Catalog & Student Handbook 2022-2023 
    
    Aug 15, 2022  
Catalog & Student Handbook 2022-2023

Academic Program Information



Types of Programs

In implementing its mission statement, WCC provides several types of programs, as well as a wide selection of curricular offerings. Each curriculum is designed to meet the general criteria established by the State Board of Community Colleges and defined in the Code of Virginia Policy Manual, Section 5-Educational Programs. At the same time, WCC strives to design each curriculum with emphasis on the needs and opportunities within the college’s service region.

The State Board for Community Colleges sets minimum standards for conferring appropriate associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas to individuals who satisfactorily complete course and program requirements. The programs that follow are offered by WCC, and the program descriptions reflect the philosophies of both the state governing agencies and the college.

Degree Program Requirements

The minimum requirements for associate degrees are outlined below. The degrees are organized into those primarily designed for college transfer or immediate career/technical employment. 

College Transfer Education

Associate of Arts and Sciences (AA&S)

Career/Technical Education

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Minimum Requirements for Associate Degrees in the VCCS

 

AA&S

 AAA / AAS

General Education:

   

Communication

6(a)

3-6

Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature

6(c)

3-6

Social/Behavioral Sciences

6(d)

3-6

Natural Sciences

4-8

0-6(e)

Mathematics

3-6

0-6(e)

Institutional Specific General Education Courses

5-6

0

Total for General Education =

30-38

15

As specified above, degree programs must contain a minimum of 15 semester hours of general education as defined by SACSCOC. 

 

Other Requirements for Associate Degrees:

 

Student Development 

1-2

1-2

Transfer Core(f) (columns 1-4)
Career/technical courses (column 5) 

20-32

43-53 

 

____

____

Total for Degree =

60-63

60-69

 

Notes:   

(a) Each of the courses in communication must be in written communication. 

(b) One course in humanities/fine arts for the Fine Arts major must be a literature course.

(c) Each of the two courses cannot be from the same discipline area (e.g. humanities).

(d) One course in social/behavioral sciences must be a history course and the second required course cannot be history.

(e) A total of 3-6 semester hours is required in either natural sciences and/or mathematics for the AAA and AAS.

(f) Transfer core includes additional general education and/or major courses. 

The diploma and certificate curricula shall differ from associate degree curricula in that they may be presented at a different educational level.  These credentials are recognized as College Transfer and Career/Technical programs.

 

The diploma and certificate curricula differ from associate degree curricula and are outlined below:

 

 

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

Approval

State Board for Community Colleges

Chancellor

Local College Board

 

General Education

The programs in general education at WCC emphasize broad learning that goes beyond job training and skill development. Each degree and certificate program of the college contains prescribed general education courses, including academic courses in the humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, wellness, and communication skills. General education is that portion of the collegiate experience that addresses the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values characteristic of educated persons. It is unbounded by disciplines and honors the connections among bodies of knowledge.

Wytheville Community College is committed to offering its students programs that encompass the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by each individual to be more effective as a person, a worker, a consumer, and a citizen. Through a combination of general education courses, specialized courses in the major field, and student development courses, graduates are provided with a collegiate experience that supports the development of the following general education goals.

Student Learning Outcomes for Each of the General Education Goal Areas

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

 

Competency

Definition

Outcomes

Graduates of WCC will be able to:

Scientific Literacy

Scientific literacy is the ability to apply the scientific method and related concepts and principles to make informed decisions and engage with issues related to the natural, physical, and social world.  Degree graduates will recognize and know how to use the scientific method, and to evaluate empirical information.

 

  • Recognize basic knowledge of science, technology, and the scientific method of inquiry. 
  • Apply basic knowledge of science, technology, and the scientific method of inquiry in a laboratory setting. 
  • Communicate and critically analyze biological knowledge and evaluate empirical information. 

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to use information, ideas and arguments from relevant perspectives to make sense of complex issues and solve problems. Degree graduates will locate, evaluate, interpret, and combine information to reach well-reasoned conclusions or solutions.

  • Evaluate information to aid in reaching well-reasoned conclusions or solutions 
  • Develop a plan using mathematics for a critical thinking assignment. 
  • Integrate critical thinking into entry-level nursing care. 

Civic Engagement

The ability to contribute to the civic life and well-being of local, national, and global communities as both a social responsibility and life-long learning process. Degree graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and civic values necessary to become informed and contributing participants in a democratic society. 

  • Define civic engagement. 
  • Explore opportunities for civic engagement within the service region of WCC. 
  • Develop an individualized plan for civic engagement opportunities.

Quantitative Literacy

Quantitative literacy is the ability to perform accurate calculations, interpret quantitative information, apply and analyze relevant numerical data, and use results to support conclusions. Degree graduates will calculate, interpret, and use numerical and quantitative information in a variety of settings.

  • Perform accurate calculations. 
  • Interpret mathematical   modules such as formulas, graphs and tables.
  • Apply and analyze mathematical models of real-world situations.  

Written Communication

Students will develop the process of writing: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and reflecting. Related activities include reading, analyzing, paraphrasing, and summarizing with writings of others.

  • Create a personal narrative with clear and consistent competence. 
  • Develop a cause and effect paper that is has content and clarity statement with clear and competence. 
  • Create an argumentative with rhetorical knowledge that is clear and competent.

Professional Readiness

Professional readiness is the ability to work well with others and display situationally and culturally appropriate demeanor and behavior.  Professionally ready degree graduates will be able to demonstrate skills important for successful transition into the workplace and/or pursuit of further education.

  • Demonstrate how professionalism and communication skills can lead to successful workplace behavior.
  • Apply communication principals and discuss conflicting points of view.
  • Create a professional resume that demonstratres skills important for successful transition. 

Information Literacy Statement

Upon graduation from a degree program, all students will be able 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; and (5) understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Assessment

Students may be required to participate in one or more tests, projects, or other academic activities designed to measure general education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas prior to graduation. These tests are designed to evaluate programs. Program assessment test results will remain confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of college improvement. Students may have access to their own test scores upon request.

Student Outcomes Assessment

The college uses a variety of assessment activities to ensure that its educational programs achieve their stated purposes.

Entering freshmen, candidates for graduation, and graduates are assessed through standardized and nationally-normed instruments, in-house developed tests, exit interview questionnaires, and employer surveys.

The assessment process focuses on the following four areas: basic skills testing for English and mathematics placement, the student’s progress in the major, an assessment of the general education component among transfer curricula, and follow-up studies on alumni, dual-enrollment students, off-campus centers, transfer students, and area employers.

Transfer and Credit for Prior Learning

Transfer to Other Institutions

Normally, course work leading to an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree from Wytheville Community College will transfer to most four-year colleges and universities. Some four-year schools accept certain Associate of Applied Science degree programs in transfer, but this policy varies by institution.

Students have the responsibility for becoming familiar with the requirements and prerequisites of the transfer institution and the intended major. Attention should be given to required grade point average, deadlines for transfer applications, applicability of the associate degree program to the intended four-year curriculum, and the number of courses accepted for transfer. WCC advisors are available to help students gather such information and review alternatives, but students make the final choice.

A State Policy on Transfer was endorsed by the State Board for Community Colleges and the State Council of Higher Education in 1991. This policy suggests guidelines for Virginia community colleges and senior institutions on admission of transfer students, acceptance and application of transfer credits, services for and responsibilities of transfer students, and a transfer module for transfer without an associate degree.

Wytheville Community College has formal transfer articulation agreements with other higher education institutions. These agreements, which are discussed below, can be found online and detail the terms of transfer for WCC students completing the associate degree programs for each institution.

Guaranteed Admission and Articulation Agreements

The Virginia Community College System has established more than 30 guaranteed admission agreements with various colleges and universities that allow students who graduate from the appropriate WCC transfer program to  transfer as a junior into a baccalaureate degree program at the four-year institution. For a complete list of these transfer opportunities, please visit the VCCS website at www.vawizard.org/wizard/guaranteed-admission-agreements or see a counselor in WCC’s Student Services Office.

In addition, WCC has established articulation agreements with various four-year colleges and universities that allow WCC students who graduate from the appropriate program to transfer easily to those four-year institutions. For a complete list of these articulation opportunities, please see an advisor in the Student Services Office or visit the online Virginia Education Wizard at www.vawizard.org/wizard/guaranteed-admission-agreements.

College Credit for Prior Learning

Wytheville Community College recognizes that learning takes place in a variety of ways including work experiences, extensive reading, hobbies or avocational endeavors, and other similar activities. The basic premise of the credit for prior learning process is that program-placed students shall be given the opportunity to earn appropriate college credit when their previous studies, training, or life and work experiences have already provided the knowledge, competencies, or skills associated with a course. The college’s commitment to this philosophy of credit for prior learning is coupled with its mandate to ensure standards of academic quality comparable to traditional instruction. Procedures to apply for credit for prior learning can be obtained from the WCC Admissions and Records Office.

The WCC Admissions and Records Office (Room 117 Bland Hall) can provide a printed copy of the Wytheville Community College Credit for Prior Learning booklet upon request.

Definition of Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning is the award of academic credit for subject matter competency that has been gained by previous academic study or occupational experience. This may include, but is not limited to, college credit and advancement based upon individual participation in the Advanced Placement (AP) program of the College Entrance Examination Board; other placement examinations; articulation agreements with other institutions; transfer credit from other accredited institutions of higher learning; training provided by non-collegiate institutions, such as armed forces and service schools; professional certification; or experiential learning.

Criteria for Credit for Prior Learning

The following criteria apply to all forms of credit for prior learning:

  • To be eligible for Credit for Prior Learning, you must be currently enrolled in a program at the College.
  • Credit for Prior Learning must be applied toward a specific program at the College. Non-curricular students are not eligible for Credit for Prior Learning.
  • In order to graduate from WCC, a student must complete a minimum of 25% of the total credits required for the degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate at WCC.
  • Transfer credit may be awarded for up to 75% of the degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate requirements. Credit-by-portfolio may be awarded for up to 25% of the academic degree’s requirements. In all cases, at least 25% of the academic degree requirements must be completed at WCC for a student to be awarded a degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate.
  • Award of credit through Credit for Prior Learning shall be given, to the extent possible, for courses listed in the current WCC Catalog and Student Handbook. In certain instances, Credit for Prior Learning may be awarded for courses listed in the Virginia Community College System Master Course Guide.
  • No credit shall be awarded that duplicates earned course credit at the College, at other institutions, or other credit awarded through Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Students may not petition for Credit by Examination for a particular course if they have enrolled (either for credit or for audit) in that course, either at WCC or at another institution.
  • The College reserves the right to place a time limit on prior learning experiences for which Credit for Prior Learning may be granted. The College has a time limit for accepting credit for technical courses taken previously at other institutions. The Academic Dean, in consultation with the appropriate program faculty, will determine if courses taken more than five years ago can be used in the student’s current program of study.
  • Students are responsible for providing the College with appropriate official documentation of prior learning. In the case of foreign transcripts, the student must assume the responsibility of having transcripts translated and evaluated by an approved evaluation agency. Students are encouraged to have their foreign transcripts evaluated course-by-course rather than by degree. A listing of agencies that are approved to evaluate foreign transcripts is available in the Wytheville Community College Credit for Prior Learning booklet online.
  • The official transcript shall specify equivalent course(s) and the number of credits awarded for Credit for Prior Learning. Credit for Prior Learning shall be distinct from earned course credit.
  • No grades, grade point average, or other indication of academic standing shall be associated with Credit for Prior Learning entries on the official transcript.
  • Credit awarded through Credit for Prior Learning is applicable only to WCC’s curricular requirements. Students are cautioned that credits awarded through AP examinations, articulation agreements, CLEP examinations, credit-by-examination, credit-by-portfolio, or other means of Credit for Prior Learning may not be accepted for transfer by other post-secondary institutions.

College Transfer Programs

  

Career & Technical Education Programs

  

Cooperative Education

Co-op/internship students are employed part-time at work experience sites in positions related to their future career goals. The typical work week is 10-25 hours, depending upon the number of credits to be earned. It is preferred that students take advantage of the Internship Program (without pay) while working at non-profit entities. Experiential learning, combined with classroom theory, enhances the development and professional preparation of the co-op/internship student.

Workforce Development - Continuing Education and Community Services

Workforce Development

Employer Training Services

The Workforce Development Staff will work with private and public sector employers to design innovative programs that will meet the specific training needs of each organization. Most often the training is the result of a needs assessment completed in cooperation with management and employees. The Office of Workforce Development will provide training at the work site, on the WCC Campus or at off-site locations and will tailor the class schedule to accommodate the demands of work schedules. For more information, see the WCC web site at http://www.wcc.vccs.edu/workforce.

Manufacturing Technology Center

The Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) is a catalyst for enhancing competitiveness, increasing profitability, and improving economic opportunity for Southwestern Virginia’s Industry.  Through a decentralized approach, the MTC is responsive to the needs of manufacturers, helps them manage change, and promotes a progressive industrial image. 

The MTC is a consortium of the five community colleges of Southwestern Virginia: Mountain Empire, New River, Southwest Virginia, Virginia Highlands, and Wytheville.   

Continuing Education

Wytheville Community College realizes that education is a continuing lifelong process. All individuals in the college’s service region need the opportunity to develop and increase their knowledge in their personal, community and work environments. Continuing Education is the outreach arm of the college dedicated to meeting the ongoing educational needs of the community.

Community Services

College Facilities and Services

The facilities and personnel of the college are available to provide specialized services to help meet the cultural and educational needs of the region served by Wytheville Community College. Some of the community services available through the college are:

Continuing Adult Education
Speakers for Local Organizations
Workshops and Seminars
Community Research and Development Projects
Academic and Career Counseling
Career Development Services

Campus facilities are also available for use by community organizations per the WCC Facilities Usage Policy https://www.wcc.vccs.edu/sites/default/files/WCC-Facilities-Usage-Policy.pdf.

Learning Resource Center
Tennis Courts

Regional Programming

The college makes educational opportunities available to everyone in the service region through its program of regional classes. Each semester, numerous credit courses are scheduled at a variety of locations throughout the service region.

These programs allow individuals to take classes in their home communities without having the added expense of traveling to the main campus in Wytheville. WCC offers off-campus classes at the Crossroads Institute in Galax and WCC at the Henderson in Marion.