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The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

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First SVCC Power Line Worker Program Celebrates Graduation

Graduates of the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Program are(Front Row, Left to Right) Joseph Alan Anthony, Jr.  of Blackstone, Kevin Lee Dalton of Blackstone, Robert Joseph Parlante, Jr. of South Chesterfield, Derek Hunter Staton of Clarksville, and Brad Wike, Instructor and (Back Row, L to R) Cameron Willis Gibbs of Burkeville, Clyde Robertson, Instructor, Anton Andrew Lewis Carwile of Charlotte Court House, Joshua Lanier Crenshaw of Midlothian, William Andrew Jordan of Mineral, Lucas Brent Storey of Chester, of Powhatan,  Matthew Thomas Cox of Powhatan and Jackie Eugene Lewis, Jr. of Chase City.

The inaugural class of the Power Line Worker Program of Southside Virginia Community College celebrated graduation with family, friends and supporters on May 12, 2016.  Eleven students completed the 11-week program earning Level 1 certification from NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research), a commercial driver’s license, first aid & CPR certification and OSHA 10 safety training.

This comprehensive training program includes pole climbing, pole-top rescue, power line repairs, electrical circuits, rigging, setting and pulling poles, electrical test equipment, and trenching, excavating and boring equipment.  Prior to the graduation ceremony, students demonstrated pole climbing, rescues and other skills on the outdoor pole range.

The first of its kind in Virginia, the school was founded earlier this year by a public-private partnership between Virginia’s electric co-ops, Southside Virginia Community College, the Virginia Community College System, Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The motivation to establish the program grew from the demand for power line workers throughout Virginia and the nation. 

Clyde Robertson, Instructor and a 41-year veteran lineman, noted, “This class set a high bar for the classes to follow.”

Senator Frank Ruff, guest speaker, said, “This type of skill and training is a building block to your future.”  He commended the partners who brought this program “to our part of Virginia, it saves costs and keeps dollars in our economy.”

The Program opened on March 1, 2016.  At the time, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President said, “The establishment of the Power Line Worker Training School is a shining example of the high level of partnership and collaboration that is required if we are to advance our local economies and meet the demands of Governor McCauliffe’s New Virginia Economy.”

SVCC Vice President of Workforce Development, Keith Harkins points out “ this program is a wonderful example of how short-term training leading to an industry credential can result in a rewarding career”.  Two of the recent graduates have accepted jobs with electric cooperatives and several others have had interview opportunities.

The second class of the program starts on July 11 and is almost full.  An October class is filling up also.  This program is open to any high school graduate or GED recipient and includes extensive hands-on training that will prepare students for apprentice level line work at electric utilities.

Serving Those Who Have Served

By Dr. Al Roberts

Every year, more than 200,000 men and women leave the military and re-enter civilian life. These returning heroes often possess advanced skills and good work habits acquired from valuable service-related training and experiences. Despite these advantages, however, many veterans encounter obstacles as they transition to civilian life.

Dean Schwartz, the Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official at Southside Virginia Community College, who is himself a wounded veteran, explains that part of the problem stems from the military’s culture. He cites interpersonal communication as just one example. “Military communication is blunt, very blunt, and not following an order can hurt or kill someone.” As a result, Schwartz says veterans sometimes find it difficult to adjust to civilian perceptions about what it means to be polite.

Additionally, veterans who pursue education opportunities are typically nontraditional students, returning to the classroom after a break in schooling. They are likely to be older than many of their classmates and more likely to have families and dependents. For some veterans, injuries have left lasting disabilities. For some, settling down after frequent moves is a significant lifestyle change.

Identifying a new career path can also be a challenge. Schwartz says his military training—dealing with landmines, explosives, and machine guns—had little applicability to what he wanted to pursue in civilian life. For him, a successful career meant one devoted to serving others. Swartz has been able to achieve this goal at SVCC where he meets with veterans, helps them learn about available GI benefits, and guides them as they explore options.

SVCC also reaches out to veterans in other ways. Each of the college’s main campuses hosts a Student Veterans of America chapter. Monica McMillian, past president of the Christanna chapter, served with the Army Reserves for nearly ten years. She says SVCC provided a veteran-friendly, comfortable environment with one-on-one assistance that helped her remain motivated.

Sometimes SVCC’s engagement with service members begins while they are still on active duty. In collaboration with the Fort Lee Soldier for Life Program, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), and other partners, the college developed an innovative advanced manufacturing training program. Its graduates prepare for a seamless transition to civilian employment through the attainment of National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certifications.

Financial assistance to qualifying veterans is also available. The SVCC Foundation administers the William M. "Bunky" Warren Memorial Veteran's Scholarship and the Jack M. Rainey Memorial Veteran's Scholarship, both established by American Legion Post #79. Veterans who would like more information about these scholarships, and people or organizations interested in funding additional scholarship opportunities, can call 434-949-1051. Former military personnel and transitioning service members who are re-entering civilian life can learn more about the services SVCC offers veterans by contacting Dean Schwartz at 434-736-2100.

Dr. Al Roberts 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

SVCC Classes are Coming for Summer Beginning May 23

Summer is hot, welding is cool.  You can take welding this summer at Southside Virginia Community College or a lot of other cool classes.  Our classes can get you a head-start or transfer to your away-from-home college.  Check out the listings at

Home from college for the Summer??  Right out of high school?  Don’t waste your long hot summer, take classes at Southside Virginia Community College!!!  Jump start your college education or pick up a few transfer courses such as biology, Physics, English, Public speaking, Business or many others.   Or the college is offering Administration of Justice classes, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Cosmetology, Diesel Tech, First Aid and CPR and much more. 

 Southside Virginia Community College has a variety of class offerings and there are ten week and five week sessions.  Classes begin May 23, 2016.  For more information, to see the entire schedule of classes and to put some class into your summer,

Or call 1-888-220-SVCC or come by a location!!!


In keeping with Southside Virginia Community College’s Strategic Plan for 2015 – 2021, the college is dedicated to making efficient and effective use of resources in order to serve the region as the leading provider of quality academic and workforce services.  This, along with reductions in funding due to enrollment declines, necessitates a major restructuring and realignment of departments and personnel at the college. 

As of June 30, 2016, a total of 14 fulltime positions at SVCC will be eliminated, some of which have been vacated due to retirements and other factors and will not be filled.   Several additional part-time positions will also be eliminated.  The major budget expenditure of the college is in the area of personnel.

Dr. Al Roberts, President, said, “None of the eliminations are performance related.  There are several factors that go into the multimillion dollar shortfall for the 2016-17 fiscal year including a decline in enrollment, lower revenues and decreases in state funding.”

Over the past year, the college administration has implemented a number of measures in anticipation of a budget shortfall including a hiring freeze in September 2015 for full-time and wage positions.  Voluntary early retirement incentive programs were offered as well as pre-retirement workload reductions to further alleviate the possibility of cutting the workforce.  Operational cost saving measures were initiated and will continue. 

As a part of the restructuring process, SVCC is targeting growth by focusing on programs, both credit and non-credit, which offer career opportunities and nationally recognized credentials that meet employers’ needs.

“We are committed to the college’s mission that says all citizens should be given an opportunity to acquire an educational foundation.  By focusing on quality education, student success, and community partnerships to provide workforce training and enhance economic development, we will continue to make decisions for the long-term future of Southside Virginia Community College and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Roberts.

Southside Virginia Community College Hosts 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet

Southside Virginia Community College held the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet at the Christanna Campus on April 21, 2016.  This event recognizes Officer of the Year and Employee of the Year for correctional facilities in the area of the college.Kenneth J. Reagans, Assistant Warden of Operations, Lawrenceville Correctional Center was guest speaker.  Those receiving awards are (Front Row, Left to Right) Cassandra Roberts, Employee, Halifax Correctional Unit #23, Rosa L. Booker, Employee, Dillwyn Correctional Center, Officer Alease J. Royall, Buckingham Correctional, Linda H. Mayo, Employee, Lawrenceville Correctional, Alfonzo Seward, SVCC Criminal Justice Assistant Professor, LaCretia Watkins, Employee, Lunenburg Correctional, Cindy F. Spencer, Employee, Nottoway Correctional, Officer Betty J. Wardell, Nottoway Correctional and Officer Lisa V. Pearson, Lawrenceville Correctional and (Back row, L to R) Officer Michael Gary, Greensville Correctional, Dr. Tara Carter, SVCC Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, John A. Stearrett, III, Employee, Buckingham Correctional, Officer James D. Jackson of Halifax Correctional, Paul E. Hawkins, Employee, Deerfield Correctional, Lt. Jeanette S. Minggia, Deerfield Correctional, Robin Y. Ramsey, Employee, Greensville Correctional, Dale C. Compton, Dr. Chad Patton, SVCC Dean.Southside Virginia Community College held the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet at the Christanna Campus on April 21, 2016.  This event recognizes Officer of the Year and Employee of the Year for correctional facilities in the area of the college.Kenneth J. Reagans, Assistant Warden of Operations, Lawrenceville Correctional Center was guest speaker.  Those receiving awards are (Front Row, Left to Right) Cassandra Roberts, Employee, Halifax Correctional Unit #23, Rosa L. Booker, Employee, Dillwyn Correctional Center, Officer Alease J. Royall, Buckingham Correctional, Linda H. Mayo, Employee, Lawrenceville Correctional, Alfonzo Seward, SVCC Criminal Justice Assistant Professor, LaCretia Watkins, Employee, Lunenburg Correctional, Cindy F. Spencer, Employee, Nottoway Correctional, Officer Betty J. Wardell, Nottoway Correctional and Officer Lisa V. Pearson, Lawrenceville Correctional and (Back row, L to R) Officer Michael Gary, Greensville Correctional, Dr. Tara Carter, SVCC Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, John A. Stearrett, III, Employee, Buckingham Correctional, Officer James D. Jackson of Halifax Correctional, Paul E. Hawkins, Employee, Deerfield Correctional, Lt. Jeanette S. Minggia, Deerfield Correctional, Robin Y. Ramsey, Employee, Greensville Correctional, Dale C. Compton, Dr. Chad Patton, SVCC Dean.

Greensville Correctional Center employees were recognized at the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at Southside Virginia Community College.  Assistant Warden Valerie Washington(Left to Right) and Joyce Merritt-Johnson congratulate Officer of the Year Michael Gary along with Alfonzo Seward,Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at SVCC.

Greensville Correctional Center employees were recognized at the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at Southside Virginia Community College.  Assistant Warden Valerie Washington(Left to Right) and Joyce Merritt-Johnson congratulate Employee of the Year Robin Y. Ramsey along with Alfonzo Seward,Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at SVCC.

Deerfield Correctional Center employees were recognized at the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at Southside Virginia Community College.  Assistant Warden Cynthia Bhuya and Assistant Warden Jo Ann Halsey-Harris (Left to Right)  congratulate Employee  of the Year Paul E. Hawkins along with Alfonzo Seward,Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at SVCC.

Deerfield Correctional Center employees were recognized at the 8th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at Southside Virginia Community College. Assistant Warden Jo Ann Halsey-Harris and  Assistant Warden Cynthia Bhuya (Left to Right)  congratulate Officer of the Year Lt. Jeanette S. Minggia along with Alfonzo Seward,Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at SVCC.

Student Appreciation at SVCC and SVEC

Students at the Southside Virginia Educational Center and Southside Virginia Community College were treated to Chili Dogs and a movie.  In addition to the Hot Dogs and Homemade Chili, there was fresh popcorn and a large selection of candy and soda.  There were several door-prizes.  Students screened the movie "San Andreas," staring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.


New Members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at SVCC

New members were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Alpha Theta Chi Chapter on the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College recently.    Membership is extended by invitation. To be considered for membership a student must be enrolled in a two-year college, have accumulated 12 semester credit hours, have established academic excellence as judged by faculty, and be of good moral character and possess recognized qualities of citizenship.  Students recently inducted into the Christanna Campus Honor Society are

(Front Row, Left to Right) Savannah Sixbey of Chase City, Jonaya Lewis of White Plains, Jessica Gillis of Lawrenceville, Javana Boyd of Brodnax, Shadae Ruffin of Lawrenceville, TaNeisha Moore of South Hill, Amber Woodard of Emporia, Albertina Drumgold of Lawrenceville, Deona Hancock of Emporia, Julia Gilliam of Emporia, and Back Row , L to R) Ahmad Negm of Crewe, Chiatyra Turner of Ebony, Donella Crist of Jarrett, Susan Seitzinger of Kenbridge, Ingrid Fogg of Kenbridge, Taquanna Lane of Emporia, Zacia Lewis of Emporia, Anthony McAvoy of Bracey, Summer Howerton of Bracey, Marjorie Crayton of Brodnax, Marva Jones of South Hill and Cameron Basham of Lawrenceville. 


Access Is Nice, Success Is Best

By Dr. Al Roberts

Citizens of Virginia have many reasons to pursue higher education. Some want skills and knowledge. Others desire a better quality of life, enhanced respect, and greater self-confidence. Many seek increased career options and the associated financial gains. According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), “On average, people with a college education earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma.” SCHEV also notes, “The earnings gap between someone with a college degree and someone with a high school diploma has widened in the last decades and that gap is projected to widen even further in the future.”

Students have a plethora of higher education options, including the pursuit of certificates and industry-recognized credentials, associates degrees, and other higher degrees. The Commonwealth offers 23 public community colleges plus one other public two-year college, 15 public four-year colleges, 44 accredited private colleges, and many other types of education-related enterprises.

Yet many people discover that access to college is only part of the equation. Without needed support, success remains elusive. In fact, recent statistics suggest that more than half of college students who embark on an education journey in the United States fail to reach their goals.

Recognizing that students face significant barriers, Southside Virginia Community College offers a wide array of resources that make success more likely. In fact, a team from SVCC recently participated in a Student Success Leadership Institute (SSLI) sponsored by the Virginia Community College System. The SSLI is designed to implement proven student success strategies system-wide.  Under the guidance of experts, the SVCC team examined our college’s data and practices for the purpose of developing an action plan to enhance increased college completion.

These new steps complement resources already in place. For example, the college offers Comprehensive Learning Centers (CLCs) on both main campuses where professional tutors and trained student assistants offer assistance. The CLCs also help students learn how to organize and remember large amounts of information, how to maintain a schedule, how to take notes, and how to manage stress.

Additional supportive services can be found throughout the college. Admissions advisors help students explore options. Financial aid advisors help students figure out how to fund their education, and the SVCC Foundation annually disburses more than 250 scholarship awards. Counselors and faculty mentors also help keep students on track for graduation.

All these elements contribute to student achievement. On May 14, 2016, the SVCC family will gather at a graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 1,300 students. Combined, they will be awarded more than 700 Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Arts and Science degrees and more than 600 other certificates and diplomas. We are proud to have helped these students find success.

Dr. Al Roberts 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

SVCC Nursing Program Receives ACEN Accreditation

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) has granted initial accreditation to the Associate Degree Nursing Program of Southside Virginia Community College.  The recommendation of the ACEN is for initial accreditation as the program is in compliance with all Accreditation Standards with the next review set for 2020.

The ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation.  Accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.  Accreditation also assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved.  The monitoring of certificate, diploma, and degree offerings is tied closely to state examination and licensing rules, and to the oversight of preparation for work in the profession.

 "We have always known that our Associate Degree Nursing Program is excellent, but the accreditation by the ACEN further solidifies what we have always known to be true!  The accreditation process was a team effort by our entire organization but specifically I am so proud of the director of the program and the faculty who made the accreditation a reality for SVCC, “ said Dr. Michelle Edmonds, DNP, MSN, RN, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health, and Natural Sciences

Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President said, “ Southside Virginia Community College has a history of delivering top-notch education to our students; and the national accreditation of our Associate Degree Nursing Program is another example of excellence.  I am proud of this program and the team that works daily to make it one of the best around.”

The program consists of a five-semester, 67 credit curriculum that is designed to lead to an applied associate of science degree in nursing.  Successful completion of this degree allows students the opportunity to test for the national Registered Nurse licensure examination.  The program is offered at the Christanna and John H. Daniel Campuses as well as the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.  There are six full-time faculty members as well as a full-time program director who teach in the program.  Approximately 110 students per year attend the program across the three locations and complete clinicals at area hospitals and other health care facilities.

The ACEN noted one of the key strengths for the SVCC program as “Significant community support and partnerships enhance the nursing program.”  Deliberations about the SVCC program centered on the Self-Study Report, the Catalog, the Site Visit Report, and the recommendation for accreditation proposed by the peer evaluators and the Evaluation Review Panel.

 In 1982, Southside Virginia Community College began offered the first year of an Associate Degree in Nursing Program in affiliation with J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA.  This affiliation was successful for twenty years, but in the summer of 2000, several local health care agencies’ representatives were quite concerned about the nursing shortage in the SVCC service area.  They believed that traveling to Richmond for the second year of the program was a major hindrance to many potential nursing students, as well as to Licensed Practical Nurses who wanted to become Registered Nurses.   Together, Community Memorial Healthcenter, Greensville Memorial Hospital, Halifax Regional Hospital, Southside Community Hospital and SVCC formed a partnership to provide funding for the second year of the program.  In March of 2002, SVCC was granted provisional approval by the Virginia Board of Nursing to admit students to the new program for fall of 2002.

 Today, the program remains one of the most successful degrees that the college offers.  This is just another way that SVCC is serving the Southside Virginia area.  For more information about this or other nursing or allied health programs at SVCC please contact us at www.southside.eduor call 1-888-220-SVCC.


EleVAte SNAP E&T Pilot Program at SVCC

On Wednesday, April 13th, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) with its local partners, Brunswick County Department of Social Services, Charlotte County Department of Social Services, Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services, Halifax County Department of Social Services, Nottoway County Department of Social Services and Prince Edward County Department of Social Services, will launch a new employment and training pilot program called EleVAte SNAP E&T to help residents who currently receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to secure better jobs in high-demand fields.

Last year, the Virginia Department of Social Services received a $22.3 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and test innovative SNAP E&T strategies. The pilot program will serve approximately 5,386 SNAP recipients who are required to work in 13 counties and 11 cities across both urban and rural areas over three years.  The Pilot program will provide training and education as well as focus on teaching participants soft skills such as employment readiness and self-confidence, the ability to work in teams and communicate well, and help with writing resumes and interview skills. It may also provide limited financial assistance for travel, clothing, exam/certification fees, etc.

Through an innovative three-prong approach, the EleVAte SNAP E&T services will be individualized with an Adult Career Coach providing guidance and support through Employment & Training, Support Services, and Career Counseling. The program will also be tailored to meet the needs of each community, matching participants with labor market opportunities.

Eligible participants could have a chance to access one or more of three different components:

1) EleVAte Virginia Online: an online and in-person program lasting about six to eight weeks. This program will help participants develop literacy, math, and other job readiness skills useful in any industry. These services will also help prepare them for additional job training;

2) Job Skills Training Program: a job training program that will help participants get ready for employment. This program lasts eight to twelve weeks. Participants will earn a certificate of job readiness; and

3) PluggedIn Virginia: a program lasting about six to eight months that will give participants job training, career readiness, GED preparation and an industry-recognized certificate.

SNAP recipients interested in finding out more should contact their local Department of Social Services and ask about the EleVAte SNAP E&T Pilot program. Employers, and others interested are encouraged to contact Southside Virginia Community College, LaRoya Walton at laroya.walton@southside.eduor Gloria Westerman at


Register now for Fall Classes

Register now for Fall 2016 classes at Southside Virginia Community College!!  Classes begin in August but are enrolling now reserves your space and allows you to get the classes you need.

The classes offered are on the college website now at  If you need additional help, you can visit a campus or center or call us at 888-220-SVCC or call 434-949-1000 or 434-736-2000.  You can register by mail, phone online and in person. 

SVCC offers the first two years of a four-year degree and transfer is made easy.  Southside Virginia Community College offers degrees and certificates in

  • Accounting
  • Administration of Justice
  • Medical Office Assisting
  • Agribusiness
  • Welding
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Automotive Technology
  • Cosmetology and Barbering
  • Diesel Technology
  • Education
  • Electricity
  • Electronics
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Science Technology
  • General Studies
  • Human Services
  • Business Management
  • Information Systems Technology
  • Administrative Support Technology
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Precision Machining
  • Truck Driver Training
  • Air conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration

And also offers credentials in areas such as Power Line Worker Training, Nurse Aide and Phlebotomy.


Fifty Years Ago, Legislation Signed Creating Comprehensive Community College System for Virginia

This photo of legislation being signed appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch on April 7, 1966

RICHMOND —April 6 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of legislation that created the Virginia Community College System.

Fifty years ago, the General Assembly passed and Governor Mills Godwin signed, on April 6, legislation that created the State Board for Community Colleges and the State Department of Community Colleges.

The legislation paved the way for what would become, by 1972, a statewide system of 23 comprehensive community colleges, realizing the vision of having higher education opportunity within commuting distance of all Virginians.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are marking the 50th Anniversary of the statewide system of comprehensive community colleges in 2016 with a year-long observance that celebrates the progress of the past 50 years as well as the promise of the future.

Since then, Virginia’s 23 colleges have served well over 2.6 million people, awarded more than 575,000 credentials and associate degrees, and launched countless numbers of transfer students into bachelor programs, advanced degrees, and successful careers.  

The original legislation creating the system merged technical colleges that existed or were under construction with two-year branches of four-year institutions, and subsequently, with entirely new institutions to promote Godwin’s vision of a comprehensive community college that served both the transfer and the occupational needs of all Virginians.

Two colleges, Northern Virginia and Virginia Western, opened as part of the system in the fall of 1996, which grew to eight by the next fall and to 23 by the fall of 1972.

“Whatever else our community colleges may accomplish,” Godwin said at the 1967 dedication of John Tyler Community College, “they have taught us that we can never again think of a college education as something that belongs to the privileged or the few.”

In 2016, Virginia’s Community Colleges are celebrating tremendous gains while enthusiastically looking forward to the profound difference community colleges will make in Virginia’s new economy over the next half-century.

As part of that year-long observance, community members can share their stories regarding what community colleges have meant for them.  A web landing page has been created to collect those stories at


REED Is 2016 SVCC Commencement Speaker

Martha Reed has a passion for teaching.  This passion will undoubtedly be evident in her speech to the Class of 2016 of Southside Virginia Community College at the May 14th Commencement to be held at the Christanna Campus in Alberta at 9:30 a.m.

Reed, Assistant Professor of Biology, has been a member of the SVCC faculty for 23 years.  She teaches Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology, Basic Human Biology, Foundations of Biology and has taught Dual Enrollment and Governor’s School classes. 

A graduate of Randolph-Macon Womans College (Phi Beta Kappa), she received her Masters degree from Virginia Tech (magna cum laude).   During her tenure, she has received many awards including 2009 Virginia Community College Association’s Faculty Showcase 2009 and 2014, 2012 NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence in Teaching and the 2015 Virginia Community College Chancellor’s Award in Community Service.

“Teaching for me is a mission and not just a job.  I have the chance to change someone’s life every day.  Teaching at a Community College as compared to a larger university gives me the opportunity to get to know my students on a more personal level,” Reed said.

Not only does she love teaching but her students also return the love.  In student surveys, they have said, “She was helpful and helps the student when needed.  Also cares about her students.  Absolutely love her as a teacher,” and “Mrs. Reed is always willing to go out of her way to answer any questions asked.”

Reed also has a passion for mission work and she expects her students to become involved in community service projects also.  These have included Stop Hunger Now events, March of Dimes and Alzheimer’s Walks.  She has been on three international medical mission trips to Honduras and Guatemala.  She has also helped with mission trips to South Carolina to help the Edisto Indians and workied with the homeless in Atlanta.

She is married to Dr. David Reed, resides in Blackstone, VA,  and they have two daughters Maggie (21) and Mary Preston (16).  Besides her mission work, she enjoys cooking, gardening, walking and spending time with her family at the beach.


The Costs and Value of Higher Education

According to U.S. Census Data, only 24.5% of people older than 25 years in 1940 had completed high school. At that time, people without a high school diploma could still earn family-sustaining wages. By the mid-1960s, more than half of all people over the age of 25 held a high school diploma, and increasingly that credential was needed to secure stable employment.  Today, a high-school education isn’t enough. Employers often demand postsecondary credentials.

Many recent studies have reported that people with any level of higher education generally have a greater earnings potential than others. Research also shows that they have better perceptions of personal health and well-being, demonstrate increased levels of volunteerism, and are more likely to vote.

Although these benefits are known, a crisis looms over America’s higher education system. Indebtedness for education loans currently totals more than $1.2 trillion. This is more than the amount owed on all credit cards combined. It is more than the total amount owed on auto loans. In fact, student debt is the second largest category of debt in the United States. Only mortgage debt surpasses it. Increasingly, college graduates are unable to achieve independent lifestyles or make the types of purchases (such as cars and homes) that have traditionally been associated with moving the economy forward.

Community colleges play a vital role in creating a solution. Virginia’s community colleges offer high-quality academic programs at tuition rates that are generally less than half those charged by other types of public higher-education institutions. Furthermore, students who can pursue their studies while still living at home save on room and board charges, and these added fees can nearly double the cost of attending a four-year college or university.

Here at Southside Virginia Community College, we offer a comprehensive array of accredited post-secondary programs that lead to Associate in Arts and Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees, and other industry-recognized credentials. For students who plan to continue an education path leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees, SVCC simplifies the process through transfer and guaranteed admissions agreements with more than 20 other colleges and universities. Additionally, SVCC’s dual enrollment program allows high-achieving students to meet the requirements for high school graduation while simultaneously earning college credit. For students and their families, this represents a chance to reduce future college expenses.

If you have questions about admission, visit SVCC’s website at or call one of the two main campuses: the Christanna Campus in Alberta (434-949-1000) or the Daniel Campus in Keysville (434-736-2000). To learn more about financial aid solutions that do not rely on loans and indebtedness, call SVCC’s financial aid office at 855-877-3943. For details about dual enrollment, call 434-736-2080. Early registration for the Fall 2016 semester begins on April 1.

Dr. Al Roberts 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

Job Fair Coming To SVCC Alberta

Job Fair 2016 is coming to Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.  Sponsored by SVCC Workforce Development, Elevate Virginia, Lake Country Business Solutions and SVCC Student Development Services, this offers free admission to all job  seekers.

Early entry at 1:45 p.m. is offered with proof of your WorkKeys CRC.  Be sure to dress to impress, bring plenty of resumes, photo ID and WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate.

Many employers are planning to attend and may get more information by contacting Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026.


Prospective Power Line Workers Climb to New Heights

March 1, 2016 was a Super Tuesday at Southside Virginia Community College’s Occupational/Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone, but not for reasons related to the nation’s primary elections. Dignitaries from around the Commonwealth gathered to celebrate the launch of SVCC’s Power Line Worker Training School and to honor the students enrolled in its inaugural class. Under the banner “Climbing to New Heights Together,” the event brought together many of the people involved in partnerships that made the new program possible.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Al Roberts, President of SVCC, said “Meeting the workforce needs of our region is a monumental task, and no single agency or organization can do it alone. Our success is dependent upon the collaborative engagement of leadership across the Commonwealth.”

Dr. Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, explained how the VCCS and SVCC worked in collaboration with key partners to make the program a reality. Commitments from the Virginia Maryland Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives membership, along with a grant received through the Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, provided the foundation.

John C. Lee, Jr., President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, was among those on hand. He spoke words of encouragement to the students, reminding them, “Thomas Edison, a man those of us in the electric industry hold in high regard, once said, ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.’” He continued, “Here at SVCC’s Power Line Worker Training School, opportunity is dressed in fire retardant clothing, wearing a hardhat, a set of climbing hooks and a tool belt, and make no mistake about it… represents hard work.”

The Power Line Worker Training School offers tremendous opportunities for students and electric utilities. Graduating students receive credentials that confer a significant advantage in the utility job market, giving them entry into a career path that leads to a well-paying occupation. Electric utilities gain potential employees trained in safety and with the skills necessary to enter the profession at a time when many current line workers will soon be eligible for retirement.

Jeff Brown, Director of Workforce Services for the Governor’s Office, called the establishment of the school “a no-brainer” saying it fit into the New Virginia Economy plan and that there is nothing much more important than sources to power our nation.

Keith Harkins, SVCC’s Vice President of Workforce remarked on the urgency he felt from industry partners concerned about their large number of pending line worker retirements. Mr. Harkins also commented on the outstanding career opportunities students will have upon completing the program. “This program allows students to train for a career in 11 weeks! There are just not many opportunities like that out there today. “

Calling the new school “the perfect public/private partnership,” Jeff Edwards, CEO of Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), said that SEC and the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative felt fortunate that the site is located nearby and that it offers an outdoor laboratory for real life skills. He claimed that students “will stand out in job applications.”

The school program runs 11 weeks. Clyde Robertson, a 42-year veteran lineman serves as instructor. He is assisted by Brad Wike. Students learn essential pole climbing skills and also earn commercial driver’s licenses and OSHA certification. Those in the inaugural class will graduate in May.

Enrollment for the next class, beginning on July 11, 2016 is currently underway. To be eligible, prospective students must hold a high school or equivalency diploma and be able to qualify for a CDL license. For more information, contact Susan Early at 434-292-3101.



The Career Readiness Certificate can prove to employers that you can do the job.  This Pre-Course for this testing is available locally at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia.

According to Natalie Slate, Director of Economic Development for Greensville County, “The ACT NCRC not only assists individuals, it also helps assure employers that the people they hire and promote have the skills necessary to succeed. Having a skilled and trained workforce is vital to attract business and industry to our area."

The Virginia CRC is a credential designed to provide evidence that an individual is ready for work with respect to fundamental standards or workforce literacy. 

Prep courses will be offered in Emporia on March 16 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, April 20, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and May 25 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  Pre-registration is required by calling Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or email

Testing dates are available the second Tuesday of each month through June at the SVEC.  Tests begin at 9 a.m. and pre-registration is also required through Angela McClintock.


New Classes Beginning AT SVCC In Mid March

It is not too late to take a class at Southside Virginia Community College this semester.  Students can catch up or get a head-start with eight week classes beginning the week of March 14, 2016. 

For more information, call Student Services at 434-736-2022 or 434-949-1067 or visit the college website at

New offerings include Online Classes that can be taken from any computer.  The classes are Intermediate Accounting II, Specialized Software Applications, Principles of Microeconomics, College Composition I, Survey of African American Lit. II, Ethics, Principles of Psychology and Religions of the World. 

Christanna Campus in Alberta is offering Developmental Chemistry for Health Sciences, Intro to Computer Applications and Concepts and College Skills and the John H. Daniel Campus offers Basic Switching and Routing-Cisco, Aerobic Dance and Zumba, and College Success Skills.  At the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, the new 8-week classes are Human Anatomy and Physiology including a Lab.

Students can also begin registration for Summer classes on March 14, 2016.  For information about Your Community College, visit


Partnerships and Education

By Dr. Al Roberts

In the early seventeenth century, poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” (Meditation XVII, 1624).

The observation about the ways in which we are all interconnected is especially evident in education. Education requires diligent work by a student and a teacher. The teacher prepares lessons, presents material, and provides a feedback mechanism to evaluate progress. The student attends to lessons, completes assignments, and employs an active mind to push beyond barriers and overcome obstacles. In the most effective learning environments, students become teachers and teachers become learners. Everyone benefits.

But education is more than just the relationship between a single teacher and one student. At Southside Virginia Community College, virtually all our programs involve collaborative efforts. SVCC’s service region, the largest in the Commonwealth, spans ten counties plus the city of Emporia. In order to deliver education opportunities throughout this vast territory, we work in concert with many other entities that provide classroom space and other services. Off-campus centers include the Estes Community Center in Chase City, the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill, the Occupational Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone, the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County, and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.

In addition, local high school students and their families benefit from our dual enrollment program, which involves partnerships with K-12 schools and regional superintendents. Area hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers offer resources and job opportunities for students in SVCC’s nursing and allied health programs. And, since its inception, the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has provided much-needed financial support for innovative programming focused on finding creative solutions to problems that result from poverty and unemployment.

Another superb example of teamwork between education and employers is the recently launched Power Line Worker Program at Pickett Park. Virginia’s 13 consumer-owned electric cooperatives, together with their peers in Maryland and Delaware, projected a critical shortage of experienced electric utility line workers. To help address this skills gap, SVCC acted in collaboration with other public and private sector entities to develop a program that would prepare students for entry into the profession. The Power Line Worker Program relies on curriculum developed by the National Association for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), whose credentials are internationally recognized.

A complete list of SVCC’s partners would go on and on, but these few serve to illustrate some of the ways in which education partnerships build bridges to connect and enhance our communities. Businesses benefit from the availability of a qualified workforce, and local citizens earn industry-recognized credentials that open the doors of opportunity to sustainable, self- or family-supporting careers.

Dr. Al Roberts 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

Dr. John J. Cavan Named President Emeritus By VCCS

Former Southside Virginia Community College President Dr. John J. Cavan has been granted president emeritus status by the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges.  The honor was awarded in recognition of his more than three decades of service as SVCC president and for his exceptional leadership, innovation and service to education in Virginia.

Nominated for the honor by the SVCC Local Board, candidates for this status must have provided ten or more years of outstanding, distinguished and honorable service to the VCCS.  The appointment of President Emeritus is for life.

Current SVCC President Dr. Al Roberts said, “In his 31 plus years as president, Dr. Cavan set the groundwork and directed a course toward SVCC's continued success and prosperity.  Dr. Cavan often spoke of Southside as “democracy’s college” and was committed to creating a culture of higher education across Southside Virginia.  I consider myself privileged to have served with him for more than 20 years and I am grateful for his mentorship and support.

According to the letter of nomination, “When Dr. Cavan took the helm in 1983, there were rumors of closing the college but he accepted the challenge and by 1986, headcount had increased by 47 percent.  Through tenacity and hard work, he set about the task of serving the underserved and building a strong tradition of education for the largest service region in the Virginia Community College System.”

Under Cavan’s Leadership, there were many accomplishments including:

  • The opening of six off-campus centers to take education to the people in their community
  • Starting practical and associate degree nursing programs at the college
  • Opening the door for a Truck Driver Training School along with Diesel Tech Program
  • Securing the first new construction since the 70s on the campuses with the Workforce Development Centers and later, the Learning Resources and Student Services Building on the Daniel Campus
  • Dr. Cavan also oversaw the implementation of the Dual Enrollment Program that involved many area high school students in college
  • He was also an advocate for the Campus Within Walls program offering education to inmates in local prisons

He served as President from 1983 until 2014.


Workforce Credentials Assure Economic Vitality

By Dr. Al Roberts

News headlines recently focused on the startling announcement that the number of people in America’s middle-income tier had fallen to less than half of the nation’s population. Some families moved out of the middle class by climbing the socioeconomic ladder into greater wealth. Many others, however, slipped into poverty. The shrinking of the middle class and corresponding increases in income inequality pose significant concerns because sustaining a vibrant middle class is vital to our nation’s economic health.

In this regard, Virginia faces unique challenges. The Commonwealth has suffered lost employment opportunities within the tobacco and coal industries, and force reductions within the military sector have increased the numbers of our neighbors who are seeking employment.

Yet employers also face challenges. In a recent study done by Burning Glass Technologies, a company specializing in labor market analytics, employers reported difficulties in finding qualified skilled workers. The study estimated that more than $1 billion in potential wages had been lost as Virginia’s employers struggled to fill open positions. The situation is especially acute here in Southside Virginia where our employment figures continue to lag behind those of other regions.

To help address these concerns, Virginia’s community colleges developed a comprehensive plan to expand worker-training programs and ensure that our labor force has the credentials employers require. As a partner in this effort, Southside Virginia Community College is committed to tripling the number of credentials earned by students. Last year, in addition to awarding hundreds of associate’s degrees in various fields, the college also prepared students for state licensing in several different nursing fields and helped other students achieve certifications in work-related areas. In fact, SVCC students can currently pursue many different industry-recognized credentials from entities such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), American Welding Society (AWS), and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), and Microsoft. Furthermore, we’re working with businesses right here in Southside Virginia to identify which additional certifications or other credentials will best prepare workers for more and better jobs.

Expanding the availability of financial aid is another important part of this work. Data demonstrate that the low-income and out-of-work students who are most poised to benefit from short-term workforce training opportunities are the least able to afford the tuition. For this reason, SVCC is working alongside our sister institutions within the Virginia Community College System to encourage legislative support to expand access to short-term training financial aid for individuals pursuing in-demand and high-demand credentials.

As individual successes lead to increasing prosperity for families, the economic vitality of Southside Virginia will be assured. At SVCC, we are eager to help our neighbors achieve career goals through the attainment of credentials that will enhance our region’s reputation for the quality and competitiveness of its workforce.

Dr. Al Roberts 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

Governor’s Grant & Virginia’s Electric Co-ops Help Launch New Power Line Worker Program

Blackstone, Va. ― Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) early in 2016 will begin offering a training program designed to address the projected critical shortage of skilled electric utility line workers. This program, which will involve 11 weeks of intensive classroom and hands-on training, will ready its graduates for employment as apprentice line workers at electric utilities.

And thanks to Virginia’s 13 consumer-owned electric cooperatives, this type of pre-apprentice training will become a reality at a time when skilled line workers are needed to replace the wave of retirements expected in the industry over the next few years. And, such training will be provided in Southside Virginia, a region of the state hungry for more skilled workforce training to allow its young people to remain in the area to work and raise families.

“Supporting our communities is what co-ops are all about,” noted Southside Electric Cooperative President and CEO Jeffrey S. Edwards. His utility developed a prototype “Day in the Life of a Lineman” program with local schools, which served as a springboard to spark and feed interest among area young people in careers as line workers. “We have been very gratified at the response among high school students in our communities, who want challenging, rewarding careers that will allow them to remain in rural Southside Virginia,” he explained.

“We’re extremely pleased to have had this opportunity to work with Governor McAuliffe, Southside Virginia Community College, and the entire Community College System, to help train our young people for great careers as line workers, and to provide a needed boost to Southside Virginia,” said John C. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative another strong, early proponent of the school.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of Southside Virginia Community College.  The Line Worker Program is another example of our willingness to pioneer programs in response to local and regional industry needs.   The Power Line Worker Program offers national credentials for those completing it. This is an exciting prospect for our college and our students,” said Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President

SVCC’s new Power Line Worker Training Program was one of five successful entries in the first Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, announced earlier this fall. The Power Line Worker Training Program will benefit from a $200,000 matching incentive grant intended to provide new workforce training options and develop the state’s rural economy as part of the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. Former Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles heads up the rural workforce training initiative as chairman of the community college system’s foundation.

“Awarding these grants exemplifies the Commonwealth’s commitment to building a demand-driven workforce system,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We’re excited about the innovative solutions put forth and we look forward to working together with our community colleges and the private sector to train a new generation of highly skilled talent that will help us build a new Virginia economy.”

Thanks to a separate grant received earlier this year from SVCC’s Equipment Trust Fund, seed money was available to begin planning the Power Line Worker Training Program at SVCC’s Occupational/ Technical Center, located at Blackstone’s Pickett Park, site of the former U.S. Army base, Fort Pickett.

At that point, with encouragement from Edwards, Lee and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative President and CEO Kent D. Farmer, Virginia’s electric cooperatives quickly rallied behind the planned training program, providing support in an array of ways, from donations of materials and equipment, to financial assistance, to technical advice on how to design the program and set up the training yard.

“Cooperatives strongly support workforce training in the communities we serve, and of course the training that will take place at this new school will help provide our cooperatives with a pool of excellent young candidates for line worker positions,” pointed out Rappahannock CEO Kent Farmer. “So it was a natural fit for Virginia’s electric cooperatives to support both the Rural Horseshoe Initiative that will impact all rural areas, and specifically this line worker school that will benefit our workforce.”

“We literally could not have gotten this line worker program going without the strong support of Virginia’s electric cooperatives,” said Keith Harkins, vice president of workforce and continuing education for SVCC. “The way they got behind this worthy cause so strongly and so quickly was a sight to see.”

“We’ll be able to offer this demanding, technical training beginning in March of 2016,” added Mary Jane Elkins, executive director of the SVCC Foundation. “This dream literally became a reality in less than a year, thanks to Virginia’s electric cooperatives and the Governor’s office. It’s a shining example of how a public/private partnership can and should work.”

Mecklenburg’s John Lee commented, “Young people who choose this career are truly heroes. They’re first responders who do what it takes—safely, efficiently and tenaciously—to get the power back on after storms and other outage events. This is a challenging career, but a truly fulfilling one, and we’re just delighted to have been a part of making it happen.”

Southside CEO Jeff Edwards noted that the “Day in the Life of a Lineman” program has led many students to reconsider their career plans. “Many young people will end up making this their life’s work. They’ll enjoy a wonderful career that’s more than just a job, working outdoors and helping thousands of people in their communities, providing a critically important, essential service.”


SVCC Workforce Offering FREE CLASSES

Southside Virginia Community College’s Workforce Center is offering a number of free classes during the winter months.  Be sure to register for the classes you are interested in taking!!

Computer Courses

Students will be introduced to the wonderful world of the computer and an overview of the Internet, in these noncredit entry level classes.

Beginners Computer Courses

Cost: Free

Time: 9 am – 4 pm

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center - 118 East Danville Street, South Hill - March 17, 2016

Clarksville Enrichment Complex - 1567 Noblin Farm Road, Clarksville - January 28, 2016

Southside Virginia Education Center - 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia - March 15, 2016

Southside Virginia Community College - 109 Campus Drive, Alberta VA - April 30, 2016

Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required. Register online at www. For additional assistance contact Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or by email at

Personal Finance

February 5, 2015

Cost: FREE

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center - 118 East Danville Street, South Hill - This seminar includes barriers and hurdles of personal finance and action steps for getting your finances in order.

Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required. Register online at www. For additional assistance contact Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or by email at

Use Your Financial Capital to Produce an Income Stream

March 4, 2015

Cost: FREE

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center - 118 East Danville Street, South Hill. This workshop covers ways to use your financial assets to build your retirement paycheck.

Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required. Register online at www. For additional assistance contact Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or by email at

Social Security

April 8, 2015

Cost: Free

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center

118 East Danville Street, South Hill. This workshop offers the tools to help you with one of your most important retirement decisions — when and how to claim Social Security.

Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required. Register online at www. For additional assistance contact Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or by email at


SVCC in 2016

Make Southside Virginia Community College your destination for 2016.  The college re-opens on January 4, 2016 for business.

Plan now to sign up for classes that begin January 11, 2016.  The new year means a new start so check out what SVCC has to offer for you in your educational or career future.  There are many programs of study to consider such as Truck Driving, Diesel Tech, Nursing, Information Technology, first two years of a four-year degree, Power Line Worker, Welding, Automotive, Fire Fighter, EMS, Business Technology and much more.  Visit for more information.



Southside Virginia Community College wants to help make your first year experience the best possible. One way to prepare for your academic success is to begin with the right tools, starting day one. NSO 2.0 (New Student Orientation) is a fun, half-day event that will jump start your academic career and ensure a successful transition to SVCC. This FREE event is open to all incoming Spring 2016 students.


  • Christanna Campus  (Alberta, VA) – Wednesday, January 6th  (Registration beginning at 9:30 AM) 
  • John H. Daniel Campus  Campus (Keysville, VA) – Thursday, January  7th (Registration beginning at 9:30 AM)

For more information  please call Le'Tina Giles, Student Activities Coordinator at 434-736-2023 or by email at


Six Reasons to attend Southside Virginia Community College

There are many reasons to choose Southside Virginia Community College when furthering your education beyond high school.  Six of the most important reasons are offered in this article.  Try Southside and you will discover more reasons why we say Success starts here.


Tuition and Fees at Southside Virginia Community College for two semesters equals $4,080.00 as compared with $9, 919.00 at an average public four-year college.  In two years, students save an average of $10,000 by attending community college.

Relationship To Professors

Some students have difficulty transitioning from a small high school to a large, impersonal university. These students may find the smaller campus and classes of a community college are more comfortable right after the high school years. Community colleges typically offer more personalized attention, from the counselors in the admissions office to the professors in the classroom

Second chance to go to your dream college

Virginia’s community colleges offer students more than the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate. They provide a gateway to the commonwealth’s four-year colleges and universities.  Through system-wide agreements, students who graduate from one of Virginia's 23 community colleges with an associate's degree and a minimum grade point average may obtain GUARANTEED admission to more than 20 of the commonwealth's colleges and universities.
Easier Admission Policies

Southside, like many community colleges, has an “open door” admission policy that means anyone can register for the school as long as he has a high school diploma or GED®


High school graduates who find they need to work while in college may discover that community college schedules are much more flexible than those provided by a four-year institution.  Plus, they can keep the job they have been working through their high school years.

Hands-On Experience

Since community colleges often prepare people for professions right out of the door, there is more hands-on learning offered.  Students in truck driving actually drive the truck; in welding, they weld; in nursing, they work in the hospitals during clinical rotation; and in automotive and diesel tech, the students fix car and truck engines.


Spring Registration is going on now for classes that begin January 11.  For more information,


SVCC's McMillan Selected to Attend the SVA Leadership Institute

Walter Tillman(left photo)  who is the Director of Programs at Student Veterans of America and (right)s Jared Lyon the Chief Development Officer/Executive Vice President of Operations for Student Veterans of America. The corporate sponsor for our event was Gulfstream General Dynamics Company.  Shown with Monica McMillan

Monica McMillan, who is president of Student Veterans of America(SVCChristanna Chapter, Southside Virginia Community College, was selected to attend the  SVA Leadership Institute held in Savannah, Georgia recently. 

With a focus on easing the transition from combat to classroom and building sustainable student veteran organizations, the themes of the 2015 Leadership Institute were Strategic Planning, Collaborative Integration, Advanced Chapter Management Techniques and Networking and Professional Etiquette.

Throughout the three day event, student veteran leaders in attendance had  the opportunity to work with other chapter leaders to develop innovative solutions to real life scenarios that affect life on campus every day. Attendees were also able to connect with corporate leaders from the Institute's co-host, Walmart, during networking receptions and events. The corporate sponsor for our event was Gulfstream General Dynamics Company.

McMillan is WIOA Youth Case Manager at SVCC.


SVCC Graduates Truck Drivers

Graduation was held on November 19,2015 of the Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training School.  

Jason Cutcliff and Don Trammell both graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Kneeling, l-r, Don Trammell (North Dinwiddie), Georgeann Goldsberry (Blackstone), Rausheen Terry (Farmville) Standing l - r, Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Technology, Cedric Drumgold, Jr.(Lawrenceville), Kim Terry (Dillwyn), James Cutcliff (Emporia) and Alan Caviness, Director of Safety & Risk Management with Houff Transfer.  3rd row l-r, Willie Crawley, TDTS Instructor, Jonte' Stith (Alberta), Doug Kemerer, Instructor, Jason Drinkwater, Assistant Instructor and Duncan Quicke, Truck Driver Training School Coordinator.


SVCC Students Inducted Into Phi Theta Kappa

These students are recent inductees into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Theta Chi Chapter on the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College.  The ceremony was held November 2, 2015.  PTK is the international honor society of two-year colleges with students required to maintain a grade point average of not less than 3.5.  The new inductees are (Front Row, Left to Right) Advisor Tiffany Griffin, Ciara Cifers of Emporia, Cade Hamm of South Hill, Saquanna Price of Freeman, Christopher Hayes of Nelson, Terence Hardy of Clarksville, Olivia Tanner of LaCrosse, Madilynne Tanner of LaCrosse, Christina Beale of South Boston, Kayla Robinson of Kenbrige, Tiffany Hawkins of Lawrenceville and Leslie Cline, Advisor. (Back Row, L to R) Morgan Dianis of Emporia, Dallas Phelps of Jarratt, Jessica Buchanan of Kenbridge, Donovan Burkhardt of South Hill, Jasmine Berry of South Hill, Colton Seamans of Clarksville, and Delaney Basso of Blackstone.  


SVCC to Offer Forklift Train the Trainer Course

This Forklift Train the Trainer Workshop is designed for powered industrial vehicle operators. Topics covered include: Basic Safety Principles, PIV accident causes, usage for unintended or non-designed purposes, exceeding capacity, inattention by operator or pedestrian, using defective equipment, horseplay, defective equipment, OSHA, specific operator training with

video, PowerPoint, and/or handbook, classroom and practical testing, testing by vehicle type, licensing for specific vehicle type, documenting the raining/testing, 3 places individual file, license, and training session records, company policy and training/operations, PPE requirements eye, fall protection, hard hats, etc., and sources for additional training material/information.

Who should attend? Lead safety officers and trainers at companies that use powered forklifts. Participants will learn procedures on how to train and certify their own company employees.


Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required by contacting

Angela McClintock by email at or

 by phone at 434-949-1026.

  Date: Thursday, December 3, 2015

Time: 10 am - 4 pm | Fee: $89 (Includes booklets)

Location: Clarksville Enrichment Complex

1567 Noblin Farm Road, Clarksville, VA



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