PDCCC presents second annual event focused on student retention

Paul D. Camp Community College’s 2nd Annual Symposium on Student Success: Revisiting and Reviving Student Retention drew numerous faculty, staff, students and officials from surrounding schools and community colleges in order to gain insight and resources regarding student retention.
The workshop was presented by the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Development in collaboration with the Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative, the TRIO Student Support Services and the TRIO Upward Bound programs. Funding was provided by the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Grant. Heather Sorrell, associate director of enrollment management and student support for the Virginia Community College System welcomed all to the program.
“This event was designed to provide an exceptional professional development opportunity for faculty and staff, as well as growth opportunity for students,” said Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president for academic and student development at PDCCC. “As educators, we all want students to achieve their academic and career goals, so this is a way for us to share knowledge and best practices that can help us help our students be successful.”
The symposium featured guest speakers Dr. Bethanie Tucker, an experienced consultant through aha! Process Inc. and professor of education at Averett University in Danville. She delivered a session titled, “Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students.” Dr. Buffy Smith, founding associate dean of Dougherty Family College and professor of Sociology at the University of St. Thomas, presented “Equity and Excellence: Navigating the Culture of Higher Education.”
In addition, Dr. Adolph Brown, founder, president and CEO of The Leadership & Learning Institutes, who has earned multiple degrees from the College of William and Mary, led an African-American male student focus group to gather information regarding enrollment, retention and completion rates in that demographic in a separate session. Ellis Cofield III of Franklin, a recent honor graduate of PDCCC, current student at Chowan University, and founder of his own peer-to-peer mentoring program, spoke to the students about leadership before everyone was brought together for the remainder of the symposium. PDCCC’s President, other administrators and leaders also shared insight with the participants.
A panel discussion included Brown, Smith and Tucker and was moderated by Travis Parker, director of the Upward Bound Program at PDCCC.
“We received and shared a whole lot of useful information including next steps to address retention such as what conversations we should be having and how we should be researching data,” said Dean of Student Services and Professional Counselor Trina Jones. Jones also served as project director for the event.
“An event on this scale can only be coordinated via teamwork,” she said. “I am so pleased with the cohesive collaboration we had from so many departments at PDCCC which allowed this workshop to be so successful. Retention is a very serious topic of educational institutions today and we wanted everyone to be able to take with them valuable information that they can apply in their classrooms, colleges and offices.”

Guest speaker Dr. Bethanie Tucker talked about under-resourced college students during her presentation.

PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin presents guest speaker Dr. Buffy Smith with an appreciation gift on behalf of the college.

College Success Coach Initiative Program Specialist Jamie Dodd and Student Activities Coordinator Justin Ellis served on the symposium project team. Ellis also presented.

Travis Parker moderated the panel discussion comprised of experts, seated from left, Dr. Adolph Brown, Dr. Buffy Smith and Dr. Bethanie Tucker.


Summer registration set at PDCCC

Summer registration gets underway March 13 at Paul D. Camp Community College. Classes will begin on Monday, May 22. Check out our new commercial on local radio station WLQM. The message can be found on 101.7 FM and is delivered by our own President, Dr. Dan Lufkin! Listen Now.


Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control offered on PDCCC’s Hobbs Suffolk Campus

Classes for a course designed for plumbing, mechanical and fire suppression contractors, city building and plumbing officials, public utilities inspectors, water and wastewater personnel, health department officials and engineers will be held Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in room 111 at the Paul D. Camp Community College Hobbs Suffolk Campus, 271 Kenyon Road.
Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control is focused on helping participants understand backflow and recognize cross-connections, with special emphasis on preparing individuals to test, inspect and provide in-line maintenance of reduced pressure principle backflow prevention devices, double check valve assemblies and pressure vacuum breakers.
The class costs $148.40 and is worth one credit. For more information, call 757-569-6050, email or visit


Prepare for a career in the manufacturing industry at Paul D. Camp Community College

If you are good at problem solving and enjoy utilizing diagnostic and statistical tools, a career as a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) may be a good fit. The Division of Workforce Development at Paul D. Camp Community College will offer MT1 certification, which trains participants on the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations.
Classes for this course will be held Thursdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., March 23 through May 5 at the PDCCC Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive, Franklin, and will provide participants with the development of high performance skills through demonstrations, lectures, self-paced studies, labs, technical presentations, use of proxy technology, critical thinking, problem solving and individual/group activities.
Many manufacturing employers report difficulty in finding qualified workers to fill their industry-specific needs. There are three factors contributing to the lack of skilled workers. Those factors are: the increase in technology required for manufacturing, the retirement of existing workers, and the competition for talent.
“The Manufacturing Skills Institute, which set the national skills standards for MT1 certification in 2009, is partnering with PDCCC to provide this baseline credential program in the Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater area,” Hayes said. “It will provide training to address identified technical skill gaps and provide a pathway to advanced level training and specialized training based on industry requirements for potential new hires and incumbent employees.”
The MT1 program will address the core competency areas of math and measurement; spatial reasoning and manufacturing technology, and business acumen and quality, for skilled production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.
The cost of this non-credit course is $1,300, which includes certification testing and a lab workbook. Financial aid and scholarships are available for all students who qualify.
For more information, contact the workforce development office at 757-569-6050 or


Deadline to register for PDCCC basic contractor business licensing course is March 3

The deadline to register for Basic Contractor Business Licensing is Friday, March 3. This session will be held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 7 and 14, at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive, Franklin.
This is an eight-hour course that provides an overview of the statutes and regulations that govern contractor licensing in Virginia. The course, led by Donald Goodwin, city of Franklin director of community development, is approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and Board of Contractors. Successful completion earns a participant .8 continuing education units (CEUs).
Topics will include: Starting a Business in Virginia; Laws and Regulations; Contractor Limits and Classifications; Virginia State Statutes Relating to Contractors; Statement of Consumer Protections; The Licensing Process; Obtaining a Contract; Customer Service and New Home Warranties; Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC); Underground Utilities; Insurance; Virginia Taxes; Labor Law; Erosion and Sediment Control; Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH); and Liens.
The cost, which includes the textbook, is $175. For more information, contact the Workforce Development office, 757-569-6050, or email


Get your photos on at the PDCCC Hobbs Suffolk Campus

~ Award winning photographer Shirley Whitenack will teach two classes ~

Paul D. Camp Community College’s (PDCCC) Division of Workforce Development will offer a unique photography class that will leave students confident in their picture taking abilities.
“This class will unleash your creativity as you learn to take control of your camera,” said instructor and award winning photographer Shirley Whitenack. The same class will be taught once for those who would like to take daytime classes and again in the evenings later in March.
Beginning to Intermediate Digital Photography will be held in a 4-week consecutive session on Thursdays, March 2 to 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The cost for this class is $140. In addition, Whitenack will teach the same consecutive session on Thursdays from March 7 to 28, from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. The cost for the night class is $115. Both will be held at the PDCCC Hobbs Suffolk Campus, 271 Kenyon Road.
The class will include information about basic camera mechanics, fundamentals of exposure and compositional techniques through traditional lecture, demonstration and on-location photography. In addition, students will learn how to fully utilize directional light, determine proper exposure and exploit depth of field to create dramatic compositions.
“Students will leave the class with working knowledge of their digital camera and the confidence to fully utilize it to capture outstanding images,” Whitenack said.
Participants need to bring their fully charged camera, instruction manual and digital media. For more information, call 757-569-6050 or email


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