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College Catalog: Course Descriptions

Descriptions of courses that are required in PDCCC’s programs of study, as well as elective courses, are included below. Descriptions are taken from the Virginia Community College System Master Course File. Some courses are offered for different credits at different VCCS colleges. The credits for which PDCCC offers courses required in programs of study are noted. Credit hours associated with courses are also included in the class schedules published for each semester. It is the student’s responsibility to register for the correct classes and credit hours required for program completion.


Credit Hours

The educational programs combine the teaching of theoretical concepts in “Lecture,” with an application of principles and practical training in “Laboratory” under faculty supervision. The teaching of theoretical concepts in lectures, seminars, discussions, and other similar classes is identified as “Lecture,” and application of principles and practical training in laboratories, clinical training, supervised work experiences and other similar classes are identified as “Laboratory.” The number of lecture hours in class each week (including lecture, seminar, and discussion hours) and/or the number of laboratory hours in class each week (including laboratory, supervised practice, and cooperative work experiences) are indicated for each course in the course description. The number of lecture and laboratory hours in class each week are also called ”contact” hours because it is time spent under the direct supervision of a faculty member. In addition to the lecture and laboratory hours in class each week as listed in the course description, each student must also spend some time on out of- class assignments. Usually each credit hour per course requires an average of three hours of out-of-class preparation each week.

One credit is equivalent to one collegiate semester-hour credit. Each credit given for a course is based on the “Academic Hour”, which is 50 minutes of formalized, structured instruction time in a particular course weekly for 15 weeks. The weekly instruction time is adjusted accordingly for courses taught in sessions that are fewer than 15 weeks in duration. There is also a minimum of 1 hour of examination for each semester hour of credit generated by the courses not to exceed 3 academic hours. The courses may consist of lectures, out-of-class study, laboratory and shop study, or combinations thereof as follows:

Lecture: One academic hour of lecture (including lecture, seminar, discussion, or other similar activities) per week, generally for 15 weeks plus an examination period, equals one collegiate semester-hour credit.

Laboratory: Two to five academic hours, depending on the disciplines of laboratory, shop, clinical training, supervised work experience, coordinated internship, or other similar activities per week, generally for 15 weeks, plus and examination period, equal one collegiate semester-hour credit.

General Usage: General usage courses include variable academic hours for one to five credits such as coordinated internship, cooperative education, seminar and project and supervised study.

Variable Credit: The College may vary from the existing credit value, but by no more than one credit. Existing variable credit ranges may not be extended. Credit variability will be for the purposes of deleting laboratory hours or making laboratory hours optional. General usage courses and courses numbered 1-99 are exempt from this policy.


Course Number System

A uniform course numbering system has been established for all courses approved for the Virginia Community System in accordance with the following GENERAL OUTLINE FOR TWO – OR THREE -DIGIT COURSE NUMBERS: Course numbers 1 – 9 are courses for Developmental Studies. Students may re-register for these courses in subsequent semesters as necessary until the course objectives are completed. Courses numbered 10 – 99 are basic occupational courses for diploma and certificate programs. The credits earned in these courses are applicable toward diploma and certificate programs but are not applicable toward an associate degree. Courses numbered 100 – 199 are freshman courses applicable toward associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs. Courses numbered 200 – 299 are sophomore courses applicable toward associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs.


Course Prerequisites and Co-requisites

A prerequisite course serves to promote student success in a related course. If any prerequisites are required before enrolling in a course, they will be identified in the course description. Courses in sequences (usually identified by the numerals I-II) must be taken in sequence, with part I being a prerequisite for part II, unless otherwise noted in the course description. The prerequisite or its equivalent must be completed successfully before enrolling in a course unless special permission is obtained from the appropriate Division Dean. A co-requisite is a course that must be taken along with another course unless it has already been completed successfully.

Students may not enroll in the following courses until they have demonstrated proficiency on the placement examination or completed the appropriate developmental course, or other course, as indicated below.

Course # Course Name Prerequisite Requirement
ENG 101 Practical Writing I Readiness for English 111
ENG 111 College Composition I Readiness for English 111
ENG 112 College Composition II ENG 111
ENG 241 – 242 Survey of American ENG 112 or division Literature I – II approval
ENG 243 – 244 Survey of English ENG 112 or division Literature I – II approval
ITE 115 Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts MTE 2
MTH 115 Technical Math I MTE 6
MTH 121 Fundamentals of MTE 3
MTH 141 Business Math I MTE 2
MTH 151 – 152 Math for Liberal Arts Mathematics for the MTE 5
MTH 163 Pre-calculus I MTE 9
MTH 164 Pre-calculus II MTH 163*
MTH 240 Statistics MTE 9
MTH 271 Applied Calculus I MTH 163
PHY 201 – 202 General College Physics I – II MTH 163
PSY 201 – 202 Introduction to Psychology I – II Readiness for English 111
PSY 230 Developmental Psychology Readiness for English 111
SOC 201-202 Introduction to Sociology I – II Readiness for English 111
SOC 215 Sociology of the Family Readiness for English 111
SPA 201-202 Intermediate Spanish I – II SPA 102
*or instructor approval