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Capital Community College

With support of National Youth Employment Coalition, OPP operates the Postsecondary Success Initiative (PSI) at Capital Community College (CCC). The program has four major components: Youth Development Specialist mentoring; Developmental/Remedial Coursework; Family Involvement Workshops; and Job Internships.

Capital Community College profile:

Only public undergraduate institution in Hartford, with 44% of its credit enrollment coming from city residents. Expanded its transfer opportunities to four-year institutions with Guaranteed Admission to the University of Connecticut and other state universities. 90% of its degree-seeking students are first generation college attendees. 91% of students received financial aid. Offers 30 Associate Degree programs and 27 certificate programs. Programs of strength include: Nursing and allied health, Technology, Social Services, and Insurance/Financial Services.

The Youth Development Specialist (YDS) works on the CCC campus and serves as the primary support person for the youth. In addition, each youth is assigned a CCC academic counselor. Each student has a permanent transcript that is shared by the CCC and OPP staff to monitor students’ progress and provide support needed for successful completion. Students in need of remediation are offered non-credit bearing, non-fee courses, ensuring that they do not exhaust their Pell grant and other financial aid dollars on developmental coursework. In addition, OPP and CCC staff conduct outreach to families to ensure that they understand and support the students’ educational goals. Finally, OPP and its Workforce Development Specialist work with the Hartford business community to develop paid internships for students that allow them to experience a variety of careers. 

The goals for the program include:

  • Partnership: Creating an ongoing relationship between OPP and CCC to provide youth with academic and support services they need to graduate from CCC.
  • Enrollment & Persistence: Ensuring that students successfully complete developmental courses. Increasing family involvement during the first year of the program in order to ensure that the students’ educational goals are supported by their families. Assisting the students in meeting academic goals, completing Career Competency Development Training, creating a resume, and securing an internship during the second year of the program.
  • Completion: Enabling disconnected youth to become 2-year college graduates who can go on to a four-year institution and/or successfully obtain employment.

In the program’s first year (2011-12), 85 youth were enrolled and experienced success at Capital, with an 87% first-to-second year retention rate, as compared to a 52% retention rate for students not enrolled in Pathways.

More information on National Youth Employment Coalition’s Postsecondary Success Initiative:


Pathways is funded in part by the US Department of Labor.