Latest Southern News

College Foundation of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) announced the statewide goal to have at least 63 percent of high school seniors file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15, 2018.

Filing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for financial aid for college. Students who file the FAFSA are considered for the Federal Pell Grant, which awards up to $5,920 annually to students to cover the cost of tuition and other education expenses. Additionally, students must submit a FAFSA to apply for many in-state scholarship and grant opportunities, such as the PROMISE Scholarship, which awards up to $4,750 annually, and the West Virginia Higher Education Grant, which awards up to $2,700 annually.

The following schools met or exceeded last year’s 60 percent FAFSA completion goal:

• Bishop Donahue Memorial High School
• Bluefield High School
• Bridgeport High School
• Buffalo High School
• Cameron High School
• Capital High School
• Central Catholic High School
• Charleston Catholic High School
• Cross Lanes Christian School
• East Fairmont High School
• East Hardy High School
• Elkins High School
• Fairmont Senior High School
• Faith Christian Academy
• Frankfort High School
• George Washington High School
• Greenbrier East High School
• Greenbrier West High School
• Harman Elementary/High School
• Hedgesville High School
• Herbert Hoover High School
• Hundred High School
• Hurricane High School
• Lewis County High School
• Lincoln County High School
• Lincoln High School
• Logan Senior High School
• Magnolia High School
• Martinsburg High School
• Midland Trail High
• Mingo Central High School
• Montcalm High School
• Moorefield High School
• Morgantown High School
• Nitro High School
• North Marion High School
• Paden City High School
• Parkersburg Catholic High School
• Paw Paw High School
• Pendleton County Middle/High School
• Petersburg High School
• Ravenswood High School
• Ripley High School
• Scott High School
• Shady Spring High
• Sissonville High School
• South Charleston High School
• South Harrison High School
• Spring Mills High School
• Teays Valley Christian School
• Tucker County High School
• Tug Valley High School
• Tygarts Valley Middle/High School
• Union Educational Complex
• University High School
• Valley High School (Smithers)
• Valley High School (Wetzel)
• Van Junior/Senior High School
• Wahama High School
• Washington High School
• Webster County High School
• Weir High School
• Westside High School
• Wheeling Park High School
• Williamstown High School
• Winfield High School
• Wirt County High School
• Wyoming County East High School

Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the HEPC, noted that student aid dollars oftentimes go unclaimed simply because students do not file the FAFSA.

“The financial aid is out there, but students have to apply to receive it,” said Hill. “All students who plan to pursue some form of education or training beyond high school, regardless of their income or grades, should file the FAFSA to be considered for federal and state student aid.”

Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor for the CTCS, stressed that filing the FAFSA can help many students go to college debt-free.

“If students receive the maximum award amounts for the Federal Pell Grant and the West Virginia Higher Education Grant, they will already have nearly $9,000 to pay for college,” said Tucker. “This is more than double the average yearly cost of tuition at West Virginia’s two-year institutions. Filing the FAFSA is a crucial step in transitioning to postsecondary education.”

March 1 is the deadline for students to submit a FAFSA to be considered for the PROMISE Scholarship, and April 15 is the deadline for students to submit the FAFSA to be considered for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program. Students who plan to pursue education or training beyond high school during the 2018-19 academic year can now complete the 2018-19 FAFSA online at using their 2016 tax returns. Students who wish to apply for the PROMISE Scholarship can do so now at

Staff from the Financial Aid Division at HEPC are working with college and university partners to help increase financial aid awareness throughout communities in the state. As a result, hundreds of free financial aid and FAFSA workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year. A full list of workshops is available at

CFWV is West Virginia’s college- and career-planning resource. The initiative is led by HEPC in partnership with CTCS, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts.

Follow CFWV…

Twitter: @cfwv

Facebook: College Foundation of West Virginia

Instagram: @collegefoundationofwv

Higher Education Policy Commission collaborates with sales and marketing firm in search of qualified workers
CHARLESTON, WV September 19, 2017 – A sales and marketing execution firm called N3 -which works closely with Microsoft, Kimberly-Clark, SAP and other top technology leaders-, is moving into the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.

The company is now seeking qualified candidates to fill the estimated 300 job openings it is bringing to West Virginia. The Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) along with the Charleston Area Alliance and several other sponsors are hosting a career fair to highlight these new local job opportunities. “Their decision to launch operations here speaks volumes of the quality of our facilities,” said HEPC Chancellor Paul Hill. “But, more importantly, it serves as a reflection of the caliber of our workforce and the knowledge, skills and abilities of our recent college graduates. N3 jobs will go to four-year college graduates, and preliminary recruiting has already begun.”

A career fair showcasing the types of jobs available at N3 will take place at the Clay Center on September 20, 2017, from 5PM to 7PM. The fair will highlight potential employment opportunities with the company with competitive salaries and employee benefits. Additionally, representatives from several West Virginia colleges and universities will be in attendance to highlight their respective programs.

For more information on potential job openings and applications visit To read Chancellor Hill’s full statement on the job opportunities this company brings to West Virginia visit


The West Virginia Community and Technical College System
CHARLES TOWN–The West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS) has launched a new initiative to help boost the college-going rate of high school graduates in the mountain state. All recent West Virginia high school graduates have been automatically accepted into their local community and technical college. Samantha Godby, communications representative for CTCS, said that this is a great opportunity that all graduates should utilize.

“This is really an effort to push high school students to get that college experience–to start local and find their niche,” Godby said.

“They might not be ready to try a four-year college degree yet, or they just want to start local. Either way, this is a fantastic way to get that experience.”

Godby said that once a student in West Virginia graduates, they should contact either their local community or technical college to discuss financial aid options.

“What they would do is, they would call the financial aid representatives at that institution and see what financial aid packages they are eligible for,” Godby said.

Godby said that programs lasting two years or less, like community and technical colleges, are an efficient and affordable way to receive an education that leads to a tangible career in the mountain state. “Starting at one of the two-year colleges is definitely one of the cheapest ways to save money toward earning a degree,” Godby said.

West Virginia CTCS Chancellor Sarah Tucker shared the same sentiments. According to Tucker, community colleges are the most affordable higher education opportunity in the state, and often lead directly to employment. The result is an affordable education leading to jobs that keep young people in West Virginia.

“Our high school graduates are the future of West Virginia,” Tucker said. “They embody our hopes and dreams for our beloved state. West Virginia’s community and technical colleges want them to know they have a future here. We offer a variety of programs that will lead them to high-wage jobs right here at home.”

Tucker said West Virginia has struggled for years with losing population, as young people leave to find work, but CTCS is working hard to combat this issue.

Every recent high school graduate is guaranteed acceptance, and students are encouraged to reach out to their local community college to learn how to enroll. This opportunity allows students who aren’t sure if college is right for them to try it out for a fraction of the cost.

For more information about this new initiative, call 1-866-TWO-YEAR, or contact Samantha Godby at 304-558-0087.

Industry-Informed Infrastructure in Appalachian Colleges conference participants
Mount Gay, WV – The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is holding meetings with community colleges in Appalachia and national industry representatives for its Industry-Informed Infrastructure in Appalachian Colleges (“I3”), one of ARC’s POWER projects. “I3” is working to expand the industry connections and technical training capacities of community colleges serving coal-impacted communities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, along with adjacent areas of neighboring states. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently hosted the “I3” meetings at its Logan Campus. The meetings focused on pairing industry partners together with community college executives to create a highly skilled talent pipeline for management and leadership in the hospitality and tourism industry. Industry partners included Lincoln Electric, Snap-on, IBM, Work America, Appalachian Regional Commission, and the National Association of Workforce Boards, global companies that cross industry sectors. “The new partnerships that were formed will generate huge rewards for the College in the future”, said Dr. Robert Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The Industry-Informed Infrastructure (“I3”) in Appalachian Colleges project is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in collaboration with the Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA).
The Council for Community and Technical College Education hosted training last week for the new board members of all the community and technical colleges in WV
ROANOKE, WV August 16, 2017 – New Board of Governors members from West Virginia’s nine community and technical colleges, as well as new members of the Council for Community and Technical College Education, made their way to Stonewall Resort and Conference Center last week for training for new board members and as an opportunity to share new ideas.

This training offered newly appointed board members the opportunity to learn more about their roles and responsibilities, as well as what they can do to better improve community and technical college education.

“This training was put together to get to know our new board members, provide guidance, and discuss several ideas to make community college a more compelling option for future students,” said Vice Chancellor Casey Sacks.

The focus of this year’s training was on Finances, Academic Policies, and Ethics all issues of the upmost importance as the landscape of higher education continues to shift.

“We have increased collaboration and partnerships between our colleges with a number of different initiatives,” said Sacks. “None of that would be possible without taking the time to get to know our new board members, bringing them together, and finding out what needs our individual colleges have and how we can work together to solve them. We hope even more exciting partnerships will arise in the coming months and years.”

Even the Board of Governors training is an example of cost and time savings which occur through collaboration amongst the community colleges. By bringing everyone to a single event, colleges do not independently need to plan, schedule, and run 9 similar trainings. According to Sacks, the joint event is more efficient for everyone.

West Virginia’s nine community colleges: Blue Ridge, BridgeValley, Eastern WV, Mountwest, New River, Pierpont, Southern WV, WV Northern, and WVU Parkersburg are scattered throughout the state. Each college caters to a district with a variety of local needs. The Council for Community and Technical College Education coordinates these nine colleges and upholds the ideal that open communication between colleges provides opportunities for growth and to better meet the needs of all people in West Virginia.


Due to a planned outage, our Boone Campus will be without power until 1:00 PM today, August 9th, 2017.
Southern will join with area businesses and organizations today, Thursday, August 3 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Belfry High School for the Tug Valley Job and Resource Fair. Employers and representatives from WestVirginia and Kentucky to talk about employment opportunities. Southern representatives will be on site to talk about exciting new programs and educational opportunities offered at the college. Congressmen Hal Rogers (KY-5), and Evan Jenkins (WV-3) will also be in attendance. Belfry High School is located at 27672 US Highway 119 North, in Belfry, Kentucky
Mr. Damien N. Williams Named Vice President for Student Services Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College today announced that Mr. Damien N. Williams has been named Vice President for Student Services. He joins Southern from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served as Vice President for Enrollment. “Mr. Williams embraces Southern’s values and is fully committed to helping our students succeed,” said Dr. Robert Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. “His enthusiasm, leadership, past experiences, and focus on student success will enable us to yield exciting new opportunities for our students. We are pleased to appoint him to this vital role.” His responsibilities at Philander Smith College included oversight of the offices of Admissions, Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Recruitment and Registrar, and the Academic Success Center. A respected educational leader in higher education, Williams served as the Dean of Students at both Tyler Junior College and Texas College in Tyler, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX. Mr. Williams is married to Dr. LaStassia Williams, a registered nurse, and has four children, Jernecia, Peyton, Paige, and Parker.
June 28, 2017

College not complying with state law, procedures

CHARLESTON, WV, June 28, 2017– State officials at the West Virginia Council Community and Technical College Education (Council) are warning former West Virginia Business College (WVBC) students against misleading information recently distributed by the college. WVBC lost its accreditation on April 10, 2017, leading the Council to revoke its authorization to operate in West Virginia effective June 30.

Yesterday, Council officials were notified that West Virginia Business College administrators sent former students messages suggesting they would remain in operation. Further, the college notified spring 2017 students that they must attend an orientation session for the next semester before their transcripts would be released. Students hoping to transfer credits earned at WVBC to an accredited college or university must have an official transcript to do so.

“The Council hopes that WVBC will choose to be good stewards of their students, inform them that WVBC is no longer legally allowed to enroll students, and provide transcripts upon request,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Chancellor. “It is unethical for them to withhold those transcripts or require students to attend any such orientation to receive them.”

The West Virginia Business College lost its accreditation on April 10, 2017, a requirement to operate in the state of West Virginia. After due process and allowing WVBC the opportunity to appeal, the Council withdrew WVBC’s operating permit on June 8, 2017, ordering them to halt any and all operations by June 30, 2017.

“West Virginia Business College is not authorized to continue offering classes in the state of West Virginia,” Tucker said. “Their recent actions not only violate their legal standing, but --- most disturbingly --- are irresponsible and harmful to students who are trying to move forward with their lives and education.” Earlier today, Council staff sent notice to WVBC that the Attorney General’s Office will begin taking legal actions if the college does not cease and desist in all attempts to enroll students.

Former WVBC students who need help obtaining transcripts, transferring to another institution, managing student loan debt or exploring new education or career options are encouraged to contact Council staff for free assistance at 304.558.0265 ext. 6, or by email to Renee Harvey at

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Samantha Godby at 304.558.0087 ext. 265 or email at