Though their campus is located in Farmville, VA, Longwood University is closer than you think.
At New College Institute (NCI), 55 students are currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Longwood by taking evening classes here in Martinsville. With faculty on site and all of Longwood’s resources at their fingertips, these students are getting the college experience while staying close to home.
After graduating with her associate’s degree from Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), Taylor Keith wanted to move from Martinsville to get the experience of living on campus at a traditional university. However, after moving to Farmville to attend Longwood University, Keith discovered that the experience wasn’t necessarily what she desired. “So, I began talking with Dr. Randall and realized that I could get the same educational experience here in Martinsville through NCI instead of being on main campus,” explained Keith.
“At NCI, my Longwood classes are smaller, so we feel like a family. I feel that I am getting an excellent education through Longwood while staying here in Martinsville,” Keith continued.
“Part of NCI’s mission has always been to provide options for our community to complete their educational goals. Now you can go into most any school in Martinsville and Henry County, and find our graduates teaching the next generation of students,” according to Leanna Blevins, acting director of NCI.
When NCI first opened in 2006, Longwood was the first academic partner. That year, there were 11 students in Longwood courses. “Now, we have 32 students on roll in the education program and 23 in the social work program,” said Dr. Pam Randall, Longwood faculty and program director at NCI. Even more impressive is the fact that every graduate of Longwood’s Elementary Education program at NCI has found a job teaching.
While the elementary education program is nearly at capacity, the next phase of growth for Longwood programs will be the middle school education and social work programs, both of which just recently launched.
W. Taylor Reveley IV, president of Longwood University, and Dr. Angeline Godwin, president of PHCC, recently signed an articulation agreement for these three programs. This agreement guarantees seamless transfer of credits for students completing their associate’s degree at PHCC and then transferring to a Longwood program offered through NCI.
“Partnerships like this one are the cornerstone of NCI,” Blevins stated.
One student, Irbin Morales, has already seen the benefit of this articulation agreement. For Morales, the Longwood Social Work program at NCI was the perfect fit for his educational and career aspirations. After receiving his associate’s degree in art from PHCC, Morales realized that a bachelor’s in social work was the perfect way for him to help people. He wants to combine his two passions – helping people and creating art – through art therapy. “The program is great. The people are great. It has been an easy transition from PHCC to Longwood’s program at NCI,” shared Morales.
The social work program has its largest cohort to date with enrollment expected to continue growing due to the community’s sustained need for qualified social workers according to Janie Brazier, faculty and program coordinator for Longwood University. “Our students are preparing for leadership, service, and outreach that will positively impact Martinsville-Henry County and beyond,” said Brazier.
Randall also identified demand within the community for educators. Local schools have expressed a need, particularly for middle school math teachers. In response, NCI worked with Longwood to expand their program to offer teacher licensure for grades ranging from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. The licensure includes a specialization in math and an option for algebra I endorsement.
The education programs (elementary and middle school) will be enrolling new students for the spring 2016 semester in January. There are approximately ten spaces open for the elementary program and up to 30 spaces for the middle school program. The social work program is now accepting applications for the fall 2016 cohort.
To inquire about application for any of these programs, please call (276) 403-5610 or visit www.NewCollegeInstitute.org.