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Project Title:Eastern Connecticut State University/Quinebaug Valley Community College Dual Enrollment ProgramInstitution Name:Eastern Connecticut State University Innovation Category:Underrepresented Students Project Director:Rhona Free, Vice President of Academic AffairsContact Information:(860) 465-5246, free@easternct.eduWebsite:
Project Description:Partnering with Hartford Public High School (HPHS) and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), Eastern co-enrolls each fall a cohort of 10 HPHS graduates who have the determination and potential to succeed, but who had not planned to attend college due to extremely challenging economic and family circumstances. Students complete course work at QVCC in their first semester while taking one course at Eastern, living in Eastern's residence halls, and fully participating in campus activities. After the first semester most become full-time Eastern students. Advising, tutoring, counseling and mentoring services are provided, and all participants are assigned to on-campus jobs.  
Objectives:
  • Increase college enrollment and bachelor’s degree attainment of graduates from Hartford Public High School, an urban high school with a large population from traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Increase representation of Latino and African American students at Eastern
  • Increase graduation rates of Latino and African American students at Eastern by creating a critical mass of students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Increase racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity at Eastern to create a richer campus culture
  • Build closer relationships between Hartford Public High School, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Quinebaug Valley Community College. 
Outcomes:
  • Retention rates of program participants are equivalent to those of the total Eastern population, in spite of their weaker academic high school background. The retention rate of Latino students is up by 9 percentage points.
  • The four-year graduation rate of Latino students is up by 8 percentage points. The six-year graduation rate of Latino students is up by 16 percentage points (19 percentage points over two years).
  • Program participants have become valuable members of Eastern’s residential campus community, assuming leadership roles in residence halls, clubs, and classrooms.
  • Program participants have participated in the full range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities, including international study and national exchange.
  • Program participants have become valued members of their assigned employment units.  
Challenges/Problems Encountered:The greatest challenge is obtaining funds to ensure that all participant costs are covered in the first year without loans, and that in later years, all costs can be covered through grants or loans. A second challenge is helping participants to balance academic responsibilities with their families’ needs for their assistance and support. 
Evaluation Approach:This program is evaluated based on the retention rates, academic performance, and integration of participants in residence hall, campus, and employment-related activities. Assessment of program success is conducted annually by a committee.
Potential for Replication:This program could be replicated in any situation where there is a four-year residential campus within a short distance (walking or public transportation) of a community college. Effective guidance counselors at the sending high schools are critical to identification of appropriate program participants. Funding is required to subsidize students in year one when grants do not cover full costs of tuition, room, board, and fees, and in later years when grants and loans combined do not cover full costs. Obtaining private or other sources of funding is essential but challenging. 
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Elsa M. Nunez , Presidentnunez@easternct.edu
(860) 465-5221
Date Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011