Castleton Downtown

The mission of Castleton Downtown is to serve as a significant player in support of economic growth and maturity in the Rutland Region and to further enable Castleton University to meet its central mission of “supporting and improving the region’s communities, schools, organizations, businesses, and environment.” What makes Castleton University's role distinctive is the synergy that is created between entrepreneurial initiatives that promote economic development and new and meaningful student engagement with the community. This can be defined as “action oriented entrepreneurship”, powered by active student engagement and the intellectual resources of the University.

In order to better serve the region and in order to better measure the effectiveness of each goal that is set, Castleton University has committed resources to opening the Castleton Downtown Office. This distinctive, university/community collaboration in an off campus setting will contribute to economic development and consequent job growth. In support of this initiative, the Downtown Office houses each of the following Castleton Divisions:

Castleton Downtown Office

  • Center for Entrepreneurial Programs: Supporting Business Creativity, Innovation and Opportunity.
  • Center for Schools: Providing and Supporting Professional Development for Educators.
  • Center for Community Engagement: Developing student and faculty involvement in community service, service-learning, and internships.
  • Polling Institute: Providing comprehensive and authoritative resources for understanding public opinion in Vermont and beyond.

The Role of the Center for Entrepreneurial Programs

Developing customized training programs that result in enhanced employee skill levels. Offerings are determined by local and regional needs assessment data. This is a financially self-sustaining program that provides both customized services and the potential for future certificate programming in areas of consistent high interest. Training may or may not be associated with college credit.      

Matching and connecting college programs and students with business and industry needs. In collaboration with the Center for Support & Study of the Community, student work/internship experiences benefit both students and business leaders. Students receive mentorship, new learning and financial support. Businesses benefit from work performed by the student and from a growing pool of applicants for future employment. Employers agree to provide comprehensive oversight of student interns by following mutually agreed upon work plans. Students receive college credit and may receive payment for their services, which is negotiated within the work plan contract.  

Future Discussions

The Castleton Center for Entrepreneurial Programs promotes discussions that encourage student and community member business start-ups. This includes business plan development, consulting services and creative financing. The concepts of shared work space and community incubators are topics currently being reviewed.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Programs is guided by a group of advisors, each of whom has experiences they bring to the process. The group meets quarterly and is charged with maintaining the overall goals and direction of the Center.

Castleton Mission Statement

Castleton, the 18th oldest institution of higher education in the United States, emphasizes undergraduate liberal arts and professional education while also offering selected graduate programs.

The University is dedicated to the intellectual and personal growth of students through excellence in teaching, close student-faculty interaction, numerous opportunities for outside-the-classroom learning, and an active and supportive campus community. Castleton strives to learn, use, and teach sustainable practices. The University prepares its graduates for meaningful careers; further academic pursuits; and engaged, environmentally responsible citizenship.

As a member of the Vermont State Colleges, Castleton is committed to supporting and improving the region’s communities, schools, organizations, businesses, and environment.

Excerpt from “Castleton on the Move”: Castleton Strategic Plan 

Region, Town, and University

Destination 7: Castleton will “continue to strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the town of Castleton” and will further develop the relationship between the university and the region, especially in the city of Rutland and Rutland County.

  1. Castleton will continue to develop mutually beneficial relationships throughout the region, especially in the city of Rutland and Rutland County.
  2. Castleton will further encourage the university community to collaborate with the town and other local communities in service and civic engagement projects.
  3. Castleton will continue to create opportunities by which members of the university and members of the town can communicate with and cooperate with one another.