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There’s still time to apply for the TCC’s Accelerated Degree Program

While most of us think it takes at least two years to complete an associate degree, Tidewater Community College offers an accelerated option that allows you to complete all of your credits in just one year.

TCC is accepting applications for students interested in earning an Associate of Science in General Studies, an Associate of Science in Business Administration or the General Education Certificate through its Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) .

The Spring Semester cohort begins Feb. 1.

TCC’s Accelerated Degree may be your fast track to a bachelor’s degree

The ADP satisfies freshman and sophomore general education requirements at most Virginia public colleges and universities. Students who complete the degree and meet the GPA required for admission at their transfer institution will likely be admitted as juniors.

The application deadline is Jan. 25. Learn about all the documents necessary to apply here.

The accelerated degree is offered 100% online. Participating students also receive personalized attention and dedicated advising, including monthly check-ins.

The program is open to new high school graduates as well as adult learners, including military-related students, both active duty and dependents.

In her own voice

TCC graduate Lauren Harrell earned her associate degree in one year and transferred to Cornell University in fall 2020. “When I saw the congratulations notice on my admissions portal, I was shocked!” Harrell said. “I ran downstairs to tell my dad, who was working from home because of COVID. We both ran to get my mom, who was on a call. Together we jumped around the kitchen for a long time.”

Completing the Accelerated Degree made Harrell an attractive candidate to some of the nation’s top colleges. Cornell ranks 17th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent rankings of nearly 1,400 schools. Harrell also earned acceptances from University of Virginia, Vanderbilt and William and Mary.

 “The ADP gave me a sense of what it takes to get college done,” Harrell said. “You don’t have anyone holding your hand, and you have to stay on top of your work and be accountable for what you are doing.”

Learn more about the Accelerated Degree Program here. Email to connect with an advisor and get started.  If you still have questions, email TCC’s Virtual Student Support Team at or call 757-822-1111.

TCC to hold its 70th Commencement Exercises Virtually

Tidewater Community College will hold its 70th Commencement Exercises virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 11 at 6 p.m., the college will recognize the achievements of its graduates with an online ceremony that will include remarks by President Marcia Conston, student speakers and a conferring of certificates and degrees.

Graduates will have the opportunity to see their photo and names displayed during the virtual ceremony. Also, those who RSVP will receive additional information, as well as some celebratory items for the day including their mortarboard and tassel, diploma case, program and alumni pin.

The exercises will be broadcast on the same date originally planned for the in-person activities and will be available as a recording afterward.

The decision to conduct these ceremonies online honors guidelines announced by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and is in line with CDC regulations for social distancing to deter the spread of COVID-19.

TCC’s May graduates should use this link to register by Monday, April 20, 2020.

Ready, set, get your associate in just ONE year with Accelerated Degree option

While night class right before a holiday isn’t enticing for everyone, Taniea Walton, Robert Kinsman, Nelly Zabala and Austin Bartlett wouldn’t consider being absent, even if it is the 3rd of July and the parking lot at the Portsmouth Campus is nearly empty.

The four are on a fast track to their associate degrees thanks to Tidewater Community College’s accelerated option, which allows students to finish all their credits in 12 months.

TCC’s Accelerated Degree program offers students the chance to start their associate degrees and keep going. Classes are year round.

Applications are due July 26 for the next cohort of students. The accelerated program is offered on the Norfolk or Portsmouth campuses only. Some coursework can be completed online.

Walton, Kinsman, Zabala and Bartlett are the first Accelerated Degree graduates from the Portsmouth Campus. They survived the intensive class schedule that started last August thanks to leaning on each other, often through their four-way GroupMe.

“We’ve been helping each other all year,” said Kinsman, 26, in the Navy and on shore duty, who like the rest of his classmates, also holds a job. “I came in on a Tuesday and started classes that Friday. It worked with my Navy schedule.”

Kinsman wants to be an officer in the Navy or go into law. He finishes with an Associate of Science in General Studies.

Zabala, 33, is a Navy veteran who wants to finish school as quickly as possible, making the accelerated option perfect. She enjoyed one of the psychology classes she took so much that she is now planning a future in the field.

She finishes with her Associate of Science in Social Sciences, the same degree as Bartlett and Walton.

Bartlett, 25, juggles his full-time job working for a VDOT contractor with the program, noting that the evening classes make it all possible. “This is the only way I could go to school,” he said. “I knew education would put me further ahead.”

He finishes with his Associate of Science in Social Sciences with plans to eventually pursue a master’s in clinical psychology.

Portsmouth native Walton will transfer to Old Dominion University this fall. The traditional path to an associate didn’t appeal to her because she feared she would procrastinate and take even longer to finish.

“With my schedule – I work all day and I have a 2-year-old – this is very challenging,” she said. “I’ve learned to compartmentalize my life. When I’m in class, I’m all in.”

TCC’s Accelerated Degree is open to new high school graduates and adult learners, including military-related students. For more information, email

Accelerated Degree puts your education in high gear

Interested in fast-tracking your education? Tidewater Community College’s Accelerated Degree may be for you.

TCC is accepting applications for students interested in earning an Associate of Science in General Studies in just one year through its Accelerated Degree program. Upon completion, students may transfer their credits to a four-year college or university to work toward bachelor’s degrees.

This five-session program satisfies freshman and sophomore general education requirements at most Virginia public colleges and universities. Students who complete the degree and meet the GPA required for admission at their transfer institution will likely be admitted as juniors.

“The Accelerated Degree gives students the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years,” said Jeffery Boyd, provost of the Norfolk Campus. “It’s a great fit for recent high school graduates and adult learners who are motivated and disciplined.”

Accelerated Degree students attend classes in eight-week sessions on the Norfolk Campus for nearly one year to earn the necessary 61 credits. Classes are tentatively set to meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The academic schedule is:

Session I: Aug. 20 – Oct. 15, 2018
Session II: Oct. 17 – Dec. 14, 2018
Session III: Jan. 14 – March 11, 2019
Session IV: March 18 – May 11, 2019
Session V: May 13 – July 9, 2019

Students who participate in the accelerated program can save thousands by completing two years of college at TCC versus a four-year institution. In addition, students receive personalized attention with a low faculty-to-student ratio and regular academic advising.
Want to know more?
Prospective students must complete admission requirements that are specific to the Accelerated Degree. The first step is to apply for TCC admission, and then contact Cassandra Small for more information. Small can be reached at 757-822-1723 or

Need more help? Contact TCC’s new student support team at 757-822-1111 or

Visit for details.
Here’s what recent graduates are saying about the Accelerated Degree

James Pettway

James Pettway came to TCC after serving as a hospital corpsman in the Navy for five years. He selected the program because he wanted to get through school quickly. “I grew up poor and was the definition of, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ I never even considered college before. I didn’t have the ambition or the drive. My first and only job before the Navy was at Walmart.”

While in the Navy, Pettway discovered his passion for medicine. At TCC, he learned he could be successful in the classroom. “When I got through those first courses, I realized that I was capable. I applied the same ambition and focus I used in the Navy to be successful. I did it because I put my head down and believed I could.”

Pettway is now at George Washington University studying nursing.

Stephanie Leggett graduated from Granby High in 2016, and while she took AP classes, she didn’t make the grades. She learned about the Accelerated Degree program from her high school guidance counselor.

Stephanie Leggett

“This program has shown me that I can accomplish great things,” she said. “I can get a degree in one year and things can get better. For me, it was important to be challenged so I wouldn’t get bored.”

Leggett excelled in the classroom and jumped into campus life. “The college is really diverse, and there’s a lot going on outside the classroom,” she said. “I see things differently now and believe anything is possible.”

Leggett transferred to Old Dominion. She wants to be an attorney to advocate for social justice.