Student Handbook

Academic Regulations

Academic Load and Credits

The minimum full-time load for the fall and spring semester is 12 credit hours, and the normal maximum full-time load is 18 credits. Students wishing to carry an academic load of more than 18 credits in the fall or spring semester must obtain approval from the Records Coordinator/Registrar. Exception: 18 credits plus one credit for a Student Development does not require approval.

The minimum full-time load in the summer semester is 8 credits, and the maximum load is 12 credits. Students wishing to carry an academic load of more than 12 credits in the summer semester must obtain approval from the Records Coordinator/Registrar. Exception: 12 credits plus one credit for a Student Development Course does not require approval.

For more information, please see the College Catalog.

Academic Honors

At the end of each semester, the Dean's List recognizes all regular full-time students who earned a grade point average between 3.2 and 3.4. The President's Honor Roll recognizes students who earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better.

Appropriate honors based on the overall academic achievement (cumulative grade point average) of students in a degree or certificate program at Virginia Western Community College are as follows:

  • 3.2 Cum laude (with honor)
  • 3.5 Magna cum laude (with high honor)
  • 3.8 Summa cum laude (with highest honor)

For more information, please see the College Catalog.

Academic Standing

Students are considered to be "in good academic standing" if they maintain a semester minimum GPA of 2.00, are eligible to reenroll at the college, and are not on academic suspension or dismissal status. Students on academic warning or academic probation who are eligible to re-enroll may be considered eligible to receive financial aid assistance or other benefits requiring a "good academic standing" status.

For more information, please see the College Catalog.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that was enacted in 1974 to protect the privacy of students and their educational records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of educational information.

The Act provides for the right of eligible students and parents to:

  • Inspect and review their educational records;
  • Request an amendment to records that are believed to be inaccurate;
  • Require the school to obtain written consent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information, except those items noted herein;
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with FERPA.

Parent's Rights Under FERPA

Parents lose their FERPA rights when their child turns 18 or starts attending or taking classes in college (or any post-secondary institution), whichever happens first.

However, parents of a financially dependent student (defined by the IRS) may obtain their child's records, but must submit proof of the student's dependency (via most recent federal tax form) prior to receiving the requested information.

For more detailed information, please see the College Catalog.

Grading System

The quality of performance in any academic course is reported by a letter grade, the assignment of which is the responsibility of the instructor. These grades denote the character of study and 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
     
I Incomplete No credit
P Pass Credit earned; not in grade
S Satisfactory No grade point credit
R Re-Enroll No credit
U Unsatisfactory No credit
W Withdrawal No credit
X Audit No credit

For more detailed information, please see the College Catalog.

Grade Reports

Final grades can be accessed via MyVWCC after the end of each semester. Final grades are a part of the student's record and are recorded on the student's permanent report. For information about changing a contested grade, see the section on Student Grievance Procedure.

Graduation Requirements

Virginia Western has one ceremony at the end of each Spring Semester for the summer, fall and spring graduates.

In order to successfully graduate and receive an Associate Degree, Certificate, or Career Studies Certificate at Virginia Western, a student must complete the following established graduation requirements:

  1. Fulfill all of the course and credit hour requirements of the degree curriculum, with at least 25 percent of the total semester hours acquired at Virginia Western;
  2. Earn a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all studies attempted that are applicable toward graduation in their curricula;
  3. File an application for graduation with his/her advisor by the established deadline;
  4. Submit the graduation fee to the VWCC Cashier's Office; Bring the receipt to the Records Office.
  5. Resolve all financial obligations to the college and return all library and college materials.

No-Show Policy

Students must either attend their face-to-face courses or demonstrate participation in their distance learning courses by the last date to drop for a refund or they will be reported to the Admissions Office and withdrawn as no-show students. In this case, there will be no refund of tuition in the course, 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.

Repeating a Course

Students will be allowed to enroll for the third and final time in a course without having to obtain approval from the Academic Dean and the Records Coordinator/Registrar when:

  1. The course is a developmental course and the last grade is either a W or an R.
  2. The first two attempts in the course include one or more W grades.
  3. The course is a non-developmental course and the last grade earned is a D.

Except under the conditions cited above, a student will not be allowed to enroll in a course more than two times without the approval of the Academic Dean and the Records Coordinator/Registrar.

For more information, please see the College Catalog.

Withdrawal Policy

Students who violate the attendance or participation guidelines for the course as of the withdrawal deadline will be reported to the Admissions Office and withdrawn with a grade of "W." Students who stop attending or participating in a course after the withdrawal deadline will receive a grade of "F." There will be no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course. Financial Aid recipients who receive all "W" or "F" grades in their courses will incur an outstanding tuition debt to the college and will be blocked from future enrollment.