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President Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D.

A Message from President Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D.

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Community Members,  

Over the past three years, our community and our college have been tested as never before. I am proud to say that Bristol Community College has come through with new vigor, renewed purpose and a sharper focus.

The pandemic placed a harsh light on the inequities that many of our students routinely face. It quickly became clear that we must do even more to ensure that everyone, no matter their life’s circumstances, has the opportunity for a prosperous and fulfilling future. The rising social justice movement in our country has set Bristol on a path to better understand and counteract the effects of racial trauma and structural racism, starting with college-wide training. It is our college’s shared responsibility to improve equity-mindedness and ensure institutional support.

We’ve also enhanced and broadened our support to make a Bristol education more accessible and effective for our students and prospective students. To reach students early and to deepen the region’s growing college-going culture, we expanded our early college and dual-enrollment pro- grams. Bristol is now open, more than ever, to high school students who may have never considered higher education— enabling them to gain college credit, introducing them to career paths and easing the burden of paying for college. These and other investments allow 68% of our students to complete their degrees with no debt.

We are expanding our options for adult learners and creating new opportunities for all of our students. We must focus on the mental health and wellbeing of our students, recognize their needs and support them on their journey to success.

Another program offered trains underemployed or unemployed workers for careers in cybersecurity. In a similar response to business needs, we created a new supply chain management program when the pandemic made the importance of the supply chain very clear.

Bristol’s National Offshore Wind Institute will respond to an emerging economic need.

The pandemic has evolved and we are in a symbolic moment. A new day is dawning in our region with new hope for a prosperous economy and a fairer society. We are in a time when household incomes can rise for everyone, and a college education and economic opportunity are within reach.

We are able to accomplish all of this because of the support of our generous donors, our dedicated partners and grant funders — who in the last five years have awarded us more than $50 million.

Bristol is a vital piece of this progress. Bristol’s faculty bring worldly experience, industry knowledge and a passion for learning that is unparalleled. As you will see in this report, their dedication prepares our students for the next step in their educational journey, whether it is transferring to a four-year institution or going directly into the workforce.

Together, we will develop the talents and skills of the people in our region so our businesses, institutions and communities can count on a thriving future. It is work we all depend on, and I thank you for your support.


Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D.
President, Bristol Community College