The VSCS is weathering the roughest days of its 60-year history. The potential changes facing our sister institutions are painful and the challenges are real. While CCV is not immune to these challenges, we are fundamentally unique, financially stable, and poised to help rebuild Vermont in the wake of COVID-19.
CCV opened its doors in 1970, with ten classes. Students didn’t pay tuition, and faculty taught for free. The mission was simple: bring higher education to the people of our rural state.
Robyn St. Peter never thought college was in her future. She worked as a firefighter, an EMT, and a special education paraprofessional. She raised four children. Two years ago, while working as an LNA at UVM Medical Center, she realized that college could be part of her life after all.
You can tell a native New Yorker from a non-native by how aware they choose to be of their presence on the subway. They sleep, ensured by their city-formed adaptation to waking up just before their stop. They read books. Before cell phones, newspapers were likely a popular form of dissociating.
At the Community College of Vermont, we believe education beyond high school is a necessity for all, and not a privilege for some. Now more than ever, higher education must be understood as central and fundamental to a healthy economy.
When I was eight, my favorite pastime was making tortillas. I could peel 85 tomatillos in about five minutes, sometimes in just four and a half. I would stand on two stacked crates up front so I could make eye contact with adults as I rang up their order, carefully counting their change.
Community College of Vermont was founded in 1970 with the goal of providing a path to a college degree that is both local and cost effective. We have never lost sight of that mission, and it is more relevant now than at any other time in our history.
For various reasons, I have been thinking about refugees a good deal lately. I come from Rutland and as many might know, over the past year the Rutland community has been preparing for, and then quickly not preparing for, Syrian refugees.
When it comes to business, the general rule is that word of mouth recommendations are the best kind you can get. When these same types of recommendations are made for CCV, they don’t simply benefit the College, they have the potential to enrich lives, reshape futures, and strengthen Vermont. This is why I feel it’s so important for you, our alumni to remember and recommend CCV, because along with our current students, your voices carry the most weight.
Each spring semester at the College we invite school counselors and community partners to a breakfast at one of our academic centers, giving them the opportunity to learn about CCV’s programs and hear from our students about their experiences.
I attended the student panel in Winooski this spring and was struck by the consistency of what the students shared—they had some questions about whether or not CCV was a “real college” before they came, but after attending CCV they were impressed by the rigor of the coursework and faculty, they talk about the critical role of the supportive academic staff, the benefit of the diversity of students in their classes and the affordability of the college, which for many makes attending college possible.