Naugatuck High adds Southern, Post to college partners

NAUGATUCK — Starting next school year, Naugatuck High School seniors and juniors will be able to take college courses on campus at Post University and Southern Connecticut State University.

The Board of Education this month approved partnerships between Naugatuck High and the two universities as part of changes to the high school’s program of studies.

“They both offered unique options for students,” Naugatuck High School Principal John Harris said.

As part of the SCSU Early College program high school students can take up to three courses on the campus in New Haven for free. Through the Post University High School Academy, students can take courses online or on the campus in Waterbury for $300 a course.

Harris said there is no cost to the school district for the partnerships.

Students will work with guidance counselors at the high school when picking their classes, but they will be able to enroll in any of the college courses they like, Harris said. He said both universities offer classes that students might be interested in but aren’t offered at the high school. Both colleges offer courses in the evening, as well.

Once a student passes the course, they can receive high school and college credit, Harris said. The credits can be transferred to other colleges, he added.

Harris said the partnership allows students to earn college credit at a significantly reduced rate.

According to their respective websites, a typical three-credit course at Southern costs $1,849 and Post University charges $2,835.

Although the partnerships with Southern and Post are the first that allow students to take a wide range of courses on a college campus, it’s not the first time the school has partnered with universities to offer college classes.

The high school offers a certified nursing assistant course taught by an instructor from Naugatuck Valley Community College, accounting classes from the University of Bridgeport, and University of Connecticut courses.

Harris said the partnership with UConn is unique because high school teachers take courses at UConn to act as adjunct professors at the high school. The school offers five UConn Early College Experience courses, including biology, chemistry and U.S. history. The courses cost between $150 and $250, Harris said.

“All these programs serve to set students up for next level,” Harris said. “Even if college isn’t the option for every student, it is for the majority.”

The changes to the program of studies also included three new courses — forensics, English: gender and sexuality in everyday life, and heritage Spanish — and the elimination of algebra 1A.