Jessica Lilly Published

10 Years of Collaborative Higher Education Celebrated in Southern W.Va.


It’s been 10 years since The Erma Byrd Center opened in Raleigh County. State officials, students, faculty and community members gathered at the Center on Friday to celebrate the anniversary.

The Erma Byrd Center, was West Virginia’s first collaborative higher education campus. The Center offers classes and student services from Bluefield State College, Concord University and Marshall University.

According to a news release from the Higher Education Policy Commission, a variety of state and college officials attended the event including HEPC Chancellor, Paul Hill.

“Ten years ago, the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center launched with the groundbreaking goal of uniting the colleges and universities serving southern West Virginia in order to increase efficiency and better meet the needs of our communities,” Dr. Hill said. “Today, the Center stands as the cornerstone to a vibrant campus featuring multiple facilities and offering classes to more than 1,000 students. The Center has become a hub to fuel innovation, promote economic development and expand access to higher education opportunities throughout the region.”

A news release says more than 1,100 students are enrolled to attend the complex for the upcoming Fall 2017 semester. The Complex offers degree programs in a variety of fields.

Students attending the event were eligible to apply for more than $30,000 in scholarships. Bluefield State, Concord and the Higher Education Foundation each offered ten $1,000 scholarships in recognition of the ten-year anniversary.

Officials also gathered items for a time capsule with plans to open it on the Center’s 20th anniversary.

For more information about the programs, classes and resources offered at the center, here.