Castleton State College
Castleton, Vermont 05735
Castleton State College is accredited by the
New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Castleton is located in an area that has long been recognized for its beauty, unique character, and recreational resources. The natural environment of Vermont blends easily with the educational environment of Castleton to create the setting for a unique living and learning experience.
The college's 160‐acre campus is situated in the village of Castleton. One of Vermont's largest cities, Rutland, lies 12 miles to the east; New York State is six miles to the west. Montreal, Boston, Hartford, Albany, and New York City are all within easy driving distance on major highways and are accessible by air, bus, and/or train service.
Castleton is primarily a teaching institution whose faculty is dedicated to the preeminence of student learning in the life of the college. Castleton faculty comprise a community of scholar-teachers whose academic and artistic endeavors enlarge and enrich the lives of their students, their colleagues, and the college. Ninety‐four percent of the faculty hold doctoral or appropriate terminal degrees in their fields of academic specialty. In addition, all full‐time Education faculty in the Graduate Program hold doctoral degrees. Classes in the Graduate Accounting program are taught by experienced attorneys and Certified Public Accountants who are experts in their fields. The chief beneficiary of faculty scholarship is the Castleton student, whose classroom experience is heightened by the excitement of the professor's own pursuit of knowledge.
Castleton State College's roots go back to October 15, 1787, when the General Assembly of the State of Vermont chartered the Rutland County Grammar School in the village of Castleton. In early America a grammar school was the first step in higher education, a link between the local common schools and the few colleges in New Eng‐land. Of institutions that are colleges today, Castleton is the oldest in Vermont and the 18th oldest in the nation
The village of Castleton was an intellectual center. The first medical college in Vermont was founded here in 1818 and lasted until 1862. In that time the school conferred some 1400 medical degrees, more than any other New England medical school. Students came from throughout the United States, from Canada, and from distant lands including France, Cuba, Ireland, and Brazil. During this time, several African‐Americans graduated and went on to distinguished careers.
Throughout the 19th century, the school in Castleton evolved and changed names to meet the needs of society. In 1829 the cornerstone of the historic Old Seminary building was laid by Solomon Foot, principal of the Classical High School and later president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate during the Civil War, and Colonel Noah Lee, an early settler who had been with Ethan Allen at the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. In the 1860s, Harriet Haskell, later a nationally known feminist, served as Castleton's first woman principal.
In 1867 the State Normal School was founded in Castleton. For a few years it was housed entirely in the old Medical College building and shared faculty with the Castleton Seminary before that school closed. Normal school is a term based on the French école normal, a school to educate teachers. For 30 years the Normal School was privately owned by the Leavenworths, Abel and son Philip. In 1912 the State of Vermont purchased the property.
Castleton entered a Golden Age in the 1920s and 1930s under the leadership of Principal Caroline Woodruff. She helped save the school after the Old Seminary building burned in January 1924. Quoting the Old Testament's book of Haggai, she promised, "And the glory of the latter house shall be greater than that of the former." Woodruff modernized the curriculum, hired excellent staff, and exposed her students to the wider world through guest speakers that included Robert Frost, Helen Keller, and Norman Rockwell. A friend of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, she was the first woman and still the only Vermonter to be president of the National Education Association.
In 1947 the Normal School became Castleton Teachers College. With increased enrollment from men, intercollegiate athletics began in the 1950s and, by the early‐1960s, Castleton was a national power in small college men's soccer.
In 1962 Castleton became a state college and a member of the newly formed Vermont State Colleges. Castleton grew dramatically during the decade of the Sixties in enrollment and in construction of buildings. A generation of faculty educated at major universities brought new perspectives to the classroom. Many academic programs were added to meet the changing needs of students and of society.
Today Castleton has a total enrollment of over 1900 students. The college offers more than 30 undergraduate programs as well as master's degrees in education and accounting. First‐year students benefit from the First‐Year Seminar program and Soundings, which offers the best in music, drama, dance, and contemporary thought for the campus. The college is deeply involved in the region through community service efforts and internships and through its accounting, business, education, social work, and nursing programs.
Although so much has changed in more than 200 years, Castleton retains its historic commitment to students and to Vermont.
The graduate programs at Castleton State College recognize their responsibilities to students within an increasingly global society. Their mission is to promote the knowledge, competence, and character necessary for the professional application of skills within their chosen fields.