The new associate’s degree program will serve students from the Bridgeport region, making Jesuit Catholic higher education more accessible for all.
FAIRFIELD—Fairfield University and the Diocese of Bridgeport are pleased to announce that Fairfield Bellarmine, a new academic unit that will offer a two-year associate’s degree program, will open in Fall of 2023 at the site of the former St. Ambrose School on Boston Avenue in Bridgeport, Conn. The new campus will initially occupy the St. Ambrose rectory and convent.
Fairfield Bellarmine will prepare students for transition to a bachelor’s degree program at a variety of four-year institutions, or for meaningful employment. The creation of this two-year associate’s degree program designed to serve students in the Bridgeport community, is part of the University’s strategic partnership with the Diocese of Bridgeport, “Pathways to Higher Learning.”
“Animated by a fundamental mission to accompany our youth on a hope-filled future, Fairfield University is committed to advancing access to our values-based, student-centric, outcomes-focused education in ever more modern ways,” said Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD. “As educators we believe in the dignifying and transformative power of education. We are grateful to be working with the Diocese of Bridgeport, as the Bellarmine initiative is another innovative partnership providing greater opportunities and pathways to achievement for students of promise.”
“This is a moment we’ve all looked forward to, and I believe one that will have lasting implications for the educational and personal success of our young people. By creating a pathway to higher education, we’re also creating a pathway to hope and to achievement for students with untapped promise and potential. I’m grateful to Fairfield University for their leadership and commitment to this effort, which will transform lives and strengthen our community,” said the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport.
Renovation plans for the facilities and a site plan for the campus are underway. Several buildings will house instructional, student life, community engagement, and administrative spaces. Small class sizes and cohorts will ensure one-on-one attention, dedicated faculty, and strong support services.
Students will benefit from mentoring, including peer tutors. The University’s writing and math center staff will have a presence on the Bellarmine campus, and students will be actively engaged in planning and forming a student government, clubs, athletic activities, and social and faith-related events at the Bellarmine campus. Students will have the opportunity to participate in University clubs, activities and intramural and club sports, as well as have access to facilities on Fairfield’s main campus.
Fairfield University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), and the Bellarmine program is currently under accreditation review by NECHE. NECHE is an institutional accreditor and promotes educational excellence and quality assurance to its member institutions. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits.
Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.