University of Hartford and Hartford Public Schools Sign Affiliation Agreement - ENHP to Play Key Role
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University of Hartford and Hartford Public Schools Sign Affiliation Agreement - ENHP to Play Key Role

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, President Walter Harrison and Superintendent Designate of Hartford Public Schools, Christina Kishimoto, signed an affiliation agreement formalizing existing relationships and providing structure for future collaboration. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra also participated in the ceremony. The affiliation grew out of many long-standing and important partnerships between University faculty and individual Hartford schools, reaching back to the founding of the University and what was then called the College of Education and Allied Services.

Pictured (l-r) ENHP Dean Ralph O. Mueller, President Walter Harrison, HPS Superintendent Designate Christina Kishimoto, and HPS Director of Strategic Partnerships Kelvin Roldan

Ralph O. Mueller, dean of the University's College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, remarked, “Today’s event is a milestone in our college’s history. Together, we are demonstrating our commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for Hartford’s children through coordinated, research-based, and relevant education reform.”  Visit the YouTube links for comments by President Harrison, Superintendent Designate Kishimoto, and Mayor Segarra.

What is unique about this particular affiliation is its system-wide approach, encompassing all HPS schools and multiple University colleges: Education, Nursing and Health Professions (ENHP), Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), Arts and Sciences (A & S), the Hartt School, and possibly others.

New and innovative research initiatives will be coordinated and facilitated through the University’s Institute for Translational Research that is housed in ENHP. "Translational” research focuses investigations on topics more relevant to communities:  it translates academic research into relevant outcomes for real people – young and adult learners, faculty, administrators, etc.  Some initiatives that are already in place include:

  • At the Betances Early Reading Lab School: A collaborative team of University and Betances faculty is investigating potential effects of intensive professional development and family involvement on student literacy learning.
  • At the Global Communication Academy: The University’s Educational Main Street initiative is beginning to study the effects of various after-school programming models on student achievement.
  • At the Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School and the University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE): Building on existing collaboration successes with UHSSE, both schools now are working with the University’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions (ENHP) and the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) to approach STEM education from an early age through college.
  • At the Montessori Magnet School at Annie Fisher: ENHP is starting an elementary education masters program with a Montessori concentration. Annie Fisher will be a key partner, both programmatically and with regards to research, in addition to the Montessori Training Center of New England.

Other benefits of the affiliation will include HPS students and faculty taking advantage of University offerings and University education majors gaining student teaching placements in HPS schools. Joint faculty learning opportunities will be developed around major educational issues.  For example, In December, 2011, UH-HPS will co-sponsor a conference on bullying.

The new affiliation is especially significant to ENHP faculty and students. It completes the vision to anchor both academic sides of the college (health and education) firmly in Hartford: It was exactly a year ago that the partnership agreement with Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center was signed. In both cases, the goal is to increase educational and research opportunities for University and Saint Francis/Hartford Public Schools faculty, staff, and students in systematic ways and coordinate such efforts through ENHP’s Institute for Translational Research.