Wallops Higher Education Partnership (WHEP) is a regional partnership established to support the higher educational needs of the Wallops area community and the greater Delmarva peninsula. The current partnership is comprised of the following colleges and universities: Eastern Shore Community College, Wor-Wic Community College, Old Dominion University, and Wilmington University.
The mission of WHEP is to ensure regional access to higher education, training, and student-centered services for veterans, for active-duty military and their families, and for civilian personnel in order to build a stronger regional workforce.
WHEP’s vision is to be the collaborative higher education portal through which students in the Wallops region are offered personalized student support and academic programs with worldwide credential transferability.
The idea for the partnership grew from the signing of an agreement between the US Navy’s Surface Combat Command Center (SCSC) at Wallops Island and Eastern Shore Community College in 2012. One concern that surfaced quickly was although active duty service members enroll in and complete college courses at a high rate, the academic program completion rate could be improved. All agreed that professional, face-to-face higher education support and guidance would be valuable in helping to create an individual educational plan that showed these service members how to get from the first day of classes to graduation. In addition, an increased knowledge and understanding of financial aid options would help these students to achieve success.
To improve academic success (and to ease the transition into the college world) a need was identified for more Wallops-located, classroom-based courses for core courses such as English and mathematics. Furthermore, there was a need for students to start college (or continue college) on the Shore and be able to complete their academic program anywhere that their military duty takes them. Regional college accreditation is critical to ensure worldwide credential transferability of academic programs. All partners in WHEP are regionally accredited.
Additionally,the Navy and Coast Guard family representatives all voiced a need to keep family members happy and actively engaged while stationed in this relatively rural duty station. Family members need assistance in getting past the potential anxiety of beginning college while dealing with issues of childcare, financial obligations, and frequent relocation. College is possible for them as well, and WHEP can help.
For more information regarding WHEP, including courses, location, hours of operation, and the individual partners involved, please contact one of the following:
Linda Thomas Glover
Eastern Shore Community College