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Mitchell College Expands Accessible, Flexible Learning Options

Mitchell College has its own definition of what a college education can be: radically inclusive and unapologetically accessible. From wherever they are on their education journey, students can choose a path that combines skills- and career-focused coursework in an abilities-based curriculum with Mitchell’s signature support network. For more than 85 years, Mitchell’s culture of acceptance has dramatically changed the lives of its students.

Based on a personalized education model, Mitchell’s specialized pathways help students reach their educational and professional goals. In addition to traditional 2- and 4-year degree programs, the college has added flexible new programs: degree completion for adult learners; training for companies and individuals seeking workforce development; living/learning for post-graduate success; and courses to accelerate a degree.

  • A 100% online degree completion program in Professional Studies (Business or Health and Human Services) helps adult learners who have started—but not completed—a degree. Students can enroll full- or part-time throughout the year and earn a bachelor’s degree in one of two high-demand career tracks. Student success is supported by advisors, faculty, and staff who are experienced in working with adult learners and understand the challenges they face. Questions? Contact Cathy Hurd, vice president of enrollment management, at 860-701-5036 or hurd_c@mitchell.edu, or visit https://mitchell.edu/2023/07/21/new-degree-completion-program-for-adult-learners/.

  • The Mitchell Hub provides courses designed for employers to train their teams, as well as badging and certificates for individuals working to upskill or accelerate their career growth. For employers looking for solutions to recruit, retain, and develop staff, The Hub offers a flexible and cost-effective way to integrate microcredentials into onboarding, upskilling, and retraining strategies. Individuals can also access an online learning platform with flexible access to certification and professional skills courses in numerous industries. Questions? Contact Karen Bellnier, director of digital innovation, at 860-701-5415 or hub@mitchell.edu, or visit https://hub.mitchell.edu/about/.

  • For recent college graduates, the STAIRs Program (Skills Training, Advancement, and Individual Readiness) builds on an inclusive education approach to provide additional guidance and support for success. This 2-year program was developed in response to an increasing demand to support students who need extra time to achieve emotional readiness and confidence, seek employment or start careers, and reach personal goals. Multiple levels of support accommodate the unique needs of each person, including those who are neurodivergent. Core components include independent living and career readiness; social, emotional, and interpersonal skills development; and holistic wellness. Questions? Contact Dr. Alicia Martinez, dean of student experience and belonging, at martinez_a@mitchell.edu, or visit https://mitchell.edu/home/stairs/.

  • MiniMesters offer accelerated 2-week online courses for quickly earning course credits. These courses offer our students the chance to catch up or get ahead in pursuing their degree. MiniMester sessions are held in January and May, between traditional college semesters. Questions? Contact the registrar at 860-701-5019 or registrar@mitchell.edu, or visit https://mitchell.edu/minimesters/.

Mitchell also offers pathways for high-school students and those seeking advanced degrees through partnerships with New London Public Schools, Fisher College, and the University of St. Joseph. Visit mitchell.edu/news to learn more.

Mitchell College Re-Accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education

Mitchell College was recently re-accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), marking 68 years since the college was first accredited in 1956. The college was last reviewed in 2013.

“Our status as an accredited institution of higher education with the New England Commission of Higher Education speaks to the high quality of what we offer students through instruction and support. A NECHE accreditation reinforces the value of the degree they earn at Mitchell College, and we are honored by this achievement and excited to share its significance with our students and community,” said Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, president of Mitchell College.

NECHE serves as an institutional accreditor and promotes educational excellence and quality assurance to its member institutions, degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions offering higher education and located inside or outside the United States, including the 6-state New England region. NECHE currently accredits more than 200 institutions across the globe. It consists of faculty and administrators from affiliated institutions and public members and is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits.

As part of the re-accreditation process, Mitchell College completed an 18-month self-study during which working groups of Mitchell College faculty and staff collaborated to maximize campus knowledge and optimize effectiveness in examining the college’s accomplishments and goals aligning with NECHE’s Standards:

  • Mission and Purposes
  • Planning and Evaluation
  • Organization and Governance
  • The Academic Program
  • Students
  • Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
  • Institutional Resources
  • Educational Effectiveness
  • Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure

During the re-accreditation process an evaluation team from NECHE took part in a 4-day site visit to confirm the accuracy of the self-study, focusing on NECHE’s Standards for Accreditation. In addition, the public was invited to submit comments to NECHE about the College, addressing substantive matters related to its quality.

Podcast Features President Espy, Mitchell College

President Espy was interviewed recently on the Connecticut East This Week podcast, hosted by veteran broadcaster Brian Scott-Smith. Dr. Espy shares the latest on all that is happening at Mitchell College.

The multi-award-winning podcast airs on traditional radio, through its own dedicated website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Local listeners in New London County and Windham County and parts of Middlesex County, Tolland County, Southern Massachusetts, and Western Rhode Island can hear the podcast on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 6am, 7am, and 9pm and on Monday, Feb. 12, at 5:30pm on one of the six Hall Radio Group stations: 97.7 WCTY, 94.5 WICH, 100.9 K-Hits, 98.7 WNLC, 1400AM and 95.3 WILI, and i98.3. The podcast can be accessed anytime on YouTube.

Brian Scott-Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the news, TV, and radio business. Originally from the UK, he worked for the BBC and local commercial radio. A resident of the U.S. for more than 10 years, he produces digital content for WSHU (NPR) and the Hall Radio Group in Eastern Connecticut.

Celebrate Black Heritage & Culture at ‘Letting OUR Voices Be Heard’ Event

Mitchell College invites the community to attend “Letting OUR Voices Be Heard,” a celebration of Black heritage and culture, Sunday, February 25, 1:00–5:00pm in the Clarke Center at Mitchell College (snow date is Sunday, March 3). Event admission is free, but registration is recommended. REGISTER HERE

The Black History Month event will feature dozens of Black performers and Black-owned businesses, including dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists, influential Black speakers, poets, natural hair specialists, visual artists, and others. DJ Tim Allen will infuse the event with the music of Black culture, and drawings for giveaways will take place throughout the day.

First-year Mitchell College student Inonda Peterson conceived and organized the event as a way to show younger generations in the Black community that they are not defined or limited by their skin color. She is also the owner of InondaWrites, LLC, whose mission is to give a voice to those who have been silenced by pain.

Peterson said, “The sweet sounds of African drummers will welcome everyone to our event, where they can explore, support, and network with Black-owned businesses and artists. In planning this event I wanted to paint a picture of Black success to show younger generations what they can aspire to do and be. Letting OUR Voices Be Heard will showcase Black excellence, Black prosperity, and Black success and is meant to educate all ages and all skin colors about Black heritage and culture. Everyone is welcome. Let’s continue to come together to stand as one and shout from the rooftops to let our voices be heard!”

Dr. Alicia Martinez, dean of student affairs and belonging, said “Mitchell College is excited to open our doors to the community and celebrate Black culture and heritage together at Letting OUR Voices Be Heard. This event is one example of how our students are empowered to be architects of their own Mitchell experience. Inonda had an idea, enlisted support for it, and followed through to make it happen. Knowing that she is part of a community that strongly values respect, trust, and inclusion without judgment enabled her to pursue her vision with confidence.”

In a show of cross-town support, the Connecticut College Black Student Union will also be promoting the event on its campus with plans for its students to attend the event.

Performers include:
Shiloh Choir
Roodley-Interrupted (Spoken Word)
Crystal Christie (Vocalist)
Brother O (Spoken Word)
Shiloh Praise Dancers
Jordan Bostick (Vocalist)
Sheltric Peterson (Speaker)
Krystakia Rose (Vocalist)
Rose City Step Team (Dance)
Maya B (Vocalist)
Oso (Pianist)
Eliiijah (Vocalist)
Charli Lennon (Speaker)
Kela Nore’ (Vocalist)
Ysanne Marshall (Vocalist)
Sian Crespo (Spoken Word)
Gamaya (Spoken Word)
Eddie Resado (Speaker)
Deion Kelly (Vocalist)
James Hodge & Gizelle Tircuit (Dance)
1213 (Singing Group)
Tim Tallent (Gospel Rap)

Businesses & Organizations include:
Sweet Lil Details, LLC
Big Red Book Truck
Haj Wellness, LLC
Andre Rochester (Art)
The Organic Afro Chic
NAACP
Sisters 2 Sisters
Lonnie Braxton
Peterseines Place 19:23 Inc.
InondaWrites, LLC
Hearing Youth Voices
Classic Jackson Arts
Serena Prince (Conn College Artist)
NO_ONE
Exemplify to Edify, LLC
Magnolia Wellness
Goin Places WrldWide/Claws by Maddie
3SistersBBB
The Samaritan House Inc.
National Council of Negro Women
Michael Watts Apparel
Jodicupofhealth
Lauren Simone Publishing House
U.S. Navy

 

CT Baby Bonds Program Information Session at Mitchell on Feb. 12

Mitchell College hosts the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut for their public information event “Ending child poverty in Connecticut: Baby Bonds and beyond,” on Monday, February 12, 10am–noon at The Red Barn on the Mitchell campus, 629-A Montauk Avenue, New London. The program features a conversation between Connecticut State Treasurer Erick Russell and Darrick Hamilton, an economist and professor at The New School. Attorney Nilda Rodriguez Havrilla, from Connecticut Legal Services, facilitates the discussion, which focuses on how the Baby Bonds program will bring greater equity to children and families in Eastern Connecticut and help end child poverty. Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, president of Mitchell College, will give the welcome.

The program is free, but registration is required (open through February 8). REGISTER HERE

Erick Russell, in his first term as treasurer, successfully secured funding to launch CT Baby Bonds, the first-in-the-nation program to combat generational poverty. According to the CT Baby Bonds website, the program invests $3,200 on behalf of each baby born in Connecticut whose birth is covered by HUSKY, Connecticut’s Medicaid program. The funds are held, managed, and invested by the Office of the Treasurer. When a participating child reaches adulthood (between the ages of 18–30), they are eligible to claim the funds to buy a home, start or invest in a Connecticut business, pay for higher education or job training, or save for retirement. To be eligible to claim for approved uses, participants must be Connecticut residents and complete a financial literacy course. Depending on when the funds are claimed, the initial investment is expected to grow to between $11,000–$24,000.

Darrick Hamilton is the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and founding director of the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy at The New School. He has been involved in crafting policy proposals, such as Baby Bonds and Federal Job Guarantee, which have inspired legislative proposals at the federal, state, and local levels.

Mitchell College Welcomes New Trustees

The Mitchell College Board of Trustees is pleased to announce four new members who have joined the board over the last year. New trustees include Mark Alberti, retired director at Pfizer; Kevin Coleman ’18, litigation associate at Covington & Burling; Moish Tov, CEO and chairman of JoyDew, an organization providing a path to employability, personal fulfilment, and community for autistic adults; and Marc Verbos, president of AIMCOR Aligned Distribution and executive vice president of AIMCOR Group, LLC, a national insurance marketing organization. Dr. Anne Bingham Pierson, a descendant of the Mitchell family for whom the college is named and recipient of a 2019 honorary Doctor of Science, has been named an honorary trustee.

Board of Trustees Chair Richard D’Avino said, “Along with my fellow trustees, I am delighted to welcome our four new colleagues and our honorary trustee to the Mitchell College Board of Trustees. Their breadth of expertise and desire to serve will greatly benefit the college as it continues on a trajectory of growth, solidifying Mitchell as a place of radical possibilities and powerful transformation for our students. As the college continues to distinguish itself as an inclusive and accessible institution of higher education, it will benefit from the valuable viewpoints and diverse backgrounds of our new trustees—in business, autism support, law, and with deep Mitchell connections.”

Mitchell College is committed to expanding higher education opportunities for all types of learners, recently adding three new programs: an online degree completion program in Professional Studies for adult learners; the Mitchell Hub, an online learning platform providing industry-focused credentials and professional skill-building for those seeking career entry or advancement; and the STAIRs Program (Skills Training, Advancement, and Individual Readiness), for recent college graduates needing additional guidance and support to gain independence, pursue graduate studies, or seek employment.

For more information about Mitchell College, visit www.mitchell.edu.