ERIC Number: ED498150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan-10
Reference Count: N/A
Report on the Analysis of Education Demand in Southside Virginia and Recommendations for Action
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
This document reports on the educational demand in Southside Virginia and recommendations for action. The Southside is defined as including the cities of Martinsville, Danville, and South Boston and the counties of Henry, Pittsylvania, Patrick, and Franklin. A needs-assessment indicated: (1) Strong interest in attending a college in the Martinsville area, with clear preference for a local college to be a branch campus or affiliated with an existing institution: (2) Necessity of financial aid and need to work and attend school at the same time; (3) Need for broad-based student service offerings and program scheduling to meet needs for part-time enrollment, commuters and resident-students; and (4) Need for specific baccalaureate degree programs, particularly in the fields of health, education, business administration, computer science, programs that capitalize on local assets such as Southside fine arts facilities, and enhanced occupational and entrepreneurial training. It was determined that the recommended model should serve the entire Southside region and should leverage assets and resources of existing public and private institutions. Recommendations include creating physical presences within three Southside sub-regions: Martinsville, Danville, and South Boston, although utilization of current and emerging educational technologies is also encouraged. In an area dependent on now-collapsed manufacturing and agricultural economies, a strong culture of college attendance does not exist, and educational attainment levels are comparatively low. Outreach through K-12 student, family, and teacher initiatives such as college awareness and preparation programs, the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program, and the No Child Left Behind program are cited as essential to promoting enthusiasm for continued education in the Southside region and changing the culture. Recognizing that one institution, or a series of four year degree granting programs, can not single-handedly reform a region economically, the Council recommends development of a comprehensive Southside economic development plan. Citing that a free-standing autonomous institution with fully articulated leadership structure would be the most expensive alternative, a phased entity created in partnership with existing four-year colleges and community colleges is recommended as a more cost-effective way to meet regional needs and is consistent with Virginia's history of establishing new higher education institutions in affiliation with existing institutions.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Demand, Educational Change, College Attendance, Educational Attainment, Economic Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Attitudes, Educational Indicators, Change Strategies, Economic Impact, School Culture, Community Surveys
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. 101 North 14th Street, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-225-2600; Fax: 804-225-2604; Web site: http://www.schev.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Virginia State Council of Higher Education, Richmond.
Identifiers - Location: Virginia