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Student Services and Activities

New Student Orientation

Orientation (EDUC 1100/COLS 0300) is required for the following new students:

  1. Students who have never attended college.
  2. Students who have attended another college, but have completed less than 12 semester hours.
  3. Students who plan to graduate from SWTJC with an Associate of Arts Degree, Associate of Applied Science Degree, or a College Certification.

New Student Orientation is offered at the Uvalde, Eagle Pass, and Del Rio campuses.  Students planning to attend or who have attended classes at the Eagle Pass or Del Rio campuses must attend  orientation at that campus.  All other students who plan to attend or who have been attending the Uvalde campus, Crystal City campus, or any other facilities, must  attend orientation at the Uvalde campus.

Transfer/Career Center

The Transfer/Career Center functions include:

  1. The Career Information Center Office offers career planning, online career assessment and interpretation. The service is free to all Southwest Texas Junior College students.
  2. The Transfer Information Office offers a university catalog library, transfer equivalency guides, and the Texas Common Application.

Counseling and Advising Services

Counseling and advising offices provide individual attention to all prospective and current students.  These services assist students in achieving educational and personal goals.  Students are encouraged to make realistic choices between curricula that are specifically designed to prepare them for an occupation upon completion of course work at SWTJC and those that are designed for an extended academic education in four-year institutions.

Students are encouraged to contact a counselor or advisor when any of the following services are needed:

  1. Educational-Academic Counseling/Advising

Students find help in selecting an educational objective, resolving academic difficulties and planning for further educational pursuits.

  1. Transfer Planning

Students designing a program of study requiring transfer to another institution will be assisted in selecting course work that transfers and fulfills degree requirements.

  1. Personal Counseling/Referrals

Counselors are available to also assist students in personal matters.  Consultations are kept confidential.  When needed or requested, students are referred to specialized community resources.

There is no charge for these services and confidentiality is assured within the limits set by law.  No record of visits is recorded on a student’s official transcript.

International Student Services

A designated counselor/advisor in the Counseling Center provides all the same services to international students, including guiding them through the student visa application process.

Disability Support Services

Students with permanent disabilities who qualify for support under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) must self-identify and register with the DSS counselor at the campus they plan to attend.  To be eligible for disability related services, students must have a documented disability condition as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Students seeking academic accommodations  in their classrooms are highly encouraged to provide appropriate documentation verifying their disability from a professional who is certified. Documents used in high school such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan or A.R.D. reports will not substitute for an evaluation / report, but are valuable tools for planning accommodations.  Speak to your DSS advisor on your campus about documentation for further assistance.

Testing Center

The SWTJC Testing Center is located in the R.K. Miller Technical Building.  It is a test center for the following:

  • Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment
  • GED (Pearson)
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • ACT
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
  • Accuplacer
  • Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE/TCLEDDS)
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • Ability to Benefit (ATB)
  • Other Exams & Services

For current test dates, times, and test requirements, visit the SWTJC website at http://inet4.swtjc.cc.tx.us/testing/homepage.html.  For additional information concerning registration for one of the above tests, please call the Testing Center at (830) 591-2946.

Testing Accommodations

Examinees who wish to request special testing accommodations must contact the Tutorial and Disability Support Services Coordinator at (830) 591-2908 one month prior to testing.

Other Testing

Each student entering SWTJC is also encouraged to take the ACT test since ACT scores are required to be eligible for some scholarships at SWTJC.  Other tests are available to students who would like to further explore their abilities, aptitudes, and interests.  These specialized tests are available in the Career Placement and Recruitment Center.

Student Success Seminars

Seminars are designed to assist students for improvement in study and social skills, motivation, career decisions, physical well-being, and other topics.  Seminars are offered in the fall and spring semesters and all SWTJC students may attend for free.

Bookstore

School adopted textbooks are available at the college bookstore.  Students are expected to purchase all required books and supplies for their courses.  One of the major services of the bookstore is the Buy Back Book Policy.  During the week of final exams, the bookstore will repurchase used books if they are to be used the following semester.  The Buy Back Book Policy for the summer sessions differs from the fall and spring semesters and students should contact the college bookstore for the Buy Back dates.

SWTJC Libraries

The libraries of Southwest Texas Junior College provide 24/7 online access for all SWTJC students and faculty.  The Southwest Texas Junior College libraries have a collection of more than 40,000 titles, maintains subscriptions to approximately 200 periodicals and 12 newspapers, and provides online databases, most with full text articles.  The libraries have access to all databases and provide computers for Internet access and word processing software.

All SWTJC students have access to the entire collection through the online catalog.  Requests for materials housed on another campus are made online with the requested items delivered within one week.

A valid SmartCard (student ID card) is required to check out library materials, and computers.

The library web page address is http://swtjc.libguides.com/home. For reference help or other library related questions, email library@swtjc.edu or call 830-591-7367.  Off-campus access to databases and other electronic library resources are available by using the student ID number located on the SmartCard at the Login prompt.

Library Hours:

Students should consult the Library website for hours of operation.

SWTJC ID Cards

SWTJC students will receive a SmartCard card upon registration.  This card is used for many purposes throughout the campuses and should always be with the student.  It is a closed-loop debit card that can be used to check out books at the library, pay for printing, pay fines at the library and pay for food at the cafeteria.  There will also be instances when the SmartCard is used to track attendance.  It is the students’ responsibility to keep the ID with them at all times. 

Each campus will issue the SmartCard card for students, faculty, and staff.  While the first card is free, replacement cards cost $25.00.

Students will be required to show a form of photo identification before being issued a SWTJC ID card (U.S. passport, driver license, state ID, or high school ID)

Food Services

Campus food services include both a snack bar and cafeteria in the Student Center for students, faculty, and guests.  The cafeteria also provides weekly meals for students holding a room and board plan.

Recreation

There are ample opportunities for all students to participate in various programs of recreation and sports.  These activities include archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, dancing, softball, swimming, football, and tennis.  By paying moderate green fees, students may play golf on the beautiful municipal golf course of Uvalde.  Off-campus sport activities may include:  hunting (deer, turkey, and quail), fresh water fishing, and water sports (skiing, swimming, and boating).

 Sports and recreational facilities available on campus are listed below:

  1. Intramural Field – The College owns a regulation, fenced field on which intramural games are played.
  2. Swimming Pool – The college pool, located near the gymnasium, is 30 feet by 75 feet.
  3. Rodeo and Roping Arena – This modern facility is located on campus and provides opportunity for rodeo practice and school sponsored rodeo events. The arena is lighted for night use.
  4. Gymnasium – A regulation basketball court and other physical education and recreation facilities are provided in the La Forge Hall Gymnasium. The downstairs Weight Room contains training equipment and free weights.  The upstairs Workout Room contains a number of exercise machines and free weights.  Three racquetball courts are located in the gymnasium.

Transportation Service

Transportation is available to students who live in the region.  Area towns included in the service are Utopia, Sabinal, Knippa, Crystal City, Carrizo Springs, La Pryor, Leakey, Barksdale, Batesville, Camp Wood, Pearsall-Dilley, and Asherton.  Contact the college business office for current fees.

Student Activities

Eligibility for Holding Office in Campus Organizations

In keeping with the high ethical standards of the college, the administration and faculty encourage the election of students to various offices in campus organizations who exemplify the highest personal standards of behavior.  Any student who is on scholastic or disciplinary probation is not eligible to be a candidate for an office in a campus organization.

College Publications

The Southwest Texan is the campus newspaper published by the Journalism Department as a writing/publishing laboratory for journalism students.


Clubs and Organizations

At SWTJC, there are two types of student groups.  The first type is a Student Organization and the second type is a Student Club.  Both types of student groups are required to register with the Student Activities Office and renew registration yearly.

Student Organization

A student organization is a group of students organized for and acting toward a particular cause. Typically organizations are institutional, departmental, or nationally affiliated.

Student Club

A club is a group of students organized with a similar interest for a social, religious, athletic, political, or other common purpose.

Registered Student Organizations

Registered Student Organizations are placed into one of the following categories based upon their interests, mission, and goals.  While their mission is not required to be tied to the college mission statement, it should not conflict with the college’s mission.

  • Academic
  • Cultural                              
  • Departmental                     
  • Honor
  • Political               
  • Professional                       
  • Religious                            
  • Service
  • Special Interest   
  • Spirit                                   
  • Sport Club

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Catalog content under this Main Heading is supplemented by material available in the Southwest Junior College Student Handbook.

Student Conduct

Definitions to be used in this catalog shall be as follows:

  1. “Vice-President of Student Services” shall mean an administrator bearing that title, or the officer or officers directly responsible for student affairs in the college District.
  2. A “student” shall mean one who is currently enrolled in the college District. These policies and regulations shall also apply to any prospective or former student who has been accepted for admission or readmission to any component institution while he or she is on the campus of any component institution.
  3. The “campus” of the college District is defined as all real property over which the college District has possession and control.

Responsibility

Each student shall be charged with notice and knowledge of the contents and provisions of the college Director’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct.  All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct.  In addition to activities prohibited by law, the following types of behavior shall be prohibited:

  1. Gambling and dishonesty.
  2. The illegal use, possession, and/or sale of a drug or narcotic, as those terms are defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act, on campus.
  3. Scholastic dishonesty shall constitute a violation of these rules and regulations and is punishable as prescribed by Board policies. Scholastic dishonesty shall include, but not be limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion.

“Cheating on a test” shall include:

  1. Copying from another student’s test paper.
  2. Using test materials not authorized by the person administering the test.
  3. Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test without permission from the test administrator.
  4. Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test.
  5. The unauthorized transporting or removal, in whole or in part, of the contents of the unadministered test.
  6. Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for one’s self, to take a test.
  7. Bribing another person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test.

 “Plagiarism” shall be defined as the appropriating, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s own written work.

“Collusion” shall be defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of course requirements.

  1. A student who owes a debt to the college District or who writes an “insufficient funds” check to the College District may be denied admission or readmission to the college District until the debt is paid or the check redeemed.
  2. Violations of the Penal Statutes of Texas or of the United States occurring on College District property or in connection with College District-sponsored activities may also constitute violations of the College District’s rules and regulations when such violations affect the educational process and goals of the College District.
  3. Possession or use of firearms on College District-controlled property except for educational purposes that have the prior approval of the appropriate Vice-President.
  4. Interference with teaching, research, administration, or the College District’s subsidiary responsibilities through “disorderly conduct” or “disruptive behavior.”
  5. Use of alcoholic or intoxicating beverages and use of drugs on campus not prescribed by a physician.
  6. Hazing with or without the consent of a student; a violation of that prohibition renders both the person inflicting the hazing and the person submitting to the hazing subject to appropriate discipline. Initiations by organizations may include no feature that is dangerous, harmful, or degrading to the student; a violation of this prohibition renders the organization subject to appropriate discipline.
  7. Endangering the health or safety of members of the College District community or visitors to the campus.
  8. Damaging or destroying College District property.

Any student violating a Conduct policy shall be subject to discipline, including suspension.

Sexual Assault

Southwest Texas Junior College reaffirms the principle that students, faculty, and staff have a right to be free from any form of sexual offense.   Sexual offenses are unlawful.  They will not be tolerated.

Sexual assaults include rape, sexual battery, corruption of a minor, gross sexual imposition and public indecency.

Any student or employee who believes a sexual offense has occurred is strongly encouraged to report the matter promptly and to preserve any evidence intact.

Resident students should also report any sexual offenses to the most readily available hall director or resident assistant.

Complaints involving sexual abuse will be reported to the police who will take action pursuant to civil law.  Victims should contact the police regardless of whether they intend to press charges.  It is important that reporting the incident does not obligate the victims to press charges.  Going to the hospital does not mean that the victim will have to press charges.

Victims should consider seeking support from a relative, resident assistant, good friend or counselor.

Complaints of sexual offense will be responded to promptly and equitably.  The right to confidentiality of all members of the college community will be respected in so far as possible.  Retaliation against individuals bringing complaints of sexual assault is specifically prohibited.

A victim who wishes to file an informal or formal complaint of sexual assault against a student should notify the Vice-President of Student Services, who will conduct the investigation and any hearing.

Possible sanctions for students found guilty of sexual offenses include those cited in the sanctions portion of the student conduct code in the student handbook.

Sex Offender Registration

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 62.153 requires that: “Not later than the later of the seventh day after the date on which the person begins to work or attend school or the first date the applicable authority by policy allows the person to register,  a person required to register under Chapter 62.152 or any other provision of this chapter who is employed, carries on a vocation or is a student at a public or private institution of higher education in this state shall report that fact to the authority for campus security for that institution.” The SWTJC Police Department is such authority for Southwest Texas Junior College and must receive the required offender registration.

Texas Government Code 508.225 provides for a parole panel to establish a “child safety zone” applicable to a releasee under given circumstances. The panel may require as a condition of parole or mandatory supervision that the releasee not “go in, on, or within a distance specified by the panel of premises where children commonly gather, including a school, day-care facility,…”The frequent presence of children on SWTJC campuses and instructional sites requires that sex offenders on parole or probation check with their parole or probation officers to learn if an SWTJC campus or other SWTJC site has been set as a “child safety zone.” Those releasees who fall under a prohibition referenced in this paragraph may take Distance Learning classes, but only if their presence on campus or on site is not required.

Student Expression

First Amendment

The College District shall take no action respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Board for a redress of grievances.  U.S. Const. Amend. I

Freedom of Speech

Students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.  At school and school events, students have First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.

Student expression that is protected by the First Amendment may not be prohibited absent a showing that the expression will materially and substantially interfere with the operation of the school or the rights of others.

 Protected Speech

 Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cnty. Sch. Dist, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733 (1969)

 Activities such as distributing literature, displaying signs, petitioning for change, and disseminating information concerning issues of public concern are protected by the First Amendment.  Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, 519 U.S. 357, 117 S. Ct. 855 (1997) (recognizing leafleting and commenting on matters of public concern as protected speech); Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 108 S. Ct. 1157 (1988) (recognizing public issue signs as protected speech); Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 108 S. Ct. 1886 (1988) (recognizing the solicitation of signatures for a petition drive as protected speech).

Limitations on Expression

The College District may prohibit expression by students if:

  1. It materially and substantially interferes with school activities;
  2. It materially and substantially interferes with the rights of other students or teachers; or
  3. The College District can demonstrate reasonable cause to believe that the expression would engender such material and substantially interfere.

The College District shall not prohibit student expression solely because other students, teachers, administrators, or parents may disagree with its content.

Time, Place, and Manner Limitations

The College District may limit student expression in manner, place, or time by means of reasonable and equally applied regulations.

Shanley v. Northeast Indep. Sch. Dist., F.2d 960 (5th Cir. 1972) [See also CHE for use of the College District’s mail system]

Medical Probation

A student may be placed on medical probation by the Vice-President of Student Services or the Health Committee.  Any action of the Vice-President of Student Services or Health Committee may be appealed to the President of the college, and a final appeal may be made to the Board of Trustees.

Medical Suspension

 The decision to suspend a student due to medical circumstances is made by the Vice-President of Student Services. A student may appeal his/her suspension to the President of the college. 

Computer Ethics Policy

Southwest Texas Junior College has adopted a College Code of Computer Ethics that is published in the C P Manual and the SWTJC Student Handbook.  Violations of the code are treated like any other ethical violation as outlined in the Student Handbook and applicable faculty and staff handbooks.  The code is based upon information borrowed, with permission, from Iowa State University and EDUCOM, a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities committed to the use and management of information technology in higher education.

 The college Code of Computer Ethics recognizes that respect for intellectual labor and creativity is crucial to educational activities at the college.  Work produced by individuals with the help of computers should be respected for the (a) right to acknowledgement (of author), (b) right to privacy, and (c) right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution.  Because electronic information is so easy to reproduce, it is especially important to be careful to adhere to copyright laws and avoid plagiarism.  It is also important to only use computer facilities and access files with the owner’s permission.  College computing facilities are a valuable resource and should be used appropriately for educational purposes.  Southwest Texas Junior College policies regarding the use of facilities and the ethics of personal behavior apply to the use of all forms of electronic communication.  Certain types of communications are expressly forbidden including the random mailing of messages, sending obscene, harassing, or threatening material, or the use of the facilities for commercial or political purposes.

Interrogations and Searches

The District respects the right of students to privacy and security against arbitrary invasion of their person or property.  However, school officials have a limited right to search students or their property when in the interest of the overall welfare of other students or when necessary to preserve the good order and discipline of the school.

If no search warrant is obtained:

  1. Any prohibited item within “plain view” is subject to seizure.
  2. Dormitory rooms may be searched if probable cause exists and only if exigent circumstances justify not obtaining a search warrant.

Areas such as lockers and desks, which are owned and controlled by the District, may be searched by school officials when they have reasonable cause to believe that stolen items or items prohibited by law or by Board policy are contained in the area to be searched.  Indiscriminate searches in the nature of “fishing expeditions” shall be prohibited.

Stolen items and items which are forbidden by Board policy or law may be impounded and may be used as evidence in internal school disciplinary proceedings against the student.

Limitation

The above policies shall not apply in the event that law enforcement authorities are involved in a search.  School searches conducted with assistance from law enforcement authorities are governed by the Fourth Amendment standards that are applicable in the criminal law context.

U.S. Const., Amend IV; Speake v. Grantham, 317 F.Supp, 1253 (S.D. Miss. 1970:; Smyth v. Lubbers, 398 F.Supp. 777 (W.D. Mich. 1975); Potts v. Wright, 357 F.Supp. 215 (E.D. Pa. 1973); Moore v. Student Affairs Committee of Troy State Univ., 284 F.Supp. 725 (M.D. Ala. 1968); Piazzola v. Watkins, 442 F.2d 284 (5th Cir. 1971).

Involvement in Decision-Making

The SWTJC shall develop and implement policies that provide the students at the college with a reasonable opportunity to appear before any committee or other entity that determines whether a food service provider should be selected or retained by the college.  The policies shall provide the students with a reasonable opportunity to discuss the performance of a food service provider and the students’ recommendations for qualifications of food service providers.

A contract between the college and a food service provider must require the food service provider to periodically hold meetings or forums to provide the students at the college with a reasonable opportunity to discuss the performance of the food service provider.

 

Education Code 51.945.


Concealed Carry Policy


Student Complaints

Exclusions

Student complaints regarding discipline and sexual harassment are covered by separate procedures.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to secure at the first possible level prompt and equitable resolution of student complaints, including those alleging discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Representation

The student may be represented at any level of the complaint.

If the complaint involves a problem with an instructor, the student shall discuss the matter with the instructor before requesting a conference with the department chairman at Level One.

Level One

A student who has a complaint shall request a conference with the department chairman or counselor as appropriate, who shall schedule and hold a conference with the student.

Level Two

If the outcome of the conference with the department chairman or counselor is not to the student’s satisfaction, the student has ten workdays to request a conference with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs or Vice-President of Student Services, as appropriate, or designee(s), who shall schedule and hold a conference.  Prior to or at the conference, the student shall submit a written complaint that includes a statement of the complaint and any evidence in its support, the solution sought, the student’s signature, and the date of the conference with the department chairman or counselor.

Level Three

If the outcome of the conference with the Vice-President is not to the student’s satisfaction, the student has ten workdays to request a conference with the college President or designee, who shall schedule and hold a conference.  Prior to or at the conference, the student shall submit the written statement required at Level Two and the date of the conference with the Vice-President.

Level Four

If the outcome of the conference with the college President or designee is not to the student’s satisfaction, the student may submit to the college President a written request to place the matter on the agenda.

The college President or designee shall inform the student of the date, time, and place of the meeting.  The Board President shall establish a reasonable time limit for complaint presentations.  The Board shall listen to the student’s complaint and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

The Board’s consideration shall be used on the complaint records developed at the administrative reviews and no new evidence shall be received by the Board.  Each side shall be entitled to make oral arguments based on the complaint record within the time restrictions established by the Board.

Closed Meeting

If the complaint involves complaints or charges about an employee, it shall be heard by the Board in closed meeting unless the employee complained about requests it to be public.


Discipline and Penalties

Authority

The District has inherent authority to maintain order and discipline students.  It may discipline students for failing to abide by its standards of conduct.  Speake v. Grantham, 317 F.Supp. 1253 (S.D. Miss. 1970)

Students who cause disorders and disrupt the school’s educational environment may be disciplined.  Lansdale v. Tyler Junior College, 318 F.Supp. 529 (E.D. Tex. 1970)

Students attending the District are subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the Board.  Foley v. Benedict, 55 S.W.2d 805 (Tex. Comm. App. 1932); Calbillo v. San Jacinto Junior College, 305 F.Supp. 857 (S.D. Tex 1969)

Information presented under this Main Heading is supplemented by material in the Southwest Texas Junior College Student Handbook.

Suspension

The District may define offenses for which suspension (for the rest of the semester or for a longer period of time) may be imposed and determine whether the offense has been committed.  Students are entitled to a fair notice or warning of what constitutes prohibited behavior.  Students shall be given a fair opportunity to demonstrate innocence in a hearing before school officials.  Students are entitled to due process in disciplinary hearings, including being given adequate notice of the hearing and definite charges in advance and the right to a fair hearing before an impartial tribunal.  Foley v. Benedict, 55 S.W.2d 805 (Tex. Comm. App. 1932); Cornette v. Aldridge, 408 S.W.2d 935 (Tex. Civ. App. 1966); Jenkins v. Louisiana State Board of Education, 506 F.2d 992 (5th Cir. 1975); Shamloo v. Mississippi State Board of Trustees, etc., 620 F.2d 515 (5th Cir. 1980)

Expulsion of Certain Foreign Students

The Board may expel from the District any student who is a citizen of a country other than the United States attending the District under a nonimmigrant visa issued by Immigration and Naturalization Service and who is finally convicted of certain offenses defined by state law.  Education Code 51.909(a)

Hearing Committee

In cases in which the accused student disputes the facts upon which the charges are based, such charges shall be heard and determined by the Student Discipline Committee.

The Committee shall be impartial and shall be convened by the Vice President of Student Services or the college President

The hearing committee shall preside over a fair hearing for the student and the college District’s administration.  The student and the college District may be represented by counsel at the hearing.

Notice

The Disciplinary Committee shall notify the accused student by letter of the date, time, and place for the hearing.  Unless the student and the Committee otherwise agree, the hearing shall take place within ten workdays after the date of the letter.  If the student has been suspended, the hearing shall take place as soon as possible.

Contents of Notice

The notice shall:

  1. Direct the student to appear on the date and at the time and place specified.
  2. Advise the student of his or her rights:
  3. To be represented by counsel at the hearing;
  4. To call witnesses, request copies of evidence in the college District’s possession, and offer evidence and agreement in his or her own behalf;
  5. To have the hearing recorded verbatim and have a stenographic digest made of the recording;
  6. To ask questions of each witness who testifies against the student.
  7. Contain the names of witnesses who shall testify against the student and a description of documentary and other evidence that will be offered against the student.
  8. Contain a copy or description of the complaint in sufficient detail to enable the student to prepare his or her defense against the charges.
  9. State the proposed punishment or range of punishments that may be imposed. 

Failure to Appear for Hearing

The hearing committee may impose appropriate punishment upon a student who fails without good cause to appear for the hearing; for purposes of assessing punishment, the hearing committee may proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence.

Hearing Procedure

The hearing shall proceed as follows:

  1. The hearing chairperson shall read the complaint.
  2. The hearing chairperson shall inform the student of his or her rights.
  3. The designated official or representative shall present the college District’s case.
  4. The student or representative shall present his or her defense.
  5. The designated official or representative shall present rebuttal evidence.
  6. The designated official or representative shall summarize and argue the college District’s case.
  7. The student or representative shall summarize and argue his or her case.
  8. The designated official or representative shall have an opportunity for rebuttal argument.
  9. The hearing committee may take the matter under advisement for 24 hours before rendering a decision. The decision shall be made by a majority vote.
  10. The decision shall be communicated to the student in writing within 15 workdays of the hearing.

Evidence

Evidence shall be handled according to the following:

  1. Legal rules of evidence do not apply; the hearing committee chairperson may admit evidence that is commonly accepted by reasonable persons in the conduct of their affairs. The hearing chairperson may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence.
  2. At the hearing, the college District shall be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the charges are true.
  3. A student may not be compelled to testify.
  4. The hearing committee shall decide the issue of guilt or innocence and an appropriate penalty solely on the basis of evidence presented at the hearing.
  5. A tape recording shall be made of the hearing. A stenographic digest of the recording shall be made if needed for an appeal, and, on request, a student defendant shall be given a copy of the digest.  A student defendant or his or her representative may listen to the tape recording and compare it with the digest.  A student defendant may, at his or her own expense, have a stenographer present at the hearing to make a stenographic transcript of the hearing.

Decision

The hearing committee shall render a written decision as to the accused student’s guilt or innocence of the charges; if it finds the student guilty, it shall set forth finding of facts in support of its decision.  The penalty shall also be stated in the decision.  The Vice-President shall administer the penalty, if any.

Hearing Records

The disciplinary records and proceedings shall be kept confidential and separate from the student’s academic records.

Types of Penalties

        The hearing committee may impose one or more of the following penalties:

  1. Reprimand – A verbal or written warning to the student following a rule violation. Repetition of such misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
  2. Conditional Probation – The placing of a student on notice that continued infraction of regulations may result in suspension or expulsion from the college. Conditional probation may include social and behavioral restrictions, restitution for harm caused by misconduct of student, or specified community service.  This probation may be for a specified length of time or for an indefinite period according to the relative severity of the infraction or misconduct.  Failure to fulfill the terms of the probation may lead to suspension or expulsion.
  3. Suspension – Forced withdrawal from the college for either a definite period of time or until stated conditions have been met. Normally, suspension shall extend through a minimum of one regular long semester (with summer sessions not counting in the one semester minimum time lapse).  However, suspension may exceed the one semester minimum.
  4. Expulsion – Permanent forced withdrawal from the college. A student receiving disciplinary expulsion shall have the action noted in his/her permanent record.
  5. When cheating, collusion, or plagiarism has occurred beyond any reasonable doubt, the instructor may give the student or students involved an “F” on a particular assignment or exam. The instructor shall make a written report of the incident and of the planned action to his or her respective dean.  Depending upon the seriousness of the academic misconduct, the college District may impose any of the earlier-listed punishments.

Appeal

Any student disciplined pursuant to this policy may, within 15 days of receiving notice of the hearing committee’s decision, petition in writing the college President and Board to review the decision.  The student’s petition shall state with particularity why the decision is believed to be incorrect or unfair.  The college President or Board may, in its sole discretion, choose to allow oral argument on the petition.

Within 30 days of receiving the petition, the college President or Board may act to affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the decision.  If no action is taken within 60 days, the hearing committee’s decision shall thereby be affirmed.