The Southeastern Massachusetts Education Collaborative (SMEC) has been operating in our region since 1975, providing education and activities to intellectually and physically challenged children and adults.

SMEC contracts with 10 area school districts and serves more than 300 students, plus 110 adults who are 22 and older.

Executive Director Catherine Cooper stopped by Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the work of the Collaborative.

"We provide a full range of services for student ages 3-22, including specialized programs for students on the autism spectrum, we have programs for students with social-emotional disabilities, and we have a large transitional services program for young people ages 18-21 with developmental disabilities," Cooper said.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

SMEC offers programs at sites in Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Fairhaven, and rents classrooms in various school districts, providing instruction for those students attending public school.

Cooper said SMEC also provides training programs for teachers and parents.

SMEC has a staff of more than 200 people, but right now they have vacancies for teachers and para-professionals.

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Cooper also wanted to remind us about a fundraiser coming up later this month. "Friends of SMEC" is a non-profit, charitable fund-raising arm of SMEC, made up of parents and volunteers, raising money for special equipment or other activities at the collaborative.

The Friends group stages several fundraisers every year, including a Walk-A-Thon that will take place Saturday, October 15, starting at the SMEC building at 56 Bridge Street in Fairhaven.

Registration starts at 8:30 am. Donations and sponsors are welcomed. Gift cards to be raffled off are also needed. You can register on the SMEC website.

The complete interview with Cooper can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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