Virginia Western Community College has been named a finalist for the Community College Futures Assembly’s (CCFA) 2014 Bellwether Awards for its ground-breaking Community College Access Program (CCAP). The Bellwether Awards annually recognize trend-setting community colleges from across the nation.
In 2013, more than 400 Bellwether applications were submitted and Virginia Western was one of just 30 finalists chosen. Ten finalists were selected for each category: Instructional Programs and Services; Planning, Governance and Finance; and Workforce Development. Representatives from Virginia Western, the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and Roanoke City Public Schools will present CCAP for the Workforce Development category on Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla.
“To be nominated and selected as a finalist for this award is a great validation of the work Virginia Western and partner localities are doing with CCAP,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “By giving students in our region an opportunity to attend college without the barrier of cost is great for them personally, but also has a tremendous positive impact on our local workforce.”
The winners of the Bellwether Awards will be competitively chosen by a panel of national experts in each category. The Community College Futures Assembly will announce winners on Jan. 28 at its annual meeting in Orlando.
For the first time, CCAP served all of Virginia Western’s service region for the 2013-14 academic year. Graduating high school seniors from the localities of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin or Roanoke Counties or the Cities of Roanoke or Salem are eligible to attend Virginia Western for two years tuition-free ensuring they meet program requirements. Roanoke City Public Schools has been a partner in CCAP since 2009.
“It is the single biggest opportunity that I can ever recall for urban kids. We’ve talked a lot about ‘brokers of hope’ because this program gives students hope and keeps them in school,” said Dr. Rita Bishop, Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools. “CCAP launches lives and will do great things for the future of the Roanoke economy.”
Virginia Western will be holding public information sessions next week for students interested in CCAP.
Community College Access Program (CCAP) Information Sessions
Tuesday, January 21; Wednesday, January 22; Thursday, January 23
Whitman Theater, Virginia Western Campus (http://www.virginiawestern.edu/images/CampusMap2013_WEB.png)
These sessions will provide regional high school students graduating in 2014 the information to apply for CCAP for the 2014-15 academic year. The application deadline is February 28, 2014 and the application can be found online at: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap/apply.php.
Participants in CCAP must maintain a 2.5 or 2.0 GPA, as defined per locality, maintain full-time enrollment, and complete eight hours of service learning per year. CCAP supports as many students as possible based on financial need and available funds. Applicants must have attended the high school in, and have been a resident of, the participating locality in which they are applying for at least two years prior to graduation. In 2013-14, more than 430 students participated in CCAP.