COVID-19 Prevention & Response


The CARES ACT is federal legislation that was passed by the United States Congress in March 2020. It provides financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Mountain Empire Community College will receive $1,394,924 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT). MECC has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education. MECC will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES ACT to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. For more information on CARES ACT funding for students, follow the link below.


Mountain Empire Community College will continue to operate out of an abundance of caution as we follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). In addition, we will follow all mandates issued by the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Virginia Community College System. Click here to view the Mountain Empire Community College Reopening Plan.

Latest News

MECC Will Offer Majority of Classes Online for Spring 2021

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College will offer a variety of options for courses for Spring 2021, with most courses being offered online to protect the safety and welfare of students and staff.

Programs such as Welding, Manufacturing, Commercial Driver’s Training (CDL),  Construction, HVAC and others that require face-to-face instruction will be configured for smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing. Additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols will be implemented in these classrooms.

For students enrolled in health programs, such as Practical and Registered Nursing, Respiratory Therapy,  and others, the College will ensure that students have the necessary safety equipment (Personal Protective Equipment-PPE) to complete coursework and practicums.

All courses will have some online content, others will be entirely online, and some will be a combination of in-person and online (hybrid offerings).

In-person advising sessions will be held at the college to support students wanting to enroll, or who need assistance with advising and financial aid. A schedule for these sessions will be announced at a later date. 

 “The college is prepared to continue our current academic and training platforms, both online and in person, for Spring 2021. Services at the college will continue to be offered remotely to protect the safety and welfare of our students, staff and community, “ said Dr. Kristen Westover, MECC President.

MECC will continue to support online learners, including assessment of online learning readiness, career exploration, tutoring, advising, online testing, etc. in a virtual format. In some instances, for face-to-face courses, this may require a modified schedule to address safety concerns and comply with safety requirements.

 Online courses will be offered in various formats. Some online courses, which are synchronous offerings, are structured to meet at specific times on tools like Zoom, just like a traditional in-person class, so students can engage with their instructor and classmates together. Others offer a chance to learn material at one’s own pace to complete assignments or take exams by specific deadlines in faculty-facilitated courses, or asynchronous offerings.

For more information regarding Spring 2021 course scheduling options, or to apply to enroll, please call 276.523.2400 or visit the MECC’s website at