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UML, Lowell High School Receive Major Grant to Help Prepare Students for College


LOWELL - After a competitive proposal process, the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Lowell High School have been selected to join three other university-high school partnerships in the Nellie Mae Education Foundation's Partnerships for College Success grant program.

Partnerships for College Success is a new multi-year grant program under the Nellie Mae Education Foundation's College Prep initiative. The grant program is aimed at strengthening existing collaborations between universities and high schools that seek to improve college preparation and success for all students. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation will provide technical assistance as the intermediary for the program.

The five-year grant will provide UMass Lowell and Lowell High School with  $150,000 for the first year and will be directed specifically toward maximizing the number of Lowell High School students who graduate from high school and earn degrees at UMass Lowell and other colleges

"The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Lowell High School have a long history of highly collaborative work focused on improving academic achievement," said Blenda J. Wilson, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. "We look forward to working with them to ensure that more of their students go on to college fully prepared to succeed academically and to gain the high-level education they will need to become part of the 21st century workforce."

 "Through this grant, our faculty and Lowell High School teachers will work closely to coordinate their course content and will concentrate on strong preparation for college," said UML Provost John Wooding. "As partners, we share the same desire - to see our students fully develop their abilities and understanding of the world that awaits them. We hope that our graduates leave this university as thoughtful, capable and compassionate human beings who contribute to a vibrant economy and community."

Along with three other university/high school partnerships - UMass Boston and the Dorchester Education Complex, Clark University and the University Park Campus School, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Caribou High School  - UMASS Lowell and Lowell High School will be part of the Partnerships for College Success Cluster.  The Foundation expects to add two more partnerships to the Cluster in 2005. Cluster members will work with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to design, implement, share and document best practices related to improving college preparation, access, retention, and completion for underserved students. 

"The Partnerships for College Success program is offering a college jumpstart for students in both urban and rural areas," said Robert Weisbuch President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.  We're eager to help the partnerships create more intellectual challenges for the students, as well as first-rate professional development for their teachers.  We think this is an important opportunity to remove some barriers and help prepare students not only for college success, but also for fulfilling lives and careers."

Partnerships for College Success is a multi-year grant program in the Nellie Mae Education Foundation's College Prep initiative.  The Foundation's College Prep grants support innovative and time-tested intervention programs, especially those that go beyond informing and motivating students to directly impacting high school and college achievement and attainment. Grants also support research, information dissemination, and program evaluation to develop, inform, and advance best practices in the field.

Based in Quincy, Massachusetts, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides grants and other support to education programs in New England that are designed to improve low-income and underserved students' academic achievement and access to higher education. The Foundation also funds research that examines critical educational opportunity issues affecting underserved students, adults and families. Since it was established in1998, the Foundation has awarded $44 million in grants and support to education programs in the region.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental, and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. On the web at

Lowell High School has the second largest high school student population in Massachusetts with over 4000 students enrolled.  Recent developments at Lowell High School include new academic courses, an endowment for youth opportunities, and a heightened focus on district leadership. 

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has its origins in a now-famous fellowship program, begun in 1945, which helped the United States create a great generation of college teachers and intellectual leaders. Today's Woodrow Wilson continues to cultivate excellence in teaching and learning at every level of education, putting the arts and sciences at the service of democracy. On the web at