Syllabus For Survival

Small colleges across New England face a set of financial and demographic challenges that have proven insurmountable for some schools. Exactly what are those challenges, and how do Vermont’s remaining independent colleges plan to adapt in order to survive?

As part of a fellowship from the Education Writers Association, VPR’s Amy Kolb Noyes has investigated these questions for a good six months. All of her reporting can be found on this page, including a short documentary video, a map of all the state’s colleges with accompanying video clips, a college closure timeline and web + audio stories, including a Brave Little State episode.

A Short Documentary

Watch our exclusive documentary video, which uncovers the problems Vermont’s small, independent colleges are facing and how they plan to adapt to rapid changes in higher education.

A Map Of Vermont’s Colleges

All of Vermont’s current and recently-closed college campuses. Click on a pin to learn a little about each school. You’ll also find short videos about each of the private undergraduate schools currently operating in Vermont.

College Closure Timeline

In 2016, Burlington College was shuttered after years of financial woes. Now, people in higher education circles in Vermont point to Burlington College as the first domino to fall.

Web + Audio Stories On VPR


Syllabus For Survival is a production of Vermont Public Radio. Amy Kolb Noyes reported these stories. John Billingsley produced video, and Elodie Reed provided digital support. Sarah Ashworth is VPR’s Vice President of News. Graphic by Lara Dickson. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. Special thanks to the Education Writers Association for support through a 2019 Reporting Fellowship.