CCSU Earns Third Spot on List of “10 Best ‘Hidden Gem’ Universities in New England”

Samantha Bender, Assistant News Editor

In a recent article published by the higher education website known as the College Gazette, Central Connecticut State University earned the third spot on its list of “10 best ‘Hidden Gem’ universities in New England.”

The article, which was published at the beginning of the year, credited CCSU on its implementation of the “many new initiatives to further its curricular offerings.”

This honor came as no surprise to President Dr. Zulma Toro, who began her tenure at CCSU in January 2017.

“Having public recognition of the university you have the privilege to lead is very nice, but we know that we are a gem,” Dr. Toro said.

Placed just behind top-ranked Sacred Heart University and University of New England, the article acknowledged that “in the last decade alone, Central Connecticut State has invested an amazing $394 million in its facilities, bolstering its appearance and classroom offerings.” 

Dr. Toro believes that on top of CCSU’s new renovations and academic programs, the faculty play a major role in the success of the university.

“Our faculty members are first-class in the sense that they not only teach, they’re respected scholars. They continue to be up to date in their areas, they contribute to the advancement of knowledge,” Dr. Toro stated. “They contribute to the solution of community problems and they mentor our students.”

The College Gazette went on to mention that CCSU, which is home to approximately 12,000 students, is among the more selective of Connecticut’s public universities and highlighted well-known alumni, including actor Richard Grieco and Dave Campo, former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Jason Dubrovich, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team, takes pride in being able to call CCSU home. 

“It’s an honor to be a part of a university that holds such high standards and will help me to better my future,” Dubrovich said.

This honor is among just one of many bestowed upon the university in the past several years.

Recently, the Princeton Review, a college guidebook, included CCSU in its new publication titled, “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

It was featured along with nine other Connecticut institutions including Yale, Wesleyan, Trinity College, University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac University, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and St. Joseph Academy. 

The Princeton Review commended CCSU on having over 130 student clubs and organizations, which cover a broad range of interests for students of every background. 

According to CCSU’s website, the university has been recognized nationally several other times in the past.

“In 2001, the Association of American Colleges & Universities selected CCSU as one of 16 national ‘leadership institutions,’ and in 2002, the college guidebook, Great Colleges for the Real World selected the University for inclusion among its ‘best 201 colleges’ in the nation,” the website stated.

According to Dr. Toro, any public recognition is beneficial for the university in that it helps with advocating for the support of stakeholders and in attracting prospective students to take a closer look at what Central offers.

“One of our goals is to get the Central name beyond the boundaries of our state,” Dr Toro explained further. “We want to get Central known in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the New England area.”