BridgeValley Community and Technical College, formed in 2014 with the merger of Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical Colleges, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The service region for the multi-campus consolidated institution includes Fayette, Kanawha, Clay, Putnam, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties.
The community college evolved in response to the educational and economic development needs for the State of West Virginia. Associate degree program offerings in the region began in the late 1940s and early 1950s at West Virginia State College and West Virginia Institute of Technology. In the 1960s, each of these colleges created “community college components” on the respective campuses. In 1999, the state legislature created a separate community and technical college system. Community college components hosted by baccalaureate institutions began the process of becoming independent colleges.
In 2004, independent accreditation was achieved. The Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology and West Virginia State Community and Technical College were formed.
The new community colleges were asked to change names in 2009 to emphasize their mission and create distinction from the baccalaureate colleges. The Community and Technical College at WVU Tech became Bridgemont Community and Technical College; West Virginia State Community and Technical College became Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College. The two colleges worked collaboratively to avoid duplication of programs in their overlapping service regions.
During the 2013 legislative session, Senate Bill 438 was passed to consolidate Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley to form a stronger, more comprehensive multi-campus institution for the six-county region. A Board of Governors was appointed to oversee the consolidation; the name BridgeValley was selected to represent the fusion of the institutions.
The official founding date of BridgeValley, March 20, 2014, signifies the completion of all accreditation requirements for the college and the beginning of a new era in community and technical college education for the region.
In August of 2014, at a ceremony to mark the official opening of BridgeValley’s new Advanced Technology Center (ATC), Toyota West Virginia pledged $1 million over five years to further enhance the center’s technology and training equipment. In addition to its in-kind donation of used equipment, Toyota West Virginia’s total donation tops $1.2 million. The announcement was made by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.