Speaking before state legislators and members of the college’s faculty and staff at a Wednesday morning legislative breakfast, NCC President David Levinson said the college will reap several benefits from the partnership when the tech school reopens in 2014.
“We had a meeting recently with Stefan Pryor, the new commissioner of education, and Patricia Ciccone, who is the superintendent of the tech high schools, and we’ve gotten an agreement that we would be part of the planning process for this school,” Levinson said after the breakfast. “The idea is to allow us to partner with them in a number of different trades to offer the opportunity to Wright Tech students to acquire college credits as they’re completing their high school studies, to offer us an opportunity to really be part of the focus on jobs and career preparation.”
While the technical school would be run by the state system, NCC would have a “large voice in the curriculum,” Levinson said.
The college would have a presence throughout the school’s different programs, rather than focusing on one or two, he said.
“Many of the things they’re going to do there are trades and technical areas that we would love to expand in, like automotive and facilities management. They also have a home and hospitalities program and a (licensed practical nurse) program. A lot of these things are things that we’re either doing or want to do more of,” Levinson said.
The partnership will address remediation and college preparedness issues, which could lead to improved student retention and graduation rates, which is key, Levinson said.
More than 70 percent of high school graduates require remedial classes before entering NCC. But Levinson said if the college had a presence at the high school, students would have more direct access to the skills and resources they need.
“It benefits both of us, because what it does is put us and the student together and prepare them to enroll in college,” said Moira Lyons, NCC’s director of government and community relations. “We know about the problem of remediation, and the difficulties we face. So if we’re there on the site, those kids will get an education that prepares them for college, or prepares them to get a job in a skilled trade.”
The partnership would also increase NCC’s presence in Stamford. While the college is one of the most popular destination for Stamford public schools’ graduates, it has no physical connection to the city.
“Our community is beyond Norwalk. Our community is the larger area. We need a presence in Stamford. We need to be there if we are truly going to be an accessible, affordable place where anyone can get an affordable education,” Lyons said.
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