First In-Person Admissions Make Fairfield Bellarmine History

First In-Person Admissions Make Fairfield Bellarmine History

Nakia Letang, Ceanna Ferguson, and Marissa Shanley pose in Fairfield U sweatshirts.

(l-r) Director of Admission Nakia Létang visited Bullard Havens High School on Jan. 26 to deliver in-person Fairfield Bellarmine admission news to seniors Ceanna Ferguson, Marissa Shanley, and Nevaeh Wheeler (not pictured).

Check out the video below for highlights!

You have amazing potential, and we would love nothing more than to support your journey to success.

— Director of Admission Nakia Létang, to first admitted students to Fairfield Bellarmine

Thursday, January 26, 2023, started out like a regular school day for three students at Bridgeport’s Bullard Havens High School. Little did they know when they were called to come down to a conference room shortly after 10 o’clock that morning, these second-semester seniors were about to make Fairfield University history by becoming the first students to be admitted to Fairfield Bellarmine, the new two-year associate’s degree program for students in the Greater Bridgeport area.

Amid a small gathering of parents, guidance counselors, and teachers, Director of Admission Nakia Létang delivered the news in person to two of the students, while a third was present via livestream. “All three of you have been admitted to the inaugural class of Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Campus,” she told them. “You have amazing potential, and we would love nothing more than to support your journey to success.”

In the two months since that historic day, Létang and her colleagues in Fairfield University’s Office of Admission have continued to admit Fairfield Bellarmine students on a rolling basis while conducting dozens of interviews and reviewing scores of applications submitted by high school seniors from 17 towns and cities across Connecticut. By far, the largest applicant pool hails from Bridgeport, followed by Stratford and Danbury.

Combining financial support and wraparound services for low-income and first-generation students who might not otherwise have access to a Jesuit education, Fairfield Bellarmine’s mission is to empower its students to realize their God-given potential and serve their communities.

Fall 2023 student applications are still being accepted; there are currently 117 applications in progress. To date, applicants represent 14 Connecticut public high schools, four technical high schools, four Catholic high schools, and one private school. 

“Ninety-one percent of our applicant pool has identified as coming from diverse backgrounds,” Létang shared earlier this week. Of the four academic tracks offered at Fairfield Bellarmine, she noted that the strongest interest has been in health studies, with remaining interest split fairly evenly among business, computer science, and liberal studies.

Students enrolled in Fairfield Bellarmine’s associate’s degree program will follow their chosen academic track while also satisfying the University’s unique Magis Core Curriculum — a common learning experience for all Fairfield undergraduates, grounded in the humanities and sciences.

Faculty hiring is underway with a first-year focus on core subjects, according to Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., executive director and vice provost of Fairfield Bellarmine. Classes are scheduled to begin with a month-long summer session starting July 17 on the North Benson Campus, before students move to Bellarmine Campus for the start of the fall 2023 semester.

Located on the property of the former St. Ambrose parish at 1596 Boston Ave. in Bridgeport’s East End, Bellarmine Campus is currently undergoing renovations to prepare for the 2023-24 academic year.

The establishment of internship and career partnerships continues to be a priority for the Fairfield Bellarmine administration. These partnerships will be essential for associate’s degree program participants, in order to provide students the opportunity to work at paid summer internships in between their first and second years of study. If your workplace has the potential to offer local, paid internships to students in the fields of business, law, education, healthcare, computer science, or not-for-profit, please send an email inquiry to bc@fairfield.edu.

For students who complete their Fairfield Bellarmine associate’s degree and choose to continue their studies, articulation agreements are in the works with several Connecticut and regional colleges — as well as fellow Jesuit universities — to guarantee credit transfers that will enable the completion of a bachelor’s degree in just two additional years of study.

If you are interested in submitting an application, supporting Fairfield Bellarmine, or learning more, please visit fairfield.edu/bellarmine or email bc@fairfield.edu.

Highlights of First In-Person Admissions to Fairfield Bellarmine

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