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Jan. 29, 2013
JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced today it is providing $51,000 to fund scholarships for college tuition and textbooks for students participating in the Middle College High School Program at West Virginia Northern Community College.
“This generous commitment by Chase will benefit many of our Middle College High School students who have demonstrated they can successfully complete college courses,” Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, WVNCC’s president, said. “With a vibrant program on the Wheeling campus, and the program’s expansion to the Weirton campus, demand for college credit courses has increased dramatically and so has the need for additional scholarships,” he explained.
Olshinsky added that the state of West Virginia does not permit WVNCC to waive tuition for high school students and all scholarship funds for those costs must come from outside sources. “Thus, we are extremely gratified that Chase chose to fund our request,” the president, who spearheaded the Middle College High School Program to become the first in West Virginia, said.
“JPMorgan Chase is proud to join West Virginia Northern in expanding access to high quality education programs for at-risk students,” Cinnamon Pelly, vice president of global philanthropy, said. “Middle College provides critical academic, social and emotional support to students to help them graduate from high school college and career ready. Investing in educational systems that support all children for cradle to career is important to a healthy local economy, a talented workforce and vibrant community.”
The Middle College High School Program is a mentor-based high school experience located on a community college campus. Since the program began in 2009, qualified students from Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties have attended high school classes at WVNCC with cooperation and assistance of the public school systems involved. The program expanded to the Weirton campus this academic year and plans call for a Middle College at the New Martinsville campus in fall 2013.
“I’m excited about the opportunity for Chase to support an extremely important Middle College at WVNCC,” Brad Blair, vice president and business banker at Chase in Wheeling, said. “The whole team at WVNCC should be commended in having the foresight, fortitude and commitment to the Middle College and pursuing what is needed to keep students in a learning environment. During these tough economic times, my colleagues and I are proud that Chase can offer financial support to programs like the Middle School.”
In its application for funding, WVNCC officials pointed out that “high drop-out rates of capable young adults is a problem throughout the region. Students who have the intellectual capacity to be successful but are challenged because of home or school situations will find the Middle College concept is a viable option for completing high school and even continuing their education. An additional goal is to increase the number of Middle College students who begin college courses in two- or four-year institutions.”
It was explained the Middle College uses active learning, project-based learning and mentoring to engage young adults in their own education. Small classes permit instructors to know the learning styles of each student and modify lessons to accommodate the differences. The Middle College also has advisory sessions, serving as a surrogate family where students can talk to an adult in a non-threatening environment.
Since the program began at Northern, Olshinsky said, average grade point averages have increased consistently, test scores on college placement exams have improved to a point where most students do not require developmental courses and the students are staying in school.
Additional information about the Middle College High School Program can be obtained by calling 304-214-8950. In addition, potential Middle College students and their parents should talk with high school counselors or principals at Brooke, Wheeling Park, John Marshall, Cameron or Weir high schools.
West Virginia Northern Community College is a public, multi-campus community college established in 1972 by the West Virginia Board of Regents. WVNCC offers programs in liberal arts, career-technical and community and continuing education. https://www.wvncc.edu/
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,500 bank branches, 17,500 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. Chase employs more than 350 people in West Virginia and offers 31 Chase branches and 88 ATMs. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com; more information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.