honoring thirty years of community engagement

University in the High School wins UAlbany President's Award

   President Robert Jones and Dean Edelgard Wulfert
  President Robert Jones and Dean Edelgard Wulfert. Photo by Mark Schmidt/UAlbany 

University President Robert J. Jones selected University in the High School as one of this year's recipients of the President's Award for Exemplary Community Engagement. The awards recognize the important contributions of UAlbany faculty, students, alumni, and programs to addressing public needs. The University in the High School program is managed by the College of Arts and Sciences and provides students in over 200 New York high schools the opportunity to earn UAlbany credits and develop skills for future academic success.


The University in the High School Program (UHS) at the University at Albany was established in 1983 within the former College of Humanities & Fine Arts, now part of the College of Arts & Sciences. The UHS Program was originally designed as an innovative way to provide students in Capital Region high schools with the opportunity to earn University at Albany credit for advanced study in the foreign languages. The Program has since expanded to include course offerings from 23 academic departments. UHS now extends far beyond the Capital Region with courses offerings throughout New York State. In 2012-13 UHS offered 1,017 classes in 212 schools with over 8,000 students (11,280 registrations) and 544 teachers participating. Slightly less than 10% of the entering UAlbany freshmen class has taken UHS classes.

    Jenna Shulman of Yorktown Heights HS
  Jenna Shulman, Yorktown Heights High School

Challenging Curriculum

UHS Program courses provide students with the academic challenges of college-level curricula during their final year(s) of high school. As a "bridging" experience to college, UHS courses can help students begin to develop the skills and experience necessary for academic success in higher education. Enrollment in UHS courses may provide future opportunities to students, such as the ability to enroll in higher-level college courses or to complete a four-year degree in a shorter amount of time.

UHS courses are considered University-level courses and match the rigor of their campus counterparts. Typically, only high school juniors and seniors with an average of B or better are eligible to register. Students who register for courses through the UHS Program are subject to the same academic expectations as students at the University at Albany campus. UHS staff and liaisons work with teachers, principals, and counselors to insure the quality of UHS courses. Teachers involved in the UHS program must meet the degree requirements and have sufficient teaching experience to qualify them as voluntary adjuncts in their respective academic departments. UHS staff review syllabi and faculty liaisons visit the UHS high school classes to make sure each course meets UAlbany standards. This structure ensures that students enrolled in UHS courses are as prepared for the next level of study as their campus counterparts. Additionally, annual workshops for high school teachers, principals and counselors are held on the University at Albany campus.


UHS courses provide an economical way to earn college-credits. Rather than tuition, students are charged a course fee of $150.00/course, regardless of the number of credits. This cost compares favorably to the tuition paid by University students. For example, for a three credit class, UAlbany students from New York State pay $735 plus fees where UHS students pay $150. There is also a reduced program fee of $75.00/course for those students eligible for the Federal Reduced/Free Lunch program. The UHS fee structure provides significant savings to students and their families. This is particularly important in a time when the cost of higher education continues to rise at a rapid rate.

Science Research Program

UHS administers the Science Research Program which has been housed at the University at Albany since 1994. The schools in this program model their science research classes after the courses developed by the late Robert Pavlica, Ph.D., at Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York. There are presently more than 110 schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that use this program to involve students as legitimate members of the research community. Almost 500 students participated in the summer of 2013.

Jacob Stillman of Byram Heights HS  

Teacher David Keith of Byram Heights High School talks to students  
Cindy Du of Scarsdale HS  
Top: Jacob Stillman, Byram Hills High School. Middle: Teacher David Keith of Byram Hills talks to students. Bottom: Cindy Du of Scarsdale High School   

Students in the science research classes draw their mentors from a wide array of professional research institutions both domestic and worldwide. In addition, many of the students in these classes take the UHS Science Research courses for college credit in their junior and senior years. Teachers and students alike can attest to the benefits of this program. Many students are accepted into excellent colleges and universities, crediting their experience with the Science Research program as an important addition to their college applications.

Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

UHS also hosts the annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) which provides an opportunity for hundreds of students to develop posters and present their research findings. The next symposium is scheduled for March 10 and 11, 2014 in the University at Albany Campus Center. JSHS is a collaborative effort between the Department of Defense and colleges and universities nationwide. The aim of the program is to help prepare students to become scientists and engineers. Students wishing to present their research papers or posters at the Upstate New York JSHS must first compete in one of the sub-regional symposia. Winners from each of these sub-regional symposia move on to compete in the regional Upstate JSHS.

Future Plans

The UHS program will continue to work with teachers, principals and counselors to offer a wide range of courses to high schools students throughout New York State. The Science Research Program continues to be very popular and growth in this area is also anticipated. Additionally, UHS is playing an important role in responding to the needs expressed by various constituencies in President Jones’ county tours held last year. Specifically, UHS staff met with representatives of the Catskill High School, Greenville High School, and Albany High School to plan for further collaborations between these schools and the University.


John Jay High School Students
John Jay High School Students