Student Handbook


You are about to take the first step to one of the great adventures in life—going to college. You may feel nervous and even intimidated. You may wonder where you will fit in, who your friends will be, and how you’ll ever find your way around this big campus. That’s where this handbook comes in.

Every student comes to college with expectations, but the experience is rarely exactly what they thought it would be. That’s true whether you’re the first in your family to attend college, or have siblings or parents who went to college. Every student’s experience is unique. And every student belongs here— especially you.


When you first arrive on campus, you’ll hear people using terms you may not know. So let’s get comfortable with the vocabulary before you get here. Here are some commonly used terms at YVC.

Academic Calendar: The academic calendar is a list of important dates for the school year and includes Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarter dates. Here is where you will find withdraw/add dates, holidays and breaks, withdrawal deadlines, tuition due dates and exam dates. It can be found on the Registration website.

Academic Dismissal: Students who return from prior suspension and fail to make satisfactory academic progress in the next quarter attended shall be dismissed from the college, subject to appeal.

Academic Plan: All certificate or degree-seeking students must establish that they are prepared to succeed in their chosen educational program by working toward an Academic Plan. Upon completion of 30 college-level credits, students who have not declared a program or a major area of study will be required to meet with their advisor to do so.

Academic Probation: Students will be placed on academic probation when they fail to make satisfactory academic progress in a quarter. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress is when a student’s GPA falls below the minimum standard of 2.0 or is assigned 10 or more credits of V grades in one quarter. See “Administrative Withdrawal” for more information.

Academic Status: This is the status of a student with respect to academic performance. A student may be in Good Standing with a cumulative average of 2.0 or higher, on Academic Probation with a cumulative average below a 2.0, on Continued Probation if you remain on probation for more than one semester, or Dismissed after several semesters on probation.

Academic Suspension: Students who have been placed on academic probation and who fail during the next quarter of attendance to make satisfactory progress shall be suspended for one academic quarter.

Add/Withdraw: The period of time at the beginning of each quarter when students can change the courses they registered for without incurring a penalty. At YVC, Add/Withdraw takes place in the first week of classes. Students should always talk to their advisor and the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing or adding classes.

Administrative Withdrawal: When a faculty member withdraws a student from class. A ‘V’ is placed on the student’s transcript.

Admissions: is the process of applying and being accepted to the college. This department also evaluates transcripts if you have credits to transfer from another college.

Advisor: Your advisor is the person who helps you make decisions about courses you need to take to graduate, refers you to help on campus when you need it, answers your questions about college and explains college policies. Advisors are here to guide you through the curriculum and help you to understand how to make good course choices. All full-time faculty are also advisors, so if you have a teacher you would like to be your advisor you can ask them.

Associate Degree: College degree usually awarded after two years of prescribed study in a major area. YVC offers an Associate in Arts DTA, Associate in Arts-BSN Degree, Associate in Business DTA, Associate in Science Track 1, Associate in Science Track 2, and an Associate in General Studies. YVC also offers several Associate of Applied Science Degrees. In total over 55 degrees and 100 certificates are available to students.

Audit: Attend a class without receiving academic credit for it. If you wish to audit a class, you must get permission from the instructor. Audited classes do appear on your transcript, and you will be charged for them.

Award Letter: When you have completed your FAFSA, WASFA, and any additional special funding applications and the money has been awarded, you will receive an email (your award letter) with instructions to log in to the Student Portal to view the amount of money you have been awarded.

Bachelor’s Degree: College degree usually awarded after four years of prescribed study in a major area. YVC offers five Bachelor of Applied Science programs in Agricultural Sciences, Business Management, Dental Hygiene, IT Networking System Administration and Teacher Education.

Blocks: Blocks that keep you from registering for classes can be placed on your account for a variety of reasons including unpaid fees or student conduct infractions.

Canvas: The Canvas Learning Management Platform (LMS) is a learning management system used by YVC, but you can think of it as your digital classroom. It’s where students go for lessons, assignments, and content. It’s where you can interact with your teachers and classmates, submit work, take quizzes, and track your grades and performance.

Certificate: College certificates allow students to obtain expertise in a field without investing the time needed to earn a degree. YVC has over 100 certificate options that vary in length depending on program. Upon completion of a college certificate program, students generally receive a certificate of completion.

Co-requisite: A course that must be taken at the same time as another course; for example, a Chemistry lab may be a co-requisite to a Chemistry lecture class.

Counseling: YVC’s Counseling & Advising Center provides academic advising, career planning and personal counseling. Counselors are trained professionals who can help students with personal problems affecting their wellbeing and success. Some common areas of support include balancing school, work and family, coping with stress, dealing with anxiety or depression, relationship problems, managing anger, drug and alcohol counseling and gender or sexuality.

Course Load: The total number of courses/credit hours you are enrolled in per quarter.

Credit Hour: A credit hour is a unit of credit for a course, and is usually based on the number of hours per week in class. Most classes are five credit hours, but some are worth more or less. In order to be enrolled full time, you must take 12 credit hours or more per quarter.

ctcLink: A tool that gives students anytime, anywhere access to conduct their college business, including registering for classes, paying tuition, financial aid processes and more.

Curriculum: The sequence of courses in a program of study that leads to receiving a degree in a particular major.

Dean’s List: An honor reserved for students who earn a quarterly grade point average of 3.40-3.84. A minimum of 12 graded credits must be taken per quarter.

Degree Pathway: YVC offers six groups of related degrees and certificates called Degree Pathways ( Associated with each pathway is a team of academic advisors who assist students in meeting educational goals.

Degree Requirements: Most associate degrees require 90 credits. You cannot complete a degree without completing the degree requirements for your major.

Discipline: An academic field of study.

Dismissal: The process of denying enrollment to a student for a prescribed length of time when the student has not been able to meet the academic standards.

Elective: A class you choose to take that is not required for your major. Most majors have some room in their degree program for elective classes. They are an opportunity for you to study something that interests you outside your major.

Experiential Learning: Experiential learning gives students hands-on opportunities to connect their academic foundations to the world beyond the classroom through creative endeavors, internship and leadership opportunities, faculty-mentored research, and service-learning.

Extracurricular Activities: Activities outside the scope of academics, but often campus- oriented such as clubs, sports and student programs.

FAFSA: This acronym stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and is the basic form you must fill out to receive financial aid from the federal government to pay for college. The Financial Aid Office can help you with this process.

FERPA: This acronym stands for Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA affords students the right to inspect and review their education records, request the correction of inaccurate or misleading records, and consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record.

Grade Point Average (GPA): Is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.

Grant: Financial assistance that does not have to be paid back, for instance the Pell Grant.

Handshake: The Handshake app helps students find jobs and internships, connect with 400,000+ employers, and explore career options — and it’s free for anyone attending Yakima Valley College.

Hardship Withdrawal: When a student experiences a medical, financial or family crisis that seriously affects the student’s academic performance, they may seek a hardship withdrawal and be removed from all classes for the quarter without penalty to their grades.

ITV: Interactive television (also known as ITV or iTV) is a form of media convergence, adding data services to traditional television technology. YVC offers ITV courses for classes between the Yakima and Grandview campuses. Reference Zoom for more information.

Loans: Student loans are a form of federal financial aid that has to be paid back. YVC participates in the Direct Loan Program, a low-interest, federal loan program. There are two forms of Federal Direct Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Unsubsidized Loans begin to accrue interest at the time of disbursement.

Major: A major is a student’s chosen field of study.

Minor: A minor is a secondary field of study that requires fewer hours. Students do not earn a degree in their minor, but it is noted on their transcript.

New Student Orientation (NSO): A program that introduces newly admitted students to YVC and its academics, customs, traditions and opportunities. At NSO, new students will learn about: The Student Code of Conduct, degrees and programs offered at YVC, academic pathways and advising, college catalog, important date calendars, academic resources, financial aid, tuition, textbooks and parking. NSO is required for all new students with less than 30 college level credits.

Office Hours: The time set aside by instructors to meet with their students and answer questions. Office hours are usually at a set time every week. You can usually find an instructor’s office hours on their syllabus. These may change from quarter to quarter.

Pathway Advising: Pathway Advising groups related degrees and certificates. Pathway Advising helps you make an academic plan and focus your time at YVC. When you choose a pathway, you choose a group of advisors who are experts on those degrees and certificates. YVC’s degrees and certificates are organized into six pathways including Arts and Humanities, Business, Healthcare, Social Sciences and Education, STEM, and Exploratory.

Pell Grant: A Federal financial aid grant that does not have to be paid back as long as the student was and remains eligible for it. Pell grants are designed for low income students.

Placement Assessments or Tests: Are used by the institution to gauge a student’s level of proficiency in a subject area in order to place them in the next level of coursework. Sometimes a student can exempt courses by doing well on placement assessments.

Prerequisite: A course that is required before another course can be taken.

President’s List: An honor reserved for students who earn a quarterly grade point average of 3.85 or higher. A minimum of 12 graded credits must be taken.

Quarter: The period of time or term that the student takes a group of courses. YVC offers quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

Registrar: The person and office responsible for maintaining student records, administering policies and procedures, maintaining class schedules and course enrollment information. The Registrar’s office verifies degree completion before a student can graduate.

Registration: Registration is the process of choosing courses and creating a class schedule for the next quarter. Your registration date and time depends on the number of credit hours you have accumulated, with priority given to students who are farther along in their program.

Syllabus: An outline of the professor’s plans for the course that includes assignments, exam dates and projects. The syllabus also includes the learning objectives for the course and class policies like attendance. Typically, syllabi include the instructor’s office hours. It is a good idea to keep your syllabus in case you transfer to another college and need to show what you studied in a specific course.

Transcript: The permanent academic record of a student in college that shows majors and minors, courses taken each quarter, grades received, academic status and honors.

WASFA: This acronym stands for Washington Application for State Financial Aid. WASFA is state funding available to students who do not qualify for FAFSA based on immigration status.

Withdrawal: The student’s decision to remove themselves from a class. Students may withdraw a class online through the first week of the quarter. Starting the second week of the quarter, all class withdraws must be done via the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal form ( A class is considered withdrawn when it is done during the first two weeks of the quarter. The withdrawn class will not show up on the student’s transcript.

Work Study: A federal or state program that provides jobs for students in financial need to help pay for their expenses. Work study jobs are usually on campus and part of a student’s financial aid package.

YakConnect: YakConnect is an app designed to support your success as a student. YakConnect helps you make a personal academic plan for your time at YVC, schedule advising appointments with faculty, get connected with academic resources, and much more!

Zoom/ITV: Provides secure video communication services for hybrid classrooms, office hours, administrative meetings and more.


The first big change you’ll notice is that unlike high school, students don’t attend classes all day every day. That means you’ll feel as if you have a lot of free time, especially at first. We encourage students to study two or more hours for

every hour they spend in class. Since most students usually spend about 15 hours per week in class, study time should be at least 30 hours a week.


  1. Take control of your own
  2. Get to know your
  3. Be early for class and talk to Remember, some classes have an attendance policy.
  4. Plan your schedule carefully so that you don’t have trouble getting from one class to the next.
  5. Be Create your own support systems, and seek help as soon as you need it.
  6. Stretch yourself: enroll in at least one course that really challenges you.
  7. Make thoughtful decisions. Don’t withdraw from any course too quickly. Discuss the decision with your advisor and financial aid, since there may be financial implications to the decision.
  8. Think beyond the moment; set goals for the quarter, the year, your college career.


Learn about student clubs, student government, and other ways to get active in student life.