2023-2024 Catalog and Handbook 
    
    Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog and Handbook

General Information



 Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) is a two-year public institution of higher education established as part of a statewide system of community colleges. Mountain Empire Community Colleges serves primarily the residents of Wise, Lee, Scott, and Dickenson Counties and the city of Norton.

MECC operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and the College Board. It is financed by student tuition and state funds, supplemented by contributions from localities and the college’s Foundation.

History of the College

In 1966, the Virginia Assembly enacted historic legislation establishing a statewide system of comprehensive community colleges. This legislation brought most post high school education below the bachelor’s level into one system, and broadened the base of higher education in the state to such an extent that Virginia, for the first time in the twentieth century, took a major step toward democratizing higher education. As comprehensive institutions, the community colleges endeavor to serve all segments of society.

In southwest Virginia, a committee comprised of local business, civic, industrial and political leaders was appointed by the local governing bodies of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton for the purpose of establishing a comprehensive community college. In April of 1970, the College Board had its first meeting at which Judge William C. Fugate was elected chair. Funds for construction were allocated by the State Board for Community Colleges and construction began in early 1971.

  • In August 1971, Dr. George B. Vaughan was named president of Mountain Empire Community College and groundbreaking ceremonies were held in October of that same year.
  • The first classes were offered in the fall of 1972. In January 1978, Dr. Victor B. Ficker assumed his responsibilities as the second president of Mountain Empire.
  • The third president, Dr. Ruth Mercedes Smith, served from June 1988 to June 1991.
  • Dr. Robert H. Sandel served as the fourth president from January 1992 to July 2001.
  • Dr. Terrance Suarez served as the fifth president from January 2002 to June 2010.
  • Dr. Scott Hamilton became the sixth president in July 2010.
  • Dr. Kristen Westover became the seventh president in July 2017.

Mission

Mountain Empire Community College’s mission is to provide our region with accessible, quality higher education, workforce training, and community programs to ensure an educated population and globally competitive workforce.

Mountain Empire Community College’s mission is fulfilled through the following avenues:

  • General Education: General Education, a component of academic programs, includes the following competencies: Communication, Critical Thinking, Cultural and Social Understanding, Information Literacy, Personal Development, Quantitative Reasoning, and Scientific Reasoning.
  • Career -Technical Education: The career and technical education programs meet the increasing demand for technicians, professionals, and a skilled workforce.
  • Transfer Education: The transfer education program, which includes freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences and pre-professional education, allows students to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs at four-year colleges and universities.
  • Developmental Studies: Developmental courses are offered to correct deficiencies in basic areas, such as English, reading, and mathematics, and to prepare students who have not had the required course prerequisites for admission to specific programs.
  • Dual Enrollment: Dual enrollment courses allow high-achieving students to meet the requirements for high school graduation while simultaneously earning college credit.
  • Distance Education: Distance education courses and programs offer accessibility through a number of delivery modes, to include the internet, video, and off-campus locations.
  • Student Services: The College provides programs, services, and resources that facilitate college access, enhance student success, develop career readiness, promote student leadership, and provide opportunities for student engagement.
  • Workforce Development: Workforce development encompasses credit and non-credit training to meet workforce needs and promote economic development through programs, customized training, and on-going workshops.
  • Community Services: College facilities and personnel support the cultural and educational needs of the region through cultural events, workshops, meetings, lectures, conferences, seminars, community projects, and service learning.

Vision

Mountain Empire Community College’s vision is to be recognized by our community as the leader in preparing our region’s educated workforce.

Mountain Empire Community College will pursue its vision by acquiring the following traits:

  • Teaching will be characterized by the use of the best practices for knowledge and skills to be developed, including the involvement of businesses, the use of hands-on interactive mediums, and opportunities for real-life applications of knowledge and skills.
  • Instructional delivery will employ non-traditional methods with emphasis on the use of technology. Faculty members will be facilitators of learning, mentors, and role models, exhibiting to students the importance of knowledge, competence, and a thirst for learning.
  • The College will be the major provider of workforce training and a leader in community development, partnering with businesses, educational institutions, non-profits, and government to strengthen the competitiveness of the region for attracting and retaining jobs.
  • The College will be an exemplary model of service and involvement to our students and the community, promoting economic development, appreciation of culture, and the quality of living in rural, southwest Virginia.

Values

Mountain Empire Community College is committed to these values:

  • Community and Cultural Preservation
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
  • Honesty, Integrity and Trust
  • Leadership and Service
  • Learning
  • Student Success
  • Teamwork and Communication

Accreditation and Program Approvals

Mountain Empire Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Mountain Empire Community College. Normal inquiries about the institution, such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc., should be addressed directly to the institution and not to the Commission’s office. Degree programs are approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and are also approved for listing in the U.S. Office of Education directories for participation in various federally-sponsored programs of student aid and educational assistance. This institution is approved to offer GI Bill® educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency and is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services for students who receive Social Security and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. The Health Information Management program is accredited by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Health Information Management. The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The Pharmacy Technician program is accredited by ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists).  The Nursing program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326).

Year of Graduation Program Completion Rate Program NCLEX-RN Pass Rate* National NCLEX-RN Pass Rate all US Graduates*
2018 (N=190) 77% 90.53% 85.11%
2019 (N=180) 73% 87.7% 88.18%
2020 (N=197)** 81% 72.54% 82.5%
2021 (N=57)*** 88% 73.68% 78.78%
2022 (N=50) 47.6%**** 78.18% 77.91%

*NCLEX National Statistics from www.NCSBN.org
**2020 were the last graduates of the Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program at MECC
***2021 were the first graduates of the MECC Nursing Program

****Previous completion rates calculated by students completing in 150% of length of program.  ACEN changed formula to graduating on time.  This calculation reflects that formula change.

 

Year of Graduation Program NCLEX-PN Pass Rate
2018 86.7%
2019 85.7%
2020 85.7%
2021 78.3%

The Practical Nursing and Nursing Assistant programs are approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing. The Emergency Medical Services Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The Phlebotomy program is approved by the National Phlebotomy Association. The Computer Aided Drafting & Design Technology, Technical Studies- Welding, Computer Manufacturing Technology - Electromechanical Technology, and Computer Manufacturing Technology-Industrial Electronics are accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).

Licensure Reciprocity

  Licensure Meets state educational requirements for licensure Does not meet the state educational requirements for licensure MECC has not made a determination on licensure reciprocity
Emergency Medical Services NREMT AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA,
CO, CT, DC, DE, FL,
GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS,
KY, LA, ME, MD, MA,
MI, MN, MS, MO,
NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM,
NY, NC, ND, OH, OK,
OR, PA, RI, SC, SD,
TN, TX, UT, VT, VA,
WA, WV, WI, WY
IL, MT  
Nursing RN AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE,
FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS,
KY, LA, ME, MD, MS,
MO, MT, NE, NH,
NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK,
SC, SD, TN, TX, UT,
VA, VT, WV, WI, WY
AK, CA, CT, HI,
IL, , MA, MI, MN, NV, NY,
DC, OR, RI, WA
PA, Guam, Virgin Islands
Practical Nursing LPN AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE,
FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS,
KY, LA, ME, MD, MS,
MO, MT, NE, NH,
NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK,
SC, SD, TN, TX, UT,
VA, VT, WV, WI, WY
AK, CA, CT, HI,
IL, MA, MI, MN, NV, NY,
DC, OR, RI, WA
PA, Guam, Virgin Islands
Respiratory Therapy RRT
CRT
AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO,
CT, DE, DC, FL, GA,
HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS,
KY, LA, ME, MD, MA,
MI, MN, MS, MO,
MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ,
NM, NY, NC, ND, OH,
OK, OR, PA, RI, SC,
SD, TN, TX, UT, VT,
VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
  AK - Currently do not have a state licensure for RT

Sources cited:

Statement for Emergency Medical Services (EMS):
Pursuant to United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), the Mountain Empire Community College Associate Degree in Emergency Medical Services Technology program provides the following information for all prospective and current students:

The National Assoc. of EMS Officials (NASEMSO) has ruled EMS provider licensure and certification to be synonymous and National Registry certification is recognized for reciprocity in 48 of our 50 states.

Statement for Nursing program (ADN):
Pursuant to United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), the Mountain Empire Community College Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program provides the following information for all prospective and current students:

The Mountain Empire Community College ADN program meets all Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for prelicensure nursing education programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, the Mountain Empire Community College ADN program meets all requirements for nationally recognized accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing.

The Commonwealth of Virginia participates with multiple (see table) other states in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) National Licensing Compact (NLC) to allow nurses licensed in one state to provide nursing care across state lines in other compact states. Information listed is current per NCSBN as of February 8, 2023.

Statement for Practical Nursing program (LPN):
Pursuant to United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), the Mountain Empire Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN) program provides the following information for all prospective and current students:

The Mountain Empire Community College LPN program meets all Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for pre-licensure nursing education programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia participates with multiple (see table) other states in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) National Licensing Compact (NLC) to allow nurses licensed in one state to provide nursing care across state lines in other compact states. Information listed is current per NCSBN as of February 10, 2022.

Statement for the Respiratory Therapy program (RT):
Pursuant to United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), the Mountain Empire Community College Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy (RT) program provides the following information for all prospective and current students:

The Mountain Empire Community College RT program meets all the requirements of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and remains in good standing with this national accrediting body. All students upon successful graduation from the program are eligible to sit for their national boards through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This program accreditation and national board credentialing will allow graduates to obtain licensure in 49 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Alaska currently does not have a state licensure mandate for RT. But the graduate would still be able to obtain employment in Alaska upon completion of this program.

Licensure endorsement is available in 49 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Mountain Empire Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Consumer Information and Student Achievement

Mountain Empire Community College relies on its mission to drive its processes used to identify the College’s goals and outcomes for student achievement. The mission of Mountain Empire Community College is to provide our region with accessible, quality higher education, workforce training, and community programs to ensure an educated population and globally competitive workforce. To achieve its mission, the College offers a variety of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of its students and the community, including the needs of regional employers.

The College evaluates student achievement by means of external and internal reviews by programmatic areas, as well as overall college goals. The evaluation criteria supporting the College mission include enrollment, retention, graduation, and transfer rates, as well as national and state certification and licensing examination results.

As one of 23 colleges within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), MECC receives benchmark data from the VCCS annually for each of the criteria used for evaluating student achievement. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) also publishes data via the SCHEV website that is specific to MECC and other Virginia educational institutions. MECC strives to exceed a threshold of achievement that is greater than national or state averages that are consistent with current trends in education.

For more information on MECC’s enrollment, achievement data, and strategic planning data, please visit www.mecc.edu/consumer-information.

Mountain Empire Community College Foundation

The MECC Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports the mission of Mountain Empire Community College.. Foundation projects include scholarships, faculty and staff development and recognition programs, cultural programs and events, campus improvements, educational programs, and other projects. The Foundation awards scholarships to qualified persons for the purpose of attending Mountain Empire Community College. These awards are based on criteria such as financial need and scholastic promise, and are available to persons who are enrolled or intend to enroll in specific programs. Scholarship recipients are selected by the MECC Office of Financial Aid. For more information, visit www.meccfoundation.org.

Virginia Community College System

Mountain Empire Community College is one of 23 two-year colleges that make up the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). The VCCS was established in 1966 with a mission that complements the missions of the secondary schools and the senior colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VCCS mission states: “We give everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened.” For more information, visit www.vccs.edu.

College Map

Campus Map  

lnclement Weather

When it is necessary to change the College schedule due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the announcement will be made on the College’s website at www.mecc.edu, via text message, email, and radio and television stations. The following radio and television stations will announce the schedule change:

  • WCYB-TV (Channel 5)
  • WDIC-FM 92.1
  • WAXM-FM 93.5
  • WXBQ-FM 96.9
  • WJHL-TV (Channel 11)
  • WJNV-FM 99.1
  • WQUT-FM 101.5
 
Students may register at www.mecc.edu/textalerts to receive announcements of schedule changes by text message and email.

Understanding Announcements:
Snow Schedule: Online classes will be held as normal with no schedule changes. In-person classes begin at 10 a.m. Employees report at 9:30 a.m. if working on campus. Employees teleworking will work as scheduled.

College Closed: Online classes will be held as normal with no schedule changes. In-person day and evening classes and all services are canceled. Employees teleworking will work as scheduled.

Day and/or Evening Classes are canceled: Online classes will be held as normal with no schedule changes. In-person classes will be canceled. Employees teleworking will work as scheduled. College is open for all other services by non-teleworking employees.

Schedule of Classes when operating on a Snow Schedule:

Normal Schedule Snow Schedule
8:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
9:40 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. 11:05 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
11:05 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. 12:10 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.
12:20 p.m. - 12:50 p.m. 1:10 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.
12:50 p.m. - 2:05 p.m. 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
3:40 p.m. - 4:55 p.m. 3:55 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.
5:00 p.m. Classes meet as normal

Schedule of In-Person exams when operating on a Snow Schedule:

Exams scheduled at 8:15 a.m. will begin at 10 a.m.
Exams scheduled at 11:05 a.m. will begin at 12:10 p.m.
Exams scheduled at 2:15 p.m. will begin at 2:50 p.m.
Evening exams will be held as regularly scheduled