New program will give Naugy students professional experience

NAUGATUCK – High school students who take certain non-credit certificate classes at Naugatuck Valley Community College will be able to receive high school elective credit next year.

The program will give students not headed for a two or four-year college degree a chance to get some hirable experience and explore different career pathways, according to Jan Saam, Naugatuck High School associate principal.

Students will be required to pay course fees, which can range from around $500 to $3,000, and are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the college. Students would enroll in classes just like any other community member and the Board of Education would award credits once the coursework is complete.

The program would supplement, not replace core requirements, according to Saam.

This will give students expanded options since the district cannot afford to bring those types of programs to the high school, Saam said.

Courses eligible for high school credit include certified nursing assistant, personal trainer, pre-manufacturing, patient care technician, phlebotomy technician, and three welding courses.

The courses could also give students marketable skills so they may begin working while taking other college classes. For example, a student with a nursing assistant certification could work as an assistant while going to nursing school.

She said the long-range plan was to try to get Naugatuck Valley staff to come to the high school to offer classes, allowing more students to participate. Saam said talks with NVCC are preliminary at this point. The district is also looking into a similar program with Post University, Saam said, in which students could receive dual high school and college credit by taking online courses through Post.

Saam said she was pleased that the Board of Education recognized this as just one more alternative for students to be able to leave high school with something to show an employer.

“We want to make sure they’re successful once they leave high school,” Saam said.