SVCC

Panther Prep Day is Apri 16, 2019

Panther Prep Advising Day is coming back to Southside Virginia.   This event, sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College, will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at various locations.  This is a chance for students to meet their advisors, register for classes, learn about all the programs and services the college has to offer.

Event hours at Christanna Campus in Alberta, John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville,  Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Estes Community Center in Chase City, and  Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia will host the event from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

For more information on the event, call 434 736 2022. 

sneakers

Panther Prep Day Returns April 3, 2018

 
Panther Prep Advising Day is coming to all locations of Southside Virginia Community College on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.  This is a great time to meet advisors, learn about SVCC programs register for Summer and Fall Classes and just have some fun and food and fellowship.  The event will be held at the Alberta and Keysville Campuses from 10 until 6 p.m.  Other locations include Southern Virginia Higher Ed. Center in South Boston, the Center in Emporia, The Estes Community Center in Chase City, and Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  Also, plan to attend this event at the Occupational/Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Don't miss this chance to get the scoop on all you need to know about Southside Virginia Community College.  More information about the college can be seen at www.southside.edu

Zapatillas Running trail

Recognizing the Importance of Mentors

 

 

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

January is National Mentoring Month, an observation led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation.

A mentor is defined as a person who serves as a coach, advisor, or trusted counselor to someone with less experience. In college life, a mentor is much more. A mentor recognizes potential, kindles possibilities, and connects students with opportunities. At its most fundamental level, a mentoring relationship provides a personal connection so that mentees know someone cares. They are not alone.

At SVCC, mentoring is an important part of what we do. Formal mentoring programs stand alongside a host of other efforts that provide vital support for student achievement, including tutoring, career counseling, academic advising, and hands-on assistance in areas such as financial aid, disability accommodations, and transfer planning.

Our longest standing mentoring program, Make It Happen, began operating in 1998. This comprehensive effort supports the success of African-American males. In addition to receiving academic help, participants are given the opportunity to attend leadership development events and are encouraged to seek leadership positions in a variety of campus clubs, organizations, and committees. These activities, which promote adjustment to the college environment and encourage the development of a positive self-image, enable participants to consistently meet or exceed anticipated outcomes as measured by grade point average, retention, and persistence toward goals.

The Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) Mentoring Program seeks to address the challenges facing women in higher education by fostering healthy relationships and providing support, guidance, and encouragement. Participants overcome barriers enabling them to achieve personal, professional, and academic growth. With support from their mentors, WISE students set goals, make informed decisions, identify needed resources, discover pathways, cultivate strong relationships with women in business and academia, and develop leadership and self-improvement skills.

Go For It, a pilot program being launched at SVCC’s Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) in South Hill, is aligned with the Microsoft Women in Data Centers Pathway Program. Go For It will pair local students with their counterparts in Dublin, Ireland, and Microsoft staff will provide personal mentoring.

These programs and others help students reach education targets and attain personal success. They are especially valuable for students who are returning to an education pathway after time spent in the workforce. For example, people who find themselves unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-related job changes and wish to train for new career options can find the help they need at SVCC. The Re-Employing Virginians (REV) Grants program, originally instituted at the end of last year, has been extended through 2021. By combining this financial assistance with effective mentoring and student support, our College enables student achievement.

REV grants cover community college tuition for Virginians who meet program requirements and wish to train in REV-eligible programs. These span a wide range of options in areas with high job demand and include associate degree pathways, certificate and career studies programs, and short-term FastForward credentialing opportunities. Fields include nursing and other healthcare-related fields, criminal justice, information technology, and hands-on technical programs such as welding, machining, and automotive repair.

If you’re considering a return to higher education, contact SVCC. Visit southside.edu or call 434-736-2046. Ask us about financial assistance, mentoring, and other student support services that can help you reach your goals.


Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

SVCC Partners with M.C. Dean for Apprenticeship Program

 

(From left to right): Chris Foster, Instructor of Industrial Technologies, SVCC; David Nelson, Master Instructor, M.C.Dean; and Vincent Brown, Associate Professor of Industrial Technologies, SVCC.

Southside Virginia Community College has partnered with M.C. Dean to pilot an electrical apprenticeship program.

Beginning this spring, M.C. Dean level one employees that are working their way through a four-year apprenticeship program will also become SVCC students.  The apprentices will be able to earn college credit toward an Industrial Electrical Technician Career Studies Certificate.  The program will be housed at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

The students will also have the option to apply the credits toward an Industrial Technology Degree.  Vincent Brown, Associate Professor of Industrial Technologies, SVCC; and Chris Foster, Instructor of Industrial Technologies, SVCC; will teach the curriculum for the program.

The curriculum for the program is the NCCER Electrical curriculum.  NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curriculum and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s Registry System that allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals.

David Nelson, Master Instructor with M.C. Dean, recently met with SVCC faculty members to discuss learning outcomes important for their apprentices. 

"M.C Dean is excited about this partnership and the opportunity to recruit local talent.  We want these students to have the best training experience possible, that replicates real world applications," said Nelson.  

M.C. Dean is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia and employs more than 3,700 professionals who engineer and deploy automated, secure, and resilient power and technology systems.  The company has employees currently working at Microsoft's data center in Boydton, VA.  

M.C. Dean designs, builds, operates, and maintains cyber-physical solutions for the nation's most recognizable mission-critical facilities, secure environments, complex infrastructure, and global enterprises. The company's capabilities include electrical, electronic security, telecommunications, life-safety, instrumentation and control, and command and control systems.

Anyone interested in starting the apprenticeship program should contact M.C. Dean at (703) 802-6231.

 

SVCC Announces 2021 Spring Semester Plans

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will continue with a full schedule of classes for the spring semester beginning January 11, 2021. 

The college is taking a “HyFlex” approach to course delivery.  This means class options (depending on the needs of each discipline) may include a mix of in-person instruction, expanded online offerings, and a “Zoom to Home” option.

According to Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President, "SVCC's partnership with communities to establish off-campus centers, in addition to our Alberta and Keysville campus locations, is a real benefit to students during this unprecedented time in our history.  Our locations allow the college to offer students the flexibility to utilize classroom space and computer labs, and to access high speed internet; while complying with the appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines."

While priority for in-person instruction will be performance-based classes and labs that cannot be delivered online, additional seated courses will be offered as room availability allows.

SVCC's Fast Forward workforce programs will be offered in small groups. The college's flexible approach allows for appropriate social distancing, while making alternatives available for those students who do not have adequate high-speed internet at home and, therefore, would not be able to participate in online or at-home Zoom classes.

Aware that the outlook can change at any time, Dr. Johnson stated, "We will remain nimble and adjust, as needed, to remain safe and to better serve students." SVCC's COVID-19 Task Force has a plan in place to pivot to fully remote and online if public health and safety requires it."

Since the pandemic began in March, SVCC has complied with guidelines from the CDC for physical distancing, hygiene and safety.  This will continue for the spring semester as all SVCC locations require face coverings; classrooms are configured to comply with social distancing; and access to facilities is limited.

“As we navigate this pandemic together, we want everyone to know that we are still open for business and remain committed to assisting our students in every way possible,” Dr. Johnson added.

Registration for the 2021 spring semester is going on now; for more information, please visit southside.edu or call 434-949-1000.

Boar's Head Provisions Donates to Create SVCC Scholarship

Dr. Daryl Minus, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Services, Southside Virginia Community College, accepts a donation from Jeff Hoye, Plant Manager, Boar's Head - Jarratt, that will establish a new scholarship fund.

The Southside Virginia Community College Foundation is delighted to announce that it has received a donation from Boar's Head Provisions to establish a scholarship fund earmarked for residents from the counties of Brunswick and Greensville who are enrolled in either business administration/management, science, or general studies with an agribusiness specialization.  The scholarship is designed to encourage interest in pursuing a management trainee position.

Boar's Head Brand was established in the New York City area in 1905.  A family business, the company began with the belief that consumers deserved a better quality ham, than what was available.  

Today, Boar's Head Provisions Co., Inc., is one of the leading manufacturers of premium delicatessen meats and cheeses while remaining family owned and committed to quality.

Gratitude and Wellbeing

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

In 2015, National Day Calendar established November as National Gratitude Month in the United States and Canada. The designation had been advocated by Stacey Grewal, author of Gratitude and Goals, who said “Gratitude is an essential ingredient of a happy, fulfilling life.”

To help people incorporate gratitude into their lives, Grewal instituted a 30-day gratitude challenge. She explained, “Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing."

After all the unexpected twists and turns 2020 has delivered, practicing an attitude of gratitude brings a much-needed respite from the daily news. I find myself especially grateful for family, friends, and colleagues.

I give thanks for being selected to serve Southside Virginia Community College as its sixth president. Our college is one of the most diverse institutions in Virginia, and our commitment to inclusivity and excellence helps every student shine. Their success stories are built on a solid foundation established by my predecessors who have shaped the college throughout its illustrious history.

SVCC celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Construction for the college’s first buildings began in Brunswick county in 1969, and the college opened to students in 1970. A groundbreaking ceremony for SVCC’s second campus in Keysville was held on October 30, 1970.

SVCC’s first present, Dr. Kenneth Dawson, brought with him experience gained through college and university leadership positions in Georgia and Kentucky. He also inaugurated our attitude of service, bringing with him a belief forged through personal commitments, including his work as a consultant to the American Red Cross in Liberia, West Africa.

Through the years, SVCC’s respect for diversity has had many advocates. The college’s fourth President, Dr. John Cavan remarked, “A mosaic of colors and shapes is pleasing to the eye. A mosaic of diverse people is pleasing to society.”

I also appreciate the pioneering work done in many fields by the college’s dedicated faculty. Under the direction of Dr. John Adams, SVCC welcomed its first online students in 1998. Today, cybercourses and other distance-learning options continue to be an integral component of education, and I am grateful for the experienced leadership SVCC personnel bring to this task.

Dr. Edward Chernault established much of the groundwork for current workforce programming options. Dr. Chenault developed regional partnerships for identifying the skills and competency levels required by local employers, and he deployed the Work Keys System developed by American College Testing to document achievement. Today, Workforce Development Services at SVCC continue in this tradition by offering credentialling programs that lead to jobs with family-sustaining wages.

Additionally, I am grateful for all our students. They are amazing people who continue to work with diligence. I am also thankful for our graduates who serve the community as first responders, healthcare providers, truck drivers, information technology workers, powerline workers, electricians, HVAC technicians, members of our nation’s armed services, and more. Their leadership as engaged citizens in our everchanging world gives me hope for a bright tomorrow.

In short, I am so proud to be part of the SVCC family. Although we have been impacted by novel challenges during 2020, there is still so much for which to be grateful. I invite you to begin your own gratitude challenge. If you’re like me, it will indeed help you discover an increased sense of happiness and wellbeing.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Transferrable Success

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Every October, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students celebrates National Transfer Student Week. This year Southside Virginia Community College will participate with a Virtual Transfer Fair, which will run October 19–23, 2020.

Plans are underway for an informative, participatory event that can be experienced through socially distant conditions. Institutions to which SVCC students frequently transfer will provide informational videos and have personnel available for scheduled meetings using Zoom video conferencing technology. Students will be able to attend through in-person options at SVCC’s two main campuses or from their homes.

For many students, time spent at SVCC represents a first and foundational step in a longer postsecondary academic journey. At the end of the 2018-19 school year, more than 150 students transferred from SVCC to four-year institutions. Nearly 100 had earned an Associate’s degree, awarding them credit for two full years of academic achievement. Other students focused on earning specific credits that enabled them to skip prerequisites and be better prepared for success in advanced coursework.

About two-thirds of transferring SVCC graduates head to one of Virginia’s public four-year institutions. Popular destinations include Old Dominion University, Longwood University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, and James Madison University. Other students prefer private, nonprofit institutions, such as Liberty University and Mary Baldwin University. To ensure students’ future successes, SVCC maintains transfer and guaranteed admissions agreements with more than 30 of Virginia’s colleges and universities.

The Agribusiness program, established by Dr. Dixie Dalton, Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, provides an example transfer pathway. Dr. Dalton recently talked with sisters Dottie and Cassie Long, who completed Associate of Arts and Sciences degrees with an emphasis in Agribusiness and then transferred to Virginia Tech, where they went on to earn bachelors’ degrees in Animal Science.

Cassie told Dr. Dalton, “One of the best decisions I made in my college career was enrolling at SVCC with plans to transfer to Virginia Tech. I say this because my experience at SVCC helped me transition into college smoothly, complete general education classes in a smaller setting, and focus solely on Animal and Poultry Sciences courses while at VT.”

Dottie reported a similar experience, “Completing my first two years at SVCC helped me transition into the college life. I enjoyed the smaller class sizes at SVCC, then jumped right into my major at VT. Also, having a good advisor in my corner that helped me take the classes I needed to transfer helped a lot.”

Dottie and Cassie now work managing Long’s Farm Supply in Brookneal, a family-owned store that meets the needs of local farmers and homeowners. Cassie is also pursuing graduate studies and may eventually become a high school agriculture teacher.

Like these sisters, all students who start their academic journeys at SVCC before transferring to a four-year institution can benefit from SVCC’s outstanding student support, advising, and financial aid services. They can also save money because the annual tuition bill at SVCC comes to half or one-third of the tuition at public four-year institutions. Furthermore, by beginning an academic journey close to home, students and their families save on the added costs of room and board.

For more information about SVCC’s transfer programs and the Virtual Transfer Fair, contact Matt Dunn, Career and Transfer Counselor, by phone at 434-736-2020 or by email at matt.dunn@southside.edu.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Careers 4 Women in Technology Summit

Considering a career in technology?  On Tuesday, October 20th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Southside Virginia Community College will be hosting a virtual summit for women interested in pursuing a career in today’s digital world. 

Presenters include:

  • Kat Roney – Network Acquisition Specialist, Microsoft
  • Pepsi Wirth – Chief of Staff, Xbox Compliance
  • Lesley Kipling – Network Cross Functional Team, US Army Future Command
  • Kia Preston – Information Technology Specialist, Southside Virginia Community College
  • Latarsha Walton – Desktop Support Technician, Department of State Foreign Affairs Security Training Center
  • Kristin Puleo – Microsoft Datacenter Academy Scholar, Intern and Datacenter Technician, Microsoft

Learn about the training and skills necessary for in-demand careers!  Panelists will discuss current positions and how they embarked on their career pathways and obstacles they overcame along the way. 

Registration is required by October 15th.  To register or for more information go to Southside.edu/article/careers-4-women-technology or call 434-955-2252.

Change Your Future in Weeks

Southside Virginia Community College will offer an 80 hour American Welding Society (AWS) certification program at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia beginning September 28th and running through December 9th.  Classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

According to Dennis Smith, SVCC’s Director of Workforce Development, “These classes are open to anyone interested in gaining this valuable, in-demand skill that can lead to well-paying job opportunities.”

Topics will include safety, general welding shop practice, routine equipment maintenance, metal preparation, OSHA 10, the Gas Metal Arc Welding process (MIG) and more. 

Grants and scholarships are available.  For more information contact Courtney Starke at (434) 949-6614 or visit southside.edu.

Impact Study Highlights SVCC’s Contributions

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

A recent Economic Impact study undertaken by Dr. Vincent Magnini, a researcher at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business in Blacksburg, examined the impact Southside Virginia Community College makes across its ten-county service area and throughout the Commonwealth. The findings identified economic contributions and other social benefits in our local region and beyond. The research emphasized that what makes SVCC different and what makes us special is how we take care of our students, how we take care of each other, and how we contribute to the communities we serve.

SVCC’s statewide economic impact for fiscal year 2019 was estimated at $166 million, of which $147.5 million remained within the counties that comprise the southside service area. Salaries and wages represented part of the total. The college’s work contributed to 877 direct and secondary full-time equivalent jobs, leading to combined incomes of $45 million. Other financial elements represented in the economic impact study included local spending by students and other campus visitors, increased income earned as a result of completed programs of study, and the value of federal, state, and local tax revenues.

Benefits beyond direct economic effects included expanding the workforce training pipeline to attract new businesses, using student-centric initiatives to achieve high satisfaction rates, and preparing transfer students to fill upper-level enrollment gaps at four-year institutions. In addition, SVCC offers opportunities to high school students seeking to earn college credits through the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia, career and technical programs, and other dual enrollment options.

In fact, more than 1,800 high school students earned credits for college courses at SVCC in FY 2019. We appreciate the opportunity to help young adults from our region as they pursue academic and career goals. National statistics suggest that secondary students who earn college credentials graduate from four-year colleges or universities (senior institutions of higher education) within four years at a rate that is twice that of their traditional college-going peers who enroll at four-year colleges and universities directly out of high school. Furthermore, they will spend less on college expenses and accrue less debt.

We are also proud of the accomplishments among students who are the first in their families to attend college. In colleges nationwide, fewer than 33% of attendees are first generation students. At SVCC, 65% of our program completers are first generation college students. By increasing access to education and supporting the success of students from low-income, ethnic minorities, and rural families, we play an important role in improving their employability and earnings potential. These are vital ingredients in efforts to address racial equity and fairness.

SVCC’s strategic plan, “One College. One Mission,” focuses on continual improvement to student experiences and achievements. It also aligns with the Virginia Community College System’s strategic plan “Complete 2020-21,” which emphasizes a tripling of earned credentials across our service area. Our efforts to track, monitor, and document evidence of success toward this goal will bring further clarity to the ways SVCC contributes to the wellbeing of the communities we serve.

The Virginia Tech study also noted SVCC’s regular recognition among honorees in the “Great Colleges to Work For” assessment. SVCC has earned specific distinctions in the categories of job satisfaction, professional and career development programs, and employee relationships with supervisors and academic leaders.

The SVCC family brings strength and passion to accomplishing the college’s mission. As our students and alumni know, SVCC’s mascot is the panther, and our “Panther Pride” continues to energize us in the pursuit of excellence.

________

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Dr. Daryl Minus Joins Leadership Team at Southside Virginia Community College

Dr. Daryl Minus recently joined the leadership team at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services. 

Dr. Minus came to SVCC from the Marine Corps Community Services (United States Department of Defense) where he was Education Assistant Branch Manager/Education Services Officer.  Prior to that he served as Vice President, Student Services and Enrollment Management, for Cape Fear Community College. 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Minus to SVCC.  He brings a wealth of experience, an entrepreneurial mindset, an understanding of the challenges of community colleges in rural communities, and an excellent team leadership philosophy to the role.  We look forward to his leadership as we respond to the unprecedented evolving challenges, demands and opportunities facing us,” President Quentin R. Johnson said.

Dr. Minus graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.  He earned his master’s degree from New York University in business education/higher education and his doctorate in educational leadership from University of Phoenix. 

“I am thrilled to be part of the SVCC Family,” Minus said.  “I am looking forward to working alongside staff and faculty to impact the lives of students and the communities served by the College."

Flexible with an Emphasis on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

 

 

 

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Southside Virginia Community College will reopen its doors on August 24 with a full schedule of offerings and a range of attendance options that incorporate in-person, online, and hybrid classes. Short-term workforce programs that require hands-on learning will be offered in small groups. We have reconfigured classroom and laboratory spaces to meet social distancing requirements, and in accordance with guidelines, SVCC will require face coverings on campus.

Taking steps to minimize risks while preserving student momentum toward the attainment of education goals is of paramount importance. At this complicated time in our nation’s history, educational offerings at community colleges have never been more important. This is especially true in places like southside Virginia, where historic gaps in opportunity produced enormous impacts on rural and minority communities.

One important means of improving earnings abilities among rural residents and members of racial and ethnic minorities is the attainment of credentials and certifications that are in high demand among local employers. The community college mission incorporates this kind of education, training, and upskilling to help people launch academic journeys, find careers, or get back to work.

Chad Patton, Ph.D., who serves as SVCC’s Dean of Career and Occupational Technology explains, “SVCC has partnered with business and industry to create scholarship opportunities for minorities and low-income residents in specific disciplines. This has worked to remove barriers for students and created more diversity in our classes.” Patton also notes, “Many of SVCC's programs lead to employment with or above family-sustaining wages. I often tell people about the young man who, as a powerline worker, makes more than I do as a college dean.”

At SVCC, we are proud of our efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. We bolster student success through mentoring programs, such as Make It Happen and WISE, and a robust student support system that incorporates tutoring, academic advising, career counseling, and financial assistance.

Diversity in the classroom also demands diversity in staffing. Our goal is to have a college community that is reflective of the communities and students we serve. Keith Harkins, PhD, Vice President of Academic and Workforce Programs is providing oversight for a college-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to develop a plan that will include recommendations, timelines, and measurable outcomes. Bethany Harris, Human Resources Director, is actively involved with the Search Advocate initiative, which will help overcome implicit biases in the hiring process.

Many other local employers are also seeking to increase diversity. As a part of those processes, some who recognize the need to increase the education and training pipeline have partnered with the college to establish scholarship programs that will lead to better equity in their workforce demographics.

In these unprecedented times, however, addressing diversity issues and financial concerns is not enough. SVCC is also working to tackle inequities created by the existing digital divide. To bridge this gap, we and our community partners are making alternatives available for students who do not have adequate high-speed internet at home. At various locations across the college's 4,200-square-mile service area, SVCC’s campuses and off-campus sites will grant students access to computer labs and high-speed internet connections, while still complying with appropriate distancing guidelines.

At SVCC, we care about our students’ health and their success. For more information and for updates about education and workforce training opportunities visit Southside.edu or call 434-949-1000.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Challenges and Opportunities

 

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

In recent months, our nation has struggled with its responses to two diseases, COVID-19 and racism. One stems from a viral threat, and the other is a symptom of systemic and institutional dysfunction. As news reports have amply documented, both can be deadly.

I was devastated to witness the murder of George Floyd and am saddened by the upheaval that has followed in cities around the country. Some people mistakenly believe civil rights disparities have been relegated to history. Alas, this is not so. In several states, I have been stopped by police and racially profiled while driving through predominantly white communities. My two sons have also had similar experiences. These have been very humiliating situations. People who are not members of racial minority groups are frequently surprised to learn how often this happens.

In addressing racial concerns, Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, said, “Equity and access to opportunity have been at the heart of our community college mission since we first opened our doors in 1966. However, our efforts to translate those ideals into action for all Virginians have not always yielded the results that we seek as quickly as we would like. Simply stated, we must do better, and we will.”

As part of this effort, the Chancellor asked me to lead a task force that will examine curricula for law enforcement programs across all community colleges in the Commonwealth. These programs, which enrolled nearly 2,200 students last year, represent one of Virginia’s largest sources of training for law enforcement officers.

Front-line personnel who will offer input include Chad Patton, Ph.D., SVCC’s Dean of Career and Occupational Technology. Patton served as a law enforcement officer for ten years before beginning a teaching career in SVCC’s Administration of Justice program. Patton remarked on the need to improve instruction regarding the use of force. He said, “There is not a dedicated course that has at its core the ethical and legal use of deadly force. I think such a course is needed, and it is needed at the community college level.”

Alfonzo Seward, Ph.D, Professor and Program Head of SVCC’s Administration of Justice Program, emphasized the importance of strengthening relationships between police and communities. “Law enforcement needs to work on building community trust through community policing programs. Law enforcement departments should provide citizens academies to educate the public on police tactics, methods, resources and reasons. The public’s trust will increase when they understand why the police do what they do,” he said.

Travon Smith, an African American Virginia State Trooper and recent SVCC Administration of Justice graduate, commented on the importance of constant diligence. “Racial injustice and inequality need to be addressed all the time and not just when something bad happens,” he observed.

This broader spectrum of concern is echoed in other work underway at SVCC and throughout the Virginia Community College System. A system-wide initiative called Search Advocate is being implemented to reshape the hiring process in a way that ensures inclusive practices and avoids implicit bias. In addition, I am serving on a separate VCCS long-term strategic planning task force that has been refocused with a heavy emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Embracing challenges provides an opportunity to do great things. By working together, I am confident that our community can forge a path to a brighter future for all.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

SVCC Announces 2020 Fall Semester Plans

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will resume a full schedule of classes this fall beginning August 24th. In what the college is terming its “HyFlex” approach to course delivery, class options (depending on needs of each discipline) may include a mix of in-person instruction, expanded online offerings, and a new “Zoom to Home” option.

Instruction will comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for physical distancing, hygiene and safety. “While priority for in-person instruction will be performance-based classes and labs that cannot be delivered online, additional seated courses will be offered as room availability allows. SVCC's Fast Forward workforce programs will be offered in small groups.

The college's flexible approach allows for appropriate social distancing, while making alternatives available for those students who do not have adequate high-speed internet at home and, therefore, would not be able to participate in online or at-home Zoom classes.

According to Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President, "SVCC's partnership with communities to establish off-campus centers, in addition to our Alberta and Keysville college locations, is a real benefit at this unprecedented time in our history. It allows the college to offer students the flexibility to utilize classroom space and computer labs and to access high speed internet at various locations across the college's 4,200 square mile service area, while complying with the appropriate guidelines."

Aware that the outlook can change, Dr. Johnson says, "We will remain nimble and adjust as needed. SVCC's COVID-19 Task Force has a plan in place to pivot back to fully remote and online options if public health and safety requires it." Dr. Johnson is quick to point out that it will not be business as usual at SVCC. At all SVCC locations face coverings will be required, classrooms have been reconfigured to comply with social distancing, and there will be limited access to facilities.

Times have changed, but SVCC is still open for business and remains committed to assisting our students in every way possible. More information is available at Southside.edu or by calling 434-949-1000.

First Virtual Graduation

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Southside Virginia Community College will celebrate its 2020 graduates during the institution’s first ever virtual graduation ceremony. The event will recognize the excellence of our students and honor faculty and staff commitments in support of student success. Students, parents, families, and community members can tune in from the convenience of their own homes beginning Saturday morning, June 20 at 9:30 a.m. The prerecorded video can be viewed at any time after its release on the college’s website (southside.edu), through its FaceBook page, and on YouTube.

It has been a year of firsts at SVCC. The 2020 graduating class completed their programs during the first world-wide pandemic in modern times. The virtual graduation ceremony honoring their accomplishments is my first commencement as the college’s President. In addition, SVCC itself is celebrating an anniversary marking its first 50 years of providing educational services to the community. As a commemoration of this anniversary, a time capsule, which will include a copy of the unique 2020 commencement ceremony, will be placed at a campus location.

I am very proud of SVCC’s students, faculty, and staff. They have really pulled together during the past semester’s unusual journey. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, it has not altered the excitement and enthusiasm we feel about what our graduates have accomplished.

Serving as Faculty Marshal, Dr. Lisa Jordan, Professor of History and Political Science, will open the virtual ceremony. Dr. Michelle Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Science, will sing the national anthem. Speakers will include Mr. J. Wesley Shepherd, Chairperson of the Local Board and representatives from our college community.

Dr. Keith Harkins, Vice-President of Workforce and Interim Vice-President of Academic Affairs, will have the privilege of bestowing special honors and commendations. Munimah Fulani will receive the Florence Daniel Riepe Kalbacker Leadership and Community Service Award, which is presented annually to a student who embodies the ideals and spirit requisite for community advancement. Harkins will also acknowledge members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, an organization of scholars that encourages high-achievement among community college students. Other honorees include participants in the Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) Mentoring Program, the Make-It-Happen Program providing support for minority male students, the Student Ambassador Program encouraging emerging student leaders, and the Dual Enrollment partnership with public school systems permitting students to earn high school and college credit at the same time.

The highlight of the ceremony, of course, will be the more than 870 graduates who make up the Class of 2020. Submitted photographs will be displayed as their names are announced. Dr. Dixie Dalton, Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Technology and Dr. Michele Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Sciences will recognize the individual graduates.

I am so very proud of SVCC’s graduates. They have risen to the occasion and surpassed expectations. Many grappled with and overcame tremendous obstacles to earn their degrees, certificates, and diplomas. A graduation ceremony acknowledges these many accomplishments, and I encourage each student to move forward with a commitment to be change agents that help make our communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and this world a better place. Go forth and make a contribution, make a difference. The future belongs to you. 

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

SVCC’s Nursing Program Recognized

 

RegisteredNursing.org recently released its list of 2020 Best RN Programs in Virginia and Southside Virginia Community College is at the top!  SVCC’s Christanna Campus program was ranked #1. 

Selecting the best nursing school in Virginia can be difficult according to the organizations website.  When notified by RegisteredNursing.org of this amazing recognition, Outreach Coordinator Sally Worthington, said, “After carefully analyzing nursing programs in Virginia, it became apparent that Southside Virginia Community College not only prepares students for success on the national NCLEX-RN certification exam, but equips nurses with the skills they need to succeed in various healthcare settings. 

Southside Virginia Community College offers RN programs at three sites, SVCC’s Christanna Campus, SVCC’s John H. Daniel Campus and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.  All three programs ranked in the top 25 Best RN Programs in Virginia. 

Dr. Michelle Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Sciences, emphasized this recognition does not come without dedicated faculty and students who work hard to reach their goal. 

 

SVCC Wins! Minecraft #stayandplay Competition

 

Southside Virginia Community College’s students are finding creative ways to stay busy and engaged during COVID-19 social distancing. On April 15, 2020, Shenandoah University Esports program started the “Minecraft #stayandplay” competition. They welcomed all Virginia colleges to compete in “building” a replica or freebuild of their choice in various categories.

SVCC’s very own Network Server Technician, Anthony Taylor, led three students in the pursuit of a win.  Anthony shares, “The students really took this and ran with it. They were very engaged and productive.”

Students, Caleb Walker, Joshua Smith and Bradley Jones represented SVCC.  Joshua built a replica of SVCC’s Workforce Development Center on the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville. Caleb provided the detail to the virtual space. Caleb also impressed Anthony and the judges with his replica of a giant SVCC Panther logo using over 65,000 blocks.  “Caleb really represented our SVCC ‘Panther Pride’ through his technical prowess.  The logo was very impressive,” Anthony related.

Southside Virginia Community College was joined in the competition by three other schools - Shenandoah University, Randolph College, and George Mason University.  The schools had the option to submit in one of three categories: Favorite Place to Hangout on the Weekend with Friends, Best Campus Build, and Best Freebuild. Judges critiqued the four individual builds submitted, and Southside won Best Campus Build! Favorite Place to Hangout and Best Freebuild went to Shenandoah University.

To view all of the entries and the judging visit this link: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/617332307

 

Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

 

SVCC’s Ongoing Mission

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

A year ago when I accepted the offer to serve as Southside Virginia Community College’s sixth president, the world was a different place. People have commented about what a topsy-turvy year it has been, but I am pleased to have been tasked with a leadership role in such challenging times. There’s no place I’d rather be.

During its 50-year history, SVCC’s mission has focused on serving the regional community through education, outreach, and collaboration. The mission remains unchanged. I am thankful and proud of how the college community has come together to meet COVID-19’s enormous challenges. During the virus-related emergency, SVCC’s staff have been active in seeking opportunities to serve the public in new ways.

Be assured, SVCC is open for business. We are working collaboratively to meet challenges head on. We are collectively doing whatever it takes to serve our students and neighbors. For example, as a service to the community, one of our instructors, Lisa Jordan, has assisted small businesses with their applications for grants. Several faculty members are serving as volunteers to shop for people who are place-bound, and our Campus Within Walls Coordinator, Lisa Hudson, has worked diligently to ensure continued instruction for incarcerated students.

In its mission to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to acquire an educational foundation that develops and extends their skills and knowledge, SVCC has embraced innovative opportunities to serve diverse student groups. Our Career Coaches have been in touch with 2020 graduates from area high schools and have worked diligently to assist high schools in pursuing alternate placement testing options. Students who have elected to stay home rather than return to other institutions across the commonwealth have been welcomed. Financial aid staff continue to work hard to ensure that each student receives the maximum amount of support available, including funds earmarked for students under the CARES Act.

Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton, Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business, reports that faculty members have adopted an array of technology-enhanced communications, such as live Zoom sessions, utilization of Canvas and Navigate, phone calls, texts, email, and Facebook Messenger. In addition, faculty have put together packets of course materials to be mailed to students without internet access. Also, Dr. Dalton commends instructors who have developed creative solutions in special circumstances. As an example, she explains, “For what is usually a hands-on class, adjunct instructor Katy Clarke created recordings of painting techniques for her art class so that students could watch and listen on their own schedules as they work on their own paintings.”

Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Technology, is working closely with his team to develop innovative workarounds to ensure education continues in the online environment. In addition to technical solutions, such as the use of automotive repair and advanced manufacturing simulators, faculty members are working one-on-one with students to ensure success. An example is allowing welding students to complete class projects where they are currently employed and send their work to the instructor for evaluation. Although hands-on labs are not currently permitted, an SVCC taskforce is working very hard to develop best practices to ensure student safety once students can return to our labs.

Dr. Michelle Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health, and Natural Sciences who is also serving as Special Assistant to the Vice-President of Workforce and Academics, explains her current strategy, “I pretty much run office hours 24/7. Whenever students write to me by email or text message, I respond right away. If they can send me a picture of their question, I can walk them through it or I can show them another example.”

No one knows for sure what the future holds. If you have questions about any of our classes, academic programs, or short-term FastForward workforce programs which lead to jobs, please give us a call. At SVCC, we are communicating differently and adjusting to working in ways we’ve not worked before, but our strong commitments to the community and to education excellence remain steadfast. We are making every effort to put all hands to the task. Our ongoing mission of community service is too important for us to do anything less.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Becoming Essential: Southside Virginia Community College Graduates Fill Indispensable Roles

Alberta, VA: Across the Commonwealth of Virginia, people are adapting to new routines as a result of social distancing and other precautions aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus. Governor Ralph Northam has asked people to stay at home, and he issued an Executive Order closing non-essential businesses. As a result, many workplaces are empty.

Businesses considered essential are still operating, and Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) is proud that so many of its graduates are faithfully serving the local community by filling essential roles. These dedicated men and women are keeping supply lines open, medical facilities functioning, and information flowing. They include graduates from SVCC’s health programs, including nurses (RNs and LPNs), nurse aids, paramedics, and phlebotomists. They include truck drivers who bring food to local grocery stores and diesel technicians who keep the trucks running. They include Information Technology (IT) workers who keep channels of communication open and permit work-at-home solutions. They include power line workers who keep the electricity flowing, as well as electricians and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technicians who respond to emergencies. They also include Administration of Justice graduates, who include law enforcement personnel, correctional facility staff members, and other public safety officers.

To keep the education and training pipeline for these vital positions uninterrupted, SVCC itself has had to adapt. In March, the College began moving all classes to online and other alternative settings. In addition, Governor’s School students and other dually enrolled high school students moved to complete their studies via virtual classes.

“Our SVCC faculty and staff are working with our students transitioning to alternative modes of instruction while maintaining our standards of educational excellence,” said Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President. “Be assured, SVCC is open—virtually! Faculty and staff are communicating and assisting students to complete class requirements for our spring semester.  Our student services staff is accommodating all students by phone, internet, text messaging, and our website in order to answer any questions, alleviate concerns, and to assist with summer registration.”

SVCC, an open-door institution that is part of the Virginia Community College System, provides higher education opportunities to a diverse student body. Its 4,200-square-mile service region, the largest community college jurisdiction within Virginia, spans ten counties in south-central Virginia. Seated classes are typically held at two main campuses, five off-campus centers, and numerous other satellite sites. During the current coronavirus crisis, distance learning technologies are being used to provide instruction through the college’s existing and expanded online environment. Registration for summer classes is now open. Visit Southside.edu for more information.

COVID - 19 Update from Southside Virginia Community College

In these difficult and unprecedented times, I write to share decisions Southside Virginia Community College is taking based on recommendations from the Governor's Office, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Virginia Community College System, in response to COVID-19.

Alternative Means of  Instruction

For the remainder of the Spring semester, our SVCC faculty and staff are working with our students transitioning to alternative modes of instruction while maintaining our standards of educational excellence.  

College Facilities

Effective March 23rd, all SVCC facilities will be closed to the public until further notice.  

SVCC Sponsored Events/Commencement/Graduation Ceremony 

We deeply regret that following the CDC guidelines, is requiring that we cancel many of our upcoming events including our commencement/graduation ceremony.  Commencement/graduation is our most exciting event as it is a celebration of our students and their accomplishments. The Class of 2020 will always be special as we look back and remember their ability to be flexible, work hard, and complete your spring semester.  

For an up-to-date list of SVCC events and their status please refer to our COVID-19 information page at southside.edu.

SVCC is OPEN----Virtually

Be assured, SVCC is open---Virtually!  Faculty and staff are communicating and assisting students to complete class requirements for our spring semester.  Our student services staff is accommodating all students by phone, internet, text messaging, and our website in order to answer any questions, alleviate concerns and to assist with summer registration.  

Updates and general college communications are posted on the COVID-19 alert at southside.edu.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. Telephone contacts are included in the COVID-19 alert on southside.edu.

Southside Virginia Community College Releases COVID-19 Plan

In an effort to protect the College community and to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, its spread, and the potential strain on area hospitals and clinics, SVCC will be taking the actions outlined below.  Any guidance we pass along will be interim in nature, using the best information available to us at the moment. As noted in previous communications, we are relying on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state and local departments for expert guidance. Southside Virginia Community College is taking the following actions:

  • Classes at all locations are cancelled Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20th. All classes will resume through virtual or alternative delivery starting on Monday, March 23, 2020, and continue until at least Friday, April 3, 2020. Students should check Canvas or contact their professors for class information. Students are expected to check their SVCC email accounts regularly for updates.  Further clarification will be provided next week regarding class delivery after April 3.

    • College operations will be suspended at the following off-campus centers, however employees should report as usual:

      • Estes Community Center--Chase City

      • Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center--South Hill 

      • Southside Virginia Education Center--Emporia

      • Occupational/Technical Center--Blackstone

  • Governor’s School will transition to virtual classes only. The Governor’s School Director will contact all school faculty, staff, students, and school divisions. 

  • All College personnel (Classified Staff, Administrative and Professional Faculty, and Wage Personnel) are expected to report to work on Monday, March 16, 2020 as scheduled, unless on approved leave.

  • All faculty should join a college-wide faculty meeting on Monday, March 16 at 3PM.  Separate email correspondence and Zoom invitation will be forthcoming. 

  • All campus events--both college sponsored and those by outside organizations are cancelled through Saturday, April 4, 2020.

  • Work travel for all College employees is limited to the service area only through Friday, April 3, 2020. 

  • All college-sponsored group travel scheduled through Friday, April 3, 2020 is postponed until further notice. 

  • College services on the John H. Daniel Campus and the Christanna Campus will remain open (Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

  • College services are also accessible online via MySVCC and Navigate.

  • The John H. Daniel Campus and the Christanna Campus will be closed to facilitate extensive sanitizing and cleaning on Friday, March 20 and 27 and Friday, April 3, 2020. Employees should not report to work these days.

This situation is fluid. College administration is actively monitoring conditions for further developments and responding accordingly. SVCC will provide daily updates at www.southside.edu. SVCC’s Emergency Operation Plan is available on the College website.

Consistent with CDC guidelines, students, faculty and staff returning from travel to any country for which the CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 Travel Warning related to COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

 

Southside’s Leadership Team is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will keep you informed via email, Southside Alert, our website, and social media outlets if there are additional changes to SVCC operations. 

 

For additional information visit http://southside.edu/covid-19

SVCC Dean and Local Agritourism Operation to Participate in Virginia Agritourism Conference

Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton, dean of Southside Virginia Community College’s division of Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, and chair of its agribusiness program, will serve as a presenter and moderator at the sixth annual Virginia Agritourism Conference to be held on March 30th through April 1st at the Smithfield Center in Smithfield, Virginia.   Parrish Pumpkin Patch of Kenbridge, Virginia, will be represented on the opening Virginia Agritourism Panel by Jeff and Liz Parrish and son Eli, who is an alumnus of SVCC’s agribusiness program and Virginia Tech’s Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences department. The morning panel on March 31st, immediately following the conference welcome from Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture, Jewel Bronaugh, will be moderated by Dalton.

Dalton’s April 1st morning presentation, “Building the Business Plan,” will focus on the questions that aspiring agritourism operators should be asking, while also providing insights that can be helpful to existing businesses.  Following her presentation, the Parrishes will share their experiences as they started and expanded the Parrish Pumpkin Patch, providing insights on both what went well and what they could have done differently.

Additional Southside-area connections will be a part of the state-level conference. Lunenburg County native, Heidi L Hertz, who serves as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in the Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam, will provide a luncheon keynote address. Hudson Heritage Farm of Halifax County will be showcased during the April 1st sessions.  Owner Denise Hudson, who has hosted SVCC’s agribusiness students at her farm, will present two marketing sessions, one focused on the Barn Quilt Trail and a second on the Veteran Farming/HomeGrown by Heroes initiative.

The 2020 conference, themed “Agritourism in Virginia’s New Economy,” will enable existing and planned agritourism entrepreneurs, economic development staff and local government leaders to explore different facets of Virginia agritourism, a growing industry recently shown to generate more than 2.2 billion dollars in economic impact. Tracks composed of concurrent sessions on a variety of topics have been designed to meet the needs of both beginning and experienced operations.  A highlight of the conference is the numerous networking breaks and networking luncheons that have been built into the programming, with access to exhibitors and resources during those breaks. 

On March 30th, prior to the start of the presentation portion of the conference at the Smithfield Center, farm tours will take place in the adjoining area.  The detailed agenda, with a list of tour locations, is included on the registration site. Visit https://register.ext.vt.eduand search for “agritourism” or visit the direct link: https://register.ext.vt.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1043329&selectedProgramAreaId=25576&selectedProgramStreamId

Attendees can register for each day separately or for the entire conference (at a discounted rate of $150 for all three days). For more information, contact Livvy Preisser of Virginia Cooperative Extension at 757-365-6261 or livvy16@vt.edu

The conference is sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Program, Farm Credit, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia FAIRS, Virginia Farm Bureau, USDA Rural Development, Virginia Agribusiness Council, and the Agribusiness Program at Southside Virginia Community College.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Livvy Preisser at 757-365-6261 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations at least 5 days prior to the event.  *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Governor’s Initiative Key to Increasing Access to Local Jobs

By Jackie Gill Powell, Angeline Godwin, and Quentin Johnson

Get a Skill, Get a Job, Give Back. That is the vision of Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed G3 initiative, designed to support Virginia’s students. If approved by the state legislature in the coming weeks, the plan will open new pathways to success for low- and middle-income Virginians to gain employment in high-demand jobs.

Under the plan, citizens of the Commonwealth will have unprecedented access to gaining the real-world skills and experience necessary to meet the current and projected demands of Virginia’s workforce. This is especially true in our colleges’ service regions, following major economic shifts from Virginia’s former reliance on industries such as tobacco, furniture, and textiles.

The Governor’s proposal is not a “free community college” program, but it does aim to significantly, if not completely, reduce out-of-pocket costs for students. The plan also includes textbook costs and other cost-of-living expenses to further support students and alleviate some of the financial barriers that prevent students from pursuing or completing their education.

Our region of Southern Virginia is witnessing an exciting moment in its history, wherein technological advancements are transforming not only our workforce, but also the way we all live our lives. Ensuring we are prepared to meet the demands of rapid economic innovation is vital to our region’s success.

Virginia’s community colleges are already committed to serving our localities and providing affordable access to academic and professional training opportunities. Governor Northam’s proposed plan will allow us to expand on that commitment and increase access to high-demand training in five key areas: Healthcare, Information Technology and Computer Science, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, and Public Safety.

Demand for workers in these fields is growing in Virginia. This growth means job security, a steady and sufficient income, and access to healthcare and benefits that will allow our communities to flourish and thrive.

Under the G3 model, our career-oriented training programs have been updated to align with the needs of the modern student. As students progress through G3 programs, they earn industry-recognized credentials which build from entry level skills to advanced. The more credentials that students earn, the more competitive they will become for higher-level jobs. Moreover, if a student needs to work while pursuing their education, they are immediately eligible to apply for jobs in their field with the first credential they earn. This means working students could advance their career and their academics simultaneously. This model provides stackable credentials, meaning that the work students complete for one prepares them for and applies to the work they will complete to earn the next. That will allow students to earn more money as they advance in their chosen fields.

Professionals already in the workforce may enter at their specified level and continue on to earn an advanced credential without starting from the beginning of the pathway. This flexibility is critical to supporting modern students and professionals seeking advanced training.

Our community colleges have partnered with employers to transform programs put skills first and allow students to earn stackable college credentials as they move through their training. This allows a student to start and stop, while working, without losing academic progress along the way to earning an associate degree.

A current community college student, a 48-year-old mother of two studying Early Childhood Education, shared that if a program like the proposed G3 initiative had existed two semesters ago, she would not have needed to take out student loans to cover her tuition and textbooks.

One male cybersecurity graduate, a 43-year-old father and military spouse, did not buy his textbooks because they were too expensive. He often borrowed a classmate’s books to complete homework assignments. The student said, “I was able to make it work but if I could have had a program to help pay for the books, it would have been much easier to pass my classes.”

A welding graduate, aged 31, a single mother who lived with her parents and worked full-time through most of school was awarded federal and state financial aid and also had to take out subsidized loans. By covering her tuition, G3 would have provided the resources needed to reduce her part-time work hours or lower her loan amount.

We wholeheartedly believe in and support the Governor’s G3 initiative and the tremendous potential it offers to our families, friends, and neighbors throughout Southern Virginia. We encourage the General Assembly to consider the impact this program will have on the Commonwealth, and how it will position Virginia more competitively in the areas of economic and workforce development.

Jackie Gill Powell is the president of Danville Community College. She can be reached at jackie.gillpowell@danville.edu or by calling (434) 797-8400.

Angeline D. Godwin is the president of Patrick Henry Community College. She can be reached at agodwin@patrickhenry.edu or 276-656-0201.

Quentin R. Johnson is the president of Southside Virginia Community College. He can be reached at quentin.johnson@southside.edu or 434-949-1004.

Air Jordan

Solar Jobs Training at SVCC

In just two weeks, you can train to be an Installation Technician in the Utility Solar Panel field.  The first offering of this training meets in Blackstone at Pickett Park weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning February 17.  

After completing the two weeks of classes, the program will set up job interviews with solar developers and solar construction companies for the students. There is an immediate need for solar workers in Virginia as many large projects are being constructed in the near future with well-paying jobs.

Offered through Southside Virginia Community College, the class teaches Solar System Installation, OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid and NCCER Basic Construction.  Funds are available to help pay for this training. For information, call Courtney Starke at 434-949-6614.

New Balance The Next Wave

SVCC Chorus Will Present MESSIAH Part II for Spring Concert

The Southside Virginia Community College Chorus is inviting all music lovers and singers to join this group. The  first rehearsal for the spring will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 6:00 - 8:00PM at the South Hill Presbyterian Church. 

All rehearsals are on Sundays, 6:00 – 8:00 PM.  except February 2 which will be from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. and some possible extended rehearsals leading up to the Spring Concerts. 

The concerts are widely received and venues are consistently packed by enthusiastic audiences. Many may want to be a part of this organization, not only for its wide acceptance, but because you simply love to sing!  Spring concerts will be on April 18 and 19, with string ensemble with one performance in Lawrenceville as part of the ArtBank of Southside Virginia’s offerings.

The Messiah, part II, by George Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759) is the selection including scenes of the Passion story and Resurrection to include “Hallelujah.”  The text is purely Biblical,  carefully assembled by Charles Jennens in (1740-41).   Handel wrote the entire Oratorio in two weeks and this is the only piece of music to be performed continuously every year since 1742 a fact that might entice singers to join the legacy.

Your voice; just as each violin, trumpet, and flute, in an orchestra; can become a part of this glorious ensemble by simply coming to rehearsals each week on Sunday evenings. Through vocal techniques and gentle understanding, your natural voice will be brought forward, drawing out your inner song. Find your gift, your voice, your instrument, by becoming a part of this joyful ensemble with Carol Henderson, Director, and Sally Tharrington, Pianist.

Our partial support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts (The Arts Endowment) for 2019-2020 season is a proud sign of our continuing effort to bring the best of the arts to the community. We are committed to our singers, to our audiences, and to the communities in Southside Virginia and appreciate continued support from the SVCC Foundation.

For information, contact Carol Henderson at 919-602-0462.

ผู้หญิง

Truck Driving Training Classes Being Offered by SVCC in January

Coming in January to Southside Virginia Community College. Truck Driving Training will be offered at Pickett Park in Blackstone as well as South Boston. Train now for a great well-paying job. The class will begin on January 13, 2020 in Blackstone, and January 21, 2020 in South Boston. These classes will run for six weeks, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. at each facility. 

SVCC's program is an excellent school turning out qualified drivers that are in high demand.  Pre-registration is required so contact the school in Blackstone at 434 292 3101, or the school in South Boston at 434-575-8388, or visit our website at www.southside.edu for more information.  There is assistance with tuition so call soon to register for this exciting program to put you on the road to success. 

Air Foamposite One

Robertson Receives Top VCCS Award

Southside Virginia Community College's Power Line Instructor recently received the Virginia Community College System award for Teaching Excellence.  Those attending the event to congratulate Clyde Robertson (Fourth from left) are Pam Taylor (Left to Right), Fast Forward Career Coach, Keith Harkins, SVCC Vice President, Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President, Robertson, Braden Cliborne, Robertson's grandson, and Dennis Smith. Director of Workforce Development.

Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker Program instructor Clyde Robertson was awarded the 2019 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in the area of Outstanding Achievement by a College Faculty/Staff Member from the Virginia Community College System. The award was presented at the recent VCCS Annual Workforce Awards Banquet. 

Robertson is lead instructor for the college’s PLW program and has been so since the program opened in March of 2016.  A Burkeville native, Robertson worked in the industry for 42 years.  His first job was with Wallace Boyd of Crewe who contracted to Southside Electric Cooperative for years.  After ten years with Boyd, Robertson became a lineman for SEC where he worked for another 32 years until his retirement.

More than 250 students have completed the program under Robertson’s tutelage. 

The program  was the first of  its’ kind in the state of Virginia and located at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone. 

The purpose of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) is to recognize excellence in teaching in Virginia’s community colleges.   One faculty member from all of Virginia’s 23 community colleges is selected each year for this prestigious award.

Pánske oblečenie

November, 2019 Power Line Traing Graduates at Southside Virginia Community College

The 12th Cohort of students from the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Training School completed the 11-week program on November 21, 2019.  They are:

Front, kneeling (L-R: Tyler Barlow, of Crewe, Austin Lockridge of Drakes Branch, , Jackson Queen of South Hill, Hunter Sykes of Lawrenceville, Josh Clary of Lawrenceville, Luke Daniel of Kenbridge, Joshua Shumaker of New Canton.

2nd, L-R: Justin Stewart of S. Prince George, Walker Cline of Gretna, Genevie Boarman of Ophelia, Emilio Story of Prince George, Kyle Branson of Lawrenceville, Dayton Ingersol of Forest, Timothy Eischen of Chester, Samuel Lowe of HopeAltonwell, Tanner Young of Colonial Heights,, Devin Champion of Gordonsville, Robert Smith of Hampton, Mike Costley (Instructor) Brad Wike (Instructor).


3rd L-R: Conner McCready (Instructor), Clyde Robertson (Instructor), Jerry Mabe of Alton, Bennett Adams of Hurt, Luke Stewart of S Prince George, Brandon O'Dea of Richmond, Shane Baldwin of Powhatan, Dalton Simmons of S. Chesterfield, Dylan Nester of Chester, David Davies of Yorktown, Josh Gibson of Charlotte Court House, Elijah Brakefield of Clarksville, Dylan Rose of S. Prince George.

Zoom Lebron XV 15

Alternative Sentencing Success in Southside Virginia

Second chances are always good.  In Southside Virginia, a Diversion Program for young offenders is offering another chance at a successful life without incarceration.

Dr. Alfonzo Seward, Coordinator of the Diversion Program at Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) is pleased to announce success of the local diversion program.   During the spring of 2019, several individuals graduated from the program earning a variety of workforce credentials as well as completing the GED program. The next cohort class is scheduled to begin in spring of 2020.

Designed to provide alternative sentencing, the first class began in October 2016. SVCC worked in partnership with local Commonwealth’s Attorneys' offices to include Brunswick, Greensville, Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties. The youthful offenders that enter the program face incarceration in either jail or prison due to a crime that they have committed and to which they have subsequently pled guilty. The program serves as an alternative to incarceration and/or a felony conviction and includes a requirement of participation in group and/or individual community service projects.  Additionally, the program requires participants to be drug free (verified through drug screenings) and of good behavior.

While serving as an advisor to SVCC’s Administration of Justice Program, Lezlie Green, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Brunswick County, presented the idea to Seward, who heads the Administration of Justice program at the college.  Both Green and Seward throughout their years in law enforcement recognized an unmet need for alternative sentencing programs in Southside Virginia.  They joined forces with Monica McMillan, who at the time was caseworker with Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Out of School Youth Program (WIOA) and Linda Macklin, caseworker for Southside Community Corrections to develop a program that was approved by the college’s administration and has been accepted as a sentencing alternative by both the local judiciary and defense bar.

The program is designed to follow a paramilitary format during the initial semester. The semester begins with a cohort of offenders meeting three nights a week in two different courses. These courses are designed to improve life skills, academic skills and overall behavior. The concept of the program is to provide individuals who fit the criteria with opportunity to gain the necessary skills to attain employment and deal with the stressors of life, so that they can become successful citizens.

The program operates through grant funded assistance and donations to the SVCC Foundation, Inc. For more information or to make a contribution, call 434 949 1051.

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