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Dec 12

ADVANCE Partnership a Model of Collaboration

Posted on December 12, 2019 at 9:02 AM by Bob Lazaro

George Mason University/Northern Virginia Community College ADVANCE Partnership a Model of Collaboration

While much attention has been paid in the region regarding the attraction of Amazon’s HQ2 to the region, the fact is that collaboration among our local governments, schools and universities has been ongoing for quite some time. One great example of that regional collaboration is the ADVANCE Partnership between George Mason University and the Northern Virginia Community College.

Picture of Anne Holton, David Tarter and Mel SchiavelliAt a recent meeting hosted by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, NVRC Chairman and Falls Church Mayor David Tarter, GMU Interim President Anne Holton, NVCC Interim President Mel Schiavelli and Superintendents of our local school districts, Presidents Holton and Schiavelli updated the Superintendents of the success of the ADVANCE Partnership to date and exploring additional efforts to further collaborate on a deeper basis to grow the number of students participating.

What is the ADVANCE Partnership?

Simply put it is a forward-thinking partnership that will help NVCC graduates transfer seamlessly to earn bachelor’s degrees in high demand fields. Dedicated success coaches at both institutions, ease of admission and financial aid, and alignment of curricula to ensure students don’t lose credits when they transfer are just a few of the many benefits of the Partnership. By eliminating the roadblocks that have hampered students in the past, ADVANCE offers a clear, smooth and guided path to help student achieve their four-year degree in the field of their choice.

Success to date includes 692 students enrolled in the program as of the Fall 2019. It is estimated that students can save greater than $15,000 on the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Further there are more than 100-degree pathways and there are no wasted credits.

GMU and NVCC have reinvented the transfer model.

  1. Every student has a dedicated ADVANCE success coach who knows the transfer ins and outs, and provides support each step of the way.
  2. There is a streamlined enrollment process.
  3. No more losing credits when the student graduates from NVCC and starts at Mason. Policies are aligned and everyone is on the same page.
  4. Students get great benefits, including access to Mason student life, athletic events and campus facilities.
  5. Select programs will be available online and in the classroom.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is committed to work with all of its public and private partners to ensure the region is preparing a workforce for the future here in Northern Virginia. Details on the ADVANCE Partnership can be found at: