Comprehensive Standard 3.9.1

 

The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to the campus community. (Student Rights)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

Vernon College adheres to our published Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Policy. Both are published in the Vernon College General Catalog and the Vernon College Student Handbook. It is through adherence to these principles that we ensure an equitable environment so that all students are held to the same standards and that all students are treated fairly in both academic and non academic issues. The College also assures that all students are aware of the expectations and obligations they assume when becoming a Vernon College student. Standards and procedures which comprise the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Policy are considered as college policy and approved by the President and Board of Trustees.

 

It is the promotion of sound educational principles that guided the inception and implementation of the Student Code of Conduct as well as the Academic Integrity Policy. Both policies meet the needs and issues that arise from all students served by Vernon College: academic, workforce, recreational, on-site, distance learning, full-time, and part-time students.

 

The ultimate goal of sound educational principles is evidenced by the first sentence of the Code of Student Conduct: It is the policy of the College to grant the student as much freedom as is compatible with the ordinary rules of society governing the proper conduct of adults. These principles are further emphasized in the preamble to the Academic Integrity Policy: Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that promotes a culture of success for all who are a part of the institution.

 

Vernon College ensures that students and other constituencies are aware of these rights and responsibilities through the publication of each policy in both the Student Handbook and the College Catalog. Each publication is available in print format from any Vernon College campus as well as in electronic format from the Vernon College website. The policies are covered in each New Student Group Advising Session and also covered in Freshman Orientation Program. A student signature on the admission application acknowledges responsibility for complying with Vernon College rules and regulations.

 

Enrollment in Vernon College and a signed application on file is an explicit declaration of acceptance of all Vernon College regulations on the part of the student. Faculty and staff are asked to review these two policies regularly so that they are familiar with not only the student’s rights but their own responsibilities for safeguarding these rights. A student or organization with questions regarding these rights or the policies granting these rights may visit directly with the Dean of Student Services, Dean of Instructional Services or the College President.

 

Alleged violations and grievances regarding student rights and responsibilities are handled with due process and in the interest of fairness and swiftness for all parties involved. Under the direction of the President, sole responsibility for the administration of discipline is the duty of the Dean of Student Services or his designee. The range of punishment can include but is not limited to sanctions such as warnings to expulsion from the College. Procedures in student disciplinary matters are clearly outlined in the Vernon College Student Handbook.

 

Students have the right to be officially heard in matters where they feel they have a grievance against College policy or personnel. All students are encouraged to resolve problems when they first arise and with the parties involved. Only when problems can not be solved informally should the student resort to formal grievance procedures. Formal grievance procedures are published in the student handbook. Grievances are distinguished as either “Academic” or “Non-Academic.” There is a standing Student Appeals Committee appointed annually by the College President. The committee includes faculty and staff as well as current Vernon College students. Committees are appointed for both Vernon as well as Wichita Falls and represent a cross section of programs. The committee is governed by the Hearing Procedures published in the Student Handbook.

 

The Student Grievance Procedure is a multi-tiered process which begins at discussion with a faculty or staff member. If the complaint is unresolved, then the complainant will contact the appropriate division chair or supervisor for resolution. If the complaint is still unresolved, the complainant will complete the Student Grievance and Appeals Form. This form is available in the Student Services Office from a Vernon College Counselor. The form is then submitted to the appropriate dean by the complainant. If still unresolved after the appropriate dean’s decision then a written request for review by the Student Appeals Committee may be submitted to the Dean of Student Services/Athletic Director. After following all levels of appeal within prescribed time frames either party may ultimately submit a written and final request to the College President. Records of all student grievances (example) are kept in secured files in the Dean of Student Services/Athletic Director’s Office.

 

Vernon College is committed to responding to all complaints and grievances judiciously, confidentially, and in a timely manner. The Dean of Student Services and the Counselors are available to meet privately with any student, faculty member, or member of the Student Appeals Committee to answer any questions regarding the process.

 

As written in the preamble to the Academic Integrity Policy the College believes that for students: The success of their experiences at Vernon College is contingent on the existence of an environment that requires adherence to a set of values that includes but is not limited to honesty, fairness, excellence, freedom, responsibility, achievement, civility, and community.

 

Documentation

 

1.      Vernon College Code of Student Conduct

2.      Vernon College Academic Integrity Policy

3.      Vernon College Publications

4       Freshman Orientation Program

5       Student Disciplinary Matters

6       Student Grievance Procedures

7       Student Appeals Committee

8       Hearing Procedures

9       Student Grievance and Appeals Form

10    Student Grievance Example