May 22, 2024  
PVCC 2023-2024 College Catalog 
PVCC 2023-2024 College Catalog

Academic Information

Attendance Standard

Students are expected to be present and on time at all regularly scheduled in-person and online scheduled time (synchronous) classes and laboratory meetings.  For online anytime classes (asynchronous), students are expected to log into Canvas regularly to complete assignments, observe the course due dates, and actively participate in the course.  

Students are not permitted to miss more than the following number of classes in a given semester:

If the class meets one time per week
2 absences total

If the class meets two times per week
4 absences total

If the class meets three times per week
6 absences total

Class Attendance and Participation

Class attendance is an integral part of a sound academic program for most classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College. For all classes, course attendance requires active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the course after the start date. 

A student who does not demonstrate active participation between the first day of classes and the last day to drop with a refund will be withdrawn from the class and the class will be removed from the student’s enrollment record.  

Students who stop participating in a course or who have missed more than the permissable number of in-person classes may be withdrawn from the course.  A grade of “W” will be recorded for all withdrawals completed between the last day to drop with a refund and the last day to drop a course with a grade of W.  Students withdrawn after the last day to drop a course with a grade of W will receive a grade of “F” except under mitigating circumstances, which must be documented and approved by the vice president for instruction and student services.


Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) follows the Federal definition of a semester credit hour and VCCS Policy 5.3.02: Course Credits. PVCC defines a “semester credit hour” as being not less than one “academic hour” of formal classroom instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work per week for fifteen weeks, plus a minimum of one hour of evaluation time. An “academic hour” is defined as 50 minutes. The total instructional and evaluation time for one credit hour is 750 minutes plus the minimum 50 minutes of evaluation time for a total of 800 minutes.

  • One semester credit of lecture-based instruction is defined as one academic hour per week for a fifteen-week period plus an academic hour of evaluation time.
  • One semester credit of laboratory based instruction, clinical training, supervised work experience, coordinated internship or other similar activities ranges from two to five academic hours per week for a fifteen week period plus an evaluation hour.
  • One semester credit of asynchronous distance learning or hybrid-based instruction is based on the student learning outcomes being equivalent to the outcomes in the same course taught in a face-to-face section of the same course. This equivalency is determined by a peer review of the content, competency coverage, and student learning outcomes of the course.
  • Accelerated courses or late start face-to-face courses are required to have the same 800 minutes per credit hour of instructional and evaluation time as traditional face-to-face courses.

Grading System

The grades of A, B, C, D, S, and P are passing grades. Grades of F and U are failing grades. W, X, and I grades are non-punitive grades signaling special circumstances.

The quality of performance in any academic course is reported by a letter grade, the assignment of which is the responsibility of the instructor. These grades denote the character of study and are assigned quality points as follows:

A Excellent 4 grade points per credit
B Good 3 grade points per credit
C Average 2 grade points per credit
D Poor 1 grade point per credit
F Failure 0 grade points per credit
P* Pass No grade point credit
S* Satisfactory No grade point credit
U* Unsatisfactory No grade point credit
*Applies only to developmental studies courses
W Withdrawal No grade point credit

A grade of W is awarded to students who withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period, but prior to the completion of 60 percent of the course or upon documentation of a mitigating circumstance that prevents a student from completing the course after the 60 percent time frame.

I Incomplete No grade point credit

Used as a temporary grade awarded when student and faculty member agree that for verifiable unavoidable reasons student is unable to complete the course requirements before the scheduled end of class. To be eligible to receive an “I” grade, the student must (1) have satisfactorily completed more than 60% of the course requirements and (2) must request faculty member assign the “I” grade and indicate why it is warranted by completing the “Incomplete Grade Form” found on the college website. Courses for which the grade of “I” has been awarded must be completed by the end of the subsequent semester (to include summer term).

X Audit No grade point credit

Permission from the instructor and then from the division dean is required to audit a course. Students may register to audit a course on a space available basis only. The last day for grade change from credit status to audit status is the last day to add or drop the course.

Calculating GPA

Grade points are awarded as follows:

A 4 grade points
B 3 grade points
C 2 grade points
D 1 grade point
F 0 grade points

Grade points are computed by multiplying the number of credits completed by the grade earned. For example, a grade of B in a 3-credit course awards 9 grade points. The grade point average is computed by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credits completed. This can be computed by the term or cumulatively.

The “term GPA” is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in courses attempted for the semester by the total number of credits attempted. The “cumulative GPA,” which includes all courses attempted, is computed each term and is maintained on a continuing basis as a record of the student’s academic standing. When students repeat a course, only the last grade earned is calculated in the computation of the cumulative GPA. However, all grades earned appear on the student’s transcript. 

Repeating a Course

Cumulative GPA, which includes all courses attempted, is computed each semester and is maintained on a continuing basis as a record of the student’s academic standing. When students repeat a course, only the highest grade earned is counted in the computation of the cumulative GPA and for satisfying curricular requirements unless the course is designated repeatable for credit in the Master Course File or is a General Usage course. In instances of courses designated as repeatable for credit or General Usage courses, all grades/credits are counted in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. Grades of “S,” “P,” “U,” “W,” “X,” and “I” shall not count as first or subsequent attempts when calculating cumulative GPA. Courses that do not generate grade points are not included in credits attempted.

Academic Renewal

Students who have been separated from PVCC for at least five years and have earned a 2.5 GPA for the first 12 credits upon re-entry to the college may be eligible for academic renewal. Academic renewal removes grades of D and F from the cumulative and curricular grade point average computation, although all earned grades remain on the student’s transcript and any status statements remain in force. Students receive degree credit only for courses in which grades of “C” or better were earned prior to academic renewal. Total hours for graduation will be based on all coursework taken at the college after readmission, as well as former coursework for which a grade of “C” or better was earned and credits transferred from other colleges or universities.

Academic renewal may be granted only one time and, once granted, cannot be revoked. Applications and additional information are available from the registrar.

Final Examinations

All students are expected to take their final examinations at the regularly scheduled times according to the final exam schedule and as indicated on their class syllabi. Exceptions will be made only with the permission of the division dean for the discipline. The final exam schedule for each semester can be found on the College website.

Grading Term Honors

President’s List

A student who achieves a semester grade point average of 3.8 or higher and earns a minimum of 12 credit hours, with no grades less than C, will be placed on the President’s List.

Vice President’s List

A student who achieves a semester grade point average of 3.2 or higher and earns a minimum of 12 credit hours, with no grades less than C, will be placed on the Vice President’s List.

To be eligible for grading term honors, students must have 12 credits in graded courses (A, B, C).

Academic Standing

The college attempts to keep students informed of their academic standing. Students are notified if they are academically deficient and subsequently when they have regained acceptable academic standing. Students are expected to maintain a 2.0 (C) grade point average to be considered in good academic standing.

Academic Warning

Any student who fails to attain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for any semester, or who fails any course, is placed an academic warning.

Academic Probation

Any student who fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 1.5 is placed on academic probation. The statement “Academic Probation” is placed on the student’s transcript.

Any student on academic probation is required to consult the student success advisor and usually is required to carry less than the normal academic course load in the next semester following this action.  Students will not be placed on academic probation until they have attempted 12 semester credit hours.  

Academic Suspension

A student on academic probation who attempts 24 semester credits and fails to attain a cumulative grade point average of 1.5 for the next term is subject to academic suspension. Academic suspension normally is for one term. The statement “Academic Suspension” is placed on the student’s transcript. Under all circumstances of academic suspension, a student must apply for readmission to the dean of student services by submitting a letter stating solutions for past academic problems.

Academic Dismissal

Students who have been placed on academic suspension and achieve a 2.0 grade point average for the semester following their reinstatement must maintain at least a 1.5 grade point average in each subsequent semester of attendance. The student remains on probation until his or her overall grade point average is raised to a minimum of 1.5. Failure to attain a 2.0 grade point average the first term and a 1.5 grade point average in each subsequent term results in academic dismissal. Academic dismissal normally is permanent, unless, with good cause, the student reapplies and is accepted under special consideration for readmission by the dean of student services. The statement “Placed on Academic Dismissal” will be placed on the student’s transcript.

Online Courses/Distance Learning

Taught by PVCC faculty, distance learning courses are comparable to the same courses taught in the traditional classroom format. Distance learning courses have the same content, grading system, and course credit values as traditional courses. 

PVCC offers a wide range of online courses to provide increased flexibility for today’s learner. These courses accommodate all students, no matter their schedule or obligations. Online courses at PVCC have been designed to facilitate a community of learners and foster a high level of educational development and engagement.

Although online courses may be more convenient, they are not easier than face-to-face courses and will still require commitment and significant time investments. Online courses have materials such as textbooks or digital resources, assignments, exams, and interaction with faculty and/or other students.

We make every effort to provide you with the tools and support you need to meet your learning goals. Students taking online courses have access to all of PVCC’s Student Support Services.

Students are responsible for providing their own hardware, software, and internet access. It is strongly recommended that students have access to a computer when participating in an online class as some courses may require the use of software that is not available on tablets or phones. All online students are welcome to use the computer labs and internet connection at the PVCC campus. 

PVCC offers the following types of distance learning/online courses: 

Online Anytime Courses

Online Anytime courses, also known as Asynchronous Courses, are internet based with no scheduled in-person or online meeting times.  All instruction is provided through the college’s learning management system, Canvas.

Online Scheduled Time Courses

Online Scheduled Time courses, also know as Synchronous Courses, are internet-based and require students to be available online at the days and times listed in the schedule. A significant portion of lectures, discussions, and presentations take place at specific hours using ZOOM and Canvas. 

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid courses blend online and face-to-face delivery. A portion of the course content is delivered online; the course typically includes online discussions and some face-to-face meeting times.