Laurel Ridge Recognized As a “2016 Great College to Work For”

For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2016

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Great College to Work For 2016

Great College to Work For 2016College Also Earns Prestigious “Honor Roll” Distinction

Laurel Ridge Community College is a 2016 Great College to Work For® according to a new workplace satisfaction survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.  Laurel Ridge has received this recognition for five consecutive years.

Because Laurel Ridge was highly rated across multiple categories, the college has also been named an “Honor Roll” institution.  Celebrating four years on the Honor Roll, Laurel Ridge is one of only 12 community colleges to earn this distinction in 2016.   Even more noteworthy, Laurel Ridge was one of only 3 community colleges on the Honor Roll to be recognized in all 10 categories:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Facilities, Workspace & Security
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Professional and Career Development Programs
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Supervisor/Dept. Chair Relationships
  • Teaching Environment
  • Work/Life Balance

“I am very fortunate and proud to be part of such an outstanding team at Laurel Ridge Community College.  Laurel Ridge greatly values our employees and emphasizes the importance of a caring, positive work atmosphere,” says Laurel Ridge President Cheryl Thompson-Stacy.

She adds:  “The concerns, opinions and ideas of our employees are important and are solicited through various forums and events.  We also encourage employees to build relationships with co-workers and in the community.”

President Thompson-Stacy has led the college since January 2009. The college has 664 full- and part-time employees. With more than 20,000 students enrolled each year in academic programs, workforce training or professional development courses, Laurel Ridge has a tremendous economic and educational ripple effect throughout the region. 

According to Karen Foreman, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the college also promotes a work atmosphere that supports a proper work-life balance through flexible work schedules, professional development opportunities, free fitness classes, and other wellness initiatives.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner of ModernThink LLC, the company that administered and analyzed the survey data.

Boyer adds:  “Those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent.”

According to Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle: “The colleges and universities that make the list are highly rated by their employees for creating great working environments, an important achievement that helps them recruit top academic and administrative talent.”

The survey methodology and the results, released on July 18 in The Chronicle’s ninth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are available on the publication’s web site at


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.