All College Update June ’21

18 Jun 2021

Welcome to Summer!

With the PN Commencement this weekend, I think we have officially arrived at summer! We are operating at summer hours and summer courses have begun. Summer camps return this summer, starting in July. It is a quieter time on our campuses, for sure, but not without activity and educational opportunities. With Vermont reaching the 80%+ goal for vaccinations and lifting all restrictions, I do hope you all get a chance to see friends or family you haven’t been able to for 15 months!

This summer, VSCS transformation work will continue as the project manager, Wilson Garland, gets his arms wrapped around our projects, the audience research and brand identity work start, and the program array is discussed. We also know faculty will be busy with program optimization work this summer.  Thank you to everyone working on these important projects this summer, and to everyone for staying connected for when input is requested.

COVID-19 Updates

You may have noticed that the COVID alert banner has been replaced with the Fall 2021 plans on the website. This is in large part to the state of emergency expiring and our return to normal operations phasing in. It is an important milestone we have reached and I am proud of our collective care for ourselves and the community. There are two new updates on the COVID news page (still linked from the footer of the website) about our pending mandate for enrolled students to get vaccinated by the fall and the lifting of all restrictions with the Governor’s announcement this week. As a result, Vermont Tech is lifting all masking and physical distancing restrictions, regardless of vaccination status.

Folks are encouraged to wear masks and maintain physical distance if they are unvaccinated, and everyone is welcome to continue these practices if they make you feel more comfortable! We will all adjust to this new normal at our own pace.

State-Funded Scholarship Initiatives

We recently held a VSCS press conference in Judd, timed with the signing of the State’s budget into law, to announce several new scholarship initiatives to benefit Vermont students. You can watch this WCAX story online, one of the many articles that were published about this exciting news! These scholarships are a significant investment in our colleges this year, which recognize the state’s commitment to higher education as a pathway to economic and societal benefits for individuals and Vermont. We are grateful for this tremendous gift, and we know the scholarships do not cover every student in every program whether from Vermont or from beyond our borders. Yet we are excited about the financial support being afforded to many Vermont Tech students through the State’s leverage of the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

So now what? In response to the new legislation, the Financial Aid staff across the system are reviewing the perimeters and intent of the law and creating system-wide policies to help enable distribution of the state funding. It will take some time to create and communicate this new guidance. The good news for students – returning or new – is that no action is needed on their parts to apply for any of the new scholarships. Students will be notified of eligibility as soon as possible. We thank everyone for their patience while Financial Aid staff sort out the very important details to operationalize this grant aid.

Who’s New at Vermont Tech?

Since our last All College update, we have new employees that have joined the college community. Please join me in welcoming them to the Vermont Tech family!