Aerial view of Champlain College's campus in the fall.

Champlain College Online's 30-Year Journey: A Continuing Legacy of Innovation, Adaptability, and Access


Celebrating Three Decades of Excellence

Since the early 1990s, Champlain College Online (CCO) has been a pioneer in online education, allowing students to learn from anywhere in the world and on their own schedule. Join us as we rewind the clock and celebrate our remarkable 30-year journey of innovation, adaptability, and access.

The 1990s: Pioneering Online Education


Headline from a 1994 Washington Post article

Headline from a 1994 Washington Post article

CCO was founded in 1993 at the advent of public internet access. With the increasing popularity of personal computers, millions of Americans sought out an accessible way to continue their education without sacrificing their careers. The World Wide Web ushered in a new era in communication and information sharing, and Champlain College eagerly embraced the potential of this cutting-edge technology to reshape the education landscape.

In 1993, you could find us as SuccessNet, Vermont's first computer-based, online distance learning program. Due to trademark issues with a Seattle-based fishing company, by the end of the decade, we rebranded to Champlain College On-Line (CCOL). Back then, the hyphen was a popular way of writing internet-related terms, and it remained a part of our brand throughout the 90s and early 2000s.


Champlain College On-Line is featured in the September, 1999 edition of the Seven Days

Champlain College On-Line is featured in the September, 1999 edition of the Seven Days

The 2000s: Navigating a New Millennium


Headline from September 2000 NYT article

Headline from September, 2000 New York Times article

Despite Y2K anxieties, Americans across the nation enthusiastically welcomed technology into their lives in the early 2000s. During this time, we greatly expanded our online programs. From single courses and certificates to two-year and four-year degrees, our offerings spanned business, accounting, and computer science, as well as degree programs in hospitality and telecommunications.

While the competition for online students grew, we prioritized delivering quality education, adapting our programs to align with the ever-evolving business landscape. As our website noted, “Finding a convenient online program can be a snap. But finding a really good program - one that provides individual attention and high-quality instruction - is not so easy.


2000 CCO Website on 2000s era desktop

Champlain College On-Line website in August, 2000

Much like computer technology, we experienced many changes during this fast-paced era. In 2003, reflecting the evolving language surrounding the internet and computer technology, we shed the hyphen to become Champlain College OnLine. By 2004, we rebranded again, transforming into the Center for Online and Continuing Education (COCE). COCE recognized the growing desire among adults and nontraditional students to pursue continuing education without sacrificing their personal and professional commitments. We are proud to lead a tradition of flexibility and accessibility for learners of all ages and backgrounds.


Rebranding to Champlain College OnLine in 2003

Rebranding to Champlain College OnLine in 2003

The 2010s: Life with Technology


Rebranding to the Division of Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) in 2010

Rebranding to the Division of Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) in 2010

As the new decade dawned, and technology had become an integral part of the daily routine of most Americans, CCO became known as Champlain College’s Division of Continuing Professional Studies. During this transformative decade, we further expanded our offerings, focusing on in-demand fields such as business, technology, and healthcare – solidifying our reputation as a career-focused higher education provider. By 2013, our commitment to innovation saw us offering a comprehensive portfolio of 12 fully online degree programs.


2013 CCO Website on 2010s-era Macbook

The Champlain College CPS website in 2013

In 2013, we also launched our truED program – enabling students from partner organizations to continue their education at a preferred rate. We announced our truED partnership with the Federal Government in 2015, skyrocketing enrollment among government workers.

The year 2016 witnessed a significant evolution as CCO emerged with a modern identity. Boasting over 50 online bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and certificate programs aligned with in-demand careers, we continued to lead the way in online education.


Champlain College Online updates branding in 2016

CCO updates branding in 2016

From the start of the decade to the end, the 2010s saw us add over 40 degree and certificate programs to our portfolio. With an eye on the future, each new offering became a carefully crafted response to the evolving landscape of business, healthcare, technology, and beyond.

The 2020s and Beyond: Looking to the Future

College should be an experience that is accessible to everyone. CCO is dedicated to maintaining its tradition of innovation and flexibility as we expand into the 2020s and beyond. We are always looking ahead to the future, striving to lead the way in higher education by developing new programs and adapting to the evolving needs of our students: 

  • Credit for Prior Learning: We offer prior learning assessments to save students time and money, providing an opportunity to receive academic credit for experiences outside the traditional classroom setting.
  • Military Support: We stand with our military students and their families, offering preferred tuition rates and assistance navigating VA resources.
  • Seamless Transfers: Thanks to our articulation agreements with community colleges, we make the transfer process easier for students who wish to pursue a four-year degree online.
  • Constant Innovation: We continually introduce new, competitive programs in high-demand industries like cybersecurity, information technology, marketing, and healthcare. With over 80 career-focused programs available, we are committed to preparing our learners for success in their chosen fields.


CCO student celebrates graduating in May 2023

CCO student celebrates graduating in May, 2023

Be a Part of the Champlain Tradition

Since 1878, Champlain College has been helping students achieve their career goals. In 1993, we began adding online learning opportunities for adult professionals and nontraditional students who needed more flexibility to earn their degrees. Today, we remain committed to our students’ personal and professional success. Are you ready to take the next step in your academic journey? We invite you to be a part of our Champlain tradition –  explore our programs and start your personal journey with CCO today.


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