Virginia’s community colleges have a 40-year track record of educational excellence and innovation to serve the needs of our citizens and strengthen the Commonwealth’s economy.When Virginia’s General Assembly established the Virginia Community College System in 1966, the need for a comprehensive system was well known. Over the two decades after the end of World War II, leaders in government, business, professional sectors, and academia had called for a new approach to providing educational opportunity.A key concern was Virginia’s ability to develop a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to expand the state’s economy. Although several state universities had established two-year, off-campus "branch" colleges, they did not provide a comprehensive community college program with "open door" access to all students. At the same time, the state’s vocational-technical schools offered no college-level academic studies or associate’s degrees. And in many parts of the state, citizens had no branch college or vocational school within commuting distance.Today our community colleges give every Virginian the opportunity to gain a quality education. Students may: Earn a two-year associate’s degree or a technical diploma or certificate Take college courses for credits that may be transferred to a four-year institution Attend developmental, remedial, and continuing adult education programsIn 2006, our growing annual enrollment has topped 233,000 students, with an additional 170,000 students in customized and noncredit courses for workforce development services.
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