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STORY PITCH: WVU faculty launch pilot program to transform education in rural West Virginia

Composite photo of Jason McKibben and Emily Perdue

Jason McKibben and Emily Perdue

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What’s the news?
The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension Service are working together to launch West Virginia P20, a pilot program that establishes an early college and STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) academy in Boone County’s Van School District. 

The goal of the program is to work with rural youth to help them prepare for, attend and ultimately graduate from high school with an associate’s degree and go on to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree. At the same time, they will be developing work-force ready students in the fields of agriculture, forestry and natural resources.

Note for media: A kickoff event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed. (Sept. 19) at Van Junior/Senior High School in Van. WVU President Gordon Gee and Mountaineer Trevor Kiess will join local leaders and professors from Auburn University and Texas A&M. Onsite media contacts for the event are Emily Perdue (304.541.6425) and Ann Bailey Berry (304.376.7740).

Quotes and comments
“It’s amazing what can happen when students are shown that they have the power to learn, teachers have the ability to empower them, and communities expect and demand students to be innovators. Schools were once the centers of our communities. They are where we look for our local identity; they help us raise our children, and they are the only place we can make true and lasting change for our communities.”– Jason McKibben, assistant professor of agricultural and extension education

“It’s been almost two years since we first started working with Van to get the pilot up and running. The teachers and community have been so supportive; we can’t thank them all enough. We wouldn’t have been able to get this far without them. We’ve built relationships with the teachers and community over the last two years that has really helped build a foundation for this program. We all work together well even when things get a little hard, we all know we have the support that we need and vice versa. I know I can call any of the teachers if I need to and they know they can call us.” – Emily Perdue, Extension specialist in 4-H youth agriculture

Photo of Jason McKibben

Photo of Emily Purdue

Link to original story: Roadmap to success: WVU faculty pilot program to transform education in rural West Virginia

Target audiences
School administrators






CONTACT: Lindsay Willey
Communications Manager
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

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