We are back from the Thanksgiving break and our students, staff and faculty heading into the last two weeks of class before finals. Here is what has been going on since my last update to you:
Due to federal changes related to the FAFSA, families may now apply for financial aid much earlier in the admissions cycle. This has resulted in significant shifts in our admissions processes and timelines. Our enrollment team has aligned their practices accordingly and are well positioned to remain competitive during this transitional period. While these changes make year-to-year comparisons difficult, we are seeing increased numbers of applications over both Fall 2015 and Fall 2014.
We are already strategizing around Spring Admitted Student Days. In response to a suggestion from a trustee, we are identifying ways in which the enrollment team will partner with our new Women’s and Gender Center. We invited local prospective students to the Center’s grand opening, and we are working on additional opportunities to recruit more female students.
Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) is busy enrolling current students for Spring classes. The CPS academic advising team began communicating with current students a few weeks ago when Spring registration opened up, and is now on track toward their returning student registration goals. We anticipate seeing this number climb significantly between now and the start of the spring term in January.
Associate Professor Eric Ronis has been appointed Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion in the Classroom through Spring 2017. In this capacity, Eric will support the development of skills and capabilities among our faculty in support of Champlain’s goals regarding diversity and inclusion. Eric’s early efforts are being well received by faculty.
Megan Munson-Warnken has been appointed as Champlain’s first Finney Chair for the Future of Professional Education. Dr. Munson-Warnken will teach in both Education and Human Studies and the Core division, in keeping with the vision for the Finney Chair as integrating our distinctive approach to preparation for professional success and meaningful lifelong learning. Her research specializations include literacy, students’ motivation to learn through reading, and the role of gender in academic success. Dr. Munson-Warnken will highlight the power of explicit connections between learning in our professional majors and in the Core, and her expertise will inform our strategies for fostering academic success and persistence at Champlain.
Provost Laurie Quinn has been leading discussions regarding the recruitment strategy for our on-campus M.S. Emergent Media and MFA program. Recruitment efforts will focus on developing pipeline programs, including our own CCM undergraduates.
EMC Director Ann DeMarle will be co-teaching an advanced undergraduate/graduate seminar with John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific, on Leadership in the Age of Transformation. The course will be offered in the spring to a select number of students, based on nominations by faculty.
The Women’s and Gender Center held its Grand Opening two weeks ago with over 260 students in attendance. Under Leslie Averill and Maggie Melvin’s leadership, the event showcased the Center’s commitment to involving many campus and community partners in their work.
I am pleased to report that last month’s Single Parent Program benefit event raised more than $230,000 to support our Single Parent scholars. This total included a generous $100k challenge gift from Carol Hauke and a $75,000 pledge of support from Trey and Dominique Pecor. Advancement continues to see gifts coming in as a result of this powerful and moving event.
Champlain Connect, a new partnership between Advancement and Career Collaborative, continues to be received well. We are seeing strong levels of engagement and interest at all of our selected locations. In the last month Advancement, Career Collaborative and a number of faculty and Deans held events in Boston, Hartford, Norwalk, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York City.
On December 6, Advancement will be hosting a holiday party and scholarship fundraiser at the Museum of Science in Boston in support of our CARE scholarship and other need-based student support. If you are in the Boston area, I hope you will consider joining us for this special event.
Our next step regarding Eagle’s Landing is the Burlington City Council vote regarding the sale of Brown’s Court to Champlain College, on the City’s agenda for late November.
Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC)
GMHEC was formed in 2013 by Champlain College, Middlebury and Saint Michael’s College to contain institutional costs and add value to services. We are pleased with the partnership and the progress we have made so far, particularly in the areas of purchasing and benefits.
Over the last month, GMHEC has led efforts to evaluate the possibility of moving to a software platform that could be shared by the three colleges. These efforts have involved employees at all three colleges, including vendor demonstrations and process discussions. The presidents of the GMHEC institutions will meet in December to hear what was learned from these sessions and discuss possible paths forward.
Allyson and I recently traveled to Dublin to connect with our staff, faculty and students. Our local team, led by Stephen Robinson and Lilly Johnsson, developed an itinerary that included visits to internship sites and meetings with faculty, alumni and students. We also met with Lucy Masterson, one of our Champlain-Dublin board members, and attended a reception with friends and supporters of Champlain.
This trip reminded me of all that is so special about Champlain College and our community of supporters around the globe. During this season of joy, I wish all of you Happy Holidays.