A college in a free society must be devoted to the pursuit of truth and knowledge through reason and open communication among its members. Its rules should be conceived for the purpose of furthering and protecting the rights of all members of the institution in achieving these ends. The Honor Code shall emphasize specific student responsibilities in representing Southwest Tennessee Community College. It also formally protects the right of all students to attain their educational objectives. Most importantly, it promotes the human rights of all members of the Southwest community.
This Code is established by the Student Government Association for the student body, to protect the academic integrity of Southwest, to encourage consistent ethical behavior among the students and to foster a climate of fair competition. While a student’s commitment to honesty and personal integrity is assumed and expected, this Code is intended to provide an added measure of assurance.
All students of Southwest Tennessee Community College are expected to behave in an ethical and moral fashion, respecting the human dignity of all members of the community and resisting behavior that may cause harm or danger to others. This Code is established for the student body: to protect the academic integrity of Southwest; to encourage consistent ethical behavior among the students; and to foster a climate of student development. While a student’s commitment to honesty and personal integrity is assumed and expected, this Code is intended to provide an added measure of assurance to aid the college in fulfilling its mission. All members of the Southwest community are expected to adhere to the civil and criminal laws of the nation, state, and local community, and to regulations promulgated by Southwest. All members are expected to observe established standards of scholarship and academic freedom by respecting the intellectual and physical property of others and by honoring the right of all students to pursue their education in an environment free from fear of harassment or intimidation. To that end, all Southwest students shall recognize their responsibilities to the learning process, which includes:
- Arriving punctually and participating actively in classroom activities
- Acquiring the necessary materials and being prepared for all classes
- Identifying and utilizing all academic support services necessary to achieve learning success
Students shall also recognize their responsibilities to their fellow students, past and present, to include:
- Being good role models
- Displaying mutual respect and honesty
Finally, students shall recognize their responsibilities to Southwest faculty and staff, to include:
- Respecting the roles and responsibilities of the faculty, staff, and administration.
- Utilizing the information provided by faculty and staff and adhering to the guidelines of administrative offices of the college
- Displaying integrity and civility in all interactions
Student Rights and Responsibilities
These statements on Student Rights and Responsibilities articulate the mission of the College to extend educational opportunities to the students it serves. Southwest is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The College’s statement of student rights and responsibilities governs what is expected of students and what students can expect from the College. Southwest’s Student Rights and Responsibilities are as follows:
Admissions, Retention, and Graduation
Southwest is committed to providing a full range of learning opportunities to meet the diverse educational needs of all people who live in the College’s designated service area. Persons seeking admission to the College have the right to be admitted if they meet admission requirements. The College admits eligible applicants without consideration of race, ethnic origin, age, gender, religion, or disability. See the catalog for more specific information.
Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to a specific program of study or to any specific course. To be eligible for continued enrollment in the College and graduation from the College, students are responsible for meeting retention and graduation standards.
Student, Faculty, and Staff Relationship
Rights in the Classroom
- Know from the instructor the goals and content of the class,
- Know and understand the instructor’s expectations of the class requirements and method(s) of assigning grades,
- To be evaluated on the materials and on meeting the goals of the class, and
- Consult with the instructor outside the classroom during office hours or during appointment times on matters related to the course.
Responsibilities in the Classroom
- Observe the standards of academic performance defined by the instructor, and
- Abide by the standard of conduct established in the class to ensure freedom of the instructor to teach and freedom of others in the class to learn.
Responsibilities of the Student
- Students are responsible for furnishing complete and accurate information to give the College the opportunity to perform its educational function for best outcomes.
- Students are responsible for notifying the appropriate College officials and offices of changes related to name, address, telephone numbers, financial situation, etc.
It is the policy of the College to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The College reserves the right to disclose directory information. Directory information may be released without the student’s consent under the following circumstances:
- Emergency situations - Should a threat to the safety or health of a student or another exist and it becomes necessary to disclose information without the consent of the student, needed information will be disclosed to persons who can render assistance.
- Officials of the College and general counsel for the College - Student records will be made available to officials of the College and to general counsel for the College on a genuine need-to-know basis. Officials, in this instance, will include those persons officially authorized to operate on behalf of the institution (volunteer coaches, advisors, committee members, etc.), auditors, and persons on the College’s payroll. The genuine need-to-know shall be based on a legitimate educational interest, which stems from the fulfillment of assigned responsibilities. Further, information will be limited to only that needed to fulfill those responsibilities.
- Pursuant to a subpoena - Upon receipt of a lawfully issued subpoena or judicial order, the College shall examine the subpoena or order to verify that it has been executed by an officer of the court or other authorized official (the General Counsel for TBR may be contacted for assistance and verification). Prior to releasing the student’s records, the College will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of its intent to comply. Oral notifications will be followed by written confirmations that shall be maintained along with a copy of the subpoena and record of the disclosure.
- Parents of Dependant Students - The institution reserves the right to disclose student records to parents of dependant students as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Officials of other schools/school systems - The College reserves the right to disclose student records to officials of other schools or school systems in which the student is enrolled or seeks to be enrolled. Copies of the records transferred will be provided to the student upon request. Additionally, all rights of the student to have the record amended will be sustained.
- Parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 21 may be contacted regarding the student’s violation of drug or alcohol laws and rules.
- Exceptions - Other disclosures made without the student’s written consent are narrow in scope according to the Privacy Act and will be made, most often, with the advice of general counsel.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review their records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request an amendment to their records if they feel that the records are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights. The student should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notifying him/her of the right to a hearing.
- The right to prevent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Tennessee Board of Regents; 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 an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibilities. Any student who does not want directory information disclosed must complete a “Suppression of Directory Information Request” form in the Records Office.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Southwest Tennessee Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Resolving Problems with Official Records
The College has established a process for a student to address concerns or inaccuracies in their official record. Concerns may be related to eligibility or enrollment status, which may include academic or financial holds. Procedures for approving or disapproving each request are governed by College and Tennessee Board of Regents policy.
- A student should begin this process by completing the “Student Request for Assistance” form. The Student Request for Assistance process addresses potential concerns or inaccuracies in a student’s official record. Approval or disapproval of each request is governed by Southwest Tennessee Community College and Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) policies. Documentation to support the request must be submitted with this form before a decision can be made. Requests that do not have supporting documentation or conflict with TBR and College policies may not be approved. Please refer to the College catalog for the grade change appeal process. The statute of limitations for this process is one calendar year from the actual occurrence of the event. The advisor will determine if the problem is one of a serious nature with extenuating circumstances and that can be documented. An advisor who feels that the student does not have a legitimate, documentable problem will inform the student that the request for assistance in all probability will be denied. However, the student has the right to complete the process.
- The next step is to forward the form with copies of documentation to the appropriate department or, depending upon the nature of the problem, the appropriate dean. The student should keep all original documentation and be prepared to provide it upon request.
- The process will take approximately two weeks to move through the administrative process.
- A student may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs for disposition of their request. Time limitations, the lack of supporting documentation, or requests that are in conflict with TBR and College policies may cause the request to be disapproved.
Facilities and Services
Students have the right to make use of the facilities and services of the College as a part of their educational process. However, students are expected to use the facilities and services of the College responsibly and within the guidelines set for their use.
Students have the right to the services provided by faculty and staff of the College. These include, but are not limited to, pre-admission counseling, academic advising, counseling, career planning, orientation, and job placement services. Students have the right to information related to the College’s policies and procedures, procedures for resolving concerns (including those involving grievances), and clarification of services. Students have the primary responsibility for initiating requests for services and following up on such requests.
Student Leadership & Engagement/Student Activities
Students have the right to form organizations and to join associations to promote their common interests. Students are responsible for following the College’s policies and procedures for officially registering an organization before engaging it in campus activities. Students are also responsible for following the general policies on student organizations established by the TBR and the College. Copies of these policies are available in the Student Leadership & Engagement Office at Union Avenue (B-106) and Macon Cove (Farris-2100).
The right to freedom of speech and the press is essential to a democratic society. However, this right is not without responsibility. Students are responsible for producing publications that conform to the rules of responsible journalism and the laws respecting publications (libel, advertising, etc.).