RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the first five recipients of the Virginia Affordable Pathways Partnership Grants, a program that aims to provide Virginia students with a clearer path to higher education. The Governor first announced this new grant program in August. These competitive grants were awarded to five programs that aim to improve transitions from high school to postsecondary education, reduce costs to students, increase college-completion rates, and lead to a degree, certificate or workforce credential.
“It is imperative that we are preparing our students with transferable workforce skills for career tracks in higher education and our workforce,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Affordable Pathways Partnership Grants will allow more students to gain access to higher education or workforce credentials. These grants will help strengthen that professional pipeline by ensuring more students are building skillsets for careers of the 21st century and the new Virginia economy.”
The five programs are expected to save students an average of $10,600 toward completing their degrees or credentials, with an expected cumulative savings of $4.3 million for the first cohort of students. The grants will be administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and funded through the Fund for Excellence and Innovation, established earlier this year by the General Assembly.
“This program will provide life-changing opportunities to the people who need it the most,” Secretary of Education Dietra Trent said. “These grants specifically target programs that benefit our underserved students, an essential ingredient to increasing access to and success in higher education.”
“The new Affordable Pathways Partnership Grant Awards provide a promising new model for preparing the next generation of highly skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, health care, and cybersecurity, and other in-demand fields,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “By beginning career focused postsecondary education and training in high school, participating community colleges, universities, and school divisions help ensure that high school graduates leave school ready for college and available, well-paying jobs in the new Virginia economy.”
“One of the Council's top priorities is to enhance pathways for students at all levels,” said The State Council for Higher Education of Virginia Chair G. Gilmer Minor III. “We thank the Governor and the General Assembly for supporting this effort through these Affordable Pathways grants.”
“The programs supported by these grants are well aligned with a broader effort by the state Board of Education and local school divisions to redesign the high school experience,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples. “We need to make sure that graduates are prepared for 21st century challenges and the pathways to success after high school when they receive their diplomas.”
Recipients of the Affordable Pathways Partnership Grant Awards:
To encourage institutions to develop similar partnerships, SCHEV will open a second round of smaller planning grants by December 15. More information is available at www.schev.edu/index/institutional/grants/affordable-pathways.