Sep 16, 2019  
Graduate Catalog 2019-2020 
    
Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

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. Conduct-related offenses 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

For the most up-to-date Student Code of Conduct, please refer to the Columbia College policies website.

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.
  14. Refrain from conduct that is inconsistent with federal, state or local laws or that is otherwise inconsistent with the best interests of the College.

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

For the most up-to-date Student Rights and Responsibilities, refer to the Columbia College Policies website. 

Below are the Rights and Responsibilities of Columbia College students:

  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.
  5. Students and recognized student groups have the right to use the facilities of the College as long as established rules and procedures are followed.
  6. Students are free to engage in peaceful and orderly protest demonstrations as long as established rules and procedures are followed and as long as they do not disrupt the functions of the College or violate the rights of others.
  7. Students have the right to appeal a grade or disciplinary action by following the procedures established for each.
  8. Day students have the right to participate actively in student government.
  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 Student Handbook, the Columbia College catalog, the Online Policy Library and other relevant publications and policies 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. CougarMail is the official means of communication for the College, and students are responsible for information sent to this account. It is expected that students check CougarMail regularly.
  14. Columbia College Day students, faculty, and staff are responsible for carrying their Columbia College ID while on campus.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

For the most up-to-date Alcohol and Other Drugs policies, refer to the Columbia College Policies website. 

Policy on Alcohol and Controlled and/or Illicit Substances

Columbia College prohibits the manufacture, possession, use, distribution, and sale of alcohol and controlled and/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 and in the residence halls. 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 this policy.
  • Alcohol and other controlled and/or illicit substances possessed or consumed in violation of this policy are subject to confiscation.

The President retains the authority to make exceptions to this policy with regard to alcohol, including granting permission to serve alcoholic beverages at College functions where meals are served. Requests for exceptions to the policy must be submitted to the President in writing prior to the event and will be considered on an individual basis. Notification of the President’s decision will be made in writing to the person(s) making the request.

It is the responsibility of students, faculty, and staff to know and uphold the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs 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.

Columbia College has made the decision to notify parents/guardians of students, under the age of twenty-one (21), who have been found responsible for violating the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy by the campus judicial system following a final determination.

Representatives of the College will cooperate with outside authorities in their efforts to enforce existing laws regarding alcohol and/or controlled or illicit substances.

Behavioral Misconduct

While it is not possible for a single policy to capture every conceivable scenario, this policy is designed to address some common types of misconduct. At all times, individuals who are subject to this policy are expected to adhere to all College rules, policies, and expectations and failing to do so could result in disciplinary action. Based on the nature of the individual circumstances, the College reserves the right to impose disciplinary action that may not necessarily follow the steps set forth herein. The College also reserves the right to impose discipline for student misconduct, up to and including dismissal from school. Additionally, certain types of misconduct may be covered by another specific College policy, such as the College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy for instances of harassment, discrimination or retaliation based on sex.

Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom. Persistent misconduct on the part of a student may subject a student to further disciplinary action as outlined in College policy and/or in course syllabi.

Overview of the Conduct Process

The student disciplinary process for instances of conduct that violate this policy are typically as follows:

  • A complaint is filed or report of wrongdoing is received and forwarded to the Student Conduct Officer.
  • An accused student receives written notice of alleged violation(s) from the Student Conduct Officer.
  • An investigation is conducted into the alleged violation(s). This includes an opportunity for the accused student to present all information they would like considered in the conduct process.
  • If a student is found responsible for a violation of policy, corresponding sanctions are assessed.
  • The student receives written notice of the outcome of the investigation from the Student Conduct Officer.
  • The student or complaining party may appeal the outcome of a conduct hearing.

Disciplinary Procedures

For the most up-to-date information about the Student Conduct Process please visit the Columbia College Policies website.

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

  1. Once information is received about a possible student conduct violation, a Student Conduct Officer will send written notice to the student accused of wrongdoing. The Student Conduct Officer shall then investigate the situation and review it with the student and present the student with an opportunity to present all information they would like considered during the investigation. If a student fails to respond to the written notice and fails to provide any information, the Student Conduct Officer will make their determination based upon the information available at that time. If it is determined that no violation occurred, the matter will be dropped. If the student admits responsibility or in the event that the Student Conduct Officer determines a violation occurred, corresponding disciplinary action will follow. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation and, if appropriate, the corresponding disciplinary action. A student’s entire record of both academic misconduct and behavioral misconduct may be considered when 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 disciplinary action, at which time the matter is closed; or, the student may appeal the decision and/or disciplinary action to the Dean for Student Affairs and/or designee.
  3. To initiate an appeal, the student must file an appeal request with the Dean for Student Affairs and/or designee in writing within three (3) business days of the written outcome of the investigation issued by the Student Conduct Officer. The appeal must include the specific grounds and reasons for the appeal. The Dean for Student Affairs and/or designee will then review the student’s written appeal request and determine if there are sufficient grounds to support an appeal and if the information submitted supports reconsideration of the decision of the Student Conduct Officer. All parties will be notified in writing of whether or not the appeal request will proceed.
  4. If a decision is made to accept the appeal request and reconsider the matter, the Dean for Student Affairs and/or designee will adjudicate the matter. At this time the Dean and/or designee will review and consider information from the initial proceeding conducted by the Student Conduct Officer and any additional information provided by the student or any other source. The student and any other party have the opportunity to present all information they would like considered. The Dean and/or designee will evaluate the information and reach an outcome and notify the parties of the outcome in writing. Decisions made by the Dean and/or designee are final and not subject to appeal.

In cases that may rise to a level where the sanction would be suspension or dismissal, the Dean for Student Affairs will be an adjudicating officer and the Provost and/or designee shall serve as the appellate officer. 

Academic Integrity

For the most up-to-date Academic Integrity policy and procedures, please visit the Columbia College Policies website

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 expected of students, 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, including using another person’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 dishonest. Columbia College is equally concerned about the interpersonal social relationships that affect the learning environment as it is about individuals engaged in academic dishonesty. Respect for the conditions necessary to enhance learning, therefore, is required.

Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without authorization. Examples of multiple submissions include, but are not limited, to the following: Submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without the instructors’ permission; making revisions in a credit paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it as if it were new work. Different aspects of the same work may receive separate credit.

For purposes of this policy, plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information or purposely submitting someone else’s work as their own. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) may also be 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 prior to submitting the work.

Academic Misconduct Procedures

Generally, the faculty will handle offenses related to academic misconduct and assign appropriate course penalties. 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.
  2. If the faculty member determines the student is not responsible for engaging in academic misconduct, the matter will be dropped.
  3. If the student admits responsibility for academic misconduct, and/or if the faculty member determines there was academic misconduct, the faculty member may impose the penalty stated in the course syllabus. In the absence of a penalty stated in the syllabus, the penalty could be a grade of F on that activity, which will be factored into the final grade. The faculty member will submit an online incident report to the Office of Student Conduct, which will be reviewed by the appropriate Academic Dean and the Dean for Student Affairs or designee.
  4. The Office of Student Conduct in conjunction with the appropriate Academic Dean will follow the conduct process. (as noted above in the overview of the Conduct Process)
  5. If facing disciplinary action, the student has the right to accept the Student Conduct Officer’s finding of fact and recommended disciplinary action, at which time the matter is closed; or, the student may appeal the decision and/or disciplinary action.
  6. To initiate an appeal, the student must submit a written appeal to the Dean for Student Affairs and/or designee, and the appropriate Academic Dean within three (3) business days of the written outcome of the investigation issued by the Student Conduct Officer. The appeal must include the specific grounds and reasons for the appeal. The appropriate Academic Dean will then review the student’s written appeal request and determine if there are sufficient grounds to support an appeal and if the information submitted supports reconsideration of the decision of the Student Conduct Officer. All parties will be notified in writing of whether or not the appeal request will proceed.

If a decision is made to accept the appeal request and reconsider the matter, the appropriate Academic Dean will adjudicate the matter. At this time the appropriate Academic Dean will review and consider information from the initial proceeding conducted by the Student Conduct Officer and any additional information provided by the student or any other source. The student and any other party have the opportunity to present all information they would like considered. The appropriate Academic Dean for the student’s school will evaluate the information, and reach an outcome, and notify the parties of the outcome in writing. Decisions made by the appropriate Academic Dean are final and not subject to appeal.

Once a final grade is issued, and a student disagrees with the academic misconduct findings imposed by a faculty member, a student is directed follow the grade appeal process for the student’s location. 

In cases that may rise to a level where the sanction would be suspension or dismissal, the Dean for Student Affairs and the appropriate Academic Dean will be the adjudicating officers and the Provost and/or designee shall serve as the appellate officer. 

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

The following is a non-exhaustive list of potential consequences for behavioral misconduct and violations to the Student Code of Conduct. Depending upon the misconduct, more than one sanction may be required.

  • 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 activity that 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 Student Conduct Officer.
  • 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 disciplinary probation for a specified amount of time. Students holding campus leadership positions who are placed on disciplinary probation may also be removed from that position if recommended by the Student Conduct Officer. Disciplinary probation may carry over into subsequent semesters and academic years. As a part of the probationary status, conditions to a student’s probation (i.e., restitution, community service, required assessments, etc.) may be established. A student who violates additional campus policies while on disciplinary probation will likely appear before a Student Conduct Officer 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 (2) years. Other conditions may 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 will be placed on disciplinary probation for one (1) 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, without prior notice, any student whose behavior presents a perceived or actual imminent risk to the life, health, welfare, safety or property of any member of the College community. Notices of an interim suspension will be promptly provided in writing to the suspended student. A removal via suspension of a student on an interim basis is not necessarily a final determination that the student violated a College policy, but may be necessary as an interim remedial measure pending final outcome of the matter. A student suspended on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appeal this decision by speaking with the Dean for Student Affairs, or designee, and presenting any information they would like considered within two (2) working days from the effective date of the interim suspension. The appeal will consider the individual circumstances of each situation, including, but not limited to the following:
    • Whether the conduct and/or condition and surrounding circumstances giving rise to the interim suspension reasonably indicates that the continued presence of the student in the College community poses a perceived or actual imminent risk to any member(s) of the College community.
    • Potential alternatives to an interim suspension, including, but not limited to monitoring the situation, establishing a behavioral contract, pursuing a voluntary withdraw, administrative withdrawal, withdraw excused due to extenuating circumstances, involuntary withdraw, or other action.

      An interim suspension period may last until final resolution of the matter. The Dean for Student Affairs, or designee, in collaboration with the Student of Concern Action Team, may become involved to assist with determining an appropriate course of action pending final resolution.

  • Withholding Degree - the College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this policy, including the completion of all sanctions imposed.
  • Revocation of Admission - admission to the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of standards or policies, or for other serious violations committed by an individual prior to admission.
  • Revocation of Degree - Degree(s) awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of standards of conduct for students in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.  The process to revoke a degree is separate from the conduct process.

    The Office of Student Conduct, the Office of Internal Review, a Dean, or a designee of the aforementioned personnel can make the recommendation for a revocation of degree to the Provost. If the recommendation to revoke a student’s degree is the result of a conduct investigation, the student will be notified of the recommendation at the conclusion of the conduct process. If the student has graduated, with no current involvement with the college, the student will be notified of the recommendation of revocation by mail to the last known address on file.

    The student will be contacted by the Office of the Provost and given the opportunity to be heard on the matter. If the student chooses not to respond within 30 business days, a decision will be made without the benefit of the input of the student.

    The Provost will contact the student in writing with the outcome.  If the student is not satisfied with the outcome that is made, the student has 30 days to appeal upon notification.  If a student chooses to appeal, they must submit a formal appeal in writing to the Office of the President.  The President’s decision is final and cannot be appealed. 

    If a decision to revoke a degree is finalized, the Registrar will be notified of the decision.  The Registrar will then send letters to venues that received the original transcripts to show that a degree has been revoked.

General Student Grievance Policy

To view the entire policy, please visit the General Student Grievance Policy section of the Columbia College Policies website.

This policy does not apply to complaints that are covered by other applicable College policies, Specifically,

  • Complaints about sex discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation are handled in accordance with the College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy and corresponding procedures.
  • Complaints about discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, not based on sex, are handled in accordance with the College’s Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and corresponding procedures.
  • Complaints related to the ADA/Section 504 accommodation process or related to the implementation of approved reasonable accommodations are handled in accordance with the College’s ADA/Section 504 Grievance Policy.

This policy does not displace and is not intended to supplant other policies and procedures applicable to the handling of a student’s complaint. For example, a complaint about a grade should still be handled via the academic grade appeal process, a financial aid related complaint should still be addressed to the Financial Aid Office, etc.

Student complaints not falling under the categories or other policies identified above should be made to the supervisor or responsible staff member of the area from which the complaint originates or relates for attempted informal resolution of the complaint. Resolution of a majority of complaints can likely be resolved at this informal level.

If an informal resolution of the student’s complaint cannot be accomplished, or if the complaint is about the supervisor or responsible staff member for the area, the student should then submit their grievance formally in writing to the College official responsible for the department from which the grievance originated or relates. The written grievance should include, at a minimum, the student’s name, details, and a written account of the complaint, and a desired outcome.

Upon receipt of a written grievance, the College official will review the complaint and contact the student within ten (10) business days to verify receipt of the grievance, clarify any information provided by the student, and request any additional information that may be needed from the student for the College official to fully evaluate the grievance. This also provides the student with an additional opportunity to provide any and all information he or she would like considered and to request a meeting with the College official if they so desire.

The College official will then undertake efforts to evaluate and investigate the student’s complaint to reach a determination. The College official will endeavor to reach a final determination within thirty (30) days of receipt of the student’s formal written complaint, although circumstances may warrant a lengthier period of time and the student will be notified of the same.

The College official will provide the student with a written notification of the determination and outcome of their grievance. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may file an appeal with the Dean for Student Affairs or designee. The appeal must be filed in writing within three (3) business days of receipt of the outcome notification and include the grounds for the appeal. The Dean for Student Affairs or designee will consider timely appeals, conduct any additional investigation (if necessary), and make a final decision within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal. The Dean for Student Affairs or designee will inform the student tin writing of the outcome of the appeal. The decision of the Dean for Student Affairs or designee is final and not subject to further appeal.

Arizona-Specific Information:

If the student grievance cannot be resolved after exhausted the College’s grievance process and appeal procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Post-Secondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The State Board’s address is: 1400 W. Washington, Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007; the phone number is (602) 542-5709; and the website is http://asppse.state.az.us.

Internal Review Policy Statement

To view the entire policy, please visit the Internal Review Policy section of the Columbia College Policies website.

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 a review 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.

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.

  • The investigator, or other appropriate college official, will inform the student that a review is being conducted.
  • 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.
  • Columbia College reserves the right to leave this restriction in place on an account until all requested documents have been provided by the individual.        

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.

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/student-behavioral-misconduct-policy.aspx.  

The investigator, or other appropriate college official, will notify the Office of Student Conduct in writing of the determination and recommendation.

The Office of Student Conduct will review the determination and recommendation and choose to either uphold or reassess the provided recommendation.

The Office of Student Conduct will notify the individual of the outcome of the review and the ability to appeal the outcome.

  • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, the Dean for Student Affairs should be contacted within three (3) business days of the notification.
  • The Dean for Student Affairs 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.        

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

To view the entire policy, please visit the Criminal Convictions and Criminal Background Checks Policy section of the Columbia College policies website.

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.

Solicitation, Gifts and Gratuities Policy

To view the entire policy, please visit the Solicitation, Gifts and Gratuities Policy section of the Columbia College policies website.

The purpose of this policy is to establish Columbia College intent to have a work and learning environment that is free from solicitation efforts that do not relate to Columbia College’s business or interest and to establish that all members of the College community must act with integrity and good judgment and recognize that accepting personal gifts from suppliers may cause legitimate concerns about favoritism.