2024-2025 Catalog 
    
    May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog

General Information & Policies



Alcohol and Drug Policy

The College accepts responsibility for creating a responsible environment for its student body in reference to drugs and alcohol on campus. There shall not be any unlawful possession, use, sale, or distribution of any type of controlled drug or substance on any campus location. There shall be no possession or use of alcoholic beverages on college property or at any function sponsored or supervised by the College, except by state permit.

The College has the right to notify parents of students who are under the age of 21 when alcohol or drug policies are violated. The policy on substance abuse has these basic premises:

  1. All federal, state, and local statutes and laws in reference to the use of legal and illegal substances in public areas will be enforced in their entirety.
  2. A Substance Abuse Awareness program will be offered on campus so that students may fully understand the dangers of substance abuse.
  3. An ongoing network with local mental health agencies is in place so that students in need of assistance may be assured of prompt referral.

Bus Transportation

As a service to students, bus transportation to the College is provided by Four County Transit. Inquiries regarding bus transportation should be directed to the Office of Admissions & Records or directly to Four-County Transit at 276.963.1486 or 1.888.656.2272.

Campus Crime Policy

Southwest Virginia Community College complies with state and federal regulations and fully cooperates with civil authorities in assuring that the campus is a safe place to learn and work.  Each year an Annual Security Report is completed and made available to anyone who wishes to review this information.  Paper copies of the report are available from the Chief of Police or the Dean of Student Success upon request.

Emergency Procedures

If there is a risk of imminent danger, students should call 911.  In an emergency situation other than imminent danger, students should contact Campus Police at ext. 637221 from a campus phone, 276-964-7221 from a cell phone, or by going to Buchanan Hall, room 101.  You may also dial campus police directly from any campus phone by using the “Campus Police” button located beside the phone’s screen.  This button provides direct contact with a campus police officer. 

HELP boxes (red box labeled HELP) are located at the outside entrances to Buchanan Hall, Tazewell Hall, Davis Hall, Dickenson Hall, Russell Hall, and the Community Center.  An additional HELP box is located at Pavilion #4 near the recreational field. HELP boxes will contact Campus Police directly in the event that a phone is not available.  Personal emergencies regarding a need for a referral to an outside agency should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Student Success at 276.964.7677.

Student Dress Code

Student dress will be a matter of individual taste, except for restrictions as needed for safety, physical fitness classes, and laboratory settings. Student dress may not violate any Code of Conduct guidelines with regard to lewd, profane, or obscene content. 

Name and/or Address Change

Report name and/or address changes to the Office of Admissions and Records in order to receive correspondence from the College. Students may also change their address online through their MySouthwest Student Center.

Fire

In case of fire or other emergency, the alarm will sound. If this happens, leave the building in an orderly manner by the diagrams posted in classrooms and labs. Exit signs are posted in the halls.

Email Accounts

Electronic mail or email is the official method of communicating at the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). All official email communication is distributed to VCCS email accounts only. Students are required to use their campus email accounts as the official communication with their instructors and the college.

Food for Thought

Southwest provides a food pantry free of charge for all students, located in Buchanan Hall, room 122. For more information or assistance, stop by the Advising Center in Buchanan Hall, room 100.

Food Services and Student Lounge

The Eagle Café is open in Buchanan hall and serves a variety of hot meal options. Please visit the Café for current hours and menus. Vending machines are also located in various buildings across campus.
The Student Inclusion Center is located in Buchanan Hall, room 110 and is open as a Safe Space where all students are welcome. Materials celebrating LGBTQIA awareness and supports as well as multi-cultural information and resources are available.
The Student Lounge is located in Buchanan Hall, room 106 and is open to all students as a place to relax and play games, video games, watch TV or just hang out. 

 

Inclement Weather Policy

Decisions concerning altered hours of the College due to inclement weather will be published on the institution’s website and shared via the Southwest Alert notification service.

 

Insurance

Information and application regarding student insurance available to purchase may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records in Dellinger Hall, room 220.  Students who are enrolled in certain programs, classes, or clubs will be required to show proof of insurance for injury and accident coverage. Industrial/vocational students, health technologies students, club sports athletes, and students in high-risk activities are examples of those who may need such insurance.

 

Internet Usage Policy

Agreement

I acknowledge that this college is part of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), home to Virginia’s 23 community colleges.  As a user of the college’s local and shared computer systems, I understand and agree to abide by the following acceptable use agreement terms. These terms govern my access to and use of the information technology applications, services and resources of the VCCS, the college, and the information they generate.

Access to Computer and Network Resources

The college has granted access to me as a necessary privilege in order to perform authorized functions at the college.  I will not knowingly permit use of my entrusted access control 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, digital certificates or 2-factor authentication. 

I will not disclose information concerning any access control unless properly authorized to do so by my enrolling college. I will not use any access control that the VCCS has not expressly assigned to me. I will treat all information maintained on the college computer systems as strictly confidential and will not release information to any unauthorized person.

I understand that I must use only those computer resources that I have the authority to use. I must not provide false or misleading information to gain access to computing resources. The VCCS may regard these actions as criminal acts and may treat them accordingly. I must not use VCCS information technology resources to gain unauthorized access to computing resources of other institutions, organizations, individuals, etc.

Intellectual Property

Copyright law protects computer software, database systems, electronic documents, and electronic media.  A copyright is a work of authorship in a tangible medium.  Copyright owners have the sole right to reproduce their work, prepare derivatives or adaptations of it, and distribute it by sale, rent, license lease, or lending and/or to perform or display it.

A student must either have an express or implied license to use copyrighted material or data, or be able to prove fair use.  Students and other users of college computers are responsible for understanding how copyright law applies to their electronic transactions.  They may not violate the copyright protection of any information, software, or data with which they come into contact through the college computing resources.

Downloading or distributing copyrighted materials such as documents, movies, music, etc. without the permission of the rightful owner is copyright infringement, which is illegal under federal and state copyright law.  Use of the college’s network resources to commit acts of copyright infringement may be subject to prosecution and disciplinary action.

The penalties for infringing copyright law can be found under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 501-513 (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html) and in the U.S. Copyright Office’s summary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf).

Prohibited Activities

I agree to abide by all applicable local, State, Federal, VCCS, and college policies, procedures and standards related to the use of the Internet, Social Media, and Electronic Communications. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attempting to gain access to information owned by the college or by its authorized users without the permission of the owners of that information.
  • Accessing, downloading, printing, or storing information with sexually explicit content as prohibited by law or policy;
  • Downloading or transmitting fraudulent, threatening, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, harassing, discriminatory, or otherwise unlawful messages or images;
  • Installing or downloading computer software, programs, or executable files contrary to policy;
  • Accessing, uploading, downloading, transmitting, printing, communicating, or posting access-restricted college information, proprietary college information, sensitive data or records, or copyrighted materials in violation of college or state policy;
  • Posting information or sending e-mail with the intent to deceive by using another’s identity, an assumed name, or anonymously;
  • Attempting to intercept or read messages intended for others;
  • Intentionally developing, propagating, or experimenting with malicious programs (viruses, worms, spy-ware, keystroke loggers, phishing software, Trojan horses, etc.) on any college-owned computer;
  • Changing administrator rights on any college-owned computer, or the equivalent on non-Microsoft Windows based systems;
  • Using college computing resources to support any commercial venture, to promote political candidates, and to circulate advertising for products or any other use for personal financial gain.
  • Protection of Computer and Network Resources

I agree to follow any special rules posted or communicated by responsible staff members when using college computing laboratories, classrooms, and computers in the Learning Resource Centers.

I will do nothing intentionally that degrades or disrupts the computer systems or interferes with systems and equipment that support the work of others.

I will promptly report problems with college computing resources to the staff in charge or to the Information Technology Help Desk.

Reporting Requirements

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

Security and Privacy

No user shall have any expectation of privacy in any message, file, image or data created, sent, retrieved, received, or posted in the use of the college’s equipment and/or access.

The VCCS System Office and colleges reserve the right (with or without cause) to monitor, access and disclose all data created, sent, received, processed, or stored on VCCS systems to ensure compliance with VCCS policies and local, State, or Federal regulations. College or System Office officials will have the right to review and/or confiscate (as needed) any equipment (College owned or personal) connected to a college owned device or network. In addition, except for exemptions under the Act, electronic records may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, therefore, available for public distribution.

Acknowledgment

I understand that it is my responsibility to read and abide by this agreement, even if I do not agree with all the terms and conditions indicated herein.  If I have any questions about the VCCS Information Technology Student/Patron Acceptable Use Agreement, it is my responsibility to contact the college Information Security Officer or appropriate college official for clarification.

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.

Loitering Policy

Non-students who wish to visit the campus are welcome. Repeated visits without an appropriate purpose will be discouraged. Prospective students coming to campus for the first time should report to the Office of Admissions and Records for information and assistance.

Parking and Traffic Regulations

Students may use all student designated parking areas. Students may not park in posted handicapped, reserved, or visitor parking unless authorized.  A fine of $15 will be assessed for a campus parking violation.  If the fine is not paid within fifteen (15) working days, the fine will double.  Unpaid fines will be submitted to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Parking for Individuals with Disabilities:  Parking spaces are reserved for persons with state-issued handicapped permits obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Offenders of parking for persons with disabilities are in violation of state law and will be issued a citation accordingly. 

Campus Police also enforce all Virginia State Traffic Laws.  Fines for State violations will be determined by the Tazewell County General District Court.

Service Animal Policy

Service Animal Policy

In compliance with applicable law, Southwest generally allows service animals in its buildings, classrooms, meetings, dining areas, recreational facilities, activities and events when the animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the service animal is trained to provide and does provide, a specific service to them that is directly related to their disability.

Under Code of Virginia 51.1-44.1, any person who knowingly and willfully fits a dog with a harness, collar, vest, or sign, or uses an identification card commonly used by a person with a disability, in order to represent that the dog is a service dog or hearing dog to fraudulently gain public access for such dog pursuant to provisions in 51.5-44 is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Southwest may not permit service animals when the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety or when the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service. Southwest will make those determinations on a case-by-case basis.

We encourage students to register their service animal with the Accessibility Services office, to ensure that our documentation supports the student’s rights under ADA regulations. Specific questions related to the use of service animals on the Southwest campus by visitors can be directed to the Director of Admissions & Accessibility Services at dionne.cook@sw.edu, or phone, (276) 964-7301. You may learn more about service animals and the ADA at the following website: http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

 

Definitions 

Service Animal - Any dog* individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability and meets the definition of “service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) regulations at 28 CFR 35.104. The work or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability.

*Under particular circumstances set forth in the ADA regulations at 28 CFR 35.136 (i), a miniature horse may qualify as a service animal.

  1. Examples include, but are not limited to: assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
  2. Service Dogs in Training - A dog being trained has the same rights as a fully trained dog when accompanied by a trainer and identified as such in any place of public accommodation (as defined in ORS 659A.400).   Handlers of service dogs in training must also adhere to the requirements for service animals and are subject to the removal policies as outlined in this policy.
  3. Comfort Animal - Under ADA, comfort animals are not service animals. Comfort animals of any species, which may provide emotional support to a person but are not trained to perform work or tasks related to a person’s disability, are not permitted inside College buildings and facilities.
  4. Place of public accommodation - A place of public accommodation as defined in ORS 659A.400: “a place or service offering to the public accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges whether in the nature of goods, services, lodgings, amusements or otherwise.” A place of public accommodation does not include any institution, bona fide club or place of accommodation which is in its nature distinctly private.
  5. Assistance Animals (including Emotional Support Animals) - Southwest Virginia Community College is a non-residential institution and does not offer dormitory or other housing services for students. Southwest is considered a place of public accommodation; therefore, Assistance animals (including emotional support animals) are not allowed on Southwest’s campus or any associated physical facility.
  6. Handler - A person with a disability that a service animal assists or a personal care attendant who handles the animal for a person with a disability.

Southwest Virginia Community College Procedures Regarding Inquiries

In general, Southwest will not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. Southwest may ask:

  1. If the animal is required because of a disability and;
  2. What work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

Southwest cannot require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, Southwest may not make any inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

Responsibilities of Handlers

Students who wish to bring a service animal to campus are strongly encouraged to partner with Accessibility Services, especially if other academic accommodations are required.   Students who intend to bring a service animal to campus on a regular basis (e.g., for regularly scheduled classes and co-curricular activities) are required to notify Accessibility Services so that the service animal’s regular presence on campus is known.  Staff and faculty with service animals are strongly encouraged to contact Accessibility Services and required to do so if the service animal will be present on campus on a regular basis.

Handlers are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury. The cost of care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the handler at all times.

Service Animal Control Requirements

  1. The animal should be on a leash when not providing a service that requires them to be off-leash to the handler.
  2. The animal should respond to voice or hand commands at all times, and be in full control of the handler.
  3. To the extent possible, the animal should be unobtrusive to the other individuals and the learning, living, and working environment.
  4. It is recommended that the animal wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol, identifying the animal as a working animal, but not disclosing a disability.

Animal Etiquette

To the extent possible, the handler should ensure that the animal does not: 

  1. Sniff people, food tables or the personal belongings of others.
  2. Jump on people.
  3. Display any behaviors or noises that are disruptive to others, unless part of the service being provided for the handler.
  4. Block an aisle or passageway for fire or other emergency egresses.

Waste Cleanup Rule

Cleaning up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. In the event that the handler is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is then the responsibility of the handler to hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal. The person cleaning up after the animal should abide by the following guidelines: 

  1. Always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal’s waste whenever the animal is on campus.
  2. Properly dispose of waste and/or litter in appropriate containers.
  3. Contact staff if arrangements are needed to assist with cleanup. Any cost incurred for doing so is the sole responsibility of the handler.

Removal of Service Animals

Service Animals may be ordered to be removed by the Chief of Police or College Administration for the following reasons:

  1. Out of Control Animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that is out of control if the handler does not take effective action to control it. If the improper animal behavior happens repeatedly, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal into any college facility until the handler can demonstrate that she/he has taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior.
  2. Non-housebroken Animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that is not housebroken.
  3. Direct Threat: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that Southwest determines to be a substantial and direct threat to the health and safety of individuals. This may occur as a result of a very ill animal, a substantial lack of cleanliness of the animal, or the presence of an animal in a sensitive area like an allied-health facility, certain laboratories or mechanical or industrial areas.
  4. Conflicting Disabilities: Some people may have allergic reactions to animals that are substantial enough to qualify as disabilities. Southwest will consider the needs of both persons in meeting its obligations to reasonably accommodate all disabilities and to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Students, staff, and faculty requesting allergy accommodations should contact Accessibility Services. Where a service animal is properly removed pursuant to this policy, Southwest will work with the handler to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises. Appeals and Grievances: Any person dissatisfied by a decision concerning a service animal may appeal using the Student Grievance Procedure found on the Southwest website.

Public Etiquette towards Service or Assistance Animals

It is okay to ask someone if she/he would like assistance if there seems to be confusion. However, faculty, staff, students, visitors, and members of the general public should avoid the following: 

  1. Petting a service animal, as it may distract them from the task at hand.
  2. Feeding the service animal.
  3. Deliberately startling a service animal.
  4. Separating or attempting to separate a handler from his/her service animal.

 

 

Student Identification Cards

Southwest campus ID cards are prepared in the Library. Student ID cards are full-color and contain a photograph.  All students and faculty/staff should obtain an ID card and carry it with them at all times. There is no charge for the first card, but there is a $5 replacement charge for lost ID cards.  Any registered student is eligible for a free ID card.

 

SWCC Privacy of Education Records Policy

As provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Virginia law, Southwest designates the following types of information as Directory Information and may disclose Directory Information items without the student’s prior consent:

  • Student’s Name
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams 
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received 
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance 
  • Grade Level
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Number of credit hours enrolled 
  • Photos

Southwest shall not disclose the address, phone numbers or email addresses of a student as Directory Information or pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request without prior written consent of the student unless the disclosure is to students enrolled in the college for educational purposes or institution business and the student has not opted out of such disclosure.

Students may prevent the disclosure of Directory Information by requesting a FERPA Block be placed on their account through the Admissions & Records office. Students may also go into the Student Information System (SIS) and edit the Personal Information Privacy Settings by enabling FERPA/Directory restrictions. 

Title IX

Southwest Virginia Community College is committed to building and maintaining a diverse community to reflect human diversity and improve opportunities for all. We celebrate individual differences and diversity. SWCC does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment, and admission.

Each student and employee at SWCC has the right to engage in an educational/working experience free from discrimination, harassment, exclusion, and retaliation.

 

Title IX is a landmark civil rights law. Enacted by Congress, Title IX seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to educational opportunities caused by sex discrimination in institutions that receive federal funding.

View Title IX Policy Here

Tutoring

Tutoring is available free of charge for all students. Please contact Student Support Services in Buchanan Hall, room 152, or by phone at 276.964.7624 for more information. Online options are available through your MySouthwest Portal. 

Unpaid Financial Obligations:

Students who damage or lose school property (laboratory or shop equipment, supplies, library materials, audiovisual equipment, laptops, internet hotspots,etc.) are expected to pay for such losses. Lost Library books and other materials should be reported immediately since fines are charged up to the time the loss is reported. Lost books and other materials are billed at the current replacement value plus process fees. 

Students owing fines or lost materials at the end of the fiscal quarter will not receive grade transcripts and will not be permitted to register in any succeeding term until all financial obligations are met.  Grade transcripts will not be released until all financial obligations are paid.