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TCC partners with Green Run High to prepare students for college writing 

Left to right: TCC Virginia Beach Campus's Ron Key and Bill Harlow celebrate the award with Dale deSarro, English teacher from Green Run High School, Tina Lenhart, literacy specialist from Virginia Beach Public Schools, and Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Virginia Community College System.

SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (April 8, 2009) – Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Online Writing Lab (OWL) was named TIE (Technology in Education) People’s Choice Award at the Virginia Community College System’s New Horizons conference, held April 2. New Horizons focuses on pioneering developments in education by faculty and administrators at Virginia’s community colleges.

The OWL, open 21 hours a day, offers real-time help to TCC students and sophomores and juniors at Green Run High. The focus: writing assistance for those at TCC, and college-readiness for secondary students.

Utilizing today’s technology, students can access writing help online through the OWL Blackboard site, which works in conjunction with Google Chat, enabling students to talk “live” with tutors about writing needs. Students at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus can also visit with tutors at the on-site Writing Center.

Green Run High students, having access to OWL after school hours, are learning early about college preparedness, and may choose to dual enroll at TCC during their high school years, and continue at TCC after graduation. The OWL project is expected to expand to support additional high schools in Virginia Beach.

TCC’s project was developed by Ron Key, dean of languages/Virginia Beach Campus, and Cynthia Horen, director of the Writing Center, Grammar Hotline and English Computer Center/Virginia Beach Campus.


Laurie White
Media Relations

Celebrating its 40th year, Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls nearly 40,000 students and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 23rd highest producer of associate degrees in the nation, and the 35th largest community college, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. 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 Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit