DHS students graduate from community college

First DHS students graduate from community college
Posted on 05/30/2019

Four students from the first cohort of the Danbury Early College Opportunity program at Danbury High School graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College last weekend; these students each earned an Associate Degree while attending high school and will graduate from DHS next month.

The following DHS students received degrees on May 23 from NVCC: Veronica Becker, Gabriel Campos, Theodore Hodgdon and Kayla Downs. Kayla graduated summa cum laude and Gabriel and Theodore graduated cum laude. The students earned either a degree in general studies or in computer information systems.

“I am so proud of these students,” said DECO coordinator Dr. Sarah Roy. “The college courses are challenging, and students have to work hard. It’s a sustained effort.”

In addition to the four graduates, 13 DECO students received certificates from NVCC in management information systems and/or microcomputer networking. Some students will continue working toward their Associate Degree while others will move on to a four-year college.

The 2019 graduates entered the DECO program when it began in 2015 in its first cohort of 100 students. The program has already accepted its fifth cohort of 76 students to begin as DHS freshmen in the fall.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for DHS students,” said Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella. “Not only do the students earn a degree that can take them into the workplace or on the path toward a bachelor’s degree, but also they were fortunate enough to have corporate mentors who helped them learn valuable business skills that will take them far in whatever careers they choose. These students worked hard to reach not just one, but two milestones, and we are very proud.”

DECO, under the direction of coordinator Dr. Sarah Roy, gives students an opportunity to earn an Associate Degree simultaneously with their high school diploma. The degree program is offered by Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) at the high school as part of the program’s curriculum. Students begin accelerating their high school requirements so that by sophomore or junior year they can begin incorporating college-level courses. They can expect to complete the Associate Degree in four, five or six years. Some courses may take place at NVCC’s Danbury campus. DHS is the second high school in Connecticut to offer such a program.