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Housed at TCC, unique center partners public high schools, college and corporations

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – (May 19, 2005) – High school teens and college students of all ages walk these halls at different times, daily. They share resources from NASA and they use technology in top-of-the-line labs supported by well-known companies. Right here in Virginia Beach.

And, people want to know about it. Especially peers around the country. On June 2 and 3 they get their chance.

Members of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers will gather for an annual workshop held this year at the ATC on Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Campus. Part of their mission: to see and explore the only college-based ATC in the country to incorporate secondary education with corporate and government partnerships on the premises.

The workshop theme, Progress through Partnership, fits the Virginia Beach ATC - the centerpiece of the academic village in Princess Anne Commons and a working partnership among TCC, Virginia Beach Public Schools, the city of Virginia Beach and local industry. “This event brings national recognition to our work of forging new paths in education and industry,” says Lyle Bagley, associate vice president of Workforce Solutions at TCC and co-chair of the planning team for the workshop. “The partnership is demonstrated in the planning team, comprised of members from Virginia Beach Public Schools, the college and the city.”

The workshop features presenters from the college, Virginia Beach schools, the Virginia Community College System, NASA and others. The varied sessions range from NASA nanotechnology to virtual instrumentation to GPS and CADD to high-performance manufacturing to the operational advantages of partnering within an ATC.

Richard Hinckley, executive director of NCATC, says the organization looks forward to visiting the Advanced Technology Center to get a first-hand look at the partnership among the diverse entities.“Many NCATC members are very interested in how such partnerships can work in their own communities as shared resources, and can add greatly to their effectiveness and outreach into their service areas.”

The 137,000 square-foot, award-winning high-tech ATC includes state-of-the-art equipment and classrooms with cutting edge presentation systems, as well as a technology theatre that enables businesses to teleconference and satellite broadcast to anywhere in the world. ATC program offerings include engineering, information technology, electronics, CADD, civil and industrial engineering technologies, computer integrated manufacturing, and accounting. In 2004-5, TCC’s 4,269 students enrolled in ATC classes represented 21 percent of all Virginia Beach Campus students. And the ATC hosts an average of 450 high school students in a year.

“Kids need to learn hands-on technology at a young age and bring that knowledge with them into the college setting,” adds Bagley. “We know that 80 percent of the jobs for the new millennium will require less than a four year degree and more than a high school diploma. Through the ATC, students find the preparation they need for college degrees, as well as career training.”

NOTE to the MEDIA: To attend workshop sessions and/or speak with presenters and participants, contact Laurie White at 757-822-1085. Interesting visuals will be in the GPS, NASA and virtual experimentation sessions. E-mail or call for a brochure in pdf form that lists all the sessions. For information on TCC’s Advanced Technology Center, please visit


Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 35,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit