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On Campus Course/Academic Grievance Policy and Appeal

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Student Freedom, Responsibility and Accountability

Brevard College expects students to maintain standards of personal integrity that are consistent with the educational goals of the institution and assume responsibility for their actions.

 

In the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, students need freedom to inquire and exchange ideas. To insure these freedoms, the College requires a community protective of free inquiry, respectful of the rights of others, and free from threats and intimidation. In exercising freedoms and in discharging the rights and obligations of citizenship, students must also recognize their responsibilities to other individuals, to the College, to governmental bodies, and to society in general. Orderly, dignified expression and conduct are expected at all times. In protection of these freedoms, the College has established standards of personal and group conduct known as the Honor Code and the Social Code. Foundational principles of academic honesty, personal integrity, tolerance, respect for diversity, civility, freedom from violence, and pursuit of lifestyles free of alcohol and drug abuse are examples of these standards.

 

The College views student conduct as a developmental process (learning experience) that can result in growth, behavioral changes, and personal understanding of one's responsibilities and privileges within the College’s environment. To this end, the student conduct processes (Honor Code and Social Code) attempt to balance an understanding and knowledge   of students and their needs and rights with the needs and expectations of the College and the larger community. The College student conduct processes utilize a comprehensive array of approaches to support Brevard College values and honor community standards. These include a continuum of responses from disciplinary sanction or restriction to education, counseling, and restorative justice.

 

Students are treated with care, fairness, tolerance and respect, with decisions made relative to the needs and circumstances of all concerned. The needs of respondents charged with violations, person(s) who report being the victim of another student’s actions, and the community, at large, are judged to be equally important. Students at Brevard College may take advantage of the various resources of the College to further their development.

 

Honor/Integrity Codes

The Honor Code adopted by the faculty and the SGA serves as an absolute commitment. Dishonesty in any form undermines the efforts to create and maintain an atmosphere in which students can develop a sense of self-worth and establish patterns of personal integrity.

 

Brevard College expects all members of the College to commit their hearts and minds to this community of learning, to pursue truth with humility, to become wise stewards of the earth, and to live responsibly. By becoming a member of the Brevard College community, students commit themselves to upholding standards for honest and fair dealings with others, as expressed in the following affirmation(s):

 

Student Affirmation: I agree to respect the integrity, ideas, and property of the College community, fellow students, faculty, and staff, by refraining from acts such as plagiarism, cheating, theft, harassment, and abusive language or behavior. I further agree to abide by the academic policies of the institution as outlined in the College Catalog and the Social Code maintained by the Division of Campus Life and the Honor Council.

 

Academic Rights of Students

 

Every student at Brevard College has the following academic rights:

  • To be provided, at entrance, clearly-specified and publicized academic requirements for continuance in, and graduation from, Brevard College
  • To be informed, at the beginning of each course, of requirements, methods and criteria of assessment, weighting of assignments to determine the final course grade, attendance policy (including any related effect on the final grade), and assignment lateness policy (including any related effect on the final grade)
  • To receive, before the "Drop Course Without Record" deadline, adequate assessment of progress to help the student and advisor to project probable success or failure
  • To receive a reasonable explanation for expulsion from class or from the institution for failure to maintain prescribed standards
  • To expect faculty to meet classes on a regular basis and to schedule office hours to provide sufficient student access for assistance in the course
  • To meet with an academic advisor for discussion and possible revision of his or her class schedule before the schedule is finalized.
  • To be notified, in writing upon request, of any charges involving cheating or plagiarism
  • To due process when the student deems academic assessment unfair or unreasonable

 

Academic Expectations of Students

 

Class Conduct: Registering for any course at Brevard College constitutes a commitment on the part of the student to make a mature and responsible effort to succeed. Behaviors in the classroom should be conducive to the success of academic programs and the learning experiences of all students. It is important that students respect others and their opinions. This respect is demonstrated in a number of ways including being on time to class, being prepared to contribute to the class in a constructive manner as defined in the course syllabus, and exhibiting conduct during class that displays self-respect and respect for others. Any conduct by a student that is detrimental to that student’s success or best performance or to the success or best interests of the class may result in the temporary or permanent removal of the student from the class. Detrimental activities include excessive absences or tardies; side conversations or other rude, distractive, or disruptive behaviors; lack of effort; fighting; threatening behaviors; profanity; verbal abuse; direct defiance of the teacher’s authority; or other verbal or non-verbal behaviors that are negative influences upon others in the class. The type of exclusion is dependent on the nature of the conduct. Outcomes associated with such conduct include warnings; a grade of F for the days (e.g., tests, papers) absent from class; or a grade of F or W for the entire course. The grade assigned when a student is removed from a class depends on the results of arbitration and/or appeal as well as the time during the semester and the student’s work to that point in the course. When an instructor excludes a student from class, the instructor will send a written statement of the reasons to the Division Chair with copies also sent to Academic Affairs and Registrar’s Office. The student has the right to appeal following the process outlined below in the Academic Complaint, Grievance and Grade Appeals Procedure.

 

Class and Laboratory Attendance: Attendance at all class, laboratory, or studio sessions is expected of students, and each student is responsible for all work assigned in each course. Students should expect to be eligible for course credit and Financial Aid only if they attend at least 70% of the class meetings. Specific attendance requirements for each course are established by the instructor at the beginning of each term and will be stated in the course syllabus.

 

Federal regulations require that students attend all registered classes in order to receive Financial Aid. Students who register for courses but do not attend will be reported for non-attendance by Brevard College faculty. Students’ Financial Aid will be adjusted to reflect their Financial Aid eligibility only for those classes that they attend. The College is required to ensure that students receive Financial Aid only for the courses that they attend and complete.

 

Students who must miss classes are responsible for discussing absences with faculty in advance of their occurrence or as soon as possible thereafter. The instructor is responsible for determining whether and how students may make up missed class work.

 

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty can take a variety of forms. Violations include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • Plagiarism (duplication of wording, concepts, or ideas from any source and submission of the material as one’s own work without acknowledging the source by the use of appropriate citations, quotation marks, or both).
  • Citing of sources not actually used in the preparation of an assignment (e.g. padding a bibliography).
  • Submitting another’s work as one’s own (e.g. copying or stealing a paper, homework assignment, lab assignment, or other). This may also include submission of a paper or other research purchased from a commercial research firm or accessed via the Internet.
  • Collaborating with outside sources or other students on assignments, exams, or other course work when it is not allowed.
  • Allowing another student to copy from any assignment or exam.
  • Copying another student’s exam, in whole or in part.
  • Unauthorized use of books, notes, papers, calculators, or other materials or devices during an exam.
  • Unauthorized possession of an exam prior to exam date.
  • Changing answers after an exam has been returned and submitting it for a re-grade.
  • Accessing and altering grades in a grade book.

 

Instructors may establish penalties for plagiarism or cheating on an individual basis. In cases of plagiarism or cheating within multi-section/common syllabus courses, faculty, facilitated by the appropriate Program Coordinator, will establish penalties for infractions. Any student having been found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation who then initiates withdrawal from a course will receive an F and forfeit the right to appeal.

 

In the event of an instructor’s electing to take individual action on an Honor Code infraction, penalties range from a grade of zero on the assignment to exclusion from the class for the rest of the semester and/or a final grade of F in the course. The instructor must provide the student with written and dated documentation describing the incident and penalties imposed, and further submit such documentation through the appropriate Division Chair to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Such documentation will be kept on file in the Office of Academic Affairs until such time as the student graduates. Faculty members who have reason to suspect a pattern of Honor Code infractions may check this file to determine whether documentation of prior incidents exists. Any student who is involved in more than one incident of plagiarism or cheating is subject to suspension from Brevard College.

 

If a student wishes to appeal the decision of an instructor regarding incidents of plagiarism or cheating in any form, the student should consult with the Division Chair, normally within five class days of receiving notification from the instructor.

 

If resolution at that level is not achieved, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose decision is final.

 

Student Academic Complaints, Grievances, and Grade Appeals:

 

  • Grading and/or Other Assessment:  Students must provide verifiable evidence that a grade is inconsistent with work completed in the course, for example, failing a final examination because of a legitimate absence that can be verified by an appropriate authority.
  • Treatment in Class:  Continuing treatment that is conspicuously unfair, harassing, or in violation of the student's dignity and right to privacy.
  • Evaluation of Credits:  Credits allowed by the Office of the Registrar to transfer into Brevard College.
  • Accusations of the Student:  Charges of cheating, plagiarism, stealing, and/or selling or distributing in any fashion other students' papers or instructors' examinations.
  • Curriculum Issues:  Where a student is required to do work unrelated to the published syllabus of the course and requirements of the College.

 

Academic Complaint, Grievance and Grade Appeals Procedure:

 

Distance Education Complaint Procedures: Please follow this link.

 

On-Campus Course Complaint Procedures: Students who have complaints, grievances, or grade appeals should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussions with their instructor. The appropriate contact information for course instructors can be found on the course’s syllabus, which is available via the course’s online Sakai site.

 

If students are unable to satisfactorily resolve the matter through discussing it with their course instructor, the next step is to formally submit the complaint, grievance, or grade appeal in writing using the Brevard College On-Campus Course Education Grievance Form which is available via the Registrar’s webpage on MyBC. This form must be filled out and submitted to the course instructor. The course instructor is required to respond to the student within 5 days after student submits the Grievance Form. If the student and instructor are able to resolve the issue, no additional action is required.

 

If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the course instructor after submitting the Education Grievance Form, the student may appeal the grievance to the appropriate division chair. (If you are unsure of who the appropriate division chair is, please check with the Registrar’s Office.) In order to initiate an appeal, the student should submit the Brevard College On-Campus Course Education Grievance Form previously submitted to the instructor to the appropriate division chair via email. The division chair will make a decision about the grievance within 5 days of submission of the appeal.

 

If the student remains unsatisfied after the division chair makes a decision about the grievance, the student may make a final appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). In order to submit a final appeal, student should submit the Education Grievance Form and a copy of all communication about the grievance between the student, course instructor, and division chair to the VPAA via email (vp-aa@brevard.edu.) The VPAA will contact the parties involved if additional information is needed. The VPAA will make a final decision, and the student, course instructor, and division chair will be notified in writing of this decision. The decision made by the VPAA will be final and not subject to additional appeal.