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.