Fairfield University's partnership with Bridgeport schools 
earns State Merit Award from The New England Board of Higher Education

Fairfield University's partnership with Bridgeport schools 
earns State Merit Award from The New England Board of Higher Education

Image: Conference The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) announces that Fairfield University's partnership with Bridgeport Schools has earned its 2014 Connecticut State Merit Award. NEBHE is honoring Fairfield University's overall institutional commitment to Bridgeport Schools, the partnership's efforts to contribute to their mutual goals of preparing students for post-graduate success, and the university's commitment to access and success. 

Fairfield University's long-standing and multifaceted partnership with Bridgeport Schools includes such initiatives as the Community Partners Scholars program, the Bridgeport Tuition Program, Project Excel, and a number of community outreach programs such as the Connecticut Writing Project, Teacher Preparation internship programs, service-learning courses with university students tutoring K-3rd graders, the Bryant School Book Club facilitated through Campus Ministry, and enrichment programs for Bridgeport Schools presented by Fairfield's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

 "All universities and colleges have a responsibility to serve their neighbors and communities," said The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx S.J., President, Fairfield University. "As a Jesuit and Catholic University, Fairfield has an even more explicit obligation. It is our mission to form men and women who will embrace their obligation to work in the service of their fellow men and women, to engage with the world as it is, and to do their utmost to transform their communities for the better. Our partnership with Bridgeport schools enriches us. It brings energy, strength, ingenuity, and love into our University community, and we are deeply grateful for all the benefits that we derive from that partnership."

"Fairfield University has been an outstanding community partner to the City of Bridgeport and our public schools," said Mayor Bill Finch of the City of Bridgeport. "The administration, staff, students and faculty are helping to improve the lives of young people in Bridgeport every day through numerous collaborative programs. We are very thankful for our partnership and are very proud of Father von Arx and the entire Fairfield University community for winning this award."

"As Chief Academic Officer for Bridgeport Public Schools and an alumna of Fairfield University I find this partnership to be mutually beneficial," said Amy Marshall, Chief Academic Officer for the City of Bridgeport. "Our students in Bridgeport are provided with broad based academic support and fulfilling enrichment experiences. Through their work in Bridgeport Public Schools, the students and staff from Fairfield University are living the mandate of St. Ignatius of Loyola to live a life of service above self. They are actively engaged in an environment that is rich in diversity in Bridgeport as they do their work."

The successful results of this partnership include:

Fairfield University - Bridgeport schools partnership

Partnership Programs Descriptions

Community Partners Scholars Since 1999, the University has sponsored the Community Partnership Scholars Program at four Bridgeport high schools (Bassick, Central, Harding and Kolbe-Cathedral). Through this program, Fairfield University collaborates with the schools on admission and financial aid mentoring, provides resources to cover group visits to campus, and funds a full tuition scholarship awarded every year at each of the four schools.

The Bridgeport Tuition Program

In 2009, Fairfield University began providing full tuition scholarships to Bridgeport high school students (from Bassick, Bridge Academy, Bridgeport International Academy, Bullard Havens Vo-Tech, Central, Harding, and Kolbe Cathedral) whose annual family income is under $50,000 and whose financial assets are typical of families with this annual income.

Project Excel

Project Excel is a federally funded Trio Student Support Services Program that empowers first generation and low income college students at Fairfield University to be academically and personally successful and to graduate in a timely manner. Services include a pre-college summer academic immersion program; ongoing academic tutoring; advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection; assistance in obtaining information on the full range of student financial aid programs, benefits and resources; education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students; and assistance in applying for admission to graduate and professional programs. Other services available to students include assistance with internship and career planning, and/or researching post-graduation volunteer opportunities.

Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions Partnership Programs

Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) has engaged Bridgeport Public Schools (BPS) as a priority partner for student teaching and internships.

Fairfield University's Office of Service Learning Partnership with Cesar Batalla School Fairfield University's Office of Service Learning works collaboratively with the GSEAP in sustaining a partnership with Cesar Batalla School designed to improve literacy skills for K-3rd grade students, increase college awareness, and provide enhanced learning opportunities for university students enrolled in service-learning courses.

Campus Ministry and the Bryant School Book Club For over ten years, Campus Ministry has partnered with Bryant Elementary School on the Bryant School Book Club. Every Tuesday university students meet with third graders at Bryant to read common materials and engage in learning activities and discussions. This afterschool enrichment program is a meaningful supplement to the third graders' learning while creating hands-on experience for university students who may be considering a profession in education.

ArtsBound Schoolday Series

Organized by Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts and hosted by national and international performers, an integral educational and artistic outreach resource available to all pre-school, elementary school and middle school students in Fairfield County.

View the press conference

Image: Fairfield University hosted a press conference on Friday, February 28, 2014, announcing that its partnership with Bridgeport Schools earned the 2014 CT State Merit Award from The New England board of Higher Education. Pictured (left to right) at the event are: Amy Marshall, Chief Academic Officer for the City of Bridgeport; Mayor Bill Finch of the City of Bridgeport; The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx S.J., President, Fairfield University; Anita Glinecki, President of Housatonic Community College, and Chair of the Bridgeport Higher Education Alliance; and Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Bridgeport. (photo: Gwen Pellegrino)

Posted On: 02-28-2014 11:02 AM

Volume: 46 Number: 185