Dabney S. Lancaster Community College was one of 13 Virginia community colleges to receive the prominent Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to increase high school and college completion.
The award was renamed to honor the legacy of Gerald L. Baliles, the 65th governor of Virginia, a native of rural Patrick County and a forward-thinking leader. Baliles worked to ensure that all Virginians had access to education and training.
The Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI) Award aims to reduce the number of rural residents without a high school diploma from 1 in 5 to 1 in 10, and to increase the number of rural residents with an associate’s degree, diploma, or certificate from 26% to 52%.
“We are incredibly proud to be able to continue the legacy of Mr. Baliles through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative,” stated DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone. Rainone went on to share that this is the College’s seventh year participating in the RVHI, which has allowed it to support local school students in high schools.
Career Coaches are DSLCC employees that work to assist local high school students explore the opportunities and goals they each have, empowering them to make better informed decisions regarding their career and educational choices - whether that be to enroll in a 4 year institution, attend a community college like DSLCC, obtain career training or enter the workforce directly.
To date, RVHI has provided more than $10 million in direct and matching funding toward achieving these goals. Significant outcomes indicate that the population of the RVHI region aged 25 and over without a high school degree has decreased by 4.2% and those with at least an associate’s degree has increased by 4%.
The mission of the VFCCE is to build student success and the Commonwealth’s future by supporting its 23 community colleges through workforce development, coaching, fellowships, access and affordability, growing existing programs and developing new ones, and fueling innovation and advocacy with flexible funds.