OneGoal Massachusetts

Catalyst Innovation Lab

The Problem



Across the country and in Massachusetts, high school and college students are not experiencing education access equitably. These inequities are often rooted in disparities across income level, race, language barriers, levels of ability, and geography. All students are not being given a fair shot.

It’s time for the education sector to change, and we won’t get there taking the same approaches that got our education system to this place.

The Vision

At OneGoal we know the ideas are out there, but we also know there is not always a space to have out-of-the-box, transformational conversations. We believe every student deserves equitable access and support to achieve their greatest postsecondary aspirations. With this in mind, we are excited to convene the Catalyst Innovation Lab fellowship experience.

The Catalyst Innovation Lab fellowship is designed to be an ongoing space of dialogue within our OneGoal community. Our goal is to hold space for provocative, innovative, and continuous dialogue regarding systemic and institutional changes as students transition from high school to college.

The Catalyst Innovation Lab fellowship is designed to be a space of creation and reconstruction. In this space, we hope to reimagine an education system that meets the needs of the most marginalized and the most underrepresented students. We hope that through this collaborative engagement our participants can network and bring new innovative ideas to and from their respective institutions.

Catalyst Fellows

The ideal candidate can commit to eight virtual ninety-minute sessions throughout the course of one year, beginning in September and ending in June.

Their professional background includes several years’ experience within the education sector, including decision-making, teaching, researching, policy analysis, etc., within the higher education or secondary education sectors. They are ready to engage in conversation, they are enthusiastic about creating change, and they are ready and able to think creatively about solutions that benefit all students.

Applicant Profile

  • School/district-based stakeholders
  • College staff/faculty/administrative members
  • Education policy advocates/policy thinkers

The Ideal Applicant may…

  • Feel stuck or restless trying to work within the system
  • Have innovative ideas to share about education reform
  • Struggle to identify how to make impactful changes in education across the secondary-postsecondary divide
  • Have ideas for how to improve education for marginalized students but have no place to discuss them


Why Join The Lab?

  • Connections and Dialogue: we know many people care deeply about these issues and are looking for collaborators and thought-partners in the space
  • Professional Development: this space will create opportunities to learn and share, to try on new ways of thinking, and to deepen perspectives on K12 and higher education equity issues
  • Catalytic Partnership: we hope this space will lead to new opportunities for practitioners to connect and collaborate practically across institutions and sectors
  • Leadership Development: gain insight as to your own leadership journeys alongside peers with similar aspirations

The Catalyst Innovation Lab is the place to bring your big ideas and to join a collective dialogue. Along the way we hope to disrupt the system we are all working to reimagine.

Program Description

The Catalyst Innovation Lab is a year-long Fellowship experience from September to July that invites fellows from across the education sector to collaborate and innovate. The experience is designed to:

  • Encourage cross-sector collaboration and dialogue
  • Create space for individual leaders to refine their priorities and approach for influencing organizational change
  • Invite provocative, collaborative and transformative dialogue needed to break down barriers impacting students in the secondary and postsecondary landscape


The Lab will host eight virtual sessions throughout the year, for a group of 8-12 members. Each session will be structured to include a 90 minute discussion and 30 minute optional networking time following every session. We encourage fellows to take advantage of these opportunities to build community, and network with one another outside of our session.

In addition to sessions, Catalyst Fellows will gain access to OneGoal’s network of education leaders across the state of Massachusetts as well as opportunities to engage with OneGoal in person or virtually. The majority of sessions will include guest members, who bring a variety of experiences and expertise from across the education divide. These members will engage in the material of each session, and serve as thought partners for lab members, as they immerse themselves in each discussion topic. Past Guest Members have been educators and lecturers from surrounding colleges, members of the MA4EC Alliance, and a number of OneGoal senior staff members.

Fellow Accountability

We will hold eight virtual 90-minute sessions throughout the course of one year, beginning in September and ending in July. We’d expect all candidates to be able to attend every session. However, we understand that emergencies happen, please notify the facilitator in advance of any absence.

In order to maintain the community, and fidelity of the program, participants who miss more than 3 sessions, will not be granted a certificate of completion at the end of the year.

Timeline for 2023 Catalyst Fellows

  • Early September: Prep time: Communication on Lab Experience
  • Early October: Session 1 (90 minutes, 30 minutes Optional Networking Time)
  • Early November: Session 2
  • Early December: Session 3
  • End of January: Session 4
  • End of February: Session 5
  • Mid-March: Session 6
  • End of April: Session 7
  • Mid-May: Session 8
  • June: End-of-Year Celebration (optional/in-person) – Certificate Ceremony

Contact Us

For general questions about the Catalyst Innovation Lab or if you have any questions as you consider applying, or wait to hear back about your application, please reach out to Sara Jean-Francois, Director of Partnerships at