Central Virginia Community College
AREVA NP Inc., U.VA., and CVCC form New Partnership
Two New Programs to Allow Students to Complete a Four-Year Engineering Program in Lynchburg through CVCC and U.Va.
Lynchburg, VA /Media Release/ -- AREVA NP Inc., the University of Virginia, and Central Virginia Community College, in cooperation with area businesses, have formed a partnership to expand the engineering program at the two-year college in Lynchburg. The agreement will provide students earning an associate degree in engineering at CVCC, to start in August of 2007, an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree from U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science through educational programs offered at the Community College beginning in August of 2009.
CVCC Vice President for Workforce Development and Continuing Education Stan Shoun claims that the agreement is unprecedented in the Commonwealth. “This is the first opportunity undergraduate students in the state have had to earn a four-year degree in engineering without leaving the area to attend a state school,” says Shoun.
In order to meet the high standards of U.Va.’s engineering program, CVCC intends to establish an Associate of Science in Engineering curriculum that will satisfy U.Va.’s prerequisites for third- year entry into its School of Engineering and Applied Science. CVCC will also provide bridge courses to meet U.Va.’s entrance requirements for students currently enrolled in one of its technical degree programs should they choose to advance their education through U.Va.’s Engineering Science degree program.
Dr. Darrel W. Staat, President of CVCC, stated that the College’s agreement with U.Va. is a community effort to satisfy the high demand for engineers within Virginia’s Region 2000. Staat credits AREVA NP Inc.’s President and CEO Tom Christopher and Jim Hicks, the company’s Vice President of Business Integration, for their roles in the negotiations. “The team of Mr. Christopher and Mr. Hicks helped to define the current shortages and future demands for skilled craftsmen within the region. In addition, nearly one dozen area companies are competing for engineers, not only with each other but with thousands of companies across the nation,” Staat says.
During the past 15 years, Virginia’s Region 2000 has experienced an industry shift toward energy and electronics that has accelerated the demand for engineers and skilled laborers. Christopher estimates that the nuclear power firm will require 800 additional engineers - 400 of whom would be in Lynchburg - over the next five years. According to Christopher, “Our needs and those of other local companies cannot be satisfied without changes in the number of engineers produced by the education system. We rely heavily on Virginia’s Region 2000 workforce. The talent is here, we just have to provide the educational opportunities in order to meet the demands.”
Christopher is not alone in his assessment of the situation. BWXT, M/A Com, Wiley & Wilson, and others support this initiative by CVCC and U.Va. to provide more engineers to meet their resource needs.
Dr. James H. Aylor, Dean of the U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science, adds that the School has been developing innovative ways to reach out to future and working engineers. “The demand for engineers is of global proportions,” Aylor says. “We at the U.Va. Engineering School have a long history of educating students in Charlottesville who have become outstanding engineering professionals. We welcome the opportunity to expand our program through this collaborative partnership.”
Dr. James Groves, the U.Va. Engineering School’s Assistant Dean for Research and Outreach, played a pivotal role in reaching an agreement with CVCC. He sees the expansion to Lynchburg as a natural progression for the Community College while simultaneously launching U.Va.’s “PRODUCED in Virginia” program, an initiative to provide undergraduate connections to engineering education that will extend educational opportunities in engineering to other parts of the Commonwealth beyond Charlottesville. Groves stated that “Our School is pleased to be a part of this ambitious undertaking. We recognize the importance of providing more access to the personal and professional opportunities of the engineering discipline. The success of this program will have significant, positive repercussions upon the entire mid-Atlantic region.”
This is not U.Va.’s first venture in providing educational opportunities in the area. In the early to mid-1960’s the Lynchburg Branch of the University of Virginia’s School of General Studies held classes downtown for freshman and sophomore transfer students. Coincidentally, the new Central Virginia Community College of the Virginia Community College System was established and assumed U.Va.’s responsibility.
The agreement with the University of Virginia is a giant step in expanding the Grow Your Own project at CVCC. Currently in its fifth year, the initiative provides a pipeline that begins in the elementary and middle schools promoting multiple career alternatives through education. Company sponsored programs such as STEM Modules, Reading is Power, Lego League, FIRST Robotics, and Summer Academies uncover the hidden talents of students early in their development.
CVCC works with secondary schools, offering early college courses to qualified students as part of their dual-enrollment program. It is an opportunity for motivated students to earn a two-year degree while simultaneously completing their high school requirements.
Grow Your Own is partially funded by a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. An additional $1.24 million in funds granted by the U.S. Department of Labor is earmarked for the advancement of education in nuclear power.
Shoun, who designed and provides the vision for Grow Your Own, sees the partnership with the University of Virginia as a major component to completing the pipeline. “Central Virginia is emerging as a major hub for high tech enterprises. To maintain this momentum, we must provide the education necessary to ensure that the labor resources to meet the increasing demand of industry are available,” Shoun says. “Our new partnership with one of the nation’s leading public universities, the University of Virginia, is a giant leap toward fulfilling the needs of Region 2000 in the years ahead.“
Release Date: 9:30 AM (EDT) 03/12/07
Release Number: 070312.uvapartnership
Kennan J. Meyer
Coordinator, Public Relations and Marketing
Central Virginia Community College
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