Student Conduct

Generally, College disciplinary action shall be limited to conduct which adversely affects the College community’s pursuit of its educational objectives. The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action:

1. All forms of dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, forgery, alteration, or use of College documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud.

2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other College activities.

3. Physical, psychological and/or verbal abuse or

the threat of such abuse of any person on College premises or at College activities. This includes hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault. (See Title IX Policy)

4. Participating in or inciting a riot or an unauthorized or disorderly assembly.

5. Seizing, holding or damaging 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 by College officials or other persons authorized by the President.

6. Use of alcoholic beverages, including the purchase, consumption, possession, or sale of such, except where specifically authorized within the regulations of the College.

7. Gambling or holding a raffle or lottery on the campus or at any College function without proper College and other necessary approval.

8. Possessing, using, selling or distributing any types of illegal drugs.

9. Possessing on College property or at any College activity any dangerous chemical or explosive elements or component parts thereof, or rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other firearm or weapon not used for lawful College studies without an authorization by the President of the College.

10. Physically detaining or restraining other persons or removing such persons from places where they are authorized to remain or in any way obstructing the free movement of persons or vehicles on College premises or at College activities.

11. Littering, defacing, destroying or damaging property of the College or property under its jurisdiction or removing or using such property without authorization.

12. Willfully encouraging others to commit any of

the acts that have been prohibited herein.

13. Violating any local, state or federal laws.

14. Violating any rule or regulation not contained within the official College publications but announced as an administrative edict by a College official or other person authorized by the President.

15. Violation of College parking regulations.

16. Violation of College fire regulations, such as failure to comply with emergency evacuation procedures or tampering with fire protection apparatus.

17. Theft or attempted theft of College or personal property on College premises.

18. Unauthorized entry into or presence in any College building or facility.

19. Violation of College policy on demonstrations.

20. Violation of College policy on solicitation and sales.

21. Violation of College policy on use of any tobacco products, including smoking, and vaping.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Academic Dishonesty Defined
Students are expected to conduct themselves in an honorable manner in all of their academic work. All forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited at Rappahannock Community College. Cheating on quizzes, tests, and examinations, unauthorized cooperation between students, unauthorized help from others, plagiarism, and the unauthorized use of software, databases, or expert advice that is contrary to the instructions of the professor are acts of academic dishonesty.

Addressing Allegations of Academic Dishonesty

If a faculty member has reason to believe that a student has engaged in an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member will:

  • make the student aware of his or her suspicion in a manner and place that ensures the confidentiality of their conversation, and
  • address the matter with the student in a timely manner, typically within 24 hours of either observing the offense, or observing/receiving evidence of the offense.

Should the faculty member remain convinced of the student’s act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member shall inform the student in confidence, and in a timely manner, of the specific details of the dishonest action and specifics of the disciplinary action that will be administered as specified in the syllabus for the course. The faculty member will also inform both the Academic Dean and the Dean of Student Development of the details of the dishonest action and the specifics of the disciplinary action.

Disciplinary Actions

Having accused and found evidence of the student’s action of academic dishonesty, faculty members must administer one of the following disciplinary actions as specified in the course syllabus:

1. A formal warning: An oral or written statement to the student that he or she has committed an act of academic dishonesty that is prohibited at the institution and may result in more severe disciplinary action should the student be found guilty of engaging in any subsequent act of academic dishonesty.

2. A formal warning and the requirement that the student repeat or re-submit the quiz, test, examination, exercise or assignment in question.

3. A formal warning and the assignment of the grade of “F” (numeric grade of zero) on the quiz, test, examination, exercise, or assignment in question.

4. Removal of the student from the class and the assignment of the grade of “F” in the course.

Reporting Acts of Academic Dishonesty to the Dean of Student Development and the Academic Dean
A faculty member must provide the Dean of Student and the Academic Dean with a written report of any disciplinary action taken in response to an act of academic dishonesty. The report of the offense and action must be forwarded to both the Dean of Student Development and the Academic Dean on the same day as the meeting occurs to inform the student of the offense and consequence. In no instance shall this report be provided to the Dean of Student Development and the Academic Dean later than the same day as when the student is informed of the offense and the consequence, and in no instance shall the meeting with the student and the report to the Deans occur more than five (5) business days after the observed, or discovered, action of academic dishonesty. The report must include the name of the accused student, the course number and class section number, the student’s EMPLID, the nature of the action of academic dishonesty, and the specific disciplinary action taken.

Disciplinary Actions that May be Taken by the Dean of Student Development
All formal reports of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by both the Academic Dean and the Dean of Student Development. If a student has been found guilty of any prior acts of academic dishonesty, and is now determined to be guilty, either by the student’s acceptance of the instructor’s initial accusation of guilt, or by the final determination of any hearings or appeal, the Dean of Student Development will take immediate disciplinary action. The Dean of Student Development will act to either (1) suspend the student from the institution for a period of time not to exceed one year, or (2) dismiss the student from the College. The student will be notified by the Dean of Student Development in writing of such action within ten (10) business days. A statement of this action will be included in the student’s academic record. A student who is suspended or dismissed will be immediately withdrawn from all course work in which she or he is enrolled.

Appeals to the Committee on Academic Integrity
A student who has received disciplinary action as a result of dishonesty observed by a faculty or staff member and/or has been suspended or dismissed from the institution by the Dean of Student Development may appeal the sanction(s) to the Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Academic Integrity within five (5) business days of the imposition of the sanction by the faculty or staff member, or within five (5) business days of the receipt of the formal notification by the Dean of Student Development.

The Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Academic Integrity
The membership of the Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Academic Integrity is appointed annually by the President of the College and consists of five teaching faculty with fair representation from all areas of instruction.

Appeals Hearings
A student who has made an appeal will receive written notification from the Chair of the Academic Integrity Sub-Committee of the time, place, and date of the hearing at least five (5) business days before the hearing. The student may elect to not appear at a hearing, but the hearing will be held in his or her absence. If a student elects to not appear at the hearing, the student may submit a signed statement to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Sub-Committee at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Hearings will be closed to the public. No tape recorder or other recording devices may be present or utilized by the student during the hearing unless the student has a documented disability necessitating the use of electronic devices. Prior authorization for the use of any recording device must be submitted and secured from the Chair of the Academic Integrity Sub-Committee at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The student will be given an opportunity to speak at the hearing and to present evidence and witnesses on his or her behalf. The student may be accompanied by one other individual at the hearing, but this person may not participate in the hearing.

The faculty member/Academic Dean and/or Dean of Student Development will be permitted to speak at the hearing and to present evidence and witnesses. The Chair of the Academic Integrity Affairs Sub-Committee and student may request the appearance of and question witnesses. The Sub-Committee and student may direct questions to such witnesses. A student has the right to decline the Chair of the Academic Integrity Affairs Sub-Committee’s request, or accused student’s request, to provide information and/or appear at the hearing.

The faculty member may direct questions to the student, witnesses and the Dean through the Chair of the Academic Integrity Affairs Sub-Committee. The Academic Integrity Sub-Committee may affirm, reduce or dismiss the decision of the faculty member or the Dean. The student will receive written notification of the decision from the Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Appeals to the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development
A student may appeal the decision of the Academic Integrity sub-committee in writing to the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision. The role of the Vice President in the appeal process will be to review the entire academic dishonesty proceeding to ensure that the process was conducted according to current College policies and procedures. The Vice President will provide the student with a written notification of findings and a decision within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal. If the Vice President finds that College policies and procedures were followed, the decision rendered shall be considered final. If the Vice President finds that College policies and procedures were not followed, the Vice President will make a recommendation to the President to appoint and convene a new committee to re-hear the appeal. The decision of the committee in the second hearing will be the final decision for the matter. The student will receive written notification of the Committee’s decision from the Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Records of Academic Dishonesty Actions and Appeals
All records of academic dishonesty actions and appeals will remain confidential and will be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Student Development. Such information will not be available to unauthorized persons without the express written permission of the student, court subpoena or other exceptions made under the conditions specified in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

STUDENT DISCIPLINARY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

The Dean of Student Development or designee is responsible for the administration of disciplinary procedures at the College. Allegations of violation of College policy are accepted for consideration only when the apparent infractions are observed on College property or other locations where the College provides services. Infractions of federal, state or local laws occurring off campus shall be the concern of the civil authorities except when such actions (1) directly affect the health, safety or security of the College community; (2) affect the College’s pursuit of its educational purposes; or (3) occur as a direct result of a College-connected disruption. Reports of alleged student violations of published College regulations may be submitted by an individual to then Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the infraction. When disruptive or unruly behavior occurs in a classroom or laboratory, the instructor may immediately require the student who is responsible for the disruption to leave the classroom. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor prior to the next scheduled class meeting. It is the instructor’s responsibility to meet with the student as soon as possible after the request for the meeting and to meet before the next scheduled meeting if the student has made the request for a meeting. The meeting may occur over the phone or any other electronic medium if both the student and the instructor agree.

After discussing the problem with the student, the instructor must either permit the student to return to class or forward formal written disciplinary charges against the student to the Dean of Student Development. When unruly or disruptive behavior occurs in the College libraries, computer labs, or learning resource areas, library and learning resource personnel may require the student to immediately leave the area. The student must arrange a meeting with the Dean of Student Development to discuss permission to have her or his privilege to use the library and learning resource equipment and rooms restored.

Once charges have been forwarded to the Dean of Student Development and pending the Dean’s review of the allegation, the student is permitted to continue to attend classes. However, if the Dean of Student Development believes that the student’s presence in class may infringe on the rights of others or pose a threat to the welfare of other students and the instructor, the Dean may prohibit the student from returning to class until the allegations have been adjudicated. The Dean of Student Development is responsible for interpreting alleged misconduct with regard to published regulations and for identifying specific charges that will be brought against the student(s) involved. The Dean of Student Development should respond or bring charges within five (5) business days from receipt of a report of a violation. The Dean of Student Development will inform the Vice President of Instruction and Student Development in writing of the need to convene a meeting with the Student Affairs Committee’s sub-committee on student conduct for a formal hearing of the alleged student conduct violation.

The Dean will inform the Student Conduct sub-committee of the specific charge against the student, and obtain any necessary information. The Dean will send the same notification to the student the student via mail, requesting a meeting to discuss the case with the student, including the nature and source of the charges and the student’s rights and responsibilities. During this discussion, the student may question the credibility of his or her accusers or other witnesses by submitting questions through the Chair of the Student Conduct Sub-committee.

The student will be given an opportunity to review any and all materials, which may have been presented as evidence against him/her. The Dean of Student Development may also seek guidance from the Threat Assessment Team. Following this review, the Dean will either impose a disciplinary sanction or vacate the charges. This decision will be forwarded to the student in writing within five (5) business days of the initial meeting between the Dean of Student Development and the student. All records of the infraction and materials pertaining to and resulting from the inquiry (and any subsequent appeal) will be forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Student Development. This information will remain in the Dean’s office.

Appeals to the Dean of Student Development
If the Student Conduct Sub-Committee imposes a disciplinary sanction, the student may appeal the sanction in writing to the Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision. The Dean of Student Development will review the entire disciplinary proceeding and provide the student with a written notification of his/her findings and decision within five (5) business days of the receipt of the appeal. The Dean of Student Development may request to meet with the student during his/her deliberations.

Appeals to the Vice President of Instruction and Student Development
A student may appeal the decision of the Dean of Student Development to the Vice President of Instruction and Student Development in writing within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision. The Vice President of Instruction and Student Development will review the decision and provide the student with a written notification of his/her findings within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal.

Disciplinary Actions
Disciplinary actions available to the Student Conduct Sub-Committee include:

1. Removal of the charges against the student.

2. Admonition: An oral or written statement to a student that he/she is violating or has violated College rules and may be subject to more severe disciplinary action.

3. Disciplinary Probation: A student may be prohibited from participating in College extracurricular activities, using specified College facilities, or otherwise restricted in his or her movements while at the institution for a period of time not to exceed one year. A student who violates the provisions of his or her probation will be immediately dismissed from the institution.

4. Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation.

5. Attendance and successful completion of a special student development tutorial addressing ethics and appropriate student behavior. (The failure to attend and successfully complete this tutorial will result in the assignment of another disciplinary action.)

6. Disciplinary suspension: Exclusion from attending the College as a student for a definite period of time not to exceed one academic year.

7. Disciplinary dismissal from the College: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of the readmission, if any, will be stated in the order of dismissal.

A student, pending a hearing by the Student Conduct Sub-Committee, may be suspended by the College President (or in the President’s absence, the College Vice President of Instruction and Student Development or the Dean of Student Development) and barred from the College if his/her presence is deemed a danger to others or is likely to be disruptive to the normal educational activities of the College. The President, Vice President or Dean also may seek guidance and input from the Threat Assessment Team. Nothing in these procedures should be construed to prevent the President from taking such official steps as he/ she may deem necessary except that final action shall be in accordance with the above procedures. Before a student may be suspended, he or she will be informed of the reasons for the suspension and will be provided an informal opportunity to make an oral response, except in exigent circumstances, in which case the student will be given said opportunity as soon as possible as determined by the President.

Disciplinary Records
All records of disciplinary action will remain confidential, will remain separate from the student’s academic record, will be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Student Development, and will not be available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off campus without the express written permission of the student involved. Exceptions will be made only under the conditions specified in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and under a court order or subpoena.

STUDENT GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Overview
The grievance procedure applies to students who have complaints of unfair and/or unlawful treatment. A student is defined as any person enrolled full- or part-time in credit or non-credit courses at the College. A grievance is a complaint of unfair and/or unlawful treatment formally charged by a student against a College employee, in regard to the application of College rules, policies, procedures and regulations. If at all possible, a complaint should be resolved without initiating the formal grievance procedure. Please note that it is generally beneficial to the student to discuss the problem with College personnel prior to filing a formal grievance. College personnel are available to advise students. Students should not hesitate to contact a faculty member, counselor or any other College staff person to discuss the problem.

Procedure: Level 1
A grievance should be raised and settled as quickly as possible. The first step in the process is for the student to contact and meet with the employee who she or he believes acted in a grievous manner. Within five (5) business days (a business day is defined as Monday through Friday when the College is open) following either the event that gave rise to the grievance or when the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the issue, the College employee involved should be contacted by the student. A phone call or email can substitute for a face-to-face meeting. During the communication between the student and the employee, every attempt should be made to resolve the complaint informally. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student may file a written grievance within five (5) business days following the verbal response from the College employee involved. The written grievance should be presented to the employee with a notification of the grievance forwarded to the employee’s supervisor. The written grievance should contain the following: (a) a complete description of the complaint; (b) any supporting documents; and (c) the redress sought. An entire set of records should be assembled and maintained by the student. The person receiving the written grievance has five (5) business days to reply to the student in writing.

Level 2
If the student is not satisfied with the written response from the employee, he or she may appeal it to the employee’s supervisor within five (5) business days. The student should forward copies of all correspondence and relevant documents from Level 1, along with a cover letter, to the supervisor. The supervisor has five (5) business days to reach a decision and reply in writing to the student and the employee.

Level 3
If the student is not satisfied with the written response from Level 2, he or she may appeal to the employee’s supervising Vice President. This appeal must be made within five (5) business days after the reply from Level 2. The student should forward copies of all correspondence and relevant documents from Levels 1 and 2, along with a cover letter, to the Vice President. The Vice President has ten (10) business days to make a determination and reply in writing to the student and the employee.

Level 4
If the student is not satisfied with the Vice President’s response, he or she may appeal to the College President within five (5) business days after the reply from Level 3. The student should forward copies of all correspondence from Levels 1, 2, and 3, along with a cover letter, to the President. The President will discuss the grievance with all concerned parties and make a decision regarding the issue within ten (10) business days after receipt of the correspondence. This decision will be final.

General Guidelines for Filing a Grievance

1. The student filing a grievance may be accompanied by an advisor or representative of his/her choice at any level of the procedure.

2. Revision of the deadlines for filing appeals and providing written responses may be made. This may be necessary because of vacations, examinations, illnesses or other extenuating circumstances. If the deadlines are changed by either party, the respective employee should inform the student of the receipt of the grievance and give an estimated date of the final reply.

3. The only issues that can be reviewed on appeal are those asserted in the filing of the initial grievance. No new issues can be raised or heard during the appeal review process.

4. Copies of the Vice President’s decision will be sent to the appropriate College employees at Levels 1 and 2 and to the President.

STUDENT GRADE APPEAL POLICY

Overview
The student grade appeal policy applies to final course grades only. A student is defined as any person enrolled full- or part-time in credit courses at the College. During the course session, students at the College have the right to receive timely information from their instructor, typically during office hours, regarding the results of their material submitted for a grade. Moreover, students have the right to expect and receive an up to date assessment of comparative standing in the class on her or his graded material at any time provided that the student is willing to meet or have a phone conversation with the instructor during office hours. This policy is not applicable to grades on individual tests, examinations, reports and other assignments prior to the posting of the final course grade. In these matters students are encouraged to regularly meet with their instructor, or meet with the Academic Dean if desired. Therefore, this policy applies to a student who is, or has recently been, enrolled in a credit course and believes that his or her final grade in a course was determined in an unfair, arbitrary or capricious manner. A student has the right to appeal a final course grade for allegations that (1) the methods or criteria for evaluating academic performance as stated in the class syllabus or as communicated by the instructor by e-mail or Blackboard announcement were not adhered to in determining the final grade; (2) the instructor applied grading criteria unfairly or arbitrarily; and/ or (3) that the instructor so exceeded his or her discretion in evaluating academic performance in the class as to be found unreasonable by the instructor’s peers at Rappahannock Community College.

Procedure : Level 1
A grade appeal should be raised and settled as quickly as possible. Within ten (10) business days following the posting of the final grade in the Student Information System (SIS), the student must contact the instructor via e-mail and request an appointment to discuss his or her concerns regarding the final course grade. (A business day is defined as a Monday through Friday when the College is open.) An attempt should be made to resolve the concern informally. The faculty member must submit a report via e-mail to his or her Dean and the student within 48 hours following the meeting with the student to inform the Dean of the meeting and the outcome of the meeting. If the faculty member is no longer employed by the College or is otherwise unavailable or unresponsive, the student may go directly to the Academic Dean for assistance.

Level 2
If the matter cannot be resolved at Level 1, the student may submit a written appeal to the faculty member’s Academic Dean within five (5) business days following the meeting with the faculty member. The appeal must contain a statement of the issue, a description of any attempts to resolve the problem, relevant information and documentation, and the redress sought. The only issues that can be reviewed on appeal are those asserted in the filing of the initial appeal. No new issues can be raised or heard during the appeal review process. (Should the Dean also be the instructor, the student should submit the appeal to the Grade Appeal Sub-Committee).

Level 3
If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Academic Dean at Level 2, the student has the right to submit a written appeal to the Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Grade Integrity within five (5) business days of the formal written notification of the Dean’s decision. The student’s written appeal must contain a statement of the issue, a description of any attempts to resolve the problem, relevant information and documentation, and the redress sought. The only issues that can be reviewed on appeal are those asserted in the filing of the initial appeal. No new issues can be raised or addressed during the hearing.

The Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Grade Integrity
The membership of the Student Affairs Sub-Committee on Grade Integrity is appointed annually by the President of the College and consists of five (5) faculty with fair representation from all areas of instruction and student development.

Appeals Hearings
Within ten (10) business days of making an appeal, a student who has made an appeal will receive written notification from the Chair of the Grade Integrity Sub-Committee of the time, place, and date of the hearing at least five (5) business days before the hearing. The student may elect to not appear at a hearing, but the hearing will be held in his or her absence. If a student elects to not appear at the hearing, the student may submit a signed statement to the Chair of the Grade Integrity Sub-Committee at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Hearings will be closed to the public. No tape recorder or other recording devices may be present or utilized by the student during the hearing unless the student has a documented disability necessitating the use of electronic devices. Prior authorization for the use of any recording device must be submitted and secured from the Chair of the Grade Integrity Sub-Committee at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The student will be permitted to speak at the hearing and to present evidence, including witnesses. The student may be accompanied by one other individual at the hearing, but this person may not participate in the hearing. The Chair of the Grade Integrity Affairs Sub-Committee and student may request the appearance of other students, and the graded material of other students, as well as other faculty, at the College. The Chair of the Sub-Committee and student may direct questions to such witnesses. Note well, any student has the right to decline the student’s, or the Chair of the Grade Integrity Sub-Committee’s, request to provide information and/or appear at the hearing.

The Grade Integrity Sub-Committee will make a decision determined by majority ruling and take one of two actions: 1. Affirm the appeal and recommend a change in the grade to the appropriate Academic Dean, and instructor for the course, or 2. Deny the appeal and recommend the grade stands as originally assigned. The student will receive written notification of the decision from the Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Appeals to the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development
A student may appeal the decision of the Grade Integrity Sub-Committee in writing to the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision. The role of the Vice President in the appeal process will be to review the entire grade integrity appeal and proceedings to ensure that the process was conducted according to current College policies and procedures. The Vice President will provide the student with a written notification of findings and a decision within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal. If the Vice President finds that College policies and procedures were followed, the decision rendered shall be considered final. If the Vice President finds that College policies and procedures were not followed, the Vice President will make a recommendation to the President to appoint and convene a new sub-committee to re-hear the appeal. The decision of the committee in the second hearing will be the final decision for the matter. The student will receive written notification of the Committee’s decision from the Dean of Student Development within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Records of Academic Dishonesty Actions and Appeals
All records of academic dishonesty actions and appeals will remain confidential and will be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Student Development. Such information will not be available to unauthorized persons without the express written permission of the student, court subpoena or other exceptions made under the conditions specified in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Students who wish to file a complaint are expected to follow the Student Grievance Process for Academic and Non-Academic Decisions as outlined above. As a last resort, students may file a formal complaint with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). Detailed information about SCHEV’s formal student complaint procedure, the types of complaints they will not address, or to file a written “Student Complaint Form” with the agency can be found on the SCHEV Student Complaint website at http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/student-complaints/student-complaint-form.


Last modified on 05-03-2017