"Quest for Success" Program at Southern Vermont College Receives National Recognition

February 12, 2008

(BENNINGTON, Vt.) – Southern Vermont College’s First-Year Course for incoming students, entitled “Quest for Success,” has received national recognition for its creative approach to enhancing the academic and social success of first-year students.

The National Resource Center for the First-year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina selected the College’s new program as one of five semifinalists in its national campaign to acknowledge first-year programs.

Southern Vermont College Professor and Associate Dean of Special Projects Dr. Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, the program’s administrator, along with SVC students Amber Coutermash of Westport, Conn., and Adam Northup of West Kingston, R.I., will attend the awards ceremony to be held Feb. 17 at the 27th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience in San Francisco, Calif.

“It is wonderful that our first-year hands-on learning course has received national recognition,” said SVC President Karen Gross. “This course is designed to help new students connect with each other, with a faculty member and with the local community. This award is a tribute to the hard work of the students, faculty, staff and community participants who so ably worked together.”

Initiated in the fall of 2007 and required of all first-year SVC students, Quest for Success combines classroom instruction with service-learning projects in the community. In the fall, 100 SVC students engaged in environmental projects at Hildene in Manchester, were paired with veterans at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, studied locally grown produce as part of a review of the college’s food service offerings, and worked with curators at the Bennington Museum to create phone-accessible descriptions of items in the museum’s collection. This spring, Quest for Success students will be working with the Oldcastle Theatre Company.

Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing liberal arts education with 19 academic degree programs for approximately 450 students. Southern Vermont College recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.