Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Board of Regents for Higher Education Vice Chair Yvette Meléndez, Board of Regents President Gregory Gray, Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, legislators, students, and education and business leaders launched Transform CSCU 2020, a strategic plan to invest an additional $134.5 million into the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) System on Wed., Feb. 12.
Transform CSCU 2020 will improve student experience and degree completion, expand academic and workforce training programs, and build stronger partnerships with the state’s manufacturers and business community.
“We are delighted to receive support for our students,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. “We understand that this is a first step in support of the excellent work we do to provide access and quality affordable education.”
Transform CSCU 2020 will unite the 17 CSCU institutions as one interdependent system that better serves students and ensures that Connecticut’s system of higher education remains accessible, affordable, and accountable. Building on the strength of current programs, Transform CSCU will attract and retain students through innovative new programs, expand online learning, and better align coursework with the strongest industry growth sectors as identified by the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Department of Labor.
“We know that 70-percent of jobs in 2020 will require postsecondary education. That’s why it is imperative that we garner support for these necessary investments in our students,” Governor Malloy said. “This is a multi-year, multi-layered investment that will unite our 12 community colleges, four state universities, and single online college into one system. It will help colleges adapt to student needs and offer the kind of dynamic higher education experience that students want and employers expect.”
The plan includes $60 million in new operating funds, $60 million in new capital, and $14.5 million in new funding from existing OPM capital. The plan will:
- Establish a long-term tuition model to help plan for the cost of college.
- Improve student retention rates and increase enrollment through new initiatives like Go Back to Get Ahead, which targets residents seeking to complete degrees, and outreach to returning military personnel to evaluate experiential learning for academic credit.
- Build high-tech smart classrooms to facilitate learning.
- Improve system-wide credit transfer and course articulation to reduce time to degree completion and keep tuition costs in check.
- Expand early college programs to all the community colleges to reduce remediation, decrease degree completion time to save tuition dollars, and connect with students who might not consider college.
- Streamline core administrative processes, establish a common academic calendar and a single application, create opportunity for system-wide course registration and degree pathway management.
- Align the workforce development mission with the strongest industry growth sectors as identified by the Department of Economic and Community Development and the State Department of Labor.
- Strengthen teacher training programs and provide ongoing supports for new teachers.
- Expand advanced manufacturing programs at Naugatuck Valley, Housatonic, Asnuntuck, and Quinebaug Valley Community Colleges to increase student capacity and incumbent worker training programs.
- Build strong partnerships with business and industry to give students access to internships, externships, and a strong career network.
- Develop a system-wide academic/facilities master plan to strategically map out program expansion.
- Address deferred maintenance at all 17 institutions.
“The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is so important to the state’s future,” said Yvette Melendez, Vice Chair of the Board of Regents. “Not only are our 17 institutions an integral part of the higher education landscape in Connecticut, but 80 percent of our graduates stay in the state to live and work, making us an important part of economic growth. Transform CSCU delivers much-needed resources to our colleges and universities, and most importantly, to our students.”
“Investing in the state’s system of higher education gives our 120,000 students a better experience from application to graduation,” said Dr. Gregory W. Gray, President of the Board of Regents. “Student learning is our top priority, and we are committed to ensuring that the highest quality education and workforce preparation remains accessible and affordable. Building a world-class system of higher education requires tremendous commitment and I thank Governor Malloy for his leadership, and our faculty and staff for the work they do every day on behalf of our students.”