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Franklin College Connections

Since Franklin Academy began, students and their families have always asked, can we have MORE! Franklin College Connections was born to fill that space after graduation. We serve a range of post-graduates — both from Franklin and from other high schools. This holistic program bridges the gap, helping students with a variety of profiles find their way to success in higher education and beyond. Franklin College Connections serves academic stars headed to elite universities and students who aren’t certain if college is even for them. 

To learn more, download the pdf.

Take a look at a few examples of the students who may thrive here:

The External High Performer

These students can perform at the level required at elite institutions, but also benefit from additional support from Franklin College Connections as they make the jump from high school to college.

selective focus of man smiling near building

An example is Lucas, who now attends Wesleyan University. With a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Lucas received some support in his high school. He is nervous about the social landscape of a bigger setting and about juggling course requirements while living away from home for the first time. Full-time coursework may be too big a jump initially, but he wants to head in that direction.

Through Franklin College Connections, Lucas is a matriculated student at Wesleyan University, taking 9-credits, and living 30 minutes away in East Haddam. He receives support from Franklin’s Academic Development Center including workshops on mastering college writing, and individualized tutoring. He also works with the Counseling & Wellness Center, on typical issues related to adjusting to college and ways to get involved at Wesleyan at a pace that is comfortable for him. An avid fan of zoos and animal science, Lucas is also engaged in the Anthrozoology Program that Franklin Academy offers. 

Lucas is also developing some deeper connections in Middletown, where Wesleyan is located. Through Nine Town Transit Lucas participates in trivia nights at a local restaurant with his friends from Franklin College Connection, participates in the Disengineering Society, a Wesleyan club where students take apart electronic stuff to create new and interesting projects, and takes advantage of the robust weekend programming to head into Hartford or New Haven on weekends. His Residential Life Instructor supports Lucas in minimizing his anxiety through developing roommate agreements, helping him plan social events, and taking social risks.

Lucas’s parents also benefit from the  Franklin Engagement Model where he and his advisor together provide updates on his academic and social progress. They plan for him to move to Wesleyan’s campus as a full-time student next year.

The Franklin Academy Graduate

Students who have grown a great deal during their years in high school at Franklin Academy, may decide they would benefit from additional time to develop through Franklin College Connections before enrolling in their preferred college.

woman in white dress shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on green grass field during daytimeMia is one example. She graduated from Franklin with much improved social and emotional regulation skills. Yet, Mia came to Franklin with significant gaps in her education due to COVID and a co-occurring diagnosis of dyslexia and dysgraphia and felt she could use a bit more strengthening of skills. Mia and her family explored fee-based services at the six colleges she was accepted to, but Mia needed specific support in reading comprehension, an area many college writing center’s did not provide. Through the Family Engagement Model, Mia and her family had a conference with her whole team. Ultimately, Mia decided she wanted to enroll at Franklin College Connections before enrolling at her desired school, American University Through Franklin’s Academic Development Center, Mia continued 1:1 support in continued remediation of skills related to reading comprehension and tackling complex texts she would find at university to help her generalize strategies. This, along with taking a reduced course load at Middlesex Community College allowed for her to slowly get used to asking for accommodations, accessing on-campus resources, and reporting back to an advisor about her strengths and areas of needed improvement.  As Mia built confidence, she enrolled at Middlesex as a full-time student, taking four courses and continuing to use the Academic Development Center for content tutoring and concept mastery. Mia worked with the Counseling Center to proactively set up appointments and practice coping strategies to regulate new and healthy stressors. She finished the semester strong. As the summer progressed, Mia began working on a transition plan to American University. She applied for accommodations with her Franklin College Connections team. Her family was informed throughout the process, but Mia managed the steps independently, utilizing on-campus resources and the AU team. Mia also opted to work with a Transition Counselor from Franklin to conduct weekly executive functioning checks through her first-year at American. She is confident and ready to live her dream.

The Transfer Student

Students who struggle during an initial attempt at college find a fresh start through Franklin College Connections. They rebuilt confidence and skills before heading back to college ready to succeed.

man holding the back of his head while smiling near brick wall

These are students like Anthony, who finished at his public high school in California with a strong 3.8 GPA. With accommodations and modifications, as well as support from tutors and an educational consultant, Anthony was accepted to his state university. While he had the academic skills, and the university had support services, Anthony struggled to self-advocate and manage his day-to-day life. He quickly got behind in one of his English courses and began to withdraw. Anthony told his family he was getting accommodations and help from the Writing Center, but he was in fact barely passing his courses and felt socially isolated. Anthony was stuck; he wanted to succeed but felt that he didn’t have a roadmap to get to the finish line.

Anthony and his family recognized that he needed additional support before returning to campus. He took a leave of absence and enrolled at Franklin College Connections, ready to increase his self-awareness and executive functioning skills. 

While enrolled at Franklin College Connections, Anthony took on-campus courses through the University of Connecticut, and enrolled in six credits through Middlesex Community College. With the support of the Director of College Counseling & Transition Services, Anthony received and utilized all of his accommodations, and developed a script on how to advocate to faculty. 

As part of Franklin College Connections, Anthony benefited from the built in psychoeducational assessment through the Evaluation Center. While Anthony had a history of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and later, ASD, it was evident that he also had specific learning disabilities in reading comprehension and written expression. This new awareness helped Anthony feel empowered and began to draw connections between his experience in California and what he needed to do differently in the future. 

As a member of the residential community, Anthony opted to take a leadership role in his residence hall, and served as a peer mentor to Franklin Academy’s seniors. He participated, too, in athletics and began to increase his love for running, completing his first 5K. Anthony is planning to return to university life in the next year with more understanding and confidence.

The "Is College Right For Me?" Student

Some students graduate from high school with college as a possible path, but they are unsure if it is the right choice. Support from Franklin College Connections can help them decide the right path forward.

woman sits on sidewalk holding smartphone while smiling

Jessica graduated from a public high school in New York. She received special education services since she was in elementary school, with a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD. She took general education courses, with significant modifications. While Jessica has strong abstract reasoning skills, and is a voracious reader, her executive functioning skills impacted her so significantly that initiating tasks and maintaining focus was difficult, which contributes to her anxiety. During her transition planning meeting, her team discussed vocational tracks and perhaps, community college. 

Jessica and her mom wanted more for her. Her school counselor referred her to an educational consultant who recommended Franklin College Connections. Her family toured, and immediately fell in love with the multitude of options for Jessica to work on her skills. Jessica enrolled in coursework at Three Rivers Community College related to Medical Coding. Based on her placement test there, Jessica required remedial coursework in English. Instead of rushing, Jessica worked with the Academic Development Center on college-level texts and focused on her Introduction to College Writing course taught to Franklin College Connections students. Jessica’s confidence began to grow. She also took a class that focused on self-exploration and better understanding of her disability. It was then that Jessica truly began to shine. She was fascinated in how she learned, especially as she better understood her ADHD. Jessica worked closely with the Evaluation Coordinator, got retested, and learned more about her strengths. 

As the second semester arrived, Jessica completely changed her career path and recognized she wanted to be a special education teacher. Given Franklin’s proximity to various colleges, Jessica enrolled at Central Connecticut State University, taking six credits while working with her reading tutor and math tutor on campus. She finished her first year with a 2.8 GPA and a love for the field. Jessica recognized that college does not need to be completed in four years and opted to enroll at Franklin College Connections for a second year, focusing now on increasing rigor and the freedoms of having a car on campus.

Questions about Franklin College Connections?

Contact Sara Gould, Academic Dean

sg****@fa***.org

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