- Dr. Gregory W. Gray, President of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, and Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor today convened a task force to study early college learning and make recommendations on expanding early college programs in Connecticut.
“Early exposure to college coursework and university-level study will ensure our young people arrive at college ready to succeed,” said President Gray. “This is an innovative way to give students a head start and a solid academic foundation before they get to college and it reduces the need for costly developmental education courses that can delay a degree or certificate.”
The task force will examine ways of modeling early college learning with the ultimate goal of having early college programs operating in all Connecticut community colleges.
“Early college initiatives can reveal to high school students the possibilities presented by college, enhancing familiarity with and improving preparation for higher education,” said Commissioner Pryor. “Participating students will begin to view educational opportunities as spanning not just from pre-K to 12, but from pre-K to 14 or pre-K to 16 and beyond. Preparing students for success in college and careers is essential and we hope that efforts such as this partnership can help to help advance this goal.”
Early college programs offer students a head start on attaining a higher education degree which should help increase the likelihood that after high school graduation, students continue on to college. These programs expose high school students to the rigors of college level coursework by providing opportunities for advanced study, dual enrollment at a community college, or co-located programs. Furthermore, some programs could potentially compress the time for a student to complete both a high school degree and associate’s degree.
The 16-member task force is co-chaired by Quinebaug Valley Community College Interim President Dr. Carmen Cid and State Department of Education Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dianna Roberge-Wentzell. The task force includes Mike Alfano, Dean of School of Education at Central Connecticut State University; Sally Biggs, Principal of the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy; Dennis Bogusky, President, Federation of Technical College Teachers, AFT Local 1942; Michael Breen, Rockville High School teacher and CEA representative; Dr. Kate Carter, South Windsor Superintendent of Schools; Gail Coppage, Board of Regents; Dr. Delores Garcia-Blocker, New Haven Public Schools; Ted Gardella, representative of The College Board; Elliot Ginsberg, President/CEO, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc.; Robert Henderson, Manchester Community College; Dr. Steve Minkler, Middlesex Community College; Judy Resnick, Executive Director, CBIA Education Foundation; Gail Stevens, Norwalk Community College; and Robert Trefry, Chair, Technical High School System Board.
The task force is expected to issue their first report by December 31, 2013.
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Connecticut State Department of Education