Board Policies for Student Issues

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3001 Admissions (approved 12.19.11)

Mohawk Valley Community College is committed to providing post secondary educational experiences to each person who can benefit from them.  The College is committed to providing each student with the educational programs and support services that will allow them to fulfill their potential, if they are willing to contribute their own enthusiasm and energies.

MVCC's "Open Door" policy does not guarantee enrollment in an individual's specific chosen program, where legitimate entrance requirements and space limitations must be considered.  It does, however, guarantee that every applicant who is a high school graduate in the year prior or a veteran, regardless of high school graduation date, and who is a resident in Oneida County, will have access to instruction in the college.

A. Matriculated Candidates

A matriculated candidate for a degree or certificate is a student who has filed an application to be admitted to degree or certificate candidacy, and has been officially accepted and has registered for the specific term for which he or she has been accepted.

B. Non-matriculated Registration

A non-matriculated student is one who has enrolled in one or more courses, but has not been admitted as a degree or certificate candidate in any registered program within the College.

C. Admission While in High School – Early Entry Programs

Early Entry Programs allow high school students to acquire degree credits for advanced college standing; allows the student the opportunity to enroll in areas of study at the college not available at the high school; allows the student the opportunity to enroll in courses that are prerequisites to college admission and which are not available at their high school, to broaden and enrich their high school program.

D. Foreign Student Admission

The college encourages applications from qualified students from other countries.  MVCC welcomes the contributions to the intellectual and social life of the college and community made by students from other cultures. 

 

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3002 Financial Aid (approved 12.19.11)

The College will establish a student financial aid program in accordance with all applicable federal and state guidelines.  Procedures applying to this policy will be found in The Financial Aid Office or at http://www.mvcc.edu/financial-aid

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3003 Students with Disabilities (approved 12.19.11)

MVCC complies with all Federal regulations with regard to non-discrimination and equal opportunities for the person with a disability.  The Disability Services Office is responsible for the provision and/or cooperation of disability-related services.

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3004 Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility (approved 12.19.11)

Mohawk Valley Community College believes in the core values and ethics that are so vital to all local, regional and global communities. Being a member of the Mohawk Valley Community College community requires a commitment to these values including, but not limited to civility, personal accountability, professional and academic ethics, personal integrity, dignity for self and others, fairness, honesty and respect for self and others.  The Student Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility govern the relationship between the student and the College and is as follows:

College Rights
• To establish criteria and standards for accepting, advising, counseling, teaching, evaluation, graduating, and as necessary, disciplining students.
• To establish and enforce standards of acceptable behavior for anyone associated with the College.
• To bring legal or judicial action against any student violating College regulations, policies, and procedures.
• To provide guidance and direction about student rights.
• To take action to continue its work as an academic institution.

Student Rights
• To access services offered by the College.
• To participate on College committees where Student Congress representation is required.
• To due process in situations involving judicial action.
• To access an appeal process.
• To have reasonable privacy except in situations involving personal safety or well-being.
• To benefit from the educational process, free from harassment or disruption.

Regulations
Forms of misconduct that may initiate judicial procedures include, but are not limited to:
1. Any crime or threat of crime against an individual because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation.
2. Dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, forgery, furnishing false information, stealing.
3. Obstruction, disruption or prevention of orderly classes, meetings, and other College activities.
4. Damage to or unauthorized use of private or College property.
5. Unauthorized presence in College facilities.
6. Intimidation, harassment, physical harm, or threat to anyone at the College.
7. Abusive, obscene, indecent, or lewd conduct.
8. Use, possession, distribution, or sale of controlled substances at the College.
9. Use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages except when authorized by appropriate College administrators.
10. Use or possession of firearms, explosives, and noxious chemicals or other items at the College that could be considered or simulate a weapon except where authorized by the College.
11. Failure to comply with reasonable instructions from authorized College personnel.
12. Claiming to speak or act in the name of the College without authorization.
13. Any action which threatens the mental, psychological, or physical health of another person at the College including those actions for the sole purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization (hazing).
14. Recording, broadcasting, streaming, or otherwise sharing of private information without authorization of any involved party.
15. Non-permissive recording of another person (“Stephanie’s Law”).
16. Use of social media of other technology to defame, trespass, assault, or inflict emotional distress upon another person or that is otherwise illegal (cyber-bullying, sexting).
17. Violations of other college regulations and policies.
 

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3005 Academic Rights (approved 12.19.11)

Academic Complaint Policy

Definition
The term “academic complaint” shall be used to define a situation in which students perceive that their rights, as guaranteed by the Student Bill of Rights, have been violated.


Preamble
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, pursuit of truth, development of students, and general well-being of society. Free inquiry and expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students are encouraged to develop their capacity for critical judgment and to engage in the search for knowledge. Institutional procedures for achieving these purposes may vary, but the standards of freedom outlined in the following paragraphs are essential to a community of scholars, teachers, and learners.

Student Bill of Academic Rights

A. 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 in which they are enrolled.


B. 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.

C. Protection Against Improper Disclosure
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations that instructors acquire in the course of their work should be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge or consent of the student.

Faculty Bill of Rights

A. Protection of the Right to Teach
There shall be no denial of a teacher’s right to teach in the spirit of free and rational inquiry, or of the teacher’s right to establish appropriate and germane teaching and learning methods.

B. Protection of the Right to Evaluate
There shall be no denial of a teacher’s right to make an appropriate evaluation of the kind and degree of knowledge and understanding that a student has achieved.

 

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3006 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (approved 12.19.11)

Release of Student Information
Mohawk Valley Community College takes the release of information seriously. Only the Director of Records and Registration/ Registrar or designee makes determinations regarding release of information about past and current students. In order to protect the privacy of students while meeting our obligations, the College will only release limited information to the public or individuals unless law requires or the student approves it. The information that the College can release without student written consent is referred to as “directory information” (please see section H below regarding directory information).  Unless a student signs a written request to withhold consent to release directory information, that information may be released, or published, at the College’s discretion. 

Below is a summary of the information contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended. Each request is treated separately and according to the law. Any questions or requests for student information should be directed to the Office of Records and Registration.  For additional information regarding FERPA, please visit the following link: http://www.mvcc.edu/registrar/ferpa

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
All requests for student information should be directed to the Office of Records and Registration. Annually the College publishes a statement of the rights specified under the FERPA law as amended. This policy statement constitutes official notice of the following information:

A. Official educational files containing materials directly related to students, to which the Act gives students the right of access are maintained in the following locations on campus:

Primary Student Files: These records are maintained for degree candidates; some of the records are maintained for other students as well:
1. The Office of Records and Registration files contain admission materials, correspondence, transfer recommendations, the official academic record, registration records, change of grades, change of majors, credit evaluations, transcripts, and copies of correspondence. These files are  the responsibility of the Director of Records and Registration/Registrar.
Supplemental Student Files: Records may be maintained for some students as appropriate by the following:
1. Academic Centers – the appropriate Center Dean
2. Career, Job Placement, Transfer Office - Director
3. Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
4. Library – Director of Libraries and the Learning Center
5. Student Financial Aid – Director

B. The Act stipulates that the following persons or agencies may have access to student educational files without their permission:
1. College officials, faculty, and staff who have a “legitimate educational interest” (advising, evaluating, preparing recommendations, auditing, etc.) Legitimate educational interest means that the person requesting the information must need it to perform their duties at the college.
2. Certain Federal and State agencies (U.S. Department of Education; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Justice; etc.). The FBI, CIA, INS, IRS, etc. with appropriate documentation, subpoena, summons, or as specified in law.
3. Agencies involved with a student’s application for, or receipt of financial aid.
4. Organizations conducting studies for educational agencies for the purpose of validating predictive tests, etc.
5. Accrediting agencies carrying out their functions.
6. Parents of students who are dependents of their parents for income tax purposes. The College will accept as sufficient evidence, a written statement to this effect along with proof of dependency.
7. Pursuant to judicial orders.

A record of access to student records by persons or agencies in B.2 and B.7 above will be maintained by the Office of Records and Registration. Students have the right to see this record.

C. Persons other than those enumerated in B. above wishing access to student educational records must have the student’s written consent. The authorization must specify the records to be released, to whom they are to be released, and be signed by the student.

D. Official records are kept by the College, as there is a reasonable need for them. After that point, they are destroyed. The Registrar’s record of a student’s academic performance is retained permanently.

E. Each student has the right to inspect and review the information contained in his or her official educational records as listed in A. above subject to limitations as noted below. To do so, students must make a written request on a form available in the Office of Records and Registration. This request will be honored within 45 days after it is reviewed.
1. Inspection and review include:
a. An explanation and interpretation of the record.
b. The right to a copy of the educational record. The charge for an official transcript of the academic record is $5.00; copies of the records are $.10 per page. A copy may be denied:
• When a “hold” has been placed on the record because of an unsatisfied obligation to the College.
• For a transcript from another institution. (The transcript is available from the originating institution.)
2. The following educational records are not available for the inspection and review by the student:
a. Financial information submitted by parents.
b. Confidential letters and recommendations received prior to January 1, 1975.
c. Confidential letters and recommendations to which students have voluntarily waived rights of inspection and review.
d. Education records containing information about more than one student. In such cases, however, students will be informed of that information which pertains to them.

F. If students wish, their right of access to confidential letters of recommendation solicited for transfer, employment, or honors, may be waived. This can be done by indicating a yes/no decision on the recommendation form. Since many writers of recommendation letters feel they cannot be as candid as they would like if the students see their letters, it may be in the students’ best interest to execute the waiver. They may not however, be denied a recommendation on the sole grounds that they have not waived their right of access.

G. Students have a right to challenge the contents of their record. In general, disputes regarding the contents of files will be handled by informal means. If these means should prove unsatisfactory to the student, the Vice President for Student Affairs may be requested in writing to convene a formal hearing. The Vice President for Student Affairs will appoint a member of the College faculty who has no direct interest in the outcome of the proceeding to hear the case. The hearing shall be held within a reasonable time following the request, and the student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised. The decision shall be rendered in writing by the hearing official within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing.

H. The following data relating to students are considered to be directory information, which may be disclosed by the Registrar’s Office following appropriate procedures.
1. Name
2. Address
3. Telephone number
4. Date and place of birth
5. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
6. Weight and height of athletic team members
7. Dates of attendance
8. Degrees and awards received
9. Most recent previous educational institution attended
10. E-mail addresses
11. Program of study
12. Full-time, part-time status

I. Students may request that directory information not be disclosed (subject to same exceptions as in B.) This will prevent the Office of Records and Registration from publishing and/or verifying any information that is included in H. as directory information. This includes information published for commencement, honors and awards received. Confidential holds suppress any disclosure, including job references, degree verification and graduation publications. Forms to suppress Directory Information Release are available from the Office of Records and Registration. These forms are applicable as long as the person remains a student at the college. The hold will not be removed without the written permission of the student.

J. Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

 

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3007 Immunization (approved 12.19.11)

Public Health Laws 2165 and 2167
All college students who are born on or after January 1, 1957, taking six (6) credit hours or more, must provide proof of immunization or immunity to measles, mumps and rubella (Public Law 2165), and complete the Meningitis Response (Public Law 2167), which is provided in the Health Information Form. Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in the student being withdrawn from all classes 30 days after the start of classes. Students born prior to January 1, 1957, are required to provide proof of age, such as a driver’s license, etc. These students are exempt from providing immunization requirements but must complete the Meningitis Response Form. The completion of the form is mandatory, the meningococcal vaccine is not.

MVCC recognizes medical and religious exemptions as defined by New York State Public Health Law 2165.

Veterans discharged from the Military within the last 10 years should see the nurse if they are having difficulty obtaining their records.

Exemptions for Internet students (online only) are also allowed when they are taking 6 credit hours or more and are not required to be on campus for any group setting, such as quizzes, tests, finals, projects, etc. Student Health Information Forms are available in the Utica Student Health Center, the Utica Admissions Office and the Rome Student Services Office in the Plumley Complex.

 

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3008 New York State Public Health Law, Article 21, Title VI, Section 2167 (Meningitis) (approved 12.19.11)

New York State Public Health Law 2167 requires colleges and universities to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students. All students must complete a meningitis response form indicating when they were vaccinated or if they are declining to be vaccinated. Either is acceptable.

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3009 Student Organization (approved 12.19.11)

Student Activities Program
The College provides a wide variety of experiences for its students through Student Congress, student clubs, Program Board, and other activity related organizations. The Student Activities Program is co-curricular education, providing first-hand experience in planning, group leadership, committee work and budgetary management.  The Student Congress is recognized as the student government at MVCC.  Student Congress has a several purposes:
To oversee the expenditure of the Student Activity Fee
To act as a liaison with the College for arranging for students to serve on College committees
To provide programs to benefit all students

This “hands on” experience, combined with classroom learning, creates a well-rounded college experience for those students choosing to participate in the program. The college encourages individual students and organizations to become engaged on campus in the local community through various means. Community service learning can be a vital part of a student’s education.  For more information, see http://www.mvcc.edu/activities

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3010 Drug Free Schools and Campuses (approved 12.19.11)

MVCC clearly states that it seeks to assure the health and well being of all students. The College is committed to prevention efforts and intervention techniques. The College is also committed to a standard of conduct that prohibits at a minimum the unlawful possession and use or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by students.

Students should remember that the sale, use or even possession of a narcotic or dangerous drug (including marijuana, LSD, or any “narcotic, drug, depressant, or stimulant drug”) constitutes an illegal act, unless expressly permitted by law. Legal authorities are required by their office to investigate and to prosecute whenever there is evidence of such illegal activity, and the College student is not immune from such investigation and prosecution. The College, therefore, will readily cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the upholding of the law and expects that our students will recognize drug abuse for the problem that it is and avoid its dangers.  If, unfortunately, a student does engage in such illegal activity, it should be understood that he or she faces not only legal prosecution but also the possibility of disciplinary action through the Student Conduct Judicial Procedure.  MVCC’s policy is outlined in the College’s Right to Know publication, available upon request and on the College’s website www.mvcc.edu.

 

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3011 Alcoholic Beverages (approved 12.19.11)

Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted on campus except as per the MVCC Board of Trustees policy.  Individuals or groups seeking approval for the use of alcoholic beverages should contact the President’s Office in Payne Hall.  New York State laws and all local ordinances regarding the possession, sale, purchase, distribution and consumption of alcohol must be observed at all times on the campus. Students violating the law on the campus may be subject to civil action as well as the campus disciplinary action.

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3012 Graduation (approved 12.19.11)

The College will establish graduation requirements in accordance with State Education and State University guidelines, to be found in The Office of Records and Registration or at the following (link) .

 

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3013 Travel Warnings (approved 4.15.13)

Mohawk Valley Community College will not support or encourage travel of students, faculty and staff to any country listed on the Travel Warning list maintained by the United States State Department. This resolution does not exclude our engaging in “armchair recruitment” from countries that are on the list should the College choose to do so.

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3014 Medical Leave of Absence (approved 6.10.13, revised 6.9.14) 3014 Medical Leave of Absence (approved 6.10.13)

Mohawk Valley Community College is committed to an environment that supports the academic success and health of our students. An Interim Medical Withdrawal and/or long-term Medical Leave of Absence due to medical reasons may be deemed necessary for the long term health and wellness of the student.   Procedures for this policy can be found at www.mvcc.edu/MarComm/publications-1/student-handbook/student-handbook-2014-15


 

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