The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) was awarded a $500,000 Kresge Foundation grant to create a statewide “Student Success Center” to help more of Connecticut’s low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students complete college and earn degrees or certificates.
“This generous support from The Kresge Foundation will greatly enhance the ability of our community colleges to meet the academic and career-focused needs of 21st-century students who juggle jobs, families, and college”Governor Malloy
The BOR is only one of three Student Success Centers nationwide that will receive $250,000 a year for two years. The others are the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. These grants build on Kresge Foundation Student Success Centers investments in Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.
The BOR’s Student Success Center will serve as a statewide hub for student access, retention and graduation. It will organize the state’s 12 community colleges — including their leaders, faculty, and staff —around a common action to accelerate and improve student persistence and completion efforts. The centers will create cohesion between policy and best practices across the system with support for faculty and staff professional development. The center’s director will be based in Hartford and will report to the BOR.
“We are very pleased and proud that the Board of Regents received this national award,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “This generous support from The Kresge Foundation will greatly enhance the ability of our community colleges to meet the academic and career-focused needs of 21st-century students who juggle jobs, families, and college”
“We are excited The Kresge Foundation chose us for this grant, just as the Board of Regents is embarking on CSCU Transform 2020 — a transformational plan to build a world-class system of higher education,” said Board of Regents President Gregory Gray. “The Student Center will help us improve processes across the 12 community colleges that affect student success, while creating a culture of leadership and excellence.”
“These centers build a cohesive approach to engagement, learning and policy advocacy across each state’s two-year institutions,” says Caroline Altman Smith, senior program officer in Kresge’s Education Program. “The institutions can then spend their resources more effectively and create reforms that help the most students possible earn postsecondary credentials.”
The Kresge Foundation partnered with the national nonprofit Jobs for the Future (JFF) to manage the highly competitive selection process. JFF will help launch the three new centers, and lead a cross-state network to foster collaboration.
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Maribel La Luz