AHEAD Program

The AHEAD Program is an opportunity for students of underrepresented populations to meet other incoming students, get a jump start on their career, connect with staff, faculty and upper class students, ask questions, have fun, and stay engaged throughout the year at Champlain College.

AHEAD stands for Academics, Health, Engagement, Achievement, and Discovery. We start with a multi-day pre-orientation that focuses on programming related to these five areas to better help students settle into their new college environment. Programming includes resume workshops, mock classes, identity activities, team building activities, campus resource sessions, Safe Zone training, and more. Students arrive the Friday before New Student Orientation begins, allowing time to adjust and explore before their peers move in.

During the year there are opportunities for students to connect through staff, faculty, and upper class student mentorship. Additionally, the AHEAD Program offers other scheduled activities throughout the year, which may include reunion dinners, off-campus activities, get togethers in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and more!

Hosted through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the AHEAD Program is specifically intended for:

  • Students whose parents/guardians did not graduate from college/university with a Bachelor's degree
  • Students with high financial need
  • Students of color
  • New Americans/refugee students

Why attend a college pre-orientation program?

Making the transition to college can feel overwhelming at times, and the pre-orientation portion of our AHEAD Program allows students to get a feel for campus before the larger community arrives. Students get familiar with the layout of campus, learn about the specific people and resources that are available to them, and meet a cohort of students and friends before classes even start.

Program participants also get to interact with peer mentors, who are upper class students ready to help give advice, informal tours, and more.

Through the AHEAD Program, students start to confidently create their home-away-from-home in a new campus community. In late May/early June, students who qualify for the program will receive an email with more information and an invitation to register. If you have any questions or needs related to the AHEAD Program, please email diversity@champlain.edu or call (802) 860-2780.

group of students on a mountaintop
AHEAD participants pose for a group photo outdoors
students sitting on a bench down by the waterfront
students stand in a circle during a waterfront sunset playing an ice breaker game
students on laptops in a classroom