Vassar, DCC launch student crossover pilot project

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Eddington, left, and Bradley on the Vassar lawn

POUGHKEEPSIE – Vassar College and Dutchess Community College have forged an agreement that enables full-time students from one college to take up to two courses per year, at no additional tuition, at the other institution. The new policy, announced this week by Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley and DCC President Pamela Edington, takes effect in the spring semester.
Dutchess Provost Dr. Ellen Gambino said each school has unique offerings that will benefit students.
“Vassar College students will be able to take advantage of some of the summer course that DCC offers and DCC students will be able to take some upper level courses at Vassar that we might not be able to offer at DCC, so we think it is a very positive opportunity for both colleges to provide coursework for students that they might otherwise not be able to get,” Gambino said.
The agreement grew out of discussions the two presidents have had over the past few months on a variety of topics. “Vassar College and DCC have unique capabilities that can benefit the other,” Bradley said. “It only makes sense that we would collaborate to help expand the educational possibilities on both campuses.”
“Partnerships are key to achieving shared goals,” said Edington. “By leveraging the resources of both Vassar College and DCC, we will be able to provide enhanced opportunities for students of both institutions.”
Students will be free to choose which courses they take at the partner institution. Vassar students might, for example, take a criminal justice course at DCC, while DCC students may decide to take an upper-level mathematics course at Vassar. Vassar students may also take advantage of summer courses offered at DCC to help them catch up on credits for graduation, as Vassar does not offer summer classes.
Vassar Dean of Studies Benjamin Lotto said the new agreement with Dutchess Community College is the latest of several partnerships Vassar has formed with other educational institutions in the Hudson Valley.
“It’s another example of Vassar engaging with the community in an educational endeavor, along with our Exploring College and Exploring Transfer programs, and our Urban Education initiatives we have with the Poughkeepsie City School District,” Lotto said.  Vassar also has had an Exchange Agreement with Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson for several years.
Gambino added that DCC also has several successful initiatives underway with community and educational partners, and that the new Vassar collaboration will provide students with additional opportunities beyond those offered by their home institutions.
Dr. Edington has been recognized for her community outreach since taking the reins at the Poughkeepsie-based college. Several new programs including some at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie have made the college even more accessible to those seeking an education. She was recently awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal of Honor for “Champion of Educational Accessibility, Diversity and Civic Engagement.”