Student leaders from high schools and colleges kick off second year of the West Virginia Student Success Leadership Council

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Student Success Leadership Council (WVSSLC) kicked off its second year in a virtual conference last week attended by 55 student leaders representing 49 high schools and six colleges and universities across the state. The WVSSLC, an initiative of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, and West Virginia Department of Education, is driven by its student members, who work together to help create a college-going culture in their schools and communities.

Through a virtual roundtable atmosphere, students talk about how they can help more of their peers prepare for college through key steps, including filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exploring and applying for scholarships and grants. The group also participates in leadership training and works to identify and tackle challenges students are facing that could prevent them from pursing education or training after high school.

In the WVSSLC’s kick-off meeting, high school juniors from across the state met with each other, as well as student government leaders from colleges and universities in West Virginia who serve as college-level mentors to the group.

When discussing why they want to go to college, the participating students talked about higher education as the path to careers that will support their families, with one sharing, “I want to make a good life for myself and to do something I really enjoy career wise.” 

West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, spoke with the students and stressed the importance of having their voices heard, saying, “I’m so proud that you are coming together to talk about how we can all do a better job of helping more students continue their education. Your voice is critical, and you can absolutely help guide statewide policy decisions that impact you, your classmates, and future students.” 

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch also delivered a message to the WVSSLC students, saying, “Your role as a leader with the Council will have an impact on your peers and on students who follow a similar path in the years to come. We need you to be engaged in this process because no one understands the challenges high school students are facing these days better than you. We can’t thank you enough for your involvement and leadership.”

WVSSLC members are nominated by county superintendents, principals, counselors, teachers and/or student council sponsors. They will meet throughout the year, lead projects in their schools, and participate in statewide events, including the annual Student Success Summit.

For more information on the WVSSLC, visit