Frequently Asked Questions

General Frequently Asked Questions

Accreditation

What does the Virginia Board of Health Professions say about this potential merger?
Both institutions’ programs are accredited, and we will continue to ensure they remain so.

How will Jefferson’s current accreditations be impacted?
We are in contact with accrediting bodies and will maintain accreditation of our programs.

Associate Programs at Jefferson

What will happen to the two-year programs at Jefferson?
Radford does not offer two-year programs. So, Radford will “teach out” those programs and then they will transition to Virginia Western Community College.

Bookstore & Gift Shop at Jefferson

What will happen with the Bookstore? We technically have a Bookstore, but we buy all our books online.
Radford partners with Barnes & Noble for its Bookstore. We anticipate that students will buy textbooks from B&N. We are discussing whether the Gift Shop at Jefferson will continue as a Carilion-managed store or be taken over by B&N.
We currently have access to lots of online textbooks and resources through our library. Will we continue to have that access and get access to more resources?
Yes. We expect most of what is offered online through Radford’s Library will be extended to Roanoke.

Effects on Carilion Clinic

Will Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital (CRCH) still be a facility that sees patients?
The clinical services Carilion provides today at CRCH will continue to be provided at CRCH post-merger.

What will happen to the space Jefferson College currently occupies?
This space will remain dedicated to educational programs.

Effects on Roanoke

What does the city of Roanoke say about this integration?
Having a strong partner like Radford University commit to further engaging in the Roanoke community is a good thing. The burgeoning Roanoke Innovation Corridor with Carilion Clinic, Virginia Tech, the city of Roanoke and now the merger of Jefferson College into Radford University is yet another sign of the exciting momentum taking place in the city and the region. Radford University has a history of offering competitive programs, recognized for its excellence and has many robust partnerships with both the public and private sector in Roanoke. These include: (1) collaboration in a public-private partnership in 2015 to establish the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab, housed at Jefferson College; (2) Radford University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program was integrated with Jefferson College’s Roanoke campus in 2011, which has promoted interaction between program participants and major health care providers in the region; (3) more than 500 Radford University students participated in job shadowing, clinical rotations or internships with Carilion Clinic from 2016 to 2017; and (4) in Fiscal Year 2017, more than 60 students earned degrees from the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC)-hosted Roanoke cohorts of Radford University Bachelor or Master of Social Work programs and undergraduate nursing, criminal justice and interdisciplinary studies/elementary education programs. In total, the RHEC promotes 11 Radford programs including on-site, hybrid or online programs. Roanoke will continue to be a vital partner in Radford’s future as we serve the needs of our students and provide graduates who work to make a difference for our communities.

What do you anticipate will be the community reaction?
We have proven track records of successful partnerships and believe this potential merger will be a success. For example, Carilion Clinic partnered with Virginia Tech more than 10 years ago to form the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, and that partnership proved to be a considerable success. The integration of Jefferson College into Radford University will be the same. Radford University and Jefferson College have historically impacted our communities for the better, so we hope the community will see the full potential of this merger as we do – an opportunity to raise the profile of health sciences and technology in Roanoke and benefit our communities, region and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Effects on Radford University

How does this potential merger impact Radford’s relationship with other health care facilities in the Roanoke and New River valleys?
All health care facilities need qualified staff, so this potential merger will be good news for them. The merger will allow Radford to benefit from the integration of two excellent programs, positioning it as a top producer of nursing, health and human services providers in the region and in the Commonwealth, and as a dedicated partner to expanded and improved health and human services benefiting our communities.

General Questions

Why should faculty members, staff members, students and/or alumni support this merger?
The merger will help our institutions meet and exceed our commitment to community engagement and service. For faculty and staff members, we plan to operate in both Radford and Roanoke, so the integration could expand opportunities. For students, this potential merger will allow enhanced access to ongoing research, enable additional collaboration and result in greater educational opportunities. For alumni, this merger will augment the demand for health care professionals throughout the region and the Commonwealth, resulting in increased opportunities. Simply stated: Jefferson College, Radford University and the communities we serve will benefit from this merger.

Why was this announced in January 2018 if the details were not finalized?
We are committed to transparency and want to inform and involve all parties affected by this merger. Once it became clear that we planned to merge Jefferson College into Radford University, we wanted to announce this intention. The history of success of our respective organizations is the result of the professionalism, hard work and dedication of our faculty members, staff members and employees, and leadership’s engagement with them on all aspects of how we operate and improve processes. At Radford University, there is a commitment to shared governance. And, as with any complex initiative, the success of this merger will rely on engaging the expertise of our respective faculty members, staff members and other employees. In order to begin that process, we needed to announce this initiative.

Why will the merger planning process take 18 to 24 months?
The complexity and scope of this initiative necessitates time to work through myriad details. Both Radford University and Jefferson College highly value our students and are committed to their success. To ensure this merger is successful and our students benefit, we want to do our due diligence in addressing the many details that are entailed with this initiative. We will be diligent in our efforts to keep interested parties informed.

What are the challenges of integrating a private institution into a public institution?
There are many complexities to work through when dealing with a merger of this nature. Carilion Clinic already has experience in this space, having partnered with Virginia Tech to form the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute. We have formed transition teams to focus on areas such as academic programs, accreditation, student services, human resources and finance. Approval of the merger will be necessary from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and other accrediting or regulatory bodies; the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) will provide guidance moving forward.

After the merger, will Jefferson College of Health Sciences still exist?
No.

And applicants are aware of the merger process when they apply?
Yes. The merger is shared with prospective students and applicants throughout the recruitment process.

Will Radford build a new building in Roanoke for the new entity?
There are plans for a new building in the future, but for the foreseeable future, the Roanoke campus will be located at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. The plan for the lease at CRCH is 7-10 years.

Why would Jefferson merge with Radford and not Virginia Tech?
VT does not have an allied health sciences program, while Radford does. Also, the mission and culture of Radford and Jefferson are very well aligned.

Will Jefferson still have a website?
No. Post-merger, content on the Jefferson website will be folded into Radford's website.

Jefferson College Endowment

What will happen to the Jefferson College foundation and endowment?
While many details of the potential merger continue to be addressed, funds will continue to be allocated based on the donor’s intent.

Legacy of Jefferson College

Will rebranding lose the integrity of where we came from?
This school has been “rebranded” multiple times and has always maintained pride in its history.

Why was there a big celebration of the college’s 35th anniversary only to announce the merger a few months later?
Jefferson is merging with Radford to better provide the health care workforce needed for expanded needs in our region (aging demographics, opioid crisis, unhealthy lifestyles, etc.). We can grow stronger together than we could separately.

Merger Timing

Is the merger happening this summer or the summer after?
Summer of 2019.

If I graduate after summer 2019, will my degree come from Jefferson or Radford?
If you graduate after the merger is completed, your degree will come from Radford.

Rebranding

How/when will any rebranding occur as a result of the potential merger?
It is anticipated that branding will be updated. We are considering several options. Currently, we expect the new brand will include both “Radford” and “Carilion” in the name.

Students and Alumni Frequently Asked Questions

Academics

Will Radford’s grading scale be adopted at the Roanoke campus?
That will be program-specific.

How will the merger impact the nursing program’s grading scale for Jefferson students?
The leadership of the two nursing programs will work collaboratively to decide on shared mission, learning outcomes, admissions standards and grading. This process will take several months.

Will the program of study change for JCHS current students?
Students will finish their program of study if they came in as JCHS students.

How will the merger affect the background and reputation of Jefferson’s current student population and the programs that we have? For example, Jefferson students enjoy high passing rates for licensures and high employment numbers after graduation.
Standards of education will be maintained with the merger and enhanced over time.

Will Jefferson students be “grandfathered” into their current plan of study?
Yes, to a point. If someone takes an extended leave of absence, we will have to work out an individual plan of study.

What happens if Jefferson students cannot complete their current plan of study during the “teach out” of certain programs?
The teach out should allow students to complete the current program of study, unless there is an extended leave of absence by the student.

What is a “teach out”?
It refers to the closure of a program.

Are current Jefferson students at risk of Radford students taking their seats in the classes needed for their programs of study?
No.

Alumni

If Jefferson students want to come back to the Roanoke campus for graduate school, will they come as Jefferson alumni or Radford alumni?
It depends on when you graduate, but you will be alumni of the Roanoke campus, whether it's named Jefferson or Radford. You’ll apply for graduate programs as any other student would at Radford University.

Application Process

Will there be a separate application process to apply for the Radford and Roanoke campuses?
Right now, and through the completion of the merger, students will go through the regular admissions process at Radford and at Jefferson. After the merger, applicants will apply solely through Radford. As a reminder, students applying to Jefferson will be asked if we can share their information with Radford by checking a box on their application. By allowing us to do that now, we will be able to have your information in the Radford system immediately rather than having to do it after the merger has taken place.

Another reminder is that to provide the best service possible, we are asking students to use both the Jefferson and Radford FAFSA codes to apply for financial aid for 2019-20. This will allow us to process and disburse funds more efficiently. The Radford University FAFSA code is 003732. The JCHS FAFSA code is 009893.

Will Jefferson stop taking applications for admission?
Jefferson College will continue taking applications through the summer of 2019.

Athletics

Will Roanoke students be able to attend Radford athletic events?
Yes, Roanoke students will be welcome to attend athletic events and the Student Services Subcommittee is exploring ways Roanoke students can participate in varsity or intramural sports.

Will Roanoke students be allowed walk on to varsity teams and play sports at Radford?
Athletics and other activities will be available to Roanoke students. Students who wish to “walk on” will be required to try out, just as Radford based students must do.

Clinicals & Internships

Will Roanoke students continue to do clinicals in Roanoke or will they have to go to Radford?
Roanoke students will have the opportunity to do clinicals in areas across southwest Virginia, including in Roanoke. The Roanoke entity will continue to have a strong affiliation with Carilion Clinic and offer our students learning opportunities. You will also have opportunities to do clinicals in other locations and with a lot of other organizations as well. In addition, Roanoke students will have the opportunity to interact with Radford students learning at the Roanoke Higher Ed Center and increase the opportunities to participate in interprofessional education.

With a Jefferson program like Physician Assistant (PA), students have a priority agreement to get first pick of clinical rotation sites. Will that continue post-merger?
We anticipate it will.

Is Radford going through the process of ensuring all clinical rotations will be carried over to Radford after the merger?
Merger planning committees have spent months working with several programs to ensure all the remote sites are accounted for and covered. Jefferson students will not lose rotation credit for clinicals post-merger.

Will the partnership with Carilion for clinical internships continue after the merger?
Yes. The Roanoke entity will continue to have a strong affiliation with Carilion Clinic and offer our students learning opportunities. You will also have opportunities to do clinicals in other locations and with a lot of other organizations as well. We have about 600-700 contracts that allow us to do these kinds of clinicals. They will all be honored.

Carilion has been helpful in expanding our opportunities for internships, like they did for EMS students working with the City of Roanoke. Can we expect Radford to do the same?
Yes. Radford is committed to providing all those types of opportunities as well.

Will Roanoke students have to attend clinical rotations in Radford?
That will depend on several factors. As before, clinical placements are done through the program clinical placement coordinators. We anticipate that the number of sites will increase.

Commencement/Graduation

Will Roanoke students have to travel to Radford for graduations, or will there still be commencement exercises held in Roanoke?
That is an area that is being considered by the Student Services Subcommittee.

Will current Jefferson students receive a diploma from Jefferson College of Health Sciences?
That will depend on when the student graduates. Those who graduate after the merger is completed will receive a diploma from Radford University.

Financial Aid, Institutional Scholarships and Grants

What about financial aid that Jefferson students receive for Summer 2019 classes? Will it be affected?
Summer funding normally is part of what you received the previous academic year, so it should not be affected. If you have funding specific to the summer semester, we will work with you directly.

With Jefferson being private, a lot of independent, private scholarships are offered to bring the costs down. Will that money be lost for the fall of 2019? Also, what will happen to VTAG?
The institutional aid that students get from Jefferson will be maintained. However, VTAG will not be available to students since Radford is a public institution. Radford plans to work to reduce the cost of tuition for Roanoke students in a majority of undergraduate programs by at least 10 percent in the first year, which will help mitigate the loss of VTAG. And, we are exploring other ways to further reduce out-of-pocket costs.

Will Roanoke institutional scholarships be available to all Radford students or just those in Roanoke?
Institutional scholarships are location specific.

Will scholarships based on good academic standing be maintained after the merger?
Yes, scholarships will continue to be offered and renewed. Dollar amounts may change as efforts to reduce costs are implemented.

Will Roanoke-based nursing students qualify for HRSA loans?
If there are HRSA funds at Jefferson, Radford will continue to honor them through the institutional loans.

If filling out the FAFSA for Fall 2019, should we select Radford as the school? And will that give us better chances for financial aid?
To provide the best service possible, we are asking students to use both the Jefferson and Radford FAFSA codes. This will allow us to process and disburse funds more efficiently. The Radford University FAFSA code is 003732. The JCHS FAFSA code is 009893.

Won’t there be confusion if we’re applying for FAFSA funds for two different costs at two different intuitions?
We can create multiple budgets to deal with that. Applying to both schools was a directive from the federal Department of Education.

For Those Graduating After the Merger

I am graduating from Jefferson before the merger. Will I need to have my diploma reissued after the merger?
No, your Jefferson diploma will still be valid.

If I just started at Jefferson and graduate in 2020, will my diploma be conferred by Radford?
Yes.

Will graduating students, say over the next year, who transition into a graduate program at Jefferson be able to complete the program at Jefferson?
Timing will determine the answer to this. We can commit that all of our students can complete the program of study that they began.

Will I need or be issued a new diploma when the name changes/after the merger?
No.

For Those Taking Classes at Jefferson in Summer 2019

What about Jefferson students taking classes in Summer 2019? Will classes be affected if the merger happens during those classes?
No, classes that are taking place as the merger happens will not be affected. They will be taught out as normal.

How does this affect current (2018-19 academic year) students?
It will not affect these students.

Graduate Education

How does this affect the graduate and doctorate programs?
Graduate education in the health fields is an important strategic initiative and will remain strong.

Greek Life

Will Greek life be offered on the Roanoke campus?
Those conversations are taking place in the Student Services Subcommittee now. Decisions have yet to be made.

Jefferson Branded Uniforms and Scrubs

Will students from Jefferson have to buy new scrubs, lab coats and other clothes to replace ones with Jefferson logos on them?
No, Jefferson students can continue to wear their Jefferson scrubs and other work clothing, or they can choose to purchase new clothing.

Will we have to buy new uniforms if they are branded Jefferson?
No, the uniforms you have now will be fine. You will have new Radford IDs which will suffice for identifying yourself as a Radford student.

Parking in Roanoke

Will we need parking passes like students do in Radford?
No. Parking will remain as it is now with the parking garage and the parking areas on Jefferson Street.

Professional & Continuing Education

The EMS program currently offers certification courses that aren’t really part of the curriculum but are offered to students and other to keep their certification through continuing education. Will those continue to be offered and will there be a change in cost?
There are no anticipated changes in those classes or in how much they cost.

Radford Honors Program

Will the Radford Honors College be offered in Roanoke?
Yes, in some way it will be offered on the Roanoke campus.

Roanoke and Radford Campuses

Will Roanoke-based students continue attending classes here and not commute to Radford?
For the most part, yes. What Jefferson offers by having almost all classes in one location in Roanoke is unique. While there may be some classes offered at the Roanoke Higher Ed Center, Radford plans to keep Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital as the Roanoke location for health sciences education. For programs like Nursing that are offered in both locations, there will be a Roanoke track and a Radford track for now.

Will the plans of study between the Roanoke and Radford tracks be totally different?
Currently at Radford, students begin as pre-nursing students and then apply for the Nursing program, without guarantee of admission. At Jefferson, students are admitted directly into the four-year nursing program. We are still working to determine whether to maintain Jefferson’s direct admission model or adopt the Radford model. If we go with the latter, we will teach out Jefferson’s program as it is now then switch to the Radford model. But for the fall of 2019, nothing will be different for those students applying to Jefferson and those applying to Radford.

Will EMS classes continue to be taught in Roanoke or will they move to Radford?
All classes currently offered in Roanoke will continue to be offered in Roanoke, including EMS.

Jefferson’s EMS program offers very specific types of classes, such as Communication in Crisis Management, that are very beneficial. It sounds like those classes are going to stay at Radford. Is there any way we can get access to those classes?
We are looking at online opportunities and how we can expand the ways in which students can participate in classes. We’re gathering information not only on the kinds of classes that may benefit students at Jefferson, but also those at Radford. There are classes offered in Roanoke that can also benefit students in Radford. So, we are looking at all the classes offered to see how we can offer them to as many students as possible.
Also, keep in mind that if there is enough need for a class to be offered in Roanoke and there isn’t a way to share it online, we expect to find ways to offer it on the Roanoke campus. We want you to have all the opportunities you need to be prepared for your career in healthcare.

Roanoke Facilities

Will Radford build a new building in Roanoke for the new entity?
There is a vision for a new building in the future, but for the foreseeable future, the Roanoke campus will be located at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital.

There are very few student lounge areas in some places on the Roanoke campus, particularly on the first and second floors. Will there be more areas like The Dog House added to campus?
We haven’t finalized that yet, but there will be developments related to that as merger planning progresses. We have thought about it and have it on our wish list.

Student Housing in Roanoke

Will student housing change?
The plan is to continue the partnership with the Patrick Henry to have our residence hall there.

What is going to happen with the dorm situation? And will there be a meal plan for students?
At Radford, students are required to live on campus for the first two years. That will not be the case in Roanoke. The plan is to continue the partnership with the Patrick Henry to have our residence hall there -- not to require students to live there, but as a service to those students. With the meal plan, that is something we are still working through. We want to provide you with a flexible, affordable option.

Will students living in Residence Halls or elsewhere near the Roanoke campus be forced to commute to Radford and vice versa?
In the 2019-20 academic year, nothing will change – students will not need to commute between campuses. Beyond that, over the next 14-20 months we will determine what classes and programs will be offered at which campus. What is certain is that the CRCH building will continue as Radford’s Roanoke campus.

What will happen to current student housing at Residence Halls?
For the near future, it will remain the same.

Should students be concerned about housing for next year at Residence Halls?
No.

Student Organizations

How will Jefferson student organizations like Student Senate be impacted?
There are no anticipated changes. Going forward, however, there may be plans to merge student governing organizations.

At Jefferson, the Student Senate is made up on a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students, while at Radford, there are two separate councils. Which model will we follow post-merger?
That is something we need to talk through and determine down the line. We will take that back to the Student Services Subcommittee to examine.

Support/Auxiliary Services

How will support services like Student Affairs and Financial Aid be affected in Roanoke?
There is a need to have a local presence for those services. Those services will continue in Roanoke, but main services will be offered in Radford with representatives in Roanoke. Accreditation agencies require many of these services to be offered on site and we will continue to do that.

At many other schools, there are medical services available to students, but we don’t have that at Jefferson. Will we get it through Radford?
We are currently considering options to offer health services at the Roanoke campus. While we are encouraged by current discussions, final decisions may take place post-merger.

Tuition Assistance Program

How will the merger impact current and future students (Carilion employees) receiving tuition advancement or assistance from Carilion?
Carilion will continue to provide some level of tuition assistance to its employees. Details still to come.

I currently receive tuition assistance from Carilion for Jefferson College. Will the merger with Radford affect this?
Carilion will continue to provide tuition assistance to its employees. Carilion has a vested interest in providing resources to ensure its employees finish their degrees and graduate as intended. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuition and Fees

How will the merger affect tuition for Jefferson students?
The cost of tuition and fees for undergraduate students will be at least 10 percent lower than 2018-19 in the first year of the merger. Within three years, those costs will be at least 25 percent less. Within five years, even lower. This was one of the anticipated benefits of the merger for Jefferson students.

What will the tuition impact be for students currently taking classes at Jefferson?
At this time, pre-merger, JCHS remains an independent, private college, so tuition will remain the same. Do note that we already provide tuition discounts for targeted programs. Please refer to our current tuition and fees information online.

For students in the PA program, we came in with the idea that tuition would be set at a certain rate. How does this impact our out-of-state students?
The cost for a graduate program at Jefferson is just at $700 per hour. At Radford, our cost for graduate programs ranges from $500 per credit hour to just over $1,100 per credit hour. As the merger moves forward, the cost of graduate programs in Roanoke is expected to remain the same. What graduate students are paying today is what they can expect to pay in the future. Over the years, Jefferson has increased tuition costs between 3 and 5 percent annually. Radford does not plan to increase graduate costs next year, and at the undergraduate level they will be lower.

Will there be a difference in the cost of tuition and fees between in-state and out-of-state students in Roanoke?
At the graduate and undergraduate level, there will be no difference in cost at the Roanoke location vs Radford.

Will Jefferson students continue to receive the financial aid currently offered?
Institutional aid will continue to be available to Jefferson students next year. Jefferson's robust merit and need-based scholarship structure will be funded with $3.3 million in year one of the merger. We expect students to be able to apply for the same scholarships and grants they did before the merger.

Why will Roanoke tuition and fees be more than Radford?
Jefferson has been a private institution for many years. There is no infusion of external resources such as state funding to reduce that cost. At Radford there is a state subsidy that helps cover the cost of tuition and fees to reduce students’ out-of-pocket costs. At this time, there is not state subsidy at Jefferson to reduce that cost. We hope in the future there will be, but right now there isn’t.
The Radford experience and the Jefferson/Roanoke experience also are very different. The experience at Jefferson offers added benefits such as smaller class sizes (an average 6:1 ratio), classes that include only like-minded health sciences students, centrally located labs and clinicals, interprofessional opportunities with Virginia Tech Carilion and more. Radford is geared more toward the traditional 18-22-year-old who has the flexibility to change majors, live on campus, etc.

But a Radford degree won’t differentiate between campuses. Why is that?
That’s common at many universities with multiple campuses. Consider UVA and UVA-Wise. They have different cost structures because the experience is much different, but both are UVA degrees.

When do you anticipate the general assembly setting tuition rates for Radford for next year?
Radford's Board of Visitors set tuition rates, not the general assembly. The BOV will set tuition and fees in May 2019.

If you will be a new student in Fall 2019, do you have the option to go to the Radford track or the Roanoke track? And if you switch from one to another, would the tuition change?
The Radford and Jefferson/Roanoke experiences will be much different and the students in each program will be looking for different things. In the beginning, students will choose a track and follow that track all the way through.

If a student decided to change tracks, though, would it be a change of major? For example, if a pre-health student at Radford decided she wanted to apply to a program at Jefferson, would she transfer with a change in tuition?
We don’t know yet. Those are things we still need to work through.

I am a Jefferson EMS student and have reduced tuition. Will that change?
For undergraduate education, there are several reduced cost programs at Jefferson. Radford does not intend to change that cost at all. For the other undergraduate programs, the plan is to reduce the cost of tuition and fees by at least 10 percent in the first year. For graduate students, the average cost per credit hour is about $700.

I looked at the breakdown of the fee cost for Radford students and I noticed things like an athletics fee of $1,200 and some other fees that would apply if you went to classes on campus at Radford. How will that affect what students pay in Roanoke?
When we talk about the total price, we are still working through what fees will be applied in Roanoke and which will be applied only at Radford. Certainly, a $1,200 athletic fee isn’t something we would ask Roanoke students to pay. As a state institution, all our student support services, which we call auxiliary services, must be self-supporting. So, we’re working on that as well. The intent is for all Radford students, regardless of campus, to have access to services in both locations.

In the long run, will tuition and fees in Roanoke come down to the same level as the Radford campus?
There will always be some difference in the cost between Roanoke and Radford based on the experience and services we are providing to the student. The experience in Radford is a traditional campus experience, whereas the experience in Roanoke is clinical from day one, encapsulated in a hospital setting in partnership with Carilion Clinic. There’s a difference in how much those experiences cost. For example, just as we don’t plan to charge fees for athletics to students in Roanoke, we don’t plan to charge students in Radford for fees associated with clinical experiences. So, there will always be a difference in cost, but we are committed to equalizing the fees as much as possible.

Can JCHS students apply for Radford-based grants like the Highlander Grant?
Institutional scholarships are only available to the students in that location. The maintained institutional scholarships from what had been Jefferson in Roanoke will only be available to Roanoke-based students and vice-versa.

At the beginning of this year, I had my merit scholarships reduced and it was quite a bit of money. What can Radford University do to assist with this type of situation?
Jefferson lowered tuition for the EMS program and a few others, and as a result some scholarships were reduced. The merger will have no impact on that. However, the cost of tuition and fees for undergraduate students will be at least 10 percent lower next year, and Radford will continue to fund Jefferson’s vibrant and healthy scholarship program.

Part of our financial aid comes from VTAG. Will we still get it?
No. Radford is a public university and students at public schools are not eligible for the VTAG grant.

Will students paying higher tuition in Roanoke be allowed to take courses at the Radford campus? And will there be a different tuition rate for those classes?
It is the intent to maintain two different tracks. Students who start in Roanoke stay in Roanoke, and students who start in Radford stay in Radford. One of the things offered in Radford is the ability to offer more courses. We intend to bring faculty to the Roanoke site to offer those increased programmatic offerings.

Yes, but they are paying that price for Jefferson.
Radford produces qualified graduates and with what Radford can bring to the table we’ll provide an even better product post-merger. Jefferson is a highly qualified institution with great faculty and staff and it does something special here. We’ll continue to be a very unique place to receive an education in healthcare.

Will graduate students, in-state or out-of-state, on the Roanoke campus pay the same price?
That is correct. We are not proposing any differential for out-of-state students.

Transcripts

Who will I contact for transcripts after the merger?
Radford University. Staff in the Registrar’s Office in Roanoke can assist students with transcript requests.

What happens to student transcripts for those who graduate before the merger is completed? And after?
Prior to the merger, there will be no change in student transcripts. Post-merger, Jefferson alumni can request copies of their transcripts through Radford University. The transcript will accurately reflect the institution you attended.

How will other colleges and universities know that students graduated from a private college rather than a state university during and after the merger?
We will add a notation on the transcript noting that a student earned their degree from Jefferson College.

How will future employers and higher education institutions be able to confirm students attended Jefferson College?
All student records will be transferred to Radford, which will be point of contact. Staff and faculty at the Roanoke site will have access to student records.

Where will Jefferson students’ personal information be stored and who will have access to it?
Radford will maintain this data, following the same standards and regulations as all institutions of higher education. Staff and faculty at the Roanoke site will have access to student records.

Veteran Questions

Is Radford a Yellow Ribbon School?
Yes, it is.

How will the merger impact current Veterans attending Jefferson?
Both Radford University and Jefferson College are committed to serving our student veterans as Yellow Ribbon participants. Radford has a strong Military Resource Center, which would be available to Jefferson students post-merger.

Work-Study Positions

How will work-study positions be affected by the merger?
There should be no change to these positions. They are being accounted for going forward.

Will current work-study students be able to continue working, and where they work now?
There are no anticipated changes to that program.

Faculty and Staff Frequently Asked Questions

Employee Benefits for those transitioning to Radford

During the transition, will I have a break in health insurance?
Coverage from Carilion Clinic’s medical plan will end on the last day of the month of employment. Radford University’s coverage takes effect the first day of the month following the hire date; therefore, no gaps in coverage will occur. For example: If the Radford University hire date is 08/10/19, Carilion coverage will end 08/31/19 and RU coverage, if elected, will begin 09/01/19. This is true for both 9-month and 12-month faculty.

Currently, Carilion Clinic has a one-year waiting period for Comprehensive Dental, is this the same at Radford University?
Radford University also offers an expanded dental and there is no waiting period. That means employees will have access to their benefits upon enrollment.

How does the transition impact my Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
Due to a short year, Carilion Clinic employees will need to evaluate their projected expenses appropriately during Radford’s 2018 Open Enrollment. Funds deferred to their healthcare FSA will be available on January 1, 2019 but only expenses incurred through the end of the transition month will be available to employees. Un-incurred expenses may create a forfeiture of remaining funds unless the employee chooses to continue coverage under COBRA.

Dependent care funds are only available as they are funded per pay period. Therefore, employees should not defer expenses that will be incurred after that transition date.

As an example, if the hire date were 08/10/19, Radford University FSA enrollment would be effective September 1. Since the plan year is July – June there would be 10 months remaining in the plan year. Additional information about Flexible Spending Accounts [PDF] can be found online.

When is Radford University’s Open Enrollment for Health Insurance and Flexible Spending Account?
The Health Insurance/Flexible Spending Account open enrollment is normally held the first two weeks of May with changes effective July 1 each year. The plan year is July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Participation in the Health or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account requires a positive enrollment each year. The Commonwealth provides each employee a Spring “Spotlight on Benefits” document in late April of each year announcing the Open Enrollment and an update on any changes to health insurance plans or premiums along with specific instructions for the upcoming open enrollment period.

Please define a ‘qualifying mid-year event’ in relation to Radford University Health Insurance and Flexible Spending Account.
Qualifying Mid-Year Events (QME) may be any event that could permit an employee to make a change to his/her health insurance plan or FSA outside of open enrollment. Current provisions allow for prospective changes to the 1st of the month for birth of a child or adoption. Most QME changes permit a change to the plan the 1st of the month after receipt of the enrollment/change up to 60 days after the QME event. Documentation is required to support any QME and employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources for guidance in the event of a possible event.

How are dependents covered under Radford University’s health insurance offerings?
Eligible dependents may be covered through the end of the year in which the dependent turns 26. Children who are determined to be incapacitated prior to reaching the limiting age may be covered after age 26 upon approval by the DHRM Office of Health Benefits. Additional information about Dependents Health Insurance Offerings [PDF] can be found online.

Under Radford University’s health insurance offerings, what is ‘Premium with Rewards’?
Premium rewards are reductions in health plan premiums for participants in the COVA Care and COVA HealthAware plans who complete certain specific healthy actions within defined time frames. Premium Rewards requirements are announced prior to be beginning of the plan year during the annual open enrollment period. Additional information about Premium Rewards [PDF] can be found online.

Under Radford University’s Health Coverage options, how can I determine which Physicians are in network?
COVA Care (Anthem BC/BS) publishes a handbook listing network providers.
The COVA HealthAware (Aetna) listing is also available online.

Who is the provider for dental coverage under Radford University’s health coverage options?
Aetna is the provider for dental coverage through the COVA HealthAware plan. Delta Dental is the TPA for COVA Care and COVA HDHP.

How are the disability benefits approved under Carilion Clinic’s disability insurance handled based on a Radford University start date?
Disability benefits under Carilion Clinic’s plan will end on the last day worked. Any approved disability benefits based on injuries or illness prior to the Radford University start date will run in accordance with Carilion Clinic’s Standard’s policy.

Does Radford University offer a Health Savings Account?
Radford University, as a state agency, participants in the employee benefits package provided and administered by the Department of Human Resources Office of Health Benefits. The state does not administer nor provide oversight of Health Savings Accounts. Employees may elect to open an HAS through his/her financial institution.

What happens if I am eligible for retirement?
Carilion employees who may begin their retirement should contact Carilion Clinic Human Resources to begin the process of electing their pension benefits. It is recommended that this process start 120 days in advance of their termination date with Carilion.

Employees who are 65 or older at their termination date must begin their pension benefits on the month following their termination. It is recommended that you contact Carilion Human Resources 120 days in advance of termination to start the pension process. If you do not contact Carilion Clinic Human Resources, a packet of information will be mailed to the address on file with information about pension payment options.

What happens if I am currently drawing a Virginia Retirement System (VRS) retirement benefit?
Upon hire at Radford University and initial reporting to the VRS the individual will become an active employee and his/her retirement benefit will stop. The employee may resume retirement upon termination of active employment without any loss of previous retirement service credit. The VRS will recalculate the new retirement benefit based on previous service plus any new creditable service earned upon retirement from active employment.

Can my current retirement plan balance be rolled over?
Employees with a balance in their 401(k) or 403(b) may roll over those funds to a Radford University qualified plan or take a withdrawal from that plan after their termination date with Carilion Clinic. Employees can also elect to keep the funds with Wells Fargo.

What are the vesting requirements for Radford University’s retirement plans?
Teaching and Research or Administrative and Professional Faculty positions will have 60 days from the date of hire to make an irrevocable decision to enroll in the VRS defined benefits plan (pension) which requires a 5-year vesting period for retirement benefits eligibility. Employees electing the Optional Retirement Plan are vested immediately in their respective plan.

While the retirement plan selection is irrevocable, for Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), can the provider be changed?
Yes, employees enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan may change providers (TIAA, Fidelity Investments, or the COVA Deferred Compensation Plan) during the October ORP Open Enrollment. Changes made during open enrollment are effective January 1.

What resources are available to determine the best retirement option of Radford University’s offerings for me?
Upon initial hire, the VRS sends a welcome letter to the new employee with specific instructions for comparing plans, making an election, and enrolling. It is an online process but in the interim prospective employees may review Optional Retirement Plan information or the VRS Hybrid Plan online.

What happens to my Carilion Paid Time Off (PTO) that I’ve accrued?
Any balance of PTO will be paid to employees in the pay period following their last paycheck from Carilion Clinic. Benefit deductions are taken from all wages in the month in which the coverage ends. PTO payments are also eligible for retirement savings plan deferrals and employees should plan their deferral accordingly. Changes to deferrals need to be made at least 2 pay periods prior to their PTO payout.
Until the time of separation, the PTO cash-in option will remain available to active employees who meet the criteria for cash-in. PTO cash-in elections occur in December of each year and payments are scheduled for March, July and November.

When am I able to enroll in a supplemental retirement plan?
Employees may enroll in a voluntary supplemental retirement plan at any time. Current 403b match providers are TIAA, AXA Equitable, Ameriprise, and Valic. May also enroll in the COVA 457 plan.

What happens to my Extended Illness Bank (EIB)?
Since EIB is a benefit exclusive to Carilion Clinic, employees will not be able to take that balance with them as they transition to Radford University.

Will I be required to travel to Radford University main campus in Radford, VA?
Each Radford University employee is assigned a ‘base point’ that represents the primary place, office, or building where the employee performs his/her duties on a routine basis. It is anticipated the vast majority of transitioning employees will have a Roanoke base point. Faculty at Radford University may be asked to teach on either campus, however, base point campuses are taken into consideration. Any travel outside of 25 miles from the base point is considered travel status and the employee would be eligible for travel cost reimbursement.

What are Radford University’s guidelines on outside employment?
Provisions for outside employment are covered by the respective employee handbooks:
Classified Employees [PDF]
Administrative and Professional Faculty [PDF]
Teaching and Research Faculty [PDF]

What is Radford University’s pay schedule?
Radford University full time employees are paid over 24 pay periods per year. Pay dates are normally the 1st and the 16th of the month. View Employee Pay Dates.

What is the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that Radford University offers?
EAP is provided for participants in the health insurance plan. This program Includes up to four sessions at no cost for services such as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling, legal or financial services.

I have a question, who should I contact?
To understand more about Radford University’s benefits, contact the Radford University Department of Human Resources Office of Benefits at 540- 831-5008 or email benefits@radford.edu for additional information. You may also visit the Human Resources website for a complete overview of benefits available to Radford University faculty and staff.

To understand how to manage my current Carilion Clinic benefits related to the upcoming transition contact Carilion Clinic Human Resources at hrservicecenter@carilionclinic.org

General Questions

For faculty attending external meetings with colleagues, what should I say about the merger?
The idea to merge Jefferson College of Health Sciences into Radford University arose organically, as a result of the long-term partnership among Carilion Clinic, Radford University and Jefferson College. It grew from our belief that together, we can enhance the quality of health care education and research better together than we can individually. We believe integrating these institutions will more effectively meet the growing need for health care professionals in the Commonwealth and beyond. Through its comprehensive network of hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices, and other complementary services, Carilion Clinic works to provide quality care close to home for nearly one million Virginians. Given Radford University’s established legacy of excellence in its nursing, health and human services programs and the many years of successful collaboration among Radford University, Jefferson College and Carilion Clinic, Radford University was a natural fit to move toward an even stronger partnership.

Will any of the current Radford faculty be teaching courses in Roanoke?
The faculties will be merged. Given that Radford University does not currently offer several of the programs that will be brought over from Jefferson College, faculty will remain in place in order to teach those programs. But for courses that cross program lines and are offered to students in multiple programs -- Biology, Chemistry, etc. -- you may see some new faces in Roanoke.

Parking in Roanoke

Will we need parking passes like faculty in Radford?
Parking will remain as it is now with the parking garage and the parking areas on Jefferson Street.

Will the parking areas on Jefferson Street be upgraded?
Parking areas will be evaluated moving forward to determine what changes may need to be made.

Program-Specific Academic Questions

Will there be an ABSN program after the merger?
Yes.

At the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Radford students have the same nursing curriculum so why would students come to the Roanoke campus to take nursing at a higher price when they can go down the street for a less expensive rate?
That is not the intent. We are not maintaining a nursing cohort to send to the Higher Ed center. All of the students at the Roanoke campus will have the same price point for nursing. There will be a Roanoke-based health sciences campus. Radford will continue to offer non-health sciences classes at the Higher Ed Center.

Jefferson's Healthcare Management program is an online program. Most of these students are Carilion employees and supported through Carilion funding. What will happen to these students if there is no longer funding support?
Carilion has a vested interest in the success of the merger; its workforce relies upon Jefferson and Radford graduates today, and that will continue with the merged entity. As we have done in the past, Carilion will evaluate our workforce needs and which programs best support those needs. From there, Carilion will provide financial support to students and details will emerge as we have that information.

There are at least three programs that will be offered at both campus sites (Roanoke and Radford). How do we talk to students about staying in Roanoke and paying a higher rate than Radford students?
The Radford experience and the Roanoke experience are very different. Radford offers a traditional campus experience, whereas the experience in Roanoke is clinical from day one, encapsulated in a hospital setting in partnership with Carilion Clinic. Roanoke also offers added benefits such as smaller class sizes (an average 6:1 ratio), classes that include only like-minded health sciences students, centrally located labs and clinicals, interprofessional opportunities with Virginia Tech Carilion and more. There’s a difference in the cost of providing those experiences. Every prospective student will need to consider those factors when choosing between the Radford and Roanoke tracks.

Will Roanoke lose the nursing program (or others) to Radford’s campus?
No. While details of overlapping programs have not been fully worked out, given the size of both nursing programs, we will have nursing programs at both campuses post-merger.

Research and Research Related Travel Funding

Does Radford offer any funds for graduate student travel to conference or national organizations?
Yes, there is funding from the graduate college and the undergraduate office of research, depending on if you are presenting or how you’re involved in the conference. Applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Will Roanoke students be able to take advantage of research opportunities at Radford?
Yes, increasing research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is a goal at Radford. Roanoke-based students will be welcome to participate.

Will there be funding for our programs for research?
There are programs at Radford that offer opportunities that assist with travel costs and other research related expenses. There is an application process, and applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Will we be receiving state funding for the Roanoke campus?
Radford is hopeful that the state legislature will approve the merger during its 2019 session (which begins in January) and provide the necessary funding. For the first year of the merger, Radford also is requesting additional funding of $1.7 million from the state to help reduce the price for Roanoke students.

Roanoke and Radford Campuses

Will students be required to go to the Radford campus?
Students in a Roanoke program track will not be required to travel to Radford. However, students who choose to take courses only offered in Radford likely will need to travel there.

Will Roanoke turn into a “satellite” location, rather than a primary medical/clinical/research corridor?
Yes, the accrediting body SACSCOC refers to the Roanoke location as a satellite location.

Will Jefferson courses be moved to the Roanoke Higher Education Center?
No. Jefferson courses will continue to be taught in their present location at CRCH.

Will Radford offer a shuttle between campuses like Virginia Tech does with VTC?
There are no plans to do so at this time but that is something that will be considered as we move forward.

Will Jefferson lose “local” college events, such as celebrations at Elmwood Park across the street?
Events and celebrations are an essential part of the student experience, and we will continue to offer these types of events. Offerings may not be the same as they are today, but they will certainly continue.

Will Jefferson lose its location?
No. Our CRCH facility and the greater Roanoke health sciences and technology campus will continue to be our home after the merger is completed.

Software/Technology Questions

Does Radford Use Blackboard?
No. Radford uses Desire to Learn (D2L), however in the first year of the merger the Roanoke campus will continue using Blackboard while we plan for a transition to D2L.