Connecticut boasts several of the country’s finest schools and is home to one of the most prestigious Ivy League institutions—Yale University. The tradition of higher education in Connecticut has produced institutions that range from small community colleges to some of the most highly regarded universities in the world. That state has two public schools systems—the University of Connecticut (UConn) and Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU). It also boasts several private institutions and one public online program. In total, Connecticut has 42 colleges, 23 of which are public and 19 that are private.
For a state its size, Connecticut has an incredibly wide set of choices for quality public education. The ConnSCU system is composed of 12 two-year community colleges and four state universities.
The University of Connecticut (UConn) was founded in 1881 and contains six campuses. It is the second largest system of higher education in the state. The main campus is at Storrs. There are five regional campuses located in Avery Point, Greater Hartford, Stamford, Torrington and Waterbury. In 2013, its total undergraduate enrollment was 17,528. The school also serves 6,613 graduate students.
The University of Connecticut is also one of the nation’s top public research institutions. The result is a student body that consists of some of the highest achieving high school students from across the nation.
The second academic tier in the “Constitution State” is the Connecticut State Universities (ConnSCU). This system consists of 17 statewide colleges and universities, as well as Charter Oak State College—Connecticut’s state-sponsored online college. The schools collectively have a total of about 92,000 students and graduate some 15,000 students each year.
The ConnSCU system provides a lower cost and more widely accessible opportunity for superb quality higher education in the state. Collectively, the schools offer certificate, as well as two-year, four-year, and graduate degree programs. These programs cover the full range of disciplines from accounting to nursing to 3-D computer imaging.
About 96 percent of the students in the ConnSCU system are Connecticut residents, conferring approximately 320,000 degrees and certificates since 1983.
The 15,000 ConnSCU students that graduate annually can expect to make about $191 million more per than they would have had they not earned a two- or four-year degree.
ConnSCU schools are among the most cost efficient options for quality higher education in the state. Low tuition and fees, plus an array of financial aid options (including federal, state, and college scholarship programs), make Connecticut’s state schools an affordable and accessible choice for many aspiring college students.
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The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges is comprised of 16 private, non-profit schools including Yale University. The overall financial economic impact of these schools on Connecticut’s economy is $6.19 billion, which includes $3.3 billion in direct spending by the institutions themselves. Those numbers have translated into more than 73,000 jobs in the state.
Special mention must go to Yale University. It is one of the oldest institutions in the country and is annually rated as one of the nation’s top schools. Founded in 1701, it is an integral part of the “Ivy League.” Located in New Haven it serves more than 5,000 undergraduate and over 6,000 graduate and professional students. It is among the world’s most prestigious schools and, according to its website, is both a small university and a world class research facility.
Connecticut has several accredited online schools. Charter Oak State College, for example, is Connecticut’s official online public college. It offers both associate and bachelor’s degree programs in various subject areas such as business, health care, public safety, and information systems.
Additionally, several online programs are offered through Connecticut’s traditional brick-and-mortar colleges. UConn has an extensive online program, which offers a variety of graduate programs as well as and non-degree courses and a post-baccalaureate certificate program. Many of Connecticut’s private non-profit schools also offer online programs.
Like other states, Connecticut also offers programs from several accredited private, for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix, Lincoln Technical Institute, and the Branford Hall Career Institute.
Focusing exclusively on online learning, Charter Oak State College offers associate and bachelor’s degree completion programs in high-demand fields including health care, business, and information systems, to name a few. On top of its degree completion options, Charter Oak State College also offers individual online courses, and certificate and credential programs for adult learners. Students at this college have usually started their education somewhere else and come here to complete it. In fact, before they’re admitted students must have a minimum of nine college credits.
Students can choose to major in a number of areas at Charter Oak State College, including criminal justice, paralegal studies, sociology, health care administration, and political science.
Learn more about Charter Oak State College at: http://www.charteroak.edu/.
Norwalk Community College has both online and hybrid class options for students. Degree options, however, are not offered. Online classes offered by NCC include cooperative education, introduction to nutrition, composition, and criminal law. Courses are managed via Blackboard Learn and are asynchronous, which allows students to “attend” class and complete requirements at their convenience.
Online students at NCC have access to a number of resources to help them succeed academically, including online tutoring. Additionally, an orientation is offered before classes begin to assist students who are unfamiliar with the Blackboard management system.
For more information on available online classes and distance learning at NCC, visit: http://www.norwalk.edu/dept/distancelearning/default.asp.
Several industries and companies have experienced explosive growth in Connecticut. The top employers in the state cover a variety of industries including tech, manufacturing, and investing. The largest employers include Virtus Investment Partners, Priceline.com, and Stanley/Black & Decker. It also boasts several smaller local employers such as Shoptech Software and Total Mortgage Services. In all, 64 Connecticut companies made Inc. Magazine’s Top Growing Business list in 2012.
University of ConnecticutStorrs, Connecticut
Central Connecticut State UniversityNew Britain, Connecticut
Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut
Southern Connecticut State UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut
Post UniversityWaterbury, Connecticut
Gateway Community CollegeNew Haven, Connecticut
Manchester Community CollegeManchester, Connecticut
Naugatuck Valley Community CollegeWaterbury, Connecticut
Quinnipiac UniversityHamden, Connecticut
Norwalk Community CollegeNorwalk, Connecticut