New Academic Year Brings Most Internationally Diverse Students in UVM History
- By Amanda Kenyon Waite
Among the expected 2,780 new undergraduate students this year — including first-years and transfers — are a record nearly 120 international students. Combined with returning students, UVM’s international undergraduate enrollment for the 2014-15 academic year is at a record 280 students, nearly double what it was two years ago. Total international student enrollment, including graduate students and undergraduate pathway program students is approximately 610 — the most internationally diverse student body in UVM history.
Bolstering the international population on campus this year are 150 students coming to Vermont via UVM's Global Gateway program, a transitional pathway program entering its second year that allows international students to build English language skills for an academic setting, complete for-credit coursework alongside domestic students and become familiarized with the conventions of American classroom style learning. Those students will matriculate as sophomores in the fall of 2015.
While about 75 of this year's new undergraduate international students are transfer students, including the university's first cohort of Global Gateway Program students now entering their sophomore year, a projected 47 are first-time, first-year students — members of the incoming Class of 2018, which arrives on campus Friday, Aug. 22.
The Class of 2018 includes an estimated 2,330 students, hailing from 22 countries and 39 states, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. This year, 13 percent of the incoming class are ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students, holding steady last year’s approximate three percent increase among first-year ALANA students.
The incoming first-years achieved an average SAT score of 1774 (including critical reading, math and writing), and 67 percent of first-time, first-year students graduated in the top quarter of their high school classes. One hundred ninety-three have accepted entrance into the Honors College.
During their first days on campus, the Class of 2018 will participate in Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students with college life. The weekend culminates in a convocation ceremony, Sunday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. in Patrick Gymnasium, to celebrate the opening of the new academic year. Following convocation, the UVM community will process to the University Green, where the Class of 2018 will participate in a twilight induction ceremony.
All UVM students, an estimated 12,805, begin classes Monday, Aug. 25.
New this year
Among new academic programs this year is the Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA Program. Announced last year, SEMBA welcomes its first cohort of 20 students this fall, adding to UVM’s graduate enrollment of an expected 1,375 students. The goal of the one-year, full-time program, says SEMBA director and associate professor Willy Cats-Baril, is to provide students with “the necessary tools to make business an integral part of the solution to serious world problems such as unequal prosperity, climate change, access to clean water and air, and inexpensive and renewable energy sources.”
Beginning this fall, all incoming students will be required to complete one of three courses — English 1, Honors College 85, or a Teacher-Adviser Program seminar — designed to teach foundational skills including rhetorical discernment, critical reading, substantive revision and information literacy. Read more about the First-Year Writing and Information Literacy Program.
Another program that will be presented to all incoming students for the first time this fall is UVM’s 4-Year Plan for Career Success, a guide to help students develop their career direction throughout their time at the university — from getting involved in clubs and organizations their first year to writing resumes and practicing interviewing their last year. The plan is among recent efforts at UVM to increase support of students on their path toward careers, including the fall 2013 opening of the centrally located Career + Experience Hub at the Davis Center, as covered in this USA Today article.
New among UVM’s leadership is dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources Nancy Mathews, who comes to UVM from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Read more about Mathews in this Chronicle of Higher Education profile, "New Dean to Involve Students in Environmental Issues Near and Far."
Two highlights of UVM's calendar of events this fall: On Thursday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m., author and food activist Michael Pollan, whose book Cooked was the summer first-year reading assignment, will speak at UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel. On Thursday, Oct. 2, architect and environmental designer Neri Oxman, who teaches at MIT’s media lab, will deliver the 2014 Aiken Lecture on “Material Ecology: A New Approach to Nature-Inspired Design & Engineering,” at 5 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.