“American higher education would be better off if more colleges tried to replicate what’s going on here,”writes John Tierney in his article about Champlain College, “What Would an Ideal College Look Like? A Lot Like This,” for The Atlantic magazine.
What is Champlain doing that’s so different from the rest of higher education? Plenty. So much, in fact, that Champlain was named a “Most Innovative School” in the North for the fifth year in a row in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of “America’s Best Colleges.” And the majority of Champlain graduates report they are landing jobs in their chosen fields within six months of graduation.
Turning passions into professions
Champlain’s enlightened academic model is what sets the Burlington, Vermont, school apart. Champlain’s majors reflect careers and knowledge areas with the greatest potential for future opportunity. In addition to majors in high-growth, traditional fields like Accounting, Communication, and Law, prospective students can find cutting-edge programs like Computer & Digital Forensics, Data Science, Environmental Studies & Policy, and Game Production Management.
While Champlain has no general education requirements, its signature Core Curriculum offers a distinctive liberal arts experience; there are no exams, and students engage entirely in applied inquiry and experiential learning. Finally, Champlain’s InSight Program gives all students a four-year immersion in practical life skills in personal finance and career management.
Inside out and upside down
Champlain attributes its success to the professional faculty of world-class industry experts and the employers who make up the program advisory boards. Each year, these industry insiders develop and refine curricula to give Champlain students the most advanced, relevant, marketable, and effective education available in their fields.
The Upside-Down Curriculum—perhaps Champlain’s most famous departure from higher ed norms—incorporates as many as six courses related to a student’s major in the first-year curriculum. This early hands-on learning allows students to take internships sooner—and with greater frequency—in their college years. Champlain graduates who have held three or four internships are not at all uncommon.
Visiting and applying
Champlain’s scenic hilltop campus overlooks Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. The campus, located in a residential area in the city of Burlington, features 20 Victorian-era mansion residence halls as well as buildings with award-winning modern architecture. The College highly recommends a campus visit for all interested prospective students.
“At Champlain, I discovered my true passion. I’ve been able to explore different disciplines, study abroad in Portugal, and get paid experience as a writer for the past three years. I feel ready to succeed when I graduate.”
— Thomas Rose, Professional Writing
Named a “Most Innovative School” in the North for the fifth year in a row in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 2020
Identified in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2020 as one of the “best and most interesting schools” in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain
Featured in The Princeton Review’s The Best 385 Colleges, 2020