A Generational Investment in Public Higher Education
The seven-year proposal seeks investment in support for affordability, student support services, innovative and expanded academic programs, and modernizing facilities.
Video: Introducing CSCU 2030
About CSCU 2030
CSCU is Connecticut
Serving more than 85,000 students from every one of the state's 169 municipalities, CSCU is Connecticut. With an $11 billion economic impact for the state, our institutions and campuses provide high-quality education that is accessible and is the most affordable in Connecticut. We are the largest higher education resource for traditionally underrepresented students in Connecticut. Our programs in in-demand fields make us the primary engine for workforce preparation and social mobility, educating our residents to become the sharpest of critical thinkers, leaders, and contributors to society.
CSCU's students come from Connecticut, are educated and trained in Connecticut, and they stay to live and work in Connecticut. In this way, we serve Connecticut's myriad industries and employers who are in desperate need of talent. Our students are prepared to meet the needs of the 21st century and help keep Connecticut productive, vibrant, and strong. But if CSCU is to meet the needs of the state, the communities we serve, and our students at the highest level — the level to which we all should aspire — then greater state investment will be required.
Currently, CSCU faces two looming challenges that put the future of the system at a critical juncture. The first is that, while the administration and state legislature have been generous in their support for our system in recent years, our operating support has been relatively flat since 2007 almost exclusively due to the growth in the state's fringe benefit costs. The second is that, with the completion of the CSU 2020 program, CSCU institutions have exhausted their capital project allocations and need to establish a vision and funding for the physical infrastructure of our campuses for the next decade.
To address these challenges, CSCU has developed the following proposal for state financial support, collectively called CSCU 2030, to recommit the state's investment in our system, our students, and the communities we serve. Rather than the usual piecemeal annual request for funding, which can be challenging for policy makers to address, CSCU is instead presenting a scaled multi-year proposal for the critical investments needed in student supports including financial aid and new academic programs, and in our physical infrastructure.
What is CSCU 2030?
CSCU 2030 is a proposed generational investment in Connecticut’s public colleges and universities. The seven-year proposal seeks investment in two specific areas. First, it seeks state appropriations support to invest in affordability, student supports and wrap-around services, and innovative and expanded academic programs. Second, it seeks state investment in modernizing facilities and updated technology, laboratories and classrooms.
How much does CSCU 2030 cost?
There are two specific investments included in CSCU 2030. First, CSCU is proposing increases of $54.3 and $127.8 million over FY2023 levels in the state budget, with support sustained through FY2030. This would include investments in expansion of the PACT tuition-free community college program to include all community college students plus university students pursuing; in-demand programs, expansion of existing academic programs and development of new credentials to match industry demands; and increased student supports such as mental health, transportation, food, and housing services.
Second, the CSCU 2030 capital projects program proposes $2.21 billion in investments over seven years to make all CSCU campuses safer, more accessible, and more sustainable. This includes an expanded Transportation Jobs Center at Gateway Community College, and updated facility for Capital Community College, improvements to academic and student support buildings at all state universities, and technology upgrades to increase productivity, innovation, and security.
Hasn’t CSCU received increased state support in recent
Yes and no. While overall state assistance to CSCU has increased over the past 15 years, nearly every new dollar appropriated to CSCU has gone toward growing employee fringe benefit costs. As you can see on the graph below, the operating funds our campuses have received has been almost completely flat since 2007. When coupled with a 40 percent increase in inflation between 2007 and 2022, CSCU’s operating funding has been significantly compressed in recent years, and new investment is needed. In addition, CSU 2020, the state’s previous capital investment program for the state universities, provided its final round of funding in FY2021. CSCU institutions have exhausted their capital project allocations and need to establish a vision and funding for the physical infrastructure of our campuses for the next decade.
Does CSCU 2030 require legislative approval?
Yes. CSCU is working closely with our partners in the legislature and the administration to make CSCU 2030 a reality.
Does every CSCU campus benefit from CSCU 2030?
Yes. CSCU 2030’s capital improvement request includes upgrades at every CT State Community College campus, each of the four state universities, and Charter Oak State College. Some examples of improvements include: expanded Transportation Jobs Center at Gateway Community College; updated facility for Capital Community College; upgrades to buildings at Middlesex and Naugatuck Valley Community Colleges; improvements to academic and student support buildings at all state universities, including Welte Hall at Central, the health and wellness center at Eastern, Morill Hall at Southern, and the Berkshire Hall Innovation Center at Western; technology upgrades to increase productivity, innovation and security. In addition, student supports and innovative academic programs will be deployed at all institutions and benefit students throughout the system.What is the greatest project priority with the bonding proposal?
Though all of the projects included in the capital proposal are critical to the long term stability of our CSCU buildings, a few projects are prioritized highly including an updated campus for Capital Community College, a transportation center at Gateway Community College, technology funding system wide and deferred maintenance at all campuses.
How are the community colleges focusing on workforce
development and getting individuals jobs?
The community colleges are very active in workforce development programming as part of a larger ecosystem in the state that utilizes federal and state funding to provide entry level training opportunities. They work closely with the state’s employers, state agencies and the workforce development boards to connect students to employment opportunities upon program completion. The CSCU 2030 increase in the appropriations funding will allow for the creation of seamless pathways from these entry level training opportunities to credit programs at the colleges and universities.
How will CSCU 2030 promote student retention?
CSCU 2030 will focus on developing and administering equitable wrap-around student support services to fill gaps where public services are not available. Working with state agencies and community organizations and independently where needed, we will ensure services will be available to students across all CSCU locations within Connecticut. Several services such as behavioral health, academic support and supplemental instruction will be available both on ground and online to meet student needs. Additional support services will include resources to assist with housing and food insecurity, early childhood education and family care options, and assistance with transportation. This investment will position CSCU to serve our learners holistically and ensure they have an excellent ongoing educational experience.
Download the Full Proposal
CSCU is at a critical point in its evolution and with the reinvestment called for in this plan, the system will be poised to innovate and grow. This funding supports our diverse and aspiring students, our talented faculty, staff and leadership and our important but aging infrastructure.Download the Full Proposal Download Capital Program Details