Since 1997, the Marshall University Teays Valley Regional Center (TVRC), has been bringing opportunity to the community in a more quiet manner.
Though the center has been operating for more than 20 years, few know of its existence.
“We have not had an identity,” said Bonnie Prisk, director of the branch. “We’re in all different places. In one semester I had classes at six different places.”
The campus has an office located in Teays Valley, but classes are currently in both Hurricane High School and the Seville Professional Building next to Charleston Area Medical Center, as well as offering dual credit classes in both Putnam and some Kanawha county schools.
TVRC offers 50-60 classes each semester with roughly 800 students.
While enrollment varies, class sizes stay around 12-15 students per class.
The campus has offered opportunities to a variety of students from freshmen to people looking for a career advancement or even a career change.
“We have also served industries, like Flexis closed and they actually invited us over to talk to people about what they could do with their education,” Prisk said. “So, we would have people that would come in and sign up to start taking classes.”
Prisk said they have helped been able to help several times when businesses have had to close or make cuts.
“If they wanted to stay here they had to find some other job, so they had to go back to school and get some other classes,” Prisk said.
At one time the Charleston fire department had to make cuts and TVRC was able to help them obtain a new degree.
“They came to us because they had so much training and background and they signed up to get nursing degrees,” Prisk said.
TVRC offers all prerequisite classes for the nursing program.
Prisk said they are constantly working to build the programs and bring new things to the center.
The campus does not currently have their own building to house offices and classes together, but they are hoping that will change in the future.
Prisk said a building would help bring relationship opportunity with students as well as the opportunity to make their presence a little more known.
“We like that community relationship,” Prisk said.
Currently TVRC classes mostly run in the evening when they are able to get into one of the buildings, but Prisk said it seems to benefit students who work in Charleston and Huntington.
“A lot of our students who are working… they come home and they go to class,” Prisk said.
They do hope to have some day time classes in the future, but Prisk said they work for now.
One thing Prisk said she has been fortunate with her instructors.
“Some Marshall people (faculty) live in this area, but also we have a really educated population as a whole here,” Prisk said. “They have a lot of experience and background.”
TVRC welcomes a variety of students from traditional freshmen starting college to the nontraditional students looking for a change or working on a new step in their career.
Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected]