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    Columbia College
   
 
  Sep 25, 2017
 
 
    
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

Student Conduct



Student Conduct General Principles

  • Purpose: Columbia College has adopted a Student Code of Conduct to protect the rights of students, faculty, staff and the college. This code ensures that the Columbia College learning community is characterized by mutual respect, civility and good citizenship.
  • Inherent Authority: Columbia College reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.
  • Interpretation: Having voluntarily enrolled in Columbia College, students are presumed to be knowledgeable of and remain in compliance of all rules and regulations of the Student Code of Conduct, both on-campus and off-campus. The Code of Conduct is not a criminal code; it should be read broadly and is not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms.
  • Proceedings: Disciplinary proceedings conducted in relation to the Code of Conduct shall be informal, fair, and expeditious. Disciplinary action may be taken regardless of the existence of any criminal proceedings that may be pending. Directors for the Nationwide, Evening and Online Campuses will be responsible for disposition of less serious conduct-related offenses. For more serious offenses dispositions will be handled by the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Jurisdiction: Students may be disciplined for conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the college community or which is deemed detrimental to the interests of the college. These sanctions apply whether or not such conduct occurs on campus, off campus, at college-sponsored or non-college-sponsored events.

Student Code of Conduct

Columbia College students, as members of the academic community, are expected to accept and adhere to these high standards of personal conduct.

Students shall:

  1. Treat all members of the community with courtesy, respect and dignity.
  2. Comply with directions of college officials acting in the performance of their duties.
  3. Treat the campus itself including buildings, grounds and furnishings with respect.
  4. Respect the rights and property of other members of the community.
  5. Fulfill their obligations through honest and independent effort and integrity in academic and personal conduct.
  6. Accept responsibility for and the consequences of their actions and encourage responsible conduct in others.
  7. Respect the prohibition of possession, consumption, distribution and provision of alcohol on campus and the illegal possession, use, distribution and provision of controlled substances.
  8. Abide by all published policies, including but not limited to, those that appear in the Columbia College catalog, student handbook, Residential Life Handbook, Code for Computer Users and class syllabi.
  9. Refrain from soliciting, aiding, or inciting others to commit a violation of college conduct policies.
  10. Refrain from tampering with fire safety equipment in college buildings and on campus grounds.
  11. Have no firearms, weapons or any other item designed to inflict harm or damage on campus. Sworn law enforcement and military officials possessing firearms while on duty may be exempt.
  12. Behave in a manner that does not intentionally or recklessly interfere with normal college sponsored activities, including but not limited to, studying, teaching, research, college administration, or fire, police or emergency services.
  13. Refrain from behavior that intentionally or recklessly endangers, threatens or causes physical or emotional harm to any person, or that intentionally or recklessly causes reasonable apprehension of such harm.

The Student Code of Conduct, as well as the set of guidelines outlining the adjudication of conduct-related offenses, applies to all Columbia College students.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Students have the right to access accurate and clearly stated information relating to acceptable academic standing, graduation requirements and individual course requirements.
  2. In all academic evaluations, students have the right to fair and impartial treatment.
  3. The college will not interfere with students’ rights to join associations which promote their common interests. However, student organizations which are officially recognized by the college are subject to the policies and regulations established by the college.
  4. Students have the right to freely discuss, speak, write and exchange ideas and opinions on any subject in a civil and respectful manner in accordance with the guarantees and restrictions of federal and state constitutions.
  5. Student groups on campus have the right to freely select guest speakers or performers. There are no restrictions on the point of view expressed by the speakers other than those imposed by national or state law. The invitation to appear on campus does not imply approval or sponsorship by the college or the group which offers the invitation of the speaker’s expressed views.
  6. Students and/or recognized student groups have the right to use the facilities of the college as long as established rules and procedures are followed.
  7. Students are free to engage in peaceful and orderly protest demonstrations and picketing as long as they do not disrupt the functions of the college or violate the rights of others.
  8. Students have the right to appeal a grade or a disciplinary action by following the procedures established for each.
  9. Students have the right to discuss problems and concerns with appropriate college officials, free from duress or fear of retribution.
  10. Students are responsible for all information contained in the Columbia College catalog and other relevant publications of the college.
  11. Students are responsible for initiating action when necessary to secure their rights.
  12. Students are responsible for their actions. While students have the right to select from alternatives, they must also recognize the responsibility that freedom implies and accept the consequences that result from their selections.
  13. Students are responsible for checking their Columbia College assigned CougarMail email account often. All official electronic communications from Columbia College to students will be managed using their CougarMail email account. Students are responsible for all information received through this account from the College.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.

Columbia College prohibits the manufacture, possession, use, distribution and sale of alcohol and controlled or illicit substances by Columbia College students and employees, regardless of age, on College owned property and at College sponsored or supervised events or activities.

  • Public intoxication on campus property is expressly prohibited. Those conditions considered to indicate intoxication include but are not limited to affected manner or disposition, speech, muscular movements, general appearance or behavior as apparent to the observer.
  • Containers that contain alcohol as well as empty alcohol containers are prohibited on campus. Possession of empty alcohol containers will be regarded as a violation of this policy.
  • Campus displays or advertisements that support or promote alcohol or drug use, possession, manufacture or distribution are prohibited.
  • Behavior resulting from intoxication or the illegal use of controlled or illicit drugs will incur disciplinary action.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia and misuse of prescription drugs will be regarded as violations of the drug policy.
  • Alcohol and other drugs possessed or consumed in violation of this policy are subject to confiscation.

It is the responsibility of students, faculty and staff to know and uphold the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drug policy. In accordance, students and employees must be held accountable for their personal behavior. Excessive use, manufacture, possession or distribution of alcohol and/or controlled or illicit substances and the associated behavioral problems will be the basis for disciplinary action. Representatives of the College will cooperate with outside authorities in their efforts to enforce existing laws regarding illegal drugs and alcohol.

Standards of Conduct, Drug/Alcohol Use and Possession

Columbia College rules and regulations prohibit the manufacture, possession, use, distribution and sale of alcohol and controlled or illicit drugs by Columbia College students and employees on College owned property and at College sponsored or supervised events or activities. Violations of Columbia College rules and regulations pertaining to alcohol and other drugs can result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for students and termination for employees.

Additionally, in conjunction with or in lieu of the imposition of any disciplinary sanctions, students and employees may also be referred to appropriate local, state or federal law enforcement agencies for arrest and prosecution and/or required to complete an appropriate treatment or rehabilitation program.

In accordance with the mandates of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, and as a condition of employment at Columbia College, all employees (including student employees) must notify their supervisor of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such a conviction. Employees undergoing treatment for alcohol or drug abuse must meet all standards of conduct and job performance.

Legal Sanctions

Any Columbia College student or employee found possessing, manufacturing or distributing controlled or illicit substances or unlawfully possessing or attempting to possess alcohol or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence is violating local, state and federal laws. A student is ineligible for federal student aid if convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance (generally meaning illegal drugs, but not including alcohol or tobacco).

Good Samaritan Policy

The College is committed to the safety and well-being of all members of the College community.  This policy is intended to encourage students to seek assistance from appropriate sources in the event of a health, medical or safety emergency by alleviating the threat of disciplinary action by the College if a student’s conduct would otherwise violate the College’s alcohol and other drug policy.   Specifically, in situations involving a threat or danger to the health or safety of any individual, students are encouraged and expected to seek appropriate medical attention for themselves and others as soon as possible as long as it is safe to do so.

Health Risks

The use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs may have a negative effect on school or work performance, as well as health and personal relationships. Some common health risks include: addiction; damage to the liver or heart; birth defects; accidents as a result of impaired judgment; and sexual assault or sexually transmitted disease.

Contact your campus director for answers to questions, or visit http://www.samhsa.gov/  for help finding resources regarding drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Behavioral Misconduct Procedures

Students are expected to conduct themselves so others are not distracted from the pursuit of learning. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom. Persistent misconduct on the part of a student is subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the student handbook and in the course syllabus. Some examples of classroom misconduct that will not be tolerated include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment
  • Verbal abuse
  • Assault
  • Interference with the educational opportunity of other students
  • Attending class under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

Overview of the Discipline Process

  • Complaint is filed or report is received.
  • Student receives written notice of alleged violations.
  • An investigation is conducted into the alleged violations.
  • A hearing is scheduled if necessary and held.
  • If a respondent is found responsible for violation of policy, sanctions are issued.
  • The respondent will receive written notice of the outcome of the hearing.
  • The complainant or respondent may appeal the outcome of a conduct hearing.

Personal Conduct Disciplinary Procedures

Generally, allegations regarding a student’s personal conduct will be adjudicated through processes governed by the Division of Student Affairs.

  1. A Student Conduct Officer or another appropriate college official will investigate the situation and review it with the student. If it is determined that no violation occurred, then the matter will be dropped. If the student admits responsibility or the Student Conduct Officer determines there was a violation, college disciplinary action will ensue. If a student fails to respond to the conduct officer’s request within the time line provided then the case will be heard without the benefit of the students input. The student will be notified in writing of the finding of fact and the disciplinary sanction recommended by the Student Conduct Officer. A student’s entire record of both academic misconduct and behavioral misconduct may be considered in determining appropriate sanctions.
  2. If facing disciplinary action, the student has the right to accept the Student Conduct Officer’s finding of fact and recommended sanction, at which time the matter is closed; or the student may appeal to the Dean for Student Affairs for a review of the finding of fact and/or the recommended sanction.
  3. To initiate an appeal, the student must file an appeal request with the Dean for Student Affairs within three (3) business days of the informal disposition meeting with the Student Conduct Officer. The Dean for Student Affairs will review the request and determine if there are sufficient grounds for appeal and if evidence submitted warrants reconsideration of the decision. All parties will be notified.
  4. If a decision is made to reconsider, the Dean for Student Affairs adjudicates the matter. Decisions made by the Dean are final.

Academic Integrity

The College expects students to fulfill their academic obligations through honest and independent effort. In a community of scholars committed to truth, dishonesty violates the code of ethics by which we live and is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Knowingly furnishing false or misleading information.
  • Falsification, alteration or misuse of college forms or records.
  • Any joint effort in examinations, assignments or other academic activity unless authorized by the instructor.
  • Plagiarism in any form; using another’s phrase, sentence or paragraph without quotation marks; using another’s ideas or structure without properly identifying the source; or using the work of someone else and submitting it as one’s own.
  • Willfully aiding another in any act of academic dishonesty. Columbia College is equally concerned about the interpersonal social relationships that affect the learning environment. Respect for the conditions necessary to enhance learning is, therefore, required.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. These violations are taken seriously in higher education and could result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of F for the course or dismissal from the College. If a student is unclear what constitutes plagiarism they should begin by asking their instructor for clarification. Additionally, the internet has extensive tools a student can use to help them avoid plagiarism. The easiest source is to access Google.com and search for the word “plagiarism.” Many helpful sources will be provided. For proper citation of the original authors, students should reference the appropriate publication manual for their degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). The instructor will be able to supply this information or you may access the website at https://web.ccis.edu/Offices/AcademicResources/WritingCenter.aspx for writing guidelines.

Academic Misconduct Procedures

Generally, the faculty will handle offenses related to academic misconduct and assign appropriate penalties without involving others. In such cases, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. The faculty member who, upon investigation, suspects academic misconduct will, if possible, confer with the student suspected.
    1. If the faculty member determines the student is not responsible for engaging in academic misconduct, the matter will be dropped.
    2. If the faculty member determines the unacceptable behavior was unintentional, the violation will be explained and an alternative penalty will be imposed at the discretion of the investigating faculty member. The Academic Dean for the student’s school and the Dean for Student Affairs must be notified in writing of the incident and the outcome using the online incident report.
    3. If the student admits responsibility for academic misconduct, or if the faculty member determines there was intentional unacceptable behavior, the faculty member may impose the penalty stated in the course syllabus. In the absence of a penalty stated in the syllabus, the penalty will be a grade of F on that activity, which will be factored into the final grade. The Academic Dean for the student’s school and the Dean for Student Affairs must be notified in writing of the incident and the action taken.
      *The faculty member and/or Academic Dean for the student’s school or Dean for Student Affairs can elect to also pursue behavioral misconduct consequences for the academic misconduct by referring the matter to the Student Conduct office for adjudication.
  2. A student wishing to challenge or appeal the accusation of academic misconduct should seek the counsel of the department chair. The Provost and Academic Dean must be notified of the results of this informal disposition.
  3. If either the student or the faculty member is not satisfied with the informal disposition, he/she may request a formal hearing. The individual must initiate the hearing procedure by filing an appeal request with the Academic Dean for the student’s school within three (3) school days after the informal disposition meeting. The written request will be forwarded to the Academic Dean for the student’s school and the Dean for Student Affairs.
  4. The Dean of the student’s school  and the Dean for Student Affairs will review the request and determine if there are proper grounds for appeal and if the evidence submitted warrants reconsideration of the decision. All parties involved will be notified. Generally, most incidents of academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism, cheating and grade appeals will be resolved through processes governed by Academic Affairs. Most incidents of personal conduct related allegations, such as disorderly classroom conduct, will be resolved through processes governed by Student Affairs.

It is important to note that there are those cases where the allegations and potential consequences are so serious and complex that the matter will be submitted, at the outset, to Student Affairs for investigation, informal disposition, and if necessary, formal disposition through a campus review board. Decisions regarding case jurisdiction ultimately rest with the Provost and the Dean for Student Affairs.

Levels of Academic Misconduct Violations and Recommended Sanctions

Any violation of academic integrity at Columbia College is a serious offense.

For each level of violation a corresponding set of sanctions is recommended. The recommended sanctions at each level are not binding but are intended as general guides for the academic community. Culpability, mitigating and aggravating circumstances and past behavior may be assessed and sanctions imposed differentially. Examples are cited below for each level of violation. These examples are meant to be suggestions and should not be considered all inclusive.

First Level

(First level violations occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of academic integrity. Usually there is an absence of dishonesty or intent.)

Examples include:

  • Working with another student on a minor exercise or homework assignment when such collaboration is prohibited.
  • Failure to footnote or give proper citation in a limited section of an assignment.

Possible Sanctions include:

  • Instructor notice of academic misconduct (and corresponding academic action which is outlined in course syllabus and/or catalog)
  • Disciplinary warning or probation
  • Required tutorials or meetings to clarify understanding of academic integrity

Second Level

Examples include:

  • Repeat first level violation.
  • Quoting directly or paraphrasing to a moderate extent without acknowledging the source.
  • Copying work or facilitating copying on an exam.
  • Using prohibited materials during an exam.
  • Exchanging information during an exam.
  • Submitting the same work or portions thereof to satisfy requirements of more than one course without permission from the instructor to whom work is submitted for the second or subsequent time.
  • Failure to acknowledge assistance from others.
  • Presenting the work of another as one’s own.
  • Plagiarizing major portions of a written assignment.

Possible sanctions include:

  • Instructor notice of academic misconduct (and corresponding academic action which is outlined in course syllabus and/or catalog)
  • Disciplinary probation or suspension
  • Required tutorials or meetings to clarify understanding of academic integrity

Third Level

Examples include:

  • Repeat first or second level violation.
  • Acquiring or distributing copies of an exam or assignment from an unauthorized source.
  • Submitting purchased materials such as a term paper.
  • Fabricating sources or data.
  • Sharing of passwords and other security measures that compromise the integrity of one’s work.
  • Intentionally ignoring the instructions of instructors and/ or proctors.
  • Committing a violation of academic integrity after returning from suspension for a previous violation of academic integrity.
  • Committing a violation of academic integrity that breaks the law or resembles criminal activity such as forging a grade, letter or official document; stealing an exam or class materials; buying a stolen exam or class materials; falsifying a transcript or official document; or altering a college record or official document.
  • Having a substitute take an exam or complete an assignment or taking an exam or doing an assignment for someone else.
  • Sabotaging another student’s work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment.
  • Knowingly violating canons of the ethical code of the profession for which a student is preparing.

Possible sanctions include:

  • Instructor notice of academic misconduct (and corresponding academic action which is outlined in course syllabus and/or catalog).
  • Disciplinary suspension or dismissal.
  • Required tutorials or meetings to clarify understanding of academic integrity.

Mitigating/Aggravating Circumstances for Academic Misconduct

These factors could mitigate or aggravate a situation. These factors may be considered at the point that a sanction is being decided.

  1. Extent of misconduct. Misconduct that extends across multiple classes and involves multiple assignments or the entire assignment is generally more serious.
  2. Intent of misconduct. Misconduct may occur if a student violates the expectations of academic integrity through: negligence, knowledge, recklessness and willfulness.
  3. Importance of the assignment. Other things being equal, misconduct on final examinations, term papers, and the like merit higher penalties than the same misconduct on lesser assignments. Similarly, misconduct in a capstone or similar course is particularly serious.
  4. Student’s class standing. Inexperience or unfamiliarity with the rules of integrity is not ordinarily available as a mitigating factor for students after the freshman year. The gravity of the offense increases as the student rises in class standing.
  5. Integrity of the student’s response. Students who fully and promptly admit misconduct may receive consideration not available to students whose denial of responsibility is contradicted by the findings.
  6. Prior offenses. Repeat offenses are especially serious.

Definitions of Disciplinary Terms

Disciplinary Warning

Written and/or verbal notice to a student for violation of a campus rule or regulation.

Restitution

Reimbursement for actual damage or loss caused by violations to the student code of conduct.

Educational Sanctions

Educational sanctions could be an activity, meeting, writing assignment, community service project, letter of apology or other experiential educational activity that a student may be assigned to complete as part of the adjudication of a violation of the student code of conduct. Conditions may be specific for the completion of the assignment and will be assigned by the conduct hearing officer. Reasonable suspicion of violations involving drug use may require the student to participate in scheduled or random drug screenings. All costs associated with the drug screenings will be the responsibility of the student. Students failing to complete the assigned educational sanction within the designated timeline may have a hold placed on their accounts preventing registration until the sanction has been completed and processed by the Student Conduct Office. 

Disciplinary Limitation

In some cases a violation of the student code of conduct could result in a student being restricted from participating in certain campus events, student organizations or entering certain campus facilities.

Disciplinary Probation

A student is placed on campus probation for a specified time period. Students holding campus leadership positions who are placed on campus probation may also be removed from that position if recommended by the sanctioning body/conduct officer.

Campus probation may carry over into subsequent semesters and academic years. As a part of the probationary status, conditions to a student’s probation may be established (i.e. restitution, community service, required assessments, etc.)

A student who violates additional campus policies while on campus probation will likely appear before a conduct officer/Campus Review Board and will face a full range of disciplinary actions including suspension or dismissal.

Disciplinary Suspension

A disciplinary suspension results in the separation of a student from the college for a specified time period, usually no more than two years. Other conditions can also be stipulated for a student’s readmission. Suspension applies to all programs, unless otherwise noted. After the suspension period has been served, the student should contact the dean for Student Affairs for directions regarding the possibility of re-enrollment. A student returning from a disciplinary suspension is placed on disciplinary probation for one year.

Disciplinary Dismissal

A disciplinary dismissal results in the permanent separation of a student from the college. Dismissal applies to all programs and campuses.

Interim Suspension

The Dean for Student Affairs or designee may suspend a student for an interim period pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings or resolution of health-related concerns. An interim suspension will become immediately effective without prior notice whenever there is evidence that the continued presence of the student in the college community poses a substantial threat to others, or the stability and continuance of normal college functioning.

A student suspended on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear before the dean for Student Affairs or designee within two working days from the effective date of the interim suspension in order to discuss the following issues:

  1. The reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct and/or condition.
  2. Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student in the college community poses a substantial threat to him or herself or others, or the stability and continuance of normal college functions.

An interim suspension period can last until final adjudication of the matter through the normal college disciplinary procedures.

Campus Review Board

The Board is composed of faculty members, staff members and students. Its purpose is to ensure due process for students involved in conduct-related offenses, grade appeals or academic dishonesty, and also to uphold the rules of the institution. Procedures for academic related appeals boards are maintained by Academic Affairs and for behavioral related appeals boards are maintained by Student Affairs. Cases involving violations of the student code of conduct may be assigned to the Campus Review Board from the outset of a case by the Dean for Student Affairs or designee.

General Guidelines for Student Appeals

  1. Students have a right to a fair and impartial hearing of their case. Fundamental fairness includes written notice of the violation and disciplinary action. Students also have a right to speak in their own defense and present substantiating evidence and testimony.
  2. Students may appeal on the grounds of their innocence or the inappropriateness of the disciplinary action assigned. Appeals may not be made against the College’s accepted standards of conduct or established policies, rules and regulations.
  3. Students are encouraged to consult with a member of the counseling staff, a member of the Student Affairs staff or a faculty member of the College in deciding whether to appeal.
  4. Students must assume the responsibility for the development of their case. Students have the right to consultation before and during the hearing with a member of the College community willing to provide support and advice and approved by the chairperson of the committee.
  5. It is recognized that the hearing is not based upon the strict rules of law and evidence found in a court of law. The hearing will be conducted in a fair and impartial manner and decisions will be based on the evidence presented.
  6. During the appeals process, students are still bound to the sanctions originally assigned at the conclusion of their conduct hearing until a final decision is reached.  In the case of appealing suspension or dismissal sanctions, a student will be placed on interim suspension until a final outcome in reached in their appeal. 

Complaint and Grievance Process

Complaint Process

According to the Columbia College Student Rights and Responsibilities, “Students have the right to discuss problems and concerns with appropriate college officials, free from duress or fear of retribution.” Student complaints regarding services, policies, processes, personnel, facilities or other related complaints should be made to the supervisor or responsible staff member of the area, department or personnel of that area for informal remediation of the complaint.  If the concerned party is not satisfied with the informal remediation, the complainant may then make a written formal complaint to the chief leadership of that department/division. 

Grievance Process

Students have the right to freedom from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation or national origin. It is the intent of the college to create an environment in which students can grow and develop as free from problems as possible. However, it is recognized that legitimate concerns or grievances may occur where a student believes a policy, procedure or behavior is inherently discriminatory. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, portions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and various sections of the Civil Rights Act specifically prohibit discrimination. Students who feel they have a legitimate complaint or grievance that a policy, process or behavior is discriminatory are encouraged to voice their concerns and seek remediation.

The following options are available:

  1. Students should, when appropriate, discuss their concerns with the person involved and seek appropriate means of solution.
  2. Students may, if a policy rather than a person is involved, or if the person involved is unresponsive to the complaint, present the problem to the supervisor of the area - e.g., department head, area supervisor or Campus Director. 
  3. Students may file a written grievance with the Dean for Student Affairs and/or the Provost. It is then the responsibility of these officials or a designee to investigate the issues raised in the written complaint and take appropriate action based on their findings. Students will be provided written notice of the disposition of the grievance.
  4. Students with disabilities have the right to address access and accommodation grievance through a formal appeals procedure. Disabilities grievance forms are available at http://web.ccis.edu/Offices/CampusLife/DisabilityServices.aspx.

Internal Review Policy Statement

The Columbia College Student Code of Conduct states that students should ‘fulfill their obligations through honest and independent effort and integrity in academic and personal conduct.’ Columbia College has adopted a policy and procedure that is to be used when dishonesty is suspected and that is based on the Student Code of Conduct. This policy and procedure is in place to ensure that students are complying with college expectations and federal regulations governing the honest and ethical completion of documents and forms related to admission, financial aid and federal and/or state support.

It is understood that in a community of scholars committed to truth, dishonesty and/or fraudulent behavior is a violation of the code of ethics by which we live and is therefore considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct as related to this subject include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Knowingly furnishing false or misleading information.
  • Falsification, alteration or misuse of college forms or records, or willfully aiding another in a similar act.

Internal Review Procedures

The Columbia College Internal Review Office will begin an audit of an individual’s account when a college official has reason to believe that there has been a violation of the Student Code of Conduct as it relates to the honest and ethical completion of documents and forms which are not academic course work.

  1. The investigator, or other appropriate college official, who suspects that an individual has violated the Student Code of Conduct will conduct a review of student records and information to determine if there is incorrect or inappropriate information within the record.
    1. The investigator, or other appropriate college official, will inform the student that a review is being conducted.
    2. During this investigation there will be a restriction placed upon the account under review. This restriction prevents the individual from registering for courses and prevents disbursement of any future financial aid funds.
    3. Columbia College reserves the right to leave this restriction in place on an account until all requested documents have been provided by the individual.
  2. If it is determined that the individual under investigation is found to have not violated the Student Code of Conduct as it relates to the honest and ethical completion of documents and forms which are not academic course work, the restriction may be removed from their account. At this point, the matter will be dropped.
  3. If it is determined that the individual under investigation has violated the Student Code of Conduct as it relates to the honest and ethical completion of documents and forms which are not academic course work, additional action will be taken.
    1. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct fall under the student conduct process, which is not a court of law and therefore does not use the same evidentiary standard for disciplinary procedures. The preponderance of evidence standard will be used in all student conduct cases to determine what most likely happened. For additional information regarding the student conduct process, please see the following: http://www.ccis.edu/policies/studentconduct.asp.
  4. The investigator, or other appropriate college official, will notify the Office of Student Conduct in writing of the determination and recommendation.
  5. The Office of Student Conduct will review the determination and recommendation and choose to either uphold or reassess the provided recommendation.
  6. The Office of Student Conduct will notify the individual of the outcome of the review and the ability to appeal the outcome.
    1. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, the Vice President of Adult Higher Education should be contacted within three (3) business days of the notification.
    2. The Vice President of Adult Higher Education or designee will review the request and determine if there are sufficient grounds for reconsideration of the decision and notify all parties of the final outcome.
  7. The investigator, or other appropriate college official, will notify and refer the case to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General per U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General guidance.

Criminal Convictions & Criminal Background Checks

Columbia College reserves the right to require a student to provide to Columbia College a formal criminal background check prepared by an outside vendor approved by Columbia College. The criminal records report must be received by Columbia College personnel within twenty (20) days of the original request, unless a different deadline is stated in the request.

Additionally, students who are charged with a crime after the admissions review process and while enrolled in Columbia College are required to report all charges and/or convictions to the Office of Student Conduct in writing within ten (10) days of the criminal charge and/or conviction.

Background Check Procedures

Columbia College will notify students in writing using their CougarMail email account that the College is requesting that a student provide to the College a criminal background check report.

  • Should Columbia College not receive the report within twenty (20) days or other deadline, the student will be placed on interim suspension from classes unless good cause for the delay is otherwise shown by the report deadline. The College reserves the right to extend for good cause the deadline for receipt of the report.
  • Should Columbia College not receive the requested criminal background check report by the approved extension deadline, the student may face dismissal from Columbia College unless good cause is otherwise shown.
  • Should a student fail to report a criminal charge or conviction within the deadline, the student may face suspension or dismissal.
  • This policy is not intended in any way to restrict Columbia College’s ability to suspend or dismiss a student as otherwise provided by Columbia College policy.
  • A student wishing to appeal the decision to suspend or dismissal that student must submit a letter of appeal to the Dean for Student Affairs within three days of receipt of the decision.

Solicitation

All sales and solicitations are prohibited on Columbia College property, which includes all college-owned, rented or otherwise occupied (e.g., military) buildings and grounds. Requests for exceptions to this policy may be directed to the appropriate member of Administrative Council. Chain letters in any form are prohibited.