The History of Mildred Elley

For nearly a century, the Capital District of New York has been home to one of the nation‘s finest business schools. In 1917, when a shortage of office workers in the Capital District occurred because of World War I, many positions previously held by men opened up to women. Many young women became excited about the opportunity to obtain the skills needed to fill these well-paying office positions.

A group of young women turned to Mrs. Augusta Mildred Elley, known in the community as a woman of letters. Educated at a New York City private school, she held a four-year college degree. Mrs. Elley was a well-known suffragette and respected for her intellectual pursuits. She agreed to teach typing and shorthand in her home at 245 Quail Street in Albany, New York.

In 1919 fifty students graduated from Mildred Elley‘s school. The school soon outgrew the Elley home and, in 1927, the school moved to a modern commercial building at 227 Quail Street. For nearly seventy years this building was the home of educational and career opportunities for many women.

In 1985, Faith Ann Takes became President of Mildred Elley School. Under her leadership the school entered an era of change and growth. In ten years, the enrollment grew from thirty-seven to over five hundred students. In 1985, Mildred Elley became co-educational. In 1989, an evening program was created and has grown to nearly the size of the day division. In 2002, a weekend program was added.

In 1991, a branch campus was established in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to help dislocated workers get training as medical assistants. In 1992, Mildred Elley‘s Pittsfield, Massachusetts Campus added more programs to meet the demands of the business community in the Berkshire area. Since then, several new programs were developed, and in 2005, Mildred Elley‘s Pittsfield, Massachusetts Campus started offering credit-bearing certificate programs, with many closely aligned with the programs offered in Albany, New York.

Since January 1997, graduates have been able to earn the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree.

In 2006, the college reorganized its academic programs into three divisions. The three divisions are: School of Business and Technology, School of Digital Media Arts, and School of Health and Wellness Professions. Additionally, the Department of General and Interdisciplinary Studies supports the degree and certificate programs with coursework in written and oral communications, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and college and career success skills. In 2007, the Extension School was formally added as a fourth division of the college; the Extension School offers credit-free and credit-bearing coursework, as well as summer programs, to non-matriculants, secondary school students, and organizational customers.

In 2008, Mildred Elley moved into its current location at 855 Central Avenue in Albany, thus returning to its city roots. The college shares its campus space with its sister school, Austin‘s School of Spa Technology, in the three-floor campus building.

In 2010, the college established a branch campus in lower Manhattan, and added a new division to its academic structure, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.