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Fong Chin Sin came to UMass Boston from Malaysia to study business.
July 21, 2015

Pathway Program Navitas Extends Partnership Agreement with UMass Boston by 10 Years


  • Boston
"For us, success is determined not by the students we recruit, but the number of students who graduate."

Navitas Has Been a UMass Boston Partner Since 2010

International students will have the opportunity to benefit from the services of pathway program Navitas for at least another 10 years. The Australia-based program, which provides pre-university and university pathway programs, English language training, and vocational training across the globe, signed a 10-year extension with UMass Boston this spring.

“I think the prime reason is the focus we keep on the educational outcomes of UMass Boston’s students,” said Barbara Davis-Leigh, executive director of teaching, learning, and quality for Navitas USA. “For us, success is determined not by the students we recruit, but the number of students who graduate.”

Navitas at UMass Boston’s University Pathway Program (UPP) offers a pathway to international students who may not meet the university’s admissions requirements. Undergraduate students need to have at least a 2.0 GPA and demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency; depending on the program, graduate students need to have at least a 2.75 or 3.0 GPA. Students cannot have a green card or be a U.S. citizen.

Because of smaller course loads and additional hours with the faculty, it generally takes three semesters to complete the freshman-year coursework. Students can start in January, May, or September. There’s no cap on how many people can go through the program, and those who complete it will either be a sophomore at UMass Boston, or a beginning master’s student. Advisors track students’ course loads and GPA to keep them on track.

“We know all of our students. Staff are specifically assigned to students, so we know what’s happening, and we address students who are at risk early on,” Davis-Leigh said.

Social events are also part of the program. There’s a trip to New York City every year and students are encouraged to join student clubs. The formula seems to be working; Davis-Leigh says 95 percent of the students who have completed the program since it started at UMass Boston in 2010 have continued as UMass Boston students.

“For us, it’s a huge measure of our success. Not only are we bringing students to UMass Boston, increasing the brand and reputation worldwide, but we are also providing students who are successful,” Davis-Leigh said.