Southside Virginia Community College to use Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award from Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to Close Educational Attainment Gaps
Richmond — Southside Virginia Community College 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,” said Stewart Roberson, VFCCE’s board chair.
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," said Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President.
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 proud 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.
About Southside Virginia Community College: Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) is a two-year institution of higher education established as a part of the statewide system of community colleges. SVCC serves primarily the residents of the city of Emporia and the counties of Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Halifax (partial), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward. This represents an area of approximately 4,200 square miles. For more information visit https://southside.edu/.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS): Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit https://www.vccs.edu/.
The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) is a supporting arm of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. It works to broaden educational access, promote student success, and provide innovative solutions to workforce needs. To ensure access to high quality, affordable education, the VFCCE provides statewide leadership in raising funds for community college education, supplementing the activities of the 23 individual colleges, and advocating for major system-wide initiatives that could not be undertaken by any single college. For more information, please visit https://vfcce.org/.