Thomas Nelson Community College is a two-year institution of higher education established as a part of a statewide system of community colleges. It primarily serves the residents of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York. The college operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and with the guidance of the Thomas Nelson Community College Board. The administration of the college is directly responsible to the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. The college is financed primarily by state funds, supplemented by contributions from the participating localities and the federal government.
The college provides financially accessible, high quality, comprehensive educational programs and services to meet the educational needs of citizens of all ages and to support the economic development of the Commonwealth. To this end, the college offers:
- associate’s degree programs to prepare individuals for careers as technical and paraprofessional workers;
- associate’s degree programs to prepare individuals for transfer, as upper-division students, to baccalaureate degree programs at four-year institutions;
- diploma and certificate programs to prepare individuals for careers as technicians and as skilled and semi-skilled workers;
- developmental courses to prepare individuals for further instructional programs;
- student development services to assist individuals with decisions regarding occupational, educational, and personal goals;
- industrial training programs for new or expanding businesses, industries, and professions;
- continuing education programs, including credit and non-credit courses, seminars and workshops for individuals who wish to continue or expand their learning experiences; and,
- cultural and educational opportunities for the community.
TNCC Vision Statement
“TNCC will be the preeminent provider of the most technologically prepared and globally conscious individuals in the region.” (adopted 2010)
TNCC Mission Statement
“Thomas Nelson Community College changes lives, empowers students to succeed and enhances the social and economic vitality of the region through high quality education and workforce training, excellent service and innovative partnerships.” (adopted 2010)
TNCC Strategic Plan and Annual Goals General Education at Thomas Nelson Accreditation and Recognition History College Presidents Who was Thomas Nelson? Organizational Structure
Thomas Nelson’s five-year strategic plan, TNCC 2015: Shaping Our Future, outlines the goals, strategies, and priorities necessary for the college to realize preeminence in the region. Developed with broad participation from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners, TNCC 2015 will guide the college’s collective efforts to shape the future by finding new, innovative ways to fulfill its mission and foster the vitality of the region. The plan was endorsed by the Local College Board at its April 28, 2010 meeting. To view TNCC 2015: Shaping Our Future at a glance, click here (pdf).
TNCC Annual Goals:
- Goals and Expected Outcomes for 2011-2012 (pdf)
- Progress Report on Achievement of Thomas Nelson Community College Goals for 2010-2011 (pdf)
- Goals for 2010-2011 Submitted to VCCS (pdf)
General education is the integrated combination of knowledge, skills, competencies, attitudes, and values characteristic of an educated and well-informed citizen capable of functioning effectively in a complex and rapidly changing world. General education is that portion of the collegiate experience that pertains to the holistic development of the person and not to specific occupational and/or program skills.
- Communications Skills
The skills to read, write, listen, and speak effectively so as to communicate clearly on a personal, occupational, or professional level.
- Learning Skills
The ability to locate and use information resources, including printed and computerized databases, in an effective method of inquiry that supports and promotes lifelong learning.
- Critical Thinking Skills
The development of a reflective and analytic disposition well-suited to recognize and evaluate arguments of one’s own and others as to their relative strength or weakness, thus creating the foundation for effective decision making and problem solving.
- Interpersonal Skills and Understanding Human Relations
The ability to know and understand one’s self and others especially those of other gender, race, and background so as not only to live but also to develop a personal set of values, ethics, and responsibilities.
- Computational and Computer Skills
The ability to understand, use, and interpret numerical data so as to function successfully in life and to have a sufficient knowledge of basic computer elements, functions, and applications so that one may utilize this modern tool and its ever-changing applications to meet better the challenges of an increasingly technical world.
- Global, Historical, and Cultural Traditions
The awareness of not only the Western world’s history and culture but also that of the East and Africa.
- The Appreciation of Fine Arts and Music
The development of a basic understanding of artistic principles, genres, periods, and artists to enable the individual to appreciate and enjoy art in its varied forms as a source of public and private enrichment.
- Understanding Science, Technology, and the Environment
The knowledge of fundamental principles of science and technology, knowledge of the scientific method of inquiry, skills for applying scientific knowledge to practical situations, and attitudes that reflect an understanding of and respect for the environment.
- Understanding Mental and Physical Health
The fundamental knowledge of the basic principles governing mental and physical health to promote as fully as is possible lifelong well-being.
Students who complete 15 or more hours at the college and are candidates for graduation will be required to take part in exit interviews or to complete surveys or some other activity to demonstrate the acquisition of the above general education skills.
Thomas Nelson Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Thomas Nelson Community College.
The 1966 session of Virginia’s General Assembly in active legislation established a statewide system of comprehensive community colleges. A local committee investigated the need for and feasibility of a community college for the region and requested the State Board for Community Colleges to approve an application to establish Thomas Nelson Community College. A site almost in the population center of the Peninsula area was selected and a local board of advisors was appointed. After the site was purchased by the City of Hampton, construction was begun on the initial phase of four buildings in August 1967, and the cornerstone was laid December 5, 1967. Construction was completed, and 1,232 students began classes on September 20, 1968. Thomas Nelson Community College graduated its first class of students with associate’s degrees on June 13, 1970.
- October 2011 – Present, Dr. John T. Dever
- 2009 – October 2011, Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider
- October 2008 – 2009, Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider, Interim
- 2004 – 2009, Dr. Charles A. Taylor
- 2003 – 2004, Dr. Peter A. Spina, Interim
- 1995 – 2003, Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins
- 1994 – 1995, Dr. Richard A. Calver, Interim
- 1986 – 1994, Dr. Robert G. Templin Jr.
- 1979 – 1986, Dr. Thomas S. Kubala
- 1971 – 1979, Dr. Gerald O. Cannon
- 1967 – 1971, Dr. Thomas V. Jenkins
Thomas Nelson Community College is named in honor of Thomas Nelson, Jr., who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an early colonial governor of the Commonwealth. Thomas Nelson, Jr., was a merchant in early Yorktown and served in the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War. He was very active in leading a segment of the Virginia militia during the siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis. During the siege, the story is that one of Nelson’s men approached him with the information that Cornwallis had set up headquarters in the Nelson House. When the soldier asked what should be done, Nelson is said to have responded, “Blow the damn thing down.” Today one of the cannon balls is still lodged in the wall. Thomas Nelson, Jr., spent his fortune to aid the revolutionary cause and died a pauper.