Statutory authority – CGS Section 10a-6
Central office -
Average number of full-time employees - 48
Recurring operating expenses (General Fund) – Total System: $653.2 million;
Board of Governors: $53.3 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 databases
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.
Throughout the year, the Department of
Higher Education continued its focus on building a highly-educated workforce to
Helping to address
the state’s teacher shortage, the department conducted its summer and weekend
ARC’s 2006-07 weekend program prepared teacher candidates in art, mathematics, middle school social studies, music, technology education and family and consumer science, and graduated 112 new teachers in May.
Across both ARC programs, 64 percent of the graduates were prepared to teach in shortage areas, and 25 percent are from minority groups.
As part of the state’s commitment to enhancing early childhood education, the department worked on developing a cross-endorsement ARC program in early childhood and on a multi-institutional ARC program in early childhood education for those holding degrees in related fields. The agency also worked with partners to create an ARC program in the teacher shortage areas of special education, English-as-a-Second Language and bilingual education.
The department administered the Minority
Teacher Incentive Program which provided grants to 93 students, and loan
reimbursement stipends to 60 minority students who are now teaching in
Keeping college affordable continues to be the agency’s top fiscal priority. Acting on behalf of the Board of Governors, the Department secured an unprecedented 67 percent increase ($21.8 million) in need-based financial aid for the Connecticut Aid to Public College Students Grant and Connecticut Aid to Independent College Student Grant Programs. This is the largest dollar increase in state student financial aid funds ever and is expected to help an additional 10,000 students. More funds for the Capitol Scholarship Program enabled the Department to secure an additional $500,000 in federal SLEAP (States Leveraging Educational Opportunity Program) funds for this program.
Next year’s state budget provides $707.5 million for higher education, an increase of $53.8 million, or 8.2 percent, over fiscal 2007, excluding additional funds for settled union wage increases. Aside from more dollars for student aid, the budget provides $22.1 million in new funds for academic programs at the University of Connecticut Health Center, about 35 percent of the outstanding commitment for the Higher Education State Matching Grant program, $500,000 for early childhood workforce education, more faculty hires at the Connecticut State University and Community-Technical College system, and $200,000 for a master plan for higher education. The state bond package, which funds authorizations for capital improvements, had not been acted upon by the close of the legislative session.
To broaden early awareness about college, the department’s Education and Employment Information Center (EEIC) added several publications to its college preparation series, such as “Parent College Prep,” Foreign Student Resources,” and College Degree Accreditation.” In all, the EEIC steered more than 1,100 persons this year toward new careers and training through its toll-free hotline (800/842-0229), workshops, college and career fairs and publications. Log sheets documenting individual requests, correspondence from the public and workshop evaluations reveal high customer satisfaction with the EEIC.
part of the department’s academic-year Baden-Württemberg Exchange, 45
The department works with other organizations such as the state Departments of Education and Labor, the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, 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 2006 State of Connecticut Medal of Technology. This Medal was bestowed in October to Gene
As required of all state agencies, the
Department of Higher Education participated in Continuity of Operations
Planning to sustain critical services in the event of a pandemic flu. To help colleges develop their own plans, the
department and other agencies joined
Much of the department’s work focused on
demonstrating the returns gained from the state’s investment in its higher
education system. Working with the Connecticut Department of Labor, the
department published the first comprehensive report on labor market outcomes
During the year, the department implemented two new loan reimbursement programs designed to retain highly skilled graduates in engineering and other critical technical fields. This one-time opportunity provided $500,000 in loan reimbursements to 138 employees and faculty across the state.
Minority Advancement Program (MAP) continued to expand student diversity. In
fall 2006, 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 four-year college scholarships to 60 needy youngsters.
In the area of academic planning and
evaluation, the Board of Governors, based on the department's review,
reaccredited 12 Connecticut colleges and universities and granted initial
accreditation to the Legion of Christ College of Humanities. Two out-of-state
institutions gained approval to continue offering programs in
The board approved 90 academic degree programs: 26 certificate programs, 18 associate programs, 19 bachelor’s programs, 24 master’s programs, and 3 doctoral programs. Of these, 43 programs were at public colleges and 47 were at the independents. Many are offered through distance learning.
As part of its program approval responsibility, the board accredited 49 programs, enabling them to graduate students and award degrees for the first time. Responding to state economic needs, the board approved 12 programs in business; 28 in health-related fields; 14 in engineering, computer science, and the natural and physical sciences; and 11 in education and teacher preparation.
To help develop the state’s workforce in emerging scientific fields, the department convened the statewide Nanotechnology Curriculum Committee, which brings together all of the state’s public and independent schools of engineering, to develop and share curriculums, create nano-hubs and shared user facilities, and compete for grant funding for developing curricular components, research programs, and outreach activities in nanotechnology.
This effort was paralleled by the
department’s work on producing a state report and recommendations on
The department also completed a study of
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 and one new branch, re-approved 19 existing schools and addressed 19 formal complaints. Two occupational schools closed.
As the State Approving Agency (SAA) for veterans' benefits, the department processed 96 applications from institutions enrolling veterans, conducted 50 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 also held a statewide training workshop on veteran’s education and certification.
The Connecticut Commission on Community Service, supported by the department, provided intensive community service opportunities for more than 400 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 5,500 Connecticut residents have qualified for nearly $17.9 million in AmeriCorps Education Awards. In April, the Commission presented its annual Higher Education Community Service Awards to two college students, two student groups and faculty member.
Working with school and college representatives, the department awarded $597,231 in Teacher Quality Partnership Grants to five teacher professional development projects in mathematics, science, art 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 approximately 170 teachers of 11,100 students in 19 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 176,560 students attended
The latest graduation statistics show that
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 2007, members are Frank W. Ridley, Meriden, chair; Brian J. Flaherty, Watertown, vice-chair; William A. Aniskovich, Branford; William A. Bevacqua, Trumbull; Dorothea E. Brennan, Fairfield; James H. Gatling, Southington; Ross H. Hollander, Bloomfield; Harry H. Penner, Jr., Guilford; Jean E. Reynolds, Danbury; Robert Robins, Stamford; and Albert B.Vertefeuille, Lebanon. The board, which meets monthly except for July and August, has an advisory committee of 22 college representatives.