Top Workplaces 2022: As Goodwin University in East Hartford grows, it’s adding fields of study to help students find a job

·2 min read

Goodwin University, a career-focused school in East Hartford, has grown as it adds fields of study intended to help students with their top priority: land a job.

It’s expanding into Fairfield County by taking over the University of Bridgeport, opening manufacturing training centers in Hartford and planning construction of a marina with the town of East Hartford.

Goodwin is adding to its workforce of 670 employees, said Beth Frechette, director of Learning, Development and Engagement. It’s looking to fill faculty and staff openings in administration and student support, nursing, advanced manufacturing, business and community manufacturing programs.

It ranks No. 10 in Top Workplaces among large employers

Goodwin’s flexible work arrangements include hybrid work, with about 70% of employees on campus, Frechette said.

It has scheduled Sept. 9 as a “community day,” bringing all employees on campus to provide updates on the school’s mission and objectives.

The university, with an enrollment of 3,259 students, operates in an open enrollment model, seeking to admit students with academic potential, “regardless of past performance.”

Goodwin, founded in 1999, touts a student body that is 82% women and 50% are students of color. And its student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. The median age is 29, 69% of students are 25 or older and two-thirds are first-generation American.

Work benefits include tuition support for employees and family members, volunteer opportunities and employee training programs available to eligible employees on its campus on the Connecticut River in East Hartford, CT.

Among comments from employees are an appreciation of teaching.

“I love to teach what I learned over the years,” one employee said.

“It offers me the opportunity to teach in new, creative and innovative ways,” said another.

Another employee said the work schedule allows the flexibility for a work/life balance and is “heard and listened to.”

Goodwin said its mission is to educate a culturally diverse student population “in an environment that builds bridges between education, commerce and community.” Goodwin offers certificates and associates and bachelor degrees.

Goodwin also has opened its Early Childhood Magnet School, the new home of the school’s magnet high school, the Connecticut River Academy and the new home of Pathways Academy of Technology and Design and a Hartford public high school.

Pieces of Goodwin’s campus development that are already completed include a commercial/retail building at Main and Ensign streets that opened in May. Rebel Dog Coffee, a meeting place for the Goodwin community, and American Eagle Financial Credit Union are tenants.

In 2020, Goodwin completed a $10.5 million, 14,700-square-foot addition to the manufacturing annex at Connecticut River Academy, a magnet high school and one of three campus magnet schools the college runs with the state.

Stephen Singer can be reached at