Franklin County is fortunate to have one of the most comprehensive educational systems in Virginia to educate our population practically cradle to grave. The local school system ranks among the top ten percent in Virginia and regularly receives regional, state, and national awards for excellence in education. Within the County’s borders, individuals have the opportunity to avail themselves of the full range of post-secondary educational options from community college to specific workforce training to a four-year institution.
The Franklin County Public School System
The Franklin County Public School System encompasses twelve elementary schools, one middle school divided into two campuses, and one centrally-located high school. Over 7,500 students are enrolled in the school system.
The Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration
The Franklin County school system is also home to one of the most innovative educational facilities and concepts in America. The Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration is the learning center for middle school students in the community. The Gereau Center opened in September, 1997, and is an innovative approach to educating students for the 21st century. The program is student centered, combining challenging academic standards, integrating critical thinking skills, and incorporating the Virginia Standards of Learning in english, mathematics, science, and social studies with technological skills and a problem-based learning approach. At the Gereau Center, the curriculum delivery methodology is applied and hands-on. Students are immersed in real problems, units of study, and projects, guided toward practical solutions by instructors who function as facilitators. This opportunity to apply content shows students the real world application of their studies. The building is designed to resemble a corporate research center in which students learn. It is our belief that what students learn at the Gereau Center should be relevant to family, community, and workplace. The Center is performance-based, and works jointly with other educators, parents, and representatives from business, industry, and government. This is an exciting, educational experience for young people.
Workforce Training and Adult Education Center
The Franklin Center for Advanced Learning & Enterprise, the County’s one-stop workforce training and adult education center, was constructed in 2007 to address the critical education gaps that had previously existed related to post-secondary education and training of the workforce in specific skill sets. The Franklin Center for Advanced Learning & Enterprise is managed by the Franklin County Workforce Development Consortium—a partnership offering employment, training, and educational services to employers and citizens of Franklin County. The Consortium consists of thirteen partners representing local governments, educational institutions, and community-based agencies committed to making our community stronger and more competitive in a global marketplace. The construction and equipping of the Franklin Center facility was funded in part by the County of Franklin, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the Carilion Foundation, and local business and industry resources. The Center houses the local office of the Virginia Employment Commission which assists local residents and businesses in obtaining and filling positions, respectively. Citizens can enroll is certificate programs, one-time and short courses, and in degree programs all without leaving the area. In fiscal year 2012, nearly 900 students attended one of the 113 classes offered through the Franklin Center.
Finally, Franklin County is the proud home of Ferrum College, a four-year institution accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and a member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1913, Ferrum College provides life-long learning and outstanding career and graduate school preparation in a setting of rich natural beauty. The College offers 33 areas of study ranging from business and environmental science to teacher education and criminal justice. The 1,500 men and women who attend Ferrum College come from 25 states and a dozen countries from around the world.