Daily Press: New president’s career goes full-circle

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For seven years, Newport News resident John Dever zipped up and down Interstate 95 to his job at Northern Virginia Community College. This fall, his weekly commute ended as he moved into the president’s office at Thomas Nelson Community College.

His new job is not just closer to home — it’s also a homecoming. Dever, 65, is returning to the place he launched his community college career. He started at TNCC in 1975 as an English instructor.

TNCC reaches all-time high enrollment in 2010-2011

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Via The Daily Press

More than 16,300 students enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College in 2010-2011, a 2.9 percent increase and a record high for the institution. The number of full-time students also jumped, with 9 percent more taking at least 30 academic hours. That’s about 600 more, for a total of 7,179.

TNCC is fourth for growth in full-time student enrollment among Virginia’s 23 community colleges. The local increase follows a nationwide trend of enrollment spikes at community colleges as tuition rises at state and public universities. Enrollment at TNCC climbed by 7.4 percent in 2006-2007; college officials say that’s when large numbers of first-time college students sought affordable higher education.

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Daily Press: TNCC’s new smoking policy starts

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The Daily Press

Puff away: New smoking policies at Thomas Nelson Community College are much less restrictive than originally proposed.

The smoking policies for both the Hampton campus and the new building in James City County opening this summer went into effect Wednesday. They follow state guidelines that prohibit smoking within 25 feet of exterior building entrances and exits but allow it elsewhere outdoors, as well as in designated gazebos.

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Senator to receive TNCC Presidential Leadership Award

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The Daily Press

Sen. Mamie E. Locke will receive Thomas Nelson Community College’s third annual Presidential Leadership Award in a presentation Jan. 28 at 8 a.m. in Mary T. Christian Auditorium, as part of the college’s Martin Luther King Day observances.

A continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the auditorium lobby will be followed by the ceremony, a panel of community leaders participating in “Fulfilling the Dream: From King to Obama” and performances by TNCC student groups. The event is free and open to the public.

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Grant to help TNCC boost student success in math

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The Daily Press

A sticking point in its math curriculum could soon be solved by a new effort at Thomas Nelson Community College.

The Virginia Community College System awarded a $65,000 grant for TNCC faculty to create a new way of teaching developmental math. A study showed that approximately 2,000 students were enrolled in those classes in the fall of 2006. However, about 50 percent dropped out before finishing.

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State budget cuts are hitting community colleges hard

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The Daily Press

State budget cuts are hitting Virginia’s community colleges at the worse possible time. Enrollment records are being set, with almost 5 percent more students enrolling in the fall of 2008 than did so a year earlier.

Meanwhile community colleges, including Thomas Nelson in Hampton, had their budgets cut by 5 percent in the fall of 2007, another 5 percent in December and are looking at another 5 percent in July for the next fiscal year.

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