A New Early College Partnership: Capital Magnet Academy Opens

Fifty high school juniors and seniors from Greater Hartford  became the first group of students to enroll in Capital Community College’s Magnet Academy when the fall semester began on September 3rd

The first group of students, 50% of whom are from Hartford , were selected through the Hartford District Choice Lottery. This year families with students in transitional and non-transitional grades, applied during an extended lottery time period to enroll in the area’s regional magnet schools at all grade levels.

The college-based Capital Academy aligns student schedules so that they can be totally immersed in college course work as they finish high school. Graduating seniors will eventually earn up to 30 college credits to get a jump on their degree studies.

A strength for the new academy on Capital’s Main Street campus  is expected to be partnerships with downtown Hartford business, cultural and historic institutions, giving  students access to internship positions in their fields of interest.  Internships for Capital undergraduates in business, cultural, governmental and nonprofit workplaces have grown considerably since the move to downtown in 2002.  In addition, the Humanities-based Hartford Heritage Program for undergraduates has extended the classroom into history and arts institutions and place-based learning options are available to all students.

The Academy’s Dean of Academics, Christian Arsenault, says 44 of the Academy’s first 50 students began by taking a college course, including 13 students who are already taking three or four college courses. All Academy students will take the College’s IDS 105 College Success course, a three-credit freshman class that  focuses on essential academic skills, time management, critical reading and thinking, library research and information literacy.

Capital Community College Academy's  first group  of juniors and seniors will earn up to 30 college credits in the College's new partnership with Hartford Public Schools. (photo courtesy of CCCMA)

Capital Community College Academy’s first group of juniors and seniors will earn up to 30 college credits in the College’s new partnership with Hartford Public Schools. (photo courtesy of CCCMA)

Appointed the Academy’s founding academic leader in July, Arsenault brings six years’ experience as a social studies teacher at Hartford Public High School’s nursing academy and previously served as a Principal In Residence for Achievement First. He completed  Achievement First’s Residency Program for School Leadership that provides one year of  training and support to a corps of future leaders in Hartford Public Schools.

“I can’t believe how supportive everyone on the campus has been from the President on down to get the school started,” says Arsenault,  who earned a bachelor’s at the University of Connecticut and M.S in school and guidance counseling at Central Connecticut State University.

“We recognize and value the importance of engaging and connecting with students early on in their academic careers to ensure success and are pleased to partner with Hartford Public Schools in the establishment of this new magnet school,”  Capital Community College President Wilfredo Nieves said when the Magnet Academy was announced last winter.

The Capital Community College Magnet Academy is part of the Board of Regents for High Education’s Transform 2010 initiative that includes strategies to increase enrollment and expand early college programs on campuses of the 17 community colleges and state universities.

Among the other Hartford schools on college campuses are University High School of Science and Engineering (University of Hartford), Great Path Academy (Manchester Community College), the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy and the Pathways Academy of Technology and Design at Goodwin College in East Hartford.

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About @ Capital

A weblog for alumni and friends of Capital Community College, Hartford, Connecticut. Comments and information pertaining to the College are welcome. For more information contact the Office of Institutional Advancement, CCC, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. - John McNamara, Editor.
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