Jun 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


General Admission to MGCC

Mountain Gateway Community College welcomes applications from any person who has a high school diploma or the equivalent or who is 18 years of age and is able to benefit from a program at the College. Students younger than age 18 may be admitted by special arrangement or through the Dual Enrollment program.

VCCS Accepted Diploma Types for High School Equivalency

Advanced Studies

  • Students must complete 24 units of academic work as outlined in the DOE regulations plus 9 verified credits if entered 9th grade before 2011-12.
  • Students must complete 26 units of academic work as outlined in the DOE regulations plus 9 verified credits if entered 9th grade from 2011-12 onward.
  • Students entering 9th grade from 2013-14 onward must also complete a virtual course.
  • Students must complete 26 units of academic work as outline in the DOE regulations plus 5 verified credits if entered 9th grade from 2018-19. In addition, students must train in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). Students must also earn a board-approved career/tech credential and complete a virtual course.


  • Students must complete 22 units of academic work as outlined in the DOE regulations plus 6 verified credits.
  • Students entering 9th grade from 2013-14 onward must also earn a board-approved career/tech credential and complete a virtual course.
  • Beginning with students entering 9th grade in 2013-14, this will also include those previously receiving Modified Standard diplomas and may include modified requirements for students with disabilities on IEPs.
  • Students must complete 22 units of academic work as outline in the DOE regulations plus 5 verified credits if entered 9th grade from 2018-19. In addition, students must train in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). Students must also earn a board-approved career/tech credential and complete a virtual course.

Modified Standard

- not available for students entering 9th grade from 2013 onward

  • Students with a disability, as identified on their IEP, who are unlikely to complete the requirements for a standard diploma.
  • Students must complete 20 units of academic work as outlined in the DOE regulations and demonstrate numeracy and literacy (pass 8th grade math and English).

General Achievement Diploma GAAHSD (formerly GAD)

  • Students must be 18 years of age and not currently enrolled in high school and not subject to the compulsory attendance requirements.
  • Requirements for earning the GAAHSD include prescribed standard units of credit; a passing score on a high school equivalency examination approved by the Virginia Board of Education; and the attainment of a Board-approved career and technical education credential.
  • Standard credits required for the GAAHSD may be earned in a variety of educational settings, including public school; community college or other postsecondary institution; adult high school program; or approved correspondence, distance education, or online courses.

General Education Development Certificates (GED)

  • High School Equivalency (HSE) test by ACE

The below awards DO NOT constitute high school graduation. Therefore, students applying to VCCS colleges must complete an ability to benefit (ATB) test for admissions.

Applied Studies Diploma (formerly Special Diploma)

  • Students with disabilities who complete the requirements of their IEP but don’t meet the requirements for named diplomas.

Certificate of Program Completion

  • Students who complete a prescribed program of studies as defined by the local board but do not qualify for a diploma. These students may or may not have an IEP.

In accordance with the Virginia Department of Education’s website: www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation

How to Apply

The following procedures apply to all degree or certificate seeking students. Please contact Student Services if additional information is needed.

Submit a completed Application for Admission, including completed state residency information. The application is available on the web at www.mgcc.edu.

Forward official transcripts from all high schools, colleges and universities attended. High school transcripts may not be required if the record is over ten years old or the student has completed twenty semester hours (or the equivalent) at a regionally accredited college or university. Waiver of the high school transcript must be approved by the registrar.  Any transcripts not believed to be valid will be researched for consistency and credibility, by the registrar. This may include requiring additional documentation from the appropriate entities.

Graduates who complete secondary school in a home school setting must provide a graduation date and will be required to provide documentation of coursework. The VCCS Student Information System academic records will be sufficient for colleges within the Virginia Community College System.

Complete a direct enrollment survey or provide satisfactory SAT/ACT scores. (For more information, see SAT/ACT Scores section below.)

After individuals have been admitted to the College as degree or certificate seeking students, they will meet with a College advisor (a) to discuss their educational interests, (b) to plan their application for admission to a specific curriculum or program at the College and (c) to schedule courses based on placement test scores. Admitted applicants may be required to submit additional information required by the College for admission to a specific program or curriculum.

For all Non-Curricular seeking students (those who are taking classes which they do not intend to apply toward a degree or certificate), the following completed item is required:

  • An official Application for Admission

NOTE: Check with an advisor in Student Services for more information.

MGCC reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse or revoke admission if the college determines that the applicant or student poses a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the college community, or if such refusal or revocation is considered to be in the best interest of the college. MGCC also reserves the right to refuse admission for applicants that have been expelled or suspended from, or determined to be a threat, potential danger or significantly disruptive by, another college.

Direct Enrollment

Starting with the Fall 2021 semester, MGCC uses Direct Enrollment for determining college readiness in math, reading and writing. Direct enrollment has several key features:

  1. MULTIPLE MEASURES: Direct Enrollment eliminates reliance on the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) by using multiple placement measures such as High School GPA (HSGPA) and college entrance examinations (SAT/ACT/GED) for recent high school graduates. Students may still use a valid VPT test score if previously taken. High School GPA is the most common multiple measure.
  2. COREQUISITE COURSES: Direct Enrollment offers corequisite courses that provide concurrent learning support to help students navigate through gatekeeper math and English courses. Corequisite classes are taken in the same semester as the college-level course and provide additional support in reading, writing and mathematics. The two most common corequisite courses are:
    1. EDE 11 - English Composition Readiness , paired with ENG 111  
    2. MDE 54 - Learning Support for Quantitative Reasoning , paired with MTH 154  .
  3. DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION. Direct Enrollment offers developmental education courses for students who don’t meet the HSGPA or standardized test score “floor” and/or for students who feel that they lack the knowledge and skills to be successful in college English or math after consultation with an advisor. The two most common developmental courses are:
    1. EDE 10 - English Composition Preparation   
    2. MDE 10 - Introduction to Algebra  
  4. DIRECTED SELF-PLACMENT: Direct enrollment provides Directed Self-Placement for adult learners who are more than 5 years from high school graduation. Trusting the judgement of non-traditional adult students on their academic abilities, MGCC advisors assist adult learners in selecting the direct enrollment option that best meets their needs.
  5. ADMISSIONS. In the application process, students will complete the Advising Survey. Recent high school graduates will self-report HSGPA and Algebra 2 enrollment on a questionnaire. MGCC advisors use the results of the Advising Survey to place students.

Direct Enrollment Placement Scores



High School GPA


ACT Eng & Read

GED Score

EDE 10  

Less than 2.0

Less than 400

Less than 15


*ENG 111  + EDE 11  

2.0 - 2.9

400 - 470

15 - 17


ENG 111   

3.0 or higher

480 or above

18 or above


*Some courses in the MGCC Catalog carry the prerequisite, “Readiness to Enroll in ENG 111.” Students who place into ENG 111 + EDE 11 meet this prerequisite.



High School GPA


ACT Eng & Read

GED Score

MDE 10  

Less than 2.0



154 or less

MTH 101-133
*MTH 154  + MDE 54  
MTH 155  + MDE 55  

2.0 - 2.9 AND without HS Algebra 2




MTH 154 

MTH 155   

3.0 or higher AND without HS Algebra 2


17 or above

165 or above

MTH 161  

3.0 or higher AND WITH HS Algebra 2

500 or above

18 or above


*Some courses in the MGCC Catalog carry the prerequisite, “Readiness to Enroll in MTH 154 .” Students who place into MTH 154  + MDE 54  meet this prerequisite.

Selective Admissions and Technical Standards

In addition to the general admission requirements, the MGCC Practical Nursing Certificate program and the Associate Degree Nursing Program have selective admissions requirements that student must meet in order to be admitted. All Associate of Applied Science degree programs have identified technical standards or essential functions that students must be able to fulfill in order to meet program learning outcomes. Admission to the College does not necessarily admit the student to a particular curriculum.

The specific requirements for each curriculum are listed in the Programs of Study section of this catalog. Persons who do not initially meet the requirements for a specific curriculum or course may be eligible for entrance at a later time after completing the appropriate developmental studies.

Admission to Courses

Admission to specific courses is available only when the student meets the prerequisite requirements for the course as identified in the Course Descriptions or Programs of Study sections. Some courses are open only to students in particular programs. Contact an advisor for information.

Admission to Online Courses

Students must comply with all individual course prerequisites established in this document. It is the responsibility of the student to review course prerequisites when making enrollment decisions. Students are not eligible to take courses for which they do not meet the prerequisites and the College reserves the right to administratively remove them if they attempt to do so.

Administrative overrides to course prerequisites must be approved by the program head or the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Admission to Non-Credit/Special Interest Courses

Persons applying for non-credit/special interest courses do not necessarily have to meet College admission requirements.

Admission of Veterans/Members of the Military

Many of the College’s programs are approved by the State Department of Education for payment of veterans’ benefits. The Veteran’s Affairs Officer, will assist students in applying for Veterans’ benefits and will certify students’ enrollment to the Department of Veterans Affairs for payment. Requests for benefits should be directed to the Veterans’ Affairs Officer. It is the lawful obligation of the Veterans’ Affairs Officer to monitor the veteran’s academic program and to inform the Veterans’ Administration promptly of such matters as poor attendance, unsatisfactory progress and lapses in enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Veterans’ Affairs Officer immediately of any change in status.

Veteran students are reminded that in order to receive benefits for a course, the course must be applicable to their approved program of study, as outlined in this catalog. All veterans must fill out the Veterans’ Request for Certification Form each semester they register in order to continue to receive benefits.

Admission of Senior Citizens

Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver/Credit Courses

Criteria to qualify for Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver for Credit Courses:

  • Legally domiciled resident (12 months) in Virginia
  • 60 years of age or older Annual taxable income not to exceed $23,850 (regardless of marital status**) for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought (may require Virginia tax form for proof of compliance)
  • Have been admitted to the College as a student
  • Waiver forms (Tuition Assistance Agreement for Senior Citizens) are available in Student Services or the Business Office
    NOTE: A nonpaying senior citizen may be withdrawn from a class (even after it has begun) if space is needed for a paying student who may register during the add/drop period. Senior citizen has the option of paying for and remaining in the class.

Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver/Non-credit Courses

Criteria to qualify for Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver for Audit/Non-Credit Courses (maximum 3 courses per semester and based on availability, with tuition-paying students receiving first priority):

  • Legal domicile in Virginia for 1 year
  • 60 years of age or older
  • Have been admitted to the College as a student
  • Waiver forms (Tuition Assistance Agreement for Senior Citizens) are available in Student Services or the Business Office
    NOTE: Senior citizens are responsible for fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials and lab fees. NOTE: If tax forms are requested the form will be returned to student and will NOT be copied in any way.

    **If the senior citizen filed a joint return with another person, the total income on the form is considered the individual income for tax and tuition purposes.

Admission of International Students

MGCC does not admit international students possessing F,M, or J visas. Other visa-holders will be considered for admission in accordance with institutional policies and procedures and the guidelines of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

All visa-holders seeking admission must present copies of the I-94, applications of admission and other required information to the Domicile Officer at MGCC at least 45 days prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll. MGCC reserves the right to accept or reject credit recommendations that are noted on foreign credential evaluations.

Admission of High School Students

Students enrolled in high school who meet all course prerequisites may be admitted to MGCC under one of the admission programs described below. In general, students who participate in these programs are at least 16 years old and/or have reached junior status. MGCC is prohibited from enrolling public or private high school or home school students in developmental studies.

Dual Enrollment

“Dual Enrollment” gives high school students (including home schooled students) the opportunity to earn college credits while meeting the requirements for high school graduation. If qualified, a dual enrollment student may take courses at any MGCC location or may take special courses that meet all MGCC academic requirements at their local high school. College credits earned at MGCC may meet the high school’s graduation requirements may be applied toward graduation at MGCC, and may be transferred to another college or university. For dual enrollment admission, the student must obtain permission from a parent/guardian, the high school guidance counselor (if enrolled in high school), and appropriate Student Services personnel. Details are available from Student Services, high school guidance offices, and the MGCC Early College Access Coach. VCCS Policy prevents dual enrollment students from enrolling in developmental classes. MGCC policies on dual enrollment reflect National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) standards as shown in VCCS Policy 6.7.

Early College Pathway Program

The Early College Pathway Program allows high school students to jumpstart their college career. Students will begin to earn credentials that are required by most employers for entering the workforce and having opportunities to advance on a career pathway. Motivated students who meet eligibility requirements may have the opportunity to complete an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree in General Studies (or Science for Jackson River Governor’s School students) through Mountain Gateway Community College. By following specific guidelines for scheduling courses that meet both high school graduation and MGCC degree requirements, students may graduate from high school and MGCC at the same time. Information is available in the guidance office of each participating high school. Students and families may be able to save a considerable amount of money with the cost of earning a college degree by choosing this option.

Concurrent Enrollment

“Concurrent Enrollment” is the enrollment of high school students (including home schooled students) in college courses for which they are receiving college credit but are not receiving high school credit. It gives students who do not need additional high school credits the ability to begin their college careers early, enjoying the challenge of college courses. For concurrent enrollment admission, the student must obtain permission from a parent/guardian, the high school guidance counselor (if enrolled in high school), and appropriate Student Services personnel. Details are available in Student Services or in the high school guidance office.

Admission of Home-Schooled Students

MGCC welcomes home schooled students! Applicants will generally be at least 16 years old and comply with the following procedures.

  • Applicants will provide a current copy of a completed and signed home schooled agreement between the appropriate school system and the authorizing parent or guardian.
  • An applicant whose home schooling does not require a home-schooled agreement will generally be 18 years of age and able to demonstrate the ability to benefit from a program at the College as determined by an appropriate score on the placement test or the SAT or ACT test. If the applicant is not yet 18 years old, they must submit a letter from the school board in the district where they are registered as a home-schooled student which confirms that they are of junior or senior status. Students under 16 years of age will not be admitted.
  • Applicants will submit a college application and meet with a college advisor for course approval.
  • Applicants may be required to complete placement testing in mathematics, writing and/or reading.
  • Regular tuition rates apply.

Admission of Convicted Sexual Offenders Policy

MGCC Policy Related to Legislation Regarding Admissions

Section 23-2.2:1 of the Code of Virginia requires that the VCCS send enrollment information to the Virginia State Police concerning applicants to institutions of higher education. This information is transmitted electronically and compared against the Virginia Criminal Information Network and National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry. Language on the web application informs applicants that their information is being transmitted to the State Police.

In the event that the State Police determine that an applicant or an enrolled student who has attended at least one class meeting at any Mountain Gateway Community College location is listed on the Sex Offender Registry, the State Police will notify a local law enforcement agency who will notify MGCC.

When the college receives such a notification:

  • The applicant will be denied admission to MGCC in accordance with its admission policy as published in its catalog:
    Admission Denied/Revoked: Admission to the college, or to college functions or activities, will be denied or revoked to individuals who have demonstrated unsafe and/or disruptive conduct.

If the applicant has already registered for classes and attended at least one class meeting at any MGCC location before the college receives notification from the State Police, the student will be immediately informed that he/she is being administratively withdrawn from classes and will receive a refund. The offender’s name will be listed on the main website along with a link to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry per the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

  • The student who has attended at least one class meeting may invoke his/her right to an appeal.

Appeal Process for the Withdrawal for a Convicted Sex Offender

When a convicted sex offender is administratively withdrawn from classes at Mountain Gateway Community College, he/she may invoke the following appeal process:

  • The withdrawn offender will receive a letter from the Director of Student Services stating his/her denial of admission or administrative withdrawal.
  • The withdrawn offender may write a letter of appeal to the Director of Student Services in which he/she provides the following information:
    • Disclosure of the nature of the offense for which he/she has been convicted.
    • Justification for consideration of admission/reinstatement; Statement acknowledging his/her understanding that his/her identity and status as a convicted sex offender will be publicized on the college campus in accordance with federal and state law if he/she is admitted or reinstated.

      Note: If a student is appealing a denial of admission or an administrative withdrawal, he/she must submit the letter of appeal to the Director of Student Services within seven (7) calendar days of the denial or administrative withdrawal.

A team of administrators will review the information submitted and make a decision by a simple majority vote within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the letter of appeal. The Director of Student Services will serve as the moderator of the panel and will be a voting member of the panel only in the event of a tie vote.

The Director of Student Services will inform the withdrawn offender by letter of the decision of the appeals panel. The decision of the appeals panel shall be final.

If an offender has been denied admission or withdrawn from courses, he/she is encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Services to discuss further education options.

Sex Offender Registry

The MGCC campus community is advised that the following site may be accessed to obtain information on registered sex offenders: VA Sex Offenders. This site, maintained by the Virginia State Police, provides information about registered sex offenders in the geographical area served by Mountain Gateway Community College (as well as anywhere in Virginia). Once the web site is reached, click on “sex offender registry” for relevant information. Information about offenders who are enrolled as students may be obtained through Student Services.

Currently Enrolled Registered Sex Offenders

To comply with federal mandates, MGCC must inform the public of registered sex offenders who are attending classes at MGCC. The individuals listed below will also be hyperlinked to their entries in the sex offender registry itself.

**None are known to be enrolled this semester** Additional Information is available on the MGCC Web Site.

Residency Requirements

A Domicile Officer in Student Services is responsible for determining residency, and guidance will be sought where there is a question regarding a student’s residency status. Applicants must submit a residence affidavit to determine residency for tuition purposes.

State law does not permit discretion in determining Virginia residency status. Classification must be decided solely by reference to a student’s domicile. Domicile is a technical legal concept and is determined objectively by established legal rules which must be applied impartially. Mere physical presence or maintenance of a residence does not confer domiciliary status.

The following general rules are used in determining domicile: (1) a person’s domicile is the place where he or she resides with the unqualified intention of remaining permanently; (2) persons must demonstrate that they have been domiciled in Virginia for one year immediately prior to the commencement of the semester for which they are seeking Virginia residency status. Two of the following documents must be presented as evidence of the one-year residency status:

  • Current year Virginia income tax statement
  • Virginia driver’s license
  • Virginia vehicle registration
  • Virginia voter registration card

Parents of students 18 years of age or less must have been domiciled in Virginia for one year. After age 19 residency is normally determined by the individual student’s domicile and not the parents’ because the age of majority in Virginia is 18. If the student, regardless of age, is a “dependent student” as defined for income tax purposes, then the student may claim the domicile of either parent. Students residing in the country on a temporary or education visa are not considered permanent residents of Virginia. These are general rules, to which there are exceptions and qualifications.

When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum or course, first priority is given to qualified students who are residents of the political subdivisions supporting the College, if such students apply for admission to the program a reasonable length of time prior to registration. The priority list is as follows: (1) residents of the political subdivisions supporting the College; (2) other Virginia residents; (3) out-of-state and foreign students.

Domicile/Tuition Appeal Process

Entitlement to in-state tuition charges is based on domicile status, not residency. In cases where the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Guidelines explicitly deny a student eligibility for in-state tuition rates, the student cannot appeal the decision.

Level I: Since tuition appeals should be settled promptly, a verbal appeal should be made with the MGCC Domicile Officer within 10 business days following the time the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the tuition status.

Level II: The student may appeal the disposition of Level I by filing an appeal in writing with the Director of Student Services within five business days following the Level I decision. The appeal will be reviewed within 15 business days and the student will be advised in writing within five business days of the decision.

Level III: The student may appeal the disposition of Level II by filing an appeal in writing with the Vice President of Academic Affairs within five business days following the time the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the tuition status determined in Level II. (Consult Student Services for the name and contact information of the chair of the Committee.) The Student and Community Services Committee Chair will communicate in writing within 30 business days the decision of the Committee.

Level IV: The disposition of Level III may be appealed in writing to the President of MGCC within five business days following the time the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the tuition status determined in Level III. The President’s decision is the final step in the appeals process and may not be appealed. The President will inform the student of the decision in writing within 15 business days.

If the student is not satisfied with the final administrative decision, the student has the right to review in the appropriate circuit court.

Disability Support Services

MGCC is committed to the goal of providing each qualified student an equal opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of a disability. Efforts will be made toward providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA January 2009).

In order to qualify for accommodations, the student must provide clear and specific evidence from a qualified professional that documents a formal diagnosis of a disability. Except in certain cases, the documentation can be no older than three years. Students with current documentation of a disability that would affect academic progress should contact Student Services at (540) 863-2820.

Mountain Gateway Community College is committed to making its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) accessible to individuals with disabilities by meeting or exceeding the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires agencies, during the procurement, development, maintenance, or use phases of ICT, to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to and use of ICT information and data comparable to the access and use afforded to individuals without disabilities (i.e., “ICT accessibility”), unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The Section 508 standards are the technical requirements and criteria used to measure ICT accessibility conformance within this law. Additional information on Section 508 can be found at the following website - https://www.section508.gov/manage/laws-and-policies. If you have comments and/or questions related to DSLCCs Section 508 program or if you have concerns related to the Section 508 ICT accessibility of any content or the user interface on this website, please e-mail helpdesk@mgcc.edu. Where applicable, please include the web address or URL and the specific accessibility barrier(s) you are encountering.

Transferring from Other Colleges

MGCC welcomes students who wish to transfer credits from another college. Potential transfer students must have an official copy of the transcript from each previously attended college sent to the MGCC registrar prior to consulting an advisor in Student Services for an assessment of credits. At the discretion of the registrar, students transferring credits to MGCC from other Virginia community colleges may not be required to provide a transcript, as course and enrollment history may be available via MGCC’s computerized files. MGCC accepts credit from regionally accredited colleges where equivalency of course material is demonstrated, provided the credits are applicable to the student’s MGCC program. No credit will be given for courses with grades lower than “C.” A transfer student may be advised to repeat courses if it is clearly to his or her advantage to do so in order to make satisfactory progress in the chosen curriculum. Only those credits or courses applicable to the MGCC program will be officially applied to the student’s record. The determination of the amount of credit which will transfer will be shared with the student as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the first academic term in which he/she is enrolled.

Usually, a student eligible to return to the College from which he or she is transferring is eligible for admission to MGCC.

Students who are ineligible to return to a previous college due to academic reasons generally will not be allowed to enroll in the same curriculum in MGCC until one semester has elapsed or until an approved preparatory program at MGCC is completed. The admission of students who are ineligible to return to their previous college for non-academic reasons will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The Vice President of Academic Affairs or a designee will decide on each case and usually shall impose special conditions for the admittance of such students, including placement on academic probation.

Transfer Credits for Military Training

MGCC welcomes students who wish to transfer credits from previous military training. Students must submit a copy of their DD214 or obtain an official copy of their military transcript from either the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), or the Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS at aarts.army.mil) or the Sailor/ Marine Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART at smart.navy.mil) which will detail their previous training and the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendation on the number of transfer credits that they should be awarded for this training. In most cases, students will receive a minimum of 2 credits for HLT 100 - First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation  and 2 credits of PED electives for their basic training. Students who request that credit be awarded for program-specific knowledge, skills and/or experience that they have previously acquired will require the approval of the appropriate program head and/or division dean. After approval is granted, the student may then discuss with an academic advisor how the credit may apply toward the completion of a certificate or associate degree.

Waiver of Requirements

Students who have reason to believe that previous educational studies, training programs or work experience may entitle them to an adjustment in the course requirements for a particular curriculum should contact Student Services to determine procedures before registering for classes. All waivers must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or a designee.

Credit for Prior Learning Information

MGCC adheres to the philosophy that educational development (knowledge and/or expertise gained), regardless of how or where it occurred, is worthwhile and worthy of recognition. Therefore, curriculum students may receive credit for prior learning for demonstrated proficiency within a particular program or course sequence. Credit for prior learning is the administrative placement of a student beyond the basic course in a program, allowing college credit for mastery of subject matter and/or other appropriate training, upon the submission of transcripts showing previous academic study, evidence of occupational experience or credit by exam. There is no credit-hour charge for credits earned in this manner. For more information, please contact MGCC Student Services.

Credits earned by examination may be applied toward meeting degree and/or certificate requirements, but neither grades nor grade points will be awarded. A “credit-by-examination” notation will be included on a student’s official transcript for each course completed in this manner. It should be noted that, although an increasing number of colleges are accepting credits earned by examination for transfer purposes, not all colleges have adopted this policy. It is the responsibility of the student to acquire information on transfer policies at the institution he or she plans to attend.

Credit for prior learning may be attained in the following ways:

  • Certification of Competency: Students entering from a secondary vocational program may be eligible for credit for prior learning in certain occupational-technical programs based on certification of a competency (skill) level by the previous vocational teacher. Fundamental skills in selected topics are offered at the area’s career and technical education centers. Credit for prior learning is based on informal as well as formal articulation agreements with local educational agencies in the MGCC service area. Students interested in this method of advanced placement should contact the advisor, respective program head or Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Examinations: (AP, IB, CLEP, Cambridge): Upon Receipt of official test scores, MGCC shall accept a score of three (3) and higher for Advanced Placement (AP) courses, a score of four (4) or higher for higher level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, a score of five (5) or higher for standard level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, fifty (50) or higher on CLEP courses, and scores of C or better for Cambridge Advanced (A/AS) examinations when the equivalent course is offered by the college. MGCC assumes no responsibility regarding the acceptance of credit for prior learning by other institutions to which the student may transfer.
  • Credit for Military Service Experience and Education: Credit may be allowed for courses completed in military service schools if such credit is recommended in the American Council on Education’s Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services and if the work is applicable to the student’s program of study. To receive this credit, the student must submit the appropriate documentation and an evaluation request to the appropriate academic advisor. Veterans may also receive a waiver of credit for physical education requirements by submitting a discharge certificate or other appropriate certification. This waiver carries no credit, so the student must substitute elective credits to meet the total requirements for their curriculum.
  • Locally Constructed Examinations for Prior Learning Credit: Tests prepared by MGCC faculty are available for several MGCC courses. The College will grant specific course credit for acceptable performance on these locally prepared examinations. Students interested in participating in this credit-by-examination program should consult their advisor and/or the appropriate division dean. There is no fee for locally constructed tests.
  • Specialized Training: Successful completion of armed forces schooling, industrial apprenticeship programs, Virginia law enforcement training agencies, Certified Professional Secretaries’ exam and Certified Legal Secretaries’ exam may merit credit. Individuals who can provide official documents certifying successful completion of the above programs (exams), who have declared a major in a MGCC degree or certificate program and who are currently enrolled in classes applicable to the program may request credit for prior learning. The number of credit hours awarded is based upon formal documentation and agreements in force through the VCCS or locally. Students interested should contact an advisor, respective program head or division dean.

The institution awards academic credit for course work taken on a noncredit basis only when there is documentation that the noncredit course work is equivalent to the designated credit experience. Students may be referred to the appropriate department for a locally constructed examination at which point the policy for a locally constructed examination applies.

Transfer Between Curricula

As students proceed in their studies, they may decide to change a program or curriculum. In such cases, the student should make an appointment with an advisor to arrange for any necessary testing or other requirements. No changes in program or curriculum may be made without the recommendation of an advisor or, in select programs, the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Transfer to Other Institutions

Depending on the program of study, MGCC students may transfer credits to a four-year institution. MGCC has many Guaranteed Admissions Agreements with four-year colleges and universities; these agreements provide for a smooth transfer for students who meet specific requirements. Consult an academic advisor in Student Services for information on Guaranteed Admissions Agreements.

A student who is interested in transferring to another college should work closely with that college’s advisor to ensure that MGCC courses will transfer. Students should become familiar with the requirements of their chosen major at the four-year college and should work with a MGCC academic advisor in choosing courses. MGCC maintains a file of catalogs of many four-year institutions. While the academic advisor will attempt to guide a student into the right courses, the ultimate responsibility belongs to the student.

International Transcript Evaluation

Individuals who have completed university coursework at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain evaluation of international transcripts, degrees, and other relevant documents through a transcript evaluation service in order to receive transfer credit for these courses at MGCC. These organizations are private enterprises which charge a fee for their services. Individuals pursuing an international transcript evaluation must follow the procedures outlined by the organization providing the evaluation. In all instances, original, official documentation will be required when requesting the evaluation.

MGCC does not officially endorse any of the transcript services. Numerous providers are available and are located on the web.

If you have any questions about transcript evaluation, please contact an Academic Advisor in Student Services (540) 863-2820.

Associate of Arts and Sciences Programs

The Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree Programs are designed for students who plan to complete a baccalaureate degree program at a four-year institution. An academic advisor in Student Services will assist the student in the selection of an appropriate institution and aid in the interpretation of requirements.

Associate of Applied Science Programs

The Associate of Applied Science Degree Programs are designed as two-year programs preparing for employment in specific career fields. However, many four-year institutions do accept credits earned in such programs when a student transfers into a comparable technical program. Students interested in transferring to a four-year institution after enrolling in an A.A.S. program should work closely with their advisor to identify four-year institutions that will accept these credits and to ensure that they enroll in general education courses which are transferable.

Guaranteed Admissions/Articulation Agreements

Mountain Gateway Community College and the Virginia Community College System have entered into guaranteed admissions/articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities. These agreements may entitle students to certain benefits, including:

  • Status as a junior similar to students who began as freshmen (native students) Equal access to financial aid, scholarships, and housing availability.
  • Equal access to junior level classes which may have enrollment limits.
  • Access to academic advisors who maintain a relationship with students during their freshman and sophomore years at MGCC.
  • Admission to certain student activities at the four-year institution while they are still attending MGCC.

Under the terms of these guaranteed admissions/articulation agreements, students must follow certain guidelines, such as adhering to the institution’s deadline for declaring their intention to enroll and maintaining a specified grade point average.

Students interested in participating in the guaranteed admissions/articulation agreements should contact MGCC’s Student Services for details and requirements, which vary by institution.


A student may request that a copy of his/her student permanent record from MGCC be forwarded to other educational institutions, state or federal agencies, employers or any person designated by the student. To order your official MGCC transcript, please visit http://www.mgcc.edu/official-transcripts-and-records.

Due to student information limitations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380), telephone and third-party requests for transcripts cannot be honored.

During periods of high volume there will be a three (3) day waiting period on requests. Students with immediate needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Release of Student Information

All requests for official information about students should initially be referred to the registrar. Student records are treated as confidential information as provided by the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Sec. 438, Pub.L. 90-247 as amended. Information from student records cannot be released (with very limited lawful exceptions) except to the student who may authorize release.

The colleges of the VCCS will share student education records in accordance with current and any future amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations. Specifically, colleges must receive permission from the student to share information, except for a situation where the student seeks or intends to enroll at another college within the VCCS. The ability to disclose personal data for this situation is allowed under 34 CFR 99.31(a) (2) and 99.34(FERPA). Colleges will ensure that all data transfers among colleges of the VCCS, related to this policy, are based on business processes approved by the Chancellor.

Employees of the College may have access to student records when acting in the student’s educational interest and within the limitations of their need to know. These persons may include faculty, academic advisors and personnel in Student Services.

In accordance with HB1 and section 22.1-287.1 of the Code of Virginia, effective July 1, 2018, information previously considered directory information e.g., name, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, degrees and awards received, number of credits for which the student is enrolled, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended, can no longer be released without affirmative consent from students.

Emergency requests for information will be handled by the College’s Registrar after consultation with the Director of Student Services. Students have the right to inspect, review and challenge the information contained in their own records.

Retention of Student Records

The College retains student records in accordance with the policies established by the State Library of Virginia. The College will retain on a permanent basis an official record of a student’s academic history (transcript).

The College also will maintain a separate student academic folder which may include, but not be limited to, the following: application forms, standardized test results, drop/add forms and faculty grade reports. Information contained in the student academic folder will be retained in accordance with the aforementioned policy and may be destroyed three years from the date of the student’s separation from the College.