2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    Aug 13, 2020  
2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook

Student Rights and Responsibilities


As a student at Columbia State, you possess basic freedoms, privileges and rights guaranteed to all persons by the law. You are also subject to the same rules of accountability and the same limitations imposed by law on all persons.

There are a number of established policies and regulations and student-right-to-know information, developed by the College, as well as the Tennessee Board of Regents, that exist for the welfare of both students and the College. This information is detailed in this Columbia State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook.

Although the College provides this information to the student, it is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the policies and regulations outlined in College publications. Students needing clarification on any of these policies or regulations should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at 931.540.2570.

Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act

The Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended in 1991, requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information to current and prospective students.

Student Right-to-Know

Institutions are required to make the persistence, completion or graduation rates of certificate and degree-seeking, full-time students available. See "Student Consumer Information" for further information.

Crime Statistics

Pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Public Chapter No. 317, an act known and cited as the "College and University Security Information Act," the following information is available on our Web site at www.columbiastate.edu/safety/crime-statistics or will be provided to you upon request from the Office of Student Affairs, located in the Jones Student Center, Room 147.

  • Annual crime statistics and crime rates for crimes occurring on the Columbia State campuses as reported to and compiled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for each of the most recent three (3) years.
  • Copies of the Board of Regents policies and procedures on campus security.

This information is not designed to serve as an agreement of contractual arrangement for providing security services to the members of the campus community, nor to guarantee an individual's personal safety when utilizing any college facilities or grounds or when utilizing any off-campus locations as a student or employee of Columbia State, including, but not limited to, classes, meetings, performances, visits, field trips, sporting events, parades, and other community functions.

Student Rights and Freedoms

The Tennessee Board of Regents Policy 3:02:04:00 defines the institution's responsibility in the academic rights and freedoms of the student.

Preamble

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Institutional procedures for achieving these purposes may vary from campus to campus, but the minimal standards of academic freedom of students outlined below are essential to any community of scholars.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. Tennessee Board of Regents institutions have developed policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate the essential provisions for students' freedom to learn.

Freedom of Access to Higher Education

The admissions policies of each Tennessee Board of Regents institution are a matter of institutional choice, provided that each institution makes clear the characteristics and expectations of students which it considers relevant to success in the institution's program. Under no circumstances should a student be barred from admission to a particular institution on the basis of race. Thus, within the limits of its facilities, each institution should be open to all students who are qualified according to its admissions standards. The facilities and services of a Tennessee Board of Regents institution should be open to all of its enrolled students.

In the Classroom

The professor in the classroom and in conference should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

  1. Protection of Freedom of Expression - Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
  2. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation - Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
  3. Protection Against Improper Disclosure - Certain information about students is protected from public disclosure by federal and state laws. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances.

Student Grievance Procedures

Definitions

Academic Grievances

An academic grievance is a difference of opinion or dispute between a student and a faculty member about learning activities as they affect the student. This may include grading, instructional procedures, attendance, instructional quality, and situations where the student believes he is being treated unfairly.

Non-Academic Grievances

A non-academic grievance is a difference of opinion or dispute between a student and instructor, administrator, staff member, or another Columbia State Community College student pertaining to the interpretation and/or application of the policies and procedures of the College and the Tennessee Board of Regents. In addition to the interpretation and application of policies and procedures, nonacademic grievances shall include all grievances except those pertaining to instruction and classroom management. They may pertain to student governance issues, student activities, arbitrary and capricious management decisions, or other concerns that students might present for redress.

Procedures

Academic Grievances

The student should first discuss the matter with his/her instructor. If the matter is not resolved by this discussion, the student should bring the complaint, in writing, to the appropriate division dean. If the student is still not satisfied, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will investigate and notify the student in writing of the outcome of the appeal. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may appoint a committee to review and resolve the issue.

Non-Academic Grievances

The student should first address to the staff member directly. If the student is not satisfied, the matter should be brought in writing to the staff member's supervisor. If the student is still not satisfied, he/she should present the grievance in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs. If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the Vice President for Student Affairs may appoint a committee to resolve the matter; or may initiate institutional hearing procedures to resolve the complaint. The Vice President will inform the student in writing of the results. The student may appeal the decision to the President within five (5) business days of receipt of the results. The committee's decision may be appealed to the President. The President's decision is final.

It is the policy of Columbia State Community College that substantive and procedural due process shall be applied in all matters pertaining to the rights of students. Substantive due process addresses the constitutional rights of the individual and procedural due process is an affirmation of this protection. Every effort will be exhausted to resolve student grievances in an amicable and due process manner.

Grade Appeal Procedure

If a student believes the assignment of a course grade was based on discrimination, arbitrary or capricious action, or any reason not related to academic performance, a procedure exists whereby a student may appeal the grade. The appeal must be initiated within one (1) semester following the term during which the grade was received. The appeal process includes the following steps that must be initiated by the student:

  1. Contact the instructor to ensure that no calculation or administrative error has occurred. If the student cannot schedule a meeting with the instructor, the student should contact the division dean who will schedule the meeting between the instructor and the student. (If the student is in an academic or health sciences' program, the respective program director should be contacted before contacting the division dean.) The only exceptions to this procedure are when the instructor is no longer employed by the College or is unavailable so that it is impossible to complete this step within thirty (30) calendar days.
  2. If the student believes an appeal is warranted after consulting with the instructor, the student may appeal to the division dean. The division dean will attempt to resolve the grade conflict within fifteen (15) working days.
  3. If the appeal cannot be satisfactorily addressed at this level, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) working days after notification by the division dean. This appeal should clearly state the basis for the appeal, the evidence for the appeal, and any supporting data. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the records and notify the student of the results of the review.

Student Disciplinary Policy

Section 1. Institution Policy Statement
Section 2. Disciplinary Offenses
Section 3. Academic and Classroom Misconduct
Section 4. Disciplinary Sanctions
Section 5. Traffic and Parking
Section 6. Disciplinary Procedures

Section 1. Institution Policy Statement

  1. Students enrolled in post secondary educational institutions are citizens of their civic communities as well as the academic community. As such they are expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times. Admission to an institution of post secondary education carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by non-students. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between the institution and the academic community which it seeks to serve, the Tennessee Board of Regents ("TBR" or "the Board") has authorized the presidents of the institutions and directors of the technology centers under its jurisdiction to take such action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the institution and its educational environment.
  2. In fulfillment of its duties to provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits may flourish, Columbia State has developed the following policies that are consistent with Tennessee Board of Regents regulations. In addition, students are subject to all federal, state and local laws and ordinances. If a student's violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects the institution's pursuit of its educational objectives, the College may enforce its own regulations regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted by other civil or criminal authorities.
  3. For the purpose of these policies, a "student" shall mean any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at the College for any academic period, in addition to each academic semester. This shall include any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of classes for any academic period. It will also include any period which follows the end of an academic period through the last day for registration for the succeeding academic period, and during any period while the student is under suspension from the institution. Finally, "student" shall also include any person subject to a period of suspension or removal from campus as a sanction which results from a finding of a violation of the policies governing student conduct. Students are responsible for compliance with the Student Conduct and Discipline policies and with similar institutional policies at all times.
  4. For the purpose of these policies, "class days" shall mean regular business days when classes are in session.
  5. Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violation of the policies which occur on institutionally owned, leased or otherwise controlled property, while participating in international or distance learning programs, and off campus, when the conduct impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any institutional activity or the mission, processes, and functions of the institution. Institutions may enforce their own policies regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted in any other forum, including any civil or criminal proceeding.
  6. These policies, and related material incorporated herein by reference, are applicable to student organizations as well as individual students. Student organizations are subject to discipline for the conduct and actions of individual  members of the organization while acting in their capacity as members of, or while attending or participating in any activity of, the organization.
  7. Students in health science programs are required to complete clinical objectives as a major component of the educational experience. Clinical objectives can only be completed at designated clinical facilities that enter into contractual agreements with the Institution to provide experiences for students. As outlined in clinical affiliation agreements, students are subject to facility expectations for behavior and conduct during clinical rotations. These expectations may include random drug screens and criminal background checks. Per program policies, any students denied access by a clinical facility based on established criteria will be unable to complete clinical objectives for the program of study and will be ineligible to continue enrollment.
  8. Confidentiality of Discipline Process. Subject to the exceptions provided pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g and/or the Tennessee Open Records Act, T.C.A. § 10-7-504(a)(4), a student's disciplinary files are considered "education records" and are confidential within the meaning of those Acts.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.01, Institution Policy Statement. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.

Section 2. Disciplinary Offenses

  1. Institutional disciplinary measures shall be imposed, through appropriate due process procedures, for conduct which adversely affects the institution's pursuit of its educational objectives, which violates or shows a disregard for the rights of other members of the academic community, or which endangers property or persons on property owned or controlled by Columbia State Community College.
  2. Individual or organizational misconduct which is subject to disciplinary sanction shall include but not be limited to the following examples:
    1. Threatening or Disruptive Conduct. Any conduct, or attempted conduct, which poses a direct threat to the safety of others or where the student's behavior is materially and substantially disruptive of the institutions learning environment.
    2. Hazing. Hazing, as defined in T.C.A. § 49-7-123(a) (1), means any intentional or reckless act, on or off the property, of any higher education institution by an individual acting alone, or with others, which is directed against any other person(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that person(s), or which induces or coerces a person(s) to endanger such person(s) mental or physical health or safety. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization;
    3. Disorderly Conduct. Any individual or group behavior which is abusive, obscene, lewd, indecent, violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, or which unreasonably disturbs institutional functions, operations, classrooms, other groups or individuals;
    4. Obstruction of or Interference with institutional activities or facilities. Any intentional interference with or obstruction of any institutional, program, event, or facility including the following:
      1. Any unauthorized occupancy of facilities owned or controlled by Columbia State or blockage of access to or from such facilities,
      2. Interference with the right of any institution member or other authorized person to gain access to any activity, program, event or facilities sponsored or controlled by Columbia State,
      3. Any obstruction or delay of a campus security officer, public safety officer, police officer, firefighter, EMT, or any official of the College, or failure to comply with any emergency directive issued by such person in the performance of his or her duty;
    5. Misuse of or Damage to Property. Any act of misuse, vandalism, malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction, defacing, disfiguring or unauthorized use of property belonging to another including, but not limited to, any personal property, fire alarms, fire equipment, elevators, telephones, institution keys, library materials and/or safety devices;
    6. Theft, Misappropriation, or Unauthorized Sale of Property;
    7. Misuse of Documents or Identification Cards. Any forgery, alteration of or unauthorized use of institutional documents, forms, records or identification cards, including the giving of any false information,or withholding of necessary information, in connection with a student's admission, enrollment or status in the institution;
    8. Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons. Any possession of or use of firearms, dangerous weapons of any kind, or replica/toy guns, e.g. BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, water guns, cap guns, toy knives or other items that simulate firearms or dangerous weapons;
    9. Explosives, Fireworks, and Flammable Materials. The unauthorized possession, ignition or detonation of any object or article which could cause damage by fire or other means to persons or property or possession of any substance which could be considered to be and used as fireworks;
    10. Alcoholic Beverages. The use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages on institution owned or controlled property. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning alcoholic beverages, on or off institution owned or controlled property, where an affiliated group or organization has alcoholic beverages present and available for consumption; it also includes any violation of any term of the Columbia State Drug/Alcohol-Free Communities Statement and Policy. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated §49-7-146, Columbia State is required to notify a parent of a student under age twenty-one (21) if the student "has committed a disciplinary violation" with respect to the use of possession of alcohol or a controlled substance that is a violation of any federal, state, or local law, or any rule or policy of Columbia State, except as prohibited by the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The trigger for notification will be 1) a plea of guilty to the applicable code of conduct violation, or 2) a final finding of guilt pursuant to the disciplinary procedures.
    11. Drugs. The unlawful possession or use of any drug or controlled substance (including, but not limited to, any stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic drug, or marijuana), sale or distribution of any such drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession or use of drugs, on or off institution owned or controlled property or property owned or controlled by an affiliated clinical site. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated §49-7-146, Columbia State is required to notify a parent of a student under age twenty-one (21) if the student "has committed a disciplinary violation" with respect to the use of possession of alcohol or a controlled substance that is a violation of any federal, state, or local law, or any rule or policy of Columbia State, except as prohibited by the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The trigger for notification will be 1) a plea of guilty to the applicable code of conduct violation, or 2) a final finding of guilt pursuant to the disciplinary procedures.
    12. Drug Paraphernalia. The use or possession of equipment, products or materials that are used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using or distributing any drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, on or off institution owned or controlled property or property owned or controlled by an affiliated clinical site.
    13. Public Intoxication. Appearing on institution owned or controlled property or at an institutional sponsored event while under the influence of a controlled substance or of any other intoxicating substance;
    14. Gambling. Unlawful gambling in any form;
    15. Financial Irresponsibility. Failure to meet financial responsibilities to the institution promptly including, but not limited to, knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution;
    16. Unacceptable Conduct in Disciplinary Proceedings. Any conduct at any stage of an institutional disciplinary proceeding or investigation that is contemptuous, disrespectful, threatening, or disorderly, including false complaints, testimony or other evidence, and attempts to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body, verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of a judicial board member, complainant, respondent or witness;
    17. Failure to Cooperate with Institutional Officials. Failure to comply with directions of institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties;
    18. Violation of General Rules and Regulations. Any violation of the general rules and regulations of the College as published in an official institutional publication, including the intentional failure to perform any required action or the intentional performance of any prohibited action;
    19. Attempts, Aiding and Abetting. Any attempt to commit any of the offenses listed under this section or the aiding or abetting of the commission of any of the offenses listed under this section (an attempt to commit an offense is defined as the intention to commit the offense coupled with the taking of some action toward its commission). Being present during the planning or commission of any offense listed under this section will be considered as aiding and abetting. Students who anticipate or observe an offense must remove themselves from the situation and are required to report the offense to the institution;
    20. Violations of State or Federal Laws. Any violation of state or federal laws or regulations proscribing conduct or establishing offenses, which laws and regulations are incorporated herein by reference;
    21. Violation of Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions. Intentional or unintentional violation of a disciplinary sanction officially imposed by an institution official or a constituted body of the institution;
    22. Sexual Misconduct. An offense including acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and or/stalking as defined in Columbia State Policy 06:07:00. All matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct will be governed by the procedures set for in Columbia State Policy 06:07:00. Violations will be handled in accordance with Columbia State Policy 06:07:00 and TBR Policy 6:03:00:00.
    23. Harassment or Retaliation. Any act by an individual or group against another person or group in violation of TBR policies, as well as federal and/or state laws prohibiting discrimination, including, but not limited to, Columbia State Policy No. 05:24:00 and Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline P-080; All matters involving allegations of impermissible discrimination, harassment or retaliation will be governed by the procedures outlined in Columbia State Policy No. 05:24:00 and TBR Guideline P-080.
    24. Academic Misconduct. Plagiarism, cheating, fabrication. For purposes of this section the following definitions apply:
      1. Plagiarism. The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one's own without proper attribution,
      2. Cheating. Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours,
      3. Fabrication. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
    25. Unauthorized Duplication or Possession of Keys. Making, causing to be made or the possession of any key for any Columbia State facility without proper authorization;
    26. Violations of conduct requirements described in handbooks for specific programs of study;
    27. Litter. Dispersing litter in any form onto the grounds or facilities of the campus;
    28. Pornography. Public display of literature, films, pictures or other materials which an average person applying contemporary community standards would find, (1) taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and (3) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value;
    29. Abuse of Computer Resources and Facilities. Misusing and/or abusing campus computer resources including, but not limited to the following:
      1. Use of another person's identification to gain access to institutional computer resources,
      2. Use of institutional computer resources and facilities to violate copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the act of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using institutional information technology systems,
      3. Unauthorized access to a computer or network file, including but not limited to, altering, using, reading, copying, or deleting the file,
      4. Unauthorized transfer of a computer or network file,
      5. Use of computing resources and facilities to send abusive or obscene Correspondence,
      6. Use of computing resources and facilities in a manner that interferes with normal operation of the institutional computing system,
      7. Use of computing resources and facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or institutional official,
      8. Violation of any published information technology resources policy,
      9. Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing;
      10. Any violation of the terms of the Columbia State Policy No. 07:04:00 Use of Information Technology Resources.
    30. Unauthorized Access to Institutional Facilities and/or Grounds. Any unauthorized access and/or occupancy of institutional facilities and grounds is prohibited, including, but not limited to, gaining access to facilities and grounds that are closed to the public, being present in areas of campus that are open to limited guests only, being present in academic buildings after hours without permission, and being present in buildings when the student has no legitimate reason to be present;
    31. Providing False Information. Giving any false information to, or withholding necessary information from, any institutional official acting in the performance of his/her duties in connection with a student's admission, enrollment, or status in the institution;
    32. Unauthorized Surveillance. Making or causing to be made unauthorized video or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, or in the case of a minor, without the prior effective consent of the minor's parent or guardian. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video or photographic images in shower/locker rooms and men's or women's restrooms, and storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized images by any means;
    33. Smoking Violations. Violation of any Columbia State and/or TBR smoking or other tobacco use rules or policies.
    34. Student on Student Harassment.  Means unwelcome conduct directed toward a person that is discriminatory on a basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law and that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim's access to an educational opportunity or benefit.
  3. Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violations of the foregoing regulations which occur at or in association with enrollment at Columbia State for any academic period. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree including periods prior to or between semesters. Conduct occurring while a student is registered or enrolled at the institution, but not discovered until after the awarding of a degree is actionable under these provisions and may result in the retroactive application of a disciplinary sanction. Should a student withdraw from the institution with disciplinary action or academic misconduct action pending, the student's record may be encumbered by the appropriate institutional office until the proceedings have been concluded.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.02, Disciplinary Offenses. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.

Section 3. Academic and Classroom Misconduct

  1. The instructor has the primary responsibility for maintenance of academic integrity and controlling classroom behavior, and can order the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates the general rules and regulations of the institution for each class session during which the conduct occurs. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be effected only through appropriate procedures of Columbia State. In doing so, the faculty member and Vice President for Student Affairs or designee must inform the student of his or her right to due process and of the procedures to follow in order to appeal the removal.
  2. Academic Misconduct: Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to their instructors. Possible disciplinary sanctions may be imposed through the regular institutional disciplinary procedures; the instructor has the authority to exercise Summary Academic Discipline.
    1. The instructor will gather information relevant to the misconduct, discuss with the division dean, and meet with the offending student, presenting the information relevant to the misconduct and explaining the sanction imposed.
    2. A student's grade in the course or the assignment or examination affected by the alleged academic misconduct may be lowered to any extent, including a grade of "F" as long as the failing grade is proportional to the nature and extent of the academic misconduct.
    3. If the instructor assigns to the student a lower grade or an "F" or zero because of academic misconduct, the instructor must complete the top half of the Student Academic Misconduct Form and submit to the division dean. The form includes the violations and the sanctions imposed.
    4. The division dean must notify the student of the actions and of the appeals process that is available if the student opts to appeal the instructor's decision. The dean must also send a copy of the written notification to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs of the action to advise the student of his or her right to appeal the disciplinary sanction to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The student should continue to attend class during the appeals process.
    5. After being confronted with information relevant to academic misconduct, the accused student may accept the sanction imposed by the instructor, or he/ she may initiate the appeal of the disciplinary sanction within five (5) class days. If he/she accepts the instructor-imposed sanction, he/she also waives the right to an appeal, and the decision of the instructor will be final.
    6. Student Appeal of Academic Disciplinary Sanction: If a student believes he/she has been erroneously accused of academic misconduct or if he/she believes the actions or sanctions are too severe for the incident, the student may appeal an exercise of Academic Discipline to the division dean. The student must contact the division dean in writing within five (5) class days of receipt of notification of the action.
    7. The division dean will forward the appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) class days. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may adjudicate the case, or he/she may, at his or her sole discretion, appoint an Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee to review and resolve the issue within five (5) class days of having received the appeal from the division dean. The committee will consist of at least three faculty members and two students, all of whom shall serve for the duration of the appeal. The committee should arrive at a decision within thirty (30) class days, absent good cause.
    8. The Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee will then determine when the appeal hearing will be held. The student must be notified of the date, time and location of the hearing so he/she can be in attendance. The student should be notified as soon as possible, but given a minimum of one week's notice. The student will be advised of the following rights applicable at the hearing:
      1. The right to present his/her information. However, the student's nonattendance, absent good cause, will not hinder the Committee from meeting and making a decision.
      2. The right to be accompanied by an advisor. The hearing committee may restrict the advisor's right to speak at the hearing.
      3. The right to call witnesses in his or her behalf.
      4. The right to confront witnesses against him or her.
      5. The method and time limitations for appeal, if any are applicable.
    9. The committee will then conduct the appeal hearing, consider all of the information presented and make a decision by simple majority vote. The committee can either uphold or overturn the sanctions of the instructor. If the committee upholds the sanction, the decision will be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and or record maintenance, to the Vice President for Student Affairs. If the committee decides to overturn the sanctions of the instructor, the student must receive grades on all assignments and the course in accordance with the normal grading policies of the instructor (unless some other instance of academic misconduct occurs).
    10. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will send the student a written copy of the decision of the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee within five class days of the Committee's decision.
    11. The student will be advised of his or her right to appeal to the President of Columbia State within five (5) class days following receipt of the academic misconduct appeals committee's decision. Appeals must be made in writing. The President will make a determination within ten (10) class days. The decision of the President is final.
    12. A student who is found responsible for academic misconduct will not be permitted to withdraw from the course to avoid Summary Academic Discipline.
    13. A student who is found responsible for academic misconduct may be subject to additional disciplinary sanctions imposed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, or the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee if he/she is found to be involved in multiple incidents that involve other classes or other students.
  3. Classroom Misconduct: Disruptive behavior in the classroom may be defined as, but not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., offensive language, harassment of students and professors, repeated outbursts from a student which disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others (e.g., disturbing noises from beepers, cell phones, palm pilots, lap-top computers, games, etc.).
  4. Faculty establish class attendance and punctuality requirements, subject to state or federal laws, and inform students of those requirements, along with the consequences for failing to meet those requirements, through the published syllabi for each course.
  5. In cases where student absences are the result of emergency circumstances (e.g., death in the family, a student's serious injury, or incapacitating illness), for which students were unable to make immediate contact with faculty, the student may contact the Office of for Student Enrollment, Engagement and Services for assistance in providing such immediate notification to faculty. However, the student remains responsible for verifying the emergency circumstances to faculty and for discussing arrangements with faculty for completion of course work requirements.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.03 Academic and Classroom Misconduct. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.

Section 4. Disciplinary Sanctions

  1. Upon a determination that a student or student organization has violated any of the disciplinary offenses set forth in these policies or the general policies of an institution, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, either singly or in combination, by the appropriate institutional officials.
  2. Sanctions that may be imposed include, but are not limited to:
    1. Restitution. Restitution may be required in situations which involve destruction, damage or loss of property, or unreimbursed medical expenses resulting from physical injury. When restitution is required, the student or student organization is obligated by the appropriate judicial authority to compensate a party or parties for a loss suffered as a result of disciplinary violation(s). Any such payment in restitution shall be limited to actual cost of repair, replacement or financial loss;
    2. Warning. The Vice President for Student Affairs may notify the student or student organization that continuation or repetition of specified conduct may be cause for other disciplinary action;
    3. Reprimand. A written or verbal reprimand or censure may be given to any student or student organization whose conduct violates any part of these regulations and provides notice that that any further violation(s) may result in more serious penalties;
    4. Service to the Institution or Community. A student, or student organization, may be required to donate a specified number of service hours to Columbia State performing reasonable tasks for an appropriate institution office, official(s), or the local community. The service required shall be commensurate to the offense (e.g., service for maintenance staff for defacing College property);
    5. Specified Educational/Counseling Program. A student or student organization may be required to participate in specified educational or counseling program(s) relevant to the offense, or to prepare a project or report concerning a relevant topic;
    6. Apology. A student or student organization may be encouraged to issue an apology that is appropriate for the circumstances and relates to the behavior giving rise to the disciplinary offense;
    7. Fines. Penalties in the form of fines may be imposed against a student or student organization whenever the appropriate institutional authority deems appropriate. The sanction of fines may be imposed in addition to other forms of disciplinary sanctions. Failure to pay fines may result in further disciplinary action;
    8. Restriction. A restriction upon a student's or student organization's privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include, for example, denial of the ability to represent the institution at any event, ability to participate in Columbia State or TBR sponsored travel, use of facilities, parking privileges, participation in extracurricular activities or restriction of organizational privileges;
    9. Probation. Continued enrollment of a student or recognition of a student organization on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to these regulations. Any student or organization placed on probation will be notified in writing of the terms and length of the probation. Probation may include restrictions upon extracurricular activities, or any other appropriate special condition(s). Any conduct in further violation of these regulations while on probationary status or the failure to comply with the terms of the probationary period may result in the imposition of further disciplinary action;
    10. Suspension. Suspension is the separation of a student or student organization from the institution for a specified period of time. Suspension may be accompanied by special conditions for readmission or recognition;
    11. Expulsion. Expulsion entails a permanent separation from the institution. The imposition of this sanction is a permanent bar to the student's admission, or a student organization's recognition to the institution. A student or organization that has been expelled may not enter Columbia State property or facilities without obtaining prior approval from an appropriate campus official with knowledge of the expulsion directive;
    12. Revocation of Admission, Degree, or Credential;
    13. Interim Suspension. As a general rule, the status of a student or student organization accused of violation of these regulations should not be altered until a final determination has been made in regard to the charges. However, interim suspension, pending the completion of disciplinary procedures, may be imposed upon a finding by the appropriate institutional official that the continued presence of the accused on campus constitutes an immediate threat to the physical safety and well-being of the accused, any other member of the institution its guests, property, or substantial disruption of classroom or other campus activities. In any case of interim suspension, the student, or student organization, shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to contest the suspension;
    14. Any alternate sanction deemed necessary and appropriate to address the misconduct.
  3. The President of the College is authorized, at his or her discretion, to uphold the decision, to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any disciplinary proceeding, or, subsequently, to convert any sanction imposed to a lesser sanction, or to rescind any previous sanction, in appropriate cases. The decision of the President is final.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.04 Disciplinary Sanctions. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.

Section 5. Traffic and Parking

  1. Columbia State has implemented institutional Traffic and Parking Policies which govern traffic and parking on all of the campuses. The purpose of these policies is to facilitate the orderly and efficient flow of traffic, to provide a safe atmosphere for both pedestrians and motor vehicle operators, and to provide order with regard to parking within limited space. Institutional policies are published annually through signage, in the Student Handbook, and on the Columbia State website.
  2. The driver of a vehicle not properly parked in designated areas may be subject to a fine.
  3. Faculty and staff secure permits to park in employee designated parking spaces from the Human Resources Department.
  4. A program services fee will be charged per semester to all students. Each student will be given one Columbia State decal at no charge. Additional or replacement permits may be secured from the Office of for Student Affairs for a fee. Students at extended campuses may secure their permits from the administrative staff at the respective campuses. Parking decals should be displayed according to accompanying instructions.
  5. General
    1. Rules of courtesy and safety require that all drivers pull into their parking spaces, leave vehicles between the painted lines and refrain from blocking entrances, exits, or walkways.
    2. Valuables and keys should not be left in vehicles.
    3. Designated Parking
      1. Visitors
        1. Visitors may park in marked areas.
        2. Visitor parking permits should be secured from the Office of Student Affairs or Campus Coordinator's offices for conferences and extended visits.
      2. Faculty and Staff. Faculty and staff may park in the designated lots immediately in front of the Pryor Administration Building, south of the Clement Building, west of the Jones Student Center, along the street access from the gymnasium, and in front of the Walter Building in Columbia. At all the campus locations, employee spaces are designated by blue lines.
      3. Students. Students may park in either of four large lots north of the Pryor Building, west of the Jones Student Center, and south of the Clement Building at the Columbia campus. At all campus locations, student spaces are designated by white lines.
      4. Disabled. Spaces for persons with disabilities are provided at several locations across all campuses. Disabled tag must be displayed when parked in these spaces.
  6. (6) Fines/Penalties
    Violations and Fines
    1. All fines are payable in the Business Office.
    2. Fines may be assessed for violations as follows:
      Parking in:  
        No Parking areas $15.00
        Visitor parking areas $10.00
        Faculty/Staff parking areas $10.00
    3. The fine for disabled/handicapped parking violations is established by statute and will be adjusted as required by law.
    4. Columbia State reserves the right to tow any vehicle that is parked improperly.
    5. Appeals: All appeals are made to the Vice President for Student Affairs within five (5) class days. If the student disagrees with the Vice President's disposition, he or she may request of the Chair of the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee a hearing within five (5) class days of receipt of the Vice President's disposition. When such a hearing is initiated, the following procedures shall apply:
      1. In five class days, the student shall be advised, in writing, of the breach of regulation(s) of which she/he is charged.
      2. The student shall be advised of the time, date, and place of the hearing allowing reasonable time for preparation. A hearing date will be scheduled within 10 class days after the student receives notification of the charges.
      3. The student shall be advised of the following rights applicable at the hearing:
        1. The right to present his or her information,
        2. The right to be accompanied by an advisor. The Committee may restrict the advisor's right to speak during the hearing.
        3. The right to call witnesses in his or her behalf,
        4. The right to confront witnesses against him or her, and
        5. The student shall be advised of the method and time limitations for appeal, if any are applicable
      4. The Student Discipline and Procedures Committee shall be charged to hear relevant information, to make findings of fact, to make decisions based on those facts, and to submit in writing the decision to the Vice President Student Enrollment, Engagement and Services within thirty (30) class days of receipt of the appeal.
      5. The Student Discipline and Procedures Committee is appointed by the President and consists of four active faculty members, four alternate faculty members, two student members, the Director of Financial Aid, and two non-voting, ex-officio members, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, all of whom shall serve for two years or until leaving the college, whichever comes first.
      6. Any individual on the Committee who has an interest in the case should disqualify himself or herself.
      7. All hearings shall be closed unless the student or organizations requests an open hearing in writing.
      8. The student shall receive a written copy of the decision of the Committee hearing from the Vice President for Student Affairs within five (5) class days of the hearing and shall be advised of his/her right to appeal the decision of the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee to the President of the College.
      9. A student may appeal a decision of the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee to the President of the College by writing the President of the College within five (5) class days of receipt of the Committee's decision.
      10. The President of the College is authorized, at his or her discretion, to uphold the decision, to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any parking fines or penalties, or subsequently, to convert  any fines or penalties to a lesser amount or sanction, or to rescind any previous finding, in appropriate cases. The decision of the President is final.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.05 Traffic and Parking. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.

Section 6. Disciplinary Procedures

  1. In the implementation of TBR regulations related to the discipline and conduct of students, Columbia State insures the constitutional rights of students by providing a system of procedures which afford the protection of due process of law. Columbia State has enacted policies that are compliance with TBR Policy 3:02:01:00, as well as applicable state and federal law. All disciplinary procedures are affirmatively communicated to the faculty, staff, and students of the institution as well as published in appropriate websites, handbooks, or manuals.
  2. UAPA: All cases which may result in: (a) suspension or expulsion of a student, or student organization, from the institution, for disciplinary reasons or (b) revocation of registration of a student organization, are subject to the contested case provisions of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), T.C.A. § 9-8-01 et seq., and shall be processed in accord with the Uniform Contested Case procedures adopted by the Board of Regents unless the student or organization, after receiving written notice, waives those procedures and elects to have the case disposed of through the informal adjudication by the Vice President for Student Affairs or through the Columbia State institutional hearing process.
  3. Institutional Hearings: For matters not subject to the requirements of UAPA or when a student has waived his/her right to a UAPA hearing, Columbia State vests the authority to hear student/organizational misconduct or traffic/parking violations with the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, and with the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee. The steps to resolution are as follows:
    1. Preliminary Conference. Misconduct involving the violation of College regulations shall be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs or appropriate designee. Within five (5) class days of the reported allegation, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall call the accused student to a preliminary conference where the student shall be informed of the charges against him/her and apprised of his/her rights as stated in these policies. The Vice President for Student Affairs or appropriate designee shall investigate the validity of alleged misconduct within fifteen (15) class days of the reported charge.
    2. Following completion of the informal investigation, the Vice President for Student Affairs or appropriate designee may:
      1. Determine that there is an insufficient basis, in fact, and dismiss the matter; or
      2. Conclude that there is a sufficient factual basis for discipline and that discipline less than suspension or expulsion or removal of college privileges would be appropriate; or
      3. Conclude that there is a sufficient factual basis for discipline and that discipline, including the possibility of suspension or expulsion or removal of college privileges, would be appropriate.
    3. The Vice President for Student Affairs or appropriate designee may, after an informal investigation, notify the student in writing of the charge(s), as well as the options for adjudication of the case within five (5) class days. The due process rights associated with each option will also be included. The student will have five class days following receipt of written notification to select an option.
    4. The options are as follows:
      1. Disposition by the by the Vice President for Student Affairs. In discipline cases other than academic dishonesty, a student or organization may request that the Vice President for Student Affairs adjudicate the case informally. The student will have the opportunity to present argument and information on his or her behalf. The Vice President for Student Affairs will inform the student of the findings, the basis for the conclusions, and impose discipline specified in Disciplinary Sanctions as he/she deems to be appropriate. The student or organization will be informed in writing of the specific disciplinary offenses and sanctions within 10 class days. In informally adjudicated cases, the decision of the Vice President will be final.
      2. No contest of the case.
      3. Student election of the use of informal adjudication or to not contest the case requires that the student waive, in writing, his/her right to due process. Selection of one option constitutes waiver of all other options.
      4. Discipline and Procedures Committee hearing. A student or organization may choose to have the case heard by the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee.
    5. If such a hearing is initiated, the following procedures shall apply:
      1. The student or organization shall be advised, in writing, of the breach of regulation(s) of which she/he is charged.
      2. The student shall be advised of the time, date, and place of the hearing allowing reasonable time for preparation. A hearing date will be scheduled within 10 class days after the student or organization receives notification of the charges.
      3. The student shall be advised of the following rights applicable at the hearing:
        1. The right to present his or her case However, the student's nonattendance, absent good cause, will not hinder the Committee from meeting and making a decision.
        2. The right to be accompanied by an advisor (for example, a friend, family member, faculty or staff member). The advisor must agree to abide by the confidentiality restrictions set forth in the proceedings. The Committee may restrict the advisor's right to speak during the hearing.
        3. The right to call witnesses in his or her behalf,
        4. The right to confront witnesses against him or her, and
        5. The student shall be advised of the method and time limitations for appeal, if any is applicable.
    6. The Student Discipline and Procedures Committee shall be charged to hear relevant information, to make findings of fact, and to make decisions based on those facts.
    7. The Student Discipline and Procedures Committee is appointed by the President and consists of four active faculty members, four alternate faculty members, two student members, the Director of Financial Aid, and two non-voting, ex-officio members, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, all of whom shall serve for two years or until leaving the college, whichever comes first.
    8. Any individual on the Committee who has an interest in the case should disqualify himself or herself.
    9. All hearings shall be closed unless the student or organizations requests an open hearing in writing.
    10. The student or organization shall receive a written copy of the decision of the Committee hearing with any sanctions within five class (5) days of the hearing and shall be advised of his or her right to appeal the decision of the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee.
    11. If a student, absent good cause, fails to return the Election of Waiver of Hearing Procedures Form in a timely manner, the student will be deemed to have waived a right to the processes described above and Columbia State may proceed as it deems, in its sole discretion, appropriate in the circumstances.
  4. Interim Suspension Hearings: Hearings conducted with regard to interim suspensions imposed pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation or proceeding shall be conducted consistent with the minimum requirements of due process applicable to an institutional hearing, taking into account the need for a timely hearing. The evidence presented at the hearing shall be limited to that which is relevant to the basis asserted for imposition of the interim suspension.
  5. Alternative Resolution Procedures: Columbia State is authorized to establish alternative or multiple methods/bodies for hearings and/or for the resolution of disciplinary matters, with the consent of all relevant parties. Alternative resolution methods may include, but are not limited to, mediation, diversion programs, and/or negotiated resolutions.
  6. Appeal Procedures
    1. Appeal of decision of a hearing held pursuant to UAPA. A student's right to appeal a decision resulting from a hearing held pursuant to the UAPA shall be governed by the provisions of the UAPA.
    2. Appeal of decision of Student Discipline and Procedures Committee. A student may appeal a decision of the Student Discipline and Procedures Committee to the President of the College. The appeal must be filed in writing within five (5) class days of receipt of the Committee's decision.
    3. The President of the College is authorized, at his or her discretion, to uphold the decision, to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any disciplinary proceeding, or, subsequently, to convert any finding or sanction imposed to a lesser finding or sanction, or to rescind any previous finding or sanction, in appropriate cases. The decision of the President is final.

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.06 Disciplinary Procedures and due Process. To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12. Revised 2/1/16.