VCIH’s New Distance Learning Option FAQ

Is VCIH becoming an online school?

No! We’re committed to remaining an in-person, physical school, while also making it possible for folks who live outside of commuting distance to join us. We’ll have a mix of local and distance students in each class.

For 2022, due to COVID-19, we leave open the possibility that some of our teaching may have to occur virtually for all students, both local and distance. But, rest assured that we will gather students in the classroom whenever it’s safe to do so, following public health guidelines.

Is the distance-learning option permanent or is it just being offered during the pandemic?

Our plan is to offer this option for the foreseeable future.

Will tuition be different for distance and local students?

No.

Is there a change in tuition expected in the future?

Yes. Due to the increased expenses associated with creating a quality experience on a virtual platform, as well as adding faculty hours for increased support and mentorship for all students, we will be increasing tuition for new 2022 students. We’re sensitive to the financial challenges many are experiencing (so are we!) and so we intentionally delayed this increase, absorbing the additional costs in 2020 and 2021.

Are the intensives really required? Do I have to travel to Vermont 3 times a year?

Yes. We understand that travel and housing adds to the expense of the programs, which is, in part, why we are not charging more for the distance option, as some programs do. The intensive class programming is included in the tuition.

We have resisted offering a distance or virtual option for our programs for many years because we are deeply invested in continuing to teach the hands-on and relational skills that we find so vital to this work. Herbalism has always been an art and skill passed on through direct mentorship and we want to preserve some of that tradition, even as we embrace the opportunities offered by technology.

Where will students stay during residential intensives?

While we can’t be certain due to COVID-related regulations, we are hopeful that students will be able to stay in the dorms on the Goddard campus (where our school is also located). There are also numerous housing options in the Montpelier area and our local student community is often generous in hosting visitors. Housing fees are not included in tuition.

What kind of virtual learning platform will you use?

We use Zoom for Education, an expanded-capacity version of Zoom, coupled with GSuite for Education (aka Google Workspace), which we have been using for the past 10 years to host student email, a robust online classroom platform, school calendar, student forum and document storage.

All classes will be offered as synchronous, interactive, live content and will also be recorded and provided as both audio and video files for review or make up.

Can I attend virtually even if I’m local?

Yes. Students are welcome to utilize this option wherever they live. However, due to our cozy classroom size, in-person attendance (other than during intensives) is limited to students who apply for and are accepted into the in-person cohort.

Will student clinic be virtual, too?

We are committed to hosting in-person clinics as soon as we can. Currently, even local students continue to see clients virtually while we keep an eye on the pandemic. We’ve adjusted our format and requirements to allow for students to see clients and receive supervision while remaining in their home communities and working with clients in any location.

Intensives during the clinical year will offer an opportunity to get in-person supervision and observation/partnering hours (though, this will obviously depend on public health at the time).

Do you offer financial aid or scholarships?

Yes! See our Tuition Reduction page for all the details!

Do accept applications past August 15th?

Once our application deadline has passed, new applications will be placed on a wait list and you will be contacted if an interview slot becomes available.