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Public Information

Information for the Public

Virginia Highlands Community College, a division of the Virginia Community College System, is approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and by the Virginia Community College Systems Office. The associate degree curricula of the College have also been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.


Virginia Highlands Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Virginia Highlands Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling 404-679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (


The Nursing Program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, (404) 975-5000, ACEN is officially recognized as the national accrediting agency for nursing education by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation (COPA) and by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiography, which is recognized by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation (COPA) and by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for radiologic education.


The Emergency Medical Services Technology program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP), 1361 Park St. Clearwater, FL 33756, 727-210-2350.


VHCC is approved for listing in U.S. Department of Education directories and for participation in various federally sponsored programs of students aid and educational assistance. It has also been approved by the Committee on Veterans Education and the State Department of Education for training of veterans.


VHCC is an institutional member of the American Association of Community Colleges, the Southern Association of Community, Junior, and Technical Colleges, and the Association of Virginia Colleges.

Statement of Purpose: The Virginia Community College System and Virginia Highlands Community College are committed to providing comprehensive higher education and workforce training programs and services that are financially and geographically accessible and that meet individual, business and community needs of the Commonwealth.


These values serve as a guide for the members of the VCCS/VHCC community when ethical issues arise:

  • We are committed to learning environments that foster academic integrity.
  • We will be good stewards of our resources and make effective and efficient use of them, thereby ensuring accountability to the state and to the communities we serve.
  • We will maintain the confidentiality and security of information entrusted to us and share information only when authorized or required by law to do so.
  • We will not accept any gift, favor, loan, service, business or professional opportunity from anyone knowing (or when it should be known) that it is offered in order to improperly influence the performance of our public duties. We will avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • We will offer good faith and fair dealings to all those we serve and with each other. Our communications will be civil and professional.
  • We will offer employment opportunities in accordance with State, Federal and System/College policies supporting the rights and recognizing the needs of all citizens regardless of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
  • We encourage and expect all members of the community to act in good faith and bring to the attention of the appropriate official any violation or potential violation of these principles.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has created an institutional profile for each Virginia public college and university, and for each independent college or university participating in the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program.


Virginia Highlands Community College is committed to and recognizes the importance of diversity in our college community. We seek to ensure equal opportunity and to sustain a climate of civility for all who work, study, or otherwise participate in the life of the college.


The College seeks to provide its students, faculty and staff with an environment free of exclusion and bigotry, thus promoting respect for and an inclusion of both differences and similarities in gender, age, religion, ethnicity, class, race, culture, geographic location, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, size, and physical ability. We seek to demonstrate respect and appreciation for all people in achieving our common goals.

Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) owns and operates a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4).  The college’s MS4 consists of features such as curb and gutter, drop inlets, ditches, and stormwater management facilities to convey, treat, and ultimately discharge stormwater runoff to surface waters.  The discharge of runoff from the MS4 is regulated under the Clean Water Act, as amended and pursuant to the State Water Control Law and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.  VHCC is authorized to discharge stormwater runoff from the Abingdon campus’s MS4 under the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations, Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Regulations (VPDES), and the Virginia State Water Control Law.  


VHCC has been issued permit coverage to discharge stormwater by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and in accordance with the General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small MS4s (General Permit).  Compliance with the General Permit requires VHCC to develop, implement, and enforce an MS4 program.  The guidance document that describes how the college will maintain compliance with the General Permit is the VHCC MS4 Program Plan.  The Program Plan is required to include a description of the best management practices to address permit-specific requirements for the following minimum control measures (MCMs):

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Involvement and Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  5. Post-construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping

The VHCC MS4 Program Plan incorporates the following program-supporting stormwater program documents by reference:

VHCC demonstrates continued compliance to the MS4 General Permit with annual reporting.  Annual reports for each year of the current permit cycle

Illicit Discharges are prohibited on Campus

An illicit discharge is anything that goes “down the drain” (curb inlet, drainage ditch, directly discharged to a stream, etc.) that is not entirely composed of stormwater.  When source pollutants are introduced and mix with the stormwater, you then have an illicit discharge to the storm sewer system – which drains directly to our surface waters.  Stormwater is not treated before entering our local surface waters such as creeks and streams.  An illicit discharge can occur as a result of improper disposal and spills of potential pollutant sources and pollution from land disturbance.  Common pollutant sources associated with illicit discharge are listed below.

Automotive fluids (oil, fuel, antifreeze)


Animal carcasses (bacteria)

Pet waste (bacteria)

Cooking oil and grease

Solvents (i.e. acetone, ethanol)

Chemical cleansers (e.g. detergents, soaps)

Salt and other deicing agents

Dumpster leachate

Sanitary sewer overflows

Misuse of fertilizer

Sediment (i.e. stockpiles, erosion)

Misuse of pesticides & herbicides


Landscaping waste (i.e. grass clippings)

Vehicle/equipment washwater


VHCC policy prohibits non-stormwater (illicit) discharges, including illegal dumping, into the college’s storm sewer system. Elimination of any sources of an illicit discharge and enforcement of the prohibition is implemented utilizing language within the Standards of Conduct for VHCC employees and Student Handbook for VHCC students. Disciplinary action, including restitution, can be taken by the college in cases of negligent, willful or continued cause of illicit discharge.

Exempt discharges not typically considered as sources of an illicit discharge. 

Water line flushing

Air conditioning condensation

Landscape irrigation

Irrigation water

Diverted stream flows


Rising ground waters

Water from crawl space pumps

Uncontaminated ground water infiltration

Footing drains

Uncontaminated pumped ground water

Lawn watering

Discharges from potable water sources

Individual residential car washing

Foundation drains

Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands

Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges

Street wash water


Please share your suggestions to us keep our waterways clean!

 Reporting a pollution concern or an illicit discharge 

We can all help to keep pollution out of our local creeks and streams.  If you observe an illicit discharge or a potential pollutant source such as an animal carcass, open dumpster, sediment from a construction site or other type of pollutant that could be exposed to stormwater, please call or email to report to VHCC using the information below:

Pollution Hotline: email or call (276)739-2510

When reporting, please provide the:

  • Date of the observed potential or occurring illicit discharge
  • Location of the observed potential or occurring illicit discharge; and
  • Pollutant source, if known (i.e. spilled paint, trash, etc.)
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