The Advanced Career Studies Certificate in Networking and Cybersecurity

RCC’s Adv. Networking and Cybersecurity enrolling now

The Advanced Career Studies Certificate in Networking and Cybersecurity

Graduates of this new Advanced Networking and Cybersecurity program can work at any number of companies, all of which are in need of employees with the specific IT skills required to combat these new threats.

Thanks to computers, the world has changed. Much of that change is good. Folks can shop in their pajamas and chat with relatives across the nation or on the other side of the world. But, like all good things, there is a downside to this “computerization.” Many bad actors are using their knowledge of the Internet to take what is not theirs.

Globally, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally by 2021, and according to CyberSeek, in 2017 the United States has approximately 350,000 current cybersecurity openings.

In response to this growing threat and an incredible rise in new job opportunities, Rappahannock Community College has launched a new program. The Advanced Career Studies Certificate in Networking and Cybersecurity is designed to provide entry-level expertise in security to those who complete the program.

Graduates of this new Advanced Networking and Cybersecurity program can work at any number of companies, all of which are in need of employees with the specific IT skills required to combat these new threats. For example, a recent search in the Dahlgren, Virginia area on revealed that there almost 400 job openings for cybersecurity-related positions.

“We feel that this new program will help prepare the next generation of IT professionals to contribute right away in the workforce,” says Dr. Marty Brooks, Academic Dean at Rappahannock Community College.

“With classes like ‘Network Attacks, Computer Crime, and Hacking’ and ‘Internet/Intranet Firewalls,’ graduates of this program will be well suited to make an impact at any organization which must have their data secured.”

Students will benefit from working with faculty like Prof. Lisa Carrington and others, who have years of experience in the IT field in this hands-on program.

Cohorts for this nine-credit program are forming now, and classes in RCC’s Fall 2018 semester begin on August 27.


RCC named a Great College to Work for the Fourth Consecutive Year


Faculty and staff celebrate that RCC is officially a Great Place to Work for the fourth year in a row — from left, Prof. Sue Perry of the Nursing Department, Sam Mitchell of the Faculties Department and Tim Hoffman of IT — hold up the “Great Colleges 2018” logo for all to see.

In what seems like an old tradition, Rappahannock Community College was named a Great College to Work for in 2018, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the top trade publication for colleges and universities.

The results, released in The Chronicle’s eleventh annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of colleges and universities.

RCC was also recognized for the following achievements:

  • Compensation & Benefits — Pay is fair, and benefits meet the needs of employees.
  • Professional/Career-Development Programs — Employees are given the opportunity to develop skills and understand requirements to advance in their careers.
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship — Supervisors or chairs solicit ideas and make expectations clear.

“This College’s culture is deep and caring,” says Dr. Elizabeth Hinton Crowther, president of Rappahannock Community College. “This is demonstrated by the interaction among employees, as well as the superb touch that all faculty and staff members have with students and other constituents.”

“Rappahannock Community College is consistently praised by visiting accrediting agencies and other institutions for its outstanding culture and its service to students and the community.”

“The Great Colleges to Work For distinction is well-known by academic jobseekers as a sign that an institution’s employees are valued and given opportunities for growth even when they face financial constraints,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle. “Any college or university that’s on the list is showing that they emphasize one of their most valuable assets: their faculty and staff.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed 253 two-year and four-year institutions nationwide. Only 84 institutions were selected for the Great Colleges to Work For list.

About The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education is dedicated to serving the higher education community with insights, understanding, and intellectual engagement. Academic leaders and professionals from around the world trust The Chronicle’s analysis and in-depth exploration to make informed decisions. For more information and to view the survey results, visit The Chronicle’s website at:

Chef Hatley Bright

RCC debuts all-new Baking and Pastry Fundamentals program

Chef Hatley Bright

Chef Hatley Bright and her team of certified pastry chefs will instruct students in classes like Artisan Breads, European Tortes and Cakes, and Custards and Creams in the new Baking and Pastry Fundamentals program at Rappahannock Community College.

Making use of the brand-new space at the Glenns Campus for her Culinary Arts program has not been a problem for Chef Hatley Bright. In her state-of-the-art lab, she is able to run many classes and focus on many different levels of preparation and food fundamentals.

But now Chef Bright is happy to add a new program to her kitchen at the Glenns Campus, this one, by popular demand.

“We are really excited to offer a brand-new certificate in Baking and Pastry Fundamentals,” says Professor Bright.

“This is an introduction to some of the finer cakes and pastries. We’ll be doing European tortes and cakes. We’ll be doing artisanal breads, and we’ll be offering a class in custards and cremes. A lot of what we learn will apply to other classes that we have available.”

The certificate actually has 16 credits, which will include earning an industry credential for sanitary food service, which is now a requirement for many who work in the foodservice industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The creation of this program, says Chef Bright, was thanks to feedback from industry partners, who are looking for a new skill set in the kitchen.

“There’s a lot of very, very good pre-made product out there but having something made from scratch that you make and eat the same day even, really has a different feel and a different touch to it,” says Bright.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the new certificate for Chef Bright will be the introduction of some new faculty into her program, who are certified pastry chefs. They will play a significant role in the classes as well.

“This is what they’ve done, this is what they’ve gone to school for, and this is the industry they’ve worked in,” says Bright. “They have a true feel for what the industry wants and needs.”

Classes are now enrolling for the Fall 2018 semester at Rappahannock Community College — everything starts on August 27.

“Come to RCC,” says Bright. “We have the A-Z for the culinary field.”

RCC Diesel

New Diesel Certificate available at the RCC New Kent Site

RCC Diesel

Prof. Steve Patt works with his Diesel class at the Rappahannock Community College New Kent Site.

In response to conversations with industry, Rappahannock Community College is proud to announce a new path to earn the knowledge and skills to become employed in the automotive industry — the new Diesel Mechanics Technology Certificate program.

This new certificate is designed to educate students in some of the same skills as our Diesel Mechanics Technology Career Studies Certificate, but with a twist.

Graduates of the new Diesel Mechanics Technology Certificate program will be equipped with some of the “soft skills” that are necessary for successful work at a medium to large-sized company.

“Due to industry input, we’ve added this new certificate to what we can offer,” says Prof. Steve Patt, lead instructor of RCC’s Diesel program.

“I’m excited about this program,” says Patt, who has over 35-years of experience in the industry, “because it will make our students even more hireable and promotable within the field.”

Patt meets regularly with companies who ask him for educational partnerships, and for qualified applicants to their job openings.

“Industry is always knocking on my door,” says Patt. “They say ‘Steve, have you got any more students you can send us?’”

Diesel Mechanics Technology classes are available at the RCC New Kent Site, which is located at the Historic New Kent High School building (11825 New Kent Highway). For more information about the program, please call 804-557-2959 or visit our website at

RCC Press Release icon

RCC Workforce to offer Tuition Assistance for Welding, CDL and More

In every corner of Virginia, people are eager to find meaningful jobs, and employers are looking for workers with the right skills.

In the decade leading up to 2023, Virginia businesses will need to hire more than 1.4 million people to replace retiring workers and fill newly-created jobs.

According to the National Skills Coalition, almost half of the job openings in Virginia between 2010 and 2020 will require some post-high school education, but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. To land these jobs applicants need industry-recognized credentials, certifications, and licenses.

Virginia’s Community Colleges offer a wide variety of workforce training programs to help prepare people and businesses to succeed in the 21st-century marketplace.

These programs are known as “FastForward” vocations, because they can help Virginians train for fulfilling new careers in weeks or months, instead of semesters or years.

RCC Workforce Fast Forward tuition assistance may be available to subsidize training costs — for specific programs such as welding, commercial truck driving, industrial manufacturing, and more.

This exciting program allows participants to pay only one-third of the tuition cost while the Fast Forward program covers the remaining two-thirds upon the successful course and credential completion.

RCC also has tuition assistance available through other sources. To learn more about these exciting funding opportunities, please contact the RCC Workforce staff at 804-758-6750 or

RCC Press Release icon

RCC Lifelong Learning offers More Culinary Excitement this Summer

The Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) and the Rappahannock Community College (RCC) culinary team, led by Chef Hatley Bright, are excited to offer several short courses this summer in the new cooking lab at RCC’s Glenns Campus.

On August 8 and 9 from 5-7:30 p.m., adjunct instructor Chef V. Gary Whitecotton looks forward to sharing fun and simple hor d’oeuvre’s to pair with that favorite libation! With apron on, join him in this hands-on course to learn how to prepare:

BBQ Shrimp with Deviled Egg & Country Ham Salad, and Sweet Potato Gaufrette; Southern Sushi with Blue Crab, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Spicy Whole Grain Mustard Aioli, and Brown Sugar Soy; Piquillo Rubbed Hanger Steak with Pimiento Cheese, Corn Bread Cracker, and Horseradish Foam; Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

Because the class size is limited to 10, he will offer the same course on August 15 & 16 from 5-7:30 p.m.  Students will not only help prep and prepare, but also enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Certified Executive Chef Verner Gary Whitecotton worked for over 32 years in various restaurants and private clubs along the east coast, having served as the executive chef at The Country Club of Virginia and the Richmond Country Club. He joined the Northern Neck Technical Center in Warsaw as their culinary arts instructor in 2014.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35 plus $20 to cover the cost of the culinary supplies, is required to attend either of courses mentioned above. For more information, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at Please do so early because each class is limited to just 10 students.

The RCC Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Virginia Commonwealth Bank’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2018.

Avis Hackett-Fortune

Meet RCC’s longest active student — Avis Hackett-Fortune

Avis Hackett-Fortune

After 26 years as a student with Rappahannock Community College, Avis finally was able to walk across the stage for her degree, making her the longest running active student of the College.

Sometimes it can feel that you’ll never reach that coveted diploma from college. For Avis Hackett-Fortune though, this didn’t stop her diligence. After 26 years as a student with Rappahannock Community College, Avis finally was able to walk across the stage for her degree, making her the longest running active student of the College.

Before starting at RCC though, Avis had already had a long and successful life. Westmoreland native, she graduated from Washington and Lee High School, and from there started working in the government in 1974 under the FEMA program.

After leaving FEMA, she continued with a wide range of jobs, all very impressive. She worked with Farmer’s Home Administration, Fort A.P. Hill Public Affairs Office, and left the government temporarily in 1986 to return to college and work for the Westmoreland County schools.

After a year at John Tyler Community College, Avis moved back to Westmoreland where she began her long journey as a student with RCC in 1988. In that same year, she began working for the Army Corps of Engineers, where she even held an office in the Pentagon for a year until she left in 1991 to work at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren until her retirement in 2014.

At the time of her retirement, she says, “My duties there were investigating, processing paperwork for initial investigations or security clearances for the government. We had over 4,000 people [on staff], and I had to keep up with their information.”

During all of the excitement of keeping secrets for the government, Avis was still a part-time student at RCC as well as a full-time mom raising five children. After 26 years as a college student, she says, “That was the question, ‘Momma are you gonna go to school forever?’ When I graduated, they all came to wish me well and congratulate me.”

Being a student for so long, she says, “I was going to school with [my kids].” She boasts of her children and grandchildren, saying, “My granddaughter just graduated from here from the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School with a 3.9, because grandma helped her do her homework.”

Proud of her accomplishments, she says, “I’m pushing them hard to get their education.”

Avis received her Associates of Arts and Science for Business Administration the same year she retired in 2014. After three academic advisors, she says, “Prof. Ruth Greene stuck with me right to the end. She got me in the queue to get ready.”

During her years as a student, Avis remembers “when they used to have pool parties and card parties and all these little things that were in the student lounge. I would sometimes stay around just to see what was going on.”

Even after being with the College for a quarter century, she wasn’t finished with the school and came out of her retirement to work with the College as an Administrative Assistant for College Advancement. She works on the finances, including managing the checkbook paying the bills and working on the Preakness Party scholarship fundraiser.

“It’s nice meeting all the people and learning how the actual scholarships are earned, how they get the money to pay the scholarships — it’s amazing.”

Since her government jobs helped pay for her education she says, “I’m like, did they have to do all of that to help me get my payment and all that stuff through? Now I see what goes on down on the other side and it’s very interesting.”

As for her contribution to RCC, “It’s a great school … a lot of people don’t know what goes on over here.”

As a part-time substitute for Westmoreland schools, she tells the students, “Even though RCC is a community college, it gives you a start. It gives you input on what to look for. You learn how to talk to counselors, schedule your classes around your work schedule.”

During the Spring 2018 semester, she again attended RCC taking courses needed to complete her Accountant Certificate.

“You are never too old to learn,” says Avis. “Knowledge is the basis for success.”

After completing a full circle that brought her back to her beginning, she says, “As long as things keep going the way they’re going, I don’t see me leaving anytime soon. The College is an excellent place to work for.” — Mary Ashley Cline Wood

RCC Workforce's welding program

RCC to launch new welding program in Westmoreland County

RCC Workforce's welding program

RCC Workforce will soon offer welding classes at a facility in Montross, Virginia with the support from a grant awarded by GO Virginia.

Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce Development division will soon offer welding classes at a facility in Montross, Virginia with the support from a grant awarded by GO Virginia, an economic initiative whose purpose is to create jobs with a “collaboration between business, education, and government.”

RCC Workforce currently runs classes in partnership with the Northern Neck Technical Center, presently with 30 students enrolled. This new grant will fund the development of welding courses in the Westmoreland County Industrial Park (80 Industrial Park Drive) which will be available during the day.

The new site in Montross is expected to be complete and tentatively open for training on September 17, 2018.

This is an excellent opportunity for those who are interested in welding for a living, says RCC Workforce’s director, Dr. Jason Perry.

“While we do send a great many of our graduates to the shipyard in Newport News, there are many, many other local employers who are seeking qualified welders, including East Coast Boat Lifts in Urbanna, Miller Marine in Deltaville, Potomac Supply in Kinsale and Carry-On Trailer in Montross.  Many of these jobs offer beginning salaries of $18 per hour.”

Perry also notes that the demand for welders is expected to increase over 14% from now to 2024.

“We’re in a great position to offer training on the right skills where students can earn an industry-recognized credential to snag one of those great-paying welding jobs,” says Perry.

Perry also says that much of this training can be nearly tuition-free, thanks to an additional grant from Virginia’s Community Colleges, known as the “Fast Forward” program. These funds can pay for many welding classes, which will offset many of the fees and tuition costs associated with the program.

Those interested in becoming a welder and taking part in the new training available in Montross should call 804-333-6828 for complete details.