Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Student Services

Student Rights, Responsibilities and Judicial Procedures

I. PRINCIPLES

Isothermal Community College exists to improve life through learning. Free inquiry and free expression are essential to the attainment of this goal. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. As members of the academic community, students are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. As members of the larger community of which the college is a part, students are entitled to all rights and protection accorded them by the laws of that community.

By the same token, students are also subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instances, college discipline maybe initiated when the presence of the student on campus will disrupt the educational process of the college. However, when a student’s violation of the law also adversely affects the college’s pursuit of its recognized educational objectives, the college may enforce its own regulations. When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the college whether or not their conduct violates the law. If a student’s behavior simultaneously violates both college regulations and the law, the college may take disciplinary action independent of that taken by legal authorities.

II. STUDENT RIGHTS

  1. Constitutional Rights- All rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution of the United States and by the state of North Carolina shall not be denied any student.
  2. Freedom of Speech and Assembly- Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry and assembly without restraint or censorship subject to reasonable and non-discriminatory rules and regulations regarding time, place and manner.
  3. Student Representation in Governance- Students have the right to inquire about and to propose improvements in policies, regulations and procedures affecting the welfare of students through established student government procedures, campus committees and college offices.
  4. Privacy-The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards regarding the confidentiality of and access to student records and this Act will be adhered to by the college. (See Appendix B: Student Records Policy)
  5. Due Process-No disciplinary sanctions other than temporary removal from class or activity (only for duration of said activity) may be imposed upon any student without due process. (See Section V: Disciplinary Procedures)

 III. STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT

Isothermal Community College reserves the right to maintain a safe and orderly educational environment for students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, when, in the judgment of college officials, a student’s conduct disrupts or threatens to disrupt the learning environment (to include physical campus and facilities, online, web-based or remote locations) appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. The purpose of this code is not to restrict student rights but to protect the rights of all individuals in the academic community.

Students in certain programs may be expected to follow additional guidelines. Examples include (but are not limited to) Basic Law Enforcement Training Standards, guidelines associated with health sciences programs, and policies associated with Rutherford County Schools (e.g., REaCH) or Polk County Schools. The Students enrolled in adult basic education (ABE), adult high school (AHS), English as a second language (ESL), or (GED) preparation are also expected to follow both the Basic Skills Code of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct.

CODE OF CONDUCT RULES AND REGULATIONS

The following regulations set forth rules of conduct which prohibit certain types of student behavior. Violations of one or more of the following regulations may result in one of the sanctions described in Section VI.

Infringement of the rights of others is defined to include, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Theft of, misuse of, or damage to college property, or theft of or damage to property of a member of the college community or a campus visitor on college premises or at college functions; unauthorized entry upon the property of the college or into a college facility or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use and thereby placed off limits; unauthorized presence in a college facility after closing hours.
  2. Lewd or indecent conduct, including public physical or verbal action or distribution of obscene or libelous written material. This includes inappropriate public displays of affection, obscene language, gestures, etc.
  3. Mental or physical abuse or assault of any person on college premises or at college-sponsored or college-supervised functions, including verbal or physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons or which promote hatred, racial prejudice, or discrimination. (Refer to Communicable Disease Policy 601-02-06BP) This includes, but is not limited to, acts of intimidation, harassment, discrimination, or acts intended to threaten the safety of others.
  4. Any act, comment, or behavior which is of a sexually suggestive or harassing nature and which in any way interferes with a student’s or an employee’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. (Refer to Sexual Harassment Policy 601-02-05BP)
  5. Forcible or non-forcible sex offenses including rape and acquaintance rape. (Students should be aware that minors are present on campus, and they should be cognizant of applicable laws related to age of consent, etc.)
  6. Direct threat - Students who are a direct threat to themselves or others while on the campus or engaged in college activities.
  7. Any other violation of local, state or federal law while on the College campus or participating in an off-campus College activity that infringes on the rights of other members of the College community.

 

Other unlawful or disruptive acts which call for discipline include, but are not limited to:

  1. Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, or disciplinary proceedings, or other college activities, including public service functions and other duly authorized activities on college premises. This includes any inappropriate behavior that interferes with the peace and order of the college.
  2. Occupation or seizure in any manner of college property, a college facility or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
  3. Participating in or conducting an assembly or demonstrating or gathering in a manner which threatens or causes injury to person or property, interferes with ingress or egress of college facilities; or is harmful, obstructive or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the college; or remaining at the scene of such an assembly after being asked to leave by a representative of the college staff.
  4. Possession of or use of alcoholic beverages or being in a state of intoxication on the college campus or at college-sponsored or supervised functions off campus or in college-owned vehicles. Possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, including prescription drugs in which the user does not possess a legally obtained prescription, except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the consequences of his/her actions.(Refer to Drug and Alcohol Policy 601-02-01BP)
  5. Possession or use of firearm, incendiary device or explosive, except in connection with the college-approved activity. This also includes unauthorized use of any instrument or weapon designed to inflict serious bodily injury to any person. (Refer to Weapons on Campus Policy 902-02-00)
  6. Setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment.
  7. Gambling.
  8. The use of tobacco products in the buildings on the campuses of Isothermal Community College is prohibited. Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all building entrances. (Refer to Policy 802-02-01BP)
  9. Violation of college regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles.(See Parking – Student Handbook)
  10. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, records or instruments of identification with intent to deceive, or the presentation of false information to the college with the intent to deceive.
  11. Failure to comply with the instructions of college officials acting in performance of their duties.
  12. Violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or any college regulation during the period of probation.
  13. Fiscal irresponsibility such as the failure to pay college-levied fines, failure to repay college-funded loans or the passing of worthless checks to college officials.
  14. Violation of a local, state or federal criminal law on college premises adversely affecting the college community’s pursuit of its proper educational purposes.
  15.  Revocation of sponsorship for students in Basic Law Enforcement Training
  16. Unauthorized solicitation
  17. Violation of the College's Computer Resources, Internet, and Network Use Policy.
  18. Any other violation of local, state or federal law while on the College campus or participating in an off-campus College activity that disrupts College activities.

Note:
Students are encouraged to report any concerns or information regarding violations of law or College policy or other behavior perceived to be a threat to the community

IV. JURISDICTION

In the following regulations and procedures, the Dean of Continuing Education will review and enforce all policies and regulations for continuing education students, adult basic education (ABE), adult high school (AHS), English as a second language (ESL), and (GED) students. All other student regulations and procedures will be referred to the Dean of Students. Campus Deputies or other duly constituted authorities may enforce all laws and regulations as part of their sworn duty independent of college disciplinary action. In certain program areas, code of conduct responsibilities may be enforced by other officials as appropriate.

V. CODE OF CONDUCT DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

  1. Immediate Suspension

    If an act of misconduct threatens the health or well-being of any member of the academic community or seriously disrupts the function and good order of the college, an instructor or administrative officer may direct the student(s) involved to cease and desist such conduct and advise them that failing to cease and desist will result in removal from class. If the student(s) fails to cease and desist, the instructor or administrative officer may temporarily remove the student from the class until a resolution of the matter can be made.

    The instructor or administrative officer invoking such suspension shall notify the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education in writing of the individual(s) involved and the nature of the infraction as soon as possible but no more than two days following the incident.

    Upon reasonable belief that a student’s continued presence on campus presents a danger to the community, the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education may immediately suspend the student during the course of disciplinary procedures. At any time, the Dean of Student Service/Dean of Continuing Education immediately suspends a student because of a belief that the student’s presence on campus constitutes a threat to others, the Dean may initiate an assessment of the situation and/or student by the college Threat Assessment Group.

    The Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education shall resolve the matter in a timely fashion utilizing the steps outlined below in Section B.

  2. Formal charges that do not require immediate suspension

    In order to provide an orderly procedure for handling student disciplinary cases in accordance with due process and justice, the following procedures will be followed:

    1. Charges:
    2. Any administrative official, faculty member, or student may file charges with the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education against any student or student organization for violations of college regulations. The individual(s) making the charge must complete a charge form (available from the office of the Dean of Student Services/Continuing Education), stating:
      1. name of the student(s) and/or organization involved,
      2. the alleged violation of the specific code of conduct,
      3. the time, place, and date of the incident,
      4. names of person(s) directly involved or witnesses to the infractions,
      5. any action taken that related to the matter, and
      6. desired solution(s)

The completed charge form should be forwarded directly to the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education.

  1. CODE OF CONDUCT DUE PROCESS AVENUES OF ACTION
    Due Process Avenues of Action
    Steps Violations of Student code Guidelines for response or action
    1 Charge: A charge form shall be forwarded to Dean of Students or Dean of Continuing Education 2 working days
    2 Investigation: The Dean or designee shall complete a preliminary investigation of the charge and shall discuss the charge and investigation with the student. 10 working days (If necessary, time may be extended by the Vice President of Academic and Student Services and Institutional Assessment)
     

    Actions: After seeking and documenting information from the student the Dean may take the following actions:

    1. Drop the charges
    2. Impose a sanction consistent with those shown in Section VI.
    3. Refer the student to another college office or community agency for services
     
    3

    Notification: The decision of the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education shall be presented to the student in writing following the meeting with the student. In instances where the student cannot be reached for a discussion or where the student refuses to cooperate, the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education shall send a certified letter to the student’s last known address with a list of the charges, the Dean’s decision, and instructions governing the appeal process
    (Section VII).

    5 working days

VI. CODE OF CONDUCT SANCTIONS

  1. Reprimand: A written communication which gives official notice to the student that any subsequent offense against the Student Code of Conduct will carry heavier penalties because of this prior infraction.
  2. General Probation: An individual may be placed on General Probation when involved in a minor disciplinary offense; General Probation has two(2) important implications: the individual is given a chance to show his/her capability and willingness to observe the Student Code of Conduct without further penalty; secondly, if he/she errs again, further action will be taken. This probation will be in effect for no more than two (2) semesters.
  3. Restrictive Probation: Restrictive Probation results in loss of good standing and becomes a matter of record. Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the college community or require specified activities such as participation in a drug education or counseling program. Generally the individual will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization, and may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition. The individual may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any college of student organization, publication, or activity. This probation will be in effect for not less than two (2) semesters. Any violation of Restrictive Probation may result in immediate SUSPENSION.
  4. Restitution: Paying for damaging, misusing, destroying or losing property belonging to the college, college personnel, or students.
  5. Interim Suspension: Exclusion from class and/or other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice, until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.
  6. Withholding transcript, diploma, or right to register: Imposed when financial obligations are not met.
  7. Suspension: Exclusion from class (es), and/or all other privileges or activities of the college for a period of time specified by the appropriate dean. After the specified time has elapsed, the student may request that the suspension be lifted. The student should submit a written request addressing how s/he has or intends to alter conduct that contributed to the suspension and his /her reason for desiring to return to campus. This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation, or for repeated misconduct. Students who receive this sanction must get specific written permission from the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education before returning to campus.
  8. Expulsion: Dismissing a student from campus for an indefinite period. The student loses his/her student status. The student may be readmitted to the college only with the approval of the President. Students who wish to be readmitted after the expulsion should submit a written request addressing how s/her has or intends to alter conduct that contributed to the expulsion and his/her reason for desiring to return to campus.
  9. Group Probation: This is given to a college club or other organized group for a specified period of time. If group violations are repeated during the term of the sentence, the charter may be revoked or activities restricted.
  10. Group Restriction: Removing college recognition during the semester in which the offense occurred or for a longer period (usually not more than one other semester). While under restriction the group may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the college community, or engage in other activities as specified.
  11. Group Charter Revocation: Removal of college recognition for a group, club, society, or other organization for a minimum of two years. Re-charter after that time must be approved by the President.
  12. Referral to local authorities for prosecution
  13. Presence on campus prohibited or Trespass Order (For more information see Appendix M.)
  14. Removal from Basic Law Enforcement Program due to loss of sponsorship
  15. Denial of access to the College's computer resources, Internet, and networks
  16. Other directive imposed in conjunction with any of the above sanctions as deemed necessary by the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education.

In situations regarding student organizations, the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education, in his or her discretion, may administer disciplinary action against the organization as well as individual members.

Disclosure:

  1. Students should be aware that code of conduct violations and related sanctions may be disclosed to outside parties with the written consent of the student. Examples of parties who may require this information are future employers and educational institutions.
  2. On an annual basis, the Dean of Students/Dean of Continuing Education will review code of conduct violations based upon factors such as severity and length of time since sanctions were imposed. This deliberative process will involve the appropriate vice president and may result in an update of student conduct records.
    1. Isothermal Community College must, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the college against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the information shall be provided, upon request, to the next of kin of the alleged victim.

VII. CODE OF CONDUCT APPEALS PROCEDURE

A student who disagrees with the decision of the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education may request a hearing before the Disciplinary Review Committee.

Steps Appeals Procedure Guidelines for response or action
1 After being notified of disciplinary action for violations of the Student Code of Conduct a student may request a hearing before the Disciplinary Review Committee. The request must be made in writing. 3 working days after notification of disciplinary sanction.
2

The Review Committee must convene.
The Dean shall submit to the committee a report of the nature of the alleged misconduct, the name of the complainant, the name of the student against whom the charge has been filed, and the relevant facts revealed by the Dean’s investigation.

15 working days of the receipt of a request for a hearing.
3

The Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education shall send a letter to the student’s last known address. The letter shall include the following information:

  1. A restatement of the charges.
  2. The time and place of the hearing.
  3. A statement of the student’s basic procedural rights.
  4. The hearing will take place as scheduled unless a written and reasonable request to change the date and time is received by the student and subsequently approved by the committee chair.

5 days prior to the date set for the hearing

On written request of the student and approval by appropriate college administrator, the hearing may be held prior to the
expiration of the 5 day notification period, if the Dean of Student
Services/Dean of Continuing Education concurs with this change.

4 Upon completion of the hearing, the Committee shall convene in private to render a decision.  The Committee may uphold, overturn or modify the Dean’s original decision.  
5 The Dean of Students/Dean of Continuing Education shall send a letter to the student’s last known address providing the student with the Committee’s decision  2 working days after a decision by the Committee.
6 A student who refuses to accept the findings of the Committee may appeal in writing to the President. 5 working days after the receipt of the Committee’s decision
7

The President shall have the authority to:

  1. Review the findings of the proceedings of the Committee.
  2. Hear from the student, the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education and the members of the Committee before ruling on an appeal.
  3. Approve, modify, or overturn the decision of the Committee.
  4. The President’s decision is final.

The President shall inform the student in writing of the final decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal.

  1. Disciplinary Review Committee. In the event of a student appeal, the Disciplinary Review Committee shall be composed of the following:
    1. Four members appointed by the President who may include faculty as well as staff, and/or students.
    2. One administrator appointed by the president to serve as committee chairperson and who may vote either to make or break a tie.
    3. At least two committee members appointed by the President plus the chairperson must be present in order for the committee to conduct business.

    In cases involving sensitive matters, such as sexual assault or harassment, the President may exclude student members from the Disciplinary Review Committee to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved. 

    If a charged student fails to appear for a disciplinary review hearing, the hearing will proceed as planned and committee members will deliberate and reach a decision based on available information and the testimony of any witnesses who appear.

  2. Basic procedural rights of students include the following:
    1. The right to counsel at the student’s expense.
    2. The role of counsel is to advise the student. That counsel does not address the Committee or question witnesses.
    3.  The right to produce witnesses on one’s behalf relevant to the charge.
    4. The right to present evidence.
    5. The right to know the identity of the person(s) bringing the charge(s).
    6. The right to hear witnesses testimony if presented at the hearing and/or review witness statements.
    7. The right to testify or to refuse to testify without such refusal being detrimental to the student.
    8. The right to appeal the decision of the Committee to the President who will review the official record of the hearing. The appeal must be in writing, stating the reason for the appeal, and it must be made within 5 working days after the dean mails the letter containing the Committee’s decision.
  3. Conduct of the Committee Hearings
    1. Hearings before the Committee shall be confidential and shall be closed to all persons except the following:
      1. The student.
      2. Attorneys representing parties to the hearing.
        1. Student must notify the college at least two days in advance of the hearing if they are bringing counsel and provide the name of the attorney or firm.
        2. The attorney may only be present during the proceedings when the student is present.
      3. Witnesses who shall:
        1. Give testimony singularly and in the absence of other witnesses.
        2. Leave the committee meeting room immediately upon completion of the testimony.
        3. Provide only testimony that is relevant to the charge.
      4. The hearing will be recorded.  Recordings will become the property of the college, and access to them will be determined by the Chairperson of the Committee and the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education. All recordings or transcripts will be filed in the office of the Dean of Student Services/Dean of Continuing Education.
      5. The Committee shall have the authority to adopt supplementary rules of procedure consistent with this code.
      6. The Committee shall have the authority to render written advisory opinions concerning the meaning and application of this code.
      7. Upon completion of the hearing, the Committee shall convene in private to render a decision. The Committee may uphold, overturn or modify the Dean’s original decision. Decisions of the Committee shall be made by majority vote.
      8. The charged student will be notified of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing by a letter to the last known address. The student is responsible for providing the college with a correct address.

VIII. ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT AND APPEALS

  1. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT: 

    All forms of academic misconduct including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and falsification of information may result in sanctions.. Alleged violations will be handled according to the procedures described in this section.
    Definitions:

    1. Cheating on tests is defined to include the following:
      1. Using materials or equipment to complete an assignment or a test not authorized by the administrator of the assignment or test.
      2. Collaborating with any other person on an assignment or a test without permission from the instructor.
      3. Knowingly obtaining, using, buying, selling, transporting, sharing, or soliciting in whole or in part the contents of an assignment or a test prior to its administration.
      4. Substituting for another student or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself.
      5. Falsifying information in order to be granted additional time to submit assignments.
      6. Cooperating or aiding in any of the above.
    2. “Plagiarism” is defined as the appropriation of another person’s work, language, thoughts, ideas or expressions, and representing it as one’s own work.
    3. “Collusion” is defined as knowingly assisting another person in an act of academic misconduct.
    4. Falsification is defined as altering or inventing information in such academic exercises as reports, laboratory results, and citations to the sources of information.
  2. Disciplinary Procedures and Documentation of Violations

    Academic misconduct threatens the academic integrity and disrupts the function and good order of the College. An instructor or administrator may direct the student(s) involved in academic misconduct to cease and desist such conduct and/or may advise them that appropriate sanctions are warranted. However, fi the instructor or administrator should determine that the misconduct was unintentional and that the student would benefit from instruction regarding academic integrity, the instructor or administrator may forego sanctions and conduct or arrange for appropriate instruction. The instructor or administrator shall notify the appropriate Dean/Director of the individual(s) involved, the nature of the infraction and the action taken by submitting an academic misconduct incident report form as soon as possible but no more than two days following the sanction or instruction.

  3. Sanctions Imposed by Instructor

    An act of academic misconduct may result in a written or verbal warning, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a failing grade for the course. (In accordance with guidelines for certain programs, academic misconduct may result in removal from the program.)

  4. Appeals Procedure

    A student, after conferring with the instructor concerned, may present in writing to the appropriate instructional Dean/Director an appeal of a decision concerning academic misconduct. Academic misconduct appeals should be made within five (5) business days of the sanction. The Dean/Director will review the decision and respond to the student in a timely manner.  The student may appeal the decision of the Dean/Director to the Vice President of Academic and Student Services. The decision of the Vice President of Academic and Student Services is final in all cases involving academic misconduct.

  5. Grade Appeals

    A part of faculty responsibility at the College is the assignment of student grades according to methods which are professionally acceptable, communicated to everyone in the class, and applied to all students equally.

    A student who has a disagreement with an instructor’s professional judgment in grading should attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor who issued the grade. The college believes that the preservation of the institution’s academic integrity requires that the college ordinarily refrain from review of or participation in an instructor’s evaluation of student performance in cases where the instructor is using his or her professional judgment.

    However, the college acknowledges that on occasion circumstances may arise in which a student should have the opportunity to appeal a grade. In these circumstances, the student should first discuss the concerns with the instructor. If desired, the student may further appeal to the Dean of the Academic Department.  Appeals to the Dean must be submitted in writing within the first four weeks of the succeeding semester.  If the student determines that an appeal of the Dean’s decision is warranted the student may further appeal to the Vice President of Academic and Student Services and Institutional Assessment. The decision of the Vice President is final in all cases involving grade appeals.

    The following examples are provided to clarify when a grade appeal is warranted. These examples are not intended to include all instances which may or may not warrant an appeal.


    Examples that do merit a grade appeal:
    • The instructor miscalculated a grade.
    • The instructor has violated the grading policies outlined in the syllabus without reasonable cause or explanation.
    • The instructor has not provided a reasonable explanation of how the student’s work was evaluated.

    Examples that do not merit a grade appeal:

    • The instructor’s grading policies differ from other instructors in the Department or College.
    • The instructor’s attendance policy differs from other instructors in the Department or College.
    • The instructor’s Late Work policy differs from other instructors in the Department or the College.
    • The grade distribution in the class in question is lower than in other sections of the same course.
    • The grade in the course is significantly lower than grades the student earned in similar courses.
    • The grade in question will trigger Probation, Suspension, or loss of Financial Aid.
    • The grade is the result of enforcement of College and/or instructor’s Academic Integrity policies.

Policy No: 601-02-00BP

Reference:
Cross Reference:
Adopted:  April 1965
Amended:    May 1984; November 1986; November 1987; November 1989; May 11, 1993; July 1993; June 10, 1997; August 2005; January 11, 2006; January 28, 2009; May 24, 2011; May 22, 2012