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County Administrator's BLOG

Stay up-to-date with King William County news and happenings from the County Administrator, Percy C. Ashcraft.

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Jun 07

STEM Categories Conferring Most Four-Year Degrees in Virginia

Posted on June 7, 2022 at 1:33 PM by Christine Branch


An outstanding report from our friends at Virginia Public Access Project shines a bright light on the future of students attending Virginia’s public colleges and universities and what they are majoring in.

The most recent data from 2020-21 shows a continued trend of students majoring in the STEM category, which includes architecture, biology, computer science, communication technologies, engineering and engineering technologies, health, math, and physical science.

Of all bachelor’s degrees conferred at Virginia public colleges and universities in 2020-21, 14,261 degrees were received in STEM categories. This was an increase from 13,434 in 2019-20, and 13,083 in 2018-19. 

STEM categories far exceeded the runner-up in 2020-21, which was Arts/Humanities with 8,583. A close third was Social Sciences with 8,090. 

The rising trend in STEM categories began in 2012-13 when STEM overcame Arts/Humanities. There has been a steady climb each year to widen the gap for STEM categories over the last decade.

There is no doubt that STEM degrees lead to higher paying jobs and can make students employable in all states. This trend should certainly be in the conversation when students meet with high school guidance counselors to discuss their future.

Overflow Crowd Attends Upper Mattaponi Tribe PowWow

My career in public service has taken me to many enjoyable places and experiences, but very few rivaled being part of the Opening Ceremony on May 28th for the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe PowWow weekend.

Walking the “circle” with tribal leaders and members of the House of Delegates, Board of Supervisors, and other County Staff raced numerous thoughts through my head, including how important customs and traditions are for Native Americans. You could see their pride in hosting this event and reminding all who were present the future is bright.

The Opening Ceremony was part of a dedication of a federal land trust. Speaking to a large crowd was Delegate Scott Wyatt, BOS Chairman Ed Moren, and Supervisor Stewart Garber. Their remarks captured the moment.

The honorees also included any veteran who was in attendance. It was a bit eye-opening to see how many Native Americans have been part of military service despite their struggles for proper recognition over the years.

Every King William County resident should be proud to have three Indian tribes occupying land within County borders. The PowWow saw overflow crowds and people actually had to be turned away because of limited parking. Fortunately the event lasted two days and hopefully everyone who wanted was able to attend.

I am very thankful to have been part of it as the County Administrator for all people in King William County, and hope this is just the start of even stronger relations between the Indian tribes and County Government.

Learn more about the tribes on their websites: Upper Mattaponi TribeMattaponi TribePamunkey Tribe.

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Congrats to the Grads and All Who Guided Their Path

Congratulations to the graduates of West Point High School, who celebrated their big day on May 27, and King William High School, whose celebration is Saturday, June 4.

Also deserving of congratulations are the parents, grandparents, and other guardians who helped the graduates through 13 years of ups and downs. Every school year was different, and the experience helped shape the lives of these young men and women.

Finally, kudos to the administrators, teachers, custodians, food servers, guidance counselors, librarians, and everyone else in the school divisions for completing another great year. King William has a strong school system on both ends of the County and accolades are in order for all.

Mangohick VFD Holding Open House June 8

A huge piece of Fire & EMS operations in King William County is the volunteer contributions from the stations at West Point, Mangohick, and Walkerton. The men and women who support these stations compliment the career effort at Station1 that has evolved successfully over the last couple years.

Mangohick VFD is having an Open House for folks to come in and meet many of the volunteers who are tied to the station. The event is June 8 from 6-10 p.m. It is a family event and all are welcome.

Thanks to all providers of Fire & EMS services. You don’t know how important they are until you need them!