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Nursing program exceeds state, national standards

Virginia Western Community College announces that its nursing program has exceeded the state and national average for first-time pass rate of the Registered Nurse (RN) licensure exam for the second year in a row. The nursing class of 2017 had a first-time pass rate of 98 percent compared to the national average of 84 percent for associate degree programs.

“We are thrilled with the success of our graduates and remain focused on providing the education and skills that will allow them to thrive,” said Lauren Hayward, program director of nursing. “The vast majority of our students receive job offers prior to graduation and more than 95 percent of them stay and work in the communities we serve.”

Virginia Western is accepting applications for the incoming Fall 2018 nursing class. Prospective students must complete the application and provide all the requested academic transcripts no later than March 1, 2018. For more information on how to apply for the nursing program, please visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/nursing/apply.

“Healthcare is a great economic driver for the Roanoke Region and our health professions programs support the industry by preparing students to seamlessly begin and prosper in their careers,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “We are proud of our nursing program and the fantastic graduates it produces.”

Virginia Western’s nursing program is fully approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing and collaborates with an advisory board comprised of professionals from the region’s healthcare providers. The nursing program tailors its curriculum to prepare students for employment in the ever-changing world of healthcare.

“With the caliber of topnotch nurses graduating from Virginia Western Community College’s nursing school, it is evident that the program is among the best in the nation,” said Margaret Lea Lee, Chief Nursing Officer at LewisGale Medical Center.  “The graduates are well-prepared to meet both the clinical and personal  needs of our patients and their families. Their commitment to delivering high quality, compassionate care also aligns with our Medical Center’s overall culture.”

Virginia Western’s nursing program prides itself on a process of continual quality improvement, most recently demonstrated by the Candidacy Status granted by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

For more information about Virginia Western’s nursing program, please visit http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/nursing or call 540-857-7306.

Nationally known Gig Economy expert to give free talk

A nationally recognized expert on the nation’s growing Gig Economy will speak at Virginia Western Community College on Monday evening, March 5th in a free public presentation.

Diane Mulcahy is the author of the book “The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want.” Five years ago, she created and began teaching an MBA class on the Gig Economy at Babson College in Boston, where she is an adjunct lecturer. The class has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the U.S.

WHAT:      Nationally recognized Gig Economy expert Diane Mulcahy

WHEN:      6 p.m., Monday, March 5, 2018

WHERE:     Whitman Theater, Virginia Western Community College campus (www.virginiawestern.edu/about/visitvwcc)

COST:        Free, RSVPs requested at www.virginiawestern.edu/startup

MORE:       Mulcahy will be signing copies of her book from 7:15-8 p.m. and books will be available for purchase

In her 2017 book, Mulcahy offers practical professional and personal strategies and practical exercises for people considering independent work in the Gig Economy. She provides insights to consultants, contractors, freelancers or part-timers – anyone seeking a more lucrative, secure and balanced life that doesn’t rely on a full-time job with one employer.

Mulcahy has contributed to Harvard Business Review and been interviewed by PBS, NPR, Reuters and other media outlets, and she frequently speaks at industry conferences and universities all over the world.

Mulcahy’s presentation at Virginia Western is made possible by a grant from Building Entrepreneurial Economies, an initiative of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development.


Chef Schopp joins elite company with 4th ACF certification

Virginia Western Community College announces that John Schopp, a faculty member in the Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program, was recently awarded the Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) certification by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Now in addition to the CCE, Schopp has the rare distinction of having acquired the Certified Executive Chef (CEC), the Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) and the Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA).

“I am truly honored to be awarded the CCE,” Schopp said. “The level of education and training that I have earned through the ACF will allow me to help more students follow their passion for cooking to build a strong career in the Roanoke Region.”

The ACF has just over 15,000 members worldwide and 5,200 of those chefs carry at least one certification, with another 5,000 certified chefs that are non-ACF members. Of the 10,200 ACF certified chefs, Schopp is one of only five carry the CCE, CEC, CEPC and the CCA.

The CCE certification is designed to identify advanced-degree culinary chef professionals, with industry experience and inform the public of individuals who have demonstrated a standard of culinary competence and expertise through education, experience, knowledge and skills consistent with the postsecondary culinary educator level.

The CEC affirms a chef’s leadership and ability to excel in managing and motivating employees. A CEC is a skilled, professional chef who manages the kitchen and has demonstrated the knowledge necessary to ensure a safe and pleasurable dining experience by preparing food that is delicious, nutritious and safe to eat. The ACF CEC follows proven business practices ensuring a financially successful operation.

A CEPC is a pastry chef who is a department head, usually responsible to the executive chef of a food operation or to the management of a pastry specialty firm. A CEPC has supervisory responsibility as well as administrative duties.

A CCA is an executive-level chef who is responsible for the administrative functions of running a professional foodservice operation. This culinary professional must demonstrate proficiency in culinary knowledge, human resources, operational management and business planning skills.

To learn more about the Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program, please visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/btt/programs/culinary. To learn more about the ACF and it’s certifications, please visit: www.acfchefs.org/.