Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

At the August 2014 Chancellor’s Annual Planning Retreat, Dr. Glenn DuBois unveiled the newly proposed strategic plan that will help Virginia’s Community Colleges focus on one goal through 2021: tripling the number of credentials awarded for economic vitality and individual prosperity.

The plan contains the single goal, to go from awarding 38,000 credentials to no fewer than 114,000 by 2021.

The Financial Aid for Noncredit Training leading to Industry Credentials (FANTIC) is a state-funded pilot program designed with that single goal in mind.

Prior to the FANTIC pilot, there were no state or federal financial programs that supported non-credit training. That means a student must pay the full cost of the training up front, leaving many Virginians wanting to gain skills and better jobs behind.

FANTIC provides funding for students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in an approved noncredit workforce training program leading to the attainment of an industry-recognized credential or licensure. The funds allocated for the pilot will be used exclusively for need-based financial aid for non-credit workforce training and related testing leading to in-demand industry credentials.

Seven colleges were selected to participate in the pilot based on their strength in training towards industry credentials and regional representation across Virginia; three of those are in the Horseshoe footprint:

  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges – served by Community College Workforce Alliance
  • Lord Fairfax Community College
  • Patrick Henry Community College
  • Tidewater Community College
  • Virginia Western Community College

Virginia needs workforce credentials and this innovation has the potential to lead to credentials for hundreds of Virginians in its first year.
For more information on this pilot, please contact Mindy Fast, Program Director, Continuing Education, Workforce Development Services, Virginia’s Community Colleges:'

Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 270,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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