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Home > About > Where We Are > Newsroom > Governor Bob McDonnell to Honor VCCS Dual-Enrollment Graduates with Governor’s Medallions – 4.30.13

Governor Bob McDonnell to Honor VCCS Dual-Enrollment Graduates with Governor’s Medallions – 4.30.13

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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.