Date Awarded

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Pamela L Eddy

Committee Member

Eddie R. Cole

Committee Member

John J. McGlennon


The purpose of this study was to explore factors leading to the founding of the Virginia Technical College System (VTCS). These factors are observed primarily within the timeframe of 1954-1966. The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) evolved from the Technical College System, and began in 1964. Classes started at the first technical colleges in September 1965. Despite the writings of two previous histories concerning the founding of the VCCS, one in 1977 and another in 1987, the events that led to the creation of the technical college system have never been documented, nor have the linkages between the technical college system and the Virginia’s business and industry community been investigated. Pointedly, the influence of the series of events, beginning with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 and the subsequent Massive Resistance movement in Virginia, created a particular climate for the founding of the Department of Technical Education 10 years later. The research questions at the heart of this study sought to understand better the social, political, and economic circumstances under which the colleges were formed. This research used oral history methods and documentary research methods to create a historiographic overview of the founding of the VTCS. This research determined that the contested environment of Massive Resistance contributed to the founding of the VTCS.



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