VGCC Board Approves Two New Early College Proposals, Two New Curriculum Programs as Enrollment Increases

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Vance-Granville Community College Board of Trustees held its bimonthly meeting on Monday, January 26 at the college’s Henderson campus, during which it approved proposals to create two new Early College High Schools. It also approved motions to expand its curriculum programs by adding two new courses of study.

TWO NEW EARLY COLLEGES APPROVED

Upon a recommendation from the Curriculum Committee, chaired by Grace Vickery, the Board approved two Early College Program Proposals -- one in partnership with Granville County Schools and the other with Franklin County Schools. According to the proposals, the Granville County Early College Program is scheduled to start in fall 2009 and will operate on land adjacent to or near land dedicated for VGCC’s South Campus. The date of implementation for the Franklin County Early College High School is still being determined. The primary issue is a lack of space to locate classrooms at VGCC’s Franklin County campus.

The College already operates two Early College Programs - one in conjunction with Vance County Schools on the college’s Main Campus in Henderson and another in conjunction with Warren County Schools, operated on the College’s Warren County Campus. Both began operation in fall 2008.

The addition of Early College programs in Granville and Franklin counties, when completed, would bring VGCC’s Early College programs to a total of four - one in each of the four counties that VGCC serves. “When the Granville and Franklin County Early College High Schools begin operation, VGCC would become the only community college in the nation with four Early College Programs under its umbrella of services,” said President Randy Parker. “We are very excited about the potential opportunities this would provide for high school students in our communities.”

Since 2002, the Early College High School Initiatives have started or redesigned almost 160 schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 25 percent are located in North Carolina. The schools are designed so that low-income youth, first-generation college goers, and other young people underrepresented in higher education can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree or up to two years of credit toward a Bachelor’s degree -- tuition free. High school officials recommend students for the five-year program.

NEW PROGRAMS ADDED TO CURRICULUM

Also, under a recommendation by the Curriculum Committee, the Board approved new Associate Degree Programs in Global Logistics Technology and Computer Engineering Technology. The new courses of study will be available in fall 2009, pending approval from the State Board of Community Colleges.

ENROLLMENT AT VGCC INCREASING

In other business, President Randy Parker reported to the Board that enrollment for fall 2008 was the highest in the history of the college -- up 10.4 percent over enrollment figures for fall 2007. The fall 2008 enrollment figures include an 18 percent increase in male students and a 7.3 percent increase in female students. African-American male enrollment was up 19 percent, while Hispanic enrollment was up 57 percent. High school students taking college-level credit courses made up 15 percent of the College’s enrollment.

Fall semester FTE, the measure by which the college receives state funding, was up 6.4 percent over fall 2007. This could equate to approximately $500,000 in additional funding for the college in upcoming years.

President Parker said the programs showing the largest growth (either in headcount or percentages) are Early College, Business Administration, College Transfer Programs, Learn and Earn Online, Early Childhood, Criminal Justice, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Office Systems Technology. And while actual numbers will not be available for spring 2009 enrollment for several months, President Parker expects those numbers to show growth as well.

Community Colleges in general see enrollment spikes during times of economic hardship as laid off workers enroll in classes to be retrained. Statistics in the past have shown that for every percent increase in unemployment in North Carolina, community college enrollment jumps 2 to 3 percent.

BUDGET AMENDMENT APPROVED

The Board voted to approve a mid-year amendment to the 2008-2009 Budget Resolution, which was originally approved by the Board on September 15, 2008. The amendment increased the state current fund appropriation, making the College’s total combined amended 2008-2009 budget $37,891,855.

The next regular meeting of the Board will be held on Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the board room on Main Campus.