Creation: 1970-1979

In late summer 1970, Governor Deane Davis charges a special commission with finding a way to deliver postsecondary education to Vermonters in their local communities. That fall, a handful of people in a single, cramped office in Montpelier offer a menu of ten courses. In these earliest years, students are not charged tuition and instructors do not receive pay. Idealism, energy, and zeal are the order of the day.

An experiment from the beginning, CCV is Vermont’s innovative response to a gap in access to education. CCV makes it possible for people to continue their education—people who might have been discouraged in the past by high tuition costs, distance from campuses, family or job responsibilities, and limiting admissions policies. CCV utilizes resources already available in Vermont communities, holding classes in schools, offices, banks, churches, and even the local hardware store. CCV instructors are also members of the local community, often with full-time jobs practicing the skills they teach.

CCV places its greatest emphasis on the student. Through its field offices located around the state, the College brings courses into Vermont communities, designing classes to meet student needs. Through low tuition, flexible class hours, open admissions, and the use of existing resources, CCV brings new opportunities to thousands of Vermonters previously excluded from postsecondary education. When the College is threatened with closure in 1979, a groundswell of grassroots support led by students, along with faculty and staff, saves CCV. Bruised but not beaten, CCV looks ahead while holding on to its founding principles and unique educational philosophy.

Fall 1979 Snapshot: 1,296 students, 283 instructors, 37 staff, $38/credit tuition, 413 degrees granted

President: Peter Smith 1970 – 1978

Expansion: 1980-1989

A newly reorganized CCV sets its sights on improved academic credibility, financial stability, and greater community visibility. CCV is awarded its first major grants from the U. S. Department of Education, and in 1982, is re-accredited for 10 years by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

CCV experiences a growth spurt under the leadership of Ken Kalb, its third president. Over the course of the decade, enrollment more than doubles and only UVM enrolls more students. CCV is the second largest college in the state and the student population begins to shift to a greater number of degree-seeking students.

CCV continues to expand into all corners of the state by adding six locations, bringing CCV within 25 miles of 95% of Vermonters.

At the beginning of the decade, the College operates as a loose confederation of local offices, each creating its own course list and marketing materials. But by the end of the 1980s, CCV has truly become one college with standard course offerings and a centralized Academic Review Board.

With its academic and organizational foundation in place, and remaining true to its student-centered approach to teaching and learning, CCV is poised to take on the Information Age in the years ahead.

Fall 1989 Snapshot: 3,881 students, 459 instructors, 98 staff, $60/credit tuition, 1,376 degrees granted

Featured President: Kenneth G. Kalb, 1983 – 1991

Innovation: 1990 – 1999

By the early 1990s, CCV serves more students each year than the other Vermont State Colleges institutions combined. With no campus, it operates from 12 leased facilities. In a quest for greater administrative efficiency and creative ways to reach geographically dispersed students, CCV embraces new technologies with vigor. Within the span of ten months, CCV’s Virtual Campus project uses emerging network and computer systems to connect all 12 locations, the library, and central administrative offices, allowing for increased and instantaneous collaboration across the College.

CCV embraces a culture of change. Within the Vermont State Colleges system, CCV gains recognition for its agility, responsiveness, and vision, while remaining focused on excellence in teaching and learning. Venturing into largely unmapped territory, CCV experiments with a few online courses and soon develops the capacity to deliver a wide variety of classes and programs to rural students left stranded by traditional delivery models.With this development, CCV’s 13thacademic center, the Center for Online Learning, is born.

As increased numbers of traditional-aged students aspire to continue their education beyond CCV, the College pursues special transfer agreements and gains a reputation as a pipeline into Vermont’s four-year institutions. By the end of the decade, CCV emerges as a mature, high-functioning organization with an integral place in Vermont’s higher education landscape.

Fall 1999 Snapshot: 4,812 students, 517 instructors, 127 staff, $108/credit tuition, 4,040 degrees granted

Featured President: Barbara E. Murphy, 1994 – 2001

Recognition: 2000 – 2009

CCV is broadly recognized as an essential player in Vermont higher education, with a unique niche in the arena of online learning. Students can complete degree and certificate programs entirely online, but also enjoy access to in-person local supports from their academic advisors and learning centers.

In 2000, CCV takes the bold step of revamping its entire library system. Until this point, the College has had no central library facility and students have relied heavily on local libraries and web-based resources. CCV merges its “anytime, anywhere” resources with Vermont Tech’s campus-based library services to create the shared Hartness Library.

For the first time in its history, CCV invests in and owns its own facilities. This developmentstabilizes, and in some instances reduces, overall facilities costs, while more firmly rooting the College in the communities it serves. These new academic centers are key to serving an increasingly full-time, traditional-aged student population.

In forty years, CCV has grown in ways no one could have foreseen. By 2010, online courses account for 20% of overall enrollment, and an average of 1,200 Vermont high school students co-enroll at CCV each year.

Fall 2009 Snapshot: 7,005 students, 640 instructors, 180 staff, $199/credit tuition, 7,940 degrees granted

Featured President: Timothy J. Donovan, 2001 – 2009

Connection: 2010 – 2019

Under the leadership of Joyce Judy, the College’s seventh president, CCV focuses on cultivating deep and lasting relationships with high schools, businesses, and community partners across Vermont.

From the support services needed by the 1,700 Vermont National Guard troops returning to the state in 2010 to credential and degree programs created in direct response to student and employer needs, CCV is proactive in serving Vermont communities.

With the goal of increasing the number of students who continue their education, CCV plays a key leadership role in promoting opportunities for high school students to take college courses. An enhanced continuum of offerings engages students as early as middle school and allows high school students to earn 36 to 44 college credits for free through the Dual Enrollment and Early College programs.

Philanthropy plays an important role in the College’s ability to enhance student support services and to offer scholarships that provide just-in-time support to help students stay on track in their studies.

As CCV looks to celebrating its 50thyear in 2020, its mission is more relevant than ever. CCV is committed to ensuring that the opportunity to pursue higher education exists for generations of Vermonters to come.

Fall 2018 Snapshot: 5844 students, 760 instructors, 160 staff, $268/credit tuition, 12,448 degrees granted

Featured President: Joyce M. Judy, 2009 – present



    Governor Deane Davis creates the Vermont Regional Community College Commission (VRCCC). Peter Smith is hired as the first president, and VRCCC opens its doors in Montpelier with 10 courses and 50 students.P

  • Community College of Vermont

    Community College of Vermont

    VRCCC becomes the fifth member of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) system and is renamed Community College of Vermont.

  • First Commencement

    First Commencement

    CCV holds its first commencement, awarding eight associate degrees.

  • Accreditation


    CCV earns its first accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Budget Crisis

    Budget Crisis

    CCV weathers a legislative budget crisis with grassroots and media support, and escapes a narrow brush with dissolution.

  • Title III and Trio

    Title III and Trio

    CCV receives its first Title III and TRIO grants from the U.S. Department of Education to expand locations and services to students, including the development of Dimensions of Learning, CCV’s first semester seminar course that focuses on critical thinking and..Read More

  • Student-Centered Approach

    Student-Centered Approach

    President Myrna Miller shepherds the College through a period of academic reform and codification of the curriculum, refining its student-centered approach to teaching and learning.

  • Office of External Programs

    Office of External Programs

    VSC transfers its Office of External Programs to CCV, making its Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) program integral to CCV and securing the college as a pioneer in awarding credit for prior learning.

  • 12 Locations

    12 Locations

    CCV completes its expansion into Vermont’s Western corridor with the addition of the Middlebury academic center, its 6th in quick succession following Morrisville in 1980, Rutland in 1981, Burlington in 1982, and Bennington & Upper Valley in 1983. With 12 locations..Read More

  • Statewide Institution

    Statewide Institution

    After record enrollment growth over the decade, CCV forges formerly autonomous academic centers into a single, statewide institution, a change that is critical for what is to come in the 1990s and beyond.

  • Virtual Campus

    Virtual Campus

    CCV deploys its “Virtual Campus,” linking its administrative offices and twelve statewide locations via networked computers.

  • Programs of Study

    Programs of Study

    Beginning with revisions to its associate degree requirements, CCV undergoes a profound shift in the way it views, manages, and evaluates academic programs. The result is a move from a single associate degree to seventeen individual programs of study that..Read More

  • Online Courses

    Online Courses

    CCV offers its first online course, Introduction to Political Science, featuring a chat session with Senator Patrick Leahy.

  • Articulation


    CCV and the University of Vermont sign a long-sought articulation agreement guaranteeing CCV graduates admission to UVM College of Arts and Sciences, the first of many transfer pathways to come.

  • Endowment for Success

    Endowment for Success

    CCV establishes the Endowment for Student Success with a gift of $25,000 and the stated purpose “to establish gifts in aid to assist deserving students.”

  • Hartness Library

    Hartness Library

    CCV enters into a memorandum of agreement with Vermont Tech in an effort to enhance and systematize access to resources and to provide statewide library services to students through the new Hartness Library.

  • Introduction to College Studies

    Introduction to College Studies

    CCV develops Introduction to College Studies (ICS) for high school students to support successful transitions to college. The following year, CCV plays a significant leadership role in establishing the Fast Forward program, which creates the first dual enrollment opportunities for..Read More

  • Academic Centers

    Academic Centers

    CCV builds a facility in the Upper Valley, which becomes the first of four academic centers owned by the College, including those in Montpelier, St. Albans, and Winooski.

  • Center for Online Learning

    Center for Online Learning

    Ten years after offering its first online course, CCV’s Center for Online Learning becomes the College’s second largest academic center. By the end of the decade, CCV will offer degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online.

  • Achieving the Dream

    Achieving the Dream

    CCV joins a nationwide movement to become more data-driven in its strategic planning and decision-making, and the Lumina Foundation invites CCV to become an Achieving the Dream college.

  • Veteran Support Services

    Veteran Support Services

    CCV establishes Veteran Support Services to help soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan access their military education benefits. This is the first of several programs supported through philanthropic grants from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation and other major..Read More

  • Career Readiness

    Career Readiness

    CCV builds on the success of the Governor’s Career Readiness Certificate, and renews its focus on meeting workforce demands and connecting college to career, when it receives the first of two federal TAACCCT grants, leading to the launch of new..Read More

  • Flexible Pathways

    Flexible Pathways

    CCV provides significant support and leadership in the writing of Act 77, the Flexible Pathways bill, which provides opportunities for Vermont high school students to take college courses for free.

  • Faculty Contract

    Faculty Contract

    CCV’s part-time faculty votes in favor of representation by the American Federation of Teachers union, and after six months of negotiation, CCV signs its first faculty contract, representing the College’s continued commitment to progress, innovation, and service to Vermont students..Read More

  • Sustainability


    Amid demographic, technological, and cultural change, CCV increases organizational capacity and sustainability by making bold changes to staff roles and curricular programs, with the belief that the future of higher education will be designed with innovation and courage.