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NOVA Announces U.S. Naval Community College Partnership with VCCS

The U.S. Navy has selected Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) to be a founding partner in its newly created U.S. Naval Community College (USNCC) program. The VCCS is among five educational institutions selected for the collaboration, which begins the first phase of its pilot program in January 2021. The announcement comes as the first class of nearly 600 students is notified of their selection to participate in the pilot program, and the schools participating in the USNCC initiative are notified of their selection for the program

As many as 100 of those inaugural students will take courses at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), pursuing the college’s nationally recognized Cybersecurity AAS program. Additional VCCS institutions and programs are expected to be engaged at the collaboration progresses. Graduates within this program fill a critical need in the regional and national workforce.

Other participating national institutions include: Alexandria Technical and Community College (Minn.), The State University of New York system, the University of Maryland Global Campus and the University of Arizona. All partnered to offer world class education to Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel through the pilot program, which will take place between January and June 2021. 

“We’re excited about this new and innovative partnership to serve our nation’s sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Virginia’s Community Colleges have been serving military-related students and their families since we first opened our doors more than 50 years ago. We’re looking forward to the chance to help these men and women succeed, and we’re honored to have this opportunity.”

“We are very excited to make this announcement,” said Dr. Randi Cosentino, president of the USNCC. “Working with top colleges and universities to bring to the members of our maritime service community programs that are going to be of high value to them and help them achieve their educational goals.”  

The schools were notified, after being narrowed down following a rigorous selection process over the past few months.

“NOVA has a history of innovative partnerships including the highly successful collaboration begun last year with Amazon Web Services and the U.S. Marine Corps. Together, we created a first-of-its-kind program focused on data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA. “We are honored to build on this experience and now partner with the U.S. Navy in offering our college’s outstanding academic and workforce programming to members of the maritime service community.”  

“The U.S. Marine Corps has found tremendous appeal in the modernization of their military training through the use of NOVA’s industry-aligned curriculum. The creation of this cutting-edge curriculum has been informed by the USMC and industry leaders, such as AWS, every step of the way.  said Dr. Chad Knights, provost of information and engineering technologies at NOVA. “Building on this work, we are excited for this new opportunity to bring our state-of-the-art technology training in cybersecurity to the USNCC.”

“Now that we’ve identified our collaborating schools, we can move forward with our program to ensure we offer the best education to our service members and benefit all those involved,” Cosentino said. “The pilot will allow us to collect important data that will inform the development of the USNCC.  Working in consortium with leading colleges will help us explore outcomes around the design of the program, the processes involved, working relationships and overall impact.” 

The concept of the US Naval Community College or USNCC, came out of a study seeking to identify opportunities to better prepare enlisted service members and to support them throughout their careers. Naval leadership directed the USNCC to begin pilot programs to identify the best way to help enlisted naval service members access naval-relevant education opportunities that will make them better warfighters, improve operational readiness and support lifelong learning.

Additional Information

  • For more information visit the USNCC on Facebook, LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter at @USNCC.
  • For more information in regard to institutions under the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) that will be offering courses, please contact Todd Estes, Director for Career Education & Workforce Opportunities at mestes@vccs.edu.
  • For more information about NOVA’s programming in regard to the USNCC initiative, please contact Jack Bidlack, IET Director of Strategic Initiatives at jbidlack@nvcc.edu.
  • For press inquiries, please contact Jeff Kraus, VCCS Assistant Vice Chancellor of Communications at jkraus@vccs.edu, or NOVA’s Public Information Officer, Hoang Nguyen at hdnguyen@nvcc.edu. 


About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 271,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.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 NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

The United States Naval Community College (USNCC) was introduced to support enlisted Sailors and Marines in achieving professional Certificates and Associate’s degrees that will enhance operational readiness and improve warfighting capabilities, while putting Sailors and Marines on a path to lifelong learning.  With the addition of the US Coast Guard, Coast Guardsmen will also be able to access the USNCC.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.