HELPING MORE STUDENTS
GRADUATE The 50th year of Virginia’s Community Colleges produced an historic number of graduates; 26,899 individuals earned 33,580 degrees and certificates. Minorities, first-generation students, and economically disadvantaged individuals account for three out of five of those graduates. This is also the first year of Complete 2021, the VCCS statewide, six-year strategic plan, which aims to triple the number of credentials annually added to the Virginia economy by 2021. Reaching this goal will not be easy. Virginia’s Community Colleges serve student populations who offer new and different challenges. Increasingly, students come from families with little or no
higher education experience. They are more likely to attend college on a part-time basis. And they need more help, not just choosing a class schedule, but planning how to meet their career and life aspirations. Our colleges are evolving to meet these needs. With a student success focus, they are building campus cultures that value every student as an individual; launching their studies with a career
in mind; and providing them the financial aid, advising and other support they need along the way. College graduates, today, hold 65% of the nation’s jobs – a figure that will only increase over the next 50 years. Helping more of our students become graduates is essential to fulfilling our community college mission, meeting the needs of Virginia businesses and realizing the aspirations of individual Virginians.