For the younger generation of southern West Virginia that strives to be fully prepared for their future, there is reason to be hopeful and optimistic.
Higher educational options are growing and improving in our region.
The trend greatly improves with the turning of the yearly calendar in just a few weeks.
Beginning with the Spring 2013 semester, New River Community and Technical College will begin offering two new accelerated programs, it was announced this week.
Students will be able to earn a Technical Office Procedures Skills certificate in just six months or an Administrative Office Technology certificate in just 11 months.
These options should make for an improved and more qualified prospect to fill positions in the workforce on a rapid pace.
The programs promise to be very suitable for people who already have jobs or families, but want to further their education.
New River says the programs will feature more one-on-one instruction, and smaller classes as well.
These are outstanding opportunities that should enable folks in our area and beyond to have a chance to improve their chances at landing well-paying jobs.
The programs will also provide area employers with well-qualified applicants and motivated employees.
That’s a great thing.
In August, the region received outstanding news on the education front.
The University of Charleston announced a teach-out plan for current Mountain State University seniors and plans to officially take over the Beckley campus of the former MSU on Jan 1, 2013.
This will continue to provide four-year degree options for not only residents of our state, but should continue to draw students to Beckley, both nationally and internationally.
The announcement came at a time of turmoil and unsettling among the hundreds of students, employees and area businesses and citizens who depended on a stable MSU.
Because the school had lost its accreditation, the outcome looked bleak.
But UC provided a reprieve from what could have been a death penalty not only to the school, but to our area.
But now, the future looks bright.
Not only in education, but for the economic health of our region and state.