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Students and community: SVCC’s dual purpose

Virginia’s community colleges play vital roles in many towns and counties across the state, offering opportunities to those who can’t necessarily afford the money or time to attend a four-year institution.

Close to home, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) in Keysville has made a remarkable impression and has created opportunities for success otherwise not available to thousands of our neighbors, friends and family members.

I am one of those former students who took advantage of the numerous program offerings SVCC offers, such as literacy classes, GED testing, workforce development and pre-engineering courses, just to name a few.

There’s one that stands out as a win-win dynamic between SVCC and high schools, of which Buckingham, Prince Edward and Cumberland are all a part of — and that’s their dual enrollment programs.

I think that the college’s dual enrollment program is one of their most successful and influential programs because of the step-up it gives our students in the heart of Virginia.

Students in the program — while still in high school — are dually enrolled in both their school and SVCC classes, allowing them to meet the requirements for graduation while earning college credits at little or no cost.

One of the best things about the program is that many times students don’t have to travel from high school to Keysville to take part in the courses. They remain in their desks and learn from one of their teachers.

Dual enrollment also provides students access to the same course content and curriculum that is offered on the community college campus.

All of this is at little or no cost to the student. Again, win-win for not just our students but for our communities.

When our area’s high school and college students succeed, so do our communities, and that’s happening under our local community college’s watch.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com