Press Release (June 10, 2020)
As school districts across the state say good-bye to the Vermont high school class of 2020, the McClure Foundation today announced a graduation gift for every member of that class. Every graduating senior, no matter their circumstances, will be eligible for a free course of their choosing at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) this fall.
“Congratulations, Vermont high school class of 2020—despite all the uncertainties these past months, you’ve completed senior year,” says Barbara Benedict, president of the McClure Foundation. “Celebrate this moment. We want continuing your learning and exploring your interests to be as easy as possible. You deserve something you can count on.”
The Foundation’s gift will cover tuition and fees associated with any course students choose to take, including courses that are part of shorter-term certificate programs that prepare students for skilled jobs. Becoming a student at CCV is simple. CCV requires no application fees, no essays, no reference letters, and no standardized test scores. Students will be able to enroll until September 4 and can visit ccv.edu/2020gradgift to learn more about the opportunity.
“I want to thank the McClure Foundation for this generous gift to the class of 2020,” said Governor Phil Scott. “The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has undoubtedly made this pivotal time in their lives more challenging to navigate. But having an opportunity to take at least one course for free at the Community College of Vermont – and access CCV’s college and career resources – can help this class who has endured a lot in their senior year.”
Any student who registers for a course at CCV is assigned an academic advisor who can help them identify goals, choose the right class, and connect to support resources. At a time when their access to high school-based counselors and advisors is ending under unanticipated conditions, this opportunity will connect students to supportive advisors who can help chart next steps in the context of today’s economic realities.
“As Vermonters, we should collectively find hope in the talent and potential of the class of 2020,” says Carolyn Weir, executive director of the McClure Foundation. “We are eager to see them grow and for them to help us build the just, sustainable Vermont we all dream of. This gift to the Class of 2020 is a concrete way of saying: we are invested in you. You make Vermont better, and we want to make Vermont better with you.”
The McClure Foundation is proud to partner with CCV in making its commitment to the class of 2020. CCV has the capacity to serve every graduating senior with robust online course offerings and locations within 25 miles of 95% of Vermonters. It currently offers 600 courses each semester in subject areas that include allied health, computer information systems, art and design, biology, and a wide variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences. And, as part of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC), CCV students and their coursework can transfer to the VSC, the University of Vermont, Champlain College and other colleges and universities outside of Vermont.
“In every corner of the state, in every graduating class, there are young people wrestling with the question of what comes next,” says Dan Smith, president & CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation, of which the McClure Foundation is an affiliate. “That is truer this year than any other. Our message to them is that when it comes to learning, you’re not done yet. There is hope for the future if you take this simple step. The state of Vermont can’t absorb one more year where the talent of young Vermonters is left on the table. I encourage us all to join hands around that message.”
The McClure Foundation envisions a Vermont where no job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant and where college and career training contributes to greater equity and resilience. This gift builds on the $400,000 it has already granted so far in 2020 to help make the education and training pathways to Vermont’s most promising jobs more visible, more accessible, and more affordable. It also builds on the Foundation’s partnership with the Vermont Department of Labor to promote the many dozens of high-paying occupations that will be in demand in Vermont in the coming decades.
To help spread the word about the McClure Foundation’s 2020 gift, visit mcclurevt.org/gradgift.
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. This includes helping to coordinate philanthropic response in times of crisis and challenge. The Foundation is committed to helping Vermont communities that are impacted by COVID-19 by responding to immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts. Visit VTCOVID19Response.org to learn more.