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Student Code of Conduct

(Effective September 4, 2018.)

Introduction

Cambridge College (the “College”) requires all students to act as responsible citizens and members of a higher education academic community. Each student is responsible to know, observe, abide by, and adhere to the College's Student Code of Conduct, policies, rules, and regulations. Students must comply with all policies applicable to conduct in the classroom as well as College-sponsored activities.  The College has made this Code of Conduct, as well as its other policies and procedures, available to its students.  Upon enrolling in the College, students are automatically placed under the guidelines, rules and regulations established by the College.  Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all policies and procedures affecting them.

Consistent with the College's mission and culture of respect, the purposes of the Code are to:

  • Establish standards of personal conduct for all students;
  • Provide for the advancement of knowledge and the development of ethically sensitive and responsible persons; and
  • Recognize that students are adults and, as such, their relationships with the College community should reflect adult behavior.

The types of prohibited conduct set forth in this Code are not intended to be all-inclusive or to limit the types of inappropriate conduct that may subject a student to sanctions or disciplinary action.  Other rules and regulations of the College and the College’s schools and departments may also apply.  In addition, certain school-, department-, or degree-specific rules, policies, or regulations (including any such rules and policies relating to licensing) may supplement or supersede this Code.   These additional rules and policies may be communicated to students in publications and posted notices including, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, Academic Catalog, enrollment contracts, MyCC web portal, and school-specific publications. 

This Code does not govern instances of sexual misconduct/harassment committed by a student, or the College’s process for reviewing and investigating such allegations.  Those standards and processes are set forth in the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Also, this Code does not govern instances of discrimination or harassment as set forth in the College’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy.   

The College reserves the right to amend, supplement, or modify this Code at any time.

Classroom/Field Experience Conduct             

Students have the right to learn without interference from others. Faculty members have the authority to protect this right by creating and maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning. The college is an institution of learning and teaching and strives to maintain a climate of respect, sensitivity, and courtesy.

Classroom/field experience misconduct is any behavior which disrupts or interferes with the learning experience or violates the expectations of any instructor or field experience supervisor. Students are required and expected to conduct themselves in a mature and considerate manner. Interruptions and disruptions of the classroom atmosphere inhibit and prevent learning and teaching. Students are expected to conduct and express themselves in a way that is respectful to all individuals. This includes respecting the rights of others to comment and participate fully in class as well as following specific guidelines provided by the College, instructors, or field placement supervisors.

Examples of Classroom/Field Experience Misconduct

Classroom/field experience misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Engaging in behavior that disrupts or interferes with the learning experience, including talking in class while the faculty member or other students are speaking, using offensive language or personal attack, creating distractions or disturbances, sleeping, and reading unrelated materials.
  2. Using cell phones or other electronic devices that disrupt the learning process. The use of personal laptop computers, phones, etc. may be acceptable in some classes; however, they must be used only for note-taking or activities in direct support of the course objectives. Faculty members have the right to ask students to shut down any electronic devices.
  3. Entering the classroom late or leaving the classroom prior to the end of class, unless exceptional circumstances arise.

Consequences of Classroom/Field Experience Misconduct

Any student who commits an act of classroom/field experience misconduct will be subject to classroom and College sanctions as determined by this Code and/or any policies established by the College’s individual schools or departments.  Unlike other violations of this Code, an instance of classroom/field experience misconduct can be resolved directly by the applicable professor or instructor.  If a professor or instructor determines that a student has engaged in classroom/field misconduct, he/she may impose sanctions, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Giving a warning — an oral explanation of the violation and the possible consequences if misconduct continues;
  • Dismissal from the remaining class/field experience time during which the infraction occurs;
  • Dismissal from the remaining class/field experience time during which the infraction occurs, with required meeting with a designated College employee (e.g., faculty member, department chair, Dean of Student Affairs, etc.) prior to returning to class;
  • Assignment of a reduced or failing grade on an assignment, paper, project or exam;
  • Reduction in the final grade for the course;
  • Assignment of a failing grade for the course;
  • Required meeting with the faculty member and/or a College official if necessary; and
  • Referral to the Office of Student Affairs.

If a student is removed from class for a second offense, or if the first offense is egregious and/or involves threatening or violent behavior, the student could be placed on temporary suspension from that class pending investigation by the Dean of Student Affairs.

Any student who receives a sanction for classroom/field experience misconduct may pursue the student appeal process set forth in Student Conduct Process and Procedures.  Withdrawal from a course does not exempt a student from any pending allegations of classroom misconduct.

Academic Honesty

The College believes that each student can learn, notwithstanding his or her age, life history, current circumstances, or past academic experience. The College is a learning community in which adult students experience educational practices that honor and empower them. The College works with students to design the education and training needed for their academic and career success through programs which develop and enhance skills, competencies, attitudes, and values.   The College’s students are expected to meet high academic standards.

In order for students to take advantage of the educational opportunities at the College, they must engage with and generate their own original papers, exams and other assignments.  Students may not reproduce the work of others and characterize it as their own. Not only is such a practice dishonest, but it does not lead to the development of new skills and habits of mind.

Academic dishonesty is any form of academic conduct that is deceptive, dishonest, or fraudulent.  Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrications. 

Cheating

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Using resources not authorized by the faculty member (textbooks, notes, websites, the work of other students) to complete examinations or other assignments;
  • Giving or receiving content information relating to assignments/quizzes/tests/examinations to/from others unless authorized by the instructor;
  • Using unauthorized electronic equipment;
  • Submitting academic work previously submitted in another course without authorization; and
  • Altering or otherwise tampering with grades.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is intentional or unintentional use of the intellectual creations of another source, person or organization without proper attribution. Credit must be given for every direct quotation, for paraphrasing or summarizing a work (in whole, or in part) in one's own words, and for information that is not common knowledge. Plagiarism usually takes two main forms:

  • Stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words, images, or other creative works of another; and
  • Using or relying upon another’s work without crediting the source, even if only minimal information is available to identify it for citation.

Fabrication

Fabrication is defined as intentionally falsifying or inventing any information or citation on any academic exercise, without authorization.  Therefore:

  • "Invented" information may not be used in any laboratory experiment or academic exercise.
  • One should acknowledge the actual source from which cited information is obtained.
  • Students must not change or resubmit previous academic work without prior permission of the instructor.

Other Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Other examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying during a test or allowing another student to copy during a test;
  • Giving homework, term papers, or other academic work to another student to plagiarize;
  • Submitting any work that is not one's own;
  • Falsifying information to a faculty member or College official;
  • Altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading without the instructor's knowledge/approval;
  • Stealing or improperly obtaining tests or other assessment items;
  • Forging signatures on College documents;
  • Giving false or misleading information to a faculty member in an effort to receive a postponement or an extension on a test or other assignment;
  • Accessing computerized College records or systems without authorization;
  • Unauthorized recording, reproduction, retransmission, or redistribution of course materials (e.g., lectures, handouts, podcasts, exams, student projects, group work, online material, etc.); and
  • Providing material or information to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above.

Process for Instances of Academic Dishonesty and Potential Consequences

The College’s process for resolving instances of academic dishonestly are set forth below. 

  1. If a student's work in a course is deemed by the professor to constitute academic dishonesty (e.g., the work includes plagiarized material), the following steps will be taken:
    1. The professor will approach the student in a private setting and discuss the matter with the student directly.
    2. The seriousness of the incident will be discussed with the student, and the potential consequences will be reviewed.
    3. If applicable, the student may be given a copy of an overview of plagiarism such as the one developed by the School of Undergraduate Studies.
    4. The subject work will be returned to the student without a grade. A copy will be kept by the professor.
  2. If it is clear to the professor that the student was simply unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty, or that the academic dishonesty was otherwise unintentional, then the opportunity to re-write or re-do the assignment will be offered.  The professor will then assign a grade to the new assignment.  If the academic dishonesty resulted from plagiarism, then the opportunity to re-write or re-do the assignment will be subject to the following additional conditions:
    1. The student must take a plagiarism tutorial.  One example of such a tutorial is at: https://www.indiana.edu/~istd/test.html.
    2. The student must provide a printout of the tutorial results as a condition for resubmitting the assignment.  Note that a certificate will only be available to the student if he or she completes the entire assignment correctly.
  3. If it is determined by the professor that the student's intent was to knowingly commit academic dishonesty, then the student will be informed that he or she will be receiving a grade of "F" or "NC" for the assignment/course (at the discretion of the professor) or will be recommended to the Dean of the College for dismissal from the College or program.  If the matter is referred to the Dean, the Dean shall make a determination on the recommendation and, if applicable, may impose a sanction, including those sanctions listed on page X of this Code.  If the student disagrees with the decision of the professor or the Dean,, he/she should follow the Student Academic Grievance Procedure starting with Formal Process.

General Conduct

All students are expected to respect and value the rights of others and conduct themselves as responsible citizens. Choosing to join the College community obligates each student to abide by a code of respectful behavior. The following personal actions, whether on- or off-campus, are prohibited.  The following list contains specific conduct that is prohibited by the College under this Code.  The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and the College reserves the right to impose sanctions on students for personal actions which may not be expressly identified.  The College’s other rules and policies set forth additional prohibited conduct. 

  1. Attempts to Defraud

Includes any activity intended to misrepresent any official document or identification used by or issued by the College.

  1. Bullying

Bullying is systematic intentional behavior that threatens, intimidates, or is intended to threaten or intimidate others.  Bullying may take many forms, including but not limited to, repeated unwanted physical, verbal, or written acts, which are hostile or offensive; that target at an individual or group and create an intimidating and/or threatening environment or a risk of psychological and/or physical harm. Bullying may manifest as cyber stalking or cyber bullying as well as behaviors such as ignoring or dismissing individuals or groups.

  1. Hostile behaviors include, but are not limited to, inappropriate behaviors that are harmful or damaging to an individual and/or property. Behaviors that are intimidating, threatening, disruptive, humiliating, sarcastic or vicious may also constitute hostile behavior. Offensive behaviors may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate behaviors such as abusive language, derogatory remarks, or insults.
  2. Other offensive behaviors may include the use of condescending, humiliating, or vulgar language, swearing, shouting or use of unsuitable language, use of obscene gestures or mocking.

 

  1. Copyright Infringement

Students must respect copyright laws that protect publishers, software owners, artists, and writers. The use of College resources to infringe upon copyright laws (print, digital, and Internet) is prohibited. This applies to all forms of electronic media including, but not limited to, software, electronic encyclopedias, image files, video files and sound files.

  1. Demonstrations

The College encourages civilized discourse.  However, the College will not tolerate any mass assemblies or demonstrations that disrupt the classroom experience, work environment, or movement of others.  The College also forbids all acts of violence, threatening conduct, and physical interference with the facilities or functions of the College campus. If protestors (or anti-protestors) resort to the use of violence or physical interference, College officials may, without delay, invoke the use of legitimate authority to remove all violators.

  1. Disruptive Behavior

Includes the disruption of College activities and College business in classes, programs, meetings, and other student activities. Disruption may include: disorderly conduct, lewd or indecent behavior, breach of peace, or aiding, abetting or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the College.

  1. Ethical and Acceptable Use of Technology

The use of technology resources is subject to all federal, state and local laws, and to the College's applicable policies and guidelines.

  1. Gangs

Involvement in gang-related activities includes, but is not limited to, the display of gang symbols, gang paraphernalia, colors, signs, or graffiti. A gang is defined as a group of individuals with identifiable leadership that conspires and acts in concert, mainly for criminal purposes. Behavior on or about College premises or at College-sponsored events that creates conflict or an atmosphere of intimidation, or creates a clear and present danger to life or property, or disrupts orderly operation, is prohibited.

  1. Hazing

Hazing means any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of an individual (including, without limitation, an act intended to cause degradation, cruelty, or humiliation), or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation in, admission to, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. Hazing is prohibited by the College.

In response to allegations of hazing, it is not a defense that:

a. The victim gave consent to the conduct;

b. The conduct was not part of an official organizational event or sanctioned or approved by the organization; or

c. The conduct was not required as a condition of membership in the organization.

 

  1. Illegal or Unauthorized Possession/Use of Alcohol and Drugs

This includes the unauthorized use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of illegal drugs (under federal or state law), controlled substances, narcotics, or alcoholic beverages or being under the unauthorized influence of the same on campus.  Prohibited conduct includes the use of a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student, and sniffing toxic vapors.

  1. Illegal or Unauthorized Possession/Use of Weapons

The College prohibits the possession, use, control or distribution of any weapons, including but not limited to, firearms, pellet guns, air pistols/rifles, explosives, dangerous chemicals, knives, stilettos, dirks, brass knuckles, licensed weapons, or other objects or instruments possessed for use as a weapon.

  1. Indecent or Obscene Behavior

Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, indecent exposure, urinating or defecating in public, voyeurism, etc.

  1. Misrepresentation

Includes representing or acting on behalf of the College or another individual when not authorized to do so.

  1. Misuse or Unauthorized Possession or Use of Public or Private Property

Includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Theft or the taking or unauthorized use or possession of public or private property or unauthorized use or acquisition of services;
  2. Destroying, damaging or littering of any property;
  3. Conduct that defaces, destroys, damages, or litters any property of the College or any property of an individual or group.

 

  1. Obstruction/Abuse of Student Conduct Process

Includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Failure to comply with any aspect of any student disciplinary process;;
  2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information in connection with any student disciplinary process;
  3. Disruption or interference with the orderly process of a discipline hearing;
  4. Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in or use of any student grievance or appeals process;
  5. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any student disciplinary process or grievance process, or any College individual involved in the process;
  6. Verbal or physical harassment and/or intimidation of any individual who participates in any student disciplinary process or grievance process.
  7. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of any student disciplinary process or grievance process.
  8. Retaliating against any other College community member because of their participation in any student disciplinary process or grievance process.

 

  1. Refusal to Identify and/or Comply

Students must comply with all lawful directives of College officials and agents, including security personnel.  Conduct that violates this Code includes, but is not limited to: failing to follow such lawful directives of a College official; violating the terms of a disciplinary sanction imposed by this policy; and disobedience or insubordination toward College officials or designees acting in the performance of their duties.  Students are required to produce identification for a College official when asked, specifically their student ID card.

  1. Rioting

Rioting is defined as engaging in, or inciting others to engage in, harmful or destructive behavior in the context of an assembly of persons disturbing the peace. Rioting includes, but is not limited to, such conduct as using or threatening violence to others, damaging or destroying property, impeding or impairing fire or other emergency services, or refusing the direction of authorized personnel.

  1. Safety Violations

Conduct which endangers the health or safety of any person(s), including, but not limited to:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly starting a fire or causing an explosion;
  2. Misusing fire safety equipment, fire escapes or elevators;
  3. Intentionally or recklessly endangering the welfare of any individual;
  4. Intentionally or recklessly obstructing fire, police, or emergency services;
  5. Using, possessing, or storing dangerous chemicals, fireworks, or explosives;
  6. Using or storing a weapon on college property;
  7. Utilizing any instrument in a manner that endangers or tends to endanger any person;
  8. Obstructing the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
  9. Failing to comply with the reasonable and lawful directions of CC officials; and
  10. Falsely alerting others about an emergency.

 

  1. Stalking

A course of conduct involving more than one instance of unwanted attention, physical or verbal contact, or any other course of conduct directed at an individual that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm that individual or place him/her in fear of harm or injury, including physical, emotional, or psychological harm.    

  1. Threatening Behavior Includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Any written or oral communication, conduct or gesture that causes a reasonable apprehension of physical harm to a person or property.
    2. Interference by force, threat, harassment or duress with personal safety, academic efforts, employment and/or participation in College-sponsored activities.

Note: A student can be responsible for threatening behavior even if the person who is the object of the threat does not observe or receive it, so long as a reasonable person would interpret the maker's statement, communication, conduct or gesture as a serious expression of intent to physically harm.

  1. Threatening or Causing Physical or Other Harm to any Person

Includes any conduct that threatens or causes physical injury or endangers another person's or one's own health or safety including, but not limited to: physical violence, assault, or the threat to use physical violence; use or possession of fireworks, gunpowder, dangerous chemicals, or explosive materials; and blocking or preventing the use of or access to fire exit doors and building hallways, etc.

  1. Unauthorized Access and Use of Facilities and Services

Includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Unauthorized access or entry (as determined by a College official) to College buildings, structures or facilities, information systems, or obtaining or providing to another person the means of such unauthorized access.
  2. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or access cards for any College property.
  3. Continued occupation of any College facility after being requested to leave by a College employee, official or designee acting in the performance of their duties.

 

  1. Violations of College Rules, Procedures, and Policies

Students are responsible for making themselves aware of and complying with College policies and guidelines, which can be found on MyCC.

  1. Violation of Local, State or Federal Laws

Includes engaging in conduct that violates any municipal or county ordinance, federal or state law, including, but not limited to, laws governing alcoholic beverages, drugs, gambling, sex offenses, indecent conduct, arson, copyright, etc. The conduct process may be instituted without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution.

  1. Complicity in Violating the Student Code of Conduct

The College does not condone any complicit behavior that assists or results in a violation of this Code.  Such behavior includes attempting, aiding, abetting, conspiring to commit, hiring someone to commit, or being an accessory to any act prohibited by this Code.  If a student has knowledge of another student, individual, or group committing or attempting to commit a violation of this Code, he or she is required to remove him or herself from the situation and report it to the College.

Student Conduct Process and Procedures

Any member of the Cambridge College community (e.g., students, faculty or staff) may file a report against a student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  A report may be filed with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.  As noted above, however, this Student Conduct Process and Procedure may not govern all reports of student misconduct (e.g., violations of the College’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.  In addition, certain school-, department-, or degree-specific rules, policies, or regulations (including any such rules and policies relating to licensing) may supplement or supersede this Student Conduct Process.   

The Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) handles alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct. When a student has been charged with a violation of the Code, the student will be notified of the charges in writing.  Following notification, the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) will meet with the student charged.  The student may have an advisor present during the meeting. If there is more than one accused student in the case, it is within the discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) to conduct the meeting(s) either separately or jointly.  The Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) may also conduct meetings and interviews with the complaining student(s) and any witnesses, and may collect and review any documentary materials that he/she believes to be relevant to the alleged violation. 

A student charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may obtain an advisor to assist the student during the Student Conduct Process.  The student advisor may be an individual of the student's choice but must be a member of the Cambridge College faculty, staff, or student body.  The student must provide at least 24 hours prior notice of his/her/their advisor before any meeting or conference during which the student wishes the advisor to attend.  If the Dean of Student Affairs or designee does not give prior approval of the advisor, the advisor may be dismissed at the time of the hearing. If a student and/or group or organization is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) shall determine the sanction(s) to be imposed. The student and/or group or organization (and a complainant who believes s/he was the victim of another student's conduct) will receive the determination and sanction(s) imposed, if any, in writing.

Sanctions                              

The following sanctions/consequences may be imposed by the College for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct (unless stated otherwise in the Code). 

  1. Verbal warning
  2. Written warning
  3. Probation - A period of observation and review of conduct during which the student or organization must demonstrate compliance with College standards. Terms of this probationary period will be determined at the time probation is imposed.
  4. Permanent or temporary removal from a course.
  5. Permanent or temporary removal from a program.
  6. Restitution - Restitution is monetary compensation required of students who have taken, misused, damaged, or destroyed College property or the property of another. Amounts charged to students may include cost to repair, replace, recover, clean, or otherwise account for the property affected.
  7. Suspension - the student or organization has temporary loss of student status for a specified length of time.
  8. Expulsion from the College
    1. Expulsion is the most serious disciplinary action and means the permanent removal of the student from the College.  Expulsion includes forfeiture of all rights and degrees not actually awarded at the time of the expulsion, notification of expulsion to the student and/or permanent notation of the action on the student’s record. A “W” grade will be recorded on the permanent record for each course on the student’s schedule at the time of expulsion. The student may no longer participate for any purpose in any College activity or be on College property owned, operated, leased, or maintained for any purpose except when engaged in official business approved in writing by the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee).  The College takes this sanction very seriously.  If the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) believes that expulsion is warranted, s/he will make a recommendation to the Provost who will constitute a committee to evaluate the recommendation.  The committee may also consult with the College President on an “as needed” basis.  The committee will make the decision as to expulsion. 
  9. Other Sanction-Other sanctions may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, specific sanctions listed in this section. These may include, but are not limited to: recommendations for counseling, establishment of mandatory behavior conditions/contract-signing stating agreed-upon behavior expectations for continued enrollment or reenrollment; loss of access to College computers and/or network; a specific project designed to assist the student in better understanding the overall impact of his or her behavioral infraction; a contract of terms for restitution of damages/stolen property before enrollment is continued and/or records are released; suspension without pay from an on-campus job; and suspension from participation in extracurricular activities, interscholastic or leadership positions, or community service.
  10. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree — Admission to or a degree awarded from the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of College standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
  11. Withholding Degree — The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation. Sanctions of suspension, expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree will become a permanent part of a student’s record. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:

  1. Those sanctions listed above.
  2. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
  3. Loss of Recognition — College student organizations may lose recognition and will be deprived of the use of College resources, the use of the College's name, and the right to participate in College or campus-sponsored activities. This loss of recognition may be for a specific period of time or for an indefinite period of time until all stated conditions are met.

Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) may impose an interim suspension prior to the completion of the conduct process. An Interim suspension may be imposed to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or the preservation of College property or if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the college. During the interim suspension, the student may be denied access to the College campus (including classes) or to a particular building or part of the College property.  S/he may also be permitted to access certain College property only at select times and on select days.  The terms of any suspension shall be determined by the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee), in consultation with the Provost.  Interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule.

Requesting a hearing

If a student disagrees with the decision reached by the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) or with any or all of the sanctions imposed, s/he may request a hearing before a hearing committee.  If appealing a decision that resulted in a warning only, the case is only eligible for a review of written documentation by the Provost (or designee).  The hearing committee process will not apply.

Process for Requesting a Hearing:  The request for the hearing must be made in writing within five (5) business days following the Dean of Student Affairs’ (or designee's) written notification of the conduct decision to the student.

Hearing Committee Make-up

The hearing committee will consist of three (3) people selected from a pool of hearing members appointed by the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee).  The appealing student, and any other student-party to the underlying student conduct process, shall be given written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing, the reason for the assigned decision and sanction, a list of potential witnesses (unless by doing so would compromise their safety), and the list of hearing committee members.  If any student who participates in the hearing committee process believes that one or more members of the hearing committee has a conflict of interest, that student shall notify the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) immediately and, in any event, at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the hearing.

Timing

The hearing must begin within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the student's request and proceed as promptly as possible. (Upon mutual agreement between the student and the College, the timeline may extend past the twenty business days.) The appealing student, and any other student-party to the underlying student conduct process, may attend the hearing, present evidence and witnesses, and hear witnesses.  Questions to witnesses may be directed through the hearing committee chair.

Rules and Regulations

  1. For the hearing, students are entitled to be accompanied by one advisor.
  2. The student's advisor shall have no role at the Hearing other than to advise the student. The advisor shall not be permitted to ask or answer questions or to make oral arguments or otherwise disrupt or delay the hearing.
  3. Pre-Hearing Conference:  The College will convene a pre-hearing conference for the appealing student, and for any other student-party to the underlying student conduct process.  Each student will receive notification of this meeting by a letter explaining the nature of the appeal. The purpose of this meeting is for the Dean of Student Affairs or designee to familiarize the students with the hearing process and to allow the students to prepare for the hearing.
  4. The chair of the hearing committee will establish what will govern the hearing by following the guidelines below:
    1. Witness lists and all documents to be presented in the hearing will be exchanged between the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) and the appealing student prior to the hearing. This process will be coordinated by the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) and copies of the information will be provided to the hearing committee at the beginning of the hearing.
    2. All individuals present will be introduced.
    3. The Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) will elect a representative to present the complaint and decision of the Dean of Student Affairs, citing, where applicable, the specific policy(ies), rule(s), or regulation(s) at issue.
    4. The appealing student will be given an opportunity to respond briefly.
    5. The Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) will elect a representative to briefly present relevant information. Witnesses and documents may be presented.   The appealing student may request that the hearing committee ask certain questions of the witness(es). 
    6. The appealing student will be given an opportunity to respond briefly. Witnesses and documents may be presented. The hearing committee may pose questions to the witness(es).  The hearing committee retains the discretion to determine which materials to consider, which witnesses contain relevant information, and which questions are appropriate to ask the witnesses. 
    7. In its discretion, the hearing committee may elect to allow any other student-party to the underlying student conduct process (i.e. the non-appealing student(s)) the opportunity to present relevant information and/or to pose relevant questions, through the Committee to the witness(es).
    8. The appealing student will be given an opportunity to ask questions.
    9. The Dean of Student Affairs and appealing student will be allowed to present summation statements.
    10. All participants are expected to act in a courteous fashion and to respect the protocols established by the chair of the hearing committee. Interruptions, name-calling, threats, or other rude or inappropriate behavior will result in sanctions or disciplinary actions being imposed on the offending party.
    11. The hearing committee may proceed with its hearing and make its determinations and recommendations without the presence of the student if the committee determines that the student was properly notified of the hearing and fails to attend without good cause.
  5. Questions from the student(s) to witnesses or to other students will be directed through the Hearing Committee Chairperson.
  6. Unless the law requires, the hearings are not open to the public.

Hearing Decision

Following the hearing, the hearing committee will deliberate and determine whether to affirm, modify, or reject the decision(s) of the Dean of Students (or designee).  The decision of the hearing committee will be based solely upon matters introduced into evidence during the hearing.   In the case of an appeal concerning a sanction, the hearing committee may maintain or lessen the sanction's impact, but cannot assign a more significant sanction. A vote of two committee members will be considered a majority decision and will be presented in writing, no later than twenty (20) business days after the conclusion of the hearing, to all the student-parties to the hearing committee process. 

Final Appeal

Any student-party to the hearing committee process may appeal the hearing committee's decision in writing to the Provost within five (5) business days of the committee’s decision.  This final level of appeal is a review of written documentation only.  If it is not filed within this time, the student will waive his or her final appeal opportunity.

  1. Appeal Procedures: All appeals must be submitted in writing directly to the Provost. All appeals must include the name, address, and telephone number of the appealing student; and must clearly explain, in detail, the basis for the appeal. The basis for the appeal must address one or more of the followings in detail:
    1. Whether appropriate procedures were followed;
    2. Whether the sanctions imposed are appropriate, reasonable or just;
    3. Whether the decision was supported or unsupported by evidence; and/or
    4. Whether all relevant information was available at the time of the hearing.
  2. If the appealing student fails to follow through with the above-outlined process, the appeal opportunity will be forfeited.
  3. Provost Decision: After reviewing the hearing committee's written decision, along with the written appeal from the student, the Provost shall have ten (10) business days to render a written decision. The decision shall be final, binding, and mailed, by first-class mail, to all the student-parties to the hearing committee process.     

Record Keeping

All sanctions or disciplinary actions are recorded and maintained by the Dean of Students.

External Resources

State Education Commissions

Grievances may be taken to the appropriate state education commission. Please note that state authorities typically expect a student to make every attempt to resolve a problem within their college first. Each state has its own procedure for handling complaints, often including a student complaint form and other documentation. They typically do not accept anonymous complaints. 

Complaints are handled by the state education commissions listed below for the main campus and regional locations. Students who reside in other states see also Complaint Process for All States, below.

California — A student or any member of the public may file a complaint/grievance with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at any time by calling 1-888-370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau’s Internet web site, http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml

Massachusetts — Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, One Ashburton Place, Room 1401, Boston, MA  02108 • 617-994-6950
www.mass.edu/forstudents/complaints/complaintprocess.asp

Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education, PO Box 19900, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910-1900 • 787-641-7100 • Fax: 787-641-2573 • www.ce.pr.gov

Other External Resources

Standards for Accreditation — The NEVHE (formerly known as NEASC) complaint procedures are solely for the purpose of addressing significant non-compliance with the Standards for Accreditation, not for individual dispute resolution.

Contact: New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA  01803-4514  • 781.425.7785 • email: info@neche.org

Equal Opportunity, Harrassment, Sexual Harrassment — Please contact:

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center

Boston, MA 02203 • 617-565-3200

EEOC offices nationwide are listed online at www.eeoc.gov

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)www.mass.gov/mcad

One Ashburton Place, Sixth Floor, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108  • 617-994-6000

436 Dwight Street, Second Floor, Room 220, Springfield, MA 01103 • 413-739-2145

FERPA — If the College fails to comply with FERPA requirements, written complaints may be submitted to:

Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC  20202-8520

 


Latest revision: June to September 2018

Adopted date: September 4, 2018