As a senior resident scholar of the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia (PPFWV), former West Liberty University President Robin Capehart studies and addresses some of the major challenges affecting his state. A former senior consultant for Georgetown Solutions, LLC, he brings his extensive background as an attorney, a researcher, and an advocate of government efficiency to his work at the PPFWV. In a 2015 article published in Public Policy Quarterly, Robin Capehart outlined his ideas on education reform.
In that piece, he observed that education as traditionally practiced in the United States, with its top-down, one-size-fits all, regulation-bound approach, has served multiple generations of students poorly. He went on to write that whereas dozens of other states have incorporated tenets of the 1989 Education Summit supported by President George H. W. Bush and subsequently by President Bill Clinton, West Virginia has not.
The summit’s recommendations include offering a broader range of school choice options for families, decentralization of decision-making focused on empowering local schools, and a greater reliance on results instead of rule-compliance when evaluating performance. In addition, the summit emphasized the vital importance of community and parent involvement with local education.
West Virginia’s continued reliance on the same educational structure that was obtained during the time of the Great Depression, wrote Mr. Capehart, has resulted in its continued poor educational performance. He noted that scarcely more than half of fifth graders scored at a proficient level on a test measuring language skills, and less than one-third achieved a proficient score in mathematics.
West Liberty University
Robin Capehart serves as the president of Fleet Solutions International, a heavy equipment remarketing company headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to accepting his position at Fleet Solutions, Robin Capehart increased admission enrollment and fostered academic success as the president for West Liberty University. Programs developed during his tenure included the School of Professional Studies.
The School of Professional Studies (SoPS) enables students to pursue degree programs that emphasize applied learning and cultivate skills relevant to professional work. Program faculty possess an extensive background in the fields they teach and draw upon their personal knowledge and experience to create dynamic courses. Designed for undergraduate and graduate students that lead busy lives, the program also facilitates learning by allowing students to draw on their current skills and knowledge pools.
Adult students who enroll receive the benefit of a flexible academic schedule that enables them to pursue any undergraduate degree, provided they complete all required classes. SoPS undergraduate programs incorporate courses that accommodate the life of busy adults, such as evening and Saturday classes. In addition, programs offer credit for prior learning experiences and encourage adult students to employ skills and information acquired from previous college coursework. SoPS currently offers three degree programs: the regents bachelor of arts, bachelor of applied science, and a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership and administration.
West Liberty University
An accomplished academic and business leader, former West Liberty University (WLU) president Robin Capehart now serves as president of Fleet Solutions International, LLC. In his prior role at West Liberty, Robin Capehart was instrumental in driving improvements to the quality and accessibility of the school’s academic programs.
During his tenure at WLU, Mr. Capehart introduced a number of initiatives designed to make college a more attractive, feasible option for individuals from all walks of life. The launch of the Distance Learning Development Program allowed the school to expand its reach by increasing its online course catalog by over 300 percent, while the Office of International Education succeeded at growing the WLU community of international students. In addition, the strategic relocation of the school’s off-campus center to a thriving community center allowed the school to increase its off-campus enrollment exponentially.
Under Mr. Capehart’s leadership, WLU also launched the Hilltopper Academy, which has been effective at increasing retention rates for incoming freshmen. Designed to offer students opportunities for extra academic support and networking prior to their first college semesters, Hilltopper Academy provides students with the skills and sense of community necessary to thrive in a college environment.