Home News and Features Features Seniors, Time To Choose Your College. Shop Local.

Seniors, Time To Choose Your College. Shop Local.


written and compiled by Carla Occaso

NORTHEASTERN VERMONT — Those who reside in this area are lucky to be surrounded by places of higher learning. Available courses of study include business, arts, education, culinary arts, human services, individualized study and more. This time of year as public schools are back in session, twelfth graders are putting together their college essays. Some students agonize over each word and worry whether their essay will make the cut in a competitive college. Others just want to finish it in order to get credit for the class. But in any case, now is the time students are choosing which college to apply to if they want to continue their education beyond high school.

Many students may want to get out of the state, as I did when I graduated U-32 and headed for New York University in New York City in the 1980s, but many others may want the advantages and economy of staying in this area. Students who belong to the latter group have plenty to choose from east of the Green Mountains.

The Bridge reached out to college representatives to send in information they wanted readers to know about the current state of their institution.

Goddard College — A Continued Tradition of Opposing Fascism With Education

PLAINFIELD — Royce “Tim” Pitkin founded Goddard College in 1938 in response to the rise of fascism in the west, and to unite liberal values with educational philosopher John Dewey’s belief that interactive, self-directed education could help build civil, democratic societies. 

Goddard continues this tradition today on its Plainfield campus as well as sites in Port Townsend and Seattle, Washington. Its programs offer students week-long residencies, and close relationships with faculty for the balance of each semester to work on graduate degrees in education, psychology, social innovation and sustainability, health arts and sciences, and individualized study, interdisciplinary arts and creative writing, and undergraduate degrees in individualized study, creative writing, health arts and sustainability.

In response to a renewed and growing urgency about social and economic inequity and injustice, environmental degradation, cultural conflicts, and widespread oppression, the Goddard College Board of Trustees has recently reaffirmed the founding impulse of the college by committing to “firmly align with a deep collective desire for and insistence on social and environmental justice.” This renewed commitment creates an opportunity for Goddard to step up, and to increase its impact in movements for social and environmental change.

Toward that end, Goddard has signed off on a 500-kilowatt solar project which will provide power and offset about 68 percent of the total electricity load with solar energy. Plans are also underway to replace the college’s 22 aging oil-burning boilers with a woodchip heating plant. This will reduce Goddard’s reliance on oil by 90 percent (50,000 gallons) putting it closer to its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020.

Goddard faculty are active scholar-practitioners, artists, activists, teachers, counselors and social entrepreneurs who live throughout the U.S. and globally.

For more information about Goddard College go to www.goddard.edu.

— Submitted by Dustin Byerly, associate director of advancement and alumni affairs


Vermont College of Fine Arts — Excellence in The Arts

MONTPELIER — Vermont College of Fine Arts, perched on top of College Hill, has blossomed into an arts mecca that attracts students from all over to learn from prestigious instructors who are accomplished artists in their field. The college features low residency programs on writing and publishing, music, visual art, filmmaking and graphic design.

According to Publications Manager Tim Simard, there is a lot of activity on campus this late summer into fall.

For example, the third annual Vermont Book Award Gala will take place in Alumni Hall Sept. 23. The college will crown the 2017 Vermont Book Award winner. Afterwards, Kat Wright will perform a live show. Tickets are $45 and moving fast: https://vcfa.edu/vermont-book-award-gala-tickets

Also, Julianna Baggott started earlier this month as the new MFA in Writing and Publishing program faculty director. Baggott is a bestselling author of over 20 books and an established faculty member.

The college has hired a new executive director of marketing, Alastair Hayes. Hayes is former marketing manager at St. Martin’s Press in New York City.

There are also four new board members to include Peter Christie of Morrisville, Hal Colston of Winooski, Leslie Ward of Calais and Debbie Dunn of Austin, Texas.

— Information submitted by Tim Simard, publications manager


Norwich University — Discipline Goes Hand In Hand With Higher Learning

NORTHFIELD — Norwich University welcomed 523 young men and women as rooks into its corps of cadets and 245 new civilian and commuter students for the fall 2017 semester. The corps of cadets stands at about 1,600 and civilian students make up about 800, for a total of about 2,400 students in its on-campus programs. About one-third of these students will go on to serve in the military, with the other two-thirds going into government, industry or on to earn advanced degrees. In addition, Norwich educates about 1,800 students in 12 online master’s programs and six online bachelor’s completion programs, as well as offering certificates.

President Richard W. Schneider begins his 25th year as president, making him the longest serving president after founder Captain Alden Partridge, who served as president for 24 years. During his tenure, Schneider has impacted greatly both the campus and the academic program.

Norwich University is the nation’s first private military college and is recognized as the birthplace of today’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. In this year’s freshman class, 70 students have been awarded ROTC scholarships. Norwich’s job is to prepare these students to lead and serve our nation with honor and integrity in the armed forces as junior officers.

Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning academic programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The top five undergraduate majors of this year’s incoming freshmen class include criminal justice, computer security, civil engineering, architecture and nursing.

Norwich is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2019. Founder, Captain Alden Partridge, was a visionary. He introduced experiential learning to the American education system, and the vision of the citizen-soldier that he put forth in 1819 continues to be as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 19th. Every day at Norwich, students are applying classroom theory to solve real-world problems.

Norwich’s 200-year history of leadership and forward thinking created the foundation from which generations of Norwich alumni have excelled — on the battlefield and in communities, serving in public and private sectors around the world.

Norwich is preparing future leaders with state-of-the art academic programs, an outstanding faculty, and world-class facilities. The campus is under construction. Norwich recently completed a $6.8 million renovation to Kreitzberg Library and the construction of a co-laboratory, a unique ‘makerspace’ facility where students can apply theory to practice. Next August, officials will be cutting the ribbon on Mack Hall, a brand new, $24 million academic building. The university will have completed $24.5 million in renovations to Dewey, Webb and Ainsworth Halls when it marks its bicentennial in 2019. These investments will equip future generations with the best education and technology available, and fulfill Captain Partridge’s vision.

Norwich invites the community to learn more about the university, to engage with its faculty and students through its centers of academic excellence, via undergraduate research projects or internships, or in civic engagement activities across local communities. The community is cordially invited to spend time on campus at a football game or a Todd Lecture, visit the library, or discover the ever-changing museum exhibits. The website — Norwich.edu — offers up to date information and a complete calendar of events throughout the academic year.

— Submitted by Daphne Larkin, director of media relations and community affairs. Edited slightly for length


Community College of Vermont — Affordable And Right Here

MONTPELIER —  Community College of Vermont has a reputation for being an affordable way to get transferable required credits before moving to another college. This strategy is seen as one way to keep a cap on student debt.

Katie A. Powers, public relations officer, told The Bridge by email that the 2017 fall semester started September 5. The Montpelier location has 379 enrollees, including 76 on ground,  three accelerated and 300 online.

Classes include Ethnicity and Diversity in the United States (the fall 2017 Study Away offering, which includes an 8-day trip to New York City in January), wellness for life, digital photography, food in literature, culture and film, small business marketing and sign language.

A new program offering is Early Childhood Education.

Powers writes, “Community College of Vermont is hard at work planning for the January launch of the transformed Early Childhood Professional Development System. The (system) will offer an array of services and training opportunities for early childhood and afterschool professionals. Offerings will include credentialing and registry services, as well as regional career advising and trainings offered via Community College of Vermont’s twelve centers statewide.”

— Information submitted by Katie A. Powers, public relations coordinator


New England Culinary Institute — Cooking Up A Whole New Program

MONTPELIER — New England Culinary Institute is a local treasure for the way its culinary arts program has led to a local flourishing restaurant scene.

Students are trained on site, so restaurants like La Brioche,  NECI on Main and Dewey Hall offer food prepared by those learning under highly trained chefs. Montpelier residents have been spoiled by the variety and quality of restaurants that have sprung up with New England Culinary Institute graduates at the helm — mostly in Chittenden County. But one such restaurant created and run by culinary arts grads is Sarducci’s located on Main Street in Montpelier.

According to their website, programs include a certificate in professional cooking, an associate’s degree in occupational studies and a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. Also offered are degrees in baking and pastry arts and food and beverage business management. Online programs are available.

— Information gathered from the world wide web. Attempts to reach NECI’s spokesman by email went unanswered.


Northern Vermont University — Lyndon And Johnson State To Merge

LYNDON/JOHNSON — And finally, though it is not that local, The Bridge reached out to Lyndon and Johnson State colleges since they are undergoing a huge change.

On July 1, 2018, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College will become Northern Vermont University, a two-campus institution of higher education that combines the best of both colleges’ nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs under a single administration. Driven by a mission to provide a high-quality, accessible, inclusive education for students in the state, the region, the nation and online, Northern Vermont University will begin recruiting in fall 2017 for its first class starting in fall 2018.

A Science Speaker Series at Johnson State College will began Sept. 6 with a talk by Johnson State College faculty member Lisa Zinn on monitoring nesting bird populations through bird banding. The series is coordinated by the college’s Department of Environmental and Health Sciences. For more information, visit http://jsc.edu/EHSseminars.

— From the web