Qualifying 12th grade students at Meriden’s Maloney and Platt High Schools now have an extra level of support to help them make the crucial leap to college, thanks to a new grant received by the Middlesex Community College Foundation.  The $90,000 grant, which was awarded by the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, allows select students to take MxCC’s developmental math and English courses – which builds skills they will need for college, while earning them high school credit.  These students also are able to take MxCC’s “Freshman Seminar” (worth 3 college credits) which emphasizes learning strategies and critical thinking skills.  All of these courses are offered to eligible Meriden high school students for free.

Students were chosen for this “Bridge to College” opportunity based on results of the PSAT and Accuplacer tests taken last year when they were in the 11th grade. If student scores indicated they would benefit from additional college preparation, they were recommended for the program.  The College expects up to 100 students to participate in the Bridge program this year, which will be taught by high school faculty using MxCC’s curriculum.

“Middlesex Community College is charged with serving all area residents, including those who need extra help to be ready for college-level math and English,” said Dr. Steven Minkler, MxCC’s dean of academic affairs. “Therefore, it is to everyone’s benefit to identify those students who need additional support as early as possible, and provide it to them so they are best prepared for college success.  We are so appreciative of the Balfour Foundation for recognizing the importance of this program and helping us bring it to Meriden students.”

MxCC faculty developed content and objectives for the Bridge to College program last semester using a planning grant from the Connecticut Board of Regents.  MxCC worked closely with the Meriden Public School system to identify students and plan implementation strategies.

“The Bridge to College program is such a wonderful way to give our high school seniors the best tools to succeed in the next phase of their education,” Meriden Superintendent Dr. Mark D. Benigni said. “The bonus for them, and for their parents, is that they can actually earn college credits for free.  We are all excited to start this effort this year and know the results will be impressive.”

MxCC will use the grant funds to purchase textbooks and supplies for students, to provide ongoing staff development, and to retest students for college readiness at the end of the program. Students who complete the Freshman Seminar course can transfer credits to MxCC or any of the state’s 11 other community colleges, four universities or to Charter Oak State College. Credits may also be transferred to other colleges, depending on specific school policies.