Karen McGovern

Class of 1989
Outreach Counselor, VSAC

My relationship with the Community College of Vermont (CCV) has been a valuable and meaningful one.  As a student, I credit CCV and its many wonderful instructors, staff and students with teaching me how to learn.  As an instructor myself, I credit CCV and its amazing instructors, staff, and students with teaching me how to teach!!

I began my experience with CCV in 1986 when I enrolled as a part-time student trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I had attempted college before but I didn’t like the large classroom sizes and the lack of personal attention I had encountered in other schools.  CCV was a welcoming, safe and encouraging environment that engaged a wandering young adult looking to find her way.  The class that made the most impact on me early on was then called Dimensions of Learning, taught by the ever-so-incredible Joan Kaye.  It really was a time of awakening for me. Also, thanks to Joan and CCV I was able to start my career with an internship in Senator Patrick Leahy’s Burlington office.  After proudly receiving my AS degree in 1989 from CCV, I was ready for more.

Equipped with genuine encouragement, some newfound confidence, and a foundation in liberal studies and human services I embarked on a long journey.  It took another 8+ years to get my BA degree from Trinity College of Vermont while working full-time for VSAC and raising a family.  I don’t fit into the charts or categories that attempt to measure postsecondary completion rates within 4 years or even 6 years.  I was, however, fortunate to find colleges that offered adult-friendly programs of study where I found the flexibility to learn in a way that worked best for me.

With the support of my family and my employer, I returned to learning again to pursue an MA degree in the hopes that I might counsel adults at VSAC and possibly teach one day.  You can imagine my delight when I was offered a teaching position at the CCV academic center in St. Albans.  I have had the great pleasure and honor of teaching Dimensions of Work since 2010.  How great it has been to find myself back in Dimensions class, after all these years.