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AMID NATIONWIDE ENROLLMENT CRUNCH, TCC OPENS A NATIONAL-MODEL CAMPUS IN PORTSMOUTH
New Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus to redefine the science of education delivery
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - (Nov. 10, 2009) - As community colleges nationwide scramble to accommodate soaring enrollment, Tidewater Community College stands poised to open its most technologically advanced campus yet.
Strategically located just off Interstate 264 on land donated by the City of Portsmouth, TCC's new $65 million Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus will open for business on Dec. 21; spring semester classes will begin on Jan. 11. The new campus will serve more than 10,000 students annually.
It will redefine the way TCC and community colleges nationwide use the latest innovations in educational design and instructional delivery to respond to market demands and economic challenges.
"The New Portsmouth Campus represents a critical investment in the region's economic future," TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce said. "The campus exemplifies the best in successful partnering, where strategic planning and long-range vision will benefit tens of thousands of citizens and hundreds of employers across the region."
The New Portsmouth Campus replaces TCC’s founding campus, opened in 1968 when the Beazley Foundation donated the former Frederick College – approximately 750 acres of property – and $1 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Planning for the new campus began a decade ago, as the college strategically positioned itself as both a cost-effective workforce-training partner to area employers, and an affordable, convenient, high-quality degree and career-training resource for students.
"Mr. Beazley would be so pleased to see the New Portsmouth Campus that will serve the citizens of the city and region,” said the Hon. Richard Bray, president of the Beazley Foundation. “The new campus certainly continues his dream to enhance educational opportunities for the people of South Hampton Roads."
TCC President DiCroce and Provost Jones gave news media a "Sneak Peek" of the New Portsmouth Campus on Nov. 9.
With a modern, learning-centered design, the campus features the Beazley School of Nursing, built through the support of a $1.4 million gift from the Beazley Foundation. Boasting its own hospital clinical lab and the state's first four human-patient simulator labs, the school comes as a timely answer to the region's critical shortage of nursing professionals.
In a simulated, real-world learning environment, the nursing school features a unique "ladder approach" to nursing education, helping a range of students, including CNAs (certified nurse assistants) and LPNs (licensed practical nurses), earn a degree and become RNs (registered nurses).
"In terms of both its technological training tools and its teaching approach, the Beazley School of Nursing will offer students and healthcare providers an amazing array of educational opportunities found nowhere else in the Commonwealth," said Terry Jones, provost of the Portsmouth Campus.
Meanwhile, in a response to the workforce demands of the region's shipbuilding, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries, the new campus also will expand TCC's in-demand programs in HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning), welding and CADD (computer-aided drafting and design).
In fact, education will meet innovation campus wide, with 25 modern classrooms, 11 computer laboratories and 20 instructional laboratories, each filled with the latest instructional technologies to train students in an inspiring, collaborative atmosphere.
Features such as wireless video cameras, simulated work environments and a high-tech library with more than 100 computers will help students learn in vivid, interactive, real-world environments.
TCC faculty members will enjoy technological advances of their own thanks to the Batten Faculty Development Center, where faculty can integrate the most recent technology into their classes and online presentations.
The new campus also will provide a dedicated space for the First College Program, a successful, innovative partnership with the city’s public schools. "The New Portsmouth Campus offers wonderful opportunities for our students to continue their education,” said David Stuckwisch, superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools. “The First College Program is a unique model that provides new pathways for our students, whether they pursue a bachelor's degree or seek employment."
"To have an institution like this available in Hampton Roads is really wonderful for students and employers alike," said David Tynch, Portsmouth Partnership. "To have a facility like this open during these challenging economic times is simply a godsend. This clearly took an incredible amount of vision and forward thinking on the part of TCC, and the economy of the entire region stands to benefit."
Manifesting its continuing strategic growth, in 2009 alone, TCC dedicated its Joseph N. Green, Jr. District Administration Building in Norfolk and its Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and broke ground in Norfolk for the first of four student centers – one at each campus – and for the Regional Health Professions Center at the Virginia Beach Campus.
TCC's prior innovative capital projects include a state-of-the-art science building with an observatory and planetarium and the Advanced Technology Center – both at the Virginia Beach Campus, the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in downtown Norfolk and the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth.
The largest provider of higher education and workforce development services in Hampton Roads and the 15th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC will serve a projected 47,000 students in 2009-10. Forty-five percent of the region's residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.