Virginia Intermont College

School Summary

About Virginia Intermont College

Virginia Intermont College is found in the city of Bristol, Virginia, in the southern Appalachian Mountains on the Virginia-Tennessee state line. Bristol is considered to be the "Birthplace of Country Music." Bristol is also home of the Bristol Motor Speedway, host to NASCAR-sanctioned races such as the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup. Bristol is also very centrally located, with the states of West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina all within easy driving distance of Bristol. Barter Theatre, one of the longest-running professional theaters in the country, is found in nearby Abingdon, Virginia. The Storytelling Capital of the World, Jonesborough, Tennessee, is also close by. It is home to the International Storytelling Center and National Storytelling Festival.

Virginia Intermont College is a private, four-year institution of higher learning. It was originally founded as a college for women by Reverend J.R. Harrison, a Baptist minister, as the Southwest Virginia Institute. The first session began in 1884, with three teachers and 13 students. By 1888, the enrollment had increased to 97 boarding students, 40 day students, and 12 teachers. In 1891, the college began a move to a larger campus in Bristol, opening the doors in 1893. Shortly after the move to Bristol, the name was changed to Virginia Institute. In 1910, the college was the first two-year institution to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The name was changed in 1922 to Virginia Intermont College. In May of 1968, a plan for the development of a four-year institution was approved by the Board of Trustees, with the first baccalaureate degrees awarded in 1972. It was also in 1972 that the college became coeducational, with men admitted as degree-seeking students. Today Virginia Intermont College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

VIC offers a two-year AA degree program in graphic design. The program requires completion of some general education requirements, and major courses in two and three-dimensional design, elements of drawing, life drawing, illustration, and three levels of study in graphic design. Completion of a professional seminar is also required. Allied requirements include photography and digital imaging, Web design, and principles of marketing.

VIC also offers four-year BA and BFA degrees in art, with concentrations available in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, printmaking or sculpture. These degrees require additional general education requirements. The core art curriculum includes courses in two and three-dimensional design, elements of drawing, painting, printmaking, life drawing, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, art history, a senior seminar, and a senior exhibition. The BFA degree program requires more art history courses and completion of 18 hours of art electives. The BA degree program allows for required electives to be chosen from other fields of study. Both programs require completion of an allied course in photography as well. Within the concentrations, 12 hours of additional intermediate and advanced courses are required for each within that field of study. For example, the graphic design concentration requires completion of courses in intermediate illustration, graphic design, and advanced graphic design. The advanced-level course is to be repeated at least twice to meet the level of required hours.

In addition, VIC offers four-year BA and BFA degrees in photography and digital imaging. Core requirements for the BA include three levels of photography study, the photographer's vision, history of photography, an exhibitions seminar, contemporary photography, color photography, lighting, large format photography, two courses in digital imaging, Web design, a senior seminar, a senior exhibition, and an additional 12 credit hours of photography electives, preferably within a concentration such as traditional fine art, professional, or digital imaging. The BFA degree requires the completion of the BA core and concentration courses, plus additional courses including a Virginia landscape workshop and allied photography electives such as experimental photography, alternative processes, multiple imagery, electronic media, and elements of film.

The financial aid advisors at VIC work hard to make it possible for students to afford their education. The college provides numerous scholarships, grants, awards and loan opportunities, making an education at Virginia Intermont affordable. Available scholarships include the Worrell Honors Scholarship, the Intermont Excellence Scholarship, the Honors Program Scholarship, the Intermont Academic Success Scholarship, the Intermont Academic Merit Scholarship, the Intermont Achievement Award, the Intermont Transfer Merit Scholarship, performance scholarships, and Baptist scholarships for students who are active members in a Baptist church. Most of these scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement.

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