Vermont’s College of St. Joseph placed on probation

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — The College of St. Joseph in Vermont has been placed on probation by the New England Association of Schools due to its financial resources not meeting standards, the association said.

The association notified the Rutland college on July 31, the Rutland Herald reported on Wednesday. The college has struggled with enrollment and revenue issues.

College president Jennifer Scott said the school has been open about its challenges. It has also embarked on a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $3.5 million by June 2020.

“I don’t think this came as a surprise to anyone, given how open we’ve been about the financial struggles that the school has had, given the conversations that were going on in the spring . and given the transition in leadership happening just 10 days before that hearing,” Scott said. “I don’t think anybody expected there would be any other decision.”

The college has spent about 90 percent of its $5 million endowment. College trustees considered closing the school but voted in April to keep it open despite the school’s status.

The association’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education voted on June 28 to place the school on probation for up to two years. “These are not easy decisions for the commission to make,” said Barbara Brittingham, president of the commission. “We are hoping that the College of St. Joseph can do well and get off probation.”

Scott said the college will refocus on development and enrollment. College staff will meet with the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in November.

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