two students walk to class with their backpacks on, laughing, with greenery in the background

Champlain College’s first-year transition program, Champ 101, recently received high praise from Inside Higher Ed. The 10-week program is a required part of our InSight Program.

Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at once. In a post-COVID-pandemic era, it’s no secret that anxiety among college students is on the rise. To proactively meet students where they are at, Champlain College launched a new program in the fall of 2022 called Champ 101, to help successfully prepare students for college life and get them acclimated to campus. Students complete the program as part of their first-year wellbeing milestone of InSight, our required 4-year life skills program focused on career, personal finance education, and wellbeing.

“To ease student anxieties and stressors in the transition to college, Champlain College in Vermont developed a first-year program that facilitates peer connection, successful habit building and proactive resource connection,” writes Inside Higher Ed.

Each 20-student cohort is taught by both a peer facilitator and a staff/faculty facilitator, for one to two workshops per week.

“This dynamic helps new students build early friendships within their group and creates trust between the students and facilitators,” Vice President of Student Affairs Danelle Berube explains in the article. “It makes it ‘OK not to be OK’ within a peer group that gives students an intrinsic level of comfort and encourages openness.”

The impact is clear. Inside Higher Ed includes the following statistics from a post-survey of the 2023 cohort:

  • 86% of students said the program made them feel knowledgeable about campus resources,
  • 67% said the program helped them set personal, social and academic goals,
  • 60% increased their focus on their own personal health and well-being, and
  • 91% felt welcomed and included by their peer facilitator.

Shoutout to all of our peer and employee facilitators who make Champ 101 a success, and to our fearless leaders Erika Lea, Coordinator of First Year Transitions & Wellbeing Initiatives, and Corinne Novetti, Director of Student Success and Advising.

Kaylee Sullivan
Kaylee Sullivan
Community Content & Communications Manager
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