The page uses Browser Access Keys to help with keyboard navigation. Click to learn moreSkip to Navigation

Different browsers use different keystrokes to activate accesskey shortcuts. Please reference the following list to use access keys on your system.

Alt and the accesskey, for Internet Explorer on Windows
Shift and Alt and the accesskey, for Firefox on Windows
Shift and Esc and the accesskey, for Windows or Mac
Ctrl and the accesskey, for the following browsers on a Mac: Internet Explorer 5.2, Safari 1.2, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 6+.

We use the following access keys on our gateway

n Skip to Navigation
k Accesskeys description
h Help
    New River Community College
   
 
  Sep 20, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 COLLEGE CATALOG

2017-2018 NRCC Catalog - Academic Information


 photo page headercontact us button


Credits

A credit is equal to one college semester hour. One credit for a course is given for about three hours of study weekly by each student as follows:

  • One hour of lecture plus an average of two hours of out-of-class study, or
  • Two hours of lab or shop study plus an average of one hour of out-of-class study, or
  • Three to five hours of lab or shop study with no regular out-of-class lessons
  • Fixed credit and variable hours with behavioral objectives given to each developmental course (courses numbered 01-09).

Grading System

The quality of performance in any academic course is reported by a letter grade, which is assigned by the instructor. These grades are assigned quality points as follows:

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 points per credit

The grades A,B,C,D,P and S are passing grades. Grades of F and U are failing grades. R and I are interim grades. Grades of W and X are final grades carrying no credit.

Incomplete (I): No grade point credit; used only for verifiable, unavoidable reasons for a student who is unable to complete a course within the normal course time. To be eligible for an “I” grade, the student must (1) have satisfactorily completed 80% of the course requirements and attendance, and (2) must request that the faculty member assign the “I” grade and indicate why it is warranted. The faculty member has the discretion to decide whether the “I” grade will be awarded. Since the “incomplete” extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion will be established through consultation between the faculty member and the student. In assigning the “I” grade, the faculty member must complete documentation that includes the reason for assigning the grade, the work to be completed and its percentage in relation to the total course work, date by which work must be completed, and the default grade (A, B, C, D, F, P, R, or U) based upon course work already completed. Completion dates may not be set beyond the last day of subsequent semester (to include summer term) without written approval of the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services. An “I” grade will be changed to a “W” only under documented mitigating circumstances which must be approved by the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services.

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

Re-Enroll (R): No grade point credit; the “R” grade may be used as a grade option, in developmental and ESL courses only, to indicate satisfactory progress toward meeting course objectives. Students who re-enroll in a course will complete those modules or portions of the course not previously completed; they do not re-take the entire course. The “R” grade may be given only once per course.

Satisfactory (S): No grade point credit; used only for satisfactory completion of a developmental studies course numbered 01-09 and ESL courses numbered 11-16.

Unsatisfactory (U): No grade point credit; used only for unsatisfactory completion of a developmental studies course numbered 01-09 and ESL courses numbered 11-16.

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

Audit (X): No credit. Permission of the dean or another appropriate academic administrator is required to audit a course. Students desiring to change status from audit to credit or credit to audit must do so within the add/drop period for the course session.

Grading for Developmental Courses

A grade of “S” (Satisfactory) may be given for satisfactory completion of each developmental course (courses numbered 01-09) or an ESL course (courses numbered 11-29).

Students who make satisfactory progress but who do not complete all of the behavioral objectives for a developmental course or ESL course shall be graded with an “R” (Re-enroll) and shall re-enroll to complete the course objectives.

Students who do not make satisfactory progress in a developmental course or ESL course shall be given a “U” (Unsatisfactory). A student will be limited to two enrollments in the same remedial course. In certain circumstances, a student may be allowed to enroll a third time (for example, sickness) with approval of the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services or designee.

Pass/Unsatisfactory Grading Option

Grades available under the Pass/Unsatisfactory option are “P” and “U.” A student under this option receives one or the other of these two grades except where an “R,” “I,” or “W” is appropriate. The P/U grading option is used for non-punitive purposes. The use of this option requires the approval of the dean responsible for the course or other designated academic administrator.

The P/U grading option may be used for an entire section of any course, but not for a single individual within a course.

Grade Point Average

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.

Semester Grade Point Average: Semester GPA is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in courses attempted for the semester by the total number of credits attempted.

Cumulative Grade Point Average: Cumulative GPA, which includes all courses attempted, is computed each semester and is maintained on a continuing basis as a record of the student’s academic standing. When students repeat a course, only the last grade earned is counted in the computation of the cumulative GPA and for satisfying curricular requirements unless the course is designated repeatable for credit in the Master Course File or is a General Usage course. In instances of courses designated as repeatable for credit or General Usage, all grades/credits are counted in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. Grades of “S,” “P,” “U,” “W,” and “I” shall not count as first or subsequent attempts when calculating cumulative GPA. Courses that do not generate grade points are not included in credits attempted.

Curriculum Grade Point Average: A curriculum GPA, which includes only those courses applicable to the student’s curriculum, is computed in order to ensure that the student satisfies the graduation requirement for that curriculum. When students repeat a course, only the last grade earned is counted in the computation of the curriculum GPA.

Grades from VCCS Colleges

GPA calculations include only grades earned at the home institution, unless specifically noted in an articulation agreement.

Accessing Grades

Students may access grades online at the college Web site. Grade reports are not mailed.

Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates

The college offers degrees, diplomas, or certificates for students who successfully complete approved programs at the college.

Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree (AA&S) is granted to students who major in special courses of study such as business administration, liberal arts, education, and other preprofessional programs and who may plan to transfer to four-year schools after completing community college programs.

Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) is granted to students who major in one of the occupational/technical courses of study and who may plan to work full-time as soon as they graduate from college.

Diploma is granted to students who complete one of the two-year non-degree occupational courses of study.

Certificate is granted to students who complete one of the approved non-degree courses of study.

Graduation Requirements

Associate Degree Requirements To be eligible for graduation with an associate degree from a community college, the student must:

  1. have fulfilled all of the course and credit-hour requirements of the degree curriculum with at least 25 percent of the credits acquired at the college awarding the degree;
  2. have been certified by appropriate college official for graduation;
  3. have earned a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all studies attempted which is applicable toward graduation in the student’s curriculum;
  4. have filed an application for graduation in the Office of Admissions and Records;
  5. have resolved all financial obligations to the college and returned all library and college materials.

All students who plan to graduate with an Associate of Arts and Sciences (AA&S) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree may be required to complete appropriate competency testing prior to graduation.

Diploma Requirements To be eligible for graduation with a diploma from a community college, the student must:

  1. have fulfilled all of the course and credit-hour requirements of the diploma curriculum as specified in the college catalog with 25 percent of the credits acquired at the college awarding the diploma;
  2. have been certified by appropriate college official for graduation;
  3. have earned a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all studies attempted which are applicable toward graduation in the student’s curriculum;
  4. have filed an application for graduation in the Office of Admissions and Records;
  5. have resolved all financial obligations to the college and returned all library and college materials.

Certificate Requirements To be eligible for graduation with a certificate from the college, a student must:

  1. have fulfilled all of the course and credit-hour requirements of the certificate curriculum as specified in the college catalog with 25 percent of the credits acquired at the college awarding the certificate;
  2. have been certified by appropriate college official for graduation;
  3. have earned a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all studies attempted which are applicable toward graduation in the student’s curriculum;
  4. have filed an application for graduation in the Office of Admissions and Records;
  5. have resolved all financial obligations to the college and returned all library and college materials.

If students successfully complete a program of instruction which does not lead to an associate degree or diploma, they may be granted a certificate. If they seek a degree or diploma program but are not able to finish the degree or diploma requirements, they may, upon recommendation of the correct instructional division and the Vice President, be issued a certificate if the portion of study successfully finished is equal to an approved certificate program offered at the college.

Course Substitutions

Course substitution in planned programs should not exceed 10 percent of the total credits of the program unless extenuating circumstances are documented and approved by the appropriate dean and the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services. A higher level general education course or an appropriate sequence for transfer to a college or university will not be counted as part of the 10 percent substitution. (e.g., ECO 201  for ECO 120  is an appropriate selection for an A.A.S. student who plans to transfer to a four-year college.)

Award of Completion

An award of completion may be granted for completing single courses which may not result in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or degrees.

Second Degree, Diploma, or Certificate

In granting students another certificate, diploma, or degree, the college may grant credit for all courses which were taken before and which apply toward the requirements of the additional certificate, diploma, or degree.

Multiple Awards at Graduation

In awarding students an additional degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate, the college may grant credit for all completed applicable courses which are requirements of the additional degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate. However, the awards must differ from one another by at least 25% of the credits.

Graduation Honors

Students who have fulfilled the graduation requirements as applicable to their programs may be eligible for graduation honors. Appropriate honors are recorded on the degree, diploma, or certificate (with the exception of Career Studies Certificates). The honors are based upon the cumulative GPA as follows:

3.2 Cum Laude (With Honor)
3.5 Magna Cum Laude (With High Honor)
3.8 Summa Cum Laude (With Highest Honor)

Graduation Procedures

Formal graduation exercises are held in May at the end of spring semester. Students who complete course requirements during the subsequent summer session may participate in the May ceremony. Students who complete course requirements during the fall semester may participate in the next May ceremony.

Students planning to graduate should contact their advisor to initiate the process.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that a graduation application is received in the Admissions and Records Office during the semester prior to the completion of requirements. Filing the graduation application with the Admissions and Records Office will ensure that students will be notified about graduation, measurement for caps and gowns, and practice. All degrees, diplomas, and certificates are mailed to graduates.

Assessment

Curricular students will be required to take tests to determine placement into reading, writing and math classes. Additionally, students may be required to participate in one or more tests, projects, or capstone courses designed to measure general education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas prior to graduation, for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs. For program evaluations and competencies, no minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation. Program assessment test results will remain confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of improvement of the college. Students may have access to their own test scores upon request. Occupational competency and performance evaluations, however, must be successfully completed for graduation.

Class Attendance

Regular attendance at classes is required. When absence from a class becomes necessary, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor prior to the absence whenever possible. The student is responsible for the subsequent completion of all study missed during an absence. Any instruction missed and not subsequently completed will necessarily affect the grade of the student regardless of the reason for the absence.

Auditing a Class

Students who want to attend a class without taking the exam or receiving credit for the class may do so by registering to audit through the usual registration process and paying the normal tuition. Permission of the dean or another appropriate academic administrator is required to audit a class. Audited classes carry no credit and do not count as a part of the student’s class load. Students desiring to change status in a class from audit to credit or credit to audit must do so within the add/drop period for the class session. Students who desire to earn credit for a previously audited class must re-enroll in the class for credit and pay normal tuition to earn a grade other than “X”. Advanced standing credit may not be awarded for a previously audited class.

Change of Registration

In all cases students should follow the correct methods for making any change in their program after registration. If they fail to do so, they could place their college record in danger.

Registration/Add

A student may register for or add classes until the Last Day to Add Classes without Instructor Approval. After that date until the Last Day to Add/Drop Classes with Full Refund, a student must have instructor approval to register for or add classes. In most cases, a student may not enter a new class after the Last Day to Add/Drop Classes with Full Refund. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on the merits of the individual case and must receive the approval of the appropriate dean in the instructional division. In considering exceptions, the manager must remember that the quality of instruction needs to be assured and must be reasonably sure that the student has a chance of success in the course once admitted.

Student Initiated Withdrawal

A student may drop or withdraw from a class without academic penalty during the first 60 percent of a session. For purposes of enrollment reporting, the following procedures apply:

  1. If a student withdraws from a class prior to the termination of the add/drop period for the session, the student will be removed from the class roll and no grade will be awarded.
  2. After the add/drop period, but prior to completion of 60 percent of a session, a student who withdraws from a class will be assigned a grade of “W.” A grade of “W” implies that the student was making satisfactory progress in the class at the time of withdrawal, that the withdrawal was officially made before the deadline published in the college calendar, or that the student was administratively transferred to a different program.
  3. After that time, if a student withdraws from a class, a grade of “F” or U” will be assigned. Exceptions to this policy may be made under documented mitigating circumstances if the student was passing the course at the last date of attendance.

A retroactive grade of “W” may be awarded only if the student would have been eligible under the previously stated policy to receive a “W” on the last date of class attendance. The last date of attendance for a distance education course will be the last date that work was submitted.

Late withdrawal appeals will be reviewed and a decision made by the Coordinator of Admissions and Records.

No-Show Policy

A student must either attend face-to-face courses or demonstrate participation in distance learning courses by the last date to drop for a refund. A student who does not meet this deadline will be reported to the Admissions and Records Office and will be withdrawn as a no-show student. No refund will be applicable, and the student will not be allowed to attend/ participate in the class or submit assignments. Failure to attend or participate in a course will adversely impact a student’s financial aid award.

Instructor Initiated Withdrawal

A student who adds a class or registers after the first day of class is counted absent from all class meetings missed. Each instructor is responsible for keeping a record of student attendance (face-to-face classes) or performance/participation (DE classes) in each class throughout the semester.

When a student’s absences equal twice the number of weekly meetings of a class (equivalent amount of time for summer session), the student may be dropped for unsatisfactory attendance in the class by the instructor.

Since attendance is not a valid measurement for Distance Education (DE) courses, a student may be withdrawn due to non-performance. A student should refer to his/her DE course plan for the instructor’s policy.

In accordance with the No-Show Policy, a student who has not attended class or requested/accessed distance learning materials by the last day to drop the class and receive a refund must be withdrawn by the instructor during the following week. No refund will be applicable.

When an instructor withdraws a student for unsatisfactory attendance (face-to-face class) or non-performance (DE class), the last date of attendance/participation will be documented. A grade of “W” will be recorded during the first sixty percent (60%) period of a course. A student withdrawn after the sixty percent (60%) period will receive a grade of “F” or “U” except under documented mitigating circumstances when a letter of appeal has been submitted by the student. A copy of this documentation must be placed in the student’s academic file.

The student will be notified of the withdrawal by the Admissions and Records Office. An appeal of reinstatement into the class may be approved only by the instructor.

Withdrawal from the College

A student who wishes to withdraw from the college should contact an advisor to determine the appropriate procedure. Failure to follow established procedure could place the student’s college record in doubt and prejudice the student’s return to this or another college.

Academic Warning

Students who fail to attain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 for any semester will be placed on academic warning. Students on academic warning are encouraged to consult with their advisor and take advantage of the college’s academic support services.

Academic Probation

Students who fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.50 will be on academic probation until their cumulative GPA is 1.75 or better. The statement “Academic Probation” will be placed on their permanent records. Students will be placed on probation after they have attempted 12 semester credits. Students on probation are ineligible for appointed or elected office in student organizations unless special permission is granted by the Dean of Student Services or another appropriate college administrator. Students may be required to take less than a normal academic load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the college’s academic support services.

Academic Suspension

Students on academic probation who fail to attain a semester grade point average (GPA) of 1.50 or better will be placed on academic suspension after they have attempted 24 semester credits. Academic suspension will be for one semester, and the statement “Academic Suspension” will be placed on their permanent records. Students who are placed on academic suspension and wish to appeal should follow the college’s appeal process. Suspended students may be reinstated at the conclusion of the suspension period by following the process established by the college.

Students who have been reinstated from academic suspension must achieve a 2.00 GPA for the semester of reinstatement and must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of attendance, and the statement “Subject to Dismissal” will be placed on their permanent records. Students who have been reinstated from academic suspension will remain subject to dismissal until their cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to take less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the college’s academic support services.

Academic Dismissal

Students who fail to attain at least a 2.00 grade point average (GPA) for the semester of reinstatement following academic suspension will be academically dismissed. Students who achieve at least a 2.00 GPA for the semester of their reinstatement following academic suspension must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of enrollment. Failure to attain a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester until the cumulative GPA reaches 1.75 will result in academic dismissal. The statement “Academic Dismissal” will be placed on their permanent records and is normally permanent. In exceptional circumstances, students may appeal and be reinstated following the appeal process established by the college. Students who have been reinstated after academic dismissal will remain subject to dismissal until their cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to take less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the college’s academic support services.

Academic Suspensions from Other Institutions

Students under disciplinary or academic suspension from other schools who want to apply for admission should contact the Dean of Student Services.

Dean’s List

The name of every student taking 12 college-level semester hours or more and who attains a grade point average of 3.2 for the semester is placed on the Dean’s List.

President’s List

The name of every student taking 12 college-level semester hours or more who attains a grade point average of 3.5 for the semester, and who has earned a minimum of 20 semester hours at the college, is placed on the President’s List.

Examinations

Students will be expected to take their examinations at the regularly scheduled times. No exceptions will be made without the permission of the appropriate dean and the instructor of the course.

Repeating a Course

Credit courses that are designated as repeatable for credit in the Master Course File or are identified as General Usage courses in the Master Course File may be repeated for credit. (General Usage courses: 090-190-290; 095-195-295; 096-196-296; 097-197-297; 098-198-298; 099-199-299). A student should normally be limited to two (2) enrollments in a credit course that is not designated as repeatable for credit or is not a General Usage course. Should the college wish to make an exception to this policy, on a student-by-student basis, the need should be documented and approved by the college’s chief academic officer or designee.

Normal Academic Load

The normal academic course load for students is 15-17 credits. The minimum full-time load is 12 credits, and the normal maximum full-time load is 18 credits. If students wish to carry an academic load of more than 18 credits, they must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and the approval of the dean and their faculty advisor or an academic advisor. If students have received academic warning or are on academic probation, they may be required to take less than the normal semester course load.

Course Scheduling

Courses usually will be scheduled in the same order and during the same semesters as shown in each course of study description; but the college reserves the right to postpone a course offering if there are not enough students enrolled in the course.

Student Information Release Policy

All requests for official information about students should initially be referred to the Coordinator of Admissions and Records. Student records are treated as confidential information as provided by THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA) as amended. Information from student records cannot be released (with very limited lawful exceptions) except to the student who may authorize release. Officials of the college may have access to student records when acting in the student’s educational interest and within the limitations of their need to know. These officials include faculty, academic advisors, and personnel in the offices of Admissions and Records, Advising Center, Financial Aid, Veterans Affairs, Vice President for Instruction and Student Services, and Threat Assessment Team.

Directory information including name, address, telephone number, major field of study, dates of attendance, course credit load, email address, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, grade level, degrees, honors and awards received, photo and the most recent educational agency or institution attended may be released without the consent of the student.

A student may request that this information be kept confidential by notifying the Admissions and Records Office each semester by the last day of the Add/Drop period. Emergency requests for information will be handled by the Dean of Student Services in consultation with the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services or another appropriate college official.

The student has the right to inspect and review the information contained in his or her record. The student must submit a written request to the Admissions and Records Office and identify the records to be inspected. The Admissions and Records Office will then arrange a mutually convenient appointment for student inspection of records within 45 days of submission of the written request.

The student may also ask the College to amend a record believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student about the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.

The student has the right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by NRCC to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington D.C., 20202-4605.

Transcripts

A transcript is a copy of the student’s permanent academic record. An official transcript carries the college’s seal. Credit/Non-Credit and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) transcripts may be obtained by completing the transcript request form in the Admissions and Records Office, submitting a request in writing, by fax, or online through the Student Information System (SIS). There is no transcript fee unless five or more transcripts are requested at one time. In that case, there is a $1.00 per copy charge for each copy over the limit of five.

Special Dress and Safety Equipment

Several departments require special laboratory attire necessary for safety of the individuals or for participation in the activities required for the course. Nursing students, for example, must have complete nursing uniforms as specified by the instructors and by the hospitals in which the students are assigned. Protective clothing is required in welding, and special dress may be needed for certain physical education classes. In addition to the clothing requirements, some laboratory courses may require students to purchase specified tools and safety equipment.

Virginia Statute 22-10.2

Protective eye devices must be worn by every student and teacher in any school, college, or university participating in any of the following courses:

  1. Vocational or industrial arts shops or laboratories involving experience with:
    1. Hot molten metals;
    2. Milling, sawing, turning, shaping, cutting, grinding or stamping of any solid materials;
    3. Heat treatment, tempering of kiln firing of any metal or other materials;
    4. Gas or electric arc welding;
    5. Repair of any vehicle;
    6. Caustic or explosive materials.
  2. Chemical or combined chemical-physical laboratories involving caustic or explosive chemicals or hot liquids or solids. Students and personnel shall be required to wear industrial quality eye protective devices at all times while participating in such courses or laboratories.

“Industrial quality eye protective devices,” as used in this section, means devices providing side protection and meeting the standards of the American Standards Association Safety Code for Head, Eye, and Respiratory Protection, Z2.1-1959, promulgated by the American Standards Association, Inc. (1966, c.69).

The number of this section was assigned by the Virginia Code Commission, the 1966 act having assigned no number.

Completion Rates (Student Right-To-Know)

As required by the federal Student Right-To-Know legislation, the following statement describes student completion rates at New River Community College: For those students who first enrolled full-time Fall 2014 in a program at New River Community College, 24.6% had graduated by May 2017. The graduation rate for those students enrolling in a degree program was 23.4% while the rate for those in diploma and certificate programs was 34.1%.  The graduation rates for NRCC are comparable with those of other community colleges.  Many community college students take several years to complete a degree as they balance studies with employment and other activities.  Many others choose to transfer instead of completing a degree. See the Appendix  for more information on completion rates.

Third Party Software

NRCC assumes no liability for virus, loss of data, or damage to software or computer when a student downloads software for classes.

General Education Objectives

General Education is the component of curricula at New River Community College that is designed to assure that students can communicate, think logically, and perform calculations. Students will be given the opportunity to develop an appreciation of our cultural and social heritage and to increase their awareness of an individual’s roles and duties as a citizen. In addition, students will be encouraged to develop a personal wellness program. The ultimate goal of general education is to equip an individual to adapt and to perform in a changing society.
 

VCCS degree graduates will demonstrate competency in the following general education areas:

  1. Communication A competent communicator can interact with others using all forms of communication, resulting in understanding and being understood.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • understand and interpret complex materials;
  • assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally;
  • use standard English;
  • use appropriate verbal and non-verbal responses in interpersonal relations and group discussions;
  • use listening skills; and
  • recognize the role of culture in communication.
  1. Critical Thinking A competent critical thinker evaluates evidence carefully and applies reasoning to decide what to believe and how to act.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data;
  • recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information;
  • evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue;
  • weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted;
  • determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided; and
  • use problem solving skills.
  1. Cultural and Social Understanding A culturally and socially competent person possesses an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the interconnectedness of the social and cultural dimensions within and across local, regional, state, national, and global communities.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • assess the impact that social institutions have on individuals and culture-past, present, and future;
  • describe their own as well as others’ personal ethical systems and values within social institutions;
  • recognize the impact that arts and humanities have upon individuals and cultures;
  • recognize the role of language in social and cultural contexts; and
  • recognize the interdependence of distinctive world-wide social, economic, geo-political, and cultural systems.
  1. Information Literacy A person who is competent in information literacy recognizes when information is needed and has the ability to locate, evaluate, and use it effectively. (adapted from the American Library Association definition)
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
  • access needed information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base;
  • use information effectively, individually or as a member of a group, to accomplish a specific purpose; and
  • understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.
  1. Personal Development An individual engaged in personal development strives for physical well-being and emotional maturity.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • develop and/or refine personal wellness goals; and
  • develop and/or enhance the knowledge, skills, and understanding to make informed academic, social, personal, career, and interpersonal decisions.
  1. Quantitative Reasoning A person who is competent in quantitative reasoning possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to apply the use of logic, numbers, and mathematics to deal effectively with common problems and issues. A person who is quantitatively literate can use numerical, geometric, and measurement data and concepts, mathematical skills, and principles of mathematical reasoning to draw logical conclusions and to make well-reasoned decisions.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • use logical and mathematical reasoning within the context of various disciplines;
  • interpret and use mathematical formulas;
  • interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables and schematics and draw inferences from them;
  • use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data;
  • estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness; and
  • represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts.
  1. Scientific Reasoning A person who is competent in scientific reasoning adheres to a self-correcting system of inquiry (the scientific method) and relies on empirical evidence to describe, understand, predict, and control natural phenomena.
    Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
  • generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument;
  • distinguish a scientific argument from a non-scientific argument;
  • reason by deduction, induction and analogy;
  • distinguish between causal and correlational relationships; and
  • recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.

VCCS Minimum Requirements for Associate Degrees

Minimum Number of Semester Hour Credits
General Education AA&S AAS
Communication(a) 6 3
Humanities/Fine Arts 6 3
Foreign Language 0 0
Social/Behavioral Sciences 9 3(b)
Natural Sciences/Mathematics 7
6(c)
0, 3(b)
0, 3(b)
Personal Development (d) 2 2
Other Requirements For Associate Degrees
Major Field Courses and Electives 24-27  
Career/Technical Courses   49-53(e)
Total For Degree (f) 60-61(g) 65-67(g)

Notes:

  1. Must include at least one course in English composition.
  2. While general education courses other than those designed for transfer may be used to meet portions of these requirements, SACS principles require that general education courses be general in nature and must not “…narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures peculiar to a particular occupation or profession.”
  3. Only 3 semester hours of mathematics are required for the General Studies major.
  4. Personal development includes health, physical education, or recreation courses that promote physical and emotional well-being and student development courses. Must include at least one student development course.
  5. AAS degrees must contain a minimum of 15 semester hours of general education. Students should plan to take at least 30 hours in the major; the remaining hours will be appropriate to the major.
  6. All college-level course prerequisites must be included in the total credits required for each program.
  7. Credit range for engineering programs is 60-72 semester hour credits. Credit range for AAS programs is 65-67, including nursing.

 

VCCS Minimum Requirements for Diplomas, Certificates, and Career Studies Certificates

  Diploma Certificate Career Studies Certificate
Definition A two-year curriculum with an emphasis in a career/technical area A curriculum that consists of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours A program of study of not less than 9 nor more than 29 semester credit hours
Course Requirements May include any appropriate courses numbered 10-299 May include any appropriate courses numbered 10-299 May include any appropriate courses numbered 10-299
General Education Requirements

A minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of credit hour requirements shall be in general education, including 1 three-credit English course

A minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of credit hour requirements shall be in general education, including 1 three-credit English course

There are no general education requirements

Graduation Requirements
  • 25% of courses must be taken at home institution.
  • 2.0 GPA
  • Graduation honors eligible

  • 25% of courses must be taken at home institution.
  • 2.0 GPA
  • Graduation honors eligible
  • 25% of courses must be taken at home institution.
  •  2.0 GPA
  • Not eligible for graduation honors