|Dr. Richard E. Helton
Twenty-First President of Vincennes University
A Brief History of Vincennes University
One of the first two-year colleges in America, Vincennes University is also Indiana’s oldest college. The heritage of the University began with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which stated, “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and to the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
In 1801 Jefferson Academy, the direct forerunner of Vincennes University, was founded at Vincennes, Indiana. The Indiana territorial legislature, at its first session in 1806, passed an act to incorporate the first university in the Indiana Territory, “to be called and known by the name and style of Vincennes University.” William Henry Harrison, first governor of the Indiana Territory, and later (1841) President of the United States, was the founder of the college and the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University.
Vincennes University has had a distinguished history, rich with the traditions of many firsts. In the Vincennes University catalog of 1899, the statement appeared that, “Vincennes University is in fact a junior college offering the first two years of the regular college programs.” By that statement, Vincennes University claims to be one of the first colleges to develop and recognize the junior college concept in higher education.
Today, the University is a model comprehensive two-year “university” offering more than 150 associate degree programs and options, and seven baccalaureate degrees in specialized areas. Vincennes University has a statewide mission and is a fully state-supported college, recognized as being unique in Indiana. In addition to the Vincennes campus, the University has a second campus at Jasper, Indiana and major extension sites at the International Airport in Indianapolis and the Indiana School for the Deaf, also in Indianapolis. Through its dual enrollment program and its unique early college program, the university assists high school students in transitioning into higher education when the student is ready. The university also serves a growing distance education population with more than 30 programs and provides higher education experiences for our military at more than 37 bases.
The University’s motto as translated from the official seal is, “Learn in Order to Serve.” For the past two centuries, for today, and into the future Vincennes University students and graduates strive to make that goal a reality in their lives.
Our Vision and Mission
Vincennes University Vision
Vincennes University is a premier learning institution, widely recognized for leadership in innovation and delivery of successful educational experiences. A breadth of program offerings and a commitment to quality service ensure the University’s role as an important link in Indiana’s economic and cultural vitality. VU is a diverse community whose members all share responsibility for supporting the University mission and are respected for their contributions.
Vincennes University Mission
Vincennes University, Indiana’s first college, is the State’s premier transfer institution and leader in innovative career programming. The VU community ensures educational access, delivers proven associate and baccalaureate programs, and offers cultural opportunities and community services in a diverse, student-centered, collegiate environment.
Our Mission in Practice
Vincennes University, Indiana’s first college…Jefferson Academy, the direct forerunner of Vincennes University, was founded at Vincennes, Indiana in 1801. The Indiana territorial legislature passed an act in 1806 to incorporate the first university in the Indiana Territory, “to be called and known by the name and style of Vincennes University.” William Henry Harrison, first governor of the Indiana Territory and later President of the United States, was the founder of the college and first chairman of the Board of Trustees.
is the State’s premier transfer institution…Vincennes University has been recognized for decades as a source of highly qualified, transfer-ready graduates. VU’s transfer programs are designed in coordination with four-year institutions to ensure successful transfer. The university maintains more than 1,000 transfer agreements through close faculty-to-faculty contacts with senior institutions. VU graduates compete successfully with students from four-year institutions in acceptance to limited-admission professional programs. The performance of graduates at four year institutions is monitored systematically and points to the quality of VU’s transfer programs.
and leader in innovative career programming…Vincennes University provides certificate, associate, and baccalaureate career programs that lead directly to successful employment. However, many programs are both transfer and career in nature, allowing a choice of entering the workplace or continuing toward an associate or baccalaureate degree. Employers recognize Vincennes University’s reputation for quality and innovation as evidenced by high placement rates and positive responses to employer surveys. VU continues to work with employers in program development and revision to ensure that graduates possess the necessary skills to make them valuable contributors to the workforce.
The VU community ensures educational access…Vincennes University is the college of choice for many top high school graduates, but the institution also provides developmental education for those whose academic skills are not at the collegiate level. VU provides post-secondary education to students from more than 100 countries and through distance education but is also a preferred choice for many within the nearby geographic area. Educational services are provided on two established campuses and sites worldwide, but new learning sites are also established in rapid response to industry needs. The University strives to control its tuition and fees but also facilitates all forms of public and private financial aid, so that all those with the ability to benefit from a college education may find it at Vincennes University.
delivers proven AS and BS programs…Vincennes University embraces responsibility for continuing a rich tradition of academic excellence. VU offers a comprehensive array of certificate, associate and baccalaureate degree programs. The University assures that each program provides the highest level of instruction and preparation for continued study and career achievement. The quality of VU’s programs is proven by the history of effective articulation, graduate success in career placement, and recognition by professional accrediting bodies. The University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
offers cultural opportunities…Vincennes University offers entertainment and cultural programs, such as the Community Series, University musical and theatrical productions, and faculty and guest art exhibits to students and area residents. Community forums, VU athletic activities, and other local interest programs are broadcast by the University’s radio and television stations. Guest lecturers and student activities in a wide range of subject areas are offered to the University and surrounding communities. The Vincennes campus is the location of the state-of-the-art Red Skelton Performing Arts Center.
and community services…Vincennes University oversees a variety of programs to benefit the community. Among these are services to senior citizens, those who have not completed high school, potential entrepreneurs, displaced workers, those who need retraining, and other populations seeking education and training services. VU serves as the fiscal agent and administrator for many programs funded through the state and federal governments.
in a diverse… Vincennes University values diversity and believes this is an important aspect of the educational experience. Members of the VU community are encouraged to develop and apply critical thinking skills to unexamined assumptions and stereotypes. Multicultural campus activities provide a structured opportunity for building alliances among students from diverse backgrounds. The University prepares students to be contributing citizens in a global society.
student-centered…Vincennes University is a community fully dedicated to the enhancement of student learning. VU is committed to helping students establish a lifetime of growth in their academic, co-curricular, social, moral and civic endeavors. The University validates the effectiveness of all activities and services through a comprehensive assessment process. Decisions on a student-centered campus are made in the interest of the greater student population. Whether addressing learning, scholarship or community service, the University’s activities are directed toward positively impacting student success.
collegiate environment…Vincennes University includes two campuses in southwestern Indiana and two learning sites in Indianapolis. The Vincennes campus provides a 135 acre residential campus with more than 50 buildings; the Jasper campus encompasses 130 acres with an abundance of resources typically found only at a residential campus. Two sites in Indianapolis have been established in response to the demand for interpreters of American Sign Language and trained aviation maintenance technicians. Each VU location provides an attractive setting where learning is paramount, and where student participation is encouraged in activities that build skills for careers, for enrichment, and for lifelong learning.
As an institution of higher education, Vincennes University is committed to provide
A comprehensive range of transfer curricula for those who want to complete a baccalaureate degree at another institution by offering the first two years of many baccalaureate programs.
A comprehensive range of occupational programs for those who want to begin employment with job entry skills upon the completion of their occupational programs at Vincennes University.
Baccalaureate degrees in specialized areas for those who want to complete a baccalaureate program at Vincennes University.
General education for all students for the purpose of broadening their understanding of life and their ability to function as citizens in today’s society.
Developmental education for those who need it in order to succeed in the occupational or transfer programs of their choice.
A comprehensive range of student support services aimed at enhancing students’ academic, personal and social development.
Adult continuing and adult basic education for those who want to prepare for the General Education Development (GED) test or to up-grade their job competencies, improve basic educational skills, and/or gain knowledge of subjects of their own personal interest, or to complete requirements for a certificate or associate degree program of their choice.
A comprehensive program of community services and resources for the community by developing specialized opportunities for preparation when occupational needs can be served, by initiating programs of benefit to the community, and by making the resources of the University available for community betterment.
Vincennes University commits to providing an environment, personnel and facilities that enhance the commitment of VU to
Prepare Students to Transfer to Four-Year Colleges and Universities. Vincennes University has a well-established history of success in and a continuing commitment to preparing students in the first two years of many baccalaureate programs. Substantial offerings and programs in a wide variety of instructional areas, advanced placement policies, developmental and refresher courses, and a variety of instructional techniques allow the University to tailor programs appropriate to the individual needs of students so that they can reach their academic transfer goals. In all instructional programs, Vincennes University students have practical learning experiences, often including leadership and performing opportunities, normally denied first- and second-year students at baccalaureate educational institutions.
Prepare Students for Successful Job Entry Through Occupational Education. Vincennes University has a well-established history of success in and a continuing commitment to excellence in occupational education. The University offers a wide variety of occupational programs that include general education and other support courses. The major purpose of occupational education is to prepare students for successful job entry. Also, a significant number of occupational graduates transfer to continue their education toward an advanced degree.
The University supports gender equity in all of its programs. Male and female students who wish to pursue majors in programs non-traditional for their gender have the opportunity and the encouragement to do so at Vincennes University.
Allow Students to Complete a Baccalaureate Degree in Specialized Areas. Consistent with its early mission and history, Vincennes University offers a limited number of baccalaureate degrees. The purpose of these degrees is to prepare students for successful job entry or for graduate degree education.
Allow Students to Begin Their Postsecondary Education at Their Levels of Readiness. The University works to help students make an effective transition from high school to college. Through academic advising and personal counseling, the University helps students select programs consistent with their goals and courses in which they have reasonable chances to succeed. Opportunities for advanced placement, early completion in courses, as well as courses to overcome educational limitations are available to students.
Provide General Education for All Students for the Purpose of Personal Enrichment. The distribution of course requirements in the various divisional areas of study, comprehensive survey courses, functional courses, the broad spectrum of extra-curricular activities, and special cultural convocations and programs offer opportunity for general education to all students.
Provide Guidance and Opportunity for Exploration to Those Students Uncertain About Their Educational Goals. The University provides opportunities for students to experience a diversity of academic and occupational alternatives. It offers its students personal assistance in career decisions through academic advising, counseling, interest and aptitude testing, and career information services. Flexible academic regulations allow students to change educational objectives with minimal loss of time and credit.
Provide a Campus Environment Conducive to Personal Development. The University, through its campus organizations, campus activities, and on-campus residence halls, provides an environment conducive to personal development. Students may pursue special interests, develop leadership, and find social expression and membership in various organizations and activities. Students may participate in intercollegiate and intramural athletic teams and activities, with equipment and facilities also provided for individual recreation. Numerous opportunities occur for the development and display of students’ talents in the performing, visual, communicative, and literary arts. On-campus residence halls provide an additional dimension for the interaction of students from diverse geographical regions, countries, and cultures.
Assist Students in College Transfer and Job Placement. Each year a large percentage of Vincennes University students transfer successfully to more than one hundred baccalaureate colleges and universities. The University’s continuous communication and articulation with other postsecondary educational institutions, businesses and industries and the personal guidance by the faculty, staff, and placement personnel assist students in achieving successful transfer and/or job placement.
Provide Continuing Education and Educational Outreach Services. Vincennes University has a statewide mission to deliver credit and non-credit educational programs to Indiana residents upon request. In fulfilling this mission the University has established numerous community-based teaching sites including: those developed in cooperation with high schools; the Aviation Technology Center at Indianapolis, Indiana; the Indiana Deaf School; Indiana Corrections Sites; the Jasper campus; and selected National Guard Armories and Army Reserve Centers. To serve Indiana residents who have part-time military obligations and other military personnel, the University has established teaching sites in such locations as diverse as the National Guard Professional Education Center at Camp Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas; in San Diego to serve not only the Naval Air Base, but also the Amphibious Base at Coronado, and the Naval Hospital at Balboa, and the Naval Air Station in El Centro; two naval bases in Washington, the Amphibious Base at Bremerton and the Submarine Base at Bangor; the Coast Guard Base in Newport, Oregon; and several U.S. Army or multiservice programs at Ft. Benning, Georgia, Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin, and Selfridge, Michigan. The Military Education Program has generated requests for classes from across the United States and its Territories, and University personnel have responded with at least limited offerings.
The Vincennes University Jasper Campus offers many community services to the citizens of Dubois County and surrounding counties, particularly the opportunity to complete credit courses leading to the associate degree in transfer and occupational programs as well as a number of specialized baccalaureate degrees. The Jasper Campus, in addition, offers non-credit courses.
The Degree Completion Program provides opportunities for students to complete an associate degree via independent study when Vincennes University courses are not otherwise available.
Offer a Variety of Educational and Cultural Services to its Communities. The University’s radio stations, television station, and campus events are used for the dissemination of educational and cultural opportunities. Entertainment and cultural programs are offered to area residents through the Community Series and the University’s musical and theatrical productions and art shows.
Provide Diverse Educational, Economic and Training Programs to Designated Clients Throughout the University’s Service Area. The University administers major federal and state funded community-based service programs for a variety of constituencies. Educational Opportunity Programs consist of Education Talent Search, COPE Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound for the first generation college students, students with special economic or educational needs and Vietnam Era Veterans. The Generations Program provides essential social and human services to eligible elderly and disabled clients including CHOICE, Nutrition, Ombudsman and Legal Services, Employment, Nursing Home Pre-admission Screening, Medicaid Waiver Program, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Workforce Development Services delivers employment, training and economic development opportunities to eligible clients, business and industry plus Adult Basic Education, the Business and Industry Assistance Program, IMPACT and Single Parent Displaced Homemaker Services.
Provide Opportunity for International and Intercultural Understanding. Students from various countries around the world add an international dimension to the University’s campus. Some of the international students need the special services of the English as a Second Language Program. Their presence emphasizes the importance of programs and activities that provide opportunities for person-to-person understanding across national lines, for the inclusion of academic units that promote world understanding, and for the kind of activities that introduce students and the community at large to major international issues. International emphasis programs, including the activities of the host families, are illustrative of the special International students’ projects. The Office of Multicultural Services offers a variety of activities and events to promote understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity present on our campus, in our communities, and around the world. A number of special activities such as a week honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are held as well as a number of workshops emphasizing issues of cultural diversity.
|Vincennes University does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin or ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap or against disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era, or other non-merit factors in its employment or educational programs or activities. Any person who believes that such discrimination has occurred in this institution should contact the Affirmative Action Officer of Vincennes University, 1002 North First Street, Welsh Administration Building, Vincennes, Indiana 47591, 812-888-5848. The AAO also hears concerns when a person believes himself or herself to be a victim of discrimination under Title IX, Section 504 and the ADA.
A Comprehensive Two-Year College Offering Associate Degrees in the Liberal Arts, Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Technology and Offering Baccalaureate Degrees in Specialized Areas
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 263-0456 www.ncacihe.org FAX 312-263-7462
Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
American Bar Association
American Board of Funeral Service Education
American Health Information Management Association
Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Federal Aviation Administration
Higher Education Coordinating Board of the State of Washington
Indiana State Board of Nursing
Joint Review Committee on Education In Radiologic Technology
National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Theatre
National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
Approved for Veterans
The American Association of Community Colleges
Aviation Technician Education Council
The Council of North Central Two Year Colleges
The Higher Education Transfer Alliance
The National Academic Advising Association
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges
Toll Free Number: 1-800-742-9198
Fax Number: 1-812-888-5868
Address: 1002 North First Street, Vincennes, Indiana 47591