OF VIRGINIA UNDERGRADUATES ARE ENROLLED IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES. Danquail, culinary arts student J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Tim, Director of Purchasing for Valley Proteins Tidewater Community College
When Virginia’s General Assembly established a community college system, it brought the promise of higher education to millions of Virginians. Fifty years later, the number of community colleges has grown to 23 and today every resident in the Commonwealth lives within 30 miles of a community college campus. The presence of community-based higher education has been transformational for the Commonwealth. Students from Farmville to Fairfax now fit college degree programs into busy schedules while staying close to home and family. They acquire valuable job skills and launch new careers. And they do it without excessive financial burdens. The benefits to Virginia’s economy are unmistakable. The marriage of general education with practical job preparation is a powerful formula. It expands
the Commonwealth’s workforce and enriches its communities. It drives the growth of local businesses and attracts new employers seeking a skilled workforce. It inspires innovation and raises household incomes. Over the past half century, these impacts have been felt from the urban centers of Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Northern Virginia, to rural counties reaching from the Eastern Shore, to Southside to the Blue Ridge.