Eastern Shore Community College could become a branch of Tidewater Community College if a three-year “reboot” plan at the Melfa institution isn’t successful, an member of the Accomack County Board of Supervisors said.
Supervisor Robert Crockett said during a Wednesday meeting of the Accomack board that “there is a deep concern with enrollment” at the local community college.
Crockett was against having the Melfa campus a branch of the massive Hampton Roads-based community college system, saying “we need to do everything we can” to ensure a stand-alone college on the Eastern Shore and not a branch.
Crockett made his comments amid compliments for the process by which ESCC recently selected a president. He said he attended public sessions for all four candidates.
“I enjoyed the process,” he said. “All four candidates were strong.”
The state community college chancellor announced earlier this week James M. Shaeffer, a dean at Old Dominion University, will become ESCC’s fifth president.
According to the ESCC website, the reboot will require the college “to rethink and significantly alter practices in order to improve how the college responds to the unmet educational and training needs of the Shore.”
The state-mandated initiative only impacts Eastern Shore Community College. There is nobody currently from the Eastern Shore on the state community college board.
“These three years are extremely important,” Crockett said.