University of New Haven, West Haven High School Announce Criminal Justice Explorer Program – University of New Haven News

High school students can earn college credits while pursuing interest in post-secondary educational opportunities in criminal justice.

March 24, 2021

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By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

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Students walking through the Maxcy Quad with Gehring Hall in the background.

The University of New Haven and West Haven High School (WHHS) have announced a Criminal Justice Explorer Program to enhance post-secondary educational opportunities for West Haven High School students. The program will commence formally in Fall 2021, following a pilot program that began in Fall 2020.

Under the agreement, WHHS students interested in pursuing criminal justice career opportunities will be able to take four (4) University of New Haven-sponsored courses during their junior and senior years of high school, thereby availing themselves of the university’s world-renowned criminal justice faculty and curriculum.

“This is an innovative and unique opportunity to give deserving West Haven High School students access to one of the leading collegiate criminal justice programs in the country,” said Gregory E. Eichhorn, vice president for enrollment management and student success at the University of New Haven. “While students from across the globe attend the University of New Haven for its programs in criminal justice and forensics, we wanted to ensure that similar opportunities were available to talented students from our own backyard.”

“We’ve had a lot of interest and success in our criminal justice cohort so of course we are excited to continue working with one of the country’s most established and nationally recognized leaders in criminal justice education,” said Dana Paredes, principal of West Haven High School.

The program is part of a growing collaboration between WHHS and the University of New Haven. The “Charging Ahead” initiative allows motivated WHHS junior and senior students at the high school to take college courses at the University of New Haven and has the ability to change a student’s mind about college, according to WHHS School Counselor Holly Benedetti.

Benedetti, who oversees the program, views it as an eye-opener for students. “This is a jumpstart to college coursework but also gives students the confidence that they can get through the rigor of college,” she said. “Kids that are unsure if they’re college material take these courses and see that they can handle it.”

“This is an innovative and unique opportunity to give deserving West Haven High School students access to one of the leading collegiate criminal justice programs in the country.”Gregory E. Eichhorn, vice president for enrollment management and student success

WHHS students interested in joining the program will be identified beginning in their freshman and sophomore high school years. They will take one course in each of the fall and spring terms of their junior high school year at WHHS, taught by WHHS faculty and trained by University of New Haven faculty, and then one course in each of the fall and spring terms of their senior high school year at the University of New Haven, taught by University of New Haven faculty.

Upon completion of the four-course program, WHHS students will be issued a University of New Haven transcript for a total of 12 credits. Students will be charged $1,000 for the entire four-course program. Students will be required to achieve a 3.0 or B cumulative average and the program director’s approval in order to continue each semester in the program.

A feature of the program is that students enrolled in the senior year courses would also be given the same privileges as other pre-college program students at the University of New Haven, including use of library, dining halls, recreation enter, and UNewHaven myCharger portal. Additionally, students within this program would be eligible for the West Haven Initiative Scholarship. WHHS will offer additional programming opportunities at the University of New Haven to prospective enrollees, such as guest lectures, on site events, and information sessions.

The University of New Haven will train, at no charge, a selected number of WHHS faculty during the summer in order to allow the WHHS faculty to conduct the university courses at WHHS during the Junior Year. Faculty who have been trained will be eligible for a tuition discount of 50% into a graduate degree or certificate program within the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.

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