Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine, supported by a bipartisan coalition of state and local officials, spearheaded legislation to establish a college in southern Virginia. To sustain the legislative momentum, the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont pledged $50 million towards the establishment of a state-supported, baccalaureate-level college in Martinsville-Henry County.
Historically, the college-going rate in southern Virginia has been low. Chief factors contributing to the low rate of college attendance include financial and geographic barriers to pursuing post-secondary education in the region. The closest public four-year universities are more than two hours driving distance for most area residents. In response to the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the 1990s, local civic and political leaders identified the need for improved access to higher education and began to advocate for the establishment of a college in southern Virginia. Thus, the concept of New College Institute was born.
Governor Mark Warner and the General Assembly committed more than $1 million to develop a comprehensive assessment of regional student and employer needs. Based on the findings of the needs assessment, state and local officials proposed the creation of New College Institute.
New College enrolled more than 100 students in a pilot program of six bachelor’s degree completion and master’s degree programs in high demand fields. Academic offerings are augmented by an aggressive outreach program of community workshops, individual counseling, non-credit courses, and internship opportunities.
New College Institute offered eleven degree programs in 2007-2008 with over 250 students. In addition, New College expanded services to include programs for internships, summer camps, and teacher endorsement in earth science and English as a Second Language. NCI also launched the Reading for Life initiative and the public lecture series. The first and third floors of the classroom building on Franklin Street were renovated to house the additional programs. New College Foundation (a separate 501(c)3 organization) began receiving private gifts and grants in support of NCI and organized a campaign to establish an endowment.
Fourteen degree programs (ten undergraduate and four graduate) were offered, and over 300 students were enrolled. NCI expanded to include the fourth floor of the Jefferson Plaza building. NCI also announced that the Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science & Technology will also be housed in the expanded space in the Jefferson Plaza. The classroom building on Franklin Street was renamed the King Building in honor of Dr. Mervyn King and his wife Virginia. 2009 – 2010 – Expansion of programs; Increase in enrollment and community presence Academic programs increase to include seventeen degree programs and four teacher education or certificate programs. Enrollment exceeds 400 students. As of spring 2010, a total of 135 students graduated with their bachelor’s or master’s degree through NCI. With the completion of renovations at the Jefferson Plaza, NCI now occupied approximately 30,000 square feet of space in uptown Martinsville.
To date, 244 students have earned Bachelors, Masters, and Education Specialist degrees through NCI in the institution’s first five years of operation. Enrollment is approximately 410 unduplicated students.
After serving as NCI’s Executive Director since inception, Dr. Barry Dorsey retires and Senator William Wampler assumes leadership.
NCI announced a new partnership with Virginia State University through the Academy for Engineering & Technology to provide high school students with an opportunity to take courses specialized in engineering and technology while receiving college credits.
NCI also announced plans and began breaking ground to construct their new facility to be located on the Baldwin Block in uptown Martinsville.
NCI partnered with the University of Virginia to offer the STAR Telehealth program, which provides instruction and certification for using advanced technologies for virtual healthcare.
Construction on new 52,000 sq. ft. facility is completed in June 2014 with NCI moving into the new facility July 2014.
New Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing program announced representing a partnership and collaboration between Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), New College Institute (NCI), Eastman Chemical and Commonwealth Laminating and Coating. This program will allow students to receive credits through PHCC for classes at PHCC and NCI and with potential hands-on internship opportunities with Eastman and Commonwealth Laminating.
NCI receives visit from Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Education, Anne Holton along with Deputy Education Secretary Dietra Trent and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia officials.
NCI Telehealth program reached into Rwanda, Africa for program delivery. With its launch in January 2014, the completion numbers are 346.
NCI’s Sammy Redd is appointed to task force for implementing an SAT program developed by the Khan Academy.
Longwood University’s teacher-preparation program at NCI makes in impact with local school systems for providing new teachers.
NCI’s Executive Director, Senator William Wampler, Jr., retires from state service.
NCI unveils a one-of-a-kind academic coater as part of its advanced manufacturing center. The machine combines performance film coating, drying, lamination and web dynamics with academic features, and will be used as part of the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing (CAFM) program. Speakers at the unveiling of this asset included U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.
NCI and PHCC completed the first year of the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing (CAFM) with 12 students who are guaranteed a job interview with Eastman.
CAFM program at NCI provides new series on “Web Dynamics” for employees to learn the science behind their work in performance films and how to better detect and resolve problems in production.
Community leaders from Martinsville and Henry County highlight the CAFM program and the area’s collaboration at an annual meeting of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF).
Dr. Leanna Blevins, who had been serving as acting Executive Director has been hired by NCI’s Board to be the permanent Executive Director.
NCI performed a successful NCI Internship Program with 42 interns among 30 employers. Since 2007, NCI has created over 450 internship opportunities for students, many of whom have returned to work in the area.
NCI opens Testing Center to provide proctoring for standardized tests through CELP and Pearson Vue.
NCI announces a new initiative, LIFE—Learning Is ForEver, made possible by the generous donation of Martinsville resident Barbara Matthews. The LIFE program will create engaging learning opportunities for adults of all ages, particularly those above fifty.
NCI announces new program opportunities with Radford University’s IMPACT program for cyber security and Telehealth foundational courses with UVA’s Ruebhan Center for Telehelath e-Learning Village.
NCI forms and supports NCI’s Robotics Team 1262, “STAGS”, comprised of high school students from Martinsville and Henry County.
Class of 2019 marks more than 425 degrees earned at NCI.
NCI Executive Director, Leanna Blevins, resigns from NCI for new opportunity.
NCI appoints Karen R. Jackson, former Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia under Governor Terry McAuliffe, as the interim Executive Director of New College Institute.
NCI’s Robotics Team, “STAGS”, wins the Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC) Challenge Cup for superior performance for the FIRST FRC robotics teams in Southern Virginia and qualifies for FIRST World Championship in Detroit, Michigan.
NCI hosts many speaking engagements to celebrate Cybersecurity Month in October 2019.
NCI announces coordination for an NCI iRacing team with Josh Williams for the Replacements 100 Esports race for the 2020 season.
The Commonwealth of Virginia ratifies contract for the purchase of NCI’s Baldwin Building property from the New College Foundation.
NCI announces partnership with Old Dominion University to bring the TempO program to companies in rural Virginia to help Department of Defense contractors develop commercial lines of business.