Written by Ed Osborn
Students who will benefit from SBM Charitable Foundation's donation to the DEI program include, from left: Honesty Getfield, Courtney Calloway and Kevandra Amos.
The SBM Charitable Foundation will donate $250,000 to Eastern during the next three years, starting with a $100,000 gift made in May 2011, to establish the SBM Charitable Foundation Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program for students graduating from Manchester High School (MHS). The Eastern Admissions Office, in conjunction with the MHS Guidance Office, will enroll five MHS students in this unique program each fall, beginning in 2011.
This SBM Foundation grant brings the charitable foundation's giving to Eastern to $750,000 since 2004, and will enable Eastern to expand upon a program it started in fall 2007.
The students take remedial coursework at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Willimantic; enroll in one class at Eastern; live in Eastern's residence halls; and work at on-campus jobs. The primary success factor of the DEI is the requirement that the students reside on campus, allowing them to focus on the academic, campus and community aspects of their college experience.
Since fall 2008, three groups of 9-10 Hartford Public high School graduates have enrolled in the Dual Enrollment Initiative (DEI) each fall. The program continues to establish a positive track record, evidenced by an overall retention rate that exceeds the University's average.
Earlier this year, the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) selected the Dual Enrollment Initiative as the 2011 recipient of NEBHE's Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement. Expanding the Dual Enrollment Initiative to Manchester High School, historically a key feeder school for Eastern, is another indicator of the program's success.
"I am grateful to the SBM Charitable Foundation for this latest gift to Eastern," said President Núñez. "Bringing the promise of a college education to Manchester High School students extends the positive impact that the DEI is having in Connecticut. I am very proud of the faculty, students and staff who have been involved."
"We could not have accomplished this expansion of the program without the foresight and generosity of the SBM Charitable Foundation board and management team," said Nunez.