Edgecombe Community College (ECC) is dedicated to fulfilling the educational, training, and cultural needs of the community and its students. Attending ECC obligates the student to display the qualities of courtesy, respect, and integrity that characterize the behavior of adult learners. The College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty and the Student Code of Conduct are guides for students in understanding their rights and responsibilities. Students who fail to display these qualities will be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Students suspected of violating the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty or Student Code of Conduct will be afforded due process as outlined below.
“Academic Dean” means person(s) authorized by the Vice President of Instruction (including department chairs) to determine whether a student has committed academic dishonesty and/or render a decision regarding an academic grievance and impose sanctions. Decisions made by an Academic Dean are final pending appeal to the Campus Appeals Committee.
“Academic Dishonesty” includes, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, aiding and abetting others to cheat or plagiarize, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
“Academic Grievance” means an adverse decision relating to a student’s course of study, course(s), grade about which a student submits a Student Complaint. An academic grievance does not include a faculty member’s administrative withdrawal of a student who has accumulated unofficial absences in excess of the number of times indicated in the faculty member’s attendance policy in the course syllabus (See, Attendance Appeal Process.)
“Accused Student” means any student accused of academic dishonesty or violating the Student Code of Conduct.
“Campus Appeals Committee” means the committee that is authorized by the Vice President of Instruction to consider an appeal from an Academic Dean’s determination as to whether a student has committed academic dishonesty or decision regarding an academic grievance and by the Vice President of Student Services to consider an appeal from a Dean in Student Services determination as to whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or decision regarding a non-academic grievance and recommend a decision and sanctions to the appropriate Vice President for a final determination.
“Cheating” includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the College faculty or staff (4) engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
“College” or “ECC” means Edgecombe Community College. The College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty and Student Code of Conduct apply to both of the College’s campuses and students enrolled in a distance education course.
“College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College employee, or any guest.
“College employee” includes any person employed by the College performing administrative or professional responsibilities.
“College property” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and all other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College.
“Complainant” means any person who submits an allegation that a student has committed academic dishonesty or violated the Student Code of Conduct or submits a Student Complaint.
“Dean in Student Services” means person(s) authorized by the Vice President of Student Services to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and/or render a decision regarding a non-academic grievance and impose sanctions. Decisions made by the Dean in Student Services are final pending appeal to the Campus Appeals Committee.
“Faculty” means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or otherwise considered by the College to be a member of its faculty.
“Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
“Policy” means the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the policy prohibiting academic dishonesty, Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbook, General Catalog, College web page, and College computer use policy.
“Student” includes all persons taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time. Persons who withdraw after allegedly committing academic dishonesty or violating the Student Code of Conduct, or who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but have a continuing relationship with the College, or have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students.”
Student Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, aiding and abetting others to cheat or plagiarize, or other forms of academic dishonesty, is a serious offense and is expressly prohibited. Each student is responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, diploma, or certificate. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit any act of academic dishonesty is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined below. This policy applies to allegations of student’s academic dishonesty even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
The President of the College has appointed the Vice President of Instruction to be responsible for matters of academic dishonesty and academic grievances, the development of policies for the administration thereof, and imposition of sanctions on any student(s) found to have committed academic dishonesty or failed to comply with academic policies. The Vice President of Instruction may authorize an Academic Dean or department chair to investigate allegations of academic dishonesty and/or academic grievances and make a determination regarding the facts and applicable sanctions. Decisions related to academic dishonesty and/or academic grievances made by the Vice President of Instruction, or Vice President of Student Services in the event that the Vice President of Instruction delegates such responsibility for a specific incident to him or her, are final.
Student Code of Conduct
This Student Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on College property, at College sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College and/or the pursuit of its objectives as determined by the Vice President of Student Services. Each student is responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, diploma, or certificate. The Student Code of Conduct applies to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit any of the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined below:
- Falsification, forgery, alteration, unauthorized possession, or misuse of College documents, records, or identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to the College or to a College employee.
- Destruction, damage, unauthorized entry, possession, or misuse of private or College property.
- Theft or attempted theft of property or damage, other than accidental, to property of the College, members of the College community, or campus visitors or other personal or public property.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, administration, or any other function or activity of the College.
- Denial of or interference with any person’s lawful right of access to, use of, or exit from any College property or with any other lawful right of any person on the campus.
- Verbal, physical, or psychological abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct, including but not limited to stalking or bullying, in person or by electronic means, which threatens bodily harm to self or another person or persons in the College community or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Hazing of any kind, including acts directed against an ECC student by another student, or by a group of students which intimidates or subjects another student to indignity or humiliation. The express or implied consent, apathy, or acquiescence of the victim will not be a defense.
- Sexual harassment as defined by the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy in the Student Handbook.
- Sexual violence or attempted sexual violence including physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent.
- Engaging in any type of sexual activity on any College property.
- Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of the peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on College property or at a College activity.
- Conducting or participating in gang activity on the College’s campuses or at any College sponsored event. This violation includes, but is not limited to, displaying of gang symbols and colors.
- Violation of the College’s Tobacco-Free Campus Policy found in the Student Handbook.
- Possession, use, manufacturing, sale, or delivery of alcoholic beverages on College properties or violation of the College’s Alcoholic Beverage, Drug, and Weapons policy in the Student Handbook.
- Possession, use, manufacturing, sale, or delivery of marijuana, narcotics, or other controlled substances or dangerous drugs or illicit drugs in violation of local, state, or federal law or the College’s Alcoholic Beverage, Drug, and Weapons policy in the Student Handbook.
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Possession or use of firearms, illegal knife, dangerous weapons, explosives, and/or dangerous chemicals while on campus in violation of the College’s Alcoholic Beverage, Drug, and Weapons policy in the Student Handbook. The appropriate use of chemicals in class is exempt from this policy.
- Malfeasance or misuse of elective or appointed office in a student organization which is injurious to the organization, its members, or the welfare of the College community.
- Failure to comply with the directions of College employees or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties and/or to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Violation of any College policy, rule, or regulation.
- Violations of any city, state or federal law.
- Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College employee.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operation of the College computing system.
- Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
- Violation of the Acceptable Use Guidelines for College Computing Resources.
- Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on College premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress.
- Failure to report behavior that threatens the public safety of the College community.
- Abuse of the Due Process for Students and Student Appeals process, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the notice from an Academic Dean or Dean in Student Services or the Campus Appeals Committee to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the Due Process for Students and Student Appeals process.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information to an Academic Dean, Dean in Student Services, Vice President, or before the Campus Appeals Committee as part of the Due Process for Students and Student Appeals process.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Campus Appeals Committee proceeding.
- Submission of an allegation that a student has violated the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty or Student Code of Conduct in bad faith.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participating in, or use of, the Due Process for Students and Student Appeals process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Campus Appeals Committee prior to, and/or during the course of, a proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Campus Appeals Committee prior to, during, and/or after a proceeding.
- Failure to comply with the disciplinary sanction(s).
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Due Process for Students and Student Appeals process.
- Other violations determined by College authorities to warrant disciplinary action.
College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Student Code of Conduct. The proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following any criminal proceedings at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Services and determinations made or disciplinary sanctions imposed without regard to the outcome of the criminal proceedings.
The President of the College has appointed the Vice President of Student Services to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct and non-academic grievances, the development of policies for the administration thereof and imposition of sanctions on any student(s) found to have committed a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or failed to comply with any of the College’s policies (other than academic policies). The Vice President of Student Services may authorize a Dean in Student Services to investigate allegations of violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct and/or non-academic grievances and make a determination regarding the facts and applicable sanctions. Decisions related to the Student Code of Conduct and/or non-academic grievances made by the Vice President of Student Services, or Vice President of Instruction in the event that the Vice President of Student Services delegates such responsibility for a specific incident to him or her, are final.
Student Academic Dishonesty and Code of Conduct Procedures
Students are expected to be self-disciplined and display the qualities of courtesy, respect, and integrity at all times. Members of the college community may counsel a student about their need to exercise self-discipline and display these qualities at any time.
Faculty members are responsible for managing the classroom environment. Students who engage in misconduct that disrupts a class or college-sponsored activity may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class or activity for the remainder of the period. Such dismissal of a student from a class or activity should be reported as a complaint by the faculty member to the appropriate Dean in Student Services. Suspension from a class or activity for a longer period of time or administratively withdrawing a student for misconduct by a faculty member requires the approval of the Vice President of Student Services. The student may initiate a Formal Appeal by submitting a written appeal within ten class days of the date of the suspension or administrative withdrawal.
Any member of the College community may file a complaint against a student alleging, in good faith, a violation of the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty and the Student Code of Conduct. Complaints alleging violations of the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty shall be in writing and directed to the appropriate Academic Dean. Complaints alleging violations of the Student Code of Conduct shall be in writing and directed to the appropriate Dean in Student Services on the campus on which the alleged violation occurred or where the student is registered or attends class. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place or when it is reasonably discovered.
Rights of the Accused Student
The ECC Board of Trustees and the College are committed to providing all students with due process as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States of America.
Throughout the process of determining if a student committed academic dishonesty or violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Accused Student has the following rights:
- to seek information from the appropriate Dean about the Investigation and Resolution Process (outlined below);
- to be informed of the charge(s) and alleged misconduct set forth in the complaint;
- to be afforded a reasonable opportunity to offer a relevant response/defense;
- to be informed of and respond to the relevant evidence upon which the complaint is based;
- to remain silent with no inference of responsibility drawn;
- to be considered not responsible until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence;
- to appeal the decision of the appropriate Dean as outlined in the Formal Appeal Procedure (outlined below); and
- to waive any of the above rights.
Investigation and Resolution Process
The College’s process for resolving allegations that a student committed academic dishonesty or violated the Student Code of Conduct utilizes an investigatory model, not an adversarial model, with the primary goal of uncovering the truth. The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. An investigation begins when a complaint is forwarded to and the case is opened by the appropriate Dean. During the investigation, an Accused Student should continue to attend class and required College functions unless otherwise instructed by the Academic Dean or Dean in Student Services investigating the complaint.
After the Dean receives a complaint, he/she will review the information to decide what process, if any, to initiate. The Dean may:
- determine that the facts of the complaint or report, even if true, would not constitute academic dishonesty or a violation of the Student Code of Conduct;
- resolve the situation through an informal resolution process including but not limited to mediation or a meeting between the Accused Student and a third party; or
- initiate an investigation by gathering facts and meeting with the Accused Student.
- If the Dean initiates an investigation, he/she may meet with the Complainant(s) and any witnesses to gather additional information.
- The Dean will verbally notify the Accused Student of the complaint and his/her decision to investigate it and interview him/her to gather additional information.
- Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Dean will render a decision, which will be communicated to the Accused Student in writing via the Student’s College email address. If the Dean decides that the Accused Student committed academic dishonesty or violated the Student Code of Conduct, the notice of his/her decision will include a brief description of the findings, the relevant provision(s) of the academic dishonesty policy or Student Code of Conduct violated, a description of any disciplinary sanctions, and reference to the Formal Appeal process described below.
If the Dean does not render a decision satisfactory to the Accused Student, the Student may initiate a Formal Appeal by submitting a written appeal within ten class days of the Dean’s decision to the Vice President of Instruction if it relates to academic dishonesty or the Vice President of Student Services if it relates to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Sanctions are imposed when a student is found to have violated the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty, the Student Code of Conduct, or other academic or non-academic policies of the College. Sanctions are determined by the severity of the case and the disciplinary history of the student. A student will be given one of sanctions below. Sanctions may be imposed singly or in combination upon individuals, groups, or organizations.
Other than College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions. Both an Accused Student(s) (or group or organization) and a student(s) claiming to be the victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the education records of both the Accused Student(s) and the student(s) claiming to be the victim because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
The following sanctions by the College include, but are not limited to:
Warning: A warning is a written notice to the student or organization that the conduct in question violates College regulations. For organizations, a warning may include notification to the organization’s president or adviser.
Reduction in Grade or No Credit: A reduction in a grade or no credit on an assignment, examination, or course in which an act of academic dishonesty occurred.
Loss of Privileges: The College may deem it appropriate to take away certain privileges from a student or organization for a specified period of time. This sanction may include, but is not limited to, limited access to or use of all or part of College property, participation in some or all College activities including educational or graduation exercises, removal from an elective or appointed office of a registered campus organization, removal of recognition, and ineligibility to represent the College.
Imposition of Special Conditions: The student(s) may be asked to perform certain tasks, or make restitution, whether monetary or by specific duties or assignments, or comply with a behavioral contract.
Disciplinary Probation: Disciplinary probation is levied for a specific time based on the seriousness of the violation and serves as a warning that any further violation of College regulations during the specific time may result in more serious consequences, including suspension or expulsion.
Interim Suspension: Interim suspension is a sanction levied by the Vice President of Student Services, or a designee, when she/he is satisfied that the continued presence of the student on the campus constitutes a threat to the security or emotional safety and well-being of members of the College community or College property.
Suspension: Suspension is the separation of the student or organizations from the College for a definite period of time or until written specified conditions are met, after which the student is eligible to return or readmission. Conditions for return or readmission may be specified by the appropriate Vice President.
Expulsion: Expulsion is the permanent separation of the student or organization from the College. A student expelled from the College is not eligible for readmission.
Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of College standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
Withholding Degree: The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in the College’s policy prohibiting academic dishonesty or the Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
Other sanctions which are deemed appropriate by the College.