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Southside Virginia Community College

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Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) is a two-year community college in Alberta, Virginia. Founded in 1970, it has the largest catchment area of any community college in Virginia. There is a major branch campus in Keysville and learning centers in Emporia, South Boston, Chase City, South Hill, and Blackstone. The Alberta campus is known as the Christianna campus, while the Keysville campus is known as the John H. Daniel campus. Today, there are about 8,000 students enrolled at SVCC at any given time.


Popular departments at SVCC include Business Technology, Engineering and Industrial Technology, Health Technology, and Public Service Technology.

Transfer Track

The University Parallel program prepares students planning to transfer for their academic careers at four-year institutions, giving them a strong background in the liberal arts. Students in this program may also choose to specialize in Administration of Justice or Human Services.

Teacher Certifications

The Teacher Recertification program at SVCC, in conjunction with the Southside Educational Technology Consortium (SETC) offers online courses for teachers already in the field.

There is also an alternative licensure option, EducateVA, for adults with a four year college degree with a GPA of 2.5 or better and five or more professional work experience in another field who would like to move into teaching as a career. Prospective students in EducateVA must pass a criminal background check. The certification program combines online and in-person instruction over a 16 week period, include six full Saturdays. After graduating, students will qualify for a one-year provisional license. After successful completion of the first year, graduates will be eligible for a full, five-year renewable teaching license.

Online Education

SVCC offers both hybrid classes and fully online classes for student convenience. Hybrid classes are taught half in-person and half online. All classes with online content use the Blackboard online course management system. Students must have access to a computer with a reliable Internet connection, Microsoft Word, and email.

Partnership with Old Dominion University

SVCC partners with Old Dominion University to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees online. There are Old Dominion Distance Learning programs for bachelor’s degrees in accounting, civil engineering technology, professional communication, computer science, criminal justice, Dental hygiene, Computer Engineering, Electrical Systems technology, finance, general engineering technology, health services, human services, management, marketing, medical technology, nuclear engineering, nursing, and psychology.

Old Dominion offers master’s degrees in conjunction with SVCC in the following fields: aerospace engineering, mental health counselling, school counselling, dental hygiene, elementary school teaching, engineering management, modeling and simulation, nursing, nurse midwifery, community college teaching, secondary education, special education, and systems engineering.

Dual Enrollment

The Dual Enrollment program welcomes high-achieving high school students at a discounted cost. Not only does dual enrollment save students money in the long run, it shows future colleges and universities the full capabilities of students to learn at an advanced level, increasing chances of acceptance into the schools of their choice. Interested students must complete a college application, select courses in consultations with their high school guidance counsellor, and attend class and complete assignments to the best of their ability.

SVCC works with the following counties to recruit promising dual enrollment students from their high schools: Amelia County, Buckingham County, Brunswick County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Greensville County, Halifax County, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, and Prince Edward County. Individual schools who work with SVCC for dual enrollment include Brunswick Academy, Kenston Forest School, The Governor’s School of Southside Virginia, and New Life Christian Academy.

Middle College

Middle College offers GED preparation to students aged 18 to 24, including targeted remedial courses, workforce readiness courses, and comprehensive support services. Successful participants earn a career readiness certificate and may transition directly into curricular coursework in pursuit of an associate’s degree or certificate at the completion of their program.

Pre-Engineering Academy

Pre-Engineering Academy is a high school program with heavy emphases in the maths and sciences. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to enrol in their sophomore year and students must be capable of studying calculus and physics at advanced rates by their senior year of high school.

Campus Without Walls

The Campus Without Walls allows residents of Greensville and Emporia county to enroll in continuing education programs through the Southside Virginia Education Center in South Boston. The facility is a state of the art learning center housed in a former traditional tobacco warehouse. Danville Community College, Mary Baldwin College, Longwood, Old Dominion University, Ferrum College, Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill all also hold classes at the Education Center. This was one of many steps taken by SVCC to reach community members throughout their 4,200 square mile service area.

Academic Strengths of Branch Campuses

With many branches and learning centers, SVCC serves their students best by concentrating particular programs in different branches and facilities as follows:

The Estes Community Center in Chase City offers Nurse Aide and Practical Nursing Program. The facilities house two fully equipped computer labs for student use. There are also programs for children at the facility. In 2007, The Garland Building was constructed to extend the programming of the Community Center.

The Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center hosts the High Performance Technology Program, a cyber café, GED preparation classes, computer classes, and Command Spanish.

The Occupational Technical Center at Picket Park is home to SVCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, heavy Equipment Operator Training Program, Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program, Diesel Mechanics and Technicians Training Program, and Wastewater Training Program.

The Educational Advancement Center of the Cumberland Center is home to the Middle College program. Major renovations, with additional programs to be offered through the Center, are expected in the near future.

Southside Higher Education Consortium

SVCC has an agreement with the Southside Higher Education Consortium which allows students at the college to cross register in a number of courses at cooperating institutions of higher learning. Participating colleges and universities include Longwood University, Saint Paul’s College, and Hampden-Sydney College.

Most Popular Fields of Study


In keeping with their mission to offer higher education to any adult who wishes to receive it, SVCC has open admissions. Students under 18 may also enrol in courses with their principal’s permission. Some programs have restrictive requirements or additional assessment measures.

Financial Aid

In addition to the federal aid options open to any college or university student in the United States, in-state students at SVCC have access to two extremely helpful grants from the state of Virginia. These grants are as follows:

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program

The Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP) is a grant that does not need to be repaid. This grant is available to students who have graduated from a Virginia high school with a GPA of at least 2.5. Awards from the VGAP cover the entire cost of tuition and fees for full time attendance between 12 and 15 credit hours. It additionally awards up to a $1000 for the cost of textbooks.

Virginia Commonwealth Award

The Virginia Commonwealth Award (COMA) is a grant that does not need to be repaid. This grant is available to students who attend at least half-time during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Qualifying students must have been a Virginia resident for at least one year. COMA pays for tuition and fees for between 6 and 12 credit hours. COMA will not cover the expense of textbooks.

In addition, SVCC administrates several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships. These include targeted scholarships in several departments and scholarships for students from unusual categories, such as first-time college attendees and inmates who are enrolled in classes from prison.

Student Financial Aid Details

Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Virginia.



About 63% of the student body is female and 37% is male. The average age of students is 27.

Orientation Days

The orientation period at the beginning of the year introduces first-year students to the inner workings and procedures of the college. Students are offered workshops, assessment testing and placement, effective job search strategies, and opportunities for personal growth and development. Goal setting, stress management, transfer information, budgeting, and health issues are all discussed.

Counseling Services

Professional counsellors are available to help students with personal, educational, or career-oriented concerns. Students who need regular or extensive assistance will be referred to appropriate services outside the college.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The athletics department at SVCC competes on the intervarsity level in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, tennis, and cheerleading. In addition, there are a number of recreational intramural sports offered throughout the school year.


Campus Without Walls. Southside Virginia Community College. Web. 27 May 2011.

General Information. Southside Virginia Community College. Web. 27 May 2011.

Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.

Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.

Student Services. Southside Virginia Community College. Web. 27 May 2011.

Teacher Certification. Southside Virginia Community College. Web. 27 May 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 61st in Virginia and 2785th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Alberta, VA 23821
Surrounding communityDistant rural area (between 5 to 25 mi. away from an urban area)
Total Population1,580 (N/A urban / 1,580 rural)
Households628 (2.52 people per house)
Median Household Income$29,474
Families432 (3.06 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Large
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingMedium two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAt least 2, but less than 4 academic yrs
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5105

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 3592nd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,675 $3,675 $8,973
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $300 $300 $840
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $123 $123 $299
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $5,234 $5,234 $11,072
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $17,034 $17,034 $22,872
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,238 $11,238 $17,076

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $3,645 $3,810 $3,645 $3,810 $9,393 $9,573
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,235(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $5,247 $5,310
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $5,754 $5,942
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $5,754 $5,942

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2211th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $60,785 ($58,391 male / $58,679 female)
Number of FT Faculty 79 (36 male / 43 female)
Number of PT Faculty 272
FT Faculty Ratio 0.3 : 1
Total Benefits $2,553,676

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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109 Campus Dr
Alberta, VA 23821
p. 888-222-7822
w. www.southside.edu

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