PDCCC partners with public schools

Published 8:56 am Friday, March 13, 2009

In meeting the needs of the communities it serves, Paul D. Camp Community College participates in many collaborative programs. The Western Tidewater Tech Prep Consortium is a great example. In addition to PDCCC, the partners in this special initiative include the public school divisions of Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Suffolk.

What is Tech Prep?

Tech Prep is a career and technical program that combines a minimum of two years of secondary education with a minimum of two years of postsecondary education in a non-duplicative, sequential course of study with an emphasis on a common core of required proficiencies in communications and technologies, mathematics, reading, science and writing.

Through a signed agreement between participating school divisions and PDCCC, the program meets the following standards:

Integration of academic and career and technical education;

Utilization of work-based and work site learning where appropriate and available;

Attainment of academic standards developed by the State of Virginia;

Provision for technical preparation in a career field (such as engineering technology, applied science, mechanical, industrial, or practical art or trade, health occupations, business or marketing);

Linkage of secondary schools and the community college with a four-year university through non-duplicative sequences of courses in career fields; and

Linkage to certifications for appropriate employment or further education.

PDCCC Options

Tech prep program options at PDCCC include administrative support technology, early childhood education, health sciences, industrial technology, and marketing management. students enrolled in these programs take courses such as accounting, keyboarding, records management, machine transcription, computer information systems, desktop publishing/multimedia, web advertising, child development, life planning, nutrition/wellness, nursing skills, health/nursing assistant, pharmacology, architectural drawing/design, technology foundations and many other valuable technical courses.

While the Tech Prep places a major focus on applied approaches, work-based experiences, and certifications, the students also complete rigorous academic studies in algebra, science, English and social studies.


Tech Prep students gain employability in high-demand jobs, strong academic competencies, self-confidence for a technological world and opportunity for advanced education. Employers, in turn, acquire workers who are suitable for high-tech needs, able to learn and adapt and are capable of advanced education. High schools experience improved retention and graduation rates, and higher student motivation and morale; and postsecondary schools get higher graduation rates and better-prepared students with reduced need for remediation.

From High School to PDCCC

Secondary and postsecondary academic, vocational and technical educators and representatives from the business community participated in the design of the Tech Prep curricula. The program provides support for counselors and parents in helping students develop a high school plan that articulates advanced courses for a smooth transition from high school to college. Students transition from high school to PDCCC by completing an admissions packet and providing an official high school transcript and a certificate signed by the high school career and technical studies instructor and principal, which serve as proof of successful completion of a high school Tech Prep program.

Tech Prep Events

In addition to the courses of study, the Western Tidewater Tech Prep Consortium sponsors various special events, such as the recent “BIG Breakfast/Counselor’s Conference for business/industries and high school counselors, which focused on “A Winning Partnership: Career Pathways, Tech Prep, and Employers. An upcoming 7th Annual Career Fair will be held on Thursday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Regional Workforce Development Center. Open to the public and sponsored by the Western Tidewater Tech Prep Consortium, City of Franklin and Chowan University, the Career Fair provides a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with major employers. Participants are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes. Jobs have been offered on the spot at previous fairs.

For more details, call Tech Prep coordinator Audrey Lawrence at 569-6770 or 569-6706.