Housatonic Community College (HCC) was founded in 1966 as a branch of Norwalk Community College. In 1967, it became an independent institution, and used various temporary facilities in Straftford, Conn. In 1971, HCC moved to Bridgeport. By 1977 HCC had approximately 2,700 students and moved to a larger, permanent campus, and immediately began experiencing a significant enrollment increase. By 2011, the enrollment was just under 6,000 students.
This school now offers over 60 degree and certificate programs along with non-credit continuing education classes.
The degrees are offered in a variety of programs, including accounting, aviation maintenance, business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice, fine arts, graphic design, early childhood education and nursing.
This school features an extensive transfer program with the University of Connecticut. Students pursuing business, computer information, criminal justice, early childhood education, graphics, math, health and human services are eligible to enroll into programs that will transfer to UConn. The program is called the Guaranteed Admission Program. This is an agreement between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Community College system designed for students who are enrolled in a liberal arts transfer program at one of the Connecticut community colleges.
Other transfer agreements are in place with Albertus Magnus College, Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Marymount College, New York University, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, the University of Bridgeport, the University of New Haven, Post University and Wheelock College.
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Before enrolling, students must take a placement test if they have not taken a college-level math or English course. SAT scores of 500 in math and 450 in critical reading/writing allow a student to be exempt from having to take a placement test.
Other programs have special degree requirements. The Nursing Program is a cooperative program with Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing. There is a separate application into the nursing program. The college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed so graduates can work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and schools. Students must have completed all required developmental coursework and earned 12 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program allows graduates to work at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practices, schools, and home care agencies. The program is cooperative with Naugatuck Valley Community College. Students must have a high school transcript (or G.E.D.) that includes one year of biology and chemistry, and two years of algebra with grades of “C” or better within the last five years.
This community college awards scholarships to deserving students through its Housatonic Community College Foundation. The foundation was started in 1990 by a group of Greater Bridgeport residents and business and arts leaders. It serves to generate funds for student scholarships, student emergency assistance, child care assistance for parents enrolled, program enhancements and support of the Housatonic Museum of Art.
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There are more than 20 clubs on campus, ranging from the Black Student Union to the Christian Studies Club to the Table Tennis Club. Students are encouraged to get involved in as many ways possible at school. It has shown that students who become involved in extra-curricular activities enhance their learning experience. It is also true that people who join clubs and activities usually develop long lasting friendships and relationships.
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The school is known for its Housatonic Museum of Art. The museum has one of the most significant collections of any two-year college in the country and includes works by artists such as Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Chagall. There are also lectures, programs and changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries for our students and the community at large, and the museum is known as serving as a rich cultural resource for the Greater Bridgeport. The collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Larry Rivers, Marisol, Giorgio DeChirico, Milton Avery, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselman,Isamu Noguchi, Jim Dine, Christo, Jean Dubuffet, Gustav Klimt, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Pearlstein, Reginald Marsh, Victor Vasarely, Claes Oldenburg, Milton Avery, Aristide Maillol, Alberto Giacometti, and Pierre Renoir.
Carrie Petersen earned her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters of School leadership at Northern Illinois University. Carrie likes to travel with her husband and two sons.