The Chamber held its “Portsmouth State of Education Briefing” on Tuesday, March 2 at the new Tidewater Community College (TCC) Portsmouth Campus. Dr. David Stuckwisch, Superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools, and Dr. Terry Jones, Provost of the TCC Portsmouth Campus, both spoke on the new school’s impact on the Hampton Roads community. They provided insight on how the local public education systems are working together to ensure that the students have the best opportunities to excel academically.
TCC’s Portsmouth Campus has two valuable partnerships. One partnership with Portsmouth Public Schools is a program called First College, which allows high school seniors to be fully integrated into collegiate classrooms whileearning both high school and college credits on campus. The second partnership is with the Beazley Foundation, which has generously supported scholarships and donated $1.4 million, the largest grant issued to any TCC campus. This money is being used for Portsmouth’s new state-of-the-art nursing program.
The campus has seen noteworthy improvements since its move from its old location in Suffolk to its new energy efficient, strategically designed campus. The fall 2010 semester saw a 25% increase in students and the spring semester had more than a 33% increase of students. Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in local Portsmouth grade schools have been offered the chance participate in campus tours. The Beazley Foundation offers money to students who need financial aid, particularly those who qualify for free and reduced lunch. The hope is to allow any student who wants an education the opportunity to receive it.
After the briefing, Jones led a tour of the new campus. There were stops at the library, nursing classrooms, and then at the welding labs. Some students in the career and technical program choose to take welding classes. Many end up securing jobs in the field, making up to $75,000 a year.
So what can the business community do to help continue this partnership? Dr. Stuckwisch told the audience to contact principles at any of the Portsmouth Elementary and Middle schools for permission to tutor children one-on-one would be the best gesture.
Thank you to sponsors Kerma Medical Products, Inc. (Presenting) and Cox Communications (Media).