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A most unusual college —

and the future of higher education


CCV Kind of a Miracle



Experts said it was a fantasy. It could never work.

Half a century ago, some Vermonters started a college without a campus — bringing higher education to adults of all income levels, all over the state, with teachers from their own communities.

They succeeded.

And through decades of persistence, resilience and creative innovation, the Community College of Vermont has grown into what just might be a model for the college of the future.





From Kind of a Miracle:

“We actually saw ourselves as reinventing higher education from scratch,” said Larry Daloz, the Peace Corps veteran with a Harvard Ph.D. who joined the college in 1971, to help organize its approach to learning. “We were going to create higher education with a whole new model, because the job of higher education was to marshal the resources necessary for learners to learn what they wanted to learn.”


“When you think about the future of higher education, it’s not sitting and waiting for people to come to you. It’s reaching out and providing pathways.” — Joyce Judy, president of the Community College of Vermont


Kind of a Miracle is the story of a unique adventure in giving people of all backgrounds — especially those without many advantages — the chance to change their lives.

It’s a history of Vermonters who refused to be told “no.” Who developed a college unlike any other, challenging the higher education establishment as they offered adults the opportunity to learn at any stage in life, no matter their circumstances — and supporting them all along the way.

Filled with personal accounts, vivid profiles, humor and humanity, this is the true story, as longtime Vermont editor Emerson Lynn writes in the Introduction, of “the power of people who refused to give up.”

As today's colleges and universities struggle to meet the challenges of affordability, flexibility and the rising need for lifelong learning, Kind of a Miracle offers ideas and examples for rethinking higher education — for creating the college of tomorrow.


Kind of a Miracle is available now on Amazon.

Or you can buy the book at bookshop.org and direct the proceeds to any independent bookstore. The site has raised over $31 million for indie bookshops!


Here are two samples:

“The power of people who refused to give up” — the Introduction
“Inventing the future” of higher education


Kind of a Miracle is the inspiring story of an institution built from the ground up. CCV has been a pioneer in competency-based education, credit for prior learning, distributed libraries, serving refugees, dual enrollment, distance education, and stackable credentials. This book deserves to become a classic in the higher education literature.” — Dr. Barbara Brittingham, president emerita, New England Commission of Higher Education


Author Doug Wilhelm has written 18 previously published books. His most recent novel, Street of Storytellers, won three national awards and one New England gold medal for independently published books.

For a complete list of Doug’s previous books, visit https://www.dougwilhelm.com.

To contact Doug via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..