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Accreditation, Goals and Policies


Rappahannock Community College (RCC) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of RCC.

As one of Virginia’s twenty-three community colleges, RCC is approved by the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. The college’s two associate degrees — Arts and Sciences and Applied Science — are approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The associate of applied science degree in nursing (ADN program) and the certificate program in practical nursing (PN program) are approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

The Associate Degree in Nursing Program at RCC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN). Contact the ACEN (formerly NLNAC) at 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326.

The college holds memberships in the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Council of Education, and the Association of Virginia Colleges, and is approved for listing in the U.S. Office of Education directories.

The EMS Programs, Basic and Advanced through Intermediate, are accredited by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.

General Education Goals

RCC degree graduates will demonstrate competency in the following general education areas:

A competent communicator can interact with others using all forms of communication, in order to understand and be understood. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • understand and interpret complex materials;
  • assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally;
  • use standard English;
  • use appropriate verbal and non-verbal responses in interpersonal relations and group discussions;
  • use listening skills;
  • recognize the role of culture in communication.

Critical Thinking:
A competent critical thinker evaluates evidence carefully and applies reasoning to decide what to believe and how to act. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data;
  • recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information;
  • evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue;
  • weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted;
  • determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided;
  • use problem-solving skills.

Cultural and Social Understanding:
A culturally and socially competent person possesses an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the interconnectedness of the social and cultural dimensions within and across local, regional, state, national, and global communities. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • assess the impact of social institutions have on individuals and culture—past, present, and future;
  • describe their own as well as others’ person- al ethical systems and values within social institutions;
  • recognize the impact of arts and humanities upon individuals and cultures;
  • recognize the role of language in social and cultural contexts;
  • recognize the interdependence of distinctive world-wide social, economic, geopolitical, and cultural systems.

Information Literacy:
A person who is competent in information literacy recognizes when in- formation is needed and has the ability to locate, evaluate, and use it effectively (adapted from the American Library Association definition). Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
  • access needed information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into their knowledge base;
  • use information effectively, individually or as members of a group, to accomplish a specific purpose;
  • understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of infor- mation and access and use information ethically and legally.

Personal Development:
An individual engaged in personal development strives for physical well-being and emotional maturity. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • develop and/or refine personal wellness goals;
  • develop and/or enhance the knowledge, skills, and understanding to make informed academic, social, personal, career, and interpersonal decisions.

Quantitative Reasoning:
A person who is competent in quantitative reasoning possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to apply the use of logic, numbers, and mathematics to deal effectively with common problems and issues.

A person who is quantitatively literate can use numerical, geometric, and measurement data and concepts, mathematical skills, and principles of mathematical reasoning to draw logical conclusions and to make well-reasoned decisions. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • use logical and mathematical reasoning with- in the context of various disciplines;
  • interpret and use mathematical formulas;
  • interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables, and schematics and draw inferences from them;
  • use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data;
  • estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reason-ableness;
  • represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts./li>

Scientific Reasoning:
A person who is competent in scientific reasoning adheres to a self-correcting system of inquiry (the scientific method) and relies on empirical evidence to describe, understand, predict, and control natural phenomena. Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument;
  • distinguish a scientific argument from a non-scientific argument;
  • reason by deduction, induction, and analogy;
  • distinguish between causal and correlational relationships;
  • recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.


Students may be required to take one or more tests prior to graduation, which are designed to measure general education achievement, and/or achievement in selected major areas, for the purpose of evaluating academic programs. No minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation.

Test results will remain confidential and will be used for the sole purpose for improving college programs.

RCC Policies 

Learn about policy guidelines regarding Rappahannock Community College, its website, or technology:

RCC Student Policies 

The following are student-specific policies from the RCC Catalog and Student Handbook [PDF]


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