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Fall semester alone could reach 30,000 students

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Aug. 17, 2009) – As Congress considers President Barack Obama’s proposal for increased reliance on, and funding for, community colleges, Tidewater Community College announces a double-digit enrollment increase for fall, presently running at 25 percent ahead of last year.

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce made the announcement this morning in her State of the College address during TCC’s annual Convocation heralding the start of the academic year.

Noting these are “the proverbial best of times and worst of times,” President DiCroce said that TCC is “in the midst of a virtual tsunami of individuals from all walks of life turning to us to help them navigate these raging waters toward calmer seas,” even while the college has felt state budget cuts – some 10 percent or $5 million in the past two years.


Dr. DiCroce talks with TCC faculty and staff at Convocation, held Aug. 17 at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center.

“Never before has the spotlight been more brightly focused on community colleges nationally and TCC locally,” said DiCroce. All areas of enrollment have risen at TCC, she reported, from students planning to transfer for bachelor’s degrees to those preparing to enter the workforce to veterans taking advantage of the new post 9-11 GI Bill.

In the past 11 years, TCC has grown about 60 percent in fulltime-equivalent students – approximately equal to adding a new college the size of the state’s third-largest community college. Notably, 25 percent of TCC’s recent growth has occurred in the traditional-age student population (age 18-24), with a hike of 29 percent in just the past two years in recent high school graduates choosing TCC.


According to a national ranking, TCC is the 15th largest producer of associate degrees in the country – of some 1,500 two-year schools. TCC also now ranks 13th in the nation among two-year colleges in associate degrees awarded to African American students.

While TCC transfer-bound students went up, so did career and technical students, up by 71 percent in such in-demand areas as fire science, automotive technology, emergency medical services, hospitality management, nursing and truck driving. Rising to meet demand, TCC launched 10 new programs last year, from Mechatronics to Geographical Information Systems to Green Design for Interiors to Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In addition, the college’s apprenticeship training increased by 15 percent, to more than 900 students.

Noting the fiscal challenges of these uncertain times, President DiCroce said, “It’s not business as usual. And the only known is the unknown.” Guided by budgetary constraints, TCC, however, will continue its responsive and strategic growth, she added, reflecting the needs of its students, industry and the citizens of South Hampton Roads.

Photos by Jerry Altares



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls over 40,000 students annually and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 15th highest associate-degree producer 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 , the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake and the 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