Connecticut State Community College (CT State) has received its initial accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) to establish a comprehensive and statewide community college with 17 campuses across Connecticut providing quality, accessible, and affordable higher education.
The commission’s decision officially allows for the consolidation of Connecticut’s 12 legacy community colleges and the launch of Connecticut State Community College as a singly accredited multi-campus institution effective July 1, 2023.
“For over seven years, thousands of stakeholders and tens of thousands of hours have made this momentous plan a reality,” said CT State President John Maduko, M.D. “While there is still much work to be done through a continuous improvement process, this announcement marks a pivotal milestone in our college’s early history in establishing our mission of transforming lives and communities here in the great state of Connecticut through higher education.”
More than 60,000 people take community college courses each year in Connecticut. They are the top workforce pipeline and resource for economic mobility in Connecticut. CT State students will benefit from interconnected campuses and consistency of programs and services. CT State Community College empowers students to succeed by entering the workforce immediately, or transferring to a four-year institution at the baccalaureate level. Its mission is to ensure graduates achieve post-graduate success with family-sustaining careers.
“After several years of hard work and preparation, NECHE’s accreditation of CT State is a monumental milestone,” CSCU President Terrence Cheng said. “From the Board of Regents who provided vision and guidance, to system, institutional and campus leaders who created and executed strategies, to the faculty and staff who worked so hard to merge curricula and processes, this has been a collaborative effort. Since its inception, this merger has been about ensuring we meet the needs of the students we serve. I am more confident than ever, after this vote of confidence from our accreditor, that we will be in a position to provide better, more accessible educational options and improved services. This has not always been easy, but if we are ultimately able to better serve our students, our communities, and our state, it will have been more than worthwhile.”
Students beginning their studies in the fall 2023 semester will be part of CT State’s inaugural class. Through one application, they will be able to take classes at any campus, access financial aid and other services, and obtain one transcript as part of CT State. Incoming students can choose from more than 300 degree and certificate credit programs, plus additional non-credit training. All options can be explored at www.ctstate.edu.
Returning students are moving into aligned programs across CT State’s six areas of study including Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, Nursing & Health Careers, Business & Hospitality, Science & Mathematics, and Social & Behavioral Sciences.
“On July 1, CT State will officially open its doors,” said JoAnn Ryan, chair of the CT Board of Regents and president & CEO of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. “It has been a long and sometimes challenging process, but I am confident that the new college will serve our students better and be more responsive to the workforce needs of businesses throughout the state. NECHE’s accreditation decision is good news for the future of Connecticut.”
More than 4,000 community college students graduated during commencement ceremonies held across Connecticut in May. CT State colleges include Asnuntuck (Enfield), Capital (Hartford), Gateway (New Haven and North Haven), Housatonic (Bridgeport), Manchester, Middlesex (Middletown and Meriden), Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury and Danbury), Northwestern CT (Winsted), Norwalk, Three Rivers (Norwich), and Tunxis (Farmington).
In its approval notice, the commission acknowledged that CT State clearly complies with all nine of NECHE’s Standards of Accreditation, signifying a quality institution. An official letter will be sent at the beginning of next month that will outline a series of steps to ensure CT State maintains progress and prepares for site visits in spring of 2025, followed by an evaluation in fall of 2027.
NECHE’s public statement on CT State’s approval for initial accreditation can be viewed here.