Hartford Business Journal Special Editions

Hartford Live, Work, Play

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Page 25 of 51

I f you're searching for a place to expand your mind and further your educa- tion, Greater Hartford has you covered. Nestled conveniently between Boston and New York City and boasting more than a dozen accredited colleges and universities– including elite pri- vate colleges, accessible community colleges, two- and four-year institutions, a law school, a medical school and two seminaries – Hartford makes it easy to find the right academic program. "Greater Hartford has an underrecognized reputation as a great place for students to consider when deciding where to earn a degree," said Gregg Haddad, coordinator of operations and external relations for the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, which comprises nine institutions: UConn Hartford, the University of Saint Joseph, Trinity College, the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State, Capital Community College, Goodwin College, Hartford Seminary and St. Thomas Seminary. "It is a great location for our institutions because it puts many diverse opportunities within easy reach of our students and faculty. A college student can land an internship in the offices of a Fortune 500 company while their roommate can get dirty studying modern agricultural techniques on a muddy farm, and both can be back at the dining hall by 5:30 p.m." Even with a cornucopia of higher education options, Greater Hartford faces the ongoing challenge of geing graduates to stick around once they finish their studies. But solutions are in the works. The Consortium is joining a new effort by AdvanceCT, backed by the Governor's Workforce Strategy Board, called Campus CT. The initiative is being piloted in Hartford and seeks to create a more vibrant regional econ- omy by increasing the retention rate of the area's college graduates. To accomplish this, Haddad said, stakeholders from the Greater Hartford community, including higher education leaders, employers, and civic and eco- nomic development leaders, will collaborate on a series of projects to deepen college students' connection to the area. Some of the answers, Haddad believes, may be found in the practices of some area colleges that have higher rates of keeping graduates in-state and are known for forming strong connections with the local business community. One such institution is Trinity College. The school gives its students, faculty and staff a bevy of ways to develop meaningful relationships within the city, including the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, which fosters An educational emporium BY JOHN A. LAHTINEN RICH IN DIVERSITY, HARTFORD SCHOOLS STRIVE FOR DEEPER TIES BETWEEN ACADEMICS AND INDUSTRY "The Hartford region is one of the country's most socioeconomically, culturally and ethnically diverse cities and regions. That's a great learning environment for our students." — Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Trinity College 24 HBJ HARTFORD LIVE WORK PLAY

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