The Community and Technical College at WVU Tech (CTC at WVU Tech) has been awarded initial accreditation status by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA). Dr. Jo Harris, Provost, and Ms. Denise Kerby, Chief Financial Officer, received the notification in Chicago recently after appearing before an NCA Review Panel. The panel recommended the maximum initial accreditation period of five years with no focused visits or follow-up reports required. This decision was the last step in a three-year self-study process, which was chaired by Kristin Mallory.

NCA accreditation is not new for the CTC at WVU Tech. As a component community college on WVU Techs campus, community college programs have been accredited by NCA since the 1940s. Senate Bills 653 and 703, however, mandated that community college components located on four-year campuses acquire this separate accreditation to provide more flexibility, visibility, and autonomy. The CTC at Tech is the third such component in the state to achieve the accreditation, joining community college components at Marshall University and Fairmont State College. Components at West Virginia State College, Shepherd College, and New River Community and Technical College of Bluefield State are at various stages in completing the process.

Both administrative services and academic support services will be shared at the Montgomery location. Students from community college programs and baccalaureate programs will enroll in the same general education courses and have the benefit of the same student services. This change will provide the community college to have greater budget flexibility, to begin and end programs more quickly in response to business and industry demands, and to offer a greater variety of workforce training and education to employers.

All one-year collegiate certificate and two-year associate degree programs will be awarded through the CTC at WVU Tech; four-year baccalaureate degrees will be awarded by WVU Tech. CTC programs include business and office technology, printing technology, engineering technology (civil, mechanical, drafting and design, electrical), computer and information technology, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, claims processing, general studies, technical studies and occupational development. Graduates from these programs are prepared for immediate job placement or can continue to a related four-year degree.

The main objective of this change is to increase access to and participation in higher education for all residents in the state. This will, in turn, provide a larger pool of skilled workers to attract more business and industry to West Virginia. Through reduced tuition for the community college programs, increased services for developmental education and adult students, increased focus on workforce training, and preparation of students for transfer to four-year programs, the CTC at WVU Tech will play a major role in this statewide initiative.