Instructional Programs & Services
Workforce Solutions Mission: To align priorities, strategies, and resources with those of workforce and economic development partners in response to regional labor market and community needs.
Workforce Solutions 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
- 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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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:
- The opportunity to work closely with faculty members in interdisciplinary seminars and independent research.
- The opportunity to graduate in the Honors Program with appropriate recognition and transcript notations marking courses as Honors courses.
- 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.
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