VGCC Introduces Online Career Coach Program for Students

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently introduced a new web-based service that will help students explore careers and make plans for their future.

Through the interactive “Career Coach” program, students can:

  • take a career assessment and get suggestions for possible career goals, based on their interests;
  • access the latest information about jobs and salaries in the region for various career fields; and
  • learn about particular VGCC education and training programs that lead to the careers they want.

By linking jobs to education, current or future students can see the potential “return on investment” of community college programs. They can even see a list of employers in the region who have posted jobs for a particular type of career within the last year.

“Not only current students, but also people who are thinking about becoming students, can use the site to learn more about various career options and the VGCC programs that prepare them for those careers,” said VGCC Director of Career Services Linda Fletcher. “Users can create accounts which allow them to save the results of their assessments and their favorite careers or programs of study. We think this will help members of our community make well-informed career decisions and get training for skills that are in demand by employers.”

Other special features of Career Coach include a tool that allows veterans of the armed services to find civilian careers that are related to their military occupations and a tool that helps users create a professional resume.

Career Coach is linked from the VGCC.edu home page and can be accessed directly at vgcc.emsicc.com.

VGCC Experiences Enrollment Growth

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College received welcome news as it celebrated its 50th anniversary recently: an increase in enrollment over the same time last year. As of the beginning of the fall semester in August, VGCC had 3,073 students enrolled in curriculum programs. That represented a 3.7% increase compared to the beginning of the fall 2018 semester when enrollment stood at 2,963.

VGCC Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright and President Rachel Desmarais, Ph.D. cut the cake at VGCC’s 50th celebration. (VGCC photo)

A significant source of the increase was enrollment by high school students in college programs, either through Early College High Schools or other Career & College Promise pathways. There were 15% more of those students enrolled than there were at the beginning of fall 2018.

“We are pleased that an increasing number of students are participating in our high-quality education and training programs, which are preparing them to achieve their career goals,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC. “For 50 years, Vance-Granville Community College has been providing opportunities for education and training, with the strong support of the community. Thanks to that support, we continue to serve as an accessible, innovative, student-centered higher education partner for our region.”

Established in 1969, VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, in which students work toward certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Area residents and businesses can also take advantage of a variety of Continuing Education opportunities, as well as the High School Equivalency and Adult High School Diploma programs.

High school students can also get a step ahead by starting their college education early with VGCC courses.

The college has four campuses – one each in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties – and offers online programs, as well.

For more information, visit www.vgcc.edu.

Registration Underway for Tour de Vance Cycling Event

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Registration is now underway for the Seventh Annual Tour de Vance bike ride, scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2019. The ride has been growing steadily since its inception, drawing families and first-timers in addition to the most seasoned of cyclists for four separate cycling events.

This year’s ride will help VGCC’s Endowment Fund to support scholarships for students enrolled in Health Sciences programs at the college. Programs include Associate Degree Nursing, Radiography, Practical Nursing, Histotechnology, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technology.

Proceeds from this year’s ride will also go to the Vance County United Way. The organization’s goal is to support the work of local public service agencies such as the Addition Recovery Center for Men, Community Partners of Hope, Smart Start, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, LifeLine Outreach and the Harold Sherman Adult Day Center.

Several different options are available for cyclists. The 9-mile “fun ride” is ideal for youth, families and beginners. A 20-mile course suits riders ready for a bit more distance. Experienced cyclists can choose a 31-mile “Forest and Farmland” circle route through the country or a 62-mile “metric century” that adds to that 31-mile circle route an out-and-back spur to the Kerr Lake area.

The rides will start and finish at VGCC’s Main Campus, located off Interstate 85 and Poplar Creek Road at 200 Community College Road in Henderson.

All riders can register through the Vance-Granville Community College website at vgcc.edu/tourdevance. Online registration will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18. On-site registration will be an option at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

The 9-mile ride will cost $10 for each rider. The 20-mile ride will cost $20 for those who register by Sept. 9, increasing to $25 thereafter. The 31-mile and 62-mile (or “metric century”) rides will cost $30 for those who register by Sept. 9, increasing to $40 thereafter.

“Vance-Granville is honored to once again be associated with an event that has become such a success and a symbol of our college’s 50-year history of community involvement,” said Eddie Ferguson, director of the VGCC Endowment Fund. “Joining forces with the United Way means that we can make an even bigger impact, raising funds for good causes while promoting the importance of exercise and good health.”

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. The 62-mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., the 31-mile ride at 9:30, the 20-mile ride at 10 a.m., and the 9-mile ride at 10:30 a.m. Law enforcement will accompany riders on the 9-mile route.

Lunch will be provided.

Participating sponsors include Granville-Vance Public Health, Carolina GI Associates PC, Joel Goodwin MD, Barnett Properties, Henderson Fruit & Produce, Prim Rentals, T&T Laundries, Inc., AAA Gas, College Station, Ted’s Catering, and Bearpond Market.

For more information, contact Eddie Ferguson at (252) 738-3264 or [email protected]

Scholarship Fund Established at VGCC in Memory of Local Teacher

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Friends and colleagues of the late Robert C. Pirie, Jr., have established a scholarship fund in his memory at Vance-Granville Community College.

Pirie passed away in May at the age of 75. A Vance County native, he was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, including service in Vietnam. He retired from the Vance County school system after teaching for more than 30 years, primarily at Zeb Vance Elementary School.

From left, Mike Bullard, Billy Horner, Wanda Bullard and VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson meet to discuss plans for the scholarship in memory of Robert Pirie. (VGCC photo)

Retired educators Michael and Wanda Bullard, along with Pirie’s best friend, Billy Horner, and his wife, Patricia Horner, helped set up the scholarship at VGCC. “I was a student of Mr. Pirie’s during his first year of teaching and then had the honor of teaching with him for 12 years,” Wanda Bullard said. “He encouraged me to become a teacher and then became my mentor. We became very close and I thought of him as a second father. I am one of many that he encouraged and supported.”

Bullard noted that Pirie received several awards for his math teaching abilities. He also coached the Zeb Vance Eagles Pee Wee football team for many years and was well-respected in the school system and the community. She recalled that Pirie and Horner shared a love of college sports, attending numerous Duke University home football games and ACC basketball tournaments together.

When Pirie struggled with health issues in his later years, Bullard and Horner helped take care of him. “He was like family to both of us,” Bullard said. “We wanted to start the scholarship in his name as a way to continue his legacy of encouragement and support of students being the best they can be.”

“We are touched that those who knew and worked with Mr. Pirie, those he taught and those he inspired, have been generous and thoughtful enough to honor his memory through a scholarship,” said VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson. “When fully endowed, this new scholarship will help VGCC students continue their education, and that’s a perfect way to pay tribute to an outstanding educator.”

Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 9,400 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff.

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.

For more information or to make a contribution to help fully endow this scholarship, call Kay Currin at (252) 738-3409.

Contributions to the scholarship fund can be mailed to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund, at P.O. Box 917, Henderson, NC 27536.

Vance Charter School Earns ‘B’ Grade, Exceeds Expected Growth

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-Information courtesy Renee Currin, Vance Charter School

On Wednesday, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved school performance data for all public schools in North Carolina. We are proud to announce Vance Charter School earned a B letter grade and exceeded expected growth for the 2018-2019 school year.

This is a testament to the diligent work our students and teachers demonstrated on a daily basis and their commitment to academic excellence.

Please congratulate our students and teachers for this accomplishment and help spread the word about our success.

Vance Charter is UKnighted!

Vance Co. Schools Surpass State Graduation Rate for First Time

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The performance of the Vance County Public Schools ticked up last year in several areas and revealed areas needing continued focus on the state’s annual School Performance Grade accountability measurements. This year more schools met or exceeded expectations for student gains and more schools earned grades of C or better than in previous years. VCS also posted the highest graduation rate in the history of the district.

At the end of our first year with our newly consolidated schools, while improvements were made at both schools, these data reveal mixed reviews. Vance County High School, while improving its biology scores by 26 points from 23% in 2018 to 49.4% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of D, missing improving their overall grade to a C, by less than one percentage point.

Additionally, Vance County Middle School, while making tremendous progress including increases in grade level proficiency by 6.2 pointin reading from 30% in 2018 to 36.2% in 201912 points in math, from 13.9% in 2018 to 26.4% in 2019 and 20.5 points in science from 34% in 2018 to 54.7% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of F. This was extremely disappointing, as they missed earning the next letter grade of D, by less than .04 of a percent.

The district also had several other bright spots in the report – 9 of 15 schools (60%) earned a letter grade of C or better.

Two schools – STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College High School – earned the School Performance Grade of A.

Seven schools – Aycock, Carver, Clarke, Dabney, LB Yancey, Pinkston, and Zeb Vance – earned the School Performance Grade of C.

Four schools – EM Rollins, EO Young, New Hope and VCHS – earned the School Performance Grade of D and one school – VCMS earned the School Performance Grade of F.

8 of 15 schools (54%) met or exceeded growth – VCECHS, STEM-EH, Aycock, Carver, Dabney, EO Young, New Hope, and Pinkston Street.

Additionally, we are extremely proud of our STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College students who posted perfect scores of 100% on the 8th grade science end-of-grade test and the Biology end-of-course exam.

We are also pleased to report that our 2018-2019 graduation rate is 86.7%, compared to the states graduation rate of 86.4.  This represents an increase of four-points over last year’s four-year graduation rate and a 21.8 point increase in six years.  This is the highest graduation rate in the district’s history and the first time VCS has ever surpassed the state average.

Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson said, “This is a tremendous accomplishment and credit must be given to our entire team. We have worked diligently to implement strategies over the last few years to address the graduation rate and we are pleased to see a return on these efforts.”

Six years ago, Vance County Schools’ posted a graduation rate of 64.9% – the lowest in the state. “The graduation rate this year is a huge jump and we certainly are proud of that,” said Jackson. “The high school diploma gives our students options after graduation to pursue higher education, enlist in the military or to join the workforce prepared to be successful. We will not be satisfied until all of our students graduate on time, the stakes are too high to accept otherwise.”

The district is already working to address areas of deficit, train staff and implement new structures to support students. The district invites the community to its annual State of OUR Schools address on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. at Vance County High School to hear both our challenges and accomplishments as well as our plans for continuous improvement.

VGCC Holds Convocation to Start New Academic Year

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently held its annual fall convocation to bring faculty and staff together for a kick-off to the new academic year.

Much of the event focused on a discussion of student success. Special guests for the convocation were representatives of “Achieving the Dream” (ATD), a national education reform organization designed to assist community colleges with improving student success. VGCC joined the ATD network of colleges in 2018.

ATD Leadership Coach Dr. Joanne Bashford and ATD Data Coach Dr. Linda Hagedorn presented information about the college’s progress in moving the needle on student success in the past six months.

VGCC Director of Planning & Research Julie Hicks and English faculty member Frankie Frink provided their colleagues with updates on key data points and forms of support to address the needs of students who are food insecure, respectively.

VGCC’s participation in Achieving the Dream and the leadership of Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who became college president earlier this year, have caused the college to place a greater emphasis on data related to teaching and learning, and equitable student outcomes for all.

Approximately 44 VGCC faculty and staff members serve on one of four ATD teams: the Core, Data, Communications, and Strategies teams. These teams will continue to work collaboratively throughout the fall semester to develop an Action Plan derived from the feedback and planning that took place during the fall convocation. This ATD Action Plan will be connected to the VGCC Strategic Plan.

“Convocation provided an opportunity for all new and returning faculty to learn more about the latest with ATD and provide feedback,” said Dr. Levy Brown, the college’s vice president of Learning, Student Engagement & Success. “We are committed to equitable student outcomes, which ultimately impact student success.”

The event also included the opportunity to recognize VGCC employees who have recently hit milestones by completing five, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years of service.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of Vance-Granville Community College’s service to the community, we celebrate the dedicated people who have made the college a wonderful place to work and learn, while we also look ahead to the future through the Achieving the Dream program,” said Dr. Desmarais.

VCS Bus Drivers Wanted; Next Training Scheduled for Sept.

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Want to be a child’s hero? Greet students every morning and see them home in the afternoon as a Vance County School’s bus driver. VCS is looking for folks who have a class B license with P and S endorsements.

Please contact VCS transportation at (252) 438-5012 ext. 1, or stop by the transportation department to complete an application. Make sure you bring your license.

Don’t delay…. the next bus driver training class is September 23-25, 2019.

VGCC Holds Convocation, Recognizes Employees’ Years of Service

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-Information and photos courtesy Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College held Convocation on Friday, August 16, 2019, at the Main Campus in Henderson.

Faculty and staff with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service were recognized and are pictured below.

5 Years of Service (front row, seated, left to right) Dr. Erica Fleming, Julie Hicks, Erin Folz (second row, left to right) Leslie Hurt, Stacey Soles, Victoria Whited, April Rossi, Melanie Copeland, Faith Harris, Stephen Barney (third row, left to right) Stewart Lyon, Isaac Talley, Robert Newby, Gregory Wilson, Steven Graham, Luther Curtis, Wallace Evans, Ken Wilson, Mike Brodie.

10 Years of Service (front row, left to right) Frankie Frink, Veta Pierce-Cappetta, MaryBeth Vick (back row, left to right) Sean Newton, Lyndon Hall.

15 Years of Service (left to right) Rusty Pace, Dr. Tracey Carter, Lisa Edwards.

20 Years of Service (seated, left to right) Julie Jones, Wille Mae Foster-Hill, Jennifer Allen (standing) Craig Saunders.

25 Years of Service (left to right) Susan Cease, Donna Gill, Tomeka Carter.

30 Years of Service Larraine Abbott.

VGCC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration to Include Food Truck Rodeo, Live Music

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Vance-Granville Community College invites the public to join administrators, faculty, students and staff in a celebratory event, sponsored by Duke Energy, in honor of the college’s “50 Years of Excellence Since 1969.”

This “golden” anniversary celebration will include a food truck rodeo on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m. at the gazebo of the Main Campus in Henderson (200 Community College Road).

The band “Liquid Pleasure” will also be entertaining the crowd with live music.

*Please note that alcoholic beverages and drugs are strictly prohibited at VGCC.