Castleton University aims to reinvent itself with curriculum shift

Published: Jan. 25, 2019 at 4:44 PM EST
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Green Mountain College officials announced earlier this week that the they will be shutting down this spring due to financial troubles. Nearby Castleton University has offered to take on those students. Like many small New England colleges vying for a dwindling pool of students, the university plans to change how it delivers its curriculum, getting students in the workforce before they graduate.

Castleton faculty in December signed off on a new plan designed to keep the university competitive. They are adding three colleges to the campus, including programs in business, health and science, and arts, humanities and social sciences.

"It's going to mean a lot of opportunities for autonomy within programs to create other pathways to certificates -- a lot of cross curriculum stuff we can do by positioning ourselves that way," said the University's Jeff Weld.

One example is that the new college of business plans to take over the Killington School of Resort Management that Green Mountain College was running. It will allow students to get real-world work experience before they graduate.

"Students are getting paid to do the work, they are getting credit for the work they are doing -- its applicable to the field that they want to go in and it expedites the process," Weld said. He says they also hope to expand that model between existing programs on campus. "That opens up a whole world of cooperative education opportunities."

Officials say that no programs are being eliminated as part of this reorganization and that they are only being added. If Castleton's board approves the changes in March, they go into effect by the fall semester.