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Widener and Sussex Technical School District Announce Early Career and College Partnership

Widener University and Sussex Technical School District, a public Career and Technical Education school district in Georgetown, Del., announced on Friday that they’ve entered into a partnership that will bring new higher education course offerings to high school students in Sussex County and central Delaware. Beginning in the fall of 2013, interested students will have the opportunity to enroll in and complete college courses during their junior and senior years of high school.

These dual credit courses are fully accredited, and upon successful completion, students will be awarded both Sussex Technical High School and Widener University credits. Participating students can complete in excess of the first year of college requirements through this new arrangement. Upon graduation from high school, they can either apply to Widener, where all courses are accepted, or transfer their credits to other institutions of higher learning depending upon that institution’s acceptance of the transferrable credit.sussex tech partnership

Deemed the Early Career and College Partnership, this new collaboration between Sussex Tech and Widener will help address two key issues for today’s high school students: college affordability and accessibility. It will allow students to complete significant credit hours at a reduced cost and encourage the pursuit of advanced certifications and degrees by giving them a “jump start.”

“We believe that we’ve come up with an innovative approach to help make college more affordable and accessible to all students and that the sustainability of our universities will require continuous innovation,” said Dr. Brenda Gilio, acting dean of the Widener University School of Innovation, Education and Continuing Studies. “Partnerships will play an integral role in these efforts and help shape the future higher education landscape.”

Sussex Tech anticipates that the Early Career and College Partnership with Widener will also contribute to the economic vitality of Sussex County. “The partnership has the potential to create jobs, to attract individuals and businesses to the region by supplying viable educational choices and to develop a highly skilled workforce ready for employment in high demand careers,” said Dr. Michael R. Owens, director of extended learning for the Sussex Technical School District.”

Work is underway to develop a core of offerings that could be extended to neighboring high school students who may wish to take college courses through Widener at the Georgetown campus of the Sussex Technical School District or online.

“By entering into this partnership with Widener and offering access to students of neighboring high schools, Sussex Technical School District is once again demonstrating its commitment to the concept of shared and consolidated services, thus maximizing value for the community,” Owens said.

Recognizing the significance of the Sussex Tech-Widener partnership, U.S. Senators Thomas R. Carper and Christopher A. Coons took part in the Nov. 2 announcement to publicly show their support of the endeavor.

For more information about the Early Career and College Partnership, contact Dr. Michael R. Owens at 856-9035.


About Sussex Technical School District
“Excellence in Technical, Career, and Academic Education”


Sussex Technical High School is a two-time Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence and provides a unique, focused, and rigorous educational program for each student.  Sussex Tech Adult Division has been serving businesses and industries in the region for over 20 years and currently serves more than 3000 students. The High School and Extended Learning campus is located at 17099 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, De. Mailing address is PO Box 351 Georgetown, De. 19947. Visit the district’s website,, for information.


About Widener University
Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve approximately 6,500 students. Visit the university's website,, for more information.


Photo Caption:

Joining together to make the announcement of a partnership between Sussex Technical School District and Widener University were, left to right, Dr. John Demby, principal Sussex Technical High School; Dr. Mike Owens, Sussex Technical School District's Director of Extended Learning; U.S. Senator Christopher Coons; Dr. Brenda Gilio, Widener University Acting Dean, School of Education, Innovation and Continuing Studies; Dr. A.J. Lathbury, Sussex Technical School District Superintendent; U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper; Sandy Furbush, Sussex Tech High School faculty and Widener University adjunct; and Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Sussex Technical School District's Director of Support Services.