By Patrick McArdle
More than 20 students attended an orientation event for the start of the fall semester at Rutland’s Community College of Vermont campus, and a staff member said, between all four orientations, there were about 90 students.
Ginger Gellman, coordinator of academic services for CCV, said she didn’t have a total number for this year’s freshmen class, but having 90 students at orientation was a strong showing for the Rutland campus.
“We’ve had a good semester,” she said. “We’ve had a higher enrollment for this fall than we expected, which we’re real happy to have.”
Some new programs came from the workforce education department, like a “pretty intensive” program that allows students to be certified in bookkeeping after completing three classes, and a certified production technician program that helps students qualify for manufacturing jobs.
Last Thursday, academic coordinators Tammy Howard and Nathan Astin led the orientation event that explained computer programs students would use at the college, general “classroom etiquette,” policies, parking and other new-student issues.
“There are a few objectives for today. One is to maybe alleviate any concerns, answer your questions, make you feel welcome, give you a chance to poke around the systems, make sure you’re set, answer any questions about textbooks, and try and get rid of all the little nervous anxieties that are going on,” Howard said.
As new students told their peers why they were attending CCV, there were a number of majors and career goals named including business, computer programming and design.
Kesha Dayton, of Poultney, said she was going into the medical assisting program, which is why she chose CCV.
Sara Avison, of Winhall, is enrolled in a nutrition class this semester.
“I want to take classes that will help me in the process of becoming a health coach,” she said.
Hunter Hayes, of Rutland, said he wants to pursue occupational therapy. He said he initially planned to go to Castleton University but decided to defer that path for now.
“My plan is to get my core classes done with here right now, my science, my English, and then when I transfer to Castleton, I can focus on my major instead,” he said.
Gellman pointed out the students were diverse in both goals and age.
She said she thought CCV in Rutland might have become more attractive to local students because of a partnership with state colleges, including Castleton University, to accept students after they’ve earned their associate degrees at the community college.
Another program allows students to complete their senior year in high school as a freshman at CCV.
“That’s another really nice option for a student who has maybe finished many of their credits in high school already or is ready for a college experience after three years,” she said.
Gellman said the staff at the Rutland campus was pleased with their current location, which has art studios, a computer hardware laboratory and science laboratories, as well as a placement in downtown Rutland.
“I think it’s a nice user-friendly kind of on-ramp. Doesn’t feel like such a big place to get started. The largest our classes get are 18 or 19 students, so (students) always have an opportunity to get to know their professor,” Gellman said.
Classes for CCV Rutland started on Tuesday.