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Patrick Henry Community College - PHCC Highlights New Commitments to Education

Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president, traveled to Washington, D.C. Thursday, Jan. 16 to meet with the Obama Administration and a group of more than 100 college and university presidents from across the country. The purpose of this summit is to explore ways that various groups from higher education, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector can come together and help more low-income students attend college and be successful.

Institutions in attendance will make new commitments to education, establish goals for campus reform, and adopt best practices to support underprepared students, which may include re-thinking remediation efforts. PHCC’s goals toward progress include:

  • 75 percent of all students will complete all developmental requirements within one year of continuous enrollment.
  • 75 percent of all students in applied programs will complete developmental math requirements within one semester.
  • 75 percent of all students in non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) transfer programs will complete developmental math requirements within one semester.
  • 75 percent of all students will successful complete “Gateway” (credit-bearing) math requirements within one year of continuous enrollment.
  • 75 percent of all students will successfully complete Gateway English requirements within one year of continuous enrollment.

There are many efforts in place to achieve these educational commitments. Some of which include aligning developmental math prerequisites with on-level requirements, laser-like remediation for modular math, working with high schools to make sure students are taking math through their senior year, and testing students to remediate in high school as opposed to developmental education in college.

Dr. Greg Hodges, dean of academic success and college transfer, said PHCC is on its way to meeting these three-year goals. For the 2012-2013 first-time in college student cohort, Hodges said 75 percent of students completed their developmental English requirements within one year, while 73 percent completed their developmental math requirements in one year.

“Moreover, we are seeing similar results with students completing their first level of credit-bearing English and math, referred to as ‘Gateway’ courses,” Hodges said. “We feel very confident that our innovative cooperative learning strategies coupled with an engaged faculty and staff will allow us to exceed these goals within three years.”

The Rural Horseshoe Initiative of the Virginia Community College System is also at work to increase the level of post-secondary education and degree attainment for rural Virginians. This program will work to provide full-time career coaches for every high school in region served by rural community colleges in Virginia. Additionally, it will expand financial incentives to encourage those who have not graduated high school to complete a GED program.

Godwin said PHCC has a very strong developmental program with demonstrated student success.

“Support from the White House is so very meaningful, and with these added commitments and increased access provided through programs like Virginia’s Rural Horseshoe Initiative and Career Coaches, our community will benefit,” Godwin said.

The educational summit’s agenda included a welcome from Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president, followed by Cecilia Munoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

President Obama and Michelle Obama gave remarks before a lunch discussion with breakout groups on how to reach students early. Following lunch, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed the group.