As Thomas Nelson Community College celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Historic Triangle (HT) campus, it also prepares to embrace change. Dr. Patrick Tompkins, Provost of the Williamsburg campus, will soon depart for Eastern Shore Community College where he will serve as Vice President of Academic, Student, and Workforce Programs.
Tompkins’ transition creates an opportunity to restructure the relationship between the Upper Peninsula and the College.
Under the leadership of four college provosts since opening, the Historic Triangle campus has become a fully functioning campus that operates as one College with the Hampton campus and satellite centers across the Peninsula. Programs and services offered at all Thomas Nelson campuses and centers are strategically created and managed at the College level.
“You’re not losing a provost,” said Tompkins, “what we have done is reorganized and resourced the needs appropriately…We can do everything more efficiently if we do everything in an integrated fashion.”
Thomas Nelson is working to efficiently meet the needs of all Peninsula residents by providing one voice of support to the unique needs of all residents.
“When our folks are in the Upper Peninsula, they need to know that they have a direct line to the authority behind our powerful academic and workforce components, and government and community relations,” said Tompkins. “That authority and those resources come from the College level, not a small office at the (HT) campus.”
Today, faculty and staff at the HT campus will continue to report to their directors and vice presidents in an effort to fulfill the College’s mission.
"By ensuring that responsibility for provision of service is in the correct unit of the College it will force us to take a holistic approach to our services and programs which will benefit the Upper Peninsula because they are no longer being served separately," said Tompkins.
On the College level, academic and workforce programs will expand at the HT campus to meet the employer and education needs of the Upper Peninsula.
A recent listening session with partners from industry, the Economic Development Authority, and Williamsburg James City County (WJCC) Schools identified many of the unique healthcare training and other employment needs in the area. Today, Thomas Nelson is working with WJCC Schools to create programming that meets area needs.
“Thomas Nelson is providing training and employment opportunities to residents of the Upper Peninsula and we’re providing highly skilled, well trained employees to the burgeoning healthcare sector in the Upper Peninsula,” said Tompkins.
In the near future the College and its partners hope to do something similar in trades and manufacturing.
“That is hold a listening session, assess the needs and then develop programming. The schools, the employers, Thomas Nelson, they are all partnering to meet those educational and career needs in the Upper Peninsula,” said Tompkins.
One initiative that is expected to open in the spring is an affiliate site for Virginia Career Works at the HT campus. The goal of the affiliate site is to better serve the career needs of the workforce in the Upper Peninsula.
“We’ve worked with our partners in the Greater Peninsula Workforce Board and the local governments to provide a single location that they can go to for a variety of employment and career services that will be connected to the location in Hampton,” said Tompkins.