UD to of­fer dual-credit classes at Ne­wark High

Newark Post - - Local News - By KARIE SIM­MONS ksim­mons@ches­pub.com

The Uni­ver­sity of Delaware’s Col­lege of Health Sci­ences will of­fer two col­lege-level courses at Ne­wark High School next school year, giv­ing stu­dents a glimpse of what it’s like to be in col­lege.

In the fall, qual­i­fy­ing stu­dents can take “In­tro­duc­tion to Health Sci­ences” with Kath­leen Matt, dean of the Col­lege of Health Sci­ences. Dur­ing the spring se­mes­ter, Es­ther Biswas-Fiss, chair­per­son of UD’s De­part­ment of Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory Sci­ences, will teach “In­tro­duc­tion to Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory Sci­ences.” The classes will be in­te­grated into the stu­dents’ reg­u­lar sched­ule, and both courses count for high school and uni­ver­sity credit.

This will be the se­cond year the Col­lege of Health Sci­ences is of­fer­ing du­al­credit courses in a high school set­ting. An in­au­gu­ral cam­paign wrapped up last month at St. Mark’s High School in Wilm­ing­ton.

As a NHS grad and UD alum­nus, Matt said she wanted to part­ner with her alma mat­ter and ex­pand the pro­gram to Ne­wark.

“We’re neigh­bors. We can make a dif­fer­ence for each other and, in par­tic­u­lar, I think the uni­ver­sity needs to re­ally reach out to do more things to re­ally en­hance and help out Ne­wark High School,” she said.

Matt hopes the dual-credit classes give NHS stu­dents a leg up in their col­lege ca­reers and at­tracts them to the health sci­ences by show­ing the breadth of op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the field, but the main goal is to give them a col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence.

“For stu­dents who aren’t sure about col­lege, it’s go­ing to build up their con­fi­dence and show them they can do this,” Matt said.

Ne­wark High Prin­ci­pal Aaron Selek­man called the classes an op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to ex­plore.

“Per­haps they find or dis­cover some­thing they’re in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing be­yond high school,” he said. “They’ll also get an un­der­stand­ing of the rigor and ex­pec­ta­tion of col­lege courses. For most stu­dents, they don’t know what that will be like un­til they get to col­lege. Well, here you have a group of stu­dents who will ac­tu­ally be­gin to ex­pe­ri­ence that in a mean­ing­ful way and will be that much more pre­pared for suc­cess in col­lege.”

Pro­fes­sors will teach the courses at NHS, but the stu­dents will have the chance to get out of the class­room for field trips to UD’s STAR Cam­pus to see the re­search labs, clin­ics and growth anatomy lab in the Col­lege of Health Sci­ences build­ing. Matt said she also plans to bring in speak­ers who cur­rently work in the health sci­ences field to share their ca­reer paths with the stu­dents.

To pro­vide ad­di­tional sup­port for the stu­dents, Selek­man said NHS will cre­ate a UD of­fice in the school, which the Col­lege of Health Sci­ences will share with groups across the uni­ver­sity. He said the of­fice will host pro­fes­sor of­fice hours, of­fer uni­ver­sity regis­trar and en­roll­ment sup­port and pro­vide an­swers to gen­eral ques­tions about col­lege.

In ad­di­tion to the courses, the col­lege will be work­ing with the non­profit Con­nect­ing Gen­er­a­tions to pair UD un­der­grad­u­ate men­tors with high school stu­dents who hold sim­i­lar ca­reer in­ter­ests. Through­out the school year, men­tors and mentees will dis­cuss top­ics like over­com­ing bar­ri­ers, col­lege suc­cess skills and ca­reer plan­ning.

Matt said the idea is to ex­pand the pro­gram to other lo­cal high schools, even­tu­ally open­ing up the dual-credit courses to more stu­dents with dif­fer­ent qual­i­fi­ca­tions and who are at vary­ing lev­els of aca­demic achieve­ment.

If all goes well, Selek­man hopes UD ex­pands the pro­gram at Ne­wark High to in­clude other col­leges within the uni­ver­sity, such as en­gi­neer­ing, agri­cul­ture, busi­ness and eco­nom­ics, and earth, ocean and en­vi­ron­ment.

“I hope that they’ll see the ben­e­fit and I hope that they’ll see the stu­dent in­ter­est. I mean, the de­mand is here,” he said. “Well over 100 stu­dents ap­plied for only 25 spots, and we could repli­cate that in al­most ev­ery area.”


Ne­wark High Prin­ci­pal Aaron Selek­man (third from right) and UD Col­lege of Health Sci­ences Dean Kath­leen Matt (se­cond from right) say a new dual-en­roll­ment part­ner­ship will help Ne­wark stu­dents get a taste of col­lege life.

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