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RICHMOND — Veterans and military students will have an easier time earning credit for prior learning thanks to a new online tool created by Virginia’s Community Colleges. The Credits2Careers Veterans Portal will allow students to upload their Joint Services Transcript to see instantly how many academic credits their work experience could translate into more than 1,700 community college programs. You can access the portal at this link: www.credits2careers.org.

 “Today’s announcement means our community colleges are the only college system in the nation with this comprehensive, patent-pending tool,” said Carlos Hopkins, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. “The Credits2Careers online tool will make it easier than ever before for our men and women in uniform to find a career path to transition from their service to civilian life. This portal will save individuals time, money, and hassle as they look for an accelerated way into the civilian workforce.”

Virginia’s Community Colleges served 36,868 veterans and military-related students last year. This tool positions the colleges to attract and help even more of these students.

“Awarding credit for prior learning is something that always sounded better in theory than it was in practice, until today,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Military service is increasingly a technical experience. And thanks to the hard work of hundreds of people across our community colleges, and other state agencies, we are in a positon to reward that in-uniform service in an unprecedented way.”

Matt Adams, a Marine Corps reservist and Tidewater Community College student demonstrated the portal at the unveiling event at the Virginia Community College System Office.

“I can’t say enough about this new tool. It’s going to help a lot of people like me save time and money in the pursuit of a college credential,” Adams said. “This is a difference-maker for those seeking their next step in civilian life. I’m sharing it with everyone I served with.”

The Credit2Careers portal debut coincided with the dedication of Veterans Resource Centers at seven of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The colleges are part of the commonwealth’s VERITAS (Veteran Education Resource Initiative for Transition, Advising and Success) program. Those colleges include: Germanna in Fredericksburg; J. Sargeant Reynolds and John Tyler in the Richmond area; Northern Virginia; Tidewater; Thomas Nelson on the Virginia Peninsula; and Virginia Western in Roanoke.

“These centers are a central hub for all veteran activities on campus. They are a quiet place for students to study; and they enable veterans to connect with each other, helping them renew the bonds of military service,” said DuBois.

Editor's note: Images from today's event can be found at:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/vccs

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges will convene its regular meeting on Thursday, November 16, at 9 a.m. in the offices of the Virginia Community College System at 300 Arboretum Place, Richmond, Virginia, 23236.

State Board Committees will meet on Wednesday, November 15.

Public comment will be received at each regular meeting of the board following the approval of minutes. Persons desiring to comment must notify the Chancellor’s Office in advance as specified by the VCCS Policy Manual.

A complete agenda for the State Board meeting is available at: http://www.boarddocs.com/va/vccs/Board.nsf/Public.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Southwest Virginia Community College. The finalists were among 83 applicants from across the nation.

                                            

The four finalists, in alphabetical order, are Dr. Jeff McCord of Church Hill, TN; Dr. Timothy R. Oxley of Bridgeport, WV; Dr. J. Michael Thomson of Highland Hills, OH; and Dr. Thomas F. Wright of Cleveland, TN.

“The Southwest Virginia Community College presidency is attracting an impressive collection of community college leaders from around the country,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The focus our colleges place on student success, our innovative approaches to providing short-term workforce training, and our stability make us attractive to high-performing education leaders seeking their next career step.”

Dr. Jeff McCord has worked in higher education for more than five years, following nearly two decades of service in the chemical industry. McCord currently serves as vice president of economic and workforce development at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, TN, where he provides administrative leadership for the Kingsport Campus. Prior to that, he spent 16 years at Eastman Chemical Company where he began as an advanced systems analyst and worked his way up through several supervisory and management positions, including managing the company’s corporate university. McCord earned a doctorate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; a master’s degree from Kennesaw State University; and a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Timothy R. Oxley has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. He currently works at Fairmont State University in West Virginia, where he has held several positions since first joining the institution in 2002. Oxley currently serves as the university’s vice president for student services. Prior to working in higher education, Oxley spent nearly 16 years in several state economic development organizations. His careers came together in 1999 when he became the director of sponsored programs at Concord University in Athens, WV. Oxley earned a doctorate and master’s degree from Marshall University, and a bachelor’s degree from Concord University.

Dr. J. Michael Thomson has nearly 40 years of higher education experience. He currently serve as college vice president and Eastern Campus president at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio. Thomson began his career as an assistant professor at Ouachita Baptist University. He later worked at the University of Cincinnati as a liaison with local governments. He spent 20 years at Northern Kentucky University, working several roles, culminating in the positon of department chair. Thomson has worked at Cuyahoga Community College, rising to his current position, since 2013. Thomson earned a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Thomas F. Wright has more than 25 years of higher education experience. He currently serves as vice president for finance and advancement at Cleveland State Community College, as well as the executive director of the college’s education foundation. Wright previously served as the college’s interim vice president for academic affairs. Prior to that, Wright worked for a decade at Appalachian State University, rising to the position of director of housing operations. He began his higher education career at Middle Tennessee State University where he served in several roles including interim assistant dean of students. He earned a doctorate from Tennessee State University, and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Mark Estepp, the college’s second president, who will retire at the end of this year after serving in that role since 2007. The finalists will each visit the campus of SWVCC in late November and early December to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

Southwest Virginia Community College, founded in 1968 and located outside Richlands, VA, is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,200 students annually from the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell, and Tazewell.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – An ad hoc committee of The State Board for Community Colleges will meet on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in the Provost Conference Room in the Bisdorf Building on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College at 5000 Dawes Ave, Alexandria, VA 22311. The phone number is 703-933-1421.

One member of the committee will be participating by phone from an office location at 3545 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 106, Fairfax, VA 22030. 

The purpose of the meeting is to certify the candidates for the Presidency of Lord Fairfax Community College.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Kraus, jkraus@vccs.edu, 804-592-6767.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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~ Search Begins for ESCC’s Next Permanent President ~

RICHMOND – Dr. Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today that he is appointing an interim president to lead Eastern Shore Community College following the retirement of its current president early next year.

Dr. Billy Greer begins work on January 22, 2018. Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover, who has served as the college’s president since 2009, recently announced that she is retiring in January. DuBois further announced the search for the college’s next permanent president will begin immediately, and will take approximately six months to complete.

Greer retired as the president of Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015, a position he held for some 22 years. Prior to that, Greer served as the president of two different small colleges: Brevard College in North Carolina and Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA.

“Billy Greer has the experience and community familiarity to help us as the interim president of Eastern Shore Community College,” said DuBois. “His resume includes presidencies at three different higher education institutions. We have every reason to believe that Dr. Greer will maintain the standard of leadership to which the college has grown accustomed as we conduct a national search to find ESCC’s next permanent president.”

Greer was a visiting scholar at the Princeton Theological Seminary and served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools and Colleges and on the Commission on Campus Concerns of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He holds a doctorate from Georgia State University and a doctorate from Emory University; a master’s degree from Drew University; and a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University.

“This is a terrific opportunity, and I’m excited to have it,” said Greer. “My family and I have long loved the Eastern Shore. It’s a special place for us and I view this as a chance to give something back to the Shore. Dr. Thomas-Glover has been a tremendous leader for the college, and we’re going to miss her greatly. It’s a privilege to have the chance to follow behind her and keep the college moving in the right direction.”

Eastern Shore Community College is a member of the Virginia Community College System and serves the residents of Accomack and Northampton Counties as a two-year institution of higher education. Originally a branch of the University of Virginia, ESCC joined the Virginia Community College System in 1971. The college was accredited and granted membership in the Southern Association of College Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 1973 and moved to its current location in 1974.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Lord Fairfax Community College. The finalists were among 102 applicants from across the nation.

The four finalists, in alphabetical order (left to right in photo above), are Dr. Kimberly P. Blosser of Stanley, VA; Dr. Annesa Cheek of Dayton, OH; Dr. Julie Leidig of Centreville, VA; and Dr. J. Michael Thomson of Highland Hills, OH.

“The Lord Fairfax Community College presidency is appealing to an impressive group of community college leaders from around the country,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The focus our colleges place on student success, our innovative approaches to providing short-term workforce training, and our stability make us attractive to high-performing education leaders seeking their next career step.” 

Dr. Kimberly P. Blosser has worked in education for more than 21 years – all but three of those in community college education. Blosser began her community college career at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA as an associate professor in 1998. She advanced through several roles at BRCC, culminating in the title dean and chief information officer. In 2012, Blosser moved to Lord Fairfax Community College, where she currently works as the institution’s vice president of academic and student affairs. Blosser earned a doctorate and master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL; and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Dr. Annesa Cheek has worked in higher education for 11 years, working at Sinclair Community College where she began as the assistant to the college’s president. She later worked as deputy manager of a successful campaign to pass a countywide funding measure before becoming the college’s senior director of advancement. After a doctoral internship at the University of Texas, Cheek returned to Sinclair as the president’s chief of staff. She became the college’s vice president for student financial services in 2012. Cheek became the college’s vice president for school and community partnerships two years later.  Cheek earned a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin; a master’s degree from the University of Dayton; and a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University.

Dr. Julie Leidig has worked in education for 33 years, including 27 years in higher education. After teaching English in Japan for five years, Leidig began her higher education career at the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, holding several part-time positions while pursuing her master’s degree. She went on to become an adjunct faculty member there before becoming a program director at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 1996. Leidig held several positions there over eight years, culminating with her role as director of instructional programs. In 2004, she became the vice president of instruction at Lone Star College – Montgomery in Conroe, TX. Leidig moved to the Loudon Campus of Northern Virginia Community College in 2010, where she continues to serve as the campus provost. Leidig earned a doctorate, and two master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin; and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

Dr. J. Michael Thomson has nearly 40 years of higher education experience. He currently serves as college vice president and Eastern Campus president at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio. Thomson began his career as an assistant professor at Ouachita Baptist University. He later worked at the University of Cincinnati as a liaison with local governments. He spent 20 years at Northern Kentucky University, in several roles, culminating in the positon of department chair. Thomson has worked at Cuyahoga Community College since 2005, rising to his current position in 2013. Thomson earned a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.

The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, the college’s fourth president, who will retire on February 1 after serving in that role for nine years. The finalists will each visit the college in December to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members. 

Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the college serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities include the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Southwest Virginia Community College has a new president. Dr. Thomas F. Wright, currently of Cleveland, TN, will become the institution’s third permanent president. His first day of work will be January 8, 2018. Wright’s selection concludes a national search that attracted 83 applicants and took six months to complete. 

[caption id="attachment_27734" align="alignleft" width="184"] Wright[/caption]

“Thomas Wright is an impressive higher education leader who really connects with the people and the culture of Southwest Virginia,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “His selection is the result of a competitive process that attracted a great deal of talent. We are eager to see what he accomplishes when he begins at the college next month.” Wright has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. He currently serves as vice president for finance and advancement at Cleveland State Community College, as well as the executive director of the college’s education foundation. Wright previously served as the college’s interim vice president for academic affairs.

 Prior to that, Wright worked for a decade at Appalachian State University, rising to the position of director of housing operations. He began his higher education career at Middle Tennessee State University where he served in several roles including interim assistant dean of students. He earned a doctorate from Tennessee State University, and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

“Our college’s local board was impressed and delighted to see the talent that this competitive search process brought to our college,” said Peggy Lowe, chair of the Southwest Virginia Community College local board. “This wasn’t an easy decision. Each of the four finalist who came to campus had something special to offer. We are excited to work with Dr. Wright. He displays a firm grasp of the challenges and opportunities that are unique to our region, and we are eager to see what the college can do under his leadership.”

Wright will succeed Dr. Mark Estepp, who is retiring from the college’s presidency after serving in that role since 2007. 

Southwest Virginia Community College, founded in 1968 and located outside Richlands, VA, is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,200 students annually from the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell, and Tazewell.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.###

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RICHMOND – Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges announced today that Dr. Kim Blosser is the next president of Lord Fairfax Community College. Blosser’s selection follows a nationwide search that took six months, and attracted more than 100 candidates.

Blosser, who currently works as LFCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, will become the institution’s fifth permanent president on or before February 1, 2018. She succeeds Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy who is retiring.

“Kim has been a rising star in our college system,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “On numerous occasions, I’ve asked Kim to provide statewide leadership on issues facing all 23 of our colleges. She’s energetic, compassionate and focused. I’m confident she’ll be highly effective as president of LFCC.”

"After a national search that initially included 100 applicants, the Lord Fairfax Community College Advisory Board is happy to welcome Dr. Kim Blosser as president of Lord Fairfax Community College,” said Fran Jeffries, chair of the college’s Board. “The board feels that Dr. Blosser's experience and commitment position her to continue the successful leadership provided by Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy. We look forward to working with Dr. Blosser as we continue to provide learning opportunities within the LFCC service area.”

Blosser began her career in 1996 as a high school teacher in Staunton, VA. In 1998, she transitioned into higher education, taking on the role of associate professor and then dean at Blue Ridge Community College. In 2012, Blosser was named associate vice president of instruction at LFCC and was promoted to vice president of academic and student affairs three years later.

Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill — the college serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities include the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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Richmond – Glenn Dubois, the Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges made the following statement today regarding the timing of the search for the next permanent president of Eastern Shore Community College:

“After discussions with senior staff and the local board chair of Eastern Shore Community College, I am delaying the search for the institution’s next permanent president

“The college is about to undergo its 10-year review for reaffirmation and accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This arduous process will consume a great deal of faculty and staff effort and attention not already focused on the students the college now serves. Now is not a preferred time to subject the Eastern Shore Community College to such an important and involved national search for its next president in the midst of the accreditation process.

“Just after Thanksgiving, I appointed Dr. Billy Greer to serve as ESCC’s interim president. He begins on January 22 and is working well through the transition process with President Thomas-Glover. Dr. Greer’s passion for and experience with the Eastern Shore community are not the only reasons I hired him. Dr. Greer’s impressive career, which includes three college presidencies, also includes a great deal of successful experience with SACSCOC accreditation processes. I am confident in his ability to work with staff and the board to provide the leadership that is most integral to lead the college through this review successfully.”

About Virginia’s Community Colleges
Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Students at Virginia’s Community Colleges are earning more credits and credentials and faster thanks to a statewide redesign of the colleges’ developmental education offerings. The State Board for Community Colleges received those findings in a report, conducted by the VCCS’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, during the Board’s January meeting.

Developmental education classes in English and mathematics prepare individuals for college-level work, but do not count as college credit necessary to obtain a degree or certificate. The institutional challenge is to ensure that students receive the appropriate amount of support to succeed academically in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

“There is nothing easy about this kind of redesign work. The credit goes to the hundreds of faculty, staff members and administrators from across Virginia who committed seemingly endless hours to accomplish the goal of helping our students be better prepared and thus more successful,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Prior to 2011, Virginia’s Community Colleges placed more than half of their entering students into developmental education classes. Results indicated that this approach was hindering rather than helping students; too many were failing to advance beyond that developmental education placement and go on to college-level courses.

Community college educators created Virginia Placement Tests (VPT) for both subjects to increase the accuracy of student placement. Since the VPT-Math test usage began, the number of students placing into developmental courses dropped from 37 percent to 27 percent. In English, the reduction was greater, going from 29 percent of entering students to 16 percent. The largest drop occurred among students who placed into developmental courses for both subject areas. That rate dropped by half, from 16 percent to 8 percent.

Since the 2011 redesign work, more students are completing college-level math and English in their first semester – an important predictor of a student’s likelihood of completing a degree. That number has increased by nearly 84 percent.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are also seeing more first-time-in-college (FTIC) students earn college credits faster since the redesign work. Before 2011, a quarter of those students completed at least 12 credits in their first semester. That number jumped to 37 percent last year.

Finally, more students are earning degrees faster since the redesign. Since the redesign, the number of program-placed students earning an associate degree in three or fewer years increased by 20 percent.

“Although we have more distance to cover before reaching our goals,” said Dr. Sharon Morrissey, vice chancellor, Academic Services & Research, “I am incredibly proud of the progress to date. I am grateful for the effort from an outstanding group of people dedicated to helping improve our students’ college experiences.”

Virginia’s Community Colleges continue to seek ways to improve student success, including its developmental education offerings. By helping students realize their educational goals as efficiently as possible, we save tuition dollars, financial aid support, taxpayer resources and student time.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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