Focus on The New College Institute:
This week I want to share information about possible changes coming to one of our educational institutions in the region. The New College Institute was officially established in Martinsville in 2006 and enrolled more than 100 students in their pilot programs.
NCI was formed in response to the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in our area. Local civic and political leaders identified the need for improved access to higher education and began to advocate for the establishment of a college in Southern Virginia that could offer bachelor’s degrees and some master’s degrees in high demand fields.
Since 2006 NCI has been a conduit for various public and private universities, including Averett, to partner and offer degrees through distance learning. The New College is supported with state funding.
Last fall, Senator Bill Stanley became the chairman of the New College Institute Board. I serve on their Board along with Senator Emmett Hanger, Jr., Delegate Les Adams and Delegate Charles Poindexter. We would like to see the New College attain a new level of sustainability by establishing a “main” partner, while offering affordable degrees.
Since arriving in Richmond, we have talked with 6 different universities to find interest and a good fit for the degrees needed that lead to jobs. We are looking at a 2+2 model, where students complete 2 years at a community college and then the final 2 through the partnering university.
We are looking for classes that would offer degrees that are needed by businesses and manufacturers in our region. Not only are we hoping to fill jobs of existing manufacturers, but to attract new companies looking for workers with 4-year degrees.
The technology is already in place at New College to offer on-site classes and classes that are transmitted from any university in the state. The new companies that our region wants to attract are those looking for educated, skilled workers. That would mean higher pay, which benefits our citizens.
Our work to establish the solid foundation of a primary university partner has one main mission: Access to a degree leading to a good job.
Our work in Richmond with legislation is moving quickly. Between committee meetings and floor sessions, we have brief opportunities to meet with folks from home. I especially enjoy seeing the students who come through. We have met with the Piedmont Governor’s School students, VTAG representatives from Averett and other local students who are at various universities. Their bright faces and aspirations for the future remind us of why we work to make the best decisions possible every day.
As we consider the legislation before us, I always want to know your views about the issues. We are in our offices in Richmond. My legislative assistant, Mary Franklin, is staffing our office here, located in Room 702 of the General Assembly Building.
If you can come to visit us in Richmond, please let us know ahead of time. You can contact us by sending an e-mail to DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov or by sending a letter to me at PO Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218-0406, or by calling 804-698-1014.
And, if you live in my 14th District, I invite you to take our 2017 Survey on line. Visit www.dannymarshall.com
Delegate Danny Marshall (R) represents the 14th House District which includes the City of Danville, Henry County (part) and Pittsylvania County (part).
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