2016-2017 College Catalog 
    Sep 24, 2022  
2016-2017 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Information


Students are eligible for admission to Thomas Nelson Community College if they are high school graduates or the equivalent, or if they are 18 years of age or older and able to benefit academically from study at Thomas Nelson Community College, as demonstrated by assessment in reading, writing and mathematics.

Individuals may be admitted to the College as curricular or noncurricular students. The College reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse or revoke admission if the college determines that the applicant or student poses a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the college community, or if such refusal or revocation is considered to be in the best interest of the College. The College also reserves the right to refuse admission to applicants who have been expelled or suspended from, or determined to be a threat, a potential danger or significantly disruptive by another college. Students whose admission is revoked after enrollment must be given due process. The College must have a procedure for determining when denial is warranted.

The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, or handicap in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or on the basis of other non-merit factors, and complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There is no application fee for admission. Also, student identification cards are issued without charge.


Inquiries and requests for information pertaining to admission to the College should be addressed to:

Admissions Office

Thomas Nelson Community College
99 Thomas Nelson Drive
Hampton, VA 23666


Office of Student Services

Thomas Nelson Community College
4601 Opportunity Way
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Information may be obtained in person in the Admissions Office on the Hampton campus, Room 208 Griffin Hall, or by telephone at 757/825-2800. Office hours are posted. Summer hours may differ. Information and forms are also available on the College's web page, http://tncc.edu/admissions and in Williamsburg on the Historic Triangle campus located at 4601 Opportunity Way, in the Office of Student Services or by telephone at 757/253-4755.

Admission Priorities

When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, first priority must be given to all qualified students who are domiciliary residents of the political subdivisions supporting the College, provided such students apply for admission to the program during a reasonable length of time prior to registration. The priority list is as follows:

  • Domiciliary residents of the political subdivisions supporting the College.
  • Other Virginia residents.
  • Out-of-state students.

Curricular Students

An applicant who intends to complete a certificate or degree program at Thomas Nelson may be admitted as a curricular student. The following items are required for official admission:

  • A completed official application for admission with social security number requested.
  • A completed Domicile Determination application for Virginia In-State tuition rates.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A transcript is considered official when signed by the acting school official and submitted to the College in an approved sealed envelope.
  • Additional information may be required by the College for admission to a specific program or curriculum.

Graduates who complete secondary school in a homeschool setting must provide a graduation date and may be required to provide documentation of coursework. The VCCS Student Information System academic records will be sufficient for colleges within the Virginia Community College System. High school transcripts may not be required if the student has completed 20 semester hours (or equivalent) at a regionally accredited college or university.

Non-Curricular Students

Non-curricular students are those individuals who currently do not intend to apply credits toward completion of a program of study (degree or certificate) offered by the College. A non-curricular student, therefore, is not formally admitted to an academic program.

The following items are required:

  • A complete official application for admission.
  • A complete Domicile Determination application for Virginia In-State tuition rates.
  • An official or unofficial copy of GED or transcripts from all colleges and/or universities previously attended.

After applying to the College, all applicants will be assessed for academic placement prior to meeting with an Admissions Counselor. The meeting with the Admissions Counselor will cover:

  • The student's educational interests.
  • Academic placement test scores and course prerequisites.
  • Student's entry into a specific curriculum or program at the College.

Converting from Non-Curricular to Curricular Status

A non-curricular student who has completed a total of 16 semester hours at Thomas Nelson Community College, excluding credits in developmental studies, should identify a major or curriculum. The student must submit all official transcripts of any previous college coursework to the Admissions Office and complete a Request for Transfer Evaluation.

If the student cannot decide upon a curriculum or is not interested in pursuing an established program, the student will be allowed to remain non-curricular.

Curricular declarations or changes are done in the Advising and Transfer Center, Room 201 Griffin Hall, Hampton Campus or 4601 Opportunity Way, Historic Triangle campus Room 117.

Transfer Admission

A student transferring from another college is eligible for admission to Thomas Nelson Community College if the student is eligible for re-entrance at his or her last college attended.

If a transfer student is ineligible to return to the last institution of education attended, he/she may be ineligible to attend the College; however, students should contact the Admissions, Records and Registration Office, Room 208 Griffin Hall, to obtain information regarding the admission policy, or call 757/825-2800. Information can also be located on our website at http://tncc.edu/admissions/eligibility.

Admission Procedures for Transfer Students On Academic Suspension or Dismissal from Their Last College

Suspension and dismissal are actions which indicate serious difficulty. Time should be provided to allow the student to reflect upon his/her academic situation, as well as to obtain necessary help. Students who were placed on Academic Dismissal or Academic Suspension at their previous institutions and are seeking to attend Thomas Nelson Community College must follow the policy outlined above. Call 757/825-3519 for additional information or visit our website at http://tncc.edu/admissions/eligibility.

Foreign Students

It is the policy of the College to admit qualified foreign students already residing in the service area. The College is not able to process requests for students applying from abroad or those requiring the college to initiate or maintain an F-1 student visa.

Dual Enrollment Admissions

Dual enrollment is restricted to high school juniors and seniors and homeschool students studying at the high school junior or senior level. Homeschool students must also provide a copy of a homeschool agreement approved by the school district or a letter from the local school board or a copy of the letter filed by the parent/legal guardian declaring homeschool for religious exemption. Documentation of parental permission is required for all dual enrollment students.

Students enrolling in dual enrollment courses must meet all course prerequisites.

All students admitted under this section must demonstrate readiness for college by meeting the criteria listed in the Educational Services section of this catalog.

The following are requirements for admission of high school students to the College:

  • The applicant must be currently attending high school (summer semester excepted).
  • The applicant must furnish a completed Dual Enrollment College Registration Form. This form requires the parent's/guardian's and the high school principal's (or designee's) signature.
  • All applicants must take the placement test.

For information call the Office of Secondary Programs at 757/825-2706 or 757/825-3452.

Homeschooled Student Admissions

Homeschooled students and homeschooled graduates are welcome at Thomas Nelson. Homeschooled students are eligible to enroll in courses as Dual Enrolled students (on-campus) to complement their homeschool curriculum. Placement testing will be required of each student and all prerequisites must be adhered to as specified in this catalog. Homeschooled students must apply to the College using the normal application process and must also submit a Homeschooled and On Campus Dual Enrollment Form signed by the student, parent and school principal (parent) and must be submitted each semester. Homeschooled students seeking admission are required to provide a copy of the acknowledgment letter from the school district.

The College also requests that a transcript be submitted to allow counselors to assist the student with the application and registration process.

Students who have completed secondary education requirements under the category of "religious exemption" or otherwise homeschooled and who seek admission to Thomas Nelson Community College must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete the online Application for Admission.
  • Submit a copy of the Letter of Intent submitted to the school district in which they reside.
  • Submit a copy of an official transcript, which must contain a graduation date. (A transcript is considered official when it is in a sealed envelope and signed by the acting homeschool official.).
  • Complete the appropriate placement tests prior to registration.
  • Consult with a Dual Enrollment Coordinator.


A new application to the College is required from those students whose enrollment has been interrupted for three years or more


To ensure that all students are as successful as possible in their academic courses, Thomas Nelson Community College has a Placement Testing Policy. The policy requires all new students to go through an assessment process before registering for classes. Certain categories of students can be screened and registered quickly; however, others must take a battery of placement tests to demonstrate their readiness for enrollment in certain areas.

Academic placement tests are administered by the Testing Center in accordance with academic placement guidelines to determine initial placement in English, mathematics, and other courses. Students who have completed a college level English composition, college algebra or higher math course with a "C" or higher, SAT or ACT scores should bring official or unofficial documents to demonstrate completion. Non-curricular students also are encouraged to submit any of the above information if available. This documentation becomes a part of the student's record and is used by professional advisors or counselors to advise students on appropriate courses in which to enroll. Students who do not have the above-named documentation must take the academic placement battery of tests administered by the Testing Center. Students may also be referred for further testing by the Academic Advisor during advising. The Admissions Counselor follows the Academic Placement Guidelines outlined in the Thomas Nelson Faculty Advising Handbook.

Any questions regarding the assessment process should be directed to the Admissions Office, located in Room 208, Griffin Hall, telephone 757/825-2800. Assessment services are also provided at the Thomas Nelson Historic Triangle campus at 4601 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg. For more information call 757/253-4755.

Admission Requirements to Specific College Curricula

Before being admitted into specific college curricula, students must show evidence of having the requisite high school courses (or their equivalent) and must have undergone the assessment process required at the time of general admission to the College. For students who do not present high school and/or other appropriate transcripts, decisions regarding admission into curricula and course placement will be based on the assessment process. At the time they are admitted to a given curriculum, students with deficiencies will be placed by an Academic Advisor or Counselor into the appropriate developmental courses, which they will be required to complete in order to meet course prerequisites. If a student later changes his or her curriculum, the student is required to meet with an Academic Advisor or Counselor who will review the results of the assessment process and the student's academic record to determine whether any changes in placement are appropriate.

Below are the requirements in English, mathematics, and other specialized subject areas.


All curricula (certificate and degree) require that students have completed four units of high school English (or their equivalent) with an average grade of "C" or better. In addition, prerequisites for placement into specific English courses are stated in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog. Students with deficiencies in English will be required to take the appropriate developmental courses.


Various curricula of the College require that students have completed the number and type of high school units of mathematics needed for the specific program of study.

Curricula requiring one unit of high school mathematics: Accounting, Administration of Justice, Administrative Support Technology, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Automotive Technology, Computer Arts, Early Childhood Development, Fine Arts, Dental Hygiene, Management, Nursing, Photography, and Technical Studies.

Curricula requiring three units of college preparatory mathematics: Business Administration, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology, Electronics Technology, Fine Arts, Information Systems Technology, Liberal Arts, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Science, and Social Science.

Curricula requiring four units of college preparatory mathematics: Computer Science and Engineering.

In addition, prerequisites for placement into specific mathematics courses are stated in the Course Description section in this catalog. Students with deficiencies in mathematics will be required to take the appropriate developmental courses.

Specialized Requirements

Certain curricula require high school units in subject areas besides English and mathematics. Students with deficiencies will be required to take the appropriate developmental courses as a condition for entering the curriculum of their choice.

Two units of high school laboratory science (biology and chemistry) are needed for students entering the nursing curricula.

For any additional admission guidelines to specific programs, students should consult the detailed description of their programs contained in this catalog.

Continuing Education Courses

Persons interested in taking continuing education courses should contact the Office of Workforce Training and Continuing Education at 757/825-2937 or 757/825-2935.

Transfer of Credits

To request an official transfer credit evaluation, the student must complete and submit a Request for Transfer Evaluation form to the Admissions Office, Room 208 Griffin Hall at the Hampton campus or the Office of Student Services, 4601 Opportunity Way at the Historic Triangle campus. An official transcript must be on file from each institution previously attended; transcripts should be sent directly from each institution to the Admissions Office. The evaluation process can take 10-12 weeks to complete.

Thomas Nelson Community College accepts credits for courses completed with a grade of "C" or better at other institutions where the courses are equivalent to Thomas Nelson Community College courses as determined by the College. Courses meeting these criteria from institutions that are accredited by a regional accrediting body (such as the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) are normally accepted. Courses from all other institutions are considered on a case-by-case basis. No credit with a grade of "D" or "Pass/Fail" transfers. It must be emphasized that the appropriateness of transfer credits to a particular degree program is dependent upon approval and acceptance by the division dean or designee in the student's program.

Transfer credit posted to your Thomas Nelson transcript becomes part of your permanent academic record. As part of your permanent academic record, transfer credit will not be removed for any reason unless credit was erroneously posted.

Armed Services School

Academic credits may be awarded for formal military courses that are applicable to a Thomas Nelson degree or certificate. Generally, the College may assign lower-level credit as recommended by the American Council of Education in those programs for which the College offers instruction. Students who wish to have any courses evaluated should submit a DD295 (military education record), an AARTS transcript, a CCAF transcript, SMART transcript, or DD214, listing the complete name of service schools, course numbers (if applicable), and dates.

Transcripts from Institutions Outside the U.S.

International credentials are accepted by the College for transfer credit; however, the College does not translate or evaluate foreign documents. Applicants with educational documents from outside the U.S. are referred to Josef Silny and Associates, International Education Consultants, 7101 SW 102 Avenue, Miami, FL 33173, info@jsilny.com, www.jsilny.com or to a professional organization or agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluators or is approved by the Virginia Department of Education. The fee for this evaluation and the time required for completion of the evaluation vary with each agency, and is the responsibility of the student. Once the translated evaluation has been received, it is then reviewed in the Office of Enrollment Services to establish college course equivalencies.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

For selected courses determined by the academic divisions, the College grants credit to students who have taken approved Advanced Placement (AP) examinations and have met Thomas Nelson Community College performance standards. Official test reports must be sent directly to the Admissions Office at the Hampton Campus or the Office of Student Services, 4601 Opportunity Way at the Historic Triangle campus to be evaluated. Consult the Advanced Standing Guide online at www.tncc.edu for more information.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

For selected courses determined by the academic divisions, Thomas Nelson Community College grants credit to students who have taken approved exams through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The program is designed for those individuals who have gained their education in academic areas in non-traditional ways outside the classroom. Official test reports must be sent directly to the Admissions Office to be evaluated. For more information about the approved exams and procedures for taking them, contact the Enrollment Services Office or consult the Advanced Standing Guide located on the College's web page under Student Forms http://tncc.edu/students/student-resources.

Challenge Examination

Students who have reason to believe that their previous educational studies or occupational experiences entitle them to an adjustment in the course work required in a curriculum may apply for a challenge examination; it is the student's responsibility to inquire at the appropriate academic division to see if an examination is available for the course(s) in question. For more information consult the Advanced Standing Guide located on the College's web page under Student Forms for Admissions http://tncc.edu/students/student-resources/. It should be noted that credits awarded for challenge examinations are generally not accepted for transfer credit by four-year colleges and universities. Credits earned through College challenge examinations may comprise no more than 25% of a student's curriculum (VCCS Policy

Credit for Experiential Learning

Thomas Nelson does not award credit for life experiences, non-credit training, or for training in a work setting other than for military schools as stated elsewhere.

Transferring to Other Institutions

Students planning to transfer to four-year colleges or universities are responsible for determining what is required by the departments of their intended major at the transfer institution. Those requirements should guide the students in choosing their courses of study and electives. Thomas Nelson maintains a file of catalogs from many other colleges and schools in the Advising and Transfer Center located in Room 201 on the Hampton Campus. The Advising and Transfer Center will help a student choose a school and provide information on articulation agreements.

Transfer Between Curricula or Programs

Students who want to change their program or course of study at the College should discuss their intentions with their academic advisor. Once a decision to transfer to another curriculum has been made, the student must meet with a counselor in the Advising and Transfer Center, located in Griffin Hall, Room 201 or the Office of Student Services at the Historic Triangle campus, to arrange a curriculum change.

Students using veteran's benefits are required to see the Veterans Affairs Office located in the Financial Services Office on the Hampton Campus Room 209 prior to initiating curriculum changes.

Domicile and Tuition Information

Eligibility for In-State Tuition

The Director of Admissions and Registrar or his/her designee is responsible for making determinations of eligibility for in-state tuition rates based on information provided by the student on the "Domicile Determination Form" included with the College application materials. Eligibility is determined in accordance with Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia.

"Domicile is a technical legal term, which means more than simple residency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A legal domiciliary must demonstrate his or her intention of remaining in Virginia indefinitely. Generally, in order to be eligible for in-state tuition rates, the student or the person on whom the student is dependent must have been a legal "domiciliary" of Virginia for a period of at least one full year prior to the planned term of enrollment at the college. Demonstration of intent is usually accomplished through objective evidence such as a Virginia driver's license, automobile registration, voter registration, payment of Virginia state income taxes, ownership of real property, etc.

A student under the age of 24 is presumed to be a dependent of the parent(s) for domicile purposes, unless the student provides clear and convincing evidence of independence. A student over the age of 24 may establish his or her own domicile independent of the parent(s). Additional information about eligibility can be obtained from the Admissions Office in Room 208 on the Hampton campus or in the Office of Student Services, Room 117 on the Historic Triangle campus or on the College's web page at http://tncc.edu/students/become-astudent/establishing-virginia-domicile-status/. A copy of the domicile law and guidelines for its use are also available for reference in the College library.

Upon receipt in the Admissions Office, the domicile application will be reviewed for a decision. If the applicant has been determined to be a non-resident for tuition purposes, he or she will be notified of the out-of-state classification in person and in writing.

If the applicant disagrees, he or she may request an immediate appeal, in writing. The Director of Admissions and Registrar or designee will respond to the appeal within ten business days after receipt of the appeal. If the applicant disagrees with the second level decision, he or she may request a final appeal. This request must be written and addressed to the Director of Admissions and Registrar. Submit the appeal to the Admissions Office, Room 208 on the Hampton campus. An independent domicile appeals committee will review the case. The student may be present at the committee's meeting, if desired. A written determination will be sent to the applicant within ten business days of the hearing.

Should the applicant disagree with the final determination, he or she then has 30 days to take this matter to the appropriate circuit court. In all cases, domicile determination and changes are made for subsequent semesters.

Domicile reclassification must be requested and determined on or before the first day of classes for the semester of eligibility.

Senior Citizens

Senior citizens may apply for free tuition and fees provided by the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974. Students at least sixty years of age who have been domiciled in Virginia for one year are eligible to enroll in non-credit courses or to audit credit courses for free. Additionally, if their federally taxable income did not exceed $23,850 for the year preceding enrollment, senior citizens may take courses for credit without cost. Taxable income documentation must be submitted to the Admissions Office. Senior citizens must complete the application for admission, Domicile Determination application, the Senior Citizens Student Tuition Agreement, and provide documentation to the Admissions Office, Griffin Hall Room 208 in Hampton or to the Office of Student Services, 4601 Opportunity Way, Room 117 in Williamsburg. Tuition-paying students are accommodated first. Students who are approved for this waiver must register before the beginning of the semester.

Changing Status

If a student enters the College as an out-of-state student and believes that he or she has subsequently become a Virginia domiciliary, it is the student's responsibility to complete and submit the Reclassification Request for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates form in the Admissions Office in Room 208 on the Hampton campus or in the Office of Student Services, Room 117 on the Historic Triangle campus. The form must be submitted before the first day of classes for which the student is requesting the change. It is advisable to complete this process before the tuition deadline to avoid overpayment. If he or she is correct, he or she will become eligible for in-state tuition rates for the next semester in which he or she enrolls.

Active Duty Military and Dependents

All dependents of active duty military personnel assigned to a permanent duty station in Virginia and who reside in Virginia are considered domiciled in the Commonwealth of Virginia for purposes of eligibility for in-state tuition. Active duty military personnel who are stationed or assigned by their military service to a work location in Virginia and residing in Virginia shall pay tuition to the college in an amount no more than the institution's in-state tuition rate.

Veterans Access, Choice, And Accountability Act of 2014

The following individuals shall be charged a rate of tuition not to exceed the in-state rate for tuition and fees purposes:

A Veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post- 9/11 G.I. Bill), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor's discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member's death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same school. The person so described must have enrolled in the school prior to the expiration of the three year period following discharge, release, or death described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.
  • Additional information for Veteran and dependent eligibility can be located at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/school_resources.asp.

Transfer-Back Program

Military and civilian students who are relocated may contact the College to arrange to complete their degrees while attending colleges throughout the United States. Students may request prior approval from the appropriate academic division to guarantee that courses completed at other colleges will transfer back to Thomas Nelson Community College.

Notice of Change in Name, Address, or Other Data

Notification regarding change of name or social security number should be filed promptly in the Records and Registration Office, Room 208 Griffin Hall, Hampton campus or the Office of Student Services, Room 117, on the Historic Triangle campus. Students may change their address and telephone numbers on their MyTNCC account.

Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges

Thomas Nelson Community College is a current member of the Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) Degree Network System (DNS). The school participates in the DNS-2 (Associate level) system. The DNS is a group of institutions selected to provide service members and their eligible family members the opportunity to complete college degrees without losing credit because of frequent changes in duty station. For example, many courses offered by member institutions have two-way guaranteed transferability to provide more flexibility and options in order to satisfy degree requirements.

The SOC DNS Student Agreement, is issued to all eligible students at member institutions, provides a complete evaluation of the service member's prior learning including courses from other colleges and universities, military training courses, military occupational experiences, nationally-recognized exams, and other non-traditional credit, as well as clearly identifying requirements for completing the degree. Current SOC DNS membership and participating degree information is available at http://www.soc.aascu.org/.

Although Thomas Nelson is currently a member of SOC DNS, membership or participating degrees may change at any time. Please contact 757/825-3517.

Americans with Disabilities Act Policy

Thomas Nelson Community College complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides reasonable accommodations to its students, employees and those receiving services from the College who are entitled to such accommodations by law. It is the responsibility of the student or employee receiving ADA accommodations from the College to inform appropriate college personnel of their disabilities. Thomas Nelson may request current documentation of a disability. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Making existing facilities used by students and employees accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, desks, and devices
  • Adjusting or modifying examinations, training, or academic materials and policies
  • Modifying academic or work schedules
  • Providing other reasonable assistance as required

Individuals seeking information or voicing complaints should contact the Coordinator of ADA Compliance by calling the Human Resources Office at 757/825-2728. Complaints must be in writing and clearly identify the non-compliance issue.

Equal Employment and Educational Opportunity

It is the policy of the Thomas Nelson Community College to maintain and promote equal employment and educational opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, or age (except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification), religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Inquiries concerning this policy should be addressed to the Affirmative Action Officer at Thomas Nelson Community College, 99 Thomas Nelson Drive, Hampton, VA 23666 or by phone at 757/825-2728 or TDD 757/825-2853.