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VGCC officials discuss changes to high school programs

Vance-Granville Community College recently convened a meeting of administrators and guidance counselors from local schools to discuss how the various educational institutions work in partnership, especially in light of new changes to state programs. Representatives of public high schools and middle schools, charter schools, private schools and home-schools in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties were invited to attend the forum held on Oct. 20 in the Civic Center on the college’s main campus.


Attendees were welcomed by Dr. Rodney Foth, the college’s interim Vice President of Instruction, who said that the purpose of the meeting was to share information about the college’s programs and to continue to strengthen the longstanding relationships between VGCC and local schools. “We are truly all on the same team, and we appreciate the work that you do to educate our young people and to encourage them to go to college,” added Dr. Angela Ballentine, the interim President of the college. “Building upon an excellent tradition of collaboration between our college and our local K-12 schools, we will continue working together to produce successful graduates and stronger communities.”


Ballentine also described for the educators the national context in which VGCC operates, as community colleges embrace “The Completion Agenda,” a movement focused on creating “student success pathways” that can, in the next two decades, double the number of students who complete a certificate or an associate degree, or who transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree. VGCC is participating in this movement by creating a new division at the college called the Student Learning and Success Center , Ballentine said. She related these changes to the new state program called “Career and College Promise,” which also seeks to help put high school students on pathways to success.


For more details, Ballentine introduced N.C. Community College System official Antonio Jordan, who is responsible for joint high school partnership programs and also serves as Academic Programs Coordinator for Early Childhood and Public Services Technologies. Jordan explained that this year, the North Carolina General Assembly eliminated the various high school-college partnership programs — including the Huskins program, Dual Enrollment and Learn & Earn Online — and merged them into one new umbrella program, Career and College Promise. The new program has three pathways: the “Core 44” College Transfer Pathway, the Career and Technical Education Pathway and the Cooperative Innovative High School Pathway, which includes the four Early College High Schools that VGCC operates in partnership with local school systems.


VGCC Director of Joint High School Programs Lyndon Hall described some of the college’s tentative plans to implement Career and College Promise. Other VGCC officials talked about academic programs , procedures for applying and registering for classes, services for students with disabilities, financial aid and scholarships . Biology instructor Button Brady described the second annual VGCC Science Camp for middle school students, which is scheduled for June 18-22, 2012. Music for the event was provided by VGCC students and instructor Michael Stephenson, and snacks were prepared by VGCC Culinary Arts students. 

Above: VGCC Dean of Student Learning and Success Jennifer Johnson (center) talks with representatives of local high schools and middle schools in a roundtable discussion during the Oct. 20 forum in the VGCC Civic Center. (VGCC Photo)