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Merrimack Takes Lead in Regional STEM Initiative

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's STEM Advisory Council has awarded Merrimack College and Salem State University a $60,000 grant as the lead institutions of the new Northeast Regional STEM Network.

The state’s system of regional STEM networks align diverse stakeholders in the shared goal of strengthening the pipeline of STEM-skilled workers.

“Schools, higher education institutions, not-for-profit institutions and employers have come to rely on the networks to identify, scale-up and sustain best-practice initiatives through regional collaboration,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in a letter to Merrimack College President Christopher Hopey and Salem State President John Keenan announcing the grant award.

Among the highest strategic priorities of the Northeast Regional STEM Network are work-based learning programs, development and growth of Early College career paths, broadening and deepening of computer science and engineering initiatives, and regional dissemination of programming and results to other area partners.

The network will build off previous STEM pipeline work, expanding on the dynamic partnerships and efforts already existing in the Merrimack Valley and North Shore regions. Existing partners in the network include:

  • Higher education: Gordon College, Endicott College, Northern Essex Community College, Middlesex Community College and North Shore Community College.
  • K-12: Salem Public Schools, Lawrence Public Schools, North Andover Schools, Tewksbury Schools.
  • Industry: Nonprofit organizations and workforce development programs established by the regional Workforce Investment Boards.

“Our vision is to create and sustain a network where students at all levels, from pre-K through Ph.D., engage in opportunities for learning and advancing in STEM fields of study and employment across the Northeast Region,” said Christine Shaw, academic director for school counseling at Merrimack’s School of Education and Social Policy.