Mitchell College Announces Retirement of Visionary Learning Specialist

Susan Plante, M.S., director of Mitchell College's nationally recognized Bentsen Learning Center announced she will retire on May 31, 2014 after 25 years of service and leadership. “It has been an honor and pleasure to be part of the Mitchell community and help build a transformative educational model for students with disabilities,” Plante said.

Mitchell College Bentsen Learning Center is a nationally recognized academic support program for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. In 1981 Mitchell College was a forerunner with the launch of a then unique program focused on students who learn differently.

Mitchell adopted a philosophy of enhancing student independence and self-advocacy. The Bentsen Learning Center continues to focus on the teaching and application of learning strategies and career readiness skills. Plante explained, “Our mission has always been to recognize a student’s strengths and address learning differences through the teaching of compensatory strategies and the use of assistive technology.”

The program is located in the Duquès Academic Success Center, a learning facility dedicated solely to student academic success, and consists of four levels of support, with each level designed to address the needs of students
in their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year in college. Through strong, collaborative relationships, students work with assigned learning specialists and technologists to set goals and develop an individualized program to help meet those goals.

Plante leaves an exceptional legacy and President Mary Ellen Jukoski noted, “Part of Sue’s (sic) legacy is the recent growth in our assistive technology branch. Thanks to a recent gift from the Aramont Foundation Trust, our Bentsen Learning Center acquired significant tools and resources as well as a technology specialist to advise and train students in the use of these tools.”

Jukoski also shared, “Mitchell will launch a search for a new director of the Bentsen Learning Center, and we are pleased that she (Plante) has so graciously agreed to serve on the search committee to help us identify an exceptional individual with the same passion and commitment characteristic of our faculty and staff.”

Plante joined Mitchell College in 1981. She obtained her graduate degree in education from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.