Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GCC, in the business of hope, won't be slowed by cuts, Dr. Sam says


Germanna Community College is in the business of hope, and despite state budget cuts, business will continue to be good.
That’s the message GCC President David A. Sam delivered to about 300 faculty members and staff during his State of the College address Tuesday at the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.
Germanna Community College President Dr. David A. Sam gave a "State of the College" report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at its  Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper Tuesday.
Germanna Community College President Dr. David A. Sam gave a State of the College report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper Tuesday.
Good planning has helped Germanna deal with recent state budget cuts, Sam said.
He said a contingency fund set up to deal with a potential dip in state funding or enrollment has helped. There have been no layoffs at Germanna and none are planned.
“We’ve balanced the budget doing as little harm as possible,” he told the crowd at Germanna’s biannual College Learning Day, an event focused primarily on professional development.
“Instead of buying things we needed or hiring people we needed, we put some money in the contingency fund, hoping we wouldn’t need it later,” Sam said. “We planned for a budget cut and/or enrollment decline and we are OK today.”
Dr. Yanyan Yong Dean of Academic Technology and Learning Support at Germanna Community College, listens to a "State of the College" address by GCC President David A. Sam during College  Learning Day at the Daniel Technnogy Center on Tuesday,
Dr. Yanyan Yong Dean of Academic Technology and Learning Support at Germanna Community College, listens to a State of the College  address by GCC President David A. Sam during College Learning Day at the Daniel Technnogy Center on Tuesday,
He warned, however, that more state cuts may lie ahead and that difficult choices may have to be made. Sam has asked staff to look for areas where the college might save money, but said Germanna’s belt is already tightly cinched.
The figures are subject to change, but Rick Brehm, Germanna’s vice president for administrative services, estimated that GCC will see about a $250,000 cut this year and approximately a $300,000 cut next year.
Under an agreement between the governor and the General Assembly last week, the cuts for higher education would be reduced from an average of 5 percent this year and 7 percent next year to an average of 3.3 percent in each year. The target amounts for each of the institutions vary depending on the number of out of state students enrolled and dependence on the state general fund.
Numbers are subject to change.
Germanna President David A. Sam gave a "State of the College" report to faculty and staff gathered for  College Learning Day at the Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Germanna President David A. Sam gave a State of the College report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at the Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Sam said enrollment, which has been declining at many colleges around the nation in part because of a demographic decline in the number of graduating seniors, has been flat, but steady over the past couple or years after rapid growth in the previous five years.
Germanna serves about over 7,000 students on the credit side in addition to thousands who receive non-credit workforce development training each year.
Because of demographic trends, enrollment isn’t likely to increase until 2017 or 2018, he said, when there will be more high school students coming through the pipeline nationally.
Sam talked about steps Germanna is taking to help meet a state goal of tripling the total number of credentials—degrees and certifications awarded over the next five years.
He said the college’s new Student Success Program, which features the introduction of  seven Student Success Coaches,  led by Antwan Perry, will play a critical role.
Sam said the Student Success Coaches are “The only people whose job it is to constantly pay attention to a group of students --an arm around the shoulder, and if necessary, a kick in the seat of the pants.”
Germanna Community College English Prof. Cheryl Huff  leads a breakout session on Open Ended Resources during the school's  College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Germanna Community College English Prof. Cheryl Huff leads a breakout session on Open Ended Resources during the school's College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
“If we can do more to get students engaged,” he said, “we can help students succeed.”
He said that Germanna can’t depend on a bowl-bound football team or a March Madness qualifying basketball team to boost enrollment.
In any case, those things don’t make for better teaching, he noted.
Sam said that what Germanna can depend on is the fact that its faculty and staff sincerely care about students  and get involved with them in a way that’s difficult for large universities to match.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Germanna Local College Board to meet


A sign-up sheet will be made available to members of the public 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18 meeting of Germanna Community College Board in room 118 of GCC’s Daniel Technology Center at 18121 Technology Dr. in Culpeper.

Among items to be considered:

  •  Seeking approval from the State Board of Community Colleges to explore options to lease space greater than 10,000 square feet in Stafford County to expand and enhance offerings there.
  •  Seeking approval from the state board to explore options to lease space in Caroline County with rent to be subsidized by the county for up to three years.
Germanna Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education, serving a total headcount of about 13,000, including both students in academic courses and workforce development training, in the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford and the city of Fredericksburg.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Virginia Living cites Germanna, UMW for excellence in 2014 State of Education survey


Virginia Living magazine’s State of Education issue, out this week, features the Old Dominion’s top high schools and colleges for 2014.
Germanna Community College was the only two-year school cited for excellence in arts and humanities. Virginia Living praised Germanna’s Center for Workforce and Community Education for its SkillUpVA workshop program that will be launched as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) this fall. Four-year colleges and universities cited in the magazine’s 2014 arts and humanities category include the College of William and Mary, Hampden-Sydney College and Virginia Commonwealth University.
The University of Mary Washington was cited for science, math and technology for its master’s degree program in geospatial analysis.
Fredericksburg Academy, for its use of digital media in the classroom, and Orange County Public Schools, for its computer science and information technology program, were cited for excellence in science, math and technology.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Culpeper, Germanna talk about the future



20140827_GCCVisionMeeting
Dozens of Culpeper leaders from the fields of business, education and politics met last week with Germanna Community College officials incuding GCC President David A. Sam during a “visioning” session at the Daniel Technology Center to discuss a wish list of things they’d like from the college in the future.
Germanna Dean of Professional and Technical Studies Denise Guest writes suggestions gathered during a Culpeper Visioning Session  at GCC's Daniel Technology Center.
Germanna Dean of Professional and Technical Studies Denise Guest writes suggestions gathered during a Culpeper Visioning Session at GCC’s Daniel Technology Center.
In essence, they want Germanna to help them build a  future Culpeper where good careers that pay well allow their children and grandchildren to stay and raise their own families.
Germanna President David A. Sam talks with Culpeper leaders about the county's future
Germanna President David A. Sam talks with Culpeper leaders about the county’s future
Among the things mentioned as possibilities:
• An increasing selection of Dual Enrollment classes, which allow students to earn transferrable college credit at their high schools—in some cases getting their associate’s degree before graduating from high school
• An elderhostel
• Agricultural technology.
• Nanotechnology
• Expanded workforce training partnerships
• Transportation to the college
• More apprenticeships
• Expansion of partnerships with public schools
• More campus life to attract traditional students
• Increasing support for entrepreneurism

Monday, August 25, 2014

Germanna Scholars Program launched at Daniel Technology Center



Germanna Community College launched its Germanna Scholars Program at GCC’s Daniel Center in Culpeper Friday.
Twenty-four students from Eastern View and Culpeper County high schools began their studies at Germanna.
 They’ll be able to earn associate’s degrees in May 2016, the month before they graduate from high school, through a combination of Dual Enrollment and co-enrollment classes taught by Germanna faculty members. Students in the program earn credit for classes that may be transferred to four-year colleges and universities.


 “Sounded like a pretty darn good idea,” said Brett Leake, a junior at Eastern View whose mother Sharon is a nursing faculty member at GCC.
 “I’m kind of excited to get my associate’s degree and graduate while I’m still in high school,” said Travis Jackson, another junior at Eastern View.
They’ll be able to accomplish this entirely at Germanna’s Joseph R. Daniel Technology Center, without leaving Culpeper County. They’re bused from their high schools to the Daniel Center in the morning, then back for afternoon classes at Culpeper and Eastern View.
 “We have an excellent group for our first Germanna Scholars cohort” said Germanna Dean of Student Development Pam Frederick. “I’m very impressed. They’re intelligent, motivated and well prepared.” 
The program begins with this group of 25 students. Plans are for a second 25 to enter the program in August 2015.

Germanna’s tuition, currently $139 per credit hour, is one third to half that of a typical four-year college, so families of students working toward a bachelor’s degree often see substantial savings.
 The Culpeper County Public Schools identified eligible students based on financial need and submitted those lists to the GCC Education Foundation. Eligible students receive financial assistance towards their tuition, fees, and books, in accordance with available funds.
Otherwise, participating students will pay the tuition and fees set for Germanna by the State Board for Community Colleges. The high schools will collect the tuition and fees from the students and the college will bill the schools on a semester basis.
The college will provide Culpeper County Public School officials with progress reports on each student. At the conclusion of each college academic term, the student will receive a college grade for each course in which he or she was registered and such grades will become part of the student's permanent college record.
The Germanna Scholars class of 2016:

Geri Lynn Beamer
Jennifer Elizabeth Bosserman
Emily Caroline Boutchyard
Wyatt Richard Coughlin
Brianna Nicole Deleon
Wiliiam Jeffrey Dietz
Alexis Brianna Green
Hadiya Nicole Hairston
Emily Rose Henderliter
Tramayne Rachell Huguely
Travis Eugene Jackson
Austin Troy Kauffmann
Rachel Elizabeth Kidwell
Brett Austen Leake
David William Nichols III
Maya Robyn Perez
Katherine Aileen Portillo
Emily Elizabeth Ray
Jessica Nicole Ritz
Teneshia Renae Robinson
Esther Afi Sewordor
Noah Linn Shealy
Rachel Katharine Smith
Matthew Owen Wall
###

Monday, August 18, 2014

Venture capitalist enthused about Startup Weekend Fredericksburg


Ideas are everywhere, nationally known venture capitalist Jonathon Perrelli said during a visit to  Germanna Community College’s Center for Workforce & Community Education last week.
“I hate to say they’re worthless, but they’re worth less than an MVP—a minimum viable product … to create something, even if it’s just a concept put on paper to be able to show people and ask, “If I had this, would you use it?”
Jonathon Perrelli
Jonathon Perrelli
Perrelli, managing director of Fortfy Ventures, an early stage technology investment firm., praised the work Germanna is doing with FredXchange to create a climate conducive to a startup culture.
“It’a amazing what's happened in Fredericksburg,” Perrelli said. He said Germanna Vice President for Workforce Jeanne Wesley’s “open door policy” has helped the local entrepreneurial ecosystem thrive.
“The willingness Germanna has for them to come here and host events is unusual--it doesn’t happen everywhere,” Perrelli said.
He said Germanna, working with local startup leaders including Christine Goodwin, Matt Armstrong and Matt Norris, has “provided a platform for the startup ecosystem here that’s incredible.”
With FredXchange, Germanna’s Center for Workforce will host the third Startup Weekend Fredericksburg Sept. 26-28 at GCC’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

Former Germanna President Frank Turnage honored


Germanna Community College President Emeritus Frank Turnage received the Orange County Education Foundation ‘s Lifetime Contribution Award Sunday at Montpelier.
Germanna President David Sam, Dean Pam Frederick and former GCC President Frank Turnage. Turnage was honored by the Orange County Educational Foundation Sunday an Montpelier.
Germanna President David Sam, Dean Pam Frederick and former GCC President Frank Turnage. Turnage was honored by the Orange County Educational Foundation Sunday an Montpelier.
Turnage was president of Germanna for over 20 years.
Current GCC President David A. Sam told the crowd at Montpelier that it was tough  succeeding Turnage, whom he called “a great college president and a very gracious southern gentleman.”
“It’s much easier to succeed a lousy president,” Sam joked. “Following someone who was in many ways a local legend was a challenge.”
Because of  Turnage’s leadership, Sam said, Germanna grew to become the seventh largest community college in Virginia, expanding from its original Locust Grove Campus location to Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties.
Frank Turnage accepts OCEF Lifetime Contribution Award
Frank Turnage accepts OCEF Lifetime Contribution Award
Turnage responded to Sam: “I think we did OK. However, I need to say I couldn’t be happier over your accomplishments at Germanna. When I read about Germanna in the newspaper and all the great things that are coming along I have to be grateful to you professionally and personally.”
In 2006, the Virginia State Senate passed a resolution agreed to by the House of Delegates commending Turnage for guiding Germanna, “from a small, remote community college to an influential educational force in the region by providing workforce development and the opportunity of higher education to all of the residents of the community.”
The same year, a Free Lance-Star editorial about his retirement said Turnage:
“looked at the employers in the community and saw how Germanna could help them train their workers. He gazed west, toward the businesses in the Route 29 corridor, and saw the need for technology education. He recognized the shortage of health-care workers and joined a statewide task force on nursing education to help community colleges alleviate it.”