Community Collaborations

College and Career Readiness Summer Institute 

Under the CTL, the College and Career Readiness Summer Institute works to close achievement gaps by instilling students with a growth mindset and the skills to succeed.  

In the summer of 2021, Olcay Yavuz, associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies, and Kelvin Rutledge, associate vice president for institutional inclusive strategies and change management, collaborated with Connecticut high school counselors and Connecticut school leaders to conduct the first College and Career Readiness Summer Institute.  

For more information, contact: 
Dr. Olcay Yavuz 
Associate Professor/ Internship Coordinator 
SCSU, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 
Phone: (203) 392-5442 


International Youth Leadership Academy 

Designed as a social justice project in education, the Southern Connecticut State University International Youth Leadership Academy (IYLA) was developed to support immigrant, refugee, and international student success, including academic, social-emotional, college, and career readiness needs. 

Since 2020, the IYLA has provided international students and their families with support, resources, strategies, knowledge, skills, a network, and a safe nurturing environment where all students with international background can succeed. 

For more information, contact: 
Dr. Olcay Yavuz
Founding Director of The International Youth Leadership Academy 
SCSU, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 
Phone: (203) 392-5442 


Interdisciplinary Collaboration Institute 

African American/Black & Puerto Rican/Latino Course of Study 

Offered by the SCSU Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, this institute is facilitated by faculty in the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The institute will bring together teachers from multiple schools and/or disciplines in a way that facilitates standards-based and collaborative lesson development as they implement the African American/Black/Puerto Rican/Latino Course of Study.  

The program will provide students with greater opportunities to understand the scope of African American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino contributions to United States history, society, economy, and culture, so that teachers can better support each other and their students, while demonstrating cross-curricular connections and developing innovative instructional approaches along with additional opportunities for differentiated assessment. 

For more information, contact: 
Regine Randall
Associate Professor
Curriculum and Learning  


Social Engagement Program for Autistic Youth  

Social Engagement Program for Autistic Youth between Berlin Public Schools, Meriden Public Schools, Meriden YMCA, and Southern Connecticut State University 

Offered as a pilot program, this project was a multi-agency effort involving the collaboration of two public school districts: Berlin Public Schools and Meriden Public Schools, two Centers of Excellence at Southern Connecticut State University: the Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CECTL) and the Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders (CEASD), and the Meriden YMCA.  

To create the first cohort, a group of middle- and high-school-aged students with autism spectrum disorder were identified by the districts and invited to participate in this 8-session program, which met at the Meriden YMCA twice weekly for four weeks. Concurrently, a parent/caregiver parallel support program was offered while the youth were engaged in a variety of social and recreational activities.  

Prior to the initiation of the youth program, a two-part training was delivered to YMCA staff, designed to increase the knowledge and skill of YMCA employees in employing successful strategies to benefit individuals with autism.  

This training was designed specifically for this purpose and delivered by staff from the SCSU Centers of Excellence (CECTL & CEASD). Materials and tools were distributed to trainees for use within their programming.  

Overall, data suggest that this experience had a positive impact on the student participants’ desire to engage in similar programming in the future, parents’/caregivers’ confidence in the ability of YMCA staff to support their children in similar programming, and the ability of the YMCA staff to effectively engage and support youth with ASD. 

Kari Sassu
Director of the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning