Policies & Procedures

UConn ECE Mission, Director’s Welcome, Overview, & Benefits

The Mission of UConn Early College Experience

UConn Early College Experience is committed to providing access to, and preparation for, higher education through its ability to offer University of Connecticut courses to high school students. UConn Early College Experience is committed to excellence in education by fostering a relationship between higher education and partner high schools to create an effective transition for students from secondary to postsecondary opportunities.

Welcome

Welcome to UConn Early College Experience! UConn ECE is the oldest concurrent enrollment program in the Nation (est. 1955) and UConn’s largest academic outreach program. We are so proud to work with some of the most talented high school instructors and administrators in the State, as well as some of the best professors at the University of Connecticut. This program has two core goals: providing educational opportunities to high school students as well as to instructors. While it is clear that our focus is on allowing students the opportunity to earn UConn credit while still in high school, it is also important never to forget that we do this by supporting the teaching and learning of our UConn ECE Instructors. We support Instructors through professional development and deep academic engagement. Instructors and students could not be as successful if it were not for the academic and administrative support that comes from the Faculty Coordinators, high school principals, Site Representatives, and Library Media Specialists. The UConn ECE Program Office connects all parts of the program: administration, keeping the program focused on our mission, and assuring course comparability.  We all play an essential part in delivering the highest quality programming to our students.

The UConn ECE Policies & Procedures Guide is a detailed reference for how the program operates and achieves these goals. It covers the essentials of starting a program, expanding a partnership, and supporting a culture of high academic standards. Please read through this guide to make yourself aware, or refresh your understanding, of UConn Early College Experience. Remember, the UConn ECE Program Office Staff is always available to you. We are your colleagues and we have a sincere interest in seeing you succeed, whether you support the program at the high school or the University.

Thank you for playing your part in this large, but very intimate program.

Program and Standards Overview

 UConn Early College Experience: An Overview

UConn Early College Experience is an opportunity for students to take UConn courses while still in high school. Every UConn course taken through UConn ECE is comparable to the same course at the University of Connecticut. Course comparability is overseen by UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators. UConn ECE courses are taught in the high school by University-certified Instructors. Since UConn ECE is a concurrent enrollment program, students can earn both high school and college credit for each UConn course taken through UConn ECE.

UConn Early College Experience provides:

  • An introduction to college academics and rigor in a familiar setting
  • Significant financial savings paying for college
  • College credits that provide an academic head start on a college degree and other post-secondary opportunities
  • Potential opportunities for UConn ECE Alumni to study abroad, double major, or gain internship experience in college, or even graduate early
  • UConn credits on an official UConn transcript, transferable to other institutions
  • University resources, such as online classrooms and library access, for all UConn ECE Students and certified Instructors
  • Collegial exchange between high school and university faculties
  • Professional development opportunities for high school Instructors and Library Media Specialists
  • Academic student events such as the French Quiz Bowl, Cardboard Boat Race, Globalization Conference and more

UConn ECE serves young people while helping to develop a more seamless and accessible educational system.

Program Benefits

UConn ECE Instructors, Site Representatives, Library Media Specialists, and Students have access to many of the University’s academic resources. While we all tend to see the benefits of the program in the earning of UConn credit, this is only half of the picture. Students who participate in UConn ECE are taking a rigorous University course, which prepares them for their future as a college student and a part of society. When students earn credit, it helps them in many ways. Having earned University credits makes students more competitive in the college admissions process. These credits have a very high transfer rate and can give students a head start once in college.  Additionally, students and faculty have full academic access to a Research I University, so you can use books, articles, and other media to support your research. Virtual classrooms and online resources are available to all UConn ECE Instructors. All program benefits can be found on the UConn ECE website.

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships & UConn ECE

UConn Early College Experience is an accredited member of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). UConn ECE standards have been developed by both (NACEP) and the University of Connecticut. All UConn ECE courses must adhere to the policies that have been set by the University of Connecticut. The success of UConn ECE depends upon the personal and professional integrity of all involved. In order to provide a valuable and credible academic experience, students and faculty must comply with the standards.

NACEP provides the program with standards of academic excellence, research, and advocacy. Established in 1999, NACEP provides concurrent enrollment programs with standards that are increasingly promoted by legislation in states across the Nation. For more information about NACEP and a complete list of NACEP standards, visit NACEP website.

The Role of the UConn ECE High School

A UConn ECE partner high school must have the following identifying features:

  • UConn ECE is described in the course catalog as a unique program within the high school and is distinguished from Advanced Placement. UConn course names, descriptions, and number of credits must be used in the high school's catalog. Courses descriptions are available through the UConn ECE Program Office, and Courses page.
  • A Site Representative has been designated as the liaison between the high school and the UConn ECE Program Office. The Site Representative provides program information and guidance to students, parents, and faculty.
  • Program information is made available to parents and students before the registration process.
  • The high school principal offers support and helps guide the development and integrity of the program.
  • The high school has agreed to support the course and student standards set by the University of Connecticut.
  • Physical evidence identifying the high school as a UConn ECE partner high school is displayed in a designated area, such as the school counseling office. UConn ECE provides brochures, guides, posters, and other promotional materials.
  • A UConn course syllabus for all courses offered each year must be on file at the high school for transfer credit purposes.

UConn ECE Description in High School Catalogs

This description must be used in your high school’s catalog: UConn Early College Experience (UConn ECE) provides academically motivated students with the opportunity to take university courses while in high school. These challenging courses allow students to preview college work, build confidence in their readiness for college, and earn college credits that provide both an academic and a financial head-start on a college degree and other postsecondary opportunities. UConn ECE Instructors are high school teachers certified by the University. UConn ECE faculty foster independent learning, creativity, and critical thinking - all important for success in college and careers. [School name] offers UConn ECE courses in [discipline(s)]. To support rigorous learning, University of Connecticut academic resources, including library and online classroom access, are available to all UConn ECE Students.

The Role of the UConn ECE Instructor

The most important responsibility a UConn ECE Instructor has is to teach the UConn course while adhering to the standards set by NACEP and by the specific department at the University of Connecticut. UConn ECE Instructors have been accorded a high degree of professional respect and autonomy. It is expected that each UConn ECE Instructor will:

  • Support two-way communication with the UConn ECE Program Office and the Faculty Coordinator by reading all information and responding to inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Observe program deadlines and policies including the administering of examinations and the online grading process through the University’s Student Administration System. Policies may vary across disciplines.
  • Submit a syllabus for the designated UConn course to the UConn ECE Program Office.
  • Submit sample exams, assessments and other graded materials willingly upon the request of the Faculty Coordinator or UConn ECE Program Staff.
  • Cooperate fully to schedule a site visit at the high school with the discipline specific Faculty Coordinator.
  • Seek to create a college environment in the UConn ECE classroom.
  • Be committed to utilizing appropriate UConn electronic resources, such as library databases and the University’s password-protected course management tool HuskyCT.
  • Maintain certification by attending a minimum of one discipline-specific UConn ECE workshop every two years.
  • Certified UConn ECE instructors are expected to teach the course or courses they are certified to teach at least once every three years.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional development.
  • Remind UConn ECE Students/ provide the opportunity to complete course evaluations.

The Role of the UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator

Faculty Coordinators are UConn professors who manage the UConn Early College Experience course specifications within their appropriate disciplines. Faculty Coordinators review Instructor certification applications with the assistance of their department, lead professional development opportunities for UConn ECE Instructors, visit partner high schools, and serve as the primary contact for all course-related concerns.

With the help of the UConn ECE Program Office, Faculty Coordinators must ensure that each UConn ECE course offered in the high school is comparable to the same course offered at the University. Faculty Coordinators develop a collegial relationship with UConn ECE Instructors and will ask Instructors to adhere to discipline-specific course standards as needed in order to provide course comparability. Standards may vary significantly across departments.

Faculty Coordinators are liaisons between their University departments and their UConn ECE colleagues. Although some procedures may reflect the individual choices of a Faculty Coordinator and their department, the UConn ECE Program Office is ultimately responsible for final decisions on all program policies.

The Role of the UConn ECE Site Representative

A UConn ECE Site Representative is designated at each partner high school and serves as the primary contact for program information. Typically, the Site Representative is someone from the high school counseling office who has the ability to reach out to students across all grade levels. We encourage school counselors to take on this role as they are the ones who engage students in the planning of their school schedule and academic goals. A principal may divide the roles and responsibilities of a Site Representative among more than one staff member as long as the responsibilities are covered. The UConn ECE Program Office strives to maintain good communication with each Site Representative through telephone, e-mail distribution, newsletters, site visits, and mailings. Once designated, a Site Representative is required to contact the UConn ECE Program Office for access to their high school’s information.

Site Representatives should provide all interested students, instructors, and parents with reliable program information at the high school. Site Representatives manage the student registration process and are familiar with University billing and course evaluation procedures.

Site Representatives must attend the annual Site Representative Conference, held at the UConn Storrs campus, typically scheduled in late February or early March. Program materials, information, and registration guides for students are available at this time. Any Site Representative unable to attend this conference should send a delegate or make arrangements to pick up their registration materials at the Storrs campus, as well as be briefed on new program policies or procedures.

The Role of the High School Principal

The principal should feel involved with UConn Early College Experience, knowledgeable about program characteristics, and able to advocate for the program as an opportunity for the students to prepare for postsecondary opportunities.

As a condition of the UConn ECE partnership, the principal is required to support the mandatory professional development of certified UConn ECE Instructors by providing released time at least once every two years in order for UConn ECE Instructors to maintain their certification. Principals should also understand the substantive difference between UConn ECE and Advanced Placement (AP) as discusses in the UConn ECE & AP page.

Site visits can be scheduled at any time at the request of the principal or a UConn ECE Instructor. Due to the annual expansion of course offerings, many high schools are considering adding additional courses that support their mission and serve specific needs of their student population. A site visit can help answer many questions that are involved with starting a new course at a high school.

The Role of the UConn ECE Library Media Specialist

Library Media Specialists are the critical link to offering consistent high-quality access to UConn’s world-class library resources. Library Media Specialists at the UConn ECE partner high schools have complete access to the UConn Libraries’ electronic and in-house resources at all UConn campuses. We encourage Library Media Specialists to be involved and use their University benefits to assist Students enrolled in a UConn course at their high school. Some courses may require the use of the Library systems for course-related research, so the presence of a UConn trained Library Media Specialist is critical for student success. Librarians interested in being a UConn ECE Library Media Specialist should contact the UConn ECE Program Office for access.

UConn ECE Grading Policy

UConn courses taken through UConn Early College Experience reflect the University grading scheme. UConn final grades are issued on an A - F scale. Numeric grades are not accepted. Numeric grades must be translated to Alpha format using the conversion policy provided by the discipline-specific UConn Faculty Coordinator. Faculty Coordinators should be contacted directly with questions regarding calculating or converting a course grade. The grade that a Student earns will appear on their official UConn transcript, listed on the non-degree portion.

Explanation Grade Grade Points
Credits
Excellent A

A-

4.0

3.7

Yes

Yes

Very Good B+ 3.3 Yes
Good B

B-

C+

3.0

2.7

2.3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Average C 2.0 Yes
Fair C- 1.7 Yes
Poor D+

D

1.3

1.0

Yes

Yes

Merely Passing D- 0.7 Yes
Failure F 0.0 No
Incomplete I 0.0 No
Withdrawal W 0.0 No
Withdrawal Audit WAU 0.0 No

I (Incomplete) - A Student has not completed all of the assessments, but work completed is of passing quality and a make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the Instructor and UConn ECE Program Office. The Student must complete all outstanding work by the agreed upon deadline. Once the Student submits the outstanding work or completes the final assessment, the Instructor must contact the UConn ECE Program Office to submit the final grade. If the Student does not submit outstanding work by the agreed upon deadline and has not been granted an exception, the Instructor will calculate the student’s grade based on work completed for the course. The final letter grade earned will replace temporary grades on the transcript.

W (Withdrawal) - A Student is no longer physically sitting in the course, nor getting UConn credit
WAU (Withdrawal Audit) - A Student is sitting in the course but no longer wants to receive UConn credit

UConn ECE is intended to be a beneficial way to begin a Student’s college career. Should a student want to drop a course before the end of the enrollment period in late-September, the Student must log in to the Compass Enrollment Center and drop the course. The course and course fees will be removed from the Student’s UConn record. A Student who wants to withdraw from a course after the Fall enrollment period has the opportunity to complete a Withdrawal Form. The course will appear on an official UConn transcript with a WAU or W as a final grade. A Student does not earn credit for a withdrawn course, nor will the course impact a Student’s grade point average (GPA). A Student has until December 12 for Fall courses and May 1 for Spring and Full-year courses to complete and submit the Withdrawal Form to the UConn ECE Program Office. A Student cannot withdraw from a course after the posted deadlines. A Student who completes a Withdrawal Form is still financially responsible for all program fees associated with the course from which they have withdrawn.

Mid-way through a course, Students should be advised of withdrawal deadlines so a thoughtful decision can be made regarding completion of the course for a final letter grade.

If a Student does not complete a Withdrawal Form by the posted deadline, the Instructor will calculate the Student’s grade according to the grading scheme applied to all students in the course. This may result in a failing grade on an official UConn transcript.

Final Exam

Most UConn courses require a final examination or writing project. The AP exam is not to be used as a UConn final examination under any circumstances. Students registered for a UConn ECE course are required to sit for their UConn final exam, regardless of their current course grade or high school policies. Students who choose not to take their UConn final exam will receive a zero as their exam score grade, which will have a severe impact on their overall course grade.

High School and UConn Grade Differences

It is possible for the high school grade and UConn grade to differ. UConn ECE grades must follow the standards of the specific UConn department providing the credit. For example, the UConn grade may reflect how the University department weighs the mid-term and final exams as a percentage of a student’s course grade, whereas the high school grading system may reflect different criteria for assessment. It is to everyone’s advantage for such differences to be transparent.

If circumstances warrant two different grades for a Student, the high school grade should appear on the high school transcript and the UConn grade should be entered into the University’s Student Administration System. The UConn grade will appear on a Student’s official UConn transcript, listed on the non-degree portion. For credit transfer purposes, all UConn ECE courses on a high school transcript must include a UConn designation.

Sequential Course Grading Policy

There are numerous courses in the UConn ECE course catalog that are considered sequential courses (i.e. the Fall semester course is a prerequisite for the Spring semester course). These courses appear in Chemistry, Mathematics, Italian, Music, Sustainable Plant and Soil Sciences, German, and Physics.

All final grades for sequential courses will be checked by the UConn ECE Program Office at the conclusion of each term. Students unable to pass the first course of the sequence with a grade of C or higher will be dropped by the UConn ECE Program Office from the second course of the sequence and refunded any paid course fees for the second course. For example, if a student receives a C- in Physics 1201Q, they are no longer eligible to take Physics 1202Q, since Physics 1201Q is a prerequisite for Physics 1202Q.

If a Student has received a C- or below in the first course of a sequence but wishes to continue to the second course, the Student must receive Instructor and Site Representative consent and complete a Sequential Course Continuation Form. Students who receive an F are not eligible to complete this form. Sequential Course Continuation Forms must be submitted to the UConn ECE Program Office by February 8 or before the start of the second course in the sequence, whichever date is earlier. A Student approved to continue to the second course in a sequence will remain enrolled in the second course and all course fees must be paid. If the second course in a sequence is offered in a different academic year than the first course, the Student will be approved to enroll during the next registration cycle. This replicates the University experience for non-degree students who need to consult with the instructor before registration of a course.

Repeating a Course

Any Student who is registered for courses and who satisfies the requirements shall be allowed credit only once. The exception is CAMS3102 which may be repeated under different topics.

A Student may repeat a course previously taken one time without seeking permission in order to earn a higher grade. When a Student repeats a course, credit shall be allowed only once. Furthermore, in the computation of the grade point average, the registered credit and grade points for the most recent taking of the course shall be included in the GPA calculation. The registered credit and grade for the prior taking of the course shall remain on the transcript, but shall be removed from the GPA calculation. The Student should note that repeating a course that was previously passed can have negative consequences. For example, if a Student fails a class previously passed, the Student would lose credit for the first (passed) attempt and not earn credit for the second (failed) attempt. Students considering repeating previously passed courses should consult the UConn ECE Assistant Director.

A Student must have permission from the UConn ECE Assistant Director to repeat a course that is listed as a prerequisite or corequisite for any course that the student has passed. For example, a Student who received a “D” in CHEM 1127Q and subsequently passed CHEM 1128Q may not retake CHEM 1127Q without permission.

Visit our Grading page for additional information.

Class Size

The University of Connecticut’s class size policy varies based on departmental and course specifications. UConn English and Literatures, Cultures & Languages courses offered through UConn ECE must adhere to the discipline specific policies listed below. All other UConn courses offered through UConn ECE do not have specific class size limits.

English 1010 & 1011 courses cannot exceed 20 students per section. An instructor may teach no more than two sections of UConn English concurrently, without consent of the Faculty Coordinator.

English 1004 courses cannot exceed 15 students per section. An instructor may teach no more than two sections of UConn English concurrently, without consent of the Faculty Coordinator.

All foreign language courses cannot exceed 25 students per section.

UConn ECE & Advanced Placement

High schools may offer UConn ECE courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses concurrently, provided that courses adhere to the UConn curriculum and a UConn syllabus is used. Course content that is part of the UConn curriculum must be covered regardless of whether it is a topic covered on the AP exam. You will find the programs differ in many respects, more so in some disciplines than in others. UConn can award credit only for UConn courses.

It is important for our high school partners to differentiate between a UConn course and an AP exam in order to maintain the integrity of the UConn ECE Program. The most obvious difference is how Students are assessed for credit – a Student’s UConn grade is composed of all their assessments and assignments over the semester or academic year, whereas an AP score is determined by one exam in May. Most importantly, a UConn course offered through UConn ECE is a college course—not just college level material taught in preparation for one exam. Finally, UConn ECE Instructors are highly-credentialed in their area of certification and are certified using the same departmental standards used to employ other University affiliates.

Student Eligibility & Registration

UConn ECE partner high schools are responsible for providing program information and guidance to potential UConn ECE Students. Many students are ready as high school juniors or seniors to engage with college work in specific areas of study. UConn ECE extends the responsibility of student gatekeeping to our high schools. Although each high school may have criteria specific to their student population, all UConn ECE partners must utilize the Student Eligibility Guidelines posted on the Courses page during the student selection process. Students must have fulfilled the prerequisites required by the UConn department for a particular UConn course before enrollment occurs.

Registration information is available for eligible students at their high school each spring. UConn ECE applications  typically open mid/late April and close early June. UConn ECE enrollments are accepted mid-August through late-September. Courses not dropped in the Compass Enrollment Center by September 30 require a Withdrawal Form to be completed and all program fees to be paid. Information is made available to the high schools at the annual Site Representative Conference, during site visits, via e-mail correspondence, and on the UConn ECE website.

Students and parents needing assistance with online registration can be referred to the Registration Helpline: 1.855.382.UECE (8323).

Student Late Application Period

UConn ECE Students who have missed the initial application deadline in June may apply during the Late Application Period (typically mid-August through mid-September). A $25 non-refundable administrative fee is charged for applications submitted during the Late Application Period. Students will follow the registration process to apply and enroll. Students who submit a late application will need to wait 3-5 business days for their application to be processed before they are approved to enroll in courses. Students must enroll in their courses by the end of September.

Courses dropped after the close of the Enrollment Period are non-refundable. Students who did not drop their UConn ECE course(s) online by the posted deadline are responsible for all program fees associated with their registered course(s).

Program Fees

UConn ECE courses are offered at a fraction of the cost of the same on-campus course. UConn ECE program fees primarily support the administrative functions of the program. Professional development for UConn ECE Instructors, Student events on campus, maintenance of technology benefits, and program communication materials are funded through the fee structure. UConn ECE program fees are not part of the University tuition structure. A fee waiver is available for all students who qualify for the Federal Subsidized Free/Reduced Lunch Program.  All verification for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program or an income verification form for participating Connecticut Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools must be received by the UConn ECE Program Office by November 7.

Program fees and fee waiver eligibility information can be found on the Program Fees page. Registration and program maintenance for our students are labor intensive, requiring an efficient business model and appropriate staffing. Program fees paid in conjunction with student registration are not refundable.

Partner high schools are not responsible for collecting payments from UConn ECE Students. A billing notification is sent directly to a student’s e-mail and is posted in their Student Administration System (SAS) account after the enrollment period. Fall and Full-Year course fee bills are due in early November. Spring course fee bills are sent in early November and are due in early January. Students may pay their invoices by check or online through the University’s SAS. Detailed payment instructions can be found on our Pay Bill page.

Academic Integrity

UConn ECE Students must adhere to the academic integrity policy set by the University of Connecticut. This includes UConn policies that have been created for academic misconduct, plagiarism, misrepresentation, falsification in research, and computer violations. For a complete policy listing, please visit the Division of Student Affairs Community Standards website.

Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are an essential part of any university course and are administered to students at the end of each course. We ask that you make time in class to allow students the opportunity to complete these online evaluations. The results of the course evaluations are shared with the Instructor. Faculty Coordinators receive the aggregated and the disaggregated results of the course evaluation for the purposed of programs evaluation. This also allows a Faculty Coordinator the opportunity to understand departmental trends and focus their professional development workshop on issues that become an overarching concern. Partner high schools may contact the UConn ECE Program Office with any evaluation-related concerns.

For more information about UConn ECE course evaluations visit, our Course Evaluation page.

UConn Transcripts

Students are responsible for requesting their official UConn transcript to be sent to the college or university of their choice. A transcript is only sent per request of the student. Detailed instructions on the transcript request process can be found on our Request a Transcript page.

Students have access to view their unofficial UConn transcript through the University’s Student Administration System 24 hours a day.

All UConn credits earned through courses taken through UConn ECE will appear on a student’s UConn transcript, in the non-degree portion. If a student plans to attend UConn, the student will need to meet with their advisor to elect to move their UConn ECE credits to the degree portion of their academic record, or to reject them. Specific policies and deadlines in regards to transferring credits vary by school. Students must meet with their UConn advisor to make an educated decision on how to use the credits they have earned or visit Pending Class Rules at Non-Degree Decisions page for more information.

Students do not need to attend the University of Connecticut to have their courses recognized. While the UConn ECE Program Office cannot guarantee course recognition on behalf of another university, we can report that 87% of students successfully transfer their UConn ECE courses to the colleges and universities of their choice. Encourage students to: explore the UConn ECE Credit Transfer Database, contact colleges and universities directly, save their syllabi, and contact the UConn ECE Program Office for any help transferring their credit. They have earned college credits and should use them!

Credit Transfer Database

The UConn Early College Experience Credit Transfer Database is designed to be a resource to identify potential credit transfer. It is in no way an official determination nor a guarantee of successful credit transfer. Students search for a specific institution’s policy on transferring concurrent enrollment credits and view the probability of transfer success. All Students wishing to transfer credit must have an official credit transfer evaluation performed by the receiving post-secondary institution.

All information contained within this database is subject to change at any time and without notice. Students should contact the receiving institution to be absolutely sure about their current credit transfer policy.

No Retroactive Credit

The University of Connecticut does not allow retroactive credit. Students must understand that if they do not register online for all UConn ECE courses they wish to receive credit for by the posted registration deadlines, then they will not receive UConn credit. Students are unable to receive retroactive credit for a course.

UConn ECE Instructor Certification Process & Requirements

UConn ECE Instructor Certification Process

The importance of Instructor certification cannot be overemphasized. It is the basis of the credibility of UConn ECE and represents a high level of professional trust and respect. UConn Faculty Coordinators in each discipline are given the authority to certify high school Instructors, who in turn are responsible for upholding UConn course standards in their high schools. Although UConn Faculty Coordinators are required to provide oversight for the courses in their discipline, it is the professional integrity and expertise of UConn ECE Instructors that truly guarantees the quality of the academic experience that Students receive.

The ability to offer a UConn ECE course is contingent upon having a certified Instructor and meeting the discipline-specific requirements. A high school teacher who is interested in becoming a certified UConn Early College Experience Instructor must apply for certification. A certification application consists of:

  • An application form
  • A detailed cover letter indicating relevant qualifications and background
  • A résumé
  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably from the applicant’s Department Head & school Principal)
  • A proposed course syllabus which follows the UConn ECE syllabus template. An AP syllabus is not acceptable as a syllabus for a UConn course. Sample UConn syllabi can be found on the discipline-specific pages on the Courses page.
  • Official undergraduate & graduate transcripts
  • An interview (required in some disciplines)

Certification Requirements

Many disciplines require a master’s degree in the content area in order to qualify for certification. Other disciplines may accept a master’s degree in Education, with a bachelor’s degree in the subject area and two or more content-based graduate courses in the appropriate discipline. It is highly unlikely for a first-year teacher to obtain certification. Specific academic requirements can be found on the discipline-specific pages on the Courses page or in our Instructor Certification Requirements guidelines.

Becoming a UConn ECE Instructor is a scholarly achievement that may require several interactions. The academic cultures found within secondary and post-secondary educational settings vary in many substantive ways which is why we take this process seriously. While teaching an AP course at a college level is an important general achievement, teaching specific university courses for a particular institution is a unique accomplishment.

Discipline-specific requirements of courses may include:

  • Examination of laboratory facilities in the sciences
  • Class size policy
  • Submission of specific curriculum materials
  • Purchase of an approved textbook
  • Appropriate class time scheduled to insure reasonable comparability to the scheduling of the course on campus

Graduate course scholarships are awarded each semester by UConn ECE to teachers who need to fulfill an academic requirement to become certified. Contact the UConn ECE Program Office directly or visit the Funding page for further information on the graduate scholarship application process. Courses do not have to be taken at UConn.

UConn Early College Experience recommends that interested teachers begin the certification process one year prior to the expected course offering date. This allows teachers ample time to gather their certification application materials. High schools are then able to include the UConn course description in the school’s course catalog and promote the course accordingly.

New Instructor Orientation

Newly certified Instructors are required to attend a New Instructor Orientation on the UConn Storrs campus at the end of the Spring semester. Orientation serves as a way to become more familiar with the program and course details. This is a full-day event that provides the opportunity to learn about program details, Instructor benefits, and course responsibilities. The afternoon session provides the opportunity for new Instructors to meet with their Faculty Coordinators for a discipline-specific orientation.

Maintaining Certification, Expiration, & Revocation

Maintaining Certification

Once an Instructor becomes certified to teach a UConn ECE course, maintaining certification is simple. UConn ECE Instructors must attend a discipline-specific professional development event sponsored by UConn ECE once every two years in order to maintain their certification. UConn ECE Instructors do not need to reapply for certification each year. It is expected for certified Instructors to actively teach the course or courses they are certified to teach at least once every three years.

UConn ECE offers a variety of discipline-specific workshops and educational conferences annually. Workshop attendance is essential in building a strong relationship between the University department and the UConn ECE Instructor. In addition to Instructors learning more about college teaching and new developments in their fields, colleagues from both environments find that the workshops provide a forum for professional sharing. Guest presenters may include UConn ECE Instructors and University colleagues.

Many Instructors find the workshops professionally rewarding and attend annually. Instructors are expected to monitor their own attendance. As a courtesy, the UConn ECE Program Office will send a reminder memo in advance to those who need to attend a workshop in order to maintain certification.

Certification Expiration

Certification can expire if a UConn ECE Instructor chooses not to attend a discipline-specific professional development event sponsored by UConn ECE once every two years. The UConn ECE Program Office will send out a letter notifying the Instructor that their certification has expired. A copy of the letter is also sent to the high school principal and Site Representative.

Instructors who have let their certification expire may have their certification reinstated. Instructors wishing to have their certification reinstated will be asked to:

  • Update their certification application materials
  • Attend a discipline-specific workshop sponsored by UConn ECE
  • Attend the New Instructor Orientation

While most Instructors wishing to have their certification reinstated are granted their request, UConn ECE cannot guarantee that an Instructor will become automatically re-certified. Should a discipline’s qualifications for certification change, and the Instructor no longer meets the certification requirements, UConn ECE cannot “grandfather” once-certified Instructors who have let their certification lapse.

Revoked Certification

Although rare, UConn ECE Instructors can have their certification revoked for the following reasons:

  1. A decision on the part of a certified Instructor not to comply with the conditions of their certification.
  2. Repeated and intentional lack of cooperation with the UConn department’s guidelines for UConn courses offered through UConn ECE.

Reasons to revoke a certification are managed by the UConn ECE Program Office, with the full knowledge of the Instructor, building principal, and UConn Faculty Coordinator. Extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration. Reason 2 requires that a specific communication process be followed:

  • A Faculty Coordinator concerned about an Instructor is required to communicate in writing with the Instructor prior to the concerns rising to the level of considering revoking certification.
  • If the Faculty Coordinator and Instructor are mutually unable to resolve the targeted concerns, the UConn ECE Director is notified and manages the process as it develops.
  • The building principal is notified and a meeting of appropriate parties is planned.
  • If possible, a remedial plan is developed, including benchmarks that, if met, will forestall revoking certification.
  • The process seeks to balance the welfare of the students, the needs of the high school, the professional integrity of all personnel involved, and the academic integrity of the University department.
  • If decertification occurs, the Instructor may appeal the decision within thirty days to an impartial review board.

Long-Term Substitutes for UConn ECE Instructors

Long-term substitutes are often needed for certified Instructors who have become ill or are taking maternity leave. While many times a need for a long-term substitute is unforeseen, UConn ECE must insure that the UConn course offered in the high school will continue to be held to the same standard with a qualified Instructor. Failure to notify the UConn ECE Program Office of an Instructor’s long-term absence may result in Students losing the option to earn UConn credit or even a suspension of the high school’s ability to offer credit in the future.

For purposes of academic integrity and course comparability with the UConn course, substitute teachers are not authorized to teach any UConn ECE course longer than two weeks without the approval of the discipline specific UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator. Additionally, student teachers may not replace the UConn-certified Instructor to teach a UConn class for any length of time.

In cases of planned surgeries, recuperation periods, and maternity leaves in excess of two weeks, high schools must receive prior approval to continue the course for UConn credit from the appropriate Faculty Coordinator.

The high school principal, Site Representative or UConn ECE Instructor is responsible for notifying the UConn ECE Program Office and the appropriate Faculty Coordinator that a long-term substitute is planning to teach a UConn course. The UConn ECE Program Office will then work with the high school and long-term substitute on an emergency certification procedure. Long-term substitutes will be asked to complete the UConn ECE certification process immediately. If the long-term substitute does not meet the minimum qualifications for certification, it is possible to create support arrangements that will allow Students to receive the expected UConn credit for the course. This, however, is dependent upon the individual discipline and is not a guarantee.

If a long-term substitute is teaching a UConn course for more than 50% of the course time and does not meet the certification requirements, the high school is unlikely to be able to offer UConn credit for the course. If it is decided that UConn credit cannot be awarded for a course, the UConn ECE Program Office will work with the high school to refund student program fees.

While each long-term substitute situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis, it is incumbent upon the high school to demonstrate a good faith effort in resolving any faculty coverage issue. When unforeseen circumstances arise in the classroom, it is imperative the UConn ECE Program Office is informed immediately.