Rappahannock Community College is a realization of the dream that began with Thomas Jefferson, whose vision of Virginia’s future included a system of colleges that would put the opportunity for higher education within a day’s ride of every citizen of the Commonwealth.
Nearly 200 years later, in September of 1969, Jefferson’s dream began to come true for residents of the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck when representatives of 13 counties met in Urbanna to create a local board for a new educational institution: a community college.
With two campuses planned-one in Glenns and the other in Warsaw-the new college would serve both sides of the Rappahannock River. It was thus fitting that the college be called by the river’s name, Rappahannock. To further symbolize the cooperation that made the building of the college possible, soil from all 13 counties was mixed at the ground breaking ceremony held in Glenns on September 11, 1970.
A year later, students enrolled for classes at the Glenns campus. Although the ground-breaking ceremony for the Warsaw campus did not take place until 1972, students attended classes in the Chinn House (now the Justice Joseph W. Chinn Community Center) in Warsaw until the main building opened in 1973.
Rappahannock Community College, one of the 23 community colleges that constitute the Virginia Community College System, held its first graduation in June 1973, at which 40 degrees and 11 certificates were conferred. Since then, more than 3,000 students have received degrees and certificates, many of them going on to complete additional study elsewhere.
Through its continuing education courses, community service activities, libraries (which serve the public as well as students), and its degree and certificate programs, the college has become a major educational resource and cultural center for the communities it serves.
Rappahannock Community College’s mission is to promote the personal
growth of our its students and prepare them for success as learners, professionals, and citizens by providing quality educational experiences.
We are committed to our students, community, and employees through:
- helping members of the college community (internal/external) to overcome their barriers to success
- providing convenient, affordable, educational opportunities and services
- providing students a seamless transition from high school to the college and on to other post-secondary educational opportunities and to the workplace
- offering education and training that meet the community’s workforce development needs
- providing employees opportunities for professional growth and development
- supporting the college community in the appropriate use of information technology
- providing a supportive, caring student-centered environment
- promoting academic excellence
- providing excellence in instruction
- maintaining relevant programs and support services
- contributing to the social, cultural, and economic development of the community
- maintaining a work environment which encourages open communication, innovation, productivity, accountability, and personal commitment
- using current technologies that support educational and training objectives
- establishing and tracking expected student outcomes
- engaging in sound planning, management, and systematic evaluation for the improvement of programs and services
- ensuring fiscal responsibility and public accountability
- maintaining adequate, fair, and equitable benefits, policies and procedures
- acquiring and allocating resources to cultivate the college’s students, programs, services, and facilities
- using college resources efficiently and effectively
- keeping the college community aware of college activities, needs, and performance
In support of these commitments, Rappahannock Community College offers a variety of educational opportunities and services to meet needs in the lifelong process of personal and professional development including:
- programs for students who need to develop basic academic skills for successful post-secondary study
- courses and programs which prepare individuals for employment, career updating and job advancement
- the first two years of study for those seeking transfer to a four-year college or university
These values best set the ideals that all members of the college community strive to emulate.