UB Dual Enrollment is one of many academic partnerships that support K-12 students and teachers. Above, students from UB and Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi-Magnet High School work on a project on behalf of NASA. Students from the school can earn college credits through UB Dual Enrollment.

University of Bridgeport (UB) has expanded its Dual Enrollment Program, an accelerated academic offering that helps lower financial barriers to higher education by allowing Connecticut students to take free classes that are worth college credits at UB and other universities.

UB Dual Enrollment piloted at two high schools starting in the fall of 2015. Since then, 280 Connecticut high school students have successfully completed at least one class through the popular program, while graduates have matriculated to UB and other colleges throughout the northeast.

Students can potentially take up to a year’s worth of college for free before they graduate from high school. In a time when young people and their families worry about college debt, UB Dual Enrollment is a rare and much-needed pathway to fulfilling the dream of a higher education. –Linda Paslov

The growth of the program from two to seven high schools throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties enables qualifying juniors or seniors to earn three college credits per class—and up to 30 college credits in all—while they fulfill requirements for high school graduation.

Developed by UB faculty in accordance with NEASC guidelines, the UB Dual Enrollment curriculum includes but is not limited to: Calculus 1, English Composition and Rhetoric, Introduction to Psychology, and Engineering Graphics.

Classes are taught by high school teachers at Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict High School (where UB faculty helped to develop STEM curriculum), Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture Center, Shelton High School, Seymour High School, Bridgeport International Academy, and Kolbe Cathedral High School.

“This is a triple win,” said Linda Paslov, EdD, co-coordinator of the Dual Enrollment Program and a professor at the University’s College of Business, Engineering and Education.

“High school teachers who are approved by UB get the experience of teaching college courses though the program, can avail themselves of training and resources from UB, and are considered to be adjunct faculty at the University,” Paslov continued. “School districts that partner with us can offer students more college- and career-readiness options, reported annually to the state and the public via School Profile and Performance Reports, through the Dual Enrollment curriculum without adding to their own costs.  But most critical is that students can potentially take up to a year’s worth of college for free before they graduate from high school. In a time when young people and their families worry about college debt, UB Dual Enrollment is a rare and much-needed pathway to fulfilling the dream of a higher education.”

Diane Christiano, coordinator of Career & Technology Education at Stratford High School and the point person between that school and UB, credits the Dual Enrollment Program for helping high school students plan their futures more wisely.

“It allows students to take a course like accounting and decide if that’s the pathway they want to pursue in college. It allows them to make good education and career decisions prior to committing to an institution and a large amount of money,” Christiano said. “For me, that’s the most important thing. Now we just need parents to become more aware of programs like this.”

UB freshman Yeimy Morales Flores, 18, agrees.

Flores successfully completed Principals of Accounting at Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven during the fall of 2017. While free college credits are “helpful,” Flores said she enrolled in UB Dual Enrollment for the chance to think more deeply about what she wanted to study in college.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to major in political science or accounting, so I thought it would be very helpful,” said Flores, who decided to major in political science and minor in accounting.

About the University of Bridgeport:

The University of Bridgeport offers career-oriented undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and award-winning academic programs in a culturally diverse learning environment that prepares graduates for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world. Its more than 400 full- and part-time faculty include Fulbright Scholars, National Science Foundation Fellows, Ford Fellows, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows, American Council for Learned Societies Scholars, and Phi Beta Kappa Scholars.

UB Dual Enrollment is one of many partnerships between the University of Bridgeport and area school districts that provide enriched academic resources to K-12 students and their teachers.

For more information, please visit www.bridgeport.edu.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu