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July 2014
Board of Regents President Gregory W. Gray Dear Colleagues,

As we immerse ourselves in summer activities with family and friends, I am taking this opportunity to provide you with information relating to the BOR's involvement in some groundbreaking activity on the national level, as well as in our ongoing planning for implementation of Transform CSCU 2020.

On the national level, we are currently involved in projects in three critical areas in the education field. In the first project, we are working with State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), supporting its efforts in their Multi-State Collaborative initiative, an effort to improve learning conditions for our students across the nation. This initiative is focused on advancing learning assessment by quantifying how well students are achieving important learning outcomes. To achieve this objective, Connecticut is one of a handful of states piloting the use of common rubrics applied by teams of faculty to students' authentic college work. This approach will enable Connecticut, and other states participating in the initiative, to benchmark performance across institutions and states.

In the second project, we are a leader in an effort to increase significantly the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees, through the Complete College America initiative. This effort seeks to promote a list of "Game Changers" - 5 initiatives designed to: increase the number of students completing gateway courses; grow graduation rates for students transferring in with associate degrees; and promote successful completion of career certificate programs. In the context of our participation, we are actively supporting each of these game changing initiatives in Connecticut.

The third project is part of an initiative launched by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Hunt Institute. I attended a meeting in June focusing on the critical issue of educator training and preparation. Connecticut, along with 6 other states, has been selected to be a part of the "Network for Transforming Educator Preparation", designed to "involve stakeholders in revising licensure, program approval, and data policies to ensure that educator preparation providers are cultivating teachers who are 'learner-ready on day one', and principals who are 'school-ready on day one'".

Our efforts in each of these areas are complementary and supportive of each other, due to their shared goals of improving learning conditions and increasing certificate awards and graduations. They are also completely consistent with our ongoing efforts in Transform CSCU 2020. Transform is, of course, our plan to unite 17 CSCU colleges and universities into one interdependent system; increase accessibility and affordability for the state's students; position CSCU to serve as a major economic engine for Connecticut; and embark on a journey toward unparalleled excellence. The overarching goal of Transform is to drive student success by providing quality higher education institutions for them, thereby producing a better trained and equipped workforce for Connecticut's future. These goals are inextricably linked, seeking to provide rigorous educational opportunities that translate to continual improvement in our students' lives and the state's economy.

I offer these thoughts as we embark on our summer activities, wishing you a safe and healthy season.

Gregory W. Gray
Gregory W. Gray
Board of Regents for Higher Education
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU)

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