Four hundred Connecticut high school students will be earning college credits from University of Bridgeport’s Dual Enrollment/Early College Credit (DE/ECC) program this 2021-2022 academic year.
The DE/ECC program offers the opportunity for high school students to start earning up to 30 college credits as early as their sophomore year. Students enroll in approved classes at high schools and receive academic credit that is equal to the completion of the same course taught at UB. Currently, there are 17 available classes in three pathways — Humanities, STEM and Business. Courses range from Foundations of Entrepreneurship to Cell-Molecular Biology, from Second Programming Language to Phlebotomy, depending on what each high school wants to offer.
For fall 2022, six new courses such as eSports, Introduction to Drama, Dental Hygiene, Child Psychology, or Lifespan Development Psychology will be added. We’re also excited to launch an Education Pathway to complement UB’s new Education Minor. Undergraduates who will complete a degree in Biology, or General Studies, or in Mathematics and want to teach can elect to add the Education minor to meet teacher certification requirements. High school students can take an Introduction to Education or Introduction to Teaching Methods for college credit. “The program is growing because schools are seeing we are willing to work with them to offer classes that their students want,” says DE/ECC coordinator Julie Demers.
Right now, UB partners with 13 high schools in New Haven and Fairfield county. We will be expanding to Hartford County high schools thanks to our partnership with Superintendent of Goodwin University Magnet Schools Dr. Salvatore Menzo, who is getting the word out about students earning college credit. Further, our high school partners will also be able to earn college credits in three manufacturing courses at Goodwin University by reaching out to Matthew Dadona, Assistant Superintendent of Pathways and Partnerships for the Goodwin University Magnet School System, at MDadona@goodwin.edu.
We are also expanding our outreach internationally with a high school participating in El Salvador thanks to Drs. Tim Raynor, Director of the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business, and Dean Khaled Elleithy of the College of Engineering, Business and Education, who promote the dual enrollment program abroad. “These students are learning that academic success is possible and setting straight common misperceptions about college being unattainable,” says Vice President and Chief Administration Officer Dan Noonan. “This is a safe way for high school students to try out college coursework taught by appropriately trained faculty.”
Each DE/ECC program course is offered through a specific college at University of Bridgeport to ensure high academic standards. Professor Amy Nawrocki supervises English teachers and coordinates Core Writing and Humanities classes at Bridgeport area high schools. “As a faculty mentor I work with high school teachers to build their syllabus so that it is appropriate to the course they are teaching and our college curriculum,” says Nawrocki. “I am always inspired by the great teaching that takes place in these high school classrooms.”
“When I did a recent observation in Seymour, the kids and the teachers were excellent,” agrees Professor Patrick Frawley, who coordinates Math and STEM dual enrollments. “The student transcripts look good for any college, but if they come here to UB, that’s even better, because they are ahead of the game.”
Students pay a mere $50 a credit hour, far below what they might pay for a college class. However, students who receive free or reduced-price lunch do not pay anything for this access to higher education. “UB will not let cost stand in the way of exposing our area high school students to quality higher education,” says Vice President Noonan. “No boat rises to a low tide, but all boats rise to a high tide.”
“Students who take these classes have an easy transition to college,” says Julie Demers. “And they see the great things that UB has to offer, like small classes, faculty access, and diversity.”
“It’s great to get out into the community and be connected,” agrees Professor Frawley. “We are a growing presence in the region.”
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