Latest Southern News

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Radiologic Technology Program has earned the maximum accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Southern’s Radiologic Technology was evaluated and given accreditation for a period of eight years – the maximum duration awarded by the JRCERT.

“Southern’s Radiologic Technology program has an outstanding record of success as shown by the many graduates gainfully employed or pursuing an advanced degree or certification,” Eva Hallis, Southern’s Radiologic Technology Program Coordinator, said.

“Our Radiologic Technology program is unparalleled, and this accreditation underscores that fact,” Southern’s President, Dr. Robert Gunter, said. “To have been given the maximum accreditation is to receive the ultimate validation that we have the right people doing the absolute best job. I could not be more proud of our faculty, student, and graduates of this program.”

JRCERT is the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the accreditation of traditional and distance delivery educational programs in radiology, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.

This week, thousands of students in 10 West Virginia counties are celebrating a program that helps them prepare for postsecondary education.

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded program that helps to promote a college-going culture among schools all throughout the United States. In the Mountain State, the West Virginia GEAR UP program serves more than 5,000 students through activities that encourage and assist them in planning for and pursuing an education or training beyond high school. These activities include college visits, tutoring, mentoring, test preparation workshops, academic camps, financial aid workshops and career academies.

Elizabeth Manuel is the College Access and Success Program Director for the Division of Student Affairs that oversees the WV GEAR UP project. She has been with the program since its inception. During that time, she has worked closely with Southern as a college partner to implement various college Access initiatives aimed at preparing students for postsecondary training opportunities.

“Partnerships are vital to the work that we do through the WV GEAR UP project,” Manuel said. “These partnerships allow us to extend our reach, and in the end, help more West Virginia families. West Virginia GEAR UP aims to create a culture of college readiness in the schools and communities we serve. Having colleges like Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in the center of the schools we serve is an asset to the work we do. I believe because of the WV GEAR UP grant and the partnership with Southern, we have helped prepare more students for education and training beyond high school.”

During the 2016-17 academic year, West Virginia GEAR UP students spent more than 30,000 hours engaged in activities that promote academic achievement, career awareness and interest, college awareness and ultimately increased participation in postsecondary education. Approximately 63 percent of GEAR UP seniors in the Mountain State filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, exceeding the statewide 60 percent completion goal for 2016-17. GEAR UP students are more likely than their peers to speak to someone in their school about college entrance requirements, and 83 percent of GEAR UP sophomores reported that they aspire to obtain at least a two-year degree.

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia community college students who transfer to West Virginia University before earning their associate degrees can now receive their credentials retroactively, thanks to a new partnership between the institution, the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) and the National Student Clearinghouse.

The partnership, which uses the Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer Service, is focused on boosting college completion rates across West Virginia.

“Seeing more of our students earn postsecondary degrees is always our leading goal,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, WVCTCS Chancellor, said. “Through the reverse transfer process, we can give students the two-year credentials they’ve earned, while they continue pursuing a four-year degree. We’re proud to partner with WVU to make this possible, and to put even more of our students on track to strong and rewarding careers.”

"WVU is privileged to work with our state’s two-year institutions to provide earned credentials to our state’s students," said Paul Krieder, vice provost for academic strategies, curriculum and assessment. "This partnership solidifies a process of awarding degrees to students who have completed courses at WVU that can fulfill degree requirements where they began. That is important to the students, their earning potential, and will ultimately help the economy of the state of West Virginia.”

Under the agreement if a student goes to a community college, but transfers to WVU before earning an associate degree, the credits earned at WVU can be transferred back to the community technical college and the student will then have earn an associate degree while working toward a four-year one.

“The Clearinghouse is excited to work with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System to help more West Virginians be successful and earn a degree via reverse transfer,” said Michelle Blackwell, National Manager of Reverse Transfer at the Clearinghouse. “The Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer service supports eligible students’ ability to earn an associate degree and, thereby, enhance their employment opportunities and make more money. Studies show that completing an associate degree yields on average $4,640 to $7,160 per annum in extra earnings compared to entering college, but not finishing."

A memorandum of understanding between West Virginia’s nine community and technical colleges, WVU and the Higher Education Policy Commission paves the way for students who have transferred to WVU to begin the process of seeing if they’re eligible. To participate, students must agree to have their WVU transcripts sent back to their community colleges, which will determine whether the students’ university courses have met requirements for degrees or other credentials.

Students who are in good standing with their community college will be eligible for reverse transfer when they have earned at least 16 semester credit hours from the community college and at least three semester credit hours from WVU.

All of West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are participating: BridgeValley CTC, Blue Ridge CTC, Eastern WV CTC, Mountwest CTC, New River CTC, Pierpont CTC, Southern WV CTC, WV Northern Community College, and WVU at Parkersburg.

Contact: Casey Sacks / [email protected] / 304-558-0265

On Tuesday, August 28, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College welcomed Tim Hatfield, CEO of Tug Valley ARH, and thanked him for donating a Beckmann Coulter DxH600, a state-of-the-art hematology analyzer, to Southern’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Student Laboratory. It was donated by Tug Valley ARH to the MLT program when the hospital’s lab upgraded to a different instrument. This instrument will allow Southern’s MLT students to perform automated Complete Blood Counts as they are performed in hospital laboratories. “We are very fortunate to have this state-of-the-art instrument in a student laboratory setting,” Shirley Dardi, Southern’s MLT Coordinator and Associate Professor, said. “This will allow our students to compare the results they get on their manual cell counts to the automated results.” In the photo are pictured, from left: Dr. Deanna Romano, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Mr. Tim Hatfield; Southern’s President, Dr. Robert Gunter; Shirley Dardi, MLT Coordinator and Associate Professor; and Russell Saunders, Dean for the School of Career and Technical Studies.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has established a chapter with the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). Student Success Center Coordinator Tim Ooten and Darrell Taylor, Director of Enrollment Management and Student Engagement, will serve as the chapter advisors, helping to facilitate the five-step leadership program on Southern’s campuses. Southern’s first event for NSLS will be held on September 28, 2018.

NSLS is the nation’s largest leadership honor society and collegiate leadership development program, working with nearly one million students on over 600 colleges. NSLS differentiates itself from traditional honor societies in that students must complete a step-by-step leadership development program in order to become inducted. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop many indemand skills such as leadership, communication, and team building.

If you are interested in learning more about the Southern NSLS chapter, please contact Tim Ooten at 304-896-7658 or Darrell Taylor at 304-896-7432.

Mount Gay, W.Va. – Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is proud to offer a degree program that enables students to apply their general course work and real-world experiences toward earning their degree.

Southern’s Board of Governors (BOG) Adult Degree Program is an alternative, non-traditional degree program that is specifically designed for adult students seeking a general education associate’s degree. This is one of Southern’s most useful degree programs, according to Brandon Kirk, the BOG coordinator and assistant professor of history at Southern.

“The BOG program is a flexible pathway designed for those persons who seek to apply earned credits or life/work experience toward a general associate’s degree,” Kirk said. “The BOG degree, while not directed to a specific area of expertise, such as nursing or electrical engineering, nevertheless gives an edge to a person’s employability, or, if already employed, can mean a promotion or an increase in salary.”

The Census Bureau estimates that a person with an associate’s degree will earn $400,000 or more over his or her lifetime than a person with a high school diploma.

The Board of Governors Adult Degree Program requires a 2.0 GPA. BOG candidates must have graduated high school or passed a high school equivalency exam more than two years prior to entry into the program. The student cannot possess another college degree. Twelve hours from a regionally accredited institution, including three hours at Southern, are required to graduate with the BOG degree.

The traditional pathway is to apply courses/credits toward the degree. The General Education Requirements are 21 credit hours: six hours in Communications (English, Speech), six hours in Math/Science, six hours in Social Science (History, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science), and three hours in Computer Literacy (computer class). The General Electives are 39 credit hours in most any non-remedial course.

“Southern’s BOG program is pleased to partner with West Virginia’s Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS) to offer anywhere from six to ten online courses every semester,” Kirk said. “These courses, offered exclusively to our BOG students, run in eight-week cycles. Aside from the benefits of an online experience, our BOG students gain more choices in terms of academic courses than non-BOG students. I believe strongly enough in their benefit to West Virginia students that I teach their Appalachian History and Culture course.”

WVROCKS courses do not show up in Southern’s schedule, however. They can only be accessed through an academic advisor, or Kirk. This semester, Southern is offering six WVROCKS courses to its BOG students: Allied Health 275: Science of Nutrition; History 275: Appalachian History and Culture; Math 275: Practical Math; Psychology 275: Drugs, Brain, and Behavior; Psychology 275: Principles of Mental and Emotional Health; Theater 275: Movies and Meaning: Communication in Film.

Students can also apply their life and work skills toward their BOG degree. Portfolios are typically the instrument of choice to show mastery over content areas and earn college credit. Southern offers a portfolio class to guide the student through the portfolio process and the program coordinator offers one-on-one guidance.

“I see many different types of BOG students,” Kirk said. “It’s a flexible program, so students come to me with many different scenarios and backgrounds. Some are students who have been enrolled at Southern for a certain period of time, switched programs or majors a few times, and have earned a relatively large number of credit hours. They are anxious to hold a degree in their hand, something to validate their hard work. Other BOG students are persons who have been enrolled in college on and off as life permitted, adding credits as they were able, perhaps without any specific direction. They may have completed or are close to completing the BOG degree and not realize it. Some BOG students bring an incredible life-work background to their college experience and can apply much of it earning credit for the BOG adult degree.”

If you are interested in learning more about the BOG degree program, or would like to register for classes, please contact BOG Coordinator Brandon Kirk at 304.307.0711 or [email protected].

On Saturday, July 28, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College let its youth show. The nearly 50-year-old institution hosted its inaugural S-Con gaming and pop culture convention. And, from all indications, it was a success. Early estimates show the college welcomed about 350 people – of all ages, and entire families – who just wanted to be part of the day’s events.

“Really, our only goal was to give our students and our community a fun day, and show them what Southern has to offer,” Joe Nelson, Southern’s Web and Graphics Designer – and one of the driving forces behind S-Con – said. “Quite literally, we were looking to put the ‘community’ back in our ‘community college.’”

The idea for S-Con was nothing new. With the increased popularity of video games like Fortnite, conventions of this sort are branching out at many universities and towns across America. Rick Thompson and Matt Payne, Southern’s IT instructors, and FAA-certified drone pilots, had the idea several years ago. They thought it could be a great event for students and for the college.

“I just kept thinking about how much our students would enjoy something like this,” Thompson said. “The more I heard them talking about it, the more it started taking shape.” There was just one problem: time.

Busy schedules had initially halted the plans, at least temporarily. Further discussions with students – and Joe Nelson – convinced Thompson it could be a go, in spite of some obvious drawbacks. “The timeline was always the issue,” Nelson said. “We were never trying to compete with any other event. We just wanted a good day for our students, something that would draw them to the college and something that would be fun. Essentially, that was what was driving us from the beginning.”

Southern welcomed vendors from the world of comics and art, as well as Marshall University and the Southern Coalition for the Arts.

Payne gave drone demonstrations, and had even set up an obstacle course for visitors. The drones were one of the event’s most popular features, but that’s no surprise. Southern’s Drone Technology Program continues to be among its most sought-after, helping its IT program flourish, cementing itself as one of Southern’s most successful and fun programs.

“I’ve not seen anything like this at Southern since I was a student here about a decade ago,” Leah Clay Stone, Production Manager for the Southern Coalition for the Arts, said. “It’s just incredible.”

In the end, the event really did help the community: all proceeds from on-site vendors went to fund scholarships through Southern’s Foundation, which helps students from the area attend Southern at little to no cost.

“This really has been a great day,” Southern’s President, Dr. Robert Gunter, said. “I can see this becoming an annual event.”

Plans for next year’s S-Con are already in the works. If you’d like to be a part of the planning, you are encouraged to contact Rick Thompson at [email protected].

The West Virginia Higher Education Commission has approved Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s partnership with Lindsey Wilson College for four more years.

Lindsey Wilson College is based in Columbia, Ky., and has 24 community campuses in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee. Southern’s Logan campus houses its only community campus in West Virginia.

Lindsey Wilson College came to Southern’s Logan campus in August 2007. Since then, the two colleges have collaborated to offer students several 2+2 programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Counseling degree. The curriculum in this partnership is designed for Southern students who are completing their Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science. Students interested in earning their bachelor degree through this collaboration are required to have at least 60 college credit hours in order to apply.

Lindsey Wilson College will be hosting orientation for anyone who may be interested in learning more, or to begin the registration process. The event will be held August 8 on Southern’s Logan campus, in room 202 of Building A. The orientation will run from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Interested students may register with Tonia Marcum, Coordinator of Educational Outreach and Online Programs, at [email protected], or by phone at 304-896-7431. Lindsey Wilson College’s fall semester begins August 23.

Stephanie Maynard Scott, a student at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, brought home a bronze medal from the recent SkillsUSA National Championships, held June 25 - 29 in Louisville, Ky. This event, by invitation only, was for first place state medalists in 102 competition areas for career and technical students held earlier this spring. It is the largest skill competition in the world.

Scott, who lives in Logan, W.Va., participated in the Nurse Assisting competition, which was part of the SkillsUSA 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students. During the week, more than 6,300 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners – competed hands-on in 102 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

Southern was represented at the competition by students Kent Bevins, Stephanie Scott, Christina Blankenship, and Cypriel Nwafor.

“It’s been such an amazing experience,” Scott said. “I’m so thankful for Instructor Ashley Starkey believing in me and encouraging me, and also my two children and husband for being my motivation!”

Scott is in the accelerated Medial Assisting program on Southern’s Williamson campus. She plans on furthering her education by obtaining an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing degree next. “I like to think of this as only the beginning of my success,” Scott said.

Ashley Starkey, Instructor of Medical Assisting at Southern, and SkillsUSA Advisor, traveled to Louisville with Southern’s competitors. “I believe success is driven by hard work, dedication and sacrifice,” Starkey said. “I saw that in full force this week during competition. I am so thankful for the opportunity to watch as students from Southern took their knowledge and skills and put them to the ultimate test.”

When asked about Scott’s impressive win, Starkey said, “Stephanie did a tremendous job in representing Southern. Her dedication, skill knowledge and personality will take her beyond any limit as her future continues. It was truly a pleasure and honor to have her represent our Medical Assisting program and our school.”

Southern’s President, Dr. Robert Gunter, echoed Starkey: “Southern is so proud of Stephanie, and each of our students who competed at the national SkillsUSA Championships,” Gunter said. “Every competitor at the national championships vied and won at the state level, so these students have showcased their incredible talent and drive. I’m proud to say our faculty have nurtured and encouraged that in our students every step of this process.”

Rita Roberson, Southern’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, is also a SkillsUSA Advisor. “It is certainly an honor to congratulate Stephanie on her recent bronze medal win at SkillsUSA National Championships,” Roberson said. “It’s also an honor to congratulate all Southern students who participated in the state and national level competitions. Knowing our students have reached this level of excellence during their educational career at Southern brings pride to us all. Job well done students and advisors.”

During the national competition, students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills, which included extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry that ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 360,000-member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: