Southwest Virginia Community College is a two-year institution of higher education established as a part of a state-wide system of community colleges serving primarily the residents of the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell and Tazewell. The College operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and a Local College Board. The institution is financed primarily by State funds supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.

The College operates on the semester system and is open on a year-round basis. Classes normally are held from 8:00 am through 9:50 pm. The availability of college credit courses in the evening allows the student who must work while going to college the opportunity to coordinate college activities with employment.


The 1966 General Assembly of Virginia authorized the establishment of a state-wide system of comprehensive community colleges and appointed a separate State Board to develop a Master Plan for a state-wide system of community college education in Virginia. The Master Plan designated a community college to be established in the area serving the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell, and Tazewell.

A delegation of local citizens met with State officials to determine the feasibility of immediate development of a community college for the region. A local College Board was appointed in the summer of 1967. The Local Board recommended that the college be named Southwest Virginia Community College and that Dr. Charles R. King be appointed as president.
The College opened to students in the fall of 1968 with an initial enrollment of 710 students. Fall 2010 credit enrollment was 3,758 unduplicated headcount students.


Southwest Virginia Community College transforms lives, strengthens communities and inspires excellence.


Southwest Virginia Community College, a comprehensive two-year institution, provides quality educational and cultural enrichment opportunities for lifelong learners, workforce and community.

Core Values:

SWCC is guided by steadfast core values. As a community of educators we value:

  • Student Centered Learning – SWCC believes that students are the primary reason we exist and our purpose is to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
  • Student Success – SWCC recognizes the potential in individuals and assists them in obtaining their highest level of attainment.
  • Excellence – SWCC strives for excellence in instruction and service through rigorous academic and professional standards.
  • Inclusiveness and Collaboration – SWCC reaches out to the communities and partners it serves, supporting and assisting them in achieving their goals.

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