Norwich University is the country’s oldest private military college, founded in 1819. It’s also the birthplace of ROTC, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which is a program for training commissioned officers of the U.S. armed forces. Many of the school’s 2,300 students are cadets, though civilians and cadets have shared the same campus for more than 20 years after the school’s civilian and cadet campuses merged in 1994. Norwich is found in the Green Mountains in Northfield, Vt., about 20 minutes from Montpelier, Vermont’s capital; one hour from Burlington, its largest city; and three hours from Montreal and Boston.
The school is recognized as one of the best institutions of higher education in the area, with U.S. News & World Report ranking it among the top universities in the North. It offers a range of bachelor’s degrees, in architecture and art, business and management, engineering, humanities, mathematics and science, social sciences, and national services. It also offers master’s degrees and certificates through its online division.
Norwich launched an online graduate program in 2001. It currently offers nine master’s degree programs in diplomacy, military history, business administration, civil engineering, public administration, information assurance, nursing, organizational leadership, and, its newest, history. Online programs also include certificates in governmental operations and teaching, and a bachelor’s degree completion program.
Online classes at Norwich are asynchronous, so students don’t have any real-time instruction and can “go to class” on their own schedule. Students are in contact with their fellow classmates and instructors via writing, through discussion boards and email. Though not on campus, they have access to the school’s library, which features 100 online databases, 22,000 full-text electronic journals and tens of thousands of e-books. A dedicated Distance Learning Librarian is available via e-mail, phone, or live chat for any help.
Norwich’s online environment promotes networking and one-on-one contact with faculty. Classes are small – limited to approximately 16 students or fewer – and students regularly participate in discussions. Their instructors also have around-the-clock office hours, so students can send questions to professors or program directors and expect to receive feedback within 24 hours.