TNCC Students to Visit Legislators in Richmond

Published: January 22, 2007

A delegation of students, faculty, staff and administrators from Thomas Nelson Community College will be visiting their legislators in Richmond on Thursday, January 25 and Monday, February 5 to thank legislators for their support to higher education and to keep legislators abreast of the needs of community colleges. Student Government Association President, Tia McCoy and Vice-President Clair Langford will be part of the delegation. “It’s important for me to let my legislators know that Thomas Nelson students are actively involved in addressing issues that affect our College and our communities. We are stepping up and taking a leadership role in changing Virginia for the better,” said Tia McCoy, president of the Student Government Association.

“We also want our legislators to know that we are very appreciative of the faculty and staff for all their support. We want to make sure our legislators understand that Thomas Nelson Community College helps shape and change the lives of many in our communities. The success of Thomas Nelson students is largely due to the dedication and commitment of the faculty for their students.” Clair Langford, a former military member and currently the vice-president of the Student Government Association said, “Because my experience at Thomas Nelson Community College was life-changing, I find it important to pass tell our legislators about the College’s positive impact in our community. As a student involved in the co-enrollment program between Thomas Nelson Community College and the College of William & Mary, the transfer grant initiative is of special meaning.”

Mary Olson, a Williamsburg resident who has been a student in the Thomas Nelson Historic Triangle campus said she wants to tell legislators how beneficial it was for her to have a campus in the Upper Peninsula. “After being a stay-at-home wife, I realized I wanted to further my education. Thomas Nelson was there for me, right in my community. Like me, many in our community will benefit from a permanent campus for Thomas Nelson Community College in the Historic Triangle area. The College will be able to offer classes in modern facilities and continue to grow and expand the educational opportunities for people in our community,“ Olson said. This past summer, while working on a writing assignment for an English class, Olson contacted a local correctional facility. Olson has always been interested in becoming a probation officer to help others in the community. Olson was offered an internship position. She said, “This internship opportunity, which I came across because I was a student at Thomas Nelson Community College, exposed me to the real life duties of a probation officer. I now feel even more stronger about taking that career path. When I complete my degree at Thomas Nelson, I will be able to give back to my community by helping those who are at risk.”

This year, the Virginia Community College System is supporting the following legislative initiatives: the Community College Tranfer Grant Initiative which will allow individuals who meet certain criteria to transfer to a four-year college and pay the community college tuition rate; salary raises for teaching faculty to allow the VCCS to attract and retain qualified faculty; keeping community colleges accessible and affordable for students; additional funding to continue and expand the Middle College program and the Career Coach program and additional funding for equipment for capital projects coming online in 2006 – 2008, additional funding for maintenance of facilities and for capital projects in various community college campuses to meet the enrollment growth.

Funding requests earmarked for Thomas Nelson Community College includes a $230,000 for renovations on the Hampton campus and $5,640,000 for the purchase of equipment for the Historic Triangle campus which is slated to be completed by 2008. Equipment includes classroom and laboratory furniture, information technology and other specialized equipment for the 120,000 square foot facility.

The Virginia Community College System serves all citizens of the Commonwealth. In 2005 – 2006 the VCCS served 233,465 individual students. The Full Time Equivalent enrollment was 93,201. Headcount enrollment is the number of students who take at least one credit course at a community college. Full Time Equivalent enrollment is the number of students there would be if each was taking a full load of 15 credits per semester. At Thomas Nelson Community College, the headcount enrollment for 2004-2005 was 13,120 the highest headcount enrollment in the College’s history. The full-time equivalent enrollment was 5,201, the second highest in the College’s history. In 2005-06, 78% of students at Thomas Nelson Community College were enrolled on a part-time basis.

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