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College Profile: Goddard College

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Goddard College is a private college located in Plainfield, Vermont, that grants bachelor degrees (BA and BFA) and master degrees (MA and MFA). It uses a self-directed, mentored system of intensive residencies in Plainfield or Port Townsend, Washington. Residencies require the student's attendance every six months for approximately nine days, during which time the student engages in a variety of activities and lectures from the early morning until quite late in the evening. After the residency, students return home and study independently, sending in "packets" to their faculty mentor every three weeks. The content of the "packets" varies with each individual. Goddard College was founded by Royce Stanley "Tim" Pitkin, a progressive educator and follower of John Dewey and other, similar proponents of educational democracy. Pitkin conceived of the college as a place for "plain living and hard thinking." Having narrative transcripts instead of traditional letter grades, as well as learner-designed curricula, Goddard was one of the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, which also included Franconia, Nasson, Antioch, and several other educational institutions. Advocating innovation in higher education is its expressed objective and, in 1963, Goddard introduced the first Adult Degree Program for working adults. This program has been copied around the world and since that date, over twenty million adults have been educated using this innovative, intensive, student-centered model. In 2002, after fifty-four years, the college terminated its traditional age on-site experimental bachelor degree program. Today its more than six hundred adult students attend residencies in either Plainfield or Port Townsend. Only two programs are available at the Port Townsend site: the MFA in Creative Writing and the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, which was new to Port Townsend in the fall of 2007. Also new for the fall of 2007 was the first low-residency Bachelor of Fine Arts program in creative writing. Students must transfer to Goddard with a minimum of sixty undergraduate credits to be eligible for the program. Governance of the college always has been communitarian, but Mark Schulman has been its president since 2003. The history of Goddard has been tumultuous, similar to many Free Schools practicing the pedagogical theories of educators such as John Dewey. Although many free schools have ceased to exist, Goddard remains alive, well, and atypical, still promoting education as a process of self-discovery in which the learner is firmly in charge. Accordingly, while Goddard is not for everyone, it has been, and continues to be, a home for creative, persistent, and self-directed students. Goddard also is home to a community radio station that serves central Vermont, broadcasting as, WGDR, 91.1 FM, which is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Goddard College was a mecca for politically-astute, highly-intelligent students.[citation needed] The students at Goddard were among the most active and influential students to organize and speak out in opposition to the Vietnam War.[citation needed]
123 Pitkin Road
Plainfield, VT
802-454-8311 (general)
802-454-8311 (financial aid)
802-454-8311 (admissions)

Mission Statement

Goddard is a small college in rural Vermont for plain living and hard thinking. Founded in 1863, Goddard is recognized for innovation in education. Its mission is to advance the theory and practice of learning by undertaking new experiments based upon the ideals of democracy and the principles of progressive education asserted by John Dewey. At Goddard, students are regarded as unique individuals who will take charge of their learning and collaborate with other students, staff, and faculty to build a strong community. Goddard encourages students to become creative, passionate, lifelong learners, working and living with an earnest concern for others and the welfare of the Earth.

General Information
Other Names
Type Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Control Private not-for-profit
Size Under 1,000
Campus Setting Rural: Distant
Calendar System Semester
Title IV Eligibility Participates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Relgious Affiliation Not applicable

College Student Services Offered
Yes Remedial ServicesYes Academic/career counseling service
No Employment services for studentsNo Placement services for completers
No On-campus day care for students' children   

College Special Learning Opportunities
No ROTCYes Distance learning opportunities
No ROTC: ArmyYes Study abroad
No ROTC: NavyNo Weekend/evening college
No ROTC: Air Force   

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
More info

Goddard College Website

Admissions Considerations & Recommendations
Open admission policy No
Admission test scores Neither required nor recommended
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language Recommended

Applicants (most recent fall period)
Admissions (most recent fall period)
Percentage of Students Submitting Test Scores
SAT Percentile Scores
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ACT Percentile Scores
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Percentage Receiving Financial Aid
Average Amount of Financial Aid Received
Average Tuition for Full-Time Undergraduates
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Average Tuition for Full-Time Graduates
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Comprehensive Fee for Full-Time Undergraduates
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Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Undergraduates
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Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Graduates
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Student Body
703 Student Body SizeYes On-Campus Housing
10 Fall Applicants0 Total Dormitory Capacity
10 Fall Admissions

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College Levels Offered
No Less than one year certificateNo One but less than two years certificate
No Associate's degreeNo Two but less than 4 years certificate
Yes Bachelor's degreeYes Postbaccalaureate certificate
Yes Master's degreeNo Post-master's certificate
No Doctor's degreeNo First-professional degree
No First-professional certificate

All Academic Programs
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