Recent Germanna Community College (GCC) graduate William McDonnell traveled to Fredericksburg this week to meet with George Mason University President Gregory Washington and Germanna President Janet Gullickson to learn more about the Mason Virginia Promise (MVP) and the Mason Academy at GCC. Part of MVP initiative, the new Mason Academy at GCC is a localized guided degree transfer program.
“This is a great thing and I’m glad to be a part of it,” McDonnell said following Monday’s afternoon’s formal signing of the agreement between Mason and Germanna that brings the first Mason Academy to Virginia students as part of the Mason Virginia Promise (MVP) initiative.
“The Mason Virginia Promise is built on the belief that education and success should be available to everyone,” Washington said in his remarks. “This is a critical time in our nation for students and families with a shifting economy and rapid technologic growth requiring a new skilled workforce. Mason is redefining what it means to be inclusive and allow everyone to participate in a thriving economy.”
The new Mason Academy at Germanna delivers a locally focused and streamlined pathway for degrees in business, cyber security and other programs that can align with Germanna’s College Everywhere initiative. The Academy highlights one-time admissions and financial aid process, significant cost savings and access to additional grant programs, as well as a dedicated advisor for each student through their college journey to ensure success with no loss of credits.
Joining McDonnell at the community college’s campus in Fredericksburg were additional graduates and Mason transfer students Grant Davis, Michele Adjei-Fah and Amara Zavala.
Adjei-Fah, an African native who plans to study biomed, said she was attracted to Mason from the outset. “It’s the diversity and the opportunity for an African woman like me of color,” she said.
Zavala cited Mason’s “accessibility, diversity and diversity of studies” as her reasons for attending Monday’s ceremony.
As part of financial aid, Mason will reimburse its tuition and fees for Mason Academy transfer students if they have met other grant-based scholarship and family household income level requirements.
"Germanna and George Mason are both committed to bringing higher education within reach of every Virginian. Earning an associate's degree at GCC makes the pursuit of a bachelor's degree more affordable,” Gullickson said.
Part of the Mason Virginia Promise initiative, the Mason Academy program will be available to select Virginia community colleges, and is an extension of the successful ADVANCE Program partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) that was launched in 2018.
Mason’s MVP initiative also includes training and financial support for all Virginians who aspire to start a business through Mason Enterprise’s suite of entrepreneur and small business programs, including 27 Small Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, five Northern Virginia technology incubators, and other federal, state and local support programs.