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SVCC graduates fill indispensable roles

Across the Commonwealth of Virginia, people are adapting new routines as a result of social distancing and other precautions aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Ralph Northam has asked people to stay at home and 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 dual enrollment 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,” Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC president, said. “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 10 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.