President’s Blog – Higher Education Matters:

Thoughts from Southern Vermont College President Karen Gross

It’s Here: The Start to the Academic Year

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by Karen Gross

In some respects, each start to the academic year is similar: faculty and staff return in mid-August to prepare for Orientation and the coming year; then new students arrive and settle in.  And there is my favorite part: personal cookie delivery by Dean Anne and me to all residential students!

There is excitement in the air – and the usual mix of trepidation and inquisitiveness.  Understandably, everyone wants the launch of the new academic year to be a success; the quality of the beginning of the year tends to set the tone for the year to come.

Yet, in several positive ways, the academic year 2011 – 2012 is different.  Here’s why:

SVC is welcoming a record number of new students — both first year and transfer students.  We have the largest Nursing I class in the history of the institution, led by a wonderful new head of the nursing program, Dr. Karen Clement-O’Brien.  Our dorms are over-capacity, leading us to get creative in our housing plans for a small number of juniors and seniors.

Our growth has led to several key changes, all designed to create more space, more options and more opportunities for students.  We have created a soon-to-be-opened food court in the lower level of Hunter Hall, offering food choices in the evenings. The library has been renovated to create more congregating and study space for students during the day and evening, including three new study rooms.  A designated room in the dining hall will provide an added place where students can just hang out in the evening.   We have opened new sections of popular courses.

Our ‘little gem of a school’ has reached new heights in popularity. How exciting is that! A wonderful academic year awaits us.

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