Public Higher Education Mission
The public college and university System in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts comprises fifteen community colleges, nine state colleges and the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The System exists to provide accessible, affordable, relevant and rigorous academic programs that adapt to meet changing the individual societal needs for education and employment.
All campuses are committed to operating effectively and efficiently in order to maintain tuition and fees at a level as low as possible, while providing a high-quality education to every student who qualifies for admission. The public System is committed to continuous improvement and accountability in all aspects of teaching and learning.
The Department of Higher Education and institutional Boards of Trustees recognize their responsibilities to the taxpayers and residents of Massachusetts in the performance of their roles and responsibilities. Massachusetts public higher education is a System with a distinguished past, increasing pride and unlimited potential.
Community College Mission
The fifteen Massachusetts community colleges offer open access to high quality, affordable academic programs, including associate degree and certificate programs. They are committed to excellence in teaching and learning, and provide academic preparation for transfer to four-year institutions, career preparation for entry into high demand occupational fields, developmental coursework and lifelong learning opportunities.
Community colleges have a special responsibility for workforce development and through partnerships with business and industry, provide job training, retraining, certification, and skills improvement. In addition, they assume primary responsibility, in the public system, for offering developmental courses, programs and other education services for individuals who seek to develop the skills needed to pursue college-level study or enter the workforce.
Rooted in their communities, the colleges serve as community leaders, identifying opportunities and solutions to community problems and contributing to the region's intellectual, cultural and economic development. They collaborate with elementary and secondary education and work to ensure a smooth transition from secondary to post-secondary education. Through partnerships with baccalaureate institutions, they help to promote an efficient system of public higher education.
The community colleges offer an environment where the ideas and contributions of all students are respected. Academic and personal support services are provided to ensure that all students have an opportunity to achieve academic and career success. No eligible student shall be deprived of the opportunity for a community college education in Massachusetts because of an inability to pay tuition and fees.