SVHEC’s Office of Learner Success and Engagement team consists of (from left) Amy Cole, director of student and partner advancement, Virginia Byrd, finance and student services administrator, and Meagan Owen, coordinator of learner success.

Your opportunity lives here. It’s not just a tagline for Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), it’s a commitment. The SVHEC remains unwavering in its mission to help people in southern Virginia transform their lives by providing access to a wide variety of educational opportunities, and assisting them every step of the way.

In order to remove every barrier to a student’s success that they can, the center has formed a new office to provide centralized support services for students, the Office of Learner Success and Engagement (OLSE). Incorporating a one-stop shop concept, a student can seek assistance from the time they are interested in a program until they graduate.

“From the time a student is interested in a program until they complete a program and are seeking employment, they can come to us,” said Meagan Owen, SVHEC coordinator of learner success. “If they need program information, if they need literacy support services, if they have personal issues that are standing in the way of them completing the program. Whatever the need, someone from our office will be tasked with following up with them throughout the program.”

The office sits under the umbrella of SVHEC’s Student and Partner Advancement department. Its director, Amy Cole, is excited about fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere for the students.

“We want to help the student feel more connected to the higher ed center. And if they start to struggle, we’ll be there to help them along the way,” said Cole. “We are making a big point of staying connected with each class and the students throughout the program in case they have issues with basic math, for example, or computer literacy. We can help them with everything from applying for scholarships to walking them through the details so they don’t have to go find this person on campus or that person on campus. We hope to eliminate all that and make it easier for our students to succeed, which is our main goal.”

 “Education has the power to change lives, but the educational process can be very intimidating, especially for first-timers,” said Dr. Betty Adams, executive director of the SVHEC. “OLSE staff will seek to reduce the fear, anxiety and confusion students sometimes feel by offering support from the time they walk in the door until they complete their programs. With the OLSE, the SVHEC is committing to student success by helping students fully leverage the power of education.” 

The OLSE is located in SVHEC’s 820 Bruce St. building.

For more information, contact Meagan Owen at 434-572-5566 or email