Monday, August 24, 2015

New Career and Transfer Center making sure students on right path

The counselors in Germanna’s new Career and Transfer Center have a question for GCC students:

“Do you know what you want to study and do you know where you want to transfer?”

Marie Hawley and Sheryl Williamson want to make sure students are on the right path--that there are as few missteps as possible. Missteps can be costly both in terms of time and money, they say, slowing students on their way to degrees and costing thousands of dollars in extra tuition and lost earnings. 

Career Counselor Hawley says of the new Center:
“This is an opportunity for students to really put together their career interests, things they’d like to study and make sure the pieces fit together to transfer for a bachelor’s degree.”

 Hawley said that when it comes to certain programs at universities where Germanna has a guaranteed transfer agreement, “we have to inform [students] that you cannot just do general studies and transfer--you need a degree focus.”

For example, she said, Germanna may have a guaranteed transfer agreement with a university, but not guaranteed entry into its business school without certain prerequisites.

Transfer Counselor Sheryl Williamson said: “We try to encourage students to look ahead. … What sometimes happens is that student graduates with that mentality transfer, they are then faced with taking additional math classes.”

“Or not admitted to the program,” Hawley said. “But if you prepare properly, you can align yourself.”

 “If you start at a four-year school, you have to declare a major by your junior year,” Williamson pointed out, adding that Germanna students should be thinking about that major before they transfer.

“The sooner you know where you want to go and what you want to do, the sooner you can match up your course work so it transfers more seamlessly,” Hawley said.

The Career and Transfer Center also offers assessments through the Virginia Education Wizard, counseling and information sessions and workshops in resume writing and mock job interviews. It also brings representatives from over 40 colleges and universities on campus as part of an annual College Fair. This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Daniel Center in Culpeper and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

The Center also offers resources “to help identify career paths students may not even know exist,” Hawley said.
It also helps connect students and employers for internships.
Williamson and Hawley have over 50 years of combined experience in education.

The Career and Transfer Center is located in room 228 of the Dickinson Building at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.
The Center phone number is 540/834-1841.
Email addresses for the Center:
Career Counselor Marie Hawley
Transfer Counselor Sheryl Williamson
Sabrina Dunaway

Career and Transfer Center's Sheryl Williamson and Marie Hawley

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Germanna announces faculty Learning Environment Award winners

Germanna Community College has announced its Spring 2015 faculty Learning Environment Award winners.
The awards recognize extraordinary and exemplary contributions to the learning environment by fulltime teaching faculty in one or more of the following areas: Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, and Service to the college or the community.

Winners of Learning Environment Awards for Spring 2015
Vanessa Sekinger
Kelley Lloyd
April Morgan
Leigh Hancock
Patricia Parker
Mike Read
Carolyn Pevey
Carrie Lowry
Brenda Robinson
Jean Lauzon
Eric Vanover
David Marsich
Brent Wilson
Wen Maier
Angela Sheaffer
Camille Mustachio
Jerry Miller
Diane Merkel
Brenda Dixon
Marie Messier
Jamie Lennahan
John Stroffolino
Gayle Wolfe
Monique Lewis
Kellie Bradshaw
Gretchen Warren
Julie Fasano
Jessica Matheson
Maury Wrightson
Shawn Shields-Maxwell

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Germanna helping vets through mentorships and credit for life experience

Bill Anderson


Germanna Community College is one of five Virginia Community College System schools at which veteran students will benefit from a U.S. Department of Labor grant.

GCC has received $150,000 earmarked to provide veterans with community college credits for past military service and training and to establish a mentoring program for vets that will help pair them up with business leaders in the area.
Bob Dixon, who heads the veterans program at Germanna, said the move answers the question, “When am I gonna get more credit for all this good stuff I did in the service?”

He said said the grant has allowed Germanna to hire two part time employees to assist in this effort.

“These people will provide increased capacity to serve our veteran students,” Dixon said. “I’m excited about the mentoring in particular.”

He said this is a pilot program, but he hopes it becomes “a sustained effort.”

 Virginia’s veteran population is growing. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the commonwealth will be home to nearly 850,000 veterans by the year 2017.

Dixon says over 500 Germanna students have declared themselves as veterans as G.I. Bill users and that “the actual number is always higher than that.” He said the number is growing steadily from semester to semester.
Allie Dudley

Allie Dudley, GCC's Advanced Standing Counselor, will help veteran students get the academic credits earned through experience, and William T. Anderson, veterans mentor supervisor, will enlist

“I’m excited about the mentoring piece in particular,” Dixon said. “Our plan is to help student vets early in their academic careers to engage people in the community who will remove barriers and give real world advice on what to study and how to break into careers.”

William T. Anderson, a retired Marine Corps colonel, will work for Dr. Sarah Somerville, head of counseling at the Locust Grove Campus, but will be based in Dickinson Building room 108A at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania. He will also work with Marie Hawley of the GCC new Career & Transfer Center.

Anderson spent 33 years with the Marine Corps and Department of Defense as a lawyer and 18 years working for NATO in Europe. Since 2010, he has been an adjunct faculty member at the Command and Staff College Distance Education Program of the Marine Corps University.

Students in the program will meet with their mentors twice a month and attend related events and social gatherings.  The program runs for one academic year, from August to May.  Students may withdraw from the program at anytime. 

Anderson is an expert and published author on the Marine Corps in World War I.

Dudley, Germanna’s Advanced Standing Counselor, will be able to help more veterans thanks to the grant.

She’s a U.S. Army spouse who has worked at an American military installation in Italy advising vets and their families.
She said military experience, other past work experience and certifications can translate into college credit. Combined with College Level Examination Program credit and the option of taking courses online, vets should find the idea of going back to school less daunting.

To learn more, contact Anderson at or 540/891-3023 and Allie Dudley at or 540/834-1057.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fall payment deadline for pre-registered students extended until July 31

The College has extended the fall tuition payment deadline for pre-registered students in 15W, 12W, 8W1, and 4W1 sessions until Friday, July 31, 2015 due to delays in financial aid processing.
This affects those who have preregistered since April 13 but have not paid. Students who have not paid tuition, enrolled in anautomatic payment plan or have anticipated financial aid and scholarships less than the balance due, will be dropped from their courses at midnight July 31.

Students may pay online or in person.

All new students registering after July 31 should plan to pay at the time of registration.

To check the status of your student account, contact the 24/7 Financial Aid & Student Accounts Center at or 1/855-874-6681.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On-Time Registration goes into effect this fall

Starting with the fall 2015 semester, all students enrolling at Germanna will be required to register by 11:59 p.m. the day before the session begins to meet the On-Time Registration requirement.
Learn more here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

GCC College Board to discuss State Board tuition increase Friday

The Germanna Community College College Board will meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 5 in Conference Room 100 at the Locust Grove Campus to discuss action recently taken by the State Board regarding tuition and fees.
To be discussed: whether to accept a State Board offer of a one dollar tuition differential increase per credit hour.
A signup sheet for public comment will be available 30 minutes prior to the meeting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New Business Administration transfer agreement evidence of special relationship between Germanna, University of Mary Washington

The presidents of the University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College signed a direct transfer agreement for Business Administration students Tuesday in a ceremony at UMW.
Dr. Lynne Richardson, dean of the College of Business at UMW, said: "This agreement says ... students who go to Germanna and want to study business will be able to transfer a little bit easier."

Germanna President David A. Sam took the opportunity to praise UMW President Rick Hurley, who will retire in June of 2016, for working to establish what he called “a model for relationships between universities and community colleges” that he believes will continue after both men are gone.
GCC's Dr. David Sam (right) praises UWM's Rick Hurley today.

“It's a pleasure to work with him,” Dr. Sam said. “We've had lunches pretty regularly in which we talked about the problems and opportunities ... How can we help students at Germanna not have what's called a ‘transfer bump?' How can we smooth things and make transfers more seamless? How can we work together to enable more students to graduate? How can we reach more first generation college students? And what can we do to support economic development and community development, some things together and some things separately? The bonus is we became friends and there's a trust that extends to the provost at UMW and our chief academic officer. We hope the people who follow Rick and myself carry on this model relationship.”

Hurley said: “I've enjoyed the partnership and the friendship. It's all about serving the community and the needs of our students.”

Students who graduate from Germanna with the AA&S degree in Business Administration, General Studies or Liberal Arts with at least a 3.0 grade point average on all college work, including courses taken at colleges other than GCC, and have completed the specific business course prerequisites with a 2.5 GPA in those five courses are guaranteed admission to the BS in Business Administration Program at UMW
GCC students who enroll in UMW’s bachelor of science in Business Administration program will be considered on the same basis as its own junior year students for admission to competitive programs, as well as for registration, financial aid, scholarships and student housing.
Germanna students who don’t meet all of the terms of the agreement may nonetheless be competitive applicants and are encouraged to apply through the regular transfer admissions process. 
UMW will guarantee the acceptance of 63 transferable credits (courses for transfer must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher. Completion of the approved associate degree through dual enrollment will not preclude the student from eligibility. In addition, credit for courses completed through International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Cambridge, CLEP, and armed services experience will be accepted