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CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – To prepare students for a variety of in-demand jobs, Brightpoint Community College is launching six new majors this fall. The programs, which will help students build skills in healthcare, manufacturing, graphic design and other fields, range from majors that can be completed in a year or less to associate degrees. “We are excited to add new programs to our 75 plus existing majors, as we strive to continuously meet the needs and demands of our students and employers,” says Dr. William “Bill” Fiege, vice president of learning and student success at Brightpoint. 

The new majors starting this fall are:

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 
As the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry emerges in Petersburg, the need for highly skilled technicians is increasing. With the help of industry experts, Brightpoint developed a pharmaceutical manufacturing career studies certificate. This program, which can be completed in one year or less, includes hands-on learning and will prepare students for entry-level technician jobs. "Brightpoint is responding to industry demands with this newly designed program that will prepare students for careers that will help bring life-saving medicines to those in need,” says Dr. Cornelia Kavungo-Johnson, Brightpoint’s program director of pharmaceutical manufacturing. “Through hands-on courses, students will experience real-life applications using advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing techniques with industry-standard equipment. They will learn to manage large-scale chemical reactions, phase separations, and fill/finish processes from industry professionals. They will also participate in industry-based internships.” The program, was funded in part by GO Virginia, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Practical Nursing 
Those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare now have another option at Brightpoint with the addition of a practical nursing program. The practical nursing program, which can be completed in three semesters, will include hands-on learning in the college’s state-of-the-art labs and simulation rooms, as well as at clinical sites in the area. To help accommodate working parents, the majority of classes will be offered in the evenings with clinicals on the weekends. “In response to community demand, Brightpoint Community College is excited to offer new opportunities in healthcare including the practical nursing program this fall and a licensed practical nurse to registered nurse bridge program, which we anticipate starting in summer 2023,” says Kathleen Mongiovi, MSN, RN, CNE, professor and practical nurse coordinator at Brightpoint. “Through our nursing programs, graduates can look forward to working with community partners to provide excellence in healthcare.” The college’s practical nursing program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing. 

Graphic Design 
The field of graphic design is evolving. Although rooted in visual arts, graphic design positions  now often require coding and user interface experience skills. Because of these changing requirements, Brightpoint added a graphics specialization to its current web design program. The web design, graphics specialization associate of applied science degree, which can be completed in two years, prepares students for immediate entry into the workforce. Students who enroll in this degree will learn techniques specific to computer-generated design and imagery; explore all stages of print-based publication; and learn to design and manage web-based platforms. 

Funeral Services Director 
After changes in legislation and examining trends in the funeral services industry, the college decided to expand its current offerings to include a funeral services director associate of applied science degree. In addition to funeral services courses, students in this program will take classes to help them build the communications, technology, and business skills necessary for funeral directing and managing a funeral home facility. Brightpoint’s funeral services director program is one of only two such programs in the Commonwealth. 

Project Management
The college’s new project management career studies certificate (CSC) is designed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing field relevant to many business areas including information technology, engineering, contracting, and the nonprofit sector. This CSC, which is a completely online program, can be completed in one semester and prepares students for the Project Management Institutes (PMI) certification as a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or a Project Management Professional (PMP). The program can help individuals gain new skills that may help them advance their career and prepare students for entry-level jobs that require project management skills. The CSC can also be a starting point for associate-degree-seeking students, as it feeds directly into the college’s business management, project management specialization major. 

Digital Marketing
With projections for growth in the fields of marketing and public relations, the college developed a one-year digital marketing career studies certificate. Through this program, students already employed in the fields of business or marketing will be able to update their skills, allowing for opportunities to advance their careers. The program is also for students who are interested in gaining an entry-level job that requires experience in e-commerce and/or digital marketing. 

In addition to these new majors, the college has a Uniform Certificate of General Studies (UCGS). The UCGS is awarded to students who complete 30-32 credits of specific general education courses. All courses are transferable and will satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any public institution of higher education in Virginia. 

Information about the college’s new programs, the UCGS, and the institution’s existing majors may be found at https://brightpoint.edu/majors. Interested students can also explore the college’s fall schedule of classes at https://brightpoint.edu/schedule. The schedule includes classes taught in a variety of formats from on-campus to fully online, as well as Zoom and formats that blend multiple modalities. The schedule also includes classes of different lengths and that start throughout the semester. Registration for the fall semester, which begins August 29, 2022, is currently underway, and those ready to begin or continue their college journey can find out how to get started at Brightpoint by visiting https://brightpoint.edu/admissions/get-started/. Staff in the college’s Help Hub (https://brightpoint.edu/helphub) are also available to answer questions.

Brightpoint Community College, formerly John Tyler Community College, offers more than 80 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 11,400 students during the 2021-22 academic year. It also assisted approximately 5,700 learners, including more than 2,700 job seekers, through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Brightpoint and Reynolds community colleges.