Opinion — A new year is coming

Published 8:03 am Saturday, December 18, 2021

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As 2021 wraps up, many people will pause to look back at the year gone by and begin planning for the one to come. Thanksgiving and Christmas focus on gratitude and hope. New year’s eve encourages us to appreciate experiences that have strengthened and shaped us. We say adieu to habits that haven’t served us well, and New Year’s Day lets us leave regrets behind and embrace a bold new start.

Resolutions about health and fitness, personal or professional development, improved financial status and a greater enjoyment of life offer a chance for a fresh beginning. Some people will achieve their goals, and others will abandon them.

Experts suggest that the differences between successes and disappointments are strongly linked to how aspirations are identified and the way in which they are pursued. One frequently offered tactic is to develop “SMART” goals. These letters serve as a reminder that goals should be “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.” In other words, the best way to reach desired results is to have a detailed action plan.

Many resolutions are founded on education, and Southside Virginia Community College stands ready to help you accomplish them. Perhaps you need a course for personal improvement, a short-term program for skill development or a longer-term path of study leading to the attainment of workplace or academic credentials. Your success is close at hand.

SVCC offers a host of resources designed to produce specific and measurable results that are achievable because we provide assistance through relevant and timely support. With this in mind, the college has established a Navigator Team to work closely with potential and current students to match interests and skills, identify objectives, and define career pathways achievable through academic or workforce development programs. These Navigators also assist students by connecting them to resources that can help in overcoming barriers to completing their educational goals.

Dr. Daryl Minus, vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Success, remarks, “We are excited about the projected impact of our new Navigators. They will play key roles in strengthening SVCC’s student onboarding and retention systems. Navigators have the expertise to help keep students connected from the initial inquiry and pre-enrollment stages all the way through to credential and goal completion.”

Timonee’ McCargo, a nursing student at SVCC, took her first steps toward a brighter future when she decided to invest in herself, despite challenging times. She says, “Applying for nursing school during a pandemic and seeing the toll it was taking on nurses in our own community was definitely eye opening.” Nevertheless, she says she has found her calling. “I witnessed firsthand how well our health care workers in this community pulled together to provide the best care, and this only added to my desire of becoming a nurse.”

Another SVCC student, Katelyn Ottaway, is also glad she took steps to begin her academic journey. “Each time I step foot on campus I feel welcomed and supported. Every day I am learning something new. Whenever I need help, the kind faculty and staff members are always there and go the extra mile.”

As an open-door institution, SVCC has a place for everyone. If education can help you keep your new year’s resolutions and reach your goals for 2022, I strongly encourage you to contact SVCC. Call (434) 736-2046 or visit www.southside.edu. It’s the smart thing to do.

On behalf of the dedicated faculty and staff at SVCC, I wish you happy holidays, and a joyous and productive new year!

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 and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.