WEST HAVEN- Some University of New Haven students said they felt cheated by the school after they found out from their peers their program could be cancelled.
“We feel like the rug is being pulled out from under us,” said Univ. of New Haven Senior, Asia Gillespie. She continued,” That’s a decision that they have to make. We would just like them to honor the promise that they made to us that we are going to receive a hands-on 1 year masters program.”
They’re focused on the 4+1 Pre-education Program. It’s a program for students who want to be teachers with master’s degrees. It includes 4 years of undergraduate work and then the 5th year is graduate work where the student interns at a school 40 hours a week complete with night classes. The 5th year is sold as tuition free.
‘The demand for the program has declined dramatically,” said University of New Haven President Steve Kaplan. He said about 5 years ago they had 300 students. It’s now down to about 100. He said they’re planning to put the money saved into engineering and business programs. He said they will continue to honor the promise they made to students in the education program.
“For the seniors that are here, they’ll seamlessly go into the graduate program because it will still exist for the next 3 if not 4 semesters. For the students who are freshman and sophomores we’re going to talk about how to accommodate them,” said Kaplan.
Some graduates said this program is so rigorous; it will hurt the quality of teachers in the state’s schools in the future.
“You’re actually not hurting these students that are in the program, you’re hurting the rest of our students that are out there that deserve a quality education,” said graduate Keli Veillette who graduated from the program in May.
Kaplan said there are also 10 professors who teach the program and about 3 of them are tenure. The Board will vote on whether to phase out the program on Friday.