New Haven Public Schools kicked off the American College Application Campaign, a national effort to increase the numbers of first-generation and low-income students who want to pursue a college degree or any form of higher education. 

The campaign aims to serve high school seniors who need assistance navigating the college admissions process and to make sure they apply to more than one post-secondary institution.

The campaign started on Oct. 19 and will continue until Dec. 15 with various events and workshops at New Haven High Schools.

As part of the program’s promotion, the District teamed up with New Haven Promise, which served the dual purpose of ensuring seniors made their individual “Student Success Plan” goals.

In 2015, the campaign resulted in about 2,600 college applications submitted across New Haven’s high schools. This year, all nine high schools in the New Haven area will be participating in the campaign to increase the number of student applications to colleges, universities and training programs. 

ANSONIA: Even as some bean counters in the Connecticut Department of Education were presenting the Governor with plans to shutter two vocational tech schools, Ansonia Emmett O’Brien was opening the doors to its “$94 million makeover.”

Emmett O’Brien serves 574 students in grades 9-12. The renovations added 48,000 square feet, bringing the school to 220,000 square feet. The project was first approved in 2003 but construction didn’t start until 2014 with design by South Windsor based architects Drummey Rosane Anderson and the Fusco Corporation of New Haven as construction manager.

The renovations include a cafeteria with a “state-of-the-art kitchen” for the school’s culinary arts programs as well as its own “Café 141,” a restaurant run by students.

The new exterior puts a modern high tech face on the vocational tech system. Critics of the renvovation claimed that construction of a new school of the same size would have been only $45 million. A middle school renovation in North Haven, however, is projected to cost $69 million.

bertolinoFocus: Raising The Profile and A Commitment To Community

Dr. Joe Bertolini, a boyish looking 52 and  a native of southern New Jersey, is the new president of Southern Connecticut State University. SCSU serves more than 10,000 students with 440 full time faculty and 1,100 staff. Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system and former chief of staff to Governor Dannel Malloy, led the search that chose him. Bertolini has an extensive administrative background in higher education. His most recent job was president of Lyndon State College, a small Liberal Arts college [1,500 students] in the Northeast Vermont community of Lyndonville. He was a VP at Queens College in New York and a Dean of Community Development at Barnard College of Columbia University in addition to holding administrative positions at colleges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and SUNY on Long Island. Bertolini has a doctorate from Columbia’s Teacher’s College, a Master in Social Work from Rutgers, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Scranton.