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NOVA announces commitment to expand college access at White House event

Today, Northern Virginia Community College’s Manassas Campus Provost, Dr. Roger Ramsammy, will join President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden, along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders, to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. 

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.  

Northern Virginia Community College commits to:

1.      Increase recruitment of low-income, female and underrepresented students in STEM curricula by:

    1. Increasing STEM credential completers by 10% over the next five years;
    2. Developing stronger collaboration between Pathway and the SySTEMic Solutions pipeline, enhancing access to K-16 STEM enrichment programming and support for 3,500 underrepresented students;
    3. Increasing Summer Bridge STEM programs for K-8/K-12 students and the Summer Institute for rising 11th and 12th graders by 2018
    4. Increasing Pathway STEM majors from 25% to 40% by 2018;
    5. Expanding SySTEMic Solutions in NOVA’s service area K-12 schools to reach 50,000 students by 2020.

2.      Improve retention within STEM fields by:

    1. Continuing purchase of $3.3 million in cutting-edge equipment for STEM classes;
    2. Providing faculty training in multiple STEM disciplines through ongoing partnerships;
    3. Enhancing STEM curricula through active learning with new equipment through NOVA’s Dual Enrollment STEM Academy, NOVA’s Robotic Camp and Summer STEM Camp students;
    4. Increasing enrollment in STEM majors by 15% in 2018;
    5. Increasing retention/graduation rates of STEM majors by 15%, and STEM-H majors by 20%, by 2018;
    6. Enhancing and creating partnerships with other institutions to facilitate seamless transition into four-year degree programs;
    7. Enhancing and increasing industry partnerships with Northern Virginia Technology Council, who pledged to contribute 10,000 hours of mentorship annually;
    8. Promoting NOVA’s partnership with Dreams.US, directing scholarships to minority and DACA students.

3.      Expand career pathway opportunities for students in our STEM pipeline and credential-seeking students by:

    1. Increasing the number of students engaged in STEM internships/e-internships for credit and the number of STEM-focused experiential learning activities by 20% per year over the next five years;
    2. Enhancing partnerships with national and regional employers to increase the number of posted STEM internship and entry-level employment opportunities by 30% over the next two years;
    3. Collaborating with local workforce investment boards to increase NOVA/WIB referrals in STEM fields by 15% over the next three years;
    4. Launching blended credit and workforce development programming in IT and other high-demand STEM fields with the next two years.

Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college.  Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.  Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

Media Contact: Kathy Thompson | 703.764.0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.