Mountain Empire Community College

3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219-0000
Tel: (276)523-2400
  • Mountain Empire Community College is a two-year college serving residents of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson counties, as well as the City of Norton. The College, one of twenty-three in the Virginia Community College System, operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and the Local Advisory Board. The College is financed primarily with state funds supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.
School Highlights
  • Mountain Empire Community College serves 2,718 students (44% of students are full-time).
  • The college's student:teacher ratio of 39:1 is higher than the state community college average of 37:1.
  • Minority enrollment is 3% of the student body (majority Black), which is less than the state average of 43%.
  • Mountain Empire Community College is the only community colleges within Wise County, VA.
  • The nearest community college is Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (15.20 miles away).

School Overview

  • The teacher population of 70 teachers has declined by 23% over five years.
Mountain Empire Community College(VA) Community College Avg.
Institution LevelAt least 2 but less than 4 yearsAt least 2 but less than 4 years
Institution ControlPublicPublic
Total Faculty70 staff45 staff
Mountain Empire Community College Total Faculty (2007-2016)

Student Body

  • The student population of 2,718 has declined by 18% over five years.
  • The student:teacher ratio of 39:1 has decreased from 42:1 over five years.
  • The school's diversity score of 0.06 is less than the state average of 0.62. The school's diversity has declined by 25% over five years.
Total Enrollment2,718 students1,577 students
Mountain Empire Community College Total Enrollment (2007-2016)
Student : Teacher Ratio39:137:1
Mountain Empire Community College Student Staff Ratio (2007-2016)
# Full-Time Students1,185 students717 students
Mountain Empire Community College Full-Time Students (2007-2016)
# Part-Time Students1,533 students860 students
Mountain Empire Community College Part-Time Students (2007-2016)
Mountain Empire Community College Enrollment Breakdown VA All Enrollment Breakdown
% Hispanic
Mountain Empire Community College Hispanic (2011-2016)
% Black
Mountain Empire Community College Black (2007-2016)
% White
Mountain Empire Community College White (2007-2016)
Mountain Empire Community College Ethnicity Breakdown VA All Ethnic Groups Ethnicity Breakdown
Diversity ScoreThe chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body.0.060.62
Mountain Empire Community College Diversity Score (2007-2016)
College Completion Rate
Mountain Empire Community College Completion Rates for First-Time, Full-Time Students (2007-2015)
Average Graduate Earnings (10 Years)$27,300$29,600
Mountain Empire Community College Average and Median Earnings, Disaggregated by Student Subgroups (2008-2013)

Finances and Admission

  • The public in-state tuition of $3,336 is less than the state average of $4,711. The in-state tuition has grown by 14% over four years.
  • The public out-state tuition of $8,006 is less than the state average of $10,146. The out-state tuition has grown by 6% over four years.
In-State Tuition Fees$3,336$4,711
Mountain Empire Community College In-State Tuition Fees (2007-2016)
Out-State Tuition Fees$8,006$10,146
Mountain Empire Community College Out-State Tuition Fees (2007-2016)
% Students Receiving Some Financial Aid94%78%
Mountain Empire Community College % Students Receiving Some Financial Aid (2007-2016)
Median Debt for Graduates-$11,000
Median Debt for Dropouts-$5,500
Source: 2016 (or latest year available) IPEDS

School Notes

  • In 1966, the Virginia Assembly enacted historic legislation establishing a statewide system of comprehensive community colleges. This legislation brought most post high school education below the bachelor's level into one system, and broadened the base of higher education in the state to such an extent that Virginia, for the first time in the twentieth century, took a major step toward democratizing higher education. As comprehensive institutions, the community colleges endeavor to serve all segments of society. In August 1971, Dr. George B. Vaughan was named president of Mountain Empire community College and groundbreaking ceremonies were held in October of that same year. The first classes were offered in the fall of 1972. The college provides a comprehensive program of student development services. The college offers occupational-technical education, transfer education, developmental studies, general education, continuing and distance education, workforce development, and community services. Mountain Empire Community College is located on 95 wooded acres. The college buildings includes Holton Hall, Godwin Hall, industrial technology building, Dalton-Cantrell Hall and Robb Hall. Mountain Empire Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree.

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Did You Know?
For Virginia public community colleges, the average tuition is approximately $4,711 per year for in-state students and $10,146 for out-of-state students. For private community colleges, the average yearly tuition is approximately $14,996 per year. Read more about average community college tuition costs across the country.

The average community college acceptance rate in Virginia is 80%. Read more about national community college acceptance rates.

Virginia community colleges have a diversity scoreThe chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body. of 0.62, which is lower than the national average of 0.67. The most diverse community college in Virginia is Northern Virginia Community College. Read more about community college diversity statistics in the USA.