This Student Handbook is provided to you as a guide and to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student enrolled at Germanna Community College. There is no mutuality between you and the College concerning it, and thus your reliance upon the information contained within it when making academic decisions does not constitute, and should not be construed as, a contract with the college. Furthermore, the College reserves the right to make changes to this handbook at any time, unilaterally and without notice; however, students will not be held responsible for any associated conduct expectations contained in such changes until notified of them.
The Student Handbook serves several purposes:
- To acquaint students with additional policies and procedures that governs student life at Germanna.
- To identify student services as well as the clubs and organizations and the policies and procedures associated with planning and participating in student government and student activities.
- To identify services and resources available in the community.
We are committed to the total development of our students. We welcome student suggestions and input.
The faculty of Germanna Community College recognizes that academic honesty is an integral factor in developing and sharing knowledge. We support the concept of academic honesty, practice academic honesty in our classes, and require academic honesty from our students. GCC students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the completion and presentation of all academic assignments and examinations. Students found guilty of cheating, plagiarism, or other dishonorable acts in academic work are subject to College disciplinary action. Academic penalty in the course is determined by the instructor.
Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is cheating and stealing. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:
- Intentionally using material verbatim from a source without giving credit. Copying verbatim from an Internet source is plagiarism.
- Rewriting material from a source without giving credit.
- Using information from an Internet source without giving credit.
- Submitting the work of another person as your own work.
- Using/copying work from another student or that student’s electronic storage device and submitting it for a grade.
- Copying from another person’s paper, test or homework.
- Allowing someone else to copy/use your work (paper, homework, quiz, and test) and submitting it or a grade.
- Violating VCCS Computer Ethics Guidelines in the pursuit of academic studies.
Disciplinary Action: All course outlines will include statements regarding academic honesty. When a student is found to have been academically dishonest, the following disciplinary actions may be taken:
First Reported Offense
- The instructor reports the Academic Honesty violation by documenting the offense in a memorandum to the appropriate Academic Dean. The instructor must provide a copy of this memorandum to the student. The Dean of Instruction or designee will determine the appropriate sanction. The sanction may include suspension or dismissal from the College for egregious offenses or referral to the Tutoring Services to complete a plagiarism workshop for minor offenses.
- The instructor’s memorandum, documentation of disciplinary action, and supporting documentation must be forwarded to the Dean of Student Development for inclusion in the student’s official disciplinary file.
Second Reported Offense
- The instructor reports the Academic Honesty violation by documenting the offense in a memorandum to the appropriate Academic Dean. The instructor must provide a copy of the memorandum to the student.
- The appropriate Academic Dean will impose a minimum sanction of suspension. Suspension may be from the class where the infraction occurred, for the current semester or for the next upcoming semester. Disciplinary sanction may also include dismissal from the College. The instructor’s memorandum, documentation of disciplinary action, and supporting documentation must be forwarded to the Dean of Student Development for inclusion in the student’s official disciplinary file.
- The Dean of Student Development must retain the memorandum and documentation of disciplinary action in the student’s disciplinary file for three years or until the student graduates, whichever comes first. The Dean of Student Development will then remove and destroy the memorandum.
Third Reported Offense
- The instructor reports the Academic Honesty violation by documenting the offense in a memorandum to the appropriate Academic Dean. The instructor must provide a copy of the memorandum to the student.
- Upon verifying that a third reported offense has been committed, the appropriate Academic Dean will impose dismissal from the College. The instructor’s memorandum, documentation of disciplinary action, and supporting documentation must be forwarded to the Dean of Student Development for inclusion in the student’s official disciplinary file.
- The Dean of Student Development must retain the documentation of disciplinary action in the student’s disciplinary file for three years after separation. The Dean of Student Development will then remove and destroy the file.
Contesting Allegations of Academic Dishonesty: A student who wishes to contest an allegation of academic dishonesty has access to the Student Academic Grievance Procedure for this purpose. Students suspended or dismissed for academic dishonesty have the right to ask for a hearing from a Review Committee. Students seeking a hearing must contact the Dean of Student Development within 10 working days of notification of disciplinary sanction.
There are two College bookstores, operated by Follett’s Bookstores, located on the Fredericksburg Area Campus and the Locust Grove campus.
New, used and rental eligible textbooks, and supplies may be purchased there, as well as gift items, clothing, electronics, etc. Follett offers a textbook buy back service throughout the school year. As an added service, the bookstore will special order any textbooks, paperbacks, etc., from publishers.
If payment is made by credit card, the individual named on the card must be present with a photo ID to sign the sales receipt. If using a check for payment, it must be in-state and not a starter check.
Purchases can be made in person at either campus location, or online at www.efollett.com
Follett’s Bookstore - Refund Policy:
- Full refund for Fall and Spring are given within 15 days after the first day of class.
- Full refund for Summer are given within 7 days after the first day of class.
- New books must not be written in and the access codes must not be revealed.
- If the book was purchased wrapped in plastic, money will be refunded only if the book is returned unopened in the plastic wrap.
- Computers, tablets, nursing kits, software, and gift cards are non-returnable items.
- The original receipt must be presented for a full refund regardless of payment method
- There is a 10-business day waiting period on refunds/returns if payment was made with a check.
Bulletin boards are located at designated areas at the Locust Grove Campus, the Fredericksburg Area Campus, the Barbara J. Fried Center in Stafford, FredCat, and the Daniel Technology Center. There are several designated locations for the express use of designated organizations and they contain information about upcoming activities and events. Locations for general notices are located in the student lounge area at all locations. Please visit the Welcome Center at any of the above mentioned locations for the designation of bulletin boards for specific use. All notices, posters, and other promotional material must be date stamped by the Welcome Center, and when applicable, the Student Activities Office before it can be posted. The date stamp indicates review of the notice and does not indicate an endorsement of content. Anything not stamped will be removed. Also, any flyer in a non-designated area will be removed. Distribution or placement of commercial advertising is prohibited in the following areas: administrative offices, instruction facilities and libraries. Guidelines for posting notices are available in the Welcome Center and Student Activities Office at all locations mentioned above.
Organizations seeking designated bulletin boards must seek approval from the Welcome Center. For more information regarding the placement of advertising materials and the use of campus bulletin boards, please see the Germanna Community College Expressive Activity Policy
In accordance with Section 2.2.3 of the Germanna Community College Expressive Activity Policy, “…the College shall not interfere with the rights of individuals and groups to the free expression of their views or impermissibly regulate their speech based on its content or viewpoint. Nevertheless, the College may establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity. Such restrictions must be content-neutral, narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, and allow ample alternative channels for communication of the information.” For more information please see the Germanna Community College Expressive Activity Policy
Counseling Services provides a comprehensive program of support services to promote student access, retention, achievement, and personal and social skill development for all Germanna students. Counseling is here to help students be successful. Counselors work with home school students and high school students taking classes at the campus on their own time. Counselors also work with students who bring college credit or prior learning experiences which could be evaluated and applied to a Germanna program. Counselors assist transient students who are taking classes to transfer back to a different home college. As well, Germanna Counselors assist students who are in distress or struggling to be successful in their academic pursuits. Support is provided for students who are facing life issues such as mental health concerns, food, living, or relationship issues and staff assist with referrals to appropriate community resources as needed.
SingleStopTM is a tool that Germanna students can use to find resources for financial and social services including federal, state and local resources to help with the cost of food, housing, child care, transportation, legal services and more. A trained team of Germanna staff are available to help students complete the screening tool and identify benefits and services they may be eligible for to be successful. SingleStopTM appointments are available to students at all Germanna locations or virtually. Students can learn more about SingleStopTM and other programs designed to help students in need by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting https://www.germanna.edu/counseling-services/germanna-cares .
Counseling Services website
Counseling Services has an index of agencies in the community and State. Students who seek an alternative to services provided by Germanna, or need specialized professional care unavailable at the College, can ask a Counselor to contact information and assistance in making appointments. Referral information is available in areas including substance abuse, family/psychological counseling, family planning, and many other areas. Many community services are offered at minimum or no cost. Following are some numbers that may assist in locating information and assistance. Most of them are toll free or local numbers, so calls for assistance can be placed without charge.
|Behavior Health Care of Rappahannock-Rapidan
|Caroline County Dept. of Social Services
|Drug and Alcohol Addiction Resource Center
|VA Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
|Culpeper Rehabilitative Services
|Culpeper County Dept. of Social Services
|Fredericksburg Department of Rehabilitative Services
|Fredericksburg Dept. of Social Services
|King George County of Department of Social Services
|Legal Aid Rappahannock Legal Services Fredericksburg
|Legal Aid- Rappahannock Legal Services Culpeper
|Madison County Dept. of Social Services
|Missing Children Hotline
|National Suicide Prevention Hotline
|Orange County Dept. of Social Services
|Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
|Empowerhouse (Domestic Violence)
|Spotsylvania County Dept. of Social Services
|Stafford County Department of Social Services
|VA Department of Health and Disease Hotline
|VA Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotline
Personal: Sometimes college students may be confronted with new and perplexing situations which create pressures and anxieties that require professional assistance. The Counselors are trained to give individual help on a strictly confidential basis, providing a short term psycho-educational approach to those acute issues that may interfere with academics. Appropriate referrals are made when necessary.
Assessments, Inventories and Tests: A variety of tests, inventories, and assessment tools are available in the Counseling Center. By recommendation of a Counselor, tests are used as a resource tool in the counseling process. Tests for determining career interests, for measuring study habits and attitudes, as well as educational ability levels are available. These tools can help students better understand themselves, their interests, motivations, abilities, and occupational and life goals.
Counseling for Undecided Students and Non-degree Seeking Students
Counselors are equipped to help undecided students sort through values, interests and skills in order to identify academic, career and transfer goals. Undecided students are encouraged to come speak with a Counselor about exploring options and making academic, and career goals, which can assist in selecting the appropriate academic program of study at Germanna.
Transient students are assisted through Counseling Services, since these students are not program placed and do not have assigned faculty advisors at Germanna Community College. Transient students are students who are seeking a degree at another college or university, but who wish to take an occasional course at Germanna with the intention of transferring that completed course back to their primary institution. Transient students are expected to demonstrate that they meet the prerequisites of the courses they wish to enroll in at Germanna. For more information, please email email@example.com or come visit us at the Counseling Services locations.
Early Alert Intervention and Retention Support
Germanna wants all students to be successful in reaching their goals. While college can be challenging, Counselors are on hand to help students overcome barriers, problem solve, and develop strategies on how to make positive steps towards those goals. Instructors want you to be successful too! If your instructors notice that you are struggling with assignments, not attending class regularly, or having difficulties taking quizzes or tests, they can send Counseling Services an early alert. If you receive an email alert sent to you by your instructor, follow up by stopping in to see your instructor during their posted office hours or come to Counseling Services to explore what is going on that is getting in the way of your progress in class. If you have questions about what an early alert is and how it can help you, contact Mrs. Alicia Landes-Sweetser, Retention Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help you reach your goals. You are not by yourself in this journey. Counselors are beside you all the way!
High School Student Counseling Support
High School Career Coach Program
Virginia Community College’s High School Career Coaches are community college employees who are based in local high schools to help high school students define their career aspirations and to recognize community college and other post secondary programs, including apprenticeships and workforce training, that can help students achieve their educational and financial goals.
Germanna Community College’s Counseling Services provides seven (7) high school career coaches for our local area. Career coaches serve as an extension and enhancement to the local high school Counseling Office career resources. Area high schools who have partnered with Germanna for the coach program are: Caroline County High School, Culpeper County High School and Eastern View High School, James Monroe High School - Fredericksburg City, Madison County High School, North Stafford High School, Orange County High School, and Spotsylvania High School. For more information about Germanna’s High School Career Coach Program, contact Counseling Services at 540.423.9123 or at https://www.germanna.edu/counseling-services/high-school-career-coaches/
High School/Home School Independent Dual Enrollment Program
High school or home school students seeking independent enrollment through the regular offerings at Germanna, rather than the courses offered during the school day at the area high school, should contact Counseling Services for assistance. Counseling Services assists with the processing of individual students who are not seeking to participate in the pre-arranged courses located at the high school. Independent Dual Enrollment students must submit all required documentation to a Germanna Counselor in Student Services for consideration each semester until the completion of high school. More information can be found under Dual Enrollment in the College Catalog and on Germanna’s website at https://www.germanna.edu/dual-enrollment/steps-for-independent-dual-enrollment/
College Wide Mentoring
Germanna Community College acknowledges mentoring as a valued and positive program within our campus community. Student involvement in mentoring has shown that success is more likely with the added support of trusted mentors. Trained members of our faculty, staff, and the community come together to provide academic, professional, and personal support. Currently there are three active mentoring programs at our college: Great Expectations, Gladys B. Todd Academy, and Germanna M.E.N. (see below for more information). Germanna recently expanded mentoring to include the entire campus community. Any student who expresses interest in the program (regardless of involvement with those listed above) will be matched with a mentor.
Although mentoring is the main component of the college-wide program, students will also have access to a wide range of other opportunities. Outside of meeting with their mentor, students are invited to attend monthly enrichment events. These events range from career networking, financial planning, further college exploration, and much more. Those involved will also be connected with the Academic Center for Excellence, as well as study groups with peers for academic support.
Germanna Community College currently offers mentoring for specific populations. Each program has their own unique features that promote student success.
- Gladys P. Todd Academy: designed for underserved high school students in the City of Fredericksburg and the county of Spotsylvania to increase college preparation and completion at least through an associate degree at Germanna, concurrent with a high school diploma. Mentoring is a required part of this program.
- Great Expectations: a statewide program, founded in 2008 helps current and former foster youth complete high school, gain access to a community college education and transition successfully to living independently. Mentoring is an optional part of this program.
- Germanna M.E.N.: retention-focused mentoring program designed to support first-year African American men. Mentoring is a required part of this program.
To ensure safety of our students, volunteer mentors from the community must go through a formal onboarding process. All community mentors must complete these steps:
- Mentor Application
- Background check
- Interview with the Program Coordiantor
- Complete two (2) hours of New Mentor Training
These steps are taken to ensure the best understanding of who we are bringing into our community and around our students. Faculty and staff members of Germanna Community College are not required to complete a background check or interview because of the records kept by our Human Resources Department.
In addition to the onboarding process our mentors must adhere to the following requirements:
- Attend two (2) supplemental trainings per year (optional, but strongly encouraged)
- Meet with a mentee (in-person or virtual) for a minimum of twice per month
- Monthly check-in with the Program Coordinator
- Attend hosted events when/if possible
Peer mentoring is a great addition to our program. Students who are paired with a Peer Mentor have the benefit of working with someone who was recently in the same position. This type of match can be beneficial in expanding social connectedness to our college. Students may apply to be a peer mentor after one year of being a mentee. Peer Mentors must go through the same onboarding process as our facility, staff, and community mentors.
More Information can be found on the College-Wide Mentoring website.
Career and Transfer Center
Career exploration and planning, as well as transfer advising resources are available through Counseling Services at all Germanna campuses and sites. There is a dedicated Career and Transfer Center which is located at the Fredericksburg Area Campus. This Career and Transfer Center provides a designated location for students, alumni, and employers seeking resources needed for a successful transition to the workplace, or a 4-year college or university through assistance with transfer advising, career exploration and assessment, job search preparation, and information on employment opportunities. Career and Service learning fairs are held throughout the year. The Career and Transfer Center provides interaction with four-year institutions for those students who wish to continue their education. College representatives visit on a regular basis and workshops are offered to help students stay on track to transfer. An annual College Fair is held in the fall as well as regular transfer college visits. In addition, a web page provides many resources to assist students including transfer guides, GAAs and transfer timelines. The Career and Transfer Center facilitates experiential learning by connecting students to active participation and educational opportunities in the workplace and/or community. The Career and Transfer Office will assist students, faculty members and employers in creating unique engaged learning experiences for credit and noncredit. College Central Network is a web-based resource which can allow students to develop resumes, search for jobs in the local area and learn ways to develop an effective career plan for the future. All career services are available free of charge to employers, currently enrolled students, alumni and community members. Students are encouraged to make an appointment to use these services to ensure that personnel are available to provide assistance and direction. Information can be found on the Career and Transfer Center website.
Office of Accessibility Resources
Counseling Services will refer students to the Office of Accessibility Resources when the student discloses a need for assistance or accommodations. By regulation, Counselors cannot ask about disabilities, but if the student chooses to disclose the information, then Counseling will make the appropriate referrals. More information can be found on the website under Office of Accessibility Resources or by emailing email@example.com.
Lockers are available to students on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be registered each semester. Items left in lockers will be given to Campus Police and Security to temporarily be stored with Lost & Found items. To reserve a locker, please contact the Welcome Center at FAC and the Counseling Services at LGC.
Safety, Security and Emergencies
Auto Accidents: Common property damage automobile accidents can occur in the parking lots. Campus police should be immediately notified in the event of an on-campus accident. If a driver strikes an unoccupied vehicle they should report their actions to the campus police so the damage can be assessed and a report can be taken. Personal injuries caused during an automobile accident may require medical assistance and should be immediately reported to campus police. Failing to report an automobile accident is violation of Virginia Law.
Children on Campus: Children should not be brought to the campus in lieu of appropriate child care. College facilities cannot accommodate the care of children while parents are working or attending class. The College and its staff cannot be responsible for the safety and welfare of children. Children cannot be brought into classrooms, laboratories, the Testing Center, the Tutoring Center, or the Academic Computing Center because of disruption of instruction or study, exposure to material unsuitable for children, and possible danger to the children. Children on campus must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times, and the parent or guardian is responsible for seeing that the children are mindful of others using College facilities. This applies to all children under the age of 18 years who have not been admitted to the College.
Contagious and Infectious Disease Policy: Germanna Community College recognizes that certain contagious and infectious diseases can jeopardize the health, welfare, and safety of the individual as well as all members of the community. When these conditions occur, the situation may produce a diverse effect upon the college community. Contagious and infectious diseases shall consist of any and all forms of disease that pose a health hazard to the people at the college by virtue of their ability to spread and cause morbidity and mortality to those people. The college also recognizes the importance of maintaining individual confidentiality while protecting the population of the college. The college’s Contagious Diseases of Public Health Significance policy has been established to seek to assure confidentiality, health, and safety, with regards to contagious and infectious diseases.
Fire Emergencies: If you see a fire or the smoke from a fire the first thing to do is PULL THE FIRE ALARM pull station. They are located on the wall in the corridors near the fire exit doors. This action gives everyone in the building an opportunity to be notified of the threat and starts the evacuation of the building. A fire can also be reported by dialing 322911 from any of the college phones in the classrooms and offices or 540-727-2911 from a cellular phone to get the campus police. Do not attempt to fight the fire until the alarm system has been activated. Fire extinguishers are located on the walls near the fire exit doors. Students are encouraged to learn the location of the extinguishers and learn how to use them properly. Students evacuating the buildings should gather in the parking lots where a light pole is identified with two large yellow reflective stripes. This is the designated assembly area for students and staff.
HIV Infection Information: The HIV Infection information at Germanna Community College has been developed and applied in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the American College Health Association. Questions may be directed to the Dean of Student Development. The existence of any form of HIV infection will not be considered in the admissions process. Students with HIV Spectrum Disease will be allowed regular classroom attendance and use of College facilities in an unrestricted manner as long as they are physically able to attend class. The College will not ask students to respond to questions about the existence of HIV infection. However, students are encouraged to disclose knowledge of potentially serious medical conditions (for example, HIV infection) so appropriate education, counseling and/or referrals may be made. This, like all other medical information, will be handled in strictest confidence. Information about free anonymous testing is available through Counseling Services. There are specific guidelines for students enrolled in the College’s nursing program and students and faculty involved with biological research in the laboratory setting and published in the Nursing Program Student Handbook. A person with advanced stages of HIV infection will be considered as having a disability and will have the legal rights guaranteed to disabled persons. Existing support services for persons with disabilities will be made available to persons with HIV infections.
In the event of an emergency or inclement weather, a decision regarding a closing or late opening will be made by 6:00 a.m. In the absence of any announcement, classes will be held.
Announcements will be made as follows:
Announcements: Closing announcements will be posted on www.germanna.edu. Announcements will be broadcast on local radio and television stations,and an E2Campus message will be sent.
Day Class Closings: When an individual campus is closed, all classes are canceled at that particular campus. No faculty, staff or students involved at that particular campus are to report to that campus except essential personnel who are to report as soon as possible. Closings occurring during the day will be announced by the Deans of Instruction on each campus and communicated to any other appropriate locations through site administrators.
Evening Class Closings: If a decision is not made by 6:00 a.m., an announcement regarding the cancellation of evening classes will be made as soon as possible but not later than 4:00 p.m. If there is no announcement, classes will be held.
Late Openings: Classes will begin when the college officially opens and any remaining time for instruction will be utilized. For example, if the class is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and the College opens at 10:00 a.m., instruction for that class will commence at 10:00 a.m.
Safety Notice: If classes are held, each individual must assess conditions at the point from which that person is traveling since conditions can vary greatly throughout the service region. No one is expected to place attendance above personal safety. However, if a student does miss a class, it will be the student’s responsibility to contact the professor as soon as possible to make arrangements for completing class work.
Lost and Found
Report all lost and found articles to
College Police. “Found” articles may be claimed at the same office. Unclaimed items will be donated or discarded on a monthly basis.
Medical Needs: The College does not provide health services on campus. Medical care is the responsibility of each student. However, in the case of serious injury or medical emergency, the rescue squad will be called. To report a medical emergency contact college police directly at
(540) 727-2911 or Ext. 322911 or College Police speed dial Button from any college VoIP phone. The phone number for College Police is located on every class room phone instrument. College Police and Security officers are trained and certified in First Aid/CPR and with the use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). Officers are equipped with emergency medical response bags in which they use to assist them with calls involving medical emergencies here at the college.
AED units are located throughout the campus and are available to assist a person having a heart attack. Look for the AED sign on the corridor walls to locate a unit. The units can be removed and taken to the location of the heart attack victim. Instruction for using the AED equipment is found with the equipment and instructions are audibly transmitted while using the equipment.
Motorist Assistance Program: The College Police Department is here to help you when you are on campus and have trouble with your car, such as retrieving keys from locked vehicles and jump starting dead batteries. Our staff is ready to lend a helping hand, free of charge. To summon our services, contact the college police dispatch center at 540-891-3079.
Officers will respond and have tools to assist. This does not guarantee they will be able to get your car started or get your car unlocked, however it is free and worth a try. For the safety of our officers, and to prevent damage to your vehicle, the Motorist Assistance Program may not be available for all makes and models, college locations, and certain services may be limited during inclement weather when lightning is present. During the summer and winter sessions, this service is available on a limited basis. During busy times of the day or under certain circumstances, we may have an extended response time or be unavailable to assist you.
Registered Sex Offender
Section 23-1-407 of the code of Virginia requires that the VCCS send enrollment information to the Virginia State Police concerning applicants for admission. This information is transmitted electronically and compared against the Virginia Criminal Information Network and National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry. Language on the web application informs applicants that their information is being transmitted to the State Police. In the event that the State Police determine that an applicant to Germanna Community College is listed on the Sex Offender Registry, the State Police will notify Germanna Community College via the College Police. The College will be notified as to the prospective student’s name and the charge for which the prospective student was convicted.
Registered sex offenders applying for admission to Germanna Community College will be required to meet with the Dean of Student Development and the Chief of Police before being approved for admission. Students identified as sex offenders after having attended classes will be required to meet with the Dean of Student Development and the Chief of Police within 10 working days after such notification. The Dean of Student Development, working with advice from the Chief of Police will make an admission decision after meeting with the applicant. If a student who is a registered sex offender is admitted to the College, a link to the student’s page in the Commonwealth of Virginia Sex Offender Registry will be posted on the College web site. This link is available for review by all staff and students. In accordance with its published admissions policy, the College reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse admission to applicants if such refusal is considered to be in the best interest of the College. Students may be denied admission if there is reason to believe that they present a danger to themselves, other students, faculty members and/or staff. Applicants who register for classes and become a student before the College receives notification of their status on the sex offender registry may be subject to revocation of admission. An applicant who is denied admission or had admission revoked may invoke his/her right to an appeal process. If the applicant is denied admission to the College, he or she may appeal in a written letter to an Admissions Review Committee. The Dean of Student Development will notify the applicant of the decision and the right to appeal. The Admissions Review Committee is made up of 3 teaching faculty members. For the purpose of reviewing an admissions appeal from a registered sex offender, the Admissions Review Committee will be convened by the Registrar. The appeal will be approved or denied by simple majority vote. The decision of the Admissions Review Committee is final.
Reporting Suspicious Activity: If you see an activity or a person, which could harm others or be potentially threatening to those in the immediate area, contact the campus police by dialing (540) 727-2911 or Ext. 322911 or using College Police speed dial Button from any college VoIP phone. The phone number for college police is located on every class room phone instrument. Your interest in everyone’s safety does make a difference. Prompt reporting of information could save lives.
TIPS is a Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Service. It allows students, staff, faculty and others to confidentially report concerning behaviors or potentially harmful incidents. TIPS does not replace Ext. 322911 for emergency situations, but instead provide an avenue for reporting suspicious/concerning campus incidents that you feel need to be shared. TIPS allows this information to be communicated to the appropriate personnel and investigated immediately for a proactive response to maintain a safe campus. The link to TIPS is at the bottom left side of the Germanna Community College home page.
Germanna Community College’s computers, networks and information systems exist to promote shared access to computing, communication and information systems necessary to support the College’s mission of teaching research and community service. Thus, all account holders of College information facilities have responsibility to use these systems in a respectful, ethical, professional and legal manner.
Responsible Computing applies to any individual using GCC-owned or leased computers, networks, Internet connections, and communications systems transmitting either data, voice or video information. Activities involving these systems shall be in accordance with the VCCS Computer Ethics Agreement, Policy on Use of the GCC Web Server, GCC Technology Security Plan, the College’s Standards of Conduct for students, other related policies in the GCC Faculty and Student Handbooks and relevant state federal and international laws.
All users of College information facilities are required to demonstrate respect for:
- the privacy of others;
- intellectual property rights (copyrights, trademarks, licenses, etc.) and ownership of information;
- the operation and integrity of the various information systems;
- individuals’ rights to be free of intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyances;
- relevant state and federal laws relation to information technology.
While the College recognizes and respects the privacy of all users, it cannot guarantee confidentiality in the use of any College information system. Electronic records retained on College systems are subject to state and federal Privacy Acts as well as the Freedom of Information Acts. Individuals are advised that e-mail messages are written records that could be subject to review with just cause and they may be subject to Freedom of Information Act and legal investigation requests. In addition, College system administrators may view any files, including e-mail messages, in the course of troubleshooting system problems. System administrators have the authority to do this and will treat any information on the systems as confidential. World Wide Web information located in designated web directories will be considered public information if read access is granted.
Access to College information systems is a privilege and may be revoked for reasons including, but not limited to, violations include: attacking the security of the system, modifying or divulging private information such as a file or mail contents of other users without their consent, modifying or destroying College data, or using the national networks in a manner contrary to established guidelines. Access may be revoked at any time on a permanent or interim basis by the College system administrators in order to safeguard College resources and protect College privileges. Individuals responsible for abusing the College’s Responsible Computing guidelines will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary action. Revocations may be appealed via the procedures outlined in the GCC Faculty, Classified Staff or Student Handbooks, as appropriate.
Persons who are victims of computer abuse, harassment, other’s malicious behavior, and unauthorized account access should report them to the Academic Computing Center Supervisor or the Technical Services Manager. For investigative purposes, individuals are advised to retain harassing email messages, dates and times of unauthorized access, etc. Cases will be handled confidentially.
Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct: Germanna Community College will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Sexual misconduct is a flagrant violation of the behavioral expectations for a college community. An educational institution is a community of trust whose very existence depends on the recognition of each individual’s importance and value. This trust creates the freedom for each individual to live, think, act and speak without fear of physical harm. Sexual misconduct shatters that bond of trust. All reported violations shall be regarded as serious and will be fully investigated. Acts of sexual misconduct may be punishable through civil and criminal proceedings, as well as through the College’s disciplinary processes. This shall apply to all students and employees of Germanna Community College. Additional information may be found in the Germanna Community College Title IX - Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policy
Germanna Community College informs students about the prevention of sexual misconduct and assault. In order to do this, a variety of programs and resources are made available annually to students, faculty and staff. This may include, but is not limited to, presentations by College Police Department personnel, local experts, and other law enforcement representatives, literature and brochures, Red Flag campaign, Rape Aggression Defense Training® (R.AD.) and publication of information in the college catalog. In addition new students who enroll in student development courses receive information on topics relating to personal awareness and prevention of sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.
In the event of a sexual assault or any sexual misconduct, the victim should first seek safety. The college strongly urges that a student who has been sexually assaulted to immediately contact the College Police. However, they may also choose to contact a College Counselor or Dean of Student Development.
Students can choose to pursue criminal proceedings and also file a complaint with the College, or the student can choose to just do the latter.
Counselors and Police/Security personnel on duty can be found:
College Police Emergency Number: (540) 727-2911 or Ext. 322911 or College Police speed dial Button from any college VoIP phone.
Fredericksburg Area Campus
V. Earl Dickinson Building, Counseling Services Room 201, (540) 891-3020, Police/Security College Police, Room 121, (540) 891-3079
Science & Engineering Building and Information Commons, College Police Desk, Main Lobby
Locust Grove Campus
French Slaughter Building, Counseling Services, Room 205, (540) 423-9123 and College Police, Room 112, (540) 891-3079
Joseph R. Daniel Technology Center - Culpeper
Daniel Technology Center,College Police, Room 125, (540) 891-3079
Stafford County Center
124 Old Potomac Church Road, Stafford, VA 22554, College Police, Room 118 (540) 891-3079
Some of the resources available in the community to assist with crisis intervention and victim assistance are:
|Chrysalis Counseling Center
|Culpeper Regional Hospital
|Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services
|Mary Washington Hospital
|Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
|Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (serves several counties)
|Fredericksburg Main Number
|24 Hour Crisis Intervention Hotline
|The Rappahannock Council against Sexual Assault (Provides crisis counseling, victim assistance and advocacy.)
Student E-Mail Accounts
Student e-mail accounts are available to all students. All students must use their official Germanna e-mail account for correspondence with the college including interactions between students and faculty. To access your student e-mail account as well as Germanna’s other online systems, login to your myGCC account. The link to myGCC is available at the top of any Germanna web page. These accounts remain active for as long as you are an enrolled student at Germanna Community College.
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities
The Germanna Community College Board approved the following Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities on May 12,1978, revised December 2008. Representatives of the students and faculty prior to College Board approval reviewed these statements.
Questions or recommendations regarding the Standards of Conduct contained herein should be addressed to the Dean of Student Development.
Nursing students must also adhere to standards of conduct outlined in the Nursing Program Student Handbook.
Introduction: This statement is designed to clarify the rights that the student may expect to enjoy as a member of the Germanna student body. In addition, those responsibilities which admission to the College places upon the student must be understood. Awareness of and adherence to this statement should create a safe and comfortable environment that fosters learning. Students are guaranteed the privilege of exercising certain rights without fear of prejudice to include:
- The pursuit of educational goals and learning opportunities within the curricula of the College and within the resources of the College;
- Disciplinary sanctions only with due process as provided herein;
- Free inquiry, expression, and assembly provided such actions do not interfere with the rights of others or the effective operation of the institution;
- Fair and justifiable academic evaluation of student performance.
Standards of Conduct: Students who associate themselves with Germanna Community College are expected to act as responsible adults and maintain standards appropriate to membership in the College community. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class and participate in class activities. The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action:
- All forms of dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, and the forgery, alteration, or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud. (Academic Honesty also applies to cases of cheating and plagiarism.)
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities. (Including, but not limited to disruptions caused by cell phones and other electronic devices.)
- Physical and/or psychological abuse or the threat of such abuse of any person on College premises, using College email or web-based instructional support, or at College activities. This includes hazing of any sort. Hazing is defined as initiating or disciplining someone by means of horseplay, practical jokes, or tricks, often in the nature of humiliating or painful ordeals.
- Discriminatory harassment (oral, written, electronic, graphic, or physical) directed against any person or group of persons because of their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status and that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person or group of persons. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm.
- Participating in or inciting a riot or an unauthorized or disorderly assembly.
- Seizing, holding, commandeering, or damaging any property or facilities of the College, or threatening to do so, or refusing to depart from any property or facilities of the College upon direction by College officials or other persons authorized by the College.
- Violation of College Computer Ethics standards.
- Use of alcoholic beverages including the purchase, consumption, possession, or sale of such items on College property or at College functions except where specifically authorized by the College.
- Gambling or holding an unauthorized raffle or lottery on the campus or at any College function.
- Smoking in areas not designated by the College as a smoking area.
- Possessing, using, manufacturing, or distributing any controlled substances or any type of drugs for illegal purposes.
- Possessing or carrying any weapon on College property, including but not limited to dangerous chemical or explosive elements or component parts thereof, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other firearm without written authorization of the Chief of Police or the President of the College except when carried by bona fide law enforcement officials in their official capacities. No weapons are allowed in academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student centers, child care centers, dining facilities or any college property or while attending college sponsored sporting, entertainment or educational events except as outlined in Section 3.4 of the Germanna Community College Weapons Policy #70220.
- Physically detaining or restraining any other persons or removing such persons from any place where he/she is authorized to remain, or in any way obstructing the free movement of persons or vehicles on College premises or at College activities.
- Littering, defacing, destroying, or damaging property of the College or property in its control or possessing, removing, or using such property without proper authorization.
- Willfully encouraging others to commit any of the acts which have been herein prohibited.
- Violation of any local, state, or federal laws.
- Violation of campus or College parking regulations.
- Violation of campus and College fire regulations (for example, failure to comply with emergency evacuation procedures, tampering with fire safety apparatus, etc.).
- Theft or attempted theft of College or personal property on College premises.
- Vulgar or obscene language or an angrily raised voice which is perceived to have an intimidating effect.
- Unauthorized entry into or presence in any College building or facility.
- Violation of the Germanna Community College Expressive Activity Policy.
- Solicitation and sales without prior approval of the Dean of Student Development
- Violation of any rule or regulation contained within the official publications of the College or announced as administrative edict by a College official or other person authorized by the President.
Sanctions: Violation of one of the standards of conduct stated above may result in one or more of the following actions. (The listing of the sanctions is not intended to imply a sequential order in which they may be applied. The severity of the alleged offense will determine which of the sanctions may be applied).
Informal Resolution: An oral request to a student from an instructor or an administrator to refrain from the perceived violation of the standard of conduct. Should the perceived violation occur in a classroom or laboratory setting and should the student refuse to refrain from the conduct, the instructor may require the student to leave the classroom or laboratory and may also issue an admonition as defined below.
Admonition: A written statement to a student that he/she has been perceived as having violated a standard of conduct and may be subject to more severe disciplinary action. Instructors or administrators may issue admonitions. A copy of the admonition must immediately be provided to the Dean of Student Development. Should the instructor or administrator be unable because of the circumstances of the alleged violation to present the written statement to the student directly in person, it should be delivered to the student by certified mail or by College email with receipt. The Dean will retain the admonition in the student’s disciplinary file.
Disciplinary Probation: Prohibition of the student from participating in the extracurricular activities of the College, including the holding of any student office for a specified period of time, not to exceed one academic year. This may include restricted access to student common areas.
Disciplinary probation may be imposed by the Dean of Student Development, who will document the probation in the student’s disciplinary file and present a statement of the probation to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The student may respond to the disciplinary probation, and this response must be documented and placed in the student’s disciplinary file.
Restitution: Required reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. Restitution may be imposed by the Dean of Development, and may take the form of appropriate services or other compensation.
The Dean will document the violation of the standard of conduct and the nature of the restitution and will include this documentation in the student’s disciplinary file. The Dean will inform the student of this action either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or through certified mail. The student may respond to the ordered restitution, and this response must be documented and placed in the student’s disciplinary file.
Temporary Suspension (Disciplinary): Prohibition of a student from attending a class or classes as a result of a perceived violation of a standard of conduct. Temporary suspension is to be for no longer than one-fifteenth of the scheduled class time for the semester.
Temporary suspension may be imposed by instructors or administrators, who should immediately provide written notice of the temporary suspension to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail, with a copy to the Dean of Student Development. The Dean will retain the written notice in the student’s disciplinary file. A student who wishes to appeal the temporary suspension must meet with the Dean of Student Development within twenty-four hours of receiving notice of the suspension. The decision of the Dean will be final.
Interim Suspension (Disciplinary): Immediate suspension of a student pending a hearing or further appeals.
Interim suspension may be imposed by the President, the Vice President of Student Services or the Dean of Student Development, if that authority judges that the presence of the student may substantially interfere with the educational process, or may interfere with the rights of others on campus, or may pose a threat of harassment or danger to the Germanna faculty, staff, administrators, the student accused of violating a standard of conduct, or others on campus.
The issuing authority must inform the student in writing of the justification of the interim suspension. This written justification shall be delivered to the student directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The issuing authority must also provide a copy of the notice to the Dean of Student Development for inclusion in the student’s disciplinary file.
The issuing authority must provide the student with an opportunity to respond to the justification of the interim suspension. This response and the issuing authority’s decision must be provided to the Dean of Student Development in a document, whose content both parties agree represents a fair summary of the case to that point. The interim suspension will remain in effect pending the results of a hearing by a Review Committee.
Disciplinary Suspension: Prohibition of a student from attending the College as a student for a definite period of time, not to exceed one calendar year. The President, the Vice President of Student Services, or the Dean of Student Development may impose suspension.
The imposing authority will document the justification and conditions of the suspension and will provide a written copy of the documentation to the student either directly in person, by email, or by certified mail. The imposing authority will also provide this documentation to the Dean of Student Development, who will retain it in the student’s disciplinary file.
If the student appeals the suspension, a Review Committee must review the case before the suspension will take effect.
Disciplinary Dismissal: Prohibition of a student from attending the College as a student for an indefinite period of time. Conditions under which the student may be readmitted to the College will be stated in the order of dismissal.
The President, the Vice President of Student Services, or the Dean of Student Development may impose dismissal. The imposing authority will document the justification and conditions of the dismissal and will provide a written copy of the documentation to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The imposing authority will also provide this documentation to the Dean of Student Development, who will retain the document in the student’s disciplinary file. If the student appeals the dismissal, a Review Committee must review the case before the dismissal will take effect.
Make-up Work: Instructors are not required to provide makeup work for students who cannot attend class due to temporary suspension, interim suspension, suspension, or dismissal. However, if a student successfully appeals one of these sanctions, instructors must provide make-up options that do not penalize the student for missed work.
Review Committee and Hearing: The student has the right of appeal to a Review Committee in cases where the sanction of interim suspension, suspension, or dismissal has been applied. If the student waives his or her right of an appeal and a hearing, the Dean of Student Development will impose the sanction. The Dean will document the waiver of appeal and hearing and retain the document in the student’s disciplinary file.
Review Committee Selection: If the student exercises the right of appeal, as provided above, the President shall appoint an impartial Review Committee.
The Committee shall include: one College administrator, two college faculty members, two students selected by the Registrar. (Neither the College administrator nor either College faculty member may be the person having brought the charge of the violation of the standard of conduct).
Review Committee Procedure: To provide an orderly procedure for handling of disciplinary cases with due process, the following steps will be used in cases referred to the Review Committee.
The Dean of Student Development shall immediately notify the student of the composition of the Committee after its formation. This notification shall be either directly in person or by certified mail. The student may object to the inclusion of any member of the Committee for cause within twenty-four hours of having received notice of its composition. The President shall consider the merits of any objection and shall change the Committee if the President judges the objections to be valid.
The President shall appoint a chairperson for the Review Committee.
Within five college business days of the final establishment of the Review Committee, the Dean of Student Development will provide to the student and to the Review Committee a written statement outlining the alleged violation of the standard of conduct with which the student is charged. The Dean will provide this statement to the student either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail.
Within ten college business days following its receipt of the written statement from the Dean, the Review Committee shall conduct a hearing to determine what sanction, if any, should be imposed on the student.
The student has the right to consult any attorney at his or her own expense. An attorney may be present during the Review Committee hearing, but may not interrogate or address the committee or witnesses.
The student and his or her attorney may consult during the hearing, but any consultations must take place outside the hearing room and should be kept within reasonable limits, as determined by the Committee, with regard to their frequency and duration.
Witnesses may be called by either the Review Committee Chair or the student to testify, and the Committee and the student may cross-examine witnesses. The Review Committee Chair may exclude witnesses from the hearing unless those witnesses are to provide testimony or undergo cross-examination.
All parties at the hearing may examine documentary evidence. Evidence that is relevant, and not unduly repetitive, shall be admissible. Hearsay evidence that is relevant is admissible, but the Committee shall not base its decision exclusively on hearsay evidence.
A recording of the hearing will be maintained and will be made available to the student. The Dean of Student Development will retain a copy of this record in the student’s disciplinary file.
Within five business days following the conclusion of the hearing, the Review Committee shall communicate its decision in writing to the student and to the Dean of Student Development. The Review Committee Chair will communicate the decision to the student either in person or by certified mail.
Appeal of the Review Committee’s Decision: The Review Committee’s decision may be appealed to the President in writing by the Dean of Student Development or by the student within ten business days after receipt of the written decision.
The President will review the appeal based on the Review Committee’s record and on any additional relevant and valid information that has been provided but which was not available at the time of the Review Committee’s hearing. The President will render a final decision within ten business days of receipt of the appeal. There is no further appeal beyond the President.
Student Academic Grievance Procedure
The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide an equitable and orderly process to resolve grievances at Germanna Community College.
A student who is experiencing dissatisfaction in an academic matter at the College must first discuss the complaint with the instructor involved. Every reasonable effort should be made by both parties to resolve the matter through informal discussion.
After this informal discussion, students who continue to feel they have a valid complaint of unfair treatment may resolve their complaints through the formal Student Academic Grievance procedure outlined herein. The procedure provides for an expeditious and fair resolution of the complaint while protecting the student and College from a prolonged and complicated process.
Germanna Community College endorses and complies with all federal and State laws and policies which maintain and promote equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, political affiliation, veteran status, or disability.
Student: Any person enrolled full- or part-time in credit or noncredit courses at Germanna Community College.
Student Academic Grievance: An academic grievance is any difference of opinion or dispute between a student and a faculty member about learning activities as they affect the student. This may include grading, instructional procedures, attendance, instructional quality, and situations where the student believes he or she is being treated arbitrarily.
It is a formal, written complaint of unlawful or unfair treatment charged by a student against the College with respect to the application of the laws, rules, policies, procedures, and regulations under which the College operates. A complaint may exist and be resolved without initiating the formal grievance process.
Note: Separate grievance policies and procedures address issues of sexual misconduct and issues of access and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. In cases of sexual harassment allegations, it is not required that the initial complaint be filed with the individual against whom the complaint is being lodged. Students experiencing sexual harassment should report this directly to the Dean of Student Development. See the Germanna Community College Wide Policies section of the Student Handbook.
Time Limits: The formal Academic Grievance process must be initiated within thirty calendar days following the event giving rise to the grievance, or within thirty calendar days of the time when the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of its occurrence, whichever comes first. The appropriate Dean of Instruction shall determine the date upon which the grievance occurred.
Once a grievance is initiated, the time limitations for either party may be extended by written mutual agreement. If there is no mutual agreement to extend the time limits set herein, and if a decision at one level is not appealed to the next level within the time limit specified, the decision rendered at the previous level shall be final.
Note: It should be understood that the student who chooses to file a grievance must assume the burden of proof for such a grievance by providing factual evidence to substantiate his/her claims.
Steps for Filing an Academic Grievance:
Informal Resolution: Prior to filing an academic grievance, students are required to meet with their instructor. The meeting will be documented with documentation maintained in the instructor’s office. If the instructor involved in the dispute is no longer employed by the College, the student may submit a level one grievance.
Level 1: If resolution cannot be reached through informal discussion with the instructor involved, the student may file an academic grievance by completing a Student Academic Grievance form and submitting it to the Office of Instruction, within the thirty-day time limit.
Print level 1 grievance form
Both parties to the grievance are responsible for keeping copies of all paperwork associated with the grievance procedure in the event that the procedure should progress to higher levels.
The Dean or designee will then discuss the matter with both the student and the faculty member individually. The Dean or designee may choose at this point to issue a written decision delivered by certified mail to both the student and the faculty member, and said decision must be rendered within ten college business days of receipt of the grievance. Alternatively, the Dean may choose at this point to arrange a meeting with the principals. The date for this meeting must be chosen within ten college business days following the receipt of the grievance. The meeting itself may occur as much as seventeen college business days after the receipt of the grievance. A written decision delivered by certified mail will be rendered to the principals within twenty college business days following the meeting.
Level 2: If the student is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Level 1, copy of the written grievance submitted at Level 1 along with the Dean of Instruction’s written response may be submitted within seven college business days of receipt of the Level 1 response to the office of the Dean of Instruction to request an Academic Grievance Review panel. The panel will be convened by a Dean not involved with the Level 1 grievance procedure. The panel will consist of a Dean, two faculty members and two students nominated by the Dean of Student Development. The Dean will chair the panel and vote only if needed to break a tie. The chairperson of the panel is responsible for distributing the documentation provided by the grieving parties, determining the issues of the case to be heard, and conducting the hearing in an orderly, efficient, and equitable manner.
Print level 2 grievance form
At the beginning of the hearing, the Chair will review issues of the case with the group and establish the procedure by which the testimony will be presented. The Chair may decide on the length of time needed to explore an issue, set time limits for speakers, and ask for testimony by any person deemed important to the investigation of the facts.
The student and faculty member may each bring one non-participatory observer to the hearing. If the nonparticipating observer is an attorney, the party retaining the attorney must notify the other party and the Chair of the Academic Grievance Review Panel at least five business days prior to the hearing. The attorney’s role is as an observer; he/she may not speak to the Chair or the Panel or the opposing party. The attorney may consult with the party who engaged him/her while the meeting is in session, but any consultations must take place outside the hearing room and should be kept within reasonable limits, as determined by the Committee, with regard to their frequency and duration.
The Chair of the Academic Grievance Review Panel will provide a written decision of the panel to the student, instructor, and dean involved in the grievance within five business days after the completion of the hearing.
Level 3: If either party to the grievance is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Level 2, the written grievance submitted at Level 1 along with the Dean’s written response and response from the Academic Grievance Review Panel may be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within seven college business days of receipt of the Level 2 response. The Vice President at this point may schedule a meeting with the principals within ten college business days following the receipt of the grievance. The meeting itself may occur within seventeen days of the receipt of the grievance. Within twenty college business days following the receipt of the Level 3 grievance, the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be provided in writing, delivered by certified mail, to the principals, and the decision shall be final.
Print level 3 grievance form
General Provisions: In no case may an individual involved at an earlier level of the grievance serve on the Grievance Panel. The Grievance Panel, Dean, or Vice President has the responsibility to interpret the grievance in light of established laws, rules, policies, procedures, and regulations. The Dean or Grievance Panel does not have the prerogative to formulate or change College policies or procedures nor to commit State resources. The Vice President may not change policy or procedure to resolve a grievance, but may, as a result of the grievance, formulate new policy to cover future cases. Copies of the final resolution of the grievance shall be forwarded to the principals concerned and to all administrative officials involved in the grievance. Files of resolved grievances shall be forwarded to and maintained in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. All principals to a grievance shall have the right to copies of all written information presented in the grievance procedure.
Filing a complaint to SCHEV
As a last resort, students may file a formal complaint with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), this includes all distance learning students from SARA states. Detailed information about SCHEV’s formal student complaint procedure, the types of complaints they will not address, or to file a written “Student Complaint Form” with the agency can be found on the SCHEV Student Complaint.
Review SCHEV’s procedures
Filing a complaint from other States
Students from non-SARA states who have been unable to resolve their complaint through the resources provided by GCC can submit a student complaint form to the state in which they live.
A non-academic complaint is any difference of opinion or dispute between a student and an instructor, administrator, staff member or another GCC student pertaining to the interpretation and/or application of the policies and procedures of the College and the Virginia Community College System excluding issues of instruction or classroom management. Non-academic grievances shall also include those pertaining to student governance issues, student activities, arbitrary and capricious management decisions, advising, and other concerns that the students might present for redress. Students who have complaints addressed by other college policies such as Access or Non-Discrimination will be directed to follow the procedures outlined in those policies.
A student who is experiencing dissatisfaction in a non-academic matter at the College must first discuss the matter with the College official involved before filing a formal complaint. Every reasonable effort must be made by both parties to resolve the matter through informal discussion. After this informal discussion, students who continue to feel they have a valid non-academic complaint must report this complaint to the Dean of Student Development. The Dean will work with all parties involved to mediate the complaint in a timely manner. In order to mediate the complaint, the Dean may engage faculty or staff members relevant to the complaint in an informal discussion. The decision of the Dean regarding non-academic complaints is final.
Germanna Community College encourages the development of a student activities program designed to promote educational and cultural experiences. Through participation in clubs and organizations, or other planned activities, students develop a wide range of abilities, including intellectual, communication, athletic, and leadership skills. Students develop self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and an appreciation for other cultures and lifestyles. Finally, students develop a sense of integrity, purpose, and social responsibility that empowers them to be productive within and beyond the college community.
The College shall recognize and encourage honorary, scholastic, service organizations, and sports clubs that do not restrict membership based on race, color, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation or other non-merit factors. Private clubs, private associations, social fraternities, and social sororities shall not be recognized by the College.
View Requirements for Student Activities Policy.
Student clubs may sponsor activities that take place off campus such as field trips, participation in conferences, etc. Student Clubs must work with the Student Activities Coordinator to submit a travel request for overnight travel. All participants in off campus activities must complete the Liability Waiver Form prior to the trip. Club participants are reminded that all college policies and guidelines are in effect for the duration of the activity.
Student Clubs and Organizations:
Students are encouraged to participate in one or more of the active clubs and organizations. Students are also encouraged to initiate new clubs. Clubs and activity programming allow students to participate in educational, social, and leadership activities. Participation in clubs and activities contributes to and enhances the total learning experience. Some of the activities have included cultural festivals/fairs, musical presentations, performers, plays, movies, lecturers, trips to events/museums, etc. College faculty and staff serve as advisors to student clubs. However, clubs continue and thrive based on student participation and interest. For example, in recent years the following clubs and organizations have been active at Germanna:
Active Minds Club: The Active Minds Club is dedicated to savings lives and building stronger families and communities. Through education, research, advocacy, and a focus on young adults ages 18-25, Active Minds is opening up the conversation about mental health and creating lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for and valued in the United States.
Anime Club: This club is a group of like-minded anime fans. During meetings they watch and discuss anime related media. They support creative anime-related pursuits such as fan art and cosplay, attend anime and Japanese cultural events such as film screenings, conventions, and festivals.
Business Club: The Business Club provides relevant experience through volunteer work, guest speakers, and networking opportunities to give members a head start in the world of business.
Chordially Dissonant: Germanna’s first a capella group. The group was formed to give students and faculty who love to sing, an outlet to do so. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester.
Dungeons and Dragons Club: This club supports the fantasy role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” which is set in am imaginary world based loosely on medieval myth.
Engineering Club: This club applies classroom learning to real world experiments involving engineering.
Fuser Club: FUSER is a nonstop virtual music festival where you can mix over 200+ soundtracks and DLC songs.
Gardeners of the Galaxy: Promotes interest in gardening and conservation awareness. Gardeners of the Galaxy will work towards its goals by beautifying Germanna’s Frederickburg Area Campus, preserve earthly well-being, and educating it’s members about gardening.
Germanna Gaming Grizzlies: an eSports team that practices and participates in eSports tournaments.
Mixed Media Club: The focus of this club is in learning and participating in many forms of art and sharing their interest in art with others.
Phi Theta Kappa (Alpha Lambda Psi Chapter): Phi Theta Kappa annually provides support to many College activities, such as registration and commencement exercises. It will participate in Relay for Life to raise money for the American Heart Association. PTK has been represented at all regional meetings, conferences, and workshops for the last several years.
Sexuality and Gender Alliance: This club’s purpose is to promote and educate about the welfare of the LGBTQ community within the Germanna Community College community.
Square Dance Club: A club to learn the basics of square dancing. Square dancing is a partner dancing in a group with four couples where everyone dances in unison responding to calls and instruction from the caller.
Student Ambassadors: Student Ambassadors are elite students who are dedicated to representing Germanna Community College. They support the College by providing tours, assisting at Foundation events, and representing the College in the community. Student Ambassadors are expected to excel academically, maintain a professional appearance, and communicate positively about their experiences at Germanna Community College.
Student Government Association: The purpose of the SGA is to encourage communication between students, faculty, and administration. It promotes and coordinates student organizations and activities that include a wide range of interests. The SGA encourages and develops students as effective members of the College and community and encourages better school spirit. The SGA acts as the official voice of the student body to the administration of the College.
Student Nursing Council: This club participates in many activities revolving around the health field (ex. Health and Fitness Fair, American Red Cross Blood Drive, Flu Shots, and free Blood Pressure Screenings).
Student Veteran’s Association: This organization assists veterans attending Germanna Community College with finding resources, advocating for Veteran related issues, and encouraging communication among veterans and with faculty, staff and students.
Steer: Steer is a combination of stepping, cheering, and dancing. You do not need to do all three or have any experience. Just have a positive attitude and be willing to learn.
Tabletop Gaming Club: anyone is welcome to stop by and play tabletop games with other members. This club is designed to teach games, learn and interact with others, and develop a diverse, social environment for everything board and card game related.
“The Roar”: A student run creative arts journal that showcases the work of current Germanna students. The current categories are fiction, poetry, visual arts, and photography. Editors for “The Roar” use administration and leadership skills to collaborate in curating work that students submit.
Student Activities Fund
A Student Activities Fund is established to support the program of student activities. This fund is derived from a $1.50 per credit hour activity fee collected from students as well as funding from the local jurisdictions of the College. The activity fee may be increased with approval of the Student Government Association, GCC Students, the GCC Local Board and the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. The funds in this account are to be spent only for student activities that have been authorized by the College. The Germanna Community College Board is responsible for the operation and control of these funds under the specific methods and procedures established by the State Department of Community Colleges and approved by the State Auditor. The Dean of Student Development authorizes all expenditures from the Student Activities Fund.
Fundraising by Students or Student Organizations
All fundraising done in the name of Germanna Community College or an approved College student organization must be used to support and advance the mission of the College. Fund raising activities conducted by recognized College student clubs and organizations require the approval of the Dean of Student Development. An individual student or a student group which is not affiliated with a formally recognized College club or organization must obtain approval from the Dean of Student Development for any fundraising effort which uses the name of Germanna Community College in its promotion. Approval may be requested by contacting the Student Activities Office.
The proceeds of all fundraising activities must be deposited with the College Business Office within 2 business days of receipt. All expenditures must be supported with original invoices or sales receipts. Requests for payment and / or reimbursement of expenses will follow College procurement guidelines that are available in the Business Office. Fundraising activities that support the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation are governed by bylaws of the College’s Germanna Community College Board and the Foundation Board.
Student Activity Planning Procedures
Student activity planning procedures and forms are available from the Student Activities Office. Groups wishing to host activities on-campus must submit a Room Request Form at least two weeks prior to the activity. Budget requests, if needed, must accompany this form. The Student Activities Office can help with the planning and publicizing of the activity. The use of College facilities is granted to recognized organizations with the understanding that reasonable conditions may be imposed to regulate time, the appropriateness of the space, and to insure proper maintenance and security. Germanna Community College maintains alcohol-free, smoke-free campuses.
Steps in Planning a Successful Event:
Before the Event:
- Brainstorm with the group about ideas for an event.
- Check with the Student Activities Staff about approval of the event, times and dates for the activity. Please try not to schedule your event at the same time as another event.
- Plan a budget (if necessary).
- Submit a Room Request Form and Budget Request (if necessary).
- Talk with Student Activities staff to decide how to purchase items that will be needed for the event.
During the Event:
- Make sure to have people scheduled for setting up for the event.
- Take pictures for the scrapbook if possible.
- Have fun!
After the Event:
- Have people scheduled to help with clean-up.
- Evaluate your activity and make recommendations for future events.
Student Athletic Clubs Participation
Germanna offers intramural sports and recreational opportunities through local adult recreational leagues. Some of the sports leagues that have been formed by students are flag football, dodge ball, softball and soccer. Please contact the Student Activities Office for more specific information.
Student Clubs/Approval of New or Reestablished
Students are encouraged to establish or reestablish new clubs to in accordance with student interest. Campus organizations and student activities are encouraged and may be established for any lawful purpose. A Germanna faculty or staff member must serve as the group’s advisor. He or she will have responsibility for supporting the efforts of the club’s officers which may include attending meetings, assisting clubs in their development of budgets and accompanying groups as they travel to conferences. All student clubs and organizations operate under the Student Government Association (SGA).
To receive formal recognition, a prospective club or organization must complete all the steps in the Student Organization Handbook including submitting a Recognition form to the Student Activities Office. The application must include a completed club registration form, an advisor agreement, and a copy of the group’s constitution. The Student Activities Coordinator will approve/deny the group based on the information submitted and steps completed.
Where there is affiliation with an external organization such as a national honor society, that organization’s constitution and bylaws shall be submitted with the Recognition form. Amendments shall be submitted to the SGA within a reasonable time. All organizational funds shall be handled in accordance with established Virginia Community College System policy. College recognition of an organization implies neither approval nor disapproval of the aims, objectives, and policies of the organization. However, membership in any recognized organization shall be open to any member of the College community without regard to race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, political affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. All student activity programs and recognized organizations must comply with the College’s nondiscrimination policy, except as follows: Any recognized religious or political student organization shall be authorized to limit certain activities only to members who are committed to furthering the mission of the organization. Such activities include ordering the organization’s internal affairs, selecting the organization’s doctrines, and resolving the organization’s disputes.
Student/Faculty Project Funding
Projects which are the result of students collaborating with staff or faculty are also eligible to be supported through Student Activities funds. These types of co-curricular programs provide wonderful opportunities for students to hone their leadership skills while also learning more about a particular topic. Faculty and staff serve in a supportive role to students who must serve in a leadership role on the project. Examples of programs that have been funded in part are: Nursing Idol competition, Cultural Diversity speaker, Applied Engineering Conference trip, Jamestown trip. All programs in this category MUST be open to the entire campus community and benefit a large majority of the student population. Contact Student Activities for additional information.
Student Lounges serve as places for faculty, staff and students to relax, interact with other Germanna community members, surf the internet and find out what activities are happening on campus. There is a small restaurant located in the student lounges at LGC and FAC. All campuses and sites have vending machines located either in or near the lounge. The Student Lounges are furnished and maintained using student fees so we ask that you be respectful in using the facilities. If you have any questions, contact Student Activities.
Student Participation in College Governance
Student participation in College decision-making and policy development is strongly encouraged. The Student Government Association (SGA) President and Leadership Council representative serve on Leadership Council, a campus-wide group comprised of faculty, staff and students which has input into major college decisions. Student representatives are invited to serve on special and ad-hoc committees such as the Bookstore Advisory Committee and the Commencement Committee. The Student Government Association is considered the representative organization for the student body and is consulted by faculty and staff for student reactions and feedback on relevant issues. Elections are held for Student Government Association Officers in the spring and in the fall (per Student Activities Coordinator approval). Attend the Student Organization Fair held each semester to learn more about elections. You may also contact Student Activities Office if you would like additional information.
Access to Student Records/Transcripts
Germanna Community College has partnered with Parchment Inc. to provide secure online ordering and delivery of academic credentials, including transcripts. Students are responsible for the fees associated with requesting their transcripts through Parchment. There is no charge for requested records beyond the transcript fee.
Due to the limitations on access to student information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, telephone, email and certain third party requests for transcripts cannot be honored. This includes transcript requests from parents of students. Germanna will not release a transcript for any student who has unresolved financial obligations with the College.
A duplicate copy of a diploma issued by Germanna Community College is available at no charge. Reorders will be processed and included with the next regular order for diplomas when degrees are conferred to graduates.
Note: The College does not provide copies of transcripts from other institutions. Such copies must be obtained from the originating source.
Student Records Retention
The College permanently retains an electronic record of a student’s academic transcript (student permanent record). Other records will be maintained in paper form for periods ranging from one year after the date of origination to three years from the date of a student’s separation from the College. The College retains student records according to the regulations set forth by the Virginia Public Records Act of the Code of Virginia.
Changes to Official Student Record
Students wishing to make any changes or corrections to identifying information on file at the College must complete a Change Form. This includes changes of name, address, telephone number, and curriculum. Change Forms are available at the Welcome Center and on the Admissions and Records website.
The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the appropriate records custodian written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The records custodian will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. A student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the College Board; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- FERPA permits institutions to identify certain items of student information as “directory information.” Germanna identifies directory information as the: student’s name, major field of study, number of credit hours enrolled, dates of attendance, grade level, degrees, honors, and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Students must submit written notification to the Office of the College Registrar to prevent the disclosure of directory information. Germanna may only disclose any of these items with affirmative student consent, and a student may notify the Admissions and Records Office in writing during the first ten days of the semester that this information remains confidential.
- The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U. S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605. According to FERPA, Germanna Community College may release information without the student’s written consent to the following:
- School officials, as identified by Germanna Community College, determined by Germanna Community College to have a legitimate educational interest (individuals appointed to ad hock review committees may be identified as having a legitimate educational interest)
- Officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll
- Persons or organizations providing to the student financial aid or determining financial aid decisions
- Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions
- Parents of a student who have established that student’s status as a dependent according to IRS Code of 1986, Section 152
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena
- Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons
Questions on this policy can be directed to the Registrar in the Office of Enrollment Services.
Germanna Community College reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by the FERPA in any of the following situations:
- The student lives within commuting distance of Germanna Community College; if student is within commuting distance, the student may be asked to come and view the file at the office rather than making a full set of copies of all file contents.
- The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College.
- There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
Types, Locations, and Custodians of Educational Records:
Admissions & Records
Location: Enrollment Services/ Custodian: Registrar
Cumulative Academic Records
Location: Enrollment Services/ Custodian: Registrar
Financial Aid Records
Location: Financial Aid Office / Custodian: Director of Financial Aid
Location: Business Office / Custodian: Business Manager
Location: Testing Centers at both campuses / Custodian: Coordinator of Testing Services
Location: Student Services / Custodian: Dean of Student Development
Germanna Community College reserves the right to decline to send and/or receive records via fax transmission if the College considers the use of facsimile documents inconsistent with policies or the best interest of the institution or its students.