Prince William County’s robust talent pipeline is ensuring that it is well-positioned to supply the growing workforce demands of the future.
There is no shortage of continuing education options in Prince William County. George Mason University – the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, headquartered in Northern Virginia – located its Science & Technology Campus in Innovation Park and is preparing to open its new Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center in Belmont Bay.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the largest educational institution in Virginia and second largest community college in the country, recently opened its 55,000 sq. ft. Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training in Woodbridge, Virginia. The facility is aimed towards keeping businesses competitive by ensuring a ready supply of appropriately skilled workers with particular focus on cybersecurity, the medical community and logistics.
The Prince William County Schools system is the second largest of 132 school divisions in Virginia, with 94 schools -- 57 elementary schools, 16 middle schools and 11 high schools. All 11 high schools rank among the nation’s Top 10 percent of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools”, according to the Newsweek/Washington Post “Challenge Index.” The total 2014-15 enrollment was 86,209 students, which is equivalent to over six percent of the state’s student population. On time graduation rate is 91.4%. Permanent capacity is set to increase to well over 100,000 within the next decade. In the past five years, eight new schools and fourteen additions have been constructed, costing $340 million and adding 10,387 student seats.
George Mason University Science & Technology Campus
Established in 1997, George Mason University’s Prince William County Campus offers quality education across Northern Virginia. Located in Innovation Park, Prince William, Virginia the 134-acre Science & Technology Campus serves more than 4,000 students and is home to a number of innovative facilities including the 300-seat Verizon Auditorium, Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, Mason Center for Team and Organizational Learning (The EDGE), Hylton Performing Arts Center, and the Biomedical Research Laboratory.
As a major research university, Mason’s Science & Technology Campus plays a major role in the school’s research efforts, conducting research on-site are the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), the Center for Biomedical Genomics (CBMG), the Center for the Study of Genomic Liver Diseases (CGLD), the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), and the MicroBiome Analysis Center.
Expanding its presence in Prince William County, Mason recently broke ground on a 45,000 square foot, LEED gold environmental research and education facility called Potomac Science Center, which will be located at the edge of the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers in Belmont Bay.
For more information about the George Mason University’s Science & Technology Campus, please visit http://princewilliam.gmu.edu/.
Northern Virginia Community College
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses, including Manassas and Woodbridge campuses, both located in Prince William County.
As an effort to boost STEM degrees in Northern Virginia, NOVA announced plans to invest over $2.2 million in a new initiative to persuade more students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) two- and four-year degrees. “With two campuses and an educational center in Prince William County, NOVA’s new STEM initiative will continue to strengthen Prince William County’s already robust talent pipeline with additional laboratory technicians, researches, scientists and engineers. The initiative also builds on the success of NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions program that presently impacts 4,000 Prince William County K-12 students and is projected to reach 40,000 students by 2016 - creating the next generation STEM talent pipeline.” The current SySTEMic Solutions program works with industry and educational sponsors including Micron, Aeroject Rocketdyne, Telos Corporation, TE Connectivity, Northern Virginia Community College Education Foundation, and Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation to engage students in elementary school and encourage a path in STEM education in high school, college, and in the workforce. These efforts will accommodate the current workforce needs for any employer competing in the modern global market and help to plan ahead for the workforce needs of the future.
For more information about Northern Virginia Community College, please visit http://www.nvcc.edu/index.html. To learn more about the SySTEMic Solutions program, please visit http://www.nvcc.edu/systemic/, and visit https://www.nvcc.edu/news/press-releases/2014/STEM_Initiative.html to see NOVA’s October 2014 press release on its launch of the STEM initiative.
Founded in 1976, Stratford University is a private educational institution that offers Associate, Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, as well as many non-credit workshops and courses. With its main campus in Falls Church, Virginia, Stratford offers a number of campuses across Virginia and Maryland, including the one in Woodbridge, Virginia in Prince William County.
Stratford University’s Woodbridge Campus is easily accessible from I-95 and offers programs in high-demand fields such as information technology, hospitality, culinary arts, baking and pastry, business, nursing, and health sciences.
For more information about Stratford University and its local campus in Prince William County, please visit http://www.stratford.edu/.
Strayer University’s Manassas College Campus is located just off I-66 at Route 234, in the Battlefield Business Park. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered at the Manassas campus in high-demand fields that will support any business including accounting, business, education, health services administration, information systems, and public administration.
For more information about Strayer University and its local campus in Prince William County, please visit http://www.strayer.edu/.
East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI) University
Founded in Norfolk, Virginia in 1966, ECPI University provided focus on forward-thinking, market-based curriculum in an accelerated format and was among the first to offer classes in the growing field of computer programming. With 10 campuses across Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, ECPI University offers day, night, and online classes along with graduate employment services.
Located just off I-66, ECPI University’s Northern Virginia campus offers a number of programs which
provides focus on a number of the County’s targeted sectors including networks security, electronics engineering, mechatronics and advanced manufacturing, IT management, business administration and others.
For more information about ECPI and its local campus in Prince William County, please visit http://www.ecpi.edu/locations/northern-virginia-virginia.
Prince William County Public Schools
As the second largest school district in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Prince William County Public Schools is home to 93 schools employing approximately 10,381 school teachers, administrators, and staff that serve approximately 85,055 students throughout the county.8 Prince William County schools have been ranked among the Nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance and ING, for three years in a row. The school system includes:
- 12 high schools
- 16 middle schools
- 57 elementary schools
- 3 special education schools
- 2 alternative schools
- 2 traditional schools
- 1 K-8 school
For more information about Prince William County Public Schools, please visit http://pwcs.edu/
Governor’s School program
As part of the Governor’s School program that started in 1973, Prince William County is home to one of 19 of the Commonwealth’s Academic-Year Governor's Schools which serve students in grades 11 - 12 at a single site on the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus. Governor’s School @ Innovation Park is a partial-day Academic Year Governor’s School program with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Governor’s School @ Innovation Park serves the school divisions of Manassas City, Manassas Park City, and Prince William County. Governor’s School @ Innovation Park has been in operation since 2010 and serves 118 gifted and talented students from thirteen high schools in the three participating school divisions.
Finally, in a time of evolving technology and the way in which the world learns, Prince William County is ahead of the curve, offering an effective virtual program of learning. The Virtual High School at Prince William County Schools is a program designed to expand the access of challenging curricula through the delivery of high quality online courses. The courses are student-focused, teacher-led, and are offered in an accelerated semester format to allow students an efficient alternative to gaining credits towards their high school education. The program began Summer 2000 with three courses. VHS now offers 22 courses and had record enrollment of 650 students this past summer. Over 10,000 students have completed the courses with an average course pass rate of 93%.
To learn more about Prince William County Public Schools, please visit http://pwcs.edu/.