The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Southside U- Class of 07?

Not quite. The New College Institute of Virginia put out a press release this morning detailing a little bit of the plan to establish a 4 year undergraduate institution of higher education in/around Martinsville.

Stage one of that plan will involve bringing "baccalaureate degree granting programs to the area as soon as 2007." This will be done through cooperation with existing four year universities. Since I've yet to find this article in any linkable place I'll block quote the juicy center of the press release:

Specifically, in the first of the two stages, beginning in 2007, the New College Institute would offer classes at NCI facilities through existing colleges and through NCI faculty members. During the second stage, from 2007-2012, NCI would report to SCHEV on the development of the New College into a baccalaureate college or branch campus, as appropriate.

During this transition period until 2012, the New College Institute would focus its curriculum on students who have completed an associate’s degree program at a community college, such as Patrick Henry Community College, or who have completed the first or second years of an undergraduate program.

The release goes on to state that planners are looking to create some "fast-track" curricula which will help students get their b.a. or b.s. in less time than the 55 month national average (which seems really high!)

I hope to get the full release up later. Personally, I've always been uneasy with the construction of a university as a solid econoimc stimulus. It costs a lot more to run a school (primary, secondary, or higher) than it does to buy the land and build the building. Is this thing going to turn a profit (I mean, is it going to loose a lot more than most colleges?). This will not be the last we hear of the New College Institute's two-stage plan, as it will require approval by the General Assembly to get underway. Legislators would be foolish to stand in its way though. Remember, there were only two candidates to campaign on the concept of Southside U.

And right now they are the only two men we know will be taking statewide office on January 14th.


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