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Eastern Receives College Board Award

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - The College Board has announced that Eastern Connecticut State University has been named a recipient of a 2010 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award for its "Dual Enrollment Initiative" program. Eastern won in the "Getting In" category of the New England Region. The award was presented to Eastern at the College Board's 2010 New England Regional Forum, held Feb. 8 and 9 in Boston, MA.

            "Now more than ever, it is critical that as a nation, we work together to make college access and success a reality for all students, including those from low-income backgrounds," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "The CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards program was established to recognize institutions and agencies that are leading this charge and to highlight promising practices from across the country."

            The Dual Enrollment Initiative is a program created in 2007 by Eastern, Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) and Hartford Public High School. Spearheaded by Eastern President Elsa Núñez, the program began by enrolling nine at-risk youths from the Hartford area in full-time courses at QVCC in fall 2008. The students also took one course at Eastern and lived in Eastern's residence halls. The students, who came from low-income backgrounds and were not planning on applying to college, were recommended for the program by guidance counselors at Hartford Public High School and interviewed by Eastern staff members before admission.

            Now in its second year, the program emphasizes a mentoring plan for each student in order to help the students adjust. If participating students achieve academic success within their first semester, they enroll at Eastern as full-time students in their second semester with the goal of graduating with a college degree.

            The CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards recognize programs and practices designed to help find solutions for low-income students trying to attend and graduate college. Categories include "Getting Ready," "Getting In" and "Getting Through." All 18 recipients received $5,000 to expand or maintain their programs.


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