Mission, Values, History

What does Johnson State College stand for? What will your experience be like as a student here? You can begin to understand by learning about our mission, values and history.


The Johnson State community believes in the power of higher education to transform lives. We express this commitment through an education that crosses academic and other boundaries, wherever possible; creates opportunities for students to extend their classroom learning to the field, the laboratory, the studio, the community, and the local and wider world; recognizes the diverse starting points and goals of students; and sustains active participation, high standards, vigorous debate and mutual respect.

Our Values

The following are some of the key values guiding our work at Johnson State.

  • We combine extended classroom experiences with cross-disciplinary learning to enhance our academic programs and expand our students' world view.
  • Our faculty members are active scholars and researchers; but first and foremost, they are committed to our students.
  • We offer a friendly, intimate atmosphere that allows students to develop close relationships with faculty and to receive the various forms of support they need to succeed.
  • We promote environmental and social awareness through our academic offerings and community-based activities.
  • We recognize the many paths students take in pursuing their education and create an inclusive environment for both "traditional" and "nontraditional" students.

Additionally, at Johnson State College, we believe the success of a community is based on both a shared commitment to the basic core values of the community and the individual member's sense of responsibility.

As a community centered on the growth and learning of its members, Johnson State College commits to:

  • An educationally purposeful community where faculty and students share academic goals and work together to strengthen teaching and learning on campus.
  • An open community where freedom of expression is uncompromisingly protected and where civility is positively affirmed.
  • A just community where the sacredness of the person is honored and diversity is pursued.
  • A disciplined community where individuals accept their obligations to the group.
  • A caring community where the well-being of each member is sensitively supported and service to others is encouraged.
  • A celebrative community where the heritage of the institution is remembered and where rituals affirming tradition are widely shared.

We are grateful to each member of this community for honoring these values and acting accordingly.


Johnson State began as an elementary and secondary school in 1828 and was chartered as Johnson Academy four years later. In 1866 the State of Vermont designated Johnson Academy as a "Normal School" — an institution exclusively for teacher training.

Over the next eight decades, the Johnson Normal School offered one-, two- and three-year teacher-training programs. The school became Johnson Teachers College in 1947, when the state approved a four-year teaching program.

In 1962 Johnson State College assumed its current name, signaling a change in mission from a single-purpose teacher-training college to a college that teaches the liberal arts and prepares students for a range of professions. Over the last four decades, we have expanded our curriculum in the professional programs and liberal arts and sciences — and we have boosted our enrollment and built new facilities to meet this mission.

Today, our modern, 14-building campus spreads over 350 hilltop acres and serves nearly 2,000 students.




Did You Know

In the beginning


JSC was founded in 1828 as Johnson Academy.  

Campus Building