Connecticut Has Best Community College System in U.S.

CT State Wallet Hub Best Community CollegesConnecticut’s community college system, was ranked No. 1 in the nation by WalletHub this week, and several of the community colleges ranked among the top 15 in the country in the financial website’s reports on community colleges and state-by-state community college system rankings.

Of the 677 colleges on the list, four Connecticut community colleges ranked in the top 15 nationally:

  • Naugatuck Valley Community College (10th Place)
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College (11th Place)
  • Manchester Community College (12th Place)
  • Capital Community College (15th Place)

The state ranking of colleges is based on an analysis of a WalletHub “2022’s Best & Worst Community Colleges”   report released this week at a time of rising inflation and individuals looking for ways to stretch their budgets while increasing educational and career opportunities. More information on the “2022’s Best and Worst Community College Systems” ranking is available here.

To determine where students can receive the best education at the lowest tuition rates, the website compared 677 community colleges nationwide across 19 key indicators of cost and quality. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio and graduation rate. For the state-by-state analysis, WalletHub calculated a weighted average of the scores earned by the community colleges in each state and the number of students enrolled at each college.

Credit registration for the fall 2022 semester is in progress at the 12 Connecticut community colleges, with hundreds of degree options that prepare students for transfer to four-year degrees and transition into the workforce with programs in health care, manufacturing, information technology, early childhood education, business, and more. Most of the colleges also offer English as a second language certificates for non-English speakers looking to start on their path to an associate degree. A variety of class formats are available including on-ground, online and hybrid.

There is still time to apply and register for Connecticut’s free community college program, PACT. Prospective students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, apply and register for classes. The FAFSA can be submitted online at For more eligibility information and details on PACT, visit

The 12 community colleges in Connecticut are merging in 2023 to become CT State Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country and largest in New England, dedicated to quality, access and affordability. CT State students will be able to apply once and take classes at any campus. Locations include Asnuntuck (Enfield), Capital (Hartford), Gateway (New Haven and North Haven), Housatonic (Bridgeport), Manchester, Middlesex (Middletown and Meriden), Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury and Danbury), Northwestern (Winsted), Norwalk, Quinebaug Valley (Danielson and Willimantic), Three Rivers (Norwich), and Tunxis (Farmington).

QVCC Foundation Awards $142,000 in Scholarships to Current and Future Students

The Richard C. Berry Amphitheater green at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson was full of smiling faces on Thursday, May 5th as 96 local students were awarded over $142,000 in scholarship funds at the 30th Annual QVCC Foundation Scholarship Night. After a 2-year hiatus, the Foundation was pleased to bring back the live event, celebrating QVCC students as well as recognizing the generosity of donors.

“On behalf of the QVCC Foundation, I was very pleased to participate in this award ceremony and to have our Foundation present so many scholarships to such deserving students at QVCC. This ceremony highlights the principal purpose of our 50-year-old organization,” commented QVCC Foundation President Joseph Adiletta. “The Foundation’s mission is to provide support to students in our region to allow them to advance their education and improve their lives. These scholarship awards, in addition to the funds the Foundation provides to the Financial Aid Office and for Job Focused Training support are the results of dedicated Foundation members and very generous donors who provide the funds and who know the value of a good education.”

Among the 96 current and incoming QVCC students awarded scholarships on May 5th, several 2022 recipients were English Language Learners (ELL) from QVCC’s Willimantic campus. Elkin Espitia-Loaiza, Willimantic Interim Academic Division Director commented on the record number of ELL students recognized, “Since its inception, The QVCC Foundation has been instrumental in the financial affordability of QVCC’s Willimantic students.  The tuition support of Willimantic students attending the Willimantic Instructional Site and specially that of ELL students has increased year after year.  For the 2022 Scholarship season and Awards Night, I was pleased to see more than a dozen of the students of ESL receiving scholarships. This is the largest number ever being awarded; which assures that their next academic year’s tuition is affordable.”

For more information about the QVCC Foundation, please contact Monique Wolanin, director of Institutional Advancement at 860-932-4174 or

Release: June 9, 2022

QVCC @ Willimantic Temporarily Moving to ECSU Campus

QVCC Willimantic in Winthrop Hall

Until further notice, our Willimantic site will be temporarily located in Winthrop Hall at ECSU during the renovation of 729 Main Street.

Parking is available in Lots F, H, and J.

Fall 2022 – Open to the Public

Hours through October 9, 2022

8 a.m.-3 p.m. Winthrop Hall
4-7 p.m. Windham Tech

8 a.m-7 p.m. Winthrop Hall
4-7 p.m. Windham Tech

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Winthrop Hall
3-7 p.m. Windham Tech

8:30 a.m.-noon & 3-7 p.m. Winthrop Hall
4-7 p.m. Windham Tech

Virtual or by Appointment or Virtual
Ph: (860) 230 -6129

Hours Starting October 10-End of the Fall Semester

Mondays & Wednesdays
9 a.m.-3 p.m Winthrop Hall
4-7  p.m. Windham Tech

Tuesdays & Thursdays
9 a.m.-7 p.m. Winthrop Hall
4-8 p.m. Windham Tech

9 a.m.-noon Winthrop Hall

Congratulations to Spring 2022 Dean’s List

Quinebaug Valley Community College has announced the names of 169 students named to the Spring 2022 Dean’s List.

Teagan Lynch, Eco Manso – Rich, Rachel Vertefeuille

Adam Ritchotte

Hannah Goodwin

Aya Ashour, Stephanie Bellows, Callista Bibeau, Andrew Blanchard, Emmanuel Blango, Jeffrey Boyette, Savannah Buisson, Kaylin Caissie, Angelique Caouette, Demosthenes Chrisovechotis, Jillian Gibeault, Diana Gonzalez Caraballo, Jennifer Greene, Madeline Guari, Caroline Hamill, Brooke Harrington, Nayomi Herring, Percy Howard, Justin Hubbard, Shawn Jordan, Heriberto Luciano, Moriah Marquis, Nicole Maxim, Logan Moyer, Abisai Rodriguez, Ricardo Roman, Afetion Sejdiraj, Emma Turner, Emily Zmayefski

Shayla Ames, Bernardo Barron, Emma Curtis, Bryna Ford, Chelsea Hart, Skyla Lindell, Matthew Moffitt, Stefanie Thetreault

Central Village
Haylie Bergeron, Sean Sweeney, Amy Sweet

Jasmine Alvord, Riley Brunsdon, Lisa Cote, Angel Lewis, Jordan Mahon, Mariah McMaster, Colby O’Donnell, Bryce Pratt, Adrianna Riddick, Meagan Sullivan, Samantha Swenson, Ian Torrey, Victoria Trudeau-Mungham, Ethan Vernon, Abbigale Whitehead, Chelsea Williams

Mandi Beckman, Sable Beley, Sabrina Berard, Sarah Brennan, Karagen Crowe, Sierra Duplisea, Hannah Kipp, Chase LeClerc, Krystal Maclure, Courtney Miranda, Colin Nadeau, Christopher Perry, Kayla Trickel, Amy Tucciarone

Zoe Marshall

Michele Girard

Yvonne Dupuis, Tiffany Lee, Melissa Thibodeau

Danielle Greene, Jessica Woody

Jewett City
Heather Emerich, Stephanie Orlinski

Samantha Veglia

Sarah Chamberland, Candace Ciotola, Benjamin DelleFave, Piotr Malinowski, Kennedy Shippee, Jessica Williams

North Grosvenordale
Hannah Bergeron, Jaylen Brinson, Bryan Erickson, Lindsey Houghton, Tyler Persson, Stephen Scrapchansky, Lukas Skaradowski, Gianna Stoico

Margaret Babb

Lydia Miner

Michael Banning, Jesse Fultz, Emily Goyette, Elenore Jolley, Ryan Saros, Cade Wolak

Pomfret Center
Remi Benton, Iryna Huling, Ryan Lewis, Robert Manifold, Shelby Pendleton, James Phongsa, Kassidy Walden

Eric Boucher, Joshua Brodeur, Carissa Gaugh, Anna Ionkin, Trevor Lewis, Haddijatou Mbye, Emma Nazario, Jordyn Poole, Haley Russo, Angela Sanchez, Noah Tomkins, Alison Tourtellotte, Dylan Varner, Misty Williams

Aleksiy Ryan Lilov

South Windham
Kevin McGeary

Hannah DeAngelis, Erin DeRouin, Maggie Fallon, Stacey Glaude, Megan Hart, Cody Jackson, Garrett Salisbury, Faith Smith, Ryan Young

Regina Cross, Alyssa Leveille, Julia Paquette, Justine Petrella, Nicholas Prouty, Ian Rawson, Katrina Suibielski

Emily Mirante

Owen Delgado, Peter Gelinas, Maximiliano Navarro Romero, Stephanie Vellon, Patrick Walker Ayala

Katarzyna Shamshad

Paige Audet, Olivia Burrell, Antonia Carminati, Cody Currie, Haley Farley, Melissa Fish, Matthew Gianfriddo, Benjamin Green, Payton Peterson, Rebekah Rowe

Woodstock Valley
Tarryn Desrosiers

Dudley, MA
Brandon Johnson, Brett Spiewakowski

New Bedford, MA
Britney Cabral

Cranston, RI
Jessica Matthias


200 Students Graduate in QVCC’S 50th Commencement Ceremony

After two years of virtual and drive-through graduation ceremonies, Quinebaug Valley Community College was pleased to recognize the Class of 2022 with an in-person commencement on the evening of May 26. Nearly 200 graduates crossed the walkway of the Richard C. Berry Amphitheater, located on the grounds of the Danielson campus, to receive their degrees and certificates in QVCC’s 50th Commencement ceremony. Congratulations, Class of 2022!

CEO’s Award
Awarded to the degree graduate with the highest academic average and at least 45 credits earned at QVCC.
– Caroline Elizabeth Miano Hamill  (Liberal Arts and Sciences, 52 credits, 3.98 GPA)

4.0 Graduates
Awarded to the degree graduates with a 4.0 average and at least 30 credits earned at QVCC.
– Sumeyra Yavuz (Medical Laboratory Technician)
– Robert Manifold (Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology)

List of Graduates

Sarah Elizabeth Lopez, Katie Elizabeth Renaud, Rachel A. Vertefeuille

Adam Joseph Ritchotte

Aidan Erick Anderson, Laura S. Bates, Eric Anthony Borkiewicz, Angelique Marie Caouette, Emily Ann Colangelo, Kathia Nicolle Gonzalez Caraballo, Caroline Elizabeth Miano Hamill, Nayomi Rebecca Herring, Ryan A. LaRose, Devin Edward Markley, Aidan James McGennis, Alexa L. Michalski, Jesse A. Paprota, Madison Kela Rattray, Tiahma Latreece Rawls-Centeno, Robert Reaves, Afetion Sejdiraj, Adam Raymond Shinkiewicz

Adam Charles Exley, Chelsea Mae Hart, Colette Christina Marchand, Matthew Ethan Moffitt, Katherine Hannah Otto

Central Village
Sean Patrick O’Brien Sweeney, Amy L. Sweet

Kelly A. Spooner

Miranda Caroline Bragdon, Abbie Rae Bragdon

Jasmine S. Alvord, Jenna Leigh Blanchard, Melissa S. Clark, Lisa M. Cote, Abigail Rose Duprey, Jennifer Cecile Farquharson, Renée Theresa Gates, Ibrahim Kamara, Jordan Alyse Lawrence, Jordan Phillip Mahon, Ethan Jeffrey Miller, Danilo S. Palenzuela, Ethan Charles Sheldon, Brianna G. St John, Khone S.K. Thoummany, Ian J. Torrey, Brendan Trajanowski, Evan R. Zach

Kristina Kelly Ballou, Mandi Lynn Beckman, Stephanie Marie Benoit, Emily A. Berard, Jennifer K. Brisson, Richard John Demars, Carson Everett Hadley, Jeffery Joseph Hemmig, Hannah Elisabeth Kipp, Abigail Nadial-Reine, Dana Lee Normandie, Hannah Grace Pouliot, Jarrica Dee Rainville, Amy Lyn Tucciarone, Madisen Jean Ventura

Amy Elisabeth Ayer

Michele Girard, Lina M. Mistry

Mary E. Hayden, Tiffany Lee

Amanda Lynn Abbott, Paul Robert Neville

Emily Elizabeth Schmidt, Mackenzie Fenton Silk, Jessica Marie Woody

Chris Jadier Carrero Concepcion

Jewett City
Maryam Arshad, Emily Renee Brown, Heather Renee Emerich, Vincent Thomas Valenti

Samantha Marie Veglia

Rohankumar H. Patel

Mansfield Center
Stacie Eve Digby, Alicia E. Jimenez Vargas, Marisol Prather, Naomi J. Soderberg

Erica J. Troiano

Taya Alexis Beaudoin, Bonnie Jean Chambers, Kyla Grace Kampf, Tavy Lim, Piotr K. Malinowski

New London
Rebecca Taylor Richards

North Grosvenordale
Lacey B. Allard, Rebecca Jeanne Giles, Kevin David Gomes, Sylwia Marzena Helwig, Savannah Lynn Loiselle, Jennifer Lynn Perry, Tyler James Persson, Gianna Marie Stoico, Sara Elizabeth Watson

North Haven
Sumeyra Yavuz

Christie Lynn Hughes

Jesse Caitlyn Gunn, Jakob Labutti

Alyssa Yvonne Aubin, Michael John Hattayer, Bernadette Rose Michaud, Cassandra Lynn Miller, Gianna Nicole Pellegrino, Timothy Petrides, Jennifer Lynn Spinney, Ian Hans Wichmann, Cade Michael Wolak

Pomfret Center
Sydney Colleen Feragne, Iryna Huling, Abigail Adele Kruger, Ryan Anthony Lewis, Robert John Manifold, Noah Alexander McNamara, Shelby L. Pendleton

Jordan I. Alexander, Morgan Therese Blackmar, Selena J. Cordero, Lauren Elizabeth Deery, Patricia A. DeTorio, Victoria Dias, Darren E. Dionne, Carissa Elizabeth Gaugh, Brittany Ann Kallio, Ismail Ahmed Kiani, Heather Nichol King, Cari-Ann Palmer, Jordyn A. Poole, Dylan Richard Varner, Misty Lynn Williams, Tyson R. Winchell

Aleksiy Ryan Lilov

Nikki Burnett

Tyler Nicholas Adams, Erin Sue DeRouin, Sarah Faith Dexter, Stacey Ann Glaude, Cody Moon Jackson, Annastacia Harmony Schneider, Mandy Lee Shaw, Angela Parent Stone, Olivia Hayden Tetreault, Ryan Wadsworth Young

Storrs Mansfield
Steven Thomas Gagne

Kaytlyn Marie Betters

Maya Melynda Blair, Travis James Cournoyer, Mikenzi Rose LaBonte, Nicholas H. Prouty, Katrina Lynn Suibielski, Mary Catherine Walsh

Adam Dale Eaton

Jonathan D. Fullbright

Shani Alyceea Acevedo, Michelle Nair Aguayo Castro, Melanie J. Alicea Del Rio, Craig Arthur Bakke, Chiricahua Eaglewolf Cochise, Owen O. Delgado Marquina, Giselle Soe Galarza, Gabriela Kristal Lopez Barreto, Doralis Lozano-Santiago, Bryan Eduardo Martinez, Kenia Marie Morales, Jayshelly Ochoa, Eduardo Perea Hernandez, Lysette Rojas, Brandy Elizabeth Shirley, Patricia Ann Todd, Megan R. Trueblood, Patrick Antonio Walker Ayala

Milagro Velasquez-Argueta, Dylan Ryan Werth

Paige Anne Audet, Robert J. Baldino, Aaron Michael Blanchflower, Samantha Dawn Eddy, Aria P. Gianfriddo, Hannah G. Hagstrom, Audrey Carolyn Helmetag, Ryan T. Latour, Dylan John Martin, Jarod Ryan Martin, Molly Emeline Millix, Zachary Alan Mowry, Payton Appel Peterson, Jed Daniel Rategan

Woodstock Valley
Abigail K. Kilburn

Charlton, MA
Johnathan Scott Tucker

Dudley, MA
Jillian Mable Gibbs, Brandon C. Johnson

Springfield, MA
Erika S. Phillips

Burdett, NY
Isaiah I. Bard

Coventry, RI
Kerrie L. Karowski

Harrisville, RI
Taylor Maria Castano


QVCC’s 50th Commencement will be held May 26

Quinebaug Valley Community College will hold its 50th Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 6 pm at the Richard C. Berry Amphitheater, located on the grounds of the Danielson campus. Approximately 200 students are expected to receive degrees and certificates.

This year’s speakers will include:
Terrence Cheng, CSCU President
Alexa Michalski, National Anthem soloist and graduating student
Sarah Wolfburg ’02, Alumni Speaker
Hannah Kipp, Student Speaker
Linda Colangelo ’03, Keynote Speaker

Michalski, who enjoys drawing, sculpting, and performing arts, is graduating with an Associate of Arts in Visual Arts and plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State University to pursue her goal of becoming an art teacher.

Wolfburg, who is a 2002 graduate of QVCC, went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. After returning to Connecticut, Sarah first worked for Villager Newspapers before becoming the first Executive Director for Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. (NOW). Sarah then returned to QVCC in 2020, accepting the Director of Alumni Relations role, twenty years after she first began studying at the college.

Kipp, who served as a member of the Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and was a tutor in the Learning Center, is graduating with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences. She plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State University in the fall as she works towards her ultimate goal of becoming an occupational therapist.

Colangelo, a proud 2003 QVCC graduate, is a caregiver, public health educator, skilled communicator, freelance writer, and professional vocalist. She has enjoyed a life-long love affair with northeast Connecticut, contributing her skills, time, and talent to a number of community causes and callings. She will be delivering the ceremony’s keynote address.

Steven and Marjolaine ’87 ’88 Townsend will also be receiving the Quinebaug Valley Community College Merit Award, which recognizes extraordinary service or lifetime commitment to QVCC. Steven Townsend is a nationally recognized business leader who co-founded United Natural Foods (UNFI) in Danielson, CT. A long-time member of the QVCC Foundation, in 2012 Steve was honored with emeritus status for his “extraordinary contribution to the Foundation’s mission.” Marge Townsend is an active community volunteer whose hard work and dedication has helped many from our community. Steve and Marge are both proud Putnam High School graduates and both started their college career at QVCC. Steven went on to graduate from Bryant University, earning both a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA in Management and Information Systems. Marge graduated from Quinebaug Valley Community College with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts: General Studies and an Associate of Science in Accounting.

The Danielson campus is located at 742 Upper Maple Street. The ceremony will be held outside at the Richard C. Berry Amphitheater. Guests should bring lawn chairs or blankets, as seating is not available. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at The Woodstock Academy field house, located at 57 Academy Rd, Woodstock, CT 06281. Tickets will be limited to six per graduate. A decision will be made by 12 noon on Monday, May 23 if there is a change in venue. Additional information about the ceremony can be found on the college website at


15th Annual Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards Night, April 28th at QVCC with Honored Guest Bruce Cohen

Bruce CohenQuinebaug Valley Community College will hold its 15th Annual Julius Sokenu Poetry Prize Celebration at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 28th in the Robert E. Miller Auditorium at 742 Upper Maple Street, Danielson, CT. The event will also be live-streamed on QVCC’s YouTube channel. The event will feature a reading by award-winning student poets and honored guest Bruce Cohen.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Bruce Cohen’s poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in over a hundred literary periodicals such as AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Harvard Review, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and The Southern Review, and has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. He has published four volumes of poetry: Disloyal Yo-Yo (Dream Horse Press), which was awarded the 2007 Orphic Poetry Prize, SWERVE (Black Lawrence Press), Placebo Junkies Conspiring with The Half-Asleep (Black Lawrence Press) and Imminent Disappearances, Impossible Numbers & Panoramic X-Rays (New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2016). Prior to joining the Creative Writing faculty at the University of Connecticut in 2012, he directed, developed, and implemented nationally recognized academic enhancement programs at the University of Arizona, The University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Connecticut.

The Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards is a lively annual event honoring the best student poetry in English and Spanish at Quinebaug Valley Community College and at Quinebaug Middle College. The event is sponsored by the QVCC Foundation, Department of English, Department of Spanish, Department of History and Social Sciences, the Cultural Programming Committee, QVCC Library, EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College, and the QVCC Student Government Association, as well as generous Julius Sokenu Poetry Prize donors. The event is free and open to the public. Sandwiches, chips, sweets, and cool beverages will be provided.

For more information, please contact Professor of English, Jon Andersen at or Interim Academic Division Director, Elkin Espitia-Loaiza, at

Women in Manufacturing Day at QVCC

Quinebaug Valley Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) will host a Women in Manufacturing Day, in celebration of Women’s History Month. On Friday, March 25 from 8:30am – 1:00pm, young women from area high schools will speak with a panel of QVCC AMTC alumnae that are currently working or have worked in a variety of manufacturing careers. Following the panel discussion, students will be split into groups. Each group will be accompanied by several AMTC alumnae to complete the following hands-on workshops:

• Making a brass whistle using the manual lathe and milling machines
• Making a personalized tag using the CNC machines
• Working with a 6-axis robotic arm
• Completing a 3D printer and laser engraving project in the engineering lab

Both visiting high schools are currently participating in the Youth Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative (YMPI) program, which is part of the Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline. The program is a partnership between various area high schools and the Eastern Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), Electric Boat (EB), Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA), Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), and Three Rivers Community College (TRCC).

This program offers manufacturing skills training to high school students who are interested in a career in manufacturing upon graduation. Students who successfully complete the program will also earn manufacturing credits to QVCC (or TRCC) if they choose to continue their manufacturing education.

“Women in Manufacturing is an opportunity for young ladies to learn about all the great career opportunities that wait for them in manufacturing,” said Jodi Clark, Assistant Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. “If young ladies want to save lives, they can do that through manufacturing. If they want to help change the environment, they can do that in manufacturing too. The sky is the limit. Women have a place in manufacturing! Our goal is to show the ladies that girls can do anything!”

Learn more about QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics programs at For more information about the event, please contact Jodi Clark at


QVCC Spring Open House, March 30 at 6pm

Have you always wanted to go to college? Are you looking for a new career or the right career for you? Do you need help figuring out your next steps? QVCC is the place to find yourself and your path. Attending Open House on Wednesday, March 30 @ 6 pm is the best way to discover why QVCC should be your choice for starting, continuing, or finishing your college education. Space is limited, so register now at!

Alumni & Student Panel Q&A:
• Get the student perspective
• Includes Q&A

Learn about our programs:
• Allied Health, Business, Computer Science, Human Services, Liberal Arts, Manufacturing, STEM, Transfer Pathways, Visual Arts, and more!
• Staff & faculty will be on-hand to answer questions

Learn about paying for college:
• Financial Aid
• PACT Free Community College
• Scholarships

Tour the campus & apply on the same day:
• If you apply to the college and attend Open House, you may win the $1000 scholarship!

For more information, contact QVCC Admissions at


CSCU COVID Protocol Changes Effective April 4

The following is a message from Terrence Cheng, CSCU President:

CSCU Office of the President

Today marks two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I want to thank all of you for all you have done to support our students and institutions over the last two years and your continued efforts to ensure we have a safe and vibrant spring semester.

Several weeks ago, as I reviewed plans for the balance of the semester with campus leaders, we thought we would have to stay the course with our virus mitigation strategies. I am pleased to say that the state is turning the corner on the virus, and we therefore can relax our pandemic response, including ending the mask mandate effective Monday, April 4, 2022 for all 17 CSCU institutions and system office.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state Department of Public Health (DPH) have issued updated guidance and mandates which have lifted restrictions on public activities. In particular, the CDC’s new metrics related to the virus have deemed that all of Connecticut is at low risk of spreading of virus. Given these changes in guidance and through conversations with DPH, campus leaders, and COVID Coordinators, our consensus is that we are ready to relax our current protocols. Furthermore, although we had an agreement with the bargaining units on COVID mitigation strategies for the fall semester we did not execute an agreement this spring to continue those strategies.

Our campuses will now shift from pandemic emergency response to routine disease prevention.  Campus leaders and their teams will continue to monitor state and federal guidance and the community virus conditions. They will be prepared to reinstate mitigation strategies as needed to respond to upticks in cases if and when they occur this spring and in future semesters.

On April 4, the COVID reopen plans that were developed in June 2020 will expire. Effective that day, the mask mandate will come to an end. The campuses will shift to a “mask-optional” protocol. No employee has the authority to mandate the use of masks by others. However, mask wearing remains an effective prevention strategy against the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases, and we fully support and expect all employees and students to respect those who choose to continue wearing masks. Our COVID Coordinators will continue to make masks available for employees and students who want them.

In addition, we will remove physical distancing restrictions in areas such as lounges, cafeterias, conference rooms, and other non-academic setting. However, in most instances, current classroom arrangements will remain as set for the remainder of the semester. Campus leaders are encouraged to plan for more in-person activities including commencements and other special events this spring as well as a full schedule of in-person courses, meetings, convenings, etc. for the summer and fall.

Lastly, we will end weekly testing of employees and students and individual case contact tracing, effective April 1, 2022. We have made provisions to continue PCR testing on campus for any employee or student who wants access to testing through April 1, 2022. In addition, COVID Coordinators will have antigen tests available for those who are concerned about their potential exposure to the virus and would like access to a rapid test.

We expect employees and students to continue to self-monitor their health and stay home whenever they have COVID-like symptoms and follow current CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation. Employees and students who test positive should continue to follow the campus process for notification. Human Resources, Health Services, or the COVID Coordinator, as appropriate, will determine the quarantine and isolation expectations, confirm when it is safe to return to campus or classes, and notify close contacts as needed.

Thank you again for all your hard work over the past two years.  I am very excited that we’ve reached this point and can move forward having learned many lessons along the way about how to support our institutions, our employees and most importantly our students through a public health crisis.


Terrence Cheng
President, CSCU