West Virginia Northern Community College Selected one of 16 Community Colleges Nationwide Rural Guided Pathway Project

WHEELING, W.VA. – The National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) has selected West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC), along with only 15 other community colleges across the country, to participate in the Rural Guided Pathways project grant-funded by Ascendium and Lumina. During this three-year project, WVNCC will work with the other 15 community colleges, and community partners in our region, to implement evidence-based, institution-wide reforms grounded in the guided pathways framework.

The goal is to improve student success while expanding the completion rate of college students by leveraging innovative guided pathways strategies. Guided pathways help students identify their career focus, choose the right program area and classes, work with academic advisors and success coaches, and obtain their degree and ultimately land the career of their choice. The 16 colleges will meet several times over the next three years and will have access to thought leaders in education, consultants and business coaches armed with the latest data and strategies to improve student success and college completion.

“WVNCC is elated to have been chosen to participate in this innovative project that will help set the new gold standard for student success and completion in community colleges across the nation,” commented WVNCC President Dr. Daniel Mosser. “This is an amazing opportunity for Northern to implement the latest research and best practices in community college reform. Our students will greatly benefit.”

Two unique aspects of the project are the focus on rural communities and community partners who will work closely with colleges. This is the first pathways project that has focused on the specific needs of rural communities. In addition, each college engages with community partners to attend the upcoming sessions providing valuable business insight. WVNCC’s community partners include WV Jobs & Hope, WVU Medicine, Grow Ohio Valley, Marshall County Schools, Brooke County Schools, Oglebay, Weirton Medical Center, and Wheeling Fire Department.

We are grateful to our community partners who have stepped up to support Northern and our students. Our partners appreciate the value of a community college education and are committed to making this project successful,” added Mosser. “Northern’s students are primarily from rural communities. They face challenges that others may not including being the first in their family to attend college, working to support a family while attending college, and earning lower wages. The Rural Guided Pathways project will help Northern implement proven best practices that improve student success and completion leading to careers in fields that expand economic opportunity while meeting local workforce needs.

West Virginia Northern Community College’s mission is to educate and empower individuals to achieve academic and career goals, leading to a highly skilled, well-rounded, and accomplished workforce that successfully competes and adapts in a global economy. The College responds to the needs of the region it serves by offering a high-quality learning environment that is accessible, safe, and accommodating while nurturing teamwork and community service. Founded in 1972, WVNCC is comprised of three campuses located in New Martinsville, Weirton, and Wheeling.

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