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Local Educational Institutions Announce New Academic Synergy: Meaningful Collaboration, Scholarships, Tuition Waivers

University of Saint Joseph. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford and Watkinson School in Hartford have announced a multi-faceted partnership.

Watkinson School. Courtesy image (we-ha.com file photo)


The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) and Watkinson School in Hartford have announced a collaborative partnership that will include a new USJ scholarship for Watkinson seniors, a USJ tuition waiver for Watkinson employees, and a reduced tuition rate at Watkinson for the children of USJ employees.

Beginning in fall 2024, Watkinson graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher, enrolling in any of USJ’s undergraduate degree programs, will receive the new Independent Scholar Award. This $5,000/year scholarship, up to $20,000 total, is renewable annually for up to four years with continued full-time enrollment and meeting USJ’s academic criteria. It may be supplemented by other USJ merit and need-based financial support.

“Since its founding, USJ has nurtured students for success in rigorous academic programs, preparing them for life after college,” said USJ Vice President of Enrollment Management Kimberly Crone. “This partnership with Watkinson is a way to support and acknowledge the students seeking a university that incorporates academic excellence, mission, and core values into the college experience.”

Like USJ, Watkinson prioritizes the implementation of progressive, evidence-based approaches to teaching. To support this priority, USJ will provide a 30% tuition waiver to Watkinson employees. And, acknowledging the two institutions’ shared values, Watkinson will provide a tuition waiver of up to 25% to the children of USJ employees.

“USJ’s educational practices have always resonated with us. This partnership highlights our shared pedagogical ideals, benefitting the region’s students and educators,” said Watkinson Head of School Teri Schrader. “This principled collaboration between secondary and higher education is something people talk about. I am thrilled to embark on this potent, actionable work and am confident there is more to come.”

USJ and Watkinson are also developing a concurrent enrollment program through which Watkinson students earn USJ credit for completion of designated Watkinson classes. This is modeled after a successful existing arrangement between USJ and Northwest Catholic High School.

“Watkinson emphasizes authentic learning to promote depth of knowledge and skill rather than just content coverage, which readies graduates for success at colleges like USJ, known for small, hands-on classes,” said USJ President Rhona Free. “Additionally, the Watkinson experience is something many USJ faculty want for their own children, affirming that our shared values and educational approach make this a natural partnership.”

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