I was academically suspended from ODU in 2007 after trying my hand at mechanical engineering and business administration without a clear plan or a college-level work ethic. In the spring of 2008, I enrolled at TCC as a liberal arts major to restart my college career on a more manageable basis.
After two semesters as a liberal arts major, I began researching job prospects and potential career paths and decided to change my major to electrical engineering. In my first semester as an EE major I found unexpected success, earning all As and Bs. TCC’s small class sizes and hands-on approach helped greatly. I eventually earned my AS in 2010 with a 3.4 GPA that allowed me to transfer to the University of Virginia. Read more of Daniel Salmon's story…
Daniel Salmon, Tidewater
Paul D. Camp has given me the flexibility I needed to be successful by offering an array of night classes. My professors have not only been encouraging in the classroom but have been supportive on a personal level as well. I have had the one-on-one assistance I needed after being out of school for more than 15 years. I am proud to be a part of a community college that cares and wants to see me strive no matter the age. I am motivated to keep going!
Wendy Green, Paul D. Camp
Thomas Nelson Community College gave me a second opportunity at succeeding in education. In high school, I performed poorly and didn’t have great prospects of going to a four-year college. But Thomas Nelson gladly accepted me and was there for me every step of the way. I’m now a proud member of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter and vice president of the Student Government Association. Without Thomas Nelson, I wouldn’t be as confident and as competitive as I am today as I apply to numerous four-year schools across the commonwealth for transfer!
Jack Bowden, Thomas Nelson
I was told by one of my teachers in high school that I would not make in college. As someone with a couple of different learning disabilities, I was determined to prove many people wrong. I started at Lord Fairfax Community College in the fall 2008 and this spring I am graduating with honors and a 3.5 GPA. Halfway through my degree, I started getting involved in Student Government as a senator and this spring as president. I am also involved in two other organizations on campus. Lord Fairfax Community College has shown me that I can do anything I decide to do and I have grown so much from the experience over the last eight years. I do not think I would have completed my degree without the support of the school. Lord Fairfax Community College has helped me grown into someone ready to take on the world.
Ariel Bridges, Lord Fairfax
I went to TCC and as a single mom, I did most of my classes online, as well as a few in class. I learned so much at TCC and was able to easily transfer to Virginia Wesleyan College, where I just graduated in May 2015. I loved being able to go to community college and get myself ready for a four-year college!
Lily Kunda, Tidewater
I lived within three miles of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College for 15 years before I awoke to its existence and became a student at age 41. I took one class, and within one semester went from feeling like the scarecrow of Oz who didn’t have a brain to the goal of teaching college English. I didn’t make that goal but I’m a happy employee of DSLCC. What a blessing for personal growth and catalyst for prosperity this small college has been for thousands of people.
Kathie Clarke, Dabney S. Lancaster
The training I received from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College enabled me to further my education beyond the community college level. I graduated from Dabney with an associate degree in Computer Information Systems in 1998; a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Development from Bluefield College in 1999; and a master’s degree from Averett University in 2001. Not only did my job prospects improve, but for a number of years, I have been teaching most of the computer courses for the Workforce & Community Education program at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. The community college program enables students not only to achieve their educational goals, but to make their hopes and dreams a reality.
Edward Mays, Dabney S. Lancaster
Celebrating Another 50 Years of Opportunity
We stand at a pivotal moment in Virginia as our communities and economy are undergoing dramatic change – a fact that is embraced by Virginia’s Community Colleges. For 50 years, the community college system has played a key role in the state’s modernization. In 2016, we are celebrating our tremendous gains, while enthusiastically looking ahead to the profound difference community colleges will make in Virginia’s new economy over the next half-century.
A Year-Long Anniversary. One Mission.
Virginia’s community colleges are unique in their ability to benefit Virginians at both the local and statewide level. Throughout 2016, we will honor the students, faculty, business partners, and many donors who make this possible.
See how far we’ve come.
Check out our historic timeline to see a brief overview of just how far we’ve come since the Virginia Community College System was created in 1966.DONATE
Breaking ground in 1967 on the Central Virginia Community College campus are (left to right) Chancellor Emeritus Dana B. Hamel; Tom Glass, vice chair of the State Board; Simeon A. “Bud” Burnett, CVCC president from 1966-1972; Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr. chair of the State Board; and George P. Ramsey, Jr., vice chair of the CVCC Local Advisory Board.
Tidewater Community College officials break ground on a 70,000-square-foot science building at the Virginia Beach Campus in 2006. Shown left to right are LaVonne Ellis, TCC board member; Jack Kavanaugh, board chair; then-President Deborah DiCroce; then-Mayor Meyera Oberndorf; and Doyle Hull, member of the TCC Educational Foundation board.
Mountain Empire Community College’s first president, George Vaughn, put together his team of administrators in the 1970s, including Martha Turnage, dean of community services; James Carter, dean of instruction; and Charles Giles, Jr., business manager.
Former Governor Gerald L. Baliles salutes the 20th anniversary of Virginia’s Community Colleges in 1986.
Governor Mills Godwin at the podium at the 1967 groundbreaking and dedication for John Tyler Community College.
Chancellor Glenn DuBois signing one of the first guaranteed admissions agreements with former VCU President Gene Trani in 2006.
A Virginia Highlands Community College math class in the 1970s.
Former Governor Charles Robb, former Chancellor Jeff Hockaday and Governor Mills Godwin light a cake for the 20th anniversary of the VCCS in 1986.
In 1971, Tidewater Community College began using 11 barracks at the Camp Pendleton National Guard facility as a temporary Virginia Beach location.
Former Governor Charles Robb dedicates a building at Wytheville during the 1980s.
Governor Mills Godwin (left) looks over a model of a prototype community college in April 1966 with state Sen. Lloyd C. Bird (center) of Chesterfield and Del. D. French Slaughter Jr. of Culpeper, chief patrons of the bill establishing the statewide system of community colleges.
Chancellor Emeritus Dana Hamel and Charlie King, retired president of Southwest Virginia Community College, survey the land that will become the SWCC campus in 1967.
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