Virginia community colleges celebrate 50 years of progress

Published 12:16 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Virginia’s Community Colleges are marking the 50th anniversary of the statewide system of comprehensive community colleges in 2016 with a year-long observance that celebrates the progress of the past 50 years as well as the promise of the future.

Virginia’s Community Colleges were created by the General Assembly in 1966 to provide comprehensive institutions that addressed unmet needs in higher education and workforce training.

By 1972, there were 23 community colleges located across the state in a master plan that put access to quality higher education within a short drive of every Virginian.

Since then, Virginia’s 23 colleges have served well over 2.6 million people, awarded more than 575,000 credentials and associate degrees and launched countless numbers of transfer students into bachelor programs, advanced degrees and successful careers.

This year, Virginia’s Community Colleges are celebrating tremendous gains while looking forward to the profound difference community colleges will make in Virginia’s economy over the next half-century.