The Vermont State Colleges System 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 the Community College of Vermont (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.
With our statewide presence and unyielding commitment to access, CCV is the second-largest college in Vermont. We serve more than 10,000 students each year at 12 locations and online. Those students go on to bachelor’s degree programs throughout the VSC, at UVM, and beyond, and into high-demand jobs that grow Vermont’s economy.
When CCV was founded in 1970, we were seen as a bold experiment. Rather than asking rural Vermont to come to a college campus, CCV would bring college to rural Vermont. In other words, we would meet students where they were. This concept is at the core of our work. We meet students where they are, not just geographically, but also financially, academically, and as individuals. As we respond to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, we will maintain focus on this idea. We are here to help Vermonters get back on their feet.
CCV has always been adaptive, resilient, and relevant. We pioneered online learning in Vermont nearly 25 years ago, and today we offer hundreds of online courses each semester. We have robust transfer agreements with four-year programs, giving students a springboard to their academic futures. We have built lasting partnerships with businesses throughout the state designed to help employers meet their workforce needs, from childcare to healthcare to manufacturing.
CCV’s decentralized, non-residential model means that 95% of Vermont households are within 25 miles of a CCV classroom. We provide students with resources in their local communities. Our suite of online options draws from the best of both worlds: one-on-one, local advising paired with a high-quality academic experience. We help students who are new to online learning achieve success.
Despite minimal state support over the past three decades, CCV continues to offer the most affordable tuition in Vermont. 65% of our students graduate with zero debt. We have long championed the idea that education beyond high school is a necessity for all, not a privilege for some. In as little as one semester, students can earn valuable credentials at CCV that translate to higher wages and greater stability. We will continue to work with partners and employers across the state to meet developing needs in response to COVID-19.
As we prepare to re-open and rebuild our economy, CCV is ready with the education and training Vermonters will need. Our statewide presence means that we are deeply rooted in Vermont’s communities. We work alongside our neighbors, students, and businesses to improve the quality and viability of life in our Green Mountain State. As we all face unexpected and unprecedented change, CCV is proud to serve as Vermont’s community college. We’ve helped prepare Vermonters for a better future for more than 50 years. That remains our priority today.