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Notice of partial closure of Parking Lot 9 from 7/6-7/17

Please be aware that two bays of parking in (upper) Lot 9 along Colonial Ave. (between the STEM Building and College Services Building) will be closed for milling, paving and restriping from this Monday, 7/6/20 through Friday, 7/17/20.  During this time, student parking on South Campus will be available in Lots 1, 2, 3 & 4, with Faculty/Staff Parking also being available in Lot 1E. Upon completion, this portion of Lot 9 (including new ADA parking spaces near the STEM Building and Transportation Plaza) will be fully available for use. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we complete these campus improvements!

A message from President Sandel for Independence Day

I am writing to wish you a happy and safe Independence Day and remind you that Virginia Western Community College will be closed on Friday, July 3 to honor the national holiday. Many of us look forward to this time of year to enjoy a well-deserved summer vacation. This year, however, travel will look very different and we should all make health and safety a priority.

Governor Northam has transitioned Virginia to Phase 3 in the Forward Virginia Plan. This has eased restrictions on non-essential retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, fitness and exercise businesses and more. While the key health indicators in Virginia have improved, please continue to use caution. For the specific guidelines of Phase 3, visit: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Forward-Virginia-Phase-Three-Guidelines.pdf.

If you are going to travel, please carefully consider your plans and take precautions to lessen your potential exposure and the spread of COVID-19. Myrtle Beach, Horry County, S.C.; has become a hotspot of the virus and travelers returning to our region from those areas must self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus. The Virginia Department of Health also advises self-quarantine after international travel, or travel on a cruise ship or riverboat. For more travel information, visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/travel-to-areas-with-widespread-ongoing-community-spread/.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  


Dr. Robert H. Sandel


Virginia Western Community College

VWCC to provide mix of online, in-person education for Fall

Virginia Western announces it will provide mixture of Fall classes online with in-person education and training options

Prospective students can enroll now for Fall Semester at www.virginiawestern.edu

ROANOKE — Virginia Western Community College announces that it will provide a full array of Fall Semester classes with a mixture of online and remote learning formats along with in-person technical training, clinical and lab instruction. The college strives to meet the safety, health and well-being of the entire community, and to continue its mission to provide quality educational and training opportunities.

“Our top priority is to serve the community and help our students achieve their academic goals,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “We are well-prepared to provide a mixture of online and hybrid classes that maintain our high academic standards to ensure students do not miss a step.”

Virginia Western will provide the majority of lecture and general education courses online and will be prepared to pivot its hybrid and hands-on courses to online should that be necessary. Some online courses are structured to meet at specific times on tools like Zoom, just like a traditional in-person class, so students can engage with their instructor and classmates together. Others offer a chance to learn material at one’s own pace, needing simply to complete assignments or take exams by specific deadlines. Our faculty stand ready to help students succeed, regardless of which mode they prefer.

The college released its Summer Semester re-opening plan and a cross-functional task force is continuing to develop the Fall Semester plan to submit for approval from Virginia’s Community Colleges and the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The plan will follow Executive Orders from the Governor, guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and other definitive public health sources. Students taking classes in person, will have smaller, socially distanced groups with protocols that align with national and statewide guidance.

Virginia Western’s School of Corporate and Career Training (CCT) resumed in-person training for Certified Medical Assistants last week, with Precision Machining and other courses starting this week. The college will resume other in-person Summer Semester courses on a limited basis beginning on June 30. The Hall Associates Career Center will continue providing career services to students, alumni and employers this summer through online and remote means including Career Connections (CCN), Zoom video conferencing, email and phone. For more information, visit our website at www.virginiawestern.edu/careercenter.

In addition, student services for enrollment, advising and financial aid will be available by appointment beginning June 30. Students and prospective students can schedule an appointment at: https://virginiawestern.edu/advising/schedule_an_appointment.php.

For more information about Virginia Western’s Fall Semester classes and how to enroll, please visit www.virginiawestern.edu.

Virginia Western closed to honor Juneteenth

In recognition of the importance of the Juneteenth holiday and in alignment with Governor Northam’s announcement of the state holiday, Virginia Western was closed Friday, June 19, 2020. As Governor Northam said, awareness and education are critical to eradicating institutional racism. Join us in reflection as we honor Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of ending slavery in the United States.

You can read more of the Governor’s announcement at: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/june/headline-858213-en.html.

A message from President Sandel

As we struggle as a nation to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths it has caused, we must also come to grips with the fact that countless unnecessary deaths in our country have originated from a place of hatred and institutionalized racism. We are fortunate in our region that the majority of those protesting the tragic death of George Floyd and others before him are peacefully making their voices heard. We also are fortunate to have government leaders and police officers who honor the first amendment and the rights of those protesters while also protecting public safety. There are no easy answers here and I will not pretend that I have a solution to the turmoil and anger that is boiling over in our nation.

What I do know is that education has always been and will always be the great equalizer. It gives individuals a way to uplift their lives and the place of their families in our society. It teaches us to approach others with understanding. At Virginia Western Community College, I am most proud of the “community” in our name. I believe we have fostered a community where anyone, no matter the color of their skin, their economic situation or their place in life can find their path to personal success.

Dr. Glenn DuBois this week released a statement regarding steps Virginia’s Community Colleges will take to ensure all individuals across the Commonwealth have equal access to opportunity no matter their race. He has appointed a task force to examine what all VCCS institutions are doing to ensure equity and to develop goals and measurable strategies to increase it. He also appointed a panel to examine the curricula used across the system to educate law enforcement officers in criminal justice.

I fully support Chancellor DuBois for taking this important step. As the first community college in Virginia, founded in 1966, Virginia Western has always been a leader in providing educational opportunities. Today, we must also be a leader in helping to tear down racism and build a stronger future for the Commonwealth and our nation.

As we proceed to make changes to how we operate in response to the pandemic, I promise you we will not change our dedication to our core values of diversity, integrity, respect, success and teamwork. We will continue to foster a marketplace of ideas in the region. We will continue to help all our students reach their goals through education. This is our community and we are committed seeing it remain safe and healthy, and to seeing it thrive.

Dr. Robert H. Sandel


Virginia Western Community College

Local Advisory Board and Finance Committee meetings to be held electronically

Virginia Western Community College’s Local Advisory Board will hold an electronic meeting to conduct regular business on Monday, June 1, 2020, in accordance with § 2.2-3708.2 of the Code of Virginia and Chapter 1283 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly. The Finance Committee of the Local Advisory Board will meet at 3 p.m., followed by the full Local Advisory Board at 3:30 p.m.

If the meeting is interrupted by a technical problem, the public may notify Virginia Western by calling 540-985-5736.

This is an open meeting. Public comment can be accepted only in written form, due to the nature of the electronic meeting. Comments can be sent prior to May 29, 2020, via email to Amy Balzer at abalzer@virginiawestern.edu. The comments received will become a part of the public record.

These meetings can be witnessed via the URLs below:

Virginia Western Local Advisory Board Finance Committee

June 1, 2020, 3 p.m.

https://vccs.zoom.us/j/96299833045; password: FinVWCC

Virginia Western Local Advisory Board Meeting

June 1, 2020, 3:30 p.m.

https://vccs.zoom.us/j/92732212304; password: BoardVWCC

Watch the 2020 Graduation Video

Virginia Western honored its 2020 graduates and conferred their degrees with a special video message. You can watch it here:

Be sure to see special Thank You messages from our students, faculty and staff here:

We look forward to honoring our graduates in person when it is safe to do so!

Virginia Western, Ferrum sign new transfer agreement

Ferrum College and Virginia Western Community College signed an agreement Thursday guaranteeing admission into Ferrum College for Virginia Western students who have received an associate degree. Ferrum College also pledged to these students to provide a pathway to receive a four-year degree within two years of transfer to Ferrum, as part of the College’s Ferrum Promise initiative which was rolled out in November 2019.

“Our economic landscape is constantly evolving,” said Dr. David L. Johns, President of Ferrum College, “and our education needs to evolve with it. We are excited to partner with Virginia Western Community College to prepare students to enter the workforce and to contribute to their communities. This agreement is a commitment from both our institutions to make education accessible and affordable, and to build a strong future for Virginia.”

“We are fortunate to have such a strong partner institution in Ferrum College and we are thrilled to share this new initiative with our students,” said Dr. Robert Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Students who transfer from Virginia Western to continue their education tend be among the highest achievers at four-year colleges and universities. The Ferrum Promise initiative will give those students a fantastic opportunity at an affordable, high-quality degree.”

The memorandum of agreement states that acceptance at Ferrum College will require Virginia Western students to have maintained a cumulative overall GPA of 2.3 or higher, and earned a grade of “C” or higher in required courses applicable to the program they choose to enter. Additionally, Virginia Western students must have earned either an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree prior to acceptance at Ferrum.

The agreement was signed on the Virginia Western campus by Sandel and Johns, along with Virginia Western Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Elizabeth Wilmer, and Ferrum College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Aimé Sposato.

“This articulation provides a seamless pathway to degree completion in four semesters so that Virginia Western Community College students can hit the ground running when they transfer to Ferrum College,” said Sposato.

Winners of Virginia Western Chili Cook-Off and Cookie Bake-Off announced

Congratulations to these winners of the Virginia Western Chili Cook-Off and Cookie Bake-Off. The March 9 event raised nearly $700 to benefit the Virginia Western Student Food Co-Op, Fueled by Kroger:

  • Ladles & Linens door prize: Marla Mook
  • Sweepstakes prize of 50-inch TV, donated by Kroger: Gayle Clary
  • Non-traditional chili ($25 Kroger gift card and commemorative spoon): Carole Tarrant*
  • Traditional chili ($25 Kroger gift card and commemorative spoon): Amy Anguiano
  • Hot & Spicy chili ($25 Kroger gift card and commemorative spoon): Kristen Allard
  • Cookies: Amanda Mansfield* (oatmeal, cranberry, pistachio with white chocolate drizzle)
  • Chili Fan Favorite (Instant Pot): Lora Vasiliauskas (red version)
  • Cookies Fan Favorite (Instant Pot): Katelyn Burton (chocolate-chocolate cookies with sea salt)
Gayle Clary was the winner of the Sweepstakes prize, a 50-inch TV donated by Kroger.

We had nearly a dozen chili entries and the same for cookies, with faculty, staff, students and the general public represented.

Many thanks to all of the competitors who cooked for a great cause!  And to our judges: Dr. Robert H. Sandel, Peter Stocki, Joe Stanley, Michelle Bennett, Dan Casey, Craig Harris, Kat Pascal, Gene Marrano and David Dantzler.

Remember, you always can donate directly to the Food Co-Op fund, which is managed by the Educational Foundation. Click the link below or contact Amanda Mansfield, Educational Foundation Philanthropy Director, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.


*Foundation staff donated the value of their gift card prizes to the Co-Op fund.