“The Nineties: A Time of Expansion”
description of “The Nineties: A Time of Expansion,” see A
Journey Through the Years: A History of New River Community College.)
1990’s will be remembered not only as a decade of dynamic growth
and activity but also as a time of stability. It was a time of growth
in technology, of curriculum revision, of increased emphasis on planning
and assessment, of support of economic and community development, and
of collaboration with other educational and community agencies. It was
also a time when the College’s programs, services, and personnel
received validation through numerous awards and recognition from the rest
of the country.
beginning of the decade, the College was continuing to feel the effects
of cuts in state funding because of a faltering state economy. NRCC
responded to a $625,000 state budget reduction by combining classes
and using more adjunct faculty. NRCC president Floyd Hogue announced
a freeze on the hiring of full-time faculty, as well as on the purchase
of new instructional equipment. All overtime pay was eliminated.
the 1990 fall semester, enrollment exceeded 4,000 for the first time
in the history of the College.
fall 1990 Virginia’s community colleges saw their first major
tuition increase in five years.
study by the University of Wisconsin, NRCC’s program for the
learning disabled was named as one of eight outstanding programs of
its type in the country.
became one of 10 colleges in the southeastern United States selected
to participate in a project on “Advancing the Humanities,”
which was sponsored by the American Association of Community and Junior
Learning Resource Center was selected among the top 60 learning resource
programs in the nation.
received one of two 1990-1991 Excellence in Education awards given
to Virginia community colleges. The award was given for the College’s
tutoring and note taking program.
student population included six Turkish engineers who were training
to become technical instructors. They came to NRCC to study the College’s
instrumentation technology program.
Ink, the College’s first journal of literature and art, was
published to display the creative talents of students and community.
Plaza I Center at the University Mall in Blacksburg opened to provide
computer training to Virginia Tech employees and area business and
industry personnel during the daytime. On nights and Saturday mornings,
classes were open to the general public.
• In April 1991, community representatives joined faculty and
staff in a special day-long planning session. The “charrette”
was the culmination of months of research and planning for the future
of the College.
staff developed a “vision,” a college master plan, and
a strategic planning process to guide the College.
1991, NRCC president Floyd Hogue accepted the position of president
of Mission College in Santa Clara, California. Jack M. Lewis, dean
of management services, was appointed interim president.
announced in October 1991 that Edwin L. Barnes would return to NRCC
as the College’s fourth president.
road to the College from Route 11 was completed during spring of 1992.
• A 17 percent tuition rate increase took effect during the
1992 summer session.
the College was one of two community colleges in the country to be
recognized for its services to students with disabilities.
received a Title III grant of approximately $600,000 over a three-year
time span beginning in 1992.
was also awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
to support a four-week summer study institute during the summer of
again enjoyed national attention when it was announced that the Learning
Achievement Program for the Learning Disabled had been selected for
recognition as one of five national exemplary programs by the National
Center for Research in Vocational Education.
the May 1993 graduation ceremonies, retired professors William J.
Dawson and Marvin P. Long were awarded the title of professor emeritus.
14, 1993, ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the New River Valley
Regional Economic Development Center. College and community officials
had waited for funding for the fourth building at NRCC since 1987.
The new building was named Edwards Hall in honor of the College’s
restructuring plan was instituted in 1994. Instructional programs
and services were realigned into four academic divisions, and continuing
education was integrated into each of the four academic divisions.
February and March of 1994, the trees on the campus received extensive
damage from three major ice storms.
25, 1994, NRCC President Edwin L. Barnes and Radford University President
Donald N. Dedmon signed a transfer agreement between the two institutions
to help ensure NRCC students’ easier transfer to Radford University.
fall 1994, the College held its first live teleconference to all 34
campuses within the VCCS.
22, 1995, NRCC opened a satellite class building in Christiansburg.
the College had seen 1,372 students enrolled in courses using telecommunications
technology. The College was also using compressed video to broadcast
classes to its Christiansburg site.
saw increased activity in providing training for business and industry.
One of the Division of Industrial Technologies’ special projects
toward the end of the decade was WorkKeys, an assessment process designed
to help identify specific employability skills.
dean of management services, along with members of the computing services
staff, created NETSPACE, a software program designed to expedite the
development of the strategic budget by providing the means to enter
budget requests. By fall 1996, this program was accessible to all
employees at their workstations.
complement to the College’s strategic planning process and as
a way to comply with VCCS and SCHEV mandates, a formal program review
process was implemented at the college. This process required faculty
and division chairs to conduct program reviews on a five-year cycle
which was coordinated with assessment cycles.
the last years of the 1990’s, attention focused on the need
for a proposed magnet school, which would provide technical training
for secondary students and others in the New River Valley. By April
1999 the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School announced its
support of the proposed Magnet School of Technology, and the 1999
legislature appropriated $100,000 in planning money. Even though the
magnet school had offered classes during fall 1998 for nine high school
students and 68 NRCC students, who were enrolled in the first level
of a course provided through Cisco Systems, that number rose to 157
in fall 1999. William Asbury, retiring superintendent of Pulaski County
Schools, was selected as coordinator of the magnet school.
the last half of the 1990’s, much emphasis and thousands of
hours were devoted to the Institutional Self-Study report prepared
for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The report
was coordinated by Self-Study Director Elaine Scott. In April 1997
accreditation was reaffirmed with the College’s receiving only
three recommendations from the SACS visiting team.
NRCC’s Early Learning Center was granted accreditation by the
National Association for the Education of Young Children.
fall 1999, tuition for Virginia residents was reduced to $37.12 per
credit hour, compared with the previous rate of $46.65.
announced in November 1999 that Jack M. Lewis would become the College’s
beginning the decade, NRCC instituted an instructor-initiated withdrawal
policy allowing faculty to withdraw students who missed a significant
number of classes.
program in paralegal assisting was added to the College’s offerings.
received funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help
purchase equipment for a new training program in tool-and-die making.
1990, the library catalog system in NRCC’s Learning Resource
Center was officially retired when a computerized catalog became the
primary of accessing information about the library collection.
between NRCC and Toyota resulted in the College’s becoming a
regional training center. Students who successfully completed the
program would be certified to provide service for Toyota automobiles.
the College’s automotive technology department received the
highest level of achievement recognized by the National Institute
for Automotive Services Excellence.
accreditation had become contingent upon adhering to assessment guidelines
by SACS and SCHEV, great emphasis was placed on the assessment of
NRCC’s programs. In 1993 Marian Lockard was named assessment
coordinator for NRCC.
1994, NRCC and Old Dominion University (ODU) collaborated to give
students an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree without
traveling to the ODU campus. Students enrolling in this program, called
TELETECNET, would complete their first two years at NRCC, with the
remaining course work to be offered by Old Dominion University via
interactive audio and video technologies, as well as through on-site
classes or laboratories.
1994, the College received a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission
to design and implement, effective fall 1995, a fiber optics communication
and laser instructional specialty within its electronics two-year
associate degree program.
the demand for courses in computer technology, the computer information
systems department developed two new majors: a computer technology
specialization and computer application specialization.
semester 1996, twelve classrooms became “electronic” classrooms.
Each classroom contained a specially designed instructor podium, which
housed a Pentium 133 MHZ multimedia Windows 95-based computer, a VCR,
a Scan converter, and a visual document camera/visual presenter. Installed
in each electronic classroom was a television monitor. Some classrooms
also contained a video/data projector.
1997, NRCC began offering courses which could be applied toward a
degree in gerontology. Other new options included a bachelor’s
degree in occupational and technical studies through NRCC and Old
Dominion University. ODU also began a professional public management
certificate on the NRCC campus.
NRCC, in partnership with Charlotte Diesel Driving School, Inc., began
a training program to qualify tractor-trailer drivers for United States
Department of Transportation certification. In another collaborative
effort, thirteen Floyd County High School students received both high
school and college credit for a new welding course.
end of the 1990’s, the College had developed a two-year associate
degree program in engineering as a result of an articulation agreement
with Virginia Tech.
joined with Old Dominion University to offer nursing education via
the December 1999 college board meeting, five new programs were approved:
3D animation specialization (CADD program), 3D solid modeling specialization
(CADD program), computer software applications career studies certificate
(workforce development), desktop software development certificate
(IST program), internet programming specialization (IST program),
and legal assisting (AAS).
Programs and Services
of the special events held during 1990 were made possible through
outside funding, including a grant from SCHEV’s Virginia Student
Retention Program. In addition, funds from the Virginia Department
of Education allowed the College to continue its Technology Program
for Women and the Center for Single Parents and Displaced Homemakers.
Other grant-funded programs included (a) training for individuals
aged 18-21 who were enrolled in a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
program, (b) long-term classroom training for ADC recipients, (c)
special support services, including counseling and tutoring, for students,
(d) training for interpreters for the deaf, (e) retraining for dislocated
workers who were not eligible for assistance through the Trade Readjustment
Act, and (f) a basic skills training program for employees of the
Awareness Week celebrations continued, offering concerts by local
musicians and by major recording artists, along with lectures, storytelling,
a festival day, and writing and art competitions.
1991, the College sponsored the annual Virginia Humanities Conference.
in 1991, NRCC held a forum on “Equality and the Due Process
of the Fourteenth Amendment,” which explored the history of
the Fourteenth Amendment and the impact it had on the lives of women,
blacks, and other minorities, particularly in Virginia.
late 1991, Charlie White organized the New River Valley Fiddle and
the College became a regional GED testing center.
1994, a Kurzweil Reading Station, an optical scanner which converts
typewritten text into oral speech, was installed on the NRCC campus
to assist dyslexic, blind, or visually impaired students.
events during 1995 included a Disability Awareness Day, a regional
science fair co-sponsored by the Southwest Virginia Governor’s
School, and a series of workshops for independent business owners.
The workshop was sponsored by the NRCC Center for Training and Development.
1996, special programs and services included a Real World Day, co-sponsored
by NRCC and the Southwest Virginia Transition Center at Virginia Tech,
a Veterans Day ceremony, and the opening of a transition center for
the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing hosted a teleconference
on issues that colleges and universities face as they deal with the
deaf or hard of hearing. During the same year, the College sponsored
a summer institute on learning styles.
events during 1997 included a ceremony on campus to honor prisoners
of war and individuals who were missing in action.
early 1998, a dance was held on the NRCC campus to celebrate the twenty-fifth
anniversary of the Old Pros big band orchestra.
during 1998, a series of programs focused on “The Changing Face
the end of the 1990’s, the NRCC Writing Center collaborated
with the Manufacturing Technology Center based at Wytheville Community
College to offer services to local businesses and industries through
a mobile learning unit.
end of the decade, the College helped the New River Valley prepare
for the approach of the new millennium—and subsequent computer
glitches related to the date change—with a seminar on preparing
Foundation awarded 55 scholarships during 1991-1992.
1992-1993, the Foundation’s assets reached $1 million.
in celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the NRCC Foundation,
five individuals were honored for their “leadership and acts
of friendship” to the College. J. Robert Dobyns, H. W. Huff,
Jr., and Odell Mayberry were presented the NRCC Amicus Fidelis Medallion
award. The award was also bestowed posthumously upon the late Alex
H. Harman, Jr., and Daniel J. Rooker.
By the end of the decade,
the total assets of the NRCC Educational Foundation had exceeded the
$3 million mark.
and Staff News
In 1990, Debbie Lineweaver
was named training specialist in the Office of Continuing Education.
Also in 1990, Rhonda G.
Dotson was hired as the College’s recruiter, replacing Sandra
Cook. When Dotson left the College in 1992, Marc Watson assumed her
duties as NRCC recruiter.
At the end of 1991, William
J. Dawson, professor of humanities and social sciences, announced
plans to retire. Other retirements included those of A. W. Claussen,
Jacqueline J. Cregger, Melvin G. Mabry, Owen C. McKinnie, Evelyn Richards,
Doris Semones, and Graham Simmerman.
In 1993, after serving
for six years as office services specialist and adjunct faculty member,
Candy Mady was named manager of the NRCC Plaza One Blacksburg site.
Also in 1993, Marfesa
Clark became regional adult education specialist/program planner at
The year 1994 saw the
retirement of William R. Munzing, who was hired in 1969 to oversee
the construction of the campus’s first building.
In 1994, Roger Adkins
was named coordinator of a new training and retraining program at
Volvo-GM Heavy Truck Corporation.
Douglas D. Warren announced
plans to retire at the end of June 1996.
At the end of the decade,
Loretta F. Hall was named the College’s Tech Prep coordinator.
Ed Barnes announced his
plans to retire at the end of the 1999 calendar year. Barnes had served
as the College’s president since December 1, 1991.
At the beginning of the
decade, Mark Rowh published Coping with Stress in College. A short
time later he published Winning Government Grants and Contracts for
Your Small Business.
Irene Barr and Lewis Martin
were awarded one-semester faculty sabbaticals.
In April 1990, NRCC photographer
Eric Brady received a second place award in the color photography
category of the Paragon Awards.
In 1991, Dorothy Talbott,
NRCC retiree, was named Miss National Senior Citizen.
In 1993, Jose Melendez
was recognized for his involvement in a video designed to promote
a VCCS bond referendum. The video received a first-place award at
the Association for Educational Communications and Technology annual
meeting in New Orleans.
In 1994,Martha Bolt became
the first NRCC graduate, and the first woman, to be appointed chairperson
of the NRCC College Board.
In 1994, Eric Brady received
a certificate of achievement as a blue ribbon finalist in the Eighth
Annual Community College Association for Instruction and Technology
In 1994, Thomas W. Wilkinson
was presented an award for the Most Significant Advancement in Distance
Learning by an Individual in Continuing Education.
hand colored photographs were chosen for an exhibit by Roanoke College.
Individuals honored during
1996 commencement exercises were Douglas D. Warren, who was awarded
title of dean emeritus, and Dorothy Talbott and Bonita Leathers, who
received the title of faculty emeritus.
In 1997, Mir S. Shirvani
was one of three faculty in the VCCS to be selected to participate
in a ten-week program to provide on-site research support to the NASA
Langley Research and Technology Operations Group and the Fabrication
During the College’s
twenty-ninth annual commencement, Margaret L. Smith and Melvin G.
Mabry were awarded the title of faculty emeritus.
Outstanding support staff
awards were given to Peggy M. Atkins in 1990, Christy Pugh Simpkins
in 1991, Joyce K. Taylor in 1992, Eric Brady in 1993, Peggy Galloway
in 1994, Katherine K. Clark in 1995, Terri H. Shelburne in 1996, Bridget
Franklin in 1997, Peggy R. Dalton in 1998, and Hilda M. Haga in 1999.
Beginning in 1999 an outstanding
part-time support staff member was selected. Glenda Lindstrom was
the first individual to receive this honor.
The NRCC licensed practical
nursing program celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with a reunion
for all LPN graduates of NRCC’s and Vo-Tech’s practical
nursing program during April 1991.
The photograph of NRCC
graduate Kenneth Hampton was displayed across the state on a Virginia
Community College poster disseminated to promote community college
Following the College’s
adoption of an office paper recycling project in 1990, students in
the Student Support Services orientation classes initiated their own
campus clean-up and recycling program.
Throughout the 1990’s,
NRCC Phi Beta Lambda students continued their long tradition of receiving
awards at state and national conferences.
In 1992, nine NRCC students
earned awards in Vocational Industrial Clubs of America competition.
In 1994, a graduate of
NRCC’s automotive analysis and repair program, placed first
in the state VICA competition.
During the 1996-1997 academic
year, Gail White and Tracy Gann became the first women to graduate
from the automotive technology program.
In May 1998, Jennifer
Normansell became the first NRCC student to complete all course work
for an associate degree by independent study. By the end of the decade,
Jason Vaughn had become the first graduate to become certified in
networking by passing a demanding national examination.