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Godwin: PHCC sets goal of 5,000 students

Friday, February 15, 2013

The campus of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) will get a lot busier if President Angeline Godwin has her way.

She has a goal for the college to eventually have 5,000 students, she told the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s board on Thursday.

As of the fall semester, PHCC had 3,087 students. That is down from 3,263 in the fall of 2011, statistics show.

Godwin became PHCC’s president in July. She is the third president in the college’s 50-year history.

In her first few months on the job, Godwin focused on getting to know the college and the community as well as their needs.

Now, it’s time to get down to work, she said.

Godwin did not elaborate on how she hopes to increase PHCC’s enrollment to 5,000 students. She could not be reached after the board meeting for further comment.

However, she indicated the college will emphasize teaching students skills they need for jobs available locally as well as helping students earn two-year associate degrees before transferring to a university.

Godwin mentioned PHCC’s involvement with the New College Institute (NCI) in teaching students advanced manufacturing skills.

“Machinery is more sophisticated” at modern manufacturing plants because “it’s computer-integrated,” she said. Therefore, manufacturing workers need higher-level skills than were needed in the past, she added.

Godwin said she is spending “lots of time” with superintendents of area school systems to find ways to better educate students.

PHCC will continue to promote dual enrollment programs that enable high school students to take college-level courses so they can earn associate degrees at the same time they earn their diplomas, according to Godwin.

She noted that dual enrollment helps reduce college costs for students and their families.

More than 500 students are in dual enrollment programs through PHCC, and Godwin said more than 100 are expected to graduate this year.

PHCC serves Martinsville and Henry and Patrick counties as well as southern Franklin County.

Godwin said she is working to strengthen agreements between PHCC and universities statewide that enable the college’s students to easily transfer to the universities. She said she wants local students to “get prime treatment” when they transfer.

Also, she expressed interest in using buildings in uptown Martinsville for any new programs that PHCC may develop. She said it would be hard to develop new buildings on the college’s hilly campus.

NCI is based uptown.


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