The Changes of Fall

Fall is the time of year that traditionally most students return to school. For some of you this may be the case, but for the majority who choose ECPI University for the convenient year-round schedule, fall is just another change in seasons that hopefully finds you closer to your goal of graduation. This year we encourage you to focus more closely on our communities and the holiday season.

At all ECPI campuses, students and staff are engaged in helping the community by finding ways we can give back to those in need. There are many people who, during these difficult economic times, need a helping hand. ECPI University supports many community charities and organizations including: the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, community blood drives, “Christmas Angel Tree“ program, Food Bank, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer, American Heart Association Heart Walks, Diabetes Walks, blood pressure and glucose screenings for diabetes awareness, book drives, Girls Get IT, and many others. Ask about the activities at your campus and join us in helping the community.

Fall has brought other changes at several of our campuses across Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In Virginia Beach, our first master’s degree students started their program pursuing the Masters of Science in Information Systems. The program, taking less than 15 months, will also be offered online beginning in January 2012. At the school of health science campus in Newport News, Virginia, students started a new associate’s degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This program, which can be completed in 18 months, incorporates hands-on clinical training in local hospital and clinical settings, and prepares the student to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers board exam.

Also, three of ECPI University campuses serve as Certified Assessment Centers for the Virginia Manufacturers Association. In October the Innsbrook campus in Richmond, Virginia became the fourth site in the state to provide exclusive industry assessments. Not only do ECPI students benefit, but the entire manufacturing community will be able to make use of this assessment.

Along with change, some things remain constant at ECPI University, and one of those is our commitment to support the military. ECPI University was again honored by G.I. Jobs in its 2012 Military Friendly School list. The ranking honors the top 20 percent of colleges and universities that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students. We make every effort to assist military students in getting their degree, including our military distance learning partnerships with every branch of the military and our unique partnership with the Wounded Warrior Program to provide on base training.

As 2011 comes to an end I encourage you to remain persistent in your pursuit of higher education and know that everyone at ECPI University is here to support you in your efforts and goals.

Sincerely,

Mark Dreyfus

Girls Get IT-Broadening the Field of Information Technology

With only twenty percent of information technology (IT) professionals being women, programs such as “Girls Get IT”  offer young women the opportunity to explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering and math. Initiatives through ECPI University in Newport News and Richmond set the stage to introduce the variety and rewarding career choices in the information technology field.

Felishia Ward shares the excitement of her role in the IT field.

At the Newport News Campus, ECPI University began the Girls Get IT program through a partnership with Cisco Systems. “Technology is constantly changing. Cisco supports schools who are building the pipeline,” says Gena Pirtle, Marketing Program Manager for Cisco Networking Academy. “We want to see more women in the field.”

The program introduces teenage girls from area high schools to women doing amazing things in the IT field. There is also an opportunity to work as teams to solve real-world situations with the assistance from a female industry mentor. “Women are more solution oriented,” said Tony Rufi, who launched the program for ECPI University Newport News. “They see how technology can solve real world problems.”

Richmond launched its program at an event on March 25. On April 1, Newport News welcomed Felishia Ward a Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst with the City of Durham, North Carolina. She introduced girls from Achievable Dream High School, Phoebus High School, and Surry County Office on Youth to her role as an employee in the solid waste department. She helps to plan logical routes for the refuge collectors.