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Dabney S Lancaster Community College gets through pandemic year

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ) - “We just passed our one-year anniversary of being virtual,” said Dabney S Lancaster Community College President John Rainone, and that has left the campus pretty much empty. Pretty much everything was remote.

“It has been, considering, a difficult year worldwide,” Rainone said. “It’s been a pretty good year, higher education-wise, at Dabney.”

That’s because, while other colleges may have lost students, enrollment is going up here.

“We had a strong enrollment in the spring, and we were able to keep them,” Rainone explained. “We had our student success staff actually call every student every couple of weeks to see how they are doing.”

They saw a six percent increase in the fall and the spring.

“So we have been able to make certainly improvements in delivery and be much more flexible to meet the student demands and the students’ very busy schedules that they have,” according to Rainone.

They also have the Roadrunner Cubby Closet to help with basics like food and coats, and even ran drive-thru food pantries for students.

And to help even more, the governor recently signed the G3 program to help cover all the costs of community college.

“What an opportune time this is for Virginia to not only train but also retrain individuals to get back into our workforce,” Governor Ralph Northam said at Monday’s signing ceremony.

“We want to be able to continue to offer education and training to everyone of our service area,” Rainone said.

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