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Board Receives Additional Funding Through College Access Challenge Grant

Additional funding has been awarded to the Board of Regents to help continue to reduce remediation and improve college readiness among underserved populations in Connecticut.
Additional funding through the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) has been awarded to the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to help continue to reduce remediation and improve college readiness among underserved populations in the state. The Board of Regents is entering year three of the five-year grant, which is funded at $1.5 million per year. Prior to the formation of the BOR, which governs the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, the CACG program was administered by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

“Connecticut is often described as being two states in one, where the extreme high performance of some is capable of masking the challenges of many,” said Board of Regents President Robert A. Kennedy. “Even though Connecticut has a high college-going rate compared to other states in the nation, it suffers from the largest achievement gap in the country. Disproportionately, these students are low-income and minority students. In addition to funding additional support and outreach programs, the continuation of the College Access Challenge Grant will help us begin to comply with a new state law that requires remedial skill development to be embedded in college-level courses or delivered through an intensive college readiness experience.”

The College Access Challenge Grant has helped nearly 4,000 students through various programs and support mechanisms, including sharing information about preparing for college, financial aid form completion assistance, redesigned math and English classes in high school, and after school and summer programming to increase math skills and foster interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. For example, the funding will allow Manchester Community College, in partnership with Manchester and East Hartford High Schools, to continue with the implementation of their revised curricula developed to address the remedial math and English needs of students. This initiative has also expanded to include Capital Community College, Rockville High School in Vernon, Bulkeley High School in Hartford, and Bloomfield High School. Naugatuck Valley Community College will continue its partnership with Waterbury’s three public high schools – Kennedy, Wilby, and Crosby - to work with targeted seniors to address the same issues.

“This funding from the U.S. Department of Education will help us to get ahead of the curve and address the critical issues of remediation and college preparedness before students arrive on our campuses,” said Malia Sieve, Associate Director of Policy & Research at the Board of Regents. “These aren’t issues that will be fixed overnight, but we’re focusing on community-based partnerships, shared curricula and other support mechanisms to ensure that more students are ready for college-level courses when they arrive there.”

For more information, please contact:
Maribel La Luz
860-723-0617
laluzm@ct.edu