Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hispanic and Latino students are attending Virginia’s 23 community colleges in record numbers, achieving greater academic success and earning more transfer-oriented credentials than ever before. That is according to analysis of student enrollment between the years 2009-2013 presented to the State Board for Community Colleges. Hispanic and Latino student enrollment grew nearly 58 percent during that period and the number of Hispanic graduates increased 150 percent.

Garcia

Angelica Garcia

“This is encouraging news,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the VCCS. “Our community colleges exist to provide every Virginia family with affordable access to higher education and we are here to help them turn that opportunity into a college credential. Virginia’s Hispanic and Latino population has doubled since this century began. Our ability to serve these families will determine their economic future, and Virginia’s, for decades to come.”

Angelica Garcia, who graduated from Eastern Shore Community College earlier this year, is deferring her UVa acceptance for one year, having recently signed a record deal with Warner Brothers Records. Attending community college, she says,  is a big part of her success.

“I feel so completely glad that I went to a community college and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I got to do all of this without accumulating some massive debt. Those, overall, are probably two of the best and smartest years of my life.”

Garcia is among a group of students that is growing and thriving throughout Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS).

Essential Transfer Opportunities

Armando Vega

Armando Vega, Jr. met Governor Terry McAuliffe at the 2014 VCCS Legislative Reception

Armando Vega, Jr. is a 2014 graduate of Tidewater Community College who will be taking advantage of an offer to attend UVa in the fall. The former U.S. Navy sailor said financial consideration forced him to pass on an earlier opportunity to attend American University. The guaranteed transfer agreements between the VCCS and 30 public and private universities kept his dreams alive.

“The price of tuition is great but more than anything, what the VCCS offered was the articulation agreements. That was key for me.”

Vega said his professors were first rate and that his community college’s diversity and inclusive nature was good preparation.

“Our country is becoming more and more diverse. Learning how to work well with everyone is becoming key, especially if you’re looking to do anything in business on a larger scale.”

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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