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Bridging the Gap (BTG) Grant

As a member of the BTG Grant WV Consortium, WVNCC has committed to implement enhancements to academic programs (Petroleum Technology, Information Technology, and Mechatronics) and support services (peer coaching, career services, and transfer articulation) in an effort to increase retention and completion among adult learners.  Below are some facts and data on the grant.   For more information regarding grant specifics, please call Karri Mulhern, Institutional Transformation Leader at 304-214-8975.

Bridging the Gap Grant

  • US Department of Labor Round 3 TAACCCT grant

    • Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program

    • TAACCCT provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations. Through these multi-year grants, the Department of Labor is helping to ensure that our nation's institutions of higher education are helping adults succeed in acquiring the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers.

  • WV Consortium of all 8 community colleges and the WV Community and Technical College System partnered under the “Bridging the Gap” grant. October 2013 they were awarded $25 million

  • $1.79 million of the grant was awarded to WVNCC


Grant Deliverables:

  • Multi-faceted encompassing many departments and programs throughout the campus

  • Enhancing or developing programs of study:

    • Petroleum Technology

    • Advanced Manufacturing (Mechatronics)

    • Computer Information Technology

  • CIT – Curriculum changes and enhancements in courses. Cyber security AAS developed and approved for start - fall 2016.   Also working on 2+2 agreement with a 4 year University in West Virginia for our graduates to continue on with their education if they wish

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Petroleum Technology – Developed 2 new AAS degree programs. After multiple meetings with industries in the region, and looking at the potential growth in industry and the needs of those companies as well – developed a Chemical Operator AAS and Instrumentation Process Technology AAS.   We completely re-aligned the layout of curriculum, for Advanced Manufacturing and Petroleum. We made enhancements to the courses so the first 24 credit hours taken by students in these programs and the 2 New programs, are the same (general education classes, electricity, OSHA safety, Safeland/Rigpass First Aid/CPR.   Hydraulics and pneumatics, Print Reading)   This allows for the instructor who is the industry expert in that subject (i.e. electricity or Print reading) to teach all of the students the same curriculum. After the first 24 credit hours the students begin choosing program specific courses in whichever of the 4 programs they want to gain their degree in. One course which was developed for the first semester is an overview course of all 4 programs of study – offers students opportunity to learn a little about all 4 programs and job outlooks, etc.  Additionally, a Welding Technology AAS degree program was developed and began fall 2015 offering industry certifications for students who complete the courses and pass a skills test.   During the Summer 2016 a non-credit welding program was offered, again with certification testing attached.  

  • The Chemical Operator is being offered in an accelerated format (this is one of the deliverables of the BTG grant – acceleration of a degreed program). It is taught on the New Martinsville campus over a 40 week period which started July 5, 2016.  Students will finish up April 15, 2017.   We also had an orientation day in which registrants were offered training and certification in First Aid/CPR.   Additionally, a Developmental Math Class was taught in a co-requisite model with the required Technical Math course for the program. 

  • Enhancing support services

    • Other Support services which the grant encompasses are:

    • Veterans Outreach – Hired a Veteran’s Coordinator to do recruitment and navigate veterans through school admission– financial aid, Prior learning etc,.  

    • Developmental Education – more streamlined – instead of 2-3 English courses before a regular college-level course, there is only 1. For Math instead of 3-4 classes there are only 2 dev ed math courses.  

    • Peer coaches – hired to do supplemental instruction to those students in the programs in some of the more difficult courses like tech math and physics.   Also, have Peer Coaches in each of the programs of study assisting the instructors during classroom and laboratory times.  Additionally, there are coaches in the Student Services office who work with new students, as well as current students on retention and services activities.   

  • Digital Classroom – One deliverable was for schools to have a Digital Classroom.   WVNCC constructed the TEAL lab, as our classroom.   It provides interactive high tech learning opportunities for students in a collaborative setting.   It can be used for remote instruction, trainings, community education sessions, webinars and meetings.   Also, in the Computer Information Technology Department, there was a new computer lab developed as an interactive hands on laboratory for CIT.   The CIT staff have worked closely to utilize Peer Coaches on the outer campuses to assist with interactive instruction, or as “lab assistants”.  This allows the instructor to teach from one campus, and have simultaneous class on the other campuses with that Peer Coach in attendance with the students.  

  • Sector Strategies: collaborate with regional resources, and business/industry sectors in the region, to identify the needs of the businesses, the available labor available through other regional resources, discuss new curriculum and initiatives WVNCC has developed under the Bridging the Gap grant, and how they will meet the needs of the industries in the region.


 Funding spent on:

  • Equipment for Petroleum and the Digital Classroom

  • Supplies for all program of studies, student/ veteran recruitment activities, student services activities

  • Marketing efforts for programs of study.

  • Development of curriculum for all programs of study, development of new accelerated Chemical Operator Technician AAS degree

  • Training for staff and faculty connected to the grant, certification for instructors so they can certify students, or teach to the certifications, staff training for accelerated program development, career pathways, block scheduling, online/blended learning and other professional development related specifically to grant deliverables.


BTG Staff at WVNCC

Karri Mulhern

Institutional Transformation Leader


Adam Beatty

Information Technology Lead


Curt Hippensteel

Petroleum Technology Lead


Stephen Ledergerber

Chemical Operations Technology Program Director


This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use, by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes, is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.