Board of Regents Mission, Vision, Goals

Since 1992, nearly 360,000 students have completed certificates or degrees at CSCU - 150,000 since the creation of CSCU in 2011. CSCU graduates have made incalculable contributions to the well-being of their families, their communities and the state.


About CSCU

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) were formally constituted as a system - encompassing community colleges, state universities, and a fully online institution - in 2011, under the governance of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.  But this recent institutional history has deep roots in the separate histories of the colleges and universities that comprise CSCU, a history that dates back to the founding of Connecticut’s first public institution of higher education – today known as Central Connecticut State University – in 1849: a normal school focused on the training of teachers for the state’s public schools. 

Throughout this long history, CSCU and its institutions have been guided by the same essential vision and goals:

  • to provide affordable, innovative, and rigorous academic programs for students to allow them to achieve their personal and career goals;
  • to provide pathways for social and economic mobility for all Connecticut residents; and
  • to contribute to the overall economic growth of Connecticut.

CSCU and its constituent units have succeeded in achieving these goals, enhancing the lives and well-being of millions of Connecticut residents, and of the state and its towns. At present, CSCU enrolls more than 85,000 students in certificate and degree programs, 96% of whom live and work in every one of the 169 cities and towns in Connecticut.  The vast majority of CSCU graduates spend their lives and careers in the state, making life-long contributions to the cultural and economic vitality of the state and its towns and regions.  As stated in our 2018 Economic Impact Study, for every dollar invested in CSCU, taxpayers will receive $3.80 in return over the course of students’ working lives.  The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 9.4%. 

Since 1992, nearly 360,000 students have completed certificates or degrees at one of the CSCU colleges and universities--150,000 since the creation of CSCU in 2011.  CSCU graduates have made incalculable contributions to the well-being of their families, their communities and the state.  

CSCU’S Vision

CSCU will build on its long and successful history of access, diversity and excellence by working collectively - within and across institutions - and by engaging external partners to increase the number of students pursuing and completing personally and professionally rewarding certificate and degree programs, improving their social mobility and helping the state to meet its current and future workforce demands.

CSCU’S Mission

The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) contribute to the creation of knowledge and the economic growth of the state of Connecticut by providing affordable, innovative, and rigorous programs. Our learning environments transform students and facilitate an ever-increasing number of individuals to achieve their personal and career goals.

Key Areas of Focus & Goals

The following goals set by the Board of Regents guide the specific strategic plans of each of the six institutions within CSCU.  Their plans contain specific, measurable objectives to make these larger goals actionable at each of the college and university campuses. 

Goal 1: Student Success
build a system that meets the needs of all students and increases the number of students completing personally and professionally rewarding certificate and degree programs and securing careers in their chosen fields of study.

  • Improve access to CSCU’s certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for various targeted populations (under-represented, nontraditional, out-of-state, international, some college no degree, veterans, employee upskilling, high school dual credit, etc.)
  • Improve retention, transfer, and completion to ensure that all students get the reward of their educational efforts
  • Research, understand and address the opportunity gaps experienced by our students from different ethnic/racial, economic and gender groups and revise policies and practices that have a disparate impact on these students

Goal 2: Innovation and Economic Growth
ensure our certificate and degree programs are contributing to the creation of knowledge and the economic growth of the state of Connecticut and preparing students for careers today and in the future.

  • Create and implement a master plan of undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs that ensure seamless transition from high school to higher education, attainment of 21st century technical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, and alignment with the state’s economic and workforce development strategies
  • Expand, track and assess external partnerships with state agencies and the business community to support students’ personal, academic and professional needs and promote their employment in the public and private sectors
  • Expand scholarship and research resources to ensure CSCU institutions and their faculty and staff are engaged in best practices in liberal arts education and on the cutting edge of innovation in industry-informed curriculum

Goal 3: Affordability and Sustainability
ensure CSCU is making attendance affordable and our institutions financially sustainable.

  • Develop and implement a Master Plan for fiscal sustainability and growth
  • Utilize a return-on-investment model for programs and initiatives from a student and institution perspective
  • Work to mitigate the cost of attendance by increasing funding for student tuition and wrap around support services from local, state and federal resources

Goal 4: Systemness
realize the full potential of the CSCU system and our collective efforts to meet student educational goals.

  • Position CSCU as a destination for high quality, affordable, higher education committed to civic responsibility, public service, community engagement, and social justice  
  • Establish seamless pathways and reduce barriers for students seeking certificates and degrees across the system, taking full advantage of the distinct missions and assets of each of the institutions

Improve data analysis capacity across the system to ensure CSCU can assess its impact on students, its institutions, communities and the state and identify areas for continuous improvement

Institution Missions

CT State Community College Mission

The Connecticut State Community College provides access to academically rigorous and innovative education and training focused on student success. The CT State supports excellence in teaching and learning, makes data-informed decisions, promotes equity, and advances positive change for the students, communities, and industries it serves.

Charter Oak State College Mission

Charter Oak State College, the state's only public, online, degree-granting institution, provides affordable, diverse and alternative opportunities for adults to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. The College's mission is to validate learning acquired through traditional and non-traditional experiences, including its own courses. The college rigorously upholds standards of high quality and seeks to inspire adults with the self-enrichment potential of non-traditional higher education.

Connecticut State Universities' Mission

Connecticut State Universities offer exemplary and affordable undergraduate and graduate instruction leading to degrees in the liberal arts, sciences, fine arts, applied fields, and professional disciplines. They advance and extend knowledge, research, learning and culture while preparing students to enter the workforce and to contribute to the civic life of Connecticut's communities. Through a variety of living and learning environments, the Universities ensure access and diversity to meet the needs of a broad range of students. They support an atmosphere of inter-campus learning, the exploration of technological and global influences and the application of knowledge to promote economic growth and social justice.