Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

January 30, 2018

Flexer Concerned Community College Consolidation Plan Will Harm Students

Senator Flexer argues that consolidation would harm education and local identity

Heather Vogt, Student Government Association President at QVCC, testifies in opposition to a plan to consolidate Connecticut’s community college system into one college with multiple campuses.

HARTFORD, CT – Senator Mae Flexer, a proud graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) in Danielson and member of the QVCC Foundation, questioned a proposal that would consolidate Connecticut’s community college system into a single college with multiple campuses. As Vice Chair of the General Assembly’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, Flexer argued that the consolidation proposed by Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education would diminish the quality of education that QVCC students receive while also weakening the local identity.

“I am proud to have a diploma from Quinebaug Valley Community College hanging on my wall. If this proposal were in effect when I graduated, I would not be able to say that,” said Senator Flexer. “This proposal would consolidate our multiple community colleges into a single college with many campuses. No other state has ever consolidated a system of this size into just one institution. We must proceed with great caution before we risk losing institutions that meet the unique needs of students, businesses and whole communities throughout our state. I don’t believe this plan will generate the cost savings that the Board of Regents is looking for, but I do believe it will sever the community relationships that make our community colleges great.”

“To cut the ‘non-student-facing’ positions would be detrimental to our students. There is not a position at our school that is not student facing,” said Heather Vogt, Student Government Association President at QVCC. “I’ve worked with our Director of Marketing, who got me an internship. Other directors have helped me solve problems and further my education. These positions are easily accessible because of their location on campus, and also because of the relationships they have built with students like me. Without those relationships I’d be just another name on a list. The consolidation just isn’t going to do what they think. It isn’t a students-first plan and ultimately I do not believe it will save as much money as is being said.”

“I feel that this consolidation is going to negatively affect students. We are already running lean staff at all the community colleges and having a net reduction in staff is ultimately just going to reduce the quality of education,” said Devon Harris, a graduate of QVCC. “Students need more than just an education. We need guidance and mentorship. The people that give that to us are the people that are going to be removed under this plan. Senator Flexer really represented the northeast corner in her statements today, and we thank her for her advocacy.”