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NSWC Dahlgren Division and Germanna Community College Partner to impact business management and STEM education

From Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division:

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) and Germanna Community College have signed an Educational Partnership Agreement.

NSWCDD and Germanna leaders envision it will significantly advance professional education in the field of management for the NSWCDD workforce. “Our new agreement with Germanna Community College with an emphasis on management and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) perfectly aligns with our mission and vision moving forward,” said Capt. Casey Plew, NSWCDD commanding officer. “Through collaboration with regional partners such as Germanna, NSWC Dahlgren is demonstrating its commitment to the success of our community.”

Through the Educational Partnership Agreement, NSWCDD can choose to loan laboratory equipment to Germanna for educational purposes and make laboratory personnel available for teaching and mentorship at the college while providing internship opportunities for students matriculating to four-year science STEM degree programs. “We are very excited about this partnership and are grateful for the opportunities it will provide our students. We know that this is just the beginning,” said Dr. Janet Gullickson, Germanna Community College president. “We will be building more partnerships with the military and with defense agencies to train service members and students to fill skills gap jobs in a wide variety of fields in both the public and private sectors, particularly in STEM jobs.”

Meanwhile, the agreement allows NSWCDD to offer visits, tours, and demonstrations for Germanna faculty and students. Specific goals for this relationship include development of regional educational partnerships that accelerate participation of students – particularly those from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas – in STEM careers that support national defense. Also, NSWCDD can partner with Germanna Community College to enhance the education of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets throughout the greater Fredericksburg region by providing greater access to dual enrollment courses combined with mentorship and outreach from Navy scientists and engineers.

“With our expertise in human systems Integration, we can partner with Germanna Community College and other organizations in our ecosystem to help them explore novel technologies such as augmented and virtual reality in an educational context,” said Michael Young, NSWCDD Academic Engagement director. The leaders and workforce of NSWCDD have long looked to the community college system as a key partner in the command’s innovation ecosystem.

Robust engagement with Dahlgren’s community college partners such as Germanna is considered vital to the overall success of the regional economy. “Recent events have borne this out,” said Young. “With upheavals in secondary and post-secondary education due to COVID-19 impacts, an unprecedented number of students in our region are relying on the community college system as a key component of their career progression.” As educational systems transition to virtual and hybrid learning models, it is becoming clear that community colleges have been engaged in virtual and hybrid instruction for years, delivering high quality and economical education.

The NSWCDD—Germanna Educational Partnership Agreement also aligns with the Department of the Navy’s new civilian human capital strategy released in January 2020 to position the Navy for success. Specifically, the agreement with Germanna supports this strategy to develop skills for the future by identifying, assessing and acquiring the skills that the Navy and its Warfare Centers need to be best equipped to do the work of the future. The agreement also aligns with the Navy’s human capital strategy’s call to strengthen the bench of future talent. This requires embedding talent development, such as next-generation learning and leadership programs, to enable a succession planning process and build a robust pipeline of the best future leaders.

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