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2009 News Releases

First group of Longwood students to graduate from program at New College Institute

May 7, 2009

Gov. Tim Kaine (middle) and Dr. Gary Nelson (far right), who runs Longwood’s liberal studies program at New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville, congratulate the first Longwood students to receive bachelor’s degrees at NCI Gov. Tim Kaine (middle) and Dr. Gary Nelson (far right), who runs Longwood’s liberal studies program at New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville, congratulate the first Longwood students to receive bachelor’s degrees at NCI, who are (from left) Emily Clark, Ashley Smith, Emily Harrell, Heather Hoffman, Michelle Barker, Lance Janney and Roxanne Collins.

Seven Longwood University students who will graduate May 9 represent the first Longwood graduates at New College Institute (NCI), a state-funded higher education institute in Martinsville.

The students received their degrees through Longwood while taking most of their courses at NCI, in addition to some courses online. Longwood is one of eight state colleges and universities that partner with NCI to offer bachelor's and master's degree programs with initial teacher licensure for the elementary/middle grade levels.

All seven of the Longwood graduates are receiving a B.S. in liberal studies and plan to teach. They are Michelle Barker, Emily Clark, Roxanne Collins, Emily Harrell, Heather Hoffman, Lance Janney and Ashley Smith. They were among the NCI graduates who participated in a "student recognition" ceremony April 29 at NCI in which the speaker was Gov. Tim Kaine.

NCI, founded in 2006, has more than 300 students, mostly non-traditional students. The Longwood liberal studies program at NCI is coordinated by Dr. Gary Nelson, a member of Longwood's Cook-Cole College of Arts & Sciences faculty who lives in Martinsville. Dr. Nelson also works in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Services' NCATE-accredited licensure program on the Longwood campus. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is expected to decide in 2012 whether to allow NCI to evolve into a public college or university.