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News Releases

SCHEV Updates Statewide Strategic Plan for Higher Education

Feb 16, 2021, 14:50 PM

Contact: Laura Osberger
(804) 387-5191 (mobile)

February 16, 2021

For immediate release

RICHMOND – The State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) today released its updated statewide strategic plan, Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education (The Plan) . SCHEV has a codified responsibility to develop and review The Plan every six years to ensure its relevance in addressing critical issues. Through a collaborative process, SCHEV spent the last year creating Pathways to Opportunity, which has three main goals: higher education should be equitable, affordable and transformative.

  • Equitable: Close access and completion gaps. Remove barriers to access and attainment especially for Black, Hispanic, Native American and rural students; students learning English as a second language; students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; and students with disabilities;
  • Affordable: costs to students. Invest in and support the development of initiatives that provide cost savings to students while maintaining the effectiveness of instruction; and
  • Transformative: Expand prosperity. Increase the social, cultural and economic well-being of individuals and communities within the Commonwealth and its regions.

These goals are the framework for The Plan’s 10 strategies and five measures, as well as the vision of “Best State for Education” and overall target of 70% educational attainment of all 25 to 64-year old working-aged Virginians. Developing action plans is the next step in the process.

The Virginia Plan


“The events of 2020 -- COVID-19, social justice reforms and concerns about a civil society -- reinforce the need for this plan,” said SCHEV Director Peter Blake. “Now more than ever, the Commonwealth should aspire to a system of higher education that is equitable, affordable and transformative.”

“The Commonwealth is proud of its outstanding higher education system and its diverse institutions and pathways,”added SCHEV Council Chair Marge Connelly. “Pathways to Opportunity serves as the nexus, transforming learners and cultivating talent to support Virginia's economy.”


The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best state for education by 2030. For more on Pathways to Opportunity, visit


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