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Student Handbook - Student Resources

Academic Advising

A staff of academic advisors help each individual student plan appropriate courses of study and achieve a productive and rewarding experience at the College. Academic advisors are available on-call or by appointment for discussion of educational, personal, social, and career issues. For availability, call Academic Advising at 815.835.6354 (Student Services Center).

Current students can schedule an appointment online at svcc.edu/appointment

Academic advisors are committed to providing quality services and programs in conjunction with students, faculty/staff, and the community in the following areas:

  • Educational Planning
  • Career Exploration
  • Social and Life Transition Advising

Visit svcc.edu/advising for more information.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar lists important dates for students such as registration timelines, semester start/end dates, withdrawal dates, holidays, mid-semester date, scheduled breaks, and final examinations. Access current and future academic calendars at svcc.edu/schedule/calendars/acadcalendar.

Accreditation

Sauk Valley Community College is recognized by the Illinois Community College Board and Accredited by Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association.

For more information: 800.621.7440 hlcommission.org or svcc.edu/accreditation. SVCC will only accept credits earned at other regionally accredited institutions.

Admissions & Records

Admissions & Records oversees a number of important forms and processes related to student registration and enrollment. For registration assistance, transcript requests, to change personal information, transfer records to/from another college and other services contact 815.835.6297 (Student Services Center) or visit svcc.edu/admissions.

Adult Education

The Adult Education Department strives to assist adults 17 years of age or older in acquiring knowledge and skills necessary to earn a GED, to improve English language skills, and to transition to higher educational or vocational training. This process encourages the adult learner to become more employable, to become a successful partner in their children’s education, and to be a more productive member of the community. For more information, contact 815.835.6310 (1J01) or visit svcc.edu/adult-education.

Athletics

The College has developed an outstanding program of intercollegiate athletics. Sports programs for women include basketball, cross-country, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Men’s sports programs include basketball, baseball, cross-country, golf, and tennis. Athletes have the opportunity to compete for conference, regional, and national honors during the year. Athletic achievement awards are offered in each sport for outstanding student athletes.

SVCC is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and competes in NJCAA Region IV. Sauk Valley Community College is also a member of the Arrowhead Athletic Conference. The College abides by all NJCAA academic requirements and the NJCAA Code of Conduct to assure the integrity of SVCC, our student athletes and coaches.

The College mascot is the Skyhawk, and the colors are red, white, and black. For further information or the opportunity to try out, contact the Athletics Director at 815.835.6234 (1H01) or visit svcc.edu/athletics.

Follett Bookstore

Follett, INC. operates the campus bookstore under contract. Follett staff work directly with the instructors at SVCC to learn what resources are used for each class. The store offers a variety of options for textbooks such as buying a physical book in new or used condition, renting select titles, or purchasing material in a digital format if available. Textbooks can be purchased on campus along with campus apparel, computers, software, snacks and gifts. The campus bookstore also offers the option of shopping from home with the items shipped to your home or in-store for pick up. New to the bookstore is a coffee bar.

For more information including hours of operation, return policy, book buyback, and payment options, call 815.835.6304 (1E02) or visit bkstr.com/saukvalleyccstore

Cafeteria

Food service is available in the cafeteria (2L02) during the fall and spring semesters from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and on Fridays from 7:00-1:00 p.m. The service offers daily breakfast and lunch specials. Menus are distributed weekly and can be found at svcc.edu/students/menu. Vending machines are also available on the first and second floors.

Students can also purchase Punch-a-Lunch cards to use as needed to buy meals. Lunch cards are convenient and save money. Students will receive one bonus dollar for every $10 spent. Purchase a card in the Business Office with your financial aid award. Cards can also be purchased in the cafeteria with cash, check, debit card, or credit card.

Career Services

SVCC’s Career Services Center is ready to help by providing the following services to all students:

  • Assisting in Interviewing Techniques
  • Cover Letter & Follow-up Letter Writing
  • Job Applications & Essentials
  • Job Posts & Announcements
  • Job Search: Resources for Job Possibilities
  • Resume Writing Assistance & Resume Review
  • Soft Skills Enhancement

Career placement services offers a wide variety of resources to assist with identifying career opportunities, finding up-to-date information on the latest job market trends, tips on acquiring work experience, and developing job search skills for a successful transition from school to work. Whether students are looking for full-time or part-time employment, internships, or want to sharpen job skills, SVCC can provide the tools that will help with those career goals. Contact Career Services at (1F17) 815.835.6294 or visit svcc.edu/bcc/career-services.

Community Education

Community Education at SVCC offers a diverse selection of classes that help individuals retool for a new career, improve skills, get in shape, and much more! Community Education offers interesting and affordable classes in a safe and comfortable environment. Classes offer everything from CDL, computers, dance, physical fitness, artistic talents and trips. Community Education embraces the belief that education is a lifelong process. For more information contact the Community Education Coordinator at 815.835.6212(1F11) or visit svcc.edu/bcc.

Disability Support Office (DSO)

The Disability Support Office provides services for students with disabilities. Services are intended to assist students in the successful completion of their educational and career pursuits at SVCC.

Students requesting services for documented disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Office early in their enrollment planning. Eligibility and registration for services is a separate process and is independent from registration of classes. For further information including getting started steps, documentation guidelines and the grievance procedure, contact DSO at 815.835.6220 (1F27) or visit svcc.edu/students/disability-support.

Early Alert/Crisis Assistance Team

The Early Alert System supports retention by putting students in contact with appropriate campus resources. This assistance helps students meet their educational goals. Faculty and staff members contribute directly to the Early Alert system’s success by referring students who are struggling in their academic work, are chronically absent from class, are exhibiting disruptive behavior, or are having difficulty adjusting to college life. The referral will trigger a web of resources that can assist the student with a wide range of concerns.

In conjunction with the Early Alert System, the Sauk Valley Crisis Assistance Team (SVCAT) was established to provide assistance to faculty, staff, and students in addressing situations in which a student or staff member displays concerns. Such stressors can be disruptive to the success of the student and to the educational setting. The overall goal is to promote a safe, healthy college environment for all staff and students by listening to the concerns presented, determining the needs of the faculty, staff, and students and then implementing an intervention plan to address the concerns.

First Year Experience Course (FYE)

FYE 101, a SVCC student success course, is required of all degree-seeking students. It is a one-credit hour course designed to help students make the transition into college and enhance their academic success. This course must be taken during the first semester of college coursework. In our FYE course, students will learn about:

  • Expectations/Responsibilities of the College Student
  • Academic Planning
  • College Resources, Services, and Opportunities for Involvement
  • Time Management, Thinking Critically, Test-taking Strategies
  • Appreciating Diversity and Maintaining Wellness
  • Developing Library, Research, and Information Literacy Skills

Sauk YMCA at Sauk Valley Community College

SaukYMCA has all new state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment that features the ultimate in adjustibilty for different workouts and resistance levels to reduce stress on your joints, mimic the body's true movements, and help you meet your goals. 

Take advantage of our FREE Wellness Orientation. This orientation will give you the basics needed to begin a health and fitness routine and make you feel right at home in the cardio/strength areas. Schedule these at the front desk.

Check out our group exercise classes designed to fit into your busy day. Most classes are free with your SaukYMCA membership. Group exercise classes will offer something for everyone. Classes range from high intensity classes to aerobic dance classes.

The SaukYMCA will be offering Student Membership and PED classes; coursework may be completed at any Sauk Valley Area YMCA (Sauk, Dixon, or Sterling-Rock Falls). To begin, students may purchase a membership or enroll in PED 150-Super Circuit Fitness 1 for one credit hour. PED class cost includes tuition plus a lab fee. Classes (PED 150-153) are self-paced with students selecting their own times and days to exercise. Open enrollment is also available allowing students to begin a class at any time after enrollment with 16 weeks of continuous access to the center to complete the class. For more information, contact the SaukYMCA at 815.835.6466 (1F02) or visit saukymca.org.

Identification Numbers

Sauk Valley Community College provides a SVCC identification number to each student for college identification enrollment and administrative purposes. This identification number is issued after the student information form is processed by Admissions & Records. Students will be notified by mail of their SVCC identification number. This number will be used for all transactions at Sauk Valley Community College.

International Students

SVCC is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant international students in approved programs. International students are students who are attending, or are seeking to attend, the college on an F-1 visa, and who have been issued Form I-20. International students are required to know and comply with all of the regulations that govern their visa statuses, and like all students, must also comply with federal, state, and local laws, and all policies outlined in the SVCC academic catalog.

SVCC has specific international student admission procedures, course load requirements/limitations, and a required annual orientation. Refer to the Admissions section of the SVCC catalog for more information regarding these procedures. Contact the Primary Designated School Official at 815.835.6390 for assistance with enrollment and travel documentation, cultural adjustment issues, community and campus integration, and practical information related to obtaining a driver’s license and social security cards.

Intramural Sports

Sauk maintains a program of intramural athletics for those not wishing to compete in an intercollegiate sport. The offering of intramural activities is based upon student interest and participation. Contact the Athletics Office at 815.835.6234 or 815.835.6401 (1H01).

Learning Commons

The Learning Commons in 3L01 offers tutoring and library services to help students meet their academic goals in a spacious facility equipped with computers for public use, and a variety of quiet and collaborative study spaces.

Learning Commons Tutoring (LCT)

Learning Commons Tutoring supplements classroom instruction with individual and group tutoring, and review sessions on subjects including (but not limited to) mathematics, writing, biology, chemistry, physics, accounting, and psychology. Services are offered on a no-cost walk-in basis in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Instructional aids include many helpful handouts and a science study area equipped with biology and anatomy study resources. For further information, contact LCT at 815.835.6293 or visit svcc.edu/tutoring.

Learning Commons Library

The Learning Commons Library suppports the teaching and scholarship of the College, and promotes lifelong learning in our community. We offer a comprehensive collection of books, audiobooks, CD's, DVD's, magazines, and journals to serve the academic and recreational needs of the SVCC community. Any resident of the college district aged 16 or older may sign up for a free library card and borrow from the library's physical collection.

The physical collection is augmented by online research databases, streaming videos, and a large eBook collection. These subscription resources are available to all users on-campus and to students, faculty, and staff off-campus. In addition, students, faculty, and staff may order materials from any academic or public library in Illinois through our interlibrary loan services. 

The experienced library staff provide assistance with reference, research, and citation. Instruction on a variety of library and research topics is available to groups by appointment, or in person to individuals by appointment or on a walk-in basis. For more information, contact the library at 815.835.6247 or visit svcc.edu/library.

PTK (Phi Theta Kappa)

Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society for two-year college students. Phi Theta Kappa provides recognition for excellent achievement and scholarship opportunities to all members. For those who choose to be active members, Phi Theta Kappa offers countless opportunities for personal and professional growth through activities related to four themes-scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. Contact Lori Anton at 815.835.6402 (3H02) or Dr. James Chisholm at 815.835.6215 (3E02) for more information.

Performing Arts

Student and community members are provided opportunities to be involved in a wide range of music and theater activities. The following opportunities exist each semester:

  • Concert Band performs concerts each semester.
  • Concert Choir performs several times and gives a concert each semester. 
  • Theatre offers at least one major theatrical production each semester. Casts are selected from open auditions; and productions include drama, comedies, musicals, and one-act plays. Opportunities to learn technical aspects of theatre are also available.        

Registration

A. New Student Registration
(certificate or degree-seeking)

New student (walk-in) registration begins two days after continuing student (web) registration. During walk-in registration, new students are required to register on campus through Admissions & Records with academic advisor approval. For more information, contact Admissions & Records or check the Academic Calendar for the semester of registration.

B. Returning Student Registration

During registration, degree seeking students in good academic standing have full access to register through SOAR (Sauk Online Access to Records) or on campus through Admissions & Records after the following two criteria have been met:

  1. An advisor approved academic plan completed
  2. Met with an academic advisor for two semesters (excluding summer) for registration approval

Certificate seeking students in good academic standing are required to meet with an academic advisor for one semester for registration approval to have full access to register through SOAR or on campus.

If academic advisor approval is required to register, continuing students may meet with an academic advisor when the semester schedule is available for viewing (web or SOAR) to approve a class schedule and obtain access (alternate registration PIN) to register.

C. Students Registering for Individual Classes

Students can register for classes through SOAR, or on campus through Admissions & Records as long as the class prerequisites have been satisfied. Contact the Student Services Center at 815.835-6354 for more information.

D. Late Registration

First time degree or certificate seeking students without previous earned college credit must be registered no later than the Thursday prior to the first day of the semester. Contact Academic Advising for more information.

E. Registration Change Period

New students can change classes with academic advisor approval through the registration change period (first week of a regular semester). Returning and continuing students can register or change classes through the registration change period. This period will be adjusted for courses less than 16 weeks. For specific dates, contact Admissions & Records. After the registration change period has passed, students will need to obtain instructor and/or Dean permission to register. Students are expected to take full responsibility for making up any missed coursework associated with registering after a class has begun.

F. Waitlist for Closed Classes

A waitlist is available for credit course sections. If a class is full, students will have the opportunity to waitlist either in SOAR or in Admissions & Records. If a seat becomes available, the student will be notified via SVCC email (students@svcc.edu). Students should check their SVCC email daily Monday through Thursday in case a seat opens. Students will have 24 hours to register for the open seat upon notification. Students who do not register for the open seat within 24 hours of notification will be removed from the waitlist and the next student on the waitlist will be notified. The option to waitlist a class will be available prior to the start of the term. Contact Admissions & Records for more information.

G. Non-Credit Classes
(Business and Community Education)

Students may register for non-credit classes through Admissions & Records anytime between the start of registration period and the first meeting day of the class. Contact Business and Community Education (BACE) for more information.

H. Ways to Register

When eligible, students can register in one of two ways:

  1. Web Registration through SOAR (Sauk Online Access to Records)
  2. In Person at the Admissions & Records office (Student Services Center) during posted office hours.

Withdrawing From Classes

During the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters, students may drop a course by filing a drop form in Admissions & Records. Students will not receive a grade when withdrawing during the refund period. Consult the Academic Calendar for refund dates.

From the third through the tenth week of the class, students may initiate a withdrawal from a class by filing an instructor signed drop form in Admissions & Records. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. No refund will be granted.

Deadlines for withdrawal will be pro-rated for classes that meet less than 16 weeks, including summer sessions. Students receiving any type of financial aid should contact Financial Assistance before withdrawing from class.

Students not actively pursuing the completion of a class may be withdrawn from the class by the instructor. Students who stop attending without completing the proper college procedure may receive a grade of “F” in the course. Full-time students requesting to withdraw from the College must notify the Dean of Student Services, complete the withdrawal process, and clear all obligations with the College.

Resource Directory

The Sauk Valley Resource Directory, available on the SVCC website at svcc.edu/services-directory allows students to search for community services in SVCC district counties.

Student Activities

Student Activities provides programs and opportunities for students that enhance the college experience and promote a sense of community. Through active participation in all-campus activities, student government, and student organizations, students will experience success and acquire life skills such as critical thinking, effective leadership, problem solving, decision making, goal setting, cultural appreciation, and the ability to relate to people who are different from themselves.

The college invites students to get connected, get involved, build leadership capacity, and get the full SVCC experience. For more information, please contact the Student Activities/Cross Cultural Coordinator (1F19) at 815.835.6432 or visit svcc.edu/student-activities.

Student Government

Student Government is a vital part of campus life at SVCC. Some of the responsibilities of Student Government include representing the student body to the SVCC administration and Board of Trustees, sponsoring campus-wide activities, recognizing new student organizations, allocating programming money to student organizations, and completing community service activities. Additionally, Student Government members serve on college-wide committees with SVCC faculty and staff.

No experience is necessary to be a member of Student Government. Minimum GPA and credit hour requirements vary for each student government position. Information regarding Student Government may contact Student Services Activities/Cross Cultural Coordinator (1F19) at 815.835.6432 or visit svcc.edu/sga.

Student Organizations

There are many student organizations at SVCC. The student organizations have a wide variety of purposes that include social, educational, recreational, and/or cultural interests. Getting involved in a student organization will provide opportunities of leadership development, professional growth, friendship, service to others and much more! If students are interested in joining an existing organization or forming a new organization, contact the Student Activities/Cross-Cultural Coordinator at 815.835.6432 or visit svcc.edu/student-organizations for a current listing of recognized student organizations and clubs.

Student Services Center

The Student Services Center (First Floor) provides a one-stop location for the services most frequented by students, including admission, registration, academic advising, and financial assistance. The center provides comprehensive information to help students with college processes, planning, and decision making to aid in their success. The dedicated staff in this Center can help you:

  • Apply for admission and financial aid
  • Seek academic support
  • Utilize self-service tools
  • Make a tuition payment

Visit svcc.edu/ssc for more information

Student Photo Identification Cards

Student photo ID cards are issued after the 10th day of classes and are valid for the current academic year. New ID cards are available each academic year starting in the fall semester. Replacement cards are available for a fee.

Student-Right-to-Know

In compliance with the Student-Right-to-Know regulations, SVCC’s graduation rate survey, campus crime statistics/security policies, financial aid information, and athletic disclosure report are available in Admissions & Records, the Dean of Student Services, and on the College website atsvcc.edu/students/right-to-know.

Retention, Completion and Transfer Rates
MetricPercentage of Students
Fall to Spring Semester Retention Rate+77.8%
Fall to Fall Semester Retention Rate+57.1%
Completion Rate (150% time)*29%
Completion Rate (200% time)*32%
Graduation Rate*35%
Transfer Rate*20%
+Source: SVCC FY 2016 data, *Source: 2015 IPEDS

For more data about how SVCC is performing, see SVCC’s Strategic Planning Dashboard at svcc.edu/planning-dashboard.

Success Workshops

Student Success Workshops provide students with step-by-step strategies to improve skills such as study tips, time management, and organization. Students can either participate in scheduled workshops sessions held on campus or visit svcc.edu/success-workshops to view workshop sessions and print handouts and materials.

Individual Student Success Sessions are designed to help students identify learning strengths and understand how to improve any learning deficiencies. SVCC academic advisors assist students in creating an individualized success plan designed to help accomplish their educational goals.

Testing Center

The Testing Center is available to students for completion of exams for online courses or to make up exams with instructor approval. The Testing Center offers a variety of other exams including College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or DSST proficiency exams to obtain credit for a general education or elective course, and additional certification types of exams.

All SVCC student exams and the placement tests (used for class placement) are delivered on a walk-in basis. Appointments are preferred but not required for these exams. If students are planning to take one of the many other exams offered by the Testing Center, appointments are required. All examinees must present a photo ID before taking any exam. Some exams will require fees and other identification such as social security numbers. For more information, contact the Testing Center (1G04) at 815.835.6530 or visit svcc.edu/testing-center.

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services assists first-generation, low-income, and/or college students with documented disabilities to achieve academic success. This federally funded program provides academic, transfer, career and personal counseling and one-on-one peer tutoring and student success workshops. Benefits include attending college visits and cultural events, personal advising, success skills workshops, tutoring, laptop, iPad and textbook lending programs, and earning additional grant aid. For more information, contact the TRIO office(Student Services Center) at 815.835.6268 or visit svcc.edu/trio.

Veteran Services

Veterans Services at Sauk Valley Community College offers comprehensive services to veterans of the US Military who are interested in furthering their education. The office is comprised of the Veterans Service Coordinator, who is located in Financial Assistance, and the Veterans Representative who is located in Academic Advising. Services include assistance with education benefits, academic planning, re-adjustment services, and referrals. Questions regarding education benefits should be directed to the Veterans Service Coordinator (Student Services Center) at 815.835.6420. Questions regarding academic advising or personal counseling should be directed to the Veteran's Representative at 815.835.6334 (Student Services Center). SVCC has been awarded a "Military Friendly" school designation and takes pride in assisting veterans with their transition into higher education, and ultimately, the workforce. Additional information can be found through clicking the yellow ribbon on SVCC's main web page or visiting svcc.edu/veterans.

Voter Registration

Students wishing to become registered voters can visit the Federal Elections Commission at eac.gov. Once at this web site, go to Resources for Voters and then Register to Vote. Students then download the National Voter Registration Form and send it to a state or local election office for processing. See state-specific instructions included in the form for additional information. Students can also visit other locations in the community to register to vote.