Virginia Western president Dr. Robert Sandel announced a pilot CCAP program with Botetourt County Schools at noon on Jan. 9, 2013 at Greenfield Education and Technical Center. In partnership with the Botetourt Education Foundation and Botetourt County Public Schools, the $50,000 per year program is slated for a five year run in the pilot phase. It will benefit 25 students per year for the two year associates program at VWCC.
CCAP stands for Community College Access Program and the idea was first introduced in the September 13, 2012 school board meeting. Read that story here. Since then Dr. Joni Poff, Supervisor for Secondary Education, Dr. Tony Brads, School Superintendent and Dr. Robert Sandel and his staff at VWCC have spent a great deal of time ironing out the fine points of establishing the program.
With the help of the Botetourt Education Foundation which will donate $10,000 per year to the program for the next five years, the Clearwire broadband funds paid to the school division at $12,000 and a $30,000 input from Virginia Western, the monies will fund the program. Virginia Western has many Botetourt students in various associates program.
Sandel said, “About 1/3 of our graduates transfer to a four year school while 2/3rds of our students get a degree to enter the workforce.” He commended Brads and the Bot Ed Foundation for pursuing the program. Craig County and Roanoke County are also beginning CCAP programs this year. Franklin County, City of Salem and Roanoke City already participate in the program.
Brads said, “We are excited about 2013. We are starting small but we are looking forward to the 25 students. We thank Dr. Sandel and the Botetourt Education Foundation for their help. We also hope to establish a STEM Academy on site here in partnership with VWCC and Jefferson College of Health Sciences.” Sandel mentioned 5 million dollars has been given for establishing STEM scholarships.
Sandel remarked the synergy between Brads and himself has made working to get CCAP possible. Patterson, Chairman of the Bot. Ed Foundation said, ” We have an involved board, 12- 15 are here. ” The Ed Foundation funds dual enrollment scholarships, send Journey students to the Chesapeake Bay among other things. BEF is making an impact on the students in the county. The Ed Foundation raises funds through things like the annual golf tournament which be held April 25, 2013 location TBA.
School Board Chairman Ruth Wallace was also in attendance. As the representative of the citizens of the Amsterdam District, she said, “Today is a very special day for Botetourt County. Our school board is very excited to be apart of CCAP and to have new doors of opportunity open to our students. The possibility for a college education will now be available to many of our students that would not have been able to attend college. Thank you to all parties for making this dream a reality.”
Students and Parents will have an informational meeting at GTEC on Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Students will have to have the federal financial aid form known as FASFA completed prior to Feb 28. “FASFA will determine the amount of CCAP funds available for any student,” said Brads. “A letter home to parents of seniors will be forthcoming from the two high schools,” said Poff.