UVA Wise, Virginia Highlands Community College Build Stronger Pathway for Regionally In-Demand Majors

Representatives from VHCC and UVA Wise
Front from left are VHCC President Adam Hutchison and UVA Chancellor Donna P. Henry. Back from left are VHCC Dean of Arts & Sciences Barbara Manual, Computer Science Department Chair James Vance and UVA Wise Education Department Chair Andy Cox.

Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) students who earn associates degrees in computer science, exercise science or education can now directly transfer to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA Wise) to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Admission to UVA Wise will be a seamless transition, keeping the student on track to successfully obtain a four-year college degree. Students from VHCC in these academic areas of interest need not apply or wait for acceptance to join the UVA Wise community.

The streamlined admissions policy is the result of an agreement between both educational institutions to increase opportunities for high-quality college education in far Southwest Virginia.

On Thursday, UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry, UVA Wise Provost Trisha Folds-Bennett, VHCC President Adam Hutchison and VHCC Dean of Arts & Sciences Barbara Manual signed the Guaranteed Admission Specialized Agreements. UVA Wise professors, Education Department Chair and Teacher Education Program Director Andy Cox and Mathematics and Computer Science Department Chair James Vance, also attended the event in in Abingdon at VHCC.

“We are thrilled to join with VHCC to deliver on our shared commitment to expand the availability and accessibility of an exceptional education across Southwest Virginia. This pathway to higher education will provide academic opportunities to meet our region’s growing economic and workforce development needs. Together, we are creating a diversely skilled talent pool and I can’t wait to see the success of these future graduates,” Henry said.

These majors were selected to address the ongoing teacher shortage in Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth, a rise in technology-based regional companies; and expand a highly successful and sought out exercise science program.

“Through this expanded partnership with UVA Wise, students in southwest Virginia will now have exciting opportunities to follow their dreams, build better lives for themselves and their families, and contribute to the vitality of the region’s economy,” said Hutchison.

A requirement of the new admissions agreement is that the VHCC student earns an associate of arts and sciences degree in general studies with either a pathway in exercise science, education or computer science with the intent of majoring in the same subject at UVA Wise.

Both UVA Wise and VHCC will also monitor the academic performance of students enrolling under this program, identify challenges and work to adjust courses to keep students on track.