Most of our partners are aware that UConn ECE offers an excellent opportunity for high school students
to get a head-start on their college career, and at a very affordable price. What many are probably not aware of is that the UConn ECE program is self-supporting. The fees that UConn ECE students pay for classes, cover all of the administrative costs of the program. For the past several years, UConn ECE has been able to support motivated students that could not otherwise afford to take ECE courses by providing scholarships for these students. In 2013-2014, UConn ECE funded more than 1,600 students state-wide.
But the need grows greater each year. The UConn ECE office is faced with increasing requests for student scholarships, classroom supplies, or to help cover the cost of an event or field trip. Unfortunately, because we operate within an increasingly limited budget, many of these requests will go unfulfilled. Through our new fundraising efforts, our goal is to be better able to support our students and partner schools. “We would love to say yes to every request we get. There are amazing students and classes at our partner schools,” said Wendi Richardson, Assistant Director. Program and giving information can be f o u n d o n o u r n e w s i t e www.ece.uconn.edu/donate. Please take a moment to check it out and consider a gift to support a student’s academic success!
Annually, UConn ECE con- ducts surveys of students who have gone through the program the year before and also four years out of the program. The last survey of the year was done on the 2008-2009 cohort. The results were extremely positive and add to the volume of results supporting the claim that concurrent enrollment greatly contributes to student success. Of the 605 responses, 100% continued their education beyond high school at a post-secondary institution. About 90% were able to successfully transfer some or all of their UConn credit to their new institution. Students reported that they graduated on average in 3.98 years with an average GPA of 3.53. Among the responses, 73% strongly agree or agree that they were better prepared academically for college and 64% strongly agree or agree that they were more confident about their ability to succeed in college as a result of taking UConn ECE courses in high school. Alumni rated their experience as excellent or good 85% of the time and 95% of respondents would recommend the program to current high school students. In many of the openended comments, students mentioned that the classes were very rigorous and that they learned valuable college skills while in the course. For more information about these results and results of previous surveys, please visit ece.uconn.edu/research.
UConn teams with other concurrent enrollment programs in the region
November 5, Manchester NH UConn ECE Director Jill Thorne and Assistant Director Wendi Richardson attended a meeting November 5 in Manchester, New Hampshire, to help form a regional chapter of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). The meeting was attended by about forty representatives from other concurrent enrollment programs across the New England states. “It is helpful that NACEP has established this pathway to start regional chapters,” said Thorne. “Concurrent enrollment is not as well-known in New England as it is in other areas of the United States. It’s been difficult to start a state chapter, but this will enable us to pool our resources and enthusiasm across New England.”
Kim Mobley, NACEP Director of Communications and Member Services, facilitated the meeting, which was graciously hosted by Manchester Community College (NH). We were able to share common goals for the creation of our regional NACEP chapter, and identify a steering committee made up of volunteers from different New England states. We look forward to a meeting in the spring for the election of officers and voting on proposed by- laws, both of which are necessary steps for NACEP’s formal recognition of our chapter. This is an exciting step for concurrent enrollment in New England!!
UConn ECE has completed a study which investigated how concurrent enrollment credits transfer to higher education institutions, the largest study of its kind ever attempted. Institutions responded that they accept UConn ECE credit about 82% of the time. From student surveys, the researchers discovered that the transfer success rate is actually higher. When students take an active role in the credit transfer process, when they contact university departments and send in a syllabus of the UConn ECE course to be examined, they are more likely to have that credit transfer. The researchers are confident the rate of transfer is about 87%. A mixed methods approach was used involving a student survey, a survey of registrars and admissions officers, and data-mining of policy information. Data was collected on the type of credit earned and rejected, student experience, and the perception of concurrent enrollment among higher education administrators. Armed with this information, the researchers developed strategies for successful transfer: educating students early about the credit transfer process, training high school staff to talk about it effectively, and providing an extensive portal of information online, which includes a public database of transfer frequency. The Credit Transfer Database will be available in early spring 2014 for students and parents to explore where UConn ECE credit will likely transfer before applying to college. The study was supported by a grant from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (www.nacep.edu) and the results were presented in part at the National NACEP Conference in Jacksonville, FL in October. For more information about the results, please visit ece.uconn.edu/.
By Brian A. Boecherer
UConn ECE Student Alumni
Spotlight: Kayla Hoynes
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Disney (College)! That’s where Kayla Hoynes (ECE Alumnus 2012
Cheshire High School) will be spending her spring semester, interning at Walt Disney World and taking
classes as part of the Disney College Program. When I asked Kayla how she found the opportunity, she told me she attended an involvement fair and found their booth. Finding the internship may be simple, but getting the internship never is. The Disney College Program is a competitive national internship where interns work at Disney to learn different aspects of hospitality management as well as take classes on history and marketing. Approximately 20 percent of those who apply get an offer.
The wonder of Disney will allow a great learning experience, impressive networking, and it is a tremendous resume builder. However, Kayla is quick to add that she would not have been able to participate in the Disney program if it were not for UConn ECE. What’s the connection? UConn will not accept the Disney internship or the classes to transfer to her UConn transcript. Thus, this internship would delay her graduation by one semester if she did not come into UConn with 11 credits from the ECE program. During her junior and senior years at Cheshire High School, Kayla took Biology 1107, Biology 1108, and Human Development & Family Studies 1070.
“The courses helped with the transition to college,” Kayla tells me. “They’re certainly helping now too.” Kayla is now a sophomore majoring in journalism and communications. She wants to work as a journalist and focus on the entertainment side of her field. No doubt, her contacts at Disney will help in that future as well. When asked for advice to give high school students, she says, “Find opportunities;
opportunities will not find you.” This is true when participating in activities, pushing yourself to take UConn classes while in high school, as well as when applying for highly competitive and rewarding internships.
Kayla finds opportunities by being an actively engaged student at UConn; working on campus (in the UConn ECE office), volunteering for UCTV (UConn’s student-run television station), volunteering with disabled children, and belonging to Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She says that persistence is an important part of success. It keeps you engaged with your commitments and allows you to develop into the person you want to be.
UConn ECE is pleased to announce the migration from the current paper registration process to a new streamlined online process. The new online registration system incorporates functionality that was requested by several schools that participated in focus groups earlier in the year. To assist both schools and students during this transition, a 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. registration hotline will be available during the months of April, May and June. In addition, ECE staff will be available to visit schools needing any additional assistance. Demonstra- tions and details will be shared at this year’s Site Representative Conference on February 25th.
The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement is a yearly award given to honor faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs that engage the public to address critical societal issues. The University community submits nominations and faculty and staff members of the Public Engagement Forum evaluate the candidates. The criteria used in the evaluation process are as follows
- Sustained leadership in working with the public and/or with external organizations.
- Innovative ways of working; and/or or the well-being of citizens and communities.
- Documented excellence in extending University or community knowledge.
- Evidence of the impact on a target audience.
- Demonstrated intellectual, professional, and/or career growth as a result of the experience.
- Evidence of impact on scholarship/research, instruction and curriculum development, or evidence of national significance in the field.
ECE’s rich history of excellence ensured that all criteria were thoroughly fulfilled, culminating in this prestigious honor. Originating in 1955 as the High School Cooperative Program, the program today has grown to enroll over 10,000 motivated students in approximately 160 partner high schools and is the nation’s longest running program of its kind. ECE ensures that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds are provided the opportunity to experience college while in high school by offering student scholarships to those who qualify. When UConn faculty perform site visits to view our certified instructors at work, they report that not only do ECE courses meet the rigor required of a UConn class, but also are often enhanced with hands-on activities – a beneficial addition to syllabi. In addition to courses, ECE sponsors educational events to enhance student engagement in various subject areas. Most recently, students across Connecticut attended an on-campus French Immersion Day and Quiz Bowl and this past summer played host to the third annual Biology Summer Institute. ECE alumni that choose to attend UConn are markedly successful, posting significantly higher first and second semester grade point averages than freshman admitted without ECE credits, and constituting one-third of all honors
students at UConn. UConn ECE is honored to have been selected for this award and incredibly grateful for all of the hardworking parties that made it possible.