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Why are the community colleges being consolidated?

Our goal as a public higher education institution is to provide a high quality, affordable and accessible post-secondary education that enables students to achieve their life and career goals. The main drivers for Students First are closing the achievement gap, improving student success rates and reorganizing our community colleges into a financially sustainable position, such that it is well positioned to continue to serve students for many years to come.

We recognize that without real structural change our system is unsustainable in both the short and long term. Our institutions are facing a true structural deficit because of year- over-year declining appropriations, decreased tuition revenue and increased costs.

In April 2017, at the request of the CT Board of Regents, the CSCU System President proposed two strategies to address these concerns, known as Students First. This included the consolidation of the 12 community colleges into one singly accredited institution, as well as system wide consolidation of administrative back-office functions.


How will one community college benefit students?

Benefits of a single community for students are numerous. The new structure eliminates many barriers to success and degree completion. This will significantly reduce management at the colleges while maintaining critical resources for students at the campus level. In particular, the new structure calls for an increased focus on enrollment management, advising and retention to maximize the impact of our guided pathways initiative.

Colleges currently are not able to share student information from one to another. When students take classes at multiple colleges, as they sometimes need to do to get the classes they need, they must transfer classes between schools. However, those transfer credits do NOT count towards the students’ GPA. At the same time, they have to provide duplicate documents needed to enroll, such as high school transcripts, immunization records, and previous college transcripts. Financial aid for books and college supplies does not transfer from one college to another.

Under the new structure, students would apply once, and be able to take classes at any of the 12 campuses, and all courses taken would apply to their GPA and be recorded on their Connecticut State Community College transcript for a degree program that is available across all 12 campuses.


How will the consolidation affect the accreditation of the 12 Colleges?

The 12 community colleges all are currently accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). They are accredited separately, which requires that each institution meet the 9 NECHE standards required for continued accreditation. By consolidating the 12 colleges into one, this constitutes a change in the accreditation, and NECHE policies require a substantive change proposal to consolidate the 12 colleges into CSCC.

The NECHE standards for accreditation:

What does the leadership structure of one single community college look like?

In order to meet NECHE standards for accreditation, new institutional leadership positions of President of the Connecticut State Community College, Chief Academic Officer and a Chief Financial Officer must be included in the organizational structure. Campuses have been organized into three regions with three Regional Presidents, managing the coordination between campuses. Each campus will have a Campus CEO to manage the campus and play the critical role of serving the surrounding community.


What is the purpose of the three regions and why does each have a Regional President? 

Consolidating 12 separate colleges, each with a long history of working independently, into a single college will take considerable effort to align processes and practices. To effectively manage an entity of this size, and to coordinate processes across the 12 campuses, we will need regional positions. These positions will be in many areas, such as finance, enrollment management, planning and research, I.T. and marketing. Staff currently working at one college now will gradually shift into regional roles, working with their colleagues across the campuses in their regions well as across the other two regions. The Regional Presidents play a key role in bringing consistency across the campuses and in promoting innovation at scale.  In addition to the campus CEOs, many of the regional positions will report to or have a dotted line working relationship with the Regional Presidents. 


Why specifically is “enrollment management” being consolidated?

Currently, the 12 colleges each handle enrollment management in twelve different ways. This leads to students experiencing very different processes when applying to more than one college. A major advantage to having a single college is that we can coordinate a common admission, financial aid, and registration process for every student. They will only need to complete one application, provide one set of documents, and obtain one financial aid package.

The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will lead staff across all campuses to meet Connecticut State Community College's enrollment goals and support students to successfully accomplish their short-term and long-term academic goals.


How long will the consolidation take to complete?The consolidation has been underway since 2017, and per our transition plan, we expect to submit a substantive change to NECHE for a consolidated single college in 2022, and beginning its first classes in fall 2023.

Will campuses still have foundations and advisory boards?Yes, each of the 12 colleges currently has its own foundation and regional advisory boards. The foundations are legally separate 501c(3) entities, and will be completely unaffected by this proposed consolidation. As part of the commitment to retain the local connections between campuses and the local community, it is important that these organizations continue to operate as they do now.


Is there an approximate timeline for new hires? 

Over the next six months, the feedback received on the draft structure will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to the organizational chart presented in May.  Where possible, and without jeopardizing the existing accreditation of each community college, we will begin to hire to support the operation of Connecticut State Community College.  Hiring will occur gradually over the next 24-36 months. 



What will the centralization of back office processing look like?  

The new Connecticut State Community College will have a shared services structure for certain back-office functions that are not student-facing. The benefit of this type of organizational structure is that it does not require staff at all 12 campuses all performing duplicate functions.  The shared services will be in Human Resources, Payroll, Finance, Information Technology, Purchasing and other services may eventually be added in the future.  Staff will either be hired into new positions or moved laterally and may serve multiple campuses.  These services will also be centrally managed, either as part of CSCU system office or as part of the new College office. Over time, the number of staff needed to support these shared services will be fewer, and savings will be achieved through attrition.

How will I know who to contact if I need help from a shared service, such as HR? As the new shared services come online, campus employees will be notified of the new services and when they begin and how to contact those services that they need.  The person you are contacting could work at your own campus, another campus, the new college office or the CSCU System Office depending on the service.

How/when may we review the job descriptions associated with the new structure of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management?

As the organizational charts are finalized and job descriptions become available, we will share them through the appropriate channels at all of the campuses. 


Are the positions unionized? Which union? 

Most positions will be unionized but there may be several that are deemed management/confidential. Each position will be reviewed by the System Office Human Resources Shared Services organization. Decisions as to which union a job will be placed in will be made according to the unit placement ratio articulated in the respective collective bargaining agreements.


When will advertising for new positions take place?  As position are approved as part of the finalized organizational structure, an advertising plan will be submitted by the hiring manager. This will include where posting should be advertised.  Many of these positions offer advancement opportunities for current employees who will be encouraged to apply.


What will the application process be?

The posting will be internally (10 days) or externally (30 days) depending on the position. 


What is the phase in/out plan for the new organization? (i.e., how long will current campus positions remain in place) 

Most bargaining unit faculty and non-teaching professional positions will remain on campuses, or directly serving campuses, through the transition to the new college in 2023, particularly those supporting the NECHE standards. In other instances, non-teaching positions are being moved now tothe shared services structure. Any changes impacting employees represented by a union will be discussed as may be required with the appropriate representatives.

For human resources shared services positions, the transition has commenced and will continue through the summer & early fall period. Payroll shared services will commence in late August or September. The timeframe with respect to IT is not yet determined.


Will number of years in state service, years on a particular campus, or years in a particular office be factors in hiring for the new positions? 

The factors would be years of experience, degree, and qualifications of the candidate. 


Will my status as EA/ interim affect my application for these jobs?

No, it should not affect the application process. Educational assistants will be considered along with other full-time employees for these positions. 


What will be the role of the campus CEO?The role of the Campus CEO will be very similar to how the role is now, with overall management of the campus, but the Campus CEO will no longer have to individually maintain NECHE accreditation. That will be maintained by the College. The CEO reports to their Regional President and be responsible for implementing college policy and ensuring that students have a high-quality educational experience. The Campus CEO will also work with the Regional President to engage with the local community  and interface with the campus foundation in order to enhance the “wrap-around” support that students receive.

What will be the role of the Dean of Faculty/Students?

The role of the campus Dean of Faculty/Students will be to ensure that all classes are running appropriately and that students are able to access their classes without any issues. Working closely with the Campus CEO, the campus Dean will be responsible for ensuring that all academic and student issues are handled appropriately and will work with single College-level academic and student affairs staff as needed.


Who will fulltime and part-time faculty report to?All fulltime and part-time faculty will work within College-wide academic departments, that span all 12 campuses, and are led by an associate dean of that discipline/degree program. Campuses will also have program coordinators and discipline leads who will coordinate class sections and hire and supervise part-time faculty.

Who sets up labs for faculty? All lab courses will have support staff associated with them, who will set up the lab sessions, similar to how this is done currently.  These positions are shown in the academic organizational chart. 


Who orders lab supplies for the department?The academic lab support staff will manage the supply ordering in conjunction with campus Dean/Assoc. Dean and the Assoc. Dean at the College level who oversees that study area across all of the campuses. 

Who provides support for student lab workers?

Student lab workers will likely be managed locally on the campus, hired by campus human resources staff and trained by faculty and staff at the campus level.



Why isn’t my academic program listed on the organizational chart?

When developing an organizational chart of this complexity and to make sure that the chart was readable, not all programs could be shown.  All programs will eventually be moved into the functional area of the organizational chart associated with that program. If you have suggestions as to the Area of Study in which you would like to see your academic program, please submit those suggestions to


The organizational chart shows Discipline Leads and Program Coordinators. Would you be able to explain the differences in those roles? Which position(s) will carry out the specific tasks currently taken by Faculty Department Chairs? Which position(s) will carry out all the specific tasks currently taken by Academic Division Directors? 

The academic organizational structure is modeled after similarly sized institutions in other parts of the country.  Instead of having 12 separate and different academic structures, the Connecticut State Community College will have one academic organizational structure, with sufficient capacity to satisfy NECHE Standard 4. 
Currently, the 12 colleges have varying academic structures; some have department chairs, some have division directors, some have both and some have associate deans instead.  The tasks previously assigned to department chairs and division directors will eventually move to discipline leads and program coordinators, as described below. 

Discipline leads are full-time faculty at the campus level who are given release time to manage the implementation of their discipline’s curriculum and courses at that campus.  The campus discipline lead will report to the associate dean and be charged with organizing and coordinating the local faculty from that discipline and hiring all adjunct instructors within that discipline. Discipline leads will also work alongside campus deans and associate deans of faculty/students to resolve any student issues at the campus level. 
Program Coordinators will function very similar to how they do now, at the program rather than discipline level.  Program coordinators will remain at the campus level and will work collaboratively with each other and their associate dean at the college level to manage their particular program as well as hire all adjunct faculty in that program. 
Discipline leads and program coordinators will also play an important role in developing a schedule of courses within their respective discipline/program. 


Where will the (College-Office) Director positions listed under Interim Vice President Provost/CAO reside? Will they reside on a college campus or a centralized Regional/College office?NECHE Standard 3 Organization and Governance requires that the new college remain sufficiently independent from any other entity to be held accountable for meeting the Commission’s standards.  As such, the College office, as we are calling it, will be established at a new office location, centrally located, but in a different location than the CSCU System Office. The direct reports to the Vice President of Academic Affairs will work in the College office.  We anticipate that the director-level positions may reside at the College office or campus locations depending on the nature of the position. 


Who hires and evaluates adjuncts faculty? Both if there is a Program Coordinator and if there are not?

All adjunct faculty will be hired and evaluated by program coordinators if they teach in a program or by a discipline lead if they teach in a discipline. The evaluations will be reviewed by the associate dean of the specific academic study area at the college level. 


It does not appear Program Coordinator positions have been centralized. Will a Program Coordinator on one campus supervise faculty and adjuncts on other campuses?

 Program Coordinators have not been centralized and will generally be present on those campuses that have that program available.  In a few specialized cases, where programs are very small, shared program coordinators may be necessary across two or more campuses. Many program coordinators oversee and coordinate internship opportunities for students which can be very local specific. 


What does it mean to have a reporting line between full-time faculty and College-office Associate Deans of Disciplines and Programs, and a relationship line between FT faculty and campus-position Dean of Faculty and Students? 

In a matrix organization, such as that which is being proposed, there are both reporting lines and relationship lines within the organization. A reporting line is a formal supervisory relationship.  The Relationship Line is a secondary relationship or “dotted line” report between campus Deans and faculty. 


What will happen to the curriculum and courses of all of the colleges?

Our accrediting body expects that as a single institution we would have a single catalog of courses, degrees and certificates for students to enroll in.

The Connecticut State Community College will eventually award all degree and certificate programs, beginning in July 2023. In accordance with NEASC standard 3.13 and 3.15, faculty have an important responsibility to determine the curriculum for any degree programs that need to be common. Where it makes sense based on local needs or area of focus, there will continue to be some programs that are unique and differentiated across campuses. Where degrees and certificate programs are similar, there are opportunities for faculty to work together to agree on a single, common degree program in certain areas, especially those that exist across all 12 campuses. Externally accredited programs will likely need to apply for a single external accreditation over time. Courses will need common course numbers and common pre-requisites.

Where does schedule production land (on campus or at the system)? 

The class schedule will be developed in the academic division of the new Connecticut State Community College and overseen by the AVP Course Delivery, Scheduling and Catalog with input from the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.  Each semesters schedule will be built beginning with faculty disciplinary groups and associate deans of functional areas.  Under a single college, the schedule will reflect the needs of students across the state, scheduled when and where students need the classes.   The system office will not play a role in the College schedule. 


Under the currently proposed new structure, what role do you envision for the various pathway deans and associate deans? Given that they will not oversee the day to day work of the faculty, but instead be focused on curriculum, would they also be teaching? 

The Deans of Areas of Study and associate deans will oversee the curriculum within their disciplinary area and work with the faculty in those disciplines, who will be organized into academic departments that span all 12 campuses.   Those departments will meet regularly, and function similar to the academic departments that exist now, revising curriculum, developing new courses, revising and assessing outcomes, etc.  The associate deans are charged with directly supervising all of the full-time faculty within their disciplinary area. Program coordinators and discipline leads will continue to hire and evaluate part-time faculty at each campus. All work in collaboration with the Deans of Faculty and Students at the campus level.


Does the reporting differ for someone who teaches in two disciplines?

It is not uncommon for full-time faculty to teach in multiple disciplines if they have multiple areas of expertise.  In such cases, faculty will report to those associate deans who oversee those particular disciplines, much like faculty do now when they span multiple academic departments.


What is the difference between the functions under the Associate Vice-President Course Delivery, Scheduling, & Catalog versus those under the Associate Registrar Curricular Management and College Catalog (see under Enrollment Management – Registration)? 

These two positions will work closely together as the design and implementation of the course schedule will require close collaboration between Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA).   The Associate Registrar will be responsible for the operational aspects of the systems (e.g. Banner, Degree Works) and ensuring data is available for strategic decisions.  The Associate Vice President will work closely with the campus staff to ensure we are able meet the demand for classes on each campus; the Associate Vice-President also oversees catalog maintenance and considerations related to modality. The collaboration between the divisions and between these positions is also anticipated to include the use of cross-functional leadership teams on topics such as course scheduling and delivery.


The new structure shows “Title IX Deputy and Student Conduct” that reports directly to the CEO. Do you know if each campus will have a T9 Deputy?

Yes. Each campus will have a Title IX Deputy. 

There are plans to increase the number of advising staff and other student support staff at our colleges. Has there been a space and office location evaluation been conducted at each campus?  

A space assessment will be completed as part of this process at each campus. 


I looked through the new org chart, and do not see a position outlined to manage the Student Success Technology platform to be implemented in September 2020 for the Guided Pathways Advising Implementation. Additionally, will there need to be staff to manage this software and its overall roll-out and training (ongoing) at each campus?  I may have missed it, so can this please be clarified? 

The implementation of the student success platform will be a joint effort. Information Technology will provide the technical skills needed to successfully launch the platform and Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will provide the functional leadership.  The ongoing functional expertise will reside in the Department of Student Success Management.

Does the Career Services portion of the new organizational chart still need to be developed? There is only an Exec. Director at the college level position indicated, when all of the "services" of career services happen at the community college campus level (all over the country in small and large systems) directly with students and employers. It is very unclear from the draft organizational chart, what this area will look like after consolidation.

It is clear that there is the need for a career services presence on every campus.  We are eager to hear feedback from stakeholders on the campuses as to what that should look like. 

Where will the (College-office) director positions listed under Vice President Enrollment Management and Student Affairs reside? Will they reside on a campus or a centralized Regional/College office?

Staff who directly report to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will be housed in the central college office. Most director-level positions in the division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will be housed on campuses as they are student facing positions.  In some cases, directors who provide back office functions as is the case in department of Student Information Services, Data and Reporting will be housed in the central college office. 


What will the centralization of back office processing look like?  

The organizational structure is designed to centralize like work in functional areas in order to provide for greater time for student facing activities.  Detailed decisions about where this work will happen will be made after the space assessment is completed. 

Where do student complaints land? Are they resolved on the campus-level or system-level? In the case of a BIO 105 class, where would that complaint go first? What would be the escalation process? Who would make the final recommendation? Who would make the final decision? 

Processes will be developed for Connecticut State Community College and implemented across all 12 campuses and shared with everyone. Depending on the nature of complaint, it will be triaged at the campus, college or system office.   

In the case of an academic complaint, the process would be handled depending on the seriousness of the complaint. Students complaints would first be referred to the Dean of Faculty and Students on the campus who will decide whether the issue can be addressed locally with the program coordinator or individual faculty member, or if the issue needs to be referred up to the Dean of the Area of Study at the college office.  Final decisions would ultimately be left to the Area of Study Dean in cooperation with the campus Dean of Faculty and Students, but those decisions can be appealed to and reviewed by the CSCU Student Affairs Office, as they can now.