With the creation of Vermont State University, we have the opportunity to build on the strong legacy of Castleton University, Vermont Technical College, and Northern Vermont University to envision a university designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of Vermont, Vermonters, and the communities our institutions serve. The mission and vision of this new institution are unique in the way they describe our commitments, but they are designed to align with both the Vermont Sate Colleges System mission and that of its sister institution, the Community College of Vermont.
Vermont State University prepares all students for meaningful work and responsible citizenship by fostering their intellectual, personal, and creative growth in an accessible, caring, and inclusive community. As Vermont’s regional public university, our technological, professional, and liberal arts programs engage with partners throughout Vermont and beyond to provide students with rich real-world learning while meeting the needs of our communities and the state.
Vermont State University’s commitment is to the success of every student. We will stand as Vermont’s regional public university with interconnected campuses and sites dispersed throughout the state, a community dedicated to providing accessible and affordable higher learning. Our innovative, relevant programs will focus on student success and career readiness, and will meet students where they are on their educational journey. We will support students’ academic, social, and personal growth, as well as their futures as skilled leaders and lifelong learners through an integrated academic and extracurricular experience. A culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion will be fostered and endure. Our students’ transformational experience will be nurtured through intentional interactions and relationships. The University will provide globally relevant programs spanning the technological, professional, and liberal arts and designed to address the needs and challenges facing Vermont and our world. Students will be drawn to an academic experience that reaches beyond the classroom into our communities with our Green Mountain State as a living laboratory. We will embrace public engagement and partnerships as our civic responsibility, actively contributing to the vibrancy of our communities and their relevance in the global economy. In doing so, our students will gain understanding of community and self and their impact in the world. Our purpose will live on for generations in the positive contributions of our alumni.
Accreditation Through NECHE
The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) is the regional accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to review and accredit institutions, ensuring they are providing quality higher education. Accreditation is critically important because it allows institutions to award and distribute federal financial aid. On Friday April 22nd, NECHE’s President confirmed that the substantive change request VSCS submitted was approved. This request was seeking approval for the launch of Vermont State University as an accredited institution on July 1, 2023, and for the ability to have one person serve as the President of the three separately accredited institutions for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Also approved during the April 2023 meeting was Castleton’s ten-year accreditation review.
The Vermont State University Substantive Change Submission can be reviewed here. On June 17, 2022, NECHE provided a letter accepting the proposal contingent upon Vermont State University meeting the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and setting forth a timeline for the submission of two progress reports and a focused evaluation. The first progress report, sent to NECHE for a September 1, 2022 deadline, is now available to be read.
On September 15, 2022, NECHE sent a letter to certify that at its April 22, 2022 meeting they “voted that, contingent upon its determination that the plans outlined in the substantive change proposal submitted by the Vermont State Colleges System to establish Vermont State University have been successful implemented, Vermont State University be granted initial accreditation, effective July 1, 2023.”
On October 24, 2022, NECHE sent a letter to inform the VSCS that at its meeting on September 23, 2022 NECHE considered the September progress report submitted by VSCS and accepted it. They also confirmed a second report to be submitted in March 2023 for review at their April 2023 meeting. The second report was submitted and is now available to read.
On April 28, 2023, VSCS received a letter from NECHE indicating that at its meeting on April 20, 2023, the Commission considered the March progress report submitted by VSCS and accepted it. In the letter, they also requested that VSCS submit an additional progress report. This progress report was submitted June 1, 2023, and will be considered at their June meeting.
At their meeting which concluded on June 16, 2023, the Commission voted to grant initial accreditation to Vermont State University, effective July 1, 2023. Additional details can be found in the official statement issued by NECHE and its July 10, 2023, letter to President Smith.
On November 1, 2023, Vermont State University submitted a Progress Report as requested by NECHE at the time of initial accreditation.
Branding and Website
On May 17th, 2022, the branding and microsite for the new university was launched.
How We Will Get There
Unifying Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College to create Vermont State University is the top priority of Transformation. As we make plans to open the doors of this new university to students in the Fall Semester of 2023, we are paying special attention to the student experience, student success, as well as the academic programs and operations of the new institution to ensure that this new university is truly student centered. For details about the work our New Student Experience, Student Success, and Academic Operations teams are doing, check out their team pages: