Champlain Named a “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report

Champlain College has once again been named a “Most Innovative School” in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” rankings. This is the sixth year in a row Champlain has received this honor.

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, Champlain College President, explains the innovative approach that prepares Champlain students so well for their future: “Through our unique Upside-Down Curriculum, students can dive into high-tech fields like Game Development or Data Science, while learning new ways of thinking and engaging with the world through our interdisciplinary Core Curriculum,” he says.

Champlain fosters and encourages innovation throughout its programs, but especially in the spaces where technology, creativity, and community intersect.

“The speed at which Champlain embraces new technology is faster than at other schools,” says Dr. Akande. “When education went remote last spring, we knew we needed a better solution for virtual learning. We adopted a Flex-Hybrid model that combines in person and virtual learning. We also became the first beta tester for InSpace, a new videoconferencing platform which allows faculty and students to communicate and collaborate in more organic and seamless ways.”

Pictured above is a screenshot of faculty from Champlain and other New England research schools gathering together in an innovative Zoom-like platform called InSpace. Champlain quickly embraced and adopted the InSpace technology this fall.

Donna Carpenter, Chair of Burton Snowboards, is so impressed by Champlain’s graduates, her company has hired 50 of them over the last few years. “Champlain grads have an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Carpenter. “They’re innovative. They’re risk-takers. But above all, they learn by doing. That’s not the typical approach of most colleges.”

“The Most Innovative” designation applies to colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities, according to Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist for U.S. News.

Champlain also excelled in category-specific rankings, including the “Top 100 Regional Universities in the North,” “Best Value Schools,” “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs,” and “Best Undergraduate Teaching Programs.”

“Champlain puts the student-faculty relationship at the center of our professionally focused approach,” says Akande, “Great teaching and mentorship through career preparation is a powerful combination that benefits our students and empowers our graduates when they launch their careers.”

Keith Oppenheim, Associate Professor in the Broadcast Media Production program, teaches students how to use a TriCaster during an Admitted Student Day—months before they begin their studies at Champlain.

New rankings this year for social mobility and veterans:

Champlain was included in the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” list that ranks schools advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating disadvantaged students. Champlain works strategically to build pathways for our students to succeed in college and beyond. It helps them learn how to navigate their college experience, take advantage of everything the school offers, ask questions, speak up for themselves, and be actively engaged in the campus community and in the classroom.

Champlain’s AHEAD program focuses on college readiness and academic preparation for first-generation college students, individuals from our partner high schools, those with high financial need, students of color, new Americans and refugees. Here, they’re pictured with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion staff during a pre-Orientation program.

In addition, Champlain was named the No. 41 “Best Colleges for Veterans” in the Northeast. Currently there are 30 veterans studying on campus, 250 veterans enrolled in our online programs, and another 60 students using their parents’ GI Bill benefit on campus. “Champlain is proud to support veterans through robust traditional undergraduate and online programs designed to fit the needs of military veterans, service members and their families,” says David Boyle, Veteran & Military Program Manager.

Champlain continues to win honors in national college guides. It’s included in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 386 Colleges: 2021 Edition;” featured in the “2021 Fiske Guide to Colleges” as one of the “Best and Most Interesting Schools” in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; and is a 2020 College of Distinction for “Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes.”

Kristi Jovell, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment, says, “Rankings are just one way to evaluate a school’s offerings. Career outcomes are an important measure as well, and Champlain’s remain outstanding: 91% of the Class of 2019 are employed or continuing their education just six months after graduating. Our students’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles are packed with experience and proven skills. Nine out of 10 Champlain students complete an experiential learning opportunity before they graduate.”

Since 1878, Champlain College has provided a career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vermont. It offers a traditional undergraduate experience with degrees in fields that range from Cybersecurity to Professional Writing. Undergraduates can study abroad at Champlain’s campuses in Montreal, Quebec, and Dublin, Ireland, or across the globe through international partnerships. Champlain College Online delivers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates in high-growth fields.

Champlain’s hilltop campus overlooks the city of Burlington, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondack Mountains.

Virtual Tours and Visits

Students and families interested in Champlain can learn more about the College by checking out our virtual tour or attending a virtual visit or info session. Click through to our Visit & Events page for more information. When a student attends one of our events—even a virtual one—they qualify for Champlain’s Visit Scholarship, a program through which they can earn up to $4,000 in scholarships over the course of their four years as a Champlain student.

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The U.S. News & World Report 2021 “America’s Best Colleges” represents a comprehensive look at how more than 1,400 accredited four-year colleges compare on a set of 17 diverse measures of academic quality. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are outcomes, peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student excellence, financial resources, alumni giving, and social mobility.

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