From Gators to Captains: Building A Bridge to Success - Christopher Newport University


Captain Chris stands to the left of a group of CNU and VPCC representatives after signing an agreement on a basketball court.

From Gators to Captains: Building A Bridge to Success

CNU Partners with VPCC to create a seamless transfer experience.

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Christopher Newport and Virginia Peninsula Community College will make it easier for students to enroll at CNU after attending VPCC. The two institutions have reimagined the transfer process, creating an innovative program that will help students cross the bridge from community college to a four-year school, without losing time or credits.

At the heart of the VPCC Bridge to CNU Program are numerous benefits designed to help transfer students succeed, such as:

  • Need-based financial aid
  • Waived application fees
  • Priority consideration for housing
  • Assistance with planning courses
  • Guaranteed acceptance of all transferable credits from VPCC
  • Early access to CNU academic resources, campus facilities and academic advising.

Early access to campus will be a cornerstone of the program, as it will give prospective students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Christopher Newport experience — while still enrolled at VPCC. This early exposure will allow students to familiarize themselves with the campus, its resources and its people and help foster a sense of belonging and community. Bridge students will have the opportunity to attend many of the social, fine arts, and athletic events on campus, ensuring they feel embraced and part of the community from the outset.

The Christopher Newport experience was on full display at the official signing of the partnership, which took place at center court of the Freeman Center during halftime of an exciting game played by the CNU Captains Men’s Basketball team. That game followed a contest featuring the VPCC Gators team. Against the backdrop of a packed arena and lively crowd, President William Kelly and President Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon signed the agreement, solidifying their shared dedication to supporting student success.

“We’re proud our colleges can share the court, and we’re proud of our shared commitment to student success,” President Kelly said to President Brannon and the Freeman Center crowd. “I have been so impressed by the transfer students who have already matriculated here. We are building this new bridge because we want to bring more of those amazing VPCC students to Christopher Newport, and we want to keep them in our hometown for years to come. I thank President Brannon for opening up her heart and opening up this bridge so we can welcome so many more of these amazing students to our great university!”

“Our colleges are charged with developing talent that’s going to stay in Virginia and contribute to the economic vitality of this region. President Kelly, I am certain that our individual institutions will accomplish incredible things,” said President Brannon. “But I also know working together, the collective impact that we can have in this region is improved because of our collaboration. Thank you to you and your leadership for making CNU the first institution in the region to say yes to this partnership.”

Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice-President of Student Success and Enrollment, emphasized that the partnership will establish a clear path for students that will help them realize their academic and career goals.

"The VPCC Bridge to CNU Program is going to be a game-changer for students," Duncan Raines said. "It’s about more than transferring credits–it’s about transforming lives. This program will create a realistic, achievable path for students to matriculate to a four-year program without losing credits and without losing time. The end result will be a brighter future for students and the community alike.”

The VPCC Bridge to CNU program promises to build on Virginia's success of providing pathways for community college students to achieve their academic aspirations, while also advancing the growth of a more educated population. According to recent data from the U.S. The Department of Education, Virginia has established itself as a leader in helping community college students transition to a four-year degree, becoming one of the top states in the nation for graduation rates among transfer students.

“The VPCC Bridge to CNU Program represents an investment in the future of Virginia's workforce,” said President Kelly. “ We will help provide a clear and accessible pathway for students to pursue that degree and future career opportunities, which will contribute to the economic growth of this great region and state.”

Kelly added that with the combined support of VPCC and CNU, students can confidently embark on their academic journey knowing they have the resources and guidance they need to succeed.

“We want students to know our doors are open to them – while they are still at VPCC – and we are prepared to support them every step of the way, said Kelly. “This is about access and opportunity. We want our transfer students to feel valued, encouraged and a part of our community. The next bridge after they graduate from CNU is to a fulfilling career, and we hope they stay right here on the Peninsula and help make this an even better place to live and work.”

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