New initiative provides financial assistance for non-credit career and technical programs

Virginia Western Community College announces a new initiative that provides financial assistance for students enrolling in career and technical education (CTE) programs leading to industry credentials or licenses. Financial Assistance for Noncredit Training leading to Industry Credentials (FANTIC) is a pilot program through Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions that is now accepting applications from students who wish to pursue high-demand occupations.

FANTIC will cover the cost of tuition and industry testing for students who would not otherwise be able to receive financial aid. In the past, non-credit CTE or workforce programs have not been eligible for financial aid or funding. This new initiative, led by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), seeks to address that issue and help drive the Commonwealth’s economy through an educated workforce. Virginia Western hopes to serve 144 students in achieving more than 200 credentials with the $200,000 one-year pilot program.

“Virginia Western is a key driver of the economy in the Roanoke Region and we focus on filling the workforce needs that are specific to our industries,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “This new funding will have a tremendous impact on our ability to train students who otherwise would be left behind. They will earn industry-recognized credentials that will lead to solid, high-paying careers.”

Among the programs of study being considered for FANTIC funding at Virginia Western are: Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Industrial Maintenance, Pharmacy Technician, Medication Aide, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Basic Manufacturing, Welding, Certified Nursing Assistant and Certified Billing and Coding Specialist. Spring semester begins Jan. 11 and students can register for classes at www.virginiawestern.edu.

FANTIC funding for students is a competitive process. Students must meet income and program eligibility deadlines and submit an application through Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions. Support is based on eligibility and available funds. For more information on criteria for FANTIC funding, contact Amanda Decker at adecker@virginiawestern.edu or 540-857-6279.

Posted on November 12, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

Local Board member Jones awarded statewide honor for exemplary service

Virginia Western Community College announces that Forest G. Jones has been honored with the State Board for Community Colleges’ 2015 Chairman’s Award for College Board Member Exemplary Service. Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, presented the award to Jones at a recent system-wide retreat in Roanoke. Jones is currently the Immediate Past Chairman of the Virginia Western Community College Local Advisory Board, which he joined in 2008 and which he chaired from 2012-14.

“Forest has made a tremendous impact on Virginia Western and our students’ lives during his service on the Virginia Western Community College Local Advisory Board,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Among his numerous achievements, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Community College Access Program (CCAP) in Salem City.”

Jones’ support and dedication to CCAP grew from his career in education and public service in Salem. He began as a math teacher and coach in Campbell County Public Schools, and also served the school system as a principal and assistant principal before becoming Director of Administrative Services for Salem City Public Schools from 1982-1987. Jones served as Salem’s Assistant City Manager from 1987-2000 and as City Manager from 2000-2008.

CCAP, which provides tuition funding at Virginia Western for up to two years for area high school graduates who meet program requirements, began with Salem High School in 2008. Since that time, with the assistance of Jones and the Local Advisory Board, the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and its Board of Directors has expanded CCAP to cover all of Virginia Western’s service region.

“Mr. Jones’ support translated into providing students with the opportunity to attend Virginia Western tuition-free,” said J. Kenneth Randolph, President of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors. “CCAP served, in 2014 alone, approximately 464 full-time students. The Educational Foundation in December of 2014 received over $5 million for CCAP alone.”

In addition to CCAP, Jones supported the construction of what is now recognized as The Horace G. and Anne H. Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions and the newly renovated Student Life Center. He advocated for the health professions as the primary employment and economic driver for the Roanoke region and the Student Life Center as a hub for student life, engagement, and in turn, retention.

“I know Mr. Jones to be a highly intelligent, talented, dedicated, and kind individual who is committed to the growth and economic development of the Roanoke region,” said Gerald Burgess, Chairman of the Local Advisory Board. “Mr. Jones is convinced that Virginia Western is the primary economic driver for the region. Through participation in numerous local and statewide Boards, Mr. Jones increased awareness of the mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges as economic engines and mobilized the College’s mission as such.”

After many years of working with Jones in Salem and on the Local Advisory Board, James W. McAden, President of Balzer and Associates and Past President of the Salem Rotary Club said, “As an exemplary leader, Mr. Jones strongly believed that the Board members maintained the responsibility to represent the College in the form of ambassadors throughout the College’s service district.”

Completing post-graduate work at Virginia Tech in Administration and additional graduate work at the University of Virginia and William & Mary College, Jones received his Bachelor’s in Math from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. and Master’s in Math and Science from Randolph College in Lynchburg.

Married to Betty C. Jones, a retired reading teacher at South Salem Elementary School, for 41 years, Jones is the father of Forest Jones Jr., the principal at Andrew Lewis Middle School and Anton Jones, a teacher at Salem High School.

Posted on November 9, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

Fralin receives national recognition for dedication to Virginia Western

Virginia Western Community College’s Educational Foundation announces that W. Heywood Fralin, Chairman of Medical Facilities America and co-trustee of the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, has received a prestigious national Benefactor Award from the Council for Resource Development (CRD). The award was presented in recognition of the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust for the endowed investment of $5 million for Virginia Western STEM-H scholarships; for Fralin’s continued commitment to Virginia Western as member of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board; and advocacy for community college education as critical to economic development. Fralin was honored at the CRD Benefactor Awards Banquet Oct. 30, held in conjunction with the CRD Annual National Conference in Washington.

“Not only has Mr. Fralin shown true dedication to Virginia Western’s students but he also embodies the true meaning of philanthropy, ‘for the love of humanity,’ ” said Dr. Angela M. Falconetti, Virginia Western Vice President of Institutional Advancement, who nominated Fralin for the award. “Mr. Fralin is dedicated to ensuring a community college education builds the bridge between opportunity and economy for the Roanoke Region.”

One of the highest honors the organization can bestow, the CRD Benefactor Award recognizes individuals, foundations, or businesses/corporations for outstanding contributions to community colleges. The CRD Benefactor Award exemplifies the ideals of philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism in the service of community, technical and junior colleges.

“The endowed gift by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust has enabled Virginia Western to indelibly impact the economic development of the Roanoke Valley and improve the quality of life for our students, now and well into the future,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College. “The College is honored and proud to work with our benefactor and colleague in shaping a successful strategy for community success.”

The $5 million gift, pledged in 2012, is the largest single donation dedicated to scholarships in the history of the Virginia Community College System, and is one of the largest for community college scholarships in the country. To commemorate this historic support, Virginia Western’s Local Advisory Board and Educational Foundation Board of Directors agreed to name Virginia Western’s $26 million STEM-H facility, dedicated in 2013, in honor of Horace G. and Anne H. Fralin.

“Mr. Fralin’s subsequent interest, commitment and service to Virginia Western has only increased,” said Mr. J. Kenneth Randolph, President of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “Mr. Fralin has since joined the Foundation’s board, and his energetic volunteerism has resulted in board recruitment of nationally and regionally recognized business leaders, greatly enhancing and expanding the College’s reach and impact in the communities we serve.”

Fralin’s keen dedication to the Commonwealth and statewide higher education issues at large is apparent in his continuing contributions and service to Virginia Western, the VCCS and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Addressing the audience of fundraisers, college presidents and engaged benefactors, Fralin said: “It’s absolutely no secret that our federal and state governments have cut budgets, making it difficult for students who are wanting and ready to go to college. Thank you for turning to philanthropy to fill that gap and make those dreams possible and thank you for making America a better place.”

CRD’s mission is to empower community colleges to succeed in securing funds that strengthen communities and ensures student success, providing members with networking, educational opportunities, and resources. Membership is open to anyone interested in the welfare of two-year colleges, and includes development officers, grant writers, foundation directors, alumni directors, college presidents, administrators and staff. Its national office is located in Silver Spring, Md.

For more information about the award, Virginia Western’s scholarship process or to learn how to establish a scholarship, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at (540) 857-6281 or ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on November 6, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approves $210,000 in scholarship assistance to Virginia Western

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a $210,000 grant to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation to support scholarships for Franklin County students in the 2016-17 academic year. The funds will support students participating in Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), which provides up to two years of full-time tuition at no cost to students who meet program requirements.

In addition, Tobacco Commission scholarships will assist students seeking credential training in high-growth employment occupations such as welding and industrial machining.

The 2016-17 grant marks the fifth consecutive year of Tobacco Commission support for Virginia Western students from Franklin County. “The Tobacco Commission has focused on the need to give the young people and dislocated workers of the tobacco region assistance in preparing for a brighter future. We are fortunate to have quality community colleges to work with in this effort," said State Sen. Frank Ruff, Vice Chairman of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Chairman of its Education Committee.

The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,913 grants totaling more than $1 billion across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has provided $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.

For information on the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and recent grant awards, visit www.tic.virginia.gov or call, toll-free, 1-877-807-1086.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. Since 2009, more than 1,500 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

Current public high school seniors interested in CCAP for the 2016-17 academic year should contact their guidance counselor and plan to bring their parents or guardians to an informational session Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Franklin County High School auditorium. The CCAP application period opens Jan. 6, 2016, and closes Feb. 29, 2016. To stay up to date on CCAP news, see www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap.
For more information about CCAP, contact program coordinator Carolyn Payne at (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on October 26, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

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