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Greenfield Community College

Sec. of Education Malone: All students should enroll in higher education

  • State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone toured Greenfield <br/>Community College with President Robert Pura on Wednesday and talked to nursing students Fatima Davis and Neesha Kaeppel. <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)

    State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone toured Greenfield
    Community College with President Robert Pura on Wednesday and talked to nursing students Fatima Davis and Neesha Kaeppel.
    (Recorder/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Secretary of Education Matthew Malone talks to students at Greenfield Community College during a tour on Wednesday. <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)

    Secretary of Education Matthew Malone talks to students at Greenfield Community College during a tour on Wednesday.
    (Recorder/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »

  • State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone toured Greenfield <br/>Community College with President Robert Pura on Wednesday and talked to nursing students Fatima Davis and Neesha Kaeppel. <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)
  • Secretary of Education Matthew Malone talks to students at Greenfield Community College during a tour on Wednesday. <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)

GREENFIELD — State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone told Greenfield Community College students Wednesday that he wants to see all Massachusetts students enroll in some form of higher education.

“The natural pathway for the 21st century is through community colleges,” said Malone. The state will need to step up its investment in programs that train students for jobs, he said, and should also improve a student’s ability to easily transfer from a community college to a four-year school.

It was the first tour of the GCC campus for Malone, who became the governor’s chief education adviser in January 2013. GCC President Robert Pura and Student Senate President Kia Burton-McLaughlin showed him around the school and introduced him to students along the way.

Malone seemed keen on visiting the college’s veterans center and women’s resource center and learning what services each offered for students. He also stopped to chat with random students in the dining commons and library, asking them what they were studying and where they came from originally.

More work needs to be done to improve K-12 education, too, he said. The state is currently focusing on elementary-school grade literacy programs and exploring alternative high school options. He’d like to see the minimum dropout age increase from 16 to 18.

“We still live in the 20th century when you think about, ‘What can you do with a high school diploma?’” said Malone. “You can’t even have a middle-class lifestyle unless you at least have an associate’s degree. We’re selling people short ... so we’ve got to figure that out.”

Before his trip to GCC, Malone visited a school vacation camp hosted by the Student Conservation Association in Hawley.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com, 413-772-0261, ext. 264 or @RecorderShores

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