May 25, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook 
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General College Information

The College

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) is a two-year institution of higher education established as a part of the statewide system of community colleges created by the 1966 Virginia General Assembly. SVCC serves primarily the residents of the city of Emporia and the counties of Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Halifax (partial), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward. This representsan area of approximately 4,200 square miles. The college operates under the guidance of a local board, and is financed primarily by tuition revenues and state funds, supplemented by contributions from the participating localities and federal funds.

During a period from 1966 to 1968, a committee composed of local business, civic, industrial, and political leaders was appointed by the governing bodies of counties and cities in Region 20 for the purpose of promoting and establishing campuses where needed. In 1968, the plan for building the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College near Alberta, Virginia, was approved by the State Board for Community Colleges, and appropriations were made for its construction. The local advisory board for the college was established in July 1969.

The Christanna Campus was opened in September 1970 with approximately 55,600 square feet located on over 100 acres. Due to the extremely large service area assigned to the college, the John H. Daniel Campus was opened in September 1971 near Keysville, Virginia, about 40 miles northwest of Alberta. The John H. Daniel facility is located on 98 acres with approximately 57,500 square feet. A Workforce Development Center was opened on each campus in 2001. These buildings are 14,095 square feet each.

The Learning Resource Center on the John H. Daniel Campus opened in 2014. This 37,100 square foot facility houses the library, student development and financial aid services, admissions and records, the business office and a student lounge. Funds to add a similar facility at the Christanna Campus have been secured from the General Assembly. The new facility should be complete in January of 2019.

In September 1985 SVCC opened its Campus Without Walls, which was renamed the Robert C. Wrenn Campus Without Walls in October 1992. This facility allows Emporia and Greensville County residents to enroll in continuing education programs that develop and strengthen job skills as well as working towards certificate, diploma and degree programs offered by the college and participating in community service program offerings. A new facility, the Southside Virginia Education Center, opened at 1300 Greensville Circle, Emporia in the fall of 2008.

SVCC has embraced the idea of taking the college to the people due to the college’s 4,200 square mile service area. Centers are located throughout the ten-county area in order to serve constituents closer to their homes.

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center located in downtown South Boston is a state-of-the-art, modern facility housed in an historic tobacco warehouse. The first facility opened in 1989 and was known as the Continuing Education Center of Longwood College. The new improved version opened in 2001 with offerings from SVCC and Danville Community College, Longwood, Mary Baldwin College, Ferrum College, Old Dominion University, Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The facility housing the SVHEC was donated by the families of Bob Harris and John Cannon and funding for the renovation was raised by the Halifax Educational Foundation.

The Estes Community Center located on Main Street in Chase City is another example of the community banding together to provide opportunities for its citizens. The Estes family offered to match as much as $200,000 raised by the community within a 90-day period but it exceeded that figure by raising $390,000. The center offers SVCC classes has two fully equipped computer labs and a nursing simulation lab and also offers programs for children and has a large area available for rent for special events and occasions. An addition to the existing facility was completed in January 2007, adding an additional 18,000 square feet to the facility. This addition is named The Garland Building.

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center is located in the former Heilig-Meyers building in South Hill. The site was purchased by local government and renovated under the direction of Joyce French and Randolph Jones. The 23,000 square foot building provides education opportunities for employees of new and existing business and industry in the region, offers college classes as well as the High Performance Technology Program, the new Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) Program, a welding program, dual enrollment offerings, GED classes, computer classes and a cyber café.

The Occupational Technical Center at Pickett Park, Blackstone, is a facility built through the SVCC Foundation using Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission funds. The facility houses the college’s Truck Driver Training Program, Diesel Mechanics/Technicians Training Program, Automotive Technology Program and the Virginia Center for Onsite Wastewater Training, as well as the Power Line Worker Program.

SVCC also offers programs at sites throughout the service area at community-donated facilities in order to provide comprehensive training for every constituent.

The libraries on both campuses have a total collection of 37,000 volumes and over 200 periodical subscriptions. The libraries also subscribe to several hundred online electronic databases. While its main function is to support classroom instruction, the library has recreational reading and serves as a resource for the public of the service area.

Types of Programs

Southside Virginia Community College is a comprehensive institution of higher education, offering programs of instruction generally extending not more than two years beyond high school.

Occupational-Technical Education

The occupational and technical education programs are designed to meet the increasing demand for technicians, semi-professional workers, and skilled craftsmen for employment in industry, business, the professions and government. These programs, which normally require two years or less of training beyond high school, include preparation for entry into employment in agricultural, business, engineering, health and medical, industrial, public service and other technical fields. The curricula are planned to meet the needs of employers in the service area.

College Transfer Education

The University Parallel/College Transfer program includes college freshman and sophomore courses in the Arts and Sciences and pre-professional programs meeting standards acceptable for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs. These courses are equivalent to those provided in the first two years of a four-year degree college or university program. Through system-wide agreements, students who graduate from one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges with an associate’s degree and a minimum grade point average may obtain guaranteed admission to more than 20 of the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. The most current listing of Guaranteed Admissions Agreements between Virginia’s community colleges and four-year colleges and universities is available at

Distance Learning (Online and Hybrid Courses)

Distance Learning

Distance education is identified as any formal education process in which the majority (50% or more) of instruction in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. To meet the needs of students, SVCC offers students the option to enroll in courses entirely online (except for one or more proctored assessments), as well as hybrid and seated courses.

These courses are a great option for students who want the flexibility to complete courses at home, work, or even at the College, but on their own schedule. Students should expect to use electronic mail, word processing, and Web browsing software in these courses.
In the course schedule,

  • Courses coded with a “O” meet entirely online except for one or more proctored assessments.
  • Courses coded with an “H” meet online MORE THAN 50% of the time with some face-to-face meetings.

Interactive video is a technology that uses live, two-way video connections to send and receive courses and programs between Southside Virginia Community College and other educational institutions. Although students attend interactive video classes on campus in the Commonwealth Classroom, courses received by the College are actually offered by other colleges in the state. Therefore, students access these courses using the admission and registration procedures of the sending institution. This program allows students to access courses and programs not normally offered at Southside Virginia Community College.

Additional information about distance learning classes, including a listing of computer skills required for successful completion of Internet-based courses, can be found online at

Online Course Requirements

Students who choose to enroll in online classes should have consistent access to a computer, Internet access, word processing software (Microsoft Word is preferred) and be proficient users of both Blackboard and E-mail. However, students without access to technology are able to use SVCC’s facilities. Please check to determine when campus computer labs or the campus library computers are available for use.

Students are responsible for submitting assignments and taking examinations according to the instructor’s directions. Students must adhere to the conditions stated in the syllabus regarding procedures for taking tests and examinations and/or performing laboratory exercises. These conditions may require students to travel to a college campus, another school, a public library, or other site to take tests and examinations under supervision and/or perform laboratory exercises or field work.

Support For Online Students

Online learning workshops are offered for students on both of our primary campuses in Alberta and Keysville. Information on these workshops, Blackboard, identifying your username and password, and other technical requirements can be found at

If you need assistance with Blackboard, email Links to online courses are made available on the first day of classes of each term. Plan to visit Blackboard as soon as classes begin to find your course web site. You can contact one of our campus bookstores for textbook information before the start of the term.

Information related to online courses can be found by visiting the college website at and clicking on Academics and SVCC Distance Education. Here you will find links to information regarding cyber course requirements and an online assessment called SMARTERMEASURE, to help you judge your readiness for online learning. Please go to this page and read all information before registering for an online course. Academic advisors and counselors can also assist you in decision making regarding online education.

Student Grievance Process Policy & Procedure 

SVCC’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedure is described in our catalog. SVCC strives to provide the highest quality educational opportunities available. However, if a conflict does arise, our efforts are meant to resolve your grievances, complaints, and concerns in an expeditious, fair, and amicable manner. Students should follow carefully the steps outlined in our catalog to ensure proper and timely resolution of their complaint.Complaints must follow the college’s customary resolution procedure prior to being referred SCHEV. 

SCHEV Student Complaint Process

General Education Competencies

General education is that portion of the collegiate experience which addresses the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values characteristic of educated persons. It is unbounded by disciplines and honors the connections among bodies of knowledge. The following seven elements embody the essence of general education:

  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:
    1.  understand and interpret complex materials;
    2. assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally;
    3. use standard English;
    4. use appropriate verbal and non-verbal responses in interpersonal relations and group discussions;
    5. use listening skills;
    6. recognize the role of culture in communication.
  2. 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:
    1. discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data;
    2. recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information;
    3. evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue;
    4. weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted;
    5. determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided,
    6. use problem solving skills.
  3. Cultural and Social Understanding: A culturally and socially competent person possesses an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the inter-connectedness of the social and cultural dimensions within and across local, regional, state, national, and global communities. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
    1. assess the impact that social institutions have on individuals and culture-past, present, and future;
    2. describe their own as well as others’ personal ethical systems and values within social institutions;
    3. recognize the impact that arts and humanities have upon individuals and cultures;
    4. recognize the role of language in social and cultural contexts;
    5. recognize the interdependence of distinctive world-wide social, economic, geo-political, and cultural systems.
  4. 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:
    1. determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
    2. access needed information effectively and efficiently;
    3. evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base;
    4. use information effectively, individually or as a member of a group, to accomplish a specific purpose;
    5. understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.
  5. Personal Development: An individual engaged in personal development strives for physical well-being and emotional maturity. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
    1. develop and/or refine personal wellness goals;
    2. develop and/or enhance the knowledge, skills, and understanding to make informed academic, social, personal, career, and interpersonal decisions.
  6. 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:
    1. use logical and mathematical reasoning within the context of various disciplines;
    2. interpret and use mathematical formulas;
    3. interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables and schematics and draw inferences from them;
    4. use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data;
    5. estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness;
    6. represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts.
  7. 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:
    1. generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument;
    2. distinguish a scientific argument from a non-scientific argument;
    3. reason by deduction, induction and analogy;
    4. distinguish between causal and correlational relationships;
    5. recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.

The associate degree programs within the Virginia Community College System support a collegiate experience which focuses on the above definition and attendant elements.

Programs and Partnerships

Development Studies

Developmental programs are offered to prepare individuals for admission to occupational-technical and university parallel-college transfer programs in the community college. Upon admission to the college, students will be notified of any developmental course requirements. These courses must be completed in order to develop skills and understandings necessary for success in college work.

Special Regional and Community Services

Specialized regional and community services include non-classroom and non-credit programs, cultural events, workshops, meetings, lectures, conferences, seminars and special community projects which are designed to provide needed cultural and educational opportunities for the citizens of the region.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Southside Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development (WD) aligns education and economic development to extend workforce development courses, training and programs into the community. WDS prepares the emerging workforce by providing students with greater access to career options; serves employers through flexible and customized training; and offers portable skills and credentials to the incumbent and displaced workforce. Workforce Development works closely with business and industry in the Southside Virginia rural area to ensure the training needs are met and available workers have the skills they need for entry level positions. Courses may be offered as credit or non-credit.

WD also promotes the Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificates (CRC), an assessment-based credential that gives employers and career seekers a uniform measure of key workplace skills. This is a highly recognized workforce credential that recipients can add to their resume and job applications.

Apprenticeship training is offered as well. Additionally, this department schedules community education and specialty courses for personal growth.

Southside Higher Education Consortium

The Southside Higher Education Consortium consists of Hampden-Sydney College, Longwood University, and Southside Virginia Community College. Its primary service area includes the counties of Buckingham, Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward, and the towns and independent cities in these counties. The purpose of the consortium is to contribute cooperatively to the cultural, educational, and economic advancement of Southside Virginia.

Cross-Registration Agreement

The variety of courses available to SVCC students has been increased by a Cross-Registration Agreement within the Southside Higher Education Consortium under which students at any of the four member institutions may enroll in certain courses at any of the other institutions. Requested courses should not be available through SVCC and are open on a space-available basis. Application for a course at Longwood University, or Hampden-Sydney College is made through the Dean of Enrollment Management at SVCC. The summer sessions are excluded from this agreement.

Campus Rules and Information

Food and Beverage Areas

Food and beverages are permitted in the student lounge, food service area, and hallways on both campuses except where posted. FOOD AND BEVERAGES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN CLASSROOMS OR LABORATORIES.

Parking and Traffic Safety

Parking zones are clearly marked on each campus for visitors, handicapped persons, and state vehicles. Students are expected to observe all parking regulations and traffic safety rules, and to place a parking sticker on the back window of their vehicles. These stickers are issued annually and are available from the Registration Office. Warnings will be issued to a first-time violator of the college parking regulations, and second-time violators will receive a $25.00 fine. Third-time violators may have their vehicle towed at their expense.

Selling and Solicitation

The selling of goods or services, or taking orders for goods or services, or soliciting funds for any purpose is prohibited on campus unless it is for a student or club and proper authorization has been secured from the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or Vice President of Finance.

Children on Campus

Children should not be brought to the campus in lieu of appropriate child care. Presently, the College does not provide child care services. Children on campus must be under parental supervision or other specifically designated adult supervision.

Please do not ask college personnel to provide supervision. Unattended children are not allowed in any area of the campus. There shall be no exceptions.

Pets on Campus

Pets are not allowed on campus. Service and drug enforcement animals are allowed on campus.

Notification of Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.

    Students should submit to the Dean of Enrollment Management, Vice President of Academic of and Student Affairs, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

    Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or -misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the College Board or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Southside Virginia Community College 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
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information

Southside Virginia Community College hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information.” Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose at its discretion.

Category I: Name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance.

Category II: Previous institution(s) attended, major fields of student, awards, honors (including Honors and Provosts’ List), degree(s) conferred (including dates).

Category III: Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight of athletes), date of birth.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received prior to October 15 in the Office of Admissions and Records at Southside Virginia Community College, Alberta, Virginia, or Southside Virginia Community College, Keysville, Virginia. Forms requesting withholding of “Directory Information” are available in the Admissions and Records Office.

Southside Virginia Community College assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of “Directory Information” indicates individual approval for disclosure.

Release of Information on Students

All requests for official information on students should be referred to the Admissions and Records Office. Student records are treated as confidential information available for the student’s inspection and the student’s personally authorized release, with very limited lawful exceptions. The college reserves the right to arrange mutually convenient appointments for student inspection of records and to impose reasonable charges for copies, should they be requested. Emergency requests for information will be handled by the Dean of Enrollment Management or designee.

Retention and Graduation Rates

Retention and graduation rates are available for review upon request in the Office of Institutional Research. The college reserves the right to arrange mutually convenient appointments.

Retention of Student Records

The college retains a student’s academic record for a period of three years from the student’s last semester of attendance. After this three-year period, records are deleted, and the student’s academic record is maintained electronically.

Fax Documents

The Southside Virginia Community College’s Admissions and Records Office will accept FAX documents for use as working documents only. Students must follow up with official, original documentation. It is NOT the policy of the college to FAX transcripts or other academic documents. Southside Virginia Community College reserves the right to decline to send and/or receive records via FAX transmission if the college considers the use of facsimile documents inconsistent with the policies or best interest of the institution or its students. However, FAX transcript requests and applications for admission will be accepted if signed by the student.


Photographs taken of individual students or groups of students in classrooms, the student lounge, and outdoors on campus, may be used by the College for release to newspapers or other media and for reproduction in the College’s publications.

If a student does not want a photograph to be used in promotion of the College, that student must notify the photographer at the time the photo is taken or notify the College Public Relations Coordinator within 24 hours after the photograph is taken.

Meeting Rooms

The facilities of the college are available for use by community groups for meetings and special events. Community use of the facilities may be scheduled. Charges are determined based on space and services requested.

Announcements and Notices

Student information screens, bulletin boards and notice holders are placed throughout the college. Students should check these locations daily to receive information on current events. Supervision of announcements and notices will be by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Student Activities Coordinator. Any outside group wanting to display ads or announcements should go through the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs office. Campus clubs and organizations should confer with the campus Student Activities Coordinator to post announcements. Announcements are not to be placed on the windows, doors, or walls of the campus.

Holds on Student Records

A hold or service indicator will be placed on a student’s official record under certain conditions. Nonpayment of financial obligations, such as tuition, College fines, and other debts will result in a hold on the student’s record. Disciplinary action, academic suspension, or dismissal may also result in a hold on one’s enrollment. A hold will restrict a student from enrolling, having transcripts or grade reports issued, or receiving other College services.