Virginia Western named to national field of colleges eligible for 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Virginia Western Community College has been selected as one of only 150 community colleges nationally eligible to apply for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Aspen Prize recognizes one outstanding community college for its academic and workforce outcomes every two years. The 2015 Aspen Prize winner will be awarded $1 million.

“It is tremendous honor to be deemed eligible to compete for the Aspen Prize,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “To be recognized among the top community colleges in the nation validates our efforts to help students achieve their academic and career goals at Virginia Western.”

The Aspen Prize recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

The Aspen Prize was first awarded in 2011 to Valencia College (Fla.). Santa Barbara City College (Calif.) and Walla Walla Community College (Wa.) were co-winners in 2013. Joining Virginia Western in the field of 150 eligible to apply for 2015 are two other Virginia colleges: Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and New River Community College.

The 150 selected institutions may submit applications describing what they have done to improve student success on their campus. The field will then be narrowed to 10 finalists in the fall. The winner will be announced in early 2015.

More information on the Aspen Prize can be found at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize/.

Posted on February 10, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western accepting applications for CCAP until the end of February

Interested applicants for Virginia Western Community College’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) are reminded that they must submit completed applications by Feb. 28, 2014. Students can access the 2014 CCAP application and locality checklists online at: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap/apply.php.

CCAP is a series of public/private partnerships that allows graduating high school seniors from the localities of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin or Roanoke Counties or the Cities of Roanoke or Salem to attend Virginia Western for two years tuition-free. CCAP is also available to home-schooled students in the Franklin County service area.

Participants in CCAP must enter Virginia Western with and maintain a 2.5 or 2.0 GPA, as defined per locality, maintain full-time enrollment, and complete four hours of service learning per semester. 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.

Virginia Western to offer Regional Learning Institutes for high school students

Beginning for the Fall 2014 semester, Virginia Western Community College announces it will provide career-focused Regional Learning Institutes for area high school and home schooled students. The institutes will be taught on campus by Virginia Western faculty and give high school-level students the opportunity to take specialized classes for college credit.

“These institutes are a way in which students can finish high school and already have all or most of the academic requirements for a Career Studies Certificate,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wilmer, Virginia Western’s Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “They will give students an opportunity to acquire the skills they need to join the IT, CNA and building trades workforce directly from high school, or take core classes in health professions programs that are needed for those degrees.”

Programs will be offered in:

  • Health Sciences – Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Pre-Health Curriculum
  • Information Technology (IT): Desktop Support Technician
  • Maintenance Technology

Enrollment is limited and school districts or home-schooled students must indicate their intent to enroll by April 1. Classes will meet daily from 8-10:45 a.m., and students or school divisions must provide their own transportation. Tuition charges will be the equivalent of the college’s Fall 2014 tuition rates, calculated on a per-credit hour basis for each program. Students must pass the Virginia Placement Test and enroll at Virginia Western in order to take classes.

For more information, contact the Office of Dual Enrollment at 540-857-7235.



Posted on January 30, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western to host event offering financial aid application assistance

The Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), in conjunction with Virginia Western Community College, will host a Super FAFSA Week event on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Webber Hall on the Virginia Western Campus.

Super FAFSA Week, formerly known as Super Saturday, is one of VASFAA’s annual service projects where individuals seeking funding for postsecondary education receive free, professional, one-on-one assistance in completing the federal financial aid form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the form used by colleges, universities, and career-technical schools across the country to determine eligibility for student federal and state financial aid.

VASFAA is offering over 50 Super FAFSA Week events at high schools, colleges, and community and civic centers across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Participating sites will have computers available for students and parents to apply for federal aid electronically, along with financial aid representatives to assist. This event is open to students and parents of all grade levels, including returning college students, as well as older adults interested in furthering their education.

Once the student leaves this event, he or she will have initiated the financial aid process for any college they are interested in attending. VASFAA understands that the financial aid process can be daunting and we hope that by offering this opportunity to students and parents, we can help ease this process for hundreds of Virginia residents.

As an incentive for attending a Super FAFSA Week event, students will have a chance to win a $100 book scholarship. A book scholarship will be awarded to one student at each Super FAFSA Week site to be used at the winner’s college of choice during the 2014-15 academic year.

Super FAFSA Week is open to the public and is partly funded by the College Access Challenge Grant Program. For more information about Super FAFSA Week 2014, please visit www.vasfaa.com/super.

Posted on January 27, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

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