College To Mark 50th In 2017; Anniversary Committee Forming To Recognize Alumni, Share Success Stories

In 2017, Capital Community College (CCC) will mark its 50th anniversary as Hartford’s first public undergraduate institution of higher learning.

With fall classes underway at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year, the college’s advancement office is bringing together an anniversary committee to plan 2017-2018 activities and to commemorate 50 years of an institution that has been an accessible gateway to higher education for generations of city residents.

Since the late 1960s more than 300,000 students have enrolled and more than 15,000 degrees and certificates have been granted, according to the Institutional Research office.

To participate and learn more about the 50th Anniversary committee interested persons may contact the College Advancement office at 860-906-5102; e-mail: CA-foundation

Graduates and former students are invited to share their stories and re-connect with the college at the following link: Share Your Capital Story


Organizers say the 2017-2018 year will be an opportunity to recognize distinguished alumni, honor faculty and college leaders, share student success stories and to strengthen Capital’s traditional mission of providing “quality, affordable education to the diverse residents of the Greater Hartford region.”

Four Campus Locations Since 1967

Capital opened as Greater Hartford Community College in 1967 one year after Connecticut established a two-year community college system.  A freshman class of 388 students enrolled at a two-story brick building on the east edge of historic Colt Park on Sequassen Street. Led by its first President, Arthur C. Banks Jr., the college grew on its “temporary campus” for seven years. In 1974 fall enrollment was nearing 2,500. The college moved to a six-story building on Woodland Street, the former Phoenix Insurance Company, to accommodate rapid growth and expand into professional programs.

In the same year Capital was established Hartford’s technical institute on Flatbush Avenue, founded in 1946 as the Connecticut Engineering Institute, granted its first technical degrees with Thomas V. Raimondi as its first President.  In 1992 the two schools  merged in a state-mandated consolidation operating at two campuses four miles apart.

At the end of 1999 the former G. Fox & Company Department Store on Main Street was selected as the site for a single campus.  In 2002 the Community College opened on Main Street after a top-to-bottom renovation of the retail building that is still revered as a downtown landmark where generations of residents shopped and worked.

Today CCC offers 60 associate degree and certificate programs and affords graduates seamless transfer options to four-year public and private colleges and universities. Capital, one of New England’s most diverse campuses, is  designated an Achieving The Dream “leader college” for its programs to reduce achievement gaps of high-need, first generation students.

Major employers in insurance, health care and government are within walking distance of a campus adjacent to a revitalized public transit system and major highways.  Occupying a landmark building that once was New England’s largest department store, CCC is neighbor to acclaimed art, cultural and historic institutions that provide opportunities to extend classrooms into the city and its neighborhoods.

Honoring the accomplishments of founders, alumni, students, faculty and staff during the 5oth anniversary year will demonstrate the positive difference Capital continues to make in the lives of its students and the vital role it plays in the economic and social life of the community.

To participate and learn more about the 50th Anniversary committee interested persons may contact the College Advancement office at 860-906-5102; e-mail: CA-foundation

Graduates and former students are invited to share their stories and re-connect with the college at the following link: Share Capital Your Story



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Capital Gets “Leader College” Designation From Achieving the Dream for Third Year

For the third time, Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit dedicated to helping community college students stay in school and earn degrees, has designated Capital Community College as a “Leader College,” an honor awarded to institutions in ATD’s national network that have shown three years of steady improvement in two outcomes that measure student success.

“Leader College status represents a sustained, successful effort to build a student-centered culture,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that stay focused on the hard work of transformation deserve to be recognized when they make measurable progress.”Print

Capital Community College continually improves academic supports for students. For example, a specially-trained task force of tutors are embedded in all developmental math courses to provide supports both inside and outside the classroom. This has resulted in enhanced collaboration between tutors and instructors, and the implementation of best practices for student-centered learning and embedded support. Capital’s first measure of student success was to have students complete developmental math course requirements in 2 years, and the completion percent increased every year over the past 3 years, from 42.1% between 2011-2012 to 53.6% between 2014-2015. This population represents between 14%-19% of students at the college for any given year.

One of the first college’s in the state of Connecticut to be designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Capital has taken a holistic approach towards improving and transforming the academic, social, and cultural experiences of Hispanic students. The college’s second measure of student success was to raise Hispanic students’ GPA for those with GPA’s greater or equal to 2.0, and this was borne out: Capital’s Hispanic student population saw increases in their GPA’s over the past 3 years, from 61.4% in fall 2012 to 69.1% in fall 2015. This population represents 27% of all students at the college.
The ATD Core Team at Capital is comprised of 21 members representing a cross-section of the college’s faculty and staff. Co-chaired by Mike Proulx, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and Tyesha Wood, Director of the college’s Welcome & Advising Center, the Core Team is broken into 3 sub-groups: College readiness team, Data team, and Developmental Education team.

This year Achieving the Dream designated four institutions as Leader Colleges for the first time and recertified 17 Leader Colleges. ATD leads a student success network made up of over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 policy teams.

“This recognition speaks to the commitment of our entire college community and their exceptional work on behalf of our students,” said Dr. Wilfredo Nieves, Capital’s president. “We’re honored to be an Achieving the Dream Leader College again, and are continually working on developing strategies and supports that will help our students succeed.”

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New Video: Students Share Experiences In Business & Technology @ Capital

Students from Capital Community College’s Business and Technology Program share their experiences  in a new recruiting  video recently released on the college’s website.

Programs of study include accounting, management, computer information systems (CIS), architectural engineering technology, construction management and  insurance and financial services.  CIS offers specialized training in web publishing, mobile application development, networking, and cybersecurity leading to career-track employment and transfer to four-year institutions.

The video with a running time of 8:50 features interviews with students discussing their academic experience and career aspirations. More information about business and technology degrees is available by contacting Miah Lapierre-Dreger, Department Chair, at   Telephone: 860-906-5176

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Humanities Chair Jeff Partridge Appointed To State Historic Preservation Council

Jeffrey F.L. Partridge, Ph.D, Capital Community College’s Chair of Humanities, has been appointed a member of the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

Partridge, an English professor and Director of the College’s Hartford Heritage Project, was appointed to the Council for a term ending in 2020.


Jeffrey Partridge


The 12-member Preservation Council advises the Department of Economic and Community Development on historic preservation and works with the state Attorney General to prevent the “unreasonable destruction” of properties listed, or under consideration for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places.  In addition to the Preservation Council, Partridge is also a member of the board of the Connecticut Humanities Council. He is the faculty representative on the Capital Community College Foundation and Advisory Council.

Partridge established the Heritage project at Capital  in 2011 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Emphasizing place-based learning, the Heritage project brings Hartford’s rich and diverse cultural institutions, landmarks, and neighborhoods to the college’s curriculum. Heritage courses make connections between course content and the city of Hartford in order to enhance learning and to increase  understanding of Connecticut’s capital city.




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CURET Recognizes Dean Guzzo, Partnership With College At 25th Anniversary Celebration

Capital Community College’s collaborations with the city’s West Indian community and the Center for Urban Research, Education and Training (CURET) were a prominent part of CURET’s 25th anniversary celebration on June 26th at the Artists’ Collective.

CURET, an educational and family service organization on Albany Avenue in Hartford, marked its anniversary  during National Caribbean American Heritage Month at the awards dinner. The celebration  included Caribbean artists and dancers and reflections on programs serving 1,500 clients annually in the heart of the city’s Caribbean American community.

Linda Guzzo, Ed.D, the College’s Dean of the School of Workforce and Continuing Education, was recognized with a “Beyond The Call of Duty” award for her leadership in developing programs that are considered national models for career-oriented education including the Travelers-funded Crossroads To Careers program, Guardian Life Insurance Company’s financial literacy courses and Capital’s launching of the first workforce training and education program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Connecticut.

In his remarks CCC President Wilfredo Nieves noted the strong partnership between the College and CURET and how CURET’s work complements the mission of the college to create access to higher education in the city.  Highlighted were two  neighborhood- and campus-based   projects — an adult education transition to college program and  a popular,  tuition free collaborative urban farming certificate program. Instructor Bildade (Billie) Augustin and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Gregory shared their reflections on the CCC and CURET collaborations.

Nieves, board members and other speakers praised Dr. Carol Johnson and Dr. Edgar Johnson, the founders of CURET for their continuing leadership in the community. Carol Johnson is an alumna of Capital (formerly Greater Hartford Community College).  Edgar Johnson is a board member emeritus of the College’s Foundation & Advisory Council and previously served on the board of Hartford State Technical College that was consolidated with Capital in 1990.

On hand for the CURET celebration  were U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Bloomfield Deputy Mayor Syd Schulman, State Representatives David Baram of Bloomfield, Ed Vargas and Doug McCrory of Hartford.

In addition to Dean Guzzo,  CURET 25th anniversary awardees included Nora Brown, a retired Hartford Schools’ teacher and CURET volunteer; Jerry Clapis, communications specialist for CREC and a Hartford Community Television volunteer; Dr. Tina R. Jeter, the Director of the Adult Education Center in Hartford (AECH); Michael Scricco, retired managing partner of Keiler & Co and instructor at Hartford Art School (University of Hartford), and; Dr. Fiona Vernal, author and Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut.

In marking CURET’s quarter century of service, organizers said  CURET and its Caribbean American Resource Center has become “one of Connecticut’s major educational and community service initiatives since the founding of the oldest West Indian organization in the United States, the West Indian Social Club of Hartford that was established in 1950.”

Based on census and immigration data Hartford is a city with one of the heaviest concentrations of Caribbean Americans and immigrants from Jamaica in North America.



CURET, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, has been providing services in the Hartford area since 1990. CURET extends a helping hand to families—adults, youth and children, through programs and services which are designed to build on strengths of the individual, and enhance the educational experience and personal well-being of all who seek our services.



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Capital Recruits @ 2016 Latino Fest On The River June 25th

A contingent of  faculty and staff from Capital Community College shared college enrollment and program information for the Fall 2016 semester with thousands of participants at the second annual Latino Festival on the river  at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza  on Saturday June 25th.


Among the volunteers at Capital Community College’s Latino Fest booth on the river were Adjunct Instructor Rosemary Tyrrell, Network and Cybersecurity Professor Saaid ElHadad and his children, Director of Admissions Gregg Gorneault and Randall Ward of the School of Workforce and Continuing Education.

The free event, sponsored by Luna Productions, was held from noon to 9 pm on a warm summer day and evening, attracting more than 5,000 in a celebration of  Latino culture featuring live music and Latino cuisine.


Music was a big part of the 2016 Latino Festival on the river Saturday June 25th.

According to Festival organizers, Hartford Latino Fest’s mission is to provide the community with an opportunity to experience traditional and contemporary Latin American culture through the presentation of the performing artist’s, dance, music, culture, art, authentic cuisine, local businesses, networking and service providers.


Covering the Latino Festival for Univision was Pedro Rivera (’14), a communication media alumnus of Capital Community College.

Capital’s booth at the Latino Festival is a part of community outreach and enrollment efforts organized by the Admissions Office. The outreach campaign  is supported, in part, with funds from the CCC Foundation.  Capital Community College was the first college or university in Connecticut to be designated an Hispanic Serving Institution by the federal government.

Fall classes at Capital begin on Monday, August 29th. For enrollment and course registration information go to



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Hartford Heritage: American Lit Course Returns To Twain, Stowe Houses In Fall 2016

Capital Community College’s American Literature course (English 220) will return to the historic Mark Twain House & Museum and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center  in Hartford’s West End in the fall of 2016.

Launched last year through the college’s Hartford Heritage Project and Humanities Chair Jeffrey F.L. Partridge the course focuses on the lives and selected works of Twain and Stowe — two of American Literature’s most influential authors.  Students will read selected works, learn from staff experts and have access to archives and materials at the landmark museums.

The “hybrid” course will be held on Wednesdays from 2 to 4:40 pm alternating one week at Mark Twain House and one week online.

Fall classes at Capital begin on Monday, August 29th. For enrollment and course registration information go to

About Capital Community’s College Hartford Heritage Project:

The Hartford Heritage Project makes Hartford’s rich and diverse cultural institutions, landmarks, and neighborhoods an extension of our classroom. It was launched in 2010 with a “We The People” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Hartford Heritage courses make connections between course content and the city of Hartford in order to enhance learning and to increase our understanding of Connecticut’s capital city. Visit: 

Capital Community College currently seeks support for the Heritage project to receive matching funds from an NEH challenge grant offer.

Any views, findings, conclusion or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted in Announcements, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Hartford Heritage, Humanities, Mark Twain, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment