Latest Southern News

President Gunter has been featured in this Fall's upcoming edition of Bowles Rice, LLP's "Views and Visions" magazine.

In the article, President Gunter speaks on how "Reputation Is Everything" (in reference to the quality of Southern's faculty, staff, and students). The article in its entirety can be viewed here.

At its October 30, 2017 meeting, the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors approved to renew the contract of its President, Dr. Robert E. Gunter, through June 30, 2022, following a comprehensive performance review.

The Presidential Review Committee’s findings were reported to the full Board at its October 30, 2017 meeting. President Gunter received from the Board of Governors a good review of his first two years as President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. In a challenging environment for Southern and other community colleges, he has admirably brought fresh eyes and innovative ideas to the institution, just as the Board had hoped. The Board commends the President’s foresight and fortitude, his overarching focus on students, his positive can-do attitude, his open-door policy, and the determination he has shown to prepare the College to meet the future needs of its students and the regional economy. The Board notes concerns expressed by some faculty members related to morale. It encourages Dr. Gunter to take the initiative in dealing with those concerns and informing the Board of Governors of his progress in doing so.

The purpose of this evaluation was to ensure that the institution is being well managed, pursuing sound institutional goals, and to help the president improve his performance. The governing boards of West Virginia’s higher education institutions are required by state statute to conduct a written performance evaluation of its President at the end of his/her initial contract period. President Gunter will complete his initial contract and second year as President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on December 31, 2017.

President Gunter commented, “While the past two years certainly has had its challenges, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is an institution full of potential and promise.” He thanked the Board of Governors for its support and commitment to Southern and to his Presidency, and looks forward to working with the Board, faculty, staff, and administration to advance Southern to its fullest potential.

Community and Technical College System of West Virginia
New River CTC offers software development boot camp to fill tech job openings

CHARLESTON, WV October 26, 2017 – The WV Community and Technical College System (CTCS) is always looking for new opportunities to assist people seeking employment or retraining. The system works closely with employers to train people in programs that prepare them for high-paying, in-demand jobs. Mined Minds had a need for well-trained software developers, so they developed a training boot camp to prepare their own workforce. Later they realized they could hire even more trained workers, so they partnered with New River Community and Technical College to train their faculty to deliver the same boot camp program and train even more people who will be eligible to be hired by the company.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin helped facilitate this partnership.

“When I invited Mined Minds to West Virginia, I could see how committed they are to retraining our workforce for the high-tech jobs of today and the future,” said Manchin. “Since first coming here, they started offering courses, graduated their first class, and set up a permanent office in the state. And now, with this new coding boot camp set to start at New River CTC, they’ll be reaching even more West Virginians – and opening even more doors of opportunity for good-paying jobs. I’d like to thank New River, the Community and Technical College System, and Mined Minds for making this happen.”

Throughout the boot camp, representatives from Mined Minds will interactwith students and check on progress to ensure they will meet their needs. Students will be learning Ruby programming, web development, database, programming logic and other skills for the software development field.

“Our job is to create programs that lead to real careers at high wages,” said CTCS Vice Chancellor Dr. Casey K. Sacks. “This program is one of those opportunities. When we see a need from an employer our colleges develop programs that benefit the company, college, and local job-seekers.”

In the state of West Virginia, the median salary for software developers is roughly $78,000 per year according Economic Modeling Specialists International (Emsi). Software developers help create the systems that run devices or control networks, as well as create the applications and develop coding that allows computer programs to work properly.

The 12-week boot camp at New River CTC begins Wednesday November 1, 2017 and is open to anyone interested in starting a new career path in this field. The boot camp is available at all four of New River’s campuses located in Beaver/Beckley, Lewisburg, Princeton and Summersville. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact Tricia Hoover at [email protected] or 304.929.6702.

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

Ms. Rita G. Roberson, Director of Williamson Campus Operations at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, was recognized as an Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education. She received the award during the 2017 annual conference of the West Virginia Community College Association held October 13, 2017 at New River Community and Technical College in Beaver, WV.

“Rita exemplifies a true example of “Southern’s Best” as she continuously goes above and beyond the expected,” said President Bob Gunter. “She takes great pride in her campus and community, which is demonstrated through her volunteerism and unselfish giving of her personal time.”

In 2016 Ms. Roberson became the “Champion” for SkillsUSA, a competitive student leadership program. She was instrumental in organizing faculty and students, disseminating information, arranging for uniforms, transportation, and lodging for students to participate in the SkillsUSA WV State Leadership and Skills Conference. Because of her leadership, in April 2017 ten student leaders competed in the State Conference held at Fairmont State College and brought home two gold medals and one silver medal. Ms. Roberson also took it upon herself to organize and administer continuing education courses in Cake Decorating, Zumba, Paint and Play, and Computers for 50+ at both the Williamson and Logan Campuses. These activities brought 1,599 citizens from our communities onto our campuses. She maintains a positive attitude and is always supportive of the College. She is indeed a true asset to Southern and to the communities we serve.

Ms. Roberson has been an employee of Southern for 32 years and began her duties as Director of Campus Operations at Southern’s Williamson Campus in 2000. Her areas of oversight include planning, coordination, and supervision of campus service workers; planning and participation in recruitment efforts for campus and college-wide recruitment activities; serving as the campus safety coordinator and community liaison; assisting with institutional fundraising; and serving on numerous college committees. She accepted her first position with Southern in 1985 as Secretary to the Business Division Chair. Since then she has served in a variety of positions including Executive Secretary to the Dean of Instruction and Administrative Services, Educational Talent Search Outreach Counselor, and Student Support Services Counselor and Director.

She holds an Associate in Arts Degree from Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, K-8, and a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Community Agency from Marshall University. Ms. Roberson and her husband, Don, reside in Williamson, WV.

Community and Technical College System of West Virginia
CTCS Awards Learn and Earn Grant for Software Development Company

Huntington, W.Va. September 25, 2017 – Students at Mountwest Community and Technical College have the opportunity to work for Core10 while completing their IT degree. The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia (CTCS) is pleased to announce that it awarded Mountwest a grant to support their new partnership with Core10 through the Learn and Earn program. The Learn and Earn program is a 50/50 wage match between business and industry and the state of West Virginia to support training efforts for students enrolled in public community colleges. Approximately ninety percent of students who participate in the Learn and Earn program end up working in their field of study in West Virginia.

Students who take advantage of this most recent opportunity at Core10 will learn how to build software in an agile consulting-based environment while learning under the direction of Core10 senior developers.

“The Learn & Earn program is an excellent fit for Core10 because we have very aggressive goals around recruiting and hiring in West Virginia,” said Co-Founder and CEO of Core10 Jeff Martin. “Bringing students into our organization for co-ops demonstrates to them the new tech economy that’s here to stay, and furthers our mission to create technology job opportunities right here in the state.”

Senator Shelley Moore Capito facilitated the partnership between CTCS and Core10.

“Fostering new and innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors is an essential part of helping West Virginians succeed in the workforce and growing our economy,” Capito said. “The exciting collaboration between Mountwest and Core10 is a real win-win for everyone involved, and I’m thrilled I was able to help facilitate it. This is a perfect example of how we can work together to keep our state moving forward.”

While working with business analysts, project managers, UX/UI designers, quality assurance engineers and software architects and developers, students who are hired at Core10 through the Learn and Earn project will learn the importance of collaboration in the software development field. Core10 works to bring technology jobs to West Virginia, and now provides valuable work experience to students as they complete their education.

“We have been looking at ways to partner with Core10 since they announced their expansion to West Virginia. We believe this Learn and Earn opportunity allows our students to be competitive in the fast-paced technology field. We recognize that the IT industry is growing rapidly nationally and within West Virginia, and we need to make sure that our community college students have what it takes to be successful. Partnerships like these make that possible,” said CTCS Chancellor Dr. Sarah Tucker. “We are grateful to Core10 for this partnership and are thankful to Senator Shelley Moore Capito who helped to make it possible.”

The goal of the Learn and Earn program is to bring real on-the-job experience to students who are studying to work in high-demand and high-wage fields, like technology. Core10 partnered with Mountwest to provide this opportunity to students studying in Animation & Game Developer, Web Design & Development and Graphic Design. Program participants will receive $15 per hour as compensation for their work with the company, while they are still in school.


The Community and Technical College system of West Virginia (WVCTCS) serves nine community and technical colleges with campuses throughout the state. Our mission is to promote and provide high-quality, accessible, and responsive education and training opportunities that maximize student learning, improve the standard of living for West Virginians, and contribute to the economic vitality and competitiveness of our state.

Community and Technical College System of West Virginia
BridgeValley partners with HPS Company Inc. to give students on-the-job experience

CHARLESTON, W.Va. October 4, 2017– HPS Company Inc., a local fabrication company in Charleston, WV, is partnering with BridgeValley Community and Technical College to provide students from the Machine Tool Technology Associates program with a paid Learn and Earn opportunity.

Learn and Earn grants are awarded to community colleges that partner with businesses to allow students to be paid for working while they also receive credit toward graduation. The goal of the program is to bring real, on-the-job experience to students who are studying to work in high-demand and high-wage fields, like manufacturing. Employers that partner with community and technical colleges in the Learn and Earn program are able to train eager students to be reliable future employees.

When asked about the partnership, HPS President Karl Porter said, "The BridgeValley Learn and Earn program is a beneficial partnership for our firm. We gain career-minded trainees who have an earnest desire to develop working skills and gain on the job applicative experience. This assists us in meeting tight production goals, all the while boosting our bottom line.”

HPS has been specializing in fabrication of all types of mechanical parts in Charleston, W.Va. since 1971. Now those years of experience will shape the education of BridgeValley students in a way that classroom education alone just doesn’t provide. The student who works with HPS Company Inc. will work under the guidance of experienced machinists to supplement their work in the classroom. They will assist with general machining duties and light welding, allowing them to use their classroom skills in a real working environment as they study.

“Every Learn and Earn grant we approve is an exciting opportunity for students in the state of West Virginia to become highly skilled and desirable employees,” said Vice Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System Dr. Casey K. Sacks. “These students get the best of both worlds as they learn in the classroom and then put those lessons to work on the job.”

Businesses interested in participating in similar partnerships with local community colleges are encouraged to visit for more details or call 304-558-0087.

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

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.