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NRCC receives Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award

Jul 22 2021

This is an archived article!

This article was published on Jul 22 2021 and was archived on Jul 01 2022. The information below may be outdated or inaccurate.

New River Community College to use Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award from Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to Close Educational Attainment Gaps

 New River Community College (NRCC) recently received the Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI) Award from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to help close the educational attainment gap between the Rural Horseshoe region and the state at large. Named for the 65th governor of Virginia, the award honors Baliles’ legacy of promoting educational accessibility. The primary goals of the RVHI program are to reduce the number of rural residents without a high school diploma and to increase the number of rural residents with an associate degree, diploma, or certificate.

“Rural Virginia needs a targeted investment to take care of its next generation so the entire Commonwealth can prosper,” said Stewart Roberson, VFCCE’s board chair.

Each of the 11 colleges that received this funding proposed unique strategies that align with the goals of the RVHI. RVHI programs will serve a diverse range of high school students and adults from underserved and underrepresented populations.

NRCC’s award will be used to continue funding a student resources specialist staff position.  This position is housed in the Student Services department and provides direct student support by engaging current and future NRCC students as they navigate the college process, from consideration to completion. 

“This award will allow us to continue funding this position that helps support the needs of so many of our students by connecting them with valuable college resources on campus and community resources off campus,” said NRCC President Pat Huber.

This position also supports the college’s student food pantries in Dublin and Christiansburg, a much-needed resource for many area students.  The food pantries provide grab-and-go snack and meal options for all students. Students who have any questions about the food pantry or need help accessing other resources can reach out to the Student Services Office at (540) 674-3677 or advising@nr.edu.

By investing in rural education, the VFCCE is working with Virginia’s Community Colleges to promote opportunities to pursue higher education and a more equitable Commonwealth.

The NRCC Educational Foundation will be providing matching funds through local efforts. To help support this effort or to donate funds to support to the food pantry, visit www.nr/edu/foundation or call (540)674-3618.

About New River Community College (NRCC):  New River Community College is a comprehensive community college located in the New River Valley of Virginia with a campus in Dublin and a site in Christiansburg. At NRCC you can prepare for the future with any of our various occupational programs or college transfer course options offered in person, online and hybrid. NRCC has earned a reputation for first-class instruction. With our wide selection of courses, you can explore your interests, prepare for a career, or increase your job skills.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS): Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit https://www.vccs.edu/.

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) is a supporting arm of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. It works to broaden educational access, promote student success, and provide innovative solutions to workforce needs. To ensure access to high quality, affordable education, the VFCCE provides statewide leadership in raising funds for community college education, supplementing the activities of the 23 individual colleges, and advocating for major system-wide initiatives that could not be undertaken by any single college. For more information, please visit https://vfcce.org/.


Call (540) 674-3600 or toll-free 1-866-462-6722, then you will be prompted to add the extension number to reach any employee.

Kelly Kaiser


Public Relations Assistant

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Jill Ross


Public Relations Specialist / Adjunct Instructor

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  •  5251 College Drive
  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3642
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  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
  •  Christiansburg, VA 24073
  •  (540) 674-3610
  •  Fax: (540) 381-7128
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