In a quest to become the best small liberal arts college in America, Glenville State College continues to add programs and facilities that keep the school on the cutting edge of higher education.
One of the most innovative programs is GSC's Hidden Promise Scholars Program. The brainchild of GSC President Dr. Peter Barr, the Hidden Promise Scholars program is an alliance among Glenville State College and county school districts across West Virginia with the goal of improving communication between higher education and public education for kindergarten to 12th grade.
The consortium aims to improve the number and quality of high school graduates including raising ACT scores, increasing the number of students going to college, and increasing the number and quality of college graduates. The consortium was formed in 2007 between Glenville State College and 13 West Virginia county school systems.
Hidden Promise Scholars are students in the eighth through 12th grade from central West Virginia who are selected by county superintendents and principals. These students interact with Glenville State College students and faculty and explore the vistas that a college education opens. Upon high school graduation, Hidden Promise Scholars who enroll at Glenville State College receive a scholarship. The grant is renewable throughout their enrollment at GSC as full-time students maintaining standard academic progress.
Lisa Shamblin Darby, of Jane Lew, and Marlon Henry, of Montrose, became the second and third Hidden Promise Scholars to graduate from Glenville State College when they received their degrees in December 2011. Both were members of the inaugural class of 13 Hidden Promise Scholars.
Henry received a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource management with concentrations in landman technology and business management. He was a member of the GSC Cross Country and Track and Field teams. Henry served on the GSC Student Government Association for four years including two years as president. He plans to work as a landman for the oil and gas industry and become a certified professional landman.
Henry has accepted a position with Hawkeye Research Inc. of Harrisville. The company serves the Oil & Gas industry with title, leasing and mapping research.
"I am the first in my family to graduate from college," Henry said. "Coming to Glenville State College as a Hidden Promise Scholar didn't just mean a scholarship, it meant opportunity. There are so many people here that gave me the support that I needed to be successful. They are all part of the family you get when you become a Pioneer. Those six words are really true, Glenville State College, where you belong."
The GSC Hidden Promise Program has grown to include 22 West Virginia county school systems, Belpre, Ohio City Schools and the Stonington School District in Mystic, Conn. There are currently 87 Hidden Promise Scholars enrolled at GSC. Three of those will receive their degrees during the 138th Glenville State College Commencement ceremony scheduled for May 5.
"We now have three Hidden Promise Scholar graduates, and the number will grow every semester. It is so rewarding to see how our vision for the Hidden Promise Scholars Program is being validated by students like Lisa and Marlon who have taken every advantage of being Hidden Promise Scholars and have blossomed into outstanding role models with very bright futures," said GSC President Dr. Peter Barr.
GSC also is growing in other areas to provide more opportunities for students.
In the fall of 2010, GSC reinstated Army Reserve Officer Training Corps military instruction after a 10-year hiatus. The Glenville State College ROTC unit is part of the Yellow Jacket Battalion that includes units from West Virginia State University, the University of Charleston and WVU Institute of Technology. GSC is the only college in central West Virginia offering ROTC and now has the second-largest ROTC program in the state.
GSC now features a 44,000-square-foot Criminal Justice Training Center with state-of-art forensics labs. Included is the Open Source Information Exchange, one of only five national Department of Homeland Security Programs using computer forensics. The center gives GSC criminal justice students training facilities that are second to none.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has granted Glenville State College permission to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in art beginning with the fall 2012 semester. This new baccalaureate degree will allow students to select emphasis in digital media and studio art.
The expansion at GSC is not limited to innovative programs. It also includes bricks and mortar.
In the fall of 2010, GSC opened Goodwin Hall, a $23,000,000 residence hall that houses 480 students. The facility has 184 single rooms and 137 double rooms and features 16 rooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each room is furnished with a desk, chair, dresser, wardrobe, bed, refrigerator and microwave.
The facility features single or double rooms and each two rooms share a common bathroom. On each floor, students have use of a study lounge, a laundry room, a vending machine quarter and a small commons area with a sink. All rooms have wireless and ethernet hookup and cable TV.
Site preparation for the Pioneer Center has been completed and construction of the $25 million facility located on Mineral Road is scheduled to begin this spring. The Pioneer Center will house an expanded Natural Resource Center, a 24/7 health care facility, athletic facilities and convention center. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2014 basketball season.
Because of these progressive additions and improvements at GSC, enrollment has climbed to 1,860 students, and that upward trend is expected to continue.
Glenville State College offers more than 30 degree programs including business, education, criminal justice, natural resource management, chemistry, biology, nursing and many more.
To learn more about Glenville State College, anyone interested can visit www.glenville.edu or call the GSC Admissions Department at 800-924-2010.