Jul 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

The College

Mountain Gateway Community College is a two-year public institution of higher education and a member of the statewide Virginia Community College System. The College is supported by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the citizens of the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt (northern portion) and Rockbridge as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington, but welcomes students from other areas as well.

MGCC operates under the policies of the State Board for Community Colleges and the Mountain Gateway Community College Board. The College is financed partially by state funds and supported by contributions from the service area counties and cities, the federal government, businesses, individuals, and student tuition.

Location and Facilities

MGCC’s main campus is located one mile west of downtown Clifton Forge on a 117 acre tract bounded by the Jackson River on three sides. Backels and Warren Halls contain offices, classrooms, and science laboratories. The Moomaw Center, located in McCarthy Hall, houses student and community activities, vending machines, the bookstore, and a café. McCarthy Hall houses The Center for Workforce Solutions and Community Education. It is adjacent to the Moomaw Center and has classrooms, computer technology laboratories and staff offices. Scott Hall contains laboratories, classrooms, the Library, the Achievement Center, and Faculty Offices. The Convocation Center contains a gymnasium, classrooms, offices and storage space. The Physical Plant Maintenance Building contains offices and storage space for equipment and materials used for the maintenance of the College’s buildings and grounds.

The MGCC Rockbridge Regional Center is located at 35 Vista Links Drive in Buena Vista. It houses offices, general classrooms, a computer laboratory, a small greenhouse, and classrooms connected through technology to the main campus.

List of off campus sites, programs available at those sites, services offered by the college at those sites, and point of contact.


Academic Programs On-Site Services Primary Contact
Rockbridge Regional Center

Associates of Arts and Sciences Degree Programs: General Studies, Business Administration, Education, Science

Associates of Applied Sciences Degree Program: Culinary Arts and Management, Business Management

Certificates: General Education, Administrative Support Technology, Culinary Arts, Practical Nursing, and Small Business Management.

Career Studies Certificates: Business Fundamentals, Massage Therapy, and Science and Mathematics.

Noncredit Workforce Programs

Academic advising, library services, financial aid, TRiO Student Support Services, student activities, career counseling, academic tutoring, and college success coaching. Mr. Tim Cary, Director of the Rockbridge Regional Center.
Alleghany High School

Associates of Arts and Science: General Studies

Certificates: General Education, Math and Science

Career coaching, academic advising, and financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Augusta Correctional Center Associates of Arts and Science: General Studies  

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Bath County High School

Associates of Arts and Science: General Studies

Certificates: General Education

Career coaching, academic advising, and financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Botetourt Technical Center Associates of Arts and Science: General Studies with ADJ specialization  

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Covington High School

Associates of Arts and Science: General Studies

Certificates: General Education, Math and Science

Career coaching, academic advising, and financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

James River High School

Associates of Arts and Sciences: General Studies

Certificate: General Education

Career coaching, academic advising, financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Jackson River Technical Center

Associates of Applied Science: E&I

Noncredit Workforce Programs


Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Workforce Solutions
(540) 863-2899

Parry McCluer High School

Associates of Arts and Sciences: General Studies

Certificate: General Education

Career coaching, academic advising, financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Roanoke Higher Education Center Noncredit Workforce Programs (Massage Therapy)   Workforce Solutions
(540) 863-2899
Rockbridge County High School

Associates of Arts and Sciences: General Studies

Certificates: General Education

Noncredit Workforce Programs (HVAC)

Career coaching, academic advising, financial aid assistance.

Student Services
(540) 863-2820

Wilson Memorial HS Associates of Applied Science: Forestry Technology Management  

Student Services
(540) 863-2820


In March 1962, the Virginia General Assembly established an institution that was to later become Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. The institution opened in September 1964 as the Clifton Forge-Covington Division of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, offering some programs available at the parent institution in Blacksburg. A pre-college foundation program was added in 1965 and expanded into a general community college program in 1966.

Beginning with the summer quarter in 1967, all programs of this community college came under the control of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. The College itself was renamed Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, honoring the prominent Virginia educator and longtime resident of the area served by the College.

In 2020, the State Board of Community Colleges directed the colleges of the VCCS to review the appropriateness of college names. In response, the college appointed a Renaming Taskforce. At the October 18, 2021 meeting, the Local Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Renaming Task Force to rename the college, “Mountain Gateway Community College” effective July 1, 2022. On November 18, 2021, the State Board for Community Colleges, unanimously approved the name “Mountain Gateway Community College.”

Mission and Vision of MGCC

MGCC Mission Statement

Mountain Gateway Community College prepares students to reach their potential through high standards, dynamic programming, financial and geographic accessibility, and an inclusive community.

MGCC Vision Statement

Mountain Gateway Community College changes lives, strengthens community, and provides pathways to success through commitment to accessibility, learning, inclusion, and integrity.

MGCC Values Statements


We provide opportunities to advance education and achieve goals by eliminating both academic and non-academic barriers through the delivery of affordable, diverse, and relevant pathways.


We encourage and promote the sharing of knowledge, the importance of innovation, and the empowerment of students through teaching and learning focused on developing tools to reach their academic potential.


We embrace the diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and beliefs that collectively form the DSLCC community and recognize these differences as the strength to grow, enrich, and thrive together.


We believe that the dream of educational attainment is best realized when all members of the DSLCC community respect academic honesty, promote accountability, and demonstrate responsibility for themselves and others.

Mission of the VCCS

The mission of the Virginia Community College System is to give everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened.

Shared values influence thinking, guide decisions, mold policies, and determine courses of action as Virginia’s community colleges strive to fulfill our mission. These values include:


Serving a diverse student population through lifelong learning and student development services that are inclusive, accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality.

Teaching and Learning

Sustaining teaching excellence and setting high standards that promote and encourage student learning.

Effective Learning Environments

Maintaining innovative learning environments that encourage creativity and the acquisition of knowledge and skills that prepare students for changing work environments, responsible citizenship, and leading rewarding lives.

Appropriate Use of Technology

Using technology effectively to enhance instruction and learning and to expand access to educational opportunities through distance education.

Professional Development

Encouraging excellence and renewal in faculty and staff performance by providing on-going opportunities for professional growth and renewal.

Community Service

Serving our communities by providing facilities for cultural enrichment, promoting economic development and partnerships, and providing leadership and college talent to meet community needs.


Demonstrating good stewardship by making effective and efficient use of resources, thereby ensuring accountability to the state and to the communities we serve.

Academic Offerings

MGCC is a comprehensive institution of higher education offering programs of instruction generally extending not more than two years beyond the high school level.

Career and Technical Education: These programs are designed to meet the increasing demand for technicians as well as semiprofessional and skilled workers in business, industry, and government. The curricula are planned primarily to meet the occupational needs in the region served by the College.

College Transfer Education: These programs include freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences and pre-professional programs meeting standards acceptable for transfer to four-year institutions.

General Education: Courses in general education encompass the common knowledge, skills and attitudes needed by each individual to be effective as a person, a worker, a consumer and a citizen.

Continuing Adult Education: Adult education programs are offered to enable the adults in the region to continue their learning. This work includes both credit and noncredit courses offered during the day and evening hours.

Special Training Programs: Special training is provided where specific job opportunities are available for new or expanding industries. It is coordinated with Virginia’s economic expansion efforts and with the needs of employers.

Developmental Studies: Developmental courses are offered to prepare individuals for college-level work. These classes are designed to help the individual develop the basic skills and understandings necessary to succeed in college programs.

Specialized Regional and Community Services: The facilities and personnel of the College are available to provide educational and cultural opportunities for citizens of the region. Community services include faculty and staff speaking engagements, cultural events, workshops, conferences, seminars, special courses, public affairs, lectures and forums, extension programs offered by four-year institutions, films, exhibits and use of campus facilities and services, including the library and recreational facilities.

General Education Goals and Outcomes

Associate degree programs provide a coherent, shared experience for students to develop the general education core competencies expected of them as college-educated individuals. General education, as an integrated and cohesive whole, provides the educational foundation necessary to promote intellectual and personal development. Upon completion of the associate degree, Mountain Gateway Community College graduates will demonstrate competency in student learning outcomes (SLOs) in (1) civic engagement, (2) critical thinking, (3) professional readiness, (4) quantitative literacy, (5) scientific literacy, and (6) written communication.

Collectively, these general education core competencies distinguish graduates of MGCC as individuals with a breadth of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to pursue further education and their careers, continue to develop as learners, and contribute to the well-being of their communities. The six competencies are defined in policy with aspirational statements of learning goals for graduates.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Civic Engagement is the ability to contribute to the civic life and well-being of local, national, and global communities as both a social responsibility and a life-long learning process. Degree graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and civic values necessary to become informed and contributing participants in a democratic society. Students will be able to:

  1. Describe their own as well as others’ political beliefs and cultural values in order to discover the strength that diversity of opinion brings to civic life.
  2. Deliberate on civic, social, and political challenges and problems in a civil manner.
  3. Summarize fundamental principles and debates about democracy and citizenship both within the United States and in other countries.
  4. Consider the ethical implications of public policy decisions.
  5. Identify how to become an engaged and contributing member of society through volunteerism and service.

CRITICAL THINKING: Critical Thinking is the ability to use information, ideas, and arguments from relevant perspectives to make sense of complex issues and solve problems. Degree graduates will locate, evaluate, interpret, and combine information to reach well-reasoned conclusions or solutions. Students will be able to:

  1. Identify, gather, analyze, and evaluate the information/data necessary and sufficient to address the problem or question.
  2. Identify central issues and assumptions in an argument or situation.
  3. Consider biases, preconceptions, and perspectives in order to approach a problem with an open mind.
  4. Evaluate and analyze ideas, arguments, assumptions, and evidence for credibility and relevance to a situation.
  5. Determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided.
  6. Formulate logical and informed conclusions or solve problems based on the analysis and interpretation of information.

PROFESSIONAL READINESS: Professional Readiness is the ability to work well with others and display situationally and culturally appropriate demeanor and behavior. Degree graduates will demonstrate skills important to transition into the workplace and pursuit of further education. MGCC degree graduates will demonstrate readiness in three broad areas of professional readiness: Communications, Job Readiness and Professionalism, and Emotional Intelligence. Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate appropriate workplace communications such as professional verbal and non-verbal skills, digital communications, and phone etiquette.
  2. Demonstrate skills important in transitioning into the workplace, career progression, and pursuit of further education.
  3. Demonstrate self-management in the areas of interpersonal skills, attitudes, and acceptance of diverse perspectives.

QUANTITATIVE LITERACY: Quantitative Literacy is the ability to perform accurate calculations, interpret quantitative information, apply and analyze relevant numerical data, and use results to support conclusions. Degree graduates will calculate, interpret, and use numerical and quantitative information in a variety of settings. Students will be able to:

  1. Identify the proper formulas to evaluate and quantify physical and financial properties.
  2. Calculate the results of the appropriate formulas correctly with consistent units.
  3. Interpret the results of calculations to make proper decisions that are consistent with the discipline and reflect the validity and scope of the formula.
  4. Represent data and numerical information using equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, and words.
  5. Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data.
  6. Use quantitative evidence to support or clarify a position using verbal or written communication.
  7. Apply estimation to consider the reasonableness of numerical answers.

SCIENTIFIC LITERACY: Scientific Literacy is the ability to apply the scientific method and related concepts and principles to make informed decisions and engage with issues related to the natural, physical, and social world. Degree graduates will recognize and know how to use the scientific method, and to evaluate empirical information. Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge and be able to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
  2. Use theories and models as unifying principles that help us understand natural phenomena and make predictions.
  3. Recognize the interdependence of applied research, basic research, and technology, and how they affect society.
  4. Formulate hypotheses, identify relevant variables, design experiments to test hypotheses, and communicate results effectively.
  5. Evaluate the credibility, use, and misuse of scientific and mathematical information in scientific developments and public policy issues.

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: Written Communication is the ability to develop and communicate ideas effectively in writing as appropriate to a given context, and audience. Degree graduates will express themselves effectively in a variety of written forms. Students will be able to:

  1. Interpret and respond to complex materials through a clear process of writing development, including methods appropriate to their guided pathway.
  2. Provide written responses in standard English, with correct grammatical structure, and in relevant form/format.
  3. Use rhetorical strategies/styles appropriate for the intended audience and purpose of the writing.
  4. Define and use credible material for support, where applicable, and accurately integrate and document the use of that information.
  5. Employ these professional writing skills in multi-media form as required by their guided pathway and academic discipline.

Accreditation and Memberships

Mountain Gateway Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award Associate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Mountain Gateway Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

As a SACSCOC member institution, MGCCC follows SACSCOC policy.  SACSCOC does not provide accreditation of specific degrees or programs.  We recognize that SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body, and any program accreditors are separate and distinct from SACSCOC.

MGCC is one of 23 colleges within the Virginia Community College System. The associate degree curricula have been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The certificate and career studies programs have been approved by the State Board for Community Colleges, and the career studies certificate programs have been approved by the MGCC Local Board.

The College is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for various federal funding programs including Veterans Administration educational assistance.

The College is an institutional member of the American Association of Community Colleges.

The College’s Associate Degree Nursing program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), which may be reached at (404) 975-5000.

The Forest Management Technology AAS Degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Botetourt Technical Education Center is an American Welding Society (AWS) certified testing facility.

Institutional Policy for Equal Opportunity

Mountain Gateway Community College declares and affirms a policy of equal educational opportunity and nondiscrimination in the administering of all educational programs and supporting services. It is the policy of Mountain Gateway Community College to promote equal opportunity in educational programs and activities, admissions, and employment, without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. For concerns or information requests pertaining to students, call (540) 863-2866. For matters related to employment, contact the Human Resources Officer at (540) 863-2808.

MGCC Educational Foundation

Established in 1980 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, the Mountain Gateway Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., exists solely to support and promote Mountain Gateway Community College. The Educational Foundation Board is comprised of representatives of the counties, cities, and towns which are served by the College.

The Educational Foundation’s primary focus is to keep education affordable through the awarding of student scholarships and to provide students the support they need to achieve their goals. The Foundation also supports the college through the purchase of enhanced technology and classroom equipment and assists in funding innovative programming.

For more information regarding available scholarships, please contact the MGCC Educational Foundation at (540) 863-2837, visit the website, or visit the Educational Foundation Office in Backels Hall.

For more information on how you can help support student scholarships and College initiatives, please contact the MGCC Educational Foundation at (540) 863-2837 or visit the website.

MGCC Real Estate Foundation

The Mountain Gateway Community College Real Estate Foundation, Inc. is a Virginia nonprofit, non-stock corporation that furthers MGCC’s mission through the sale, development, and leasing of property. It is legally separate from the college and from the MGCC Educational Foundation, MGCC’s philanthropic arm.

The Foundation was incorporated in May 2019. It is guided by its Board of Directors, who make community leaders from real estate, banking, and education. The MGCC Real Estate Foundation accepts gifts of property to the college and manages properties it owns to provide the highest possible return for the college. All funds are used to support MGCC programs and students through the renovation of existing facilities and construction of new facilities.

For more information, please contact the President’s Office at (540) 863-2827 or realestatefoundation@mgcc.edu.