UConn is one of Connecticut’s most valuable assets. It provides a top-drawer education for a (relatively) moderate price. It offers boundless opportunities for research, networking and exploration of interests. UConn prepares Connecticut’s youth to enter the workforce as doctors, engineers, politicians, journalists, historians and, most importantly, as inquisitive critical thinkers. And luckily for Connecticut, these great benefits are not confined to the quiet corner. Regional campuses provide the same excellent education and workforce training in Stamford, Hartford, Avery Point and Waterbury.
UConn Waterbury’s recent announcement that they are adding a new allied health track is yet another boon for the state.
Allied health sciences is a flexible track that can lead students down a variety of workforce paths. Doctors, nurses and dentists — all good-paying jobs — come from the field. And its inclusion at the Waterbury regional campus means it’s available to more Nutmeggers — especially those who cannot afford to attend the less convenient Storrs campus.
The new expansion also brings flexibility to the program, by allowing students to complete their first two years at Waterbury and their final two in Storrs or to choose to complete all four years at the Waterbury campus.
Expanding regional campuses is in UConn’s — and Connecticut’s — best interest. As President Katsouleas has stated repeatedly, UConn is an economic driver for the state. Its research commitments and workforce preparation should be spread as far and wide across the state as possible, to ensure that as many communities — and as many students — can benefit. All Connecticut residents should have the opportunity to get a good college education at a (relatively) reasonable price. The regional campus expansions in Stamford, Hartford and Waterbury have opened up that opportunity for many who may have to work while getting their education or who cannot afford to live in Storrs for four years.
Regional campus expansion should be a top priority, as it spreads opportunity, school pride and education as far and wide as possible. So cheers to Waterbury’s new allied health expansion. We can only hope there’s more to come.