On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Ferrum College and Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) officials entered into an agreement guaranteeing admission into Ferrum College’s recreation leadership program to LFCC students who have received an Associate of Science degree in recreation and outdoor leadership. Within the College’s recreation leadership program, LFCC students may choose to focus on recreation management or ecotourism. The agreement was signed on the College’s campus by Ferrum College President David Johns and Provost Aimé Sposato, and LFCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Kellison and Provost Chris Coutts. LFCC President Kim Blosser was unable to attend.
Also present at the signing were Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Kevin Reilly; Dean of the School of Health Professions and Social Sciences Angie Dahl; Associate Professor of Recreation Leadership Dan Caston; Associate Professor of Ecotourism Chris Mayer; Director of Ferrum Outdoors Aaron Conover, all of Ferrum College; and Dean of Science, Engineering, Math and Health Ia Gomez; and Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Stacey Ellis, both of LFCC.
“More and more people are discovering the beauty of Virginia and they are spending time in our lakes and trails, and at our many parks and cultural sites. Tourism and outdoor recreation brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the Commonwealth,” said Johns. “Because of this, we need professionals ready to support this growing area of tourism, and we need them to be business savvy educators who are advocates for Virginia’s natural environment. Ferrum College is delighted to partner with Lord Fairfax Community College to prepare such women and men.”
“As people and communities continue to realize the impacts recreation and being outdoors have on overall wellbeing and health, there will be a growing need for professionals trained in the recreation and outdoor wellness fields,” said Blosser. “We at LFCC are grateful for the hard work put in by Professor Stacey Ellis and her counterparts at Ferrum College to ensure that LFCC students can seamlessly transfer into their bachelor’s degree programs at Ferrum.”
This agreement follows Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s July 2019 announcement of the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, which seeks to recruit new outdoor businesses to Virginia as well as promote the outdoor recreation industry. The governor’s website indicates that Virginia’s outdoor recreation industry contributes approximately $22 billion per year in the state’s revenue, and provides nearly 200,000 jobs.
The memorandum of agreement states that acceptance into the College’s recreation leadership program with require the following: LFCC students must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in required courses applicable to the recreation leadership program; have earned a minimum of 60 transferable credits; and hold an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher prior to enrollment at Ferrum College. Additionally, the agreement allows LFCC students to transfer to the College with junior status if they have successfully completed 56 hours of curriculum with a grade of “C” or above, thereby providing a pathway to complete a Bachelor of Science in recreation leadership within two years of transfer.
“The Lord Fairfax Community College program aligns perfectly with both our recreation leadership and ecotourism degrees, and we are delighted to provide these students with a smooth pathway to the completion of a four-year degree through the Ferrum Promise,” said Sposato.
The College announced the Ferrum Promise initiative this past November, which guarantees that students who transfer from a Virginia community college with an appropriate associate’s degree will be able to graduate within two years of transfer, or they will receive free tuition for the remaining coursework.
“This is a great opportunity to create a streamlined admission process between LFCC’s recreation and outdoor leadership graduates and Ferrum College’s recreation leadership bachelor’s degree candidates,” said Dahl. “It’s the first step in facilitating a long-term partnership which will produce individuals equipped for careers that both utilize and preserve the uniqueness of where we live.”
“These agreements represent the commitment that both of our institutions of higher learning have toward educating citizens who care about the integrity of the environment and the quality of life in our communities,” said Mayer.
Caston agrees: “We are very excited by this opportunity to formally connect with LFCC. Our programs are synergistic so it just makes sense to work together for the benefit of our students.”
Read more about Ferrum College’s recreation leadership major here.
Learn more about the Ferrum Promise here.