While most high school students take classes like PE and Algebra, some Connecticut students are studying soil science, floral art and biotechnology.
The UConn Early College Experience (UConn ECE) program offers students across the state the opportunity to take UConn classes at their own high schools.
The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) offers nine courses – eight in introductory courses in botanical and soil science and environmental sciences. In total, CAHNR offers 86 of these courses in 60 schools. During the 2020-21 academic year, 1,400 Connecticut students enrolled in these courses.
Strict content is the same as what students learn on campus, but it is taught in their own high school setting. These courses are hands-on and in-house.
Julia Kuzovkina, Professor of Plant Science and Facilitator of Yukon ECE Faculty, said: “In this program, students enter their first years with advanced knowledge and other skills such as time management and effective scientific communication to succeed in college.
The UConn ECEclass will be converted into UConn student transcripts and transferred to other colleges and universities at a reduced rate.
“Taking UConn ECE courses in high school can help students save money in college or not have time to complete in four years or give them the freedom to pursue a master’s or a master’s degree,” said Brian A., director of the group. Bocherer said. Office of Early College Programs.
Courses offered by CAHNR Academic Programs offer special care to students who want to pursue a career in agriculture or environmental sciences.
The offers include introductory courses in grassroots management, horticulture, agricultural technology, environmental science and floriculture. There are options for advanced courses in biotechnology, horticulture and advanced floral design.
The Natural Science and Environmental Science course meets both environmental reading and general education requirements for UConn students. It can also inspire new love for the environment.
“It will make a difference for many students,” said Morti Ortega, a professor of natural resources and environment and coordinator of the Yukon ECE Faculty. “Many students suddenly became very interested in the environment.”
The course teaches basic sciences in laboratory and field works to investigate water quality, car pollution and biodiversity.
“The idea of this course is to make you think about how everything relates to the environment,” Ortega said. “And you have to think about how they affect the environment.”
Thomas Vrabel has been teaching UConn ECE plant science courses at Trumbull High School since its inception. Vrabel won the UConn ECE Award for Best Course in 2021.
“I find it very rewarding,” Verabel said. “We have very motivated students who are interested in this area.”
Vrabel said many of the students have joined UConn to make the most of their college experience in UConn ECE courses.
“This is an opportunity to get students to stimulate future interest and participation in our program,” Kuzovkina said.
The partnership between the UConn ECE program and the university extends beyond the classroom. UConn ECE teachers are invited to campus each year to participate in professional development, seminars and field trips.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this and to see the success of students’ exposure to these UConn classes while in high school,” Vrabel said.
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