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    Edmonds Community College
   
 
  Jul 23, 2017
 
 
    
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2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Policies – Edmonds Community College Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities


Student Freedoms

The freedoms of Edmonds Community College students are presented in this section. Included is the freedom to file a grievance or appeal a decision if issue is taken with treatment regarding a student’s rights and responsibilities.

The protection of student freedoms is assured by providing orderly procedures that address various grievances. The grievance procedures that provide the student with directions needed to initiate the appeal process are presented below.

I. Freedom of Access to Higher Education
II. Freedom of Association and Organization
III. Provision for Student Participation in College Governance
IV. Protection of Freedom of Expression and Inquiry
V. Student Complaint Procedures
VI. Protection Against Improper Disclosure and of Confidentiality of Teacher-Student Relationships
VII. Academic Regulation Appeals
VIII. Protection of Confidentiality of Educational Records
IX. Title IX Grievance Procedure
X. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process
XI. Petition for Academic Renewal (Grade Exclusion)
XII. Parking and Traffic Appeals
XIII. Residence Status Appeals
XIV. Disabled Students’ Complaint Process

I. Freedom of Access to Higher Education

The policy adopted by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges ensures that any person who wished to enroll in a Washington state community college will be admitted if the student is able to profit from the curricular offerings of the college, provided that such admission is not inconsistent with the best interest of the applicant, other students, the orderly operation of the college, and that space is available. Within these provisions, Edmonds CC operates an “open door” admissions policy. Persons over 18 years of age, or who have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate, are eligible for admission. Each applicant who at the time of registration will not be 18 years of age and is not a high school graduate, must provide a letter from his or her high school principal authorizing the college to admit him or her.

II. Freedom of Association and Organization

Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests, provided such organizations are not inimical to the educational goals of the college community and consistent with the provisions of state law. Procedures for establishment, maintenance, and financial management of student organizations and their use of college facilities, will be established by the Director for Student Programs and the Associated Students of Edmonds Community College (ASEdCC) Executive Board. Campus organizations are open to all students without respect to sex, race, creed, or national origin. Advisers to student organizations will serve only as advisers, responsible primarily for coordination and financial surveillance, and do not exert prior control over an organization’s activities.

III. Provision for Student Participation in College Governance

As members of the college community, students will be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on college policy, and on matters of general interest to the student body. The ASEdCC Constitution and Financial Code, as well as the college’s administrative procedures, provide both commitment and clear channels for student involvement and participation in the formulation and application of institutional policies regarding academic and student affairs, including voting membership on all committees.

IV. Protection of Freedom of Expression and Inquiry

Fundamental to the democratic process are the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. Students and other members of the college community will always be free to express their views or support causes by any orderly means, which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the college, or create an atmosphere, which is contrary to educational goals. In the classroom, the student is free to take exception to the information or views offered in the course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but he or she is responsible for learning the content of the course.

Students and student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express public opinions individually and collectively.

The faculty and staff of Edmonds CC are committed to the guarantee of educational freedoms set forth by the Board of Trustees, namely:

  • We have a special obligation to vigorously promote the freedoms provided by the democratic processes of our free society;
  • We conceive that central to its very existence is full and free discussion of the controversial issues of our time conducted in a responsible manner; and
  • We believe that freedom of speech and assembly requires providing a forum wherein students may develop their thoughts and their convictions.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 24, 1974.

V. Student Complaint Procedures

(Refer to Policy C 5.1.501 and Resolution R101)

Definition and Purpose

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction with the performance of a college employee or procedure. This regulation sets out the processes for various types of student complaints.

Students are advised to consult with the office of the Vice President for Student Services or designee for advice in proceeding with these complaint procedures. The Vice President for Student Services shall also inform the student that the Director for the Office of Student Life or designee or a person that the student chooses will act as an advocate who will assist the student in the completion of the complaint process. The student may waive the right to an advocate.

A. Time Limits on Filing a Complaint

1. The student must file a complaint within one academic quarter after the action that gives rise to the complaint. The appropriate dean or vice president may suspend this rule under exceptional circumstances such as extended illness, sabbatical leave, or absence of one or both parties to the complaint. If the complaint involves a discrimination issue, the time limits in the appropriate policy or regulation shall apply.
 

2. When either party of the complaint is no longer in residence at the college and does not expect to return, the appropriate dean or vice president shall give reasonable opportunity to complete appeal procedures or reply to the charges before making a decision.

B. General Complaints

1. Step One:

a. The student is encouraged to consult first with the employee concerned before initiating a complaint.

b. If the student determines that the complaint may be resolved more appropriately without the employee concerned being involved, the student may contact the immediate supervisor of the employee or the Vice President for Student Services or designee.

c. If the complaint presented to the appropriate supervisor has not been resolved, the student may bring the complaint to the appropriate vice president who shall discuss the concern(s) of the student and the options available to resolve the concern(s).

d. If the student should elect to proceed with a formal complaint, the student shall outline in writing the complaint, identifying dates and persons involved as accurately as possible and submit the written complaint to the appropriate dean or vice president.
 

2. Step Two:

a. When the student’s written complaint has been received by the appropriate dean or vice president, the complaint shall be forwarded to the appropriate parties and the employee concerned for a written response within 10 instructional days (except summer because employees may not be available during the summer, in which case the responses will be made within five instructional days after fall quarter begins). The appropriate dean or vice president shall keep all written statements, transcripts, and minutes associated with the complaint as a record of the proceedings.

b. The appropriate dean or vice president shall inform the student regarding the nature of the written response of the parties. If the written response does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the student, the appropriate dean or vice president may convene a conference of all the parties within 10 instructional days.

c. As a result of the conference, the appropriate dean or vice president shall issue a recommendation to the President for resolution of the complaint.

d. The recommendation of the appropriate dean or vice president will be reviewed by the president who may amend, modify, reverse, or accept the recommendation and who shall then implement the resolution and advise the affected parties.

e. The decision of the President shall be final. Appeals or formal hearings to the Board of Trustees shall not be provided.

C. Complaints Regarding Discrimination or Sexual Harassment

Formal (in writing) complaints regarding alleged discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status or veteran’s status and/or sexual or racial harassment should be presented to the Vice President for Human Resources, the college’s Civil Rights Officer.

Informal complaints based on alleged discrimination may be presented to any appropriate college administrative official. With informal complaints, the administrative official receiving the complaint must contact the Vice President for Human Resources, or designee, within three days of receipt of the complaint so that an investigation process can be started in accordance with the appropriate college policies.

D. Grade Complaints

The evaluation of a course is exclusively within the province of the instructor. Consequently, grade changes may be made only by that instructor or, under extenuating circumstances, by the President or designee upon the recommendation of the Grade Change Committee. The Grade Change Committee will be the final arbiter of a request for a grade change. If a student has a concern about his or her grade, the student must follow the procedure below:

1. The student is encouraged first to consult with the instructor concerning the disputed grade.

2. If the complaint is not resolved through consultation with the instructor or if the student feels that the complaint may be resolved more appropriately without consulting the instructor, the student may contact the appropriate division administrator.

3. If the complaint is not resolved with the division administrator, the student may submit a formal written complaint to the Vice President for Instruction. The student should indicate the grade received in the course, the reason for the grade complaint, specific information on performance scores and attendance, and any syllabus or written material on course grading criteria that the instructor provided to the student. The Vice President for Instruction shall keep all written statements, transcripts, and minutes associated with the complaint as part of the files of the college.

4. The Vice President for Instruction shall investigate the student’s written complaint. The investigation shall include a written response from the instructor listing the grade reported for the student, the evaluation criteria for the course, the student’s attendance record, and the performance scores achieved by the student in that course. The investigation shall also include documentation of the involvement with the complaint from the appropriate division administrator.

5. The Vice President for Instruction should inform the student regarding the nature of the written responses of the instructor and administrator(s) as well as the Executive Vice President’s findings and conclusion. If the written response does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the student, the President or designee may petition the Grade Change Committee for review. The scope of petition and review for the Grade Change Committee is part of the collective bargaining agreement between the faculty and the college.

6. The decision of the Grade Change Committee shall be final. Appeals or formal hearings to the Board of Trustees shall not be provided.

Adopted 6/1/87
Amended 5/29/90
Amended 6/14/99
Revised for Minor Editing Changes 8/16/07 and 8/15/12

VI. Protection Against Improper Disclosure and of Confidentiality of Teacher-Student Relationships

Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which instructors acquire in the course of their work as advisers, teachers, and counselors is confidential, and protection against improper disclosure is a serious obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided only under appropriate circumstances, with the knowledge and consent of the student. Complaints should be filed with the Vice President for Student Services.

VII. Academic Regulation Appeals

Students shall be provided an impartial hearing regarding requests to waive specific academic regulations. To initiate the process, students should request a petition to waive from Enrollment Services and complete the process delineated on the form. If a student wishes to challenge the decision, the student shall direct the request to the Academic Standards Committee.

VIII. Protection of Confidentiality of Educational Records

The college has established and enforces guidelines, which are in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Buckley Amendment). These guidelines delineate the information, which becomes a part of a student’s permanent educational records and govern the condition of its disclosure.

A. Content of Educational Records

A complete list of the educational records maintained by the college and the conditions that govern how the record may be reviewed is included in the appendix of this document.

B. Educational Records Appeal Procedures

If a student wishes to challenge information which is part of his or her educational record, the following procedures shall be followed:

1. The eligible student who believes that information contained in his or her educational record is inaccurate or misleading or violates his or her privacy or other rights may request that the college amend this record.

2. The college shall decide whether to amend the educational record of the student in accordance with the request, normally within two weeks of receipt of the request.

3. If the college decides to refuse to amend the educational record of the student in accordance with the request, it shall so inform the eligible student of the refusal and advise the student of the right to a hearing.

4. A hearing may not be requested by an eligible student to contest the assignment of a grade; however, a hearing may be requested to contest whether or not the assigned grade was recorded accurately in the educational record of the student.

C. Right to a Hearing

The method for requesting a hearing shall be a written appeal through the Vice President for Student Services office. The conduct of the hearing is outlined below.

1. The hearing shall normally be held within two weeks after the receipt of the request for said hearing.

2. The hearing shall be conducted and adjudicated by the chief officer of the campus.

3. The eligible student may have assistance from, or be represented by, an individual of his or her choice and at his or her own expense, including an attorney, in presenting his or her case.

4. A written copy of the decision shall normally be afforded the student within two weeks after the conclusion of the hearing by the chief officer of the campus.

D. Disputing the Hearing Decision

If the eligible student disagrees with results of the hearing, he or she has the right to place a statement to this effect, with reasons, in his or her educational record.

This statement shall be retained as long as the disputed information is on file and shall be forwarded with this information at any time it is disclosed to an outside agency.

IX. Title IX Grievance Procedure

A. Any applicant for admission, enrolled student, applicant for employment or employee of Edmonds Community College who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of sex may lodge a formal institutional grievance by:

Step 1: Informal Meeting

Request an informal meeting with the individual believed to have committed the discriminatory act and attempt to informally resolve the concern.

Step 2: Title IX Official Hearing

If not satisfied by the results of the informal meeting, the complainant may request in writing, stipulating the specific grievance(s), a meeting with the Title IX Compliance Officer, Executive Assistant to the President for Equity and Inclusion, 425.640.1562. Within 30 days of receiving the written request, the Title IX officer will have arranged a meeting and reported the findings, in writing, to both the complainant and the person to whom the complaint is directed. It shall be at the discretion of the complainant to determine whether the Title IX officer will meet with each party separately or in a single meeting.

Step 3: Presidential Appeal Hearing

If the complaint is not resolved as a result of the hearing conducted by the Title IX officer, either the complainant or the person to whom the complaint is directed may request an appeal to the college President in writing within ten days after receiving the written results of Title IX Official Hearing. Within 15 days after receiving the written request, the college President or the president’s designee will conduct the Presidential Appeal Hearing and report the findings in writing to both the complainant and the person to whom the complaint is directed.

a. The college President or designee, the Title IX officer, the complainant and the person to whom the complaint is directed shall attend the Presidential Appeal Hearing. The college President or presidential designee shall preside.
b. Either the complainant or person to whom the complaint is directed may have witnesses present at the discretion of the person presiding.
c. The written findings of the Presidential Appeal Hearing will be considered final.

B. If desired, inquiries or appeals beyond the institutional level may be directed to the Office for Civil Rights (www.hhs.gov); the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.eeoc.gov); and/or the Washington State Human Rights Commission (www.hum.wa.gov).

X. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

The Student Financial Services office has a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy that is monitored each quarter a student is in attendance and receiving financial aid. The policy requires a minimum quarterly and cumulative grade
point average (GPA) of 2.0, and a minimum number of credits to be completed each quarter. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress may have their aid terminated for upcoming quarters. A student may appeal his or her termination by completing the Petition for Reinstatement of Aid form. The student will be asked to explain the circumstances under which he or she was unable to complete his or her classes or maintain a 2.0 GPA, and to provide documentation corroborating those circumstances. The form with instructions is available in the Student Financial Services office or on the website at www.edcc.edu/finaid.

Based on federal and state regulations the Student Financial Services office limits the number of credits a student can be funded for. A student may be funded for 125% of the credits needed to complete a degree or certificate program. There is also a limit on the number of degree programs a student can be funded for. A students who has reached the credit or degree limitation, will not be offered financial aid for upcoming quarters, but may appeal the limitation by completing the Petition for Aid Beyond the Maximum Credit Limitation form, available in the Student Financial Services office or on the website at www.edcc.edu/finaid.

Edmonds Community College has a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy that monitors students who receive less than a 2.0 quarterly GPA. A student who earns less than a 2.0 GPA for three consecutive quarters, will be suspended from the college for one year, but may appeal his or her suspension by submitting a letter to the appeals committee in the Enrollment Services office explaining the circumstances under which he or she was unable to maintain a 2.0 GPA. The committee will review the letter and may ask to meet with the student.

XI. Petition for Academic Renewal (Grade Exclusion)

(Refer to Policy C.1.9.100 or Resolution R104)

Under the Academic Renewal Regulation effective fall of 2009, a returning student may submit a petition asking that grades earned at Edmonds Community College be excluded in the computation of the cumulative GPA. This regulation is designed for any student who had a substandard GPA as reflected on his or her transcript, returned later, and demonstrated improved academic achievement in an effort to improve his or her overall GPA. Students can find out if they qualify for Academic Renewal in the Enrollment Services office. The petition form is available in the Enrollment Services office or can be downloaded here.

XII. Parking and Traffic Appeals

(Refer to Policy C 6.4.501, Resolution R103, or 132Y-100 WAC)

Students have the right to appeal traffic citations and fines levied by campus security officers. Parking/traffic information and appeal procedures are stipulated in this section.

A. Issuance of Traffic Citations

Upon the violation of any of the rules and regulations contained in this document, Campus Security Officers are authorized to issue traffic citations, setting forth the date, the approximate time of the violation, permit number, license number, infraction, amount of fine, and name of officer.

Such traffic citations may be served by attaching or affixing a copy thereof in some prominent place outside such vehicle or by personally serving the operator.

B. Fines and Penalties

A fine of $20 will be imposed for most violations ($50 are imposed for violating disabled and fire lane regulations) of the traffic rules and regulations of the college. Vehicles involved in more than three violations within any one quarter will be immobilized at owner’s risk and owner may be required to pay a $50 fee for removal and the cost of tickets received.

C. Enforcement

In the event a student fails to comply with these rules, that student will not be able to register with one unpaid violation, and will not be able to obtain a transcript with three unpaid violations.

D. Appeals of Fines and Penalties

A person wishing to appeal fines and penalties must submit his/her appeal in writing within five business days from the date of the application of these parking rules to the Director of Security or his or her representative. Further appeals should follow the Student Complaint Procedures. A complete copy of the traffic code of the college is available in the Library under WAC 132Y-140.

XIII. Residence Status Appeals

The law governing the classification of resident and non-resident students is available through the Admissions and Enrollment Services offices and online. If a non-resident student wishes to determine whether he or she might qualify for reclassification as a Washington State resident he or she should:

A. Request a residency questionnaire form from the Admissions office.

B. Complete the form and return it to the Admissions office.

The determination of residency status shall be made by the Director of Admissions. Students may appeal the residency status determination to the Dean of Enrollment Services who shall respond within five instructional days.

XIV. Disabled Students’ Complaint Process

Students with disabilities may utilize either the Student Complaint Procedures described herein or the grievance procedure through the College Personnel Office following Section B of the Affirmative Action Policy and Regulations. The Affirmative Action Policy is available in the College Personnel Office, first floor, Clearview Building. Students with disabilities also have the right to submit a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights (www.hhs.gov); the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.eeoc.gov); and/or the Washington State Human Rights Commission (www.hum.wa.gov).