2. Enriching the Student Experience
Goal 1: Life and Career
To establish the premier liberal arts career program in the country, we
- opened the Hale Center for Career Development in Fanning Hall with support from Robert Hale ’88 and Karen Hale P’20
- designed a four-year career program, integrated into Connections, that begins with the first-year seminar.
To increase access to high-quality internships and other career-enhancing experiences, we have
- infused new “career-informed learning” modules into 77 courses across the curriculum
- introduced a finance cohort breakfast series and a Bloomberg terminal to prepare students early for competitive internships in finance and consulting
- created a new interdisciplinary finance minor that has quickly become one of the College’s most popular
- developed employer relations function and increased employer visits to campus by 69% since 2016
- launched a new job shadowing program and held the sixth annual Fast Forward program in 2020 – a week-long career-intensive training lab
- established a new 7-week, credit-bearing career preparation course, available to students in their first semester, and new funding options for students who complete the course.
- as of spring 2022, 87% of the Class of 2023, and 69% of the Class of 2024 have completed the course
- created Advanced Career Exploration (ACE) opportunities for students in partnership with alumni and parent industry specialists
- established the Foreign Language Internship Program with a $165,000 grant from U.S. Department of Education
- created a new partnership with Christie’s auction house that resulted in new summer internships for Connecticut College students
- created a new five-week summer career prep course for incoming first-year students to increase their effectiveness in identifying and articulating what they have to offer to an employer
- created a new Student Employment program to expand the professional skill-development opportunities for our students through on-campus employment and provide quality assistance and support for campus departments
- implemented new software tools to facilitate the recruitment of students into on-campus jobs
- launched new career workshops for Pathways
- integrated intercultural and global fluencies into the career development program through the Languages at Work project, funded by the UISFL grant from the U.S. Department of Education
- created new languages-for-the-professions courses, including Business Spanish, German Business Culture, Medical Terminology from Latin, and Japanese for the Professions.
To promote our work on the plan’s third life-and-career-related objective, to educate students about the relationships among health, well-being, and success, we
- developed collaborative strengths-based training to promote well-bring among career office fellows and student wellness coaches
- enhanced services for mental health through a $306,000 Garrett Lee Smith Grant
- launched the You@Conn online platform for wellbeing.
- converted two campus safety positions into Student Support Specialist positions (with counseling/social work training) to enhance responses to late-night crises
- expanded staffing in Student Counseling Services by adding a position and converting two post-doctoral identity-focused counselors to two permanent full-time identity-focused counselors
- established partnership with MySSP (My Student Support Program), to expand access to self-directed online support from multilingual clinicians experienced in working with undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds
- created workshops for faculty and staff on helping students build resilience.
Goal 2: Campus Living
Because most of our students live on campus for all four years, our residential setting is a critical part of their experience. Our work to implement a phased strategy for upgrading campus housing has had two major components – one that shifts the residential patterns of our students by class year and one that invests in the facilities themselves. Specifically, we
- enhanced connections and engagement among first-year students by converting Hamilton House and Morrisson House into first-year residences
- created first-year-only floors on north and central campus
- established south campus as upper class-only housing
- renovated the Plant common room through a gift from Class of 1969
- completed comprehensive upgrade of heating and cooling in the Plex
- adjusted living, working, and dining protocols to support the student experience amid an evolving global pandemic.
To redesign campus social spaces to facilitate greater contact among students, faculty, and staff, we
- completed architectural plans for a major renovation of the College Center at Crozier-Williams
- programmed new collaboration spaces into the renovation of Palmer Auditorium
- developed a proposal in our campus master plan for new space in Smith-Burdick to support dialogue and justice.
To expand high-quality social activity, leadership, and mentoring opportunities across four years, we have
- substantially expanded student activities programming with new and reallocated resources
- created new emerging leaders program between office of student activities and division of institutional equity and inclusion (DIEI)
- vastly expanded the student ambassador program in DIEI to create new pathways for leadership development.
- created new student engagement position to enhance support for club sports and develop the Outdoor Adventures experiential education program
- adopted new texting platform, Signal Vine, to improve communication between deans and students
To increase student engagement with New London and the surrounding regions, we
- launched an outdoor education program to increase resources and opportunities for student recreation in New England, and a partnership with the New England Science and Sailing organization
- created a first-year learning community in Plant House that focuses on engagement in New London
- established a Civic Scholars summer program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut and a Global New London Summer practicum for students, in collaboration with four community partners
- supported two new AmericCorp Vista members
- launched True Colors Middle School Program in partnership New London Public Schools for youth to explore and learn about gender and sexuality in healthy, supervised settings
- entered into lease agreement to create apartment-style living options for students in the Manwaring Building on State Street in New London for Fall 2022.
Goal 3. Athletics
To make strategic investments in infrastructure and operating support for varsity athletics, we
- completed an athletics master plan envisioning the long-term renewal of fields, facilities, and waterfront
- raised $1.7 million for construction on new bulkhead, floating docks, and roadway to the Thames River
- completed phase one of Waterfront Revitalization Project to support sailing, rowing, and outdoor recreation, as well as marine science
- received Department of Environmental Protection approval to complete two additional docks in summer 2022
- commenced phase one of Dayton Arena renovation to create new varsity locker rooms, offices for coaches, training and storage space
- appointed Mo White as new director of athletics, the first woman to hold the position in Conn’s history, and promoted two head coaches to associate athletic director
- created new position of assistant director of athletics for business operations
- hired new coaches in men’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s squash and cross country, and elevated several coaches from part-time to full-time faculty status
- established the Camel Athletics Network to engage alumni, parents, and friends in the life of Camel Athletics and held well-attended events in Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York City, to garner further support. Fundraising enabled us to
- convert an additional part-time assistant coach to full-time through donor support
- fully endow the men’s and women’s water polo program
- reconfigured space in the Athletic Complex to expand opportunities for strength and conditioning
- increased strength and conditioning staff and retained Hartford HealthCare to provide expertise in sports medicine, providing access to a network of orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, concussion experts, and cardiologists—along with sports neurology services at HHC’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute
- received $10 million from Rob ’88 and Karen Hale P’20 to support goals for coaching and recruiting excellence in the Action Plan for Competitive Success.
- This gift allowed us to immediately convert eight part-time assistant coaches to full-time assistant coaches
- received $3M from anonymous donor to fully endow men’s and women’s water polo programs
- created a full-time associate coach position for women’s swimming and a part-time diving coach position to expand recruitment and support for men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.
- raised national profile of the College with the first NCAA Division III national championship victory in College history, won by our men’s soccer program
- saw head men’s soccer coach Reuben Burk and assistant coach Andrew Storton named 2021 NCAA Men’s Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches
To develop club, intramural, and recreational programs for everyone, we
- provided new funding, leadership, management policies, and staffing for club sports
- launched a new ice hockey club for women, hired a coach for men’s club hockey, and hired two new on-call athletic trainers to support both men’s and women’s hockey and rugby clubs.
- created new staff support for club sports and outdoor adventures experiential education (see above).
To strengthen connections among athletics, academics, and the co-curriculum, we
- introduced the innovative “Coaching 2 Connect” program to the College, a three-year program in leadership and communications training
- established the Connecticut College Athletes of Color Coalition to provide support for and empower all student-athletes of color to safely share their respective experiences on and off the field.