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Eastern to Host Advanced Placement Workshops

Written by Tim Talley

Willimantic, Conn. -   Eastern Connecticut State University will host a series of Advanced Placement (AP) summer institutes July 19-23. Ninety-one teachers will be participating in the workshops, which will be held in Eastern's Science Building. Topics will include AP calculus, biology, English language, English literature and statistics.  A total of nine workshops covering both beginning and advanced topics will be provided.

            The workshops are a collaboration between Eastern, Hartford-based Project Opening Doors (POD) and the Willimantic-based Project Access for All. The goal of the workshops is to help increase the awareness of AP classes within the school systems and  facilitate teachers in methods to enhance their student's knowledge in the areas of math and science. Both of the projects are funded by a grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in partnership with the Connecticut Business Industry Association (CBIA), which runs the program.

Donna Wadstrup, Internal Projects Manager of POD, spoke on behalf of Cam Vautour, president of POD. "The uniqueness of this collaboration is that it pairs university professors with high school AP teachers," stated Wadstrup.  "Participants are given the unique perspective of what is expected both in a high school, as well as a university treatment of Advanced Placement material. The participants, in addition to receiving instruction from two different perspectives, have the opportunity to interact with their peers for a full week.  Dr. Vautour is hopeful that this year's program will prove even more successful than last year's."

            Statistics have shown that there has been a steady decline with American students in the areas of math and science. According to the NMSI website, only 18 percent of 12th-grade students performed at or above the proficiency level in science. Project Opening Doors has helped to raise these figures -- the number of students in AP math and science has increased 12 percent within the last year, which is twice the national average and three times as much as the State of Connecticut, according CBIA's website.

"We are pleased to host workshops for experienced and new teachers," said Elizabeth Cowles, professor of biology and AP workshop organizer.  "Our purpose is to make everyone feel comfortable and confident with the AP curriculum and more importantly, to develop an AP community.  To quote from a Watkins Glen (NY) school, 'the foundation of every nation is the education of its youth.'  We embrace that premise and keep the promise to all students.  Students are our future." 


For more information, contact Elizabeth Cowles at (860) 465-4385 or email her at  


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