TIME magazine and The Princeton Review’s Best College For you named Vassar “College of the Year,” focusing largely on the Exploring Transfer program, a collaborative effort between Vassar and several community colleges that provided promising community college students a credit-bearing, summer residential college experience.  Started in 1984 under the direction of Dean of Studies Colton Johnson in collaboration with Dr. Janet Lieberman from LaGuardia Community College in Queens, the program was the focus of the National Conference on Community College Transfer held at Vassar in 1988, and in the program was replicated at fie sites across the country in summer of 1990 under the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation, AT&T Foundation and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Johnson and Lieberman received a Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Higher Education in 1989.