Oct 22, 2019  
2015-2016 Student Handbook 
    
2015-2016 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Student Rights and Regulations



Family Rights and Privacy Policy of ECC

Students at the college are informed annually of the institutional policy regarding their rights in relation to their educational records and the privacy of those records. The annual notice to students includes the following:

  1. The types of educational records and the information contained therein.
  2. The name and position of the official responsible for maintenance of educational records, the persons who have access to the records, and the purposes for which they have access.
  3. The policy of the institution for reviewing and purging records.
  4. Procedures for challenging the contents of educational records.
  5. The cost of reproducing copies of records.
  6. Categories of information designated by the institution as directory information and the condition for release of this information.
  7. Other rights and requirements.

Student Inspection of Their Records

Students at the college have the right to inspect their individual educational records upon request to the Vice President of Student Services. The request is granted within 45 days. Students see the records in the presence of the Vice President of Student Services.

Students are defined as any persons who are or have been enrolled and have been in attendance in the institution, either curriculum or continuing education.

Educational records include records, files, documents, or any other material containing information directly related to students, such as grades, test scores, and attendance records. Not included are guidance records, medical and psychological reports, the financial records of the parents, and confidential recommendations if students have signed a waiver. Students may obtain copies of their records upon request.

Availability of Student Records to Other Parties

Students’ records, other than directory information, are not made available without the written consent of students to any party other than the following:

  1. Instructors and other officials having a legitimate educational interest.
  2. Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S.; the Secretary, the Commissioner, or the Director of the National Institute of Education; the Assistant Secretary for Education; or state educational authorities.
  3. In connection with students’ application for receipt of financial aid.
  4. State and local officials or authorities to whom such information is specifically required to be reported.
  5. Organizations conducting studies for educational agencies. Any personally identifiable information is destroyed when it is no longer needed for the specific purpose for which it was collected.
  6. Accrediting organizations in order to carry out their specific functions.
  7. In compliance with judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. Students are notified of any such transfer of their educational records, and a record of such releases is in their file. Personally identifiable information is released to a third party only on the condition that such a party does not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student. The transcript from ECC includes the following statement:
    “This material is confidential and may be seen only by authorized persons, as specified in the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1975.”

College Review of Records

The college reviews records periodically and removes all documents which are at least five years old.

The Procedure for Challenging the Content of Records

Students submit a request for a hearing to the Vice President of Student Services. This hearing may be an informal discussion with the student. It should be held and a decision rendered within a reasonable period of time. If the informal hearing does not resolve the issue, a formal hearing may be requested by either party (the student or the college). A formal hearing includes the following elements:

  1. The hearing is conducted within a reasonable period of time following the request.
  2. The hearing is conducted and the decision rendered by a college official or other party who does not have a direct interest in the outcome.
  3. The student is given a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised. Note: This does not include a challenge to an assigned grade.
  4. The decision should be rendered in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing.

Release of Public Directory Information

Public directory information relating to students includes the following: name, address, telephone number, email address, birth date, birthplace, major field of study, dates of attendance, and degrees and awards received. Students are advised that directory information may be released. Students may request in writing that the Vice President of Student Services not release directory information on them. Such requests are honored.

Student Right-To-Know

The Student Right-to-Know Act of 1990 requires the college to compile and release institution-wide persistence rates to all students. The average rate of persistence toward degree completion of students at ECC is available in the office of Student Services.

Scholastic Rights and Responsibilities

Students, instructors, administrators, advisors, and counselors have certain rights and responsibilities in order to ensure that the college grading system is used to improve academic performance.

Students have the following rights:

  1. To know the basis for their evaluation in each course
  2. To appeal a grade
  3. To have all policies and procedures which they do not understand explained simply and completely
  4. To be able with reasonable effort to make arrangements for appointments with instructors, administrators, advisors, counselors, and other staff members
  5. To be informed of their academic progress

Students have the following responsibilities:

  1. To make a reasonable effort to meet all course requirements for each course taken
  2. To make arrangements to meet with their instructor(s), advisor, and/or counselor from time to time and particularly at the first indication of academic difficulty
  3. To set realistic educational goals with the help of an instructor, advisor, and/or counselor
  4. To make arrangements with their instructor(s) to complete necessary work and to remove incomplete (“I”) grades within the time allowed
  5. To know and follow the procedures of the college when withdrawing from a course and/or from the college
  6. To make arrangements to meet periodically with their advisor to review their progress toward graduation
  7. To understand and follow all academic policies and procedures of the college as presented in the College Catalog and Student Handbook and to ask for help when they do not understand

Instructors have the following rights:

  1. To define performance requirements for specific grades
  2. To determine the best methods of presenting materials in courses
  3. To expect reasonable effort on the students’ part to meet course requirements

Instructors have the following responsibilities:

  1. To evaluate grading procedures periodically
  2. To inform students at the beginning of the course of the objectives of the course and the grading system to be used
  3. To investigate new and different ways to teach and evaluate students
  4. To provide students with opportunities for individualized advice and counsel
  5. To maintain an atmosphere that facilitates learning
  6. To maintain a relationship and rapport with students that facilitates learning

Advisors, counselors, and administrators have the following rights:

  1. To have access to student records
  2. To receive a response regarding the disposition of referrals made to other programs and/or services in the college
  3. To be provided with needed materials and information

Advisors, counselors, and administrators have the following responsibilities:

  1. To provide means whereby students are informed of any policy and procedural changes
  2. To provide the necessary time, resources, and facilities needed for teaching and learning to take place
  3. To provide a grade appeal process
  4. To provide appropriate counseling and advisement services
  5. To provide leadership in continuing development and evaluation of a standard grading system
  6. To respect the confidentiality of student records

Student Records

Student records are maintained permanently for all students who enroll at ECC. Curriculum records are filed in the Student Services Department and are maintained by the admissions coordinator. Continuing Education records are located in the Continuing Education Department and are maintained by the continuing education coordinators/directors. Student records may be sent to other institutions or authorized persons only when requested by students. A written request should be made to the registrar. We do not accept faxed or emailed requests for transcripts.

Institutional instructors or professional personnel who wish to see student records in regard to professional education-student relations must obtain permission from the registrar, counselor, or Vice President of Student Services.

Each copy of a student transcript is released at the rate of $5 per copy. A $5 fee is charged for release of all copies of any other record in students’ files.

Student files may contain the following:

  1. Application
  2. Transcript of high school or post high school grades
  3. Correspondence (except form letters)
  4. Placement/Admission test results
  5. Medical forms
  6. Veterans’ records
  7. Statement of residency

Civil Rights Complaints

Students who feel that they have been deprived of their civil rights shall confer with the college’s Affirmative Action Officer who will attempt to resolve the complaint. If the Affirmative Action Officer is unable to achieve resolution of the complaint, the student may appeal directly to the President of the college. The decision of the President is final. The President shall notify the Board of all Civil Rights complaints and final decisions.

Religious Observance Policy

Edgecombe Community College (ECC) shall authorize a minimum of two excused absences each academic year (or one per semester) for religious observances required by the faith of a student. ECC requires that the student provide written notice of the request for an excused absence a minimum of one week prior to the religious observance absence to all appropriate instructors. The student shall work with his/her instructors and be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance in accordance with General Statute 115D-5.

Retesting Policy

Students may retest for placement testing one time after the first attempt within twelve months of the first testing date. The higher score is used for placement. Once a student has started classes, retesting is only allowed with the approval from the Vice President of Instruction. Placement tests are valid for five years.

College Wavier of Responsibility

The college is in no way responsible for the quality of work performed or damages sustained in departments where services are rendered. Students perform work in departments as a learning experience. Students and staff receiving services from college departments are responsible for payment of material costs as determined by the respective instructors.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screen Requirements for Health Science Students

In health science programs, students are assigned clinical rotations in a number of participating agencies. Various accrediting bodies, as well as state and federal mandates, regulate these agencies. The accrediting bodies or state and federal regulations may require that students have a criminal background check and drug screen prior to or at any time after beginning the clinical rotation. If the student has a criminal conviction or drug screen results that do not meet the agency’s hiring standards, the agency may refuse to allow the student to participate in the clinical experience. If a student is prohibited from participating in a clinical agency based on the criminal background or drug screening results, the student will be unable to continue in the allied health program and must withdraw.

All costs associated with criminal background checks and drug screens are the responsibility of the student. ECC recognizes and is fully supportive of the clinical agencies that choose to require criminal background checks and/or drug screens on students.

ECC has contracted with Castle Branch, Inc to perform background checks and drug screens at a reduced rate for students. Results of the tests are available to the student and to the Human Resources Director of the clinical agency at www.certifiedbackground.com. Once students receive a letter of acceptance to a health science program, they should follow the instructions provided to obtain required checks and screens. Most clinical agencies will not accept hand-delivered background check and drug screening results.

Computer Usage Policy

College-owned or operated computing resources are for the use of faculty, students, staff, and other authorized individuals. Individuals should exercise responsible and ethical behavior when using these resources. The college does not attempt to identify all required or proscribed behavior by its users. Therefore, each individual’s judgment on appropriate conduct must be relied upon. To assist in such judgment, the following guidelines have been developed:

  1. Users may not create, display, transmit, or make accessible threatening, racist, sexist, obscene, offensive, annoying, or harassing language and/or material, such as broadcasting unsolicited messages or sending unwanted electronic mail.
  2. Users may not access systems for which they are not properly authorized or damage systems or information that is not theirs, such as college records, or use any system for illegal activities.
  3. Users may not connect any devices not owned by the college to the campus network without prior authorization from the college’s Director of Computer Services.
  4. Computing resources and access accounts are to be used only for the purpose for which they are assigned and are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-college related activities.
  5. Access accounts assigned to individuals must not be used by others. Individuals are responsible for the proper use of their accounts, including proper password protection and appropriate use of Internet resources. Allowing friends, family, or co-workers to use their account is a serious violation of these guidelines.
  6. All computer software is protected by the federal copyright law, and most is proprietary and protected by legal licensing agreements in addition to the copyright law. Users are responsible for being aware of the licensing restrictions for the software they use on any system.
  7. Users should not engage in activities that damage or disrupt hardware or communication such as virus creation and propagation, installation of spyware, and overloading of networks with excessive data such as video and audio files.
  8. Users should be considerate, not monopolizing or misusing system resources, for example, by requesting multiple copies from printers or by playing games.

Failure to follow the acceptable use guidelines may result in the suspension or revoking of access accounts or other college disciplinary action and possible further legal actions as allowed by state and federal law.

Wireless Internet Service

ECC provides wireless Internet access on both campuses.

Social Media Policy

Employees, students, and friends of the College are encouraged to follow the College on its official web site as well as on various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

When joining social media sites, employees and students should make sure that they read and follow the terms of use, privacy policies, etc. for each site.

Additionally, employees and students should consider the following regarding the use of social media sites:

  • You should treat everything you post on the Internet as though it were available to the general public. While your postings may be restricted to those who have access to your page (commonly referred to as “friends”), you cannot control what those people do with your postings - i.e. reposting, forwarding through email, etc.
  • Most social media sites require you to supply an email address when joining. When joining social media sites, you should join using your personal (not work) email account, or create separate accounts for personal and professional use. Most people will find that their use of social media sites will evolve to include numerous personal contacts making work related email inappropriate for this use. (Be aware that Facebook’s terms of use prohibit maintaining more than one account. It is strongly suggested you use a personal email account when joining Facebook.)
  • Use common sense when posting information, comments, photos, etc. Everything you post reflects on you both as an individual, and in many cases as an associate of the College. Use the same amount of restraint as you would use if you were posting the information on a bulletin board in a public space.
  • Use privacy settings to ensure that you do not compromise your personal information and/or safety. Do not post information online that you do not want made available to the general public.
  • Use College computing resources for College related purposes. Employee access to social media sites during the workday should be reserved for business related purposes. Access for personal reasons should take place during personal time.
  • Make sure your access to and use of social media sites does not violate existing College policies.
  • Remember, College related social media sites may be subject to monitoring, archiving, and disclosure to third parties in accordance with North Carolina Public Records Law.

Academic Standing Policy

To be in good academic standing, beginning students must have earned a grade point average of two-point-zero (2.0 GPA) by the end of the first semester and must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of two-point-zero (2.0 CGPA) thereafter. All students are required to have a major GPA of two-point-zero (2.0) for graduation.

Academic Progress Policy

The policy governing academic progress at Edgecombe Community College is intended to assist the student in successfully completing a chosen program of study within a given period of time. Procedures are designed to identify students experiencing academic difficulties and to ensure enrollment in an interventional plan. A minimum cumulative grade point average of two-point-zero (2.0 CGPA) is required for all curriculum programs leading to graduation. Certain programs may require a higher GPA for graduation.

Academic Warning Policy

Students who have failed to achieve a cumulative grade point average of two-point-zero (2.0 CGPA) or above for any semester will be placed on academic warning for the following semester. Students on academic warning may register for a maximum of twelve (12) credit hours, unless otherwise approved by their advisor or counselor.

Students will be notified of their status and the advisor/counselor will prescribe an Intervention Plan that may include study skills, time management, counseling, or other appropriate workshops. Students will remain on academic warning until they re-establish a two-point-zero (2.0 CGPA) cumulative grade point average.

Academic Probation Policy

Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 1.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation may register for a maximum of six (6) credit hours, until they achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point. Students on academic probation may not register for classes unless approved by their advisor or counselor. Academic advisors will encourage students to repeat courses, in which they received a failing grade. The lower grade will be dropped from the calculation of the CGPA and the higher grade will be used to calculate the CGPA.

Students will be notified of their status and the advisor or counselor will prescribe an Intervention Plan that may include study skills, time management, counseling, or other appropriate workshops.

Academic Forgiveness Policy

The Academic Forgiveness Policy applies to students who have failing grades at ECC at least five years old and have not been enrolled two consecutive years at the college.

Upon readmission, when students complete 12 hours of academic work with a 2.0 grade point average or better, their previous grades of F are forgiven in the computation of the overall grade point average. All financial aid policies apply and are not governed by this policy.

Grade Repeat Policy

Students who receive a grade of “C” or better on a curriculum course may repeat the course once. Students who receive a grade below “C” on a curriculum course may repeat the course until a grade of “C” or better has been obtained.

No course may be counted more than once in calculating the total number of hours toward graduation. For any course repeated, the highest grade earned is used in calculating the major grade point average hours toward graduation. The lowest grade comes out of the grade point average but remains on the official transcript.

Veterans who wish to repeat a course for which a passing grade has been earned do not receive educational benefits for repeating a course unless a “C” is required for progression in the program.

Catalog of Record

The catalog that is current when the student enrolls in the college is the catalog of record. Students who are in continuous attendance (except summer term) may graduate under the provisions of their catalog of record, or a subsequent issue. Students who are not enrolled for a period of two consecutive semesters must graduate under the provisions of the catalog in effect on their last reentry date or a subsequent issue. Students who change their program of study come under the provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of the change or a subsequent issue.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratories, clinical, and shop sessions to meet the objectives of the courses for which they are registered. Attendance begins with the first day of class. Although special circumstances may cause a student to be absent, regular attendance is essential to satisfy course objectives. Students who anticipate an absence should contact the instructor before the class meets. Should prior notice to the instructor be impossible, the student should expect to explain the absence as soon as is possible. Students have full responsibility for accounting to their instructors for absences.

All work missed during absences may be allowed to be made up at the discretion of the instructor. Failure to make up missed work will adversely affect the student’s final grade for the course. To receive credit for a course, the student should attend eighty percent (80%) of class hours and eighty percent (80%) of lab, clinical, and/or shop hours. However, individual instructors may adhere to a more stringent attendance policy. The attendance policy for each course is defined by the instructor on the course syllabus. It is the student’s responsibility to read and abide by the policies outlined in the syllabus for the course for which they are enrolled. When absences total more than twenty percent (20%) of the total contact hours for the course, a student may be administratively withdrawn from the class.

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. It is the sole responsibility of the student to officially withdraw from courses. However, when students are absent from two consecutive class meetings or have excessive absences without contact or notification of the instructor, the instructor should initiate follow-up procedures by (1) attempting to contact the student, (2) notifying the Student Support Counselor, and (3) notifying the Student’s Advisor prior to the student missing 20 percent (20%) of the class. Notification to the Student Support Counselor must be done in writing (Unofficial Drop Form) when unofficially dropping a student from their class. If a student is unable to be contacted, and the student does not officially withdraw from the course, the student will receive an “F” for the course.

Official Withdrawal Policy

A student who wishes to withdraw from an individual course or the College should complete an official withdrawal form in Student Services. A student is not officially withdrawn until he/she processes a formal withdrawal form with the Registrar’s Office. The effective date of the withdrawal is the date the Registrar’s Office receives the completed form. All required signatures should be obtained as indicated on the form prior to submission to the Registrar’s Office. This will protect the student’s scholastic standing, his/her right to re-enroll, and transfer credits. No student will be allowed to officially withdraw from any class after the sixty percent (60%) point or after the course has ended.

Failure to officially withdraw from a course will result in a grade of “F”. If a student completes the Official Withdrawal process, the student may be given a grade of “W” for his/her class(es) prior to the sixty percent (60%) point. A student who withdraws from a course after the sixty percent (60%) point will be given a grade of “F”. When extenuating circumstances exist, the Vice President of Instruction must approve the waiver of the grade of “F”.

Intellectual Policy

Edgecombe Community College is committed to providing an environment that supports the academic activities of the faculty, staff, and students. The college encourages the creation of original works of authorship and the free expression and exchange of ideas. It is the intent of the college to maintain a positive atmosphere for scholarly development. The college encourages innovation, and discovery of new knowledge and its dissemination.

The Intellectual Property Policy applies to all full-time and part-time Edgecombe Community College employees, students working with or without compensation on any project under the direction and control of the college, anyone using college facilities, or anyone conducting activities under the supervision of college personnel. A portion of the policy, dealing specifically with student created work, is included here. The complete policy may be found in the Edgecombe Community College Employee Handbook and the Edgecombe Community College Board of Trustees Policy Manual.

Creation of Intellectual Property by Students

The student, with the following exceptions, holds copyright to works the student creates as a part of academic endeavor at the college.

  1. Sponsored or Externally Contracted Works: Sponsored or Externally Contracted Works are any works developed using funds supplied under a contract, grant or other arrangement between the college and a student. Sponsored or Externally Contracted Works created by students in the scope of employment or contract with the college constitute works for hire, and are therefore owned by the college unless there is a written agreement providing otherwise.
  2. Class or Laboratory Notes: Student class and lab notes may be “derivative works” within the meaning of copyright law, in which case they may be used only for personal educational purposes. Commercial use of derivative works without permission of the college constitutes unlawful copyright infringement. Exceptions may be granted by the college in the case of notes that are derived from college-owned works, or may be granted by the individual copyright owner of works from which the student notes have been derived. Questions regarding copyright should be directed to the Vice President of Instruction.