Higher Education

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that he will sign an executive order authorizing universities and colleges to reopen their campuses this fall. 

Jenny Lind is both an accounting student and facilities department employee at Shepherd University. Her duties in facilities have ramped up since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There have been a lot of questions about what public schooling in West Virginia will look like in the fall, but there’s also quite a few questions about higher education.

Colleges and universities have been releasing updates on their websites in recent months about what they’re doing to prepare for a return to campuses in the fall – but uncertainty remains.

On this West Virginia Morning, we consider the challenges colleges and universities are facing as the fall semester approaches. Also, in this show, we visit Kermit in Mingo County. About ten years ago, this small town of about 350 people saw a flood of pain pills enter the community and devastate many people’s lives.

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore the question on many minds: what will happen with school this fall? West Virginia Public Broadcasting is asking questions and reflecting on student experiences this past spring.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an update from Gov. Jim Justice who is warning of mandating face masks in public. Also, in this show, we hear how colleges and universities in the state are reacting to financial challenges brought on by COVID-19; we hear the latest on the unprecedented numbers of unemployment claims in the region; we hear about a federal spending bill that may help improve infrastructure in coal-reliant communities, and we hear this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit the small town of Ona, West Virginia to learn about the Ona Speedway racetrack. We also hear from high school students in Fayette County, and we hear a conversation on higher education challenges in the state.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker for a discussion on higher education funding issues, secondary education attainment and financial aid requirement challenges.

Us & Them: Diversity Divide

Feb 12, 2020
Rich Egger/Tri States Public Radio

There are now more students of color at some universities and colleges in the U.S. In the past decade at Western Illinois University, the non-white student population nearly tripled to one-third of the enrollment. The change helped fill classrooms and satisfy the school’s mission. But it’s part of what pushed the school’s first African-American president out of his job.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Organizations in West Virginia like the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley (CFOV) are working to address youth retention in West Virginia by exposing current college students to opportunities that exist in the region.

Bluefield State College
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Eligible West Virginia students could receive free tuition at Bluefield State College this fall.

News outlets report the college announced Tuesday that over a dozen programs classified as "high-skilled, high-demand" would begin offering free tuition.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the latest episode of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Us & Them podcast focuses on the subject of sexual assault on college campuses. This is an emotionally charged and a delicate subject. Our assistant news director, Glynis Board, spoke with Us & Them Host Trey Kay about the episode titled “Reckoning with Sexual Assault: Righting a Wrong.”

Students at Computers
Flickr upload bot / wikimedia commons

It’s not uncommon for tuition rates at universities and colleges to fluctuate in price from year-to-year. But this year, at West Virginia’s colleges and universities, the average tuition increase is the lowest for the state in almost a decade.

West Virginia University

A West Virginia University student is accused of threatening to shoot people at the school and then kill himself.

News outlets report 21-year-old Cheickna Kagnassy, of Maryland, was arrested Wednesday and charged with making terroristic threats.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, science can be a hard subject to understand, especially upper-level higher-ed science courses. A professor in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle is creatively cracking the code to help his students understand tricky topics. Corey Knollinger has more.

Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, gives her opening remarks during the 2019 Legislative Wrap Up Breakfast in Martinsburg.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A special session to address education in West Virginia is just around the corner, and lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle are making plans to reintroduce controversial legislation next month.

Glenville State College President Tracy Pellet.
Glenville State College / glenville.edu

The president of Glenville State College is leaving the post this year.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports President Tracy Pellett is resigning effective June 30.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is planning to pick a new interim leader by late next month due to the current interim chancellor's plans to resign.

In a session dominated by an omnibus education bill that ultimately died, lawmakers know officially now that they'll be back for a special session on education. We bring you the latest, and we also speak with the presidents of two state universities.

A long-sought funding formula for higher education will have to wait even longer. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with two delegates – both members of Gov. Jim Justice’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education – who provide us with an update. We also bring you the latest legislative action from the statehouse.

It’s Day 50, Crossover Day, and the last day for Senate bills to get out of the Senate, and for House bills to get out of the House. This determines whether those bills are to survive this session. We recap the day’s action, and we also look at the latest on SB 1 – the “last dollar in” community and technical college bill.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

The omnibus education reform bill is the talk of the Capitol’s halls. A historic move was made by Senate leadership Monday to have the bill, SB 451, reported to the floor and be considered by “the committee as a whole” – meaning all 34 senators would consider the bill from the floor in the same manner as if it were still in committee.

It’s Friday, which means we're joined by veteran statehouse reporters to discuss the latest action from the West Virginia Legislature. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Jake Zuckerman and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews.

Senate Finance Chair Craig Blair and House Finance Minority Chair Mick Bates join Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich to talk budget issues. We also bring you coverage from the West Virginia Department of Education’s budget hearing in House Finance and the latest on the community and technical college tuition assistance bill, SB 1.

Senate Education Chair Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson. Jan. 15, 2019.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

Senators in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday unanimously approved Senate Bill 1 -- “Increasing access to career education and workforce training.”

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The West Virginia Autism Training Center based at Marshall University has expanded its programs to Shepherd.

Shepherd joins Concord University as the second campus-based satellite site for Marshall’s autism services program.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College is one of nine CTCs in West Virginia.
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill West Virginia Public Broadcasting followed closely during the 2018 regular state Legislative session could resurface in 2019 – legislation that would offer tuition assistance to in-state students attending a Community and Technical College. Last year, it was often referred to as the "free community and technical college bill," and it would’ve provided the “last dollar in” after all other forms of financial aid had been exhausted.

Electron / Wikimedia Commons

Higher education officials say the number of students attending public four-year colleges in West Virginia has dropped 3 percent from a year ago, including a 9 percent dip in the number of first-time freshmen.

Jon S. / Flickr

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded West Virginia University Reed College of Media a grant of $125,000 to help recruit, develop and train a new generation of independent community newspaper owners.

(left to right) Jerry Gilbert, Pres. of Marshall; Gordon Gee, Pres. of WVU; Kendra Boggess, Pres. of Concord; Michael Farrell, Commissioner with the WV Higher Education Policy Commission; and Gov. Jim Justice. During a press conference on July 2, 2018.
WV Governor's Office

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission's board chairman is defending the agency against criticisms from West Virginia University President Gordon Gee.

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