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Student Rights And Responsibilities

As members of the college community, TSTC Harlingen students are entitled to certain rights associated with attending an institution of higher education. These rights include those expressed below and others written into College Operating Procedures available online at http://www.harlingen.tstc.edu/policy

I. General Rights

  1. The right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
  2. The right to develop one's individual potential.
  3. The right to expect a quality education.
  4. The right to pursue an education without undue interference.
  5. The right to be free from hazing, threats, stalking, violence, and other harassing actions.
  6. The right to petition the appropriate college unit or body for redress of grievances in accordance with college procedures.
  7. The rights to confidentiality of official records, transcripts, disciplinary records and other educational records consistent with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).
  8. The right to communicate with administrators, faculty, and staff through appropriate processes.
  9. The right to publish and distribute information through the appropriate forums subject to the standards of reasonable journalism and applicable regulations/ statements of the U.S. Constitution, the Federal Communications Commission and the college.
  10. The right, in accordance with law and college procedures, to freedom of speech and assembly which are subject to college requirements for the maintenance and order and the protection of rights and privileges of other members in the college community.
  11. The right and opportunity to participate in the formulation of procedures directly affecting students through membership or appointment to appropriate committees as determined by the College President, the Student Government Association, and other recognized groups within the college.
  12. The right of access to college-designated facilities through college approved/recognized student organizations for business meetings, special meetings, and programs open to the public in accordance with college procedures.

II. Academic Rights & Responsibilities

A. Academic Freedom - Students and all other members of the college community are guaranteed the rights freely to study, discuss, investigate, teach conduct research and publish as appropriate to their respective roles and responsibilities. In the classroom and in conference, students have the right within the scope of the course of study to state divergent opinions, challenge ideas, and take reasoned exception to the data or the views offered.

Responsibility - Students and faculty share the responsibility to protect and to preserve conditions that are conducive to the learning process, including withholding judgment on matters of opinion, ensuring a fair hearing for divergent viewpoints, and observing rules of courtesy in the classroom.

B. Academic Standards - Students have the right to know the standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.

Responsibility - Students are responsible for seeking clarification of any standard in question at the beginning of the term, for preparing assignments in advance of each class session, and for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Rules applying to academic dishonesty must be followed, including those related to plagiarism and cheating.

C. Academic Evaluation - Students have the right to be evaluated solely on an academic basis, without regard to issues of diversity, opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students have the right to review tests and other written works after the instructor has evaluated them and are accorded protection through the Academic Appeal Procedure against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.

Responsibility - Students are responsible for bringing academic grievances first to the attention of the instructor who performed the evaluation in an effort to resolve the issue. If the matter cannot be settled at this level, it may be appealed in writing as outlined in the Academic Appeal Procedure.

D. Improper Disclosure - Except when disclosure may be required by state or federal law, students have the right to confidentiality of information about views, beliefs and political associations which they may share privately with instructors, advisers or academic counselors. Judgment of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.

Responsibility - Students have the responsibility to state clearly what is and what is not confidential disclosure.

E. Disruptions - Students have the right to pursue an education without disruption or interference and to expect enforcement of norms for acceptable classroom behavior that prevents disruption of the teaching/ learning process.

Responsibility - Students may not disrupt class or any other college process by any means whatsoever (including sideline conversations, comments, arguments, noise of any kind or other activity which would hinder access to or utilization of academic information).

F. Non-Discrimination - Students have the right to learn in a classroom environment where diversity is respected.

Responsibility - Students are responsible for respecting diversity and for behaving courteously to both faculty members and other students in the classroom regardless of difference in race, creed, color, religion, age, nationally, sex, sexual orientation or disability status.

G. Intellectual Property - Students have the right to expect that presentation of material in a class will be in compliance with copyright law and that their own creative work will not be disseminated or published without their permission.

Responsibility - Students who receive written notification from a faculty member that the information provided in his or her course is the faculty member's intellectual property shall not distribute, use for commercial purpose, or create derivative works of the intellectual property without obtaining the express permission of the faculty member. Students shall not assume permission absent written notification from a faculty member. Students shall also respect and treat in similar manner the intellectual property of other students.

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