Reading is often a solitary experience, but when everyone in town is reading the same book, it becomes a community event.  That’s the idea behind “The Big Read” which kicks off this Saturday.  One book is the focus of exploration, conversation and presentations for six weeks and everyone is invited. 

The book is The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Alyssa Archer is a Radford University Librarian who’s spearheading The Big Read.

Four Virginia colleges have hopped on board to try to streamline the college admissions process. University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and William & Mary will provide a new set of online application tools to high school students.  

For some… the college application process… can sneak up on you senior year.

“Sometimes it’s a mad rush, you’re trying to track down or remember ‘How many years did I work in this?’ Or ‘What were the hours for that?’”

New JLARC Report: Education Funding Declines

Sep 22, 2015
AP Photo

State spending on public education in Virginia has declined by 7 percent in the last decade… according to a new report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

When adjusted for inflation, spending fell from $10,927 per pupil in 2005 to $10,148 last year.  But the state’s school divisions say their resources were stretched—while under a mandate to increase student achievement.

Virginia Commonwealth University's new policy on student-faculty romance is being questioned by some in the university community.

And Arlington County has been a magnet for millennials,  but now they're starting families and that makes Arlington less attractive for many of them.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VA News link on

Back to School: Chaos and Umbrellas

Sep 3, 2015

It’s back-to-school time once again. Students everywhere are returning to campus excited to see each other and catch up – but Roanoke College Professor Brent Adkins wants to know something. He wants to know why students are in school in the first place – and encourages them to look beyond the degree.

Why are you here? This is a question that I ask all of my classes in one form or another. Let me tell you how the conversation usually goes.

Me: Why are you here?