Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dutch educator talks about differences in approaches to higher education

Dutch exchange professor Sanne van Uden, who has been visiting Germanna Community College, is a Drama and Social Skills instructor for ROC deLeijgraaf in the province of Noord Brabant. ROC deLeijgraaf is one of 40 or 50 regional training centers for higher vocational education in the Netherlands, called Hoger Beroepsonderwijs or HBO.

ROC deLeijgraaf has its own restaurants, hotel and Work Plaza, where students receive practical training.

van Uden said Dutch students usually end up with either certification for a trade or a university diploma. “Of course we have dropouts. But there are only a few.”

All students in college from age 16 to 24 are eligible for a government grant, but typically also need to take out loans, van Uden said. The government requires that if a student misses 16 hours of class time, he or she be assigned a coach or mentor, she said.

“It’s very interesting to see how the schooling system works here,” van Uden said.

“Many [GCC students] have jobs as well as going to college, and they are motivated. They are very friendly and very eager to learn.”

She said facilities and technology at Germanna are “very new, very modern.”

One major difference is that Germanna provides all students a second chance to excel, transfer to a university and reach their full potential.

In the Netherlands, she said, students are put on either a university track or a vocational track at age 12. “Of course, the child is followed for eight years. They have a good knowledge of how good the child is.”
Germanna faculty member Shelly Palomino, who’s been hosting van Uden, said she has toured Germanna, the University of Virginia and the University of Mary Washington, meeting faculty and talking with students. She also will visit Washington and New York.

van Uden said another difference is that teachers who went to university themselves rarely teach at the vocational level. She is an exception, with a master’s degree in education.

“One of the things Sann made me realize,” Palomino said, “is that despite the fact Germanna might be considered a stepping stone, we have great talent [among the faculty] at a community college--very motivated and interested and passionate, people who have had books published and accomplished great things. You look at [some faculty members’] credentials and think they should be teaching at UVa. But you talk to [them] and they have the passion” for making a difference at the community college level.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Survey says Germanna is among nation's most technologically innovative community colleges

Germanna Community College is among the most technologically innovative colleges in the nation, according to e..Republic’s Center for Digital Education. e.Republic is a publishing, research, event and new media company focused on state and local government and education..
e.Republic's eighth annual Digital Community Colleges Survey found that in the mid-sized colleges category, tied Piedmont Virginia Community College, which is based in Charlottesville, for seventh place.

Community colleges across the nation have responded to increased enrollments and limited budgets through innovative use of technology, according to the Digital Community Colleges Survey results released. Survey questions and criteria examined and scored areas of digital and emerging technologies, such as use of mobile devices and technology integration into curriculum; strategic planning and data management; and delivery models and professional development, including availability of technology tools and training for faculty and students.

Monday, October 8, 2012

REC's Operation Round Up says 'Giddyup' to dollars for Middle College

 Dan Wallace presents a $5,000 check to GCC Middle College Director Carolyn Bynum on behalf of the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's Operation Round Up. Mike Catell, executive director of the Germanna Educational Foundation, is at right.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's Operation Round Up has raised $5,000 to support Germanna's Middle College, which helps students who didn't finish high school get their GEDs and make the transition to college free of charge, Middle College Director Carolyn Bynum said the GED test will be changing in 2014, and the funds will be used to purchase new curriculum. VIDEO
According to REC's Web site:
"Operation Round Up lets REC members volunteer to have their electric bills rounded up to the next highest whole dollar, with the extra change dedicated to charitable causes.
"The purpose of Operation Round Up is to support individuals, school programs, philanthropic groups, non-profit organizations, rescue squads, fire departments and other deserving causes within REC's service area. A board of directors reviews applications for support and decides how donations are made. The board is made up of seven REC members, who volunteer their time."
Call at 800/552-3904 for more information on Operation Roundup. Go to or call 540/891-3000 to learn more about Germanna's Middle College.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Germanna Educational Foundation moves into Central Park Corporate Center

Germanna Community Colleges christened new offices at the Central Park Corporate Center in Fredericksburg Tuesday.
  GCC President David A. Sam thanked The Rappaport Companies, which donated space for three years.
  The college's Educational Foundation and Marketing & Public Information offices are making the facility their new home.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ribbon cutting, reception for opening of GCC offices at Central Park set for Tuesday

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Germanna Community College’s Educational Foundation and Marketing and Public Information offices and renaming of Central Park Town Center at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 1320 Central Park Blvd., across from Funland.
A donation by The Rappaport Companies  of 2,300 square feet of space for three years is providing the college with an address in the city. GCC has campuses at Massaponax and Locust Grove and centers in Stafford and Culpeper. No classes will be offered at the Central Park location.
Germanna’s Educational Foundation and marketing department have moved from the Locust Grove Campus to Central Park.