Newbury College Receives ACE/Fidelity Investment Award for Institutional Transformation

March 13, 2016 - Newbury College, a private, independent institution offering bachelor and associate degree programs in career-focused majors, was honored Sunday with the ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation.

The national award, given annually to one large and one small institution, was created to recognize those that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period, and includes a $10,000 prize.

Newbury College received the award, presented at ACE2016, the American Council on Education’s 98th annual meeting, because of an integrated physical and curricula transformation that has had a direct, positive impact on students. Recognizing the level of academic readiness for college success for some students, Newbury undertook a major initiative to ensure the academic success of every student.

In the fall of 2015, Newbury transformed the college’s library into a 16,000-square-foot Student Success Center, the first major renovation project on campus in more than 20 years. The center, which completely altered how academic and student services were delivered to students, now is home to full-time faculty in English and Math, English and Math Mastery tutors, Tutoring Center and Academic Counselors, Counseling, Career and Internship Services.

An essential component of the Student Success Center was the immediate and significant success of the English and Math Mastery Programs that faculty designed, developed and implemented. Dissatisfied with the outcomes of “off-the-shelf” curricula in addressing these challenges, Newbury faculty created their own competency-based instructional models for English and Math. The impact has been immediate and dramatic.

“This is an incredible honor for Newbury College, one that wouldn’t have been possible without the innovation and willingness of our faculty and administration to create a dynamic approach to the academic success of our students,” President Joseph L. Chillo said. “Higher education is facing some fundamental challenges. Hopefully, we can provide a model to other institutions about how to create and execute programs that better prepare students for success.”

Prior to 2009, approximately 50 percent of students enrolled in basic math courses were performing poorly. Since the implementation of the faculty-designed Math Mastery Program, there has been a consistent passing rate surpassing 80 percent of program participants.

The English Mastery curriculum was piloted in the fall of 2014 and had immediate results. All students in the class passed, with 90 percent achieving C+ or better. Previously, only 55 percent of students achieved that level. The English Mastery curriculum is now the standard for entry-level English classes.

For Newbury College, the challenge has been to develop students who often face daunting challenges, including financial, academic and support systems. Sixty-eight percent of Newbury College’s students are “first generation” and nearly 59 percent are Pell-eligible, coming from families with the lowest quartile of incomes.

Many of these students, while they have passed state comprehensive examinations in high school, still require additional support in basic English and Math.

“Newbury College serves as an excellent example of the efforts our institutions are making to increase access to higher education and meet the needs of an ever-more diverse student body,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “We appreciate the generous support of Fidelity Investments for this award, which will allow us each year to recognize institutions where this type of dramatic transformation has occurred.”

The ACE/Fidelity Investment award is split into two categories: for institutions with student populations of 5,000 or more and for institutions with student populations below 5,000. Newbury College was awarded in the second category – institutions of 5,000 students or less.

“Fidelity Investments is honored to partner with ACE to make this award possible,” said Rick Mitchell, executive vice president, Tax-Exempt Market & Retirement Solutions, Fidelity Investments. “Newbury College has shown exceptional leadership and achievement within the higher education community and deserves recognition for their efforts to make higher education more accessible to all students.”



About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.

Todd Graff

March 13, 2016 - Newbury College, a private, independent institution offering bachelor and associate degree programs in career-focused majors, was honored Sunday with the ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation.