May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Handbook 
2023-2024 Student Handbook

InformationTechnology and Computer Usage

Computers and Campus Technology Use

Students must have a pass from their instructor to be allowed in computer labs during weekend hours. For information on the computer ethics agreement, please refer to the NRCC Policies and Procedures section of the handbook. Students visiting the campus to use the labs during the weekend are first required to check in with the Security Office before going to the lab. Lab passes must state specific times the student may use the lab facilities.

Student-owned Computers

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

Digital Copyright and File Sharing

Downloading or distributing copyrighted materials such as documents, movies, music, etc. without the permission of the rightful owner is considered copyright infringement and is illegal under federal copyright law. The information found in this document has been developed to help students and other college personnel understand copyright laws and policies as they relate to digital materials at your college. Our goal is to inform all students and personnel of the college’s commitment to protecting lawful copyrights and ways you can protect yourself from being involved unwittingly in illegal activities. Under no circumstances should the college’s network connections be used to violate copyright laws. Use of your colleges’ network resources to commit acts of copyright infringement may be subject to prosecution and potential disciplinary actions.

Individuals who download music, movies, computer games, or software applications in violation of its copyright, are not only guilty of excessive bandwidth usage, they are also guilty of stealing. Sharing of these illegally downloaded materials also places others in jeopardy. Industry lawyers are beginning to target individuals who are in violation. Individuals who infringe may be liable to huge fines and possible jail time.

Safety Tips Regarding File Sharing

Aside from copyright considerations, there are security aspects you might want to consider before opening up your computer for file sharing.

Peer-to-peer (p2p)

Peer-to-peer file sharing applications like KaZaA, iMesh, and Gnutella can render the private contents of your computer - your confidential data files, saved emails, financial records, etc. - vulnerable to exploitation. For this reason, we strongly recommended against installing and using these applications. If you have a peer-to-peer file sharing program already installed, we recommend you remove it. At the very least, disable your peer-to-peer software’s uploading capability. To find out how, visit

Operating System-based file sharing (windows, mac, linux)

Unless it’s absolutely essential that other people be able to access non-copyrighted materials on your computer, we urge you to disable the general file sharing capabilities of your operating system. Computers that have file sharing turned on are tempting targets for hackers, who often exploit that feature to take over victims’ machines. Need help disabling file sharing on your computer? Check out the online Help features of your system or visit the web site of the operating system vendor (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) for more information.

What is the College Doing to Combat Illegal File Sharing?

Your college has implemented technology that can detect P2P software running on the campus network. Additionally, the college has implemented technology that “throttles” or slows down, traffic that comes from common P2P applications.

Alternatives for Downloading Music and Movies

As evidenced by recent lawsuits, illegal downloading of music and movies can be extremely costly.

Check out these links to some legal alternatives for downloading music/video:

Additional Resources

Digital Millennium Copyright Act
WIPO Copyright Treaty
United States Copyright Office
Recording Industry Association of America
Motion Picture Association of America

Information Technology Student/Patron Ethics Agreement

As a user of the Virginia Community College System’s local and wide area computer systems, I understand and agree to abide by the following ethics agreement terms. These terms govern my access to and use of the information technology applications, services and resources of the VCCS and the information they generate.

The college granted access to me as a necessary privilege in order to perform authorized functions at the college where I am currently enrolled. I will not knowingly permit use of my entrusted access control mechanism for any purposes other than those required to perform authorized functions related to my status as a student. These include logon identification, password, workstation identification, user identification, file protection keys or production read or write keys.

I will not disclose information concerning any access control mechanism unless properly authorized to do so by my enrolling college. I will not use any access mechanism that the VCCS has not expressly assigned to me.

I will treat all information maintained on the VCCS computer systems as strictly confidential and will not release the data contained therein.

If I observe any incidents of noncompliance with the terms of this agreement, I am responsible for reporting them to the Information Security Officer and management of my college.

I understand that VCCNet administration, or appropriate designated college officials, reserve the right without notice to limit or restrict any individual’s access and to inspect, remove or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resource that may undermine the authorized use of any network computing facilities (see VCCS Information Security Policy for details.)

By acknowledging this agreement, I hereby certify that I understand the preceding terms and provisions and that I accept the responsibility of adhering to the same. I further acknowledge that should I violate this agreement, I will be subject to disciplinary action.

Virginia Community College System Computer Competency Requirements (Taken from VCCS Policy Code

The Virginia Community College System believes that all students should experience a teaching-learning environment that espouses computer and information literacy in accessing electronic resources and applying knowledge through technology. The VCCS endorses the principle of computer competency for all students intent on completing a curriculum in excess of 45 semester credits. Students must demonstrate proficiency in specific computer competencies defined within programs and by individual institutions.

Each institution must insure that a computer competent student will:

  • CONCEPTS Be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of computing concepts, components, and operations to accomplish education and career tasks;
  • SOFTWARE Be able to use appropriate components of an integrated productivity software package involving word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and/or communication applications;
  • INTERNET Be able to access, retrieve, assess, and apply networked information resources, e.g. on-line  catalog, virtual libraries, the Internet, and world wide web;
  • EMAIL Be able to use telecommunication software, e.g., electronic mail, listservs, bulletin boards, and/or newsgroups, to communicate with faculty, students and information providers.

New River Community College’s philosophy has been, and continues to be, that ANY access that is not pertinent to the teaching and learning process at the college is considered inappropriate use of electronic resources. Instructors should have the right to control the behavior of students during class periods. Therefore, NRCC’s policies have been implemented in a way that allows instructors to determine what access is inappropriate for students in their classes. Outside of class, students are expected to abide by the college’s general usage policies. Please refer to the Virginia Community College System Information Technology Student/Patron Ethics Agreement for more details.