Goodwin College MOVE and WISE Students Find Success, Empowerment

March 8, 2017

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A pair of programs at Goodwin College (CT) aim to support the academic and personal success of young men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds. With aptly named acronyms, MOVE and WISE are committed to empowering students with a sense of belonging and ownership while encouraging them to engage in enrichment opportunities, develop a sense of shared learning and pursue opportunities for personal growth.

Goodwin created Men of Vision in Education (MOVE) in 2008 with a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Because of MOVE’s success, Goodwin launched a “sister” program, Women Invested in Securing an Education (WISE), in 2012. Benefits of the programs are clear: in the fall of 2015, the average GPAs of WISE and MOVE students were 2.7 and 2.1, respectively. By the summer of 2016, the WISE group’s GPA had risen to 2.9 and the MOVE group’s to 2.6.


Each program selects 20 eligible students every fall. Cohort members are expected to graduate with a two-year associate degree in three years and enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at Goodwin or elsewhere.

To participate in MOVE or WISE, prospective students must:

  1. Complete the Summer Bridge Academy Program, a six-week summer program that introduces students to a college setting and provides remediation, testing and college-level coursework, with a passing grade.
  2. Be 18-20 years of age with a high school diploma or GED.
  3. Be from a disadvantaged background, such as being a first-generation or low-income student or having been in the criminal justice system or foster care.

The program provides financial assistance through grants and by covering the cost of books; individualized academic advising; a mentoring system of new and experienced members; and a support network that instills “brotherhood” and “sisterhood.” An extensive self-governing board structure allows members to learn leadership skills and practice independence, personal growth and career development. Students also participate in workshops, take trips to local cities and engage in community service, with 4,189 hours served during the 2015-16 academic year.

After the initial grant ran out, Goodwin decided to institutionalize MOVE due to its huge success. With the support of the president, administrators and the board, Goodwin now funds MOVE and WISE annually.

At a Glance

ACE Member Institution: Goodwin College (CT)

Programs: Men of Vision in Education (MOVE) and Women Invested in Securing an Education (WISE)

Success Stories:

“The MOVE program helped to ease my nerves about the college experience. Coming into the program with peers and upperclassmen as support made me feel like part of a community.” — Austin Granchelli, Cohort 5

“What I love most about MOVE is that it has served as a motivator for me to excel in my academics and go the extra mile to prepare for a career. I have made many connections and feel like I am part of a family every time I come to school.” — Miguel Navarro, Cohort 7

“WISE has helped me to expand my horizons and define my long-term educational goals. I once only aspired to get a bachelor’s degree, but now, I know that I definitely want to pursue a master’s degree. Thank you, WISE!” — Monica Correa, Cohort 1

“I have gained so much from being a part of WISE. Being a part of the program has taught me that you aren’t limited to learning inside of the classroom, but that you also learn through experiences and getting involved outside of the classroom.” — Yaritza Velez, Cohort 3

Become a member: As a member of ACE, you join nearly 1,800 organizations that collectively promote, protect and advocate for students, faculty and administrators in higher education. ACE is the most visible and influential higher education association in the nation, and we are at the center of federal policy debates concerning legislation that affects campuses across the country. See more on the ACE website.

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