Policy on Student Rights
Rights of Students
It is the board policy that the educational offerings of the community colleges be available to students without regard to the individual’s race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, genetic information, marital status, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning disability, or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness, or prior conviction of a crime (unless the provisions of sections 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b), or 46a-81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups). With respect to the foregoing, discrimination on the basis of sex shall include sexual harassment as defined in Section 46a-60(8) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Further, the system will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of political beliefs or veteran status.
Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to impartial treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. The student should not be forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political action or his or her own part in society. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, religion, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs. Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study, but they are responsible for learning the content of the course of study as defined by official college publications.
Community college students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens they enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that other citizens enjoy, and as members of the academic community they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership.
College Student Grievance Procedure
- Definition: A grievance is an allegation by a student that, as to him or her, an agent of the college has violated board or college policies relating to students other than assignment of grades or other academic evaluation (see Section 3: Review of Academic Standing).
- How to file a grievance: A grievance is to be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students or such other college official as the President may designate (hereinafter, the Dean of Students), within thirty days of the date the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation. The written grievance shall specify the right claimed to have been violated and state briefly the underlying facts.
- Procedure for grievance resolution: The Dean of Students and/or his designee shall investigate the grievance and, within thirty days from the time the grievance was submitted recommend to the President a disposition of the grievance, except as provided hereinafter:
- In the course of each investigation, the Dean of Students shall consult with the dean responsible for the area of college operations in which the grievance arose.
- In the case of a grievance alleging discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, marital status, mental retardation or physical disability, prior conviction of a crime, political beliefs, veteran status, or sexual preference, the Dean of Students shall consult with the college’s Affirmative Action Officer during the course of the investigation.
- In the case of a grievance against a dean, the grievance shall be filed with the President. The President may accept or reject the recommendation, or direct such further investigation as he or she deems appropriate. The President shall notify the student of the final disposition of the grievance within fifteen days of receiving the recommendation, except for good cause or as provided in 4.
- Advisory Committee: The President may establish an advisory committee of students and staff which may be charged with the responsibility of making recommendations at either the level of the deans or the President. The President may appoint and remove members of the committee. If an advisory committee is appointed, the President shall establish a reasonable time frame within which the committee must make recommendations.
Board of Regents System Student Grievance Procedure
In order to comply with the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education (CSCU) has oversight for investigating all written and signed student complaints against the colleges and universities in the CSCU system. Additionally, we are also providing prospective and enrolled students with contact information for filing complaints with our accrediting agency and other appropriate state agencies.
In order for the CSCU system to initiate an investigation, the following must be true:
- The student has exhausted all available grievance procedures established by the institution.
- The student did not receive a satisfactory resolution and is contacting CSCU as a last resort in the grievance process.
- The student has submitted the claim in writing. The student complaint must provide a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times, and full names of all involved, as well as the actions taken by both the student and the school to resolve the matter.
- The student has signed the complaint, electronically, or by signature, attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint.
- The student recognizes that CSCU will not investigate anonymous complaints. By signing the complaint, the student acknowledges that CSCU may share the information provided with the school or other relevant organizations, in order to help resolve the dispute. CSCU does not guarantee a resolution resulting from the submission or its investigation into the allegation.
Upon receiving a complaint, CSCU will initiate an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. If preliminary findings indicate an inconsistency with CSCU policy by the institution, CSCU will resolve the complaint informally through mediated discussion. All parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation. If the complaint is outside of CSCU jurisdiction, it may be directed to the accrediting body, or to another agency that is authorized to resolve the complaint, if appropriate.
The student and/or the institution may be contacted during the investigation to submit documented evidence regarding the complaint, which may include copies of enrollment documentation, contracts, syllabi, receipts, financial aid notices, promissory notes, or other relevant correspondence.
Students are reminded that they have the right to seek advice from a private attorney.
Accrediting Agency: New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). Provides information for students to address public comments, complaints against affiliated institutions, and complaints against the Commission.
State of Connecticut: Complaint form for the State of Connecticut is located at the Connecticut Attorney General’s website: http://www.ct.gov/ag/site/default.asp.