Written by Julianne Bass
Willimantic, CT -- The Dual Enrollment Program at Eastern Connecticut State University, a collaboration with Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), was presented the Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement on March 11 at The New England Board of Higher Education's annual Higher Education Excellence Awards Dinner at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. This program is a partnership between Eastern, QVCC and Hartford Public High School to help inner city students attend college.
Now in its third year of operation, the Dual Enrollment Program has been able to successfully guide sixteen of the 19 students who enrolled in the program's first two years through their college experience so far, who are now sophomores and juniors.
Eastern and QVCC co-enroll 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 involving themselves in campus life.
The criteria for winning the McKenna Award included programs that exemplified excellence leadership, innovation, diversity, partnerships/collaborations or educational opportunity. Eastern's Dual Enrollment Program was selected for its innovative approach to providing educational access to underserved populations and for the collaborative nature of the program.
The Dual Enrollment Initiative has received financial support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Wal-Mart Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice and from private sources. The program also was named the recipient of the College Board's CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award in 2010.