Eighty-nine members of the University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) Class of 2017 will receive their diplomas at the school’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 20. The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at the University of Hartford’s Lincoln Theater, just steps from the high school, which is located on the University’s Bloomfield Avenue campus.
This year’s graduating class is known as the Deca Class because it is tradition for each UHSSE class to adopt a name derived from the Greek language. This class also continues the tradition of nearly every member having been accepted to a two- or four-year college or university. Others plan to enter the military or learn a vocation.
UHSSE is a magnet school and a partnership between the University and Hartford Public Schools. The high school’s curriculum is based on the “early college” model that focuses on getting students integrated into the college experience through courses and other opportunities in order to expose them to higher education options. Qualified high school students can take and earn credit for college courses at the University. Some of this year’s graduates earned up to 50 college credits, which allows them to start at the sophomore or junior course credit level depending on the university or college they have chosen to attend.
Four UHSSE graduates plan to attend the University of Hartford in the fall (Mateusz Szaro, Katia Marin, Michael Haughton, and Damaine Logan). Haughton and Logan are Hartford residents and therefore are eligible for half-tuition scholarships through the University’s Hartford Scholars Program. The Hartford Scholars Program has provided half-tuition scholarships to city of Hartford high school graduates who meet the acceptance criteria since 1990.
Other UHSSE graduates plan to attend Boston University, Northeastern University, University of Connecticut, Temple University, Rochester Polytechnic Institute, Western New England University, and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, to name a few.
Four members of the UHSSE Class of 2017 are Hartford Promise Scholars—Paolo Brandon, Milagro Flores, Briana Mesias, and Amanda Silvestre. Hartford Promise provides $5,000 to $20,000 in scholarships to students who attend a Hartford public high school continuously from ninth grade, have been a Hartford resident throughout high school, have a 93 percent or better cumulative attendance record, and have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better.
UHSEE was founded on the University of Hartford’s Asylum Avenue campus in 2004, giving the University the distinction of being the first private university in the nation to have two public schools on its campus. The high school moved into a new, state of the art building on the Bloomfield Avenue campus in 2009. Since its founding, University High School has received several highly prestigious national awards, including Magnet School of Distinction in 2014, a Secondary Schools’ Merit Award of Excellence in 2012, Magnet School of Excellence in 2013, 2012, and 2008; one of the Best High Schools in America in 2011 and 2010 U.S. News & World Report); and the Sir Isaac Newton Award for Achievements in Science award in 2011.