Average number of full-time employees - 47
Recurring operating expenses (General Fund) –
Total System: $610.8 million; Board of Governors: $45.5 million
Organizational structure - Office of the Commissioner; three Offices for Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Programs and Services.
The Board of Governors’ statutory mission, shared by the Department of Higher Education, is to: maintain standards of quality, ensuring a position of national leadership for Connecticut higher education institutions; assure the fullest possible use of available resources in public and independent colleges and universities; foster flexibility in the policies and institutions of higher education, enabling the system to respond to changes in the economy, society, technology and student interests; apply the resources of higher education to the problems of society; provide learning and training opportunities related to the state’s economic, cultural and educational development; protect academic freedom; and ensure educational opportunity for all qualified persons, regardless of age, sex, ethnic background or social, physical or economic conditions.
The Board of Governors’ statutory duties include review of public college operating and capital budget requests and expenditures, licensure and accreditation of academic programs and institutions (public and independent), coordination of programs and services throughout the system, establishment of systemwide policies and guidelines, review and approval of institutional missions and evaluation of institutional effectiveness.
Under the direction of the Commissioner of
Higher Education, the Department of Higher Education carries out board policies
and serves as its administrative arm. The department conducts licensure and
accreditation reviews; prepares systemwide
operating and capital budget requests; administers student financial
assistance, alternate teacher certification and minority recruitment programs;
maintains statewide data bases for budgeting and policy studies; prepares legislative
proposals; monitors student attendance patterns; and oversees
Federal responsibilities include serving as the State Approval Agency for programs enrolling veterans, and as the state’s lead agency for Americorps, the national service program. The department also administers the higher education portion of the federal Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program.
Students, teachers and taxpayers are the chief beneficiaries of the agency’s work to assure affordability, quality and accountability throughout the system. Legislators, federal and state policy-makers, colleges, business and community organizations also profit from the agency’s unique role as a provider of objective and systemwide coordination and information.
Responding quickly to the aftermath of
Helping to address the state’s teacher
shortage, the department conducted its summer and weekend
ARC’s 2005-06 weekend program prepared teacher candidates in art, middle school social studies, music, technology education and family and consumer science, and graduated 115 new teachers in May.
Across both ARC programs, 58 percent of the graduates were prepared to teach in shortage areas, and 15 percent are from minority groups.
The department administered the Minority
Teacher Incentive Program which provided grants to 88 students, and loan
reimbursement stipends to 67 minority students who are now teaching in
Keeping college affordable continues to be the Board of Governors’ top fiscal priority. The Board successfully secured a $2 million increase in the Capitol Scholarship Program. This 29 percent increase will provide 500 more grants to needy students to serve a total of 5,200, the highest ever.
Next year’s higher education budget provides $632.6 million, an increase of $10.6 million, or 1.7 percent, over fiscal 2006, excluding funds which will be provided for settled union wage increases. In addition to more funds for the Capitol Scholarship Program, the budget creates two new loan reimbursement programs ($500,000) for doctoral graduates employed in STEM fields and newly-hired engineering graduates. It also adds $7.3 million for various initiatives including: faculty recruitment and a new Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut, funds to offset anticipated federal cuts to the Health and Professions Partnership at the UConn Health Center, an Institute of Crime and Justice at Connecticut State University, a math/science experience for 500 high school students at the Community Colleges and a new student information system at Charter Oak State College. The budget also designates $3.9 million of the fiscal 2006 surplus for the Higher Education Matching Grant Program to pay half of the remaining 2006 obligation.
The state continues to provide substantial investment in its campus facilities, authorizing nearly $505.6 million in bond funds over the 2006-07 biennium, including funds previously approved under 21st Century UConn.
To broaden early awareness about college,
the department’s Education & Employment Information Center (EEIC) published
a series of new education guides, such as “Life After
High School,” “Questions to Ask When Choosing a College” and “Teach in
As part of the department’s academic-year
Baden-Württemberg Exchange, 49
The department works with other organizations such as the State Department of Education; the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission; the New England Board of Higher Education; the Governor’s Jobs Cabinet; and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
In one such partnership with the
Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, the Department invited
nominations for the 2005 Medal of Science.
This Medal was bestowed in September by Governor M. Jodi Rell to
prominent physicist, Dr. William C. Stwalley, Board
of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at
Much of the department’s work focused on
demonstrating the returns gained from the state’s investment in its higher
education system. The department
published the first employer survey which found high levels of overall
satisfaction with the state’s graduates.
It also developed a new “research intensity” performance measure which
unveiled a new executive summary and brochure to accompany its annual
accountability report, “Higher Education Counts,” and co-sponsored a national
conference on higher education accountability held in
Minority Advancement Program (MAP) continued to expand student diversity. In fall 2005, the
number of minority undergraduates enrolled in state-supported colleges exceeded
minority representation in
MAP provided college preparatory counseling to nearly 2,000 high school students. Summer bridge programs, which ease the transition from high school to college, served another 400. With federal GEAR UP dollars, the department conducted college early awareness activities for nearly 6,000 low-income youngsters and awarded more than $1 million in federal scholarships to 241 needy youngsters.
To continue its GEAR UP activities, in
September the department was awarded a 6-year $18 million federal grant to help
thousands of youngsters in
In the area of academic planning and
evaluation, the Board of Governors, based on the department's review,
The board approved 93 academic degree programs: 14 certificate programs, 17 associate programs, 30 bachelor’s programs, 27 master’s programs and five doctoral programs. Of these, 39 programs were at public colleges and 54 were at the independents. Many are offered through distance learning.
As part of its program approval responsibility, the board accredited 54 programs, enabling them to graduate students and award degrees for the first time. Responding to state economic needs, the board approved 15 programs in business; 15 in health-related fields; 18 in engineering, computer science, and the natural and physical sciences; and 11 in education and teacher preparation.
The department launched its review of the board’s academic quality standards for the state’s public and independent colleges and universities, holding several statewide forums, and completed recommendations for standards governing faculty, and library and learning resources.
The department also organized a statewide Textbook Summit which brought together colleges, legislators, publishers, and bookstore owners to discuss recommendations made by last year’s taskforce on the cost of college textbooks.
To encourage more high school students to enroll in college-level courses, the department recommended several steps, including scholarships and academic advising services that were approved by the board in May.
In addition, the department prepared two reports on the education content of the Connecticut Education Network, and on the state’s workforce needs and supply in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) for the state CONNvene initiative. In response to legislation, the department is preparing various curriculums to advance nanotechnology education.
The department continued to promote
transfer and articulation agreements, focusing on expanding and simplifying
transfer agreements between the Community Colleges and the
Overseeing private occupational schools, the department approved four new schools, re-approved 20 existing schools and addressed 16 formal complaints. Two schools closed.
As the State Approving Agency (SAA) for veterans' benefits, the department processed 107 applications from institutions enrolling veterans, conducted 41 training and supervisory visits to schools and colleges and made bi-monthly presentations to newly-separated service persons regarding their educational benefits at the Groton Naval Base. The SAA received a continuation grant from the federal Troops to Teachers Program to encourage veterans to become teachers. The department held a statewide conference on awarding credit for military education training as part of this outreach effort.
The Connecticut Commission on Community Service, supported by the department, provided intensive community service opportunities for more than 320 persons. The Commission sponsors AmeriCorps, the national service initiative, by awarding federal AmeriCorps dollars to nonprofit groups to respond to local needs. In exchange for service, AmeriCorps members receive an education award of up to $4,725. Since 1994, more than 5,000 Connecticut residents have qualified for nearly $16.3 million in AmeriCorps Education Awards. In April, the Commission awarded its annual Higher Education Community Service Awards to a college student, student group and faculty member.
Working with school and college representatives, the department awarded $838,681 in Teacher Quality Partnership Grants to seven teacher professional development projects in mathematics, science and history. The projects are operated by partnerships of schools of education, colleges of arts and sciences and high-need school districts to strengthen teacher quality and raise student achievement. The activities will serve more than 200 teachers of 15,300 students in 21 districts. Previous teacher participants have rated projects highly, based on a statewide evaluation conducted jointly by the Department of Higher Education and the University of Connecticut.
The Department of Higher Education provides comprehensive, timely information on student enrollment, degree and graduation trends and other educational policy issues.
Overall, a record 174,273 students
The latest graduation statistics show that
In August, the department reported that an
increasing number of
New research by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, commissioned jointly with the Connecticut State Departments of Education and Higher Education, revealed that student performance on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) is a strong indicator of student’s readiness for future academic and professional success. The ground-breaking findings were released at the first-ever joint meeting of the State Board of Education and Board of Governors for Higher Education in January.
The Board of Governors for Higher
Education is the state coordinating and planning agency for
The board has 11 members, seven of whom are appointed by the Governor and four who are named by the highest-ranked members of the General Assembly who are not members of the Governor's political party. As of July 2006, members are Harry H. Penner,Jr., Guilford, chair; Frank W. Ridley, Meriden, vice-chair; William A. Aniskovich, Branford; William A. Bevacqua, Trumbull; Dorothea E. Brennan, Fairfield; Brian J. Flaherty, Watertown; James H. Gatling, Southington; Ross H. Hollander, Bloomfield; Jean E. Reynolds, Danbury; Albert B. Vertefeuille, Lebanon; and Patricia McCann Vissepó, New Haven. The board, which meets monthly except for July and August, has an advisory committee of 22 college representatives.