With assistance from the educators from Hartford Public High School, Eastern Connecticut State University (Eastern) and its community college partner, Quinebaug Valley Community College, developed the Dual College enrollment and transfer initiative to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Hartford’s inner-city, especially Latinos/Hispanics.
- Increase the number of Latino high school students enrolled and retained in dual enrollment program in collaboration with the local community college.
- Increase the academic success of dual enrollment students.
- Reduce financial barriers to enable dual enrollment students to benefit from living on a residential campus as they develop their skills to college level through attendance at a nearby community college.
In the fifth year of this program, there are approximately 25 students from the Dual College Initiative enrolled full-time at Eastern. An additional ten students who were admitted to the program are enrolled in community college. Three students from the first cohort graduated in four years, a striking accomplishment given their academic background. The program has an 80 percent first to second year retention rate, which is equal to that for other incoming full time freshmen. Keys to helping these students succeed are: 1) enabling them to live on campus where they are surrounded by students whose primary focus is academic achievement; 2) on-campus student employment to provide them with economic support, and 3) a broad range of academic and social support services, including intrusive advising. Eastern encourages students to stay during the summer and take courses to increase the number of credits earned and promote four-year degree completion.