George Mason University Launches its First Mason Academy with Germanna Community College

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Fredericksburg, VA – George Mason University and Germanna Community College have announced a new partnership bringing the first Mason Academy program to Virginia students. The Mason Academy is a localized guided degree transfer program that is in alliance with a Virginia community college and is part of the Mason Virginia Promise (MVP) initiative. The partnership was formalized during a signing ceremony at Germanna’s campus in Fredericksburg on June 6, 2022.

“The Mason Virginia Promise is built on the belief that education and success should be available to everyone. 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,” said Mason President Gregory Washington. “Mason is redefining what it means to be inclusive and allow everyone to participate in a thriving economy. We are committed to providing pathways for all Virginians, through education and business, and to ensure students are equipped in addressing the grand challenges to our planet and society.

Gregory Washington in a gray suit and green and gold striped tie stands next to Janet Gullickson in a white blouse and red pants
Mason President Gregory Washington and Germanna President Janet Gullickson celebrate the Mason Academy at Germanna on June 6, 2022. Photo by Germanna Community College.

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. As part of financial aid, Mason will also 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,” said Germanna President Janet Gullickson. “Our accelerated, online College Everywhere program makes a two-year degree more accessible for students, who work while taking classes and caring for families. And the new Mason Academy offers Germanna graduates a pathway and a supportive bridge to a bachelor's degree at a top university.”

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 80 percent of students attending community colleges say they want to earn a four-year degree, but only 30 percent of community college students succeed in transferring to a four-year institution in 2020. The 2021 update shows that lower-income students were half as likely as their higher-income peers to have transferred to a four-year institution and attain a bachelor’s degree within six years of first entry to a community college

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 NOVA Virginia Community College (NOVA) that was launched in 2018. George 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. Last year, the Mason Enterprise team advised and supported 11,000 small businesses with 42,000 hours of one-on-one counseling. In addition, 20,000 entrepreneurs took part in 753 no-cost or low-cost training programs. Mason’s entrepreneur and small business programs have made a $1.6 billion impact in the commonwealth.

Germanna’s College Everywhere is an innovative, streamlined 100 percent online program that has been particularly successful in enrolling male students, a demographic that’s declined at most colleges around the country, with a high student success rate.

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About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at gmu.edu.

About Germanna Community College

Germanna Community College is a community college in Virginia with campuses in Locust Grove, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Culpeper. Founded in 1970, the college takes its name from a group of settlers at Germanna Ford on the Rapidan River, where Governor Alexander Spotswood established a frontier fort and settlement in 1714 for the German miners and their families. Learn more at germanna.edu.