$12 Million Grant to Help UVa-Wise Expand Enrollment | Local News


An investment of more than $12 million has been approved by the Virginia General Assembly that will drive enrollment growth at the University of Virginia College at Wise (UVa-Wise).

The funding supports two new undergraduate programs that will diversify student career paths and increase regional job creation. Additionally, increased student financial aid and other enhancements to student success services are also priorities.

The state legislature approved the funds Wednesday, sending its 2022-24 biennial or biennial budget to the governor for approval or modification. If approved, the budget will go into effect July 1.

“We are delighted with this significant investment, which allows us to add academic programs and increase the number of college enrolments. Our work prepares students for lifelong career success and provides an educated workforce for businesses and organizations in Southwest Virginia as we continue to build a strong and prosperous region,” said said UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry.

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In addition to providing increased undergraduate financial aid, the budget enables the college to educate and develop a talent pool in Southwest Virginia through two new undergraduate programs: Applied Data Analytics and hotel and tourism management. Support for additional faculty, staff, marketing, equipment, classroom layouts, and lab space are included in program development allowances.

The Applied Data Analytics program will be an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the needs of health informatics, business analysis, and economic forecasting.

The hospitality and tourism management program will be designed to support the region’s booming tourism economy, including the new Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Bristol. The program’s degree streams will explore ecotourism and agrotourism to showcase the region’s vast natural resources.

These two major undergraduate programs will train the workforce regional employers need to thrive and provide viable career paths so UVa-Wise graduate students can reside in Southwest Virginia and have a successful career here in the region.

Graduate financial aid funding has also been included and is complemented by investments to help the college build the infrastructure to support UVa-Wise’s developing master’s programs, including offerings for nurse practitioners. and teachers.

College employees will also see an impact from the funds, as the budget includes a 5% salary increase for full-time employees each year, as well as a one-time bonus of $1,000 to be distributed in December 2022.

A child care center to help meet regional needs in Southwest Virginia was also part of the program. To support this, UVa-Wise will establish an early childhood endorsement within the College’s teacher education program that would provide a skilled workforce for child care centers by allowing students to gain valuable on-campus experience.

The new funding program also helps the college achieve its recently released strategic plan, “Your College For A Lifetime.” An important part of this new vision is to increase student enrollment, strengthen support for students during their time in college, and help them graduate.

To develop new programs, enrollment growth and student retention, additional recruitment staff and marketing initiatives will be added. These funds will help create programs to improve student achievement, including the development of summer transition programs designed to help students transition into university. The investment also provides the resources needed to establish collaboration for student success and provide clearer pathways to timely graduation. Additionally, new funding will open opportunities for student professional development and experiential learning programs specifically related to majors and student career interests.

“We are very grateful to our legislators who have tirelessly advocated for us, knowing the possibilities that a UVa-Wise education offers students,” said Chancellor Henry. “At UVa-Wise, everyone’s success matters: that of our students, graduates, colleagues and members of our regional community. We are delighted with this investment and its ability to support our entire ecosystem.


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