Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To West Virginia University at Parkersburg, which has implemented two programs that are improving the college experience and education for students. The Guided Pathway System is getting students registered and through their coursework more efficiently; and the Summer Bridge Program is allowing students to get difficult courses, such as required math and English, out of the way over the summer, before they dive into full courseloads in their chosen study tracks.

DOWN: To ViaAir’s “lack of aircraft available and the maintenance of the aircraft,” that led to 40 percent of its flights out of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport being canceled in January. ” … people are still traveling out of here in good numbers; it’s just the number of cancellations,” said Airport Manager Jeff McDougle. “You hope people don’t lose faith in the reliability of the carrier as a source of transportation.”

UP: To after-school arts programs provided by the Parkersburg Art Center at the Boys and Girls Club and McKinley Elementary School. “With Wood County Schools only having one designated art teacher in the elementary schools, we feel there is a need for more art programs to fill the void,” said Jessie Siefert, education director at the Parkersburg Art Center. “Art is creativity, it builds critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and is the overall basis of design.”

UP: To winners of the 2017 Wood County Social Studies Fair, which featured projects from “WWII Propaganda” to “JP Morgan Rocks the Boat.” In categories such as anthropology, geography, political science, economics, psychology, sociology, state and local studies, U.S. History and World History, students gained invaluable exposure and education in fields that may lose their luster a bit in the Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics era, but are vital to them becoming informed, thoughtful adults who can be meaningfully contributing members of society.

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