College has made significant strides

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

by Bill Aiken

In April 2015, I became the interim president of Paul D. Camp Community College. I would like to thank the college community, as well as the service region of the college for a pleasant experience. Everyone has been most supportive during my time at PDCCC.

The PDCCC faculty and staff have patiently and enthusiastically responded to many initiatives as we worked together to improve the college.

Enrollment has increased, new policies have been implemented, new programs have been initiated, gifts and grants have increased, and a concentrated effort has been made to meet the needs of the industrial community.

In a recent report, PDCCC was ranked among the top 10 community colleges in Virginia; the college was recognized particularly for personalized instruction. Most important, PDCCC now has a clearly stated institutional plan that charts the direction of the college for the coming three years.

I would ask that the service region of the college recognize the importance of a dedicated faculty and staff by providing them the positive reinforcement they deserve. Without exception, college employees have performed in a manner that demands the respect of the community.

In like manner, I am grateful for the support of the local college board. On several occasions, the board has overwhelmingly supported concepts radically different from the tradition of the institution. I am acutely impressed by the dedication of these people as they conscientiously help chart the future of the college.

Most impressive is the fact that they willingly accept these responsibilities without remuneration while upholding the integrity of PDCCC.

They have a clear sense of direction for the institution.

Of special note are our positive relationships with local school districts. The dual enrollment program has grown significantly. This illustrates the importance citizens have placed on the value of education. Likewise, it shows the increasing confidence people have placed in PDCCC.

Who could have imagined that students could attain a college degree and a high school diploma at the same time?

During these past months, I have interacted with many civic organizations and government officials. Without their unwavering support, the college cannot succeed. Again, I am most appreciative for their dedication to the college.

The groundwork has now been laid to ensure that students complete their programs. PDCCC has a true commitment to the Virginia Community College System’s goal of tripling the number of completers by 2021.

This mandate requires that new programs be implemented and support structures be provided that help students achieve their goals.

The college clearly sees its role in helping provide a well-trained workforce; through this means, we can declare that we are better prepared to attract new industries to the region.

These months have passed quickly. However, I have made many new personal and professional friendships. I look forward to return visits and learning of the college’s many accomplishments.

Again, thank you for your support.

DR. WILLIAM C. AIKEN is the interim president at Paul D. Camp Community College. Email him at