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Community, Workforce & Economic Development

CWES Mission: To align priorities, strategies, and resources with those of workforce and economic development partners in response to regional labor market and community needs.

CWES Goals:

  • To provide workforce solutions, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurship services to businesses, governmental agencies, educational entities, and individuals.
  • To offer a wide array of technical services to business and industry such as job analysis and skills upgrades.
  • To provide specialized services to meet the cultural and educational needs of the region.
  • To offer “rapid response services” to the businesses as necessary.
  • To offer evening programs and courses to enhance the professional and personal development of the citizens of our region.
  • To coordinate Career Pathways development with school divisions, community colleges, and local industry.

General Credit Transfer Policies

 

In accordance with the credit transfer policies and articulation agreements, Southwest Virginia Community College accepts credit from institutions that are accredited by a regional accrediting agency. Credits obtained from non-regionally accredited institutions are evaluated and accepted on a course-by-course basis through an appeals process that is initiated by the student. The student’s appeal must include the following information:- a course description for each course;
– a course syllabus for each course; and
– provide official documentation stating the name of the instructor who taught the course and the instructor’s academic credentials.Students who have attended colleges or universities outside the United States are required to submit to the College:
• all official college transcripts in their original language; and
• a certified course-by-course commercial evaluation from an accredited evaluation agency affiliated with the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), http://www.naces.org/members.htm

International (F-1 Visa) students must submit all transcripts and commercial evaluations before the student’s first term of enrollment at Southwest Virginia Community College. The student is responsible for commercial evaluation fees and each course will be individually assessed for transfer consideration by the College. If credits are accepted, credits will be awarded on a course-by-course basis.
Students may transfer credits from other institutions into Southwest Virginia Community College; however, at least 25% of the degree or certificate program credit must be earned at Southwest Virginia Community College (also known as “courses in residence”). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.Note: Southwest Virginia Community College reviews courses and has the right not to accept all or any part of the previously earned credit.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

The following factors will be considered in the evaluation of credits for transfer:
• Breadth, depth and rigor of course content as evidenced by course syllabi, prerequisites, placement test scores, exit requirements, student portfolios, textbooks, writing or oral communication requirements, grading standards, catalog descriptions, etc.
• Qualifications of the faculty member(s) providing the instruction
• Age of credits
• Recommendations through other established credit assessment bodies (e.g., ACE)
• Applicability to the student’s program of study
• Institutional accreditation via other professional assessment/accrediting bodies (e.g., AMA, NLN, state agency)
• Secondary documentation of course competencies (e.g., professional certification, standardized exam scores, etc.)

In some cases, additional information may be requested. For graduation purposes, at least 25% of a student’s credits must be achieved through coursework at SWCC.

Alternative Ways to Earn College Credit

Southwest Virginia Community College has processes for awarding credit for prior learning experiences or credits earned through accelerated mechanism exam programs (e.g., Advanced International Certificate Of Education (AICE), Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs), and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Prior Learning Assessment/Credit by Experience

Students seeking non-traditional credit by examination or credit by experience must contact the appropriate Division Dean for assistance and to complete the appropriate forms required for documentation of credit. Credit by experience may be assessed by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning guidelines.

These guidelines only relate to the assessment of credit for courses that are offered at SWCC and credit will only be awarded for learning that is comparable to that achieved in the comparable course. It is also possible for students to receive credit for educational and work experiences which are applicable to SWCC courses and programs.

The assessment for prior learning is designed to recognize the academic value of learning through portfolios that demonstrate attainment of learning outcomes, challenge exams, vocational training or specific high school to credit articulation, and health or industry licensure certification.

Students may not receive credit for prior learning for courses in areas where he/she has received college credit for equal courses or more advanced work. Credits for prior learning may not be applied towards grade forgiveness.

Prior Learning Portfolio
This is a formal process that is based on the review of relevant materials produced by the student. These materials are presented in a portfolio format for faculty and/or staff review. In some courses, a skill assessment is also required for meeting the course competency requirements.

Student Requirements for a Prior Learning Portfolio
1. Student must be award-seeking and be admitted to the program of study (degree, certificate or diploma).
2 Portfolio-based credit for prior experiential learning may be awarded for no more than 25 percent of the credit hours applied toward a degree.

Generally, any Associate of Arts & Science courses required in a program such as English, mathematics, humanities, social science or science, or upper-division courses, cannot be earned through a Prior Learning Portfolio.

Directed Independent Study

A student wishing to take approved college courses by independent study must gain approval of one of the full-time instructors of the course and must complete a written contract prior to registration. A copy of the contract will be forwarded to the appropriate division dean for final approval. The contract will specify the requirements to be completed by the student, including tests, periodic class attendance, and term papers. The student must successfully complete all requirements of the contract to obtain credit for the course. Any student in any program may take advantage of independent study with approval.

Certain conditions, such as the student’s grade point average, number of previously completed credits, maximum allowable independent study courses, etc., will be considered in approval of independent study proposals.

Military Service Credits

Southwest Virginia will award credit for military education that has been evaluated and recommended as suitable for postsecondary credit by the American Council on Education’s Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces (ACE and AARTS). To have military experience evaluated, the student will need to furnish an official copy of either the DD-214 or DD-295 (evaluation of military experience). Credit may be awarded for Army, Coast Guard, Marine, and Navy experience as well as for Department of Defense courses. Courses administered by the Air Force are shown on an official copy of the Community College of the Air Force Transcript. Transcripts should be sent to the Admissions Office.

Physical Education Requirement Credit
SWCC will grant up to 3 credits of physical education/health for basic military training. This will be applicable to any physical education/health requirements within the student’s program of study.

Credit by Exam Alternatives


To receive credit for satisfactory scores on a nationally standardized exam, students must:
• Apply to and be admitted to Southwest Virginia Community College as a student; and
• Have official exam scores mailed directly to the Admissions Office, prior to enrollment.

If all requirements are met, the test information will be recorded on the student’s transcript. A grade of “S” for satisfactory and no grade points will be assigned for credit hours awarded.

SWCC awards credit for passing scores on standardized exams as follows:

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement:

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP), as sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board, is a nationwide testing program through which an individual can validate learning and receive college credit. Southwest Virginia Community College does award credit for appropriate CLEP scores.
The College offers opportunities for award of credit or advanced standing to students who demonstrate competency in specific subject areas. Included are arrangements for credit based upon successful completion of Advanced Placement courses/examinations in high school and for successful completion of structured testing programs such as the CLEP.

SWCC accepts CLEP and AP based on the following grid.

AP CLASSES AND CLEP EXAMINATION

SUBJECT AP SCORE NEEDED CLEP SCORE NEEDED COLLEGE CREDIT
ACCOUNTING X 50 ACC 211/213
BIOLOGY 3 50 BIO 101/102
BUSINESS LAW X 50 BUS 241
CHEMISTRY 3 50 CHM 111/112
ENGLISH X 50 ENG 111
ENGLISH 3 X ENG111/112
FRENCH 3 50 FRE 101/102
GOVERNMENT 3 X PLS 211/212
U. S. HISTORY 3 50 HIS 121/122
LITERATURE 3 50 ENG 241/242
MANAGEMENT X 50 BUS 200
MATH 3 50 MTH 151
MATH 3 X MTH 151/152
MATH 3 X MTH 240
PRIN. OF MACROECONOMICS X 50 ECO 201
PRIN. OF MICROECONOMICS X 50 ECO 202
PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING X 50 MKT 100
PSYCHOLOGY 3 X PSY 201/202
SOCIOLOGY X 50 SOC 200
SPANISH 3 50 SPA 101/102

AP scores are sent to the College by the College Board to be evaluated by the Admissions Office according to the accepted College policy. The Admissions Office will forward to Division Deans, as required, copies of AP scores of those students receiving credit and/or those needing further assistance. The Admission Office will award the credit and arrange placement on the student’s college transcript. Students achieving the CLEP exam score required as noted in the chart above will have credit placed on their college transcript. No grade will be awarded.

DSST (formerly Dantes) Exams

Based on the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) SWCC offers college credit for the following 33 DSST courses.

dsst courses

*In addition to a minimum score of 47 on the multiple-choice test, an examinee must also receive a passing grade on a speech.

Excelsior and UExcel Exams

 Credit will be granted for satisfactory scores on the Excelsior College and UEXCEL examinations. The chart below can be used as a guide to determine the type and the amount of credit.

Exam Title SWCC Equivalent Course Grade Required Credit Awarded
Abnormal Psychology (459) PSY 215 “C” or higher 3
College Writing (110) ENG 111 “C” or higher 3
Earth Sciences (415) NAS 106 “C” or higher 3
English Composition (434) ENG 111, ENG112 “C” or higher 6
Ethics: Theory & Practice (484) PHI Elective “C” or higher 3
Foundations of Gerontology (407) HMS 231 “C” or higher 3
Human Resource Management (486) BUS 205 “C” or higher 3
Introduction to Music (414) MUS 121 “C” or higher 3
Introduction to Philosophy (416) PHI 101 “C” or higher 3
Introduction to Psychology (101) PSY 200 “C” or higher 3
Juvenile Delinquency (411) ADJ 105 “C” or higher 3
Life Span Developmental Psychology (583) PSY 231 “C” or higher 3
Microbiology (558) BIO 205 “C” or higher 3
Organizational Behavior (435) BUS 201 “C” or higher 3
Political Science (170) PLS Elective “C” or higher 3
Social Psychology (412) PSY 216 “C” or higher 3
Statistics (210) MTH 240 “C” or higher 3

International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Advanced

 A score of 5 or higher will be considered for credit on any International Baccalaureate courses and a score of C or better will be considered Cambridge Advanced (A/AS) examinations. Specific equivalencies will be determined by the academic deans and faculty.


General Education Program:

Southwest Virginia Community College requires a broad general education for all degree, certificate and diploma seeking students. General education is referred to as those phases of non-specialized and non-vocational education which represent one’s accumulated knowledge and which should be the common possession of all educated citizens.

A comprehensive general education program is designed to prepare the student for effective participation in his/her community regardless of his/her role in the community. Therefore, a course of study should include appropriate academic subjects and supplementary activities whereby the student achieves competency not only for a vocation, but with a better understanding of himself/herself and a higher regard for others.

The stated goals of the General Education Program at SWCC are:

  • To promote lifelong learning.
  • To broaden skills in communication.
  • To develop problem solving skills.
  • To stimulate critical and creative thought.
  • To introduce students to ethical and socio-technological values.
  • To encourage responsible and active citizenship.
  • To introduce students to a diversity of cultures.
  • To expand student awareness of the creative and performing arts.
  • To promote mental and physical well-being.

International/Intercultural Education:

Recognizing the geographical barriers that limit cultural diversity, the College is committed to providing international/intercultural education activities as an integral part of the student’s academic and social development.  Lectures, cultural presentations, faculty and student exchange programs and other activities of an international/intercultural nature are necessary for a fundamental understanding of the interdependent world in which we live.

Learning Resources Center:

The Learning Resources Center (LRC) is the information communication service of the College. Its primary mission is to provide material and technical support for the instructional programs at the College. The LRC supports various community organizations and programs within the College’s service region.

 

Library Services:

The mission of SWCC Library is to serve as a focal point for research and study; to provide students, academic personnel, and community users access to informational resources; and to provide an up-to-date collection of library materials which support and enhance the educational programs of the College, as well as the personal aspirations of individuals using the Library.  Specific goals to meet this mission are:

  • To provide facilities, services, and learning/information resources in an educational atmosphere that promotes student learning and enhances student development.
  • To provide adequate library collections as well as other learning/information resources, which are current and representative of the curriculum and the needs of  the community of library users.
  • To provide regular and timely individual and group instruction for library literacy, information literacy, and technology for information access.
  • To provide for the continued effectiveness of the Library by regularly assessing the needs of and services provided to students, faculty, and community, resulting in continuing improvement, and demonstrating that the Library is effectively accomplishing its mission, goals, and objectives.
  • To provide a sufficient number of qualified staff with appropriate education or experience in the library and/or other learning resources.

The Library is a fully automated, modern research facility.  VCCS Linc, the online catalog for the Aleph library management system, provides public access to the collections of all the college libraries in the Virginia Community College System and an automated circulation system.  Other locally developed networks provide bibliographic and full-text databases along with the capacity to print, email and store information.

VIVA, The Virtual Library of Virginia, is available on thirty-one public-access computers and eleven wireless laptops.  This statewide academic project provides electronic access to vast amounts of information through the cooperation of all the academic libraries and special funding initiatives.  Students and faculty have free access to First Search, literature full-text databases, full-text encyclopedias, and full-text periodicals.  The interlibrary loan component of the VIVA project provides document delivery services between and among the academic libraries, and electronic delivery of interlibrary loan is a component.

The Internet and its wealth of information and services are freely available to students, faculty, and the community.

   Other services and materials available are listed below:

  • Reference and information services available 65 hours per week
  • 44,597 monographs
  • 137 periodical subscriptions
  • Bibliographic and full-text databases with access to more than 10,500 full text journals and reports provided solely or jointly by SWCC Library,Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA)
  • 46.172 netLibrary electronic full-text books
  • Growing collection of audio books (full length books on cassette and CD)
  • Growing collection of videos and DVDs; primarily academic support,
  • informational, and classics
  • Printed and online user instructions along with personal assistance
  • Scheduled classes for bibliographic instruction and library research skills

 

Learning Assistance Center (LAC):

The Learning Assistance Center functions as a comprehensive learning center for students, instructors, staff members, and community residents.

The LAC provides opportunities for specialized instruction to assist clients in meeting their educational goals. Supplemental instruction is also available through computer software and instructional modules through audio and videos. Services of the LAC are offered on a demand basis; however, many faculty members require their students to utilize a variety of instructional concepts available in the LAC as part of their course requirements. Individualized assistance can be obtained from specialized computer programs as well as student tutors. LAC personnel diligently assist users with locating the appropriate material and equipment to meet their ongoing academic needs.

 

Distance Learning & Instructional Technology:

The Distance Learning and Instructional Technology department performs primarily five services—Instructional Design, Development and Support; Instructional Server Management; Certification and Testing Services; Systems Development and Integration; and Learning Assistance Center services.

The distance learning program is designed to offer courses to students who find it necessary or more convenient to study outside the regular classroom environment.

Teleconferencing provides local, state, national and international teleconference opportunities for the College’s service area. The institution has down linked everything from law enforcement to health to staff development.

The Learning Management System (Blackboard) and the instructional network servers allow students and faculty in traditional and DLIT classes to access their courses providing media streaming and other services. On-going training and support for the management system is provided for faculty and students.

The fiber optic electronic classroom transmits video with natural motion and wide spectrum served over a high speed digital network. Teacher and learners simultaneously are heard and seen at each site.

The compressed video electronic classroom allows classes to be offered from various earning centers across the state of Virginia. Like the fiber optic classes, the compressed video classes allow for two-way video and two-way audio from a local site and one or more remote sites.

Video production of telecourses, teleweb, or other educational or training needs can be met with the department’s highly trained staff and fully equipped production facility.

The planning and consulting services are designed to help any faculty member or student with classroom presentations. These may include advice on technical matters concerning equipment and production, and on techniques and the effectiveness of various procedures in instruction.

The equipment loan and maintenance services includes both electronic delivery of classroom support materials and the delivery of equipment to the classroom. Maintenance includes cleaning and repair of the College’s media equipment.

In addition to these services, the Distance Learning & Instructional Technology staff also helps the faculty and administration to plan, develop, and produce audio-visual materials for college public relation exhibits and publications.


 

New Industry Programs:

Southwest Virginia Community College, in cooperation with the  Virginia Economic Development Partnership, provides instruction for new and expanding industries.

The program incorporates job analysis, instructor recruiting and/or training, possible financial support for job instruction, and adaptation for continuous training. Such training aids in more efficient plant production for industry and greater opportunity for advancement of employees. New industries considering locating in the area, or existing industries considering expansion are invited to contact the College’s Division of Continuing Education for more information.

Off-Campus Offerings:

In order to meet the needs of business, industry, and other community groups, some courses may be offered at off-campus locations.  College training centers are conveniently located throughout the service region.  It may be necessary to offer such courses on a time-schedule different from the beginning and ending dates of the regular semesters as stated in the College Calendar.  Such courses will in no way be reduced in number of hours required for quality of instruction.

Outcomes Assessment Requirement:

Students may be required to take one or more tests designed to measure general education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas prior to graduation for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs.  No minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation.  Test results will remain confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of improvement of the college.

SWCC Honors Program:

The SWCC Honors Program is designed to provide the strong academic student the opportunity to participate in a challenging and demanding course of study in Humanities and Social Sciences which will complement any college transfer program* in which the student is participating.  The Honors Program offers:

  1. The opportunity to work closely with faculty members in interdisciplinary seminars and independent research.
  2. The opportunity to graduate in the Honors Program with appropriate recognition and transcript notations marking courses as Honors courses.
  3. The opportunity to have recommendations to Honors Programs in senior colleges and universities.

Eligibility for the Honors Program

Any student who is enrolled in a college transfer program* at SWCC and meets the guidelines listed below is eligible to apply for the Honors Program.  Final selection of participants will be made by the Honors Program Committee.

1.         Recent High School Graduates

a.         Be in the top 10% of the high school graduating class in a college preparatory program or score 1100 or above on the SAT.

b.         Submit recommendations from at least two high school teachers in senior level college preparatory classes.

2.         Students Currently Enrolled at SWCC

a.         Have a GPA of 3.35.

b.         Submit recommendations from two SWCC faculty members.

Format for the Honors Program

A.        The program consists of two components:

1.         Honors Contract Courses.  The student should take a minimum of three courses (9 semester hours) but no more than two Honors Contract courses per semester.  These courses should be worked out in consultation with the Honors Program Committee.

2.         Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars.  The student should take a minimum of two one-hour seminars, and should plan to take a seminar each semester he/she is enrolled in the Honors Program.

B.         Grades:

1.         The minimum grade expectation for Honors courses is “B.”

2.         The minimum GPA expectation per semester in Honors classes is 3.25.

3.         The minimum GPA to graduate in the Honors Program is 3.5 in Honors courses, as well as in the student’s regular course of study.

* College transfer programs:  Science, Business Administration, Engineering, Education, General Studies, and Liberal Arts

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