Co-op agreement

Dr. Ron Duerring, left, superintendent of Kanawha County Schools, and Dr. Eunice Bellinger, president of BridgeValley Community & Technical College, sign the Kanawha Valley Early College Cooperative late last month.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Kanawha County Schools and their industry partners have launched the Kanawha Valley Early College Cooperative with a formal partnership agreement. Providing more students with access to college sooner, BridgeValley Community and Technical College unveiled the Kanawha Valley Early College Cooperative on Monday, Oct. 28.

The cooperative is developed through a $200,000 grant through the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to pilot an early college model spanning middle school through the completion of an associate degree.

"The early college model has shown tremendous success in increasing the number of students who matriculate from high school to college after graduation," said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System. "Congratulations to BridgeValley and Kanawha County Schools, and I hope this can become a model for community colleges across the state. Our thanks to the Benedum Foundation for its support."

"The Kanawha County School System is excited to enter into this partnership with BridgeValley Community and Technical College," said Dr. Ronald Duerring, superintendent of the Kanawha County Schools. "This will serve many students in Kanawha County by offering another pathway in their education. Students will graduate with a high school diploma and a two-year associates degree. It is a momentous occasion when two educational institutions like BridgeValley Community and Technical College and Kanawha County Schools come together for the good of our students and their future."

Through the new program, BridgeValley will develop the scope and sequence for initial degree programs including a suite of transfer programs in advanced manufacturing, cyber security and nursing; establish a middle school outreach program that will launch in January 2020 and develop a summer bridge program to engage incoming students with learning skills, development activities and career exploration programs. BridgeValley will recruit 25 students to be part of the first cohort beginning in fall 2020, and 50 students to participate in the second cohort beginning in fall 2021.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College promotes student success, prepares a skilled workforce, and builds tomorrow's leaders by providing access to quality higher education. BridgeValley serves a six-county region including Fayette, Raleigh, Nicholas, Clay, Putnam and Kanawha counties. The college operates two campuses in Montgomery and South Charleston.

For more information about BridgeValley CTC financial aid opportunities, programs of study, workforce training and community education and events, call 304-205-6600 or check the college's website at http://www.bridgevalley.edu.

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