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 was the first community college established in New York State. Founded in 1946 as the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences at Utica, it was one of five post-secondary institutions established on an experimental basis after World War II. The two-year public college offered programs leading to technical and semi-professional employment in business and industry.

In 1948, the State University of New York was created and authorized to recommend the establishment of community colleges. The College became a constituent unit of the State University in 1950. The following year, the College was authorized to grant the Associate in Applied Science degree.

In 1953, the County of Oneida assumed the sponsorship of the College, then known as Mohawk Valley Technical Institute, under the Community College Law section of the 1948 Education Law. This section authorized 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.

The following year, MVCC began offering classes in Rome, New York, to better serve the needs of northern and western Oneida County. Classes were offered at the former Griffiss Air Force Base from 1954 to 1958 and again from 1969 to 1974. In 1974, a branch campus was established in Rome at the current location on Floyd Avenue.

As a community college, MVCC saw its enrollment and facilities grow. From 1946 to 1960, the College occupied temporary quarters in New Hartford and downtown Utica. In 1960, the College moved to new buildings on an 80-acre site in southeast Utica.

The Utica Campus completed a Master Plan in 2002 that included renovating virtually every building on campus and adding an Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center building. The College’s academic offerings have continued to expand in response to the community needs determined through community surveys. The College now offers an exceptionally wide variety of transfer, career and vocational programs.

The Utica Campus of Mohawk Valley Community College is located at 1101 Sherman Drive, in southeast Utica. The campus is on level ground and all buildings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Buildings include:

Francis A. Wilcox Hall

This building includes a 500-seat theater. It is wheelchair accessible and offers headsets for the hearing impaired. The 58-foot high proscenium features a hydraulic orchestra lift and computer-operated lights and sound. The facility hosts College and community cultural events, presentations by the MVCC Drama Club and Readers Theater, by visiting groups, and is home to specialized instruction related to theater and the arts. The Utica Symphony also performs some of its concerts here. The building also houses a 120-seat lecture hall with Internet connections, a number of “smart” classrooms, computer laboratories, and the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Conference and Training Center.

Academic Building

The Academic Building houses most classrooms on the MVCC Utica Campus, as well as computer laboratories, fine arts studios, and laboratories for nursing, respiratory care, biology, physics, and graphic arts. Offices for Public Safety, Human Resources and the Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) are also located here.

Science and Technology Building

The Science and Technology Building features a variety of laboratories, including those for chemistry, welding, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, metallurgy, electricity, and machine tools courses.

Payne Hall

Payne Hall, named for MVCC’s late President Emeritus Albert V. Payne, houses a comprehensive Student Service Center, including Admissions, Advisement, Business Office, Financial Aid, and Registrar’s Office, as well as a special Help Desk. Many faculty members and administrators have their offices in Payne Hall. The main library is located on the second floor.

Alumni College Center

The Alumni College Center serves as the hub of the Student Activities Program. This facility contains recreation rooms, a snack bar (“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

The Robert R. Jorgensen Athletic/Events Center houses a main gymnasium which accommodates more than 750 spectators for athletic events and the 27,000-square-foot field house featuring an indoor track, three athletic courts and fitness center catering to free weights, aerobic and Nautilus equipment. Both the gymnasium and field house serve as instructional facilities for physical education classes and team practices. Special activity areas include two handball-racquetball courts, swimming pool, multi-purpose rooms and classrooms. Adjoining athletic fields include an all-weather track, soccer, and softball fields, as well as six lighted tennis courts.

Residence Halls

The residence hall complexes on the Utica Campus provide housing for up to 450 students. Modified rooms for students with disabilities are available. The Willis V. Daugherty Residence Hall is named for an MVCC Trustee Emeritus. Three others are named for New York State historical figures: Thomas D. Penfield; Edward Huntington; and John Butterfield. The newest residence hall is named for Francis E. Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance and 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 which recently underwent a complete renovation.   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. Many of MVCC’s associate degree programs are available in Rome in their entirety. The MVCC Cultural Series brings films, lectures, and performances to Rome campus audiences.

The Mohawk Valley is composed of Fulton, Herkimer, Schenectady, Montgomery and Oneida Counties and boasts some of the best scenery in the nation, with near and distant mountains and hillsides and a stunning valley dissected by the Mohawk River.

The City of Utica has a population of about 60,000. Its cultural and recreational advantages are many. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute maintains an excellent art gallery and museum, there are numerous public parks, 10 golf courses, one of which is municipally owned and operated, as well as city swimming pools, a zoo, public tennis courts, and picnic grounds.

Rome, a city of approximately 30,000, was the starting point for construction of the Erie Canal. A reconstructed Fort Stanwix, important in the American Revolution, is located in the heart of the city. Lake Delta State Park is nearby.

Utica and Rome are centrally located in New York State, and are served by the New York State Thruway, along with bus and train lines. Close to the Adirondacks, the area is rich in recreational activities including a variety of water sports, camping, hunting, skiing, and snowmobiling.