Latest Southern News

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

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Southern is pleased to announce the availability of a new online service, Transcript Ordering.

Transcript Ordering allows you to order official transcripts via the Web at any time, 24/7. Official transcripts can be delivered electronically in as little as 15 minutes from when you place your order! You can order as many transcripts as you like in one online session using any major credit card. Realtime email and mobile text alerts keep you up‐to‐date on the status of your order.

You can also track your order on the Transcript Ordering Web site.

Among the benefits that you will realize from online Transcript Ordering are:

• Convenient 24/7 access

• Electronic delivery in 15 minutes (if there are no holds on your student account)

• Secure transactions

• Immediate, secure electronic transcript delivery worldwide

• Automatic order updates via mobile text alerts and email

• Online order tracking

• Ability to order multiple transcripts for multiple recipients in one order

Transcript Ordering is provided through the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization serving the higher education community for more than 21 years.

Pictured l-r:  Bill Cook, Director of Boone/Lincoln Campus Operations, President Bob Gunter, and John Paul Abbot, Chairman of the Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Madison, WV – Mr. John Paul Abbot, Chairman of the Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship Foundation, recently presented a $1,000 donation check for this Scholarship to the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation, Inc. This generous contribution was made possible by the collected proceeds from the Second Annual Little Coal River Float held on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Danville, WV. Mr. Abbott stated that his family is proud to support higher education opportunities for local students, and sincerely thanks everyone who contributed to making this year’s scholarship fundraiser a success. “We could not offer this scholarship without your support,” said Mr. Abbot. “Your generous contributions help us give back to the community in loving memory of Carrie Anne.” “I am pleased to accept this donation on behalf of the Foundation,” said Dr. Robert E. Gunter, president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. “We truly appreciate all the support we receive from our community and community leaders as we work together to provide educational opportunities for students.” The Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship was established in 2004 by the Scott Family and the Madison Middle School Student Council to celebrate the life of Carrie Anne Scott, who was a teacher and Student Council Sponsor at Madison Middle School. The scholarship funds are administered through Southern’s Foundation. Pictured l-r: Bill Cook, Director of Boone/Lincoln Campus Operations, President Bob Gunter, and John Paul Abbot, Chairman of the Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship Foundation.