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Media Contact

Jessica Tice
304-558-0699
jessica.tice@wvhepc.edu

Chancellor Hill: 15 to Finish – a simple message to drive college completion

September 30, 2014

This commentary appeared in the September 30 edition of the Charleston Gazette.  When preparing for college, there are so many questions students must consider — from which school and major are the right fit, to choosing from financial aid options and mapping out schedules. Through all of this detailed planning, I believe it’s clear that students enter college with a real desire to graduate on time and start their careers as soon as possible. To help them reach that goal, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has launched a 15 to Finish campaign — with a simple but critical…

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West Virginia awarded $21 million “GEAR UP” college-readiness grant

September 22, 2014

For immediate release: Monday, September 22, 2014 Contact: Jessica Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications Division of Student Affairs West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (304) 558-0655 (office) (304) 532-0911 (cell) jkennedy@hepc.wvnet.edu NEWS RELEASE West Virginia awarded $21 million “GEAR UP” college-readiness grant CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Students in ten West Virginia counties will have extra help preparing for college and career training programs, thanks to a $21 million grant awarded to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission). The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the Commission will receive a “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR…

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Governor Tomblin declares statewide “College Application and Exploration Week”

August 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has designated October 20 – 24 as “College Application and Exploration Week” in an effort to help students prepare for college. Schools across the state will participate by hosting a variety of hands-on activities including college application workshops, panel discussions with current college students and college scavenger hunts and trivia contests. During the week, students of all ages — from kindergarteners to adult learners — will learn about the importance of pursuing higher education and the different types of college options available including certificate programs, two-year degree programs and four-year degree programs. Students who…

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Chancellor Hill: College pride runs deep in West Virginia; support for student success should too

August 21, 2014

Here in West Virginia, we’re proud of a lot of things – especially our sense of community. And all across our state, so many close-knit cities and towns are bolstered by college campuses that deepen our community pride. We identify ourselves as Mountaineers and Mountain Lions. We cheer for the Big Blue, the Fighting Falcons and the Thundering Herd. We are Rams, Yellow Jackets, Catamounts and Golden Bears. We are Hilltoppers and Pioneers. Above all else, we are West Virginians who are proud not only of our collegiate athletic teams – but of everything West Virginia’s public colleges and universities…

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Statewide “College Day Tour” schedule announced

August 13, 2014

College planning events to be held September 9 through October 29 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Representatives from West Virginia’s colleges and universities will hit the road next month as part of West Virginia’s annual “College Day Tour.” During the tour, college admissions and planning counselors, along with military service representatives, will set up displays and host informational workshops in every region of the state. The West Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (WVACRAO) organizes the event and works to ensure that West Virginia’s high school students have an opportunity to get college planning information close to home. Additionally, representatives…

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HEPC to begin ’15 to Finish’ campaign

August 4, 2014

Article: WV MetroNews CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Higher Education Policy Commission will roll out an informational campaign on college and university campuses encouraging students to graduate within four years. Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Paul Hill said the “15 to Finish” campaign will encourage students to take at last 15 credit hours every semester in order to graduate on time. Read more »

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4th Annual Student Success Summit: Redefining College and More

August 4, 2014

Article: West Virginia Public Broadcasting The WV Department of Education says high school graduation rate has been increasing and is up to 80 percent. But only 56 percent of students are college bound.  How to improve those rates, and defining what “college-bound” really means were among the discussions at the fourth annual Student Success Summit in Morgantown last week. Read more or listen to the story.  

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Students join forces to help others earn a college diploma

July 31, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.VA. – Nearly 40 students completed the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) Youth Summit held this week in Morgantown. The Youth Summit was part of West Virginia’s annual Student Success Summit, an event that brought together education administrators, teachers, students, military leaders and community group members to focus on collaborating to promote lifelong success for the State’s students. Tenth and 11th graders from Berkeley Springs, Elkins, John Marshall, Philip Barbour and Point Pleasant high schools participated in the Youth Summit, which offered a variety of workshops to develop their leadership skills. The Youth Summit focused on helping students…

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Student Success Summit to focus on supporting students at every level

July 24, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.VA. – More than 300 education administrators, teachers, students, military leaders and community group members will join forces next week to find ways to help students prepare for lifelong success. Education representatives ranging from pre-school teachers to college presidents to the students they serve will convene during the fourth annual Student Success Summit (Summit) to be held Wednesday, July 30 and Thursday, July 31 at the Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center in Morgantown. The two-day event provides a unique opportunity for participants to work together to create a more seamless, life-long education system. “Collaborative initiatives such as the Student…

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State higher education system announces Matt Turner to serve as new senior administrator

July 7, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council) today announced that Matt Turner will be the agencies’ new Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration, beginning August 1, 2014. In this role, Turner will support the Commission and Council, while serving students, faculty and staff at each of West Virginia’s four- and two-year public higher education institutions. This position is responsible for carrying out policy directives for both systems, which includes facilitating intergovernmental relations and overseeing state-level student financial aid programs, the West Virginia Network (WVNET) and…

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Chancellor Hill: College affordability is a necessity – let’s make it a priority

June 20, 2014

Nearly 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the first Higher Education Act, an unprecedented step that invested an increased level of federal dollars in colleges and universities and provided financial assistance for students pursuing higher education. The objective was to expand opportunities for students, inspire their minds and imaginations – and give them a running start toward a bright future. This was a touchstone moment for higher education in our country. It set the standard that if we invest strongly in postsecondary education, then we’re investing in people – in their futures and the strength of our…

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‘R U on Track for College?’ Texting a New Strategy

May 15, 2014

Article: Education Week As educators look for ways to keep high school seniors on track for college and to avoid the “summer melt” that leads some astray in the months after they graduate, a new strategy is gaining ground: texting. This year, West Virginia launched a pilot program that alerts students about deadlines for financial aid, registration, and student orientation, among other matters, with personalized messages on their mobile phones. The texting initiative targets students from low-income families—especially those set to become the first in their families to attend college. It begins in January of students’ senior year and continues…

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Summers County High School to celebrate college bound students during ‘College Decision Day’

May 9, 2014

HINTON, W.Va. – Summers County High School (SCHS) will recognize seniors who plan to enroll in some form of education or training beyond high school during the school’s first “College Decision Day” event to be held May 19. “College Decision Day is inspired by sports events, such as the NCAA national signing day and the NFL draft,” Kari Vicars, vice principal at SCHS said. “We want to make sure we showcase the academic excellence of our students with the same enthusiasm and pride as we devote to sports.” College Decision Day is coordinated through West Virginia’s “Gaining Early Awareness and…

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Governor Tomblin announces West Virginia’s four-year campuses, community technical colleges to help ease student credit transfer process

April 28, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council) have adopted a joint resolution, which paves the way for a more seamless process for students transferring credits from one public higher education institution to another. According to data from the Commission and Council, the percentage of undergraduate transfers from West Virginia community and technical colleges to four-year institutions has increased by 39.5 percent throughout the last five years. Gov. Tomblin, in his State of the State Address earlier this year,…

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Glenville State College gains national recognition, receives internationalization technology award

April 9, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today applauded Glenville State College for being one of only three schools nationwide selected by The American Council on Education (ACE) and the State University of New York Collaborative Online International Learning (SUNY COIL) Center for the inaugural internationalization online learning award. The winning institutions, which also included Xavier University (OH) and Fayetteville State (NC), were recently honored at SUNY’s 6th annual Collaborative Online International Learning Conference in New York City. “This promising news aligns well with the Commission’s goal to promote and support the internationalization efforts of our…

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State urges students to file the FAFSA now to be considered for state-level college financial aid programs

April 8, 2014

West Virginia Higher Education Grant application deadline is April 15 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Community and Technical College System of West Virginia today urged students to file the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15 in order to be considered for state-level grants to help pay for college and career and technical programs. The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA allows students to be considered for many types of state and federal financial aid, including the West Virginia Higher Education Grant program and the West Virginia Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student…

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‘GEAR UP’ students recognized during sixth annual Governor’s Honors Symposium

April 5, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission recognized the academic achievements of more than 200 GEAR UP students at the sixth annual Governor’s Honors Symposium, held April 5 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. GEAR UP, which stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,” is a college preparation initiative providing services to students in ten West Virginia counties. The Symposium highlighted the accomplishments of the program’s 12th-grade students, many of whom have participated in GEAR UP since the seventh grade. During the Symposium, a representative from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office…

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Higher education community embarks upon five-year master plan

March 31, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – More than 150 people from across each of West Virginia’s public four-year colleges and universities have converged in Charleston today for a two-day conference hosted by the Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and focused on the state’s new five-year master plan for higher education, Leading the Way: Access. Success. Impact. Representatives of areas ranging from academic affairs, recruitment and admissions, to career services, retention and community outreach are strategizing about ways to meet the plan’s bold aspirations – with the ultimate goal of solidifying higher education as a means to success for West Virginians and an economic…

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Text messaging program involving high school seniors has caught on quickly

March 21, 2014

Article: Metro News CHARLESTON, W.Va. — To say a text-messaging program between high school students and four colleges and universities in West Virginia is working would be an understatement. The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) began a three-year pilot project in January that utilizes text-messaging to promote college access and support student success for a high school senior through his or her freshmen year. West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Communications Manager Jessica Kennedy said the response has been outstanding with 57 percent of the seniors in the 14 pilot high schools signing up for the program and many…

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WVROCKS assists Fairmont State students in completing RBA degrees

March 18, 2014

Through the WVROCKS initiative launched by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, adult students at Fairmont State University have found greater success in completing a four-year degree. WVROCKS is an acronym for West Virginia’s Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System, which offers Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) courses online from different institutions throughout the state. The mission of WVROCKS is to provide a high quality, student-focused, engaging, eLearning higher education collaborative. “The Regents Bachelor of Arts degree is a flexible program that provides adult learners the opportunity to turn life experience into course credit, if that experience is generally equivalent…

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Higher Education Policy Commission confirms Gordon Gee as WVU president

March 10, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, in a special meeting in Charleston today (March 10), confirmed the selection of E. Gordon Gee as the 24th president of West Virginia University. The Commission voted to approve the WVU Board of Governors’ March 3 action to amend its search process and select Gee as the permanent president. “President Gee is a vibrant leader with unmatched credentials whose homecoming has been warmly welcomed at West Virginia University,” said Dr. Bruce Berry, chairman of the Higher Education Policy Commission. “We look forward to working closely with President Gee and the…

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin: A promise that is paying off

February 28, 2014

Like so many West Virginians, Crystin Povenski and her siblings were raised by parents who instilled in them the importance of hard work and the value of learning. She worked hard and, as a result of her good grades in high school and commitment to attending college in the Mountain State, she received a PROMISE Scholarship. After earning her degree from West Virginia University (WVU), Crystin was determined to begin her career in the state she loves. She said it was important for her to exhaust all job search efforts in West Virginia before considering looking elsewhere. Crystin reached her…

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Chancellor Hill: Leading the way with a bold plan for higher education

February 21, 2014

Today at the State Capitol, colleges and universities from across West Virginia have come together to showcase the vast opportunities for a high-quality postsecondary education right here at home. From Shepherdstown to Huntington, Morgantown to Athens, and at multiple points in between, we have an array of affordable options for earning college degrees at public institutions right in our own back yards. Together with these campuses, the Higher Education Policy Commission is tackling a new five-year master plan, Leading the Way: Access. Success. Impact., that builds on recent progress and sets forth bold aspirations for higher education – and a…

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Higher education community to unite for Higher Education Day at the Capitol

February 19, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – Representatives of higher education institutions from across the state will come together this Friday, February 21, for Higher Education Day at the Legislature, an annual event held to recognize West Virginia’s colleges and universities and highlight the far-reaching postsecondary opportunities available across the state. Participating institutions include West Virginia’s public four-year and two-year colleges and universities, along with independent four-year institutions. Each campus will distribute information and have representatives on hand to answer questions. The event is hosted by Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; James Skidmore, Chancellor of the Community and…

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Grant aimed at improving quality of online courses offered by West Virginia higher education institutions

February 14, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Community and Technical College System of West Virginia (WVCTCS) today announced that a $28,765 grant from the West Virginia Technical Assistance Broadband Grant Program will provide training opportunities for faculty members at higher education institutions across the state on how to improve online courses. “Online courses are becoming an increasingly effective way to deliver high-quality educational opportunities to our students, especially nontraditional students who need more flexibility,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “This grant and the training that comes with it will help us strengthen online course…

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