Latest News

Media Contact

Jessica Tice

Higher Education Policy Commission approves nursing education opportunities resulting from Gov. Justice’s nursing workforce expansion program

May 12, 2022

HUNTINGTON, WV – During its meeting today on the campus of Marshall University, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) approved a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Concord University, as well as Marshall University’s request to offer the BSN degree on the campus of Glenville State University. These programs are among 27 nursing education programs at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across the state that have received a total of $25.5 million through Gov. Jim Justice’s nursing workforce expansion program. “We are tremendously grateful to Gov. Justice for providing this…

Continue Reading

West Virginia higher education faculty and staff recognized for helping students save nearly $450,000 in textbook costs

April 25, 2022

CHARLESTON, WV – Three West Virginia higher education employees are being honored for their leadership in implementing Open Educational Resources (OER), which are cost-effective alternatives to traditional textbooks, for their students. In 2021, West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System launched Open Learning WV to provide grants to faculty members at public and private colleges and universities across the state to use OER. Since Spring 2021, nearly 90 faculty have converted more than 100 courses to OER through the initiative, resulting in a savings of nearly $450,000 for 3,000 students.  The following faculty members received…

Continue Reading

New program offering alternatives to textbooks saves West Virginia college students $250,000 in pilot semesters

December 15, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – Earlier this year, West Virginia’s public higher education office launched a program, Open Learning WV, that gives faculty the opportunity to implement Open Educational Resources (OER) as alternatives to traditional textbooks for their students. When the program was piloted in the spring 2021 semester, 34 faculty members created or adopted OER, and a handful more faculty adopted OER over the summer – resulting in more than $250,000 in savings for approximately 1,200 students. “Going to college in West Virginia remains incredibly affordable thanks to our state financial aid programs, but something like costly textbooks can result in…

Continue Reading

Higher Education Policy Commission revokes Ohio Valley University’s authorization to confer degrees, approves master’s degree programs at Glenville State College and Bluefield State College

December 10, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – During its meeting today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to revoke Ohio Valley University’s (OVU) authorization to confer degrees in the state beginning on June 30, 2022. This timeline will allow OVU to teach out students planning to graduate this spring. No enrollment of other students will be permitted in the spring. Ohio Valley University scheduled a transfer fair on campus today for students to support them in their next steps. “Our foremost priority right now is to help these students, however we can, as they approach the end of this semester,”…

Continue Reading

New state program aims to help educators, administrators improve online learning and professional development

July 9, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Network (WVNET), under the direction of the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission, has launched a program aimed at improving online education, training and employee engagement across West Virginia. Offered to teachers, instructors, administrators and managers in K-12, higher education and government entities, the new Teaching and Learning Commons offers a more structured approach to professional development for today’s increasingly digital environment. “Especially as educators and managers continue moving to virtual platforms in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we – as a state – offer those on the frontlines of…

Continue Reading

West Virginia awarded $750,000 from Ascendium to increase degree completion, leverage philanthropic collaborations for student success

June 25, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS), together with Philanthropy West Virginia, today announced that Ascendium Education Group – one of the most active postsecondary education philanthropies in the country – has awarded the state $750,000 to support student success and accelerate degree completion. The West Virginia collaboration is part of Ascendium’s inaugural rural philanthropy grantees. In line with West Virginia’s Climb initiative, which seeks to arm 60 percent of the state’s workforce with a postsecondary credential by 2030, the programming resulting from the Ascendium grant will provide tools and…

Continue Reading
Higher education officials are urging college students to complete at least 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track for graduation.  

Parkersburg News and Sentinel: Stay on Track: College students, take 15 credits per semester

August 20, 2017

Young people across West Virginia have begun yet another year on college campuses as they work toward their degrees and pursuing their career goals. In fact, West Virginia University reported a record number of new freshmen enrollments this year — 6,224 of them, to be exact. As part of the effort to make sure all those freshmen, at WVU and every other institution of higher learning in the state, achieve their goals, the Higher Education Policy Commission is issuing a reminder: Earn at least 15 credits per semester to stay on track for graduation. Read the full story »

Continue Reading
Higher education officials are urging college students to complete at least 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track for graduation.  

Higher Education Policy Commission urges students to take ’15 to Finish’

August 16, 2017

Campaign aims to increase college-completion rates, save students money CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  As colleges across the state kick off the fall semester, officials at the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) are reminding students of the importance of earning at least 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track for graduation. Through their “15 to Finish” campaign, HEPC policy experts hope to help more students complete degree programs and reduce the overall cost of higher education. Federal financial aid policies define “full-time” enrollment as 12 credits per semester, and, as a result, many students taking only 12 hours think they…

Continue Reading

WVVA: Byrd Higher Ed Center announces 10th anniversary scholarship winners

August 15, 2017

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVVA) – For ten years, the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center has been helping make it possible for a segment of the student population to get their degrees. And now, the collaborative learning center is looking toward the next decade of serving students. Students, family and administrators gathered in front of the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver to celebrate ten years of serving students. A time capsule, filled with messages of hope and thoughts of what the future may hold, was buried as part of a ceremony that awarded 30 students with $1,000 scholarships. “It’s…

Continue Reading
Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, congratulates students, faculty and staff on the ten-year success of the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center.

Erma Byrd Center celebrates tenth anniversary

August 4, 2017

Collaboration among colleges and universities expands access to higher education for students in Southern West Virginia BEAVER, W.Va. – State officials, students, faculty and community members gathered at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center on Friday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the facility’s opening. The Erma Byrd Center, which was West Virginia’s first collaborative higher education campus, offers classes and student services from Bluefield State College, Concord University and Marshall University. During Friday’s celebration, a variety of state and college officials offered congratulations and celebratory remarks, including Dr. Dave Swanson, chair of the Higher Education Foundation; Dr. Paul L.…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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.…

Continue Reading

Register-Herald: Job fair to be held Friday in Beaver

October 27, 2016

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is teaming up with big names in West Virginia education to bring a job and resource fair to Raleigh County on Friday. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 28 at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center, which is at 300 University Drive in Beaver. The Erma Byrd Center houses courses from colleges and universities from all over Southern West Virginia. Free classes will be offered, including “How to Market Yourself with a Regents of Bachelor’s Arts Degree” at 11:30 a.m. At noon, attendees will learn to “Create an Online Presence with…

Continue Reading

Bruce Vandal: WV leads nation in college completion strategies

September 26, 2016

Published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Gazette editorial page Last week, faculty and staff from West Virginia’s public colleges and universities set forth on a bold path to dramatically improve college completion rates in the state. The work occurred as part of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Corequisite Academy, a two-day conference held in partnership with Complete College America to help campuses implement a new model for college students deemed to be “underprepared.” Developmental, or remedial, education has long been recognized as a major barrier to student success. For too many students, placement in these classes represents a dead…

Continue Reading

W.Va. colleges and universities to implement new model to improve college completion

September 7, 2016

When: 12 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8  8:15 a.m. to  3 p.m. Friday, September 9  Who/What: The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will host the first statewide Co-Requisite Academy for faculty and staff from West Virginia’s public four-year colleges and universities. During the academy, campus teams will develop strategies to implement the co-requisite model of developmental course delivery, a method proven to boost college success rates.  Why: Nearly one in four students at West Virginia’s public four-year colleges and universities are required to take developmental English or Math courses due to low scores on college admissions exams or low…

Continue Reading

Huntington Herald-Dispatch editorial: New strategy for remedial classes appears to aid students

April 12, 2016

Published April 12, 2016 in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch One of the tell-tale signs that public education often falls short is that far too many students who graduate from high school aren’t adequately prepared to take on the rigors of college-level math and English. That’s not just a reference to students who did poorly in high school and did not intend to attend a college or university; it applies also to many students who plan to continue their studies and have been accepted at an institution of higher education. In the past, the answer for those students was to take remedial…

Continue Reading

West Virginia makes it easier to transfer college credits

February 29, 2016

by George Hohmann for the West Virginia Press Association About 200,000 West Virginians — 20 percent of the state’s adults — have some college credits but no degree and every year about 3,000 seek to transfer their credits, said Paul Hill, the state’s chancellor of higher education. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thinks one path to improving the state’s last-place ranking in the percentage of residents with a college degree is to make it easier to transfer credits. Gov. Tomblin focused on this in his 2014 State of the State speech. “College students across the Mountain State report problems with the flow of class credits between public institutions of higher learning,” he…

Continue Reading

Employers to meet with college students at Erma Byrd Higher Education Center’s inaugural Career Expo

September 3, 2015

Beaver, W.Va. – The Erma Byrd Higher Education Center, West Virginia’s first public postsecondary education collaborative, will host its inaugural Career Expo in partnership with Bluefield State College, Concord University, Marshall University and New River Community and Technical College on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Center in Beaver. Nearly 25 employers and businesses have signed up for the Expo to share information with interested college students, graduates and local residents. Lisa Moten, the Center’s Director, says business community participation continues to grow. “The response from local businesses and service agencies has been overwhelmingly…

Continue Reading

West Virginia hosts U.S. State Department seminar on international education and safety

July 23, 2015

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today hosted a national conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council focused on international education and safety. Nearly 120 attendees representing more than 60 higher education institutions and organizations nationwide discussed issues related to the health and security of college students, faculty and higher education staff traveling abroad. This event comes as the Commission works to increase the number of West Virginia students going abroad through the statewide “Global West Virginia” initiative. The Commission encourages student participation in International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP), which provide…

Continue Reading

W.Va. Higher Education Policy Commission adopts reverse transfer policy aimed at advancing degree completion

May 29, 2015

Shepherdstown, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today voted unanimously to approve a reverse transfer policy that facilitates degree completion. The procedural rule allows students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year institution, prior to receiving their associate degree, to be awarded an associate degree from the two-year college after earning enough credits while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. “One of the biggest challenges facing higher education today is ensuring more students are earning their degree credentials,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “This policy represents a strong step in our multifaceted approach to…

Continue Reading

Chancellor Hill: International view essential for higher education and economic growth

May 6, 2015

This commentary appeared in the May 3, 2015 edition of the Charleston Gazette. West Virginia’s economy is becoming increasingly more global. Companies from Europe, Asia and other regions have made strong, smart investments in our state. In fact, investments from 30 countries have resulted in more than 26,000 jobs in West Virginia. And in 2013, our state’s exports reached historic levels – with a total of more than $8.6 billion in products exported and tens of thousands of jobs supported. As a result of these remarkable developments, West Virginians need to be ready for the opportunities that exist in our…

Continue Reading

Nearly $500,000 grant set to expand opportunities for adult learners across West Virginia

December 2, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program is positioned to expand online learning opportunities for adults in West Virginia seeking to complete a Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree. Through the $499,991 grant, which was awarded to the West Virginia Network (WVNET), students will be able to participate in live video classes from the convenience of their laptop or tablet using a web conferencing system. “We have placed an increased emphasis in West Virginia on helping adult learners complete postsecondary education,” said Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia…

Continue Reading

West Virginia joins collaboration of states working to make distance education easier for students

November 22, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today announced that West Virginia has become one of the first states approved as a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a nationwide collaborative working to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by campuses in other states. West Virginia’s participation becomes effective on December 1, 2014. “Making distance education courses more readily accepted across state lines will help more students progress toward their degrees,” said Dr. Paul L. Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “Our institutions are doing a great job at growing and leveraging online…

Continue Reading

Charleston Gazette: State wants to redefine ‘full-time’ college status

October 1, 2014

Article: Charleston Gazette September 30, 2014 By Mackenzie Mays Federal financial guidelines require a college student to take 12 credit hours each semester in order to be a labeled full-time student, but more and more education officials say that’s not enough if students want to complete their degrees on time. West Virginia is joining several states across the country in launching a “15 to Finish” campaign, which urges colleges to promote 15-credit semesters in an attempt to get more students to complete courses in the right time frame and subsequently avoid higher tuition costs and a delayed entry to the…

Continue Reading