Student Rights & Responsibilities
As members of the college community, TSTC Marshall 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, which are accessible in the office of the Associate Dean of the Learning Community or the Library.
I. General Rights
- The right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
- The right to develop one's individual potential.
- The right to expect a quality education.
- The right to pursue an education without undo interference.
- The right to be free from hazing, threats, stalking, violence, and other harassing actions.
- The right to petition the appropriate college unit or body for redress of grievances in accordance with college procedures.
- 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).
- The right to communicate with administrators, faculty, and staff through appropriate processes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 President of the College, the Student Government, and other recognized groups within the college.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Grade 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 Grade Appeal Procedure.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Policies and Notifications
It is the intent of Texas State Technical College Marshall to maintain the academic integrity of all instructional programs while affording students with a fair process for appealing grades and/or other elements of instruction. These procedures are for academic appeal only; see other appropriate College Operating Procedures regarding issues of sexual and racial harassment (COP 1.41 and 1.42), disruptive behaviors (Standard of Student Conduct), etc. The procedures described below apply both to on-campus students and off-campus distance learning students. For distance learning students, available and appropriate technology (e-mail correspondence with attached documentation, a chat room, etc.) will be utilized to facilitate the procedures.
- At the start of each term, faculty members will provide their students with a written statement about the course objectives, required assignments, and grading policy. If the faculty member deems it necessary to modify the assignments or grading policy within the term, students will be provided with information about those modifications; ideally, written information regarding the changes will be provided to the affected students. Faculty members will apprise students of their classroom performance in a timely fashion.
- If, during a term, a student has an academic concern (a dispute about a test or assignment grade or the nature of an assignment/activity), he or she should first discuss the matter with the faculty member. This discussion should take place within one week of the occurrence of the disputed matter. If the matter cannot be resolved between the student and the instructor, they should consult with the department chair. The department chair is the final arbiter of academic concerns during the term. (In the event that the instructor is the department chair, the student would bring an academic concern to the Associate Dean of the Learning Community for final arbitration during the term.)
- If a student has an academic grievance, the student has until the 12th class day of the subsequent term in which to begin the formal appeal process by consulting with the instructor of record. An academic grievance can consist of any of the following:
(If the instructor of record is no longer available, the student should lodge the academic appeal with the department chair by the 12th class day of the subsequent term.)
- A contention of an arbitrary or capricious action taken by an instructor against a student,
- A dispute over an accusation of cheating or dishonesty, or
- Any other dispute over a matter which has impacted the final course grade
- If no satisfactory resolution regarding the academic appeal is reached after discussion with the instructor, the student should, within one week, take the matter to the department chair that supervises that faculty member. The department chair should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the appeal and should apprise the faculty member and the student as to the ruling. The department chair will make his or her ruling within one week of hearing the student's grievance.
- If, after the department chair has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may appeal in writing to the Associate Dean of the Learning Community. The student's written statement should be filed within one week of receiving the department chair's ruling and should include a clear description of the original problem and why the actions taken by the college are not satisfactory. The Associate Dean of the Learning Community should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the academic appeal and should apprise the department chair, the faculty member, and the student as to the ruling. The Associate Dean of the Learning Community will respond in writing to these parties within two weeks of receiving the student's written appeal.
- If, after the Associate Dean of the Learning Community has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice President/Dean of Student Learning. The student's written statement should be filed within one week of receiving the Associate Dean of the Learning Community's ruling and should include a clear description of the original problem and why the actions taken by the college are not satisfactory. The Vice President/Dean of Student Learning should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the academic appeal and should apprise the Associate Dean of the Learning Community, the department chair, the faculty member, and the student as to the ruling. The Vice President will respond in writing to these parties within two weeks of receiving the student's written appeal.
- If, after the Vice President/Dean of Student Learning has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may file with the Vice President's office a written appeal to the President. This written appeal must be submitted within one week of receiving the ruling from the Vice President/Dean of Student Learning. Within three working days of the receipt of the written appeal, the dean will appoint a three-person appeal committee comprised of:
The Vice President/Dean of Student Learning will preside over the committee. A note-taker will be present when necessary to record substantive discussions. The committee should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the situation. The committee may invite the student and the faculty member to appear before the committee together or separately as appropriate, and may invite as many other individuals who may add factual information necessary to come to a fair decision. The student may invite one support person to attend the appeal hearing. This support person may be an attorney. However, the support person may only advise the student making the appeal; the support person may not directly participate in the appeal process. The committee will have up to two weeks from its appointment to make a ruling. Once a ruling regarding the academic appeal has been made, the committee should apprise the Vice President/Dean of Student Learning (or the Vice President's designee), the department chair, the faculty member, and the student as to the ruling. After the committee has rendered its ruling, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the President. The President may or may not choose to act on the student's appeal. Any decisions made by the President are final.
- A faculty member (not the faculty member involved in the dispute) from within the program, if possible. (If that is not possible, then a faculty member will be appointed.)
- A faculty member from a program outside the program of the faculty member involved in the dispute.
- A student (not the student involved in the dispute).