Student Rights and Responsibilities

San Jacinto College holds that students, upon enrollment, neither lose the right nor escape the duties of citizenship. The student-citizen must exercise liberty with responsibility. The enumeration of the following rights and responsibilities shall in no way be interpreted as being all-inclusive or denying the existence of other rights and responsibilities which a student holds as a student or citizen.

Student Rights

Right to Review One’s Educational Records and to Seek Amendment to One's Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides students with certain rights with respect to their personal educational records. These general rights include the right of access to one’s educational records, the right to request corrections to one’s records, and the right to prevent disclosure of the student’s records except when authorized by FERPA. The college’s specific policies and procedures regarding FERPA can be found on the college website and in this Handbook.

Academic Evaluation Rights

Students have the right to be apprised of the methodology by which they will be evaluated in their course work. Also, students shall have appeal rights to challenge final grades. Please refer to Complaint Procedure 100: Grade Appeal Process found in the Student Handbook or Catalog.

Intellectual Property Rights

Students shall retain their intellectual property rights on projects produced as a result of their individual initiative and that involved only incidental use of College facilities and resources. If the student is working on a project initiated and funded by San Jacinto College, ownership resides with the College.

Right to Appeal Financial Aid Suspension

Students may submit Financial Aid appeals due to extenuating circumstances that have affected the student’s academic performance. Extenuating circumstances are situations such as serious injury or illness, a death in the immediate family, or undue hardship. Detailed information about the financial aid appeal process, requirements, and guidelines can be found on the College website or obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Right to Freedom of Association

Students bring to the College a variety of interests. Students have the freedom to organize and join associations to promote their common interests in accordance with the policies and procedures of the College. Please visit the Student Engagement and Activities Office on your campus for more information.

Right to Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

Students and student organizations are free to examine and discuss matters of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and normal operations of the institution, and which comply with the regulations that relate to student conduct. At the same time, in their public expressions or demonstrations, students or student organizations do not represent the institution and speak only for themselves. Please visit the Student Engagement and Activities Office on your campus for more information.

Right to Freedom from Illegal Discrimination

It is the policy of the San Jacinto Community College District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, marital status or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. The following officials have been designated to respond to inquiries regarding the College’s non-discrimination policies:

Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Organizational and Talent Effectiveness
Sandra Ramirez (employees) - Co-Lead Title IX Coordinator and Equal Opportunity Compliance Officer
4624 Fairmont Parkway
Pasadena, Texas 77504
sandra.ramirez@sjcd.edu
281-998-6348

Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Services
Joanna Zimmermann (students) - Co-Lead Title IX Coordinator
8060 Spencer Highway
Pasadena, Texas 77505
joanna.zimmermann@sjcd.edu
281-476-1863

Right to Due Process

The College has an enduring commitment to provide students with a balanced and fair student discipline system. The College will provide students with the due process protections to which they are entitled under the U.S. Constitution Fourteenth Amendment. The amount of due process required will depend upon the seriousness of the alleged violation and the proposed sanction. At a minimum, a student charged with alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct has the right to:

  • have their case processed without unreasonable delay
  • receive prompt written notice of alleged violations per the Code of Student Conduct and an explanation of the evidence against the student
  • receive a meaningful opportunity to be heard in one’s defense

For more detailed information about the College’s investigation procedures, hearing procedures, and appeal procedures, please refer to the Code of Student Conduct found in the Student Handbook.

Right to Freedom from Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking

In accordance with the Campus SaVE Act in the Violence Against Women Act amendments to the Clery Act, San Jacinto College provides on-going awareness and prevention training, procedures and resources to prevent the occurrence of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. The College also provides an equitable complaint process that provides for prompt investigation of complaints and the imposition of sanctions against students who are found in violation of this code (see Complaint Procedure 400). For more information about student-related training, contact the Compliance & Judicial Affairs Office.

Right to Equity in Athletics

The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) is intended to make prospective students aware of a school’s commitment to providing equitable opportunities for its male and female students. Each year, San Jacinto College produces an EADA report available to current and prospective students and to the public. If you would like to review the full report or to request a copy of San Jacinto College’s EADA report, please contact the Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives office at 281-459-7140.

Right to Involvement in Decision Making

San Jacinto College provides an opportunity for student involvement in the decision making process through the respective forms of student government on the three campuses. As constituents of the educational community, students may express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body.

In addition to membership in student associations and organizations, students shall be given the opportunity to serve on campus and College committees as deemed appropriate by the College. For more information, please visit the Student Engagement & Activities office on your campus.

Amnesty for Certain Drug or Alcohol Possession and Consumption Violations

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the alleged victim of the misconduct or a witness to the alleged misconduct was under the drinking age or under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the occasion in question. The Compliance & Judicial Affairs office will not pursue disciplinary sanctions against the alleged victim or witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct. For more information, please contact the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office.

Student Responsibilities

In voluntarily enrolling at the College, students have the responsibility to comply with all state and federal laws and college regulations and policies governing student conduct and academic affairs. Students assume responsibility for their behavior and acknowledge and share the following responsibilities:

  • Students must recognize that the Board of Trustees is the policy making authority for the operation of the San Jacinto Community College District. The Board delegates to the College administration the authority to implement Board policy through procedures, regulations, guidelines and handbooks.
  • Students must understand that while education is a shared activity, the ultimate responsibility for learning rests with the student.
  • Students are responsible, collectively and individually, for allowing other students to continue their pursuit of education. Students must refrain from interfering with the rights of other students in their educational pursuits or with employees in the exercise of their duties.
  • The right to disagree is well established. However, students must make sure that disagreement is factual and is presented with respect for those with whom they are disagreeing, including faculty, staff, administration, other students and campus visitors. When approaching the administration about any matter, students must go through established channels of communication and authority.
  • Students have a responsibility to comply with copyright law and to educate themselves regarding copyright infringement, peer-to-peer file sharing and penalties for violations. For information and resources, please visit http://www.sanjac.edu/policy-vi-k-policy-regarding-appropriate-use-copyrighted-materials.
  • Students must comply with the policies, rules, regulations and generally accepted practices of the College currently in effect or as they may be amended. All policies, rules, regulations, and practices are subject to amendment at any time during the student’s enrollment.
  • Students also have the responsibility to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations governing their participation in higher education. Such regulations and laws as may exist or that may be subsequently enacted and adopted shall have precedence over the provisions of this document of student rights.

Code of Academic Integrity and Honesty

Integrity is one of the core values at San Jacinto College. As such, students are expected to exhibit honesty, integrity, high standards, and freedom from lies and fraud in their academic work. Personal integrity is important in all aspects of life, and students must conduct themselves in an ethical manner both in and out of the classroom. Incidents of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated, and students guilty of such conduct are subject to disciplinary consequences.

Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion and Fabrication

Code of Academic Integrity and Honesty

Integrity is one of the core values at San Jacinto College.  As such, students are expected to exhibit honesty, integrity, high standards, and freedom from lies and fraud in their academic work.  Personal integrity is important in all aspects of life and students must conduct themselves in an ethical manner both in and out of the classroom.  Incidents of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students guilty of such conduct are subject to disciplinary consequences.

Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion and Fabrication Procedure

The following institutional guidelines concerning cheating, plagiarism, collusion and fabrication are provided for the information of all students enrolled in any course offered by San Jacinto College. Gaining knowledge and practicing honesty go hand in hand. The importance of knowledge properly gained is reinforced by the grading system, therefore, honesty fully practiced is emphasized by rules against cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and fabrication. Any act of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication in any degree subjects a student to the disciplinary procedures listed below.

Cheating

Students are expected to be completely honest in all phases of their work and must adhere to the guidelines provided by their faculty members for completing academic work.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • dishonesty of any kind on examinations, assignments, or program requirements,
  • unauthorized possession of examinations or unapproved notes or sources at any time, whether used or not,
  • copying or obtaining information from another student during an examination or performance of a lab skill or competency,
  • claiming as their own work any portion of academic work that was completed by another student,
  • using materials not approved by their faculty member when completing an assignment or exam,
  • presenting the same work for more than one course without obtaining approval from the course faculty member,
  • alteration or falsification of course or academic records, and
  • unauthorized entry into or presence in any office.

Plagiarism

Documenting the use of others’ work is important because it recognizes the original author’s effort, establishes the student writer’s credibility and supports the audience’s future research. Plagiarism is offering the work of another as one’s own, intentionally or unintentionally, without proper acknowledgment. Students who fail to give appropriate credit for ideas or material they take from another, whether a fellow student or a resource writer, are guilty of plagiarism (i.e., stealing the words or ideas of another).

The College may contract with companies or organizations that provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive students’ work for the purpose of comparing the students’ work with a reference database. Students enrolling at San Jacinto College agree as a condition of their enrollment that their work may be submitted to such companies for the purpose of plagiarism detection and that the company may retain a copy of the work for plagiarism-detection purposes. Such companies will not copy, use or distribute the students’ work.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • using the ideas and or words of another person, without giving that person appropriate credit,
  • representing another’s artistic or scholarly works (i.e., musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.) as your own,
  • submitting a paper purchased in whole or in part from another person or other sources, including the internet,
  • copying computer programs or data files belonging to someone else, and
  • using undocumented Web sources.

Collusion

Learning is an active process for all students; completion and submission of original work is essential to the learning process. Collusion is unauthorized collaboration in preparing any work offered for credit.  Therefore, students should take reasonable precautions to protect their work from being compromised.

Collusion includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, sharing, transporting or soliciting, in whole or in part, any information or materials to be submitted as a student’s own work,
  • impersonating another student for the purpose of taking a course, any academic work, or exam,
  • providing unauthorized access to course materials, and
  • agreeing with one or more persons to commit any act of academic dishonesty.

Fabrication

Fabrication is all experimental data, observations, interviews, statistical surveys, and other information collected and reported as academic work not authenticated. 

Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • falsifying the results obtained from research or laboratory experiments,
  • presenting results of research or laboratory experiments without the research or laboratory experiments being performed, and
  • changing answers or grades after an academic work has been returned to the student.

Responding to Violations

Faculty have the responsibility to initiate disciplinary action in response to violations of the rules regarding academic honesty. A faculty member is responsible for investigating these violations which includes, but is not limited to, collection of any evidence of cheating at the time it occurs and discussions with the student and witnesses. A student may not withdraw from the course during the investigation of an incident of academic dishonesty or when a course grade of F has been imposed. A record will be kept of any imposed penalty or disciplinary action. These violations of academic dishonesty are also communicated with respective department chairs/program directors and deans.

Penalties

If, in the judgment of the faculty member, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication has occurred, he or she may assess one of the following penalties:

  • failure of the assignment by the faculty member
  • require student to redo test or assignment
  • reduced grade on the assignment by the faculty member
  • failure of the course; the student may appeal the grade through the Grade Appeal process (see Complaint Procedure 100 found in the Catalog or Student Handbook)
  • recommendation for suspension from the College or dismissal from a program, which is submitted to the Provost
  • other

The faculty member will notify the student of his or her decision concerning the student’s grade. Other disciplinary action may be recommended by the College if code of student conduct violations have occurred. If a student will not meet with the faculty member or if notification cannot take place because of a student’s unavailability, failure to respond, or incorrect contact information, the process proceeds as specified. Should the faculty member recommend suspension or dismissal of the student, the Provost has the responsibility and authority to determine whether the student will be suspended or dismissed.

The faculty member will prepare an online Academic Dishonesty Incident Report for the Provost, the Dean, Department Chair and/or Program Director. The report indicates the nature of the incident, student identifying information, and the proposed penalty.  The Department Chair will generate a decision letter to the student that will include the proposed penalty and the student’s appeal rights.

Appeals

A student may appeal a proposed penalty made by a faculty member. The student shall initiate the appeal process within five (5) days following the communication of the proposed penalty.  The procedures for appealing a proposed penalty are:

  • Student meeting with Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee: Within five (5) working days after receiving written notification of the proposed penalty via email (or first-class mail when necessary), a student may request a hearing before an Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee. The student must submit a written request directly to the respective Campus Provost either via email or with a mailed letter.  A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. An email will be deemed to have been received on the second day after the sending of the message.
  • The committee will consist of one full-time faculty member to be named by the student, one full-time faculty member to be named by the faculty member, and one full-time faculty member to be named by the Provost. The Provost will request that the student and faculty member submit the name of their nominees within five (5) working days after notification of all parties involved. Upon receiving the names of those nominees, and appointing a third faculty member to the committee, the Provost will set the time, date, and place of the closed hearing and notify all parties. This will be done within five (5) working days after having received the names of both nominees. A student may present written evidence relevant to the appeal and may also be accompanied by an advisor. The student’s advisor may attend the appeal meeting and confer with the student but may not cross-examine other participants. The student may have a maximum of two (2) persons (faculty member and advisor) in the room at the appeal committee meeting. Furthermore, an advisor may not be a witness in the matter.
  • The Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee may request information from the faculty member, student, and/or other persons familiar with the matter. The College retains the right to have legal counsel present at the appeal meeting but the attorney may not cross-examine other participants.  
  • In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself at the appeal meeting because of his or her disability, the College, as a reasonable accommodation to the student, will permit the student to be represented by an advisor at the meeting. If the student is represented by legal counsel, then the College also may be represented by legal counsel. 
  • Within five (5) working days after the appeal meeting, the Provost will notify the student and the faculty member in writing of the committee’s findings regarding the approval or denial of the appeal. The decision of the Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee is final.

Student Absences for Religious Holy Days

In accordance with Senate Bill 738, a student who is absent from classes to observe a religious holy day will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence, if

  1. not later than the 15th day after the first day of the term, the student notifies the professor of each class that the student will be absent for a religious holy day, and
  2. the student personally delivers the notification in writing to the professor of each class (with receipt of the notification acknowledged and dated by the professor) or sends a notice by certified mail (with return receipt requested) to the professor of each class.

A student who is excused under Senate Bill 738 will not be penalized for the absence, but the professor will respond appropriately if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the assignment or examination.

Student Right-to-Know

The College publishes a statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Handbook. The College makes available statistics regarding completion and graduation rates of full-time certificate and degree-seeking students. The reports are available at each campus Provost’s office. The campus police department reports campus crime statistics.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

San Jacinto College policy VI.6000B, Confidentiality of Student Records outline the regulations that pertain to the confidentiality of education records of San Jacinto College students.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) governs the privacy of student educational records. The Act provides eligible students with the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. This policy outlines the regulations that pertain to records of San Jacinto College students.  Records of present or former students of the College are confidential and are not public information.  Therefore, the following regulations regarding student records shall apply.

Educational records are all records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting on its behalf. As used in this policy, “records” includes paper files, electronic and digital files, audio files, and video and photographic files.

Type of Student Records Maintained

  • Academic progress
  • Permanent academic data
  • Attendance records
  • Standardized test results
  • Medical records, including meningitis test results and drug test results
  • Student Discipline records
  • Book and library records
  • Financial aid and other financial records
  • Mental health records and counseling information
  • Other records related to a student's day-to-day status
  • Any other information in a digital file assigned to a student

Each student record shall be identifiable as to the source.  Notes and observations recorded by an individual teacher or other employee and kept for personal use are not student records except under the following conditions:

  • The information is shared with someone other than a substitute for the employee.
  • The information is used in preparation of student records.

Definition of Terms

The following terms are interpreted as indicated:

  • Student Records - any personally identifiable information concerning a student maintained for use by the College.  This includes the student’s name, address, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and other personal characteristics or information that make the student's identity easily traceable.
  • Eligible Student - a student who attends or has attended the school from which records are requested
  • Custodian - the Deputy Chancellor and College President of the College
  • Custodian's Agent – Provosts, Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Deans and those persons appointed by any of these to safeguard or to use student records
  • Directory Information – is a list of items regarding a student of the College that may be made available to the public without the student’s prior consent.
  • Legitimate Educational Interest - an interest of school officials who require access to student records in order to perform their legitimate educational and business duties, when such records are needed in furtherance of the educational or business purposes of the student or College.
  • School Official - A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.  For purposes of this policy, a "school official" is:
    • a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including Campus Police law enforcement unit personnel and health staff)
    • a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service (such as an attorney, auditor, health care professional or diagnostician, IT computer services professional, or insurer)
    • a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee
    • a student assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks
    • representatives of hospitals and clinical sites with whom the College has a contractual relationship that permits students to receive clinical training as part of their educational programs
    • companies or organizations with whom the College has contracted to provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive a student's work product for purpose of comparing the student's work with a reference database

Directory Information

  • Name
  • Address
  • Age (but not birthdate)
  • Degrees earned and dates
  • Major program of study
  • Classification
  • Terms of attendance
  • Previous educational institutions attended
  • Eligibility for and honors and awards received with dates that the honor or award was received
  • Eligibility for and participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams and sports statistics
  • Enrollment status (full-time or part-time) 

Restricting access to directory information:  A student may ask that directory information be withheld from the public by accessing their student on-line account (SOS) in the student records tab and indicating directory information remain confidential. The student may make this request at any time.

Review of Records by the Student

  • A student’s request for examination of his or her FERPA records may be made in person or in writing by the eligible student to the San Jacinto College Marketing Office. The Marketing Office may require proof of identity.  The request shall identify the specific record(s) to be examined. Requests shall be honored as soon as practical, but the request must be honored within 45 days. Refer to the college website for information regarding these requests.
  • An inaccurate or inappropriate entry into the records may not be corrected or removed when an eligible student has made a request to review the record and the request has not yet been honored.
  • A log of requests for a student's records shall be maintained by the San Jacinto College Marketing Office in the student's file indicating all requests, date of requests, by who made, and whether or not each request was honored.

Release of Records

  • Student records may not be released to a third party unless the student consents in writing or unless a legally recognized exception applies (see the federal regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 99.31).

Accessibility of Records without Consent

Student records shall be accessible without the student’s consent to the following:

  • Other school officials, including faculty members, within San Jacinto College whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
  • Officials of another school or college where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2)).  The student may request that the College forward a copy of the record to other institutions. 
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  • In connection with a request for “directory information” as designated by the school under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
  • State or local officials to whom educational data must be reported.
  • Legitimate organizations (ACT, CEEB, ETS) developing, validating, or administering predictive tests or student aid programs. Such data are not to be released in any identifiable form and will be destroyed by the organization after the research has been completed.
  • Accrediting agencies
  • Parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
  • Appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • In compliance with judicial order or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena upon written notice to the affected student.
  • Representative of the Comptroller General of the United States, Department of Education, administrative heads of educational agencies, or state education authorities.
  • Legitimate agencies providing financial assistance to students, to organizations conducting studies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering tests, or for the purpose of improving instruction, provided that the information is not to be revealed to a third party.
  • A victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.
  • Parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.

Policy Availability and Notice

  • A copy of this policy will be made available upon request to eligible students.
  • At least once annually, an effort shall be made to inform all eligible students of their rights under the provisions of this policy. Such effort shall be made through the College website, College catalog, and student handbook.

Student Records Management

San Jacinto College policy VI.6000B, Confidentiality of Student Records outline the regulations that pertain to the confidentiality of education records of San Jacinto College students.

The College shall develop and maintain a comprehensive system of student records related to various facets of the College’s operation and shall ensure through reasonable procedures that records are accessed by authorized persons only, as allowed by this policy.  These data and records shall be stored in a safe and secure manner and shall be conveniently retrievable for utilization by authorized school officials.

The Deputy Chancellor and College President is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students and for all official academic records; however, he or she may appoint one or more designees, as necessary, to perform record management duties. 

Educational records are all records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting on its behalf. As used in this policy, “records” includes paper files, electronic and digital files, audio files, and video and photographic files. 

Type of Records Maintained

  • Academic progress
  • Permanent academic data
  • Attendance records
  • Standardized test results
  • Medical records, including meningitis test results
  • Student Discipline records
  • Book and library records
  • Financial aid and other financial records
  • Mental health records and counseling information
  • Other records related to a student's day-to-day status
  • Any other information in a digital file assigned to a student

Each student record shall be identifiable as to the source. Notes and observations recorded by an individual teacher or other employee and kept for personal use are not official student records except under the following conditions:

  • The information is shared with someone other than a substitute for the employee.
  • The information is used in preparation of student records.

Definition of Terms

The following terms are interpreted as indicated:

  • Student Records - any personally identifiable information concerning a student maintained for use by the College. This includes the student’s name, address, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and other personal characteristics or information that make the student's identity easily traceable.
  • Eligible Student - a student who attends or has attended the College
  • Custodian - the Deputy Chancellor and the College President of the College
  • Custodian's Agent – Provosts, Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Deans and those persons appointed by any of these to safeguard or to use student records
  • School Official - A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.  For purposes of this policy, a "school official" is:
  • a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including Campus Police law enforcement unit personnel and health staff)
  • a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service (such as an attorney, auditor, health care professional or diagnostician, IT computer services professional, or insurer)
  • a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee
  • a student assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks
  • representatives of hospitals and clinical sites with whom the College has a contractual relationship that permits students to receive clinical training as part of their educational programs
  • companies or organizations with whom the College has contracted to provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive a student's work product for purpose of comparing the student's work with a reference database

Accuracy of Information

If an eligible student believes that information in his or her educational records is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise violates the student's privacy, a request for correction may be given in writing to the custodian of the record or other school official who is responsible for the record.

  • If the correction is not made within a reasonable length of time (a maximum of 30 school days), the student may request a hearing. The Dean of Student Development shall serve as the hearing officer; however, if the Dean of Student Development is the custodian of the record in question or otherwise has a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing, then a designee shall serve as the hearing officer.
  • A hearing must be held within a reasonable time (a maximum of 30 school days, barring unforeseeable circumstances) after the request has been made. The hearing officer shall provide the eligible student and the custodian of the record reasonable notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. In advance of the hearing, the custodian of the record shall prepare a packet containing copies of the contested records and any other relevant records or documents, including any applicable policies and procedures. The custodian of the record shall prepare a report summarizing the reasons why he or she believes that the challenged record is not inaccurate or misleading or otherwise a violation of the student's privacy. The custodian shall provide the packet and report to the student and hearing officer at least one school day prior to the hearing. The student shall have a full and fair opportunity to present his or her own evidence related to the accuracy of the record. The student, at his or her own expense, may be represented by legal counsel or an advisor.  The student’s legal counsel or advisor may attend the hearing and confer with the student but may not participate in the hearing. 
  • The hearing officer shall prepare a written ruling within a reasonable time after the hearing (a maximum of 21 school days). The ruling must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The ruling must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the ruling.
  • If the hearing officer concludes that no correction to the record is warranted, the eligible student is to be notified and informed of the right to place in the records a statement either commenting on or setting forth a reason for disagreeing with the school's decision.
  • An eligible student who disagrees with the outcome of the hearing may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.  The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202.
  • A hearing pertaining to student records may be scheduled to challenge the accuracy of recording but not the assignment or merits of a grade.

Hazing

Texas criminal law prohibits hazing or hazing-type activities. Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution by one person alone or acting with others directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students at an educational institution.

A person can commit a hazing offense not only by engaging in a hazing activity but also by soliciting, directing, encouraging, aiding or attempting to aid another in hazing; by intentionally, knowingly or recklessly allowing hazing to occur; or by failing to report, in writing to the Compliance & Judicial Affairs Office or another appropriate official of the College, first-hand knowledge that a hazing incident is planned or has occurred. The fact that a person consented to or acquiesced in a hazing activity is not a defense to prosecution for hazing under this law. Under Texas law, hazing can subject a person to criminal penalties. For more information, please contact the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office by calling 281-478-2756 or emailing compliance&judicialaffairs@sjcd.edu.