By Miguelina Felix
WH Schools Publicist
A well-rounded high school education prepares students for rigorous college courses and encourages them to take advantage of a variety of opportunities in sports, academics, and extracurricular activities. Strong teachers who also serve as mentors, help empower students to become successful and advocate for their aspirations beyond the high school classrooms.
Today we are highlighting a special program offered at West Haven High School. Mrs. Erin McCauley is West Haven High School’s University of Connecticut Early College Experience program instructor. This program thrived under another teacher until 2010, but took a hiatus until 2019 when McCauley applied and was approved by UConn, making it possible to reintroduce this program.
UConn Early College Experience (ECE) allows students to take UConn courses in a high school classroom while earning high school and college credit. The full-year writing seminar helps students earn four UConn credits, which are transferrable to many other colleges and universities as well.
This academic year, West Haven High School was named top 10 high schools for the highest percent enrollment increase in the program. The school the seventh-ranked high school in the program this year with an 86% increase in enrollment. These numbers truly highlight that despite all the difficulties and uncertainties, students and staff continue to be dedicated and hard-working, school officials state.
We took a peak in McCauley’s classroom to learn what students thought about this course. Just a few minutes in, it was evident to see why these students chose to take the course.
“With dual enrollment, students not only receive college credit but also advanced placement credit, so it’s a no-brainer that this is a step for students to reach higher academic achievement,” McCauley said.
Madison Hobart, a senior currently taking this course, said UConn is her top college choice.
“This is a stepping-stone for me,” she said.
Intending to major in either education or occupational therapy, Hobart believes this program provides her with the skills needed for her future. Distance learning students chimed in with Madison expressing that this is an opportunity to get a head start.
With college admissions coming in right around the corner, West Haven High School seniors are prepared to take the necessary steps to excel beyond high school. Mrs. McCauley has made this program possible once more.
Ed. Note: Miguelina Felix is the public relations/social media writer for West Haven Schools