Since its establishment in 1966, the Virginia Western Community College has grown from an enrollment of just over 1,000 students to nearly 9,000 students. This two-year public institution operates under Virginia’s statewide system of community colleges, and follows the policies of the State Board of Community Colleges and the Virginia Western Community College Board. Students attend day, evening, and weekend courses at the Southwest Roanoke campus, set on 70 lovely acres. Classes are also held in off-campus locations within the VWCC service region of Roanoke, Salem, Roanoke County, Craig County, southern Botetourt County and northern Franklin County.
At VWCC students are offered courses and programs in associate degree programs for individuals wishing to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, associate degree programs in preparation for technical and paraprofessional careers, and certificate and career studies programs where students prepare for careers as technicians, skilled and semi-skilled workers. Academic divisions at VWCC include business, engineering & technology; health technology; humanities; natural sciences & mathematics; social sciences; and workforce development. Students may choose from exciting areas of specialization like engineering & technology, information technology, business sciences, nursing (RN, LPN), surgical technology, art gallery, communication design, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics, early childhood development and human services/mental health. Workforce development courses are offered in areas like the independent motor vehicle dealer operator class, the water wastewater operator career studies certificate, pharmacy technician, and more.
While studying at VWCC students may elect, or qualify to participate in special programs like the honors institute at VWCC, distance learning, Weekend College, dual enrollment and transfer degree programs. Distance learning students may elect from 500 online classes, and may earn three degrees: general studies, social sciences, or veterinary technology. Students may also earn the web programming certificate online. Some requirements may necessitate taking hybrid courses with some Weekend College lab work. The Weekend College is designed for adult learners who are unable to otherwise attend weekday college classes. Students may earn an associate in science degree in general studies or social sciences, with a four-year transfer-minded curriculum. Dual enrollment students are local high school students who wish to complete college-level coursework while simultaneously satisfying junior and senior-level coursework.
Transfer degree associate in arts and associate in science programs are meant for students who will be transferring to a four-year college or university, and are offered in the areas of business administration, computer science, engineering, fine arts, general studies, health sciences, liberal arts, science and social science. International students are encouraged to apply to VWCC, and international student admissions issues I-20’s for F-1 student visas. In addition, study abroad programs, faculty exchanges, short-term trips, Fulbright exchange programs, internationalization courses and curricula, community partnerships, joint ventures, speakers and volunteer programs are all available to students.
VWCC is accredited to award associate degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The College is approved by the State Council of Higher Education, and is a member of the Virginia Community College System. Special accrediting organizations include the Association of Collegiate Business Schools & Programs, the Virginia State board of Nursing Perimeter Center, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, and the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In order to qualify for admission eligibility at VWCC students must have a high school diploma or its equivalency, OR, be at least 18 years of age with the ability to study and benefit from coursework at VWCC. High school students and high school level home-schooled students may be admitted, but only as per the Virginia Plan for Dual Enrollment. VWCC may require any student taking credit classes to complete a placement exam. Students with special circumstances must appeal to the Virginia Western Community College Admissions Committee, or in the case of freshman and sophomore level students, with approval of the college president or his designee.
High school and home-schooled students must first complete a Virginia Western application for admission, and application for Virginia Domicile. Students must then complete a high school/home-school enrollment approval form. All documents must then be turned into the VWCC Admissions Office. Students must then undergo assessment testing and meet with a college counselor prior to enrolling.
Any student who has not been enrolled in credit courses at VWCC for at least 3 years time must reapply. Transfer students must submit a VWCC application for admission and include all transcripts from previous coursework completed. International students must demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken English. Senior citizens are categorized as being over 60 years of age, and may qualify for free tuition provided by the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act. Students with probation, suspension or dismissal status from a former college may be admitted to VWCC with academic restrictions.
All students planning to enroll in a degree seeking program of study, planning to receive financial aid, or entering first semester math or English courses must take COMPASS assessment for course placement purposes. The test is administered by computer, and is given regularly in the Learning Technology Center on campus.
Students at VWCC may qualify for federal, public and private financial aid assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Any questions should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office, and all interested students must fill out the FAFSA.
Scholarships at VWCC are offered by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, Inc. and are sponsored by the community’s citizens, companies and organizations. Private scholarships are offered from various sources including the American Association of University Women, the Easley National Scholarship Program, Gates Millennium Scholarships, the Mary Marshall Nursing Scholarship Program, the Roanoke Bar Association, and many more. Students should inquire in the Financial Aid Office at VWCC about application forms, or simply go online.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students at VWCC may utilize the student services provided by career service, computer labs, counseling/advising, disability services, student email, ESL courses, financial aid, the health institute, the Learning Technology Center, laptop computers for hire, the Brown Library, online services, the REACH student support program, retention services, scholarships, student activities, the student handbook, technical support, testing services, and the wellness/fitness center. The Hall & Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center serves students, alumni, and employers with assistance planning for the future. The Knisely Learning Technology Center assists current students by serving as the campus testing center, offering supplementary instructional assistance for students, providing tutors in the Math and Writing centers, matching qualifying students with the CTE tutor coordinator, and providing students with two computer labs. The Counseling and Advising Center offers students a place to resolve educational and personal conflicts or questions. Students at VWCC take advantage of REACH/Student Support Services, an educational assistance program which helps students with counseling, advising and instructional support services. Admission to the program is based on academic need and demonstration of potential. Students must be a first-generation college student and meet low-income guidelines, or have a documented disability.
At VWCC the Student Activities Office organizes social gatherings and activities for students, faculty and the community. Past activities have included guided campus tours, the annual “A Warm Welcome,” the Mobile T-shirt Shop, guest speakers, area tours, and more. Many students elect to participate in campus clubs and organizations, whether scholastic, civic, athletic, professional, or religious. Some such clubs include the Black Student Organization, Future Chefs of Virginia, the Honors Institute, the Horticulture Club, Lambda Nu national honor society for the radiologic and imaging sciences, the Madison Society, the Spring Fling Art Council, the Steel Pan and Drum Club, and the Student Government Association. Student may also get involved with the student newsletter, a free monthly campus publication.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Intramural and intercollegiate team sports are a part of student life at VWCC. The College fields men’s and women’s basketball, and cheerleading & dance teams which compete under the Virginia Community College System Intercollegiate Athletics board, and against other VCCS, NCCAJV, NJCAA and college and university club teams. Intramural sports offered include flag football, baseball, tennis, soccer and dodgeball. Currently the Running Club is the only VWCC club sport.
Located in the Student Center, VWCC students may also take advantage of the Wellness/Fitness Center which provides student with a wide variety of gym equipment free of charge. Students may sign up for one of the center’s fitness classes, or register for one of several new NEW PED or Health classes.