SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western New England University’s Department of Education hosted a career and information session for Springfield high school students.

Students from John J. Duggan Academy were able to explore possibilities in the field of education, and this initiative between the two schools bridges public secondary education and private higher education.

“Our partnership with WNE has reached many of our students and has given them an excellent opportunity to explore many different career paths and options,” says Duggan Academy Executive Principal Michael Calvanese. “I am so grateful to WNE and excited for our students at Duggan Academy.”

Students had the opportunity to sit in actual education classes at the college level, and observed professors and students in an effort to show students that these educational goals are attainable.

“The students participate along with the WNE students and, through a variety of methods for collaborating typical in the class, tend to form new bonds and friendships, learning even more about what life is like in college – from the inside out and gaining experience that can help shape their future college and career pathways,” said event organizer and Associate Professor of Education Dr. Raymond Ostendorf.

They also were able to go on a tour of the large campus, encouraged to apply to a university sponsored internship program, meet with a variety of different people on campus to ask questions, and they ended the day off at the dining hall for some yummy college cuisine. “It’s designed to remove some of the perceived barriers that may be preventing high school students from following their goals and dreams,” says Ostendorf.

Ostendorf said that according to the most recent outcome data, 90% of the successful Duggan internship completers go onto higher education themselves.

In a news release that was sent to 22News it says that “the Department of Education at Western New England University is designed to prepare students for entrance into the teaching profession. Through coursework assignments, microteaching, and field-based experiences connecting theory to practice in local K-12 schools, students develop and demonstrate their ability to successfully plan curriculum to meet needs of all learners, and effectively build and manage an equitable and inclusive learning community.