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Sunday, May 31, 2015

NVCC offers lots of flexible options for working adults

While most people are familiar with Northern Virginia Community College’s role in providing two-years of affordable higher education  to recent high school graduates, they might not appreciate the NVCC’s extensive programs for busy adults.

Working professionals can complete a degree or certificate at the Annandale campus by taking classes on weekends or weeknights, supplemented with online courses.

The student services building.
As a sponsor of the Taste of Annandale, NVCC will have a table set up at the June 13 community festival with information about the wide range of options offered by the college, says Bob Hull community outreach specialist.

The Annandale campus is also holding information sessions on special degree programs for adults on June 19, 6-8 p.m.: July 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; and Aug. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. All sessions will be in the president’s dining room. For more information, contact Marc Robinson, 703-764-5069,

There will also be a “Go Back Open House” on those programs on Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., in the gym in the CE building on the Annandale campus.

Younger students still in high school who haven’t thought about college are encouraged to take advantage of  NVCC’s Pathway to the Baccalaureate program. The program eases the transition to college through a partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools, seven other Northern Virginia school districts, and George Mason University. It includes the development of individual college plans, academic advising, placement testing, workshops on financial aid, summer orientation, and help getting into GMU.

Another NVCC program, Adult Career Pathways, provides extra support to older students facing barriers to college success, such as those who are unemployed or underemployed, veterans, single parents, and work-eligible immigrants.

While enrollment is decreasing in virtually all other Virginia community colleges – a common trend when the economy is improving – enrollment at NVCC is holding steady, Hull says.

NVCC offers 160 different programs and confers more degrees and certificates than any other two-year college in the United States. Last year, about 78,000 individuals took at least one course online or at one of NVCC’s four campuses or four centers. Nearly 26,000 students are in noncredit workforce development programs.

The Annandale campus was the first and is the largest campus, with about 21,000 students.

Renovations under way at the Brault Building.
The college’s newly named  president, Scott Ralls, will start in September. Ralls, currently president of the North Carolina Community College System, succeeds Robert Templin Jr., who had been president of NVCC since 2002 and retired in February. Templin hasn’t left higher education, however; he’s serving as a part-time senior fellow with the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Mel Schiavelli, the former vice president for academic affairs, is serving as acting president of NVCC until Ralls arrives. Ralls will appoint a new provost for the Annandale campus to succeed Barbara Saperstone who retired in February.
The renovation of the Brault building, which houses the office of the president and other NVCC administrative offices, is expected to be completed this fall with employees moved in by spring 2016 – in time for the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017.

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