For students who enjoy challenging themselves academically, Woodland Regional High School offers a plethora of advanced classes that are focused on doing just that. Now, Woodland’s course options are going beyond Honors and Advanced Placement classes and expanding to include Uconn’s Early College Experience classes.
Early College Experience, otherwise known as ECE, provides students with the opportunity to take a college level course without the focus being on an AP test. Depending on the chosen course, students will get college credit for taking the course as long as they pass the class with a certain average. These college credits apply not only to Uconn, but have been accepted by other colleges 87 percent of the time.
The course also comes with a fee, but is significantly less than the cost of the course in college. The cost of an ECE course is one-tenth of the cost of the same course at Uconn’s campus according to hscoop.uconn.edu.
This year, Woodland experimented with ECE courses by offering ECE United States History for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. The students currently taking this class will gain 6 college credits if they pass with a grade that meets requirements.
ECE US History is currently being taught by Chris Decker who feels as though the class gives students an advantage in terms of flexibility.
“It’s less strict in its organization so we have the opportunity to spend time doing things like a debate or a primary source,” said Decker.
Junior Olivia Rua is currently enrolled in ECE and is satisfied with her decision. Rua also sees the advantage in taking ECE instead of AP.
“The course is still rigorous but you truthfully work hard for the credit by having to maintain a certain grade in order to receive college credit,” said Rua.
With the success of the US History class at present, Woodland has decided to include four more ECE classes as options for course registration. These classes include Music Appreciation, Writing Through Literature, Environmental Science, and Italian. Teachers for these classes have been certified through Uconn to teach these classes.
These newly added classes have curriculums that have been presented to the students in order to aid in their decision making process when registering for courses. In order for these classes to be successful at Woodland, however, a certain amount of students must sign up to at least fill one class.
One of the ECE classes Woodland plans to run next year, Writing Through Literature, is offered as a full year course and gives students four credits upon passing completion.
According to uconn.edu, “assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation, and reflection. Revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style.”
English teacher Michelle Papa has been certified to teach this class. Papa describes her excitement upon having the opportunity to teach this class.
“It’s slowing down the pace so I’m doing more depth than breadth material,” said Papa. “I feel like you can get so much more out of fewer pieces.”
Another one of the ECE class’ that will be added is Music Appreciation. Students will have the opportunity to obtain three credits through this course that is not necessarily aimed at students interested in majoring in music. They will be able to improve their skills in understanding music through the use of listening and recording.
With the implementation of these classes into the curriculum, Woodland is teaming up with Uconn in hopes to aid students in achieving academic excellence as stated in their mission statement.
According to uconn.edu, “UConn Early College Experience is committed to excellence in education by fostering a relationship between higher education and partner high schools to create an effective transition for students who have made college a goal.”