The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

February 12, 2013

Community colleges focus on student retention

CHARLESTON — The chancellor of West Virginia’s community college system says nearly two-thirds of the students in the system aren’t ready for college-level work and must take developmental courses.

Chancellor James Skidmore told a joint interim meeting of the West Virginia House and Senate Education Committees on Monday that those students who are forced to take developmental courses “very seldom graduate.”

Some community colleges have begun offering short two- to three-week summer courses. The goal is to get students up to college level by the time regular classes start in the fall.

Skidmore said that the state’s community colleges have shifted their focus toward college completion — with the focus now on graduating more students rather than enrolling more students.

Paul L. Hill, the chancellor of the state’s higher education policy commission, told the committee that less than 40 percent of West Virginia students entering college will graduate within six years. Nearly 35 percent of students who enroll in West Virginia colleges will drop out before the start of their sophomore year.

One factor in declining retention rates is the rising cost of higher education.

In-state tuition at West Virginia University has risen by 88 percent since 2002, according to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. At the same time, state support for higher education has plummeted. In 2002, state funds covered an average of 60 percent of the cost of full-time tuition at West Virginia public colleges and universities. In 2011, that number had dropped to just over 34 percent.

Among 15 Southern states, only South Carolina provides less funding per full-time student than West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has asked most state agencies, exempting some, to submit budgets for fiscal year 2014 with 7.5 percent reductions from the previous year. That will mean more than $24 million in cuts from the state’s higher education system.

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • legion VIDEO: American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32.

    “We see the benefit for both of us and for Raleigh County,” Post 32 Adjutant Frank Cook said. “Right now Post 70 is having membership problems and with membership problems comes financial problems.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before hearings

     More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 31, 2014

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers?

    Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander.

    Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoy

    July 31, 2014

  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014