Concord University News
For Immediate Release: 
Aug 28 2001

Education Consortium Formed to Meet Needs in Southern West Virginia

Beckley, W.Va. - Bluefield State College, Concord College, Marshall University, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, all having missions that encompass quality higher education in southern West Virginia, announce the formation of a Consortium to establish a single Higher Education Center in Raleigh County that will serve the citizens of Raleigh, Fayette, Wyoming, and Summers counties. The group was originally convened by Speaker of the House of Delegates Robert S. Kiss (D).

These public institutions will offer the full range of higher education programs from community college through graduate programs in a highly visible and accessible location at public college tuition rates.

This collaborative initiative will create an “education mall” that will offer programmatic diversity, utilize the academic strengths of each participating institution, and take advantage of economies of scale to bring quality public higher education to more students at more affordable prices.

According to year 2000 figures, the average college going rate of the above-mentioned four counties was 42% while that of West Virginia was 55% and the nation above 60%. The education mall model has proven effective when implemented in non-metropolitan settings in other parts of the country.

The Consortium is in the process of gaining public—federal and state—private and community support and funding for the education mall, so that citizens’ educational needs could be met swiftly and efficiently.

The representatives of the Consortium believe that higher education promotes personal growth in individuals and aids economic development for this region. An education mall will also serve as a magnet for attracting business and industry. The Consortium is committed to this cooperative educational venture for a shared facility in Raleigh County to better serve the citizens of the third U.S. Congressional District.

Representatives of the Consortium include: Bluefield State College, Dr. Robert Moore, President; Concord College, Dr. Jerry L. Beasley, President; Marshall University, Dr. Dan Angel, President; Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Ms. Joanne Tomblin, President and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Dr. Karen R. LaRoe, President.

For more information, call 1-304-384-5288 / 5211.