Vermont Technical College honors program founder Pat Menchini
Last Saturday Patricia Menchini, Dean of Academic Affairs, presided over her last graduation as 120 Vermont Tech students graduate from the only practical nursing certificate program offered in Vermont. Menchini has served the college since 1988 and has announced her retirement for December 2012.
Since Practical Nursing education began in Vermont in 1907 when Thomas Thompson traveled through Vermont setting up the first and still present Practical Nursing School in Brattleboro, the program has grown to 11 sites strong and doubled in size since Menchini became involved twenty-two years ago. At that time the Vermont Department of Education oversaw the three campuses and was looking for an institution of higher education to take over. Vermont Technical College and then president, Robert Clarke, took on the responsibility and named Menchini as the program director. “Bob gave me three tasks: to unify the current schools, change the practical nursing certification from contact hours to credit-bearing, and to expand access to the program,” says Menchini. “And I’m a nurse and nurses get things done.” She also helped design and implement the Associate Degree program, providing PN graduates with further opportunities.
In 2006, Menchini was appointed Academic Dean, responsible for coordinating over 25 academic programs. “Pat has served the college in so many ways and her sense of humor, leadership and dedication to our students will be missed,” said Vermont Tech President Philip Conroy.
Vermont Technical College offers two nursing programs, a Practical Nurse certificate and an Associate degree in Nursing. The Practical Nurse program is the only of its kind offered in Vermont. It is designed so that after 10 and 1/2 months, its graduates are prepared to advance to the Associate Degree program. Last month 129 students graduated from Vermont Tech with their Associate Degree in Nursing, to join the network of healthcare providers serving throughout Vermont, and beyond.
Menchini resides in Williamstown, VT.
Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont with the mission of applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond, at its two primary campuses in Randolph Center and Williston, and at nine nursing sites located throughout the state. Vermont Tech offers a wide range of programs in engineering, agriculture, technology, allied health, and business that are vital to producing graduates with the knowledge and experience most sought by employers in the state and in the region. It is recognized as one of America’s Best Colleges in U.S. News and World Report.