April 21, 2016

New College Institute (NCI) recently announced new programs open for enrollment including a Master’s in Counselor Education, two cybersecurity certificates, and preparation courses for various standardized tests.

For all of these programs, NCI is working with university partners to make programs and resources available in the Martinsville-Henry County community.

The Master’s in Counselor Education will be offered through Longwood University. This program is part-time and designed to accommodate full-time working professionals. The degree consists of 60 credit hours with students taking six credits per term. A Longwood faculty-in-residence member will be on site to deliver instruction and advise students. NCI will be enrolling for up to two cohorts, having 20 students in each cohort.

With changing regulations and legislation, there is a strong need for the Master’s in Counselor Education degree among local mental health professionals and organizations. NCI hopes this program will be a great opportunity for those professionals to obtain their needed qualifications while getting a face-to-face education without having to travel outside area.  

The two graduate certificates – cybersecurity and cyber system security – will be offered through Old Dominion University (ODU). These certificates consist of 12 credit hours, which may be transferred toward a master’s degree program at ODU. Such a certificate may be beneficial to those currently in or pursuing careers in information security, software development, computer programming, and more.

Cybersecurity is an emerging field affecting all Americans and industries. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security projects that there are currently over a half million job openings in America in fields related to cybersecurity. Additionally, these jobs come with average salaries at least 50 percent higher than the average private sector job.

“The rising demand of cybersecurity jobs is a key reason NCI is pursuing education options in this field. Through the certificate programs, we hope to gauge interest among the community and employers. We hope to build on that interest to begin offering bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in information technology or cybersecurity,” shared Dr. Leanna Blevins, acting director of NCI.

NCI’s offerings in cybersecurity will build upon and reinforce Patrick Henry Community College’s (PHCC) efforts in the field. PHCC currently offers two security courses with plans to expand in this area through staff development, additional course offerings and programs, integration of new student resources, and more.

In addition to the two graduate certificates being offered, NCI is planning to host a regional summit to bring together educators and industry leaders to discuss cybersecurity and its potential impact on Southside and Southwestern Virginia.

The third new offering, test preparation, will focus on graduate level tests required within certain fields. This summer, NCI will begin offering test aid for assessments such as the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), GRE (for prospective graduate and business school applicants), and GMAT (business school admissions test).

More information about these new programs may be found on NCI’s website, www.NewCollegeInstitute.org. You may also call NCI at (276) 403-5610 to schedule a meeting with an advisor or request more information.

Blevins added, “NCI is exploring other new academic programs that will meet the needs of local employers and workers here in Martinsville-Henry County. If you have suggestions of programs that you would like to see made available, please feel free to reach out to us and share that feedback.”