Some new Danbury High School students are meeting to get a head start on the Associate Degree program offered at DHS. A summer program is preparing the second group of Freshmen for the Danbury Early College Opportunity program.
100 students enrolled in the program at Danbury High School are meeting this week to learn about the program, their mentors, and what it takes to set long-term goals as they begin working toward an Information Technology degree. The program gives students an opportunity to earn an Associate Degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College simultaneously with their high school diploma.
Students in the summer program will be introduced to the workplace environment from practicing interview skills to learning to actively listen.
Students begin accelerating their high school requirements so that by sophomore or junior year they can begin incorporating college-level courses.
Danbury school officials say the Early College Opportunity is part of a growing nationwide trend modeled after the first program in Brooklyn, New York, at IBM’s acclaimed P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School). This school recently graduated its first cohort. The first program in Connecticut, Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA), began in fall 2014 as a partnership between IBM, Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk Community College. Danbury is one of three partnerships in the state slated to begin this fall; schools in Windham and New London are also beginning programs.
Danbury is partnered with NewOak Capital LLC, serving as the lead industry partner, Danbury Public Schools and NVCC. Pitney Bowes has agreed to provide mentors for the program. Additional funding for the program is provided by the state Board of Regents, which operates the state universities and community colleges system.