In 1966, the Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Community College System in order to provide educational opportunities beyond high school to all citizens of the Commonwealth. The system is comprised of 23 community colleges, each serving a defined geographic region. Each college offers associate degrees, certificates, and career studies certificates, as well as non-credit education, training, and workforce development programs. Students enrolling at Virginia’s community colleges can prepare for transfer to a four-year institution, or enroll in a program that prepares them for direct entry into the workforce.
Paul D. Camp Community College (now known as Camp), which serves Region 21, was organized by the Local Board on January 7, 1970, with Roger Drake elected as the first chairman. On April 1, 1970, it was officially named for Paul D. Camp, a local industrialist and community leader whose family donated the land on which the Franklin Campus is located. Dr. Perry Adams became the first President on July 1, 1970, followed by Dr. Johnnie E. Merritt, Dr. Michael B. McCall, Dr. Edwin L. Barnes, Dr. Jerome J. Friga, Dr. Douglas W. Boyce, Dr. Paul Wm. Conco, and Dr. William C. Aiken (interim). Dr. Daniel W. Lufkin assumed the presidency in July 2016.
Camp is comprised of two campuses, one in Franklin and one in Suffolk, and a Center in Smithfield. The College’s Franklin campus opened its doors in the fall of 1971. The College began offering classes in Suffolk in 1979, and in January 1995, it opened the Oliver K. Hobbs Campus, named for the local inventor and industrialist who donated the land for the campus. The Camp Center at Smithfield was opened in the fall of 1993.
Camp is financed primarily with state funds and student tuition, supplemented with federal, state, and local grants. It operates on a year-round basis using the semester system, with classes in the fall and spring semesters and summer session. The availability of classes in the evening and weekends, and in online and hybrid formats, allows students who work to coordinate college activities with employment.
Since its founding, nearly 50,000 Virginian’s have taken classes at Paul D. Camp Community College. We’ve awarded over 2,400 degrees, 1,200 certificates, and 950 career studies certificates – more than 4,500 credit credentials in all. In addition, we’ve provided thousands of high school students with dual enrollment opportunities, giving them a head start and early exposure to the rigors of college coursework; and trained more than 44,500 individuals through workforce development.