$12 million in new state funding awarded to fuel UVA Wise expansion

An investment of more than $12 million has been approved by the Virginia General Assembly that will drive enrollment growth at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA Wise). The funding supports two new undergraduate programs that will diversify student career pathways and increase regional job creation. In addition, increased student financial aid and further improvements to student success services are also prioritized.

The state legislature approved the funds Wednesday, sending their 2022-24 biennial state budget to the Governor for approval or amendment. If approved, the budget will take effect on July 1.

In addition to providing increased undergraduate financial aid, the budget positions the College to educate and train through two new undergraduate programs: applied data analytics and hospitality and tourism management. Support for additional faculty, staff, marketing, equipment, classroom set ups and lab space is included in program development allocations.

The applied data analytics program will be an interdisciplinary program designed to serve needs in health informatics, business analytics and economic forecasting.

The hospitality and tourism management program will be designed to support the region’s burgeoning tourism economy, including the new Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Bristol. Degree tracks within the program will explore ecotourism and agritourism to showcase the region’s vast natural resources.

A child care center to help meet Southwest Virginia’s regional needs was also part of the package. To support this, UVA Wise will establish an early childhood endorsement within the College’s Teacher Education program that would provide a skilled workforce for childcare facilities by allowing students to gain valuable experience at the on-campus space.

The new funding package also aids the College in fulfilling its recently released strategic plan, “Your College For A Lifetime.” An important part of that new vision is to increase student enrollment, strengthen support for students during their time at the College, and help them graduate.

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