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    May 22, 2024  
2022-23 Academic Catalog 
2022-23 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Information

General Education

General education, as an integrated and cohesive whole, provides the educational foundation necessary to promote intellectual and personal development. Upon completion of the associate degree, graduates of Virginia’s Community Colleges will demonstrate competency in the following core competencies:

Core Competency 1 

Civic Engagement  is the ability to contribute to the civic life and well-being of local, national, and global communities as both a social responsibility and a life-long learning process.  Degree graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and civic values necessary to become informed and contributing participants in a democratic society.

Core Competency 2

Critical Thinking is the ability to use information, ideas and arguments from relevant perspectives to make sense of complex issues and solve problems. Degree graduates will locate, evaluate, interpret, and combine information to reach well-reasoned conclusions or solutions. 

Core Competency 3

Professional Readiness is the ability to work well with others and display situationally and culturally appropriate demeanor and behavior. Degree graduates will demonstrate skills important for successful transition into the workplace and pursuit of further education. 

Core Competency 4

Quantitative Literacy is the ability to perform accurate calculations, interpret quantitative information, apply and analyze relevant numerical data, and use results to support conclusions. Degree graduates will calculate, interpret, and use numerical and quantitative information in a variety of settings. 

Core Competency 5

Scientific Literacy is the ability to apply the scientific method and related concepts and principles to make informed decisions and engage with issues related to the natural, physical, and social world. Degree graduates will recognize and know how to us the scientific method, and to evaluate empirical information. 

Core Competency 6

Written Communication is the ability to develop, convey, and exchange ideas in writing, as appropriate to a given context and audience. Degree graduates will express themselves effectively in a variety of written forms. 

The Honors Program

The Laurel Ridge Community College Honors Program is designed to challenge and reward students who are intellectually motivated and academically able through opportunities for in-depth study and interaction with like-minded students. A student may obtain honors credit by earning credit in an honors section, by fulfilling the honors component in a regular course as specified by the course professor or by completing a special honors seminar. A grade of A or B is required in a course or seminar in order to earn honors credit. Faculty recommendation or approval is required for enrollment in an honors seminar.

Honors credit is noted on the student’s transcript for each course or seminar in which it is earned. Graduating students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher, who have earned honors credit in at least three courses plus one honors seminar (for a total of ten (10) credits) receive the title “Honors Program Scholar” which is designated on their transcript and diploma.

Developmental Studies

English foundations and math essentials courses are offered to meet these needs:

  1. prepare individuals for admission to college programs
  2. assist students already pursuing coursework who are experiencing difficulties or want to improve their efficiency
  3. provide an opportunity for individuals interested in improving their skills in particular areas but are not necessarily enrolled in a program

Students can enroll in courses to meet these three types of needs both during the regular school year and during the summer term.


eLearning (which is an abbreviation for electronic learning) is sometimes referred to as distance learning. eLearning takes place when an instructor and students are separated by physical distance and various technologies are used to bridge the instructional gap. Laurel Ridge Community College offers eLearning in three basic formats: online, hybrid and compressed video.


An online course is a course that uses the Internet exclusively to deliver content and does not have any activities that occur at a single designated time and specified physical location. Online courses are often referred to as Web-based courses. In these courses, 100 percent of the course content is delivered online either through synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous (students and instructors not necessarily online at the same time) communication. These courses allow students the flexibility of completing their coursework using connectivity provided through the Internet. Students enrolled in these courses use an account provided by the VCCS to access the course materials, submit assignments, and communicate via email. Some courses may require attendance for on-campus labs or proctored testing. Such requirements are noted in the Class Schedule.

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid courses blend face-to-face instruction with online instruction and activities. In other words, a hybrid course is a course that uses the Internet to deliver a portion of its content in lieu of traditional classroom hours. Internet access is required since much of the course material, activities, and interaction is accomplished through the VCCS course management system.

Compressed Video (Live Interactive Video)

A compressed video course is sometimes referred to as a live video conference course. These courses are live, real-time courses that meet on campus in a special distance learning classroom. Since the courses are real-time, the days and times of the courses are fixed. A typical distance learning classroom is equipped with multi-way audio and video technology which includes a large display for student viewing, computer for instruction, document camera, DVD player, and phone/fax for support. Students who participate in a compressed video course may be at a physical location for instruction that is different from where their instructor is facilitating the lesson.

For example, the instructor may meet face-to-face with students at the Middletown Campus and connect through video conference to students at the Fauquier Campus and/or the Luray-Page County Center. Synchronous real-time interaction is facilitated through the technology that connects all of the participating sites. In other words, students can hear, see, and speak to the instructor and the instructor, in turn, can interact with the students in the same manner.

Is Online Learning Right for You?

Although there are a number of benefits to online and hybrid learning, the success of students depends highly on good time management, self-discipline and self-motivation. Additionally, online and hybrid learners must have proficiency in computer literacy and competency. In order to help you be a more successful distance learning student, we strongly recommend you examine your learning preferences and technology-related skills before registering for an online or hybrid course. To see if elearning is right for you, take some time to take this Online Self-Assessment.

Old Dominion University - ODUOnline

Laurel Ridge Community College serves as a hub for Old Dominion University and ODUOnline. This interactive distance education program enables students to earn undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees from a fully accredited University without leaving their area of residence. ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Students complete the first two years of coursework through the Virginia Community College System, and then complete the remaining required coursework for the undergraduate degree through ODUOnline. The Middletown Campus hub location provides proctoring services and a computer lab for printing services on site to students in their service region.

Students interested in ODU admission or course registration should contact the ODUOnline Community Engagement Assistant at (540) 869-2948 or by email at The office for ODU is located in the Corron Building at Laurel Ridge Community College’s Middletown campus (Room 209).

Minimum Requirements for Associate Degrees in the VCCS

General Education AA AS AA&S AFA AAA/AAS
Communications 6(a) 6(a) 6(a) 6(b) 3-6
Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature 6(c) 6(c) 6(c) 3-9 3-6
Social/Behavioral Sciences 6(d) 6(d) 6(d) 3-9 3-6
Natural Sciences 4 4-8 4-8 4 0-6(e)
Mathematics 3 3-6 3-6 3 0-6(e)
Institutional Specific General Education Courses 5-6 5-6 5-6 0 0
Total for General Education 30-31 30-38 30-38 19-28 15

 As specified above, degree programs must contain a minimum of 15 semester hours of general education as defined by SACSCOC.

Other Requirements for Associate Degree          
Student Development 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2
Transfer Core(f) (columns 1-4) 27-32 20-32 20-32 34-43  
Career/Technical Courses (column 5)         43-53
Total for Degree 60-63 60-63 60-63 60-63 60-69


(a) Each of the courses in communication must be in written communication.

(b) One course in humanities/fine arts for the Fine Arts major must be a literature course.

(c) Each of the two courses cannot be from the same discipline area (e.g. humanities).

(d) One course in social/behavioral sciences must be a history course and the second required course cannot be history.

(e) A total of 3-6 semester hours is required in either natural sciences and/or mathematics for the AAA and AAS.

(f) Transfer core includes additional general education and/or major courses. 


General Education Courses Approved to Meet General Education Requirements All Programs (excluding Liberal Arts)

ELECTIVES General Studies All Programs (excluding Liberal Arts Degrees)   

Approved Electives for the Liberal Arts Degree

ELECTIVES Liberal Arts Degrees   

Approved STEM Electives

ELECTIVES STEM Science/Technology/Engineering/Math  

Approved General Engineering Electives

Note: Electives listed do not have to be taken in the semester listed but doing so typically keeps a student’s program on track. Since some electives are only offered in a specific semester keeping a program on track is important. It is also important to understand that the electives listed are the only approved electives. Any other courses to be used as technical electives must be approved by the program coordinator and must have sufficient justification for approval.

ELECTIVES General Engineering  

ELECTIVES Engineering and Suggested Electives by Track  

Core Computer Competency Requirements


A minimum level of proficiency in the use of computers and various software applications is essential in today’s technological world. Therefore, Laurel Ridge Community College requires each degree-seeking student to demonstrate proficiency in using a Windows-based operating system, along with components of an integrated productivity software package, including word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and/or communication applications.


The majority of the College’s associate degrees require that students complete a computer course such as ITE 152 Introduction to Digital Literacy and Computer Applications CSC 110 Principles of Computer Science  or equivalent. In lieu of completing a basic computer proficiency course, students may demonstrate proficiency in the core computer competencies. Students who successfully demonstrate proficiency in using a Windows-based operating system along with word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and communications applications may then select an appropriate elective to complete the required credit hours for their degree.

Computer Competency Testing

Laurel Ridge requires many degree-seeking students to demonstrate proficiency in computer operations and software applications. Students may take ITE 152 Introduction to Digital Literacy and Computer Applications CSC 110 Principles of Computer Science , or equivalent. Students may demonstrate proficiency in core computer competencies by passing each of the three sections of the IC3-Internet and Computing Core Certification (Computer Competency Certification Exam). The three sections cover topics in Computing Fundamentals, Key Applications, and Living Online. Each section requires the purchase of an exam voucher. In the event of a student not passing a section, the student is allowed not more than two retakes with the purchase of additional vouchers. There is a one-day waiting period required for the initial retake and a one-day waiting period for the second retake. Students should allow approximately three hours to complete all three exams.

Individuals seeking IC3 certification are required to take and pass all three IC3 exam sections. Each section must receive a passing score to achieve the Laurel Ridge Community College computer literacy requirement. If students don’t pass the exam or if they feel that they need to improve their computer skills, they must take a computer course.

However, after passing the IC3 exam, students neither earn college credit for exam certification nor fulfill computer competency requirements at transferring universities or colleges. Students who successfully demonstrate proficiency may then select an appropriate elective to complete the required credit hours for their degree.

Classification of Programs

Programs offered by the College may be classified both by their purpose and by the degree or certificate to which they lead. College-parallel transfer programs lead to an associate of arts and sciences (AA&S) Degree or an associate of science (AS) degree, which are intended to prepare students for transfer to four-year baccalaureate programs.

Occupational-technical programs, intended to prepare students for specific occupations, lead to an associate of applied science (AAS) degree, a certificate (C) or a career studies certificate (CSC). Following completion of these programs, students may choose to enter the workforce or pursue additional education or training options.

The College reserves the right to withdraw program offerings if there is not sufficient demand or for other appropriate reasons.

Special Course Designations

Some courses in this catalog have special designations, to signal their status as transfer courses, as courses only offered at partner sites, etc. The following is a key to those designations:

Passport Course

Transfer Virginia is an initiative run by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). The purpose of this initiative is to streamline the path from community college to senior institutions of higher education in Virginia. Through this work, transferability and applicability of courses will be consistent for all students in the VCCS regardless of delivering campus or modality. A course designated as a Passport Course is guaranteed to transfer as an equivalent course at any public 4-year institution in Virginia.

Dual Enrollment Only

Community Colleges in Virginia have a strong partnership with K-12 schools. For certain courses, the high school may offer the ability for a student to receive high school credit as well as college credit. This requires that the instructor of the course meet all requirements of the community college system and the course is supervised by the local community college. In some instances, there are courses in our catalog that are currently taught only at the high school. These are listed as Dual Enrollment Only.