New River Community and Technical College is West Virginia's newest independently accredited institution of higher education. Founded July 1, 2003, by enactment of the WV Legislature, the College was independently accredited February 8, 2005, by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Although newly founded and named, the College's origins span more than one hundred thirty years of service to West Virginia through its two parent institutions, Bluefield State College and Glenville State College.
New River serves a nine-county area including Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, and Webster Counties and offers a full range of community college programs and services at the following campuses: Beckley, Greenbrier Valley (Lewisburg), Mercer County (Princeton) and Nicholas County (Summersville). Technical programs are also offered at the Advanced Technology Center in Ghent.
New River offers 12 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs; six Associate in Science (A.S.) degree programs; one Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree; one Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree program; Collegiate Certificates; and Collegiate Skill Set Certificates. A number of the associate degree programs transfer to four-year baccalaureate programs at other state-supported institutions. Courses are offered online and through an interactive video network to increase access for students across the large geographic area served by the College.
New River's Office of Institutional Advancement and Workforce Education, headquartered at the Advanced Technology Center in Ghent, offers a variety of customized training and workforce development programs that address the training needs of employers within the College's designated service district. During the past decade, programs and training have been provided that impact more than 7,000 employees from more than 60 companies. Additionally, in partnership with local vocational centers, the Region 1 Workforce Investment Board, and other educational partners, New River designs customized certificate programs that emphasize industries and skills in which participants can obtain employment quickly and help to alleviate workforce shortages in critical industries that are targeted for growth and economic impact. These programs are designed specifically for adults with little or no postsecondary education, thus increasing adult access to higher education while providing training that is immediately relevant to the adult's employment goal.