15 Jun

High Achieving Student Simultaneously Earns High School Diploma and Associate Degree

Later this month, at age 17, Mason Perry will graduate from both Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport, and Housatonic Community College (HCC). With a strong grasp on hard work and time management, the dual high school and college graduate from West Haven, Connecticut is well prepared for the next step on his academic journey.

Perry entered HCC at age thirteen, attending an Intermediate Algebra class which happened to be comprised entirely of adult learners. Undaunted, Perry earned an A in the class.

“At first, I was really nervous. The class was filled with adults, like all grownups,” said Perry, “but over time I became familiar with the campus and met students. Everyone made it really comfortable.”

A five-year partnership between the two schools paved the way for Perry’s achievement. Capital Prep students fulfill their high school fine arts course requirements at HCC, saving the school space while still providing a healthy offering of electives.

“I can’t say enough about the collaborative experience with HCC,” said Rich Beganski, Chief of Schools at Capital Prep. “They’re a great partner, and their professors want our kids to be ridiculously successful.”

In addition to earning an associate’s degree in Humanities/Behavioral & Social Sciences from Housatonic, Perry will graduate with a 4.26 GPA from Capital Prep. All the while, he held down two part-time jobs working at a movie theater concession stand and washing dishes at a restaurant.

“HCC helped me to understand what it really means to go to college and also how to get work done on time,” said Perry. “If I needed help, I learned that I need to go get it, it’s my responsibility. What made my dual graduation possible was time management, I learned that you just need to manage your time.”

“Mason Perry is a shining example of what is possible when students are given access to quality education, set high goals and work hard to achieve them,” said Dr. Thomas G. Coley, Acting President Housatonic Community College and Regional President, CSCU Shoreline-West. “We’re very proud of our partnership with Capital Prep and will be honored to call Mason an HCC graduate.”

In the fall, Perry, who is the son of Capital Prep founder and CNN education contributor Dr. Steve Perry, will attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he plans to major in business. After that, his goal is law school, with aspirations to become an entertainment lawyer.

About Housatonic Community College

Serving southern Connecticut for over 50 years, Housatonic Community College (HCC) offers a student-centered, high quality and accessible education through more than 75 majors and degree programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The college also offers occupational certificate programs, and the non-credit division partners with local business and industry to offer workforce training and customized professional development. HCC is distinguished as an Achieving the Dream Leader Institution and is ranked by the Aspen Institute among the nation’s top 150 community colleges.

About Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter Schools

Capital Prep Schools provides a diverse community of student learners from Bridgeport and surrounding communities in the Tri-State area with the academic and character college and career readiness skills needed to become responsible and engaged citizens for social justice.

We accomplish this endeavor by providing a nurturing and loving environment that fosters strong student-teacher relationships, requires rigor throughout a classic college-preparatory curriculum, demands high expectations, and is relevant; connecting student learning to real-world experiences and opportunities through applied teaching methods such as project-based learning.

With this approach, we are proud to develop caring, respectful, responsible, knowledgeable, and self-confident students prepared to excel in higher education and actively engage in and contribute to their communities.

Caption For Photo Above: Mason Perry will graduate from both Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport, and Housatonic Community College (HCC) this month.