Virginia community colleges celebrate 50 years of progress

Published 1:19 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Virginia’s Community Colleges are marking the 50th anniversary of the statewide system of comprehensive community colleges in 2016 with a year-long observance that celebrates the progress of the past 50 years as well as the promise of the future.

One part of that year-long observance is to ask community members to share their stories regarding what community colleges have meant for them. A web landing page has been created to collect those stories at, and they will be shared later in the year at events commemorating the system. Community members are welcome to share stories from a student, family, business, or government perspective, past or future, about how community colleges have strengthened the community — and student lives.

Virginia’s Community Colleges were created by the General Assembly in 1966 to provide comprehensive institutions that addressed unmet needs in higher education and workforce training.

Since then, Virginia’s 23 colleges have served  over 2.6 million people, awarded more than 575,000 credentials and associate degrees and launched countless numbers of transfer students into bachelor programs, advanced degrees and successful careers. 

This year, Virginia’s Community Colleges are celebrating tremendous gains while enthusiastically looking forward to the future.