“This is our time. This is our moment. Let’s get these G3 programs off the ground. Let’s help families in our communities by providing these pathways. Let’s help employers by producing highly qualified graduates for these high-demand labor market areas. Let’s get it done!”
Dr. Sharon Morrissey, VCCS Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic & Workforce Programs made it clear that Virginia’s Community Colleges should begin to enroll and package students for financial aid in Virginia’s new G3 programs as soon as possible.
Morrissey spoke during an online briefing last Friday that brought together admissions, financial aid, business office, advising and academic and workforce leadership from community colleges statewide. After a pandemic-caused delay, G3 has been funded by the General Assembly starting July 1, and could bring thousands of new students to community colleges statewide.
G3 (“Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back”) is Governor Ralph Northam’s signature program to provide reduced cost access to community college for low and moderate income Virginians. Programs eligible for G3 support are in targeted high-value and high-demand career fields: healthcare, information technology, manufacturing-construction-skilled trades, early childhood education, and public safety.
As a rule of thumb, students could qualify for G3 support if they come from a family of four with a household income of $106,000 per year. G3 funds will pay for tuition, fees, and books in selected programs. Some full-time students may also qualify for an additional stipend for living expenses.
G3 includes identified FastForward programs, credentials and associate degree programs in the targeted area. Each college has a master list of approved FastForward and credit programs.
Much time has been devoted to the complicated job of working out procedures and policies, and briefing materials have been, and continue to be shared with colleges. Presentations and other assets shared during Friday’s virtual briefing have been posted on Canvas.
Knowing that questions and issues will arise as this major initiative is rolled out, people can reach out for information or help by emailing: G3questions@vccs.edu
In addition, the legislature allocated money for the VCCS to hire 60 new advisors statewide to help onboard G3 students. Each college will receive at least one new advisor. They’ll be assigned based on college size.
VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois has made it clear that G3 could be “transformative” for Virginia’s Community Colleges. Now, as Dr. Morrissey noted, there’s one more “G:” Get it done.