Dec 06, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Administrative Withdrawal

Students will be administratively withdrawn from college if:

  • The student account balance is not paid in full by the end of the fourth week of the term, or
  • The student/parent is not currently paying on a payment plan, or
  • The student has not completed the financial aid process in order to receive funds to cover their account balance.

Educational Community

Students, as members of the academic community, have the responsibility to create and support an educational environment which will achieve the basic purposes of an institution of higher learning. Each member of the community should be treated with respect and dignity. Each has the right to learn which imposes a duty not to infringe upon the rights of others. Each student is a member of a learning community that entails responsibility to enhance the learning of others.

The academic community environment is designed to encourage a variety of thoughts, behaviors, and values within the educational goals of the community. An important aspect of the community is the recognition of differences between individuals. In all instances, including informal College activities and associations, each individual should be treated in a fair and unbiased manner. Students shall actively encourage practices that insure all persons are welcome at the College and are extended all the privileges of the academic community to which they are entitled.

Rights and Responsibilities in the Classroom

Freedom of Expression

As appropriate for the course content, students have the right of expression in the classroom and the responsibility to learn from the course of study according to the standards of performance established by the faculty. Student behavior in a classroom should contribute to the learning process for themselves and other students. As members of a learning community, students have an obligation for contributing to the learning of others in the process of their own learning. Communication that threatens individuals, disrupts the learning process, and/or creates a harassing environment is not a right held pursuant to this right of expression. Disruptive behavior undermines the learning environment for others.

Faculty have the right to restrict classroom discussions and/or redirect comments that do not contribute to established course curriculum topics and learning outcomes.

Instructional and Grading Procedures

The faculty determines the character of courses which includes content and instructional and grading procedures. Students have the right to be informed at the beginning of each course of the nature of the course, course expectation, evaluation standards, and the grading system through the official course syllabus. Students may ask for an evaluation of their performance during the progress of a course.

Each student has the right to a course grade based upon a sound academic evaluation and upon a specified grading procedure. A student has the right to receive, upon request, a clarification of the grade received. In cases that the student has documented evidence to indicate the performance evaluation exhibited prejudice or bias and was based on factors other than student performance, the student may submit a grade appeal. Colleges shall provide standing committees to consider cases in which the student or faculty member chooses to appeal the initial decision. Any of these committees shall have the authority to recommend, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, changes in the grade based upon its findings.

Faculty-Student Consultation

As members of a learning community, students are encouraged to meet with faculty for clarification of assignments, unclear concepts, progress in course, career opportunities, methods of study, and other course and program matters.

Student Evaluation of Instruction

As members of a learning community, students have an important role in contributing to the appraisal of instruction, through providing insight into instructional effectiveness as perceived from their perspective. Faculty have an obligation to solicit student appraisal of the learning environment, combine student feedback with other evidence, and make changes in accordance with their best judgment. To assist the faculty in the task of providing the best possible education, students should express their reactions and opinions about quality and relevancy of the instruction to the Department Chair or Dean. Each College should establish a standing procedure through which student evaluations can be expressed.

Rights and Responsibilities in Other Instructional Settings

Freedom of Expression

The acquisition, understanding, and interpreting of knowledge can be facilitated by the study and consideration of controversial issues and positions. Free expression in the academic community shall not be abridged by special restrictions or censorship on publications, speakers or broadcasting. Any formally recognized student group, in consultation with faculty advisors and/or College administrators, shall be allowed to invite and hear any person of its own choosing who does not substantially disrupt the operation of the College. Those procedures required by the institution before a guest speaker appears on campus should insure orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event. The event should be conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. The institutional control of College facilities should not be used as a device of censorship but should contribute to student learning.

It should be made clear to the academic and larger communities that sponsorship of events and speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views or actions by either the sponsoring group or the College. Participation in the exchange of ideas through these media is a normal expectation of the academic community. See Board of Trustees Policy 3250 Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Government

Students should be free, individually or collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student population. The students should have clearly defined means to participate equitably in the formulation of institutional policies and procedures which affect student life. Student government is the principal agency for student participation in the decision-making process of the College.

Student Organizations

Students bring to the College a variety of interests and can be expected to develop new interests as members of the academic community. They should be free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests, provided those associations are not likely to materially and substantially disrupt the operation of the College. Students should be able to participate in those organizations provided they meet the membership requirements set up by the organization; in no instance will these criteria for membership violate the College’s non-discrimination policy. For additional policy information, see Board of Trustees Policy 3300 - Student Organizations

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records. The Act provides for a student’s right to review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and to limit certain disclosures of information from records.

Right to Review Records: With certain exceptions, a student has a right to review records which are directly related to him/her and are maintained by the College. A student request to see their file is to be sent to the office, which maintains the file and will be honored within forty-five (45) days. Students must pay for the cost to make copies of any records. Parents of dependent students have the right to review information about their children, such as grades, bills, and other information without having to gain students’ consent as long as dependency is documented to the College.

Releasing Information Pursuant to Student Consent: Except as authorized by this policy, non-directory information, as defined herein, will be released only upon the written request of the student. When information is released from a student’s file pursuant to the student’s written consent, the consent document, the reason(s) for the release, and the name of the recipient of the release must be attached to the copy of the data released, which is kept in the file. The recommendation or data released must include a statement that the information is not to be released to anyone else without the student’s written consent.

Releasing Information Without Student Consent: Colleges may, upon written request, release non-directory personally identifiable education records without student consent in accordance with FERPA and federal regulations. A record of such releases to third parties must be maintained by the College. No consent from the student is required for the release of, or access to, an education record or personally identifiable information under the following circumstances:

  • By school officials who have a legitimate educational interest.
    • School officials include a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health center staff); a person serving on a board or committee; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the School with respect to the use and maintenance of information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing their tasks.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review a record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibilities for the College. This includes, but is not limited to, performing an administrative task outlined in that official’s duties; performing a supervisory or instructional task directly related to a student or the College; or performing a service or benefit for the student or the College such as health care, job placement, security, residential services, the acquisition of learning materials or student financial aid.
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the College, in order to: (i) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (ii) administer student aid programs; or (iii) improve instruction.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  • To parents of a student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
  • To the victim and/or the general public the final result of a campus disciplinary proceeding involving a violent crime or non-forcible sex offense where the accused was found to have violated College rules or policies.
  • To an official of another school, school system, or institution of higher education in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Colleges shall provide access to education records of students who apply for admission and/or transfer within the NSCS whenever such records are requested by another NSCS College without obtaining student consent for such a release.
  • Directory information, as described below.
  • Other disclosures not listed above as permitted by FERPA and other applicable laws.

Directory Information: Colleges may disclose directory information relating to a student without violating FERPA, unless a student has restricted the disclosure of the student’s directory information in the Student Information System.

Directory information consists of:

  • Student’s legal name and chosen name
  • Address (local, permanent, and college-assigned electronic mail)
  • Telephone numbers
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight, height and photographs of athletic team members
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance (only beginning and end dates of semesters)
  • Year in school
  • Enrollment status (full/part-time)
  • Date of graduation
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

Filing Complaints: Persons wishing to file complaints regarding this policy or its implementation may do so with the U.S. Department of Education. See the Vice President or Dean responsible for Student Affairs for further information regarding such matters.

For more information, see Board of Trustees Policy 3650 Student Records