Campus Computers, Network and Internet Access Student Acceptable Use Policy
The purpose of the WSCC computer network and Internet connection (including all computer hardware, software, and peripherals) is primarily educational, consistent with the College’s vision, mission, and core values. The West Shore Community College computer network, Internet connection, and all information contained therein is College property. Access to the WSCC computer network and internet by students and other community members is a privilege that carries with it certain shared rights and responsibilities.
Use of the WSCC computer network and internet connection is subject to applicable federal and state laws, as well as applicable College policies and procedures, including but not limited to, the discrimination/harassment policy. Although usage of the WSCC computer network requires password access, users are advised that they should not expect privacy while using the WSCC computer network or Internet connection, because the College reserves the right to monitor all usage of its computer network and Internet connection to ensure compliance with this policy and has sole discretion to determine whether an individual has violated this policy. Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to adverse action, including but not limited to, expulsion or criminal prosecution.
Use of the computer network and related equipment is a privilege that carries with it obligations relative to conduct. Students and other community users are responsible for abiding by the laws governing the college and are expected to observe standards of conduct set by the college. In addition, users should:
- Protect the security of the network by not disclosing passwords or allowing others account access, other than for legitimate college purposes;
- Avoid the use of offensive or inappropriate language;
- Respect the privacy of others;
- Support the College’s legitimate need to investigate alleged violations of this policy when there is reasonable cause.
The following guidelines will be applied to determine whether or not a particular use of the WSCC network is appropriate:
- Users must respect the privacy of others; for example, users shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to others, or represent themselves as another user unless explicitly authorized to do so by that user.
- Users must respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
- Users must respect the integrity of computing and network systems; for example, users shall not intentionally develop or use programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer, computing system or network and/or damage or alter the software components of a computer, computing system or network.
- Users should be consistent with guiding ethical statements and accepted community standards. Malicious use is not acceptable.
- The WSCC network may not be used in ways that violate applicable laws or regulations. Peer to peer file sharing is not allowed.
- The use of the WSCC network and any attached network in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.
- Connections which create routing patterns that are inconsistent with the effective and shared use of the network may not be established.
- Commercial use is not acceptable.
- Repeated and unwanted communication of an intrusive nature is not acceptable. Sending of unsolicited email messages, including but not limited to, commercial advertising and solicitations of any kind are considered spam and are prohibited.
- All non-college computers, peripherals or other devices may only connect to the campus wireless network. Mass email distribution must be pre-approved by the Director of College Relations.
The intent if this policy is to make clear certain uses which are and are not appropriate, not to exhaustively enumerate all such possible uses. Using the guidelines given above the College may at any time make determinations that particular uses are or are not appropriate.
WSCC will not monitor the content of information transmitted over the network but will investigate complaints of possible inappropriate use. In the course of investigating complaints, the College will safeguard the privacy of all parties and will themselves follow the guidelines given in this policy.
WSCC labs and departments may have their own computing and network use policies. Nothing in this policy shall preclude separate “conditions of use” from being implemented by units of WSCC or by WSCC with respect to portions to portions of its electronic technology resources. Such conditions of use shall be deemed to supplement, rather than replace, this policy. When using these computing resources, users are responsible for obeying both the policies set forth in this acceptable use document and the policies of the individual lab or department.
Users of West Shore’s e-mail services must remember that e-mail is subject to the same legal restrictions and liabilities as other forms of written communication (e.g., e-mail may be subpoenaed and is subject to the Freedom of Information Act).
Campus Standards of Conduct
WSCC is committed to providing a learning environment that is conducive to student success. In order to achieve this commitment, the College must promote an environment that protects people, property and processes. The Campus Standards of Conduct provides expectations for all individuals who choose to become part of the College community. Students attending WSCC are responsible for abiding by the laws governing the college and are expected to observe standards of conduct set by the college. If a student is accused of less-than-acceptable behavior, college procedures provide for due process to insure that he/she receives fair and equitable treatment. Following are examples of campus conduct that could result in an adjudication process and possible sanctions:
- Theft of or damage to college property.
- The distribution, use, possession, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on campus. The use of alcoholic beverages off campus during college sanctioned events may be permitted if the rules and regulations regarding alcohol in the area of activity are followed.
- Academic misconduct – cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty including the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic materials. Included are those students who aid and abet, as well as those who attempt such behavior.
- Disruption or unauthorized interruption of college activities.
- Disobedience of college officials or designated agents acting in the performance of their duties.
- Gambling on campus or during college sponsored events.
- The possession or use of explosives, weapons, firearms, knives, or fireworks unless required by curricular or security needs.
- Any form of harassment toward an individual or group of individuals.
- Violation of the Acceptable Use Policy governing campus computers, networks, and Internet access.
To help keep the campus looking beautiful, food and beverages are permitted in designated areas only. Smoking is prohibited in all college buildings.
Grievance and Due Process Procedures
Students have a right to due process. WSCC has informal and formal procedures that are used to handle issues that arise. In most cases, problems can be solved using informal procedures. In the event that a student should come into conflict with any college policy pertaining to Campus Standards, or feels that he/she has been discriminated against by a member of the faculty, staff, or another student for whatever reason, the following procedures will apply:
- Informal Procedure: In resolving issues or conflicts, it is expected that the initial steps of resolution will occur informally with the parties directly involved in the conflict.
- The first step requires the two parties to meet and attempt to resolve the conflict.
- The division chairperson and/or director (depending on who is appropriate), may or may not be involved in the first discussion.
- If the director and/or department chairperson is not involved in the first discussion, and if either party is dissatisfied with the resolution of the first meeting, a second meeting with the director and/or department chairperson and both parties will occur.
- If either party is dissatisfied with the resolution of the second meeting, a meeting with both parties and the Dean from the appropriate area will be held. These meetings will occur in a timely manner (usually within 10 days).
- If resolution at the informal level, agreeable to all parties, is not reached, then the following formal procedure will apply.
- Formal Procedure: The formal procedure is followed after all efforts have been made to resolve the issue using the informal procedure listed above.
- Complaints against Students
- Any person who is aware of possible student misconduct is requested to report the alleged violation to the Dean of Student Services. The Dean will take a complete report of the alleged violation.
- The Dean of Student Services will investigate the allegation and determine if a hearing is necessary. Notification to the accused parties of the alleged violation will be made within 10 working days. If it is determined that a hearing is required, the accused parties will receive written notification of the time, date, and place of the hearing, a statement of the alleged misconduct with sufficient particulars to enable the accused student to prepare a defense, and the names of the witnesses who are scheduled to appear at the hearing. The written notification must be received by the accused at least 72 hours prior to the hearing. If the accused fails to appear after proper notification, the hearing will be conducted in their absence.
- The accused shall notify the Dean of Student Services in writing at least 48 hours prior to a hearing of the names of the witnesses they wish to call and the context of the witnesses’ appearance. Normally, only people who are members of the college community will be permitted to appear as witnesses.
- The Dean of Student Services shall conduct the hearing and is responsible for maintaining the proper atmosphere throughout the hearing. Any person, including the accused student, who disrupts a hearing or fails to adhere to the rulings of the Dean may be excluded from the hearing.
- The decision made by the Dean of Student Services shall be based solely on the evidence introduced at the hearing. In no case will the Dean of Student Services consider evidence against the student unless the accused has been given the opportunity to respond to the evidence. A written summary record of the hearing will be made by the Dean of Student Services.
- After considering all the information presented at the hearing, the Dean of Student Services will make a decision as to guilt or innocence. In the case of a “guilty” decision, the Dean of Student Services will then determine the sanction.
- A student bringing a complaint to the Dean of Student Services will be informed if a hearing has been held and an outcome reached; however, the specific sanction and/or referrals will not be disclosed to the complainant.
Appropriate action may include, but not be limited to:
- Disciplinary Warning: An official written reprimand which expresses the college’s dissatisfaction with the students conduct and which clarifies expected behavior in the future.
- Disciplinary Probation: Notice that further misconduct of any sort within the probationary period shall result in more severe disciplinary action against the accused including suspension or expulsion from the institution. The probationary period extends for a specific period of time or until completion of a specific requirement(s).
- Suspension: A decision that removes the student from the college for a specific period of time, usually no more than two years.
- Expulsion: A decision that removes the student from the college indefinitely.
- Restitution: May be levied against the student in the event of damage to property or person and/or as a punitive measure.
The accused student shall receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing as well as any sanctions or referrals if required. The accused student has the right to appeal the decision of the Dean of Student Services. The written appeal must be received by the Student Affairs Council within 10 business days of the date of the written notification of the Vice President’s decision. The Student Affairs Council shall limit the review of a guilty decision to consideration of the following factors: new evidence which was not available during the hearing and/ or evidence that substantive or procedural due process was violated in relation to the hearing which significantly affected the outcome of the case. The Student Affairs Council will have ten business days to respond to the appeal.
B. Complaints by Students
- A student has the right to bring a complaint to the Dean of Student Services. The Dean of Student Services will listen to the initial complaint and bring the student to the Dean or head of the most appropriate area to process the complaint.
- The appropriate Dean or Department Administrator will conduct an investigation. Such investigation may include a hearing. The student bringing the complaint or charges will be informed if a hearing has been held and an outcome reached; however, specific sanctions and/or referrals will not be disclosed.
Classification of Students
Fewer than 30 semester credits
30 or more semester credits
Carrying 12 or more credits per semester (Veterans receiving educational benefits may have lower requirements for the summer semester)
Carrying fewer than 12 credits per semester
Full-time students earning a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher will be recognized on the Dean’s List published at the close of each semester. Also recognized on the Dean’s List are part-time students in the semester during which they accrue 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 semester credits provided that they meet the GPA requirement for their total cumulative GPA. High honors are awarded to graduating students who receive a GPA of 3.75 or higher, and honors are awarded to those whose GPA is 3.5 to 3.749. The GPA will be computed on the basis of credits attempted at West Shore only and will not include any credits earned at another college.
Credits earned from developmental courses, which are numbered 099 or below, are not applicable to graduation requirements nor are final grades used in the calculation of grade point averages.
Directory information is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information as defined by WSCC is: student name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, dates of attendance, enrollment status (full or part-time) field of study, degrees and awards, and participation in recognized activities. The College may include a student’s directory information in college publications or otherwise release directory information to individuals, such as potential employers, without a student’s consent unless a student has informed the Student Records Office in writing that his or her directory information is to be confidential. Request for Confidentiality or Directory Information forms are available in the Student Services Office.
Students are able to drop courses for a full refund of tuition and fees during the drop period each semester via my.westshore.edu if there are no registration holds on their account. The drop period is generally the first two weeks for the Fall and Winter semesters, and the first week of the Summer term. Courses that have start and/or end dates other than the standard term dates will have different drop periods and students should check with student services for these dates. Students with registration holds will need to speak with a Student Services representative to drop a course.
Administrative Drop: While it is the ultimately the responsibility of the student to drop courses they do not intend to take, students who do not attend class during the first two weeks of class may be administratively dropped from their course(s) if reported as a “no show” by the instructor. However, students should personally drop their courses through my.westshore.edu to ensure their courses are successfully dropped before the refund deadline.
Students who do not attend class, do not drop their courses, and are not reported as a “no show” will more than likely receive a grade of “F” and be responsible for tuition and fees due to the college.
Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program
The following policies were developed in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act.
Standards of Conduct
It is the policy of West Shore Community College that the sale, distribution, use, possession of, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on campus and at off-campus, college sponsored activities is prohibited (see Campus Standards).
Students who use alcoholic beverages or controlled substances on college property face disciplinary action which could result in suspension or dismissal and prosecution under the law. Any person who illegally sells, provides, transports, possesses, or consumes alcoholic beverages or controlled substances on college property or at any off-campus, college sponsored activity may face immediate arrest and prosecution under applicable federal, state, and local laws. Penalties under these laws may include fines, imprisonment, or both. A listing of federal and Michigan penalties is available in the Student Services Office.
Use of alcohol and/or drugs can result in illness, injury, or death. A chart identifying the uses and effects of controlled substances is available in the Student Services Office.
Students and employees who illegally use alcoholic beverages or controlled substances on college property face disciplinary action, which could result in suspension or dismissal and prosecution under the law. Refer to Campus Standards.
Counseling and Treatment Programs
Catholic Human Services
Briny Building, 50 Filer Street, Suite 210
Manistee, MI 49660
Catholic Social Services
5816 W. US 10
Ludington, MI 49431
Hart, MI 49420
Choices West Counseling Services
49 N. Hart Street
Hart, MI 49420
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services
7 days a week, 24 hours a day
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
7 days a week, 24 hours a day
Students and employees engaged in substance abuse counseling or a prescribed program are not exempt from college policies, procedures, and rules. A listing of substance abuse and treatment programs in Michigan is available at www.michigan.gov/mdch.
WSCC counselors are available to meet with students and provide referrals to substance abuse programs.
Grades of “F” and Grade Point Average
Grades of “F” received in courses no longer available at West Shore may be excluded from GPA calculation if the student completes a substitute course or courses approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences or Dean of Occupational Programs. The grades of “F” received in courses no longer available will be retained on the academic transcript but excluded in the cumulative GPA calculation during the graduation audit only.
If a student believes that a final course grade received is incorrect or unfair, it is recommended that he/she make personal contact with the instructor to discuss the situation. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student may exercise the following appeal process. Although the due process steps are written from the perspective of the student, it is intended that the instructor, divisional chair, director and/or instructional Dean can exercise an appeal of the decision to the next level within the same parameters outlined for the student.
The appeal due dates are:
Fall Semester Grade Appeal - February 1
Spring Semester Grade Appeal - June 1
Summer Semester Grade Appeal - September 1
The appeal procedure is as follows:
Submit a Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form and any supplemental documentation or information to the secretary to the Dean of Student Services no later than the date listed for the applicable semester of the current academic year. These forms are available in the Student Services Office, Campus Center. The Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form will be forwarded to the instructor. If the instructor is not available, the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form will be forwarded to the next available level.
The instructor will review the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form and discuss the appeal personally with the student, if requested. Within 10 working days from receipt of the grade appeal, the instructor will inform the student, in writing, of his/her decision relative to the appeal.
The student may appeal the decision of the instructor. The student should submit the following to the appropriate divisional chairperson no later than 10 working days after receipt of the instructor’s written decision: copy of the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form and any supplemental documentation or information, a copy of the instructor’s written decision, and a Level II - Divisional Chairperson form. It is highly recommended that the student make personal contact with the divisional chairperson to discuss reasons for the appeal. The divisional chairperson will review the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form and all related materials and will discuss the appeal personally with the student, if requested. Within 10 working days from receipt of the grade appeal, the divisional chairperson will inform the student and instructor, in writing, of his/her decision relative to the appeal.
The student or instructor may appeal the decision of the divisional chairperson. He/she should submit the following to the appropriate instructional Dean no later than 10 working days after receipt of the divisional chairperson’s written decision: copy of the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form, and any supplemental documentation or information; copies of the instructor’s and the divisional chairperson’s written decisions; and a Level III - Instructional Dean form. It is highly recommended that the student make personal contact with the instructional Dean to discuss reasons for the appeal. The instructional Dean will review the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructional form and all related materials, review the Level II - Divisional Chairperson form, and will discuss the appeal personally with the student, if requested. Within 10 working days from receipt of the grade appeal, the academic Dean will inform the student, in writing, of his/her decision relative to the appeal.
The student or instructor may appeal the decision of the academic instructional Dean. He/she should submit the following to the chairperson of Student Affairs Council no later than 10 working days after receipt of the instructional Dean’s decision: copy of the Level I Grade Appeal - Instructor form, and any supplemental documentation or information; copies of the instructor’s divisional chairperson’s, and instructional Dean’s written decisions; and a Level IV Student Affairs Council form. Upon receipt of the aforementioned information, the student will be notified of the date the Student Affairs Council is meeting. It is highly recommended that the student attend the meeting to discuss his/her appeal. Within 15 working days from receipt of the grade appeal, the Student Affairs Council will inform the student, in writing, of the Council’s decision relative to the appeal. Student Affairs Council represents the final level of the grade appeal process.
Grade Point Average
Grade points are used to determine scholastic standing. These points are computed by multiplying the appropriate grade points for the grade received in a course by the credits earned in that course. Thus, a 3 credit course with a grade of A would earn 12 grade points (3 x 4 grade points).
The total grade points accumulated are then divided by the number of credits attempted, and the result is the cumulative grade point average (GPA). Each time a course is taken, both the credit hours attempted and the grade points are included in computing the GPA. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate.
||4.0 grade points
||3.7 grade points
||3.3 grade points
||3.0 grade points
||2.7 grade points
||2.3 grade points
||2.0 grade points
||1.7 grade points
||1.3 grade points
||1.0 grade points
||0.7 grade points
||0.0 grade points
The following symbols denote a registration status and have no effect on accumulation of credits or on GPA:
W (Withdrawal) (See Below)
Indicates that for a justifiable reason the student failed to complete the requirements for the course within the scheduled time. Incompletes are granted only when mutual agreement between instructor and student is reached. Forms for setting forth terms of agreement for course completion are available in the instructional Dean’s offices. A copy of the completed agreement must be filed in the Student Services Office. Incompletes will convert to an “F” grade if terms of the agreement are not fulfilled.
Indicates a desire to participate in a class without receiving credit. Once a course is started on an audit basis, the student may change to a credit classification anytime within the first half of the scheduled class meetings. Also, students who initially register for credit may at any time within the first half of the scheduled class meetings change to an audit classification. Tuition and fees for audit are the same as for credit. Financial aid cannot be used to cover the cost of courses taken on an audit basis.
Waiver of Course Work
If the student wants only to have course work waived, no fee will be assessed and no credit will be recorded on the transcript. Having a course waived will not reduce the number of credits required for an associate degree.
The College has determined that late registration is detrimental to the academic success of students. Historically, research shows that students who arrive late into courses already in progress are less successful than those who begin on time. These students may also disrupt the classes they join, and, in order to catch up, may make unrealistic demands upon themselves and their instructors.
If a course has met once, students are not permitted to enroll in that course. For online courses, students may not enroll after the mandatory orientation has taken place. Students with a current schedule may register for courses that have already begun if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Same course section switch, or
- Dean of Instruction approval for documented extenuating circumstances
Online Learning/Flexible Learning Options
West Shore provides learners with several alternative ways to take college credit courses. Because online learning courses require minimal on-campus presence, students with job and family responsibilities are able to take more courses than they could if their options were limited to traditional classes. Using technology, students can take classes from home or attend an off campus site that is closer to home. Courses from other colleges and universities are also available.
WSCC uses a variety of technologies to deliver courses. Some of our courses are delivered totally over the Internet. In this type of class, students log on from home to send and receive assignments, participate in virtual class discussions, and interact with other students as well as the instructor on class projects and participate in discussions. WSCC requires all learners enrolled in online courses to attend any scheduled mandatory on-campus or online orientation for an online course. The orientation will ensure that students are best prepared for this unique and exciting learning environment. Failure to attend scheduled mandatory orientation sessions may result in an Administrative Drop of the online course.
Hybrid classes use a combination of online and face-to-face instruction. For example, the lecture portion of a class will be delivered online and students will come to the campus for labs. Online learning courses have the same learning outcomes as on-campus courses and are completely transferable to other institutions. For current course offerings, look for the online learning opportunities page in the class schedule publication or on the internet at https://www.westshore.edu/academics/online-learning/.
In addition, West Shore is a member of the Michigan Colleges Online. Many more courses are available to WSCC students through this organization. More information is available at the MCO’s website: www.micollegesonline.org.
Parking and Motor Vehicle Operation
Vehicles must be operated and parked in a responsible manner on campus. All state and county ordinances apply to West Shore traffic management.
Parking is permitted in the designated lots between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. There are restricted and handicapped parking areas for people who are authorized to use them. Permits for temporary restricted parking are available from the Student Services Office.
Sidewalks, crosswalks, and lawn areas are for the protection of and use by pedestrians. No vehicles please. Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on campus.
Failure to abide by the parking regulations could result in vehicles being ticketed with a county sheriff’s citation and/or towed at the owner’s expense.
Students may elect to retake any of their WSCC courses. Certain courses may be repeated to gain additional credits. These courses are designated by the description within the course listings. Other courses may be repeated for the purpose of improving grades. The transcript will record the most recently earned grade. Courses repeated for credit cannot be converted to a noncredit status (AU or W). A student who has attempted any credit-bearing course three times will not be allowed to register for that course again except upon approval of the Dean of Student Services. Students are required to fill out a Repeat Course Appeal From and schedule an appointment with the appropriate Dean. The student will be informed of the decision in writing within five (5) business days of the appeal meeting. The appeal form may be picked up from Student Services.
West Shore Community College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for its students, employees and community members who use the facilities. West Shore Community College is responsible for reporting the number of criminal offenses committed on campus on a yearly basis.
West Shore Community College has developed a Security Procedure and Emergency Response Guide that can be found at https://www.westshore.edu/campus-life/campus-safety/.
The Security Policy and Annual Report will be posted on the campus information bulletin boards in the Campus Center and on the college website.
College Policies Regarding Drugs and Alcohol
West Shore Community College has developed a Drug Prevention Program in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and has developed a Drug-Free Workplace policy (WSCC Policy #2021).
Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement Agencies
The Vice President of Administrative Services will maintain a working relationship with the Mason County Sheriff Department and other appropriate enforcement agencies to monitor, record, and act on criminal activity on campus.
Crisis Response Plan
West Shore has established a crisis response plan to deal with crisis situations and traumatic events.
Criminal Offense Report
The most current criminal offense report is found on the College website.
Standards of Academic Progress
West Shore students must make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their certificate or associate degree. The standards of academic progress for WSCC students are maintenance of a semester and cumulative 2.0 GPA and completion of 67% of credits attempted.
- The academic progress of students is reviewed at the end of each academic semester.
- A student will be placed on academic warning if he/she fails to meet the minimum GPA standard or 67% of the credits attempted. In addition, the student will be required to meet with a WSCC Advisor to complete an Academic Progress Plan prior to registration for classes each semester until the student’s cumulative GPA reaches 2.0 and has an overall completion rate of 67%. The Academic Progress Plan will restrict the student’s enrollment into no more than 9 credit hours prescribed by an advisor in consultation with the student, require at least one meeting with an advisor throughout the semester to assess progress, and may include other activities prescribed by an advisor such as tutoring, repeating courses, career exploration or additional assessments.
- If the student fails to attain a 2.0 semester GPA or 67% completion of attempted credits and/or fails to meet other parameters designed in the Academic Progress Plan for any warning semester, he/she will be suspended from enrollment at WSCC for a period of one semester unless the advisor recommends otherwise.
- A student who has been academically suspended may petition the Dean of Student Services for reinstatement after the suspension semester. This petition requires an informal meeting.
- Students who have been placed on academic suspension have the right to appeal their status if there are extenuating circumstances for not meeting the standards of academic progress. The appeal must be made in person by meeting with the Dean of Student Services within 15 days of receipt of notification of probation/suspension status. The Dean, after review of the appeal, will inform the student of the decision. A student wishing to appeal the decision of the Dean may do so in writing within 15 days to the Student Affairs council. The Student Affairs Council is the final level of appeal.
- Students that are approved for an appeal will be placed on academic probation for the next term and will be required to meet the 2.0 GPA and/or complete 67% of the credit hours attempted for that term. Students will remain on academic probation until they have reached the required Overall 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate.
Student Academic Violations
The Academic Misconduct Board will be composed of the instructional Dean, three faculty and two students. The Academic Misconduct Board will follow the procedures outlined below when resolving allegations of academic misconduct. The President of the college will select committee members and select a chair of the committee.
- Academic Violation
The academic violations referred to in this document include plagiarism and cheating on assignments; cheating on laboratory work or examinations; having another person take an exam in one’s place, substituting another’s work as one’s own; falsifying records or providing misinformation regarding one’s credentials; unauthorized collaboration on computer assignments and unauthorized access to and use of computer programs, including modifying computer files created by others and representing that work as one’s own. All students are expected to adhere to the standards of documentation as outlined by the instructors. Faculty members are encouraged to have an informal discussion with student(s) to clarify information regarding the faculty member’s concerns and/ or suspicions. The faculty member will provide a copy of this procedure to the student. The informal discussion should work toward resolving minor violations. If, after the informal discussion, the faculty member feels the student has allegedly committed a major academic violation, the faculty member should report the alleged violation to the Dean of Student Services. During the informal discussion, if the student and faculty member reach agreement on how to resolve the minor academic violation, the process will end at this point. If the student chooses, he/she can request that the charges be referred to the Academic Misconduct Board.
- Procedures for Bringing Cases of Alleged Academic Violations to the Academic Misconduct Board
Students, faculty, or staff who know of possible academic violations are expected to report the alleged violation to the Dean of Student Services Office. The report shall be filed as soon as possible after the observance, but in no case later than 30 days beyond the observation. The report should include a brief written statement and the relevant evidence (original material when available). A copy of the report with supporting evidence is given to the accused student as the “statement of the charge.”
- The complainant (faculty, staff, and student) is advised not to conduct an investigation since it is the responsibility of the Academic Misconduct Board to determine if an academic violation has occurred.
- The Academic Misconduct Board will have jurisdiction over cases of an academic nature which are brought to it by the Dean of Student Services.
- Due Process for Students Accused of Alleged Academic Violations
Once a faculty member notifies the Dean of Student Services of an alleged academic violation, the Vice President will meet with the student to explain the charges and to inform the student of his/her rights. The student will be informed that there will be a hearing by the Academic Misconduct Board to review evidence related to the alleged academic violation and to determine guilt or innocence. If the student is judged guilty, the Academic Misconduct Board will determine the appropriate sanctions.
- At least 72 hours prior to the hearing, the student shall be provided with the following:
- Written notification of the date, time, and place of the hearing;
- Written statement of the alleged academic violation with sufficient particulars to enable the student to prepare his/her defense; and
- Written notification of the names of the witnesses who are directly responsible for the report of the alleged violation; or, if there are no witnesses, written notification of how the alleged violation came to the attention of the committee.
- At least five members of the Board must be present to hold a hearing.
- No member of the hearing board who is otherwise interested in the particular case should be involved with the hearing.
- The student is expected to attend the scheduled hearing. If the student fails to request a postponement and fails to appear at the hearing, the board will hear the matter in his/her absence.
- The student shall be entitled to be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choice; the advisor shall be a member of the staff, faculty, or student body of West Shore Community College.
- The student and/or the advisor shall be entitled to ask questions of the members of the committee or of any of the witnesses, provided the questions are relevant. The chairperson of the Board will rule on the relevance of any questions in dispute.
- The student shall be entitled to refuse to answer questions.
- All matters upon which the decision may be based must be introduced into evidence during the hearing. The decision should be based solely upon such matters. In no case should the Board consider statements against the student unless he/ she has been given an opportunity to respond to the information.
- A written record of the hearing shall be made by the chair of the Board. The record should indicate whether or not the student:
- Was informed of the alleged violation and had a chance to review the evidence;
- Is accompanied at the hearing by the advisor of his/her choice, according to Section IIIC4; and
- Acknowledges the alleged violation(s) to be true or false.
- During the hearing, the members of the Board may address questions to the student, the party bringing the charge, and/ or the witnesses to assist them in their deliberations. The student is given a chance to make a statement on his/her own behalf.
- Occasionally the Board may ask other faculty or staff who have expertise in an area to review documents and provide an opinion.
- After the hearing, the Board may make the following decisions by majority vote of those present:
- Not Guilty: No violation has been proven.
- Guilty: A violation has been proven or admitted. In this case, the committee may select one or more from the following sanctions:
- A grade of “F” for the course
- A grade of “F” for the assignment.
- The student is required to complete additional assignments, tests, papers, or other tasks as determined by the hearing Board
- Academic Disciplinary Reprimand - An official reprimand which expresses college dissatisfaction with the student’s conduct and which clarifies expected behavior in the future.
- Academic Disciplinary Probation - Any indication of further violation within the probationary period shall result in more severe disciplinary action. The probationary period shall be for a specified time or until the completion of any specified requirements or conditions that are a part of the probation.
- Academic Disciplinary Suspension - A decision which removes the student from the college for a specified period of time, usually no more than two years. The suspension might be immediate or begin effective at the end of the current semester. In either case, the student is eligible for consideration for re-admission at the time specified by the council. This would include suspension with immediate re-admission or up to two years from the date of suspension.
- Academic Disciplinary Expulsion - A decision which removes the student from the college permanently.
- Other Sanctions - The council may take other actions that it judges to be appropriate. These might include, but are not limited to, service charges, holds on records, and/or required counseling.
- Written notification of the outcome of the hearing will be sent to the student within 72 hours. The procedures for appealing cases of academic misconduct are included with the written notification of the council’s decision.
- Written notification of the decision of the council will be forwarded to the Dean of Student Services Office.
- Decision/Right of Appeal
The accused student has the right to appeal the decision of the Academic Misconduct Board. The written appeal must be received by the Student Affairs Council within 10 business days of the date of the written notification of the Board’s decision. The Student Affairs Council shall limit the review of a guilty decision to consideration of the following factors: new evidence which was not available during the hearing, and/or evidence that substantive or procedural due process was violated in relation to the hearing which significantly affected the outcome of the case. The Student Affairs Council will have 10 business days to respond to the appeal.
Student Privacy of Information Rights Under FERPA
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records with 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access;
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading;
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) concerning alleged failures by West Shore Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Request and release of information forms and the address of the USDE are available in the Student Records Office.
Federal legislation requires a statement of policy that identifies sexual harassment/assault programs and procedures to follow in the event of an occurrence on campus.
To assist creating a safe campus environment, the college has established campus standards of conduct and has established policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.
If a sex offense occurs on campus, immediate contact will be made for both medical and legal (Sheriff’s Department) assistance. If the sexual assault was allegedly committed by a non-student, non-employee, local law enforcement agencies will assume full responsibility for resolving the case. The on-campus disciplinary procedure for both students and employees is independent to all off-campus legal proceedings and pertains to both sexual harassment and assault.
The Dean of Student Services will then determine the degree of culpability and any appropriate disciplinary sanction. Appropriate action may include, but not be limited to:
- Disciplinary Warning: An official written reprimand which expresses the college’s dissatisfaction with the student’s conduct and which clarifies expected behavior in the future.
- Disciplinary Probation: Notice that further misconduct of any sort within the probationary period shall result in more severe disciplinary action against the student including suspension or expulsion from the institution. The probationary period extends for a specific period of time or until completion of specific requirements.
- Suspension: A decision that removes the student from the college for a specific period of time, usually no more than two years.
- Expulsion: A decision that removes the student from the college indefinitely.
- Service Charge: May be levied against the student in the event of damage to property or person and/or a punitive measure.
There are several agencies that provide assistance for victims of sexual assault. Agencies include:
COVE’s Crisis Center
Community Mental Health Services
Spectrum Ludington Hospital
Mason County Health Department
Choices of Manistee
Manistee Counseling Center
West Shore Medical Center
Manistee County Health Department
Following is a description of support services that will be available to any victim of sexual harassment/assault while on West Shore’s campus.
- All allegations of sexual assault will be treated seriously and the individual filing the claim of a sexual assault will be treated with dignity.
- Victims of sexual assault will be informed of campus student organizations, counseling centers, and community crisis centers that provide assistance and counseling.
- In addition to available institutional disciplinary proceedings, victims of sexual assault have the right to have the alleged assault reported to the duly constituted civil and criminal authorities of the local unit of government in which the sexual assault occurred, and the right to the full and prompt cooperation and assistance of the institution’s personnel in notifying the proper authorities.
- There will be support for the victim to report a sexual harassment/assault committed against him or her.
- There will not be any kind of suggestion that the victim should not report or should underreport a sexual assault because of one or more of the following:
- A suggestion that the victim is somehow responsible for the commission of the sexual assault
- A suggestion that the victim was contributorily negligent or assumed the risk of being sexually assaulted
- A suggestion that the victim would incur unwanted publicity if the sexual assault is reported.
- Sexual assault victims will be informed of rights and remedies accorded to crime victims generally.
- A sexual assault victim will be notified of the outcome reached in the institutional disciplinary proceeding concerning the sexual assault.
- The institution’s personnel will provide full and prompt cooperation obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence as may be necessary to the proof of criminal sexual assault in legal proceedings, including, but not limited to, assisting with arranging a medical examination of the victim.
- In providing medical assistance, the college will indicate the need to preserve evidence of sexual assault and attempt to maintain the integrity of that evidence.
- Information will be provided regarding state and federal mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and notification to the victim of the results of the testing.
- After the assault has been reported to appropriate campus personnel, the institution’s personnel will take any reasonably feasible actions as are needed to prevent any unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity with an alleged assailant, including, but not limited to, immediate transfer of classes, if requested by the victim.
Students have the option of withdrawing from a course through the eleventh week of fall and/or winter semesters; the fifth week for summer semester. The student must file a withdrawal form in the Student Services Office. There is no refund for a Withdrawal. A grade of “W” will appear on the academic transcript for the course(s) from which the student has withdrawn. Students who stop attending class but fail to withdraw officially will receive the grade earned for the course(s) at the end of the semester. Student with documented extenuating circumstances, also have the opportunity to request a withdrawal after the published withdrawal deadline. Late Withdrawal Request Forms are available in Student Services.
Statement of General Education
A commitment to excellence in higher education for the community it serves is a core value of West Shore Community College. The College recognizes the importance of high quality, learning-centered, education and training opportunities, which will result in meaningful roles for the student in life, work, and society. Basic to these roles is the student’s ability to be productive through the acquisition of appropriate skills and to be adaptable in a changing, complex society.
As such, the College will create a general education program that conforms to accreditation guidelines and is designed to provide students with a broad yet integrated and coherent introduction to the skills, knowledge, and insights that are the foundation of a college education, the basis for career development, and the motivation for lifelong learning. Within this framework, and across programs and disciplines, the intent is to cultivate in each student the ability to communicate clearly, think critically and creatively, behave professionally and ethically, and adapt to our changing, complex, multicultural, and global world. The College will maintain a current listing of general education requirements for the associate degree and certificates and make them publically available to students and the community.
Further, the College recognizes the dignity, importance and uniqueness of each student, and therefore endeavors to provide the necessary opportunities for students to achieve social and personal goals. To this end, the College strives to create an environment conducive not only to intellectual growth but also to offer cultural and social experiences that contribute to the development of an educated individual.