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Virginia Western launches new Agriculture Program for Fall 2019

Virginia Western Community College announces a new Associates Degree in Agriculture that will be available beginning in Fall 2019. The program is designed to be flexible and tailored to individual student needs.

The Agriculture Program is transferrable to four-year college, where students can pursue career paths such as extension work, agricultural education, agribusiness and veterinary medicine, for example. Alternatively, if students are not interested in transfer they can modify the program to include technical skills, such as welding, which can help them in their home agribusinesses. Currently there are approximately 330 different careers available in the agricultural industry.    

“The Roanoke Region has a robust agricultural history and we are excited to be offering this truly outstanding program to students,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Helping individuals develop the skills they need to succeed in an 21st Century farming and agricultural landscape, we believe we will have a lasting positive economic impact on our region.”

Specialized classes such as animal science,  plant science and forestry will provide students the basic skills needed to maintain livestock, land and forests. Other classes in the program, such as agribusiness and welding can provide skills needed to handle farm finances and farm maintenance or provide an avenue of additional income.

“Agriculture is interwoven into the history of our region, which is home to more than 4,000 farms,” Austin said. “Virginia Western’s Ag program will ensure that farming remains one of our cornerstone industries for decades to come.”

In addition to launching the Agriculture Program, Virginia Western will also announce a new guaranteed transfer agreement between the program and Ferrum College’s Agricultural Sciences major. Students completing the Virginia Western Agriculture Program will be able to begin as a junior at Ferrum and focus on the emphasis areas of Animal Science, Agribusiness, Agronomy, Horticulture and Equine Studies.  

On the day prior to the kick off, VWCC faculty will be participating in the Virginia-North Carolina AgBio Conference in Danville. This meeting will convene policy makers, farmers, thought leaders, educators, public health officials and industry partners to bring innovative bioscience and technology to the farms. 

“As a 6th generation farmer in this region, the launch of this program really touches my heart because I know how much of a difference it will make in putting students on the path to personal and professional success,” White said. “The local agriculture industry impacts our lives in countless ways on a daily basis, and by passing on the best practices and most up-to-date knowledge and technology, we can ensure it continues to thrive for decades to come. Agriculture is vital to the health and economic success of our region, and it is our privilege to contribute to this robust and dynamic industry. “

For more details about the Agriculture Program, visit http://virginiawestern.edu/academics/stem/programs/sciagri.php or call the School of STEM at 540-857-7273.

Virginia Western offers unique online chemistry course this fall

Students will have ability to fulfill lab requirements at home

This fall semester, Virginia Western Community College is offering a completely online chemistry course designed with the non-science major in mind. Virginia Western is one of only a few schools within the Virginia Community College System offering the full two-semester sequence, Chemistry 101 and 102 with an at-home lab kit.

Social science, liberal arts, general education and business administration students enrolled at the college, many of whom transfer as non-science majors to Bachelor of Arts programs, and those currently enrolled at four-year schools who need to take a science sequence course are candidates for this course offering. Chemistry professor Owen Lofthus says “an estimated one-third of the student population at Virginia Western could potentially benefit from this offering, as well as students enrolled in other four-year schools.”

The course sequence provides students flexibility at Virginia Western’s affordable tuition and fulfills the science requirement for graduation. Students purchase lab kits created by Hands-On Labs, a world leader in distance learning science materials, to use at home. If a student is already receiving financial aid, then financial aid coverage for the lab kit is possible by ordering through the bookstore.

As with all classes at Virginia Western, the instructor is available through online communication and office hours to distance learning students, and there are the traditional onsite resources such as tutoring, career services, academic link support, etc. The testing center hosts tests for students to take throughout the semester within announced ranges of time for students to take as their schedule permits.

Virginia Western is pleased to continue expanding distance learning offerings this semester, accommodating the needs of students and supporting their life-long professional goals. To learn more about this new course offering and other courses for the fall semester, please visit: https://virginiawestern.edu.


VWCC to provide Leadership Bootcamps in downtown Roanoke

Virginia Western Community College will offer a comprehensive one-day Leadership Bootcamp monthly beginning in April at the RAMP business accelerator in downtown Roanoke. The eight-hour workshop will be held on the first Friday of each month, except for July, and will help individuals build important leadership skills such as teamwork, communication and soft-skills.

“Business leaders around the Roanoke Region have indicated they want more opportunities for future leaders to build these type of skills, and this workshop will deliver,” said Milan Hayward, Vice President of Workforce Solutions at Virginia Western. “In our new classroom in the RAMP facility, individuals will gain essential soft skills they need to advance in an existing business or grow their own businesses as entrepreneurs.”

WHAT:             Leadership Bootcamp

WHEN:             9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, except July, beginning on April 1, 2017

WHERE:           RAMP business accelerator, Gill Memorial Building, 709 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA

SIGN UP:          http://www.virginiawestern.edu/ramp/index.php

CONTACT:       Samantha Steidle, Innovation Officer, at 540-857-6076 or ssteidle@virginiawestern.edu

COST:                $285 + $99 in materials/books fees for assessments; class size limited to 20 students; Registration required by the first of each month

As part of the workshop, participants will complete a team work cycle assessment to better understand the four phases and eight roles of a project cycle they prefer to work within. They will also complete a DISC assessment to discover and understand their behavioral style and how to become more effective in communicating and working with others.

Other topics available upon request include time management, emotional intelligence, the ability to build trust and generational divides.