Vermont College's Reputation...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by eleanor rigby, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. eleanor rigby

    eleanor rigby New Member

    I'm in the process of applying to Vermont College to obtain my B.A. in Writing and Literature. Can anyone tell me if they have a good reputation, i.e. whether the non-traditional nature of the school would hinder my ability to go on to a good graduate school, or have a negative impact on my chances in the job market post-graduation? Does anyone have information on how well-respected Vermont College is, in general?

    Thanks for your help,
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    In case you didn't know, Vermont College was, for many years, the non-traditional branch of Norwich University, a RA military college in Vermont that was/is highly respected (VC used to be an independent college, but that's another story).

    A few years back, VC was bought out by the Union Institute & University. Union is a veteran of the DL world, but never offered Master's degrees until their acquisition of VC.

    Bottom line...Vermont College is a RA school that has a good reputation. Being a RA school, you should have no problems whatsoever with a VC undergrad degree in applying to graduate schools, and I can't foresee any problems in using a VC degree when applying for jobs that require an accredited degree.

    BTW, welcome to the board. :)
  3. eleanor rigby

    eleanor rigby New Member

    Thanks for your response, Bruce. My application for Vermont College is going out in the morning. I did alot of research last night(mostly through a search of this discussion forum), and most of the feedback about VC has been positive. I'm looking forward to my journey into Distance Learning. You'll probably be hearing alot more from me in the future. I've got my fingers crossed that I'm doing the right thing.

    Thanks again,
  4. Old Hoosier

    Old Hoosier New Member

    I completed my second master's degree at VC and found it to be a challenging, fun and exciting program. Since I teach in a B&M school of counseling psych, I realized that my curriculum was about three times as much work as any of my MA students would accomplish. However, the freedom of the program combined with a great field faculty made this a doable program.

    The complete history on this program is that it was at one time a women's college and then also bought the old Goddard alt school (eventually Goddard started another program, you figure it out) and came under Norwich U. The campus in Monpelier is quaint and lovely, I spent a colloquium there.

    The regional meetings were energizing and allowed those of us in the midwest to feel a sense of comradery with each other. I would highly recommend this program if it is any thing close to the school I enjoyed.

    Tom Moore
  5. eleanor rigby

    eleanor rigby New Member

    Although I've pretty much committed myself to the program at this point, I still have some concerns. One thing I intend to address with the admissions counselor is their grading process. I think it was mentioned in the literature that they don't award letter grades, but respond to the study projects you turn in with narratives. Are letter grades ever awarded at VC? When I graduate, will I have a GPA?
    Also, I contacted a few highly regarded graduate schools that were mentioned as schools Union graduates had gone onto. I asked them basically the same question I posed here; whether obtaining my degree through VC would hurt my chances of acceptance to a good grad school. I got a response from Columbia saying that the main problem I would have is "making connections with faculty who could write letters of recommendation." He also wondered, with classes being primarily through correspondence, how thorough feedback on my writing would be. Have you guys found that making contacts or forming relationships with faculty has been hard? Among the reasons I've chosen to pursue a degree is that I'd like to possibly make contacts that would lead to publication, or somehow benefit me professionally in the future.
    All that being said, overall I'm comfortable with Vermont's reputation, especially after checking out Degreeinfo. Going back to school is scary in a million ways. Thanks for responding and making me feel good about my choice.

  6. Kevan Kipp

    Kevan Kipp New Member

    M.A. Question

    I have a graduate school question, if I may. I'm a military historian by trade, and Vermont College offers a MA program (military history major for me) that you design yourself. While this option sounds great, the grading policy is bothersome to me as well. For you PhD's out there, isn't this type of program a brick wall for further study? If you decide to apply for some type of doctoral program later on, wouldn't the fact that you have no GPA be a automatic killer for you? Thanks for any input.


    Kevan Kipp
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I seriously considered attending the MA program at Vermont College. The only reason I didn't is because our local university offered us a "special deal."
  8. Kevan Kipp

    Kevan Kipp New Member

    Pardon me...?
  9. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Freely granted. :D

    In reference to your original question, I do not think it would be a hindrance to entering a doctoral program. However, they might look at the GPA of your last two years of your undergraduate work.
  10. Kevan Kipp

    Kevan Kipp New Member

    Yeah, I'm awaiting feedback on how that works. Seems a bit unique to me.
    Does anyone out there know if other schools follow this practice?
  11. Old Hoosier

    Old Hoosier New Member

    Seems like what I have been reading and hearing is that many doctoral programs are not so strict on graded MA programs. I have shopped my VC transcript around and not had any complaints. It does include evaluations from my core and field faculty members.
  12. eleanor rigby

    eleanor rigby New Member

    What about the BA program at Vermont College? Would a Masters program potentially frown on their grading procedure? I guess I'm just confused as to how the grading process at VC works. Are letter grades replaced entirely by written evaluations? I think it might be a little disappointing not to have the validation of an "A" after a semester of hard work. For anyone who has attended Vermont College, what are your thoughts on their grading process? Positive or negative?

  13. eleanor rigby

    eleanor rigby New Member

    Just as a follow up for those who have concerns about VC's grading process (Kevin), I spoke to the admissions counselor and have a good understanding now of how it works. I believe he said that on the trancsript it is mentioned that "passing" in the written evaluation is considered a C. In other words, although they may not give a letter grade, your "grade" is pretty clear to the person evaluating your transcript. He made a really great point that a letter grade could be given based entirely on a test taken at the end of a semester, and not on the level of hard work you've done on the whole. This is a definate plus for someone who "chokes" under pressure and doesn't test well. Basically, I came away reassured that graduate schools won't frown on VC's grading process. In fact, they may actually prefer the written evaluation method, because it gives a better picture of the student all around. Also, I just wanted to note that I've had a really good experience with the admissions process. The counselor is very helpful and knowledgable about the program (as would one hope he would be.) I'm really excited about getting started. Kevin, maybe you could call the school's toll free number (1-800-336-6794) and ask them about grading. You might not be speaking to the same person I did(since I'm applying to the undergraduate Adult Degree Program), but I get the impression that the staff is very competent.

  14. 9Chris

    9Chris New Member

    AT ESC (Empire State College) they also do not give letter grades unless you ask for it. The transcipt that goes out is copies of your narrative evaluations However for an extra fee, they will calculate your GPA and include it on your transcript. Most graduate schools I have been in contact with (Touro, Indiana Wesleyan, Amberton) are familiar with the narrative transcript. Touro however has requested that I obtain a GPA. Indiana and Amberton, were more concerned that ESC was RA.

    Good Luck
  15. Re: M.A. Question


    I assume that you're doing this to quality as a "5x".

    Not having a GPA is going to require more work for you in getting admitted to a post-Grad school - and it depends on the school.

    Have you thought of asking Vermont for a list of what schools have admitted their students in the past?

  16. Kevan Kipp

    Kevan Kipp New Member

    Actually, I'm a 3H0X1 (Air Force Historian). I'm currently enlisted, but my job, along with many others, will be going civilian (GS-11) so I now get to compete for the job I currently hold. So, I figure if I can get an MA under my belt I can lose the competition because of the paygrade.

    What do mean by "extra work?" You mean kiss more admission butt?;)

    Hadn't thought of that. Think I will.

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