As area colleges begin a fresh year, a look at what's new

Linda Conner Lambeck, Staff Writer, Connecticut Post
Published: 11:28 a.m., Monday, August 30, 2010

On one campus this year, students can borrow bikes. On another, tutors will come to students in their dorms. On all, textbooks aren't just something to be bought; now they can be rented, too.

Labor Day may be a week away, but a new college year is about to begin across the region.

Here's a rundown on what's new on local campuses.

FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY

Fairfield welcomed 925 members of the Class of 2014 to the campus Sunday. Classes start Sept. 1.

The freshmen come from 28 states and seven foreign countries. Among the new students are 94 who will major in nursing, the largest number ever. The university is stepping up efforts to become more diverse. More than 19 percent of the incoming class is students of color. Even though this is the first class to enter under an SAT-optional policy, Karen Pellegrino , director of undergraduate admission, said the academic quality of the class has remained strong.

A new Creative Life Residential College opens in the former Jesuit residence, which underwent a major makeover. Sophomores will live there.
Also new, a borrow-a bike-program. There will be 15 bicycles available for students to use around the increasingly pedestrian campus or around town.

SACRED HEART

Sacred Heart University welcomes 1,000 freshmen and 150 transfer students to campus. Classes start Sept. 7. A freshman convocation will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Pitt Center . During the program, the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, author and editor of America, a national Catholic weekly, will collect an honorary degree.
SHU's Class of 2014 is the largest and most gifted incoming class to date, according to university officials.

In September, Sacred Heart launches its second doctoral program, in Nursing Practice, joining the Doctor of Physical therapy program.

University of Bridgeport

The University of Bridgeport did not release estimated enrollment numbers for the fall. Spokeswoman Leslie Geary  said undergraduate enrollment is up about 10 percent over last year. Last year, undergraduate enrollment stood at 2,248 and graduate enrollment was 3,035.

Classes begin Monday. There are several new academic programs this year at UB: a minor in New Media Studies; a Pre-pharmacy Program that ties into the University of Connecticut ; a Global Services MBA  program; and a Physician Assistant Program that will start in January. In the fall, UB sports teams are expected to unveil a new Purple Knights sports logo. The redesigned UB design program takes on a the name of its benefactor, as the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design .

Also new this year, first-floor achievement halls will open in all of the dorms. Geared to freshmen, the halls will provide ongoing programs, mandatory study time and support to help boost student success.

HOUSATONIC COMMUNITY COLLEGE

As of Aug. 26, Housatonic had 5,348 full- and part-time students enrolled, a 9.57 percent increase over this time last year. The numbers change daily, officials say, and are on track to shoot ahead of last year's official enrollment tally of 5,609.

Classes begin Monday, with 16 new courses, seven of them offered online.

There are new degree and certificate programs at Housatonic, including a Pathway to Teaching Careers associate degree program and an Accounting for Small Business associate degree and certificate program. Individuals interested in starting at Housatonic, then transferring to a four-year college for psychology, can take a Psychology Transfer Concentration that provides a recommended sequence of transferable courses.

SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

New students began moving onto the Southern Connecticut State University  campus Saturday. Classes start Monday.

Part of the Connecticut State University System , Southern's official fall 2010 enrollment isn't available. It looks as if enrollment, system-wide, will be slightly ahead of the 36,503 fall 2009 enrollment, said Terri Raimondi, a system spokeswoman.

New academic programs at Southern this year designed to help train and retool the work force, include a new sixth-year diploma program, called "educational coach," meant for certified teachers, administrators, counselors and school psychologists.

Southern also launched an accelerated career entry program in nursing. The intensive program, allows students to earn a bachelor of science degree in just 12 months. Also at Southern this year, is a new master of fine arts in creative writing and an undergraduate minor in forensic science.

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

The University of Connecticut began welcoming 3,250 freshmen and other students to campus this past week. The Class of 2014 Fall Convocation was held on Friday and classes begin Monday. University officials say convocation is the only time prior to graduation that the entire class gathers as one.
Students returning to campus will find construction equipment working on roadways and the construction of several new classroom buildings on campus, including a new social sciences building.

This fall, 12,500 students will live on campus, about 73 percent of all undergraduates.

YALE UNIVERSITY

Yale University welcomed 1,344 members of the Class of 2014 to campus last Friday. The freshman class was selected from an applicant pool of 25,869. Of the new students, 11 percent are international; 36 percent identify themselves as members of minority groups; and 59 percent qualified for financial aid. The average financial aid grant to an eligible freshman this year is $35,700. Tuition, room and board this year, total $49,800.
Classes at Yale begin Sept. 1.

QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Classes start at Quinnipiac University  in Hamden on Monday. A freshman class of 1,667 is anticipated, the largest class ever.
Students will find a new student center, called Rocky Top, and expanded residence halls on the university's York Hill Campus . The student center was inspired by the Rocky Top Lodge that was once on the site in the 19th century. The new residence halls will give upperclassmen the chance to live on campus.

ST VINCENT'S COLLEGE

Classes begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The two-year college is expecting record high enrollment this year, topping 590 students. Along with the additional students are new faculty. The biggest growth area is online courses. Joanne Wolfort, dean of the college, said St. Vincent's is adding more online courses. In some cases, there are hybrid courses, with the theory portion of nursing and science courses taught online and students attending the lab portion of the classes.