2019-2020 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

General Policies


Anti-Harassment Columbia State Policy 05:24:00

Columbia State Community College will not condone sexual, racial, or other forms of harassment of students, employees of the College, or applicants for employment.

Sexual harassment and racial harassment have been held to constitute a form of discrimination prohibited by Title VI, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Other types of harassment are prohibited by applicable law.

Generally, sexual harassment may be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual's employment or of the individual's status in a program, course, or activity;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, a criterion for evaluation, or a basis for academic or other decisions affecting such individual; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance/educational experience, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/educational environment.

Generally, racial harassment is defined as any person's conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee's or student's status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Harassment on the basis of race, color, or national origin, includes offensive or demeaning treatment of an individual, where such treatment is based typically on prejudiced stereotypes of a group to which that individual may belong. It includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, or other intimidating or insulting conduct directed against the individual because of his/her race, color, or national origin.

Generally, harassment on the basis of religion, handicap, or other protected status includes any conduct which has the purpose or has the reasonably foreseeable effect of interfering with an individual's academic efforts, employment, or participation in institutionally-sponsored activities. Such harassment also includes any activity which creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment.

In situations that require immediate action, because of safety or other concerns, the institution can take any disciplinary action which is appropriate, e.g., suspension with pay, pending the initiation of the investigation by the affirmative action officer, the Director of Human Resources. Individuals who feel they have been harassed are encouraged to contact the Director of Human Resources (Pryor Administration Building 108). The Vice President of Student Enrollment, Engagement and Services, located in the Jones Student Center room 147, will be called upon to investigate incidents in which students feel that they have been harassed as a result of the actions of another student.

Information Technology Resources at Columbia State

The Information Technology office at Columbia State supports computing and information technology resources across all campuses. Information Technology resources include hardware, software, user accounts, electronic mail, local and wide area networks, connectivity among all campus sites, and access to the Internet. Information Technology (IT) also provides a help desk service during normal class hours from 7:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Helpdesk is located in the basement of the Finney Memorial Library, on the Columbia campus. The IT office administrates the functions of the general purpose computing labs, as well as the Lab Monitor program. For more information on the Helpdesk, the general purpose computer labs, or the Lab Monitor program, call the Helpdesk at 931.540.2650, or email helpdesk@columbiastate.edu. You may also find information on IT and locations of the  computer labs at www.columbiastate.edu/information-technology.

General Purpose Computing Labs and Columbia State User Accounts

The mission of Columbia State Multipurpose Computer Lab (CMPCL) is to provide computer technology service and support to the faculty, staff and students that form the Columbia State community. The CMPCL provides users with access to the computer lab equipment supervised by Instructors and supported by Lab Monitors. The equipment includes microcomputers, printers, supplies, application software and software documentation. A current Columbia State account (PVT Account) is required for access. The Columbia State faculty and Information Technology staff oversees the use of this equipment and provide the general problem-solving services. The Information Technology staff provides hardware and software installation, modification and maintenance. The services are primarily designed to help users with computing operations. Columbia State Multipurpose Lab facilities are located at the following:

  • Clifton Campus: Room 102
  • Columbia Campus: Clement 114 and Clement 214, Hickman 130, Warf 108, Warf 108A, Warf 201, Warf 206
  • Lewisburg Campus: Room 103
  • Lawrence Campus: Room 115
  • Williamson Campus: FADM 305, FADM 317, FHUM 105, FHUM 205, FSCI 105, FSCI 209

Using Multipurpose Computer Labs

  1. Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Moreover, labs are reserved when formal classes are in session. Other than these reserved times, all use of the lab depends on availability of equipment. (Other workshops, classes and ad hoc use may be scheduled.)
  2. A variety of programs (software) are available for use in the lab. These programs have been specifically configured for Columbia State computers and peripherals. No software may be copied to or from any PC without special permission from the Associate Vice President for Information Technology.
  3. All PCs have USB connection for a jump drive and a writeable CD for data storage. Students may purchase jump drives and blank CD's at the College Bookstore. Students are advised not to store data on the hard drive unless instructed by their faculty. Files stored without prior permission are subject to deletion.

LAB Guidelines

  1. Columbia State staff, students and authorized users are welcome to use the computer equipment for class assignments and class related work.
  2. Computer "CHAT" and GAME playing are low priority usage. Class assignment, related work and computer maintenance have high priority over game playing. Users should release machines if needed.
  3. DO NOT
  • access pornographic, X-rated or other sites that may be considered obscene or offensive to others
  • display obscene pictures, profanity or other pornography.
  • interfere with other people's computer work.
  • use more than one (1) machine per person.
  • access other people's files.
  • change, add to or otherwise modify machine unit settings or software setup (including, but not limited to, screen savers, color, background). Changes made for class assignment must be revised when complete.
  • tamper with machine lock and unlock mechanism.
  • bring or consume food, drink or tobacco products in the lab.
  1. Unattended (under 11) or disruptive (any age) children are not allowed in the lab.
  2. No loitering in the lab.
  3. Columbia State ID, photo ID or verification of approved usage can be requested at any time.
  4. The user is responsible for backup of personal work.
  5. Personal printing that is not a class assignment must be approved (see your instructor or the Associate Vice President for Information Technology).
  6. Do not remove cables, power cords, mouse, keyboards, etc.
  7. Users should remain QUIET during open lab periods so as not to disturb the productive work of others.
  8. Columbia State is NOT responsible for problems caused by computer viruses, improper use of the equipment, or loss of data due to equipment malfunction or any other reason.
  9. Columbia State is not responsible for any personal items left in the computer lab. This includes, but is not limited to: IDs, class assignments, books, personal items, keys etc.
  10. When using a Columbia State computer to access other sites, the user must abide by all policies at the remote site.
  11. You will be asked to leave the lab (IMMEDIATELY) upon breaking any of the above guidelines. Other penalties may be imposed including loss of lab privileges.

Computer Resources and Facilities Usage Guidelines

  1. All computer software and/or documents developed by students, faculty, staff, or others on college time and/or equipment becomes the property of Columbia State Community College. Computing documents may be examined or disclosed by this college if there is reason to suspect violation of college policies.
  2. Purchase of all computer hardware or software by any department must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Information Technology.
  3. The computer labs are open to all Columbia State faculty, students and staff on a first-come first-served basis during open periods. Students in scheduled classes have first priority on the equipment during their assigned lab periods.
  4. All systems to be written by Information Technology personnel must be planned and requested through the office of the Associate Vice President for Information Technology before the fiscal year in which work is to begin. Work requiring minimal programming effort should be requested directly through the Associate Vice President for Information Technology via proper form with required signatures.
  5. Access to the computer room is restricted and any entry must be accompanied by an Information Technology staff member.
  6. Tours of the computer room are conducted with advance notice and only under the supervision of the Associate Vice President for Information Technology or designated Information Technology staff member.
  7. Columbia State assigned accounts are the property of Columbia State Community College and account usage may be monitored at any time without prior notice. Computer facilities may be used for college educational and administrative purposes only.

Computer facilities at Columbia State are available to all students, faculty, and staff upon written application. The applicant is the authorized user. Approved authorization may not be shared with others. Other users may receive computer access upon written application and approval by the Associate Vice President for Information Technology. It is the responsibility of Information Technology personnel to maintain a stable operational environment for all users and to provide security for all programs and files currently residing on available computer systems. Cooperation of all users in the form of ethical and responsible behavior is required at all times so that all may share resources freely and equitably.

The following rules and regulations are to define all users' limitations. These rules are separate and apart from the code of conduct as approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Any violations shall be termed "computer misuse", and the offender shall be referred to the respective college office for disciplinary action.

  1. A computer account may not be used by anyone other than the applicant(s) and for any purpose other than that stated on the application form. A user may not attempt to learn the password of any other user and may not attempt to alter or destroy the files belonging to others.
  2. An individual may not access or copy the program(s) or data belonging to other individual(s) or to Columbia State without permission.
  3. Equipment, programs and data provided by Columbia State may not be taken to other sites without written permission from the Associate Vice President for Information Technology.
  4. An individual may not tamper with or change any switch setting on any devices without approval from an Information Technology staff member. A user may not unplug a Columbia State computer system from the network, and plug their personal computer into the network.
  5. A user may not monopolize any available resource to the extent of denying others fair use. Any non-productive use of the computer, i.e., game-playing, chat, etc. will be restricted to time intervals designated by Information Technology staff.
  6. Use of the Columbia State computer system for conducting personal business is prohibited.
  7. An individual may not load software onto any computer without permission of the Associate Vice President for Information Technology. The request to load software must be accomplished by documentation indicating such duplication is permitted by software license. A copy of the software license for any application must be kept in the Information Technology office in L01.
  8. Use of unlicensed software is prohibited. Software license(s) should be verified by the Associate Vice President for Information Technology.
  9. Computer resources must not be used for any unlawful purposes. It is NOT acceptable to transmit or receive threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.

The dispositions listed below (not an all-inclusive list) are examples drawn from the sanctioned policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents Code of Conduct:

  1. Revoking of the individual's right to use the computer, either on a temporary or permanent basis
  2. probation, suspension or expulsion
  3. Financial assessment for computer services
  4. Legal prosecution

In the event that other college regulations are violated, additional penalties may be imposed. Unauthorized use of the computer by an individual other than a member of the college community may be adjudged a felony, and the individual may be liable to legal prosecution.

Guidelines for Student Use of Information Technology Resources

The primary purpose of Columbia State Community College's Information Technology resources is to support the educational mission of the College. Information Technology staff members are responsible for maintaining a stable operating environment for all users, and provides security for access to all programs and files residing on Columbia State computers. Cooperation in the form of ethical and responsible behavior is required at all times so that resources may be shared freely and equitably.

The following rules and regulations are to outline all users' limitations. These rules are separate and apart from the code of conduct as approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The policies of the Tennessee Board of Regents are to be followed by each student. A copy of this policy may be found at the Tennessee Board of Regents Web site at www.policies.tbr.edu/policies/information-technology-resources. Any violations shall be termed "computer misuse" and the offender shall be referred to the respective College office for appropriate disciplinary actions.

  1. Allowing access to your account to another individual is not allowed. The account may not be used for any other purpose outside of College educational or administrative purposes. A user may not attempt to gain access to another's account, or alter, or destroy files belonging to others.
  2. Copying programs or data belonging to Columbia State for one's personal use is strictly prohibited and may violate copyright or license agreements.
  3. A student may not tamper with or alter any settings on any Columbia State computer, nor may a user tamper with or disconnect any existing computer from the Columbia State network.
  4. Any non-productive work (games, social media, etc.) will be restricted by Information Technology staff. A user may not monopolize a resource to the extent of denying others fair access.
  5. Installation of software or connection of hardware to any Columbia State computer is restricted to Information Technology staff. Use of computer resources to interrupt normal College operations and networks, including the introduction of viruses, electronic mail spam, sending chain letters, or monopolizing or intentionally damaging equipment is prohibited.
  6. The unauthorized downloading, copying, or distribution of materials (i.e., proprietary music, video, software, or database information) via Information Technology resources is prohibited.
  7. Student users should be aware that course instructors have primary responsibility for the maintenance of academic integrity. Cases involving academic dishonesty (i.e., plagiarism, cheating, etc., and/or facilitating such an act) should be reported to the Vice President for Information Technology.
  8. Computer and Information Technology resources must not be used for any unlawful purpose. Use of unlicensed software on Columbia State computers is strictly prohibited. It is not acceptable to transmit or receive threatening, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit or harassing materials. Intentional failure to observe policies governing the use of Information Technology resources can result in suspension of user privileges, or other disciplinary actions. In addition, violations may result in referral for prosecution by federal, state, or local authorities.

For more information, please visit the website at www.columbiastate.edu/information-technology

FERPA: Confidentiality of Student Records

Columbia State Community College complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is designed to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable educational records of students. Student rights are as follows:

  1. The right to inspect and review his/her educational records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Director of Records, the dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that indicate the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official-a Coordinator of Records, Dean, department head, or other appropriate professional-will notify the student of the time and place the record(s) they wish to inspect will be available for review.
  2. The right to request an amendment of his/her educational records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students should write the appropriate College official who is responsible for the record and clearly identify the  art of the record that they desire changed, and explain why the current reading is inaccurate or misleading. The adjudicating official will notify the student of the College's decision. If the College does not elect to amend the record as requested, the communication will advise the student of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Information regarding hearing procedures will also be included. After the hearing, if the College still decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in his/her educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Under the provisions of FERPA, the College may disclose directory information to any person requesting it without the consent of the student. Directory information may include the student's name, address, telephone number, email address(es), date and place of birth, enrollment status (full-time or part-time, or withdrawn), major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational institution attended. Examples of such disclosures include, but are not limited to, play-production programs, honors recognition lists, graduation programs, and athletic activity sheets and programs.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Columbia State to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that oversees FERPA may be obtained from the Coordinator of Records.

Students may request that "Directory Information" be withheld from anyone except Columbia State school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative,
supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Columbia State Foundation; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review a educational record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.

In most instances, the College will require written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from the student's education record. FERPA allows for disclosure of records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies, and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Students wishing to refuse disclosure must submit a request for Non-Release of Directory Information to the Records office (Jones Student Center, Enrollment Services 103, after registering for classes. This request will remain in effect until the student signs a form to cancel the request.

For more information regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), please visit www.columbiastate.edu/policies-procedures/privacy

Sex Crimes Prevention Act

The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and the Tennessee College and University Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002 require that whenever a sex offender becomes employed, enrolls as a student, or volunteers at an institution of higher education in the State of Tennessee, he or she must complete or update the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) sexual offender registration/monitoring form, and deliver it to TBI headquarters in Nashville.

As defined in section 40-39-102 of the Tennessee Code, a "sexual offender" means a person who is, or has been, convicted in this State of committing a sexual offense, or who is or has been convicted in another state or another country, or who is or has been convicted in a federal or military court of committing an act which would have constituted a sexual offense if it had been committed in this State. A "sexual offense" means the commission of acts including, but not limited to, aggravated and statutory rape, sexual battery, sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated prostitution, and kidnapping.

Both acts designate certain information concerning a registered sexual offender as public information and therefore amend and supersede the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal and State laws that previously prohibited the disclosure of such personal information. Since the laws require the publication of information pertaining to sexual offenders employed, enrolled, or volunteering at an educational institution, said publication does not constitute grounds for a grievance or complaint under institutional or Tennessee Board of Regents policies or procedures.

In compliance with the federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and the Tennessee College and University Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002, members of the campus community may obtain the most recent information received from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) concerning sex offenders employed, enrolled, or volunteering at this institution in the Campus Security office. Information is also available on the TBI's Web site listing of sex offenders located on the Internet at http://www.ticic.state.tn.us/sorinternet/sosearch.aspx.

Sexual Misconduct (Columbia State Policy 06:07:00)

All forms of sex discrimination including sexual harassment are also strictly prohibited.  For the complete policy containing scope, definitions, prohibition of Sexual Misconduct, actions a victim should take, reporting sexual misconduct, role of Title IX coordinator and Investigations requirements and procedures see the complete policy: Columbia State Policy 06:07:00 Sexual Misconduct.