About the Roanoke Higher Education Center

The Roanoke Higher Education Center, which has been hailed as a model for education in the new millennium, offers over 200 programs of study through the Centerís partner organizations. Averett University, Bluefield College, James Madison University, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin College, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Roanoke College, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Western Community College offer undergraduate and graduate level courses. In addition, TAP - This Valley Works offers job-training programs as a partner in the Center.

In August 2000, the Roanoke Center welcomed its first class of 2,500 students to newly renovated classrooms located in the former headquarters of the Norfolk and Western Railroad in downtown Roanoke. A total of $19 million in state, local and private capital, as well as federal and state historic tax credits, had been used to transform the 1931 Art Deco building into a state-of-the-art facility for learning.

Guided by community needs and interests, input from business and civic leaders and the experience of member institutions, programs are developed that bring to bear a rich variety of educational resources that the new facility makes more accessible than has been possible in the past. Distance learning technology plays a key role in the collaborative efforts that characterize many of the new educational offerings, and the Center allows for an exceptionally broad set of educational opportunities:

  • Adults in need of job training and retraining receive the very best in instruction and career guidance.
  • Individuals are able to pursue undergraduate degrees in a variety of disciplines and fields related to regional job opportunities.
  • Graduate instruction is available in support of further career development and preparation for social and technological change.
  • All participants study in an environment that encourages lifelong education and training for career development, enhancement, and change as well as for personal enrichment.

The Center is part of the larger effort to stimulate economic development in the region while it is also a corner stone in the revitalization of the historic Gainsboro Neighborhood. The synergy of regional economic development and downtown Roanoke redevelopment efforts sparks training and educational opportunity for people at all levels of educational need making this a multidimensional project that has a substantial positive impact in the region as a whole, and provides the Commonwealth and the nation with a new model for collaboration in training and education.

The Roanoke Higher Education Center is unique in the number and kind of organizations collaborating to expand educational access. It is an incubator for innovative approaches to learning that include a mix of traditional classroom instruction, computer assisted instruction, and distance learning instruction that meet a wide variety of student learning styles and needs. The public and private investment in the Center is generating a powerful yield for the advancement of workforce training and higher education and the further development of the Greater Roanoke Region.

From workforce development to advanced graduate study, opportunities to apply computer and distance learning technology in the liberal arts and sciences, health sciences, business, and in fact, the broadest range of learning programs ever assembled under one roof are generating new and ever more innovative ways to enhance the learning process. The Center is a model for educational cooperation, innovation, and access all of which is supported by the inclusion of advanced instructional technology.

The Center also accommodates the growing corporate training and meeting needs of companies across the region. With more than 57 available classrooms, a 2,100 square-foot meeting room and advanced computer technology and video conferencing facilities, the Center is able to accommodate all types of business gatherings.

Click here for the Roanoke Higher Education Center Strategic Plan

Click here for the Roanoke Higher Education Center Member Handbook
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