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

MetroNews: Columbia University neuroscientist explains studying the brain

July 5, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dr. Carl Schoonover has a fascination with the human brain, and has been studying how people connect memories with certain odors. The problem: the brain is too difficult to study using lab instruments. “It’s been very difficult look at it,” the Columbia University neuroscientist said. “If you just take a brain out of a skull, even put it under a microscope, all you’re going to see is a gray, undifferentiated mass. There’s nothing really there for you.” Schoonover gave a lecture Thursday in Charleston to explain how humans have studied the brain dating back to second century…

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Higher Education Policy Commission reports increase in student success rates following education reform

June 23, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – More Mountain State students are succeeding in college thanks, in part, to an overhaul in the way entry-level courses are taught. Earlier today during a meeting of the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), state officials announced that recent efforts to reform developmental, or “remedial,” education are helping more students pass first-year math and English courses. Historically, one in four students at West Virginia’s public colleges and universities has been required to take developmental math or English classes because their high school grade point averages (GPAs) or entrance exam scores were below the threshold at which students are…

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West Virginia ‘GEAR UP’ to host college prep academy at Concord University

June 12, 2017

ATHENS, W.Va. – On Wednesday, nearly 200 high school sophomores are expected to arrive at Concord University to attend GEAR UP U, a summer academy designed to give students the opportunity to experience life on a college campus. The event, which runs this Wednesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 17, is sponsored by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s (HEPC’s) federally funded “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” initiative. During GEAR UP U, students will live on the campus of Concord University, go to classes based on their chosen major and hone their leadership skills. Students will also participate in…

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Health Sciences Service Program awards $285,000 to support rural health care in West Virginia

May 31, 2017

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced today that 12 health sciences students from across West Virginia have received financial support for their education through the state’s Health Sciences Service Program. The Health Sciences Service Program was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1995. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 180 health professionals with funds to help cover education expenses in exchange for a commitment to practice in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia. Eligible students must be enrolled in the final year of a health professions graduate program and must commit…

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Student leaders to tackle higher education issues, strengthening campus communities

May 12, 2017

WESTON, W.Va. – College students from across West Virginia are meeting next week at Jackson’s Mill to tackle issues facing the state’s higher education system and learn new ways to strengthen their campus communities. More than 75 student government representatives from West Virginia’s public two-year and four-year colleges and universities are participating in the annual West Virginia Student Leadership Conference, which kicks off Monday and continues through Wednesday. The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS), the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Shepherd University. During the conference, students will attend sessions…

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WVNS: Summers County High Recognizes College Bound Seniors

May 5, 2017
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Report: More Mountain State students pursuing higher education

May 2, 2017

Braxton, Doddridge and Clay counties lead the way in improving college-going rates Charleston, W.Va. – More West Virginia high school graduates went on to pursue higher education last year, according to a report released today by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS). The college-going rate increased for the second consecutive year, inching up by 0.3 percent — or 266 students — from 2015 to 2016. “These gains, while subtle, represent a solid step in the right direction,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor, said. “For several years, the impact of…

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May 1 deadline approaching for West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program applications

April 24, 2017

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today reminded students that May 1 is the deadline to apply for the Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), the state’s need-based financial aid program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required to be considered for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov. “We always encourage students to complete the FAFSA to see if they are eligible for this grant program, which helps cover the cost of tuition and fees at two- and four-year colleges and…

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West Virginia University astrophysicist the focus of new documentary

April 20, 2017

Charleston, W.Va., April 19, 2017 – Early last year, a team of scientists detected gravitational waves in the universe – something that Albert Einstein predicted a hundred years prior in his theory of relativity. Dr. Sean McWilliams, from West Virginia University (WVU), was part of that team and is featured in a new video released by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s (HEPC) Division of Science and Research.   In the two-minute video, McWilliams, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy in WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, shares how the detection of gravitational waves heightens scientists’ understanding of…

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Mingo Central High School College Decision Day 2016

High schools across West Virginia to participate in ‘College Decision Day’ events

April 18, 2017

Schools to celebrate students’ commitment to pursuing higher education CHARLESTON, W.Va. – High schools across West Virginia are hosting celebrations to honor seniors who plan to enroll in college or training programs after graduation. More than 40 schools will participate in the College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV)’s fourth annual College Decision Day campaign. CFWV is a statewide college readiness initiative coordinated by the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS). “Growing our economy will depend on growing the skills and capacity of our workforce,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the CTCS, said. “Students who commit to pursuing higher…

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West Virginia ‘GEAR UP’ to host Career Academy

April 10, 2017

More than 1,000 students expected to attend event featuring U.S. Senators, industry leaders, STEM celebrities CHARLESTON, W.VA. — More than 1,000 ninth graders are visiting Charleston this week to explore career fields and gain insight from business and industry leaders. The West Virginia GEAR UP Career Academy, happening Thursday, April 13, at the Charleston Civic Center, will feature hands-on activities and interactive presentations to help students learn about career paths and plan for their futures. The West Virginia GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) initiative is a federally funded grant program administered by the state’s Higher Education Policy…

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Higher Education Policy Commission approves new president at Glenville State College

April 4, 2017

Approves extended presidential search procedure for Fairmont State University CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) voted unanimously today to grant final approval of the Glenville State College’s Board of Governors’ recent selection of Dr. Tracy L. Pellett as the institution’s 24th president. “We are eager to work closely with Dr. Pellett as he leads Glenville State College during such an important time for higher education in West Virginia,” said Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor. “We also thank President Peter Barr for his years of leadership and service to the students and community of Glenville State.” Dr.…

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State extends application deadline for Higher Education Grant Program until May 1

April 3, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today announced that this year’s application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov.   The state extended the deadline because of a technology issue at the federal level. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows…

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Chancellor, presidents emphasize need for student-driven decisions amid budget discussions

March 27, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As the West Virginia Legislature continues working toward a balanced budget, the state’s regional higher education institutions have joined the Higher Education Policy Commission in emphasizing the importance of keeping the needs of West Virginia students at the forefront of budget and policy decisions. Together, West Virginia’s regional institutions serve more than 15,000 in-state students each year. Statements from Chancellor Hill and Regional Presidents “West Virginia’s economic future hinges on our ability to educate more of our citizens and produce a highly-educated workforce. Public higher education is an investment in our state’s future and the return on…

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State’s higher education community to join forces for Higher Education Day at the Capitol

March 14, 2017

Charleston, W.Va. – Representatives of higher education institutions from across the state will come together on Wednesday, March 15, for Higher Education Day at the Capitol, 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; Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the Community and…

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West Virginia scientists present economic and community impact of research

February 8, 2017

Scientists at colleges and universities from across the state came together yesterday to discuss how their innovative research projects impact West Virginia’s communities and are contributing to economic growth. During the STEM Salon event, hosted by the Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research, four scientists gave brief presentations about their work. Representing Marshall University was Dr. Nadja Spitzer who spoke about her research into how exposure to silver nanoparticles could be affecting the brains of children and adults. Spitzer was awarded a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for her research. She also spoke about…

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West Virginia GEAR UP launches Student Success Society in area high schools

January 19, 2017

New program to promote student involvement in school and the community   CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Brenda Smith, a counselor at Westside High School in Wyoming County, has been working with students for more than 30 years. Her experience has taught her that when students feel like they are part of something bigger, they are far more likely to succeed.   “Especially those students who might otherwise fade into the background,” Smith said. “Maybe they are shy or a little unmotivated. If you can find a way to give them that nudge — to get them involved — you can make…

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James Ikie Brooks

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Ikie’s College Dream

January 12, 2017

How grit, determination, and community support helped one West Virginia student in a dying town that is struggling to come to terms with a coal bust and opioid addiction By Julia Schmalz See the full-size video here The empty coal train creaking its way through Madison, W.Va., captured the attention of residents on the streets of the once-prosperous community. Located in Boone County, the heart of coal country, townspeople hoped it was a sign that a coal mine was reopening — somewhere. Devastated by the opioid epidemic and loss of good-paying jobs, Madison once supported three department stores. But that…

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2016 WV Higher Education Report Card

Higher ed ‘Report Card’: State colleges retaining, graduating more students

January 10, 2017

Statewide initiatives generating results despite budget challenges CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s state colleges and universities are retaining more students and have generated record numbers of graduates in recent years, thanks to statewide efforts to improve student success. However, continued positive results could be hindered by budget challenges and increased tuition costs, state higher education officials told members of Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability (LOCEA) today.  During the meeting, representatives from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS) provided an overview of findings from the annual West Virginia Higher…

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MetroNews: New FAFSA goal set for West Virginia high school seniors

December 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — By April 15, those with the College Foundation of West Virginia want to see the number of 12th graders in the Mountain State completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, climb to 60 percent. “We know that the jobs of the state of West Virginia are changing,” said Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, noting that 50 percent of the jobs being created within the state require some for of post-secondary education. “Because our state economy is being driven increasingly more by those who have attained post-secondary education,…

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Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Pictured (left to right): Dr. Adam S. Green, West Virginia GEAR UP; Dr. Paul L. Hill, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Dr. Amelia Courts, The Education Alliance; James “Ikie” Brooks, Marshall University (student); Lesia Sammons, Mingo County Schools; John Perdue, State Treasurer; Christy Scott, West Virginia Bankers Association; Gina Joynes, State Treasurer’s Office; and Vanessa Keadle, West Virginia GEAR UP.

Education leaders launch new “Make Cents WV” partnership to tackle financial literacy

December 8, 2016

Charleston, W.Va. – Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Earlier today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and The Education Alliance unveiled a new initiative, “Make Cents WV,” to provide financial literacy tools and resources to students, families and educators.  The effort, which is led by The Education Alliance and funded by a grant from the Commission’s federal West Virginia GEAR UP program, will emphasize financial planning within the context of preparing for higher education programs.  “Postsecondary education represents a major investment,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said. “This effort is…

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Class of 2017 FAFSA Completion Rates by WV County

College Foundation of West Virginia sets goal to increase FAFSA completion rates to 60 percent

December 1, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) today announced a goal to increase the number of 12th graders who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or “FAFSA,” to 60 percent by April 15. Students planning to attend college during the 2017-18 academic year can complete the FAFSA online now at www.fafsa.gov using their 2015 tax returns. April 15 is the deadline for students to submit the form and be considered for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program, which provides grants to students based on their financial need.  This past year (as of November 18), 58.5%…

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W.Va. sees gains in college freshmen enrollment

November 18, 2016

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The number of students entering a four-year college is on the rise in West Virginia, according to information reported during a meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission held earlier today. State officials said the number of freshmen on West Virginia’s public four-year college campuses increased by 3.7 percent from last year.  “These increases are reflective of the strong emphasis the Commission and its partners have placed on college access and success,” Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission said. “West Virginia needs more college graduates to meet workforce demands and grow our economy. I…

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W.Va. colleges supporting student veterans through ‘5 Star Challenge’

November 18, 2016

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State officials are applauding West Virginia’s public colleges and universities for stepping up their efforts to support student veterans. During a meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission earlier today, Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, reported that all of the state’s public higher education institutions have met or exceeded the goals set forth by West Virginia’s 5 Star Challenge initiative.  Launched last year by the Commission’s Office of Veterans Education and Training, the 5 Star Challenge set forth a call to action to institutions to improve educational opportunities for veterans, military service…

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MetroNews: Fifteen to Finish program promotes faster college graduation rates

November 6, 2016

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State junior and Boone County native Taylor Raby is glad she’s able to handle a full-time schedule–something that some students either aren’t able to or choose not to do. “I thought it was really important just to be able to graduate on time,” she said. “I’m actually going to be able to graduate early, hopefully.” The upperclassmen was one of nine students to talk with Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, on Thursday during a sit-down meeting to emphasize the importance of taking at least fifteen credit hours each semester.…

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