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General & Administrative Information

General Information

Southwest Virginia Community College is a two-year institution of higher education established as a part of a statewide system of community colleges serving primarily the residents of the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell and Tazewell. The College operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and a Local College Board. The institution is financed primarily by State funds supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.

The College operates on the semester system and is open on a year-round basis. Classes normally are held from 8:00 am through 9:50 pm. The availability of college credit courses in the evening allows the student who must work while going to college the opportunity to coordinate college activities with employment.

History:

The 1966 General Assembly of Virginia authorized the establishment of a statewide system of comprehensive community colleges and appointed a separate State Board to develop a Master Plan for a statewide system of community college education in Virginia. The Master Plan designated a community college to be established in the area serving the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell, and Tazewell.

A delegation of local citizens met with State officials to determine the feasibility of immediate development of a community college for the region. A local College Board was appointed in the summer of 1967. The Local Board recommended that the college be named Southwest Virginia Community College and that Dr. Charles R. King be appointed as president.

The College opened to students in the fall of 1968 with an initial enrollment of 710 students. Fall 2010 credit enrollment was 3,758 unduplicated headcount students.

Vision:

Southwest Virginia Community College transforms lives, strengthens communities and inspires excellence.

Mission:

Southwest Virginia Community College, a comprehensive two-year institution, provides quality educational and cultural enrichment opportunities for lifelong learners, workforce and community.

Core Values:

SWCC is guided by steadfast core values. As a community of educators we value:

  • Student Centered Learning – SWCC believes that students are the primary reason we exist and our purpose is to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
  • Student Success – SWCC recognizes the potential in individuals and assists them in obtaining their highest level of attainment.
  • Excellence – SWCC strives for excellence in instruction and service through rigorous academic and professional standards.
  • Inclusiveness and Collaboration – SWCC reaches out to the communities and partners it serves, supporting and assisting them in achieving their goals.

Accreditation:

Southwest Virginia Community College, a part of the Virginia Community College System, is approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and by the Virginia Community College System. The associate degree curricula of the College have also been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Southwest Virginia Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone number 404.679.4500 or at http://www.sacsoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Southwest Virginia Community College.

Tuition and Fees:

Tuition and related costs are set by the State Board for Community Colleges and are subject to change.

See the SWCC Tuition & Fee page for the most recent tuition and fee rates.

The applicant will be required to complete the Domicile Determination Form (included as a portion of the Admission Application) to determine state residency eligibility for tuition purposes.

Student Comprehensive Fee

A comprehensive fee will be charged at the rate of $2.00 per credit hour for credit classes and for non-credit courses. The purpose of the comprehensive fee revenue is to provide support for College student government activities and events and parking auxiliary. Fifty percent ($0.75) of the revenue generated shall be earmarked for student activities and events, and 50% ($0.75) shall be budgeted for the parking auxiliary fund.

The College President may waive the comprehensive fee for special classes designed for business and industry and for any other justifiable special circumstance.

Technology Fee

A technology fee will be charged at the rate of $8.50 per credit hour that will be used to finance major improvements in information technology at the College.

Special 30 Mile Radius Rate

Residents of Pike County, Kentucky, and residents of Mercer, Mingo, and McDowell Counties in West Virginia will be assessed the Virginia 30 mile radius rate of tuition if they are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at state supported institutions in their respective states. Although individuals enrolled from these counties are classified as out-of-state students, because of special Virginia Legislation, these individuals are eligible to pay the 30 mile radius tuition rate. In addition to the comprehensive fee ($2.00) and the technology fee ($8.50), a $18.00 capital fee per credit hour will be added.

Dishonored Check Fee

The College will assess a $35.00 service charge for checks returned for any reason.

Waived Tuition

The Code of Virginia, Section 23-7.1, provides that free tuition and required fees to state-supported institutions shall be granted to children of deceased or permanently disabled veterans of the armed forces of the United States provided disability or death was the result of service-related injury. Also, children of prisoners of war or individuals missing in action are eligible for tuition waiver.

Students who are eligible for the tuition waiver under this law must provide documentation from the State Division of War Veterans Claims to the Veterans Affairs Officer.

Tuition and required fees are also waived for children of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and rescue squad members killed in the line of duty.

Waived Tuition for Students in Certain Dual Enrollment Courses

Tuition shall be charged at in-state rates for any high school or magnet school student not otherwise qualified for in-state tuition, pursuant to Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia, who is enrolled in courses specifically designed as part of the high school or magnet school curriculum in a community college for which he/she may, upon successful completion, receive high school and community college credit pursuant to a dual enrollment agreement between the high school or magnet school and the community college.

Senior Citizens’ Tuition and Fees Waiver

Under provisions of the Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act, a person who is sixty years of age with legal domicile in Virginia for one year before the beginning of a semester may enroll in a state institution of higher learning at no cost (tuition and required fees) provided all tuition-paying students are given first priority for class spaces. Senior citizens who have completed 75% or more of their degree requirements may be allowed to enroll in courses at the same time as tuition-paying students. If the senior citizen had a federal taxable income of not more than $15,000 in the preceding year, the individual may take a course for academic credit without paying tuition. If the person’s taxable income exceeded $15,000, the individual may only audit the course for free. All audits must be approved by the appropriate division dean. A senior citizen, regardless of income level, may take a noncredit course at no charge.

No limit is placed on the number of semesters in which a senior citizen may register for tuition-free courses. The law places no restriction on the number of courses that may be taken for credit in any semester. Credit courses, audit of credit courses or noncredit courses cannot exceed three courses per semester.

To apply for waiver of tuition and fees, senior citizens must be admitted to the college and complete waiver forms each semester in which classes are taken. Waivers must be approved by the Director of Admissions and Counseling and forms are available in the Admissions Office.

Other Fees, Charges, and Fines

Continued enrollment at the College is dependent upon proper settlement of all debts owed the Institution.  Should the student fail to satisfy all due and payable amounts for tuition and fees, college loans, college fines, or other debts owed the College, he or she may be suspended and will not be allowed to register in any succeeding semester until all current debts owed to the College have been satisfied.

A student who damages or loses school property (laboratory or shop equipment, library materials, etc.) must pay charges for such losses.  In addition, a student must pay fines for improper parking, or other such infractions as determined by the College administration with the approval of the Virginia Community College System.

Transcripts, certificates, or degrees will not be issued, nor will a student be permitted to register, until all the student’s accounts have been paid in full.

Tuition Refunds:

Students shall normally be eligible for tuition refund for credits dropped during the add/drop period of each term. The official add/drop periods for academic semesters of normal length are published in the Schedule of Classes and the College Catalog. Refund deadlines for shorter terms, such as some summer terms, will vary. Students are advised to check with the Office of Admissions and Records for specific refund deadlines prior to making the decision to withdraw.

Electronic or written notification of the student’s intent to drop or withdraw from courses must reach the Admissions and Records Office by the last day of the add/drop period in order for the student to be eligible for a refund. Full refunds are made when the College cancels a course. (Courses may be dropped without academic penalty through the tenth week of the fall and spring semester. However, students will not be eligible for refunds.)

To be eligible for refund under any of the circumstances set forth in the foregoing paragraph, a student must execute an official electronic or written notification to the Office of Admissions and Records. Official withdrawal for a student shall become effective on the date that the electronic or written notification of intent to resign is received by the Office of Admissions and Records and not the date of the last class attended unless the two dates coincide. Course withdrawal notifications should be presented in person, or by the student’s authorized representative. The College cannot undertake to accomplish contact with the student’s instructors except for the most serious of reasons.

All services shall be withheld from a student who owes money to the College for any reason or who has books or materials outstanding from the College.

Student Records:

Southwest Virginia Community College complies with the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 regarding confidentiality and student’s access to student records.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a federal law which allows students access to their educational records and prohibits the release of information from students’ educational records by the institution without the written consent of the student, with certain specified exceptions.

SWCC accords all rights under the law to students who are declared independent.  No one outside the institution will have access to, nor will the institution disclose, any information from students’ educational records without the written consent of students, except to personnel within the institution, to officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation functions, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.  All these exceptions are permitted under the Act.

The Act allows the College to report substance abuse violations to parents of students under 21, to disclose the results of College disciplinary proceedings in cases of violent crimes, and to release student records to the courts in the case of a parent/student lawsuit against the College.

In accordance with the provision of the Act, the college may provide directory information.  Directory information will be withheld for students who notify the Admissions and Records Office in writing within two weeks of the first day of class.

Directory information shall include:

  1. Student’s Name
  2. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  3. Address
  4. Telephone Listing
  5. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  6. Electronic mail address
  7. Degrees, honors, and awards received
  8. Major field of study
  9. Dates of attendance
  10. Grade level
  11. The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  12. Number of credit hours enrolled
  13. Photos


Request for nondisclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually in the Admissions and Records Office. Copies of the law and SWCC’s policy for implementing it are available in the Admissions and Records Office and are on reserve in the SWCC library Student Records along with a copy of the SWCC policy on retention and disposal of records.

 Hours for College Offices and Facilities

Administrative Offices –  Monday – Friday` 7:45 am to 4:30 pm

Counseling Monday – Friday` 7:45 am to 4:30 pm

Library Monday – Thursday 7:45 am to 9:00 pm
Friday 7:45 am to 4:30 pm
Weekend(during regular semester) 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Holiday, Delayed & Summer schedules are posted on the Library website

Instructors Posted office hours and by appointment

 

Revisions to Published Information:

Southwest Virginia Community College must reserve the right to make any necessary but previously unannounced revisions, additions, or deletions in services, program offerings, program requirements, course content, scheduled course offerings, instructors, meeting times and dates and locations as may be required without notice.


Administrative Information

Admissions Requirements:

General Admission to the College

Any person who has a high school diploma or the equivalent, or who is 18 years of age and, in any case, is able to benefit from a program at SWCC may be admitted as a regular or special student.

The College does not discriminate in the evaluation of any person’s application on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.  The College, however, reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant when, in the College’s opinion, the applicant’s presence in the College community will pose a serious threat to the continued safety or welfare of the campus and community, or when the College is of the opinion that the applicant will receive no significant educational benefit by attending the College.  Such a determination will be based upon objective criteria such as prior record of criminal activity, prior academic record at other institutions, or the applicant’s ability to benefit.  These criteria are set forth as examples and not for purposes of limitation.

The following items must be received by the Office of Admissions of the College before final action is taken on the application.

Regular Students:

  1. A completed “Application for Admission as a Regular Student” (no fee required).
  2. Official transcripts from all high schools, colleges, and universities attended.
  3. Registration for any examinations used as admission counseling tools by the College.

Special Students(those not enrolled in a certificate, diploma, or degree program at the College:

  1. A completed official application for admission (no fee required).
  2. If anticipated enrollment will be in more than one course and/or for more than one term, special students are requested to provide transcripts from all high schools, colleges, and universities attended.

Special students desiring to enroll in a course with certain academic prerequisites should submit official transcripts for all high schools, colleges, and universities attended.

Anyone wishing to apply for non credit community service programs should contact the College for additional information.

Applicants for admission to the College as a regular student are scheduled with one of the College counselors (a) to discuss the applicant’s educational interest, (b) to determine if additional tests are needed, and (c) to plan an application for admission to a specific curriculum or program at the College.

Admission to Specific Curricula

In addition to the general admission requirements listed above, specific requirements are usually prescribed for each curriculum of the College. Among the items generally considered in determining eligibility for admission to curricula in the College are educational and occupational experiences and other reasonable standards to ensure that the student possesses the potential to meet program requirements.

The specific requirements for each curriculum in the College are listed in the curriculum offerings section of this catalog. A person who does not meet the requirements for a specific curriculum or course may be eligible to enter the curriculum with the agreement that he or she will enroll in prescribed developmental or preparatory courses.

A student entering the College, or planning to take English or mathematics courses, will be required to take the ASSET or COMPASS examination. SAT or ACT scores may be substituted for the ASSET or COMPASS examination unless the applicant is seeking entry to one of the College’s health care programs. Test scores below specified levels indicate students are not ready for some kinds of college courses. In such cases students will be required to complete certain developmental courses that are prerequisites for courses in their program of study. Dual enrollment/high school students taking college courses may be exempt from this requirement.

The individual applying for admission to an associate degree (Associate of Arts and Sciences or Associate of Applied Science) program must be a high school graduate or the equivalent or have completed approved developmental or preparatory programs.

Admission priority

When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, priority shall be given to all qualified applicants who are residents of the political subdivisions (Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell, or Tazewell counties), supporting the College and to Virginia residents not having access to a given program at their local community college, provided such students apply for admission to the program prior to registration or by a deadline established by the College. In addition, residents of localities with which the College has clinical-site or other agreements may receive equal consideration for admission.

Admission Requirements for International Students

In addition to the general admission requirements of the College, the international student must demonstrate proficiency in both written and oral English.  Normally, a minimum score of 500 is required on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The international applicant is also required to submit with the application a signed statement (form provided by the College) verifying that he or she has adequate resources to meet all financial needs for the duration of enrollment at the College.  The international student desiring admission to the College should direct requests to the College Admissions Office.

Admission of Student Transferring from Other Colleges

Usually, a student transferring from another institution is eligible for admission to the College if the student is eligible for immediate re-enrollment at the most recent college attended. If academically ineligible to return to a previous college, a transfer student generally will not be allowed to enroll in the College until one semester elapses or until completion of an approved developmental or preparatory program at the College. The Admissions Appeal Committee will decide on each case and usually impose special conditions (including placement and probation) for the admission of such a student.

Each student transferring from another college should consult with the Director of Admissions at the College for an assessment of credits in order to determine academic standing before registering for classes. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Admissions Office. Generally, no credit will be given for courses with grades lower than “C” or for courses from colleges and universities not accredited by a regional accrediting association.

Applying for Credit or Waiver of Requirements

The student who has reason to believe that previous educational studies, training programs, or work experience may entitle him or her to an adjustment in the course requirements for a particular curriculum should contact the Director of Admissions/Counseling to determine procedures before registering for classes.

Classification of Students:

All students are classified according to the following categories:

1.         A regular student is one whose file in the Admissions Office contains all the information required for general admission to the College as a regular student and who has been admitted to a curriculum of the College.  A regular student is:

a. A full-time or part-time student working toward completion of an associate degree, diploma, certificate, or developmental studies program;

b. A full-time or part-time student taking credit courses for transfer to another college or university.

2.         A special student is one who is permitted to register under special conditions.  A special student is:

a.         A part-time student taking course(s) as audit for no credit;

b.         A high school student who, with the written permission of his or her high school principal, is concurrently enrolled in a college course;

c.         A student assigned to one of the College’s “unclassified student” categories.

d.         A part-time student not enrolled in an associate degree, diploma, or certificate   program who may be taking a course(s) for credit (such a student may later apply to the College for admission to a program as a regular student);

e.         A student who has not yet fulfilled all of the requirements as a regular student but  who is admitted under special consideration by the Admissions Committee of the College.  Such a student must fulfill all requirements prior to the midterm of the semester of admission or face dismissal from the College.

full-time student must carry 12 or more course credits per semester.

A part-time student carries fewer than 12 course credits per semester.

 Freshman.  A student is classified as a freshman until completion of 30 course credits in a designated area.

Sophomore.  A student is classified as a sophomore after completing 30 or more course credits in a designated associate degree or diploma curriculum.  Transferred credits are included, providing they apply toward the requirements of the student’s curriculum.

Credits:

A credit is equivalent to one collegiate semester hour credit or one and one-half of a collegiate quarter hour credit.  Usually, the student receives one credit for a course of approximately three hours of study weekly as follows:

  1. One hour of lecture plus an average of two hours of out-of-class study, or
  2. Two hours of laboratory or shop study plus an average of one hour of out-of-class study, or
  3. Three hours of laboratory or shop study with no regular out-of-class assignments.

Variable credit (1-5 credits), variable hours, and behavioral objectives are assigned to each developmental course (number 01-09).  Also, variable credit (1-5 credits) is assigned to all supervised study, seminar and project, and coordinated internship courses.

Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates:

Southwest Virginia Community College offers the following degrees, diplomas and certificates for students who successfully complete approved curricula at the College.

  1. The Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree (AA & S) is awarded to the graduating student majoring in liberal arts, business administration, engineering, education, general studies, science and other pre-professional programs and who may plan to transfer to a four-year college or university after completion of the community college program.
  2. The Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) is awarded to the graduating student majoring in one of the occupational-technical curricula and who plans to obtain full-time employment immediately upon graduation from the College.
  3. A Diploma or Certificate is awarded to the graduating student who completes one of the approved non-degree curricula which are usually less than two years in length.

Grading System:

A         Excellent  4 grade points per credit

B         Good       3 grade points per credit

C         Average   2 grade points per credit

D         Poor        1 grade point per credit

F         Failure    0 grade point per credit

P         Pass      No grade point credit;  applies only to non-developmental studies courses.

S         Satisfactory      No grade point credit;  used only for satisfactory completion of a developmental studies course.

U         Unsatisfactory  No grade point credit (applies to specialized courses and seminars, primarily Developmental Studies).

I           Incomplete       No credit. Used for verifiable, unavoidable reason. Since the “incomplete” extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion will be established through student/faculty consultation. Courses for which the grade of “I” (incomplete) has been awarded must be completed by the end of the subsequent semester or another grade (A, B, C, D, F, P, R, S, U, or W) may be awarded by the instructor based upon course work which has been completed. In the case of “I” grades earned at the end of Spring Semester, students shall have through the end of the Summer Semester to complete the requirements. In exceptional cases, extensions of time needed to complete course work for “I” grades may be granted beyond the subsequent semester, with the written approval of the chief academic officer. A “W” grade should only be awarded under mitigating circumstances which
must be approved by the chief academic officer and documented. A copy of this documentation must be placed in the student’s academic file.

W        Withdrawal       No grade point credit.  A grade of “W” is awarded to students who withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the add/ drop period but prior to the completion of 60% of the session.  After that time    the students will receive a grade of “F,” except under    mitigating circumstances, which must be documented and a copy of this documentation must be placed in the student’s academic file.

R          Re-enroll          No grade point credit. The “R” grade may be used as a grade option, interim in nature, in those courses which
employ a mode of instruction characterized by explicit terminal objectives covering the various content areas in such a way that specific determination of student progress toward total course completion can be made. Examples of this mode are as follows:
a. Individualized, self-paced instruction; or b. Modularized, group-paced instruction.

The “R” grade may be given only in courses which will be offered in any semester and which will employ a mode of instruction described in a. and/or b. above.
The courses in which this methodology shall be used shall be designated by their applicability to the established procedures for the “R” grade and shall be identified by the Division Dean and approved by the Vice President of Instruction.

X         Audit    No credit.

The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in courses by the total number of credits attempted.

Developmental course credits are not included in credits attempted when computing GPA.

Grading – Developmental Studies Courses

A grade of “S” (Satisfactory) is assigned for satisfactory completion of each developmental course (courses numbered 01-09).  “S” grades are not included in grade point average calculations.

A student making satisfactory progress but not completing all of the behavioral objectives for a developmental studies course (courses numbered 01-09) shall be graded with an “R” (Re-enroll) and must re-enroll to complete the course objective.

A student not making satisfactory progress in a developmental studies course (courses numbered 01-09) shall be graded “U” (Unsatisfactory), and counselors will recommend consultation between the student and the instructor to determine the subsequent sequence of courses the student should take.

Graduation Honors:

A student who has fulfilled the requirements for graduation is eligible for graduation honors.  Honors are based on overall scholastic achievements and are recorded on the student’s transcript as follows:

Cumulative Grade

Point Average             Honor

3.2       Cum laude (with honor)

3.5       Magna cum laude (with high honor)

3.8       Summa cum laude (with highest honor)

Graduation Requirements:

Associate Degree Requirements

To be awarded an associate degree from the College, a student must:

  1. Have fulfilled all of the course requirements of his or her curriculum as outlined in the College Catalog.  The student continuously enrolled in credit courses at SWCC (excluding summer terms) may have the option of fulfilling course requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of initial enrollment, or requirements outlined in the current catalog, should specific requirements differ;
  2. Have been recommended for graduation by the appropriate instructional authority;
  3. Have fulfilled all of the course and credit-hour requirements of the degree curriculum with 25 percent of the credit hours acquired at the College;
  4. Have completed the general education requirements for an associate degree;
  5. Have earned a grade point average of at least 2.0 on all courses attempted which are applicable toward graduation in the student’s curriculum;
  6. Have filed an application for graduation in the Office of Admissions and  Records;
  7. Have resolved all financial obligations to the College and returned all library and other College materials. 

Diploma and Certificate Requirements

A student who successfully completes a program of instruction which does not lead to an associate degree program or who is unable to complete the degree requirements may, upon the recommendation of the appropriate instructional division and the Vice President of Instruction, be issued a diploma or certificate, provided the portion of study successfully completed is equivalent to an approved diploma or certificate program offered at the College.

In order to graduate from a diploma or certificate program, the student must complete the general education requirements applicable to his or her respective programs in addition to other specified courses, with a minimum overall grade point average 2.0  on all work attempted at Southwest Virginia Community College and applicable toward graduation from a particular curriculum.

A diploma or  certificate candidate must also comply with items 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 of the above requirements for associate degrees.  A minimum of 25 percent  of the credits required for a diploma or certificate must be earned at SWCC.

VCCS Computer Ethics Guideline:

Thousands of users share VCCNet computing resources.  Everyone must use these resources responsibly since misuse by even a few individuals has the potential to disrupt VCCS business or the works of others.  Therefore you must exercise ethical behavior when using VCCNet resources.

State Law (Article 7.1 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia) classifies damage to computer hardware or software (18.2-152.4), unauthorized examination (18.2-152.5), or unauthorized use (18.2-152.6) of computer systems as (misdemeanor) crimes.  Computer fraud (18.2-152.3) and use of a computer as an instrument of forgery (18.2-152.14) can be felonies. The VCCS’s internal procedures for enforcement of its policy are independent of possible prosecution under the law.

The complete VCCS Computer Ethics Guideline, including definition, guidelines, and enforcement procedure, is located in each College Vice President’s office, the offices of the Division Deans and the College Library (and at the VCCS Information Technology website.)

Inquiries:

Inquiries and requests for information pertaining to admission to the College should be addressed to:

Office of Admissions
Southwest Virginia Community College
Post Office Box SVCC Richlands, Virginia 24641-1101

Office Hours:  Monday through Thursday – 7:45 am to 6:30 pm during registration/add period; otherwise, Monday –  Friday – 7:45 am  to  4:30 pm.  Telephone:   (276) 964.2555, (800) 822.7822 (Toll-Free), (276) 964.7235 V/TDD.

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