Catawba Valley Community College

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Catawba Valley Community College
Catawba Valley Community College Logo.jpg
Former names
Catawba Valley Technical Institute
Catawba Valley Technical College
Type Public
Established 3 April 1958
President Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw
Undergraduates 4,500
Location Hickory, North Carolina, USA
35°41′57″N 81°17′15″W / 35.69917°N 81.28750°W / 35.69917; -81.28750Coordinates: 35°41′57″N 81°17′15″W / 35.69917°N 81.28750°W / 35.69917; -81.28750
Nickname Red Hawks

Catawba Valley Community College is a public community college in Hickory, North Carolina. The college, established April 3, 1958, is part of the North Carolina Community College System. On December 1, 1987, the school's name was changed officially to Catawba Valley Community College, having previously been known as Catawba Valley Technical Institute and Catawba Valley Technical College.

The main campus covers 120 acres (0.49 km2) and includes 11 buildings. In addition, the college operates a Cosmetology Center in downtown Newton, the CVCC Alexander Center for Education in Taylorsville, and East Campus where continuing education and business & industry services are provided. Specialty programs include the Manufacturing Solutions Center where US manufacturers are provided assistance to increase sales, improve quality and improve efficiency. A 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2) Regional Simulated Hospital, ValleySim Hospital, opened in 2011.


Through the concerted efforts of concerned Catawba County citizens and North Carolina educational leaders, on April 3, 1958, Catawba Valley Community College was established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as the ninth school of its kind in the state. Construction of the original facilities began in 1959. The 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) building costing approximately $500,000 was completed in August 1960. An initial enrollment of seventy-seven (77) students began classes in September of the same year. From 1960 to 1963, the College operated under the jurisdiction of the Catawba County Board of Education. During this time the College was known as the Catawba County Industrial Education Center.

In July 1963, the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted into law G.S. 115A which provided for the establishment of the present North Carolina System of Community Colleges. On January 9, 1964, Catawba Valley Technical Institute was among the original seven institutes chartered by the Department. At that time, CVTI established its own Board of Trustees and began operation as a member of the Department of Community Colleges. Thus, it was in August 1964, that the College awarded its first associate degree in Applied Science.

It was during the transition from an Industrial Education Center to Technical Institute that great strides began in expanding educational programs, increasing student enrollment, developing quality instruction, adding facilities, and increasing community acceptance and service. On September 1, 1979, the name of the institution was changed to Catawba Valley Technical College by the Trustees and commissioners of Catawba County. On December 1, 1987, the State Board of Community Colleges officially approved CVTC to become Catawba Valley Community College and the College Transfer program was approved. The College continues as a publicly supported coeducational institution.

Free Speech Controversy[edit]

In October 2011, Catawba Valley Community College suspended a student (Marc Bechtol) for complaining on his Facebook about the new policy that required students to sign up for a debit card to get their student ID and grant money. CVCC decided that the comments were 'disturbing' and a 'threat', and used that reasoning to suspend the student. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education took the side of the student and pending a final outcome he has been allowed back in class.[1]

Challenger Early College High School[edit]

Challenger Early College High School is a program on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College that is a collaborative effort between Catawba County Schools, North Carolina New Schools, CVCC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Every year, Challenger Early College High School accepts 100 8th graders out of about 300 applicants from Catawba County Schools, Alexander County Schools, Hickory City Schools, and Newton-Conover Schools. Currently, 390 students attend Challenger. Challenger students take a 4-year or 5-year curriculum with high school courses and college courses. All students, upon graduation, receive a High School Diploma (and usually an associate degree).[2]


  1. ^ Facebook post gets college student banned from N.C. campus Archived November 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., News & Observer, Oct 13 2011
  2. ^ Challenger Early College High School Profile, Catawba County Schools

External links[edit]