College Access Programs

The University Access Programs will teach student participants’ self-direction, resourcefulness and resiliency through one-on-one advising focused on academic skills development and personal enrichment. Our student participants will become (skilled) successful students and college graduates (prepared to become self-actualizing) professionals, and global citizens who lead through best practices and lifelong learning.            


University Access Programs seeks to support disadvantaged students who have potential to meet the challenges of higher education by strengthening and developing their academic and self-management skills. Its focus is to insure that participants in the program have a realistic chance to persist in school and graduate from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s degree. To accomplish these objectives University Access Programs provides services to enhance students' academic success, personal skills, and social skills. Providing services in these areas corresponds to the University’s mission to foster lifelong learning.  

To implement the program's aims as outlined in its mission statement, the Southern Connecticut State University Access Programs focuses on five major goals.

      1. Recruit eligible students who meet federal low income, disability, and/or first generation guidelines.
      2. Increase the retention of disadvantaged students in the College.
      3. Increase the academic success of eligible students by increasing their GPA.
      4. Increase the number and percent of disadvantaged students who graduate from the College.
      5. Increase the number and percent of disadvantaged students who pursue graduate or professional schooling.  

These programs include:

ConnCAS (for admitted, eligible, students)

EOP (for admitted students)

Gear UP (for New Haven Public School Students)

Southern Academy (for middle school students)

Summer University Access Program (summer bridge program)

For more information, please call the Coordinator, Chaka Felder-McEntire at  (203) 392-6814.

Community Partnerships 

The University Success Programs has partnered with the following organizations to increase access for students entering the University and to provide additional supports to program staff to increase knowledge and awareness in building curriculum for college bound students. 

New Haven Public Schools

 ECMC:  We will host a group from the ECMC Foundation on campus February 26th 2013. There will be approximately 80 students from 8 different cities around the state. This will be their first visit to this campus. 

Adopt-a-Family:  The office adopted a GEAR-UP Family from Celentano Museum Academy and donated over $1,000 in food and clothes to a family of four for the Christmas Holiday Season. This was an inaugural event for the office that will become a tradition every Christmas Season.

Events sponsored through or in partnership with the University Access Programs