The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to support Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a nationally recognized effort that provides up to three years of tuition to qualified Roanoke Valley high school graduates.

Brad N. Hall, vice president of external affairs for Appalachian Power, said “AEP and Appalachian Power have a long relationship with Virginia Western Community College and share its dedication to help build a workforce capable of developing and supporting the necessary elements for a climate of growth in the Roanoke region. This $100,000 gift from the AEP Foundation represents our commitment to Virginia Western and its vision for the people of the area through CCAP.”

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support CCAP, scholarships and other College needs, is the recipient of the grant. The Educational Foundation aims to raise a total of $6.5 million by 2021 from public and private sources as part of its CCAP2 Campaign. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015. Since its founding 2008, CCAP has provided tuition support to more than 2,500 students.

CCAP provides “last in” scholarship support, filling any tuition payment gaps after a qualified student has applied for federal or state financial aid. The program funding is based on a 50/50 match: A locality pledges a specific dollar amount for its high school graduates in a given year; the Educational Foundation then raises a matching amount from private businesses, foundations, community groups and individuals.

“Virginia Western and Appalachian Power have been a long-time partners in moving the region forward. Their leadership support for CCAP will support student success while eliminating crippling student debt. We are honored and proud to work with the AEP Foundation to make a difference in our communities,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College.

“Through this gift from the AEP Foundation we are representing and honoring dozens of our own employees who are graduates of Virginia Western and have already proven to us the benefits of its educational opportunity here. We hope through this gift that we can help assure the on-going success of the Community College Access Program and its participants who will become leaders in the economic growth of this region,” said Larry Jackson, Appalachian Power external affairs director for Virginia.

With the American Electric Power Foundation grant, the Educational Foundation has raised $2,011,969 million of the $3.25 million in private support it is seeking during the CCAP2 campaign. It will continue its ongoing partnerships with Roanoke Valley localities to raise the public portion of $3.25 million over the next five years.

About the Community College Access Program

  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the cities of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 19,000 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
  • CCAP recently expanded to include tuition support for students seeking short-term, industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields such as welding, mechatronics and pharmacy tech.
  • The average incoming grade point average of CCAP participants is 3.3. More than 78% enroll at Virginia Western with the intention of transferring to a four-year institution.
  • In 2014, CCAP was named a finalist in the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Awards, in recognition of its pioneering effort to strengthen the local workforce. The program has served a model for similar programs, including New River Community College and Dabney Lancaster College.

For more information about Virginia Western’s CCAP, contact Philanthropy Director Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.