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TCC will create an online writing lab (OWL) at Beach Campus

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Dec. 3, 2008) – Tidewater Community College has teamed up with Green Run High School (GRHS) to develop an Online Writing Lab (OWL) to improve student success. It will focus on bettering both high school and TCC students’ writing skills – improving college readiness and persistence.

The TCC-Virginia Beach OWL will offer synchronous (real-time) help and tutoring to students 21 hours a day for 5 days a week, plus 18 hours a day on weekends. Students at both TCC and Green Run will have direct access to this support – a particularly useful service during off hours. Plus, online help via a Blackboard site will add real-time conversation and a place to post drafts. The site will be staffed by experienced, trained faculty to ensure no “down time” in coverage, with the project overseen by TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus dean for languages and speech, Ron Key, Ph.D.


In early February, Green Run High teachers and counselors will identify a group of juniors and seniors, based on results of the Compass test. These students will be enrolled as a specific online dual-enrollment section in the TCC OWL. Through the OWL’s greater access to learning help, the teens should test more into credit English versus developmental English and, at the same time, increase their overall skills to graduate from high school.

The initiative is funded primarily by a competitive grant awarded to TCC by the Virginia Community College System. Winning proposals for the Chancellor’s E-learning Enhancement & Development awards matched criteria of creating E-learning tools to support instructors and students, or focusing on student success programs for developmental education, adult basic education, student advisement and college/workforce readiness. Results from the TCC OWL will be shared with the system’s 22 other community colleges as well as GRHS and other high schools in the region, and may serve as a model for enhanced writing support in Virginia.


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