Student Expectations

Student Expectations

The support and encouragement of family members

is a major factor in student success.

We encourage parents to get and stay involved in your student’s college life from the admissions process through graduation. This section gives an overview of the expectations of students in making a successful transition to college.

Adjusting to Academic Expectations of College

Learning to discipline oneself and manage time are critical adjustments for freshman college students. College classes may meet only every other day, or once a week, but the workload does not diminish. It is suggested that students spend two hours of studying for every one hour in class, balanced with study breaks. Students are encouraged to seek help for academic difficulties.

Students struggling in a class should schedule a meeting with the professor during office hours. They can discuss challenges, note-taking and test-preparation methods, and free tutoring opportunities available to all students. If a student is considering dropping a class, they should meet first with an academic advisor before taking any action.


Click here to learn about classroom attendance policy, exams, grade and grade appeals.

Viewing Student’s grades

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), college students 18 years old and older are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. The College is prohibited from releasing certain information to parents without the permission of the student, grades included. Click here to learn more about FERPA. 

Student Code of Conduct

RVCC strives to foster an environment of mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration. College students are expected to follow educational and social guidelines established by RVCC’s Code of Student Conduct. The College also affirms the rights of its students, faculty, and staff to live, work, and study in an environment free from violence and sexual misconduct.


What is a syllabus?

A syllabus is a guide to a course that generally includes topics to be covered; homework assignments; dates of tests, quizzes, and other projects due; required textbooks and course materials; faculty contact information; and other important information.

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of education records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and provides guidelines for contesting information in these records that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading. College students are considered responsible adults who may determine who will receive information about them. That means that student academic information including grades and academic standing and warnings will be given to the student. College representatives are prohibited from discussing information about a student’s academic record with anyone unless the student signs a waiver that is available at the Office of Enrollment Services.

The student did well in high school. Why are they struggling in college?

Even students who have done exceptionally well in high school find college work challenging. Students spend less time in class and more time in preparation. College professors demand much more, and course material is covered at a faster pace. Good note-taking and study habits are essential.

How can I help a student if they're struggling with academics or a certain class?

If a student is struggling in a class, they should schedule an office meeting with the professor. They can discuss challenges, note-taking and test-preparation methods, and free tutoring opportunities available to all students. The professor can help the student decide if they should continue or drop the class. If your student drops the class, they must officially withdraw from the class by filling out the Add/Drop form and submitting it to the Enrollment Services Office at

What can a student do if they disagree with the grade they are given?

RVCC has a formal grade appeal that starts with the student submitting to the faculty member a written appeal with the rationale for the grade change. The faculty member must respond in writing. If the student disagrees with the finding, they can appeal in writing to the Department Chair and ultimately to the Divisional Dean. The decision of the Division Dean is final.

What is the difference between a degree and a certificate?

An associate degree is awarded at the completion of a two-year program. Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts and Associate of Science degree programs are designed for students who are planning to continue their education at a four-year college or university. Associate of Applied Science programs are designed for students who plan to go directly to work after graduation. RVCC also offers certificate programs, which usually can be completed in a year or less, for students who are looking for specific skills that can lead to employment.

What kind of academic support do you offer?

All professors hold office hours when students can go see them for help. Free tutoring is also available on campus or online through the Tutoring Center.

Are summer classes necessary?

Summer classes can be a good option for students who place in developmental classes or want to reduce their credit load during the Spring and Fall Semesters. Students who place into developmental math are encouraged to take these courses during the summer before their first semester at RVCC in order to stay on track for graduation in two years.