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College Policies & Procedures

All students are expected to read their college email regularly and respond appropriately. If students choose to forward their Qmail to another email provider, they are still responsible for receiving all college communications. The college also has an Emergency Alert text messaging system. Students can choose to sign up for this service through The Q, the college’s student and faculty portal.

Assessment of Student Learning

Quinsigamond Community College employs the traditional practice of assessment of student learning wherein the quantity of learning is measured by the number of credits (semester hours) earned, and its quality is recognized by an award of a grade for the learning experience. The design of this college practice shall be, so far as practicable, responsive to the needs of students enrolled in a course or program. The status of the student in a program shall be determined by accumulated course grades earned.

Grading Policy

  1. The grading policy shall be in conformity with the College mission of access and quality.
  2. Grades shall be awarded only for demonstrated student learning.
  3. Program goals shall be achieved through successful completion of established learning outcomes of educational experiences in the program.
  4. Learning outcomes of educational experiences shall constitute the basis for assessing student learning.
  5. The criteria for assessing learning outcomes shall be as objective as possible.

The status of the student may also be indicated by the following designations which will not be computed in the QPA.

I: The student has satisfied the major requirements of the learning experience, as judged by the instructor, and can complete the assigned work by the end of the twelfth week of the following full semester.
I/R: The student has agreed to repeat the course within the following year. Not computed in the QPA until converted to an academic grade.
AU: The student is registered in the learning experience as an audit student. Not computed in the QPA.
W: The student has officially withdrawn on his/her own from the learning experience. Not computed in the QPA.
WA: The student has been withdrawn administratively for failure to fulfill financial or immunization obligations or for medical or disciplinary circumstances. Not computed in the QPA.
X: The student has not officially withdrawn from the learning experience, and the instructor has judged there is insufficient basis for evaluation. The X grade is considered an indication for unsatisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
P: The student has satisfactorily completed the learning experience with a C grade or better. Not computed in the QPA but computed in credits attempted.

Grading Regulations

  1. The letter grades A,B,C,D,F shall be awarded for learning outcomes for an educational experience achieved through alternate delivery systems only if a QCC faculty member is responsible for the entire experience. The letter grade of P shall be awarded for acceptable learning outcomes for a prior learning experience.
  2. The minimal passing grade for developmental courses (courses numbered below 100 level) shall be C.
  3. The grade of I will be converted to an academic grade by the end of the twelfth week of the following full semester. Students who have not completed the course requirements by the end of the twelfth week will have the course grade changed to F.
  4. When a grade of I is issued, the instructor will indicate on a specified form assignments which will remedy the deficiency, or that the course is to be repeated.
  5. This form will be filed in the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will send the form to the student.
  6. If an instructor wishes to use P instead of A,B, or C, he/she must receive written permission from the Academic Vice President at the beginning of the semester.
  7. Instructors’ course requirements, expected learning outcomes, methods of evaluation, and attendance policy will be published in writing and will be submitted to students by the end of the first week, or equivalent, of class.
  8. Evaluation of the student learning will be made according to the instructor’s stated learning outcomes. Auditors do not receive official grades on examinations or other class assignments although they may be asked to fulfill all course requirements. No change to or from audit status will be permitted after the first ten weeks of class (or equivalent class hours).
  9. If a course is repeated, only one grade will be used in computation of the QPA. However, both the original and the second grade earned will remain on the student’s permanent record.
  10. Students may add or drop courses during the Add/Drop period, in accordance with the established procedure. The Add/Drop period is posted in the enrollment guide and college calendar.
  11. If the student wishes to withdraw prior to the tenth week of class (or the equivalent), he/she may complete the form, obtain the signature of the instructor or their academic advisor and return it to the Registrar’s Office. After the tenth week (or equivalent), the student must get the instructors signature. The instructor will then designate if the student withdrew while passing or withdrew while failing.
  12. A student intending to withdraw from a course after the Add/Drop period must do so prior to the last day of classes: Obtaining a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office or the Advising Office and return the completed withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office.
  13. Any student who cannot attend classes, take an examination, study, or fulfill work requirements on a particular day due to his or her religious beliefs, shall be excused from such obligations. The student will be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination(s), study, or work requirements.

Grading System

The individual faculty member may determine what numerical equivalent, if any, to assign to the various grade designations. Faculty may use an absolute numerical value or they may grade on the class average. The following table indicates recommended by nonmandatory numerical/letter equivalents for awarding grades. Note: the quality point for each letter grade is a college-wide policy, not merely recommended as a guideline:

AcademicGradeQualityPoints
A95-100Outstanding4.0
A-90–94 3.7
B+87–89High Quality3.3
B83–86 3.0
B-80–82 2.7
C+77–79Average2.3
C73–76 2.0
C-70–72 1.7
D+67–69 1.3
D63–66 1.0
D-60–62 0.7
FBelow 60Failed0.0

Academic Dismissal and Probation

All students matriculating in a degree or certificate program, other than first semester freshmen (cumulatively  enrolled for under 17 credits), must meet the following requirements:

Attempted Credit Hrs Dismissal  Probation
17 to 32QPA under 1.50QPA 1.50-1.69
over 32QPA under 1.70QPA 1.70-1.89
  1. First semester freshman (cumulatively enrolled for under 17 credits) who do not meet a minimum QPA of 1.00 will be put on academic probation.
  2. Academic probation and dismissal will occur on the basis of the cumulative grade point average.
  3. Only courses in which W grades or audits are received will not count in determining full-time and part-time enrollment status.
  4. Students who are on probation for two successive semesters are subject to academic dismissal.
  5. Academic probation/dismissal will not apply to winter/intersession and summer sessions.
  6. All dismissals are subject to review by the Academic Vice President.
  7. Students who are academically dismissed from the college may qualify for readmission by the following methods:
  8. attending courses as a non-matriculating student, improving their QPA to the minimal acceptable level, and earning a minimum of six credit hours;
  9. remain away for one year;
  10. petition the Vice President of Academic Affairs for reinstatement.

Academic Standing

“Satisfactory Academic Standing” and “Satisfactory Academic Progress” are synonymous with meeting the standards outlined in Item 2 of Academic Dismissal and Probation. Students on academic probation for one semester meet minimum requirements for good academic standing and satisfactory progress, but if they are on a dismissal status, they will be deemed as not meeting the minimum requirements. A Quality Point Average of 2.00 is the minimal level for graduating in any degree or certificate program.

  1. Any student who is academically dismissed may appeal his/her case.
  2. The student appealing his/her case does so in writing giving reasons supporting his/ her reinstatement into the College. Directions for filing appeals are mailed with the student’s dismissal notice.
  3. If a student’s appeal is granted, and the student is subsequently reinstated to the College, the recommendations of the reinstatement (course load, grade minimums, etc.) must be followed.

Petition Process

If a student believes there are unusual or extenuating circumstances which justify the exemption from an academic regulation (i.e., graduation course requirement), you can obtain a student petition on The Q on the Registrar’s Office pageor the Advising Center (Welcome Center in the HLC). After completing the form, the student should return it directly to the Registrar’s Office. It will be forwarded to the Academic Vice President for a final decision.

Request to Change Study Option

A student can request to change from one degree or certificate program to another by completing a Study Option  Change Request. This form is available in the Admissions Office in the HLC. In order to be approved to change from one academic program to another, the student must meet the minimum academic admissions requirements for the program he/she is requesting to enter. Admission is based on space availability.

Course Changes

Students should have semester course schedules in final form by the end of the registration period. If a student wishes to make a change in the schedule, he/she must contact the Registrar’s Office (Room 152A) or the Advising Center, (Welcome Center in the HLC) during the Add/Drop Period. However, it may not be possible to accommodate every request for a course or section change.

Repeating a Course

If courses are repeated, only one grade will be used in the computation of the QPA. However, both the original and the second grade earned will remain on the permanent record.

Progress Reports

During the eighth week of classes each semester, faculty have the option of submitting a midterm progress grade.  Progress grades are intended only as indicators of progress in specific courses. 

Restricted Courses

To insure the availability of required courses for students enrolled in specific programs, certain courses may be designated as “restricted.”

  • Restricted courses will be identified by the Academic Vice President or his/her designee.
  • Admission will be prioritized according to criteria set by Academic Vice President/designee as follows:
  • Students enrolled in the program;
  • Students on the related QCC program waiting list; and other students (with the approval of the Academic Vice President or designee).

Sequential Courses

In curricula where sequential courses must be arranged in the order of difficulty, the beginning courses will present a basic knowledge of the discipline, including the philosophy, techniques, and terminology as appropriate; and the contents of the succeeding courses will be based upon that knowledge.

  • A course prerequisite will be established when a body of knowledge or skills level is necessary for a sequential course.
  • Any student registered for a course for which he/she does not have the listed prerequisite, will be withdrawn from that course.
  • The Instructional Dean or a designee will place the incoming student at the appropriate academic level according to his/her demonstrated performance or achievement.
  • In sequential courses, where the first semester course is a prerequisite for the second semester course, a student receiving a 12 week “I” must petition the appropriate Instructional Dean for admittance to the sequential course.
  • A matriculating student who has earned credit in a course with a prerequisite may not subsequently enroll in or receive a grade in the prerequisite course.
  • The Program Coordinator or designee will annually review course sequencing and prerequisites to assure their continuing validity.

Class Cancelation

From time to time faculty will find it necessary to cancel their class. Notification of class cancellation for both day and evening absences are posted on The Q – the Student & Faculty Portal at www.QCC.edu and outside Room 127 in the Surprenant Building and outside the Registrar’s Office Room 152A in the Administration Building.

Student Honors

Dean’s and Merit Lists

QCC recognizes the academic achievement of its students each semester. Students who meet the following criteria are eligible for recognition:

  • All grades must be C or higher (no grades of I or X are permitted)
  • Semester QPA must be 3.5 or higher and cumulative QPA must be 2.0 or higher
  • All courses must be college-level

Dean’s List: Students who meet the stated criteria and have earned 12 or more credits in a given semester are named to the Dean’s List.
Merit List: Students who meet the stated criteria and have earned 6 or more credits in a given semester but fewer than 12 credits are named to the Merit List.
Individual Honors are noted on the student’s transcript each semester.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honorary scholastic society for American Community and Junior Colleges. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage scholarship, leadership, fellowship and service among two-year college students. Each semester, a limited number of students who have particularly distinguished
themselves at QCC are inducted into membership.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges is one of the most highly regarded honors programs in the nation, earning the respect of college faculties and administrators. Recognition as one of the outstanding campus leaders in America is a major achievement. Each year, several QCC students are named to Who’s Who.

Graduation Honors

At graduation, QCC honors students for their outstanding academic achievement. Students with a Cumulative Point Average of at least 3.6 prior to graduation qualify for Highest Honors. Students with a Cumulative Point Average of 3.3 or 3.0 prior to graduation qualify for High Honors and Honors, respectively.

Withdrawal Procedure

  1. A student intending to withdraw from a course prior to the tenth week of class should:
    1. Obtain a withdrawal form from The Q on the Registrar’s Office page, the Registrar’s Office (152A) or the Advising Office (Welcome Center in the HLC).
    2. Obtain signature from advisor or instructor and return the form to the Registrar’s Office ( Rm. 152A).
  2. A student intending to withdraw from a class after the tenth week of class should: Obtain the instructor’s signature and the instructor will designate if the student withdrew while passing or withdrew while failing
  3. Students intending to withdraw from the College should: Contact the Advising Staff. Email: advising [at] qcc.mass.edu or phone 508.854.4308. An Advisor will assist student in completing a withdrawal form and discuss possible resources and referrals if appropriate.
  4. Students receiving financial aid should: Check with the Financial Aid Office (Rm. 165A) prior to withdrawing to determine the impact the withdrawal will have on their financial aid.

Withdrawal from the College

To officially withdraw from the College, a student must complete a withdrawal form which is available in the Advising Center (Welcome Center in the HLC). Prior to withdrawing, students will be asked to meet with an advisor for an exit interview. If students withdraw after the tenth week and before the last day of classes, they will receive grades from their instructors in accordance with the College’s grading policy.
Students receiving financial aid should check with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing to determine the impact of their withdrawal on their Financial Aid.

The Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services (Room 133A) receives all requests and documentation to withdraw for medical reasons. The Vice President will consult with appropriate personnel at the College, as well as the medical services provider of the student. After consultation, he/she will inform the student of the decision. If circumstances warrant, a process for future readmission will also be communicated.

Students Called to Active Military Duty

  1. Students who are unable to complete a semester because they are called to active United States Military Duty shall, upon verification, be granted the option of a refund or credit of tuition and campus fees. With respect to any health insurance fee, the refund policy is subject to the concurrence of the institutions insurance carrier.
  2. Any students who have received any form of Financial Aid, including a full or partial scholarship, or student loan, or who expect to receive such, should contact the Financial Aid Office at their respective institutiion to make appropriate arrangements.
  3. Students shall receive non-punitive withdrawals in all courses from which they are required to withdraw.
  4. Verification shall be provided by furnishing the Director of Veteran Affairs with a copy of the Order to Active Duty within one week (7 days) of receipt of the Order
  5. The institution's President may waive or suspend any institutional policy or regulation that negatively impacts student in their withdrawal or subsequent readmission to the institution, due to a call to active duty.
  6. The institution, upon request of a student, should assist the student in filing mitigating circumstances forms with external State or Federal agencies (for example, Veterans Affairs) in an attempt to prevent overpayment charges being made against the student.
  7. Any student required to withdraw due to being called to active duty shall be given priority in enrollment in the program of his or her choice, upon return to the institution for the two semesters immediately following his or her discharge from active duty.

CORI & SORI Information

Introduction
Many consumers of services in our Field Placement Sites are particularly vulnerable. Some agencies conduct a very in-depth screening of potential employees to assure the highest quality of care and minimize placing the consumers at additional risk. One procedure used to accomplish this goal is a CORI check. Student interns and potential employees may be required to submit to a CORI check as a condition of employment.

Criminal Offender Record Information and Sex Offender Registry Information Checks

In order for a student to be eligible to participate in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, the student may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. Any student taking a course in the Child Study Center will have a SORI/CORI/Department of Children and Families (DCF) check completed. Students found to have certain criminal convictions, DCF findings, or pending criminal actions will be presumed ineligible to participate in such activities. The College is authorized by the Commonwealth's Criminal History Systems Board, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 167-178B, to access CORI records. The College shall refer to regulations issued by the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Health and Human Services, 101 Code of Massachusetts Regualtions 15.00-15.16, as guidance when assessing student CORI records. Sex Offender checks shall be performed pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 178C-178P.

Clinical Affiliate Random Drug Screening Analysis

Please be advised that students enrolled in the QCC Healthcare programs may be required to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible for and/or remain at an assigned clinical affiliate of their program. Students who either fail to pass or refuse to submit to a drug screening analysis will be deemed ineligible for clinical placement, which may affect their status in the program. Testing positive for Marijuana, even with Massachusetts medical use card,  is not allowed by the clinical affiliates and school’s liability insurance. If you have any questions pertaining to this policy, please contact the Office of the Dean of Healthcare programs.

Health programs in which students are subject to Drug Screening Analysis: Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Services, Medical Support Specialist, Nurses Aid, Nurse Education, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy/EKG, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, and Surgical Technology.

Unanticipated Clinical Exposures to Communicable/Infectious Diseases

Upon notification of exposure, the Program Coordinator, Clinical Coordinator or Dean of Healthcare, shall contact the Clinical Instructor and students impacted by unanticipated clinical exposure, to determine follow-up action.  Participation in clinical activities at the clinical agency may be suspended, while an investigation is pending.  The decision to suspend clinical activities during this time rests with the Program Coordinator, Clinical Coordinator or the Dean of Healthcare. 

The Program Coordinator, Clinical Coordinator or Dean of Healthcare must also report this to the college Health Consultant, who will report this to the college Chief of Police within the same time frame.  When available, full demographic, clinical and epidemiologic information, must be included.

Finger Printing

Students may be required to undergo Finger Printing prior to placement in clinical/field rotations. If there is a cost associated with this request, the student will be responsible for the cost.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy ACT Definitions

Quinsigamond Community College abides by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Chapter 766 of the General Laws of Massachusetts. No student’s academic or personal records will be released without the student’s written consent, except to those specifically exempted in the legislation.

Quinsigamond Community College reserves the right to disclose “directory information” in accordance with regulations published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for enforcing the Family Rights and Privacy act of 1974. For the purpose of this institution, “directory information” includes the following information: a student’s name, student’s address, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time status, degree and awards received, and participation if officially recognized activities and sports.

For the purpose of this Policy, Quinsigamond Community College uses the following definitions of terms:

Student – Any person who attends, or has attended, Quinsigamond Community College.

Education Records – Any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by Quinsigamond Community College, or by a party acting for the College which is directly related to a student, except:

A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed, or made available to any other person, except the maker’s temporary substitute

An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that she, or he, is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.

  • Records maintained by Quinsigamond Community College Public Safety Department, if the record is maintained solely for law enforcement purposes, is revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction and the Department does not have access to education records maintained by the College.
  • Records maintained by the Health Office, if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
  • Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College.

Records Directory

TypesLocationCustodian
Admissions RecordsRegistrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Cumulative Academic
Records
Registrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Health RecordsRegistrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Financial Aid RecordsFinancial Aid
Welcome Center in the Harrington Learning Center 
Director of Financial Aid
Financial RecordsBusiness Office Room 07AComptroller
Progress RecordsRegistrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Disciplinary RecordsAssistant Dean of Students Office Room 383ACustodian Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services
Occasional Records (Student education records not included in the types listed above)The appropriate official will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for review.The college staff person who maintains such occasional systems records.

Student Notification of Rights

The Family Educational rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. 1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify 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. If the College official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request an amendment of student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student' s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the College to amend should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. 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 notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to be notified annually by the College of what student record information the College designates as "directory information," and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.

The College identifies the following student information as directory information: a student's name, student's address, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time status, degree and awards received, and participation if officially recognized activities and sports.

Directory information may be released by the College to a requesting third-party without a student's prior written consent. A student has the right to request that none or only some of his/her student record information be designated as directory information. A student must notify the College's Registrar, in writing, within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each academic semester if he/she does not wish to have any or some of his/her student information designated as directory information.

Notwithstanding the College's definition of directory information, the Department of Defense (the “DOD”), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the “Solomon Amendment”), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”:  NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, AGE (or year of birth), PLACE OF BIRTH, LEVEL OF EDUCATION (e.g., freshman, sophomore), DEGREE AWARDED, MOST RECENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ATTENDED, and CURRENT MAJOR(S).

If the College receives a request for student recruiting information from the DOD, or one of its affiliated agencies, the College will release the student recruiting information requested.  Because the information sought by the DOD may include information not designated as directory information under the College’s policy, compliance with the DOD’s request may result in the release of personally identifiable information.  When student recruiting information is released pursuant to a DOD request, notice of the request and the release of the information will be posted in a conspicuous location in the College's Registrar's Office for a period equaling one academic year.

If a student has exercised his/her right to request that no information be designated as directory information, then no information shall be released to any third party, including the DOD.

5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Washington, DC 20202-5901.

Annual Notification

Quinsigamond Community College is required by Section 99.7, of the FERPA Regulations, to provide students annual notification of their FERPA rights. Quinsigamond Community College uses the following methods to notify students annually: Students will be notified of their FERPA rights, annually, by publication in the Student Handbook and by mail.

Record of Requests for Disclosure

Quinsigamond Community College will maintain a record of all requests for information from a student’s education records, except when the disclosure was made to:

  1. The eligible student.
  2. A school official who has been determined to have legitimate educational interest.
  3. A party with written consent from the eligible student.
  4. A party seeking Directory Information only.

The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the parents or eligible student.

Correction of Education Records

Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that  they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records.

  1. A student must ask (an appropriate official of) Quinsigamond Community College to amend a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record he or she wants changed and specify why he or she believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her privacy, or other rights.
  2. Quinsigamond Community College may comply with the request, or it may decide not to comply. If it decides not to comply, Quinsigamond Community College will notify the student of the decision and advise him or her of his or her right to hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights.
  3. Upon request, Quinsigamond Community College will arrange for a hearing and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing office may be an official of the institution. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request, to amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
  5. Quinsigamond Community College will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of  the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
  6. If Quinsigamond Community College decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
  7. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education records, as long as the contested portion is maintained. If Quinsigamond Community College discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
  8. If Quinsigamond Community College decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.

Disclosure of Education Records

Quinsigamond Community College will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except:

  1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A school official is:
    • A person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research position.
    • A member of the Board of Trustees.
    • A person employed by or acting for the College to perform a special task; such as, the attorney or auditor.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
    • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description.
    • Performing a task related to a student’s education.
    • Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
    • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as Health Care, Counseling, Job Placement or Financial Aid.
  2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  3. To certain officials of the United States Department of Education, the Comptroller General and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
  4. In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of Financial Aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the Financial Aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19,1974.
  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for, or on behalf of, the College.
  7. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
  8. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  9. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
  10. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  11. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime, with respect to that crime.

Retention of Education Records

Quinsigamond Community College adheres to the Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule relative to the retention of education records. 

Student Admissions/Registration Records are retained for matriculated students for 3 years after graduation or separation from the institution and for applicants who don’t matriculate records are retained for 3 years.  Expulsion Records for matriculated students are retained for 25 years. Academic transcripts for matriculated students are kept forever.

The Financial Aid Office at Quinsigamond Community College adheres to the Massachusetts Office of Student Assistance requirements in regards to record retention.

The following is from the publication by the Massachusetts Office of Student Assistance on Guidelines and Procedures for the Massachusetts State Financial Aid programs.

Notice of Technical Standards

All students are hereby given notice that many Quinsigamond Community College’s programs of study have technical standards. These technical standards specify the physical and/or logistical requirement for completion of the program and/or the internship, externship and for field work.

All qualified students may request a reasonable accommodation in order to complete a technical standard, unless to provide such an accommodation would substantially alter the program and/or impose an undue hardship on the college. Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, seeing and hearing devices, voice activated technology, sign language interpreter etc. Any student concerned about his/her ability to satisfy a technical standard, with or without a reasonable accommodation, should immediately contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs at 508.854.4284 or the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) coordinator at 508.854.4475. (Students will be required to sign this document within their program of study)

Health Requirement Deadlines

Students must show evidence of being compliant with the immunization requirements specified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Additional immunization and clinical affiliate requirements will be required in order to be eligible for and/or remain at an assigned clinical affiliate of their program. Students who either fail to submit their completed health files or refuse to maintain immunization and clinical affiliate requirements will be deemed ineligible for clinical placement, which may affect their status in the program.

Students who have not submitted their completed health files by the dates listed below to their respective programs will be removed from program (major) courses and will need to file for readmission into the program for the next available semester.Readmission is always based on space availability. Please review the readmission policy outlined in the QCC Handbook. Deadline dates and programs are listed below:

  • Dental Assisting: July 31
  • Dental Hygiene: July 6
  • Medical Assisting: September 9 and January 8
  • Nursing Education: July 20 and January 4
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant: July 1
  • Paramedic: September 1 and January 19
  • Practical Nursing: July 20
  • Radiologic Tech: June 1
  • Respiratory Care: August 15
  • Surgical Technology: August 15

Readmission for Health Programs

Readmission would include students who left their program due to withdrawal or academic/clinical failure.

The following is the general procedure for Readmission for the programs listed below:

  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Hygiene***
  • EMT-Paramedic
  • Medical Support Specialist
  • Medical Assisting          
  • Nurse Education (Associate Degree in Nursing) ***
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant ***
  • Practical Nursing***
  • Respiratory Care***
  • Radiologic Technology***
  • Surgical Technology

***Programs have additional requirements that can be found in the respective Program Handbooks.

After withdrawal or dismissal from a health care program, students should immediately contact the Admissions Office to declare a major; e.g., Healthcare. Failure to do this, may affect the students’ future financial aid status.

Students who have been dismissed or administratively withdrawn from a program within the School of Healthcare at Quinsigamond Community College for reasons of “clinically unsafe practice/behavior” or who violate the College’s Student Code of Conduct or Policy on Affirmative Action are not eligible for admission/ readmission to any Healthcare program.

1.Students seeking readmission into the first semester of a program listed should complete a new admissions application (https://www.qcc.edu/application-admission) to the program. Students will need to qualify for the healthcare program. The admissions office will notify the qualified students when they can anticipate starting the program. After a student has the waitlist letter, the qualified student:

  1. may choose to remain on the waitlist and not use their one-time readmission.     

  2. can meet with the Program Coordinator to establish the steps that must be taken to request their one-time readmission for an earlier start. The student will be required to complete a Request for Readmission Form on which the Program Coordinator will list the specific steps that must be completed prior to consideration for readmission, and will note dates for completion of each step.

2. Students seeking readmission into a subsequent semester of a program listed above must meet with the Program Coordinator to establish the steps that must be taken to request their one-time readmission. The student will be required to complete a Request for Readmission Form on which the Program Coordinator will list the specific steps that must be completed prior to consideration for readmission, and will note dates for completion of each step.

Specific timeline for initiating and completing readmission criteria are detailed in each program’s handbook. A copy of the Request for Readmission Form will then be given to the student and will be made part of the student’s permanent file in the office of the specific program.

Once the student completes the requirements by the date specified and outlined on the Request for Readmission Form, a Review Committee, consisting of faculty member(s) from within the department, will meet and make a recommendation regarding the student’s readmission. This Committee’s recommendation will then be sent to the Dean of Healthcare for recommendation and then to the Vice President of Academic Affairs for a final decision. After the final decision is made, the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will forward the completed Request for Readmission form to the Admissions Office. The student will then be notified of the decision in a letter from the Admissions Office.​

3. Students should review the Program Handbook for their individual program for dismissal policies prior to requesting readmission to the program.

Specific Health Programs only

4. TEAS (Test for Essential Academic Skills) are required by specific health programs for readmission. The numerical value of the TEAS test used for readmission into the specific health program will be the same as those used for admission into the program. All students reentering a health program must meet the TEAS requirement of the specific health program.​

Students who leave the program after successfully completing Cluster C (ECE 231, 251, 253) must return to the program within one year. If a student remains out longer than 1 year they must repeat ECE 231, 251 and 253 in order to move on to Cluster D ECE 232, 252 and 254.

Plagiarism


Our purpose in the classroom is to seek the truth; this work requires trust and honesty between teacher and student. If we are not honest about what we know and don’t know, our learning will always be impaired. Because our teaching and learning depends on this honest communication, we expect all students to understand what plagiarism is and why it is unacceptable.

Plagiarism means taking someone else’s ideas or words and presenting them as one’s own. The offense can take many forms including cheating on a test, passing in a paper taken from the Internet or from another student, or failing to properly use and credit sources in an essay. Sometimes the issue is subtle, involving getting too much help on an assignment from someone else. In every instance, plagiarism means cheating both oneself and the owner of the source. Since the cheating sabotages a student’s learning experience, consequences range from no credit for the assignment to failure for the course and possible expulsion from the college.

See Plagiarism in Code of Conduct for more information

Absences for Pregnancy or Childbirth

In accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, shall be excused for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns to the College she shall be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which includes the opportunity to make up any missed work. The College may offer the student alternatives to making up missed workdru, such as retaking a semester, taking part in on-line instruction, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date.  For more information, please contact the Dean of Compliance and Education at 508.854.2791.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Notice

Quinsigamond Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and college policies.  The College prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence.  Inquiries or complaints concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual violence shall be referred to the College’s Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission or the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Policy Statement on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity

The Board of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responsible under Chapter 15A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the overall governance of the public higher education system, which includes the fifteen Community Colleges. The Board of Higher Education and the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges maintain and promote a policy of non‑discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service and national origin (“protected class(s)/classification(s).”  Further, this policy prohibits retaliation and incorporates by reference, and where applicable, the requirements of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; Titles I and II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its regulations found at 34 C.F.R. part 106; Equal Pay Act of 1963; Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 402 of the Vietnam-era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Federal Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11375 of 1967; Federal Executive Order 12900 of 1994; Federal Executive Order 13145 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13160 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13166 of 2000; Massachusetts Civil Rights Act; Massachusetts General Laws Chapters 151B, 151C, and Chapter 149; directives of the BHE, the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and other applicable local, state and federal constitutions, statutes, regulations and executive orders.  

Non‑discrimination requires the elimination of all existing unlawful discriminatory condi­tions, whether purposeful or inadvertent. The Community Colleges are continuing to systematically examine all policies and procedures to be sure that they do not, if imple­mented as stated, operate to the detriment of any person on the basis of a protected classification.  The Colleges shall require that the practices of those responsible in matters of employment and education, including all supervisors and faculty, are non‑discriminatory. Should the College discover discrimination in treatment or effect in any employment, educational or service decision, action, inaction or practice within the College, all appro­priate corrective and/or disciplinary actions shall be taken under the direction of the President of the College subject to any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other policy or procedure of the College.

The Community Colleges are committed to a policy of Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, equal education, non‑discrimination, and diversity. They are committed to providing a learning, working and living environment – whether in person or in the virtual/online setting - for their students, employees and other members of the College Community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Colleges are committed to assuring that the “College Experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports, and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world. The Colleges believe that the diversity of socio‑economic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability backgrounds of members of the College Community enriches the institutions and their various constituencies. The Colleges will not tolerate behavior based on bigotry, which has the effect of discriminating unlawfully against any member of their communities.

The Community Colleges provide equal access to educational, co-curricular and employ­ment opportunities at the Colleges for all applicants, students and employees in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. All benefits, privileges and opportunities offered by the Colleges are available to all students, employees and other persons having dealings with the institutions on a non‑discriminatory basis. The Colleges are committed to taking a pro‑active Affirmative Action posture with respect to their recruitment, selection and promotion of students and employees.

The purpose of the Affirmative Action component of this Policy is to establish a set of programmatic objectives, which shall provide for the recruitmentaccess and advancement of qualified persons from within the protected classes/classifications recognized under this Policy with respect to employment and enrollment opportunities. The intent of this Policy is to responsibly recognize, and to whatever extent possible, resolve the effects of past societal discrimination and the impact which that discrimination has had, not only on victims of such discrimination, but on the total academic, educational and social system as well. It is not intended and should not be used to discriminate against any applicant, employee, or student because of a protected classification. 

In response to that recognition, the Colleges, through their Boards of Trustees and Presidents, fully endorse the plan of action set forth in this Policy and shall oversee and monitor its implementation through the Affirmative Action Officer and other assigned personnel.

The following specific policies are established:

  • Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall apply to all segments of the College; full and part‑time employment; day and continuing education; the curriculum and offerings of the College.
  • Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall be applied to the recruitment process for employment and/or access to education.
  • Students will have access to the College, programs of study, activities, and other resources intended to serve them, according to the policies of the individual Colleges.
  • Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action will be realized in all personnel employment, including recruitment, application for employment, hiring, benefits, compensation, training, promotion, and termination.
  • All policies, procedures, privileges, and conditions of the College will follow and incorporate applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action rules and regulations.

The above‑stated policies are intended to be applied broadly with the goal of promoting equal opportunity and diversity in Community Colleges. The Community Colleges pledge to apply all policies consistently, fairly, and vigorously. Attempts to subvert or abuse these policies will not be tolerated.  Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the case of an infraction.  Such disciplinary action shall be consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

All policies are made in compliance with laws and regulations and executive orders promulgated by the federal and state governments and other appropriate agencies and authorities, where applicable.

For more information, visit our policy on Affirmative Action or contact Sara Simms at 508.854.2757.

Definitions

ADA/504 COORDINATOR: A College employee assigned the responsibility for maintaining the College’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Alleged violations of the ADA or Section 504 shall be subject to the Affirmative Action Policy’s Complaint Procedure as administered by the Affirmative Action Officer. A College employee assigned the responsibility for maintaining the College’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Alleged violations of the ADA or Section 504 shall be subject to the Affirmative Action Policy’s Complaint Procedure as administered by the Affirmative Action Officer. The ADA/504 Coordinator is  Elizabeth Woods, Dean for Compliance and Education and can be contacted at 508.854.2791 or lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu.  

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER (“AAO”): A College employee assigned the responsibility of administering the College’s Affirmative Action Policy.  The Affirmative Action Officer may also serve as the College’s Title IX Coordinator and/or the ADA/504 Coordinator.  If the Affirmative Action Officer is the person against whom the complaint is filed, the President shall designate another College official to act as the Affirmative Action Officer for purposes of administering the Affirmative Action Policy.  The Affirmative Action Officer is Sara Simms Assistant Director of Human Resources and can be contacted at ssimms [at] qcc.mass.edu or 508.854.2757. 

ADVISOR: A single person of the Complainant’s/Respondent’s choice, who may be but is not required to be an attorney (for union employees this may be a union representative), who may be present in any meeting or proceeding prescribed by this Policy, and who may inspect and review evidence.  It is the advisor’s responsibility to conduct cross-examination during the hearing if the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process is being used.  The advisor’s role is otherwise strictly limited to providing direct assistance to the party that they advise.

COMPLAINT: A written complaint alleging a violation of the Affirmative Action Policy.

COMPLAINANT: The student(s) or employee(s), or applicant for admission or employment, filing the complaint.  In cases involving Title IX, this is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

COMPLAINT PROCESS: The process used to address all Complaint’s alleging a violation of the Affirmative Action Policy, other than a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING RESOURCES: Persons who have experienced prohibited forms of sexual harassment under this Affirmative Action Policy may share information confidentially with designated employees (“Confidential Employees”) who cannot reveal identifying information to any third party unless one or more of the following conditions is present:

  • the individual has provided written consent to disclose information;
  • there is a concern about imminent harm to self or others;
  • the information concerns the neglect or abuse of someone who is a minor, elderly, or disabled; or
  • an employee is responsible for providing non-identifiable information for purposes of the Clery Act.

“Confidential Employees” include:

  •  licensed mental health counselors;
  •  licensed health care personnel; and
  • other employees as designated by each College.

A list of Confidential Employees shall be posted at each College.

Please bear in mind, however, that if one requests certain supportive measures from the College (e.g., extension for academic work or changing classes, residence halls or work locations), other College officials may be contacted only for the purpose of providing the requested measures. In such cases, one’s privacy will be maintained to the extent that respecting confidentiality will not impair the College’s ability to provide the requested measures. One may also confidentially report any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or retaliation as well as other forms of sexual violence and gender-based harassment to community support resources, which are not required to share information with the College.

CONSENT: “Consent” must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.

DAY: As used in this policy, shall mean a calendar day.

DECISION MAKER:  An individual who is not the same person as the Title IX Coordinator (or designee), chosen by the Title IX Coordinator to reach a determination regarding responsibility by applying the standard of evidence the College has designated in the College’s complaint procedures for use in all Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Equal Opportunity: A College’s effort to ensure that all personnel and academic decisions, programs and policies are formulated and conducted in a manner which will ensure equal access for all people and prevent discrimination. As part of this effort, a College will ensure that employment and academic decisions, programs and policies will be based solely on the individual eligibility, merit or fitness of applicants, employees and students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, military service, gender identity, genetic information, sexual orientation or political or union affiliation.

FORMAL COMPLAINT:  Formal Complaint means a document signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment against a Respondent about conduct within [the College’s] education program or activity and requesting initiation of the [College’s] complaint procedures, [including an investigation of] the allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the College with which the Formal Complaint is filed. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator, and by any additional method designated by the College. As used in this definition the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the College) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint. 

INSTRUCTIONAL PERIOD: The academic semester, summer session or winter/intersession when a Complainant knows or should have known of an act or inaction in violation of this Policy.  The Instructional Period shall end on the last day of final exams.

PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE: The evidentiary standard used in resolving all complaints filed under this Policy’s Complaint Procedures.    The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true (i.e.; more probable than not).  Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT:  The following conduct is prohibited under this policy:

  1. Discrimination:  An intentional or unintentional act which adversely affects employment and/or educational opportunities because of a person’s membership in a protected class or association with a member(s) of a protected class. Discrimination may be classified as either disparate impact (practices that are facially neutral in their treatment of different groups but that in fact fall more harshly on one group than another and cannot be justified by business necessity) or disparate treatment (treatment of an individual that is less favorable than treatment of others based on discriminatory reasons).  A single act of discrimination or discriminatory harassment may be based on more than one protected class status. For example, discrimination based on anti-Semitism may relate to religion, national origin, or both; discrimination against a pregnant woman may relate to sex, marital status, or both; or discrimination against a transgender individual may relate to gender identity, sex or sexual orientation. 

Examples of behavior that may constitute discrimination, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Differences in salaries or other benefits that are paid to one or more men or women if the differences are not based on a bona fide occupational qualification.
  2. Differences in terms, conditions and privileges of employment (including, but not limited to hiring, promotion, reassignment, termination, salary, salary increases, discipline, granting of tenure, selection for awards, etc.) on a prohibited basis.
  3. Unlawful disparity of treatment in educational programs and related support services on the basis of membership in a legally protected class.
  4. Developing position descriptions or qualifications, which, without lawful justification, are so specific as to have a disparate exclusionary impact on a group of individuals because of their membership in a protected class.
  5. Singling out, treating or causing to treat persons of one protected class differently from others because of assumptions about or stereotypes of the intellectual ability, interest, or aptitudes of persons of those aforementioned groups.
  6. Limiting access to housing, or participation in athletic, social, cultural or other activities to students because of membership in a protected class not based on a bona fide requirement or distinction.
  7. Failing or refusing to hire or promote a person because of their age.
  8. Classifying a position or positions as unsuitable for persons of certain religions.
  9. Forcing employees or students to participate or not participate in a religious activity as a condition of their employment or education.
  10. Excluding members of a certain race or national origin from a category of positions or from a department or division.
  11. Restricting the number of Vietnam era veterans or qualified persons with disabilities in a category of positions or in a department or division.
  12. Using information on marital or parental status for employment decisions where the use of such information has a disparate impact on persons of one gender or sexual orientation.
  13. Advising students of similar interests and backgrounds differently because of their gender or gender identity.
  14. Diverting a discussion of a student’s or employee’s work toward a discussion of his or her physical attributes or appearances.
  15. Forcing female students to sit in the back of the class on the stereotyped assumption that each of them has a lower aptitude for learning that particular subject than male students.
  16. Placing unreasonable expectations upon students of particular races or national origins on the basis of stereotyped assumptions that members of those protected classes have a better aptitude for certain academic subjects than students not of those races or national origins.

2. Discriminatory Harassment: Discriminatory harassment. A form of unlawful discrimination including verbal and/or physical conduct based on legally protected characteristics and/or membership in a protected class that:

a.   has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment;

b.   has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or learning performance; or

c.   otherwise unreasonably adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.

For purposes of this Policy, conduct constitutes hostile environment harassment when it:

a.  is targeted against an individual(s) on the basis of his or her membership in a protected class;

b.   is not welcomed by the individual(s); and

c.   is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.

The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” is based on the totality of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating. Simple teasing, offhand comments and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not amount to hostile environment harassment under this Policy.

Examples of behavior that may constitute discriminatory harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. Physically harassing another individual (or group of individuals) because of that person’s or persons’ membership in a protected class by assaulting, touching, patting, pinching, grabbing, staring, leering at them, making lewd gestures, invading their personal space, blocking their normal movement, or other physical interference.
  2. Encouraging others to physically or verbally abuse an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
  3. Threatening to harm an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
  4. Directing epithets or slurs at an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
  5. Displaying hostile, derogatory and/or intimidating symbols/objects to an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.

3. Gender-Based Harassment:  Unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a student’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, where:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; and/or
  2. submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; and/or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment based on gender.

4. Retaliation: Taking adverse employment or educational action against a person who files claims, complaints or charges under these procedures, or under applicable local, state or federal statute, who is suspected of having filed such claims, complaints or charges, who has assisted or participated in an investigation or resolution of such claims, complaints or charges, or who has protested practices alleged to be violative of the non-discrimination policy of the College, the BHE, or local, state or federal regulation or statute. Retaliation, even in the absence of provable discrimination in the original complaint or charge, constitutes as serious a violation of this Policy as proved discrimination under the original claim, complaint or charge.

Examples of behavior that may constitute retaliation, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Terminating an employee for expressing an intention to file or for filing a charge of discrimination.
  2. Refusing to hire an employee due to the employee’s pursuit of a discrimination charge against a former employer.
  3. Denying a promotion to an employee for complaining to anyone about alleged discrimination or harassment.
  4. Refusing tenure to a faculty member for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment pursuant to the Discrimination Complaint Procedures.
  5. Issuing an unjustified negative evaluation to an employee for testifying in a legal proceeding concerning a complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
  6. Assigning a student an unearned, poor grade for requesting a reasonable course accommodation based on religion.
  7. Assigning a student an unearned, failing grade for cooperating with an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices or a complaint of discrimination or harassment.
  8. Refusing to admit a student for requesting a reasonable accommodation based on disability in the admission process.
  9. Refusing to hire a job applicant for requesting a reasonable accommodation based on disability in the application process.

    Members of the academic community should not assume that any of the forms of speech described above are protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

5. Title IX Sexual Harassment

Title IX regulations require institutions of higher education to implement a policy to address sexual harassment, which shall include sexual violence, as specifically defined by the U.S. Department of Education.  Accordingly, Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment will be subject to review in accordance with the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process (found herein at Section L., III.).  Notwithstanding, where a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment is not filed, the College reserves the right to address such other complaints under the Complaint Process (found herein at Section L., II.) and using the definitions of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking as provided herein under paragraph 5 (3.)(A-D) or the sexual harassment definition as provided herein under paragraph 6. 

“Title IX Sexual Harassment” for purposes of Title IX and this Policy means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

1. An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on another employee’s or student’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (“quid pro quo” harassment by an employee); or

2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a College education program or activity; or

3. Any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Cleary Act (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)6)(A)(v)), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)(34 U.S.C. 12291 et. seq.) (for ease of reference the definitions as they appear in those laws are provided below):

(A) Sexual assault means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation including:

(i) Rape, defined as the carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the person, including instances where the person is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;

(ii) Sodomy is oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the person, including instances where the person is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;

(iii) Sexual Assault With An Object, defined as the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the person, including instances where the person is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;

(iv) Fondling, defined as the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the person, including instances where the victim is

incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;

(v) Incest, defined as nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law;

(vi) Statutory Rape, defined as nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

(B) Dating violence means violence committed by a person--

(i) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate

nature with the victim; and (ii) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

a) The length of the relationship;

b) The type of relationship;

c) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship;

(C) Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitation with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situation to a spouse of the victim

under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family laws of the jurisdiction;

(D) Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-(i) fear for their own safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.

  1. Sexual Harassment:  

When a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment is not filed, and therefore the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process (found herein at Section L., III.) is not activated, the College reserves the right to address such other complaints of sexual harassment/sexual violence under the Complaint Process (found herein at Section L., II.) by using the above-mentioned definitions of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking under paragraph 5 (3.)(A-D), or by using the following definition of sexual harassment.

Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

a.   submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment or academic decisions; or

b.   such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive learning or working environment.

Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor or instructor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job or academic benefits constitute sexual harassment.  The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the above examples, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work or educational environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to another may also constitute sexual harassment.

While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and/or its pervasiveness:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not.
  2. Repeated, unsolicited propositions for dates and/or sexual intercourse.
  3. Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life; comment on an individual's body, comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess.
  4. Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons.
  5. Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments.
  6. Verbal harassment or abuse on the basis of sex.
  7. Inquiries into another person’s sexual activities, practices or experiences.
  8. Discussion of one's own sexual activities, practices or experiences.

PROTECTED CLASS(S)/CLASSIFICATION(S):  Characteristics or groups of persons protected from discrimination by law and under this Policy, including:

  1. Age - Persons 40 years of age or older.
  2. Color - Variations in skin tone among persons of the same race.
  3. Disability - A person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Alcoholism; Asthma; Blindness or other visual impairments; Cancer; Cerebral palsy; Depression; Diabetes, Epilepsy; Hearing or speech impairments; Heart Disease; Migraine Headaches; Multiple sclerosis; Muscular dystrophy; Orthopedic impairments; Paralysis; Thyroid gland disorders; Tuberculosis; loss of body parts.
  4. Ethnicity - See National Origin.
  5. Gender - A person’s sex, either male or female.
  6. Gender Identity - Gender identity is a term that covers a multitude of sexual identities including, but not limited to, transgender individuals, who are persons whose gender identity or gender presentation falls outside of stereotypical gender norms.
  7. Genetic Information - Any written, recorded individually identifiable result of a genetic test or explanation of such a result or family history pertaining to the presence, absence, variation, alteration, or modification of a human gene or genes.
  8. National Origin - A “national oramigin group” or “ethnic group” is a group sharing a common language, culture, ancestry, and/or other similar social characteristics.
  9. Persons of Color - Members of the following racial classifications: Black, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latino.
  10. Race - Discrimination laws do not contain a definition of “race,” but are interpreted to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ancestry or physical or cultural characteristics associated with a certain race, such as skin color, hair texture or styles, or certain facial features, and on the basis of stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups. All individuals, including persons of more than one race and the following racial classifications, are protected from discrimination:
  11. Black: All persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  12. White (not of Hispanic origin): Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.
  13. Hispanic/Latino: All persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central, Latin or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
  14. Cape Verdean: All persons having origins in the Cape Verde Islands.
  15. Asian or Pacific Islander: All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent or the Pacific Islands, including, for example, the areas of China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands and Samoa.
  16. American Indian or Alaskan Native: All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
  17. Religion - “Religion” and “creed” have the same or equivalent meaning: all religious and spiritual observances, practices, and sincerely held beliefs.
  18. Sexual Orientation - Actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, either by orientation or by practice.
  19. Veteran - Any person who is a member of, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform, service in a uniformed military service of the United States, including the National Guard.

If at any time subsequent to the implementation of this Policy additional protected classifications are established under applicable law, individuals in those classifications shall be protected against discrimination under this Policy. 

RESPONDENT OR RESPONDING PARTY:  The person against whom a complaint is directed, including an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES:  Allegations involving  sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, domestic and dating violence, shall be reported by all “Responsible Employees” to the Title IX coordinator or official designee as soon as the employee becomes aware of it.  A Responsible Employee includes any College employee: who has the authority to take action to redress these offenses; who has been given the duty of reporting to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.  Responsible Employees shall include, but are not be limited to, College trustees, administrators, department chairs, program coordinators, campus police, club/activity advisors, coaches, managers or supervisors.

TIME:  The number of days indicated at each level shall be considered as a maximum.  All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite the process, but the President or his/her designee may extend the time limits in extenuating circumstances with notice to both parties in writing, or by mutual written agreement between the  Complainant and the Responding Party.

TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCESS:  The process used to address Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment.

TITLE IX COORDINATOR:  A College employee assigned the responsibility for maintaining the College’s compliance with Title IX.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for administering this Policy the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and its Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process.  The Title IX Coordinator may also serve as the College’s Affirmative Action Officer.  If these positions are held by different individuals, the AAO and the Title IX Coordinator may collaborate on the enforcement of any aspect of this Policy.  The Title IX Coordinator should not have other job responsibilities that may create a conflict of interest. For example, serving as the Title IX Coordinator and a disciplinary hearing board member or general counsel may create a conflict of interest.  There may also be a Deputy Title IX Coordinator designated to assist the Title IX Coordinator in the performance of his/her duties.  The College’s Title IX Coordinator is Liz Woods, Dean for Compliance and Education can be contacted at  lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu  

Support of and Commitment to Diversitysuppor

The Community Colleges have historically been a major contributing element to the emergence of our nation as one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies of the world. The important role that the Community Colleges can play is profoundly dependent upon the extent to which they may draw from the full collective of intellectual resources within each College's community of scholars, students, and admin­istrators. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequence for the development of our Commonwealth, and ultimately, our nation.

Community College students, faculty, staff and visitors must be free from conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's academic or professional perfor­mance  and creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment. Therefore, the Community Colleges establish a policy of unequivocal condemnation of all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial intolerance within the fifteen College communities.

This policy condemns all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying to an individual his/her rights to equality, dignity and security in violation of his/her rights guaranteed under the law. The policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for pluralism and the pre‑eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community that recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons while recognizing and reaffirming the tenets of academic freedom as stated in applicable collective bargaining agreements. The Community Colleges recognize their obligation to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing herein shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other federal and state laws.

The Community Colleges will vigorously strive to achieve diversity sufficiently reflective of our society. However, diversity alone will not suffice. There must be a unity and cohesion in the diversity that we seek to achieve, thereby creating an environment of pluralism.

The Community Colleges bear a responsibility by edict and an obligation by social morality to promote understanding and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious and racial diversity as we strive to create an atmosphere of dignity for all individuals and groups within our system of public higher education. The President or his/her designee will take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to affect a remedy or resolution when an allegation is determined to be valid.

Policy Against Prohibited Conduct

Introduction

The mission of the Community Colleges is to educate, train and prepare our students to live and work in our increasingly global and diverse workforce. It is our commitment to take all possible steps to provide an inclusive and diverse learning, living, and work environment that values diversity and cultural tolerance and looks with disfavor on intolerance and bigotry. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequences for the development of our Commonwealth and ultimately, our nation.

Definitions

Prohibited Conduct includes: Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation. These terms and all Protected Class(s)/Classification(s) are defined under the “Definitions” section of this Policy.   

Policy Prohibitions

The Policy prohibits all conditions and all actions or omissions, which deny or have the effect of denying to any person their rights to equity and security on the basis of their membership in or association with a member(s) of any protected class. This policy reaffirms the values of civility, appreciation for racial/ethnic/cultural/religious pluralism and pre-eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community, which recognizes and utilizes the resources of all people.

In order to promote an atmosphere in which diversity is valued and the worth of individuals is recognized, the Colleges will distribute policy statements and conduct educational programs to combat all Prohibited Conduct.

The prohibition on Prohibited Conduct contained in this Policy shall apply to and be enforced against all members of the College community, including, but not limited to, faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, students, vendors, contractors and all others having dealings with the institution.

Conduct That is Not Prohibited

The Community Colleges are committed to protecting, maintaining and encouraging both freedom of expression and full academic freedom of inquiry, teaching, service, and research. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to penalize a member of the College community for expressing an opinion, theory, or idea in the process of responsible teaching and learning. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to this policy.

Complaint Procedures

The Community Colleges have established a specific internal procedures to help resolve claims and complaints of violations of this Policy on their campuses (see Section L).  Any applicant for employment or admission, any student or employee, and any other member of the College community who believes that he or she has been subjected to Prohibited Conduct may initiate a complaint as outlined herein.  Further advice or information may be obtained by contacting the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator. 

Duty to Cooperate

Every faculty member, librarian, administrator, staff member and College employee has a duty to cooperate fully and unconditionally in an investigation conducted pursuant to this Policy’s Complaint Procedure, subject to the provisions of any relevant collective bargaining agreements.

This duty includes, among other things, speaking with the Affirmative Action Officer, Title IX Coordinator or other authorized personnel or investigator and voluntarily providing all information and documentation which relates to the claim being investigated.  The failure and/or refusal of any employee to cooperate in an investigation may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Duty to Report

General Responsibility to Report Prohibited Conduct

No member of the College community who receives a complaint of Prohibited Conduct can ignore it; he or she should give to the person making the complaint as much assistance in bringing it to the attention of the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator as is reasonably appropriate given his or her position at the College and relationship with the person making the complaint.  Therefore, all students, faculty, staff, and administrators are strongly encouraged to report to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Title IX Coordinator any conduct of which they have direct knowledge and which they in good faith believe constitutes a violation of this Policy. 

Reporting of Title IX Sexual Harassment by Responsible Employees

Allegations involving Title IX Sexual Harassment shall be reported by all “Responsible Employees” to the Title IX coordinator or official designee as soon as the employee becomes aware of it.  A Responsible Employee includes any College employee: who has the authority to take action to redress Title IX Sexual Harassment; who has been given the duty of reporting Title IX Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.  Responsible Employees shall include, but are not be limited to, College trustees, administrators, department chairs, program coordinators, campus police, club/activity advisors, coaches, managers or supervisors.

Mandatory Reporting of Abuse Under State Law

Children (a person under the age of 18) may be students at the College, or may be engaged in activities sponsored by the College or by third-parties utilizing College facilities.  In such instances, where an employee has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering physical or emotional injury, resulting from among other causes, sexual abuse, the employee and the College may be obligated to comply with the mandatory reporting requirements established at M.G.L. Chapter 119, Section 51A-E.  In such cases, the employee is directed to immediately report the matter to the College’s Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator, who, in consultation with other officials, shall contact the Commonwealth’s Department of Children and Families and/or law enforcement.  An employee may also contact local law enforcement authorities or the Department of Children and Families directly in cases of suspected abuse or neglect.  State law also maintains mandatory reporting requirements for certain occupations where elderly and disabled abuse or neglect is suspected.  For more information on these reporting requirements please contact the College’s Affirmative Action Officer.

Any member of the College community who has a question about his or her responsibilities under this Policy should contact the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator.

Policy Against Sexual Harassment

a.   Introduction

It is the goal of the Community Colleges to promote an educational environment and workplace that is free of all forms of sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment of students or employees occurring in the classroom or the workplace is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community College. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.  To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by students or employees.

Because the Community Colleges take allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment and where it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective measures, including disciplinary action where appropriate and consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that it operates, and it is required by Title IX and 34 C.F.R Part 106, §106.8 (b) not to discriminate in such a manner.

b.   Definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment

Title IX Sexual Harassment is defined under the “Definitions” section of this Policy.    

All employees and students should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about Title IX Sexual Harassment, or retaliation against individuals who have cooperated with an investigation of Title IX Sexual Harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community Colleges.

c. Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment

All Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment shall proceed under this Policy’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process.  To file a complaint a person may do so by contacting the College’s Title IX Coordinator, or designee.   A report of an allegation of sexual harassment may also be presented to other “Responsible Employees” at the College.  These persons are also available to discuss any concerns a person may have and to provide information about the Policy.

d. Sexual Harassment Investigation

A Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will be conducted in accordance with this Policy’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process and may include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. The person alleged to have committed Title IX Sexual Harassment will also be interviewed.  Once the investigation is completed, the College will, to the extent appropriate, inform the parties of the results of that investigation.

If it is determined that a violation of this Policy has occurred, the College will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where it is appropriate also impose disciplinary action.

e. Disciplinary Action

Discipline for violating this Policy may include, but is not limited to, mandatory counseling or training, verbal or written warnings, suspension, termination from employment, or expulsion from the College. 

f. Consensual Relationships

  • Faculty/Administrator/Staff Member Relationships with Students

A romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, between a faculty member, administrator or staff member and a student is looked upon with disfavor and is strongly discouraged.  No faculty member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who is being taught or advised by the faculty member or whose academic work is being supervised or evaluated, directly or indirectly, by the faculty member.  No administrator or staff member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who the administrator or staff member supervises, evaluates, advises, or provides other professional advice or services as part of a College program or activity.

  • Relationships Between Supervisors, Subordinates or Co-Workers

A consenting romantic and/or sexual relationship between a supervisor and subordinate or co-workers may interfere with or impair the performance of professional duties and responsibilities and/or create an appearance of bias or favoritism.  Further, such relationships could implicate state ethics laws and/or result in claims of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Therefore, such workplace relationships are strongly discouraged

g. Identification

Personal identifiable information about parties of sexual violence will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons with a specific need to know and/or who are investigating and/or adjudicating the complaint, delivering resources or support services to the Complainant or as public safety requires.  The College does not publish the names or other identifiable information of parties of sexual violence in the campus police department’s Daily Crime Log, in any Timely Warnings issued or online.  In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, an individual may request that no directory information maintained by the College be released absent his/her prior, written consent.

h. Supportive Measures

Title IX requires the College to take non-disciplinary/non-punitive reasonable steps to preserve or restore equal access to its education programs and activities and protect individuals from any Title IX Sexual Harassment or other Prohibited Conduct, including offering supportive measures before the final outcome of an investigation, irrespective of whether the complainant ever chooses to file a Formal Complaint. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College’s educational environment, or deter all forms of sexual harassment. The College shall take these steps promptly once it has notice of an allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment, including sexual violence. Examples of interim protective measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Counseling;
  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments (for example: changing class schedule, withdrawal without penalty, providing student services such as tutoring, alternate class completion options);
  • Modifications of work schedules or job assignments;
  • Campus escort services;
  • Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
  • Changes in work or housing locations (if applicable);
  • Leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and
  • Other similar measures.

The specific supportive measures implemented and the process for implementing those measures will vary depending on the facts of each case.  The College will consider a number of factors in determining what supportive measures to take, including, for example, the specific needs expressed by either party; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on either party; whether the parties share the same classes, dining hall schedule, transportation, or job location; and whether other judicial measures have been taken to protect either/both parties (e.g., civil protection orders).

In general, when taking supportive measures, the College shall minimize the burden on either party.  The College must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to either party, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the supportive measures.

i. Amnesty  

Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the College’s drug/alcohol policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct.  While the College does not condone such behavior, it places a priority on addressing allegations of sexual violence. Accordingly, the College shall not pursue discipline against a student who, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of an incident of sexual violence unless the College determines that the report was not made in good faith or that the violation was egregious. An egregious violation shall include, but not be limited to, taking action that places the health and safety of another person at risk.

j. Protections for Complainant Regarding Sexual Violence

A person subjected to sexual violence shall:

  • Be provided with a copy of the College’s Sexual Violence – Complainant’s Rights and Information Advisory, which shall include information concerning counseling, health, and mental health services, victim advocacy and support, law enforcement assistance, and other services available on and off campus;
  • Have the right to pursue, or not pursue, assistance from campus administration officials or campus law enforcement;
  • Not be discouraged by College officials from reporting an incident to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
  • Be provided assistance in contacting local law enforcement if requested and have the full and promaccopt assistance and cooperation of campus personnel should a civil and/or criminal complaint be pursued;
  • Be free from any suggestion that they somehow contributed to or had a shared responsibility in the violent act;
  • Receive the same level of support at any proceeding before College officials as is permitted to the accused party, including the presence of an advisor during any disciplinary proceeding and the right to be notified in a timely manner of the outcome of such proceedings and any appeal right available;
  • Receive full and prompt cooperation from College personnel in obtaining and securing evidence (including medical evidence) necessary for any potential criminal proceedings;
  • Have access to existing College counseling and medical professionals, victim support services, and to obtain referrals to off-campus counseling and support services if desired;
  • Be permitted to attend classes, work and participate in College activities free from unwanted contact or proximity to the respondent insofar as the College is permitted and able;
  • Be permitted to request changes to an academic schedule if such changes are requested by the alleged victim and are reasonably available; and
  • Be informed of any no-contact or no-trespass orders issued to the respondent by the College and the College’s notification procedures, responsibilities and commitment to honor any court-issued restraining or protective orders, to the extent permitted by law.  

k. Recommended Procedures for a Victim of Sexual Violence

For a person subjected to an act of sexual violence, there can be time-sensitive decisions to make about sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and collecting physical evidence in the event of prosecution.  Individuals who have been victims of sexual violence are advised as follows:

  • Protect Yourself and Get Medical Attention – A victim should be advised to go to a safe place as soon as possible and seek medical attention immediately.  Injuries and exposure to disease may not be immediately apparent. A medical examination can provide necessary treatment and collect important evidence. It is recommended that a physical exam be conducted within 72 hours of the violence. Submitting to a physical exam does not mean that a victim is required to press charges. This action merely preserves the option to do so.  Designated College personnel can assist in providing transportation to the hospital.
  • Preserve Evidence - It is important to preserve all physical evidence following an act of sexual violence.  Physical evidence may be necessary in the event criminal prosecution is pursued.  If possible, a victim should be advised not to wash, eat, drink, douche, clean, use the bathroom, or change clothes. If clothes are changed, all clothes that were worn at the time of the incident should not be cleaned and should be placed into an unused or a clean paper bag.
  • Health and Support Services - Various health and support services are available on and off campus for students and employees who have experienced sexual violence.  For information about such services, including counseling, please contact the Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator.

l. Rape Crisis Center Contact Information

The following is a list of Rape Crisis Centers in Massachusetts.  As the following contact information may be subject to change, current contact information on rape crisis centers in Massachusetts can be found at the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Website under “Consumer” information at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/.

Greater Boston Area

  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Cambridge, 617-492-7273 Hotline, 617-492-6434 TTY

Northeastern Massachusetts

  • North Shore Rape Crisis Center, Beverly, 800-922-8772 Hotline, 978-921-8729 TTY
  • Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell, 800-542-5212 Hotline, 978-452-8723 TTY
  • YWCA of Greater Lawrence, 877-509-9922 SA Hotline, 978-686-8840 TTY

Central Massachusetts

  • Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Worcester, 800-870-5905 Hotline, 508-852-7600 TTY
  • Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Fitchburg, 800-870-5905
  • Wayside Victim Services, Milford, 800-511-5070 Hotline, 508-478-4205 TTY
  • Voices Against Violence, Framingham, 800-593-1125 Hotline, 508-626-8686 TTY

Southeastern Massachusetts

  • A Safe Place, Nantucket, 508-228-2111 Hotline, 508-228-0561 TTY
  • Independence House, Hyannis, 800-439-6507 Hotline, 508-778-6782 TTY
  • Women Support Services, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-7233
  • Greater New Bedford Women Center, New Bedford, 888-839-6636 Hotline, 508-996-1177 TTY
  • New Hope, Attleboro, 800-323-4673 Hotline/TTY
  • Stanley Street Women Center, Fall River, 508-675-0087 Hotline, 508-673-3328 TTY
  • Womansplace Crisis Center, Brockton, 508-588-8255 SA Hotline, 508-894-2869 TTY

Western Massachusetts

  • Elizabeth Freeman Center, Pittsfield, 413-443-0089 Hotline, 413-499-2425 TTY
  • Everywoman Center, Amherst, 413-545-0800 Hotline, 888-337-0800 TTY
  • NELCWIT, Greenfield, 413-772-0806 Hotline/TTY
  • YWCA, Springfield, 800-796-8711
  • YWCA of Western Mass, Westfield, 800-479-6245 Hotline/TTY

These Rape Crisis Centers offer FREE services to survivors of sexual violence, including:

  • 24/7 hotline counseling, information, and referral;
  • Will go with survivors to hospitals and/or police stations 24/7;
  • Will go with a survivor to court;
  • Provide one-to-one counseling and support group counseling; and
  • Provide primary prevention education; professional training; outreach

m.   State and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the governmental agencies set forth below.  Filing a complaint under this Policy does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC - 300 days; MCAD - 300 days).

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")
One Congress Street
10th Floor Boston, MA 02114
617.565.3200.

The Office For Civil Rights (“OCR”)
U.S. Department of Education
John W. McCormack Post             
Office and Courthouse, Room 222
Boston, MA  02109
617.223.9662

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD")

Boston Office:                        
One Ashburton Place              
Rm. 601                                  
Boston, MA 02108 
617.994.6000                      

Worcester Office:
Worcester City Hall
484 Main St., Rm. 320
Worcester, MA 01608
508.799.8010

Springfield Office:  
436 Dwight St., Rm. 220 
Springfield, MA 01103 
413.739.2145                       

New Bedford Office:
800 Purchase St., Rm. 501
New Bedford, MA 02740
508.990.2390

Non‑Discrimination and Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities

It is illegal to discriminate against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability.  The Community Colleges recognize the multitude of barriers that confront persons with disabilities in access to both employment and education. Consistent with state and federal statutes that affirm and protect the equal opportunity rights of persons with disabilities, the Community Colleges adopt a policy of non‑discrimination and equal opportunity for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.  Any employee or student who believes he/she has been a victim of discrimination due to a disability may file a complaint pursuant to the Complaint Procedures found at Section L of this Policy.  

a.   In Employment

The Community Colleges will take constructive measures to ensure equal opportunity in all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, upgrading, opportunities for training and development, rate of compensation, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment.  Further, the Colleges will periodically examine all existing employment policies, practices and facilities to ensure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.  Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances.  Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.

b.   In Education

The Colleges will periodically examine all existing admissions, student support and other student life policies, practices and facilities to assure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified disabled students. Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances.  Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.  The Colleges will adopt a policy of non‑discrimination with respect to admissions, access to programs and facilities and services for all otherwise qualified disabled persons.

c.   Reasonable Accommodations

A “reasonable accommodation” under state and federal law is defined as “modifications or adjustments to an application process, job, work environment, the way in which work is customarily performed, or a course of study that permit a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment or education equally with persons without disabilities.”

Reasonable accommodations in employment may include, but are not limited to:

  • making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • job restructuring;
  • modification of work schedules;
  • providing additional unpaid leave;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.

The Community Colleges are not required to lower performance standards to make an accommodation and are not obligated to provide personal use items, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids.

Reasonable accommodations in education may include, but are not limited to:

  • in-class aids, such as note takers;
  • extended time for examination;
  • quiet rooms or alternate locations for testing;
  • alternatively formatted testing; alternatively formatted textbooks and other course materials; and/or
  • access to assistive technology.

Possible course reductions or substitutions on the basis of a disability will be carefully evaluated.

Students with disabilities must meet the essential requirements of all academic degree programs.

d. Interactive Process

State and federal laws define the “interactive process” as an ongoing communication between, among other parties, employer and employee, college and student, with a known disability in an effort to provide reasonable accommodation. Both parties must engage in the interactive process and communicate directly with each other in order to formulate and effective accommodation plan.  Neither party can delay nor interfere with the process.

e. Undue Hardship and Fundamental Alteration

The Community Colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a College’s business or result in a fundamental alteration of a job or academic course or program. Undue hardship means an action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as a College’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.  Fundamental alteration is a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature a job or an academic course or program.

f. Process for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

An employee or job applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Office for Human Resources.  A student or student applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Disability Services Office.  All requests for an accommodation are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Individuals seeking accommodations should be prepared to submit current medical documentation for review in the accommodation process.

Contracting and Purchasing

When selecting contractors, suppliers, and vendors of goods and services, including goods and services secured in connection with construction projects, the Colleges will offer equal opportunity to all qualified persons and entities and will not discriminate on the basis of a protected classification.

The College shall use reasonable efforts to attract and encourage bid proposals from a diverse pool of qualified contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers.  The College is strongly encouraged to identify businesses primarily operated by individuals within the protected classifications with the help of the Commonwealth’s Supplier Diversity Office.

When transact­ing business with contractors, vendors and suppliers, the Community Colleges shall include in all contracts the following statement:

Non‑Discrimination in Employment:  The Contractor shall not discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, genetic information maternity leave, military service, marital status or disability.  The Contractor agrees to comply with applicable federal and state statutes, rules and regulations prohibiting discrimination in employment, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimi­nation in Employment Act of 1967, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151B and all administrative and executive orders, where applicable.

The Colleges reserve the right to disqualify any contractor, person or entity seeking to provide services to a Community College that fails to adhere to the prohibitions against discrimination in employment that are contained in this section.

Implementation of Affirmative Action Policy

The implementation of an effective affirmative action policy is ultimately the responsibility of the President of each Community College.  The President will direct the Affirmative Action Officer to coordinate the overall development, administration and monitoring of all affirmative action programs, policies, procedures and regulations.  The Affirmative Action Officer will report directly to the President, or his/her designee, and will bear responsibility for the preparation and execution of all affirmative action policies and programs. 

Consistent with all collective bargaining and non-unit employee agreements, each supervisor will seek to ensure that affirmative action and equal oppor­tunity are integrally tied to all aspects of any recruitment, hiring, training or advancement related decisions to which they are a party.  They will be aware of goals and will consult with the Affirmative Action Officer prior to and in the course of such actions. 

Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator

See “Definition” Section of this Policy for Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator contact information.

Affirmative Action Officer

The Affirmative Action Officer (“AAO”) shall have the task of infusing affirmative action into all aspects of the College.  He/she shall be responsible for the development, administration and evaluation of affirmative action policies, procedures, programs and goals; serve as monitor of local, state and federal laws and regulations relating to affirmative action and equal opportunity and compliance thereof; and administer to all segments of the College ‑ students and employees.

The AAO will analyze the College’s work force composition.  The AAO may also analyze specific work areas or divisions within the College to determine if under‑utilization of any protected group exists.  The development of goals and timetables to correct any identified under-utilization shall be the responsibility of the AAO with input from the appropriate administrative officers.  Although the basic responsibility for implementation of the affirmative action/equal opportunity program necessarily rests with the administrative officers of the College, the Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for providing advice and assistance.

The AAO shall be an ex‑officio member of the Affirmative Action Committee and shall facilitate this Policy’s Complaint Procedures. 

Title IX Coordinator

The College shall employ a Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator may also serve as the College’s AAO.  The College’s Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the College’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, which prohibits all sex discrimination and Title IX Sexual Harassment in all College operations, as well as retaliation for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX.  The Title IX Coordinator shall be adequately trained to perform her/his duties, including understanding the legal aspects of Title IX, conducting investigations of all sex discrimination and Title IX Sexual Harassment, administering an investigative process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability and providing campus-wide training to members of the College community.

Members of the College community should contact the Title IX Coordinator in order to:

  • seek information or training about students’ and employees’ rights and courses of action available to resolve complaints that involve sex discrimination, not limited to Title IX Sexual Harassment;
  • file a complaint or make a report of a sex discrimination, not limited to Title IX Sexual Harassment;
  • notify the College of an incident that may raise potential Title IX concerns;
  • provide information about available resources; and
  • periodically evaluate and review the College’s policies and procedures related to sex discrimination, not limited to Title IX Sexual Harassment.

The Title IX Coordinator’s functions and responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate Title IX efforts including the development, implementation, and monitoring of appropriate disclosures, policies, procedures and practices designed to comply with federal and state legislation, regulation, and case law requiring the prompt and equitable resolution of all complaints pursuant to Title IX;
  • Provide leadership, direction and supervision for all activities and personnel of the Title IX program including consulting with relevant policy-making bodies and senior personnel for the purpose of advising, clarifying and identifying necessary action to eliminate sex discrimination in all educational programs and activities, to ensure that access to facilities, opportunities, and resources is gender equitable throughout the College;
  • Provide ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance on Title IX for all students including: students’ rights under Title IX, identifying  behaviors that constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment ; how to report Title IX Sexual Harassment; reporting options; understanding the College’s Complaint Procedure and Complaint Processes; the potential consequences for violating College policies; the role of alcohol and/or drug use; amnesty; consent; the importance of seeking prompt medical attention; prohibition against retaliation; and Bystander Intervention training;
  • Provide ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance on Title IX for all employees in areas including:  how to identify and report Title IX Sexual Harassment; the College’s responsibilities to address Title IX Sexual Harassment; recognizing warning signals; reporting Title IX Sexual Harassment to appropriate College officials; and information regarding confidential reporting options.
  • Provide ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance on Title IX for all Responsible Employees including: understanding their reporting obligations; confidentiality; students’ rights and remedies; and available student services.
  • Develop, implement and coordinate campus and/or school-based strategic efforts aimed at the prevention of sexual violence and other forms of sex discrimination;
  • Develop and disseminate educational materials, including brochures, posters, and web-based materials that inform members of the College community of Title IX rights, responsibilities and resources both within and external to the College;
  • Oversee prompt, effective, and equitable intake, investigation, processing, issuing of findings of fact or management of hearing process, and timely resolution of all Title IX Sexual Harassment matters, or cases otherwise involving sex discrimination made known to responsible employees and/or reported or filed by students, faculty, employees, third parties, or by members of the broader community;
  • Provide appropriate notice of an investigation; determine the extent of an investigation; oversee investigation efforts; ensure provision of initial remedial actions; assure compliance with timelines; deliver appropriate notice of charge, notice of investigation, notice of outcome, duty to warn, and remedies, and provide a repository for and source of institutional record-keeping;   
  • Provide guidance and assistance to alleged victims of Prohibited Conduct, including referral to support resources, notice of right to file internal grievances, notice of the right to grieve to the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and notice of the right to report incidents to law enforcement;
  • Coordinate the College’s notice to all applicants for admission and employment, students, parents or legal guardians of elementary and secondary school students, employees, and all unions, of the name or title, office address, electronic mail address, and telephone number of their designation as the Title IX Coordinator.
  • Organize and maintain grievance files, disposition reports, and other records regarding Title IX compliance, including annual reports of the number and nature of filed complaints and the disposition of said complaints, data collection, climate assessment, pattern monitoring; and
  • Serve as principal contact for government inquiries pursuant to Title IX.

Complaint Procedures

  1. General Information For All Complaints
  2. Application of Policy

Both below-listed complaint procedures are intended to provide a mechanism to investigate and where possible resolve complaints of alleged violations of this Policy against employees and students. The procedures outlined below are intended to ensure that the College will conduct an impartial, fair, effective, and efficient investigation of all allegations of violations of this Policy without fear of retaliation.  The complaint procedure is available to any employee or student, or applicant for employment or admission, who believes he/she has been subjected to Prohibited Conduct or Title IX Sexual Harassment as defined under this Policy.  A complaint filed in another forum does not preclude an individual from filing a complaint under this Policy.  Further, a complaint filed in another forum, including a criminal or civil complaint, shall not delay an investigation of a complaint filed under this Policy.

  1. Confidentiality of Process

The complaint procedure will be conducted as confidentially as reasonably possible to protect the privacy rights of all individuals involved.  The College may share information concerning the complaint with parties, witnesses and/or others during any phase of the procedure on a need-to-know basis and shall share information with union representatives as provided for in G.L. c.150E.  All individuals with whom information is shared shall be advised of the confidential nature of the information and directed not to discuss the matter with anyone other than an advisor, if applicable.

  1. Complainant Requests Confidentiality

Where a Complainant requests that no action be taken by the College or requests that her/his identity not be revealed, the College shall take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint, but shall inform the Complainant that such a request may hamper its ability to fully investigate an alleged violation of this Policy and/or to take appropriate remedial steps, including disciplinary action.  Where an allegation of Prohibited Conduct involves the potential of an ongoing threat to the health, safety or security of the College or a potential adverse employment action, the Affirmative Action Officer, or in the case of an allegation of  Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator, shall inform the Complainant that it cannot ensure confidentiality and disclosure of their name may likely be required.

  1. Off Campus Behavior

The College reserves the right to investigate alleged Prohibited Conduct under this Policy occurring off-campus when such conduct adversely affects the College Community, poses a threat of harm to the College Community; interferes with the College’s pursuit of its educational objectives and mission, and/or if a student or employee is charged with a serious violation of state or federal law.  Title IX Sexual Harassment occurs in the College’s education program or activity, against a person in the United States. Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the conduct occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.

  1. Supportive Measures

Title IX requires the College to take non-disciplinary/non-punitive reasonable steps to preserve or restore equal access to its education programs and activities and protect individuals from Prohibited Conduct and Title IX Sexual Harassment, including offering supportive measures before the final outcome of an investigation, irrespective of whether the complainant ever chooses to file a Formal Complaint. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College’s educational environment, or deter all forms of sexual harassment. The College shall take these steps promptly once it has notice of an allegation of Prohibited Conduct or Title IX Sexual Harassment. Examples of supportive measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Counseling;
  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments (for example: changing class schedule, withdrawal without penalty, providing student services such as tutoring, alternate class completion options);
  • Modifications of work schedules or job assignments;
  • Campus escort services;
  • Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
  • Changes in work or housing locations (if applicable);
  • Leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and
  • Other similar measures.

The specific supportive measures implemented and the process for implementing those measures will vary depending on the facts of each case.  The College will consider a number of factors in determining what supportive measures to take, including, for example, the specific needs expressed by each party; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on each party; whether the parties share the same classes, dining hall schedule, transportation, or job location; and whether other judicial measures have been taken to protect the victim (e.g., civil protection orders).

In general, when taking supportive measures, the College shall minimize the burden on each party.  The College must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the parties, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the supportive measures.

  1. Interim Action and Emergency Removal

The College reserves the right to suspend a student on an interim basis or place an employee on paid administrative leave prior to completing an investigation under this Policy when it reasonably concludes that a student or employee: (a) poses a threat to health or safety; (b) poses a threat to College property or equipment; (c) is disruptive or interferes with the normal operations of the College; or (d) is charged with a serious violation of state or federal law.  In such cases, the College shall provide the employee or student of the specific reason(s) for the interim action.  During a student’s interim suspension or an employee’s leave, the College reserves the right to prohibit the individual from entering upon the College’s property or participating in any College activities absent written authorization from an appropriate official of the College. 

In the case of a Title IX Sexual Harassment claim, the College must base its decision to institute interim action an (i.e., emergency removal) on the following factors: (1) It undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, (2) determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment justifies removal, and (3) provides the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.  A respondent subject to emergency removal from the Title IX Coordinator may appeal the decision per the Appeal procedure below in Step 4 of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process. The College shall make reasonable efforts to minimize disruption in the professional or educational experience of all affected parties.  The College, Complainant, and Respondent will take reasonable efforts to preserve all relevant materials to a complaint, including communications (e.g. email and voice) and documents. 

  1. Joint Investigation

In some circumstances a Responding Party’s conduct may constitute a potential violatiaon of this Policy and/or other conduct policies applicable to employees or students.  In such cases, in order to avoid duplicative investigatory efforts, a joint investigation under this Policy may be conducted by the AAO or, in the case of an alleged Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator, and the administrator charged with enforcing conduct policies.  For example, if the Responding Party is a student, the Affirmative Action Officer (or Title IX Coordinator if a Title IX Sexual Harassment is alleged) and Student Code of Conduct Officer may jointly investigate the complaint.  Based on the findings of their joint investigation, and subject to the limitations in "I, j. Amnesty" (below), the student may be subject to disciplinary action for violations of this Policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct.  Where the Responding Party is an employee, a joint investigation may be conducted by the Affirmative Action Officer (or Title IX Coordinator if a Title IX Sexual Harassment is alleged) and the employee’s supervisor.  Based on the findings of their joint investiregation, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action for violations of this Policy and/or for inappropriate and unprofessional conduct.

  1. Collateral Rights of Employees

Any disciplinary action taken against an employee shall be regarded as an administrative action subject to all terms and conditions of applicable collective bargaining agreements.

  1. Anonymous Report

Any individual may file an anonymous report concerning any Prohibited Conduct or Title IX Sexual Harassment referenced under this Policy.  An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the respondent or requesting any action.  An anonymous report may be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer or, in the case of an allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited (e.g. offering supportive measures to a Complainant of Title IX Sexual Harassment). 

  1. Amnesty 

Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the College’s drug/alcohol policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct.  While the College does not condone such behavior, it places a priority on addressing allegations of sexual violence. Accordingly, the College shall not pursue discipline against a student who, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of an incident of sexual violence unless the College determines that the report was not made in good faith or that the violation was egregious. An egregious violation shall include, but not be limited to, taking action that places the health and safety of another person at risk.

  1. False Charges

Filing a false charge under this Policy is a serious offense. If an investigation reveals that a complainant knowingly filed false charges, the College shall take appropriate actions and issue sanctions pursuant to other applicable College policies, including any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The imposition of such sanctions does not constitute retaliation under this Policy. A report made in good faith, however, is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of prohibited conduct.

  • Informal Resolution Procedures

Where appropriate, the parties to a dispute and/or the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator may attempt to reach an informal and prompt resolution of the matter. Informal resolution is encouraged and any of the parties involved may request the intervention of the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator to assist in resolving the matter informally. An informal resolution is achieved through open or closed dialogue between the parties that allows for the airing of any misunderstandings or disputed issues. The informal procedure shall not be used in an effort to resolve student allegations of any type of sexual harassment/violence asserted against an employee, or in cases involving sexual harassment/violence unless a Formal Complaint is filed. If the parties accept the informal resolution, its terms shall be reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator shall retain the document, with copies to the parties; thereafter, the matter shall be considered resolved between the parties. In the case where the Respondent is an employee, prior to execution of a resolution, they will be notified that a copy of the informal resolution may be placed in their personnel file. The parties may request from the College that an informal resolution not be placed in the Respondent’s personnel file; however, the College retains the sole discretion to approve or to deny this request. In cases where such request is denied, each party reserves their right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the Complaint process. All other documents related to the informal resolution of a Complaint shall be kept separate from the personnel file.  Further, at no time shall a responding party question or confront a Complainant, or engage a third party to do so, as such conduct may constitute intimidation and/or retaliation, which are strictly prohibited under this Policy.    

  1. Complaint Process

At any point during the complaint procedure, either party may request mediation by contacting the Affirmative Action Officer.  The purpose of mediation is to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties.  Mediation shall be mutually agreed upon by the parties. The Affirmative Action Officer, or designee, shall select an impartial mediator, who shall be mutually agreed upon and not unreasonably refused by either party, and inform the parties in writing of the mediation process and schedule. The mediator must have training or experience in mediating matters subject to this complaint process.  Where practicable, a mediation session shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days after agreed to by the parties.  The timelines presented under the Complaint Procedure shall be tolled pending the outcome of mediation. If mediation is successful in resolving the complaint, the Affirmative Action Officer shall reduce to writing the terms of the mediated resolution, which shall be signed by the parties.  If mediation does not result in a resolution, all mediation discussions shall remain confidential and may not be used or introduced in this process or any other forum.

Step 1 –  Investigation

When a Complainant believes that he/she has been subjected to Prohibited Conduct, the Complainant may file a written complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer.  For student Complainants, a complaint may be filed within thirty (30) days following the end of the instructional period when the Complainant knew or should have known of the grievable act.  For employee Complainants, a complaint may be filed within thirty (30) days from when the Complainant knew or should have known of the grievable act.   The complaint shall contain a statement of all known facts pertaining to the alleged violation and shall be filed preferably on the Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Form (see Appendix A).  If a student is involved, the Affirmative Action Officer shall notify the Vice President or Dean of Student Services.

During Step 1, the Affirmative Action Officer has the authority to seek to resolve the complaint through an administrative remedy.  If the parties accept the administrative remedy proposed, its terms shall be reduced to writing, signed by both parties and the Affirmative Action Officer shall retain the document, with copies to the parties.  Thereafter, the matter shall be considered resolved between the parties.

Upon receiving a written complaint, the Affirmative Action Officer will notify the Responding Party in writing, of the  complaint (see Appendix B), and provide the Responding Party with a copy thereof.  The timeliness of such notification shall be in accordance with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.  The Responding Party shall have ten (10) days from receipt of notice to submit to the Affirmative Action Officer a written response to the  complaint.  

Where practicable, within thirty (30) days from the date the Respondent’s written response is received, or the date it was due if none was submitted, the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct an investigation and prepare and issue a Report of Preliminary Findings to the parties.  The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, an analysis of the allegations and defenses presented, consideration of all relevant documents, including materials presented by the parties, interviews of the parties and other individuals and/or witnesses, and/or reviewing certain documents or materials in the possession of either party that the Affirmative Action Officer has deemed relevant to the complaint.  The Affirmative Action Officer’s report shall specify the investigation undertaken and summarize his/her preliminary findings.  The report shall be delivered to the parties in hand or by certified mail.  If the investigation is not completed within thirty (30) days, status updates shall be provided to the parties every thirty (30) days until it is completed.  Any request by a party to extend a deadline established under this procedure shall be presented in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer.

Thereafter, the parties will have ten (10) days from the date of their receipt of the Report of Preliminary Findings to submit Rebuttal Statements to the Affirmative Action Officer.  The parties may present no new allegations at that time.  Where practicable, within seven (7) days of receiving the parties’ Rebuttal Statements, the Affirmative Action Officer shall review the Rebuttal Statements and prepare and submit a Report of Final Findings and Recommendations to the President’s Designa cee for consideration.

Step 2 – Review and Decision by the President’s Designee

Unless good cause for additional time is shown, within seven (7) business days of receipt of the Affirmative Action Officer’s Report of Final Findings and Recommendations, the President’s Designee shall issue a written decision to the parties.  The written decision shall accept, reject or modify the Affirmative Action Officer’s Final Findings and Recommendations.  The Designee’s written decision shall be delivered in hand or by certified mail and shall include the Report of Final Findings and Recommendations.    If the President is the Responding Party in an Affirmative Action Complaint, then the Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees shall designate a Board member(s) as Designee to administer Step 2 of the Complaint Process.

Step 3 – Appeal to President

A party who is not satisfied with the Designee’s written decision may file an appeal with the President within five (5) days of receiving the Designee’s decision.  Where practicable, within five (5) days of receiving the appeal, the President shall issue a written decision accepting, rejecting or modifying the Designee’s decision.  The President’s decision is final provided that any corrective action and/or discipline imposed are subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements.

If the President is the Responding Party in an Affirmative Action Complaint, then the Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees shall consider the appeal and issue the written decision.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process

Formal Complaint Requirement

This Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process shall be available for allegations involving a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment.[1]  The College may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment against more than one Respondent, or by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations arise out of the same facts or circumstances.  A party may raise concerns to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) as to any consolidation; however, the College retains the right to proceed with any consolidation in its sole discretion.

[1] A College may address sexual harassment affecting its students or employees that falls outside Title IX’s jurisdiction, including by providing supportive measures or pursuing discipline consistent with applicable policies.

Jurisdiction of the College

By simultaneous written notice to the parties, the College must dismiss any Formal Complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of Title IX Sexual Harassment, if the conduct alleged:

  • Would not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment as defined, even if proven;
  • Did not occur in the College’s education program or activity; or
  •  Did not occur against a person in the United States.

The College may dismiss any Formal Complaint for the purposes of Title IX Sexual Harassment if:

  • A Complainant withdraws the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein;
  • The Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the College; or
  • Specific circumstances prevent the College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or allegations therein.[2]

In the case that a Formal Complaint is precluded from review under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for jurisdiction purposes, the College reserves the right to address such other complaints under the Complaint Process (found herein at Section L., II.).

Step 1 – Investigation

Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint (preferably in the format of Appendix C), the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) must promptly contact the Complainant confidentially to discuss the availability of supportive measures and resources, consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to these supportive measures, and explain to the Complainant the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process.  If a student is involved, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the Vice President or Dean of Student Services. 

Within five (5) days of receiving a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Respondent in writing of the Formal Complaint (see Appendix D), provide the Respondent with a copy thereof and discuss supportive measures.  The timeliness of such notification shall be in accordance with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.  The Respondent shall have five (5) days from receipt of notice to submit to the Title IX Coordinator a written response to the Formal Complaint.  

1A College may address sexual harassment affecting its students or employees that falls outside Title IX’s jurisdiction, including by providing supportive measures or pursuing discipline consistent with applicable policies. 2This decision may be appealed consistent with the appeal procedure in Step 4 below.

Where practicable, within fifteen (15) days from the date the Respondent’s written response is received, or the date it was due if none was submitted, the Title IX Coordinator shall conduct an investigation and issue all evidence3 gathered to the parties (and Advisors) for review and written response within ten (10) days upon their receipt.4 Upon receipt of said parties’ written response(s), or the date they were due if none were submitted, the Title IX Coordinator will have ten (10) days to complete and send an investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence to each party (and Advisor) for their review and written response within ten (10) days upon their receipt. Within ten (10) days of receipt, the Title IX Coordinator shall review the responses (if any) and prepare and submit the final investigative report including all relevant evidence (and including a section denoting all evidence submitted that was found by the Title IX Coordinator not to be relevant) to the Decision Maker; simultaneously, the Title IX Coordinator shall notice all parties of a hearing date that shall take place no later than ten (10) days later. 

Any request by a party to extend a deadline established under this Procedure shall be presented in writing to the Title IX Coordinator.

Step 2 – Hearing

In general, hearings will proceed as follows:

a. The Decision Maker5 shall summarize the Hearing Policy and allow the Title IX Coordinator the opportunity to briefly state the allegations and summarize the investigative report.

3A College cannot access or use a party’s medical, psychological or similar treatment record unless it obtains the party’s voluntary, written consent to do so.

4All parties (and their Advisors) are strictly prohibited from disseminating any of the evidence subject to inspection and review, or from using such evidence for any purpose unrelated to the Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process.

5A College’s Title IX Coordinator, Decision Maker, investigators and any college-chosen advisor must receive training on this Policy, issues of relevance, and how to apply the rape shield protections (see first paragraph of Hearing Policy) provided only for Complainants.

b. Each party’s advisor will be given the opportunity to question the other party and any witnesses by presenting questions to the Decision Maker (including questions on credibility). If the Decision Maker determines a question is relevant, the other party will be asked to respond.

c. The Decision Maker shall have a final opportunity to question the parties.

d. The Decision Maker will conclude the hearing by informing the parties that they will issue a decision to the parties and their advisors within ten (10) days, and that it will be based upon a Preponderance of the Evidence standard (i.e.; more likely than not).

Hearing Policy

Questions and evidence about a Complainant’s prior sexual behavior will be deemed irrelevant unless offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged misconduct or offered to prove consent.

If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the College will choose a trained member of the community, to conduct cross examination on behalf of that party. All advisors are limited to active participation in the question and follow-up cross-examination part of the live hearing. Further, Advisors are the only parties allowed to present questions (cross-examination or otherwise) to the Decision Maker.

Generally, live hearings may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location.  At the request of either party, the College must provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Decision Maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.

Only relevant questions or cross-examination questions may be asked of a party or witness. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision-Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain to the party’s Advisor asking cross-examination questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

Formal rules of evidence applied in courtroom proceedings (e.g., Massachusetts Evidence Code) do not apply in the hearing. The Decision Maker will make an official audio recording of the hearing. The recording is College property. No other recording of the hearing is permitted. The audio recording will be retained by the Title IX Coordinator in accordance with the College’s records/information retention and disposition schedule. The College shall grant accces to the recording to the parties for inspection and review. The parties are prohibited from making any copies of such recording. The recording shall only be released in compliance with applicable discovery proceedings in any future legal/administrative proceedings.  The Decision Maker controls the hearing, is responsible for maintaining order during the hearing, and makes whatever rulings are necessary to ensure a fair hearing. The Decision Maker's decisions in this regard are final.

Step 3 – Review and Decision by the Decision Maker

Unless good cause for additional time is shown, the Decision-Maker must issue a written determination regarding responsibility to all parties (and their Advisors) simultaneously, within seven (7) business days of the hearing.  The written determination must include — Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment; A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held; Findings of fact supporting the determination; Conclusions regarding the application of the College’s code of conduct to the facts; A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the Respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided by the College to the Complainant; and The College’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.  The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effectuating any remedies including referral to appropriate College administrators as may be applicable.

Step 4 – Appeal to the President

A party who is not satisfied with the Title IX Coordinator’s decision to implement an emergency removal or dismiss a Formal Complaint; or, the Decision Maker’s written decision may file an appeal with the President within five (5) days of receiving said decision, respectively on the following bases: procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter, newly discovered evidence that could affect the outcome of the matter, and/or that any Title IX personnel (including the Decision Maker) had a conflict of interest or bias, that affected the outcome of the matter.  Where practicable, within five (5) days of receiving the appeal, the President shall issue a written decision simultaneously to all parties, accepting, rejecting or modifying the decision, describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result.  The President’s decision is final provided that any corrective action and/or discipline imposed are subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements. If the President is the Respondent, then the Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees shall consider the appeal and issue the written decision.

Closing Due To Inclement Weather

The QCC Inclement Weather Line number is 508.854.4545. Information is also available on the QCC website at www.QCC.edu/weather

Emergency Evacuation Procedure Section I

To Report A Fire

  1.   All fires (or possible fires evidenced by smoke, the smell of burning materials, etc.) should be reported immediately as follows: Dial 4444 – Report Fire: Pull The Nearest Fire Alarm

Section II – Fire Safety Plan for Students and Staff

Please follow the applicable steps whenever the fire alarm in your building sounds:

  1. Students must quickly exit the building by using the nearest exits. (The evacuation route is denoted by red EXIT signs in corridors and other appropriate places. A fire exit sign is located on the wall immediately adjacent to the corridor door(s) of all classrooms.
  2. When the classroom has been emptied, the faculty member, where practical, checks to see that all windows and secondary exits are closed and all electrical and gas devices are turned off. The lights should be left on. He/she then leaves, making sure the classroom corridor door is unlocked and closed, where practical, and exits the building following the evacuation route noted in Step 1.
  3. Anyone located in the Cafeteria, Bookstore, Auditorium, Learning Resource Center, Lounges, etc., will evacuate the premises immediately by using the closest available exit.
  4. Students and/or other visitors in offices will immediately be told to leave and follow the evacuation route noted in Step 1.
  5. When those evacuating reach the outside, they are to keep moving until they are at least 500 feet away from the building.
  6. At no time should an elevator be used as a means of exit.
  7. No one may re-enter the building until authorization is received from the fire department or Public Safety personnel.
  8. Any person found to falsely pull a fire alarm will be cited or arrested for his/her actions. Under MGL 269 Section 13. $500.00 fine or up to 1 year in House of Corrections.
  9. Also a person that sets off a fire extinguisher as a prank can be charged under MGL 266 Section 126A Malicious or Wanton/Defacing property.

Building Occupants

Staff, faculty and students are  responsible to learn the locations of exits and fire alarm pull stations, as well as the evacuation locations by buildings.

Building occupants will evacuate upon hearing a fire alarm and report immediately to the building’s designated evacuation location. For example: If you are in a meeting located in the Administration Building when the incident occurs, report to the Administration building evacuation location. Once the building is evacuated, no one will be allowed to re-enter until Campus Police, your Building Assistant or an ER Team Member gives the “ALL CLEAR.”

Once in the designated evacuation  location, remain there and seek the guidance and directives of the ER Team  member or Building Assistant, who will be easily identified by bright colored  vests. 
The ER Team Member or Building  Assistant will have updated information (as soon as practical) and will need  your complete cooperation.

Evacuation for Handicapped Students and Staff

Important:

  1. Evacuation points are designated as a landing in the nearest accessible stairway.
  2. At no time are elevators to be used as means of Exit.
  3. To avoid injuries, a handicapped person, where possible should be evacuated after others.
  4. When ever possible a handicapped person should not be left unattended at any time during an emergency. Staff are requested to assist the handicapped person to the nearest accessible stairwell when the fire alarm in  that building is sounded.

Fire Department personnel will be  responsible for checking these areas as applicable.  During scheduled drills, there will be  no need for the handicapped person to exit the building. 

During an unscheduled alarm, the  Public Safety Department and Fire department personnel will make and implement  the decision on whether or not to transport a handicapped person out of the  building.

The Fire Department personnel will  advise the handicapped person when it is safe to re-enter the building.

Outdoor Evacuation Locations by Building

  • Administration Building – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the front lawn (West Boylston St. side) at least 500 feet from building. Do not block roadway for emergency vehicle access.
  • Child Study Center – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the north lawn directly across Assumption Avenue.  Do not block roadway for emergency vehicle access.
  • Ahlfors Building – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the lawn area of the Grotto (adjacent to the Fuller Student Center).
  • Fuller Student Center – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the lawn toward West Boylston Street, at least 500 feet from the building.
  • Surprenant/Hebert Auditorium – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the lawn toward West Boylston Street. Do not block roadway for emergency vehicle access.
  • Harrington Learning Center – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the lawn area by the baseball field. Do not block roadway for emergency vehicle access.
  • Athletic Center (Field House) – Exit building at the closest and safest location and report to the lawn area by the baseball field. Do not block roadway for emergency vehicle access.

The process for obtaining emergency assistance ON CAMPUS is as follows:

  1. When an emergency occurs on campus, it should be reported to the Campus Public Safety Office by dialing extension 4444 and describing the situation in detail to the person responding. This procedure is to be followed at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Campus Public Safety will respond to the call and make appropriate decisions regarding the situation.
  3. If the situation requires outside assistance such as fire, police, or ambulance service, Campus Public Safety will be responsible for contacting the appropriate outside agency.

Active Shooter Threat

 While encountering an active threat on campus is remote, we encourage members of the campus community to review these guidelines. In an emergency situation, your knowledge and awareness can make a critical difference. Working together we can provide a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.

What is an active threat?

An "active threat" is defined as any incident which creates an immediate threat or presents an imminent danger to the campus community.  In addition to offenders armed with firearms (active shooters), other types of weapons or instruments may be used by those who want to cause harm. One or more assailants may be involved. They may be very near or far away, at one or several locations, targeting students, faculty/staff, or random victims. No two situations are exactly alike.

Trust your instincts!

If there is a shooter or assault, try to remain calm. Your actions will influence others. A survival mindset can help you and those around you avoid catastrophe. Cooperate in taking responsibility for your personal safety and security.

Are you able to evacuate?

  • Try to stay calm and determine the location of the threat.
  • Warn other faculty, staff, students and visitors to take immediate shelter.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible, although escaping is your priority.
  • If a safe exit does exists, take it as quickly as possible.
  • Continue running until you are well cleared from the location of the threat. Find a safe location and call 911 to tell the police of your location.

If the only exit is through a window, consider the consequences of the fall:

  • How high are you from the ground?
  • Can you land in shrubs or grass to decrease the potential for serious injury?
  • Can you make an improvised rope out of clothing, belts or other items?

If you cannot evacuate:

  • Try to stay calm and determine the location of the threat.
  • Take shelter in the nearest office, classroom, closet or other area which can be secured. Barricade the door using desks, bookshelves, or other heavy objects. If the door opens outward, attach one end of a belt, scarf, rope to the door handle and the other end to a heavy object.
  • If the door has a window, cover it.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Look for other possible escape routes, such as windows or other doors.
  • Call 911 and tell them what is happening. Speak quietly and then set your cell phone to vibrate or silent. If you can't speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place. Normally the location of a 911 call can be determined without speaking.
  • Stay low to the ground and remain as quiet as possible.
  • Once in a secure location, do not open the door for anyone. Do not approach police officers as they attempt to locate and neutralize the threat. The police officers will return to assist you once the threat has been neutralized.
  • When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

Is there an active shooter in your presence?

If you are in a crowded room and the threat is shooting, "play dead" or quietly crawl to safety. Do not attempt to make contact with the individual, unless no other option is available.

If you are with a group, as an action of last resort, you might choose to take the offense:

  • If the shooter is entering the room, position yourself in location that allows for an element of surprise.
  • Throw anything available at the threat. Aim for the face to distract him/her.
  • Attack as a group, swarming around the threat.
  • Grab the threat's arms, legs or head and take him/her to the ground. Use body weight to secure him/her.
  • "Fight dirty" - kick, bite, gouge eyes.
  • Have someone in the group call 911.
  • When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

Have you apprehended the offender?

  • Make sure the suspect is secured (body weight, belts, etc.)
  • Move any possible weapons away from the threat.
  • Do not hold a weapon.
  • Call 911 and advise law enforcement that the threat/shooter is down.
  • Provide your location and stay on the line if possible.
  • When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Give the location of the shooter/offender(s).
  • Tell officers the number of shooter/offender(s).
  • Provide a physical description of the shooter/offender(s)
  • Describe the type and number of weapons.
  • DO NOT approach officers.
  • DO NOT point.
  • DO NOT scream or yell.
  • DO NOT pose a threat.
  • Remain quiet.
  • Follow directions.

Take a few minutes to view Run, Hide, Fight

Emergency telephones

Telephones have been installed at strategic locations around the campus. The purpose of these phones is to offer faster response time for students and staff who may be experiencing an emergency situation.

These phones are activated by pushing the large square button on the front. By pushing the button, students or staff will be put into immediate direct contact with someone who can summon the appropriate emergency personnel. Users should speak clearly and give a brief description of the emergency and the location of the phone. The red sign next to each phone identifies the exact location of the phone.

Emergency Telephone Locations:

  • Administration Building: Sub-basement, Basement Cafeteria
  • Bookstore: Basement beside service elevator/cafeteria, Basement beside main elevator, 1st floor beside service and main elevators, 2nd floor beside service and main elevators, 3rd floor beside service and main elevators, 4th floor beside room 416A
  • Surprenant Building: Basement level beside elevator, 1st floor beside elevator, 2nd floor beside elevator, 3rd floor beside elevator, 4th floor beside elevator
  • Athletic Center: First floor East entrance beside athletic office (1-G), Lower Fitness Level (2-G), Women’s Locker Room (3-G), Men’s Locker Room (4-G)
  • Ahlfors Building: Front hallway by the men’s room (1-AL)
  • Child Study Center: 1st floor hallway beside closet (1-C)
  • Student Parking Lots: BOX 1 Parking Lot #1 (Adjacent center stairs), BOX 2 Parking Lot #1 (Sidewalk across from Harrington Learning Center), BOX 3 Parking Lot #2 (Center of parking lot), BOX 4 Parking Lot #3 (Sidewalk across from Athletic Center), BOX 5 Parking Lot #3 (Center of parking lot), BOX 6 Parking Lot #4 (Near Athletic Field)

Student Suicide Prevention Protocol

The College recognizes that a student’s physical, behavioral, and emotional health is an integral component of a student’s academic success at the College.  The purpose of the protocol is to protect the health and well-being of all students by having procedures in place to identify, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicidal behavior. The policy is activated when the College has actual knowledge that a student is actively engaged in suicidal behavior, has previously engaged in suicidal behavior while enrolled at the College or recently before matriculation, or has stated plans or intentions to commit suicide. A student who engages in any of these behaviors may be required to comply with the College’s Re-Entry Policy before being permitted to resume classes. The Student Suicide Prevention Protocol is administered by the Dean of Student’s Office and copies of that policy or the College’s Re-Entry Policy are available in the Dean’s Office.

Parking

All students/visitors are required to park ONLY in the upper five parking lots located on the east side of the campus. Lot 1 row 1 is designated staff/faculty parking until 4:00 pm. Any overflow will be on the soccer field only when directed by QCC Police and end at 3:00 pm. Parking decals ARE required and may be obtained at at the Athletic Center.

Medical Parking Permits

Students who are disabled permanently or temporarily may apply for a special medical parking permit through the Office of Disability Services, Room 246A, located on the second floor of the Administration Building. As part of this process, applicants will be required to fill out an application form and have their physician sign and authorize the application for the obtainment of special parking privileges.

Motorcycle Parking

All motorcycles are to be parked in the designated motorcycle parking are located on the southwest corner the Administration Building adjacent the rotary. Decals are not required.
Violations of the parking regulations will result in Commonwealth of Massachusetts parking violations and can lead to non-renewal of license and registration and/or vehicle being towed.

The parking fee is $20, per semester, fall and spring.

Prohibited Parking Areas – Tow Away Zones

The following parking/traffic procedures authorize the towing of vehicles parked or standing, in such manner or in such areas are further described, or in any way under the control Quinsigamond Community College.Fees: All towing and storage of towed vehicles will be at the owner’s expense. Towed vehicles may be picked up from the towing contractor upon the showing of proper identification and making the required payment. All fees levied shall abide by the laws of the State set forth by Massachusetts General Laws and shall follow the outlined structure below:

If a tow is called in and then cancelled, and if the truck has not left the towing company’s yard, there shall be NO CHARGE levied to the owner of the vehicle. Once any piece of towing equipment has been attached to the vehicle, A TOW FEE WILL BE LEVIED and it will be up to the vehicle owner/operator to negotiate with the tow company. The Department of Public Safety cannot provide transportation to the towing company. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner or operator of the vehicle to find transportation to the tow company.

  • Fire Lane -- No parking is permitted in any area designated as a fire lane via painted lines and/or posted signs.
  • Emergency Vehicle Access Lanes -- No parking is permitted in any area designated for Fire, Police, or Ambulance. These areas also include the service roads on campus and the areas around the entrance to campus buildings, as well as all campus roadways. They are considered TOW ZONES STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Solid Green Markings -- These areas are no parking areas. They are considered TOW ZONES STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Loading Zones -- The areas designated as loading zones have appropriate signage identifying their locations. Dumpster locations are also considered loading zone areas. They are considered a TOW ZONE.
  • Escorts -- Members of the Public Safety Staff are available to escort students from their classroom building to the upper lots. If you would like to access this service contact: Public Safety at 508.854.4444. Campus Police TTY 508.854.2805
  • Handicapped/Reserved Parking -- Handicap and Reserved Parking areas are clearly marked by appropriate lines and signage. This regulation is TOW ZONE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Overnight Parking -- Overnight parking from 10:00 pm–6:00 am is prohibited on campus. Extenuating circumstances that dictate a vehicle to be left overnight, must be approved through the Campus Police.

Any Vehicle that has received five or more parking violations is subject to being towed, as are those vehicles that are found to be parked in areas designated as TOW ZONES:

  •  Upon any sidewalk – Upon any crosswalk
  •  Within (10) feet of a fire hydrant – Blocking a Driveway – Obstructing exit or entrance
  •  In front of any barricade temporarily or permanently erected
  •  On land not designed for vehicular traffic such as walks, lawns, and open fields
  •  In front of a gateway, entrance or other open area

THESE ARE CONSIDERED STRICTLY ENFORCED TOW ZONES

Traffic Rules

  • The speed limit on campus is 10 M.P.H. (unless otherwise posted)
  • Please observe all STOP, DO NOT ENTER, ONE WAY, ARROWS, signage, etc.
  • Do not drive or park on walks, paths or grassy areas.
  • Observe all crosswalk markings by allowing pedestrians the right of way.

Any vehicle with five or more unpaid violations will be placed on a Tow List. When found, these vehicles will be towed by the Campus Police. Vehicles will continue to be towed until the existing tickets have been paid.

Parking Fines

Penalties established pursuant to Section 13, Chapter 15A, General Laws of the Commonwealth.

1Failure To Display Parking Decal$20
2Parked In A Lot Where Decal Does Not Apply$20
3Overnight Parking$25
4More Than 12" From The Curb$20
5Parking On Or Over Space Markings$20
6Double Parking$25
7One Way Operation$25
8Blocking Gateway, Entrance To Field
Service Road Or Pathway
$20
9Counterfeiting, Altering, Defacing, Or
Transferring A Registration Or Decal
$25
10Parking In Delivery Or Service Zone$20
11Parked Upon Crosswalk Or Sidewalk$25
12Firelane (Subject To Immediate Tow)$30
13Obstructing Snow Removal (Subject To Immediate Tow)$20
14Parked In Tow Zone (Subject To Immediate Tow)$30
15Parking On Land Not For Vehicular Traffic$30
16Emergency Vehicle Area (Subject To Immediate Tow)$30
17Obstructing Building Entrances Or Exits
(Subject To Immediate Tow)
$30
18Parked In A Reserved Space (Subject To Immediate Tow)$30
19Failure To Stop$50
20Disregard Of Police Officer’s Direction$25
21Failure To Stop For Pedestrian In Crosswalk$100
22Within 10' Of Fire Hydrant$50
23Handicap Parking  (Subject To Immediate Tow)$200
24Blocking A Handicap Ramp$200
25Exceeding Campus Speed Limit$50
26Littering From A Motor Vehicle$25
27Other$20–$200
 

Weapons and Firearms Policy

Except for authorized law enforcement purposes, no weapons of any kind are allowed on QCC campus. (Consistent with the College’s Code of Conduct).

For more information, visit the Campus Police website.

We hope your experience at QCC is rewarding. However, if a situation develops that you feel a need or desire to report, please reach out to the appropriate contact person below.

Safety Issues

For violations of the law including assault, vandalism, alcohol/drug use, stalking, or if you just don’t feel safe, contact the Campus Police at 508.854.4444.

Accessibility Issues

For accessibility concerns, contact the ADA Compliance Officer at 508.854.2791. To request accommodations to access programming, or within your class contact Student Accessibility Services at 508.854.4471. Learn more about Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity.

Discrimination Issues

If you feel discriminated against because of race, creed, color, religion, natural origin, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or veteran status, contact the Assistant Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer at 508.854.2757. Learn more about Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity.

Academic Issues

For academic Issues, start with your professor. If the issue isn’t resolved or you can’t reach your professor, make an appointment to see the Dean of the School in which the course is taught. If you are unsure of whom the Dean is, contact the Academic Affairs office at 508.854.4384.  See the Student Grievance Police/grades. College Policies.

Student and Staff Issues

For concerns involving other students’ conduct including violations of the campus conduct code or to complain about a staff member or another student, contact the Dean of Students at 508.854.4294.

Formal Process

Most problems can be solved informally, but there is a formal Student Grievance Procedure which is outlined  in the Student Handbook. Contact the Dean for Compliance and Education at 508.854.2791 for more information.

State Process

For Massachusetts residents the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education attempts to provide an avenue for informal resolution of matters concerning institutions. The Department cannot require an institution to take any specific action in a mater and cannot provide legal advice. You can contact the Massachusetts Department of Education. You may also contact the Massachusetts Attorney General.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Complaint Procedures

Massachusetts recently passed legislation to join the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

Students enrolled in online courses who are residents of states other than Massachusetts, and when such state is a SARA participating state, may submit complaints to the attention of Dean Kenneth Dwyer by email at DistanceEd [at] qcc.mass.edu. Efforts will be made to determine the appropriate course of action, and the student will be notified within 10 days following the receipt of a complaint.

If the attempt to resolve the complaint via internal institutional processes fails, students enrolled in online courses who are residents of states other than Massachusetts, and when such state is a SARA participating state, may appeal the College's decision to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education which makes complaint forms available on its website.

The contact information for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is:

One Ashburton Place Room 1401 Boston, MA 02108 617.994.6950

Quinsigamond Community College will not in any way retaliate against an individual who reports a perceived violation of QCC policy, state, federal, or local law. Further, QCC will not tolerate retaliation by any employee or student.

670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606. 508.853.2300, 508.852.6943

Student Grievance Policy

Policy Goal: Conflict Resolution

Before invoking the Student Grievance Procedure, a reasonable effort shall be made by those involved in a dispute to resolve it amicably.  A dispute is most effectively handled and resolved by those closest to the problem, having the best understanding of the issues, and having the ability to formulate a mutually acceptable resolution. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the student, the potential subject of a Grievance, and the College to resolve disputes through open and cooperative dialogue.  Only when such efforts are unsuccessful should the Student Grievance Procedure be invoked.  Throughout all phases of the Student Grievance Procedure, all reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain confidentiality in accordance with applicable law.

Definitions

  1. Complaint: the informal, unwritten stage of an allegation of mistreatment.
  2. Day: as used in this policy, shall mean a calendar day.
  3. Grievance: a written grievance filed by a student with the person designated by the President as the Student Grievance Officer specifically alleging an abridgment of his or her rights as a student.
  4. Grievant: the student filing the Grievance.  The Grievant must have been a registered student of the College at the time of the alleged mistreatment.
  5. Instructional Period: the academic semester, summer session or winter/intersession when a grievable act or omission occurs.  The Instructional Period shall end on the last day of final exams.
  6. Responding Party: the person against whom a complaint or Grievance is directed.
  7. Senior Officer: senior level employee who reports to the President for the Responding Party's work area.
  8. Student Grievance Officer: a College employee assigned responsibility for administering the Student Grievance Procedure, including the maintenance of specified records.  The Student Grievance Officer shall ordinarily be the Senior Student Affairs Officer.  If this individual is the person against whom the Grievance is filed, the President shall designate another College official to act as the Student Grievance Officer.
  9. Substantial Evidence of Error or Injustice: for purpose of Grade Appeals, substantial evidence of error or injustice is defined as:
    1. The assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; or
    2. The assignment of a course grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied by the same instructor to other students in that course; or
    3. The assignment of a course grade by a substantial, unreasonable and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards.
  10. Time: the number of days indicated at each level shall be considered as a maximum.  All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite the process, but the President or his/her designee may extend the time limits in extenuating circumstances with notice to both parties in writing, or by mutual written agreement between the Grievant and the Responding Party.

Utilizing The Student Grievance Procedure

The Student Grievance Procedure may be used by a student to address alleged abridgment of the student's rights, as stated in the College's Student Handbook and/or Policy Guide. The student Grievant or the Responding Party may consult with the Student Grievance Officer at any time.  The College's Student Grievance Officer is the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services or designee.

The Student Grievance Procedure may not be used to address allegations of discrimination, including sexual harassment.  When a student believes that he/she has been discriminated against due to his/her race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or national origin, the College's Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure is a mechanism for resolution. The College's Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure is contained in the College's Affirmative Action Plan. The College's Affirmative Action Officer is located in the Human Resources office.

If a Grievance involves a grade dispute, a student shall process the Grievance in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedure. However, if a grade dispute raises issues of discrimination or sexual harassment, the Grievance should be processed in accordance with the College’s Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure and the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct the process in collaboration with the Senior Academic Officer or designee.

Claims of physical or sexual assault shall not proceed under the Student Grievance Procedure. A claim of physical assault alleged against a student shall be reported to the Code of Conduct Officer. A claim of physical assault alleged against an employee shall be reported to the Human Resources Office. In both cases, law enforcement authorities shall also be notified. A claim of sexual assault shall be reported to the College’s Affirmative Action Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator and law enforcement authorities and shall proceed under the College’s Affirmative Action Plan. In matters involving physical or sexual assault, alleged victims are strongly encouraged to independently report the incident to the law enforcement authorities. The College’s Campus Police/Security Department can assist with the reporting process.

At any Level of the Student Grievance Procedure, either party may request mediation by contacting the Student Grievance Officer. Mediation shall be mutually agreed upon, and not unreasonably refused by either party.  The Student Grievance Officer shall select an impartial mediator who shall be mutually agreed upon and not unreasonably refused by either party, make the arrangements, determine the timetable for the mediation process, and inform the parties of the timetable in writing. Where practicable, a mediation session shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days after requested and agreed to by the parties. The purpose of mediation is to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. If a mediated resolution cannot be achieved, the Grievant may proceed with the Grievance Process. The Grievant has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of his/her own choosing and at his/her own expense throughout the grievance process. The advisor may be an attorney. An advisor’s role is limited to personally advising the Grievant only.  An advisor is not permitted to participate directly in any aspect of the grievance process.

Except for under extenuating circumstances, as determined by the President or his/her designee, failure by a party to comply with the Student Grievance Procedure during the course of a Grievance may result in the waiving of the noncompliant party's rights under the Procedure.

Level One:

Informal Procedure
This is the informal stage where most complaints are resolved. The Grievant and the Responding Party should consult with the Student Grievance Officer at this time. A Grievant initiates the informal phase of the Grievance process. The Grievant shall first present his/her complaint orally and informally to the Responding Party. This shall be done in a reasonable period of time, not exceeding thirty (30) calendar days following the instructional period when a grievable act or omission occurs. The Responding Party must respond to the Grievant's complaint within ten (10) days.  Though this phase of the process is informal, the parties may present their positions in writing.  If the matter is not resolved informally within ten (10) calendar days from the date a response to the complaint was due, the Grievant may proceed to Level Two.

Level Two:

Formal Procedure
Prior to filing a written Grievance at Level Two, a Grievant must consult with the Student Grievance Officer.  The Responding Party should also consult with the Student Grievance Officer at this phase of the process.

L2 – STEP ONE
The Student Grievance Officer shall notify the parties in writing when a complaint is not resolved informally at Level One.The Grievant may, within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Student Grievance Officer's written notice, file with the Student Grievance Officer a Grievance.  The Grievance shall contain the following information:  the name and title of the person(s) against whom the Grievance is directed, a statement of all known facts, documents and materials supporting the grievance, a list of individuals who have information pertinent to the grievance, and the relief sought by the Grievant.  All supporting documents, if any, shall be attached to the grievance as part of the Grievance. The Grievance shall also state the date it is filed and that it is being filed at "Level Two, Step One."

The Grievance may be filed with the Student Grievance Officer by email, regular mail, certified mail, or in hand.  Thereafter, the Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the Grievance, and all supporting documents, if any, to the Responding Party within five (5) calendar days.  If the Responding Party is unavailable at the time the Grievance is filed, the Student Grievance Officer shall use reasonable means to deliver the Grievance within a reasonable period of time.

The Responding Party shall forward a written Level Two - Step One response to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days of his/her receipt of the Grievance.  The Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the written response to the Grievant within five (5) calendar days of receipt.

L2 – STEP TWO (Supervisor Level)
If the Grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Grievant within ten (10) calendar days after his/her receipt of the Step One response, or if no written response is submitted, the Grievant may within ten (10) calendar days after the written response was received or due, request the Student Grievance Officer to forward the Grievance and response, if any, to the supervisor of the Responding Party, with a copy to the Senior Officer of the work area of the Responding Party.

The supervisor shall investigate the Grievance and confer with the Senior Officer. The supervisor shall forward his/her written decision to the Student Grievance Officer, within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Step Two Grievance. Thereafter, the Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the decision to the Grievant and the Responding Party within five (5) calendar days. At any time before the issuance of the Supervisor's Step Two decision, the Senior Officer may request that the parties meet to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it. Grade appeals do not go beyond this Step (Level Two - Step Two) per the section on Grade Appeals.
No new issues or allegations may be raised by either party after Step Two.

L2 – STEP THREE (Student Grievance Committee Level)
If the Grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Grievant within the period allowed at Level Two - Step Two, the Grievant may request a hearing before a Student Grievance Committee. Such a request must be in writing and presented to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days from the issuance of the Supervisor's Level Two - Step Two decision.

Within ten (10) calendar days of the Student Grievance Officer's receipt of the Grievant's request for a hearing, the Student Grievance Officer shall arrange a hearing before a Student Grievance Committee. The Student Grievance Officer shall use reasonable efforts to schedule the hearing at a time mutually convenient to the parties.  At least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing, the Student Grievance Officer shall provide each member of the Committee and all parties to the Grievance with copies of the Grievance, responses to the Grievance, decisions issued, and all relevant supporting documentation and materials.  The Committee's make-up and hearing rules are discussed later in this policy.

The Committee shall deliver its findings and recommendations to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days following the hearing. A copy of the Committee's findings and recommendations shall be delivered to the President or his/her designee, within five (5) calendar days of receipt.Within ten (10) calendar days of the President's receipt of the Committee's findings and recommendations, the President or his/her designee, shall issue a written statement accepting, modifying or rejecting the Committee's recommendations.

The decision of the President, or his/her designee, shall be final and binding on all parties.

Complaints or Grievances filed in connection with assigned grades represent a special case within the Grievance procedure. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student’s performance by the instructing professional(s). As such decisions are necessarily judgmental, the substance of those decisions may not be delegated to the Grievance process. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that in rare cases the process of grading may be subject to error or injustice.

Except as otherwise provided by separate appeals procedures for clinical programs as approved by the President of the College, a student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file a Grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure. A Grade Appeal Grievance shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two. For purposes of a Grade Appeal, the Chief Academic Officer of the College, or his/her designee, shall serve as the Student Grievance Officer throughout the Grade Appeal process.

If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed by the College or is not available within the timelines specified (see “Time” definition), the student may initiate his/her Level One complaint with the Chief Administrator of the appropriate instructional division (who shall be identified by the Chief Academic Officer).

If at any level substantial evidence of error is produced, the grading process may be remanded to the instructor of record for reassessment. If the instructor of record is no longer available, the Chief Administrator of the appropriate instructional division or his/her designee shall instead reassess the grading process.

Membership of the College Student Grievance Committee

The composition of the College's Student Grievance Committee shall consist of five members:  one student, one unit professional, one faculty member, one non-unit professional and one unit classified employee.  The President or his/her designee shall appoint each member from among the recommendations submitted by the Student Grievance Officer.

Service on the Committee shall be voluntary, provided that a member who has a personal interest in a particular Grievance shall be ineligible to serve on the Grievance Committee. All College employees serving on the Student Grievance Committee, and acting within the scope of their official duties on the Committee, shall be protected from liability to the full extent provided under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 258, and eligible for indemnification as provided for pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 258, Section 9.

All Student Grievance Committee members, as well as all others in attendance at a student Grievance proceeding, shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings. The Student Grievance Officer shall attend all Committee hearings but shall not vote.

Student Grievance Committee Hearing & Decision Guidelines

The following guidelines provide the framework for conducting a Student Grievance Committee Hearing:

  1. Prior to the hearing, the newly impaneled Committee shall meet to elect a Committee Chairperson.  The Chairperson shall be selected by a simple majority vote.
  2. The Chairperson on the Committee shall be responsible for conducting the hearing and drafting the decision of the Committee, but shall vote only in the event of a tie.
  3. All hearings shall be closed and deliberations of the Committee shall be confidential and conducted in private.
  4. The Grievant and the Responding Party shall be in attendance at the hearing.  Each party may be accompanied by an advisor at the hearing.  The advisor, however, may not participate in the hearing or question witnesses.  Either party may at anytime during a hearing consult in private with his/her advisor.
  5. Witnesses may be asked by the Committee to remain outside of the hearing room until they are called to testify.
  6. The Grievant will address the Committee first.  The Grievant will state the nature of his/her Grievance and may present relevant evidence and/or witnesses in support of the Grievance.
  7. The Responding Party may respond to the Grievant's allegations and present relevant evidence and/or witnesses in opposition to the Grievance.
  8. Once the parties have presented their respective positions, the Committee may question the parties and/or witnesses.
  9. After the Committee has questioned the parties, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other party and their respective witnesses.  All questions must be directed through the Committee.  If the Committee determines that a question is relevant to the Grievance, the party or witness to whom it is addressed will be asked to respond.
  10. Following the parties' questioning of each other, the Committee will have another opportunity to question the parties and witnesses.
  11. Hearings before the Committee shall not be subject to the formal rules of evidence. In all cases, the hearing shall be conducted in a fair and impartial manner.
  12. If a party to a Grievance fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the Committee has the discretion to proceed with the hearing and issue its findings and recommendations in the party's absence.
  13. The decision of the Committee shall be based on the relevant evidence presented at the hearing.  The decision shall be in writing and include:  a list of all documentary evidence and witnesses presented; a summary of the testimony offered by both parties and their respective witnesses; the findings of the Committee and its recommendations.  Copies of the decision and recommendations of the Student Grievance Committee shall be forwarded by the Student Grievance Officer to the President or his/her designee for review and final disposition.  The President or his/her designee shall accept, reject or modify the Committee’s decision and/or recommendations and issue a final written decision.
  14. All findings and decisions reached under this Procedure shall be based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard (i.e.; more likely than not). Any action taken hereunder shall be reasonable under the circumstances, in accordance with applicable College rules and procedures and be grounded in fundamental fairness.

Withdrawal

A student may withdraw his/her complaint or Grievance at any time.  Withdrawal must be accomplished in writing or by oral agreement confirmed in writing.

Retaliation

No member of the College community shall retaliate or threaten to retaliate against, interfere with, restrain, or coerce any student in the exercise of his/her rights under the Student Grievance Procedure or his/her participation in any Grievance proceedings.

Collateral Rights of Person Grieved by Student

If the recommendations made at any level of the Grievance procedure result in sanctions against a college employee, the sanctions shall be regarded as administrative actions subject to all conditions of applicable collective bargaining agreements and College or Board of Higher Education personnel policies.

Alternative Forums

Filing a Grievance in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedure in no way abrogates a student's right to file a complaint with an appropriate state or federal agency or in another forum.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol Consumption

Title XII Drug-Free Schools Act: In 1989, Congress amended Title XII of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This amendment, the “Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989,” requires that every educational institution, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, certify its adoption and implement programs designed to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. QCC, in accordance with legal mandates and its commitment to establishing and maintaining a supportive learning and working environment, has established the following policies for students and employees.

As required by the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Clery Act, this information is provided to all enrolled students and current employees of Quinsigamond Community College. Quinsigamond Community College prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and or alcohol on its property or as part of any campus activity. Students under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or having them in their possession, will be sanctioned under the College Code of Conduct.

Federal, state and local sanctions for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs range from probation and forfeiture of property to fines and imprisonment. For example, the sanctions against an individual for distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute, controlled substances include imprisonment for several years up to a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines up to $4 million. Sanctions can increase for repeat offenders or for offenses resulting in death or serious bodily harm, and can be doubled for each of the following occurrences: distribution to persons under 18 years of age, distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, including the College Campus School, or employing someone under 18 in the distribution. Attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime can be treated as severely as the intended offense. Many of the state and federal statutes that prohibit the illegal distribution of controlled substances provide for minimum mandatory prison sentences. Conviction for violation of any state or federal drug law can lead to ineligibility for any federal benefit, including grants and loans. Thus a student can make themselves ineligible for student loans through drug conviction. Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be “in the company” of a person known to possess heroin. Any person in the presence of heroin, risks conviction of a serious drug offense. Sale and possession of “drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Massachusetts

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol’s effect on you -- Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, physically affecting the whole body. Some illnesses and health problems caused by alcohol include:

  • Hangovers. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, aches and pains all result from drinking too much. Drinking to the point of drunkenness makes you sick.
  • Weight gain. Alcohol is not water. A beer has about 150 "empty" calories that provide few if any nutrients.
  • High blood pressure. Along with being overweight, high blood pressure is associated with many serious health problems.
  • Depressed immune system. Impaired immunity makes you more likely to contract viral illnesses such as flu and infections.
  • Cancer. 2-4% of all cancer cases are related to alcohol. Upper digestive tract cancers are the most common, hitting the esophagus, mouth, larynx, and pharynx. Women who drink prior to menopause are more likely to develop breast cancer. Your risk of skin cancer doubles if you drink slightly more than "moderate levels." Some studies implicate alcohol in colon, stomach, and pancreas and lung cancer. And let's not forget the liver...
  • Liver disease. Heavy drinking can cause fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. The liver breaks down alcohol at the rate of only one drink per hour.
  • Alcohol poisoning. Drinking large amounts can result in alcohol poisoning, which causes unconsciousness and even death. Breathing slows, and the skin becomes cold and may look blue. Don't let a person in this condition "sleep it off." Call 911.
  • Heart or respiratory failure. Excessive drinking can have serious results. Heart or respiratory failure often means death.

Possession, Use, Manufacture, or Distribution of Drugs

(Consistent with the Code of Conduct) Quinsigamond Community College complies with all state and federal laws with regard to the possession, use, manufacture, and/or distribution of unlawful substances. All such activities are strictly prohibited on all College property, in College vehicles, and at all off-campus College-sponsored events.

Marijuana Policy

Although Massachusetts law permits the use of medical marijuana and the possession, use, distribution and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts, federal law, including the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, prohibits the possession, use, distribution and/or cultivation of marijuana at educational institutions.  Further, as marijuana remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, institutions of higher education that receive federal funding are required to maintain policies prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana on their campuses.  Accordingly, the possession, use, distribution or cultivation of marijuana, even for medical purposes, is prohibited on all Community College property or at College sponsored events and activities.  Also prohibited is the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana on Community College property or at College sponsored events or activities.  Further, this policy prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of all marijuana accessories and marijuana products. Marijuana accessories shall include, but are not limited to, any devise or equipment used for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body.  Marijuana products shall include, but are not limited to, products that are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products. Violations of this policy by any student or employee shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination in accordance with applicable College policies or collective bargaining agreements.

Quinsigamond Community College recognizes the medical evidence that indicates that smoking is a serious health hazard, and that this health hazard extends to non-smokers subject to second-hand smoke. The College recognizes its responsibility in providing a healthful working and learning environment. As a result, QCC’s Board of Trustees voted to institute a SMOKEFREE campus policy as September 3, 2013. This student-driven initiative was established to create a campus culture of wellness and promote a tobacco-free future.

Smoking Policy

This policy pertains to all staff, students, and visitors on QCC campuses, in QCC facilities and in vehicles owned, operated and controlled by QCC. Definitions: “Smoking” or “smoke”. Possessing a lighted tobacco product or the lighting of a cigar, pipe or other tobacco product. The usage of E-cigarettes and Vaporizers is also included under this definition. Smoking is prohibited within the confines of college grounds, any college building, or college vehicles (smoking is only to be permitted in private vehicles on campus). This includes usage of E-cigarettes and vaporizers.The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.

Tools to Quit

To help make the transition as easy as possible, the college will offer tools and resources for students, faculty and staff affected by the policy. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of adult smokers want to quit and 40 percent try to quit every year. QCC is committed to helping you achieve this goal.

Tools to help you quit successfully may include:

  • Smoking cessation classes
  • Nicotine cessation products
  • Counseling

Resources

Information, Training, and Assistance

The College annually sponsors a variety of alcohol and drug education programs for students. The Office of Health and Wellness and the Counseling Office maintain a comprehensive list of support services in the community.

Notification to Families for Campus Alcohol Policy Violations

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act/Buckley Amendment, the campus may notify the parents or legal guardians of students under twenty-one years of age each time they have been determined to be in violation of the campus alcohol policy.

Children on Campus Policy

While Quinsigamond Community College is an open and welcoming campus, it is primarily an educational institution. As a general rule, children will not be permitted in the classroom, or in any other areas of the College where their presence may interfere with the learning or work environment. Students, visitors and staff need to be aware to the following parameters that the College has established concerning children on campus:

  • A parent, legal guardian, or a responsible adult must supervise children at all times on the QCC campus.
  • Children may be allowed in the classroom only with prior approval of the faculty member and not on a reoccurring basis.

Prior written approval must be obtained from the appropriate facility manager before a child can utilize campus facilities such as the Fuller Student Center, Math Center, General Academic Areas Tutoring Center, Writing Center or the Athletic Complex. The parent, legal guardian, or a responsible adult must be present at all time.

  • The staff in the Campus Children’s School supervise only children who are enrolled in the Campus Child Care program.

Quinsigamond Community College employees cannot be responsible for the care and supervision of children.

Electronic Communications

The college uses Qmail as an official means of communication with students.  All students are expected to read their college email regularly and respond appropriately. If students choose to forward their Qmail to another email provider, they are still responsible for receiving all college communications.  The college also has an Emergency Alert text messaging system. Students can choose to sign up for this service through The Q, the college’s student and faculty portal.

Information Systems Policy

  1. Introduction -- The Quinsigamond Community College Information System has been designed and developed to support and enhance information resources for the students, faculty, and staff of Quinsigamond Community College in their college related activities. This is accomplished by providing computing facilities including electronic mail capabilities, Internet access, and appropriate data access for on-campus use of the college community. The intent of this policy is not to limit usage but to ensure stability of both the academic and the computing environment. As such this policy is a dynamic document that will be modified as needed. This policy applies to all members of the College community and refers to all electronic resources at the College. Resources provided as part of the College’s Information System, including, but not limited to, electronic mail capabilities, Internet access, and appropriate data access, may be used only for college business, and/or for purposes specifically authorized by the College. Any person who uses the College Information System consents to all of the provisions of this policy and agrees to comply with all of its terms and conditions and with all applicable state, federal, and international laws and regulations. Violators of College policies are subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to loss of computer and network access privileges. All actions may be appealed by the user according to the established college appeal process.
  2. Disclaimer
    1. All systems hardware, software, and data are the property of Quinsigamond Community College and are subject to audit by the College and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
    2. Quinsigamond Community College may, at its own discretion, examine, move, or delete files, including electronic mail.
    3. The school makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the services it is providing.
    4. The College will not be responsible for any damages suffered while on this system, including loss of personal data due to system outages or irresponsible use.
    5. Quinsigamond Community College is not responsible for offensive material obtained by any user using college information systems.
  3. Information System Acceptable Use Policy
    1. Copying material bearing copyrights or patents without proper licensing or authority is prohibited.
    2. Accessing material or data belonging to other QCC information systems users without proper authority is prohibited.
    3. Using college information systems for political lobbying (see Appendix A) or commercial purposes is prohibited.
    4. To copy or remove software from College microcomputers is prohibited.
    5. Installation of system hardware or software by unauthorized personnel is prohibited.
    6. Use of college information systems that is offensive or harassing is prohibited. (see Appendix B)
    7. Use of college information systems which violates ANY college policy is prohibited.
    8. Viewing or transmission of any material that violates any state, federal, or international law is prohibited.
    9. Use of college information systems to gain unauthorized access to any system or data is prohibited.
  4. Electronic Mail Policy
    1. The College does not guarantee privacy or confidentiality of any electronic mail.
    2. Use of electronic mail to violate this or ANY College policy is prohibited.
    3. Any use of electronic mail which does not respect the image and reputation of the college is prohibited.
    4. The user bears sole responsibility for all transmissions using his/her assigned e-mail address.
    5. Concealment or misrepresentation of names, addresses, or affiliations in electronic mail is prohibited.
    6. Use of electronic mail for commercial purposes is prohibited.
    7. Use of electronic mail that is threatening or offensive or intended for harassment purposes is prohibited. (see Appendix B)
    8. Electronic mail is part of the business record of the college and may be inspected or subject to discovery in litigation and Freedom of Information Act requests.
  5. Prohibition on Viewing or Distributing Obscene Materials -- A user may not access, download, store, or transmit obscene materials through the college’s computer network system.
  6. Acceptance of Personal Responsibility -- The user is solely responsible for all materials viewed, stored, or transmitted from QCC-based computers. QCC expects, however, that users will comply with all College rules and state and federal laws related to Internet use. Failure to do so may result in the suspension or revocation of a user’s access privileges and disciplinary measures, including the possibility of civil and/or criminal liability as described in Appendix C.

Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy (appendices)

Appendix A

Pursuant to Massachusetts Campaign Finance Laws, no governmental resources (including computers, fax machines, modems, printers, and/or copy machines) may be used by any person (including a public employee, whether during work hours or otherwise) in order to promote or oppose a political candidate or ballot questions or for the purpose of disseminating materials that advocate a particular vote on a ballot question or a political candidate. Further, in addition to the prohibition of any type. A user may not access, download, store, or transmit obscene materials through the College’s computer network system.

Appendix B

No member of the community, under any circumstances, may use Quinsigamond Community College’s computers or networks to libel, slander, or harass any other person. The following shall constitute computer harassment: (1) using the computer to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend, or bother another person by conveying obscene language, pictures, or other materials, or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family; (2) using the computer to contact another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists, and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease; (3) using the computer to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have the legal right to communicate, once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that he or she desires such communication to cease; (4) using the computer to disrupt or damage the academic research, administrative, or related pursuits of another; and (5) using the computer to invade the privacy, academic or other- wise, of another, or the threatened invasion of privacy of another.

Appendix C

Any user that violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Further, inappropriate use, whether intentional or not, may result in civil and/or criminal liability, and/or a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Laws, defamation, copyright and/or trademark infringement laws and/or sexual harassment and discrimination laws.

Appendix D

Authority to perform audit and discovery procedures can only be given by the President or the President’s designee. Occasionally, to preserve system security and stability, it is necessary to perform actions that result in the loss of data or the removal of software. Whenever possible, the user will be notified prior to any action taking place. However if system security or stability is at risk, the action will be performed first and the user will be notified at the earliest possible convenience.

Pluralism

The Community Colleges have historically been a major contributing element to the emergence of our nation as one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies of the world. The important role that the Community Colleges can play is profoundly dependent upon the extent to which they may draw from the full collective of intellectual resources within each College’s community of scholars, students, and administrators. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequence for the development of our Commonwealth and, ultimately, our nation.

Community college students, faculty, staff and visitors must be free from conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and creating and intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment. Therefore, the Community Colleges establish a policy of unequivocal condemnation of all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial intolerance within the fifteen college communities.

This policy condemns all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying to an individual his/her rights guaranteed under the law. The policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for pluralism and the pre-eminence of the individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community that recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons while recognizing and reaffirming the tenets of academic freedom. The Community Colleges recognize their obligation to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing herein shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other federal and state laws.

The Community Colleges will vigorously strive to achieve diversity sufficiently reflective of our society. However, diversity alone will not suffice. There must be a unity and cohesion in the diversity which we seek to achieve, thereby creating an environment of pluralism. The Community Colleges bear a responsibility by edict and an obligation  by social morality to promote understanding and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious and racial diversity as we strive to create an atmosphere of dignity for all individuals and groups within our system of higher education. The President or his/her designee will take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to effect a remedy or resolution when an allegation is determined to be valid.

Solicitation Policy

The College President shall ensure that the following policy guidelines are implemented and administered on her respective campus in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner and without discrimination on grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, age or sex.
In an effort to ensure non-interference with the educational activities and business operations of the College, the College President or his/her designee shall prohibit all private profit and nonprofit organizations, agencies and/or otherwise permitted as follows:

  1. The College President or his/her designee may permit federal, state and municipal agency representatives to have access to the campus for any purpose for which said agency representatives are legally authorized to do so; provided, however, the College President or his/her designee retains the authority to regulate the time, place and manner of such access to minimize any interference with the educational activities and business operations of the College.
  2. The College President or his/her designee may, upon request, waive the general prohibition against soliciting as stated above upon determination that (a) the purposes of the campus solicitations shall be for the general interest or benefit of the College, students, faculty, or staff; and (b) the proposed solicitation shall not disrupt the continuity of business operations and/or educational activities of the College.
  3. The College President or his/her designee shall maintain a record of all on-campus solicitation requests and the disposition of such request.

Student Action Activity Policy

Students wishing to provide information, collect information, or poll the campus community in general are asked to provide a written letter requesting that such activity take place on campus grounds or in campus buildings to the Director of Student Life and Leadership.  The director will provide the requesting student(s) with the Request for Student Action Activity form which must be completed and returned prior to the activity.  This allows the college the opportunity to maintain awareness of these actions and to support the ability of the community to make constructive commentary on issues affecting the student body and the greater community.  It also allows for the thoughtful preparation of presentations on the part of the student(s) involved.

Student(s) organizing such action activities are responsible for upholding the Rules of Student Conduct at all times during the activity.  They are also responsible for removal of all literature or other materials that they may be providing as part of the activity, or to arrange with the Director of Student Life and Leadership for space to have continuing display of their material.  They must also respect the rights of other members of the community to differing opinions on the topic being presented.  Outside speakers must be listed and pertinent to the activity. 

All alleged violations of the Student Action Policy will be referred to the Dean of Students for possible adjudication through the Student Code of Conduct System.

Publicity

On-campus publicity for student sponsored events is coordinated by Student Life. All announcements, signs, posters, and fliers must be approved by Student Life located in Fuller Student Center. Guidelines for posting materials on col­lege bulletin boards by students:

  1.  All materials must be submitted to Student Life for approval prior to posting (approved). Items of questionable taste, those which are obscene or libelous, will not be approved for posting. (See General Policy on Solicitation and Sales.)
  2. The materials must include the name of an individual or organization and con­tact person. No anonymous material will be approved.
  3. Priority for space will go first to recognized or forming campus organizations and individuals affiliated with the College and then to others on a space availability basis.
  4. All materials will be stamped with the date of approval and the date the material will be removed.
  5. The final date of posting will be determined as follows:
    1. Services: (typing, babysitting, etc.) a mutually agreeable time—not to exceed one month.
    2. Advertising an event—the day after the event.
    3. Others—two (2) weeks from ini­tial date of posting.
  6. Materials will be posted only on bulletin boards or other areas designated for that purpose.
  7. “For Sale,” services, etc. information should be typed on 3 x 5 cards. The maximum size for a sign should be 8 x 10 inches. Larger posters or banners must be approved by Student Life.
  8. Materials not in accordance with these guidelines will be removed.
  9. All questions regarding these guidelines should be directed to the Director of Student Life & Leadership, Fuller Student Center.

Grade Appeals

Complaints or Grievances filed in connection with assigned grades represent a special case within the Grievance procedure. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student's performance by the instructing professional(s). As such decisions are necessarily judgmental the substance of those decisions may not be delegated to the Grievance process. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that in rare cases the process of grading may be subject to error or injustice.

Except as otherwise provided by a separate appeal procedure for a clinical program as approved by the President of the College, a student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file a Grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure. A grade appeal Grievance shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two. For purposes of a grade appeal, the Senior Academic Officer of the College, or his/her designee, shall serve as the Student Grievance Officer throughout the grade appeal process.

If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed by the College or is not available within the timelines specified (see "Time" definition), the student may initiate his/her Level One complaint with the chief administrator of the appropriate instructional division (who shall be identified by the Senior Academic Officer).

If at any level substantial evidence of error or injustice is produced, the grading process may be remanded to the instructor of record for reassessment.  If after reassessment, the dispute remains unresolved, the matter shall be referred to the Senior Academic Officer, or his/her designee, for final review.  If the instructor of record is no longer available, the Senior Academic Officer or his/her designee shall instead reassess the grading process.


Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Appeal Process

Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program in order to qualify for financial aid.  Financial Aid applicants will be reviewed at the end of each payment period to determine if the standards are met.  For most programs, a payment period is a semester.  For the Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, and Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs, the payment period may encompass more than one traditional semester.  Students in these programs should contact Financial Aid for assistance in determining changes to their status while enrolled in these programs.  

Important Definitions

Attempted Credits:

  • All credits in which you were registered at the end of the add/drop period, including those with grades of F, W, X, I, IR, and WA, including all attempts at repeated courses
  • All earned credits (e.g. transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning)

Earned Credits:

  • Courses that you have completed and have earned credit for
  • Repeated courses where credit has been earned may only be counted once
  • Transfer credits
  • Credits earned through prior learning (e.g. challenge exams, portfolio assessment, or CLEP/Advanced Placement)

Audited (AU) classes are not considered attempted or earned and are not eligible for financial aid.   

Criteria

Student progress will be measured based on the total number of attempted credits on the transcript at each review.  Student records will be reviewed against all three of the following criteria:

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  1.50 cumulative GPA
  • 16 or more credits:  2.00 cumulative GPA

II. Minimum Earned Credits (Completion Rate) 

Calculate by taking “Total Earned Credits” divided by “Total Attempted Credits”.

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  50% completion rate
  • 16 or more total attempted credits:  66.67% (two-thirds) completion rate

The current SAP policy considers the completion rate of your entire academic transcript. However, if you had a SAP determination prior to the 15-16 Academic Year, your completion rate may have been reviewed under the former SAP policy, which considered completion rate from the most recent Academic Year on your transcript (Summer, Fall & Spring).  Contact the Financial Aid Office for any questions regarding your completion rate calculation. 

III. Maximum Time Frame

You must complete your certificate or degree program by attempting no more than 150% of the total credits required for that program.  If you are not enrolled in a program at the time the assessment is completed, your determination will be made using the General Studies program degree requirements.  All attempted coursework that has been or could be applied to your current major according to the degree audit will be counted toward the maximum timeframe calculation.  Up to 30 credits of developmental courses (courses numbered below 100) and all English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework will be excluded from this calculation. 

Example: You are in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits.  You have a total of 85 applicable credits attempted at the end of the academic year.  You need 15 more credits to complete your program.  You cannot complete your program within the maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits and you need 85 + 15 = 100 credits).  You are no longer eligible for financial aid funding.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

Good: You have met all three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.

Warning: If you do not meet the GPA or Completion Rate standards, you will be placed on Warning for one semester.  You are still eligible for financial aid, but if you do not meet the standards during your Warning semester, you will be placed on Suspension. If you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards during your Warning semester, you will return to Good standing.

Suspension: If you do not meet all of the Satisfactory Academic progress criteria following a Warning or Probation semester, you will be placed on Suspension.  You will also be suspended if you do not meet the Maximum Time Frame Criteria.  While on Suspension, you are not eligible for any form of financial aid, including student loans.  If you are academically dismissed from the College, you will be placed on Suspension.

Probation: If you appeal a Suspension and it is approved, you will be placed on Probation for at least one semester during which time you will be considered for financial aid.  Your progress will be reviewed at the end of each Probationary semester.  If you meet the standards, you will return to Good standing.  If you meet the terms of your academic plan but fail to meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress policy criteria, you may remain on Probation as stated in your academic plan.  If the standards are not met, you will be placed on Suspension.  

Appeal Process

You may appeal your Suspension, in writing, if you have an extenuating circumstance that prevented you from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria. To do this, complete the following steps.

  1. Submit the Suspension Appeal Form, or write a letter, to the Financial Aid Office explaining your circumstances. Your appeal must state why you were unable to meet the standards and what has changed to assure your success in the future.
  2. Provide supporting documentation with your appeal such as a doctor’s note explaining medical issues, letter from your employer regarding required changes to your work schedule, etc.

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid without an Appeal

You may be reconsidered for funding after you have successfully completed at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid.  To return to Good standing, you must again meet all of the criteria described above and notify the Financial Aid Office that you would like to have your eligibility for funds re-evaluated.  If you successfully complete at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid but do not meet the criteria, you may submit a complete appeal for consideration.

You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office if you receive a grade change that results in you meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Appealing Student Charges

Refund of Tuition and Fees

Students are responsible for their semester charges whether or not they attend. To remove or reduce these charges, students must officially withdraw in the Registrar's Office Rm. 152A. All refunds are pro-rated based upon withdrawal date. Please refer to the semester Tuition and Fee Refund Policy for financial penalty when withdrawing from your classes. Mandatory Health Insurance premiums are not refundable to any student  Please note: All tuition and fee amounts are subject to change without notice.

The refund is subject to the following limitations:

  • Official withdrawal must be made in the Registrar’s Office or Advising Office.
  • Any waivers must be submitted to the Student Payment Center prior to the semester deadline to be considered for a refund or adjustment
  • Mandatory health insurance premiums are not refundable to any student
  • Students will be refunded only that portion of tuition and fees paid by them; financial aid and other third party payments will be refunded directly to the paying party.

Students who have officially withdrawn from a class or classes may be eligible for a refund of tuition and fees. Please refer to the College semester booklets for refund deadlines and financial penalty. Students receiving Federal or State Financial Aid who cease to attend during the first 60% of his/her term at the College will have their financial aid pro-rated based on the number of days attended. For students enrolled in the Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic, or Nurse Education Evening programs, your aid may be adjusted if you are unable to continue in your program and do not graduate. If financial aid was disbursed, the student may owe a repayment of some or all of the financial aid received.

Download the Appeal of Student Charges Instructions and Form

This Policy and the procedures established herein are administrative in nature and shall not be construed to replace or supersede any state, federal or local laws that also may apply to students or others. The Massachusetts Community College System reserves the right to modify or replace this policy from time to time at its discretion. By enrolling in Quinsigamond Community College, all students voluntarily agree to comply with the standards of performance and behavior that are described in the Code of Conduct and other College policies.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Quinsigamond Community College expects students to conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate to a collegiate environment. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their own behavior and learning and to respect the learning environment of others. Quinsigamond Community College strives to maintain a learning environment that enhances the academic, intellectual, cultural and social enrichment of its students, faculty, staff and the community at large. To ensure that no member of the College community is deprived of this collegiate environment, student rights and responsibilities are clearly stated and behavior and discipline codes have been established.

Student Rights

  1. The right to pursue their education and assistance in overcoming educational, cultural, emotional and economic disadvantages that create challenges to the educational process.
  2. The right to fair and equal treatment without discrimination based on a student’s of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service and national origin.  
  3. The right to privacy and confidentiality under the Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.
  4. The right to procedural and substantive due process in disciplinary or grievance matters.

Student Responsibilities

  1. To be knowledgeable of and to comply with federal, state, and local laws, and ordinances.
  2. To be knowledgeable of and to comply with all directives, policies, and procedures of Quinsigamond Community College.
  3. To choose behavior that does not interfere with the learning environment of others inside and outside of the classroom, including College events.
  4. To review all information that is shared with students in official college communications.

Section 1: Introduction

The Code of Conduct was created with the goal of fostering an environment that ensures student learning and open access to higher education. All students are responsible for following the policies in the Code.

Section 2: Philosophy & Learning Outcomes

The Code of Conduct process is intended to be an educational process that supports the mission of the College. The Code is intended to encourage personal responsibility, integrity and ethical decision-making. 

Students who participate in this process should achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Understand how the Code supports the goals and mission of the College;
  2. Understand the possible impact of their choices on their academic and personal success;
  3. Accept personal responsibility for the choices and decisions made and the impact of their behavior on the College community;
  4. Reflect on their ethical obligations as a student in the College community;
  5. Recognize the value of the student conduct process as an educational opportunity; and
  6. Identify ways to address their behavior so it does not negatively impact their educational goals or the community in the future.

Section 3: Application of the Code of Conduct

Students are provided a copy of the Student Code of Conduct annually in the form of a link on the College website. Hard copies are available upon request from the Dean of Students Office. A link to the Code will also be included in all communications with any students involved in the conduct process, regardless of their role in the situation. Students are responsible for reading and following the policy.

The Code of Conduct shall be used to address student behavior as referenced in this policy.  The Code of Conduct applies to the conduct of individual students and College-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the Code defines a student as an individual who:

  1. has been issued a student identification number; or
  2. has received an offer of admission; or
  3. is enrolled in courses, whether full-time or part-time, credit or non-credit; or
  4. is participating in a non-degree, dual enrollment, or early college program; or
  5. is not currently enrolled but has a continuing educational relationship with the College.

The College retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw, or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, and/or graduate and all sanctions must be completed prior to re-enrollment eligibility.

The Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place at the College; in any of its facilities; on any of its grounds, partner sites, or program centers; or at any College related activity regardless of location. 

The College reserves the right to take action for off-campus student behavior when such behavior adversely affects the College community, poses a threat to the health or safety the College community; interferes with the College’s pursuit of its objectives and mission, and/or if a student is charged with violating state or federal law.  Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. 

The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online or electronically via email, social media, or other electronic format.

Section 4: Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence

Claims of discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence, including Title IX offenses, such as rape, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking, shall be addressed under the College’s Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity by the College’s Affirmative Action Official and/or Title IX Coordinator.  For more information, please contact the College’s Affirmative Action Official and/or Title IX Coordinator.

Section 5: Definitions

  1. Administrative Resolution – A resolution of a complaint, which is mutually agreed upon by the CCA and the Student. An Administrative Resolution shall be put in writing by the CCA, signed by the CCA and the Student and maintained in a student’s disciplinary file.  An Administrative Resolution shall result in a Student waiving their right to a Student Conduct Board hearing or Appeal.
  2. Appeals Officer – The College’s designated administrator responsible for reviewing appeals.  In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer shall be the College’s senior academic officer or designee.
  3. Code of Conduct Administrator (CCA) – The College official charged with the responsibility of administering the College’s Student Code of Conduct.  A member of the Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC) shall not be selected to serve as the CCA.
  4. College Official – Any person employed or contracted by the College to perform administrative, instructional, or professional duties.
  5. College Property – Includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.
  6. Complaint – An allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct, which is filed with or by the CCA.
  7. Day – Shall mean a calendar day. The number of days indicated at each level shall be considered as a maximum. All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite the process, but the CCA may extend the time limits at their discretion with notice to both parties in writing, including for inclement weather and/or College closures.         
  8. Outcome – The final determination of responsibility in the student conduct process. An outcome may either be “responsible” or “not responsible.”
  9. Sanctions – An obligation that a student or student organization must abide by or complete when found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions are not required to be imposed progressively, but are based on the severity and/or frequency of the violation.

    Sanctions under this policy shall include, but are not limited to:
    1. Written Warning – An official written notice to a student that their conduct is in violation of College rules or regulations.
    2. Restrictions/Loss of Privileges – Restriction or loss of privileges as a student for a specified period of time, including but not limited to: attending College classes, events and/or activities; accessing College property or specifically designated areas; or participating in College organizations.  
    3. Educational Sanction – A project or developmental activity imposed with the goal of educating the student about personal responsibility and/or the impacts of their behavior.
    4. Restitution - The assessment of financial charges or other forms of reimbursement for any damage or loss incurred by the College or any members of the College community.
    5. Probation – A student’s status at the College is in jeopardy due to one or more violations of the Code of Conduct. Probation is a more severe sanction than a written warning.  Unless expressly authorized by the CCA, a student on probation may not represent the College in any capacity. Examples include but are not limited to: running for or holding office in any student organizations; participating in intercollegiate athletic teams, intramural programs, any student clubs or organizations; representing the college in community service projects; participating in paid or unpaid internship programs or study abroad programs.
    6. Suspension – Separation from the College or a program, without financial reimbursement, for a specified period of time not to exceed three academic years. Conditions for readmission may be specified, including a reinstatement review and meeting with the CCA to demonstrate that the student is prepared to return to the college environment and abide by the expectations of behavior outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. During the suspension period, the student may not register or participate in classes, use College communication systems such as e-mail, or enter College property and loses all privileges to participate in any College functions, events, or activities without prior written approval from the CCA.​ Any suspension may be deferred for a designated period of time, not to exceed one (1) semester.Deferred suspension will be utilized in unique circumstances where deferring the suspension would be in the best interest of the student as determined by the CCA. A student on deferred suspension who is found responsible for an additional violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be issued additional sanctions, up to and including Expulsion.​
    7. Expulsion – Permanent separation from the College or a program without financial reimbursement.  An expelled student may not be readmitted to the College or a program and a notation of expulsion from the College shall be placed on the student’s official College transcript.​​​
  10. Standard of Proof: Preponderance of Evidence – The standard used in resolving a complaint filed under this Code’s Disciplinary Process.  The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true (i.e.; more probable than not).  Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true.
  11. Student – The individual whose behavior may have violated the Code of Conduct including any individual who:
    1. has been issued a student identification number; or
    2. has received an offer of admission; or
    3. is enrolled in courses, whether full-time or part-time, credit or non-credit; or
    4. is participating in a non-degree, dual enrollment, or early college program; or
    5. is not currently enrolled but has a continuing educational relationship with the College.​
  12. Student Conduct File – The printed/written/electronic file, which may include, but is not limited to, investigatory materials, incident report(s), correspondence, witness statements, and student conduct history.
  13. Student Organization – An association or group of persons, including, but not limited to, any recognized student club, organization, or team.
  14. Student Conduct Board – Members of the College community selected and trained by the CCA to conduct a hearing when an Administrative Resolution cannot be agreed upon by the student and the CCA or at the request of the student.  Members of the Student Conduct Board shall not have any conflict of interest and are required to act in a fair and impartial manner.
  15. Substantial Disruption or Interference – Substantial disruption or interference includes conduct: (1) that impedes the regular and essential operations of the College; or (2) where the expressive rights of another are so disrupted or interfered with that they effectively cannot exercise their rights to engage in or listen to expressive activities.  Determining what constitutes a “substantial disruption or interference” is decided on a case-by-case basis.  Examples include, but are not limited to: shouting down a speaker; disrupting a faculty member’s instruction such that it impedes the learning process; failure to comply with a College Official’s appropriate directives or instructions; threats of harm; harassing conduct; fights or violent behavior; blocking access to or from any College facilities, events or services; or conduct that places health or safety at risk.  Substantial disruption or interference does not include conduct that is protected under the First Amendment.

Section 6: Violations of the Law

Alleged violations of federal, state, and local laws may be reviewed and addressed under the Code. When an offense occurs over which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will go forward regardless of any civil or criminal complaint or process that may arise from the same incident.

The College reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing a criminal investigation (see Section 8D).

Section 7: Expectations of Behavior

A. Core Values and Behavioral Expectations

As a public institution of higher education, which is committed to student access and success, the College maintains the following Core Values and Behavioral Expectations of its students.

  1. Integrity. All students are expected to exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.
  2. Community. Students are expected to positively contribute to the educational community.
  3. Safety. Students are expected to choose behavior that is conscious of the rights and safety of others and the community and promotes a productive and diverse academic environment.
  4. Responsibility. Students are expected to accept responsibility to themselves, to others, and to the community.

B. Code of Conduct Charges

The College considers the following behaviors as inappropriate for the College community and in opposition to its core values and behavioral expectations.  These expectations apply to all students. The College encourages community members to report all incidents of such behavior.  Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit any of the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined under this policy.

  1. Abuse of Conduct Process. Abuse, interference, and/or failure to comply with the College’s conduct process, including but not limited to:
    1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information during the conduct process;
    2. Failure to provide, destroying, or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
    3. Interference with the orderly conduct of the conduct process;
    4. Attempting to discourage an individual's participation in, or use of, the conduct process;
    5. Attempting to influence the decision of a member of a Conduct Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the Student Conduct proceeding;
    6. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Conduct Board, College official, party to a complaint or witness participating in the conduct process;
    7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Conduct;
    8. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct process; or
    9. Knowingly filing a false complaint under the Code of Conduct.
  2. Academic Dishonesty. Acts of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
    1. Cheating. Intentional use, and/or attempted use of any unauthorized assistance in any academic exercise including dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor.
    2. Fabrication. Intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention or any information or citation in any academic exercise.
    3. Unauthorized Collaboration. Deliberately submitting work prepared collaboratively with someone else without explicit permission from the instructor.
    4. Facilitating dishonesty. Knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, including students who substitute for other persons in examinations or represent, as their own, papers, reports, projects, or the academic works of others.
    5. Plagiarism. Knowingly representing the words, ideas, or artistic expression of another as one’s own work in any academic exercise, including but not limited to submitting previously-submitted assignments for which the student has earned credit, copying or purchasing other’s work, patchworking source material and representing the work as one’s own, or arranging for others to do work under a false name.
    6. Submitting, in whole or in part, prewritten term papers of another or the research of another, including but not limited to commercial vendors who sell or distribute such material.
    7. Theft of materials. The acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the faculty or staff, or another student.
  3. Alcohol. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, on campus or as part of any college-sponsored program, including public intoxication or the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, in violation of the College’s Alcohol Policy and/or state or federal law.
  4. Controlled Substances. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances as defined by state and federal law.
  5. Damage and Destruction. Damage, destruction, or defacement of College property or the personal property of others.
  6. Election Tampering. Tampering with the election of any College-recognized student organization.
  7. Extortion. Threat or the implicit threat of harm to a person’s safety, reputation, or property in order to obtain property, including information, from someone else without their consent.
  8. Failure to Comply. Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of College officials and/or law enforcement during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  9. False Reports of Danger. False reporting of fire, bombs, other dangerous devices, or emergency situations.
  10. Falsification. Knowingly providing or possessing false, falsified, or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments.
  11. Fire Safety. Violation of local, state, or federal laws, or campus fire policies including, but not limited, to:
    1. Causing a fire on College property;
    2. Failure to evacuate a College-controlled building during a fire alarm;
    3. Improper use of College fire safety equipment; or
    4. Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on College property.
  12. Gambling. Gambling as prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Gambling may include lotteries, sports pools, and online betting activities.
  13. Harassment. Severe or pervasive actions, including, but not limited to written, electronic, voice, physical, or through third party, directed toward a specific individual, group or entity with the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another’s work or education by creating an objectively hostile environment.
  14. Harm to Others. Causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person.
  15. Hate Crimes. A hate crime as defined by state or federal laws, including but not limited to any criminal act to which a bias motive is evident as a contributing factor.
  16. Hazing. Hazing as defined by state or federal laws, including but not limited to any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. For additional information, consult the Hazing Policy.
  17. Interference with College Environment. Substantial interference or disruption to the day-to-day functions of the academic or administrative environment.
  18. IT and Acceptable Use. Conduct resulting in a violation of the College’s Computer/Technology Acceptable Use policies, Email and Social Media policies and/or related Information Technology Resource policies.
  19. Marijuana. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana and marijuana products or accessories on campus or as part of any college-sponsored program, including the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in violation of the College’s Marijuana Policy.
  20. Prescription Medication. Abuse, misuse, sale, or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  21. Public Exposure. Includes but not limited to: deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, masturbation, and/or other public sex acts.
  22. Rioting. Engaging in, or inciting others to engage in, harmful or destructive behavior that breaches the peace.
  23. Smoking & Tobacco. Smoking or using any tobacco product or use of e-cigarettes, vaporizers or inhalers on College property.
  24. Solicitation and Sales. Unauthorized solicitation and sales, requesting contributions, peddling or otherwise selling, purchasing or offering goods and services for sale or purchase, distributing advertising materials, circulars or product samples, or engaging in any other conduct relating to any outside business interest or for-profit or personal or professional economic benefit on college property or using college resources.
  25. Taking of Property. Intentional and unauthorized taking or possession of College property or the personal property of another, whether actual or attempted, including goods, services, and other valuables.
  26. Threatening Behaviors.
    1. Threat. Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
    2. Intimidation. Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
  27. Trademark. Unauthorized use, including misuse, of College or organizational names and/or images.
  28. Unauthorized Access and/or Entry. Unauthorized access and/or entry to any College building (e.g., misuse of keys or access privileges), unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access to any college building, or unauthorized entry including trespassing.
  29. Unauthorized Recording and Dissemination. Use of electronic or other devices to create and/or disseminate an unauthorized audio or video recording of any person(s) without the person’s prior knowledge or without the person’s effective consent due to intoxication, drug use, mental impairment or other conditions that may impair a person’s ability to convey effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a locker room or restroom and recording classroom or administrative activities without the person’s consent.
  30. Violations of Law. Including arrest, pending criminal charges, or adjudication of any violation of state or federal laws not otherwise enumerated herein.
  31. Weapons. Possession of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapon in violation of state or federal law, including M.G.L. Chapter 269, Section 10(J), or possession of a reasonable facsimile, simulated or prop firearm or weapon.   For additional information, consult the College’s Prohibition of Weapons Policy.
  32. Other Policies. Violation of any College policies, rules, or regulations published in written copy or available electronically on the College’s website.

Section 8: Student Conduct Procedures

A. Discipline for Conduct that Interferes with the College Environment

Interfering in the educational process in a class (or clinical site), is prohibited under this policy.  If a student engages in conduct that interferes with the college environment, a faculty member or other College employee may address and resolve the matter informally without filing a complaint under the Code, including temporarily removing the student from a class (or clinical site).  On the first occasion when a student is removed, the faculty member or other College employee is strongly encouraged to notify the CCA.  In all subsequent cases of removing the same student from a class (or clinical site), the faculty member or other College employee shall notify the CCA.  A faculty member or other College employee may seek assistance from Public Safety if necessary to remove a student. A student may not be permanently removed from a class (or clinical site) for a conduct-related offense except upon referral to the CCA of a complaint for administration under this policy.  The CCA can exercise their discretion to allow the accused student to attend class (or clinical site) during the disciplinary process upon consultation with the faculty member and the Chief Academic Officer or their designee.

B. Discipline for Academic Dishonesty

This policy recognizes the right of faculty to manage their class, including addressing directly with students issues of academic dishonesty.  When there is information that academic dishonesty occurred, a faculty member may choose to take action as outlined in the course syllabus, including issuing a failing grade for the assignment or the course.  Faculty are encouraged to share that information with the CCA. If the CCA is aware of more than one incident of academic dishonesty by this student, in addition to the issuance of a failing grade by the faculty member, the student may be subject to disciplinary action under this policy. If the student believes that there is substantial evidence of error or injustice associated with a failing grade issued because of academic dishonesty, the student may file a grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure’s Grade Appeal Process.

Where the issuance of a failing grade by a faculty member for academic dishonesty will result in a student’s dismissal from a program (for example in nursing and other health care programs), the charge of academic dishonesty shall be directly referred to the CCA for administration under this policy, which shall be completed, where practicable, within thirty (30) days.

C. Discipline for Off-Campus Behavior

The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action against a student for off-campus conduct when such conduct adversely affects the College community, poses a threat to the health or safety to the College community; interferes with the College’s pursuit of its objectives and mission, and/or if a student is charged with violating state or federal law.  Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.

D. Interim Measures

Under certain circumstances during the Code of Conduct process interim measures may be imposed by the CCA including, but not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges or interim suspension. 

The College reserves the right to issue an interim suspension when it reasonably concludes that a student:

  1. Poses a threat to others;
  2. Poses a threat to College property or equipment;
  3. Substantially disrupts or interferes with the normal operations of the College;
  4. Engages in off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community; and/or
  5. Is arrested and/or charged with a crime in violation of state or federal law.

During an interim suspension, a student is prohibited from entering upon any College property and participating in any College activities until the complaint has been resolved through the Code of Conduct process. Where reasonably practical, within ten (10) days of the issuance of the interim suspension, the CCA shall meet with the Student to determine whether to continue or revoke the interim measure during the conduct process.  A student shall be notified in writing of any determination made at that meeting.

E. Group Violations

A student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible for violations of the Code to the same extent as any individual would be.

Investigations involving student groups or organizations follow the same student conduct procedures. In any such action, individual determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively and individually and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual.

F. Amnesty

 The health and safety of every student at the College is of the utmost importance. The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs may be hesitant to report violations of the Code due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct.  The College strongly encourages students to report violations to the CCA.  A reporting individual acting in good faith that reports a violation of the Code will not be subject to disciplinary action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the Code violation, provided that they did not harm or place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may require an educational conference and/or a behavioral plan for an individual who has engaged in the illegal or prohibited use of alcohol or drugs.

G.  Complaint of Alleged Violation

Any person may allege a policy violation by any student for misconduct under this code by completing one of the reports available below:

The CCA may act on a complaint of a potential violation whether a formal complaint form is completed or not. All allegations can be submitted by a victim or third party, and should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days, after the offending event occurs. The CCA may elect to pursue action under the Code for violations reported after thirty (30) days where the behavior posed or may continue to pose a danger to the health or safety of others. The College has the right to pursue an allegation or complaint of misconduct on its own behalf.

Section 9: Formal Student Conduct Process

This policy is not intended to prevent members of the College community from attempting to resolve matters informally.  Failure to cooperate with the College’s investigation of an alleged Code of Conduct violation, including failing to appear for an Administrative Resolution meeting or a Student Conduct Board Hearing will result in discipline of the Student by the CCA and a forfeiture of their rights to a hearing or appeal.

A. Step 1: Initiation of Student Conduct Process

The Student Conduct Process is initiated once a complaint of an alleged violation is received by the CCA.  A complaint is defined as an allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct, which is filed with or by the CCA.  The CCA may act on a complaint of a potential violation whether a formal complaint form is completed or not.

B. Step 2: Preliminary Inquiry

When the CCA files or receives a complaint alleging that a student has acted in a manner which may be in violation of the Code, the CCA may conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the complaint, the evidence available, and the parties involved. The preliminary inquiry may lead to:

  1. A determination that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation because the behavior alleged, even if proven, would not violate the Code and therefore the process ends; or
  2. A determination that the alleged behavior constitutes a possible violation of the Code, resulting in a request to schedule an Administrative Resolution meeting with the CCA within five (5) days; or
  3. Further investigation is needed to make a determination.

C. Step 3: Administrative Resolution

After a Preliminary Inquiry, or when a Preliminary Inquiry is not necessary as determined by the CCA, the CCA will meet with the Student to review the complaint, and provide the Student an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The Student has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. The advisor may be another student, faculty member, administrator, or an attorney.    An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student directly and discretely.  An advisor is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the meeting.

The possible outcomes of an Administrative Resolution meeting include:

  1. A decision not to pursue the complaint based on insufficient information. The matter should be closed and the records should so indicate;
  2. The Student and the CCA reach a mutually agreed upon resolution to the complaint; or  
  3.  If no mutually agreed upon resolution is reached, the complaint is referral to a Student Conduct Board Hearing.

Under certain circumstances during the Code of Conduct process, interim measures may be imposed by the CCA including, but not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges, or interim suspension, in a manner consistent with this Code.

An Administrative Resolution is reached only upon the mutual agreement of the CCA and the Student. By accepting an Administrative Resolution, the Student waives their right to a hearing before the Student Conduct Board or an appeal.  An Administrative Resolution shall be put in writing by the CCA, copied to the Student and maintained in a Student’s disciplinary file. If the CCA and the Student cannot agree on an Administrative Resolution the matter proceeds to a Student Conduct Board hearing. 

Failure by the Student to appear for an Administrative Resolution meeting with the CCA will result in discipline of the Student by the CCA and a forfeiture of their rights to a hearing or appeal.

D. Step 4: Student Conduct Board Hearing

  1. Overview

A hearing with the Student Conduct Board shall be scheduled by the CCA not later than thirty (30) days following a Student’s request for a hearing.  If no hearing is requested, the hearing shall be scheduled by the CCA no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the Administrative Resolution meeting.

A written Statement of Charges shall be presented to the Student not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing. The Statement of Charges shall include a summary of the complaint, administrative or remedial steps taken, the Code of Conduct Charges, and the documentary evidence and witnesses to be presented in support of the Statement of Charges.  A Student Conduct Board hearing is an administrative hearing.  The rules of evidence do not apply.

In a matter involving more than one Student, the Student Conduct Board may permit at its discretion individual hearings for each Student.

The Student has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student directly and discretely.  An advisor is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the hearing.

  1. Make-Up of the Conduct Board

The Conduct Board shall consist of 3-5 members selected by the CCA.  The CCA shall appoint from the members a Chair of the Conduct Board, who shall be responsible for administering the hearing.  In cases involving academic dishonesty, the Conduct Board members may include faculty, although not from the department where the alleged conduct occurred. 

  1. Student Conduct Board Hearing Procedure

A hearing is normally conducted in private. There shall be a record created of all hearings.  The record shall be the property of the College. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board. Admission of any person(s) to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board.

A hearing shall proceed as follows:

  1. The CCA presents the Statement of Charges on behalf of the College.  The CCA may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in support of the Statement of Charges.
  2.  Student responds to the Statement of Charges.  The Student may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in response to the Statement of Charges.
  3. Following the parties’ presentations, the Student Conduct Board may question each party, their witnesses and/or review all information presented.  The Student Conduct Board has the discretion to request additional documents, materials or information from either party.
  4. While direct cross-examination by the parties is not permitted, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other by presenting questions through the Chair of the Student Conduct Board.  If the Chair determines a question is relevant, the other party will be asked to respond.
  5. The Student Conduct Board shall have a final opportunity to question the parties.
  6. After the hearing, the Student Conduct Board shall determine by majority vote whether the Statement of Charges has been proven.     
  7. A Student Conduct Board’s decision shall be based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
  8. Within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of a hearing, the Student Conduct Board shall issue a written decision that includes a summary of the hearing, findings on each charge contained in the Statement of Charges, the evidence supporting each finding, and disciplinary action taken, if any.

E. Step 5: Sanctions

A student found in violation of the College’s Code of Conduct shall be subject to sanctions as defined herein.  

A student who violates the Code of Conduct while serving an existing sanction shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including expulsion.  The intent of the College is to impose sanctions in a progressive manner, beginning with the least punitive sanction. However, depending on factors, such as the nature and severity of a student’s violation and/or prior disciplinary history, the College reserves the right to impose any sanction at any time.

F. Step 6: Appeal

Within five (5) days of receiving a written decision, the Student may file an appeal with the College’s Appeals Officer.  In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer shall be the College’s senior academic officer or designee.

An appeal must be submitted in writing and be based on a credible claim that:

  1. The hearing was not conducted in conformity with the Code of Conduct;
  2. The decision was not supported by a preponderance of the evidence presented;
  3. The sanction imposed was not appropriate in light of the Student Conduct Board’s decision; or
  4. New evidence exists, which was not presented at hearing because it was not reasonably known to the Student at that time, and which is sufficiently relevant such that it could alter the Student Conduct Board’s decision.

The Appeals Officer shall issue a written decision within ten (10) days of receiving the appeal.  The Appeals Officer may accept, reject, or modify the Student Conduct Board’s decision or sanction.  The Appeals Officer’s decision shall be final.

Section 10: Student Conduct Authority

A. Authority

The CCA is vested with the authority over administering the Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process. The CCA may appoint administrative hearing officers and Student Conduct Board members as necessary to efficiently and effectively administer the student conduct process. The CCA or their designee will assume responsibility for the investigation of an allegation of misconduct to determine if the complaint has merit.

B. Gatekeeping

No complaint will be forwarded for administration under the Code unless there is reasonable cause to believe that a policy violation has occurred. Reasonable cause is defined as some credible information to support the allegation including a statement by a credible witness, police reports, or news articles. A complaint wholly unsupported by any credible information will not be forwarded for administration.

C.  Administrative Hearing Officers

Administrative Hearing Officers may be chosen from a pool of annually trained administrators or faculty selected by the CCA.