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Bridging the gap: NOVA expansion could mean more opportunity for Loudoun businesses

Construction on NOVA’s new Higher Education Center Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
Northern Virginia Community College is expanding its footprint in Loudoun with a large building expansion spread across two phases.

The new Higher Education Center could mean more opportunity to bridge a gap between the business community and academia.

"Because serving our local business community is an important part of NOVA’s mission we welcome interaction with our business community both to improve our current programming and to identify new programs for which there would be demand," said Dr. Julie Leidig, the provost at NVCC's Loudoun
Campus in an email.

Leidig believes after the project is finished NVCC will be able to offer more four-year degree transfer options in Loudoun through a series of partnerships with area colleges and universities.

What might a partnership between the state's largest community college and other area universities mean for businesses?

"It is a major part of NVCC's mission to allow students to transfer to four-year institutions," said Leidig. "But we also want to prepare them to go into the workforce."

NVCC offers a series of applied associate degrees, which a graduate would likely receive if they wanted to go directly into the workforce, as well as transfer associate degrees, generally used to gain admission to a four-year institution like Virginia Tech or George Mason.

Leidig went on to say that the college's continuing education programs directly serve business and industry, mentioning that NVCC has tailored programs for and worked closely with some of the area's largest employers.

NVCC's clients in continuing education include: Inova Health Systems, Navy Federal Credit Union, Department of Homeland Security, SAIC, Washington Gas, Wegmans, the USDA as well as the Dulles and Loudoun County chambers of commerce.

New four-year degree partnerships with area colleges and universities would increase the scope of those relationships and allow for students with a higher skill level.

As for the 40,000-square-foot building under construction, some of NVCC's workforce preparation programs and credit IT courses will be in that building, as well as administrative offices.

Many universities across the commonwealth have agreements with the Virginia Community College System that allow students automatic admission if they qualify academically and receive an associate degree from a Virginia community college.

Leidig hopes phase II would bring some of those programs under a shared roof.

For more information visit the Guaranteed Admissions Agreements page on the NVCC website at nvcc.edu/current-students/transfer/Search/GAAAdmission.aspx


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