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Wednesday, October 23 • 9:45am - 10:45am
Lightning Session: RAMP:How to Increase College Completion for Underrepresented Youth Through Project-Based Learning

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Despite the dozens of elite public and private colleges and universities that call Boston their home, Boston Public Schools’ graduates, historically, struggle to stay in college and college completion rates are staggeringly low. Per a 2016 study funded by The Boston Foundation, only 51% of BPS high school graduates (up from 35% in 2008), who enrolled in college, completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within 6 years of graduation. The report also outlined how college graduate rates ranged from just under 40% for African-Americans and Latinx to nearly 75% among Whites and Asians. This gap reflects the obvious: there is a stark difference in race, class, and their educational outcomes.

One solution to this gap is RAMP, an innovative pre-college summer bridge program for underserved Boston youth that is designed to help students navigate the transition from high school to college, and the tools to support their persistence through to degree completion. In eight years, RAMP has introduced nearly 200 youth from Boston to Wentworth by connecting them with peers, enabling them to participate in skill-based workshops, connecting them to Wentworth faculty, staff, and student-mentors, and exploring STEM careers with industry partners, all while immersing them in campus life. Most importantly, interdisciplinary, project-based, hands-on learning has unified each cohort, creating a space where students from all backgrounds, majors, and experience can collaborate on changing their communities. This session will explore the importance of using project-based learning to engage urban youth and create an equity for academic success and college completion.


Rebecca Drossman

Assistant Director, College Access, Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 10:45am EDT
Commonwealth A1