SVCC receives grant to help students achieve degrees

Published 7:42 pm Friday, July 30, 2021

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Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) recently received the Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI) Award from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to help close the educational attainment gap between the Rural Horseshoe region and the state at large.

Named for the 65th governor of Virginia, the award honors Baliles’ legacy of promoting educational accessibility. The primary goals of the RVHI program are to reduce the number of rural residents without a high school diploma and to increase the number of rural residents with an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate.

“Rural Virginia needs a targeted investment to take care of its next generation so the entire commonwealth can prosper,” Stewart Roberson, VFCCE’s board chair, said.

Each of the 11 colleges that received this funding proposed unique strategies that align with the goals of the RVHI. RVHI programs will serve a diverse range of high school students and adults from underserved and underrepresented populations.

“Many of our students pursue transfer program opportunities or workforce programs that lead directly to high paying jobs. Through the expertise of our career coach professionals, the RVHI program will help potential students better understand the connection between their educational choices and their career opportunities,” Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC president, said.

By investing in rural education, the VFCCE is working with Virginia’s Community Colleges to promote opportunities to pursue higher education and a more equitable commonwealth.

The SVCC Foundation is a partner in the RVHI grant. SVCC’s approved grant request was in the amount of $100,000. Of that total amount, $50,000 is coming from the VFCCE and the other $50,000 must be raised through the SVCC Foundation.