Mitchell College has spent 2022 preparing to meet the new needs of students and the community as it builds forward to ensure student success. With its newly launched five-year strategic plan, “Illuminating Mitchell College’s Future: A Bold Plan for a Kaleidoscope of Learners,” Mitchell College is poised to welcome 2023 with an exciting slate of new programs and initiatives, expanding opportunities for its kaleidoscope of learners while providing holistic supports to help each individual student reach their greatest potential.
This plan will continue to move the college forward, deepening connections and service to the community, serving a greater and more diverse student body through expanded, industry-demand programs and aligning infrastructure with the needs of the students of today and in the future.
“First and foremost, Mitchell College is committed to being a community of belonging for our broad group of learners,” said President Tracy Y. Espy, Ph.D. “This is the place where they can come to meet their educational needs, learn other valuable life skills and, through advocacy and support, discover their true potential. Mitchell strives to be a movement in educating a kaleidoscope of learners, not just an institution.”
In 2022, Mitchell College successfully achieved a $1 million match to its record-breaking $3 million gift from earlier in the year and, thanks to help from U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), recently received $550,000 in federal funding to support its new Digital Innovation Hub for Educational Excellence (DIHEE).
The DIHEE, preparing to launch in January, will “upskill” the adult regional workforce, offering industry-demand programs via certifications, badges, micro-credentials and advanced credentials in the STEM and mental health fields. Located in the Mitchell College Library, the DIHEE will provide technical and learning support via written and video resources and live sessions, as well as opportunities for peer engagement. The DIHEE aligns with the workforce development goals laid out by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and will meet the needs of the region.
Answering another community need, Mitchell College will introduce in 2023 a post-graduate learning program with multi-level supports for neurodivergent individuals. Skills Training, Advancement and Individual Readiness (STAIR), a 1- to 2-year program, builds on the inclusive nature of the Mitchell College educational experience by offering more recent college graduates additional guidance, tools and support for their next steps of career or graduate school. The program includes two main components: AIM Basics, focused on independent living, career readiness, social and interpersonal skills and holistic wellness, with the goal of developing self-sufficiency and independence; and Program Hubs, which include a choice of focus on either career preparation or academic exploration and graduate school preparedness.
Programs to support student mental wellness at Mitchell will also be launched in 2023:
- Thanks to funding from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Mitchell College will offer the BLOSSOM Project, which aims to teach female students, spanning the range of neurodiversity, to set safe boundaries with friends and partners, critical to a healthy environment where all can learn and thrive in safety. The project will include group workshops to educate, train, raise awareness and build self-confidence for students to “blossom” as they develop and strengthen their sense of self-worth. It also includes a “Women’s Empowerment” event, open to the public, that will be both a celebration and a powerful, motivating educational event.
- Mitchell College is also participating in a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation (JED), designed to help institutions evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs and systems to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety net. After completing a self-assessment, Mitchell will collaborate over four years with JED to implement enhancements.
- College-age young adults may be more susceptible to problem gambling. Mitchell College, through a grant from the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, and in partnership with local experts, will promote Problem Gambling Awareness through activities that promote healthy and responsible decisions around gambling. Activities include information sessions from area casinos, gambling addiction experts and those in recovery, and training to help campus staff to recognize signs of gambling-related problems.
Watch for announcements early next year as Mitchell College continues to launch industry-driven programming, including new majors in computer sciences and business management and an exciting master-level partnership with the University of Saint Joseph.
A wave of momentum is building on the beautiful beachfront campus of Mitchell College, where commitment to students and community will continue to deepen and grow in 2023 and beyond.