Western Iowa Tech Community College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, students enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and the right to petition that other citizens enjoy. As members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations which are theirs by virtue of this membership.
The College expects its students to conduct themselves in such a way as to reflect credit upon the institution they represent. There are two basic standards of behavior required by all students: a) They shall not violate any board policy, municipal, state, or federal law; b) nor interfere with or disrupt the orderly educational processes of the College. Students are not entitled to greater immunities or privileges before the law than those enjoyed by other citizens generally.
Western Iowa Tech Community College is an institution dedicated to helping students identify and achieve realistic goals through excellent educational opportunities. The administration and staff of the College promote responsible participation and high achievement as the goal for our students. In working toward this goal, the College acknowledges the rights of students. As a WITCC student you should be aware of and accept responsibility as an active, contributing member of the College.
This catalog is a document that explains policies and procedures identifying students’ rights and responsibilities. WITCC believes that all students have responsibilities in the areas of governance, curriculum, services, and conduct.
The Student Government represents the student body in contact with faculty and administration. Representatives to the Student Government are selected through an interview process. These representatives are the voting members of the Student Government, providing the student body with a voice in college affairs. The Senate organizes and underwrites many of the special events planned for students.
Students are expected to know the lines of authority and communication in the college, division, and program or course in which they are enrolled.
Students can participate in Student Government and selected College committees by attending meetings, sharing views, reporting back to constituents, gathering data and developing rationales for positions taken and requests presented. When representing a constituency, the student is responsible to the total student constituency rather than only themselves or a small interest group.
Students shall maintain confidentiality when appropriate and indicated.
The student should assume responsibility for his/her own thoughts, verbal and nonverbal communications, writings, and behavior.
Student Academic Responsibilities
Students are responsible for their own learning and development. They have a responsibility to be an active learner by attending class, completing class and laboratory assignments, and preparing in advance of the scheduled class session.
Students should participate through sharing learning experiences with peers, broadening their general education base, and transferring previous learning. Students should assume responsibility for fostering effective relationships with instructors and peers.
Students are expected to understand and maintain high standards of academic honesty. Before any formal action is taken against a student who is suspected of committing academic dishonesty, the instructor is encouraged to meet with the student to discuss the situation. If the instructor concludes that the student has committed academic dishonesty and can resolve the matter with the student through punitive grading, the case may be considered closed.
Examples of punitive grading include giving a lowered or failing grade for the assignment, having the student repeat the assignment or complete an additional assignment, or assessing a lower or failing grade for the course. The Academic Review Procedure offers recourse to a student who feels his/her grade has been reduced unfairly. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cheating. A student must not use or attempt to use unauthorized assistance, materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise including, but not limited to, the following:
- Substituting on an exam or course for another student.
- Submitting a paper written by another person.
- Copying with or without the other person’s knowledge during an exam.
- Turning in a paper that has been obtained from a commercial research firm or internet site.
- Using unauthorized notes during an exam.
- Padding items on a bibliography.
- Accessing and/or altering exams or grade records.
- Plagiarism. A student must not use the words and/ or ideas of another, representing them as his/her own, without proper credit to the author or source.
- Fabrication. A student must not falsify or invent any information or data in an academic exercise including, but not limited to, records or reports, laboratory results, and citations to the sources of
- Dual Submission. A student is expected to submit work solely for a single course unless prior written permission of the instructor is obtained that addresses the nature of the changes required in that work before submission to a second course.
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty. A student must not intentionally or knowingly help or attempt to help another student to commit an act of academic misconduct.
Responsible Use of Services
Students are responsible for appropriate use of services provided by the College. This includes the following:
- Knowledge of student, social and professional activities;
- Participation in student, social and professional activities;
- Seeking assistance when facing problems that interfere with educational success; and
- Meeting financial obligations to WITCC and those incurred through student loan programs.
Student Code of Conduct
Western Iowa Tech Community College students are responsible to conduct themselves in a manner that maintains an educational environment conducive to learning. Students at WITCC are expected to conduct themselves as good citizens in the College community by respecting the rights and property of others.
All rules and regulations are in effect 24 hours a day at all WITCC facilities, including WITCC Student Housing. Regulations also apply for college-sponsored activities which are held off-campus.
The College reserves the right to change the rules regulating student conduct with appropriate notice to the student body.
Any person who commits, attempts to commit, or incites/aids others in committing any of the following acts of misconduct shall be subject to disciplinary procedures by the College:
- Obstruction/disruption of teaching, administrative processes, disciplinary procedures, or any college authorized function/activity.
- Unauthorized occupation/use of (or unauthorized entry into) any college facility.
- Conduct which threatens or endangers the health/safety of any person on the campus or at any college authorized function/activity including, but not limited to, physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and assault. This includes harm to self and others.
- Theft, defacement, or damage to property belonging to the College or to any agency/person on the campus.
- Interference with any lawful right of any person on the campus including the right of access to college facilities.
- Setting a fire on campus without proper authorization.
- Unlawful use or possession of alcohol or alcoholic beverages, non-prescription drugs; use or possession of firearms, ammunition; dangerous weapons, substances, or materials (except as expressly authorized by the College); or bombs, explosives, or explosive, incendiary devices prohibited by law.
- Off-campus conduct which directly, seriously, and/or adversely disrupts or interferes with the educational or other function of the College.
- Verbal abuse, humiliating treatment, or harassment of any person on the campus. (Also see Sexual and Gender Harassment )
- Dishonesty in any form. This includes cheating, plagiarism, forgery, falsification of records, misrepresentation, and lying.
- Unauthorized use of property belonging to the college or any agency/person on campus.
- Smoking, the use of tobacco and the use of e-cigarettes are not allowed anywhere on campus. This includes buildings, parking lots, common areas, outdoor arenas, and any vehicle located on the school grounds, and including the perimeter area of fifty feet beyond such school grounds to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted. Anyone caught smoking on campus will be fined. See the Student Handbook for a complete list of fines.
- Violation of any local, state, or federal law as evidenced by conviction.
- Gambling without specific authorization by the administration.
- Failure to comply with directions of college personnel acting in the performance of their duties. This rule includes failure to identify oneself at the request of a college employee.
- Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct.
- Violation of college policies or regulations such as parking and guidelines for student events.
- Failure to appear at a disciplinary hearing.
- Minor children are not allowed to: attend classes with their parents, be in college work areas with their parents or be on campus unattended. These are safety and insurance issues for the college. Children may accompany their parents or guardians who are on WITCC campuses to register for class, to pick up and drop off class materials, and/or seek college information services.
College computer systems are provided by WITCC for use by students, faculty, and staff for the purpose of furthering the educational mission of the College. This includes course work, college-related educational endeavors, and business operations. Each user is expected to follow established computer conduct policies and not to interfere with or disrupt the orderly processes of WITCC resources. Users accept the responsibility for utilizing services in ways that are ethical, that demonstrate academic integrity and respect for others who share this resource. Users must follow all existing federal, state, and local laws as they relate to computer conduct.
Acts of misconduct which will be the cause for disciplinary action up to and including discharge, as well as possible legal and/or civil action:
- Unauthorized copying of anything that is licensed or protected by a copyright. This includes, but is not limited to, any software (including operating systems, programs, applications, databases, or code), multimedia files (including music, movies, or audio), or text files.
- “Computer hacking” (i.e. unwanted or unsolicited entry into a computer system). This includes, but is not limited to, successful acts of hacking, unsuccessful attempts, possession of the tools used for computer hacking, or running programs that attempt to identify passwords or codes.
- Knowingly introducing a “computer virus” to a computer or network (i.e. a program - either harmless or damaging - which attaches itself to another program and/or has the capability to reproduce in order to infect other computers).
- Gaining unauthorized access to information that is private or protected or attempting to do so. Willful damage or misuse of systems, applications, databases, code, or data. Attempting to gain network privileges to which you are not entitled.
- Unauthorized alteration of system configuration. This includes, but is not limited to, interrupting programs that protect data or secure systems, or attempting to do so. Downloading and/or installing software, or attempting to do so.
- Introducing or using profanity/obscenities on the network, including, but not limited to, the campus network, Internet, or any other communications configuration which is accessible by or connected to College computers or computer systems.
- Using the network to conduct business or solicit services, and/or develop, introduce, or circulate inflammatory comments or subjects.
- Sharing of assigned logins with anyone else for any reason. Unauthorized use of another person’s login or attempting to do so. Unauthorized use of a generic login outside of the context for which that login was created. Each student/employee will be responsible for all activities under his/her assigned login.
- Inappropriate or misuse of e-mail. This involves sending unsolicited e-mail (including junk mail, jokes, or chain letters) to users of the College’s e-mail system that is of a non-business nature.
- Installing unauthorized personal hardware or software to any computer or network.
Respectful Exchange of Ideas and Information
Computer systems and networks allow for a free exchange of ideas and information. This exchange serves to enhance learning, teaching, critical thinking, and research. While the constitutional right of free speech applies to communication in all forms, we encourage civil and respectful discourse. College policy and local, state, and federal law do prohibit some forms of communication, to include:
- obscenity, lewd, or sexually harassing images or text
- advocacy directed to incite or produce lawless action
- threats of violence
- harassment based on sex, race, disability, or other protected status
- anonymous or repeated messages designed to annoy, abuse, or torment
Each individual who is given a computer and/or e-mail account, or uses the computers and network resources made available by Western Iowa Tech Community College, must understand that you are accountable for the policies set forth in this document. In addition, users assume responsibility for:
- protection of your password
- reporting any breach of system security
- reporting unauthorized use of your account
- changing your password on a regular basis
- frequently making backup copies of your work to ensure against loss
- clearly label works and opinions as your own before they are widely distributed
The Information Technology department may access other’s files for the maintenance of networks, computers, and storage systems. Data, information, and files stored in electronic form on college-owned equipment and/or transmitted across college-owned networks is the property of Western Iowa Tech, and no right to privacy can be assumed. Office staff may also routinely monitor and log usage data, such as network connection times, CPU and disk utilization for each user, security audit trails, and network loading. Data collected may be reviewed and further investigated should evidence of violation of policy or law occur. If necessary, staff may monitor the activities and files of specific users on the college computers and networks. Any staff member who believes such monitoring is necessary should discuss the problem and strategy for investigation with the executive director, Information Technology.
Any student who violates the policies set forth in this document is subject to disciplinary action as defined in the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook. Faculty and staff who violate these policies are subject to disciplinary action as defined in the Employee Handbook. All violators may be subject to arrest according to local, state, and federal law.
Academic Review Procedure
Academic policies include, but are not limited to, admissions requirements for programs, specific program requirements for continuation in, and completion of a program, pre-requisites, and policies impacting the transcription of credit. A student who has concerns with a particular academic policy should informally consult with his/her academic advisor or academic dean/chair related to the policy to ensure understanding of the policy and provide resolution to the concern if appropriate. Every effort should be made to resolve the concern.
If unable to resolve the concern, many policies, such as program specific requirements, have departmental procedures outlined for review of student concerns. If so, the student should follow the steps outlined in those procedures of review. If the student’s concern is not resolved through that procedure or if no departmental procedure exists pertaining to the student’s concern, the formal Academic Review Procedure may be initiated by the student. Written requests and written responses shall be provided at each step. Timelines for response may be impacted by official college breaks and such impacts will be communicated with the student.
||Student will present the concern in writing to the appropriate Academic Dean, Chair or other administrator responsible for the area of concern. The written document should clearly indicate the student’s desire to formally appeal an academic policy, describe the student’s concern and specifically indicating the resolution requested from the student, along with any supporting documentation the student would like to provide. Upon receipt of the written concern, the Academic Dean, Chair or administrator will respond to the student within 7 official working days.
||If the concern is not resolved in Step 1, the student may provide a written request to the Dean of Instruction to convene the Appeals Committee. This request must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the Academic Dean, chair or administrator’s response in Step 1. The student should provide full written documentation of the concern as well as the student’s requested outcome should the appeal be granted. The student may personally appear before the committee if desired. Faculty and/ or staff related to the concern of the appeal will also be made available to the committee. The Dean of Instruction will convene the Appeals Committee within 10 working days from the receipt of the request from the student.
The committee has no authority to make decisions, but rather makes recommendations to the Dean of Instruction or its designee for the appropriate resolution of the appeal. The Dean of Instruction or its designee shall have 7 working days to respond to the student from the date of the Appeals Committee meeting. The decision of the Dean of Instruction or its designee will be final.
Grade Appeal Procedure
A student who questions a final grade from a particular course should make every effort to meet with the faculty member involved to communicate his/her concerns and resolve those concerns in an informal manner. The syllabus for each course will provide an outline of the grading procedures for the course and should be referenced in dealing with these issues.
When unable to informally resolve a concern, a Grade Appeal Procedure is provided to students. A student may exercise the following procedures in sequence. Written requests and written responses shall be provided at each review step. Written responses may be given to the students in an electronic format. The Grade Appeal Procedure must be initiated within 45 calendar days of the posting of the final grade in the course. Please note that timelines outlined below for response to a student’s request will be based on the availability of faculty and administration impacted by official college breaks and non-contracted faculty days. Every attempt will be made to communicate timeline expectations with students making such requests.
||Within 45 calendar days of the posting of the final grade, the student will present in writing his/her concerns to the faculty member involved. The student should clearly indicate in that written concern that he/she is formally appealing the final grade received in the course. The student should document specifically his/her concerns related to the calculation of the grade and should also include the grade received as well as the grade expected. if the appeal would be granted. Upon receipt of the written concern, the faculty member will have 7 working days to respond to the student.
||If the concern is not resolved in Step 1, the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate Academic Dean or Chair. The appeal should provide full written documentation as outlined in Step 1. This appeal must be submitted to the Academic Dean or Chair within 10 calendar days of the response from the faculty member in Step 1. The Academic Dean or Chair shall respond to the student within 7 official working days of receiving the appeal.
||If the concern is not resolved in Step 2, the student may provide a written request to the Dean of Instruction to convene the Appeals Committee. This request must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the Academic Dean or Chair’s response in Step 2. The student should provide full written documentation as outlined in Step 1 for the committee and may personally appear before the committee if desired. Faculty related to the grade appeal may also appear before the committee in its review. The Dean of Instruction will convene the Appeals Committee within 10 working days from the receipt of the request from the student.
The committee has no authority to make decisions, but rather makes recommendations to the Dean of Instruction or its designee for the appropriate resolution of the appeal. The Dean of Instruction or its designee shall have 7 calendar days to respond to the student from the date of the Appeals Committee meeting. The decision of the Dean of Instruction or its designee will be final.
Due Process Procedure
- Statement of General Expectations and Definitions
- Expectations: All students are expected and required to obey college policies, rules and regulations and not violate municipal, county, state or federal law. All students are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to show respect for properly constituted authority, exhibit and maintain integrity and honor in all matters related to the College and not interfere with or disrupt the orderly educational processes of the College.
- Definition: In these procedures, unless the context otherwise requires:
- “Authorized College Official” means an officer of the college who, by assigned responsibility, has authority to act in a particular situation. Frequently, but not exclusively, it will be the Vice President, Dean of Students, Code of Conduct Hearing Officer, or a person designated by them.
- “Board” means the WITCC Board of Directors.
- “Class day” means one day on which classes are in session (M-F). Registration, test, and orientation days are included.
- “College property” or “college facilities” means property, real or personal, owned, leased, controlled, or managed by the College.
- “Complaint” is a written statement which identifies an alleged violation and which sets forth the facts which constitute the violation.
- “Dean of Students” means the Dean of Students, or his/her designee.
- “Representative” means legal council, parent, or advisor.
- “Student” means any person enrolled at the college, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, and includes a person accepted for admission to the College.
- “President” means the Chief Executive Officer of the College.
- “Violation” means any conduct, act, or omission to act, which violates a regulation, policy or administrative rule of the College or of the Board.
- “Administrative disposition” refers to disciplinary action taken by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
- “Administrative Complainant” refers to the WITCC official who investigates the complaint and presents evidence of the violation at the hearing.
- Immediate Suspension: The authorized college official may take immediate interim disciplinary action by suspending the student from classes or from the campus, or otherwise alter the status of a student. Causes for immediate interim suspension include, but are not limited to, the following:
- ignoring a summons for a hearing.
- an attempt of bodily harm to anyone on campus.
- possession, use, sale, or purchase of illegal drugs on campus.
- destruction or theft of college property or another person’s personal property.
- possession of intoxicating beverages on campus.
- any activities causing a major disruption or disturbance.
- a violation of the student code of conduct which the administrator considers a major violation.
- Prior to deciding whether to suspend a student, the authorized college official will give the student oral notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to provide an immediate response to the allegation. Normally, within three (3) class days of the action of immediate interim suspension, the student will be summoned by the Dean of Students or designee. However, the Dean of Students or designee, at his or her discretion, may postpone this meeting for as much as three (3) additional class days. The Dean of Students or designee will give the student written notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to provide an immediate response to the allegation. The Dean of Students or designee will:
- dismiss the allegation; or
- decide the alleged violation did occur and make an administrative disposition to impose a penalty as described in Section III. If the suspended student received a favorable administrative disposition or favorable hearing, the student shall be permitted to make up class work required for satisfactory completion of a course or courses begun prior to the beginning of the disciplinary process.
- Disciplinary Removal From Class: An instructor may remove a student from class for disciplinary reasons. Prior to deciding whether to remove a student from class, the instructor will give the student oral notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to provide an immediate response to the allegation. The alleged violation must be reported in writing to the Dean of Students by close of day to review the allegation and to initiate disciplinary actions.
- Disciplinary Proceeding
- Initial Response: Upon notification of an alleged violation, the Dean of Students or designee will review the complaint within three class days and will:
- Dismiss the allegation as being unfounded or irrelevant.
- Summon the student for a conference and, after giving the student written notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to provide an immediate response, then
- dismiss the allegation; or
- decide the alleged violation did occur and make an administrative disposition to impose a penalty as described in Section III.
The student may accept the administrative disposition or may request a formal hearing (IV). The request for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Dean of Students within three days of the disposition.
- Penalties: The Dean of Students or designee may impose one or more of the following penalties for a violation:
- Warning - a written reprimand to the student to whom it is addressed.
- Disciplinary Probation - a warning indicating that further violations may result in suspension. Disciplinary probation may be imposed for a period of up to two (2) semesters. At the completion of the period of probation, the student must meet with the Dean of Students who will determine whether the student will be removed from probation or whether the probationary period will be continued, and if so, for what period of time.
- Restitution - reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages.
- Suspension of Rights and Privileges - a penalty which may impose limitations or restrictions to fit the particular case.
- Suspension of Eligibility for Official Extra-Curricular Activities: prohibits, during the period of suspension, the student on whom it is imposed from joining a registered student organization, taking part in a registered student organization’s activities, or attending its meetings or functions, and from participating in an official extra-curricular activity.
- Community Service: A student may be required to perform service to the College or the community in lieu of another penalty.
- Suspension from the College for less than the remainder of the term prohibits, during the period of suspension, the student on whom it is imposed from entering College property except in response to a request of the College and from registering, either for credit or non-credit work, at the College.
Penalties H. and I regarding Dismissal from the College will only be imposed upon conferral with the President:
- Dismissal from the College for a period which shall not be less than the remainder of the term and shall not exceed one (1) calendar year.
- Before returning to the College, student will be required to put, in writing, a request to return and schedule a hearing with College Authorities. Final determination will rest with the decision of the College.
- Permanent dismissal from the College. This includes credit classes, non-credit classes, seminars, workshops, and other such activities.
- Formal Hearing
- The Dean of Students shall have written notice served upon the student and the complainant, which notice shall set forth the date, time, and place for the hearing, as well as the nature of the alleged violation. The hearing date shall be not less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) class days after service of the notice unless the student makes written acknowledgment of the notice and written consent to the scheduling of a hearing at a different time. Notice may be hand delivered to the student. In the student’s absence from the campus, notice mailed to the student’s last known address by ordinary mail shall be deemed adequate. Notice by mail will be deemed given on the date of mailing.
- For good cause, the Dean of Students may postpone the hearing for as much as three (3) class days.
- The notice shall direct the student to appear before the Dean of Students on the date and at the time specified, and shall advise the student that she/he has a right to each of the following:
- To have a private hearing.
- To have, at the student’s expense, the presence of a representative.
- To confront and cross-examine witnesses against him/her who appear at the hearing.
- To cause the Dean of Students to order witnesses to appear on his/her behalf. Only college students and employees are subject to being ordered to appear to testify. The college is not responsible for witnesses who fail to appear or who refuse to testify, and the failure of a witness to appear or to testify will not affect the hearing.
- To allow the student to examine documents presented in evidence against the student.
- To remain silent during the hearing.
- Preliminary Matters
- Alleged violations arising out of the same occurrence, or out of the same series of occurrences against more than one student, may be heard together. Either at the option of the Dean of Students or upon request by one of the students or the complainant, separate hearings shall be held.
- Alleged violations by one student arising out of the same transaction or occurrence or out of the same series of transactions or occurrences shall be heard together. Alleged violations by one student arising out of unrelated transactions or occurrences may be heard together with the written consent of the student.
- At least three (3) class days before the hearing date, the student shall in writing furnish the Dean of Students with:
- The name of each witness she/he wants ordered to appear.
- Any objection that, if sustained, would postpone the hearing.
- The name of representative, if any, who is to appear with him or her.
- A request for a private or separate hearing and the ground for such request.
- A request to exercise any of the student’s other rights stated in the notice.
- When the hearing is held by consent of the student less than five (5) days after service of notice or for other good cause shown, the student may submit the information described in paragraph C-2 immediately above at any time before the hearing terminates.
- If, after notice has been provided to the student as required by these procedures, the student fails to appear, the hearing will be canceled and the previous administrative disposition will be upheld.
- The hearing shall be closed to the public unless otherwise requested by the student.
- The hearing shall proceed generally as follows:
- The name of representative, if any, who is to appear with him or her.
- The Dean of Students shall read the complaint.
- The Dean of Students shall inform the student of his/her rights, as stated in the notice of hearing.
- The administrative complainant shall present evidence in support of the alleged violation.
- The student may present his/her defense.
- At the request of the student or the administrative complainant, witnesses shall not be present before time they are called to testify.
- The administrative complainant and the student may present rebuttal evidence, and shall have the right to make argument. The administrative complainant shall have the right to make the first opening and the final closing arguments.
- The authorized college official shall state in writing each finding of a violation and the penalty determined and inform the student of the findings and impose the penalty, if any. This action shall occur no more than five (5) class days after conclusion of the hearing.
- Rules of evidence shall not apply to administrative hearings, and the Dean of Students may admit and give effect to evidence that possesses probative value and is commonly accepted in the conduct of a reasonable person. Privileged communications between a student and a member of the professional staff where such communications were made in the course of performances of official duties and when the matters discussed were understood by the staff member and the student to be confidential, as well as those communications which are privileged by law shall not be introduced as evidence before the Dean of Students without the written permission of the student.
- A student is presumed innocent until the administrative complainant has proved that more likely than not a violation did occur.
- All evidence offered during the hearing shall be made a part of the hearing record. Documentary evidence may be included in the form of copies, extracts or abstracts, or by specific reference. Real evidence may be photographed or described.
- Right To Appeal
- The student may appeal the decision of Dismissal (III - H & I ) to the President.
- Appeals must be made by giving written notice to the Dean of Students on or before the third (3) class day after the day the decision or action is served on the student or mailed to the student’s last known address by ordinary mail. The notice of appeal shall contain the student’s name, the date of the decision or action, the name of his/her representative, if any, and a simple request for appeal.
- Notice of appeal timely given suspends the imposition of penalty until the appeal is finally decided. However, a notice of appeal does not affect an immediate suspension imposed under Section I (C) of these procedures. An immediate suspension will continue in effect until an appeal is finally decided.
- After reviewing the evidence and the appeal, the President may take any action consistent with the Board policy.
- The action of the President is final.
- Information for crime victims about the outcomes of disciplinary hearings can be obtained through the Office of the Dean of Students and is available upon written request.