Access to Postsecondary Education
In 2008 the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation to study the ways philanthropy might improve access to higher education in order to address issues such as youth development, workforce readiness, equal opportunity, and economic development within the state. We are pleased to share with you the results of this work, Understanding Vermont: Postsecondary Education.
Thanks to the leadership funding from the McClure Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation established the Access to Higher Education Fund to serve philanthropists interested in combining forces to impact the barriers that prevent Vermonters from aspiring to and attaining the advanced education they need to stay in Vermont, to achieve their personal goals, and to help our state propser.
Please click the button below to donate to this fund on our secure PayPal page with your credit card or PayPal account. Please keep the donation confirmation for tax purposes.
If you would like to donate by check, please make it payable to: The Vermont Community Foundation and mail to: P.O. Box 30, Middlebury, VT 05753. Please write "Access to Higher Education Fund" in the memo section of the check.
Interested in learning more? Click on the links below for examples of some of the promising approaches highlighted in the Postsecondary Education report and supported by philanthropists and foundations associated with the Vermont Community Foundation:
- Vermont's Most Promising Jobs is a resource designed to share information gathered by the Vermont Department of Labor to help assist Vermont students, graduates, and veterans seeking new careers.
- College of St. Joseph in Rutland provides students with high-quality education at an affordable price and, in partnership with the Vermont Department of Human Services, offers the STEPS programs for youths transitioning from foster care into independent adulthood.
- Champlain College's Single Parent Program provides advocacy, workshops, resources, and case managers to remove barriers to academic success for this group of students. Program elements include the save-the-day emergency fund, peer advising, financial literacy courses, and career counseling.
- The Introduction to College Studies course at Community College of Vermont, offered at CCV's twelve sites to all Vermont high school students, seeks to build student aspirations for postsecondary education by exploring the skills and expectations necessary at the college level. Philanthropic support helps to expand this program to students in more rural area with funds for texts, transportation/nutrition, and instruction.
- Vermont Technical College offers the Summer Bridge program, an intensive, four-week review of such courses as mathematics, physics, study skills, and language arts for any newly-admitted student whose skills in these areas need some strengthening -- whether these students are fresh out of high school or are enrolling in college after years on the job or raising a family. Successful completion of the Summer Bridge Program may save students an extra year of college, as a summer brush-up in mathematics, for example, could result in a student being admitted as a straight acceptance into the major of their choice. Vermont Tech also offers its "Introduction to College Math Video Series" as a possible alternative to Summer Bridge.
- Community College of Vermont's Combat to Classroom, a one-credit seminar, is just one program offered to veterans and other military service members who are making the transition to academic and business settings. CCV retains a dedicated Resource Advisor for Veterans to advise veterans, their families, and CCV's twelve site registrars and counselors with issues relating to GI benefits, obtaining credit for work experiences, and sustainable plans for college study. The advisor, a member of the Vermont National Guard and veteran of several deployments, works individually and through support/study groups with students across the state to support the completion of their studies.
- The Bridge to College program at Bennington's Tutorial Center and similar programs across the state support adults who want to go to college but whose skills are not yet “college-ready.” These nontraditional students include veterans, low- to moderate-income Vermonters, adults re-entering the workforce, and some formerly incarcerated students. Courses include career counseling and are taught by instructors from the Community College of Vermont and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
- College Connections (Linking Learning to Life) offers opportunities to explore postsecondary education options for students in their sophomore, junior and senior years of high school, as well as those in alternative education programs or who may have dropped out of school.
- Vocational-technical programs inspire college readiness and provide an outstanding resource for Vermont’s high school students, especially those who are interested in health care, technology, automotive, and design fields, among many others. As innovative programs are initiated, philanthropy can help with the funding lags inherent to many state and federal programs.
- Vermont's PreK-16 Council works for systemic change within the state by revamping and aligning current policies and systems in order to dramatically improve outcomes for Vermont students as they progress from early education through postsecondary education. Philanthropic assistance provides funds for the administrative and communication functions of this diverse and representative "think tank" for education in Vermont.
Please fill out our feedback form if you would you like to request a copy of the Understanding Vermont: Postsecondary Education report; have questions or comments related to the report; or would like to speak with someone at the Vermont Community Foundation.