Building Independence & Empowerment

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Text questions to: 860-910-1052

About the Program

The goal of the Bentsen Learning Center (BLC) is to assist students with diagnosed learning differences and attention deficit disorders in developing study and self-advocacy strategies to enable them to survive and thrive in the college environment. The overarching goal communicated to students is that of independence and empowerment in their academic pursuits.

A fee-based comprehensive academic support program, the Bentsen Learning Center fosters a holistic approach by continually assessing students’ progress in developing their academic skills. The program assists students in learning and applying strategies that will move them toward effective learning and independence.

Knowing that each student is unique, the program offers a customized, individualized approach that provides opportunities for students to learn in different ways and apply academic skills to the college setting.

A Relational Focus

The collaborative relationship between students and their learning specialist that develops over time is an essential part of our program. Students feel that they can trust their specialist, often sharing confidential information with them and knowing that this is a person on campus who will help them navigate their Mitchell experience. Students are taught how to apply learning strategies using current course content. Each semester, they work together to identify strengths and areas of challenge to assist them in achieving their academic goals. Specifically, learning specialists employ multimodality techniques to help students develop skills and strategies that include:

  • self-advocacy
  • time management
  • organization
  • comprehension
  • writing
  • research
  • study skills
  • test prep

With the integration of technology, students and specialist explore various educational apps, devices and websites to support individual learning styles and provide accessibility to course material.

The Bentsen Learning Center offers three tiers of academic support

Initially students use the Comprehensive Strategic Learning Tier or Enhanced Strategic Learning Tier which provide maximum time to develop and practice new strategies. As students move toward independence, they have the opportunity to participate in fewer support sessions. At the end of each semester, students, in collaboration with their learning specialist, determine if they are ready to reduce their amount of support.


Contact the BLC

Contact Alice Murallo, BLC Assistant Director

Duques Academic Success Center
3rd Floor
437 Pequot Avenue
New London, CT 06320

Tier 1: Comprehensive Strategic Learning

Students receive three weekly individual sessions of academic support with an assigned learning specialist. At the start of the semester, the student and the learning specialist develop an individualized program based on a student’s learning profile and goals. The goals created will direct the focus of the sessions. During the semester regular feedback is provided about student progress in meeting semester goals.

Fees 2020/21 Academic Year

$3920 per semester

Tier 2: Enhanced Strategic Learning

Students receive two individual appointments a week with an assigned learning specialist. The student and specialist together develop an individualized program of support based on the student’s learning profile. Throughout the semester specialists evaluate student progress in meeting academic goals.

Fees 2020/21 Academic Year

$2620 per semester

Tier 3: Transitional Strategic Learning – Returning Students Only

One appointment of academic support is provided by an assigned learning specialist. This level of support is appropriate for students who can apply a variety of learning strategies across the curriculum, but who may still benefit from limited support.

Fees 2020/21 Academic Year

$1320 per semester

Application Process for the Bentsen Learning Center

Apply here for Fall 2021; applications due by May 1, 2021. If you have questions, please contact Alice Murallo at murallo_a@mitchell.edu.

Bentsen Learning Center programs are for Mitchell College students only, but if you are applying to Mitchell College as a prospective student, or you are a current Thames student planning to attend Mitchell College after Thames, you are invited to apply to the BLC for Fall 2021 by the deadline of May 1. The application is separate and distinct from the application process to Mitchell College and you are encouraged to apply and provide supporting documents to the BLC any time before, during or after your application to the College. Once a student has been accepted to the college, The BLC will then review completed application materials and determine eligibility for the program. Each application is evaluated carefully to identify students whose needs best match the support offered by the program and who are prepared to actively participate.

In order to be considered for the program, students need to submit the following information:

  • Complete and submit an online application for admission by the May 1 deadline.
  • Cognitive testing (e.g. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III NU)) which includes a clearly stated diagnosis, narrative report, subtest scores and recommendations. Adult measures are preferred but child measures will be accepted if they are less than three (3) years old.
  • Achievement testing (e.g. Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (WJ IV), Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III or WIAT-IV) which includes narrative report, subtest scores, and current levels of functioning in the areas of reading, writing, and math.
  • Unedited writing sample (graded paper or typed draft of a narrative writing assignment). Please email it directly to Alice Murallo (murallo_a@mitchell.edu ) as a Word attachment or PDF. Google docs cannot be opened. 
  • IEP or 504 Plan (if available). 

Bentsen Learning Center Team

Listed by last name

Alice Murallo

BLC Assistant Director

Duques Center 311

Lauren Consolatore

Learning Specialist

Library – Lower Level

Mary-Beth Smith

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 315

Janice Arscott

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 307

Haley Fratus

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 306

Jaclyn Sullivan

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 302

Laura Beplat

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 303

Lisa Pike-Dolan

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 314

Betsy Swann

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 313

Kathryn Collomore

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 304

Janet Schermerhorn

Learning Specialist

Duques Center 312

A few words on fit.


"Fit” is the modern buzzword of the college search process. And frankly, rightly so. As you consider your college experience, we encourage you to look for a place that feels right. It’s also a good idea to make a list of the qualities and characteristics that make a college and you a winning combination.


If you are looking for a college that: 


  • Gets to know and understand each student as a uniquely talented individual

  • Identifies potential and encourages students in very intentional ways

  • Fosters growth in each student, giving them a foundation for life and career success

  • Is small enough to deliver on the promise of a personalized experience

  • Goes beyond “career services” and offers a progressive 4-year career development model, partnering with local businesses and nonprofits for professional experience

  • Promotes an inclusive culture that encourages students to experiment in new clubs and activities

  • Is nationally recognized for its academic support systems, from professional content tutors (not students) to proven comprehensive support for students with learning differences

  • Connects students to service opportunities that impact their world

  • Is in a location that offers access to New England’s natural places and some of America’s greatest cities




…Mitchell College delivers in a powerful way.

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