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College of The Albemarle


Local interest to build a community college in Elizabeth City is formalized. The Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce forms a special committee to begin the work of surveying potential students, planning a facility, developing funding and selling the idea to residents.
Pasquotank County voters, by a vote of more than two to one, agree to pay a special tax of 15 cents per $100 valuation to support a new college. On December 16, the official charter is issued, making College of The Albemarle (COA) the first college chartered by the state under the Community College Act of 1957.
On Sep. 21, COA opens its doors to 113 students and eight full-time employees in the remodeled former Albemarle Hospital on Riverside Avenue in Elizabeth City. College Transfer is the only program offered. There are 57 courses listed in the catalog, including mathematics, English, social studies, science, foreign language and business.
COA celebrates the first graduating class in June.
COA begins offering vocational and technical programs.
COA enrollment reaches 700.

On Dec. 4, COA receives accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

COA begins offering classes throughout various borrowed facilities in Dare County. In June, COA President Petteway reports to the board that the college has secured 42 acres of land adjacent to Albemarle Hospital, and begins plans to expand the COA campus.
The Learning Lab assists an average of 799 adults per month. Of these, nearly half are engaged in the High School Equivalency or the Adult High School Diploma program.

On Feb. 17, a groundbreaking ceremony is held on Highway 17 North for the “new” COA campus.

In December, COA receives reaffirmation of accreditation by the SACS.
On June 27, the board of trustees reluctantly votes to discontinue the COA intercollegiate athletic program due to funding uncertainties.
The COA Foundation is chartered. A nonprofit charitable corporation is formed to receive and manage gifts in support of the educational mission of the college. It provides funds for capital needs, equipment, staff development, program support and scholarships.
COA – Dare, located in Manteo, is established as COA’s first satellite campus.
COA celebrates its 25th anniversary. Student enrollment reaches 1,487 with 120 full-time employees.
The COA Community Auditorium is completed – a 40,000 square-foot building with seating for more than 960 patrons. The auditorium features a Green Room, an orchestra pit, rooms for lighting and sound equipment and several areas for storage.

In November, COA opens the Chowan County Adult Education Center in Edenton to help improve literacy in the region.

In December, the Chowan County Adult Education Center is reestablished as the Chowan County Center. In its new facilities, the center offers basic skills classes as well as instruction in reading, math, GED preparation and English as a Second Language.
In June, the COA’s nursing program receives national accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
COA – Elizabeth City opens its new technology building, later named the John Wood Foreman Technology Center.
COA celebrated 40 years of serving the Albemarle area.

On Sep. 21, COA restores and erects the “College of The Albemarle” arch from the “Old Hospital Campus” in Riverside at the entrance of COA – Elizabeth City.

COA breaks ground on the joint Dr. Zack D. and Martha A. Owens Health Sciences Center and Albemarle Family YMCA building.
COA receives reaffirmation of accreditation by the SACS.
The Dr. Zack D. and Martha A. Owens Health Sciences Center and Albemarle Family YMCA building opens.
COA breaks ground on COA – Elizabeth City Building A expansion Project.
COA celebrates 50 years of service to the Albemarle area – Pasquotank, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates and Perquimans Counties.

On April 19, a press conference was held at the Currituck Regional Airport to announce the cooperative partnership of Currituck County and COA to build the Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center in Currituck County.

In September 2011, both Pasquotank County and the city of Elizabeth City commemorated the college’s 50th anniversary with proclamations celebrating COA Anniversary Week – Sep. 18 to 24, 2011 and COA Day – Sep. 21, 2011.

COA – Edenton-Chowan celebrates its consolidated location on North Oakum Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 18.

On March 8, a ground breaking ceremony was held in Currituck County for the college’s Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center.

COA’s Community Auditorium in Elizabeth City is rebranded as the Performing Arts Center.

The COA bookstore is relocated and fully renovated in Building C on COA – Elizabeth City. A Grand Opening celebration is held on Feb. 8.

On Aug. 2, COA cut the ribbon on their Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center, a state-of-the-art, 37,000 square-foot facility. This project was in partnership with Currituck County.

The Strategic Transition in Education Progression Center (STEP Center) opens to assist Associate Degree Nursing graduates begin work toward their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the newly renovated Dolphins Den Student Center, located at COA – Elizabeth City is held.

On April 9, COA and Currituck County receive the prestigious Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award by the State Board of the North Carolina Community College System. This marks the first time in State Board’s history that a partnership between a college and a county government was selected.

In January, COA’s Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology and Medical Assisting programs all had a 100 percent pass rate on their NCLEX exams.

The Welding Lab at COA – Elizabeth City is completely renovated and a ribbon cutting ceremony is held.

In June, COA adopted its Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2021. The plan includes three strategic focus areas of Engage, Transform and Invest.

In June, COA celebrated nine members of the inaugural class of the President’s Leadership Academy. The program included two book studies and an all-day meeting once a month. Several guest speakers visited the campus from other community colleges as well as from the North Carolina Community College System.

In September, COA was among nine other North Carolina community colleges, led by Central Carolina, that have been awarded a $9.2 million First in the World Grant by the U.S. Department of Education.

On Oct. 29, College of The Albemarle revealed their new college brand – including a new logo and tag line to students, faculty, staff and community members.

COA serves close to 4,000 students at four campus locations in Currituck, Dare, Edenton-Chowan and Elizabeth City.