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Submitted by Web Communications on September 27, 2012

An exciting new partnership between Fairfield University and Bridgeport Public Schools will give qualified city high school students a taste of college, while helping Fairfield teacher candidates hone their skills in the classroom.

The Early College Program (ECP) will offer a chance for 12 promising Bridgeport high school students to take Fairfield University courses for college credit, making higher education more of a reality in the district where only 54 percent of students graduate from high school. The district will cover the $600 tuition fee per course, as well as offer paid internships and student teaching opportunities for Fairfield’s teacher candidates.

Interested students must be in good standing and must pass the Accuplacer Assessment exam to show they are ready for college material. At Fairfield, the students will be paired in class with at least one other high school student, an effort to make them feel more at home in a college setting said Dr. Susan Franzosa, dean, Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions (GSEAP).

Dr. Christine Siegel, associate dean of GSEAP, said the program is a win-win situation because it speaks to the University’s mission of community service.

The ECP program is an important part of a larger partnership between the GSEAP and the Bridgeport Public Schools,” said Dean Franzosa. “We will have 20 of our students serving as interns in Bridgeport schools in the fall, as well as tutoring projects and a site-based teacher training grant focused on instruction in literacy. Fairfield students and faculty and Bridgeport students and teachers will all benefit.”

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