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From Adult Education to Community College

by Dana Hathorn

“We have to make a concerted effort to provide experiences where students can learn from and share with each other, as well as build on the strengths and weaknesses of one another.”

As a member of the Virginia Community College System Tidewater Community College (TCC) is to “provide collegiate education and training to adults of all ages and backgrounds, helping them achieve their individual goals and contribute as citizens and workers tothe viability of an increasingly global community” (About TCC, 2020). TCC has a very diverse group of learners ranging from a wide array of ethnicities and ages. It is our goal to carry out this mission in each and every one of our students with a focus on diversity, equity, and equality. In order to do this, not only do we provide the academic programs to students in order for them to achieve their academic and career goals, but we also provide appropriate resources to accompany those programs.

TCC resources are vast and tailored to all students, thus making the transition from adult education to the community college environment exciting and rewarding. We are continuously creating and implementing co-curricular workshops to address the needs or the students. Those workshops include but are not limited to:

  • Test-taking Skills
  • Transferring to a Four-year college/University
  • Balancing School and Work
  •  Advising
  •  Understanding Financial Aid
  • Communicating with Instructors
  • Study Skills

Not only are there workshops, but clubs and organizations are established as entertaining outlets to provide extra-curricular activities to contribute to the whole students. Those clubs range from special interest groups to academic-focused groups. A few of the clubs include Math, Garden, Anime, Criminal Justice, Theater, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance. We pride ourselves for offerings which will interest all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. We make a concerted effort to provide experiences where students can learn from and share with each other, as well as build on the strengths and weaknesses of one another.

During this virtual season we are now living in, providing these offerings has presented both challenges and opportunities. There are some students who are technologically limited in ability and accessibility. We continue to be creative in developing resources, such as the Computers for Student Success program, which will assist them in reaching their goals. While on the other hand, virtual offerings enable us to reach across the college reaching more students, versus being campus specific.

TCC will continue to be accessible to all. As a reaffirmation to our mission, “Open access to high-quality, affordable education to prepare students for transfer to a four-year baccalaureate institution, as well as for entry or advancement in the workforce. Cultural diversity as a critically important strength for students to meet the changing needs of a pluralistic, democratic society” (About TCC, 2020). We will remain of service to our community.


About TCC. (2020). Tidewater Community College. Retrieved December 12, 2020, from https://www.tcc.edu/about-tcc/#

Dana HathornDana Hathorn currently serves as the Portsmouth Campus Dean and Dean of Retention at Tidewater Community College. Mrs. Hathorn has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Regent University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Norfolk State University.