Curry College is among a group of seven Boston-area liberal arts and specialty colleges and universities that will begin offering a pathway to affordable accelerated master’s degrees through a newly formed Higher Ed Consortium led by UMass Boston. The Boston Advanced Academic Consortium (BAAC) will enable undergraduate students from the seven partner colleges to enroll in graduate courses during their senior year and then complete their master’s degree on a rapid timeline.
Beginning in the spring, Curry undergraduate students can start to enroll in specialized graduate programs at UMass Boston, Bentley University, Boston Architectural College, Boston Baptist College, Lasell University, and Longy School of Music of Bard College. The scope of programming includes international relations, environmental science, gerontology research policy, conflict resolutions, and critical ethnic and community studies, among others, yet to be named. In addition to the initial consortium, other colleges and universities have indicated an interest in joining BAAC in the future.
“The consortium opens up additional opportunities for students and enables the participating colleges and universities to become more competitive in an increasingly complex higher education market,” said UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “We believe this is just the beginning of a collaboration that will create even richer opportunities for all of our students, faculty, and institutions.”
Becoming a partner in the Boston Advanced Academic Consortium is yet one more way Curry continues to deliver on its strategic vision to offer distinctive, relevant, and rigorous academic programs. By 2022, 18 percent of jobs will require a master’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In recent years, Curry students have shown a growing interest in pursuing graduate school and dual degree programs. Many of the programs offered through the consortium complement Curry’s signature undergraduate programs such as political science, history, and psychology.
“The BAAC will provide opportunities for Curry students to pursue graduate degrees in a timely fashion at a reduced cost,” says Curry Provost Dave Szczerbacki. “It also creates a framework for students to enroll in selected Curry College programs once these are identified within the consortium. BAAC is a fine example of the increasingly important role of strategic partnerships in navigating the competitive education higher education environment in the greater Boston region.”
Although the initial focus of the consortium is access to accelerated master’s programs, the colleges and universities are also making arrangements for students to take specialized advanced undergraduate courses where they complement the offerings in smaller liberal arts colleges.
The first cohort of students will apply to the select accelerated master’s programs this spring and begin courses in fall 2020.