Student Handbook - Student Resources
A staff of academic advisors help each individual student plan appropriate courses of study to 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
All degree and certification seeking students are assigned an academic advisor. Login to Student Services then Student Profile to view your advisor information. It is recommended that you meet consistently with your assigned advisor.
Visit svcc.edu/advising for more information.
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/academic-calendar.
Sauk Valley Community College is recognized by the Illinois Community College Board and Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association.
For more information: Contact 800.621.7440 or visit 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 815.835.6273 (Student Services Center) or visit svcc.edu/admissions.
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 (RM.1J01) or visit svcc.edu/adulted.
The College has developed an outstanding program of intercollegiate athletics. Sports programs for women include basketball, cross-country, softball, track & field, tennis and volleyball. Men’s sports programs include basketball, baseball, cross-country, golf, track & field 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 Athletic Director at 815.835.6466 (RM 1F2) or visit svcc.edu/athletics.
- The campus bookstore is operated by Follett, Inc. The bookstore 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 bookstore website offers the option of shopping from home with the items shipped to your home orpick up on campus.
For more information including hours of operation, return policy, book buyback, and payment options, call 815.835.6304 (RM 1E02) or visit bkstr.com/saukvalleyccstore.
Café (Skyhawk Café)
SVCC is very excited about the opening of the new café (RM 2L02) this school year. The café will offer a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items on a rotating basis to keep the menu fun and exciting. Breakfast hours will be 7:30 am - 11:00 am. Lunch service will begin at 11:00 am and serve until 1:00 pm.
SVCC's new food service manager, Quest Food Management Services, is looking forward to a great school year and being a part of the Sauk Valley community. Quest serves fresh, high quality food, with exceptional responsiveness and intense personal service. SVCC is passionate about providing students with high quality food service using wholesome, nutritious ingredients prepared as fresh as possible when served. SVCC along with Quest Food Management Services supports local agriculture and a healthier planet by providing nutritional, flavorful food options.
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 Assistance
- 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 (1M06) 815.835.6294 or visit svcc.edu/bcc/career-services.
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 Director of Business Training and Community Education at 815.835.6212 (RM 1M04) or visit svcc.edu/ced.
Sauk provides professional mental health counseling by licensed therapists who hold to the highest ethical standards of clinical counseling. Students needing mental health support for on-going or crisis circumstances can access confidential SVCC Counseling services by clicking on the “personal counseling request” button at svcc.edu/ssc or calling the confidential line at 815.835.6204. For additional resources including an Online Relaxation Room, visit svcc.edu/counseling.
In the event of an acute crisis, licensed therapists are typically available during office hours. After hours, students experiencing a mental health emergency can contact:
- KSB ER – 403 E 1st St, Dixon
- 800.242.7642 – Sinnissippi Crisis Line
- 800.273.8255 – National Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Text 741741 – Crisis Text Line
Sauk's Counseling services provide peer mentoring by trained SVCC student peers. Peer mentors support students with college adjustment, problem solving, goal setting, time management, and classroom skills. To request a peer mentor, visit svcc.edu/students/advising/peer-mentoring.html
Disability Support Services (DSS)
Disability Support Services provides coordination of services for students with disabilities in their educational and career pursuits while attending SVCC. DSS engages in an interactive process with the student to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations that effectively meet the student's needs. The Director of Disability Support Services acts as a liaison with faculty, staff and referral agencies to support the student's academic goals. In order to receive accommodations, students must meet with the Director each semester.
Students requesting accommodations for documented disabilities are encouraged to contact the DSS early in their enrollment planning. Eligibility and registration for accommodations is independent from registration for classes. For further information contact DSS at 815.835.6220 (RM 1F25) or visit svcc.edu/dss.
Early Alert/Crisis Assistance Team
An Early Alert System supports retention by putting students in contact with appropriate campus resources. This assistance helps students meet their educational goals. SVCC utilizes retention software that identifies student risk indicators. In addition, 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. SVCC advisors and counselors will utilize this information to provide resources and assistance to students.
In conjunction with an 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 the 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
- Enhanced education opportunities are available to successful students through the SVCC Honors Program. Students admitted to this program have the opportunity to enrich one or more college classes by completing an Honors project. For more information, visit svcc.edu/honors.
Sauk Valley Community College provides a unique SVCC identification number that is used for identification and administrative purposes. This identification number is assigned at the time the student information form is processed by Admissions & Records. The student identification number can be found by accessing login information at svcc.edu/login
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 Principal 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. For more information visit svcc.edu/international.
The Learning Commons (RM3L01) offers tutoring, library, and writing services to help students meet their academic goals.
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 drop-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. To access online tutoring, use Ask a Tutor at svcc.edu/tutoring. For further information, contact LCT at 815.835.6293 or visit svcc.edu/tutoring
Learning Commons Library
The Learning Commons Library supports the teaching and scholarship of the College, and promotes lifelong learning in our community. We offer a comprehensive collection of books, audiovisual materials, and periodicals 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 College users. 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 and research. Instruction on a variety of library and research topics is available to small groups by appointment, or in person to individuals by appointment. For more information about any of the mentioned services, contact the library at 815.835.6247 or visit svcc.edu/library.
Learning Commons Writing Center
The Learning Commons Writing Center (RM 3M11) supplements classroom instruction with individual and group tutoring, workshops, and practice sessions for students in all academic departments. Services center on all aspects of writing and reading comprehension. Students are welcome to bring any kind of writing to the Writing Center including application and scholarship personal essays, resumes, cover letters, and all academic writing. Services are offered at a no cost, scheduled appointment basis in a informal and friendly atmosphere on campus and by virtual appointment. Contact the Learning Commons Writing Center at email@example.com, 815-835-6398, or visit svcc.edu/writing center.
Student and community members are provided opportunities to be involved in a number of music and theater activities. The following opportunities exist each semester:
- Concert Band performs concerts each semester.
- Theatre offers major theatrical productions. Casts are selected from open auditions; and productions include drama, comedies, musicals, and one-act plays.
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 Jon Devereueawax at firstname.lastname@example.org (815.835.6393 - RM 3M12) or Audrey Smith at email@example.com for more information.
A. New Student Registration
(certificate or degree-seeking)
New student registration begins two days after continuing student 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 Student Self-service or through Admissions & Records after the following two criteria have been met:
- An advisor approved academic plan completed
- Met with an academic advisor for two semesters (excluding summer) for registration approval
Degree seeking students will be contacted by their assigned academic advisor when 30 hours are earned to verify program of study (major) and to confirm program prerequisites and requirements.
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 Student Self-service.
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, Student Self-service) 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 Student Self-service or through Admissions & Records, as long as the class prerequisites have been satisfied. Contact the Student Services Center at 815.835-6273 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 the Student Services Center at 815-835-6273 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. Students are expected to take full responsibility for making up any missed coursework associated with registering after a class has begun. Registering for a class after the registration change period has passed, while not recommended, will require the student to obtain permission from the instructor and/or instructional dean.
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 through Student Self-service or in Admissions & Records. If a seat becomes available, the student will be notified via SVCC student email. Students should check their SVCC email daily Monday through Thursday for notification of seat availability. 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
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 Community Education for more information at 815.835.6212.
H. Ways to Register
When eligible, students can register in one of two ways:
- Web Registration through Student Self-service
- Through Admissions & Records (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 online at svcc.edu/admissions. 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 a 16 week class, students may initiate a withdrawal from a class by filing a drop form online that will be forwarded to the instructor. 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 after the refund period must notify the Dean of Student Services, complete the withdrawal process, and clear all obligations with the College.
- 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.
S.H.A.R.P. Sauk's Holistic Advising & Retention Program
- The SHARP advising program will help students reach their academic goals. SHARP participants will have access to individualized coaching, support, and the resources needed for success. For more information, contact the SHARP advisor at 815.835.6368 (RM 1D13), or visit svcc.edu/success.
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 (RM 1F19) at 815.835.6432 or visit svcc.edu/student-activities.
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 website or the Student Activities/Cross Cultural Coordinator (1F19) is available at 815.835.6432, or visit svcc.edu/sga.
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
- Explore and clarify academic goals
- Utilize self-service tools
Student Photo Identification Cards
Student photo ID cards are available in Admissions and Records and are valid for the current academic year. New ID cards are issued each academic year starting in the fall semester. Replacement cards are available for a fee.
In compliance with the Student-Right-to-Know federal regulations, SVCC information including academic, financial assistant, institutional, graduation rates, security/crime statistics, and athletic program participation rates/financial support data are available on the College website at svcc.edu/students/right-to-know or contact the Dean of Student Services at 815-835-6305.
Retention, Completion and Transfer Rates Metric Percentage of Students Peer Colleges Fall to Fall Semester Retention Rate
71% 64% Fall to Fall Semester Retention Rate
49% 48% Completion Rate (100%) 26% 26% Completion Rate (150% time) 44% 40% Completion Rate (200% time) 46% 42% Transfer Rate 20% 17% Source: 2020 IPEDS Feedback Report generated from U.S. Department of Education Statistics
For more data about how SVCC is performing, see SVCC’s Strategic Planning Dashboard at svcc.edu/planning-dashboard.
Student Success Workshops provide students with step-by-step strategies to improve skills such as study tips, time management, and financial literacy. Students can either participate in scheduled workshop sessions held on campus or visit svcc.edu/success-workshops to view workshop sessions and print handouts and materials.
The Testing Center offers a variety of exams including College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) for earning general education or elective course college credit by proficiency examination. Additionally, the Testing Center delivers TEAS, GED, and CNA along with a large variety of other certification exams. Please schedule these exams though the appropriate testing authority and choose Sauk Valley Community College as your testing site.
Class placement testing is scheduled by appointment only and delivered using an online synchronous proctored platform or may be completed in the Testing Center upon approval.
All examinees must present a valid photo ID prior to taking any exam. Some exams will require fees and other identification such as social security numbers. For more information, contact the Testing Center (RM 1G04) at 815.835.6530 or visit svcc.edu/testing-center.
TRIO Student Support Services
TRIO is a federally-funded, student-oriented program that offers supportive services to help students achieve success. The services are designed to help students maximize effectiveness and make informed decisions that will lead to a successful graduation and/or transfer. Students are assigned an academic advisor offering students the support necessary to take them from enrollment through graduation and/or transfer. Advisors are dedicated to providing individualized assistance enhancing the academic, professional, and personal potential of the students who participate in the program. Federal Eligibility Guidelines apply.
TRIO provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and provides services such as tutoring, success skill workshops, and transfer visits to motivate students towards the successful completion of their post-secondary education. To find out if you are eligible, call the TRIO Program at 815.835.6268, ask your academic advisor, or visit svcc.edu/trio.
- Since Sauk Valley Community College is not a residential campus, neither general vaccinations nor a phyical are required to attend SVCC.
- 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 815.835.6315. Questions regarding academic advising, personal, social or career services should be directed to the Veteran's Representative at 815.835.6390 (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. SVCC has also signed to support the Principles of Excellence and the 8 Keys to Veteran Success. Policies have been implemented to allow for better service to our student veterans, to follow federal and state regulations, and to handle unique situations that arise for student veterans. These include Advance Registration, In-district Tuition, and Students Called to Active Duty. SVCC adheres to the Veterans Affairs Pending Payment Compliance which adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch.33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA. Additional information can be found by clicking the yellow ribbon on SVCC's main web page or visiting svcc.edu/veterans.
Voter Registration/Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement refers to the ways in which citizens participate in the life of a community in order to improve conditions for others or to help shape the community's future. Volunteering, service-learning, and electoral participation are all forms of civic engagement
Sauk Valley Community College has a strong commitment to civic engagement and assists students in their growth through opportunities that promote positive change. Voting in local, state, and national elections is one of the most important duties of an engaged citizen. To find out more information about voter registration, and the opportunity to apply to bo an election judge, visit svcc.edu/voterregistration.