Earn College Credits

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) is home to the Career Tech Academy (CTA), a year-long, hands-on training program in the areas of IT, Mechatronics/Energy, and Automation & Robotics. The CTA is available to high school students in 11th and 12th grade from Charlotte, Halifax, and Mecklenburg Counties. Students may earn high school and community college credit, the Career Studies Certificate through Danville and Southside Virginia Community Colleges, and other industry certifications. The CTA experience follows the framework of the Virginia Department of Education’s requirements for Profile of a Virginia Graduate, incorporating the 5 C’s: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Citizenship.

Year 1 CTA Student Experience

Year 1 students work in real workplace labs and utilize soft skills to prepare them with the knowledge and certifications required for employment in southern Virginia’s manufacturing and technology industries. Students attend classes at the SVHEC from 8:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m., Monday-Friday, then return to their home high schools for the remainder of the instructional day.

Year 2 CTA Student Experience

The focus of a Year 2 CTA student (seniors only) is to enhance the hands-on experience in the workforce through experiences including apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing or mentoring. CTA staff work collaboratively with Chambers of Commerce to partner with local businesses for student placements. CTA students continue to heighten their skills and knowledge during instructional time while applying these skills in the workplace. A CTA instructor stays in constant communication with business partners, evaluating student progress and ensuring success.

Information Technology

Real workplace labs and soft skills prepare individuals with the knowledge and certifications required for employment in Southern Virginia’s growing information technology industry. Students can earn their National Career Readiness Certificate, CompTIA IT Fundamentals, CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Server+ certifications.

In-demand skills acquired include:
  • Hardware Repair
  • Installing & Configuring Operating Systems
  • Cable Termination & Testing
  • Wireless Networking
  • Configuring Servers
  • Managing Servers & RAID
  • Security
  • Virtualization
Information Technology training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:
  • Data Center Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • IT Specialist
  • Help Desk Support
  • PC Technician

Mechatronics & Energy

Mechatronics & Energy integrates knowledge of mechanical, electrical, computer and software/control engineering. The program also incorporates elements Students can earn their National Career Readiness Certificate, OSHA 10 and Siemens Level 1 credentials.

In-demand skills acquired include:

  • Electrical Circuits & Theory
  • Electrical Code
  • Conductors & Cable
  • Electrical Drawings
  • Residential Wiring
  • Motor Controls
  • Grounding
  • Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  • PLCs
  • Electrical & Mechanical Components
  • Digital Fundamentals

Mechatronics training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:

  • Electrical & Electronics Engineering Technician
  • Electrician
  • Industry Machinery Mechanic
  • Maintenance & Repair
  • Smart Operator

Contact Us

To learn more, please contact:

Mecklenburg County Public Schools

Megan Hendrick, CTE Coordinator
(434) 738.6111 ext. 1031

Halifax County Public Schools

Debra Burton WoltzCTE Coordinator
(434) 575.2013

Charlotte County Public Schools

Julianna Reeves, Guidance Counselor
(434) 542.4111 ext. 4120

For all other questions and concerns, please reach out to:

Stephanie Robinson, CTA Administrator
(434) 572.5492

Success Stories

Jared Dawson in the CTA Mechatronics Lab
Connecting Students to Careers

I highly recommend the Career Tech Academy and the apprenticeship program to other students.