Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires institutions of higher education to establish written policies and guidelines governing the review, inspection, release, amendment, and maintenance of student educational records.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has established policies and guidelines to ensure that the education records of its students are treated responsibly in accordance with the Act and U. S. Department of Education regulations. These policies and guidelines may be obtained from the Central Records Office. Each student has the right to inspect personal educational records. Under limited circumstances, copies may be obtained from the College with payment of appropriate fees.
If a student believes personal education records contain inaccurate or misleading information or violate privacy or other rights, the student may submit a written appeal to the Registrar seeking to amend them.
Within twenty days after receipt of the appeal, the Registrar will issue a decision regarding the appeal. If the decision is to refuse to amend the student’s educational records, the student may file a written request for a hearing. The student will be provided a full and fair opportunity to present evidence. A final written decision will be rendered based upon the evidence submitted at the hearing.
All transcripts and documents submitted from other institutions become the property of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and, as such, come under the control of the Registrar’s Office. Southern is not required to provide copies of these documents. Transcripts submitted to Southern for review of transfer credit also become the property of Southern and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to other institutions. Students may file complaints concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the Act or regulations promulgated there under with the United States Department of Education (FERPA), Office of the Review Board, Washington, D. C. 20202.
Student Right-To-Know Act
Section 103 of the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991, requires public disclosure of relevant graduation rate information for students enrolled in colleges and universities receiving federal financial assistance. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College makes available to currently enrolled as well as prospective students the graduation rate for the most recent cohort of entering students that have had an opportunity to complete or graduate from their respective programs in the specified completion period. This information is available on Southern’s website at https://www.southernwv.edu/about-us/consumer-informationdisclosure/.
A student entering Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College shall follow the provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of initial enrollment.
Any student who interrupts his/her enrollment for more than one year or who fails to meet the graduation requirements within a five-year period for the associate degree or a three year period for a certificate degree from the date of initial enrollment will be subject to the provisions of the current catalog. If a student completes less than six semester hours during any one academic year–one fall semester
to the next-he/she becomes subject to the provisions of the current catalog.
This policy does not imply that the College will necessarily continue to offer all courses needed to complete all programs for which students have enrolled. If a substitution course is needed, a suitable course must be recommended by the advisor and have the approval of the appropriate Dean and the Chief Academic Officer prior to the student enrolling for the course.
Consumer Information (Policy SCP-1003)
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will comply with the federal and state guidelines by providing required information on the College’s website and through other means of communication, as specified in the federal and/or state guidelines, to prospective students, current students, employees, and the general public.
General disclosure requirements can be found in the SCP-1003 on Southern’s website at https://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies/
Consumer information is posted on the College’s webpage. Information that is required to be sent directly to students will be communicated through the student’s e-mail, which is an official method of communication between the College and students. Complaints can be filed with the appropriate personnel.
Consumer Information can be found on Southern’s website at https://www.southernwv.edu/about-us/consumer-information-disclosure/
Student Standards of Academic Progress (Policy SCP-3736)
To establish and communicate criteria for student standards of academic progress to all students.
A student at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better to complete certificate or degree requirements. Failure to maintain this average during any semester involving credit hours attempted could jeopardize his/her progress toward meeting these requirements.
If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.0, the Chief Academic Officer shall place the student on academic probation for the next semester.
A student receiving financial assistance or veterans benefits, having failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress, will be referred to the respective campus office responsible for administering these student service programs.
If a student earns a grade of “D” or “F” in any course taken no later than the semester when he/she has attempted no more than 60 credit hours, and if he/she repeats this course one time only, the first grade shall be disregarded for the purpose of determining the student’s GPA, and the grade earned the second time this course is taken shall be used in determining his/her GPA.
SCP-3736 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Student Consumer Protection (Policy SCP- 4001)
This policy is developed to ensure compliance with federal and state guidelines. The policy’s purpose is to ensure student consumer protection in marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid processes. This policy addresses the ethical and fair consumer practices in marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid processes. All college employees and/or related contractors participating in marketing, recruitment, admissions and financial aid are subject to this policy.
SCP-4001 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Regarding the College Catalog as Academic Standards and Expectations of Students (Policy SCP-4151)
The student, by voluntarily accepting admission to the institution, accepts the academic requirements and all criteria of the institution. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill course work/degree or certificate requirements and to know and meet criteria for satisfactory academic progress and completion of his/her program.
Once the individual becomes a “student”, he/she is expected:
- To seek instruction for self-assessment and preparedness in the following skills reading and writing, math and science, study and testing.
- To know and meet each instructor’s subject criteria by following directives, reading materials, and completing required assignments.
- To behave in a mature and responsible way - not in a distractive or disruptive fashion - while present in all academic settings (classes, labs, clinic, and/or related activities).
- To strive for continuous academic progress by improving the quality of work and monitoring grade averages.
- To continue monitoring program requirements by checking one’s status and checking one’s program requirements for possible changes.
- To formulate as quickly as possible, personal and/or professional goals by comparing personal qualifications with the requirements for a desired job, monitoring transfer requirements and own status, and reviewing goals for personal satisfaction.
- To be aware of all College policies pertaining to student rights and responsibilities by understanding College related materials (catalog, notices, and/or general information), and seeking clarification from personnel employed by the College.
- To seek help from College personnel for assistance when faced with a problem.
Students should know that if they ignore the responsibilities expected of them, the results may be failure to achieve.
SCP-4151 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Student Grades and Grade Point Average Requirements for Graduation (Policy SCP-4398)
This policy establishes and communicates the grading system used by Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, as well as the grade point average required for graduation with an associate degree or certificate.
All faculty will assign and submit grades in accordance with this policy. All students must meet the minimum grade point average requirements in order to earn a certificate and/or an associate degree.
Background or Exclusions
Further information pertaining to grades, degrees, and graduation is provided in the college catalog. To the extent that information in the catalog may conflict with this policy, this policy supersedes that information.
The grades earned by a student are determined by the instructor of the class and can be changed only upon the latter’s recommendation with final approval by the Chief Academic Officer, except as follows:
- Incompletes require the approval of the appropriate Dean and the Chief Academic Officer. See description of “I” (incompletes) below.
- The Chief Academic Officer may, only upon recommendation of the Grievance Committee or the Exceptions Committee, change a grade determined to have been awarded in an unfair manner.
For graduation, the applicant shall have a grade point average of 2.0 (average C) on all work attempted at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College that produces an A-F grade, with the exception of repeated courses. (See “D” and “F” rule page 34). Some programs require of students a minimum of “C” in each class taken before they will be allowed to graduate with a degree/certificate in that program area.
The following grades are used by the College:
- A-Superior - 4.0 Quality Points per Credit Hour
- B-Above Average - 3.0 Quality Points per Credit Hour
- C-Average - 2.0 Quality Points per Credit Hour
- D-Below Average - 1.0 Quality Points per Credit Hour
- F-Unsatisfactory Work (failure) - 0.0 No Quality Points
- W- Withdrawn by the established withdrawal date. After the last day to withdraw, a student will not be permitted to drop the course and will receive the final grade they earned. No quality points earned.
- If a “W” is recorded on the grade sheet, a date must also be recorded. Notice should be provided to Student Records if a student is being administratively withdrawn.
A student may receive an Incomplete “I” grade for a course if that student has successfully completed the majority of the academic requirements and is unable to complete the course due to unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. The instructor for the course must submit Incomplete Grade Forms to the appropriate Department Chair for approval before an “I” grade may be recorded. The student does not re-register for the course in which the “I” grade was received but must complete the requirements for the course within the next full trimester or the “I” grade will automatically be changed to a grade of “F”. The final grade for the course will be assigned by the instructor and the grade change must be approved by the Department Chair and forwarded to the Registrar. The instructor must file the specific forms for a final grade change with the Records Office to complete the process.
- CR - Credit is earned for a course through CLEP, credit-by experience, or other non-traditional means.
- NC - No credit earned.
- AU - Audit.
- In calculating a student’s grade point average, all assigned letter grades (A - F) will be used. W, I, CR, NC, and AU are not included.
Those students who successfully complete the requirements for an associate or certificate degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better are eligible to graduate. Some programs require students earn a minimum grade of “C” in certain courses taken in order to graduate. The GPA to be computed for graduation purposes (not necessarily each term) shall be based upon all work for which the student has registered with the following exceptions:
- Courses from which the student has withdrawn
- Courses in remedial/development (Transitional Studies) education
- Courses taken on a credit/no credit basis where credit is earned
- Courses taken on an audit basis
- Courses which have been repeated under the “D/F Repeat Provision” of this policy; and
- Courses which are covered under the “Academic Forgiveness Provision” of this policy.
Policy SCP-4398 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Academic Integrity (Policy SCP-4710)
Because academic integrity is a cornerstone of the college’s commitment to the principles of free inquiry, students are responsible for learning and upholding professional standards of research, writing, assessment, and ethics in their areas of study. In the academic community, the high value placed on truth implies a corresponding intolerance of scholastic dishonesty. Written or other work which students submit must be the product of their own efforts and must be consistent with appropriate standards of professional ethics. Academic dishonesty, which includes cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of dishonest or unethical behavior are prohibited.
Upon discovering an act of academic dishonesty, the nature of the penalty shall be determined by the instructor. Such penalties may include, but are not limited to, a lowered grade on the assignment, no credit for the assignment, or an exclusion from further participation and a grade of “F” in the course.
Repeated acts of academic dishonesty will be handled by the Chief Academic Officer and will not be tolerated by the institution.
This policy applies to all students at Southern.
Academic Integrity - Academic integrity at Southern is a standard of ethics students are expected to maintain.
Academic Dishonesty - Academic dishonesty is any practice which gives a student an unfair advantage over another student in the same or similar course of study. It includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fraud, information technology misuse, or any misconduct with regards to academic integrity as defined.
Plagiarism - The attempt to represent the work of another, as it may relate to written or oral works, computer-based work, mode of creative expression (i.e. music, media, or the visual arts), as the product of one’s own thought, whether the other’s work is published or unpublished, or simply the work of a fellow student.
Cheating - The improper taking or tendering of any information or material which shall be used to determine academic credit. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
- Copying from another student’s test or homework paper.
- Allowing another student to copy from a test or homework assignment.
- Using unauthorized materials during a test, such as the course textbook, notebook, formula lists, notes, or crib sheets, including those stored in a calculator or other electronic device.
- Collaborating during an in-class or take-home test with any other person by giving or receiving information without authority.
- Having another individual write or plan a paper, including those bought from research paper services.
- Submitting the same paper or project in more than one class.
- Obtaining any part of an examination or assignment before it has been given to the class.
- Use of any electronic device in class without the expressed permission of the instructor.
Fraud - Fabrication, Forgery, and Obstruction
- Fabrication is the use of invented, counterfeited, altered, or forged information in assignments of any type including those activities done in conjunction with academic courses that require students to be involved in out-of-classroom experiences.
- Forgery is the imitating or counterfeiting of images, documents, signatures, and the like.
- Obstruction is any behavior that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to education resources.
- Fraud includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:
- Providing any signature other than one’s own on any College document.
- Forging or altering the record of any grade in an educational record.
- Knowingly presenting false information or intentionally misrepresenting one’s record.
- Knowingly providing false statements in any College proceedings.
Misconduct - Misconduct is the intentional violation of college policies by tampering with grades or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of a test, quiz, or graded assignment. Examples include:
- Stealing, buying, downloading, or otherwise obtaining all or part of a test and/or test answers.
- Selling or giving away all or part of a test and/or test answers.
- Asking or bribing any other person to obtain a test or any information about a test.
- Misrepresenting the truth, including handing in computer programs or using computer programs generated by another as one’s own work; lying to an instructor to increase a grade; and lying or misrepresenting facts when confronted with an allegation of academic dishonesty.
- Changing, altering, or being an accessory to changing and/or altering of a grade in a grade book, on a computer, on a test, on a “change of grade” form, or on other official academic records of the College, which relate to grades.
- Continuing to work on an examination or project after the specified time has elapsed.
- Information Technology Misuse - Misuse of information technology is disruptive, unethical, or illegal use of the college’s computer resources. Misuse of computers also includes disruptive, unethical, or illegal use of the computers of another institution or agency in which students are performing part of their academic program.
Responsibilities and Procedures
- Within fourteen days after an act of academic dishonesty is discovered, the instructor shall notify the student in writing and include a statement of the penalty imposed.
- Within fourteen days (14) after an act of academic dishonesty is discovered, the instructor shall notify the appropriate Division Head in writing. The instructor shall include copies of any physical evidence and a written report stating the facts of the case and the action taken.
- Any student considering himself unfairly treated may use the grievance procedure as stated in the Student Handbook. The grievance procedure must be initiated within fourteen calendar days of the instructor’s notification.
- For subsequent or multiple offenses by the student, in addition to being given a grade of “F” in the course in which the academic dishonesty occurred, the student may be expelled from the College by the President on recommendation of the Chief Academic Officer following a judicial hearing. The subsequent offense is not limited to the course in which the initial offense was reported.
- The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall maintain a permanent record of academic dishonesty offenses. A notification shall be available within Banner for evidence in any future judicial hearings regarding academic dishonesty. A hearing board will only receive current evidence on student misconduct, unless prior evidence of misconduct is pertinent to the hearing.
- A student who has been given a grade of “F” by an instructor under the College policy on academic dishonesty is not permitted to withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” after academic dishonesty procedures have been initiated by the instructor.
- The deadlines set out in the student grievance procedure for grade appeals do not apply to grievances regarding action taken regarding academic dishonesty. The grievance, therefore, may not be filed in the subsequent term unless that term falls within fourteen calendar days of the instructor’s notification of the student that academic dishonesty procedures have been initiated.
- Penalties assigned for academic dishonesty may not be used as the basis for a subsequent grade appeal.
SCP-4710 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
E-Mail Established as an Official Form of Communication (Policy SCP-7000)
Southern will utilize college-issued e-mail accounts to convey college-related, critical, and/or time sensitive information to faculty, staff, and students. In some instances, e-mail communication may be the only means by which particular information is conveyed.
Students may configure their campus e-mail account to forward College e-mail to a preferred e-mail address. All messages contained within the College’s e-mail system are the property of the institution.
Policy SCP-7000 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Information Technology Acceptable Usage (Policy SCP-7125)
Access to technology resources is a privilege Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College grants to all college faculty, staff, and students. Access may also be granted to individuals outside the College for purposes consistent with the mission of the College, and users are responsible for complying with this policy.
SCP-7125 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Security of Information Technology (Policy SCP-7720)
By logging into their College-provided account, users are acknowledging that they have read the policy document and agree to follow its provisions.
SCP-7720 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Tobacco and Smoke-free Campus Policy (Policy SCP-1750)
Effective July 1, 2017, all locations of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College are designated as non-tobacco usage (i.e.-smoking tobaccos, chewing tobaccos, snuff, and E-cigarettes also known as electronic cigarettes and vaporizer cigarettes) facilities.
SCP-1750 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Drug and Alcohol Policy (Policy SCP-2156)
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recognizes its students and employees as adults and expects them to obey the law and to take personal responsibility for their conduct.
The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the buildings and on the grounds of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The consumption or use of alcoholic beverages during off-campus activities or events held under the auspices of the College is prohibited when prescribed by the rules of conduct published for such activities or events. Those attending College-sponsored activities will be held responsible for their conduct while in attendance.
Alcoholic beverages shall include alcohol, beer, wine, spirits and any liquid or solid capable of being used as a beverage, including non-intoxicating beer.
Any student or staff member who violates the terms of this policy by possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages shall be subject to disciplinary action. Visitors who violate the terms of this policy by possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages on campus shall be requested to vacate the premises by the responsible staff member and may be reported to appropriate law enforcement agencies if circumstances warrant.
SCP-2156 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy (Policy SAA-2000)
It is the policy of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College to provide an equitable and accessible environment where students, faculty and staff can study and work free from discrimination or harassment. The College provides a policy to take action to prevent and eliminate such behavior.
Students who wish to report prohibited conduct and make a complaint are to follow directions outlined in SAA-2000. The Chief Student Services Officer/Title IX Coordinator is designated to advise students as to the procedure and policies in filing an equal opportunity, sexual harassment, or discrimination claim.
SAA-2000 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Solicitation (Policy SCP-1735)
Solicitation of employees and students and/or distribution of literature for solicitation purposes is prohibited unless approved and conducted in accordance with the content, requirements, and restrictions of this policy. Approval from the Director of Campus Operations must be obtained prior to an event being scheduled. To receive approval, the On Campus Solicitation Request Form (SCP-1735.A) will be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event. Proper approval must be obtained prior to the event being scheduled. The College reserves the right to withhold approval for any solicitation activities on property under its jurisdiction, and to regulate the time, place, manner, and duration of approved solicitation. The College makes no warranty regarding the truth of any representation made in any written materials posted or distributed or other information provided as part of any solicitation activity engaged in pursuant to this policy.
Sales and solicitation by non-college organizations:
There shall be no sales and/or solicitation conducted on College property except by vendors with whom the College has contracted for the sale, lease, rental, or offer of said goods and services. Specifically prohibited by this policy is the solicitation of students of the College by financial institutions, organizations, businesses, companies, establishments, or individuals for credit cards and/or credit services.
Sales and solicitation by official College organizations including student organizations:
Solicitation for the sale, lease, rental, or offer of goods, services, and/or products on College property shall only be conducted by student organizations, faculty, or staff officially recognized and authorized by the College or by legally authorized representatives of companies with whom the College has signed an official contract for the sale, lease, rental, or offer of said goods and services.
Sales may not conducted in competition with the products and services normally provided by the College.
Solicitation by employees:
Solicitation by employees for purposes other than direct College-related business during regularly scheduled work hours is prohibited. Solicitation during non-work hours (lunch or other break times) by employees is subject to other applicable sections of this policy.
Solicitation by students:
Solicitation and/or sales by students or student organizations on College property are prohibited without the express written consent of the Chief Student Services Officer.
Use of College mail, e-mail, or other electronic media:
Use of the College mail, e-mail, or other electronic media systems for solicitation or sales is limited to official College business only. No other use of College mail or e-mail services and/or equipment is permitted.
Posting of all material referenced in this policy must be approved and posted by the Director of Campus Operations.
SCP-1735 can be found on Southern’s website at http://www.southernwv.edu/administration/policies.
Individuals with Disabilities
As required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, reasonable accommodations are provided for those students whose documented disability may affect their pursuit of a college education. If services are desired, call 304.896.7315. Individuals in need of the TTY telecommunications device may call: 304.369.2960 (Boone/Lincoln), 304.792.7054 (Logan), 304.235.6056 (Williamson), or 304.294.8520 (Wyoming/ McDowell). Also, the Central Records TTY number is 304.792.7205.
Drug-free Schools and Communities Act
Southern complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 and the Drug-Free Work Place Act of 1988 through policy SCP-2156.
Scope and Applicability
Southern recognizes its employees and students as being adults and expects them to obey the law and to take personal responsibility for their conduct. SCP-2156 applies to the college community, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, and visitors to the campuses, including contractors, subcontractors, volunteers, and service providers.
Standards of Conduct
In recognition of the serious effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the safety and performance of students and employees, SCP-2156 provides standards of conduct and clearly prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on its property or as part of any of its activities. SCP-2156 certifies that as an employer who contracts and receives funding from federal agencies, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will meet requirements of the law for providing a “drug-free workplace.”
The College will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees consistent with local, state, and federal laws for violation of the standards of conduct outlined above. All persons should be aware that violations could result in expulsion from school, termination of employment, or referral for prosecution.
Federal Trafficking Penalties
Federal Trafficking Penalties include substantial fines and imprisonment up to life. For the most recent and complete Federal Trafficking Penalties information, visit the website of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at http://www.justice.gov/dea/.
West Virginia law provides penalties dependent upon the classification of the controlled substance, the particular activity involved, and whether multiple convictions are involved. West Virginia Code §60A-4-401 contains penalties for prohibited acts involving scheduled substances. For the most recent and complete West Virginia penalties for prohibited acts involving controlled substances, visit the website of the West Virginia Legislature at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/.
College sanctions will be imposed consistent with procedures used in disciplinary actions for students and employees. Sanctions for employees may include oral warning, written reprimand, suspension, termination, and referral for prosecution. Disciplinary sanctions for students may include reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion, and referral for prosecution.
Substance abuse and drug dependency are problems of staggering proportions in our society today. They are the leading causes of preventable illness, disability, and death in the U.S. and are estimated to afflict 25.5 million Americans. While alcoholism may develop in anyone, it tends to first appear between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more prevalent in persons with a family history of alcoholism. This number increases dramatically when one considers the harm done to the families of substance abusers as well as those injured or killed by intoxicated drivers or in drug related work accidents.
Alcohol abuse is often characterized by one of three different patterns: (1) regular and daily use, (2) drinking large amounts of alcohol at specific or irregular intervals, or (3) periods of sobriety interspersed by periods of heavy drinking. The disorder is progressive, and can be fatal. If you recognize any tendencies toward alcohol abuse, please seek help as outlined below. Health risks of other drugs include:
- Narcotics (including opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, and others) -physical addiction, loss of awareness, respiratory restriction, and possible death.
- Depressants (including barbiturates, Quaaludes, and others) - slurred speech, disorientation, shallow respiration, coma likely with overdose.
- Stimulants (including cocaine, amphetamines, and others) - increased heart rate and blood pressure, possible leading to death, increased excitation, loss of appetite.
- Hallucinogens (including LSD, “mushrooms”, PCP, mescaline, and others) - illusions and hallucinations, poor perceptions of time and distance, psychotic and unpredictable behavior, often leading to injury and arrest. Symptoms may reappear some time after use.
- Cannabis (marijuana, hashish, THC, and others) - unrealistic euphoria, diminished inhibitions, disoriented behavior, diminished motivation, increased pulse.
Counseling and Assistance
Assistance and information concerning substance abuse and its treatment may be obtained from the Student Services personnel at each of the College’s campuses. Services are also available from the following agencies:
Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health, Inc.
304.792.7130 Logan County
304.235.2954 Mingo County
Family Service of Kanawha County
922 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, in providing the list of counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs, is in no way affiliated with these agencies. Southern cannot accept liability for any services, treatment, or counseling provided by these agencies or their employees or any acts of misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance by same. The individual and his/her parents or guardian should conduct checks or reviews of these agencies to determine if they will meet the needs of the individual.
Student Rights and Responsibilities (Policy SCP-4770)
The submission of an application for admission to the College represents an optional and voluntary decision on the part of the prospective student to partake of the program and privileges offered by the College pursuant to the policies, rules and regulations of the Board of Governors. Institutional approval of that application, in turn, represents the extension of a right or privilege to join the College community and to remain a part of it so long as the student fulfills the academic and the behavioral expectations that are set forth in the policies, rules and regulations of the Board of Governors.
Among student rights and responsibilities are the following:
Freedom of expression and assembly
Students enjoy the essential freedoms of scholarship and inquiry central to all institutions of higher education. In exercising these freedoms students have particular rights and responsibilities, including but not limited to the following:
- To have access to campus resources and facilities
- To espouse causes
- To inquire, discuss, listen to and evaluate
- To listen to any person through the invitation of organizations recognized by the College
- To not violate the rights of others in matters of expression and assembly
- To abide by the policies, rules and regulations of the Board of Governors and federal, state and local laws pertaining to freedom of expression and assembly
Freedom of association
Students may organize whatever associations they deem desirable and are entitled to affiliate with any group or organization for which they meet membership qualifications. However, institutional recognition of student organizations shall be limited to those whose purposes comport with the educational mission of the College.
Right to privacy
Students are entitled to the same safeguards of the rights and freedoms of citizenship as are afforded those outside the College community, including but not limited to the following:
- Confidential one-to-one communication with faculty, administrators, and other institutional functionaries.
- Respect for student property, including freedom from unreasonable and unauthorized searches.
- Confidentiality of academic and disciplinary records as outlined by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Assurance that legitimate evaluations will be made from student records.
Responsibilities of citizenship
Students are expected, as are all citizens, to obey local, state and federal statutes. As members of the College community, students also are expected to obey the College’s code of conduct.
Right to due process
Disciplinary proceedings for students accused of committing offenses must be consistent with such constitutional provisions guaranteeing due process of law as are applicable to the proceedings. In all disciplinary proceedings, students shall be considered innocent until proven guilty of any charge.
Background or Exclusions
Any authority, responsibility or duty granted to or imposed upon the President by this policy may be delegated by the President, subject to the control of the Board of Governors, to a member or members of the faculty, staff or student body of the College. All persons concerned in a matter involving the delegation of authority, responsibility or duty by the President shall be required to deal with the person or persons to whom the authority, responsibility or duty was delegated, except on appeal to the President as specified by the President.
The President, with the advice of faculty, staff and students and subject to the control of the Board of Governors, shall develop, promulgate and use disciplinary regulations and channels consistent with this policy.
The President possesses the discretion to impose sanctions following disciplinary proceedings. Depending on the violation, such proceedings may result in expulsion, suspension, probation or some other appropriate sanction of lesser severity.
Normally, a student facing suspension or expulsion from the College will be entitled to a hearing and, in certain cases, appeal prior to the imposition of the sanction. However, a student may be temporarily suspended pending final action on the charges when the student’s continued presence at the College would constitute a potential for serious harm to self or to the safety of other members of the College community or when the student repeatedly causes serious disruptions of College activities. Such temporary suspension shall be followed by prompt disciplinary proceedings consistent with this policy.
Because of time lapse during an appeal process, sanction enforcement in the affected semester may be impossible. In that event, the following actions may occur:
- Whenever possible and if appropriate, the sanction shall be applied to the semester in progress at the time of the completion of the appeal.
- If the sanction cannot be implemented during that semester, then it shall be applied during the next regular semester.
- If the student has completed the course of study during the process of the appeal, the sanctions, where possible, shall be carried out retroactively to affect the records of that student during the semester designated in the original sanction.
- In any event, the student may not graduate during the process of appeal.
Students who commit off-campus violations of local, state or federal laws may be subject to discipline under this policy if it is established that there is a connection between the off campus conduct and the safe and orderly operation of the College.
A sanction of suspension or expulsion for disciplinary (not academic) reasons imposed by any public college or university in West Virginia shall apply to the person sanctioned not only at the institution where the sanction was imposed, but shall also be effective at the College. A student who was expelled from another public college or university in West Virginia for disciplinary reasons may not be considered for admission to the College for one year from the date when the expulsion was imposed.
The College assumes that students are mature, responsible individuals who have voluntarily entered the institution for educational advancement. As a part of helping students reach their goals, the College seeks to develop responsible student behavior through the following code of conduct.
Under this code of conduct, suspension or expulsion generally shall be limited to conduct that adversely affects the College community’s pursuit of its educational objectives. The following misconduct on the College campuses, facilities or property or at College activities is subject to suspension or dismissal:
- Engaging in any form of dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, and forgery, alteration or use of College documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud;
- Disrupting or obstructing College activities by any means, including intentionally causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm among members of the College community;
- Engaging in physical and/or psychological abuse or threatening such abuse of any person, including but not limited to fighting and engaging in assault or battery;
- Participating in or inciting a riot or an unauthorized or disorderly assembly;
- Seizing, holding, commandeering or damaging any property or facilities of the College, or threatening to do so, or refusing to depart from any property or facilities of the College upon direction of College officials or the President;
- Using alcoholic beverages, including the purchasing, consuming possessing or selling of such items;
- Gambling or holding a raffle or lottery, except in cases with specific prior approval of the President;
- Possessing, using, selling. or distributing any types of drugs for illegal purposes;
- Possessing any dangerous chemical or explosive elements or component parts thereof not used for lawful College studies, including but not limited to rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, other firearms and weapons, without authorization from the President;
- Physically detaining or restraining any other person, removing such person from any place where that person is authorized to remain or otherwise obstructing the free movement of persons or vehicles;
- Littering, defacing, destroying or damaging property or removing or using such property without authorization;
- Misusing the College’s Computer Network and the College Computer System, including but not limited to the following:
- Disrupting or interfering with the normal use of the computers, computer-related equipment, data or programs of individuals, the Network or the College Computer System;
- Using this equipment, data or programs in performance of any act listed as prohibited by this code of conduct;
- Attempting to breach security in any manner; or
- Using a computer account for other than the purpose for which it was assigned;
- Engaging in an act of hazing;
- Willfully encouraging others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code of conduct;
- Interfering with the rights of any other member of the College community;
- Violating any local, state or federal laws; or
- Violating any rules or regulations not contained in this code of conduct but announced as administrative edict by the President.
Responsibilities and Procedures
Students subject to suspension or expulsion for disciplinary violations are assured safeguards to their rights through the elements of due process given below. Each of these students will receive:
- Written notice of a disciplinary action including a statement of charges and grounds that, if proven, justify suspension or expulsion;
- A hearing using defined procedures before the College’s Judicial Board, an impartial body;
- Notice of the date, time and place of the hearing, which will be given two weeks prior to the hearing so that the accused student can adequately prepare to counter the charges before the hearing;
- Names of the witnesses against the accused student;
- A statement of the facts and evidence to be given in support of the charges, made with sufficient clarity to reasonably disclose the time and place of the alleged occurrence and the actions or behavior complained of;
- Advance inspection by the accused student of the College’s affidavits and/or exhibits against the student;
- Opportunity to present to the Judicial Board a defense against the charges;
- Opportunity to produce either oral testimony or written affidavits of witnesses in support of the student;
- The right to be accompanied by an advisor at the hearing;
- Opportunity to question any witnesses against the accused student at the hearing;
- A decision on discipline based solely on the evidence in the record judged under the preponderance of the evidence standard;
- A report on the results and findings of the hearing;
- A complete and accurate record of the hearing;
- A complete and accurate record of the hearing prepared by a qualified stenographer or court reporter at the student’s expense, and;
- Opportunity to appeal the decision to the Board of Governors if expulsion is imposed.
Alleged disciplinary violations, depending on the nature of the violation, shall be referred to the College’s Chief Academic Officer or the Chief Student Services Officer. The Officer or designee shall collect evidence, contact any witnesses, notify the accused student of all charges against the student, arrange for an impartial hearing and notify the accused student and witnesses of the date, time and place of the hearing. The Officer shall hold the hearing and impose sanctions or, if the alleged violation involves possible suspension or expulsion, refer the matter to the College’s Judicial Board.
The Judicial Board shall consist of three faculty members and two students. Judicial Board members will be selected on a case-by-case basis and must be able to adjudicate the matter with impartiality. The faculty members will be selected by the Chief Academic Officer. The student members will be selected by the Chief Student Services Officer, in consultation with the Student Services staff and student government representatives at the campus where the proceeding will take place.
Whenever possible, proceedings shall be held on the campus most closely related to the alleged violation or the accused student. The members of the Judicial Board shall select their own chairperson. As needed, the Chief Academic Officer shall name alternate faculty members and the Chief Student Services Officer shall name alternate student members to the Judicial Board. The Judicial Board shall have jurisdiction and authority to:
- Hear evidence in disciplinary cases;
- Make findings of fact from the evidence presented;
- Make recommendations to the President based upon such findings as to the disposition of the disciplinary action, including any sanctions to be imposed; and
- Refer matters not involving potential suspension or expulsion back to the Chief Academic Officer or the Chief Student Services Officer.
In disciplinary matters not involving possible suspension or expulsion, the following processes will be used:
- In addition to the requirements of Part 2, the Chief Academic Officer or the Chief Student Services Officer handling the matter shall ensure that the accused student receives such procedural safeguards as due process requires in accordance with the seriousness of the alleged violation and of the possible sanctions or consequences arising therefrom.
- The decision of the Officer may be appealed through a Student Grievance Committee in accordance with normal student grievance procedures.
In disciplinary matters involving possible suspension or expulsion, the following processes will be used:
- The accused student shall be notified in writing within two weeks of an alleged violation, or of the date when the College first learns of an alleged violation, of the violation for which the student is subject to discipline. The Chief Academic Officer or the Chief Student Services Officer or designee will serve this notice upon the accused student by handing a copy to the student in person or by mailing via certified mail, a copy to the mailing address last noted in the student’s official College records. The College will make every effort in the serving of the notice. However, it is expressly provided that the service of such notice shall not be defective if the accused student shall have hidden, refused mail or failed to notify the College of the student’s current mailing address. In such cases, the hearing may proceed without hindrance or delay.
The notice to the accused student shall include at least the following:
- A statement of the policy, rule or regulation which the student is alleged to have violated;
- A statement of the facts and evidence to be presented in support of the charges, which statement must be made with sufficient clarity to reasonably disclose the time and place of the alleged occurrence and the actions or behavior complained of;
- A statement that a hearing on the charges will be held before the Judicial Board, and a statement of the date, time and place of the hearing;
- Information on the student’s right to have an advisor present at the hearing at the student’s own expense, provided that the student notifies the College at least five days prior to the hearing that an advisor will be present at the proceedings. The student’s failure to provide such notification within five days of the hearing may result in a continuance of the proceedings.
The hearing shall be held at the date, time and place specified in the notice, unless postponed by the Judicial Board for good cause shown either by the accused student or by the College.
All charges should possess sufficient validity to allow the Judicial Board to meet and in good conscience and with impartiality consider related evidence. The hearing shall be conducted in such a manner as to do justice and shall be subject to the following minimum requirements.
- The accused student shall have the right to be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor. Unless specifically permitted by name by the hearing body, such advisor may not be a person other than the student’s parent or guardian, another student at the College, a member of the College’s faculty or staff, or an attorney representing the accused student. During the hearing, an advisor may consult with the accused student but may not speak on behalf of the accused student or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings, unless given specific permission to do so by the Judicial Board.
- All material evidence may be presented subject to the right of cross examination of the witnesses.
- There shall be a complete and accurate record of the hearing by a qualified stenographer or court reporter at the student’s expense, if desired.
- The accused student shall be entitled to be present throughout the presentation of the evidence, testimony of the witnesses and arguments of the parties, to be informed before the hearing of the substance of expected testimony of witnesses against the student and to have the witnesses present at the hearing at appropriate times, and to present witnesses and evidence on the student’s own behalf as may be relevant and material to the case.
- The College may be represented by an advisor. Counsel retained by the College may participate only in an advisory capacity and may not speak on behalf of the College or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings, unless given specific permission to do so by the Judicial Board.
- The accused student and the Judicial Board members shall be present for the entire proceeding. However, witnesses may be called and excused throughout the hearing. The hearing shall be closed to all others.
- After the hearing, the Judicial Board shall make findings of fact and a recommendation to the President for the disposition of the case and any sanctions to be imposed. The Judicial Board’s recommendation shall be based upon proof of the alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
- No recommendation by the Judicial Board to the President for the imposition of sanctions against a student may be based solely on the failure of the student to answer charges or appear at the hearing. In such cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented, and the Judicial Board’s recommendation shall be based upon proof of the alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
- The accused student shall also be notified of the Judicial Board’s recommendation and advised of the right to request an appeal to the President within two weeks of the receipt of the recommendation. The President shall within ten working days review the facts of the case and take such action as may be appropriate under all the circumstances.
- Except in cases that involve expulsion, the decision of the President shall be final.
- If a student wishes to appeal an expulsion, the student must within three working days indicate to the President in writing an intent to appeal the expulsion to the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors may, from time to time, require the President to report on disciplinary actions or proceedings over a period of time or on a specific case or cases. These reports shall be in such form as the Board of Governors may require.
In disciplinary cases where expulsion was imposed, the Board of Governors may grant the expelled student’s request for appeal.
- If the Board of Governors determines that the appeal will not be heard, the decision of the President is affirmed, and the expulsion shall be effective upon the President’s receipt of the Board of Governors’ statement of denial of the appeal.
- If the appeal is granted, the expulsion shall be stayed until the Board of Governors makes a final decision after a review of the case. In the event the decision of the President is affirmed after such review, the student-appellant shall be notified by certified mail, and the expulsion shall be effective immediately upon concurrent notification to the President.
- In considering student appeals, the Board of Governors will review all relevant information and records of applicable disciplinary proceedings to ensure that due process has been afforded. The Board of Governors may take such action as it deems reasonable and proper in view of all the circumstances and in answer to its responsibilities under the law.
Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of the Student Grievance Procedure shall be to provide equitable and orderly processes to resolve any differences or disputes between a student and a staff or faculty member about College policies or learning activities affecting the student. This may include but is not limited to grading, instructional procedures, class attendance policies, instructional quality, and other situations where the student believes he/she is being treated unfairly or arbitrarily.
Students who wish to file a complaint regarding discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin are to contact an Student Success Advisor or a campus administrator about their complaint. The Chief Student Services Officer is designated to advise students as to the procedure and policies in filing a discrimination claim and initiate a prompt investigation for equitable resolution of the complaint.
Procedure (for complaints other than discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual or gender orientation, disability, national origin, ethnicity, marital status, or veterans status):
The student with a grievance must first discuss the grievance with the staff or faculty member involved. Every reasonable effort should be made by both parties to resolve the matter at this level. The initial conference must occur within ten (10) class days of the event, or, if a grade appeal, within ten (10) class days after the start of subsequent school [academic term] not including summer sessions.
If the student continues to be dissatisfied with the results of step one, he/she may, within five (5) class days after the conference with the instructor or staff member, file a written appeal with the immediate supervisor of the individual instructor or staff member involved. The supervisor may attempt a resolution satisfactory to the parties involved, but if no agreement is reached, he/she will set a date for a meeting of all parties with a Student Grievance Committee. The Student Grievance Committee is an Ad Hoc Committee consisting of five (5) members-two students appointed by the SGA Advisor (in conjunction with the Student Government Association) and two faculty members and a Chairperson appointed by the Chief Academic Officer or his/her designee. Both student and faculty members of the committee shall have the authority to determine whether an academic or other process was fair, prejudicial and/or capricious, and to recommend to the appropriate Cabinet Member or Chief Academic Officer a suitable remedy. The Student Grievance Committee shall meet under the following guidelines:
- The chairperson shall vote only in case of a tie.
- The student shall have the right to be accompanied by a representative of his/her choice from the institution. Such representative may consult with, but may not speak on behalf of, the student or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings, unless he or she is given specific permission to do so by the Chairperson of the Student Grievance Committee. If the representative is to be an attorney, the student must notify the Chief Academic Officer of this fact within a minimum of five (5) working days in advance of the Student Grievance Committee meeting.
- Both the student grievant and the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance has been filed may present witnesses or relevant materials during the proceeding.
- All parties to the grievance must remain present for the entire meeting.
- The meeting shall be closed to all others.
- The committee shall form its recommendations within five (5) working days of its final session. All recommendations for grievances related to grades, faculty, or academic policy shall be forwarded to the Chief Academic Officer. In other matters, the committee may refer its recommendations to the Cabinet Member for the area the Committee deems appropriate.
- The Chief Academic Officer or the Cabinet Member receiving the committee recommendation shall, within seven (7) working days after the meeting, prepare a statement of his/her decision on the matter with copies to the student, the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance was filed, and the President.
If the student, faculty, or staff member is not satisfied with the decision of the Chief Academic Officer or the Cabinet Member, he/she may, within a period of ten (10) working days, make a written appeal to the President. The President may at his/her discretion hold a meeting to hear both parties in the grievance or may make a decision based on the record of the Student Grievance Committee hearing and/or the recommendation of the Chief Academic Officer or the Cabinet Member. The President will notify the parties involved in the grievance of his/her decision in writing, within ten (10) working days after receiving the written appeal.
Inclement Weather and Emergency Situation Information
It is the intent of Southern to close campuses and locations or cancel classes only in extreme emergency situations. Closure may be for the entire institution, one or more campus locations, or a single facility. Students, employees, and the public are encouraged to call Southern’s weather line, listen or watch news media, or check Southern’s website for closings or cancellation information. In the event that an off-campus instructional facility (i.e. high school, vocational school, etc.) is closed, Southern’s classes in that facility will not be held. When classes are canceled, faculty members are required to make up lost instructional time.
Students can also receive weather notifications on Facebook and Twitter by following us at http://facebook.com/southernwv.edu and http://twitter.com/swvctc.
The toll free weather line number is: 866.798.2821, ext. 7669
Cancellations or closures may affect only one building, campus, facility, off-campus facility, or the entire institution. The following news media will be contacted to announce information on closures or cancellations in the affected areas:
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