Who We Are

Vision: Educational Victories=Economic Strength

The mission of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) is to advance southern Virginia’s economic potential through education, innovation, and collaboration. Located on the service area wkforce training students 2016fringes of the closest community colleges and more than 75 minutes from the nearest state supported four-year institution, the SVHEC provides vital educational access and workforce training to an under-served rural population. By serving as an incubator, broker, and developer of innovative educational and applied research pathways, the SVHEC is focused on re-tooling southern Virginia’s rural workforce for jobs in the New Economy.

Since 1986 the SVHEC has provided access to affordable post-secondary education by forging unique alliances with a variety of academic and industry partners. Originally funded with Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) funds combined with local monies and private donations, the SVHEC began operations out of a 500 square foot mobile unit on the grounds of the local high school. Thanks to a long history of community-based support, the SVHEC has grown from serving a handful of students in its original location to serving more than 1,200 for-credit students and more than 300 workforce training participants.

In 2005 the SVHEC became an independent state agency. Among the duties specified in Sections § 23-231.24 and § 23-231.25 of the Code of Virginia, the SVHEC is directed to “Encourage the expansion of higher education, including adult and continuing education, associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs in the region, and foster partnerships between the public and private sectors to enhance higher education in the region.”

Currently located in two repurposed tobacco warehouses donated by local benefactors and renovated with community bonds, private donations, historic tax credits and various state and federal grants, the SVHEC now provides 100,000 square feet of technically sophisticated educational space. This space includes high-tech classrooms and labs featuring advanced machining and simulation technology focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Healthcare (STEM-H). STEM-H areas at the SVHEC include nursing,information technology, and mechatronics.

More about us: pdf FY2016 Annual Report (7.41 MB)

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