Written by Ed Osborn
Willimantic, Conn. - The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) has chosen Eastern Connecticut State University's Dual Enrollment Initiative as the 2011 recipient of NEBHE's Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement. The McKenna Award will be presented at NEBHE's Annual Higher Education Excellence Awards Dinner at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel on March 11, 2011.
In announcing the award, NEBHE President and CEO Michael Thomas said the program's "outstanding commitment to students". . . was "truly exceptional."
"We are honored to be recognized by the New England Board of Higher Education for our Dual Enrollment Initiative," said Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez. "While our focus has been on the inner-city students who are served by the program, it has been our hope that the insights we have gained could be applied in other communities and on other campuses."
The Dual Enrollment Initiative is in its third year. Partnering with Hartford Public High School and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), Eastern co-enrolls a cohort of 10 Hartford Public High School graduates each fall, students who have the determination and potential to succeed, but who had not planned to attend college. The students take nine credits of remedial instruction at QVCC in their first semester, while also taking one course at Eastern, living in Eastern's residence halls and fully participating in campus activities.
Most of the students then enroll at Eastern full time in the spring semester. Sixteen of the 19 students who enrolled in the program's first two years are still enrolled at Eastern as sophomores and juniors. The program has received significant financial support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Wal-Mart Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice and private donations.