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Building a Partnership with Local Community College To Increase Access to Learning Opportunities

Exchanging classroom space for college courses


The local community college in Meriden, CT was seeking space to hold some of its courses as the space it was renting wasn’t financially sustainable. Meriden Public Schools was able to provide support by giving the college empty classrooms at the high school after the school day ended at no cost. In return, the community college provided free seats in its courses to Meriden staff and students.

"We have a partnership with our local community college where they needed space, and we had space at our high school, so an exchange was made. They use the space at our high school and we get free seats to their courses for our students and our staff." - Mark Benigni, Superintendent


To keep the high school classrooms and building secure, the local community college hired security to monitor the building after school while Meriden classrooms were being used; this was the only cost incurred by the college. In return for this low-cost solution to the space needs, five free seats were provided to Meriden students and staff to any course being taught on the high school campus. This model allowed for Meriden high school students to begin earning college credits while still in high school and for staff to continue their own learning at no cost.

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.