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Ten reasons to consider attending community college

Tidewater Community College has been providing quality education in Hampton Roads for over 50 years. Today, TCC is the largest provider of higher education and workforce services in Hampton Roads.

TCC provides flexible, affordable education options to close to 30,000 students each year, both online and on campuses in cities across the area.

So why is community college a good place to start? Here are 10 reasons to consider.


Save big on tuition by starting at TCC. Tuition costs at TCC are significantly lower than four-year schools. That’s why three in five TCC graduates leave debt-free. Compare that to the national average of $37,172 and it’s easy to see why TCC is a great option for those looking to start their careers.

Quality education

TCC professors bring real-world knowledge into the classroom, creating a dynamic learning environment for students. In fact, students who graduate from TCC’s career and technical programs have some of the highest pass rates on certification exams. Also, students who transfer to universities have high success rates thanks to the strong start they got at TCC.

Faculty and staff here to help

TCC Professors have one goal in the classroom and that’s student success. They go the extra mile and connect with students to ensure they reach their educational goals. In addition, TCC staff strive to solve problems and ease barriers to higher education for all students.

Education that works

TCC offers hands-on training for all kinds of careers from IT to health care to mechatronics. Students looking to train for a specific career benefit from industry-focused curriculum and partnerships that include internships and clinical experience. If you want a degree that will get you hired, TCC can get you there.

Guaranteed transfer

TCC’s guaranteed transfer programs offer immediate transfer to every public university in Virginia and most private four-year colleges, too. Just put in the work for two years (and sometimes less) at TCC, then go pretty much anywhere in Virginia.

Military friendly

About one-third of TCC students are military-related. The college provides a full array of services to support prospective and current military-related students in our offices on campus and on base. Students benefit from military and academic resources tailored to active duty and reserve service members, veterans, military spouses and dependents.

Scholarships and financial aid

TCC and the TCC Educational Foundation provide thousands of dollars in scholarships to students each year. Most of them are worth $500 or more and don’t need to be repaid, making one of the most affordable options in higher education even more cost-effective. Staff are here to help students explore scholarships, grants, loans and work-study options.

Flexible and convenient

With four campuses in Hampton Roads, TCC is an easy commute from anywhere. Also, community college classes are designed with convenience and are offered in the daytime, evenings, weekends and online.

Smaller classes

Large classes held in auditoriums are less likely at a community college. Even though TCC is the largest provider of higher education in the area, classes and labs are still small allowing for personalized attention.

Tim Slootmaker with Chuck Thomas, student center staff member.

Student life

Student life at TCC encompasses the entire collegiate experience. Along with classroom and laboratory work, various clubs and organizations are available to broaden and deepen students’ views. Leadership opportunities in student government are encouraged and student centers on each campus offer a wide variety of study, work-out, gathering and food options.

A Top 10 look at a year to remember at TCC

A new president, a professor gone viral and a celebration of generous donors and collaborative partnerships are among a year of highlights for Tidewater Community College in 2019.

Check out our TCC Top 10 list of storylines that made a mark.

10. The college’s Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses celebrated their first-generation students, faculty and administrators in events held in early November. The days were selected to coincide with the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Celebrating first-generation college students.

9. Thanks to a partnership between TCC and Chesapeake Public Schools, 52 high school graduates earned career and technical training credentials during May commencement in areas that range from mechatronics to pharmacy technology to welding.

8. TCC received a fifth federal grant to help train military veterans and their spouses for careers in trucking. The grant, administered by the college’s Center for Military and Veterans Education, allows veterans to train for in-demand careers at no cost to them.

7. A partnership among TCC, Hampton Roads Transit and Norfolk Now to prepare Hampton Roads residents for careers as bus operators launched in May and graduated its inaugural class in the fall. A second cohort is under way.

The first cohort of HRT graduates

6. Mayor Rick West joined the Nov. 18 celebration for the opening of the new robotics lab on the Chesapeake Campus. The lab contains six state-of-the-art Fuji Automatic Numerical Control robots and training stations.

5. TCC will continue to grow in the next decade thanks to several generous donors. The TCC Perry Center for Visual & Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management received a major gift from philanthropist Jim Hixon. A $500,000 grant from TowneBank will also benefit the TCC Perry Center and help expand the Regional Automotive Center. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation gave the TCC Perry Center a $500,000 grant spread over five years. Stanley Black & Decker earned the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy for its support of the Skilled Trades Academy. Black & Decker donated $275,000 in new industry tools and equipment, the biggest in-kind investment by the company ever in the commonwealth. The SunTrust Foundation’s $75,000 grant will support the Skilled Trades Academy. Builders & Contractors Exchange funded $5,000 in scholarships for the academy. The Don Carey REECH Foundation also gifted TCC’s Women’s Center STEM Promise Program with $2,500.

Jim Hixon provided a generous gift for the TCC Perry Center.

4. It’s never been easier to transfer from TCC to Old Dominion University or Virginia Wesleyan University. The Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement, signed in September, ensures a seamless transfer to ODU for TCC graduates. The Fair Transfer Guarantee Agreement between VWU and TCC allows graduates who earn arts or science associate degrees to enter VWU as juniors.

3. TCC put into action plans to eliminate food insecurity among its students. The college and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore are new partners in a five-year initiative to eliminate the food insecurity that impedes many TCC students from completing their higher education. TowneBank’s $250,000 donation will go toward the food. A Campus-Based Pantry and Food Scholarship Program are in the works and a mobile pantry on the Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses started in the fall. In addition, a partnership between the Virginia Beach Campus and the city’s Department of Human Services gives TCC counselors and advisers a streamlined way to refer Virginia Beach students to the resources they need. Students can receive food, mental health counseling and housing support.

Physics Professor David Wright went viral.

2. Student Erica Church’s tweet on the animated teaching style of Professor David Wright made a big bang. The viral post, viewed by more than 30 million people, created headlines around the world and led to the beloved physics professor granting interviews to Yahoo, the BBC, NPR and Good Morning America. He and students Church and Kierra Brothers will appear on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Jan. 26.

1. Welcome, President Conston! The college’s sixth permanent president, hired Oct. 15, assumed the role on Jan. 6, 2020.