Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) is located in Weyers Cave, VA in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. The college has proudly served its community and continues to find new ways provide valuable educational opportunities to offer its students. The college offers several different programs that are designed to serve students desiring many different levels of education. There are associate’s transfer degrees, associate’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and partnership programs. Because BRCC understands that many students wish to pursue an education but cannot attend traditional classes, the college offers a distance education that allows people to learn at their own pace and at times that are convenient to them.
Students may choose from college transfer degree programs, associate degrees, professional diplomas or certificates, or individual non-credit courses designed for personal or professional enrichment.
College Transfer Programs
Several programs allow students to complete the first two years of a four-year degree, then transfer to a four-year college. There are several advantages to this program including considerable savings in tuition and room and board, the ability to stay close to home, and smaller class sizes. Students may choose from an Associate of Arts and Sciences or Associate of Science. The programs are structured so that students complete the core classes that would normally be studied in the freshman and sophomore years.
Associate’s Degree Programs
These programs are specifically designed for students who would like to begin a new career in two years. There are two types of students that pursue an associate’s degree; students who simply want to begin a new career and students who want to pursue a two year degree in order to gain a better job while they are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. There are several interesting programs including accounting, business and nursing. The actual degree earned is an Associate of Applied Science.
Diplomas and Certificates
Students pursuing career diplomas or certificates do so either in order to keep current with changes in their fields or to prepare for entry-level positions in a new career. This advanced education may also place the student in a position for promotion at current jobs that they may not be eligible for without the advanced education.
The college partners with several other local schools and businesses in order to provide a broader range of opportunities to their students. Some of these programs include culinary arts, funeral services, radiologic technology and respiratory therapy.
Most Popular Fields of Study
There is a comprehensive Commercial Drivers program for people who are interested in pursuing a career as a commercial truck driver. Students must be at least 18 years old and be able to pass a drug test and physical. Students must also be able to read and speak English in order to communicate with the public and read traffic signs, complete reports and understand inquiries.
Admissions are non-competitive, which means that the only requirements for admission are a high school diploma or GED and the ability to benefit from instruction. The application process is extremely simple in order to streamline admissions and clear the path to higher education. The only requirements to register are a completed online application and official high school transcripts or GED scores.
Students that are applying for a credited degree, certificate or diploma program will also need to show proficiency in reading, math and writing by either submitting an SAT or ACT score, by taking the College Preparedness Test in math/English, or by submitting proof of college level math or English courses.
Some programs, such as the nursing and veterinary technician programs, may require additional qualifications. Students wishing to enroll in these programs should work closely with the admissions office to ensure that all requirements are met.
The financial aid office offers many opportunities to help students pay for college. There are numerous scholarships for both students straight out of high school and adults wishing to obtain higher education. Other sources of aid include grants, federally-subsidized student loans, and work study programs. Students interested in applying for financial aid need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is available online starting in January each year.
There is no athletic program offered at the college but there are numerous student clubs and organizations as well as a fine arts center and many other opportunities for social and academic engagement. The local area also offers several opportunities for camping, hiking, water sports and many other outdoor activities. For students who prefer indoor activities, there are many things to do in Weyers Cave and the surrounding area.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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