Introduction

Connecticut State Scholars Program

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) Education Foundation is taking the lead on the new Connecticut State Scholars initiative, focusing on the need for more students to graduate with solid academic foundation that will prepare them for the future. CBIA is one of just 12 state business organizations nationwide, selected by the Center for State Scholars to receive a $300,000 grant, to start-up this program.

Based on a successful national model, the pilot program of Connecticut State Scholars will be launched first in the communities of Danbury and New Haven and at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown.

“We actively support the Connecticut State Scholars pilot program in New Haven. This program connects the school district with business to encourage 8th graders to choose a more rigorous curriculum in high school. Upon completion of this program, they are much better prepared to enter the workforce or pursue higher education opportunities. This means they are better able to compete with their peers around the world.” — Roger Joyce, Vice President of Engineering at The Bilco Company, New Haven, testifying before the U.S House of Representatives Small Business Committee, May 2004

The Mission

To encourage and motivate all high school students to complete a defined, rigorous academic course of study that prepares them for successful transition to college or university coursework or vocational and technical training necessary to enter today’s competitive job market.

“As the Connecticut State Scholars Program becomes fully implemented in the pilot districts, we hope to learn from their experience and use it in fashioning expectations for all our high school students in Connecticut.” Dr. Betty Sternberg, Commissioner Dept. of Education

What is the Connecticut State Scholars Program?

Connecticut State Scholars is as simple, low-cost, high-impact strategy that motivates students to complete rigorous high school courses that prepare them for college and careers. Research shows a direct correlation between challenging high school coursework and success in the modern workforce, the military and postsecondary education.

The State Scholars Initiative began when concerned business people, educators and researchers noticed that many high school students were not enrolling in or completing essential academic courses such as algebra II, chemistry and advanced English. Through business-education partnerships, the initiative encourages high school students to complete a sequence of rigorous academic courses that will prepare them for future education and workplace success. The core courses of study include advanced classes in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language.

Connecticut State Scholars is endorsed by employers, the state Departments of Education and Higher Education, and local school districts.