University of Hartford Hillyer College

Parents, guardians and family members who were able to join us last month for our second parent retreat can testify to the powerful support from connecting with one another.  During our retreat a Calo parent, Annelieke, shared with me the success her daugther is having academically since graduating Calo. This success is in part to the special focus of a school she is attending in the East. This post, sent from Annelieke and her husband Peter, is shared to provide an option for parents and guardians looking for academic resources. 

     While our daughter was completing high school at Calo and preparing for her graduation from there, one big question for us was, where can she continue her education with success, if that is what she chooses to do. We have been very fortunate to have found one school that, at this point, two months into her first semester, is working for her beautifully. We wanted to share what we know about this school for parents who are looking as we were.

     To backtrack a little, we and she used to assume that continuing education would be the natural plan. But as she prepared to leave Calo, and with Abby’s help, applied to  college from there, we were really nervous about our daughter’s future, her ability to deal with changes, academic stress and social life.  Where we got lucky was that down the road from us is The University of Hartford, in West Hartford, CT.

    What we found there was an admissions department that would look at a non-traditional curriculum, was willing to take a risk, and a college within the University called Hillyer that offered the same core courses as other Freshmen get, but with small classes and a lot of faculty support.

    Hillyer is deeply committed to students who want an education but have not had the luxury of a great high school, students  who have had interrupted transcripts from more than one Secondary School, students who test well in one area but poorly in another, students who have learning disabilities and  students who show promise but need extra support. Almost all classes are taught by  PhDs, classes are small, and the work load is paced for success. Our daughter is learning the same material as other Freshmen at the University but she is getting more support while she does it. She sees her Faculty Advisor as often as she needs to. She has chosen to live at home, but does not feel marginalized because of that. The atmosphere is inclusive and the student body very diverse. At the end of two years, if all goes well, she will receive her Associate’s Degree at an emotional graduation (we have heard this), and then proceed to her declared major at the University or transfer elsewhere. And I can tell you that she loves her classes and has not missed one.

      It may seem early for us to be talking up Hillyer and the University of Hartford, but even if our daughter does not graduate from there, we believe that this school, especially for East Coast families who are closer, has a lot of promise for our kids.

     One thing we learned during the application process is that a transcript from Park City and with Calo time in it can confuse admissions personnel. That happened to us. For this reason, our advice is to have your consultant, college advisor or even yourself, as I did, call Admissions and speak to the Director, or call the Dean directly. When I discovered that our daughter’s application was not on the radar, the college advisor at her old school called the University for me. Abby, Academic Director at Calo, was extremely helpful during this process as well, and the support our daughter felt from Calo to continue her education was  instrumental in getting her as far as she is.

     We are happy to speak with any Calo parents about Hillyer in more detail. Calo can give you our telephone number, and for those college bound students and you, good luck!

 Peter and Annelieke Schauer