Maureen Dowdle, Director of Institutional Advancement,
Housatonic Community College

Housatonic Community College Receives Grant from United Way of Eastern Fairfield County

Gift Supports Middle College Program

Barbara Johnson, President of the Housatonic Community College Foundation, Inc. has announced that United Way of Eastern Fairfield County has awarded $81,000 over three years to the Housatonic Community College Foundation, Inc. The gift will be used for the Middle College Pilot Program and is part of the HCC Foundation’s Pathways to Success Major Gift Campaign.

The United Way grant is in partnership with the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. initiative, Project Graduation. Sikorsky Aircraft and its employees provide funding which is matched by United Way of Eastern Fairfield County, and other area United Ways. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

The Middle College Pilot Program is a pre-college preparation program designed to address academic deficiencies that often limit the success of many students entering college, and to help them pursue advanced course-work in the math and science areas. The Middle College Pilot Program provides students with an enriched college experience, and encourages students to consider pursuing a College education.

Currently, the Middle College Pilot Program works with all three Bridgeport high schools; Bassick, Central and Harding. Once tested, students are placed in a mathematics or English course for one academic school year at the College. Students who successfully complete the course with a C or higher grade are eligible to receive three college credits and a Housatonic Community College scholarship of approximately $400. Students also attend college preparation workshops, receive personal, financial aid, and academic counseling.

“We are pleased to support HCC and its work with our area students,” said Merle Berke-Schlessel, President & CEO, United Way of Eastern Fairfield County. “It is clear from the results of its first year that our area students are benefiting greatly from this program which will help to ensure their college success.”

Barbara Johnson says, “This grant from United Way of Eastern Fairfield County and Sikorsky allows us to continue the important work of the Middle College Program, which has had measurable success. The majority of the students in the program have advanced an academic level. We know that this early college experience will whet their appetite for further education and improve their success rate as they continue to the college level.”

About The Housatonic CC Foundation

The Housatonic Community College Foundation was formed in 1990 to assist the College and its students beyond the fundamentals provided by the state. The Foundation provides resources for scholarships, equipment, program enhancements, community outreach and support for the Housatonic Museum of Art. The Foundation is conducting a major gifts campaign, seeking to raise $1 million, which will assist the College to continue to provide convenient and affordable post-secondary training and life-long learning to those in the Bridgeport area.

About the United Way

United Way of Eastern Fairfield County’s mission is to mobilize a stronger, more caring community across Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. It is focused on the underlying causes of the most difficult problems and creating preventative measures to ensure these problems do not recur. While many organizations address one issue, United Way focuses on the entire community, bringing people together from all across the community – people from government, business, faith groups, nonprofits, and ordinary citizens – to tackle the issues that matter most. Find out more at