Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

VCCS DUBOISa_3With Achieve 2015 fading into history, the time had come to light the fuse under the strategic planning task force’s latest proposal that would illuminate the way forward for the next six years.

The plan is bold, concise and elegant in its simplicity. In fact, it’s deceptively simple in that it contains only one goal – triple the number of credentials awarded annually by the year 2021.

Looked at another way, Virginia’s Community Colleges will be standing on the gas pedal – from awarding 38,000 credentials last year to no fewer than 114,000 by the year 2021.

“This means that student success, in the form of credential attainment, will no longer be among our priorities. It becomes the priority,” Chancellor Glenn DuBois declared during his opening remarks before an audience of more than 300 people.

DuBois also said that uniting behind such an ambitious goal represents a big departure from business as usual for VCCS.

“It’s not a step we take lightly.”

Right now, Virginia is the nation’s 12th largest state in terms of population. But we fall to number nine when the number of people who hold an associate’s degree or higher is factored into the equation.

By tripling the number of credentials students earn, DuBois said, Virginia could climb to the top and in the process, become the number one destination for employers nationwide.

“That’s the Virginia I want to live in,” he said.

Bob Harris, who serves on the Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation Board, found the chancellor’s remarks uplifting.

“I think it was pretty inspiring. I think it’s right on in terms of the direction we need to be going.”'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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