High school credit becomes college credit in Contemporary World


By: Tori Lubin ’18

The students in room 2038 look to the SmartBoard where a document labeled “Global Clash of Civilizations” waits to be analyzed. Before they dive into the dissection of international relations theorists, they chit-chat at desks clumped in groups of four throughout the room. Cathy Schager, Contemporary World Studies teacher, takes the stage.

“I think the Contemporary World class, along with preparing you for college, prepares you for entering the world,” Sydney Carson ’18 said, who is currently enrolled. “This class lets you think as an individual as part of society, not as part of a high school class.”

As of this year, Contemporary World Studies offers new opportunities for students through the Uconn Early College Experience Program (ECE). ECE allows students to take certain courses at their high schools equivalent to those offered at UConn and receive college credit. Along with Contemporary World, German 4 and 5, AP French Language and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Culture and Italian 4 Honors are also a part of the program.

Schager applied to ECE because her Contemporary World class closely mirrors an Intro to Human Rights course taught at UConn.

“ECE is awesome,” Schager said. “Students can apply to UConn ECE and register and, provided that they pass, they receive three college credits.”

These credits not only transfer to UConn, but to 75-80 percent of colleges and universities in the United States. The cost for students for a three-credit course like Contemporary World is $125, while a one-credit course is $55 and a four-credit course is $160.

“I actually didn’t realize that this class offered college credit! It’s really cool that it does offer it, and I’m planning on signing up,” Jessie Parker ’18 said, who is currently enrolled in Contemporary World.

The ECE program will slightly change the current format of the Contemporary World class so that students will have “a bit more reading to do, a presentation of that material, and a couple of papers that will require that they pull together the different sources we cover – like one does in college,” Schager said.
Cat Graham ’19, who is also currently enrolled in Contemporary World is not necessarily interested in receiving college credit but thinks that the prospect of being able to is a “great idea.”

“With this class you are given the opportunity to make up your own mind about contemporary issues,” Graham said. “I took this class because I felt that it’s important to have an opinion and make sure that it’s an educated opinion. I also get to hear the ideas and opinions of other students.”

Schager views The Dodd Center, a research center at UConn that focuses on human rights, as reason enough to link her classroom with UConn.

“The Human Rights program at UConn is top notch,” Schager said, “and they coordinate activities with high school students so all of my students, even non ECE, will benefit from this relationship.”