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Middle College ranks high in state for education help
Thursday, October 25, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Patrick Henry Community College’s Middle College is among the top three in the state in terms of those enrolled in post-secondary education.
Greg Hodges, PHCC’s dean of developmental education and transitional programs, gave a report about Middle College at the PHCC Board meeting Monday.
According to the college website, Middle College is a college-entry and career development program offered to people aged 18 to 26 who have not completed high school. Middle College allows students to obtain their GEDs and receive academic and career readiness training on the campus of PHCC.
Since the program’s inception in January 2010, 152 students enrolled in Middle College, of whom 109 obtained GEDs, 80 obtained career ready certificates, and 56 enrolled in post-secondary education, according to Hodges and Kris Landrum PHCC’s public relations and marketing manager.
Hodges also gave the PHCC Board reports on the Great Expectations program and the Pregnant and Parenting Peer Liaison (3PL) program.
Great Expectations (GE) serves foster care and former foster care youths, primarily ages 17-24. It assists youths in career assessment, goal setting, education and training, life skills, preparation for employment, tutoring, mentoring, case management, and job placement or further college enrollment, according to a brochure.
In Virginia fewer than 2 percent of foster youths will earn college degrees, compared with 28 percent of the general population. More than 54 percent will become homeless or unstably housed, the brochure says.
“We currently have 63 students participating in the (PHCC) program. Our main goal is to ensure students are successful as they prepare to leave the foster care system and self-sustain,” a handout presented to the board states. “We have had two post-secondary graduates. We currently have students enrolled at PHCC, Averett, Radford and Old Dominion University. Currently, we have 43 percent enrolled in college. Other GE participants are enrolled in the Middle College GED program and local high schools, preparing to enter PHCC upon completion of their secondary education,” the handout states.
It listed these challenges: transportation issues being a barrier for some students to get to classes, lack of funding for emergency use or incentives for academic achievement, and lack of housing assistance and/or shelters.
In response to a question at the board meeting, Hodges said Great Expectations also can work with children in middle and high schools younger than age 17.
As for the 3PL program, a March 27 news release on the PHCC website said that PHCC was one of six schools in the Virginia Community College System selected to participate in the 3PL program, funded through a grant received by the Virginia Department of Health. It is a program for pregnant and parenting students. Jan Harrison, a former social worker with the Department of Social Services, assumed her duties as 3PL coordinator on March 5, the release stated.
It said the program aims to “strengthen the academic achievement of pregnant and parenting students ..., resulting in an increase in the rates of retention, graduation, transfer to four-year institutions, and/or attainment of a work-force credential by connecting students to educational services, health services, social services and counseling or support services for sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking,” according to grant documents.
Hodges said in the PHCC board meeting and in an interview that 3PL is a three-year program, with funding from the Virginia Department of Health.