SVCC Named 'Great College To Work For”

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southside Virginia Community College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The results, released recently in The Chronicle's third annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 42,000 employees at 277 colleges and universities.

In all, only 97 of the 277 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Southside Virginia Community College included among the medium two-year colleges with 3,000 to 9,999 students. SVCC is also among the Honor Roll of only 39 colleges cited in the most recognition categories in the survey. SVCC 's recognition categories included Collaborative Government, Professional/Career-Development Programs, Teaching Environment, Compensation and Benefits, Facilities, Workplaces and Security, Job Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance, Confidence in Senior Leadership, Supervisor or Department-Chair Relationship and Respect and Appreciation. Only 20 two-year institutions were chosen for inclusion in this year's listing.

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It is noted on the Chronicle's Website, “SVCC finances the further education of employees and also provides professional-development grants for academic research and program development. Salary levels are among the highest in the state's community college system, and benefits include flexible course scheduling and long-term disability care.”

Of the 134 members of the organization asked to complete the survey, a total of 78 were returned. In all 15 categories, including Job Satisfaction, Teaching Environment, Policies, Pride, Fairness, the college received Very Good to Excellent ratings. In the category Pride, SVCC received a rating of 98% positive. Faculty, Administration and Staff Relations received a positive rating of 95 percent and Job Satisfaction/Support received 94 percent positives. The lowest positive ranking the college received was 83 percent positive in the category of Fairness. SVCC's survey average equaled 90 percent positives.

“This is a very satisfying affirmation of our college, but our real goal is not recognition — it's being a community that values the needs and contributions of every individual. In that sense everyone at SVCC helps to make this a great place to work,” said Dr. John J. Cavan, SVCC President.

Southside Virginia Community College is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and serves the largest geographical region of any of the 23 community colleges in Virginia.

The Chronicle is the nation's most important source of news about colleges and universities. “With the Great Colleges program, The Chronicle can provide even more of the vital information our readers rely on – unbiased reporting on which colleges are being innovative in their workplace practices.” said Jeffrey J. Selingo, The Chronicle's editor.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle's Web site at