College Readiness

Contributions to College Readiness

College readiness is the level of preparation a student needs to enroll and succeed — without remediation — in a credit-bearing general education course.

The college-ready student is able to understand what is expected in a college course, can cope with the content knowledge that is presented, and can take away from the course the key intellectual lessons and dispositions the course was designed to convey and develop. In addition, the student is prepared to get the most out of the college experience due to a thorough understanding of the culture and structure of post-secondary education. (Redefining College Readiness, EPIC 2007).

At Manchester Community College, the following programs and services aid students in achieving college readiness:

Preparing to Enter College

Of the public high school students who attended a community college in Fall 2012 immediately after graduating from high school, 38 percent were assessed as ready for college- level math and/or English classes. MCC has implemented a number of programs that prepare students for college-level work before they attend MCC in order to boost the likelihood of their academic success once enrolled.

The Summer Training and Academic Retention Service (STARS) program prepares financially disadvantaged and academically under-prepared students who are transitioning from secondary school to MCC. This past summer, the program was expanded to include college readiness support in math by using MCC’s newly-redesigned developmental math sequence. As a result, 57 percent of the program’s participants improved their English placement by at least one level, and 27 percent completed a developmental or college-level math course. For more information visit the STARS webpage or contact Jason Scappaticci at 860-512-3224.

The High School Partnership (HSP) program is available to high school juniors and/or seniors with a “B” average or higher who wish to study subjects not offered by their high school, broaden their education, earn college credits, explore career options or build on their skills. During the Fall 2012 semester, 54 students from 10 participating high schools were enrolled in 88 college-credit classes. For more information, contact a participating high school’s guidance department or MCC’s Admissions department at 860-512-3210.

College Career Pathways (CCP) is a combined secondary and post-secondary education program designed to prepare students for tomorrow’s highly competitive workforce. The high school coursework provides a foundation of applied academics and job skills, which transitions to college curricula focusing on current and emerging fields. As a result, MCC awarded 6,509 college credits to CCP students in the 2014-15 academic year. For more information, contact the CCP website or call Myonghee Cho at 860-512-3315.

Great Path Academy (GPA) is a middle college high school on MCC’s campus, serving 9th-12th grade students. MCC and GPA faculty, with funds from a Louise Ruddell Foundation (The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving) grant, developed curricula that increased student placement into college-level English from 55 percent to 73 percent. Visit the GPA website for more information.

Reaching Education Achievement for College Transition (REACT) is a two-credit program in partnership with MCC and Manchester’s Adult and Continuing Education. This state-funded pilot program provides support for students who want to transition to college. Participants complete the equivalent of MCC’s developmental English and math sequences. Information about the REASCT program can be obtained from Nathan Ormsby at 860-512-3345.

In 2012, MCC was one of three Connecticut higher education institutions to share in the $31.5 statewide, seven-year Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) grant to keep younger students in school and to start preparing them for college. MCC’s portion of the grant is $2.3 million and will be used to partner with East Hartford Middle School and its participating students through middle school, high school and their first year of college. For additional information, call or email Joanna Auriantal (860-512-2609.)

The College Access Challenge Grant funds a pilot program between MCC and Manchester, East Hartford and Rockville High Schools. Using pre- and post- assessment testing, the English and math college readiness skills of participating students in grade 12 nearly doubled, and students in grade 9 demonstrated an increased awareness of the skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to be successful in college. Based on these results, the program will be expanding to Capital Community College and Buckley and Bloomfield High Schools. Additional information is available from Dean Joanne Russell. She can be reached at 860-512-2603.

Excursions in Learning provides 30-hour, in-depth enrichment courses for gifted, talented and highly motivated students in grades K-8 in language arts, math, science, culture and history, visual arts and the performing arts. To find out more, visit the Excursions website.

Once Enrolled in College

Once students enroll in MCC, they have access to a full range of programs and services that will not only prepare them academically for college-level work, but will provide the tools and skills needed to navigate college outside the classroom, and the workforce beyond.

MCC’s SD 111-First Year Experience course teaches students how to succeed in college-level courses. Topics include general study skills, goal setting, motivation, time management, career and life planning, and an overview of support services. Contact program coordinator Kathleen Bottarro for more information.

Adults in Transition serves the returning non-traditional age student with a one-credit study skills program and a two-credit transition development course. The program provides a separate orientation along with individualized counseling and advising throughout the student’s first year. For more information, visit the AIT website.

The ENG* 066/064 Transition Development Lab imbeds student support services into the course curriculum. Student Development Specialists attend each class for 1.5 hours per week to work on study skills and success techniques, and work with the English faculty to align success techniques with the course curriculum. Contact the Liberal Arts division for more information.

The Academic Support Center offers individual and small group tutoring, free of charge, to current MCC students, in courses they are presently taking, with a focus on developmental English and math. Visit the ASC website for more information.

The Writing Center is a free and accessible resource for MCC students. An alternative to an individual appointment with an English tutor, the Writing Center offers students the opportunity to workshop their writing. Visit the Writing Center website for more information.

The Academic Success Program offers individualized advising and support to students in developmental courses through dedicated Student Developmental Specialists. The ASP is managed by the Transitional Programs office.
MCC’s developmental math sequence has undergone a complete redesign, based on successful models at other institutions. Students are able to work at their own pace; those capable of working at an accelerated pace can complete the coursework in one semester (or less), while those who might be struggling with a particular concept are able to pick up at that point without repeating the entire course. Using this new approach, there was a 50 percent increase in student success in the lowest level developmental math course with twice the success in upper level developmental math. Contact the Mathematics, Science and Health Careers division at 860-512-2703 for more information.

Keeping Ahead of the Field

MCC coordinates a number of connecting activities with high schools aimed at strengthening the collaborative relationships between institutions and faculty. They are designed to better align curricula, increase levels of student readiness for college, and reduce the need for developmental course work by entering college students. Some examples include:

  • Disciplines with articulated courses and programs hold annual or bi-annual roundtable meetings between college and high school faculty where best practices are shared and changes in course curriculum are communicated.
  • Professional development events, held each year, engage college faculty and staff on topics supporting college and workplace readiness issues. Recent seminars have focused on high school reform, course alignment and college readiness, career development and counseling, and preparing students for assessment testing.
  • Perkins Grant awards provide MCC faculty and staff with funding to support the programs that contribute to the goals associated with curriculum alignment and student college readiness.

For information about these, or any other educational partnerships, contact one of MCC’s academic division directors:

Business, Engineering and Technology Catherine Seaver 860-512-2623
Liberal Arts Samantha Gonzalez 860-512-2660
Mathematics, Science and Health Careers Sharale W. Golding 860-512-2703
Social Science and Hospitality Christopher Paulin 860-512-2752