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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

Office of the Governor
Contact: Paul Logan
Phone: (804) 786-4401
Email: Paul.Logan@Governor.Virginia.Gov

Virginia Community College System
Contact: Jeffrey Kraus
Phone: (804) 819-4949
Email: jkraus@vccs.edu

Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Charles Pyle
Phone: (804) 371-2420
Email: Charles.Pyle@doe.virginia.gov

Governor Bob McDonnell to Honor VCCS Dual-Enrollment Graduates with Governor’s Medallions

~ Program Expansion Means More Affordable College Options for Virginia Families ~

RICHMOND – Ernestine Powell may have experienced déjà vu last June as she donned her cap and gown and prepared to give the valedictorian’s address at her high school graduation. After all, just one month before, she had graduated magna cum laude with an associate’s degree and a general education certificate from Paul D. Camp Community College.

Like students across Virginia, Powell had taken advantage of a dual enrollment program offered by Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) and public schools, which allows students to earn college credit while still attending high school. In a typical year, hundreds of students earn enough college credits to graduate with a college credential the month before they finish high school.

Beginning this spring, those students will also earn a Governor’s Medallion at their college commencement. Students will also be able to wear the Governor’s Medallion as part of their academic regalia at their high school graduation ceremonies a month later.

“These students are not just smart, they are also savvy,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “These medallions allow us to honor the impressive academic achievements of these students while highlighting a terrific opportunity that other families and students may know little about. Dual enrollment is an important tool in our work to create an additional 100,000 college graduates by 2025.”

“I want to congratulate these hardworking students on this major accomplishment. Being college and career ready is vitally important in our 21st Century economy, and these students have the opportunity, knowledge and skills to pursue their own path as a result of completing this credential at the community college,” said Secretary of Education Laura Fornash.

An estimated 610 students will earn medallions this spring. Students qualify for the medallion when they earn enough college credits to earn an associate’s degree, a general studies college certificate, or both. That number is expected to grow in the coming years as more dual-enrollment agreements are created.

House Bill 1184, signed by Governor McDonnell in April 2012, requires that each of Virginia’s Community Colleges and every local school division they serve develop agreements allowing high school students to complete an associate's degree or a one-year general education certificate from a community college concurrent with a high school diploma. The associate degree or general education certificate may also include credits earned through Advanced Placement (AP) as well as dual-enrollment if applicable.

“I know firsthand what dual enrollment can mean for students and families. All three of my children took advantage of it when they were in high school,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Expanding dual enrollment opportunities are a win-win scenario for everyone involved. We look forward to working with our partners in K-12 public schools to offer dual enrollment to even more students.”

“I'm sure the medallions will be treasured keepsakes that will remind these students of their achievement,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright.

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“Building the Bond Tour” Begins Next Phase for Foster Youth-Focused Community College Initiative

RICHMOND, Va. – Anne Holton, the new program director of Great Expectations, and other Virginia Community College leaders will host a series of events across Virginia beginning in May, seeking ideas and support for elevating the next phase of the foster youth-focused program.

Great Expectations is an initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education and Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS). Virginia529 College Savings Plan is sponsoring the Building the Bond Tour, which also corresponds with National Foster Care Month.

Begun in fall 2008 at five pilot community colleges, Great Expectations is serving foster youth today at 17 Virginia community colleges. Over that time, the program has served more than 500 students; increased foster youth graduation and retention rates; and earned awards and national recognition as a unique answer to the vexing challenge of single-digit foster youth graduation statistics.

“As a society we can spend up to one million dollars on a youth who has spent his or her life inside the child welfare system. It is a heartbreaking loss to see so many of them end up incarcerated or homeless only months after turning 18,” said Holton, hired in January to lead Great Expectations. “Isn’t it so much better to have a program like ours help these young people earn a college credential that will allow them to sustain themselves? We’ve had a terrific first five years and we’re seeking ways to make the next five years even better.”

The Building the Bond tour includes a series of public luncheons for social workers, foster parents and others who work to help Virginia’s foster youth. The events are free, though registration on the Great Expectations website is required. The luncheon events will be held May 1 in Charlottesville; May 23 in Norfolk; and May 29 in Richmond.

Holton will also attend the Richard Leigh Songwriters Festival May 18 at Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) in Abingdon to benefit the college’s Great Expectations program. Leigh, a Grammy-winning artist, is an alum of VHCC.

“Anne Holton is bringing a lot of energy and excitement to an initiative that is close to my heart and I applaud her for it,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Our colleges are at their best when they can bring the community together to address a community need. And the plight of Virginia’s foster youth is just that: an unmet community need. No question, this tour and the conversations and awareness it creates will only improve Great Expectations moving forward.”

The Great Expectations Building the Bond Tour is made possible by the generous support of Virginia529 College Savings Plan.

“Virginia529 is proud to sponsor the Great Expectations Building the Bond tour,” said Mary Morris, CEO of Virginia529 College Savings Plan. “Our mission is to help make college more affordable and accessible to all Virginians.  The opportunity to partner with VCCS and the VFCCE to support the Great Expectations program is an exciting way to assist and encourage foster youth to realize their dreams, highlight the exceptional programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges and focus everyone on the importance of higher education.”

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education:  Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college. The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students. Donors to the fund are invited to endow a single scholarship in their name and designate it to any of Virginia’s community colleges or regions. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu/Foundation.

About Virginia529: Virginia529 is a college savings plan that offers flexible, affordable, tax-advantaged savings programs for qualified higher education expenses through its four programs – Virginia529 prePAIDSM (prePAIDSM), Virginia529 inVESTSM (inVESTSM), CollegeAmerica® and CollegeWealth®. With over 2.2 million accounts and $39 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012, Virginia529 is the largest 529 plan in the country. For more information on Virginia529’s college savings options, visit Virginia529.com.

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State Board Committee Certifies Finalists for Three Presidencies:

Dabney S. Lancaster, Danville and John Tyler Community Colleges

RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified finalists for the position of president at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, Virginia; at Danville Community College in Danville; and at John Tyler Community College in Chester and Midlothian.

Finalists for the presidency at Dabney S. Lancaster include the following:

Dr. John J. Rainone is currently dean of institutional advancement at York County Community College, in Wells, Maine, a position he has held since 1999. Previously he had served as interim chief financial officer/administration at York County Community College in 2004 and also as interim dean of academic programs in 1999. Prior to that, he was dean of professional development and business services at York County Community college and assistant dean of community education and workforce development at New Hampshire Technical College, now Manchester Community College. Dr. Rainone holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University as well as a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

Dr. Mark A. Smith is currently vice president for educational services and chief academic officer at Temple College in Temple, Texas, a position he has held since 2009. He previously served as associate vice president for distance education at Temple from 2006-2010 and was director of student affairs and distance learning at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport, Mississippi from 2003-2006, where he had also served as distance learning coordinator, software manager and workforce training coordinator.  He holds a doctorate from Capella University in Minneapolis, a master’s in business administration as well as a bachelor’s degree from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and associate’s degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and from Fort Steilacoom Community College (now Pierce college) in Tacoma, Washington.

Dr. Charles D. Terrell is currently president of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield, West Virginia, a position he has held since 2010. He was previously vice president of workforce development and lifelong learning at Virginia Western Community College from 2005-2010 and was associate professor and director of workforce development and continuing education at Southside Virginia Community College. He had first joined Southside as a student services assistant in 1985 and also served as a counselor and instructor there. He holds a doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree from Longwood University and a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University.

Finalists for Danville Community College include the following:

Dr. Bruce R. Scism is currently vice president of academic affairs at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, a position he has held since 2008. He served as interim president at Volunteer State from October 2011 to May 2012. He was chief academic officer at Lee College, a comprehensive community college in Baytown, Texas from 2006-2008, where he directed academic affairs including transfer, technical/vocational programs, and workforce development.  Previously he served as vice president for academic affairs and student services at Triton College in River Grove, Ill., (2002-2006) and as associate vice president –instructional technology at Triton College (2001-2002). He was coordinator of the Illinois Prairie Higher Education Consortium and the Illinois Prairie Internet Consortium from 1999-2001, and served as director of virtual learning at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill., from 1998-2000. He has a doctorate from the University of Illinois; as well as a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Mark A. Smith is currently vice president for educational services and chief academic officer at Temple College in Temple, Texas, a position he has held since 2009. He previously served as associate vice president for distance education at Temple from 2006-2010 and was director of student affairs and distance learning at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport, Mississippi from 2003-2006, where he had also served as distance learning coordinator, software manager and workforce training coordinator.  He holds a doctorate from Capella University in Minneapolis, a master’s in business administration as well as a bachelor’s degree from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and associate’s degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and from Fort Steilacoom Community College (now Pierce college) in Tacoma, Washington.

Dr. William Stoy is currently serving as special assistant to the president at Middle Georgia State College in Macon, Georgia, a new university created in January 2013 with the merger of Macon State College and Middle Georgia College. He was previously president at Middle Georgia College from 2008-2013. Prior to that he was vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty and professor of biology at Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Georgia from 1999-2008. He served as chair of the science and mathematics division and as associate professor of biology at Darton College in Albany, Georgia, from 1989-1999, and also taught at Bismarck State College from 1978-1989. He has a doctorate from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota; a master’s degree from Miami University; a bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College in Covington, Kentucky; and an associate’s degree from Bismarck Junior College.

Dr. Richard Penny is currently vice chancellor for advancement and external relations at the University of Washington-Bothell, a position he has held since 2008. Previously he served as interim executive director of advancement for the Seattle Community College District and as interim executive director at the Seattle Community College District Foundation at Seattle Community College from 2007-2008. He was executive director of fund development at Seattle Community College, and executive director of the foundation, from 2003-2007. He holds a doctorate in psychology and neurobiology from Duke University, an MBA from City University in Seattle and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University.

Finalists for John Tyler Community College include the following:

Dr. Edward Raspiller is currently president of the Brazos County Campuses at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas, a position he has held since 2010. He was previously at Old Dominion University in Norfolk where he was a department chair in educational foundations and leadership from 2009-2010 and was graduate program director of the Community College Leadership Program from 2006-2010. Prior to that he was interim president at Waukesha County Technical College in Wisconsin in 2006 and also vice president of Learning Innovations there from 2003-2006. He also served as dean of technical and workforce education at Blinn College and held positions at Texas State Technical College, Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa, and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. He holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University as well as a bachelor’s degree from Governors State University and an associate’s degree from the College of DuPage.

Dr. William Stoy is currently serving as special assistant to the president at Middle Georgia State College in Macon, Georgia, a new university created in January 2013 with the merger of Macon State College and Middle Georgia College. He was previously president at Middle Georgia College from 2008-2013. Prior to that he was vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty and professor of biology at Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Georgia from 1999-2008. He served as chair of the science and mathematics division and as associate professor of biology at Darton College in Albany, Georgia, from 1989 to 1999, and also taught at Bismarck State College from 1978-1989. He has a doctorate from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota; a master’s degree from Miami University; a bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College in Covington, Kentucky; and an associate’s degree from Bismarck Junior College.

Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy is currently president at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown and Warrenton, a position she has held since 2009. Prior to that appointment she was president at Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, Virginia, from 2006 to 2009. Previously she served as vice president for academic and student affairs at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College from 2002-2005 and as college dean for academic and student affairs at Mississippi Gulf Coast from 1997-2001. She has also held administrative and faculty positions in business and technology at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and at Jefferson Community College in Steubenville, Ohio; and served as director of academic and student affairs at Kent State University, Geauga Campus, in Burton, Ohio. She has a doctorate from the University of Sarasota (now Argosy University), in Sarasota, Florida and an MBA, a master’s of educational administration, and a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Candidates will attend college interviews at each of the three community colleges; VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois hopes to make the appointments in May.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges Ad-Hoc Committee on Presidential Certification will meet on Monday, April 15, at 1 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Virginia Beach Campus of Tidewater Community College, in the Provost’s Conference Room, Princess Anne Building A, 1700 College Crescent, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The purpose of the meeting is to certify finalists for the positions of president of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, Virginia; president of Danville Community College in Danville, Virginia; and president of John Tyler Community College in Chester and Midlothian, Virginia.

Additional public locations for the meeting include:

  • The Provost’s Office of the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, 1000 Harry Flood Bird Highway, Sterling, Virginia.
  • Virginia Community College System offices on the 15th floor of the James Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, Virginia.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Kraus, jkraus@vccs.edu, 804-819-4949.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than a quarter-million credit students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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ROANOKE — Would-be nurses have an exciting, new, affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree thanks to a guaranteed admissions agreement between Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) and Bluefield College (BC).

Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and Dr. David Olive, president of Bluefield College, a private Christian college in southwest Virginia, signed a Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) that makes the transition from RN to BSN a seamless pathway between Virginia’s Community Colleges and Bluefield College. The signing ceremony occurred in Roanoke, on the campus of Virginia Western Community College, among a collection of VWCC nursing students who may be eligible to take advantage of the partnership.

“Our RN-to-BSN degree is a transformational degree for the commonwealth and provides not only educational attainment for nurses, but improves the quality and access to healthcare in our communities,” said Dr. Olive. “We are excited about this new partnership with the Virginia Community College System and the benefit it will have for numerous nursing students to pursue their educations and vocational callings.”

“Virginia’s Community Colleges were created to address Virginia’s unmet needs in higher education and workforce training. This guaranteed admissions agreement speaks to both of those needs,” said Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “We are grateful to be working together with Bluefield College on this effort. We are excited about the savings this will mean for students, and their families, as they pursue a career in nursing. And we think this agreement is an important strategy for helping southwest Virginia address its regional need for more nurses.”

AGREEMENT BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS

Designed to facilitate the transition of nursing students from Virginia’s Community Colleges to Bluefield College, the Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) provides VCCS students who graduate with an associate of applied science degree (AAS) guaranteed admission into Bluefield College’s School of Nursing to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN).

As part of the agreement, VCCS students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and must have an unencumbered active registered nurse (RN) license and be working as a RN. By participating in the exchange, VCCS students are not required to pay Bluefield’s standard application fee and are guaranteed a 20 percent tuition waiver discount off BC’s published tuition rate, in addition to eligibility for other available scholarship funds.

FAST START FOR NEW NURSING PROGRAM

Bluefield College began its nursing program in the fall of 2010 to meet a critical need in southwest Virginia for baccalaureate nursing education. Soon after, the College developed partnerships with regional community colleges to make the nursing program more accessible to RNs and associate degree graduates in southwest Virginia.

The BC nursing program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; and is in the process of earning an additional accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national voice for America’s nursing education programs.

BC offers the RN-to-BSN program primarily online through the College’s inSPIRE degree-completion program -- a convenient, accelerated degree-completion curriculum designed to allow a working adult with prior college credit the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months.

SNEAK PEEK : NEW VWCC HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER

Following the signing ceremony, participants, students and members of the media toured Virginia Western’s new Center for Science and Health Professions, set to open for classes in the fall of 2013. The approximately $26 million project will provide a new home for Virginia Western’s nursing programs, giving students the chance to train for healthcare careers in state-of-the-art labs.

The new building’s first floor will consist of an expansive dental clinic, dental labs, classrooms and offices. The dental clinic will be open to the public for free routine oral exams and x-rays. A multi-purpose room and administrative offices will be located on the second floor, in addition to the practical nursing, radiography, radiation and oncology programs. The third floor will house classrooms for nursing, physics, geology labs and general use. Biology and chemistry labs will be located on the fourth floor, taking into account all ventilation and safety needs.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year.  For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

About Bluefield College: Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Bluefield College boasts 44 academic offerings, including business, forensic science, graphic communication, criminal justice, teacher education and Christian studies. Bluefield College is touted for its classroom technology, affordability, personalized instruction, and learning settings on the mission field and in countries abroad. For more information, please visit www.bluefield.edu.

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State Board for Community Colleges March Business Meeting

RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges will convene its regular meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 9 a.m. in Room 158 of the Donald Bisdorf Building at Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Campus, 3001 Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

State Board Committees will meet on Wednesday, March 20, also at the Alexandria Campus. The Academic, Student Affairs and Workforce Development Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee meet at 1:30 p.m.; the Facilities Committee and the Audit Committee meet at 3 p.m. and the Personnel Committee meets at 3:30 p.m. An Executive Committee is planned at the conclusion of the other committee meetings. Agenda items for the regular business meeting on March 21 include:

Academic, Student Affairs & Workforce – The State Board will receive the Annual Report of Student Success for 2012-13 as well as updates to the Virginia Education Wizard, reports on Veteran Focused Partnerships and Industry Credentials Offered by Virginia’s Community Colleges, among others. The State Board will consider approval of discontinuing a program in computer electronics at Mountain Empire and will approve the award of 2013 honorary degrees.

Facilities – The State Board will consider plans for a pedestrian/bicycle trail at Central Virginia Community College, a timber sale at Patrick Henry Community College, and will review schematic designs for a joint-use library pedestrian connector at Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Campus. The board will also receive status reports on capital outlay and college construction projects.

Budget and Finance – The State Board will consider revisions to the Policy Manual regarding local community college funds. The board will also receive an update on legislative actions of the General Assembly and begin preliminary discussions of tuition and fees for 2013-14, which will be set in May.

Personnel – The State Board will consider changes to the Policy Manual to make it consistent with recently approved regulations on workplace safety.

Chancellor’s Report – Chancellor Glenn DuBois will introduce the 2013 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Awardee, NVCC’s Professor of English Robert Bausch.  Chancellor DuBois will also provide updates on the Reengineering Taskforce and the Chancellor’s Goals, and report that the Developmental Mathematics Redesign project was a finalist for the national Bellwether Award.

###

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than a quarter-million credit students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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Commonwealth of Virginia

Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

State Logo

Office of the Governor

Contact: Jeff Caldwell

Phone: (804) 225-4260

Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

Virginia Community College System

Contact: Jeffrey Kraus

Phone: (804) 592-6767

Email: jkraus@vccs.edu

Nearly Three Dozen Organizations Come Together to Connect Veterans with High-Demand Jobs and Careers

Virginia Community College Grants Spur Partnerships Across the Commonwealth

RICHMOND — Nearly three dozen organizations are working together in eight regional partnerships to connect veterans who have recently finished their military service, and their eligible spouses, with jobs and careers in high-growth, high-demand fields.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are funding the partnerships with $1.8 million in grants. Individual grant awards range from $142,500 – $250,000. Taken together, the innovative partnerships are expected to serve more than 700 people annually.

“We have worked to make Virginia the best state for military families to live and find work after they finish their service.” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “Today, I am pleased to announce another cost-effective strategy to serve those veterans and their families. By knocking down walls between programs and agencies and leveraging the great work these terrific organizations serving veterans already do, we can better help our heroes find good-paying jobs and promising careers.”

The projects selected for funding include regional and statewide strategies and tools to train and employ veterans in healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology, among other fast-growing industry sectors. These career pathways for veterans include additional tools to reward veterans with college credits for prior learning and for skills obtained in the armed forces.

“Community colleges are at their best when they can bring together various groups and organizations to answer a community challenge, and that’s what we’re doing here,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “We were impressed by both the quantity and the quality of the proposals we received. The selected proposals contained smart and creative ways to serve our veterans better. We’re excited to put those ideas to work.”

“Each of the selected grant proposals represents the sort of regional collaboration between education, economic and workforce development, and business and industry that Governor McDonnell’s workforce agenda has prioritized, “ said Secretary of Education Laura Fornash.  “Not only do the proposals include both higher education and employment services, they also include veterans’ services such as the V3 initiative which works directly with businesses to recruit and retain our returning heroes.”

Each of the selected projects includes collaboration between local workforce investment boards, community colleges, the Virginia Employment Commission, state government agencies and local businesses. A request for proposals for funding was announced in November 2012. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Rapid Response Assistance funds will support these grants.

Award recipients include:

  • Alexandria Workforce Investment Board
  • Greater Peninsula Workforce Development Consortium
  • Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads
  • Patrick Henry Community College
  • South Central Workforce Investment Board
  • The Skills Source Group
  • Virginia Industry Foundation
  • Western Virginia Workforce Development Board

 

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year.  For more information please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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seal

Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

George Washington University
Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
Phone: (202) 994-5631
Email: lgatlin@gwu.edu

Virginia Community College System 
Contact: Jeffrey Kraus
Phone: (804) 592-6767
Email: jkraus@vccs.edu

Governor McDonnell Presides Over Signing Ceremony with George Washington University on Guaranteed Admission Program for Nursing Students Statewide

RICHMOND — Governor Bob McDonnell oversaw the ceremonial signing of an agreement today between George Washington University’s President Steven Knapp and Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) to provide guaranteed admission to students enrolled in accredited nursing programs across the state who meet established academic requirements.

The memorandum of understanding will allow students in any of the Commonwealth’s community colleges to transfer their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (ADN) credits to George Washington’s School of Nursing and pursue a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree with credits that are applicable to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

“This agreement between George Washington University and Virginia’s Community Colleges has the potential to change the face of the nursing profession and healthcare education across the Commonwealth for generations,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “We must continue to seek out thoughtful, innovative solutions like this, which expand both learning and economic opportunities to more Virginians. A well-educated and well-trained workforce is the backbone to Virginia and it is public-private partnerships like this that position Virginia to be a leader in the STEM-H industry.”

The agreement helps to realize Governor McDonnell’s recently adopted “Top Jobs” legislation which has a goal of 100,000 more degrees being awarded in STEM concentrations over the next 15 years. There are 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of which the majority offer accredited nursing programs to its students.

“The George Washington University is both delighted and honored to enter into this partnership in nursing education with Virginia’s Community Colleges,” said George Washington University President Steven Knapp. “We also deeply appreciate Governor McDonnell's recognition of the role of higher education in opening opportunities for all Virginians to help shape the future of this great Commonwealth.”

For students with a bachelor’s degree in another field and an associate degree in nursing with work experience as a licensed registered nurse, the guaranteed admissions program will allow them to transfer into the master’s program after taking a bridge course.

“George Washington University is a leader in the Commonwealth of Virginia for its willingness to partner with our colleges and universities to maximize opportunities for our students,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. “Supporting nursing students as well as those shifting into nursing as a career change in this manner provides flexibility and accessibility to today’s healthcare professional. We’re pleased to see this partnership take shape and look forward to working with both institutions in the future.”

In spring 2012, the George Washington University School of Nursing and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College signed an agreement for nurses in rural Virginia to expand their education. That program, a pilot to the recent, statewide agreement, was targeted toward nurses prepared at the associate degree level seeking to get either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

“Virginia offers students the best transfer environment of any state in the nation because of exciting guaranteed agreements like this,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “We are excited to be partnering with George Washington University in this agreement and believe that it will expand affordable college access, strengthen GWU and our community colleges and help students across Virginia.”

Some of the benefits of the primarily online program are that participants have access to mentorship opportunities with nursing faculty members and students can stay in their home communities while advancing their education. The program will help address healthcare workforce shortages; a challenge made more pronounced in rural and medically underserved areas. The structure of the guaranteed admissions program allows for those healthcare workers to continue providing services to their communities while working toward their own career advancement.

To participate in the program, students must meet the following eligibility requirements: completed an associate degree from a community college in the VCCS that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; graduated with a 3.0 grade point average in nursing and overall; completed any additional prerequisite coursework; is currently a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) and has proof of employment in a field requiring nursing knowledge or experience.

Students enrolled part-time can go from an ADN to BSN in four semesters and can earn an MSN in approximately three years.

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Annual Valley Proteins Award will modernize BRCC Commercial Driving School equipment

Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) will soon update the safety equipment on much of its Commercial Driving School truck fleet thanks to an award funded by Valley Proteins and administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE).

The $10,000 gift will supply electronic driver logs and collision warning systems to more than one-third of the program’s big rig trucks. Both safety systems are increasingly common throughout the trucking industry. The upgrades will bolster the program’s reputation for producing graduates with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills.

The BRCC Commercial Driving School has produced more than 1,800 graduates over the last 21 years with a nearly 98 percent successful licensure rate. The driving school also provides customized training for companies, having served employers like ComSonics, Inc., Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy.

The Valley Proteins Endowment Fund is awarded annually to support workforce development programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges in the areas of environmental science, commercial truck driving, heating and air conditioning, and office technology in regions where the company conducts its rendering operations.

“We are both honored and excited to receive the Valley Proteins Award,” said Dr. John Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “Everyone who lives in the I-81 corridor knows how important the trucking industry, and especially safe trucking, is to our economy and our community. It is not too much to suggest that the equipment this money will purchase and the training that it will provide our graduates might just someday save lives – and we’re grateful for that.”

“You don’t have to be a transportation expert to know how important safety is on our increasingly crowded roadways,” said Michael A. Smith, vice president of Valley Proteins and chair of the VFCCE. “Congratulations to Blue Ridge Community College on putting together a wonderful proposal! We are excited to think what this could mean for the truck drivers who will be sharing the roads with us and our families.”

“The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is dedicated to expanding opportunities through creative partnerships,” said Jennifer Gentry, executive director of the VFCCE. “This endowment is a great example of the synergy that comes from joining together employers who are vested in the quality of tomorrow’s Virginia workforce and the community colleges that elevate it every day.”

Valley Proteins is committed to supporting the workforce, particularly in the areas in which it has a business presence. The 60-year-old firm, headquartered in Winchester, operates 14 plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Its processing facilities recycle food waste materials into usable products and bio fuels for feed and industrial applications.

This is the first time Blue Ridge Community College has earned the award. Previous recipients of the annual award include John Tyler Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College and Southside Virginia Community College.

About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education:  Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college.  The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students.  Donors to the fund are invited to endow a single scholarship in their name and designate it to any of Virginia’s community colleges or regions.  For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu/Foundation

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 405,000 students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges will convene its regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 at 9 a.m. in the Godwin-Hamel Board Room on the 15th floor of the James Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond.

State Board Committees will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 16, also in the James Monroe Building. The Academic, Student Affairs and Workforce Development Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee meet at 1:30 p.m.; the Facilities Committee meets at 3 p.m. and the Audit Committee meets at 4 p.m.

The Personnel Committee will meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the James Monroe Building in Richmond. A second public location has been established so that this committee meeting can be conducted electronically. That location is: The Breakers Hotel, One South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. For information on connecting to this committee meeting, please call 804-819-4902.

Agenda items for the regular business meeting on Jan. 17 include:

Academic, Student Affairs & Workforce – The State Board will consider approval of revised Achieve 2015 goals and will consider a new associate of applied science degree in health information management at Mountain Empire Community College as well as a new associate of applied science degree in culinary arts at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The board will also receive a progress report on workforce development activities and an update on nursing transfer agreements, among other reports.

Facilities – The State Board will consider plans for student center renovations at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg and a master plan update for Lord Fairfax Community College at the Fauquier Campus. The board will also receive updates on capital outlay projects at the colleges.

Budget and Finance – The State Board will receive an update on the Governor’s budget recommendations.

Personnel – The State Board will consider policy language on faculty development and evaluation; revised Achieve 2015 goals; and workplace safety.

Chancellor’s Report – Chancellor Glenn DuBois will provide updates on the VCCS Reengineering Task Force and enrollment from Fall 2012, as well as report on 2013 Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Awards.

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About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than a quarter-million credit students each year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.

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