VGCC, Southeastern Open New Pathway For Students

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College and The College at Southeastern have entered a partnership to provide a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In VGCC’s Civic Center, colorfully decorated with banners displaying the various applied technology, business and health sciences academic programs offered by Vance-Granville, a ceremony was held on Monday, Oct. 22, for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two colleges.

“Partnership is very important as you think about higher education today,” said Dr. Levy Brown, Vance-Granville’s vice president of academic affairs. “We hear about pathways. We hear about multiple entry points for students. We hear about collaboration. Today we are very excited to join Southeastern in this opportunity to provide more training opportunities for their students.”

Dr. James Dew of The College at Southeastern, left, and Dr. Levy Brown of Vance-Granville Community College sign a memorandum of understanding officially launching a partnership that provides a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled at the two colleges on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. (Photo: VGCC)

The partnership opens a new door for students at The College at Southeastern ([email protected]) in Wake Forest to earn additional credentials in the career and technical education areas, nearly 40 curriculum programs, at Vance-Granville, Dr. Brown noted, citing the significance of the regional collaboration.

With plans for the partnership in the works for several years, Dr. James Dew, Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and Distance Learning and the Dean of The College at Southeastern, said he was pleased to see two institutions working together rather than being competitive in their recruiting efforts. Students have had to choose between schools when pursuing their college educations, he said, “either here or there but not both.”

“We can do far more together than we can do apart from each other,” he said. “I think the days are gone, or should be gone, when we compete against each other in unnecessary ways.”

“As we sat down to think about the possibilities,” Dr. Dew added, “what we began to realize is that there are actually ways that we can serve each other. You have students in your vocational programs who ultimately desire to do something for the Lord. And we have students who very much want to do something for the Lord but are going to need along the way various kinds of vocational training to get there.”

At [email protected], he said, they refer to the situation as the “Tentmaker’s Paradigm.” Citing Acts 18:1-4, he described how the Apostle Paul had a vocation of making tents. “He would go from place to place, and as he went he would build tents and that would give him a platform to preach the Gospel to the nations,” Dr. Dew said.

“That ultimately is our vision,” he added. “We are training a generation of people at Southeastern to go into the darkest places in the entire world, places where there is no hope, places where the darkness is thick and depression is strong. And there in those places shine their light of Jesus Christ to those places and to those nations. But to get there … they are going to need the kinds of programs that we see represented here in this room.”

He said [email protected] wants their students to have these kinds of programs that VGCC offers, but “I also understand that they need the kinds of theological and ministerial training that we can offer them at Southeastern as well.”

[email protected] began in 1994 as an undergraduate school of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest. Students who are pursuing their Bachelor of Science degree from SEBTS have had the option to transfer in an associate’s degree from another college, dually enroll in a vocational program at another college or complete a business minor at [email protected]

The partnership will provide a clear pathway, the college officials noted.

Among the highlights of the partnership:

  • [email protected] students may enroll in as many as 12 credit hours per semester at VGCC and have those hours count towards their status at [email protected]
  • Southeastern students who complete an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate of study in a VGCC-approved vocational and/or applied technical program will receive full credit for courses taken in which a grade of “C” or better was earned.
  • [email protected] will also accept credits from high school and early college high school students enrolled in an approved Career and College Promise (CCP) track through VGCC.
  • VGCC will allow students to dual enroll in a Bachelor of Science degree program at [email protected]

The partnership also allows for a seamless integration of recruitment initiatives between both colleges.

Dr. Dew recognized Cory Thornton of the Youngsville-based Frigi-Temp commercial heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration service provider for being a part of a three-way meeting with VGCC and [email protected] last year that eventually led to the partnership. Thornton is the chief operating officer of the licensed mechanical contracting company which is now a partner in VGCC’s Vanguard Apprenticeship Collaboration.

Dr. Dew added, “We began to think together about what your curriculum looks like, what ours looks like and the various ways that we can partner broadly by taking the diplomas, the certificates and the associate’s degrees offered here in vocational trainings at Vance-Granville and let the students either come to Southeastern after they finish here by way of transfer or to work on those degree programs concurrently.”

“It is a unique day in the life of Southeastern when I can begin saying to our students, ‘Hey, you should also go to this school,’” he said. “Praise God for good things that He has brought. I’m excited for this day.”

VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns applauded the “efforts, insights and wisdom” of Dr. Brown and Dr. Dew “and all of those colleagues who supported them in our two institutions.”

“Thank you for making this day possible,” he added. “I think it’s especially important that we allow the doors to be open for further higher education. By accepting our credits at your college, you open the door to new opportunities to advance study, and for that, we are most grateful,” Dr. Burns said.

Also instrumental in the creation of the partnership is VGCC’s project manager for the TechHire grant, Ken Wilson, who also spoke to the staff and faculty from both institutions who gathered for the signing. “We look forward to wonderful times ahead for this great partnership,” Wilson said.

Questions about the partnership can be directed to Ken Wilson at VGCC by phone at (252) 738-3259 or by e-mail at [email protected] or Dr. Brent Aucoin at The College at Southeastern by phone at (919) 761-2286 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Click here for a Flickr album with photographs from the signing ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157703270339775

VGCC Honors 2018-2019 Faculty And Staff Members Of Year With Awards

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

An instructor who also is leading one of VGCC’s curriculum programs and a director of a jobs skills training program for the unemployed and underemployed have been honored as outstanding employees for 2018-2019 at Vance-Granville Community College.

Stewart Lyon, a Biology instructor at VGCC and the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology curriculum program at the Franklin County Campus, was named Faculty Member of the Year at the college, and Blondelle Edgerton, director of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, was selected as the Staff Member of the Year.

Above: VGCC’s 2018-19 award winners are Faculty Member of the Year Stewart Lyon, left, and Staff Member of the Year Blondelle Edgerton, right. Dr. Gordon Burns, VGCC’s Interim President, center, has praised both employees for their commitment to Vance-Granville’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting students. (VGCC photo)

The honors are two of VGCC’s three Glen Raven Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Awards for 2018-2019. Glen Raven, Inc., the custom fabrics manufacturer with a facility in Warren County, is a longtime partner and supporter of the college. In addition to sponsoring the annual stipends to recognize excellence among VGCC instructors and staff members, Glen Raven has endowed several scholarships for students.

Lyon and Edgerton are now eligible to be considered for the N.C. Community College System’s statewide R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching and BB&T Staff Person of the Year awards, respectively.

“Stewart and Blondelle are two outstanding leaders among the faculty and staff at our college,” Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns said. “Every day, they are dedicated to our college’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting a diverse community of learners to achieve professional and personal success. Their extraordinary commitment, positivity and expertise are appreciated by both students and colleagues.”

Stewart Lyon

Stewart Lyon joined the VGCC faculty in August 2013 as an adjunct instructor for Biology at VGCC’s South Campus in Creedmoor. In January 2014, he came on board as a full-time Biology instructor, teaching classes at all four of VGCC’s campuses — South, Franklin, Warren and Main. In the Fall Semester of 2017, he became the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology program based at Franklin Campus.

A 2007 graduate of North Carolina State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, Lyon earned his Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from East Carolina University in 2010. He has a graduate certificate in Business Foundations from ECU, in 2014, and is currently is working in non-degree graduate studies in Chemistry with Montana State University.

“Stewart has a unique approach to teaching cultivated to help students understand why they are learning the course material by connecting the content to aspects of their own lives,” said VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns. “He grabs their attention and the students are more likely to be motivated, resulting in a more successful learning environment. He has built rapport with his students and demonstrated a sincere desire to help them learn.”

Lyon has recently carved out some time from his Biology teaching and leadership of the Bioprocess Technology program to represent VGCC’s faculty on the Achieving the Dream Core Team as the college works to implement, align and scale cutting edge reforms to improve student success, Dr. Burns added.

Among his activities at the college and in the community, Lyon has participated in the Leadership Program of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. He has volunteered for area public high school science fairs. He also was an event leader for the Science Olympiad, taught classes for VGCC’s Summer Science Camp for middle school children, and coordinated VGCC Earth Day celebrations at Main Campus and Franklin Campus.

“Stewart displays very high levels of professionalism and he intentionally engages students, colleagues and the general public with enthusiasm, positivity, and reminders that we are all making a difference in students’ lives,” said Cecilia Wheeler, VGCC’s Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Blondelle Edgerton

Blondelle Edgerton came to Vance-Granville in September 1995 as a part-time education specialist for what was the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program, later renamed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. She became full-time in 1999, and in August 2004, she became a program analyst and job developer for WIA. Less than two years later she became the supervisor for the program while still serving as job developer. She was elevated to director of the program, her current position, in February 2013. The program in recent years was renamed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at East Carolina University in 1994. Since then she has had professional training in nearly two dozen areas related to her role in WIOA. She is a member of the North Carolina Employment Training Association (NCETA), and she volunteers on the Community Advisory Committee of the Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnership for Children.

“Blondelle is deeply committed to the mission of our college and the North Carolina Community College System to open the doors to educational opportunities for the people of the communities served by Vance-Granville,” said Dr. Burns. “Through her position with the WIOA, she works with the unemployed, underemployed, economic disadvantaged and those who need to upgrade their job skills. She makes sure eligible students get help with tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, counseling, work experience and job placement.

“Clearly the right person for this critical job, Blondelle has a heart for her students and understands well the obstacles they face as she helps them ascertain their goals and aspirations,” Dr. Burns said.

Edgerton has built partnerships for work experiences with businesses and organizations in the community, and she has structured her program at VGCC in such a way that it is a model for the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments and the Workforce Development Board, the administrators of the federal funding for the program.

“Blondelle unselfishly assists students and staff far above her normal job responsibilities,” Kali Brown, VGCC’s Dean of Student Support Services, added. “She has assisted other employees with reporting requirements, served as a chaperone at the annual Youth Summit, and even watered plants in our administration building. She is an employee that every supervisor dreams of having.”

VGCC Franklin Campus Hosting Education Night For Adult Learners

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin County Campus is hosting a special event for new and returning adult learners to learn more about its plans for Evening & Weekend College.

Education Night for Adult Learners will be held on Thursday, November 1, at 6 p.m. at the campus located at 8100 N.C. Highway 56 in Louisburg.

“The Evening & Weekend College will serve all learners at Vance-Granville, with an emphasis on the adult learner,” said Bobbie Jo May, dean of the Franklin Campus. “Our campus will provide placement testing and counseling services on some evenings and weekends, and we’ll offer hybrid sections of courses with classes on campus once per week or even once per month to meet the busy schedules of adult learners. The college is strategically planning to meet the diverse needs of this population.”

As a part of the Evening & Weekend College, Franklin Campus will offer many courses for the upcoming Spring Semester through the College Transfer program, including English, Math, Biology, Introduction to Computers and Psychology. The Career and Technical Division will offer courses in the Welding, Paralegal, Medical Office Administration, Business Management, Biotechnology, Medical Assisting and Early Childhood Education curriculum programs.

VGCC’s Franklin Campus also offers a robust selection of courses through the Continuing Education division during the day, evenings and weekends for the Spring Semester and the Summer Terms in 2019: among them, Nursing Assistant, Medication Technician, Phlebotomist, Notary Public, Biotechnology, Human Resource Specialist, and Healthcare Administration.

“We encourage those who are interested in how the Evening & Weekend College can accommodate their schedules to come to the Franklin Campus on November 1 so that we can help them achieve professional and personal success in their lives,” said May.

VGCC Hosting Office & Medical Office Information Sessions At All Campuses

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will offer information sessions for the Medical Office Administration and the Office Administration programs starting Thursday, October 25.

Those interested in the two programs for career opportunities can attend their choice of five sessions to get overviews of the programs, discover work-based learning and volunteer opportunities, and learn about the prospects for employment in the fields.

Those interested in the two curriculum programs can choose from among these five information sessions:

Main Campus: Thursday, Oct. 25, noon, Building 8, Conference Room;

Main Campus: Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m., Building 9, Civic Center, Seminar Room 2;

Franklin Campus: Thursday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m., Franklin Campus, Room F1210;

South Campus: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6 p.m., Room G1131; and

Warren Campus: Thursday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m., Seminar Room, Room W4103.

The Medical Office Administration curriculum prepares individuals for employment in medical and other healthcare-related offices. Coursework includes medical terminology, computer information systems, office procedures, medical coding, medical billing and insurance, legal and ethical issues, and electronic health records. Students learn administrative and support functions and develop skills applicable in medical environments.

For graduates with this degree, employment opportunities are available in medical and dental offices, hospitals, insurance companies, laboratories, medical supply companies, and other healthcare-related organizations.

VGCC offers the Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Office Administration with two tracks from which students may choose: a general track and a coding specialist track option.

VGCC also offers three certificates including the Medical Coding Specialist certificate. Medical coding is the process of reviewing patients’ written medical records and converting them into an alphanumeric language, primarily in order to submit a bill for services or supplies to an insurance company for payment.

The Office Administration curriculum offers an associate’s degree, diploma, and certificate options and prepares individuals for employment in administrative support careers outside the healthcare field. Office Administration equips office professionals to respond to the demands of a dynamic computerized workplace. Students take courses designed to develop proficiency in the use of integrated software, oral and written communication, analysis and coordination of office duties and systems, and other support topics.

Graduates of Office Administration should qualify for employment in a variety of positions in business, government, education, and industry. Job classifications range from entry-level to supervisor to middle management.

Prospective students can learn more about all of these program options at the information session of their choice. Please visit www.vgcc.edu/officeinfosession for more details.

Enrollment of new students is taking place now. The spring semester begins in early January. All courses are available online.

For more information, contact Christal Thomas at (252) 738-3325 or [email protected] or Hollie Garrett at (252) 738-3352 or [email protected].

Guild Gift Gallery Volunteers Create New VGCC Scholarship

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

The volunteers who operate the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Health have endowed their 13th scholarship to help students enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College. The new award is the second that specifically honors the service of the past and present volunteers who have donated their time to work at the gift shop over the years.

When 10 of the volunteers met last month for a photo in the lobby of the hospital on Ruin Creek Road, they represented more than 100 years of work in the gift shop. Altogether, there are two dozen volunteers who currently staff the gallery with a combined number of 170 years of service.

The new gift continues a tradition of the organization’s support for education. Since 2008, the Guild Gift Gallery has given over $350,000 to the VGCC Endowment Fund to create scholarships that help deserving students who will become the nurses and other health-care professionals of the future.

Above, a group of volunteers gathers at the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Health with representatives of Vance-Granville Community College’s Endowment Fund to celebrate the creation of their newest scholarship. Seated, from left, are Charlotte Ayscue, Gean Bobbitt, Shaaron Reynolds and Jean Hutchins. Standing, from left, are Kay Currin, Judy Campbell, Vernell Champion, Pat Ayscue, Jimmie Ayscue, Lou Reavis, Sylvia Edwards and Eddie Ferguson. Currin and Ferguson represent the Endowment Fund. (Photo Credit: VGCC)

The latest award is being called the Guild Gift Gallery Past & Present Volunteers Presidential Scholar Award, according to Eddie Ferguson, director of VGCC’s Endowment Fund. The scholarship will award $1,250 each year to a student enrolled in a Health Sciences curriculum program at VGCC.

Of the 24 volunteers who are currently active, the years of service are as follows: Gean Bobbitt, 27 years; Lou Reavis, 22; Louise Bennett, Jean Hutchins, Jean Norwood, and Betty Stevenson, 13 years each; Charlotte Ayscue and Sylvia Edwards, 10 years each; Vernell Champion, 9; Margie Moss and Shaaron Reynolds, 8 years each; Tricia Kleczek, 7; Betty Abbott, 5; Gail Malone, 3; Shannon Clark and Carol Pegram, 2 years each; and Sylvia Anderson, Jimmie Ayscue, Pat Ayscue, Judy Campbell, Fern Ellington, Dave Kleczek, Beverly Parrish, Stephanie Stringer, and Linda Washburn, 1 year each.

“This new scholarship beautifully connects all of the people who worked at the gift shop in the past with those who volunteer today to benefit the students who will help us carry forward into the future,” Ferguson said. “These volunteers have made and continue to make the Guild Gift Gallery such a success.”

Gean Bobbitt, coordinator of volunteers, said, “These women and men go above and beyond to provide the highest level of service to patients and to hospital visitors in a caring and friendly way. It’s so easy to see that they are excited about the work they do and the contribution they make.” She thanked Duke LifePoint and Maria Parham Health for their support of the Gallery.

Dr. Gordon Burns, interim president of Vance-Granville Community College, offered his praises for the work of the volunteers. “This gift shop demonstrates that it is an essential part of the hospital and the community,” he said. “Its local impact is evident as the money that the shop generates stays right here in the local community and it helps local students who are pursuing a career in healthcare at Vance-Granville.”

In addition to the scholarships honoring past and present volunteers, the Guild Gift Gallery volunteers have created presidential scholar awards honoring Bobbitt and in honor of Ann Rose Allen, who is now deceased, and in memory of Leslie Carswell, Dr. J. Franklin Mills, and Dr. W. Beverly Tucker.

The VGCC Endowment Fund and Scholarship Program has now awarded more than 9,000 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been established by individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff to assist deserving VGCC students. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education.

UPDATE: All Campuses of VGCC CLOSED Today

-Information courtesy Vance-Granville Community College

Updated message from VGCC:

This message updates the announcement posted earlier about VGCC opening later today.

As of 8:30 a.m. all classes are canceled at all campuses, the Child Care Centers are closed and employees have an optional workday.

All Campuses of VGCC to Open at 9 a.m.

-Information courtesy Vance-Granville Community College

All campuses of Vance-Granville Community College open at 9 a.m. today, Friday, October 12.

Franklin County Schools Closed Thurs., Oct. 11

-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

Due to the impending inclement weather, all Franklin County schools are closed for students and staff tomorrow, October 11.

All school-related activities and events are also canceled Thursday.

Friday, October 12 will remain a teacher workday. There is no school for students on that day.

Please monitor the district website and our social media channels for further weather-related announcements including updates to this week’s schedule and make-up days.

VGCC Inducts Five New Apprentices in Signing Ceremony

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Five Vance-Granville Community College students were among 14 who committed to participate in the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP) at a signing ceremony in Wake Forest in August.

In addition to the signings, five students were honored as the first graduates of the program, which was held in the Wake Forest Renaissance Center on August 14.

“This evening marks the beginning of 14 new careers and the next chapter of the careers of our first five apprentices,” said Mark Bertoncino of Bühler Aeroglide Corp. of Cary, chairman of NCTAP and master of ceremonies for the ceremony. “It is the culmination of years of hard work by the many people in this room and the first real living proof that our program is not only a success but that our apprentices are destined for great things.”

The students are now apprentices with nine industries in Granville, Franklin and Wake counties as they finish high school and earn their associate’s degrees at either VGCC or Wake Technical Community College. VGCC students Jacob Pitts of Durham will be working at Dill Air Controls Products LLC in Oxford; Marshall Cook of Youngsville, Jared Gladki of Roxboro and Joseph Peace of Oxford will be working with Revlon Inc. of Oxford; and Isaac Wier of Franklinton will be at Superior Tooling in Wake Forest.

Above: The five latest VGCC apprentices inducted to the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program joined with representatives of their new employers and Vance-Granville Community College officials on Aug. 14 at a signing ceremony in Wake Forest. From left are Dr. Gordon Burns, VGCC interim president; Vanessia Alvarado of Dill Air Control Products; Ken Wilson, TechHire grant project manager for VGCC; Jacob Pitts, Dill apprentice; Steve Tsotsoros of Dill; Marshall Cook, Revlon apprentice; Jared Gladki, Revlon apprentice; Mike Jones of Revlon; Joseph Peace, Revlon apprentice; Isaac Weir, Superior Tooling apprentice; Craig McLean of Superior Tooling; and Tiffani Polk, TechHire academic and career coach for VGCC. (VGCC Photo)

Working through Wake Tech, the signees and the other companies were: Lariston Pierce, Accu-Fab Inc. of Raleigh; Grace Leapley, Josey Baker, Jacob Ganzzermiller and Greg Smith, Bühler Aeroglide Corp. of Cary; Marc Dickerson, CaptiveAire Systems of Youngsville; and Michael Benjamin and Brian Sublette, Schunk Intec Inc. of Morrisville.

As each made a commitment to follow the program, the students were joined on stage for the signing ceremony by their parents and employers from the participating industries.

“Because of our collective efforts, these students have a new seamless career pathway to better futures,” said VGCC Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns. “While in school, these apprentices have the opportunity to receive real-life, on-the-job training skills and related training, and simultaneously to earn high school credits and college credits toward a degree. Following their graduation, they are offered opportunities for continued workforce learning as they progress towards their journeyman’s credential and advance in their careers.”

“Students win and so do parents,” he added. “Businesses and industry representatives certainly win. Having this apprenticeship program is a pipeline for new workers.”

The program gives industry a chance to train the young workers on the latest equipment, to use their employees as mentors and to develop future leaders in the companies and in the communities, Dr. Burns said.

NCTAP is a partnership that seeks to provide new opportunities for local students and to prepare a skilled workforce. Typically starting in the junior year of high school, NCTAP is a four-year program that leads to a student obtaining an associate degree at the community college and paid, on-the-job training at the participating employer. Eligible students’ tuition is covered by a waiver from the state of North Carolina. After they graduate from high school, students in the program will be employed full-time by the company.

In the graduation portion of the ceremony, Wake Tech students Luke Fouts, Alex Gaither, Mason Hurlbut and Simon Mitchell, apprentices at Bühler Aeroglide, and Dylan Beckwith, at Schunk Intec, were recognized as the first graduates of the apprenticeship program.

Also on the program were N.C. Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake; Dr. Stephen Scott, president of Wake Tech; and Maureen Little, vice president of economic development for the North Carolina Community College Systems.

Sen. Barefoot, who has announced his plans to retire from the North Carolina Legislature, was presented with a special recognition for his support of the apprenticeship program statewide. He has been praised for helping in getting legislation changed to boost the apprenticeship program. Whereas companies previously had to pay the state to have an apprentice, Barefoot helped enact legislation that now has the state providing reimbursement for tuition.

Representing VGCC’s NCTAP participating industries at the ceremony Steve Tsotsoros and Vanessia Alvarado of Dill Air Controls and Mike Jones of Revlon. Also present from the VGCC TechHire program were Ken Wilson, project manager, and Tiffani Polk, academic and career coach. All schools participating in NCTAP can send students to the educational partner institution that best meets the needs of the industrial partner, Wilson said.

More photos: Check out VGCC’s album on Flickr!

Five VGCC Students Join RIBN Program in NC A&T Ceremony

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Five Vance-Granville Community College students were formally inducted into the North Carolina Piedmont “Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses” (RIBN) program in a ceremony in August at North Carolina A&T State University’s Union Square Campus in Greensboro.

RIBN is a partnership involving the university, VGCC, Davidson County Community College (DCCC) and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC).

This year’s inductees from VGCC are Jolina Chiong of Henderson, Madison Hetrick of Henderson, Jaslin Renteria of Henderson, Chris Trotman of Durham and April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson.

At the induction ceremony, the A&T School of Nursing welcomed students from VGCC and the other community colleges who will be simultaneously enrolled at the university. RIBN students earn associate’s degrees in nursing over three years (while also taking A&T courses online) and then continue for one year of additional courses at A&T required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Above: Shown celebrating the induction of five new students in RIBN at NCA&T in Greensboro, from left, are VGCC Academic/Career Coach Seletha Pherribo, VGCC Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas, RIBN student inductees Jolina Chiong, Madison Hetrick, Chris Trotman, Jaslin Renteria, and April Zuniga-Trejo, VGCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Levy Brown, and Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow. (VGCC photo)

Erica Jastrow, the Nursing department chair for VGCC, presented each college’s student inductees with a certificate of induction as part of the ceremony, while Academic/Career Coach Seletha Pherribo read a brief biography of each one.

With five out of the 11 students selected for this year’s cohort, VGCC again had the most inductees among the three community colleges in the partnership. In 2017, VGCC had 11 of the 18 students selected, more inductees that the two other community colleges combined. In the first year of the partnership, 2016, the initial cohort consisted of three students, one from each community college.

The North Carolina Piedmont RIBN initiative is one of nine such partnerships that have been launched in North Carolina since 2008 under the direction of the Foundation for Nursing Excellence (FFNE) to increase the educational preparation of North Carolina’s nursing workforce.

In addition to recognizing the RIBN Advisory Board members, Jastrow thanked employers who have met with RIBN students to outline employment opportunities that lie ahead for graduates. “This really shows how desirable our RIBN students are,” she said. “The employers are seeking them out, wanting to come and talk with them.” She also thanked the community and university administrators for providing the fiscal and human resources to support the RIBN students.

Dr. Terry Ward, director of the A&T School of Nursing, praised the students for enrolling in RIBN. “You are going to reduce the impact on the financial debt for our country by saving money and creating a bridge to your education,” she said. “That’s extremely important in today’s times.”

Citing the rising cost of education for young people and the impact it is having, she added, “It’s amazing to see that so many people are doing what they need to do to create the future nurses that we need, to create people who will have economic stability and power. You are showing people it can be done.”

In addition to RIBN, VGCC has a partnership with A&T to allow graduates of its Associate Degree Nursing program to transition easily to the university’s four-year Bachelor’s program. For more information about Nursing at VGCC and bachelor’s degree options, contact academic/career coach Seletha Pherribo at (252) 738-3518 or Nursing department chair Erica Jastrow at (252) 738-3457.

More photos: Check out VGCC’s album on Flickr!