Danville Community College

Danville Community College (DCC) serves a diversity-rich region of Southern Virginia. With a local population of which approximately 25 percent are at or below the poverty level (per U.S. Census figures), DCC serves a large percentage of low-income students as well as first-generation and minority students.

DCC currently offers a competency-based degree program in the Associate of Applied Science Technical Studies degree with an Industrial Maintenance specialization. The program was developed five years ago in partnership with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to meet the training needs of Goodyear as well as other local employers.

Although originally developed as a traditional credit-based program of study, over the years industrial maintenance program leaders have focused on developing modules based on learning outcomes to facilitate transitioning the program to a competency-based format.

To this end, in 2015 DCC’s Industrial Maintenance program was replaced by an Integrated Systems Technology (IST) program that will offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with options in two specialties: (1) Electrical/Electronic and (2) Mechanical. Assessment of competencies in the IST program is based on industry standards established primarily through nationally recognized certification programs.

DCC was recently notified that it has been selected to participate in the Department of Education’s Experimental Sites Initiative project, which will provide flexibility for program delivery, even for students receiving federal financial aid. DCC’s Integrated Systems Technology degree program, as well as the Welding, IT, and Precision Machining Technology programs will be on the leading edge of research to help set the standard for future competency-based educational programs.