Open House Opens New Doors

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ccvthumbnailST. JOHNSBURY- President Barack Obama is working towards making higher education at community colleges free, which could mean positive changes for Vermont students. Community College of Vermont, which ranks lowest in Vermont for the average tuition cost, held an open house Tuesday in hopes of drawing in prospective students.


 "The unique qualities of CCV are that it helps people with their higher education needs in multiple ways; it could be someone who is just looking for a couple of courses that will help them be prepared for a specific job, it could be an entry point into a four year program," said Jeb Spaulding, Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges.  

CCV differs from others schools, such that there are several branches spread throughout the states and the size of their classes are usually smaller than what other schools are used to. If tuition were to be made free for students attending community colleges, CCV's enrollment could potentially skyrocket.

Being mainly responsible for CCV's online courses and center for online learning, Eric Sakai, Dean of Academic Technology says CCV is able to deliver a little under 300 online courses each semester. "CCV is one of the first colleges in Vermont that offered online learning..."

"From the very start, the purpose of offering online courses was to increase access to higher education to our students." Sakai added.

One of the most unique teaching methods and learning modules the Community College of Vermont utilizes is video conferencing technology. This allows a teacher to be in class at the St. Johnsbury Center, while there are full classes in Winooski and St. Albans, who are learning that same material via television monitor.

Sakai also talked about how important it is to the whole state that CCV is able to have branches in each corner of the state, "CCV was founded in 1970 with the fundamental purpose of bringing college to Vermont communities, rather than having a central campus."

Even CCV President, Joyce Judy, made an appearance at the St. Johnsbury branch's open house. Judy thinks it is vital to talk to the students to see what they want and how to make their collegiate lives more fulfilling. "[I'm here] to really help people understand what we do and how we can meet the needs of people here in St. Johnsbury and the greater Northeast Kingdom."

One of President Judy's favorite things about the community college atmosphere and that they can focus on just "teaching and learning."