Vermont State University brings together the unique strengths and attributes of three long-standing Vermont institutions: Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College. Each institution has grown and changed throughout its individual history, all along maintaining an unwavering commitment to the Green Mountain State and to preparing students for meaningful work and responsible citizenship. Joining together to become Vermont State University is one more step in our collective evolution to meet the ever-changing needs of Vermont and the students we serve.
The oldest college in Vermont and the 18th oldest in the nation, Castleton’s foundation dates to October 15, 1787, when the General Assembly of the State of Vermont chartered the Rutland County Grammar School. In 1867, the State Normal School for training teachers was founded in Castleton.
In 1947, the Normal School became Castleton Teachers College, and in 1962 changed its name again to Castleton State College when it became a member of the newly formed Vermont State Colleges system.
Beginning in 2002, Castleton worked to expand research opportunities for faculty and students, increase opportunities in athletics and the arts, and add graduate programs. In 2015, the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees unanimously approved modernizing Castleton’s name to Castleton University.
Although so much has changed during its 228-year history, the Castleton campus of Vermont State University’s commitment to students and to Vermont is stronger than ever.
Northern Vermont University
Itself comprised of two originally independent institutions, Northern Vermont University officially began on July 1, 2018, when the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees unified Johnson State College and Lyndon State College.
The roots of the Johnson campus date to 1828 with the establishment of an elementary and secondary school in the village of Johnson. The school was chartered in 1832 as Johnson Academy. In 1866, the Vermont Legislature designated Johnson Academy as a teacher-training school called the Johnson Normal School, offering one-, two-, and three-year training programs until 1947, when the state approved a four-year teacher-training program and the school became Johnson Teachers College.
In 1962, Johnson Teachers College became Johnson State College, a year after the state Legislature created the Vermont State Colleges system. With the name change, the college broadened its focus to be a multi-purpose liberal arts college, adding many facilities and academic programs, including the first graduate programs in the Vermont State College System.
The Johnson campus is proud to maintain its distinction as the only Vermont institution in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
Founded in 1911 as a one-year teacher-training school housed at nearby Lyndon Institute, the Lyndon Training Course gradually expanded its curriculum and graduated its first four-year class in 1944. In 1951, the college opened at its current location, the former estate of Theodore N. Vail, American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s first president. As it expanded, the Training Course changed its name to Lyndon Teachers College.
As with Castleton and Johnson, Lyndon Teachers College became Lyndon State College in 1962, adding liberal-arts degree programs to complement the teacher-training programs. The campus soon expanded its curriculum again with new programs in business, meteorology, and other disciplines, and in the 1970s began awarding graduate degrees.
From its 175-acre hilltop in Caledonia County, the Lyndon campus of Vermont State University continues its commitment to the region as the educational and cultural hub of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
Vermont Technical College
In 1806, the Orange County Grammar School was founded in Randolph Center. It was replaced in 1866 by the Randolph Normal School, the state’s first normal school for the purpose of educating teachers. To meet the growing demand for skilled and knowledgeable farmers, it transformed into the Vermont School of Agriculture in 1910.The school added a number of technical courses and in 1957 changed its name to reflect an expanded mission: Vermont Agricultural and Technical Institute (VATI). It was the first and only technical institute in Vermont, educating not only the farmers, but the highway engineers and electrical engineers for Vermont’s growing industrial production. After just a few years, it changed its name to Vermont Technical College.
In 1962, the college was authorized to grant degrees of Associate in Applied Science, and the Associate of Engineering degree was first granted in 1965. The college was approved to award its first bachelor’s degree program in 1993 and its first master’s degree in 2015.
Vermont Technical College looks forward to its next chapter as part of Vermont State University and is proud to meet the educational needs of Vermont’s workforce, serving students from both the Randolph and Williston campuses.
Vermont State University
We look forward to writing the next chapter in our collective history. With the combined strengths of three institutions, multiple campuses and learning sites across the state and the country, an expanding array of online undergraduate and graduate programs, and a tradition of continuous improvement, we remain committed to serving Vermont and our students. Vermont State offers a high-quality, affordable education and flexible pathways to degrees and certificates both online and in person. With programs ranging from technology to liberal arts, nursing, and much more, Vermont State is also a partner in workforce training and community development throughout the state. Learn more at VermontState.edu.