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VWCC honored by Digital Community College Survey

Virginia Western Community College earned 3rd place among mid-sized colleges in the Center for Digital Education’s 2017-18 Digital Community Colleges Survey. This marks the sixth consecutive year Virginia Western has placed in the top 3 in its category of the survey, which analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

This marked the 13th year of the Digital Community Colleges Survey. All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the Digital Community Colleges Survey within three classifications based on enrollment size.

Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond was first in the Large Colleges Category, Walters State Community College in Tenn. Was first in the Mid-Sized Colleges Category and New Hampshire’s Manchester Community College was first among Small Colleges.

The survey also revealed insights about community colleges’ technology priorities. Colleges surveyed indicated that mobility devices/app support is their top priority for the coming year, followed by cyber security tools and testing, website redesign/updates, upgrading classroom technologies, digital content and curriculum, and disaster recovery/business continuity.

VWCC launches CCAP2 fundraising campaign with major gift

Drew Parker

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has launched its second fundraising campaign to benefit 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.

At an April 24 announcement, campaign co-chairman Neil Wilkin Jr. said the Educational Foundation aims to raise $6.5 million by 2021 to support CCAP. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015 and greatly reduced or eliminated college debt for 2,200 students.

“CCAP is a transformative program that has been embraced by the entire Roanoke Valley,” Wilkin said. “We look forward to working with our public and private partners in building on the program’s powerful momentum.”

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.

A leading private donor, Carter Machinery Inc., was honored at the April 24 event and given the College’s Community Impact Award for a $300,000 gift to support what’s officially called the “CCAP2 Campaign: Renew. Re-charge. Re-imagine.” Andrew J. Parker, CEO of Carter Machinery, and his wife, Kate, made the gift on behalf of the Salem-based company.

Carter Machinery is the authorized Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia with four divisions, including Earthmoving, Mining, Power Systems and Rental Services. Founded more than 60 years ago, Carter Machinery has grown from three stores into a network of 18 locations and 1,200 employees.

“Carter Machinery is dedicated to supporting the development of the next generation of leaders,” Andrew Parker said.  “We believe in the future of Virginia Western students and the Valley, and we invite others to join us in support of this transformational program as it enters its next phase of expansion.”

Virginia Western President Dr. Robert H. Sandel expressed his thanks to the Parkers and noted the annual Community Impact Award is one of the highest honors that the College can bestow. “This gift supports the College’s mission by enabling student learning and development in meaningful and extraordinary ways,” Sandel said. “Make no mistake, it will leave an indelible mark on the CCAP program and the future of our region.”

With the Carter Machinery gift, the Educational Foundation has raised $1.79 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

  • Since its founding 2008, more than 2,200 students have participated in the program.
  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the city of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 14,000 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 75% 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 Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.

New science program joining Regional Academy

Virginia Western Community College announces the addition of an Applied Interdisciplinary Science Program to its Regional Academy. The Regional Academy is a distinctive, two-year curriculum where faculty prepare students to excel in undergraduate programs and in related careers by exposing them to advanced coursework and inquiry based laboratory experiences.

The Regional Academy is a program designed to grow the number of students entering the science, technology, engineering and health professions pipelines by engaging high school juniors and seniors with an educational experience that is fun, challenging and focused on these areas. Students currently come on campus for classes Monday through Friday to study either Engineering, Mechatronics or Health Sciences.  Beginning in Fall 2018, students will also be able to study Interdisciplinary Science through the Academy.

“We are thrilled to be offering this new program at the Regional Academy that will give high school students a strong foundation in college-level science,” said Amy White, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). “All our academy programs are preparing students in the region to continue their education and pursue pathways growing career fields.”

The new Applied Interdisciplinary Science Program will empower students with the knowledge, principles and investigative skills to contribute to scientific discovery.  This program includes coursework and labs in general Biology, Microbiology, Biotechnology and Ecology.  In addition, students will take classes in Statistics, Computer Science and will participate in research. The ultimate goal is to provide students an environment that is advantageous to learning and exploration while bridging the gap between high school and post-secondary education.

Students and parents interested in learning more about the Regional Academy can visit https://www.virginiawestern.edu/academy or contact program coordinator Terry Drumheller at tdrumheller@virginiawestern.edu or 540-857-6366. Area high school students are encouraged to visit their guidance counselors to apply today.