Welcome to our college! The 2013-2014 academic year promises to be a transformational one for this institution and for our students.
Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical Colleges are set to consolidate into one multi-campus institution this academic year as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 438 by the West Virginia Legislature. A new Board of Governors was appointed in July 2013 to oversee this transition. At its first meeting, I was appointed as a “shared” President at both existing colleges until the consolidation is completed. BridgeValley was selected by the Board as the name for the new college.
Spring Semester 2014 also brings a new facility to the consolidated institution. An Advanced Technology Center is being constructed in South Charleston. This Center will serve as a customized training facility for regional business and industry and as a hub for STEM outreach events for public school students; advanced manufacturing, cyber-security, and a specialized emergency management program for the National Guard will also be at this site.
Faculty and staff worked over the summer preparing required reports for the consolidation. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), our regional accrediting agency, will review the Change report at either the November or February Commission meeting and conduct a site visit this fall.
What do these changes mean to students? In 2014-2015, there will be a greater number of choices in courses, programs, and locations. While existing laboratories and clinics will not move, students will be able to schedule English, science, or math courses at the most convenient location (Montgomery or South Charleston) with a greater number of sections and times from which to choose. The course numbers, tuition and fees, and academic calendar will be the same at both locations. There will be one strong Student Government Association, more academic clubs, and a greater number of student events at both locations.
How will the consolidation help our faculty and staff? With the changes, there will be a larger, more diverse faculty and staff, expanded services and development opportunities, larger academic departments with a wide spectrum of expertise, and stronger faculty and staff constituent groups. With the new structure, opportunities for advancement will be created, and technology will be enhanced for academic and administrative use.
Our business, industry, and community partners will see greater coordination of workforce training initiatives. With the expanded service regions and the combination of two dynamic workforce divisions, continuing education and customized training opportunities will increase, industry advisory groups will be expanded for academic and workforce initiatives, and open enrollment community education will be enhanced at both campuses.
This academic year has been dubbed the “Year of Strength.” As we combine two vital community and technical colleges in the region, we will create a stronger, more comprehensive college to serve an expanded region.
Working together, the students, employees, and communities served will build BridgeValley as a student-centered, solution-focused institution that focuses on student success, institutional success, and community and industry success. BridgeValley graduates will become tomorrow’s leaders for our state and nation.
I look forward to working with you during this transformation year!
Dr. Jo Harris, President
Bridgemont Community and Technical College and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College remain accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Accreditation is being sought for BridgeValley Community and Technical College through the Higher Learning Commission.