HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman were joined on Monday at University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) in Hartford by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor and other local officials for a roundtable conversation with college-bound high school seniors to discuss college readiness, access and affordability.
The event today follows on the heels of recently released reports showing improved student achievement. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Connecticut high school seniors were number one in reading and among the best performing in math out of the thirteen states that administered the test in 2013. And for the fourth consecutive year, Connecticut’s high school graduation rates increased in 2013 while showing significant progress in closing several persistent graduation gaps.
“A high school diploma unlocks the promise of earning higher wages and the opportunity for a college education. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our teachers and students, more Connecticut students are poised to take advantage of these opportunities,” Governor Malloy said. “The students who joined us today demonstrate that with strong support, we can help set them on the right track for success in their studies beyond high school.”
Several of the student panelists will be the first generation in their families to attend college.
“Increased investment in public education means more Connecticut students will succeed in college and 21st century careers,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “We are proud of all the students we heard from today, and we are grateful to all of the teachers, parents, and mentors who helped them build such a strong future.”
Many students cite the school’s strong academic program as a major appeal to enrolling in UHSSE and credit their high school guidance counselors with helping them navigate the college application process.
“When we raise expectations of what our students can achieve and put in place the requisite supports, Connecticut students will rise to the challenge and succeed. Today’s discussion focused on a strong partnership among teachers, administrators, parents and students that have set these youngsters on course towards excellence,” Commissioner Pryor said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to hear directly from these talented students and look forward to seeing their bright futures realized.”
Located on the campus of the University of Hartford, UHSSE students are immersed in honors curriculum throughout their high school career. Students are provided multiple avenues to experience advanced level work and gain college credit while earning their high school diploma. Such paths include taking college courses at the University of Hartford or at community colleges.