UNH, West Haven, and New Haven Affirm Joint Support for ESUMS

Karen Grava

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – New Haven, West Haven, and University of New Haven officials today signed a joint statement that establishes a

The agreement was signed by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, West Haven Mayor John Picard, UNH President Steven Kaplan and New Haven School Superintendent Reginald Mayo.

groundbreaking UNH scholarship program for Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) students. The statement also affirms a joint goal to enhance the ongoing partnership between UNH and ESUMS in creating a rigorous science, technology, engineering, and math program that prepares and motivates students beginning in the sixth grade to obtain a college degree.

The agreement was signed by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, West Haven Mayor John Picard, UNH President Steven Kaplan and New Haven School Superintendent Reginald Mayo.

“In public education, collaboration has never been more imperative,” said Sen. Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven), who spoke at the signing ceremony.  “I’m very excited about this partnership, which will provide students with early access to a host of postsecondary opportunities. This type of collaboration is particularly critical in fields where a background in science and engineering is necessary, fields in which we have admittedly fallen behind.”

ESUMS is a New Haven inter-district magnet school with a college preparatory theme that emphasizes principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for grades 6 through 12.  The school serves students from Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, Wallingford and West Haven.  The school is temporarily located in New Haven, but a new state-funded facility is to be constructed on or near the UNH campus.

Currently there are approximately 360 students in grades 6 through 9 at ESUMS.  Plans are for the school to move to its permanent home in West Haven once the new facility is constructed and to continue adding classes through the 12th grade.  The school’s eventual enrollment will be more than 600 students.

“This is a great day for ESUMS and for New Haven,” said New Haven Mayor DeStefano. “I am grateful to the University of New Haven for extending this generous scholarship opportunity to New Haven area students, and for the university’s willingness to expose younger students to a college-level science education. New Haven is quickly becoming a national hub for biotechnology and medical research, and opportunities like this are vital to assuring that New Haven students are prepared to compete and succeed.”

The move to West Haven will permit students at the school, the first of its kind in the state, to take college courses at UNH for free.  In addition, UNH will offer ESUMS graduates 50 percent tuition grants in addition to other merit and need-based aid if they are admitted to UNH as undergraduates. Lower-income students who graduate with at least a 3.5 grade point average and SAT scores of 1130 or higher will receive full-tuition scholarships to attend UNH.

“American students lag far behind their international peers in engineering, math and science achievement,” said UNH President Kaplan. “This partnership will enable generations of students to become tomorrow’s leaders in a wide array of scientific and technological fields, and it will directly benefit the citizens of our region, our state and our nation.”

The goal of this groundbreaking initiative is to increase the number of scientists, engineers and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers in the greater New Haven region. The school is unique in that it begins a rigorous science and engineering curriculum at the sixth-grade level and prepares students to enter college seamlessly and pursue careers as scientists, engineers and teachers.

The ESUMS academic program is designed to enable students from across the greater New Haven region to obtain an undergraduate and eventually a graduate degree.