I. Purpose:

To provide the college guidance on the criteria and process for awarding degrees and certificates to students who pass away during their enrollment.

II. Definitions:

Certificate: certificate programs or career studies certificates sanctioned by the college and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Arts, or Associate of Applied Science degrees sanctioned by the college and the VCCS.

III. Policy:

In an effort to recognize the work of students who pass away during the year in which they were enrolled at the college, the institution shall award degrees and certificates to students posthumously. Students who have at least a 2.0 grade point average, who are at least within 85% of completing their program, and who are in their last semester of enrollment within their program, shall be considered for this award. Students who are involved in unlawful activity at the time of death shall not be considered for this award. The college shall determine the appropriate manner to present the diploma. However, no family member shall be allowed to participate in commencement as a proxy. Diplomas shall bear the notation "awarded posthumously." Cases that do not meet the above specified criteria may be considered when extraordinary circumstances prevail and must be approved by the president.

IV. Procedures:

A. Upon notice of a student death, a faculty or staff member may petition the Admissions and Records Office for a review of the student's record, to determine if the student qualifies for a posthumous award.

B. If eligible, the Admissions and Records Office will forward the student's information to the appropriate academic dean.

C. The academic dean will review the information and submit a request to the vice president of academic affairs, who will forward the request to the President's Executive Cabinet. All requests should be made by April 1 of the academic year.

D. The President's Executive Cabinet will review and make a recommendation to the college president. Once a decision is made, the vice president of academic affairs will inform the academic dean of the decision.

E. The President's Office will communicate the decision on approvals to the Graduation Committee for implementation, which will consist of communication to the family of the approval and procedures during commencement.

F. The Graduation Committee will add the student's name along with a "posthumous" designation to the graduation lists and commencement program.

G. The college registrar will prepare a diploma to be presented to the student's family.

V. Other Information: