Faculty & Staff :: Faculty Handbook

Instructional/Registration Information

Academic Advising transcript

The Academic Advising Report, available via the Advisor Center found in My VWCC, is used for advising students and for certifying graduates. The report lists each student's course requirements and completed credits including substitutions, course equivalents, and transfer credits. It is used to determine where these credits fit in the student's plan (curriculum) and what requirements are remaining in order to graduate. It also denotes a student’s cumulative GPA and a "plan GPA" for courses applicable to the student's program of study.

Academic advising reports will also reflect the requirement term (catalog year) to be used for graduation. The requirement term to be used to determine graduation requirements is the one in effect at the time of the student’s entry into the college, or any catalog thereafter, as long as the student has maintained continuous enrollment. In cases where students do not maintain continuous enrollment (i.e., non-enrolled for two or more consecutive semesters, excluding the summer semester), graduation requirements will be determined by the catalog in effect a the time of their re-entry into the curriculum, or any catalog thereafter, as long as enrollment remains continuous. The catalog to be used in certifying graduation shall not have been in effect more than five years.

Addition of a Course

Students must register for a course during the official registration/add period (see the official academic calendar for deadlines). Any request for entry after this period must be approved by the instructor, School Dean, and Dean of Student Services or the Registrar.

No Shows

Faculty are required to submit enrollment certifications to confirm student attendance and enrollment to the Admissions and Records Office. For students who never attend class (and are considered a "no-show" student), the college must cancel student financial aid and enrollment. The reporting of no-show students is not an option; it is required by the VCCS. It is critical that instructors adhere to this policy and submit the no-show rosters by the established deadline. Once a student has been dropped as a no-show student, the instructor should not allow the student to attend/participate in class or submit assignments. There will be no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course.

Students who attend even one class are not considered no-show students.

Face-to-Face: Students enrolled in face-to-face classes must demonstrate that they are attending and participating in their classes by the last date to drop for a refund or they must be reported to the Admissions Office and dropped as no-show students on the faculty No Show Roster. Instructors must indicate their attendance policy in their course syllabus.

Distance Learning: Students must demonstrate they are participating in their distance learning classes by the last date to drop for a refund or they must be reported to the Admissions Office and dropped as no-show students on the faculty No Show Roster. Instructors may determine student participation by the student’s completion of assignments, course discussions, Blackboard statistics, and/or other instructor determined criteria. Please note that an email from the student to the instructor is not considered "participation" in a course.

The drop deadline for Regular (16-week) session classes is printed in the Schedule of Classes and available in each school office. Drop deadlines for dynamic session classes (session code of D) vary from the Regular session and are available in each school office and the Admissions Office.

Information and Educational Technologies will generate no-show rosters and a control sheet for each school 2-3 days after the census date for the term. The roster will note the students who are receiving financial aid/loans. No-show rosters and instruction sheets will be delivered to each instructor and must be completed in the following manner:

  • Place a checkmark in the Attendance/No Show field to indicate that the student has never attended class. If the student has attended class, leave the Attendance/No Show field blank.
  • If all students appearing on the roster have attended one or more classes, initial the roster leaving all Attendance/No Show fields blank.
  • Forward the completed no-show roster to your school office by the established deadline.

Each school will log receipt of the no-show roster and forward it to the Admissions Office for processing.

Additional information on reporting no-show students is also available under the Faculty/Staff Tutorials section of the My VWCC Survival Guide.

Withdrawals

Due to federal guidelines regarding students who receive financial aid, students who stop attending class must be reported to the Admissions Office. Therefore, if the student stops attending prior to the withdrawal date (60% point in the semester) and does not voluntarily withdraw from the class, instructors must withdraw the students from class. Also, issuing a failing grade to a student who stop attending classes prior to the withdrawal date is not an option.

After the add/drop period but prior to the withdrawal date, a student may voluntarily withdraw from a class by completing a Registration Change Form in the college Admissions Office. Students also have the option to withdraw themselves using via MyVWCC.

Faculty are required to submit attendance certifications to the Admissions and Records Office to confirm that students are continuing to attend their classes. A student who ceases attendance prior to the withdrawal deadline must have his or her financial aid prorated and must be withdrawn from class. Failure to comply with this requirement will cause significant auditable issues for the college.

Face-to-Face: Students enrolled in face-to-face classes who stop participating before the withdrawal deadline must be reported to the Admissions Office and withdrawn for non-participation on the faculty Withdrawal Roster. Instructors may determine student participation by completion of assignments, class discussions, or by determining that students have exceeded the number of absences allowed by the instructor. Instructors must state within their syllabus their method of determining course participation.

Distance Learning: Students who stop participating in their distance learning courses before the withdrawal deadline must be reported to the Admissions Office and withdrawn for non-participation on the faculty Withdrawal Roster. Instructors may determine student participation by the student’s completion of assignments, course discussions, and/or Blackboard statistics. Instructors must state within their syllabus their method of determining course participation.

To expedite the reporting of students who stop attending, a class roster and Class Roster Control Report must be submitted by all instructors. Printing Services will provide the report and the school offices will be responsible for retrieving them and forwarding them to the appropriate instructor. The Class Roster Control Report should be maintained in the school office.

The withdrawal roster must be completed in the following manner:

  • Place a checkmark in the Attendance/No Show field to indicate that the student has ceased attendance/participation in the class. If the student has not ceased attendance, leave the Attendance/No Show field blank.
  • If all students appearing on the roster are still attending/participating, initial the roster leaving all Attendance/No Show fields blank.
  • Forward the completed withdrawal roster to your school office by established deadlines. Please refer to the table below for return deadlines.

Each school will log receipt of the withdrawal roster and forward it to the Admissions Office for processing.

The withdrawal deadline for Regular; (16-week) session classes is available in each school office and on the website at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/calendar/. Withdrawal deadlines for dynamic session classes (session code of D) vary from the Regular session and are available in each school office, the Admissions Office, and on the web at http://virginiawestern.edu/facstaff/index.php.

After the withdrawal date has passed, a grade of "W" can only be granted through an Administrative Withdrawal due to documented, mitigating circumstances. Instructors cannot award Administrative Withdrawals when they are entering final grades in My VWCC.

Once a student has been withdrawn from a class, the instructor must not allow the student to attend/participate in class or submit assignments. There will be no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course. Students who stop participating after the withdrawal deadline for the course must receive a grade of F.

For more detailed grading instructions, please refer to the Faculty/Staff Tutorials section of the My VWCC Survival Guide.

Administrative Withdrawal

After the withdrawal deadline for the term, students will receive a grade of F if they stop attending class unless they request and are granted an administrative withdrawal due to mitigating and appropriately documented circumstances. Such requests should be submitted to the Admissions Office and approved by the Dean of Student Services or the Registrar during the term in which the discontinuation of attendance occurs. Students must be making satisfactory progress in the course at the time of the withdrawal.

To receive an administrative withdrawal, the student must submit a Drop/Add form and also a "Request for Late Withdrawal" form to the Admissions Office. Both forms must be signed by the course instructor. It is not necessary to obtain the school dean’s signature/approval on this form as the intended purpose is for the instructor to indicate that the student was making satisfactory progress in the course. Documentation must be provided, and the Dean of Student Services or Registrar must approve the administrative withdrawal.

An instructor, advisor or other college official may initiate an administrative withdrawal on behalf of a student, or on behalf of the college, when special circumstances warrant such action.

An administrative withdrawal should only be granted when mitigating circumstances are present and appropriately documented and when the student was making satisfactory progress in the course when he/she stopped attending.

Withdrawal from the College

A student who wishes to withdraw from all courses should contact the Admissions Office to determine the appropriate procedure. 

Class Attendance

The policy on attendance and make-up examinations is generally the prerogative of each instructor. However, it is Virginia Western policy that "When the number of unexcused absences reaches a sum equivalent to 30 percent of the total instructional time (e.g., five weeks in a 15-week course), the instructor will drop the student from class, with the exception of seminar classes. (See explanation under "Grading System.") There is no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course when an instructor has dropped a student for nonattendance."

Because courses are designed and conducted in diverse ways, instructors will inform students, through the course syllabus, if there are specific expectations for attendance and participation that differ from the college policy above. The student will be held to the requirements provided in the course syllabus.

Additionally, instructors are required to report "No Show" students and students who cease attendance or participation in a course prior to the withdrawal deadline (60%) to the Admissions Office. These students may be reported on the no-show roster and the withdrawal roster provided by the school office or on a class roster printed from My VWCC. For additional information on these situations, please refer to the information found in "Course Withdrawal" and "No Shows" (above).

Class Rosters

Each semester, faculty must print their class rosters via My VWCC. Since class rosters are subject to change, it is strongly recommended that they be printed on a regular basis. Current copies of the class roster should be used at each class meeting to ensure that the class roster and attendance match. Any student whose name is missing from the roster must be sent to the Admissions Office immediately. These students are not eligible to return to class without written documentation from the Admissions Office personnel. For information on accessing your online roster, please refer to the Faculty/Staff Tutorials section of the My VWCC Survival Guide.

Course Repeat Policy

Students will be allowed to enroll for a third time in a course without having to obtain approval when:

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

Except under the conditions cited above, a student will not automatically be allowed to enroll in a course more than two times. Should the student request to enroll in the same course more than twice, the need must be documented and approved by the Dean of Student Services or the Registrar, followed by the School Dean.

A student should not be allowed to enroll in a course more than three times unless there are very unusual and extenuating circumstances. Approval should not be granted lightly or routinely and should not be given unless a compelling argument can be made justifying why the student is likely to be able to succeed if given another opportunity. The Dean of Student Services or the Registrar must approve a fourth attempt, followed by the approval of the School Dean.

Students should consult with a counselor or faculty advisor before repeating a course for credit. All grades earned for all courses taken one or more times are indicated on the student’s permanent record, but only the last grade earned is used in calculating the student’s cumulative grade point average and for satisfying curricular requirements.

Quarter credit courses are exempt from the course repeat policy. "W" and "I" grades are included when counting the number of course attempts.

For further information regarding this policy and how it may affect students, please contact the Records Office.

Grade Rosters

Final grade rosters for Regular session classes will be generated by the Records Office prior to the end of the semester. School offices will generate dynamic session grade rosters. Grades will be entered by faculty via My VWCC. Detailed instructions for entering grades are available under the Faculty/Staff Tutorials section of the My VWCC Survival Guide.

Grades

Instructors will enter grades via the grade roster found in the Faculty Center in SIS. Depending upon the grading basis of the class, grades of A, B, C, D, F, P, S, R, and U may be entered. A grade of W cannot be entered by faculty.

Changes in financial aid regulations for Return of Title IV funds mandate that the procedure for populating the Last Date of Attendance on the final grade roster be modified effective summer 2012.

After entering a grade of F, U, or R in the Roster Grade field, the Last Date of Attendance field will appear. Click in the Last Date of Attendance field and enter the correct date as indicated below:

  • Students who stopped attending/participating in the course prior to the course end date
    • Preferred! Enter the Actual Last Date of Attendance (student stopped attending/participating in the course and the last date of attendance is known) – In this case the faculty member knows when the student stopped attending/participating in the course. The student’s actual last date of attendance should be entered. OR
    • Enter 01/01/1900 (unknown Last Date of Attendance/student stopped attending/participating in course)—In this case, the faculty member does not know when the student stopped attending/participating. The placeholder date of 01/01/1900 indicates that the last date of attendance/participation is unknown. Using this date equates to the faculty member not knowing when the student stopped attending/participating in the class.
  • Students who attended/participated/completed the entire course and failed to satisfactorily complete the course requirements earning a grade of F, U, or R
    • Enter the last date of the semester/class end date (not last day the class actually met).
      • For regular session classes the end date of the semester must be entered in the Last Date of Attendance field. For 5W1 and 5W2, use the end date of that session. Please refer to the Academic Calendar found on the Faculty Resources page. The end date is also found on your class roster and grade roster.
      • For dynamically dated classes, the end date for the course can be found on your class roster and your grade roster and online at http://virginiawestern.edu/facstaff/docs/60percentdeadline.pdf.

      Note: If the instructor is unsure of the end date of the class, look at the SIS class roster or grade roster as the beginning and ending dates appear on these rosters. DO NOT ENTER THE ACTUAL LAST CLASS MEETING DATE.

Faculty are required to give a final examination or provide some form of appropriate evaluation instrument (a copy of which must be filed in the School Office). If required, grade rosters must be returned to the School Office by the grade reporting deadline. School Deans will provide specific grading scales and policy information.

Grades will be available via My VWCC at the end of the semester. Although you may enter your grades online prior to this (once the rosters have been generated), the student will not be able to view them until the Registrar "posts" them at the end of the term.

Detailed instructions for entering grades are available under the Faculty/Staff Tutorials section of the My VWCC Survival Guide.

Once all grades have been entered and reviewed in My VWCC, be sure to change the Approval Status box to "Approved" and save the grades. Check with your school office for their requirements for turning in grades. Some schools require a printed blank grade roster with hand-written grades and others require a printed and signed copy of the "approved status" grade roster.

If you have any questions about the grading process and entering grades via My VWCC, please contact the Help Desk or the Records Office.

Incomplete ("I") Grades

The "I" grade is to be used only for verifiable, unavoidable reasons that a student is unable to complete a course within the normal course time. To be eligible to receive an "I" grade, the student must (1) have satisfactorily completed more than 50% of the course requirements, and (2) must request the faculty member to assign the "I" grade and indicate why it is warranted. The faculty member has the discretion to decide whether the "I" grade will be awarded.

Since the "incomplete" extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion shall be established through consultation between the faculty member and the student. In assigning the "I" grade, the faculty member will complete an Incomplete Grade Contract that (1) states the reason for assigning the grade; (2) specify the work to be completed and indicate its percentage in relation to the total work of the course; (3) specify the date by which the work must be completed; and (4) identify the default grade based upon course work already completed. Completion dates may not be set beyond the subsequent semester (including the summer term) without the written approval of the chief academic officer of the campus, or his designee. Once the Incomplete Grade Contract has been completed, the instructor must submit it to the college Records Office.

An "I" grade will be changed to a "W" only under documented, mitigating circumstances which must be approved by the chief academic officer of the campus, or his designee.

NOTE: If the work is not completed by the class end date of the subsequent semester, the student will be awarded the "default" grade. The default grade will be final.

At the end of each term, the Registrar will change all outstanding "I" grades to the default grade prior to final grade processing for the term.

Audits (Grade of "X")

Students desiring to attend a course without taking the examination or receiving credit for the course may do so by registering to audit through the usual registration process and paying the normal tuition. Permission of the School Dean and the Registrar is required to audit a course. Audited courses carry no credit and do not count as part of the student’s course load. Students desiring to change status in a course from audit to credit or from credit to audit must do so within the add/drop period for the course. Students who desire to earn credit for a previously audited course must re-enroll in the course for credit and pay normal tuition to earn a grade other than "X". Advanced standing credit should not be awarded for a previously audited course.

Grade Changes

For An Uncontested Grade

Once a grade has been awarded, it is normally permanent. In situations where there are documented, mitigating circumstances or an uncontested error, grade changes must be requested within one year of the receipt of the grade in question. (Note: For a contested grade, the student must follow the timeline and steps outlined in the "Final Grade Appeal Procedure" below.

In order to request a grade change for mitigating circumstances or uncontested error, the first point of contact for the student must always be the instructor. If the instructor agrees that a grade change is warranted, the change will be submitted to the School Dean and the Registrar for approval.

If the matter was not satisfactorily resolved with the instructor and the student wishes to pursue the grade change, the student must then contact the School Dean. The School Dean will attempt to mediate the grade change request with the faculty member and will notify the student of the decision. If the School Dean denies the student’s grade change request, the student may then contact the Registrar for a third appeal. At this point, the student must complete a "Request for a Grade Change – Uncontested Grade" which can be obtained in the college Admissions and Records Office. If the Registrar does not approve the grade change, the final option is for the student to appeal the grade change through the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. The decision of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs is final.

Final Grade Appeal Procedure (For a Contested Grade)

The grade appeal procedure provides an equitable and orderly process to resolve situations in which a student may contest a final grade assigned in a course during the previous academic semester. Students should be aware that establishing course requirements and assignments, evaluating a student’s work, and assigning a grade are the responsibility and the prerogative of the individual instructor. In the event that the final grade received in a course was assigned in a manner inconsistent with the course outline, or was assigned using a method other than that used to compute other students’ grades in that course, the matter may be resolved through an informal or a formal procedure.

Exception: In circumstances where the student has mitigating documented circumstances or an uncontested error, grade changes must be requested within one year of the receipt of the grade in question. For a contested grade, the following procedure will apply:

Timeline

Students are allowed to submit a grade appeal only if they do so within the following timeframes:

  • Fall semester: No later than February 1 of the academic year when the grade was awarded.
  • Spring semester: No later than June 15 of the academic year when the grade was awarded.
  • Summer semester: No later than September 15 of the academic year immediately following the summer semester.

Informal Procedure

  1. The student must submit the grade appeal in writing using the Appeal of Final Grade Form, which may be found in any school office, to the Dean of the academic school in which the course is offered. The student must submit the appeal within the timeframe.
  2. The Appeal of Final Grade Form must clearly state the basis for the appeal. Students are encouraged to resolve grade discrepancies with the course instructor on an informal basis. Upon receipt of a form outlining the complaint, the School Dean will refer the student to the faculty member to attempt to resolve the appeal informally.
  3. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor within five calendar days of submitting an Appeal of Final Grade Form or within the timeframe applicable to the semester when the grade was awarded and arrange a time to discuss the grade.
  4. If the instructor agrees that an error was made, the faculty member will submit a Grade Change Form to the appropriate academic dean, who will forward it to the Records Office.

Formal Procedure

If final grade conflicts cannot be resolved informally as described above, students must adhere to the following:

  1. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the School Dean within 5 business days of the instructor’s decision to deny a grade change through the informal process.
  2. There are two grounds for formal grade appeal: (a) The assignment of a grade in a manner other than as described on the course outline or amended by the instructor without appropriate notice; (b) The assignment of a grade using a method other than that used for the other students in the class.
  3. The School Dean will meet with the student and the faculty member to review the appeal within 10 business days of receipt of the student’s written appeal. Course syllabi and evaluation materials will be included in the review.
  4. The School Dean will notify the student in writing of the grade decision within 15 business days of meeting; the faculty member will also be notified. If a grade change is warranted, the appropriate paperwork will be submitted to the Records Office by the School Dean.
  5. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the School Dean, the student must submit a written appeal to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs within 10 business days of receiving the School Dean’s written decision. The Vice President will review the School Dean’s decision, and may elect to meet with the student, the faculty member, or the Dean to reach a decision. The Vice President may elect to convene an ad hoc committee to review the case. The procedure for an ad hoc committee will be the same as steps 3 and 4 of the grievance procedure, with the committee’s recommendation being given to the Vice President. The decision of the Vice President is final. The student, faculty member, and the Dean will be notified of the decision in writing.

Grade Forgiveness - Academic Renewal Policy

A student who has been separated from the college (not enrolled) for a period of at least five years (minimum of 60 months), and who earns at least a 2.5 grade point average for the first twelve credits completed after re-enrollment, may petition for "Academic Renewal." Academic renewal may be granted only one time, and once granted, it cannot be revoked. With the granting of Academic Renewal, all grades of D and F earned prior to re-enrollment will be excluded from the student's grade point average. Excluded grades will still be shown on the student's transcript, and the notation of "Academic Renewal" will be printed on the transcript.

Academic renewal petition forms may be obtained from the Records Office and must be approved by the Registrar. Students should be aware that any grade that has been forgiven will not count toward graduation requirements.

Course Syllabus Guidelines

Faculty should provide students with a syllabus for each course. Syllabi are used to assist students, instructors, and accreditation agencies. Effective Spring 2012, all syllabi must include the information shown below and be loaded onto Blackboard along with the course outline.

Definition

A syllabus is a written description of the structure and components of a particular course. It reflects the decisions that an instructor makes in regard to information that students would like to have about a course and that colleagues might be able to use in planning their own courses. A syllabus:

  • Provides an effective means of communicating course content to students, other faculty members, and transfer institutions.
  • Gives a clear, written statement of the students’ responsibilities and the instructor’s policies and expectations.
  • Serves as an instructional plan for the teacher and as a learning guide for the students.

Content Required in Course Syllabus

  • Course title and number
  • Instructor’s name
  • Course description from the catalog, which has prerequisites statement in it
  • Best contact methods and contact information (office location, email address)
  • Office hours statement
  • Required course materials
  • Course specific requirements and policies—including policies on attendance, grading, make-up and late work
  • Course specific academic honesty policy
  • Specific class meeting time during inclement weather delays or inclement weather testing policy for distance classes
  • Statement referring student to a reasonable response time—required for distance learning courses; recommended for all courses

The following information is automatically loaded into Blackboard:

  • ADA Statement
  • Copyright statement
  • Inclement weather schedule
  • VWCC Honor Code Link
  • Emergency Alert information
  • Student Consumer information
  • VWCC no show and withdrawal policy
  • Other Student Resources (student services, financial aid, link to campus safety video)
  • Learning Technology Center Testing Policy

Course Outline

  • Cover Page with Date reviewed, program head and dean’s signature
  • Course Title and Number
  • Course Description
  • Course Prerequisites
  • Program SLOs covered
  • General Education SLOs covered (if applicable)
  • Course Outcomes
  • Textbook, including ISBN and edition
  • Required Materials
  • Outline of Chapters and Sections covered from Textbook
  • Suggested Timeline

Distance and Hybrid Learning Guidelines for Faculty (Effective 8/16/11)

Each distance and hybrid learning course is staffed by a fully qualified instructor. Students should receive the full benefit of the instructor's expertise just as they would in a face-to-face class. Moreover, instructors should do more than merely assign and grade work; instructors are responsible for guiding students through the course material and for facilitating interactive learning. Accordingly, the following distance and hybrid learning practices should be reviewed by all instructors.

  1. Distance learning instructors must construct a mandatory course-specific orientation that includes some type of assignment. At the start of the semester, distance learning instructors should make contact with each student who did not complete the instructor's course orientation within 48 hours after the last day to add the course.
  2. Instructors should encourage new students to either attend the on-campus distance learning orientation or to complete the online campus distance learning orientation which is located on the Distance Learning home page. The campus distance learning orientation is only offered in the fall semester. This orientation is a separate orientation from the course-specific orientation provided by the instructor.
  3. Instructors are encouraged to utilize the following attributes, tools, and features of the Blackboard course delivery system:
    1. Provide a welcome letter or announcement introduction from the instructor.
    2. Post a syllabus according to the format outlined in number nine of this document and in the faculty handbook.
    3. Create and monitor a discussion forum for each class or use a web conferencing software for collaborative discussions.
    4. Maintain a class grade center in Blackboard.
    5. Utilize Blackboard features for generation and receipt of student work.
  4. The instructor maintains regular contact with students using such tools as VWCC email, announcements, discussion board, and virtual office hours. Instructors normally should respond to students' voice mail and email messages within the timely manner identified in the syllabus.
  5. Periodic assessment of student progress throughout the term and prompt feedback are very important. While it is understood that extensive assignments could require additional grading time, evaluation typically should be completed within one week after the deadline. Any deviation will be announced by the instructor via blackboard or email. Feedback should be provided by the Blackboard assignment feature, email, or an on-line grade center.
  6. A minimum of one test or activity must be completed in a proctored setting. A proctored setting is operationally defined as a setting where the person's identity can be verified by the proctor. Distance learning instructors will work with students who are taking VWCC courses outside the college's service area to facilitate the arrangement of a proctor that meets VWCC guidelines. Instructors should direct students to the proctor form located on the Distance Learning web page and in Blackboard on the Student Resources menu item.
  7. Clear instructions should be provided to the Learning Technology Center or VWCC remote sites prior to test administration. The instructions should also include contact information if difficulties should arise during the test taking by the student.
  8. Instructors should have an assignment due the first week of classes to guarantee students begin the course promptly. This is also a way to determine if a student qualifies as a NO SHOW. Instructors must monitor student progress and disable any students who have not completed course work by the last date to drop for a refund (unless it has been determined that there are extenuating circumstances). Instructors also need to note the last date of attendance even for distance students as this information must be included for financial aid.
  9. See above section for Syllabus Guidelines.
  10. The content of the course:
    1. includes course materials, activities, assignments, and examinations that are directly linked to the course objectives
    2. includes an amount of work which is reasonable and appropriate for the nature of the course/program requirements
    3. includes content comparable to that of classroom courses
    4. includes using technology purposefully to support the objectives of the course
    5. includes material which is well organized and clearly presented
    6. includes useful instructional materials. Examples include essays, videos, study guides, lecture notes, practice activities, review questions, practice tests, and/or sample responses.
    7. includes course materials integrated into the course and writing which is grammatically correct and free of typographical errors
    8. includes proctored tests or activities linked to course goals/objectives as well as resources and/or materials which are appropriately cited
    9. provides the opportunity for instructor-student and student-student interaction
  11. Evaluation Standards
    1. Academic standards are equivalent to those in classroom courses.
    2. Assessment is directly related to stated goals/objectives.
    3. Instructor feedback to student assignments is constructive.
    4. Assignments are graded fairly and thoroughly.
    5. All students are encouraged to complete the on-line course evaluation form for the course in which they are enrolled when requested.

Instructor's Absence from Class

Should it become necessary for an instructor to be absent from class due to illness or an emergency, the instructor should contact the School Office. The instructor should also make arrangements for class coverage or make-up.

Off-Campus Testing

If you have students that would like to take their distance/hybrid class tests or do make-up tests at a campus testing center, you have four choices: The Learning Technology Center, REACH (for those with REACH accommodations), the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount, and the Greenfield Center in Botetourt. All four are considered VWCC campus testing centers. They will proctor your tests but are not considered outside proctors as these are all VWCC sites with VWCC employees.

To clarify this, an ad hoc committee has worked with the directors of each center to ensure that there is a consistent mechanism to send tests and instructions, that tests are securely stored, that tests are appropriately proctored, and that there is a defined mechanism for returning tests to faculty. If you have questions about these processes, the directors of these centers will be available at the Faculty Senate meeting during the spring in-service to answer questions about how these are administered.

You are familiar with the processes for the LTC and REACH, but we have updated those for the Franklin Center (FC) and Greenfield.

For the FC and Greenfield:

  • They have been added as a location selection to the "Testing Information Sheet" along with the LTC and Reach. This is the only form that faculty will need to fill out when sending tests to the FC or Greenfield. That form can be found at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/services/ltc/facultypolicies.php under the "Testing Information Sheet" link.
  • No Proctor Request form will be needed for these locations.
  • Both centers have had new email accounts created for faculty to send tests and testing information to. This email will be checked by all staff at the centers. For the FC, it is fctest@virginiawestern.edu. For Greenfield, it is getctest@virginiawestern.edu.
  • The LTC website has been updated to include the FC and Greenfield testing, hours of operation and contact information. That address is: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/services/ltc/testingcenter.php.
  • Faculty will set policies in each distance learning class for how they want students to notify them to send a test to either the FC or Greenfield and deadlines for those notifications. This should be included in the distance learning course orientations, in syllabi, or by any other methods that you use to have students notify you of proctoring needs. So, you need to tell your students to contact you to let you know that they will be taking tests at these sites so that you can send the tests there and give them a deadline that gives you enough time to get the tests there.
  • An appointment is required at both centers.
  • Tests will be returned to faculty from both the FC and Greenfield by first scanning and emailing them to the faculty member then by sending the original through campus mail.
  • Students will be required to present a photo id before being allowed to take a test.

Please include this information in your courses for spring semester. We will be posting this information on the Daily Bulletin and on the Student Daily Bulletin so that faculty and students are aware of it. This is not a new procedure, but one that we are working to clarify and streamline to assist students. As in the past, students that live outside of our service area can have their tests proctored by an outside proctor that you approve. That has not changed.

Privacy Rights of Students

Student grades or personal information should not be posted in a "personally identifiable" manner. Care should be taken in the posting of student test scores and grades to ensure that confidentiality is protected. A designation other than the social security number or student’s ID must be used. Grades should not be given to anyone other than the student, and should not be provided to the student in any format (i.e., phone, personal email) without written consent from the student. If consent is received, a copy of the consent form must be forwarded to the Records Office for maintenance. However, grades can be provided to a student via an email request if the student’s request is made via their VWCC email account.

Instructors should familiarize themselves with the federal privacy rules by reading "Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – Faculty/Staff Guidelines".

Release of Student Information per FERPA Regulations

Directory Information (name, address, email address, telephone number, dates of attendance, major field of study, number of credit hours enrolled, grade level, degrees received, awards and honors, photos, participation in clubs and activities, weight/height of members of athletic teams, most recent education institution) may be released upon request at the discretion of the college.

Although the college has deemed these items to be "Directory Information," faculty and staff will avoid releasing a student’s telephone number or address without the student’s written authorization. A student may formally request that Virginia Western not release educational information on their behalf. This request must be submitted to the Registrar, in writing. When this request is made, a notification will be flagged in the VWCC Student Information System, and every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the confidentiality of such information. In addition, once this request has been made, the student will not be allowed to request an official or unofficial transcript via the web in the college’s student information system. Rather, the student will be required to submit written authorization, with proof of identity, to the Records Office prior to releasing a transcript. In addition, the college will not respond to calls from potential employers to verify enrollment for students who have made this request without the student’s written authorization.

Faculty members should not release information to third party persons outside the college (such as parents or employers) without prior, written approval from the student. All requests for student information should be referred to the Records Office. For example, if a parent requests information about a minor student who is their dependent, the determination and possible release of information should be handled/determined by the Records Office.

Faculty and staff may access student records only for "legitimate education interests" pursuant to their proper role as an employee of the college. Faculty and staff should be careful to maintain the confidentiality of student records in their use of computer terminals and printouts.

Lists of honor roll students and graduates will be released to the public at the discretion of the college. Mailing lists of current or past students will not be released to solicitors except as authorized by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or his designee.

For additional information related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) see VW Connect, click Academics, FERPA to see the following documents: FERPA Faculty Points, FERPA Brochure, and the list of FERPA Blocked Students (by semester).

Tuition Refunds

Students shall be eligible for a refund for credit hours officially dropped during the drop period for the session. The refund will be at the full credit rate for those credits dropped. After the drop period for the session, there will be no refund. (See Schedule of Classes for drop dates.) In order to be eligible for a refund, the student must complete a drop form and deliver the form to the Admissions Office or drop the class using My VWCC by the refund deadline.

NOTE: For additional information, consult the current issue of each of the following publications: Virginia Western Community College Catalog, Faculty Handbooks, Student Handbook and the Schedule of Classes.

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