Catawba Valley Community College

Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in Hickory, North Carolina, is currently ranked the number one community college in the state. From high schoolers to returning adults, CVCC welcomes all types of students. More than 5,000 are enrolled in college credit courses and more than 15,000 are enrolled in short-term, non-credit learning opportunities.

CVCC also has two very highly regarded Furniture Academies: Catawba Valley Furniture Academy, which started in 2014, and the Alexander Furniture Academy, which started in the summer of 2016. These are industry-driven training programs designed by local furniture manufacturers to prepare students for skilled positions that are in high demand by the region’s largest employers.


Catawba Valley Community College is a fully accredited college that awards Associate Degrees in Applied Science (AAS) upon the successful completion of a program of study in Business, Engineering Technology, Environmental and Life Sciences, Health and Human Resources, and Industrial Technology.

The Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Engineering (AE) or Associate in Science (AS) degree is awarded to graduates of the college transfer program. Courses in CVCC’s transfer programs will transfer to four-year colleges and universities, as well as to other community and technical colleges.

Upon completion of a vocational or technical program of study one or more years in length, CVCC grants a diploma in the major area of training. Program certificates are awarded in curricula where the curriculum provides for skill-training subjects only.

For the complete list of over 60 programs of study, click here. In addition to the degree and certificate programs, non-credit students may audit courses by special permission, participating fully in the class work, but not receiving credit for the course.


Legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age, or who are high school/GED® graduates, may attend CVCC classes on a full- or part-time basis during the day or evening, after they have completed the enrollment process.

Under certain circumstances, junior and senior homeschool students who demonstrate college readiness on an approved assessment or placement test may attend CVCC with parental permission. Students who register for classes prior to high school graduation are considered “Special Credit” students and do not qualify for federal financial aid.

Check out CVCC’s admission types and enrollment process.

Career and College Promise Program

The Career and College Promise (CCP) program allows qualified students (juniors and seniors) to be enrolled in high school and earn up to 43 semester hours of college credit tuition-free. These college credits can be applied to an Associates in Arts or Associates in Science.

Classes identified in the Career and College Transfer Pathways will transfer seamlessly (with a course grade of C or higher) to any North Carolina public university as well as participating private colleges and universities. Students can also choose to earn credits in the many technical careers offered at CVCC.

Student Life

A student’s experience at Catawba Valley Community College does not begin and end in the classroom. Various activities, opportunities, and functions of a social and professional nature are offered in order to provide a well rounded campus atmosphere. The college offers many clubs and organizations, athletics, fitness center, student government, and more.


HandsOnHistory provides students the opportunity to travel to historical places as a part of select history classes. This program fosters experiential learning, helping students examine where history happened. Examples of HandsOnHistory experiences include:

  • Gettysburg and Antietam Battlefield – American Civil War course
  • Student produced documentaries – Local History and Genealogy course
  • European travel to England, France, Belgium and Germany – World War II course
  • “Bloody Sunday” commemoration in Selma, Alabama – African American History course
  • Independence Hall and Revolutionary War Battlefields – American Revolution course
  • Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins – Native American History
  • USS North Carolina, Fort Fisher, Outer Banks – North Carolina History course


CVCC’s main campus covers 120 acres and includes 11 buildings including the library, cafeteria, and campus store. Located on the 5th floor of the Cuyler A. Dunbar Bldg., the state-of-the-art ValleySim Hospital is the largest simulated hospital of its kind on the east coast, with a realistic health-care setting for education and research. The 63,778 square-foot Tarlton Complex hosts student athletic games and activities. The complex is also rented out for many other occasions that include business, sports, professional and educational meetings, trade shows, conferences, and entertainment/civic events. In addition, CVCC offers classes in many off-campus community and workplace locations.


Hickory, NC is home to one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the U.S. that is still located and operated on the original site. Besides furniture manufacturing, the area’s modern industries include fiber optic cable and pressure-sensitive tape. Hickory has been named an “All-America City” three times. The Hickory metro area has been ranked as the 10th best place to live and raise a family in the United States by Reader’s Digest.

Distance Education

Catawba Valley Community College’s Distance Learning Program consists of telecourses, cablecasts, Internet classes and North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH) classes. The same quality outcomes are maintained for distance learning classes as for all CVCC course offerings.

Web-based classes are available in a variety of disciplines. Students taking courses over the Internet work independently, study at their own convenient time and place, and complete and submit assignments electronically.

CVCC accepts students that are not residents of North Carolina for online distance education program participation as long as the student resides in one of the Southern Regional Education reciprocal states listed here: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia.

For more information about Catawba Valley Community College, visit or refer to the current Course Catalog available online.

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