The Primary Purpose

The primary purpose of the Student Handbook is to provide students with information, guidelines and policies that will enhance their adjustment as citizens of the Mohawk Valley Community College community. All students are urged to read it carefully as you are responsible for understanding its contents and adhering to the policies and procedures that are set worth within it. This is an entirely online document, and you may navigate it by utilizing the links. While this handbook does not address all of the rule infractions for which students may be disciplined, it does provide guidelines about student life at MVCC.

Welcome to MVCC.
You have started a new phase
of your life!

Portrait of Dr. VanWagonerOn behalf of everyone at Mohawk Valley Community College, it is my pleasure to welcome you to a new academic year. We are committed to providing you with a safe and engaging student experience during the coming year and do everything we can to provide you with the support you need to be successful.  Whether you chose MVCC as a starting point for your education or as a vehicle to further your career, we are unwaveringly dedicated to your success. MVCC has been changing lives with exceptional academic programs, activities, support, and athletics for nearly 75 years, and we are perpetually looking forward. In a rapidly changing world, we recognize the importance of not only keeping up, but staying ahead of economic and societal trends, keeping our programs current and classes relevant to best prepare you for what the future holds.

Every day, we enthusiastically pursue our mission of student success. Our range of educational options, combined with a supportive learning environment and vibrant campus life, ensures that your experience at MVCC will provide a solid foundation for your own exciting future. Dedicated faculty and staff are here to help you learn and grow. Extra-curricular activities offer many opportunities for social and cultural involvement. Championship athletics are a great source of spirit and pride. Become a full partner in learning by dedicating yourself to your studies. Make MVCC your own.

We know that our success as a College is best measured by your experience, and we wouldn’t be here without you. We are here to help you achieve your educational goals. Best wishes for a productive year, and thank you for choosing Mohawk Valley Community College.

Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D.

Strategies for Success

Align your goals and your actions to be successful in college

  1. Decide what your goal is and write it down.  When you encounter challenges, remember your purpose and why your goal matters to you.
  2. Do the reading. Practice the ideas and concepts enough to know them not just for the test but for future classes, your career, and your life.
  3. Talk in class. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn by putting your ideas into words.
  4. Get organized. Don’t let a deadline sneak up on you because you didn’t read the syllabus.
  5. Monitor your student email account and MyMV account, especially your Degree Works to track your progress in completing requirements for graduation.

 Forge good relationships with professors

  1. Professors want to help students who want to learn. Students who want to learn attend and engage in classes; they show up on time, practice good etiquette, ask questions, and always submit their best work.
  2. When you write an instructor an email, write formally. Start with a greeting such as,” Dear Professor X.” Sign with a proper closing such as “Best,” “Regards,” or “Sincerely.” Your professionalism will be noted and reciprocated.
  3. Go to office hours. There are set times professors are in their offices and available to talk to you.  Office hours are listed on the course syllabus, posted on office doors and available on the MVCC webpage. Stop by early in the semester to introduce yourself. Some good questions to ask are: “What is the best way to approach the reading assignments?” or “Can I discuss a possible paper topic with you?

 Be proactive about asking for help

  1. If you have had disabilities accommodations in the past make sure you understand the process for using those at MVCC. Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources as soon as possible.
  2. You might not always know the answer, but there is guaranteed to be an advisor, counselor, tutor, or mentor who can answer questions for you. Take advantage of college staff.
  3. Visit the Learning Commons for help with writing, math, and all your other subjects. Tutors are available on both campuses and appointments are free.
  4. Get to know your Student Support Advisor in the Holistic Student Support Center and seek them out regularly with any questions or concerns you may have.  

Expand your horizons

  1. Find organizations you’re interested in and get involved. This will help you connect your academic and social interests and can help you develop leadership skills.
  2. Look for new experiences. Take advantage of cultural events, elective classes, and workshops on offer.

Plan for your future

  1. Use the Career Services Office for information about resume writing, internships and job searching.
  2. Check in with your Student Support Advisor throughout the semester to ensure you are staying on track with your academic plan.
  3. If you plan on transferring to a 4 year after graduation, start meeting with your Student Support Advisor in your very first semester.  Planning early may open the door to more opportunities.
  4. Get to know your faculty advisor. Come prepared to advising meetings with questions so you can make the most of his/her knowledge.
  5. Use financial aid wisely; think about how you might manage any loans you’re taking on once you graduate.


MVCC is committed to and conducts assessment activities to obtain information for the improvement of student learning, programs, services and the overall effectiveness of the College. These activities may include surveys and questionnaires, exams, focus groups, research projects, and standardized tests. Members of the College community are expected to participate.  MVCC Principles of Assessment can be found on the Assessment page of the MVCC Institutional Effectiveness website. 


The College is committed to providing opportunity for students to gain knowledge and to use it effectively.  To accomplish this goal, degree and certificate candidates will follow a course of study that addresses the competencies listed below. The course of study lays the groundwork for further learning. Students are expected to be responsible partners in the learning process. By the time of program completion, students will have demonstrated, at a level appropriate to their degree or certificate, the ability to:

Communicate effectively with others

Students will:

  • Produce coherent texts meeting standards appropriate to academic programs
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand and use the language of their academic programs
  • Effectively use the oral discourse of the academic program
  • Research a topic and develop an oral or written argument and evaluate an oral presentation according to established criteria

Organize information, evaluate alternatives, distinguish fact from opinion and reach logical conclusions.

Students will:

  • Effectively frame questions and develop hypotheses
  • Obtain, evaluate, and organize information
  • Research and present logical conclusions

Interact effectively within a diverse society.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of and respect for the differences among individuals and for other cultures in the global society
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how different cultures interact in the global society
  • Appropriately participate with diverse groups and with individuals with different points of view

Think logically and solve quantitative problems by using various computational and other mathematical techniques.

Students will:

  • Express mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally
  • Use mathematical processes to solve quantitative problems and draw reasonable conclusions
  • Interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphics, tables and schematics

Identify and locate information from a variety of sources and understand the related legal and ethical uses.

Students will:

  • Use traditional and contemporary information technology
  • Identify, access, and appropriately use authoritative sources of information

Preparation for the Global Community

In the classroom and the broader community, the College emphasizes an appreciation of individual differences and identities. These include, but are not limited to race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, academic ability and interest, age, religious backgroundbeliefs, and physical ability.  The College recognizes the importance of creating opportunities for students to interact with different cultures so they can learn to respect and appreciate them. The College holds a global view that perceives the interconnectedness of technological, ecological, economic, social, health, and political issues that must be understood and addressed from an international perspective. Students will develop an intercultural awareness and respect for other points of view, and will be prepared to participate in an increasingly global community.

 Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) holds the distinction of being the first community college established in New York State. Its roots trace back to 1946 when it was founded as the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences at Utica. Alongside four other post-secondary institutions, it was created on an experimental basis after World War II. Initially, the college offered two-year programs focusing on technical and semi-professional employment in business and industry.

In 1948, the State University of New York (SUNY) was formed and given the authority to recommend the establishment of community colleges. MVCC became a constituent unit of SUNY in 1950 and was authorized the following year to grant Associate in Applied Science degrees.

In 1953, Oneida County assumed sponsorship of the college, then known as Mohawk Valley Technical Institute, under the Community College Law. This law required the cost of operating a community college to be shared equally through student tuition, state aid, and charges to the counties of New York State.

MVCC expanded its reach in 1954 by offering classes in Rome, New York, to cater to the needs of northern and western Oneida County. The former Griffiss Air Force Base served as a location for classes from 1954 to 1958 and again from 1969 to 1974. In 1974, a branch campus was established in Rome at the current Floyd Avenue location.

As a community college, MVCC experienced growth in enrollment and facilities. Initially occupying temporary quarters in New Hartford and downtown Utica from 1946 to 1960, the college relocated to new buildings on an 80-acre site in southeast Utica in 1960.

In 2002, the Utica Campus completed a Master Plan that involved renovating nearly every building on campus and constructing the Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center building. MVCC responded to community needs through surveys, leading to an expansion of academic offerings. The college now provides a diverse range of transfer, career, and vocational programs.

Located at 1101 Sherman Drive in southeast Utica, the Utica Campus of MVCC sits on level ground with all buildings accessible to individuals with disabilities. The campus comprises several key buildings:

Francis A. Wilcox Hall

This building houses the 500-seat Dr. Michael I. Shafer Theater equipped with wheelchair accessibility, headsets for the hearing impaired, and advanced lighting and sound systems. It serves as a venue for College and community cultural events, drama club performances, and specialized instruction in theater and the arts. Additionally, it features the Mandia Family Learning Commons, a 120-seat lecture hall, smart classrooms, computer labs, and the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Conference and Training Center.

Academic Building

The Academic Building is home to most classrooms on the Utica Campus, as well as computer labs, fine arts studios, and various laboratories for disciplines such as nursing, respiratory care, biology, physics, and graphic arts. It also houses offices for Public Safety, Human Resources, and the Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED).

Science and Technology Building

This building encompasses multiple laboratories, including those dedicated to chemistry, welding, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, metallurgy, electricity, and machine tools courses.

Payne Hall

Named after MVCC's late President Emeritus Albert V. Payne, Payne Hall hosts a comprehensive Student Service Center that includes Admissions, Advisement, Business Office, Financial Aid, and Registrar's Office. The main library is located on the second floor, and many faculty members and administrators have offices in this building. It also houses a special Help Desk.

Alumni College Center

Serving as the central hub for the Student Activities Program, the Alumni College Center features recreation rooms, a snack bar called "MV Commons," dining halls for resident and commuter students, conference facilities, the Bookstore, Student Government Offices, Career Services, Student Engagement Office, Residence Life, and the Health and Wellness Center.

Robert R. Jorgensen Athletic/Events Center

This center comprises a main gymnasium accommodating over 750 spectators for athletic events and a 27,000-square-foot field house with an indoor track, three athletic courts, and a fitness center equipped with free weights, aerobic equipment, and Nautilus machines. It serves as an instructional facility for physical education classes, team practices, and various activities such as handball-racquetball, swimming, and multi-purpose rooms. Adjacent athletic fields include an all-weather track, soccer and softball fields, and six lighted tennis courts.

Residence Halls

MVCC's Utica Campus provides housing for up to 450 students in its residence hall complexes. Modified rooms for students with disabilities are available. The halls are named after notable figures, including Willis V. Daugherty (an MVCC Trustee Emeritus), Thomas D. Penfield, Edward Huntington, and John Butterfield. The newest residence hall honors Francis E. Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance and a former resident of Rome, New York.

MVCC’s Rome campus is located at 1101 Floyd Avenue in Rome, NY, and consists of the John D. Plumley Complex. MVCC also operates an Aviation Training Center at Griffiss Business and Technology Park. The Rome Campus offers all services available on the Utica Campus with the exception of student housing. The Rome Campus Student Services Center is a one-stop-shop for all services including admissions, advisement, financial aid, counseling, disability accommodations, payments, student activities, and more.

Plumley Complex

The Complex houses a full-service library, learning center, classrooms, laboratories, and administrative and student services offices. The building also features an 88-seat auditorium, fitness center, community rooms, classrooms, state of the art culinary food labs, faculty offices and much more. The Rome Campus offers a wide range of credit-bearing courses and non-credit workshops. MVCC Programs offered only on the Rome campus and nearby Griffiss Park include: Airframe and Powerplant, Surgical Technology, Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems, and Culinary Arts. 

The Mohawk Valley encompasses Fulton, Herkimer, Schenectady, Montgomery, and Oneida Counties, offering some of the finest scenery in the nation. With mountains, hillsides, and a stunning valley dissected by the Mohawk River, it's a visually striking area.

The City of Utica, with a population of about 65,000, provides a range of cultural and recreational advantages. The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute features an excellent art gallery and museum, while numerous public parks, ten golf courses (including one owned by the city), swimming pools, a zoo, tennis courts, and picnic grounds offer outdoor enjoyment.

Rome, with approximately 32,000 residents, holds historical significance as the starting point for the Erie Canal. The reconstructed Fort Stanwix, a key site in the American Revolution, is located in the city. Nearby, Lake Delta State Park offers a natural escape.

Utica and Rome are centrally located in New York State, easily accessible via the New York State Thruway, bus, and train lines. With the Adirondacks nearby, the region is rich in recreational activities like water sports, camping, hunting, skiing, and snowmobiling.