The Mountain Times

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Green Mountain College receives $293,500 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation

POULTNEY - National studies show that only about 40% of students complete an undergraduate degree within four years, a major factor to student loan debt. Green Mountain College has received a $293,500 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to develop an innovative first and second year program designed to accelerate progress toward a degree for all students, increase retention, and reduce student indebtedness.

The three-year grant Sustainability and Student Success will support course redesign and professional development for faculty and staff to meet the learning needs of each student. Students will have access to specialized academic tutorials and supplemental materials that provide greater academic challenge. Offices including student life, athletics, counseling, career services, and the College's learning center will develop a wide range of co-curricular programs to bolster student success in the classroom.

"With a highly structured environmental liberal arts general education program and a strong student advising system, GMC is well positioned to develop a model for helping all students complete their degree within four years. For some students, degree completion will take place in less time, three to three and a half years," said GMC provost William Throop.

The College already operates a three-year undergraduate degree program in resort and hospitality management at the Killington School of Resort Management.

The College's strategic plan Sustainability 2020, released earlier this year, calls for increasing affordability and improving retention and graduation rates, and the grant will help the College meet these objectives.

Academic Dean Tom Mauhs-Pugh, who will direct the project grant, said "We deeply appreciate the Foundation's support for this holistic approach to maximizing student success and higher education affordability. We believe we can develop a model that cultivates the capacity in each student to persist with their studies in the face of personal, financial or academic challenges."

The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis' retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. The foundation is an expression of the couple's shared support and value for higher education and has provided over $89 million in grants to more than 165 institutions.