COLUMN — Success at SVCC is transferable
Published 1:55 pm Friday, October 16, 2020
Every October, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students celebrates National Transfer Student Week. This year Southside Virginia Community College will participate with a Virtual Transfer Fair, which will run Oct. 19-23.
Plans are underway for an informative, participatory event that can be experienced through socially distant conditions. Institutions to which SVCC students frequently transfer will provide informational videos and have personnel available for scheduled meetings using Zoom video conferencing technology. Students will be able to attend through in-person options at SVCC’s two main campuses or from their homes.
For many students, time spent at SVCC represents a first and foundational step in a longer postsecondary academic journey. At the end of the 2018-19 school year, more than 150 students transferred from SVCC to four-year institutions. Nearly 100 had earned an associate degree, awarding them credit for two full years of academic achievement. Other students focused on earning specific credits that enabled them to skip prerequisites and be better prepared for success in advanced coursework.
About two-thirds of transferring SVCC graduates head to one of Virginia’s public four-year institutions. To ensure students’ future successes, SVCC maintains transfer and guaranteed admissions agreements with more than 30 of Virginia’s colleges and universities.
The agribusiness program, established by Dr. Dixie Dalton, dean of humanities, social sciences and business, provides an example transfer pathway. Dalton recently talked with sisters Dottie and Cassie Long, who completed Associate of Arts and Sciences degrees with an emphasis in agribusiness and then transferred to Virginia Tech (VT), where they went on to earn bachelors’ degrees in animal science.
Cassie told Dalton, “One of the best decisions I made in my college career was enrolling at SVCC with plans to transfer to Virginia Tech. I say this because my experience at SVCC helped me transition into college smoothly, complete general education classes in a smaller setting, and focus solely on animal and poultry sciences courses while at VT.”
Dottie reported a similar experience: “Completing my first two years at SVCC helped me transition into the college life. I enjoyed the smaller class sizes at SVCC, then jumped right into my major at VT. Also, having a good adviser in my corner that helped me take the classes I needed to transfer helped a lot.”
Dottie and Cassie now work managing Long’s Farm Supply in Brookneal, a family owned store that meets the needs of local farmers and homeowners. Cassie is also pursuing graduate studies and may eventually become a high school agriculture teacher.
Like these sisters, all students who start their academic journeys at SVCC before transferring to a four-year institution can benefit from SVCC’s outstanding student support, advising, and financial aid services. They can also save money because the annual tuition bill at SVCC comes to half or one-third of the tuition at public four-year institutions. Furthermore, by beginning an academic journey close to home, students and their families save on the added costs of room and board.
For more information about SVCC’s transfer programs and the Virtual Transfer Fair, contact Matt Dunn, career and transfer counselor, by phone at (434) 736-2020 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans 10 counties. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.