The initial round of grants were targeted towards public higher-education institutions focused on the creation or expansion of affordable pathways programs primarily for traditional high school to college-age underrepresented populations. Five grants were awarded to the following programs.
Reynolds Early College Academy, a partnership between Reynolds Community College and Richmond City Public Schools ($133,476).
Expected cost savings per student completing the program: $12,000
Estimated students served in first cohort: 50
The Reynolds Early College Academy (ECA), a dual-enrollment partnership between Reynolds Community College (Reynolds) and Richmond City Public Schools (RCPS), gives an annual cohort of high school students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Social Sciences concurrent with high school graduation, at no cost to the students or their families. The ECA is modeled after the Advance College Academy (ACA) model already in place in four school divisions in the Reynolds service area. Like the ACA, the ECA is founded on embedded career coaching, stable learning communities of full-time, degree-seeking students and professionally developed faculty, cohort-based scheduling of linked courses, outreach into middle schools, communication and branding, and affordable college access through a shared financial model between the school division and the college. But unlike the ACA, which takes place primarily on the high school campus, the ECA is delivered on the college campus by college faculty, and the population it serves is more economically disadvantaged and also more academically and technologically challenged. The ECA will use the Affordable Pathways Partnership Grant over the next 18 months to enhance and supplement resources and strategies already in place in order to achieve the same level of success and completion as the ACA.
Tyler Early College Academy, a partnership of John Tyler Community College with Hopewell and Petersburg schools ($138,636).
Expected cost savings per student completing the program: $8,615
Estimated students served in first cohort:66
Developed by John Tyler Community College in partnership with Hopewell and Petersburg school systems, Tyler Early College Academy (TECA), the four-year pilot initiative, now in its second year, offers students an opportunity to earn college credit while completing high school graduation requirements. The key objectives of the TECA program are to 1) provide students the opportunity to earn substantial college credit at little to no cost, 2) reduce the barriers to successful completion of a credential, and 3) increase the capacity to offer dual enrollment courses in Hopewell and Petersburg high schools. Specifically, grant funds will support the expansion of college-level coursework for participating students and solidification of the partnership between the College and Hopewell and Petersburg school systems. Anticipated outcomes for the TECA pilot include 1) cost savings for participating families, 2) enhanced partnerships between K-12 school systems and John Tyler, 3) increased number of high school instructors credentialed to teach college-level coursework, and 4) replication of similar models in other K-12 school divisions.
Old Dominion University, Kempsville High School and Tidewater Community College ($140,000).
Expected cost savings per student completing the program: $27,275
Estimated students served in first cohort:109
Three educational partners (the Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Virginia Beach’s Kempsville High School, Tidewater Community College, and Old Dominion University) will develop a pathway that provides students the option of transitioning from their dual enrollment high school/community college Business and Entrepreneurship program to Old Dominion University’s Leadership major. This program will include three components: (1) the development of a pathway that transitions the Tidewater Community College associate’s degree earned through dual enrollment with the Virginia Beach Public High School’s Entrepreneurship and Business Academy to Old Dominion University’s undergraduate major in leadership, (2) the development of twelve textbook free leadership courses in ODU’s leadership major, and (3) the development of an infrastructure needed to expand this pathway to other degrees and other high school programs.
Patrick Henry Community College, Henry County and Martinsville City public schools ($119,729).
Expected cost savings per student completing the program: $4,083
Estimated students served in first cohort: 20
Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), along with partners Henry County and Martinsville City Public Schools, will create a new dual enrollment pathway to target high school students interested in career and technical training. Specifically, the new program will enable students to earn up to 25 credits that, along with embedded industry certifications, will prepare them for advanced manufacturing careers. All 25 credits will be fully aligned with PHCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Career Studies Certificate and Associate Degree in Applied Science in General Engineering Technology. The grant award will support start-up costs of the program, including recruitment and outreach marketing materials, a Program Coordinator, and required materials and supplies for hands-on student projects and faculty training.
Piedmont Virginia Community College and Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center ($129,762).
Expected cost savings per student completing the program: $1,200
Estimated students served in first cohort: 60
Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) and Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) are the two lead partners in an effort to expand the existing community career pathway (CCP) model to improve access and affordability for high school students as they transition to higher education. The grant will support the establishment of dual enrollment career paths in healthcare and hospitality, two of the highest demand fields in the region. The project will also expand a cybersecurity pathway, an important and emerging employment sector. In addition, the project will review CTE programming for scalable implementation of the CCP model within the region, create or improve transfer agreements with a minimum of three four-year universities, and combine or create advisory councils to support each CCP. The result will be a better coordinated and more affordable system that translates to student success, especially for those in the targeted underrepresented population.
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