Virginia Western to offer free dual enrollment courses to high school students next year

Virginia Western Community College has announced that it will offer dual enrollment (college credit) courses at public high schools for free beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

According to a news release, this could save students and families significant college costs by offering students a chance to earn an Associate’s Degree at the same time they earn a high school diploma.

Students at public high schools in Botetourt County, Craig County, Franklin County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Salem City will be able to enroll in these courses.

Dual enrollment classes are taught at local high schools by teachers who are credentialed to teach at the college level. If a student receives a C-grade or better, he or she will receive transferrable college credits for the class.

 “We are very excited to offer this pathway to higher education for our region’s high school students,” Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western said. “I’ve always believed that money should not be a barrier to achieving a strong education. Through this program and the partnerships with local high schools, we’re making a college education more accessible and affordable than ever before.”

Virginia Western will provide the funding for students taking dual enrollment courses. Course availability at each high school will depend on enrollment request numbers and credentialed staff availability at each school.

“Whether students earn an Associate’s Degree while in high school or not, dual enrollment courses will mean significant cost savings to students and their families,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wilmer, Interim Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Virginia Western. “We hope many of these students continue their college education at Virginia Western, but those who go straight to four-year colleges or universities after high school will be able to begin a step ahead.”

For more information about Virginia Western’s dual enrollment program, click here.

 

In addition, Virginia Western is also embarking on an initiative involving career and technical education programs and courses which will allow students to go to work immediately after completing their training. These are related to various occupations which require one to two years of training. Most of these career and technical programs are designed to allow students to move into a career pathway which will lead to two-year and four-year college training programs. The Virginia Western Regional Academy for Advanced Technology will offer a variety of advanced training programs in local high schools and at the center itself on the College’s campus.