Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to commit to all two years?
No. We do ask that you commit to the entirety to the first semester and preferably to the first year. Our goal is to wow you during that time! You do have the option to change your mind at the end of the first or second semester. In fact, we have students that start off in one program and decide after spending some time working with the curriculum that they prefer the other program. It is not uncommon for an engineering student to switch to Mechatronics or vice versa.
What if I'm not sure that I want to be an engineer?
No problem. The Regional Academy is a great opportunity to explore without significant financial or academic impacts. Students who participate in the program learn engineering fundamentals and take some upper-level math and science courses.
What do I have to have in order to be eligible to apply?
- Be at sophomore status or higher
- Complete, in its entirety, the required application documentation
- Demonstrate the ability to benefit - a student must place into Preparation for College English I (ENF 1) or higher on the assessment test
- Meet the required math criteria
- Demonstrate strong competencies in Algebra 2 for consideration in the Engineering program
- Demonstrate strong competencies in Algebra 1 for consideration in the Mechatronics program
- Obtain a recommendation letter from a current math or science teacher
- You need to have a good work ethic and the desire/commitment to complete college level coursework.
Can I do the Regional Academy and the IB Program?
Yes, if you're willing to do the work. From a scheduling standpoint, you need to start having conversations with your counselor early on to ensure that you have the correct classes scheduled during either your junior or senior year.
Will the Regional Academy help prepare me for college?
Absolutely! Preparing students for college is one reason for starting the academy. As a matter of fact, if remain at Virginia Western to complete your associates degree and receive a certain GPA, you will have guaranteed admission into a variety of 4-year institutions in Virginia.
Do any of the credits earned in the academy transfer to 4-year colleges or universities?
Yes, the Engineering program has 22 transferable credits and the Mechatronics program has 24 transferrable credits. We strongly encourage students to contact the college or university in question to ensure transferability of courses.
Terry Drumheller, Program Coordinator
Brenda Morrison, Program Administration
Carole Graham, Dean of Health Professions
Richard Clark, Professor and Program Head of Engineering
Daniel C. Horine, Program Head of Advanced Technology in Mechatronics