Connecticut Schools and Colleges Celebrate Early College Awareness Week
With Activities for Students and Parents
HARTFORD, Oct. 12 ¾ With National College Awareness Week
starting Monday, the Connecticut Department of Higher Education is joining with middle
schools and colleges to launch a series of informational programs on the importance of
preparing early for college.
Underscoring the weeks special focus, Governor John G. Rowland has issued a
proclamation declaring October 16 23 as Connecticuts "Early
College Awareness Week."
The programs will kick-off on Wednesday, October 18 at schools in Bridgeport, Hartford
and New Haven ¾ the three cities served by the
Departments $10.5 million federal grant to support activities under GEAR UP (Gaining
Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). College officials and students
as well as GEAR UP staff from the Department of Higher Education will visit city schools
to encourage students to get a head start on preparing for college. Similar programs will
be held at schools and colleges in other areas of the state during the rest of the year.
"With GEAR UP, we have the resources to personally reach out to students and
parents who might not otherwise have access to information about college," stated
Valerie F. Lewis, Commissioner of higher education. "Our goal is to motivate
students and parents to plan early for college so that every child can succeed in life.
Middle school is the ideal time to begin so we are targeting workshops, presentations and
publications specifically for these students and their parents. We are especially pleased
by the overwhelming interest shown by Connecticuts colleges in helping us lead this
exciting new campaign."
Early college awareness events scheduled for next week are:
Wednesday, October 18
Bridgeport: Students from Curiale, Roosevelt and Longfellow Schools will meet at
Basick High School at 9:30 am. with Cynthia Swift, director of Fairfield Universitys
Minority Advancement Program. College students from Sacred Heart University, Yale
University and the University of Bridgeport also will participate.
Hartford: 7th grade students from Fox Middle School will celebrate Early College
Awareness Week with Higher Education Commissioner Lewis as well as with presenters from
the University of Connecticut and Trinity College starting at 9:00 am.
New Haven: A program for parents and students from six middle schools will start at
6:00 pm. at New Havens Career High School. Speakers include Yale University faculty.
Thursday, October 19
Bridgeport: Students from Luis Munoz Marin, Cross and Dunbar schools will meet
at 9:30 am. at Harding High School with Higher Education Commissioner Lewis and Janis M.
Hadley, president of Housatonic Community College, and local college students.
Hartford: Quirk Middle School will conduct a symposium with representatives from
the University of Connecticut, Trinity College and the Connecticut Department of Higher
Education starting at 8:30 a.m.
Friday, October 20
Hartford: A pep rally on "Gearing Up for College" is scheduled for 1:50
pm. at South Middle School and will include representatives from Yale University, Trinity
College and the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.
Saturday, October 21
Hartford: Trinity College will host an early college awareness program for Hartford
parents featuring Samuel Rush, associate director of the Connecticut Higher Education
Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) and Department of Higher Education staff. The program
will start at 8:45 am.
In addition, the Consulting Center, an affiliate of Yale University and a GEAR UP
partner is launching the MAAX (Maximizing Adolescent Academic eXcellence), a 10 week
after-school program for 7th and 8th grade students to run in 15
middle schools. Other GEAR UP activities include after-school tutoring, student
"shadow days" on college campuses, student and parent workshops, staff
development and the unveiling of a magazine on college preparation for middle school
The following colleges have offered to partner with public schools to conduct early
awareness activities during the rest of the school year:
- the University of Connecticut will link with East Hartford Middle School to
provide parent and student activities.
- the University of Connecticut Health Centers School of Medicine will
conduct workshops at several Hartford middle schools.
- Trinity College will host GEAR UPs Saturday Academy, a 10-week program for 8th
grade parents and students. Trinity College students will work with Fox Middle School
students throughout the year.
- Three Rivers Community College will lead a series of activities for parents and
students at Lebanon Middle Middle School and Montvilles Leonard J. Tyl Middle
- Central Connecticut State University will link with New Britains Roosevelt
Middle School to provide students with a campus tour and a study skills workshop.
- Sacred Heart University will conduct a parent workshop at Bridgeports
Multicultural Magnet School.
- Mitchell Colleges womens basketball team will link with six area middle
schools to provide a unique mentoring program combining academics and athletics.
- Norwalk Community College will link with Norwalks Ponus Ridge Middle School
for a student presentation.
- Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Connecticut Higher Education Student Loan
Association will link with Waterburys Northend Middle School to do a variety of
- the University of Hartford will link with Fox Middle School for a year-long
For more details on these activities and the Department of Higher Educations GEAR
UP project, contact Connie Fraser or Carolyn Karno, GEAR UP Communications/Outreach
Officer at the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, (860) 947-1854.
Contact: Connie Fraser