College Acceleration Program
College before college
The College Acceleration Program offers students in grades 11-12 a full semester of college courses and credits.
Over the course of their junior and senior years, students will take courses at Williams plus one course per semester at Connecticut College. By graduation, students successfully completing the program will gain a transcript from Connecticut College alongside their Williams diploma.
The benefit for students taking a course at Connecticut College is the first hand experience of college courses concurrent to their college search and application process. As they begin to apply, Williams’ College Counseling office will include the College Acceleration Program distinction when advocating for students during the college process. Students enrolled in the program are able to take courses that align with their interests and future educational and career goals. Members of the Class of 2024 participating in the College Acceleration Program are taking courses like, Introduction to Asian Art, History of Ancient Philosophy, Elementary Arabic, Ancient Environments, Social and Regional Spanish Dialects, and Introductory Macroeconomics.
Edward E. Ford Foundation Supports College Acceleration Program
The Edward E. Ford Foundation seeks to improve secondary education by supporting U.S. independent schools and encouraging promising practices, Williams was awarded a $50,000 grant through the Foundation. The Foundation required Williams to raise $100,000 to receive the matching funds. Williams is grateful to the more than 30 supporters who helped us secure more than $100,000, totaling $150,000 to support the College Acceleration Program.
Those interested must uphold Scholarship, Character, and Community standards.
They must also serve as exemplary members of the School community. Students will apply to the program with a written application and interview with faculty and administrators in the Spring of their Sophomore year as they go through the course selection process.
Students enrolled in the program are able to take courses that align with their interests and future educational and career goals. Members of the Class of 2024 participating in the College Acceleration Program are taking courses like, Introduction to Asian Art, History of Ancient Philosophy, Elementary Arabic, Ancient Environments, Social and Regional Spanish Dialects, and Introductory Macroeconomics.
Details & Tuition
Up to ten students from each class may be selected for the program.
Participating students are required to join a Summer Orientation Program specifically designed by Connecticut College Dean Christopher Hammond for Williams students to know the College Campus, Courses and Resources offered to them, and how to get the most out of their experience.
The tuition cost for this program is supported by both The Williams School and the student’s family. The student cost per course is $1,500 and payment must be submitted directly to The Williams School.
In 2021, Williams applied for and was granted funds from the Edward E. Ford Foundation to specifically support students and families in this program. The School has an additional fundraising goal of $100,000 to receive the matching funds from the foundation.
Services & Support
Summer orientation program in early August for College Acceleration Program participants to include:
- College culture and protocols relevant to participating Williams students (e.g., office hours, etc.)
- Introduction to research and resources — process, library, research librarians
- College curriculum overview, counseling on course selection, and Conn’s learning management system
- Introduction to college writing
Support from Connecticut College’s Registrar’s office
Official transcript for all courses completed
Guaranteed participation as Special Day Student status with the ability to enroll in up to four courses over two years – to be chosen from no fewer than 50 different courses available to Williams students. The ability to enroll in any specific course will depend on the nature of the course, the enrollment cap on the class. Williams students are not guaranteed a place in any specific course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Williams students be enrolled alongside Connecticut College students in these courses?
Yes! The inclusive environment at both schools empowers students to make connections with their peers and professors at Connecticut College alongside those fostered at Williams.
Do college courses replace courses in a regular Williams curricula or are they taken in addition to a regular curricula?
All Acceleration Program courses are taken in addition to required courses at Williams. We will work with students to create a balanced and reasonable schedule of courses each year.
How many college credits per semester can a student earn?
All courses that students take at Connecticut College will be one–semester in length and depending on the course can range from 3–4 credits per course.
Are students required to meet a grade point average threshold to remain in the program?
No, grade point averages will not be considered; however, students must maintain A/B grades on both their Williams report card and Connecticut College transcript to continue in the Acceleration Program.
Can students participate in both the Interdisciplinary Certificate program and the College Acceleration program?
Yes, students may apply to both programs and providing they are accepted may participate in both programs. Students are advised on their course selection with their faculty advisor and can find additional support from the College Counseling Office and the Assistant Head of School for Teaching & Learning to best inform their decision.