
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FINANCE

The Board of Trustees may fix the amount of tuition and fees at any of the state colleges and at the Massachusetts College of Art. Tuition, however, cannot be set at less than 100. Tuition and fees charged to veterans are not included in this minimum requirement. The board also may fix the amount of student activity fees at any of the state colleges, the Massachusetts College of Art, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Tuition is waived for National Guard members. (Prepared by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, 2008)

Authority to Set Tuition and Fees

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 73 1A - Fees for Tuition, Room and Board
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 73 1B - Student Activity Fee

Fee-Specific Policies

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 73 1A - Fees for Tuition, Room and Board
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 73 1B - Student Activity Fee

Tuition and Fee Waivers

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19 - Tuition Waiver Program; Guidelines; Annual Report
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy FAAP 06-28 - National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver Program Guidelines

Tuition and Fees, General Policy

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 9 - Powers and Duties of Council
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 74 46 - Bradford Durfee College of Technology and New Bedford Institute of Technology Tuition
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STUDENT FINANCIAL AID

The Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance administers numerous state and federal grant programs that are need-based and merit-based. One program of note is the Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program which grants scholarships to 10th and 11th graders who plan on attending college and exhibit extraordinary need. Massachusetts also has a tuition waiver program, a cash grant program and a general grant program, MASSGrant, all of which are need-based. In addition, this state has a no-interest loan program for Massachusetts residents. For the 2005-2006 academic year, this state awarded 80,081 million for need-based aid and 12,000 for non-need-based aid. (Prepared by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, 2008)

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 16 - Scholarship Programs; Guidelines
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19A - Student Loan Repayment Program; Guidelines; Expenses for Administration
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 9B - Needs-based Financial Assistance Program; Guidelines

Targeted Scholarships for Low-Income Students

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 9B - Needs-based Financial Assistance Program; Guidelines
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TEACHING QUALITY

After about two-thirds of candidates for initial licensure in the state failed its new teacher assessment, in 1998 the Massachusetts legislature passed legislation to encourage "the best and brightest" to teach in public schools by offering a $20,000 signing bonus (over three years with at least $8,000 given the first year) to select candidates. These candidates - and other applicants who either receive a scholarship or pay tuition - go through an alternative route program at the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers (MINT), completing a seven-week training before teaching in districts across the state. In the first three years, almost 3,000 people from over 40 states and eight countries applied for the bonus program. However, by November 2002, the state revamped the program replacing the fast-track preparation designed by the New Teacher Project with year-long programs designed by three of the state's education schools. By many accounts, the program failed to recruit and retain teachers for the 13 designated high-need areas, although the state maintains that the effort was worth its cost and that it learned many lessons in how to better recruit and retain teachers. (Last updated 2008)

Financial Incentives (Scholarships, Loans, Grants)

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19 - Tuition Waiver Program; Guidelines; Annual Report
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19B - Teacher Signing Bonus Program; Regulations
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19D - Scholarship Program Known as Tomorrows Teachers Program; Guidelines
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19C - Master Teacher Corps Program; Regulations
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71 38I - Reimbursement of Teachers for Tuitions and Fees
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Policy FAAP 07-21 - Math and Science Teachers Scholarship Program Guidelines

Licensure and Certification

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69 6 - Teachers; Applications for Positions; Qualifications

Mentoring and Teacher Induction Programs

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19C - Master Teacher Corps Program; Regulations
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 73 3 - Agreement for Practice Teaching

Professional Development

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19 - Tuition Waiver Program; Guidelines; Annual Report
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 35 - Professional Development Schools Grant Program
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 36 - Public Schools; Eligibility for Funds through Professional Development Schools Grant Program
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71 38I - Reimbursement of Teachers for Tuitions and Fees
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71 38Q - Professional Development Plans; State Assistance

Recruitment

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19B - Teacher Signing Bonus Program; Regulations
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19D - Scholarship Program Known as Tomorrows Teachers Program; Guidelines

Supply and Demand Strategies

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15A 19 - Tuition Waiver Program; Guidelines; Annual Report
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