For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2018
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Laurel Ridge Community College and Shepherd University this week signed an agreement that will allow Laurel Ridge graduates earning an associate of arts and sciences degree in general studies with a specialization in recreation and outdoor leadership to seamlessly transfer into the recreation and sports studies bachelor of science degree program at Shepherd University.
The Recreation 2+2 agreement (two years at Laurel Ridge for an associate degree, followed by two years at Shepherd for a bachelor’s degree) was signed by Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser and Shepherd University Assistant Provost for Academic Community Outreach Virginia Hicks Monday in Cornerstone Hall on Laurel Ridge’s Middletown Campus.
When Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Stacey Ellis started the recreation associate degree program three years ago, she reached out to several colleges and universities for guidance as she developed the curriculum.
“The whole Recreation and Sports Studies Department at Shepherd University welcomed me with open arms,” Ellis says. “Laurel Ridge classes have an intimate feel and our professors truly care about our students, so it’s nice to know they will transfer into a similar environment where they can really share a connection with their professors.”
Students would take recreation and outdoor leadership classes, such as outdoor recreation, risk management, leadership and supervision, outdoor adventure, and program planning, at Laurel Ridge, as well as some general education courses, such as college composition I and II, principles of sociology, general biology and history of world civilizations. They would then transfer to Shepherd and take higher-level recreation classes and more general education classes and electives.
From Shepherd, the students would earn a bachelor of science degree in public recreation and sports studies, with a concentration in either public recreation and parks administration, or therapeutic recreation. Therapeutic recreation specialists might work in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes or camps, among other facilities, while a graduate with the public recreation and parks administration concentration would be an ideal candidate to work in the travel, tourism, entertainment and hospitality fields, as well as in public parks and commercial recreation.
“Professor Ellis and the Shepherd University team have worked really hard on this agreement so our graduates can have streamlined pathways to their bachelor’s degrees,” President Blosser says. “Several of our deans visited Shepherd in the spring. They spoke very highly of the facilities, the beauty of the campus and how close it is to our Middletown Campus.”
Shepherd University officials feel honored to sign another agreement with Laurel Ridge, Assistant Provost Hicks says. Just last December, the two institutions signed a transfer agreement for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
“We hope that we have many more,” she says. “This is such a win-win for the students. They get to experience an awesome program right here at Laurel Ridge and graduate in good standing with an associate degree. When they come to us, we will have the door open for them. When they transfer to Shepherd University, they will be able to finish in two years – not three years or four years. It’s a seamless transition, a great pathway.”
To learn more about the Recreation 2+2 program, visit www.laurelridge.edu/recreation.
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected], 173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.