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 2021, due to COVID-19, we do expect that much 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 as soon as 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 in 2022. We’re sensitive to the financial challenges many are experiencing (so are we!) and so we are intentionally delaying this increase for a year and absorbing the costs until then.

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 plan to use an expanded version of a Google platform called GSuite for Education, which we have been using for the past 10 years. Their live-meeting technology will dovetail with our existing setup for student email, online classroom, school calendar, student forum and document storage.

All classes will be offered as synchronous, 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. We expect that public health will dictate that all students will use the virtual platform for some period of time in 2021. As necessary, students will be welcome to utilize this option wherever they live and to mix in-person attendance and virtual attendance if they wish.

Will student clinic be virtual, too?

Similar to classes, we are committed to hosting in-person clinics as soon as we can. But, we’ll be adjusting our format and requirements to allow for students to see clients and receive supervision while remaining in their home community, as well.

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!

Are you still accepting applications even though it’s past August 15th?

Yes! But, get us your application right away and definitely before September 15th!