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Raritan Valley Community College    
 
    
 
  Jul 24, 2017
 
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission and Registration



Admission



RVCC is an open-admission institution. The College, however, reserves the right to require appropriate documentation in support of a student’s admission application and/or to restrict a student’s enrollment to specific courses or to a specific number of credit hours in any enrollment term. Admission to the College does not imply admission to a specific program that has additional admission requirements.

Students are admitted to the College without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic information, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, or any other category protected by law.

Students enrolling at the College for the first time must complete an Application for Admission. Students who have not enrolled at the College for more than three years must apply for readmission. Graduates of RVCC who want continue to enroll must apply for readmission regardless of their last date of enrollment.

Procedures for Admission

Applications for admission can be submitted online at www.raritanval.edu.  A non-refundable application fee of $25 is required ($225 for International Students with an F-1 or M-1 visa).

Admission to RVCC activates the student’s access to the online portal, Lion’s Den.  After students have registered for their first semester, they receive access to the RVCC computer network and Lion’s Den e-mail.  The Lion’s Den e-mail is the official communication system of the College and is the method by which students receive all important announcements, including bills and grade reports. All students must become familiar with their RVCC Student ID number, initial password and password maintenance, and procedures for accessing Lion’s Den and Lion’s Den e-mail.                                  

*Applicants who are not pursuing a degree or certificate at RVCC are not required to submit proof of immunization, official high school or college transcripts, or complete placement testing, unless required as proof of meeting course prerequisite(s). Non-degree students are limited to nine credits per semester and are not eligible for Financial Aid.                                                                                                       

 First-Time College Student This category is for students who are attending the college for the first time or have attended another college and NOT yet earned 12 or more college-level (non-developmental) credits. Students admitted as First-Time College Students must:

  • Complete placement testing, if required (see Placement Testing section).
  • Full-time students: Required to sign up for R.O.A.R.S.
  • Part-time students: Strongly encouraged to sign up for R.O.A.R.S.; come to the First Year Experience (FYE) Office for assistance with course selection or simply register for classes.  
  • Submit official final high school transcript or High School Equivalency score report and diploma (not required of applicants 25 years or older unless required for a specific degree program). 
  • All full-time students must submit proof of immunization (See Immunization Requirements section).

Transfer Student This category is for students who have a college degree or have at least 12 college-level (non-developmental) credits earned at another college or university. Students admitted as Transfer Students must:

  • Refer to the Transfer Policies page on our website for more information regarding transfer of credits.
  • Complete placement testing, if required (see Placement Testing section).
  • Come to Advising and Counseling Services for assistance with course selection. Please bring an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) (unofficial transcripts will only be accepted to assist in the process of course selection). Students can also either register for classes online (an official evaluation of transfer credits is usually required before this is an available option) or at the Student Enrollment Center (please bring at least an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) for this process as well).
  • Submit official transcript(s) from all previous college(s). Students who attended a foreign institution are required to submit an official evaluation from an evaluation service recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (www.naces.org) if they seek a transfer of credits.
  • If students have earned less than 12 college credits, an official final high school transcript or High School Equivalency score report must be submitted and they should consider themselves a First-Time Student.
  • All full-time students must submit proof of immunization (See Immunization Requirements section).

Returning Student This category is for students who have graduated from RVCC (or Somerset County College) or have not attended in more than three years. Students admitted as Returning Students must:

  • Complete placement testing, if required (see Placement Testing section).
  • Submit official final high school transcript or High School Equivalency score report, if not previously submitted (not required of applicants 25 years or older unless required for a specific degree program).
  • Submit official transcript(s) from all previous college(s), if applicable. Students who attended a foreign institution are required to submit an official evaluation from an evaluation service recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services if they seek a transfer of credit.
  • Come to Advising and Counseling Services for assistance with course selection, or simply register for classes online or at the Office of Enrollment Services.

Students will not need to submit new documentation if the above requirements have been met from their previous attendance here or unless otherwise requested.

Visiting Student This category is for students who are attending another college or university and intend to transfer any credits earned at RVCC back to that institution. Students admitted as Visiting Students must:

  • Complete a Registration (ADD/DROP) Form and submit it by mail, fax or in person to the Office of Enrollment Services. Students may need to submit proof of prerequisite requirements (copy of college transcripts, grade reports or a visiting student approval form) from your primary college.
  • Submit this documentation along with the Registration Form. Online registration is only available once you have received your admission letter in the mail AND if your intended courses do not require prerequisite requirements.
  • Students are encouraged to receive prior approval from their primary college before registering for classes to ensure that the credits earned at RVCC will transfer.

Early-Admission Student This category is for current high school students intending to register for RVCC courses while in high school. Students can be admitted under one of three Early-Admission categories:

International Student This category of admission is for students who are in the United States on an F-1 or M-1 visa. International Students must:

  • Obtain a form I-20 from the college prior to applying for a visa or registration. An online application for admission is required, with the nonrefundable international application fee of $225.
  • Submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score with a minimum score of: TOEFL computer - 173; TOEFL internet - 61; TOEFL paper - 500; IELTS - 5.
  • Submit all necessary application documentation prior to international student application deadlines.

Information on necessary documentation and procedures can be obtained from http://www.raritanval.edu/studentserv/counseling/intl/index.html.

Provisional Admission

Students who are unable to provide all required admission documentation at the time of first enrollment may be granted provisional admission. A student may remain in provisional-admission status for only one enrollment term. Students who are provisionally admitted may not be eligible for financial aid.

Immunization Requirements

All applicants for admission to the College, who are seeking a degree or certificate from RVCC and are intending to enroll as full-time students (12 or more credit hours per semester), must provide the following documentation of immunization prior to initial enrollment.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) [This requirement applies only to individuals born on or after January 1, 1957.]:

  • Documentation of one vaccination dose administered after 1968 on or after the applicant’s first birthday, and documentation of a second vaccination dose administered no less than one month after the first dose, or
  • Documentation of laboratory blood tests confirming immunity to MMR.

Hepatitis B:

  • Documentation of three vaccination doses, or
  • Documentation of laboratory blood tests confirming immunity to Hepatitis B.

Exemptions: An applicant is exempt from these immunization requirements if he/she provides signed documentation indicating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his/her religious beliefs, or signed documentation from a physician indicating that immunization is contraindicated for a valid medical reason.

If an outbreak of any of these diseases occurs, any student not having provided proof of proper immunization, including part-time students and students who are exempt, may be barred from class attendance until the outbreak is over.

Placement Testing and Course Placement

Degree-seeking students are required to take placement tests for English and Mathematics prior to enrolling at RVCC for the first time. Placement testing may also be required to meet course prerequisites or upon completion of a certain number of credit units. A student’s placement test scores are used to determine his/her eligibility for enrollment in English, Mathematics, and English as a Second Language courses.

Students do not need to take English placement tests if they:

  • Present proof of having earned credit for a college-level English course (with a grade of C or better), having taken an equivalent English placement exam, or having earned at least 24 credits at another regionally accredited college or university, or
  • Provide an SAT score report showing a critical reading score of at least 540 or an ACT English score of at least 24.

Students do not need to take the mathematics placement test if they:

  • Present proof of having earned credit for a college-level mathematics course (with a grade of C or better) or having taken an equivalent mathematics placement exam at another regionally accredited college or university, or
  • Provide an SAT score report showing a Mathematics score of at least 500 (or an ACT Mathematics score of at least 21). Students with SAT or ACT scores in this range are encouraged to take the RVCC mathematics placement test for possible placement into higher level mathematics courses.

Students whose native language is not English are required to take the placement test for English as a Second Language. Students who place beyond English as a Second Language (ESLS) courses must take the English and mathematics placement tests in accordance with the placement testing guidelines above. Students who place into ESLS Reading/Writing and Grammar courses at level 4 or higher may take the mathematics placement test and may enroll in selected mathematics courses in addition to their ESLS courses. Students who place into ESLS courses below level 4 may register only for ESLS courses.

English and Mathematics Course Placement

Students who have taken the SAT Test or the ACT Test will be placed into RVCC English and Mathematics courses according to the following table:

Test Minimum Score RVCC Course Placement
SAT English Critical Reading 540 English I (ENGL 111 )
ACT English 24 English I (ENGL 111 )
SAT Mathematics 500-529 Elementary Algebra (MATH 020 )*
SAT Mathematics 530-549 Intermediate Algebra (MATH 030 ) or selected College-level MATH courses*
SAT Mathematics 550 or higher Statistics I (MATH 110 ) or Precalculus I (MATH 112 )*
ACT Mathematics 21 Elementary Algebra (MATH 020 )*
ACT Mathematics 22 Intermediate Algebra (MATH 030 ) or selected College-level MATH courses*
ACT Mathematics 23 or higher Statistics I (MATH 110 ) or Precalculus I (MATH 112 )*

* Or additional RVCC placement testing

Students who have not taken the SAT Test or the ACT Test, or whose SAT/ACT scores are below the minimum scores indicated in the table, will be placed into RVCC English and Mathematics courses according to the results of RVCC placement tests.

Alternative Academic Credit

In addition to earning credit through the successful completion of RVCC courses, a student may be awarded credit toward an RVCC degree or certificate through any of the following alternative means.

Credit from Other Colleges and/or Universities

  • Students seeking a degree or certificate from RVCC who have earned academic credit from colleges or universities eligible to be accredited by one of the six Regional Accrediting Associations may be awarded transfer credit by the College.
  • For the evaluation of transfer credit, students must submit an official transcript from each college and/or university previously attended. A transcript is considered official only when it bears the signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution, and is either sent directly from the registrar’s office of the college or university where the credit was earned, or delivered in an envelope officially sealed by the sending institution.
  • Only courses in which the student earned a grade of C- or higher will be considered in the evaluation of transfer credit.
  • The equivalency of courses taken at other colleges or universities to courses offered by RVCC is determined by the academic department responsible for the particular academic discipline. Official records of course equivalencies are maintained by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students who have earned credit from colleges or universities outside of the United States must also submit an official course-by-course evaluation completed by an academic credential evaluation service belonging to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

Credit from Non-academic Institutions
The College may award credit for courses offered through professional associations, businesses and industries, and/or government/military agencies that have been evaluated and certified by the American Council on Education.

Credit from Professional Licensure
The College may award credit for the achievement of certain professional licenses.

Credit by Examination

  • The College awards credit on the basis of a student’s having achieved a specified minimum score on certain nationally recognized standard examinations, or on examinations created by the College.
  • Specific examinations, the credit awarded, and the minimum scores required for the awarding of credit are determined by the faculty in the academic department responsible for the academic discipline or special program in which credit is to be awarded.
  • A student who has previously earned credit in a course may not receive credit by examination in a lower-level course in the same academic discipline.
  • A student may not attempt credit by examination in any course already part of the student’s permanent academic record.
  • Credit by examination is not awarded until the student has been admitted into a specific degree or certificate program.

Other Regulations Regarding Alternative Academic Credit

  • The College does not guarantee that alternative academic credits awarded by RVCC will be honored by another college or university to which an individual student might transfer.
  • Alternative Academic Credit is evaluated and awarded for individual students and for individual degree and certificate programs offered by RVCC.
  • The College accepts up to 45 semester credit hours in Alternative Academic Credit toward an associate degree, or 75 percent of the semester credit hours required for the completion of a certificate program.
  • Alternative Academic Credit does not count as enrollment credit in any academic term.
  • Grades are not assigned for Alternative Academic Credit.
  • Alternative Academic Credit is not used in computing a student’s grade point average.

An official transcript must be sent to the Office of Enrollment Services from each college previously attended. Applicants who attended schools outside the United States are required to submit an official course-by-course evaluation completed by a foreign credential service belonging to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. RVCC will accept up to 45 transfer and/or advanced standing credits toward an associate degree or 75 percent of the required credits for a certificate program. The course requirements of some selective programs may limit the applicability of transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements. After all official transcripts have been received and the transcript evaluation has occurred, the Office of Enrollment Services will send a notification to the student’s RVCC e-mail account. Students can then access their transcript evaluation by clicking the Unofficial Transcript link located under the Student Services tab of their Lion’s Den account. (*Please note: Transcript evaluations will not be conducted for non-degree seeking students.)

Registration


Registration/Enrollment

Registration/Enrollment is the process of selecting specific sections of credit courses in a particular academic term and paying the tuition and fees associated with those course sections. Students enrolled for 12 or more semester credit hours in a semester are considered full-time students. Students enrolled for fewer than 12 semester credit hours in a semester are considered part-time students.
 

Course Prerequisites

A course prerequisite is either a condition that a student must satisfy, or a course for which a student must have earned prior credit, to be eligible to enroll in certain specific courses offered by the College. Prerequisites may be based on prior knowledge in the same academic discipline or on a required minimum level of academic skills. 

New Student Registration

All full-time, first-time college students must attend a R.O.A.R.S. orientation session prior to enrollment. These orientation sessions introduce new students to college expectations and resources and assist students with choosing appropriate courses and registering for classes. New part-time, first-time college students are also encouraged to attend one of these sessions. Students may sign up for a R.O.A.R.S. session on the RVCC website at http://www.raritanval.edu/studentserv/counseling/index.html.

Registration Restrictions (Holds) and Limitations

Students may be prohibited from enrollment on the basis of their admission status, academic standing, developmental studies status, required documents, outstanding financial/materials obligations to the College, or other unsatisfied enrollment requirements. For further information about restrictions that may affect your registration, check for messages on your Lion’s Den e-mail or on the Lion’s Den Student Services tab.

Students may enroll for a maximum of 19 credit hours in a Fall or Spring semester or for a maximum of 12 credit hours in the entire Summer term. A student wishing to enroll in additional credit hours must have specific, individual authorization from the Director of Advising and Couseling or the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Enrollment Changes

Students may change their course schedules, add courses, or withdraw from courses according to the enrollment calendar published by the Office of Enrollment Services.  In all cases, the responsibility for withdrawing from a course is the individual student’s.  Students are responsible for understanding the effect that enrollment changes may have on financial aid eligibility and other programs and/or services. Students must meet with an Academic Advisor to withdraw from Developmental Studies courses so the decision can be discussed.

Developmental Studies and English as a Second Language Studies

The College is committed to providing students with the skills necessary for success in college level coursework.

Developmental Math

When placement testing indicates the need for developmental math courses to prepare students for the minimum math proficiency or the college-level math required for their intended degree or certificate program, these courses should be completed as early as possible.

  • If placement testing indicates that developmental Math is required for their intended degree or certificate program, students should enroll in the appropriate developmental math course during their first semester of attendance. Students must begin their developmental math sequence by the time they have completed 20 college level credits, and continue to enroll during each subsequent semester until eligible for college level math or until their degree program requirements for math have been met.
  • To take a developmental math course for the third time a student is required to meet with an academic advisor and may be restricted to certain courses or to a limited number of courses.

Developmental English

When placement testing indicates the need for developmental English (reading and writing) courses to improve these core skills, these courses must be completed as early as possible.

  • Both full-time and part-time students must enroll in developmental English courses if placement testing indicates that they are not eligible for English Composition I.
  • Students must continue to enroll in developmental English courses until they have demonstrated that they are eligible for English Composition I.
  • To repeat any developmental English course a student is required to meet with an academic advisor and may be restricted to certain courses or to a limited number of courses. After taking the same developmental English course for the third time without success, the student must meet with the Dean of Student Services to discuss academic and career options.

English as a Second Language Classes

When placement testing indicates the need for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to improve English language skills, students will either be referred to RVCC’s Workforce Development Department or be advised to begin taking the academic ESL course sequence.
 

  • Both full-time and part-time students must enroll in ESL courses if placement testing indicates that they need to further develop their proficiency in the English language to be prepared for college-level coursework.
  • Students must continue to enroll in ESL courses until they have completed the ESL course sequence unless otherwise exempted. 
  •  To take an ESL course for the third time a student must have the approval of an academic or faculty advisor and may be restricted to certain courses or to a limited number of courses. After taking the same ESL course for the fourth time without success, the student must meet with the Dean of Student Services to discuss academic and career options.


Remedial Classes and The College Experience Course, STDV100

  • Students who place into ENGL 050 – Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or ENGL 060 – Introduction to College Reading and Composition II and who also place into MATH 015 – Basic Mathematics or MATH 020 – Elementary Algebra, are required to enroll in STDV100 – The College Experience in the same semester they enroll in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060.
  • Note: Students who place into ENGL 111 – English Composition I with ENGL 070 – English Composition Workshop and MATH 030 – Intermediate Algebra will not be required to enroll in STDV100 – The College Experience course.

Foreign Language Placement Testing and Degree Requirements

Students who have studied two years or more of a foreign language within the last five years and wish to continue with the same language MUST take the respective placement test before registering. Students wishing to continue with Italian should register for Introduction to Italian II (ITAL-102). They will then be tested on the first day of class and moved accordingly, if necessary.

Several degrees at RVCC have a foreign language requirement. For these degrees, a two-semester sequence or completion of Intermediate II (whichever comes first) is required. Students who fulfill the requirement in fewer than two semesters may substitute other humanities courses or continue with the language.

The Testing Center does not require an appointment for language placement testing. All students will be required to show a valid form of identification prior to testing.

Transcripts

Transcripts may be ordered online through the Lion’s Den at www.raritanval.edu. Select the Student Services tab and “Request Official Transcript” under the Registration & Records Tools Menu; or transcript orders may be placed online at www.getmytranscript.com. The cost of a transcript is $5 plus a processing fee for each recipient being issued a transcript. Official transcripts are signed and embossed with the College Seal. Students may view and print unofficial transcripts through the Lion’s Den Student Services tab by selecting “View Academic Transcript” under the Registration & Records Tools Menu.

Veterans’ Benefits

Students who plan to attend Raritan Valley Community College under one of several Veterans Administration programs should contact the VA Certifying Official located in the Office of Enrollment Services.

Post-9/11 GI Bill veterans may have tuition and fee payments deferred provided that they submit a Certificate of Eligibility. Students will be responsible for any account balance remaining after Veterans Administration payments have been received.

The veteran will need to provide a copy of his or her DD-214 form and must provide a copy of a completed application for benefits or copy of the Certificate of Eligibility or NOBE to have benefits administered. Information on eligibility and education-related services may be obtained by contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs at (888) 442-4551.

Veterans are required to meet with the College’s Certifying Official each semester prior to being certified for benefits. More information about Veterans Services can be found on the RVCC website or call (908) 526-1200, extension 8452.

New Jersey National Guard Tuition Program
 

About the Program

New Jersey Guardsmen qualify for a state-specific tuition waiver under the New Jersey National Guard Tuition Program (NJNGTP). This program enables qualifying Guard members to submit a Commander’s Certificate of Eligibility in order to waive tuition for both Associate and Certificate programs-of-study.

Limitations and Exceptions

Because this is a waiver program, there are some limitations:

  • Students must be enrolled within a program-of-study at Raritan Valley Community College
  • The NJNGTP does not cover fees or cost of materials
  • The College must first apply grants, scholarships or Post 911/GI Bill towards tuition. Student must complete FAFSA application prior to registration for waiver to be applied
  • Students must be in good standing within their program-of-study
  • Tuition for the same course may not be waived twice
  • A withdrawal from a course after it has begun will be subject to tuition and fees
  • Students may waive up to 16 credits of tuition per term
     

Servicemember’s Opportunity College
Raritan Valley Community College has been identified by the American Association of Community Colleges as a Servicemember’s Opportunity College (SOC), providing educational assistance to active duty servicemen and servicewomen.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

Raritan Valley Community College and Rutgers University have an agreement permitting RVCC students to cross-enroll in either the United States Air Force or United States Army Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Qualified students may complete the first two years of the four-year program on a cross-enrollment basis, and the final two years by attending a college or university that offers the ROTC Program. Additionally, students taking the Army ROTC program may elect to take their commissions in the Active Army, Army Reserve, or New Jersey Army National Guard.

To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens, physically qualified and full-time students of good moral character. ROTC enrollment involves no military commitment during the first two years. The advanced phase of the program is contractual and is scheduled during the junior and senior years.

The ROTC programs offer a wide variety of scholarship opportunities. For more information write to:

Army ROTC
Assistant Professor Military Service
Rutgers University
157 College Ave.
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1199
(732) 932-7313, extension 18

AFROTC
Detachment 485
9 Senior Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1199
(732) 932-7706

Confidential Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of education records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and provides guidelines for contesting information in these records that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading.

Students have the right to inspect and review all of their education records maintained by the College. The College is not required to provide copies of records unless it is not reasonably convenient for students to inspect their records.

Students have the right to request that the College correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides, in response to such a request, not to amend a student’s record, the student has the right to a formal hearing before the Dean of Student Services. After the hearing, if the College maintains its position that the student’s record should not be amended, the student has the right to enter a statement into his/her records commenting on the contested information.

The College will not release any confidential information from a student’s record without the written consent of the student, except for releasing information to: 

  • College officials with a legitimate educational interest
  • Other institutions at which a student intends to enroll
  • Certain government officials for the purpose of carrying out their lawful functions
  • Appropriate parties involved with the awarding of financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting appropriate research for the College
  • Accrediting agencies
  • Individuals who have obtained appropriate court orders or subpoenas
  • Persons who have need for the information in cases of health and safety emergencies

The College may disclose Directory Information without the written consent of the student. Directory Information includes the following:

  • Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment status
  • Previous institutions attended
  • Major field of study
  • Awards and honors
  • Degrees and/or Certificates awarded including date of conferral
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized College activities
  • Height and weight of student athletes

Students may request the withholding of Directory Information. To ensure that such a request is properly processed, it must be submitted on the official “Request to Withhold Directory Information” form, which is available in the Office of Enrollment Services. The request to withhold information will remain in effect until the student submits a signed authorization for the release of Directory Information.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. For further information regarding the filing of complaints, students should contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202. 

 



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