Castleton University was going through a rough patch for a few years in terms of enrollment. There’s good news these days, though, as enrollment seems to be climbing back up.
President Karen Scolforo last week said she is happy with the direction Castleton is headed.
This spring semester is the third in a row where we are experiencing growth. Overall our enrollment is up 3 percent. Many institutions are seeing declines, and for spring we are up 11 percent for out-of-state (students). Those are some really exciting numbers,” Scolforo said with a smile.
“Adding to this, over 85 percent of our courses offer some type of experiential learning. Our students are getting some form of on-the-job exposure and more likely to having attachment to employers in the region.”
Although there was upsetting news recently that fellow Vermont school Green Mountain College is closing, there are many question marks as to how it’ll affect CU and how the university will respond.
“I think it’s sad to see another Vermont college go especially for those affected by it, but I believe Castleton’s enrollment will go up because many people will try to come here to finish their degrees,” said Castleton Junior Aliyah Edmonds.
Communication Professor Stephanie Wilson was extremely disappointed with the news, but said she is hopeful it brings positive marks on Castleton’s campus.
“As neighbors of ours, I know we are here to help and I was proud of Castleton for being so pro-active and ready to lend a hand to them,” Wilson said.
Wilson said she believes Castleton is heading the right direction toward success.
“I’ve seen the increase in my own classes, I went from wondering if I would even have enough to run a course to having to sadly turn students away for next time,” she said. “Having flexibility is going to be key moving forward, offering more online and non-traditional time classes will help.”
Scolforo credited Green Mountain for its award-winning programs and wanted to make sure they would not be lost.
“I’ve been working with Green Mountain for quite a while. I wanted to make sure that if this was the direction they felt they must go in that we were there with open arms,” Scolforo said. “We are in the process of working on a joint press release with Killington. We want to form a partnership and applied for a bachelor of science degree in resort and hospitality management, essentially transferring students within this program to Castleton in the fall.”
The future of the institution is now being laid out in a plan that develops different colleges within the college.
“This diagram and plan will create autonomy within one designated college. The faculty and academic leaders will be motivated to do more cross-learning opportunities for students. It can set admissions standards differently, for example the school of nursing may have a higher admissions requirement than the university itself so the student can apply to the university and then the school of their choice,” said Scolforo with excitement.
“Castleton is looking forward and bouncing back from a low. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Let’s keeping working together and moving forward,” Wilson said.