A new agreement between Middlebury and Bennington College will bring all 11 Middlebury Language Schools to Vermont.

President Laurie Patton and Bennington College President Mariko Silver signed a partnership agreement on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, to bring some of Middlebury’s Summer Language Schools to the Bennington campus, beginning in 2020.

The campus of Bennington College.

Dean of the Middlebury Language Schools Steve Snyder said that the schools had identified some new goals during a recent strategic planning process that resulted in the search for a new partner. The objectives—including curricular innovation, faculty professional development, research in language and culture pedagogy, and digital learning—all require additional time for the Language Schools directors and faculty to meet outside of the summer session.

“We are creating an academy for language and culture teaching before the start of the session, a plan that requires having all of the faculty in one place,” said Snyder. “Our relationship with Mills College has been close and productive, but in light of our emerging goals, we felt we needed two campuses in much closer proximity. There was agreement in our discussions with Mills that ending the relationship would be mutually beneficial.”

Snyder added that there will be other benefits to a second location that is just two hours from Middlebury. They include cost-saving measures, such as one summer graduation ceremony instead of two—one on each coast—and opportunities for the Language Schools students at Bennington to attend events at Middlebury.

“We’re excited about the possibilities that this new relationship with Bennington presents,” said Snyder. “As we think about future initiatives, the presence of this proximate campus allows Middlebury to be increasingly creative in our offerings.”