Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Is Today | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends today, Feb. 23. Register now.
School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Successful University-Secondary Partnerships Exist

May 08, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In “Reaching Beyond the Ivory Tower Into the Classroom,” (April 4, 2012) the authors suggest that university faculty members, particularly those in research institutions, do not engage with high schools, primarily as a result of their elite status in the field of education, resulting in “little sustained interaction between public school teachers and professors” and “nonexistent” commonalities across curricula. This has not been my experience.

I am the director of UConn Early College Experience, the nation’s oldest concurrent-enrollment program. We offer University of Connecticut courses to 9,000 students in 160 Connecticut high schools, taught by 800 high school instructors who have been certified, according to adjunct standards, by our faculty liaisons. Our faculty members provide collegial mentoring and professional development and facilitate use of university resources. Their job is to ensure that University of Connecticut courses taught in the high schools are the same courses that are taught on the university campus, based on national accreditation standards. (See www.nacep.org.)

We are a partnership program, dedicated to promoting college readiness and access to postsecondary opportunities. Students pay a modest program fee, which is waived for those on free and reduced-price lunch rolls. Our faculty liaisons are the backbone of our program. They believe in breaking down the firewalls to which C.L. Max Nikias and William G. Tierney refer.

Our high school instructors and the principals who support them are also to be commended. Our instructors receive little recognition for their extra effort and investment of their professional time.

My intent is not to criticize the University of Southern California or the Commentary’s authors. However, we need to recognize research-university faculty who are already reaching out to their secondary education colleagues in sustained, successful partnerships, which are replicable, scalable, and successful.

Gillian B. Thorne

Executive Director, Office of Early College Programs

Director, UConn Early College Experience Program

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Conn.

A version of this article appeared in the May 09, 2012 edition of Education Week as Successful University-Secondary Partnerships Exist


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion 5 Reasons Why Education Leaders Avoid Controversial Topics
Understanding why we shy away from challenging conversations can be a path toward empathy and an opportunity for learning.
4 min read
Let's brainstorm!
Created on Canva
School & District Management Most Superintendents Try to Avoid Politics. This Group Encourages Them to Lean In
Superintendents increasingly face politically tricky situations. A new collaborative hopes to support them.
3 min read
Illustration of person riding a unicycle on a tightrope over shark infested waters.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
School & District Management Superintendent of the Year Focuses on How to ‘Do More’ in Minnesota
The 2024 winner of the national honor didn't want to spend pandemic relief funds "in the way that we’ve always spent our money."
2 min read
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021, where new federal school funding will help to hire staff, buy books and be used for building renovations.
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021. Gothard was named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year on Thursday by AASA, The School Superintendents' Association.
Andy Clayton-King/AP
School & District Management The Average U.S. School Building Dates Back to the End of the Vietnam War
New federal data highlight widely varying ages and offerings in school buildings nationwide.
4 min read
School Renovation in Washington Heights, Chicago
E+ / Getty