Jun 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook 
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Development Services

Student Development

The College offers services and activities that complement academic programs to support the development of each student. The College maintains a staff of trained counselors who provide services to facilitate the academic, career and personal development of students. These services help students acquire skills and access resources necessary for academic success.


Professional counselors are available to assist students who wish to discuss educational, personal or career planning concerns. Personal and confidential assistance provided by a counselor can often help students cope effectively with situations which confront them, make decisions regarding various life concerns and plans, and help them gain greater self-awareness. If a student needs more extensive assistance, the counselor will help the student in making contact with the appropriate referral source. As with all types of counseling, the counselor will assist the student in exploring the possible alternatives and courses of action open to the student, but the final decision is up to the student.

Any person who needs assistance with school-related and personal problems has available through the counseling staff appropriate tests and inventories, occupational and educational materials, including computer software, and information regarding financial assistance and employment. Courses and workshops are offered each semester by the counselors which encourage students to develop skills that further their personal growth.

College Success Skills

All curricula placed students shall enroll in a College Success Skills class (SDV 100, 101, 108) within the first fifteen (15) credits of their program of study at the College. The course is designed to help students transition to college and introduce them to college resources and services. Effective study skills, career and academic planning and college transfer are among the topics offered to help students succeed in their course work. The requirement may be waived for students who hold an Associate Degree or Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution. Other requests for a waiver may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students must still successfully complete the required number of credits for their degree.


The orientation process begins when a student submits the admission application. Students are then encouraged to meet with the Student Development staff in order to learn and provide guidance for a better understanding of the academic programs and enrollment procedures of the college to ensure completion.

All new students are required to attend New Student Orientation Day, which is held prior to each semester. This assists students with adjustment to college requirements and the campus environment.

Career/Job Information

Southside Virginia Community College does not operate like a typical employment agency in that the student is not “placed” in a job. The emphasis is on teaching the process of career decision making and the use of effective job search strategies. Thus, the major focus is on providing programs/services which assist the student in learning how to combine self-knowledge with career exploration. The goal is to help the student develop job search skills which can be used while attending the college and after graduation. The programs/services are offered with the understanding that the student has responsibility for taking the initiative to develop and achieve sound career goals.

Students can explore their interests, abilities, study skills, and learning styles through the completion of various assessment inventories online or pencil/paper. Students can request to take an inventory or be referred by a faculty member.

The college acts as a clearinghouse by receiving job openings from employers in the ten-county service area and referring students to these employers. Company recruiters are always welcome to interview students on campus. Career Fairs are held yearly. The College web-master in collaboration with student development staff maintains a career page with links to a wide variety of resources regarding careers and employment.

All career and job information services/programs are made available to SVCC students, alumni, and employers who wish to participate. Contact Student Development for more information.

Testing Services

The testing program is administered by Student Development professionals at the College and consists of a wide variety of testing instruments.

Placement tests which include reading, writing, and mathematics may be required of both day and night students who want to enroll part-time or full-time in a program of study. These tests are offered on a daily basis.

For nursing applicants, additional testing is required. Announcements of these examinations are made available to all persons interested in the certificate or associate degree programs. Also, this information can be obtained from the Admissions Office and is posted on our website.

Student Development Professionals administer graduate assessment tests each semester. Each prospective graduate is required to complete this testing upon completion of their first degree, diploma or certificate.

Students With Disabilities

Southside Virginia Community College is committed to the goal of providing each qualified student equal opportunity to pursue a college education. Professional counselors skilled in disabilities support services are available at each campus. Students with documented disabilities who require assistance should contact Student Development Services as soon as possible. Timely requests for special services enable the College to better serve students. Professional counselors will assist qualified students with their special needs, including accommodations on placement testing, instructional accommodation plans, consultation services with faculty and staff, assistance with registration, career counseling, study skills, note taking, mobility assistance and other services depending on individual needs and the availability of resources.

Student Activities

The student activities program is designed to provide a variety of meaningful educational, cultural and social activities. Student activities programs may include the following activities: professional entertainment, musical programs, cookouts, plays, movies, intramural athletics, departmental clubs,field trips and special interest groups. Admission to student activities is limited to students, faculty, staff and their guests.

At the present time, official recognition is given to scholastic, civic, athletic, departmental and special interest clubs. All clubs are approved by the Student Activities Coordinator and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. All clubs must have a college employee as an advisor. The Student Activities Coordinator will coordinate all such student events and maintain an activities calendar. If a sufficient number of students desire a particular activity or club, they should contact the student activities office

Student Health Care Coverage

The college does not carry medical insurance on students. Students who plan to participate in student activities, athletic events, or a field trip should consider carrying some form of accident and health insurance since the college cannot be held responsible for any accidents. Brochures regarding special student health insurance are available in the Student Development office.

A student activities fund is established to support the program of student activities. This fund includes a portion of the profits from food vending machine operations, receipts from special student activities, student activities fees and contributions from local sources. The funds in this account are to be spent only for student activities which have been authorized by the Student Activities Coordinator and approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The local advisory board is responsible for the operation and control of these funds under the specific methods and procedures established by the Virginia Community College System and approved by the State Auditor.

Academic Support

Student Development offers a strong tutoring and mentoring program for enrolled students throughout the College service area. The Comprehensive Learning Center on both of the main campuses offers a myriad of support materials from tutors to study guides, study groups and computer software. Student Development works with academic support staff and IT support staff to ensure that off-campus, online and seated students have an understanding of Blackboard and SIS and know how to use this technology successfully.

New Student & Faculty Advising

Academic advising is a comprehensive and interactive process that utilizes both educational counseling and program planning. The College is committed to providing students with the guidance necessary to make appropriate academic and career decisions.

A student is assigned a new student advisor for the first fifteen credit hours. A student is then assigned a faculty advisor after achieving sixteen credit hours. The faculty advisor then assists the student in planning the program of study each semester and is responsible for certifying the student for graduation. Both faculty advisors and student development professionals work as a team in serving the best interests of the student.

Mentor Programs


The Make-It-Happen program is a Student Recruitment and Retention Program designed to assist African-American male freshmen and sophomores to successfully adjust to the college, achieve academically, and graduate. Through individual and group activities, students are provided the opportunity to develop academically and personally.

Women In Search of Excellence (WISE)

The WISE Mentoring Program at SVCC will seek to address the challenges facing women in higher education by fostering healthy relationships and providing support, guidance and encouragement to help overcome obstacles and achieve personal, professional and academic growth. WISE students will set academic, personal and career goals; learn how to make informed decisions; identify resources and pathways to successfully achieve their goals; cultivate strong relationships with women in business and academia, and develop leadership and self-improvement skills with support from their mentors. WISE is will be open to any female enrolled at Southside Virginia Community College who is committed to the mission of the program.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefit Information

Most programs and courses of instruction at the college are approved for veterans benefits. Persons who are eligible for veterans educational assistance should contact their local Veterans Administration office or the college Veterans Affairs Office and secure the forms needed to apply for educational assistance. Any veteran wishing to receive benefits must be officially accepted by the college into an approved program. Once veterans are accepted in a program of study, they are allowed to take required courses and electives as outlined in the catalog. Prior approval from the student’s faculty advisor is required to substitute other courses for required courses. Each veteran or veteran’s dependent in a degree, certificate, or diploma program must report withdrawals and/or class drops to the Veterans Affairs Office.

Military (Department of Veterans Affairs) Delayed Payment Policy

This policy documents compliance with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, section 3679 of Title 38 of the United States Code.

A covered individual is any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits.

Southside Virginia Community College requires all covered individuals to submit a written request of certification of their enrollment each semester for which they plan to use their Chapter 31 or 33 entitlement benefits. The Certification Request for Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits must be submitted no later than the last day to drop and receive a refund for the respective semester.

Any covered individual will be permitted to attend or participate in a course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to Southside Virginia Community College a Certificate of Eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under Chapter 31 or 33 (a “certificate of eligibility” can also include a Statement of Benefits obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for Chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:

1. The date on which payment from VA is made to Southside Virginia Community College

2. 90 days after the date Southside Virginia Community College certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

Due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the VA under Chapter 31 or 33, Southside Virginia Community College will not assess a late penalty fee, deny access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or require a covered individual to borrow additional funds because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to Southside Virginia Community College for the VA delay.

Southside Virginia Community College reserves the right to follow normal collection procedures for any difference between the amount of a covered individual’s financial obligation and the amount of the VA education benefit disbursement.

Waived Tuition-Survivors of Certain Veterans

Section 23-7.1 of the Code of Virginia provides that free tuition shall be granted to children of permanently disabled or deceased veterans of armed forces of the United States to state-supported institutions of secondary grade or college level.

Eligibility of such children shall be determined by the Division of War Veterans Claims which shall verify in writing to the admitting institution that tuition should be waived in accordance with the provisions of Section 23-7.1. An application may be secured from the Veterans Affairs Office. A letter of certification from the State Division of War Veterans Claims must be presented to the Veterans Affairs Coordinator at the time of registration before the tuition can be waived. The VA administers several programs under the GI Bill for veterans, active duty personnel, Reserve and National Guard, as well as qualified dependents of veterans. To obtain information on these programs contact the college’s Veterans Affairs Office.