Mountain Empire Community College is a two-year public college located in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. With the first class conducted in the fall of 1972, the college currently offers associate, diploma and certificate degrees. The courses offered also include career studies and gainful employment programs, along with credits for life experiences. Students can also enrol at the interactive online instruction center. In an attempt to increase community involvement and culture preservation, the college has set up community events like home craft days, and the Mountain Music School which is aims to conserve and continue Appalachian culture and music. Student activities and services at the school include clubs and intramurals, as well as advising, and career and disability services.