Education and training are top priorities for Chesterfield County and the surrounding area. Close ties with local businesses and industries mean valuable, modern skills are being taught in the area’s universities. All of the area’s educational programs and curriculum emphasize lifetime learning and continuous improvement for all students.
Chesterfield County has the largest school system in the Richmond Metropolitan Area and has established innovative programs to serve an increasingly diverse student body.
Several progressive measures have been taken to improve and enhance the normal school curricula. These include reading specialists in every school, gifted-and-talented programs, intensive modern language courses, and advanced levels in science and mathematics.
Specialty centers at each high school provide new choices for students and families within the public school setting. In addition to the Mathematics and Science High School, the International Baccalaureate program is offered at two schools; other specialty centers focus on visual and performing arts, health science, mass communications, engineering, technology, international relations and foreign language immersion.
A strong emphasis on computer literacy exists throughout the school system, and English as a Second Language programs are easily accessible to every child and adult in the county who requires them.
Seventy-seven private and parochial elementary and secondary schools have enrollment of more than 13,000. Many private high schools are college preparatory schools with virtually all graduates going on to four-year colleges.
The International Baccalaureate program, study abroad, community service, and military training are available. Special weekend and evening schools offering classes in language and culture have been created by the local German, Chinese, and Japanese communities.
Colleges and Universities
There are tremendous higher education opportunities available in the area surrounding Chesterfield. Twenty-three area colleges and universities offer a full range of associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs, including business, engineering, law, and medicine. These institutions also offer strong evening and continuing education degree programs for working adults.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
- Largest university in Virginia with 31,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate programs, with 65 of the programs unique in Virginia
- Ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral Research-University Extensive
- College of Humanities and Sciences
- Schools of Allied Health Professions, Arts, Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work
- A unique Master’s degree program in advertising taught in an agency environment
- VCU Web Site
Virginia State University
- One of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions
- Offers a wide variety of programs and services in education, research and cooperative extension through its four schools: Agriculture, Science and Technology; Business; Liberal Arts and Education; and Graduate Studies and Continuing Education
- 236-acre main campus and 416-acre agricultural research facility in Chesterfield County
- VSU Web Site
University of Richmond
- The area’s largest private university
- Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the nation’s first undergraduate school of leadership studies
- Undergraduate and graduate business schools, law school, and school of continuing studies
- UR Web Site
Other Four-Year Institutions
- Randolph-Macon College, an undergraduate, coeducational college of the liberal arts located in the town of Ashland in Hanover County
- Virginia Union University, a private, coeducational, liberal arts institution founded in 1865 to provide a quality education to young African-Americans
John Tyler Community College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College offer AS and AAS degrees, certificate programs, and credit and non-credit classes in occupational and technical areas. The community colleges also provide customized training programs for individual companies; Work Keys job profiling and skills assessment; adult continuing education classes; and workshops, conferences, and seminars.
Workforce training assistance in Virginia is provided through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The program is an economic development incentive providing customized recruiting and training services to companies that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change.
The Chesterfield Career and Technical Center provides students with occupational skills and essential 21st century workplace readiness skills (technical writing, computer applications, critical thinking, problem solving, teaming, etc.).
The Career and Technical Center is an extension of Chesterfield’s high schools, offering three-credit day courses that are not offered at the home schools.