MECC Honors Fall 2015 LPN Graduates

Fall 2015 LPN graduatesBig Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College’s Practical Nursing program recently held a pinning ceremony for Fall 2015 Licensed Practical Nursing program graduates. The ceremony represents the completion of the student’s coursework in MECC’s LPN Program. Student Ashley Smith was named valedictorian of the class and received the Healing Hands Nursing Excellence Award. Fall 2015 LPN Nursing Graduates are (back row left to right): Jennifer Caudill, Crystal Hoskins, Jarred Day, Randon Mabe, Thomas Reasor, and Sofian Klimas; (front row left to right): Bria Bloomer, Kristie Blanken, Kelli Scott, Constance Mays, Rebecca Rayburn, Brittany Webb, Ashley Smith, Shelby Thomas, and Emily Meade. For more information on MECC’s LPN program, please contact Mitzi Jones, Sabrina Cowden, or Lena Whisenhunt at (276) 523-2400. 

Boatright-Wells Receives VCCS Community Service Award

Sue Ella award

Sue Ella Boatright-Wells and VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois

Big Stone Gap, VA – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that Dean of Workforce Services Sue Ella Boatright-Wells has been honored with the Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Award in Community Service.

Boatright-Wells was nominated by MECC for the award in recognition of her 30+ years of leading the Home Craft Days Festival, as well as her role in establishing MECC’s Mountain Music School and the Junior Appalachia Musicians (JAM program).

The Home Craft Days Festival, held annually the third weekend in October, has served as an integral part of MECC’s longstanding commitment to promoting and preserving the rich musical and cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia. Established in 1972, the festival features more than 200 musicians and artisans from throughout Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky and draws at least 10,000 visitors to the MECC campus.

Through her interactions with musicians throughout the region, Boatright-Wells established the MECC’s Mountain Music School in 2004.  Mountain Music School is a unique educational program that offers opportunities for students age ten and older to experience traditional Appalachian old-time music in a fun, enriching, and supportive environment. The school was created to address a growing concern that traditional mountain music was not being passed down to the youth of Southwest Virginia. Today, the school has grown to include more than 150 students of all ages, many of whom travel from throughout the country to participate. 

To further expand traditional music education in Southwest Virginia, Boatright-Wells worked with school divisions throughout the region to establish the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program.  The after-school program has allowed hundreds of students to learn the music, traditions, and heritage of our mountain culture.

“Sue Ella has served as the heart and soul of the Home Craft Days festival for more than 30 years,” said MECC’s Vice President of Academic and Student Services Vickie Ratliff. “Her community service efforts in her 31+ years at Mountain Empire Community College have touched hundreds of thousands of lives, keeping the culture and traditions of this region alive and growing.”

“I was thrilled to be honored for a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” added Boatright-Wells. “I believe promoting our cultural heritage is an important mission of our college and it is something that our community and youth benefit from.”

For more information on Sue Ella Boatright-Wells, or the VCCS Chancellor’s Award in Community Service, contact the MECC Office of Community Relations at 276.523.7480.



MECC Students Develop Southwest Virginia’s First Mobile Solar-Powered Energy System

Big Ston_COX1801e Gap – Mountain Empire Community College has announced the creation of the first mobile solar-powered energy system in Southwest Virginia, developed by students to showcase solar-powered energy systems and related industrial technology degree programs offered at MECC.

The SPARC-E (Solar-Powered Alternative Renewable Clean Energy) unit utilizes an off-the-grid solar power system, similar to technologies found in home units or public events. The station includes 12 solar modules that are capable of producing approximately 5,000 watts of power. A battery storage unit is used to store the energy produced by the solar array. A back-up generator is also available to supply additional energy when needed. In addition, SPARC-E can be used as a direct power supply for any power grid.

SPARC-E serves as an energy provider to community events and potential emergency response _COX1797assistance. In the fall of 2015, SPARC-E supplied power to two major events at MECC – the Home Craft Days Festival and the Haunted Forest attraction.

“The goal of the project was to provide experiential learning opportunities to students in industrial technology programs, while also developing a recruitment and educational tool for industrial technology and advanced manufacturing programs,” said Tommy Clements, Dean of Health Sciences and Instruction Technology. “MECC’s welding, industrial electronics, manufacturing, and energy technology students were involved in the design, construction and implementation of SPARC-E, providing a hands-on experience that builds on the knowledge students attain in the classroom.”

Spectators can walk inside the SPARC-E unit to view the unit’s DC/AC power invertors, capable of providing 9000 watts of AC power. The unit features a computerized solar-energy control system, as well as MECC’s mobile virtual welder. The solar energy control system and the mobile virtual welder are utilized as recruitment and educational tools during on-campus events, as well as off-campus activities such as school career fairs.

The development of the SPARC-E unit provided problem-based learning opportunities for students across disciplines, allowing students to apply real-world engineering solutions with marketable applications. Increasing the number of meaningful credentials and supplying a trained, skilled workforce in high demand fields are the hallmarks of the Virginia Community College System’s Complete 2021 initiative.

For more information on MECC’s SPARC-E unit, or industrial technology programs at Mountain Empire Community College, contact the MECC’s Office of Community Relations at 276.523.7480.

MECC Enrollment Goes Off-Campus with Mobile Enroll

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College will offer off-campus enrollment, or Mobile Enroll, in November at locations in Wise, Dickenson, and Scott County. Individuals interested in applying for admission to MECC in Spring 2016, obtaining financial aid, or who want to learn more about MECC’s programs are encouraged to visit the MECC Mobile Enroll van. On Monday, November 23, Mobile Enroll will be stationed at the Sleep Inn Suites parking lot in Clintwood from 9 a.m. to noon and the Food City parking lot in Wise from 1 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. On Tuesday, November 24, Mobile Enroll will be located at the Food City parking lot in Big Stone Gap from 9 a.m. to noon and at the Dollar General parking lot in Duffield from 1 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information on MECC’s Mobile Enroll, contact Willie Price at 276.523.2400 ext. 321 or email

Mobile Enroll November 2015


MECC’s Ketron Named President-Elect of State Professional Organization


Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that Student Support Service Counselor JessicaJessica Ketron Ketron has been named as the President-Elect of the Virginia Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (VAEOPP).

VAEOPP’s goal is to increase college accessibly for all Virginia residents by supporting higher education institutions providing services such as tutoring, instructional workshops, professional development, scholarships and advocacy. VAEOPP’s member institutions, which includes MECC, provide grant aid and researched based direct services to their respective program participants that encourage low income, first generation, and students with documented physical or learning disabilities to pursue a higher education.

Ketron has served as a Counselor in MECC’s Student Support Services since 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Tennessee State University. She will serve a three-year term as President-Elect, President, and Past President of VAEOPP.

For more information regarding MECC’s Student Support Services program, contact Ketron at 276.523.2400 ext. 342. For more information on the Virginia Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, visit












Cooke Appointed to State Water & Wastewater Board


Rosa CookeBig Stone Gap, VA — Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that Instructor Rosa-lee Cooke has been appointed to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration for Water & Wastewater Treatment.

Cooke has been named to the Virginia Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals. She is the only board appointee from Southwest Virginia and will serve 4 years.

Cooke has served as a Technology Specialist and Adjunct Instructor at Mountain Empire Community College since 2007. She holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Oregon State University.

MECC offers an Associate of Applied Science in Water/Wastewater Specialization and Career Study Certificates in Water Plant Operation and Waste Water Plant Operation. The program holds the distinction of being one of the first ever college programs in the state offered as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and is free and accessible to anyone with access to the web. The program has been completed online by both students nationwide and abroad.

For more information on MECC’s Water/Wastewater programs, visit For additional information on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administrative appointments, visit










MECC’s Slemp Gallery Features Printmaker Ralph D. Slatton


Children Nestle Near_13

Children Nestle Near by Ralph Slatton

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College’s Slemp Gallery will feature an exhibit by printmaker Ralph D. Slatton titled “A Print Retrospective” now through December 11.

Slatton describes his artwork as influenced by fantasy gothic, printmakers Deborah Mae Broad and Peter Milton, and the movie/novel “Watership Down.” Slatton adds, “As I embrace this duality, my animals wear disguises of the strong and weak, experience entrapment and freedom.”

Slatton holds BFA and MA degrees from Arkansas State University and the MFA from the University of Iowa. He serves as the head of East Tennessee State University’s printmaking program, where he has taught since 1990.

MECC’s Slemp Gallery is located in the Wampler Library in Robb Hall. The library is open is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 276.523.2400 ext. 468.







MECC Named One of Top 20 Career & Technical Colleges Nationwide in Military Times

BIG STONE GAP, VA – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that the Military Times has named MECC one of the top 20 colleges nationwide in the Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2016 rankings.

The organization made up of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times focused on culture and curriculum that caters to military veterans when conducting and scoring the annual survey of schools that self-identify as career and technical colleges.

Mountain Empire Community College offers a military tuition exception (in-state tuition) through the Virginia Community College System. In addition, the college employs a dedicated Veteran’s Officer that provides advising and counseling services for military personnel. MECC also offers veterans recognition events throughout the year and at graduation.

“Mountain Empire Community College is very proud to be recognized for the efforts we take to support our veterans,” said Dr. Scott Hamilton, MECC President. “Our veterans have served their country well and MECC is committed to assisting them as they transition to civilian life and employment.”

Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans.

For the full Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2016 rankings, go to:

The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Oct. 12, as well as on,,, and

Military Times’ Best for Vets survey-based rankings include Colleges, Career & Technical Colleges, Business Schools, Franchises, Employers and Law Enforcement.

For more information on MECC’s Veterans Services, contact Lena Grace at 276.523.2400 ext.217.








MECC Foundation Receives Grant for Cyber Security Training Program

Photo (Left to Right): Donna Stanley, MECC Foundation Executive Director; O. Preston Sloan, Director of Dominion’s F & H Station III; and Dr. Scott Hamilton, MECC President

Big Stone Gap, VA — Mountain Empire Community College will offer a new cyber security training program, thanks to a grant from the Dominion Foundation. 

Dominion recently awarded a $20,000 grant to the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation to support MECC’s development of a new Network Security Career Studies Certificate. The Network Security Career Studies Certificate will provide graduates of the Computer Networking Technology Associate Degree Program, as well as incumbent IT specialists throughout the region, with an opportunity to upgrade their network security skills for the benefit of regional employers. MECC anticipates that the program will be offered for the first time in the summer of 2016.

The 12-month certificate will be offered in an intensive and accelerated format, meeting one night per week in order to accommodate work schedules for adult students. Students will have the option to complete the courses for college credit, or as a noncredit workforce credential, depending on their professional needs. The program coursework aligns directly with three industry-recognized certifications. 

“Mountain Empire Community College is very grateful to the Dominion Foundation for providing funds to enable us to develop cyber security training. Every organization that utilizes information technology must be diligent in preventing security breaches that could result in liability, the loss of business, and a reduction in customer confidence,” said Dr. Scott Hamilton, President of Mountain Empire Community College.

“One of Dominion’s targeted areas for community giving is education, both K-12 and higher education,” noted Preston Sloane, director of the company’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center at St. Paul.  “Dominion believes that educational opportunity is a key to healthy personal and community growth. In that belief, we are happy to provide this grant funding to Mountain Empire Community College.”

For more information on the Dominion grant, contact the MECC Office of Community Relations at 276.523.7480. For more information on the MECC Foundation, visit


Mountain Empire Community College to Hold MECC PROUD Week


MECC ProudBig Stone Gap, VA – Mountain Empire Community College is hosting the second annual MECC PROUD week, recognizing the college’s important contributions to higher education and regional economic development October 11-17.

 MECC alumni, local businesses, MECC staff members, MECC students and community members are encouraged to display “MECC PROUD” signs in their yard, window displays, and vehicles. “MECC PROUD” signage will be distributed to local businesses by several student clubs. Signs will be available to the public in the lobby of all MECC instructional buildings and at the MECC Alumni Booth during the Home Craft Days Festival, October 17 and 18. Businesses may also email a request for MECC PROUD signage to Signs will be offered at no cost.

The goal of the “MECC Proud” campaign is to recognize the success and continued contributions of thousands of MECC graduates to our region and beyond, while also promoting the college’s role in providing educational opportunities and supporting economic development in Southwest Virginia since its founding in 1972.

MECC hosts an alumni recognition program with a goal to expand and update contact and career information of all graduates and former students. Alumni are encouraged to email their updated information to

The “MECC Proud” campaign will coincide with MECC’s Home Craft Days Festival, to be held Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18. The college will host thousands of local and out of town visitors to the campus during the festival events, creating a unique opportunity to showcase support for the college and the community. 

For more information on MECC Proud week, contact the MECC Office of Community Relations at 276.523.7480.




MECC English Instructors Receive Certification

Bethany Arnold and Jan Richards

Bethany Arnold and Jan Richards

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that English Instructors Bethany Arnold and Jan Richards recently received certification as “Developmental Education Specialists” from the Kellogg Institute for the Training and Certification of Developmental Educators.

Arnold and Richards were two of 25 educators selected from across the United States to participate in the Kellogg Institute and its certification process during the 2014-15 academic year.  They were awarded certification following participation in the training program and completion of an implementation project at MECC. The certification as “Developmental Education Specialist” is awarded through the Kellogg Institute, in conjunction with Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

“The Kellogg Institute training was an excellent way to connect with developmental educators from across the nation,” said Arnold. “Our practicum project on metacognition reshaped the way that I introduce study skills and major concepts in the classroom.”

“The Kellogg Institute gave me a broader understanding of what students need when they enter college without possessing the basic skills to succeed,” added Richards. “I came away with a much deeper awareness of my responsibility as an instructor to help them grow – both intellectually and securing the confidence that they can accomplish their dreams.”

The Kellogg Institute, now in its 36th year, offers a unique month-long living/learning experience for the training and certification of educational professionals who work with academically underprepared students on college campuses. Each year Kellogg Participants take part in a summer training program, followed by a semester’s practicum in which participants implement new techniques on their home campuses.

For more information on Arnold and Richards’ Kellogg certification, contact the MECC Office of Community Relations at 276.523.2400 ext. 480.


MECC Offers Fall Late Start Classes

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College will offer a variety of late starting classes for students this fall. Late starting classes begin October 5 through October 22. Classes include topics in Math, Healthcare, Basic Pharmacy, History, Business Management, Office Administration, & Legal Assisting and more. To view the full list of October late start courses, visit For more information, or to register, contact the MECC Office of Enrollment Services at 276.523.7474 or visit




MECC to Offer Quick Start to College Class

Big Stone Gap – Enrollment is now open for Mountain Empire Community College’s free Quick Start to College class. The six-week class is designed for individuals who have considered college, but have hesitated to enroll. The class will be held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons beginning October 27 to December 10, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Quick Start allows students to earn college credit while learning the basics of attending MECC. Topics such as success skills, programs and degrees, and career counseling are covered. Students are also able to refresh their computer, math, and English skills with one-on-one assistance. To qualify, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). For more information on the Quick Start program, or to enroll, contact Beth Boggs, MECC Career and Transfer Counselor, at 276.523.7438 or by email at Visit the program website at


MECC Instructors Earn Certified Online Instructor Designation


Beth and Jane

Beth Snodgrass (left) and Jane Jones (right)

BIG STONE GAP – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that Business Technology Instructors Elizabeth Snodgrass and Jane Jones have been awarded the Certified Online Instructor (COI) designation by the Learning Resources Network (LERN).

“We are pleased to recognize Elizabeth Snodgrass’ and Jane Jones’ expertise and experience in this
growing area of teaching,” noted William A. Draves, President of the LERN, the international education association awarding the COI designation. The COI designation was developed by a committee of outstanding online faculty from universities and colleges in four countries in response to the need for recognition of expertise in this important area of higher education instruction. Snodgrass serves as a professor in MECC’s paralegal program. Jones is an associate professor in MECC’s Administrative Support and Health Information Technology classes in the Business and Information Technology Division.

The faculty for the COI designation includes experts and authors in the field of online teaching. The committee is chaired by Dr. Mary Dereshiwsky, COI, of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“With millions of students now taking online courses, this course of study provides needed professional development for faculty in this emerging area of practice,” said Dr. Dereshiwsky. “In addition, it recognizes the work and expertise of professors successfully teaching online.”

To obtain the COI designation, Snodgrass and Jones completed a fairly rigorous process. Requirements included a critique of their online courses, a knowledge exam, evaluation by online students participating in courses that they instructed, and completion of three online courses for teaching online, designing online instruction, and building learning communities in cyberspace.

The certification is a voluntary program recognized by educators and the Learning Resources Network’s 5,000 members around the world.

The Learning Resources Network is the leading provider of online professional development for faculty in higher education. More than 5,000 professors from ten countries have participated in LERN’s programs.

For more information on the COI designation, please contact Jones or Snodgrass at 276.523.2400.





MECC’s Slemp Gallery Features ”A Portrait of Appalachia”


American CitizenMountain Empire Community College’s Slemp Gallery is pleased host an exhibit by acclaimed artist Jeff Chapman-Crane titled “A Portrait of Appalachia.”

The exhibit will run September 14 through October 23. A reception for Chapman-Crane Reception for the artist Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, 2 to 4 p.m. in the lobby of MECC’s Robb Hall.

Jeff Chapman-Crane is a full-time professional artist from the southern Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, where he has lived and practiced his art since 1982.  His art focuses on the culture of Appalachia, with an emphasis on portraits of mountain people. He has been painting for over 35 years since being challenged and inspired by his high school art teacher, Don Hilton.  Following the tenets of the American Society of Classical Realism, Jeff’s work encompasses the highest principles of traditional representational art – fine drawing, balanced design, harmonious color and skillful craftsmanship.  While not in the stylized realism of American Regionalism, his work shares a strong identification with a particular region – conveying geographic features of the land and unique human, cultural and social characteristics. 

Chapman-Crane’s work has been featured in American Artist magazine and he is a four time finalist in the Artists Magazine’s annual portrait competition. He was the illustrator for the children’s book “Ragsale” which won Best in Show at the 1995 New England Bookfair.

Together with his wife, Sharman, and son, Evan, Jeff operates the Valley of the Winds Art Gallery in Eolia, Kentucky, where works by all three Chapman-Cranes can be seen.  Jeff’s work is represented by the Phyllis Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

MECC’s Slemp Gallery is located in the Wampler Library in Robb Hall. The library is open is Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 276.523.2400 ext. 468.







MECC to Offer Fall Music Courses

music class 2MECC will offer a variety of music courses this fall designed for beginning to advanced musicians at the Big Stone Gap campus and at Gate City High School. Classes offered at MECC’s main campus in Big Stone Gap include: beginning percussion, guitar, blues guitar, fiddle, mandolin, keyboard, and clawhammer banjo; recording systems; introduction to lyric writing, music theory, 3-finger picking banjo, intermediate lead guitar, intermediate and advanced percussion ensemble. Courses offered in Gate City include evening offerings in Old Time String Band and beginning upright base. Online courses in music appreciation are also available. For more information on music course offerings, contact MECC’s Workforce Development Center at 276.523.7464.

MECC Offers Fall Yoga Courses

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to host two yoga courses this fall. Students may choose from Beginning Yoga (PED 195-01) on Tuesdays from 10:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or Beginning Yoga (PED on Thursdays from 10:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Both classes begin the first week in September and will be taught by Jacqueline Cusano. For more information or to register, call 276.523.7474 or visit to apply or enroll.

MECC’s Slemp Gallery Showcases “Sewing Stories”

Sewing StoriesBig Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College’s Slemp Gallery is pleased to host an exhibit in coordination with the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park titled “Sewing Stories.” Featuring the needlework of regional artists, “Sewing Stories” showcases new and historic quilts that express the crafter’s heritage and religious beliefs through patterns and symbols. Patterns such as block, star, cathedral, florals, and crazy quilts are included. The exhibit will run through September 7. MECC’s Slemp Gallery is located in the Wampler Library in Robb Hall. The library is open is Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 276-523-2400 ext. 468.

MECC to Offer Evening Business, Computer & Health-related Courses at Gate City High School

Gate City – Mountain Empire Community College will host several business and computer related evening courses this fall at Gate City High School. Business topics include Principles of Management offered Thursdays from 6-8:45 p.m.; Human Resource Management offered Wednesdays from 6 to 8:45 p.m.; Customer Service offered Thursdays from 5-5:50 p.m. and Social Media Marketing offered Mondays from 6-8:45 p.m. Computer-related courses include Introduction to Computer Applications & Concepts offered Tuesdays from 6 -8:45 p.m. Health-related courses include Ethics for Health Care Personnel offered Mondays from 6-8 p.m., Medical Terminology offered Wednesdays from 6 to 8:45 p.m., and Life Span of Human Development offered Tuesdays from 6-8:45 p.m. Classes begin August 27 and financial aid may be available. For more information, call 276.523.7474 or visit to view a full list of available classes.

Students Receiving Scam Telephone Calls

It has been brought to our attention that some students have received phone calls informing them they owe tuition and will be dropped from classes on Friday. The number these calls are originating from is 877-343-9460. These calls are not originating from or associated with Mountain Empire Community College. If you receive a call such as this, do not give the caller any information and disconnect the call. If you owe tuition, you will be notified via email from an email address. No one from MECC should call you and ask you for personal information unless they are responding to an inquiry you initiated.


If you have questions, please contact Enrollment Services at 523-2400 ext 474.


MECC to Offer Drone Technology Course

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College will offer the region’s only college credit course in drone technology this fall. AVI-195 Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Systems will cover the principles of building, programming and flying drones. Students will receive hands-on training in quadcopter design and construction as well as learn to fly both assisted and unassisted FPV (First Person View) quadcopters. The class will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m., August 31 to December 15. To register, contact MECC’s Enrollment Service Office at 276.523.7474 or visit


MECC to Hold Health Information Management Information Session

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College will host an information session for the Health Information Management degree program on Tuesday, August 18 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Phillips-Taylor Hall, Room 130.  The Health Information Management program is a 24-month degree designed for persons who seek employment in the health information management field. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 21 percent growth in the number of health information management workers between 2010 and 2020, making it one of the nation’s fastest-growing health occupations. Health Information Management graduates are able to work at acute care hospitals, clinics, behavioral healthcare facilities, hospice, home care, health care government agencies, EHR vendors, insurance companies, and managed care organizations. Tuition assistance may be available for qualified individuals interested in enrolling this fall at MECC. For more information on this degree program, visit or call 276.523.2400 ext. 462.

MECC Enrollment Goes Off-Campus with Mobile Enroll

Mountain Empire Community College will offer off-campus enrollment, or Mobile Enroll, this August at locations in Wise, Lee, Scott, and Dickenson County. Individuals interested in applying for admission to MECC this fall, obtaining financial aid, or who want to learn more about MECC’s programs are encouraged to visit the MECC Mobile Enroll van. Mobile Enroll will be located at the Food City parking lot in Big Stone Gap on Monday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to noon and in the parking lot near Cumberland Automotive in Pennington Gap from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Wednesday, August 12, Mobile Enroll will be stationed at the Sleep Inn Suites parking lot in Clintwood from 10 a.m. to noon and the Food City parking lot in Wise from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Friday, August 14, Mobile Enroll will be in Gate City at the Social Services parking lot from 10 a.m. to noon and at the Dollar General parking lot in Duffield from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information on MECC’s Mobile Enroll, contact Willie Price at 276.523.2400 ext. 321 or email









MECC to Offer Military History of Civil War

American History and military enthusiasts are encouraged to enroll this fall in Mountain Empire Community College’s History 266– Military History of the Civil War, to be offered Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Students will be introduced not only to the military aspects of the war between the states, but also to how other factors, such as violence on the home front or the attitudes of civilians, affected the outcome. Topics include the causes of the secession of the Southern states and the first shots of the war; Union and Confederate beliefs and attitudes; decisive battles of the war; what brought the war to an end, and what the nation looked like in its aftermath. For more information, or to register, contact the MECC Office of Enrollment Services at 276.523.7474.

MECC to Host 40th Anniversary Celebration of Registered Nursing Program

Alumni Postcard front from PrestonBig Stone Gap – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will host the first-ever reunion of registered nursing students and faculty, celebrating the program’s 40th anniversary.

The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program (VATNP) at MECC 40th Anniversary Celebration will be held Saturday, August 15 beginning at 4 p.m.  All MECC RN graduates and VATNP faculty will be honored at this event in the Goodloe Center on the MECC campus.  VATNP enrolled the first MECC Registered Nursing students in the fall of 1975 and the program has grown significantly since its inception.

The celebration will include a special presentation of “Florence Nightingale: A Medical Revolutionary” performed by Kathy Kay Duckett at 4 p.m.  A reception for alumni, faculty, and guests will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a recognition program honoring distinguished alumni.

For more information about the celebration or to update your current contact information, visit, email, or call 276.523.2400, ext. 292.

Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased at Proceeds of the celebration will benefit the Alice Stallings Scholarship.  This scholarship was established in memory of one of the first MECC nursing faculty to provide assistance to second year nursing students.

“Florence Nightingale: A Medical Revolutionary” has been submitted to the Virginia Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The Virginia Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.


MECC Offers 24/7 Financial Aid Assistance

Beginning July 1, MECC students will have access to financial aid support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A support specialist will answer your questions when you call 1.844.MECC4ME.
This toll-free number will provide access to the new MECC Financial Aid and Student Accounts Support Center anytime you call.

Prefer using online services? Also beginning on July 1, you’ll gain access to the online self-help portal. There you can browse self-help articles, track your financial aid and student accounts information and even chat live with a support specialist.

Students may also visit the Financial Aid Office located on the first floor of Godwin Hall for financial aid questions or issues.

For more information about financial aid, click here.

MECC to Offer Course in Life and Teachings of Jesus

Big Stone Gap – Mountain Empire Community College will offer “Religion 216-N1: Life and Teachings of Jesus” this fall. This three-credit course will be offered Monday evenings from 6-8:45 p.m. Student will  study the major themes in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Gospels, and examines the events of his life in light of modern biblical and historical scholarship. Included in our study will be the political, socioeconomic, and religious background at the time of Jesus’ life and ministry. Students will examine the historical Jesus: how Jesus is portrayed in the canonical and non-canonical gospels; key figures in his life; his ministry; the Passion, Resurrection and post-Resurrection.  The coursework will conclude with how the early church viewed Jesus and current thinking about him. For more information, or to register, call 276.523.7474.

MECC Student Titus Houston Places Eighth in National Competition

 MECC Student Titus Houston Places Eighth in National Competition

Titus Houston

Titus Houston

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce that Paralegal Studies student Titus Houston placed eighth in the nation at the 2015 Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) competition.

More than 1,600 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Chicago June 24-27 to showcase their talents as future business leaders and vie for the opportunity to win more than $81,000 in cash awards in 55 business and business-related competitive events.

Houston, who participated in the Phi Beta Lambda’s Business Law competition, endured a grueling 60-minute onsite objective test and a role play where participants were given a real-world interactive case scenario that dealt with topics such as torts, contracts, ethics, etc. “The activities were rigorous, but fun,” said Houston. “The 60 minute online test was challenging and the real world scenarios are alwTitus 1ays interesting due to the random prompt as well as the intensity of competition.”

Houston said the coursework and instruction at MECC definitely prepared him for a national-level competition. He credits his instructors, Beth Snodgrass and Jane Jones, for helping him reach his potential. His friends, family, and MECC Counselor Beth Boggs were also great sources of support during the competition.

“While 8th place may not seem like a big deal, to know only seven other people scored higher than you truly is an adrenaline rush while on stage,” Houston said.

“I could not be prouder of Titus! His hard work and diligence really paid off!” added Beth Snodgrass, Professor of Paralegal Studies and one of MECC’s PBL faculty sponsors.

Houston plans on going into the army as a paralegal specialist after obtaining his Associate degree in Business Administration from MECC. He says he is also considering working in the paralegal field in Virginia and a goal to earn his Bachelor’s degree in pre-law.

The Phi Beta Lamda award was part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. In addition to the competitions, students immersed themselves in educational workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and attended motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics.

The Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the largest and oldest student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

For more information on MECC’s Business Programs, visit the college’s website at or contact the Business & Information Technology division at 276.523.2400 ext. 462.

Student Refunds Delayed Due to Weather Closure

Due to the college’s closure for inclement weather, student financial aid refunds will be delayed. Refunds normally received by students during the first week of March, will now be received during the third week of March. We apologize for any inconvenience.

MECC Center for Workforce Development Reschedules OSHA Training

Big Stone Gap —  A 30-hour OSHA course at Mountain Empire Community College, originally scheduled to begin in February, has been rescheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 10. The course is designed to train workers and employers on the prevention of safety and health hazards in the workplace, as well as workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities. Participants will earn their OSHA 30-Hour Certification Card upon their successful completion. The course is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11, with two future dates to be determined in coordination with students’ schedules.  Participants must attend all four class sessions to receive the certification. The cost is $200. Lunch will be provided. South-West Insurance Agency is a co-sponsor of the event. For more information or to register, contact the MECC Center for Workforce Development at 276.523.7489.

MECC’s Slemp Gallery to Feature “Women in WWII” Exhibit

Women in World War IIBig Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College’s Slemp Gallery is pleased to host an exhibit by Kennesaw State University focusing on the role of women in World War II. “Beyond Rosie: Women in World War II” explores how World War II impacted the everyday social, cultural, and economic realities of life for women in the United States. The panel-based exhibition also highlights individual stories within larger topics including women in the military services, the Holocaust, labor unions, the USO, and resistance and sabotage missions. MECC’s Slemp Gallery is located in Robb Hall, inside of the Wampler Library. This exhibit will run Feb. 13- March 4. The Slemp Gallery is open to the public Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the Kennesaw State University Exhibit or MECC’s Slemp Gallery, contact Alice Harrington at (276) 523-2400 ext. 247.