Student Development Services at Paul D. Camp Community College provides essential services in support of the academic mission of the College. Our goal is to contribute significantly and directly to students’ education and development.
Student services share three main expectations in carrying out its mission. The first expectation pertains to access and entry services. Through a collaborative effort, student development services identifies and reduces barriers encountered by students in meeting their educational goals. Areas examined include recruitment, admissions, financial aid, veterans, international affairs, academic placement testing, and advising.
The second expectation focuses on providing a high-quality learning environment (directly and indirectly) through support services. These services include advising, coaching and counseling, career planning/ exploration, co-curricular activities, student support services, and student development courses/ workshops.
The final expectation pertains to transition services or student outcomes. These services focus on assisting students/graduates to transfer successfully or to compete successfully for employment. This includes providing academic transcripts to students and other agencies, as well as assisting in job placement information.
The following services are available to promote student success:
Advising and Counseling Services
The primary purpose of the academic advising program is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. Academic advising is a process by which a student and an advisor jointly explore curricular options and limitations with respect to the student’s personal and academic needs, abilities, interests, and career/ life plans. It should result in the student’s developing toward independence and ultimately maximizing his/her educational benefits. The process includes the exploration of life goals, the exploration of career/ educational goals, the selection of curriculum, the selection of courses, and the scheduling of classes. New students are advised by a counselor or an academic advisor who interprets their placement test scores and discusses the various programs available at the College. Academic advising of returning students is performed by members of the teaching faculty. Students should consult this program advisor before each registration and are encouraged to confer with them frequently regarding academic matters. A listing of programs and advisors is available on the PDCCC web site, under the “Academics” tab.
Career, educational, vocational, and personal counseling is available both on an individual and group basis to assist persons with clarifying their values, developing effective decision-making skills, and setting appropriate life/career goals. Services include:
- Interpret placement test scores and assisting the curriculum student in completing his/ her class schedule.
- Assist students in developing skills in making intelligent decisions regarding vocational, educational, and personal/social plans (these skills complement classroom instruction and are designed to help persons know more about themselves, their strengths, and the world of work).
- Provide referral services to institutional and community resources based on student needs.
- Assist and promote with the student activities program.
- Orient new students to the College and the educational process.
- Promote use of the Virginia Education Wizard at www.VaWizard.org. The Wizard provides information on careers, planning for college, paying for college, and transfer options to a 4-year institution.
Personal and confidential assistance provided by a counselor can often help students:
- Cope effectively with situations which confront them;
- Make decisions regarding various life concerns and plans; and
- Gain greater self-awareness.
Students needed more extensive assistance will be referred to an appropriate resource.
It is the intent of PDCCC to be in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA of 1990) and the Virginians with Disabilities Act of 1985 in providing reasonable accommodations for all of its students. Students are responsible for communicating any disability that may require College action of reasonable accommodation. PDCCC is committed to providing reasonable accommodations within its facilities for its students who have made known their physical or mental disability. Reasonable accommodations shall include but are not necessarily limited to:
- making existing facilities used by students and employees accessible to, and usable by, an individual with a disability;
- acquiring or modifying equipment, desks and devices;
- adjusting or modifying examinations, training or academic materials.
- modifying academic or work schedules; and
- providing other reasonable assistance as required.
Paul D. Camp Community College is committed to achieving equal educational opportunity and participation for persons with disabilities. It is the College’s policy that no qualified person be excluded from participation in any College program or activity, be denied the benefits of any College program or activity, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to any College program or employment, access to facilities, student programs, activities and services. Student Development Services administers services for students with disabilities and works with the College’s Student Support Services (SSS) Program, which has offices on the Hobbs Suffolk and Franklin Campuses. Students with disabilities requiring services must see the SSS program Director, SSS Counselor, or the College Counselor.
The SSS program Director, SSS Counselor and the College Counselor assess student requests for accommodations and coordinate the program within the College. It is very important that the student meet with the SSS Director, SSS Counselor, or the College Counselor prior to the start of each semester to ensure the appropriateness of classes and accurate processing of services. The provision of services to students with documented disabilities at Paul D. Camp Community College is based on the principle of non-discrimination and accommodation in academic programs set forth in the implementing regulations for The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Virginians with Disabilities Act of 1985. These services will be provided within the basic guidelines with the understanding that students with disabilities may require unique appropriate academic adjustments and must have their needs assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The provision of appropriate academic adjustments for students with documented disabilities need not guarantee opportunity for achievement. Paul D. Camp Community College is committed to providing students with documented disabilities the same opportunity to achieve academic success as it provides for all students.
Documentation provides verification to validate a claim of a specific disability in order to provide appropriate, reasonable accommodations to student with disabilities who seek an accommodation. Colleges should require documentation from a qualified professional that includes a full clinical description, current functional limitations, and a prognosis to include any expected future decline in functional ability. This documentation should also include information about the methodology used to make a diagnosis, specific results of the assessments used, summary data, and specific assessment scores based on adult norms where having such additional information will assist colleges in engaging in a deliberative and collaborative decision-making process that considers each student’s unique situation and experience, but not where requesting such information becomes overly burdensome to a student. Such documentation includes: a full clinical description, current functional limitations, and a prognosis to include any expected future decline in functional ability. This documentation should also include information about the methodology used to make a diagnosis, specific results of the assessments used, summary data, and specific assessment scores based on adult norms where having such additional information will assist the college in engaging in a deliberative and collaborative decision-making process that considers the student’s unique situation and experience.
The College does not provide testing or documentation for any student. Documentation must be current, i.e., within the last three years. Following the submission of documentation, the SSS Director, SSS Counselor or the College Counselor will work with the student to identify reasonable accommodations.
The College cooperates with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services in providing education and training for persons with special handicaps.
If a student with a documented disability believes that he/she has not been provided with the services to which he/she is entitled, the student should request an appointment to meet with their Counselor. If the concern cannot be resolved at this level, the student should request an appointment to meet with the Vice-President of Academic and Student Development with input from the Operations Manager. If the concern cannot be resolved at this level, the student should request an appointment to meet with the College President; the decision of the President is final.
New Student Orientation
An orientation program has been established to acquaint new students with the purposes and programs of the College. The orientation program begins weeks before registration when the student may be asked to meet with an advisor or counselor at the College for an interview to discuss the student’s educational interests, determine if additional tests may be needed, and plan the student’s application for admission to a specific curriculum at the College. The student may also meet with the program advisor in the chosen curriculum. A new student orientation session is also provided the week before classes begin each fall and spring semester.
In addition to counseling, tests and interest inventories are available for students. These tests and interest inventories are used as a source of information for the counselor and students in the counseling process. They can be helpful in stimulating thought about abilities and career possibilities that otherwise might not be considered.
The Student Activities Program compliments the academic program of studies and enhances the overall educational experience of students through their participation in social, cultural, intellectual, recreational, and governance activities. The goals of the program are to provide a meaningful student life beyond classroom attendance; to present opportunities for growth and development through social and cultural options; and to promote retention. According to research, students involved in extracurricular activities have a higher program completion rate than students who only attend class.
Such activities support the mission of the college and provide students avenues for personal growth and enrichment. 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. Making long-lasting friendships and building important contacts are additional benefits.
Paul D. Camp Community College offers each student a range of opportunities beyond formal education, including membership in the Student Government Association (SGA) and other various clubs and organizations. Developing the program is the responsibility of the students and faculty under the guidance and leadership of the counselor on each campus. Each student organization must have a faculty or staff sponsor. All student activity funds must be deposited and expended through the college business office, subject to State Board policies, procedures, and regulations pertaining to such funds.
The State Board of the Virginia Community College System recognizes and encourages 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. All student activity programs and recognized organizations must comply with the VCCS’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 such organization. Such activities include ordering the organization’s internal affairs, selecting the organization’s leaders and members, defining the organization’s doctrines, and resolving the organization’s disputes.
The College manages a host of clubs and student organizations. Please visit www.pdc.edu for information on student organizations.
Student Development Courses
Student development is emphasized through courses including career planning, preparation for employment, and human potential realization. The focus of these courses and other activities is to assist the individual in the exploration and development of values, as well as personal skills; and to achieve an effective life in employment, academic endeavors, and in interaction with others.
The College Success course, SDV 100, is required for graduation in all degree programs and many certificate programs. Students are required to take SDV 100 or SDV 108 as part of the first 12 credits enrolled. Because the course emphasizes tools and strategies for college success, students are encouraged to take this course the first semester of attendance at the College. Students who are required to take 2 or more developmental courses in reading, writing, or math should take SDV 108, College Survival Skills, in place of SDV 100.
Student Support Services Program
The Student Support Services Program (SSS) at Paul D. Camp Community College is a federally funded program. The goal of the Program is to increase the probability that students will complete successfully their educational goals.
To equip students with necessary college survival skills, the program offers free tutoring, counseling, cultural and educational enrichment, and assistance for students desiring to transfer to a four-year institution. The SSS staff also acts as a liaison between students and the various college offices to ensure that students have access to all appropriate college and community services.
Participation in the SSS Program is voluntary, and acceptance into the program is based on criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. Students may refer themselves to this program or be referred by a counselor, instructor, or other staff member. Applications for Student Support Services are available in the SSS offices, Suite 120 A or B in Franklin and 100 L in the Administrative Suite in Suffolk.
S.T.E.P.S. (Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully)
The purpose of this initiative is to increase the number of students who graduate with associate degrees; earn a career readiness, general education, or other career certificate; or transfer to other institutions of higher education. With personal coaching, S.T.E.P.S. encourages and empowers students to achieve their personal, academic, and career goals by identifying and accessing on and off campus resources. Free services available to students in the program include:
1. One-on-One Coaching — Success Coaches are available to help students set their personal and academic goals by offering and suggesting many resources.
2. Group coaching sessions — These sessions offer a variety of information and allow students to socialize and get to know their peers; sessions are located on both campuses Tuesday Talks on the Franklin campus and Campus Conversations on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus.
3. Scholarship applications assistance — The coaches are here to help students with their applications to determine that eligibility requirements are met, and ensuring that their application packet is complete.
4. Financial Aid literacy.
The Great Expectations program assists students with the transition from foster care to independence and higher education. Foster youth are paired with an adult coach, and they work together to assess skills and interests, discuss the future, and develop a plan for enrolling and succeeding in college. The program helps them finish high school, continue their education through community college, and successfully transition to living independently.
Success in college depends on many factors: scholastic attitude, motivation, application of ability, and good study habits. Good study habits are necessary for all students to protect investments of time and money as well as to enable them to achieve educational goals. Every student, regardless of ability, can develop good habits and can devote adequate time to study. The amount of time that must be devoted to out-of-class study varies according to ability and preparation of the student, class load, and the difficulty of the subjects taken. Assistance with study skills development is available through coaches and counselors in the Student Support Services and S.T.E.P.S. programs.
Tutoring is available through the Student Support Services Program and through SMARTHINKING, an online tutoring service through which students can receive tutoring in math, science, English composition, and other subjects. SMARTHINKING is free for enrolled students. To access tutoring services, contact the Student Support Services Program Tutor Coordinator or access SMARTHINKING through Blackboard.