New River Community and Technical College
|President||Dr L. Marshall Washington|
|Location||Beckley, West Virginia, USA|
New River Community and Technical College is West Virginia's newest independently accredited institution of higher education. Founded July 1, 2003 by enactment of the West Virginia Legislature, the college was independently accredited February 8, 2005, by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Although newly founded and named, the college's origins span more than one hundred thirty years of service to West Virginia through its two parent institutions, Bluefield State College and Glenville State College.
New River was created by combining the community and technical college component of Bluefield State College with Glenville State College's community and technical college campus in Nicholas County (Summersville), as mandated by HB 2224 and later refined by SB 448. Consequently, New River serves an area including Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, and Webster Counties.
There are currently 5 campuses:
- Beckley - Main Campus, also houses Central Administration
New River Community and Technical College worked in the Erma Byrd Public Higher Education Center in Beaver but was forced to vacate because of failed budget approval to satisfy increasing rent at the center.
Degree programs and curriculum
New River offers ten Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs; thirteen Associate in Science (A.S.) degree programs; two Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degrees; Collegiate Certificates; and Collegiate Skill Set Certificates. A number of the A.S. degree programs articulated with and transfer to four-year baccalaureate programs at Bluefield State and Glenville State Colleges, as well as other state-supported institutions. The A.A.S. degree programs, often considered the terminal degree for immediate employment, are offered in the areas of laboratory science, child care practitioner, paraprofessional in education, banking, emergency management, environmental science, and networking operating systems administration. Customized training and workforce development programs are offered as Collegiate Skill Set Certificates and include areas of phlebotomy, medical/dental front office specialist, medical transcriptionist, and industrial maintenance.
The college's four campus facilities have Inter-Active Network (IVN) technologies through its distance learning labs and through web-based instruction. In addition to the Beckley Campus, a full range of community college programs and services are offered at the Bluefield Campus (co-located on the campus of Bluefield State College), at the Greenbrier Valley Campus (located in Lewisburg), and at the Nicholas County Campus (located in Summersville).
The college's Center for Workforce and Business Development offers a variety of customized training and workforce development programs that address the training needs of employers within the college's designated service district. During the past decade, programs and training have been provided that impact more than 7,000 employees from more than sixty companies. Additionally, in partnership with local vocational centers, the Region 1 Workforce Investment Board, and other educational partners, New River designs customized certificate programs that emphasize industries and skills in which participants can obtain employment quickly and help to alleviate workforce shortages in critical industries that are targeted for growth and economic impact. These programs are designed specifically for adults with little or no postsecondary education, thus increasing adult access to higher education while providing training that is immediately relevant to the adult's employment goal.
Growth - new master plan
New River's high quality of education and low tuition has caused a rapid increase in enrollment. Because of this, New River has devised a "Master Plan" to rebuild each campus, with the headquarters and largest campus remaining in Beckley. Phase One of the site plan will be the creation of an efficiently designed structure to house multiple functions. The Central Administration suite is planned to be located on the main floor level. Also included on this level is an easily accessible, 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) technology center that can serve both the academic and workforce development training needs of the counties served by the campus. Appropriate space is dedicated to student services including development education, library and digital resource center, as well as a “front door” presence for college recruitment, admissions, and marketing services. The organization of the space along a powerful central axis will establish a sense of community within the structure, accommodate a continuous series of student and faculty interaction space, and create a clear connection from the main campus entrance to the subsequent phases of formal green spaces. The upper floors of the facility will provide for a variety of general academic, science and health laboratory, and faculty spaces. The vertical circulation core, combined with both axial and radial circulation spines, can yield a broad range of classroom sizes and arrangements, while maintaining close connectivity with offices and, more importantly, student gathering areas. Architecturally, the Beckley campus of New River Community and Technical College should be a dramatic expression of modern collegiate design. With strong foundations in classic materials, proportions, and details successfully integrated into a contemporary fabric of form and space, this facility will be attractive to students and business and industry partners of the region.
While the administration has attempted to obtain funding for this project over the past several years, no funding has been appropriated by the state to allow the facilitation of the "Master Plan". Partially as a result of its separation from Bluefield State College, the institution has recently completed several major projects. A new gigabit network with fiber to each of six locations throughout southern West Virginia was completed in August 2009. An entirely new VoIP phone system was completed in January 2010. And the College completed the transition from WebCT to ANGEL in January 2010 as well.