Many local high school students graduate with an associate’s degree along with their high school diploma through the ACE Academy. ACE (Accelerated College Education) Academy is offered through a partnership between Patrick Henry Community College and Henry County Public Schools.
But the local opportunities to complete their college degree don’t stop there. This is the message that NCI staff and faculty hoped to share during a recent recruitment tour for ACE students at NCI.
“Many people don’t realize that these students who graduate through the ACE Academy can actually finish out their degrees right here at New College Institute,” said Steve Keyser, NCI’s Coordinator of Educational and Community Engagement. “During their tour of our facilities, we also wanted to give ACE students the chance to talk one-on-one with faculty from our partner universities.”
While at NCI, high school juniors and seniors from Bassett High School and Magna Vista High School visited the high-tech classrooms. Along the way, students learned about academic programs that NCI offers in the fields of engineering, technology, healthcare, education, and social work.
Longwood University faculty-in-residence, Dr. Pam Randall talked with students about the critical shortages of teachers and social workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Longwood offers degree programs in both of these areas at NCI.
“ACE students can come to NCI to earn a bachelor’s degree through Longwood University in about two years, which helps these students and parents save a lot of money,” shared Randall.
“In addition to saving money, Longwood students at NCI typically get job offers even before they graduate because they receive a quality education and we work to help them connect with local employers,” added Janie Brazier, Longwood Social Work faculty-in-residence.
Students also toured Center for Advanced Manufacturing to get a first-hand look at the machinery and metrology lab equipment available at NCI.
“We are working with industry and university partners to bring new degree programs and certifications in engineering, advanced manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and education. These fields represent not only current unfilled jobs in our region, but are also considered high growth areas for future employment, so we want to help these students be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Dr. Leanna Blevins, NCI’s executive director.