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Pam Paynter speaks to CTA students

Averett University Staff Accountant Pam Paynter volunteered her time to speak to our Career Tech Academy students about the new hire process.

microsoft webMicrosoft Corporation establishes the Microsoft Datacenter Academy Scholars Program with a donation to the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation (SVHEF).

CTA IT StudentsHigh school students in the SVHEC Career Tech Academy are enjoying a unique opportunity to gain college credits, industry recognized credentials, and real world experience while still in high school.

According to a newly released study, the SVHEC had a significant impact on the local and state-wide economy making the Center "an excellent community investment."

Nurse Aide students practice giving a patient in a hospital bed a bathEnrollment is now open for Southside Virginia Community College’s (SVCC) Nurse Aide Certification Program in South Boston, VA. Classes are scheduled to begin on February 11th, and meet at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

“CNAs are in such high demand,” said nurse aide instructor Brandi Thompson. “I have people from different organizations asking when I’ll have my next class, and if they can come meet the students. There is a huge need for CNAs in the workforce,” she continued.

While many think Nurse Aides are only found in long-term care facilities, the reality is that CNAs work in a number of healthcare environments including hospitals, home healthcare, dialysis treatment facilities, assisted living facilities, and in cardiac units as cardiac technicians.

In addition, becoming a Nurse Aide is often the first step towards becoming a practical or registered nurse. “Many of my students have worked other jobs, but they see this can be a career for them. I started as a CNA, and I know it can definitely lead to bigger things,” said Thompson.

Nurse Aide classes meet at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) three or four days per week, for about five hours per day. The entire program, including clinical rotations at area medical facilities, takes less than 10 weeks to complete. Because the SVHEC is a PearsonVue Testing Center, Nurse Aide students take their state board exams onsite.

“The cost of the state board exam is included in the course fee, and thanks to the SVHEC students don’t have to travel to take their boards. It’s a great benefit to the students in South Boston,” Thompson said.

Individuals interested in SVCC’s upcoming Nurse Aide Certification Program should contact Kathy Whitt at 434-572-5453 or email


What is the Career Tech Academy and how is it helping high school students get a headstart on their college & career plans? Press play to learn more.