New Community College chancellor talks about the power of local education

by | May 18, 2023 | Germanna, Schools & Education

From Germanna Community College:

Dr. David Doré, the new Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, spoke bullishly about the power community colleges are poised to bring to bear as an engine of economic empowerment for the Commonwealth as he completed his statewide listening tour with a May 9 stop at Germanna Community College. 

He told faculty, students, and staff at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania that in visiting all 23 colleges in the system, he learned that “there are multiple communities within this commonwealth, both culturally and economically. And if you start looking county by county across the Commonwealth, you will see incredible disparity in terms of per capita income. And what that means is that the community colleges are poised, I think, to provide an economic mobility pathway for some of the poorest of Virginians.” 

The State Board for Community Colleges hired Dr. Doré in January to serve as the 10th chancellor of the VCCS. He has considerable experience as a community college executive, faculty member, administrator, leader of workforce development programs, and managing multiple campuses. He previously served as President of Campuses and Executive Vice Chancellor for Student Experience & Workforce Development at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz.

 “I think,” Dr. Doré said at Germanna, “our governor understands community colleges’ role in upward economic mobility. We are the engine that’s going to be the best in terms of driving the economy. We are the provider of workforce education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have great, great reverence for the University of Virginia and all these great universities. But if you want to look at who is educating the masses of people who stay in the Commonwealth–who stay at work and spend their lives here, it is the Virginia community colleges. I think we are positioned in a very unique way.” 

About 80 percent of students who attend and graduate from Germanna remain in the area, putting the skills they learn at GCC to use here, benefiting the communities the college serves. 

“I was a first-generation college student, and my dad did not graduate from high school, and I didn’t think I was college material.” 

Dr. Doré said that today, rather than dismissing students as not “college material,” we must be prepared to develop potential. “That model is flipped… The learners are becoming more and more in control, and they will define when they learn and pretty much how they learn.” In that light, Dr. Doré said he’s “very excited” about Germanna’s accelerated, completely online College Everywhere program, which allows students to earn a two-year degree in a single year more affordably and accessibly. “That’s the future,” he said. 

 “The race for talent is on,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said when Dr. Doré was hired.  “The Virginia Community College System must be the linchpin of the Commonwealth’s skills development system by bringing together employers, K-12, and higher education to prepare every Virginian for success in our changing economy. I look forward to working with Chancellor Doré to advance our mission of every high school graduate in Virginia being equipped with a credential in an in-demand industry and to ensure that the Virginia Community College System becomes a best-in-class national leader.”

Dr. Doré also praised Germanna’s push to double the number of nursing and health technology students it’s training and graduating to meet a critical shortage of nurses and other health care professionals. 

“You have a massive nursing program here at Germanna, which is awesome,” Dr. Doré said during his visit. “And I wanted to highlight the forward-thinking of saying, ‘We’re going to figure out how we double output systematically. That’s exactly where the Virginia community colleges need to go.” 

Photo courtesy GCC

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