John Tyler Community College Board Welcomes New Member
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Released on March 04, 2011
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Because they are affordable, accessible and retrain our workforce, community colleges are crucial to the health of local communities says Stephanie Beckett, who represents Surry County on the John Tyler Community College Board. Beckett has a passion for education. She currently works in the Newport News Public Schools, and before that, she worked with the Office of Youth in Surry where she helped at-risk youth gain employment skills through a Workforce Investment Act Program. She also works with a youth ministry program at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Surry.
While in the Office of Youth, Beckett says she realized the importance of introducing disadvantaged youth to college opportunities – especially community colleges, which can prepare students for well-paying jobs in as little as two years. “I think there should be more linkages between community colleges and organizations that provide services to at-risk youth, because a college education can provide tremendous opportunities for this population in particular,” says Beckett. “Surry County is very fortunate to be served by John Tyler Community College, one of the fastest growing colleges in the state of Virginia. I am looking forward to making the residents of Surry more aware of the opportunities John Tyler can provide.”
Beckett’s desire to promote education and to work with children is also taking her back to school. She already holds a degree in government and black studies from William and Mary and is now planning to return to go to graduate school so that she can become a licensed teacher. She ultimately wants to work in education policy.
John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 13,690 students during the 2009 – 10 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates and 35 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 20,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Holly Walker, Public Relations & Marketing Specialist