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    Amarillo College
   
 
  Aug 23, 2017
 
 
    
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2017-2018 Academic Catalog

2016 - 2017 Student Rights and Responsibilities


Dear Student:

The faculty and staff of Amarillo College welcome you. We are pleased that you have given us the opportunity to serve your educational needs. This Student Rights and Responsibilities bulletin provides important information that we hope will make your college experience sound and gratifying.

Contained within the following pages are those major policies and regulations which directly affect the students at Amarillo College. It is very important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with this information since it deals with your “rights” and your “responsibilities” as an AC student.

In this bulletin we have tried to present the information in a concise format. If after your personal review of this material, you have questions regarding student related policies, please contact me personally. Also, your advisor will attempt to assist you with any problems you may encounter in regard to understanding these policies and regulations.

In closing, I would like to again welcome you to Amarillo College and assure you that we are all interested in your personal growth and educational progress. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way as you continue your journey down this wonderful pathway of higher education.

Sincerely,

 

Robert Austin
Vice President of Enrollment Management

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

General Information
Mission Statement
Accreditation
Equal Opportunity Policy
Notification of Rights Under FERPA
Sexual Misconduct Information
Intellectual Property Rights
Changes in Student Information
Financial Obligations to the College
Student Identification Cards
New Student Orientation
Representation: Student Government Association
Services for Students with Disabilities
Police Department
Reporting Crimes and Emergencies

Consumer Information
$1,000 Tuition Rebates
Additional Tuition Charges - Early Warning
Withdrawal Limitations for Students Enrolled at Texas Colleges and Universities
Campus Security/Cleary Act
Student Right to Know

Academic Information
Student Responsibility
Academic Grievances
Student Academic Freedom
Testing
Semester Load
Adding a Course
Withdrawing from a Course
Changing from Credit to Audit Status
Withdrawing from College
Tuition/Fee Refunds
Attendance Policy
Religious Holy Days
Grading Practices and Reports
Academic Probation
Academic Suspension
Graduation

Student Conduct and Responsibilities
Student Code of Conduct
Student Conduct/Disciplinary Procedures

Student Grievances
General
Sexual Harassment
Disability Accommodations

Traffic Information
Parking
Traffic Citation Appeal Procedure

Campus Procedures and Notifications
Notification of Penalty for False Alarm or Report
Posting Guidelines
Solicitation
Participation in Political Activities
Weather Closing Policy
Student and Community Use of College Facilities
Student Clubs and Organizations

Health Information
Communicable Diseases
Immunizations
Student Health Insurance
Bacterial Meningitis Information
Student Assistance Program for Alcohol & Drug Abuse

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Mission Statement

Amarillo College - enriching the lives of our students and our community.

Accreditation

Amarillo College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees and certificates. Contact the commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Amarillo College.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Amarillo College is an equal opportunity community college. It is the policy of Amarillo College not to discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, age, religion, or national origin in its educational and vocational programs, activities, or employment as required by Title IX, as amended, Section 504, Title VI, and Age Discrimination Act of 1978. For information about your rights or grievance procedures, contact the Director of Human Resources, Lynn Thornton (371-5040, SSC 280), who has been designated the compliance coordinator for Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as amended, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the related regulations.

Notification of Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a post-secondary institution.) These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Amarillo College receives a request for access.

A student should submit to the Registrar, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Amarillo College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the AC Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Amarillo College who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. 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 Amarillo College.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A post-secondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student -

• 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. (§99.31(a)(4))
• To officials of another school 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))
• To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
• To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
• To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
• To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
• To 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. (§99.31(a)(13))
• To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
• To 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. (§99.31(a)(15))
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the [School] to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Directory information within a student’s record which may be released upon request at the discretion of the College includes:

Student’s name
Participation in officially recognized activities
Address
Telephone listing
Electronic mail address
Photograph
Degrees, honors, and awards received
Date and place of birth
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
The most recent educational agency or institution attended.

If a student does not wish for this public information to be released, he/she is responsible for notifying the Registrar’s Office, located in the Student Service Center, in writing by the 12th class day each regular semester and by the 4th class day of the summer term.

Sexual Misconduct Information

Members of the Amarillo College’s community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Amarillo College believes in zero tolerance regarding sexual or gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this plan, serious sanctions will be imposed to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated.

This plan has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This plan is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to; modification of class schedule, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses and the college reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.

In campus hearings, legal terms like “guilt”, “innocence”, and “burden of proof’ are not applicable, but the College never assumes a student is in violation of college policy. Campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.

Expectations with Respect to Physical Sexual Misconduct

The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you do and do not want sexually. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence–without actions demonstrating permission- -cannot be assumed to show consent.

Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity is a violation of this plan in the same manner as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex.

Because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent in question, sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent. They cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (“who, what, when, where, why, and how’) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this plan, ‘No” always means “No” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes’. Anything less than a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “No”.

Expectations with Respect to Consensual Relationships

Romantic or sexual relationships between individuals in unequal positions (such as teacher and student, supervisor and employee) may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. The relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Furthermore, circumstances may change, and conduct that was previously welcome may become unwelcome. Even when both parties have consented at the outset to a romantic or sexual involvement, this past consent may not remove grounds for a later charge of a violation of applicable sections of the faculty/staff handbooks.

Sexual Violence - Risk Reduction Tips

Below is a list of suggestions to help avoid and reduce the risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:

a. If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.

b. Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.

c. Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.

d. Find someone nearby and ask for help.

e. Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/ drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views an impaired person as a sexual opportunity.

Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

Definitions

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, is defined as deliberate contact of a sexual nature without the other person’s consent. Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors or attempted behaviors that may be grounds for student conduct action under college policy. These behaviors, all of which constitute sexual misconduct include:

1. Non-consensual sexual contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching, with any object, by a man or a woman upon another person without consent or making any person touch you or them in a sexual manner. It is defined as engaging in any sexual contact other than intercourse with another person without that person’s consent and/or cognizance. It includes any non-consensual sexual contact, including any improper touching of intimate body parts. It also includes the non-consensual removal of another’s clothing, indecent contact (i.e., the unwanted touching of intimate body parts including, but not limited to; genitals, buttocks, groin, or breasts) or causing another to have indecent contact with them.

2. Non-consensual intercourse: Non-consensual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), with any object, by a man or woman upon another person without consent. It is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse (oral, anal or vaginal) with another person without that person’s consent and/or cognizance. Non-consensual intercourse may be accomplished by expressly or implicitly forcing or coercing another person to have sexual intercourse against his/her will, including the use or threat of physical force, or any behavior that is designed to intimidate and induce fear in another person. Non-consensual intercourse can also occur when another person is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, is undergoing physical or emotional trauma, is less than 17 years of age, or is otherwise incapable of denying or giving consent (for example, when an individual is in an unconscious or semi-conscious state).

3. Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or sexual advantage of another or his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

• prostituting another person;

• non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity;

• going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);

• engaging in voyeurism;

• knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another.

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination includes all forms of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or others on campus. Sex discrimination also includes stalking, dating violence and domestic violence. Students, College employees, and third parties are prohibited from harassing other students and/or employees whether or not the incidents of harassment occur on the college campus and whether or not the incidents occur during working hours.

Sexual and Gender-based Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly, as a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting the individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering  with a student’s or employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment. While sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct, some examples of specifically prohibited conduct include:

1. Promising, directly or indirectly, a reward to an individual if the person complies with a sexually oriented request.

2. Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against an individual, if the person refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.

3. Denying, directly or indirectly, an individual employment or education related opportunity, if the individual refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.

4. Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation or physical contact or touching another individual.

5. Displaying pornographic or sexually oriented materials.

6. Engaging in indecent exposure.

7. Making sexual or romantic advances toward an individual and persisting despite the individual’s rejection of the advances.

8. Physical conduct such as assault, touching, or blocking normal movement.

9. Retaliation for making harassment reports or threatening to report harassment.

Gender-based harassment is also prohibited. It includes, but is not limited to:  acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by members of either sex. Although sexual harassment sometimes involves a person in a greater position of authority as the harasser, individuals in positions of lesser or equal authority also can be found responsible for engaging in prohibited harassment. Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered separately would not rise to the level of harassment.

Coercion

Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy as much as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion exists when a sexual initiator engages in sexually pressuring and/or oppressive behavior that violates the norms of the community and that application of pressure or oppression causes another individual to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. Coercion may be differentiated from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, environmental factors such as isolation and the initiator’s knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.

Consent

Effective consent is the basis of the analysis applied to unwelcome sexual contact. Lack of consent is the critical factor in any incident of sexual misconduct and sexual violence.

1. Consent is informed, freely and actively given, and requires clear communication between all persons involved in the sexual encounter

2. Consent is active, not passive. Consent can be communicated verbally or by actions. But in whatever way consent is communicated, it must be mutually understandable. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.

3. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to make sure they understand fully what the person with whom they are involved wants and does not want sexually.

4. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

5. Previous relationships or consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.

6. Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.

7. Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand who, what, when, where, why and how of their sexual interaction.

8. Effective consent cannot be given by minors, mentally disabled individuals or persons incapacitated as a result of drugs or alcohol.

9. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, someone will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot appreciate who, what, when, where, why and how of a sexual interaction. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing.

10. If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be, or should know to be, mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), you are in violation of this policy.

11. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of a so-called “date-rape” drug. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc., is prohibited and administering one of these drugs to another person for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy.
 

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

1. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, about someone’s sexual availability, about whether they are attracted to you, about how far you can go or about whether they are physically or mentally able to consent to you.

2. Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.

3. Understand that consent to some forms of sexual behavior does not necessarily imply the consent to other forms of sexual behavior.

4. Mixed messages from your partner should be a clear indication that you should step back, defuse the sexual tension, and communicate better. Perhaps you are misreading them.

5. Do not take advantage of someone’s drunkenness, impaired or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.

6. Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by, or fearful of you.

7. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted by you as an indication of consent. Read your partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication.

Retaliation

The college strictly prohibits retaliation against any person for reporting, testifying, assisting or participating, in any manner, in any investigation or proceeding involving allegations of discrimination or harassment. Any person who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination if they are an employee, and/or expulsion if they are a student.

Retaliation is any action by any person that is perceived as: intimidating, hostile, harassing, a form of retribution, or violence that occurs in connection to the making and follow-up of the report.

Dating Violence

The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person (a) who is or has been in a social relationship of romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and (b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following: the length of relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes committed by the current or former spouse of the complainant, by a person whom the complainant has a child with, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Stalking

The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Intellectual Property Rights

The intellectual property policy of Amarillo Junior College District (“Amarillo College”) seeks to protect and promote the traditional freedom of Amarillo College, its employees and students in matters involving intellectual property and trade secrets; seeks to balance fairly and reasonably the equitable rights of authors, inventors, sponsors, and Amarillo College; and attempts to ensure that any intellectual property in which Amarillo College has an equity interest is utilized in a manner consistent with the public interest.

Rules for Intellectual Property are available at the following location: https://www.actx.edu/president/pagesmith/79

Accuracy of Student-Reported Information

Students are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the personal information that they provide to the College.  In addition, students are responsible for keeping the College informed of changes in their personal information including:  current postal address, email address, name, or other pertinent information.  All changes should be provided in writing to the AskAC Center (located on any AC Campus) or faxed to AskAC at 806-345-5505.  Failure to ensure the accuracy of personal information may affect a student’s ability to access important College resources and prevent the College from accurately reporting enrollment information to State and Federal entities.

Please note:  Students are not required by a specific legal authority to provide a Social Security number.  However, students who do not provide a valid Social Security number will not be issued a Form 1098-T and, in turn, will not qualify to file for education tax credits (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Benefits-for-Education:-Information-Center).

Any communication mailed or emailed to the address on record is considered to have been properly delivered to the student.

Financial Obligations to the College

Students incurring financial obligations to the College as a result of unpaid loans, insufficient checks, unpaid parking/library fines, or other obligations may have administrative or disciplinary action taken against them by the College, such as withholding transcripts, or denial of re-enrollment until the debt is paid or the check is redeemed.

All uncollectable accounts are subject to being turned over for collections with additional expenses to students.

Student Identification Cards

Student identification cards (student ID’s) are provided free of charge and are available to all students enrolled in academic classes. The Student ID displays the student’s name, ID number and photograph. New students are encouraged to obtain an ID upon registration and retain their cards for the duration of attendance at Amarillo College. ID cards are required for access to some campus services. Please contact the AskAC Center on any Amarillo College campus to report a lost or stolen ID.

Specialized badges are also available for students in programs that have unique identification requirements. The charge for this service is $2.00. Please see the AskAC Center on the West Campus for more information regarding specialized badges.

New Student Orientation

New students are required to attend New Student Orientation, which prepares them for the first semester of college. By providing important information about policies, services, and activities, New Student Orientation helps students avoid potential obstacles in achieving their goals.  Students are required to attend New Student Orientation prior to the beginning of their first semester or they will not be permitted to re-enroll until the requirement is fulfilled.  Information on offerings and registration can be found at https://www.actx.edu/nso/.  Transfer students with 12 or more transferable hours do not need to take New Student Orientation. Official transcripts from previously attended institution must be on file with the AC Registrar’s Office for exemption to be verified. Please call (806) 371-5440 to verify transfer exemption.

Representation: Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is a group of AC students who are elected by fellow students to represent the student body in all matters to the Board of Regents, the administration and the faculty, and to develop student programming to enhance the learning atmosphere. Through involvement in SGA, students have the opportunity to learn and develop in a creative, intellectual, cultural, and social setting. The SGA makes recommendations regarding student interests and policies through the Director of Student Life. Membership is composed of returning Student Government Association members as well as 30 representatives elected by the student body in the fall and 9 Campus Council representatives. The Association elects its own officers each spring. Students may call upon the elected representatives to voice their concerns or ideas at any time. Inquiries may be made in the Student Government Office, located in the Basement of the College Union Building or by phone at 371-5322.

Services for Students with Disabilities

The disAbility Services Department provides and coordinates services for Amarillo College students with documented disabilities. The purpose of these services is to ensure equal access for students to participate in all programs and activities. DisAbility Services offers academic support and advising, professional tutoring, arrangements for placement test and class test administration, assistance with obtaining recorded books and materials, coordination of (ASL) interpreters, and other accommodations as required. Amarillo College students must apply to receive services. Students must provide a copy of documentation for each disability requiring accommodations. Services provided will be based on need and appropriateness for each individual. Reasonable accommodations are provided in a timely manner; however, students should allow some time for processing and the provision of services. This program does not provide diagnostic testing or evaluation, personal care attendants, or a specific learning disability program.

The Office of disAbility Services is located in the Student Service Center, Room 119. Students may contact the disAbility Services Department at 806 345 5639. More information is available online at www.actx.edu/disability

Voter Registration

Amarillo College encourages good citizenship practices for students. Students can register to vote online at: http://www.rockthevote.com/.

Police Department

Amarillo College strives to maintain a safe and secure environment in which to work and study. Amarillo College Police Department Officers are the emergency medical response unit on campus and are peace officers with the power of arrest.
Amarillo College understands the concerns of parents and students and accepts the responsibility to employ security measures and implement policies to ensure that all students at the College are as free as possible from any threat to their safety or well-being.

Police Department Services

  • Enforcement of laws and college policies, rules, and regulations.
  • First responders in the event of accident or illness providing minor first aid and arranging additional care as appropriate.
  • Timely notification to the campus community and the general public of crimes or situations of a violent or threatening nature which may cause danger to students or employees.
  • Security and access to campus facilities.
  • Security escorts
  • Lost and found
  • Information
  • Daily log of reported crimes
  • Investigate vehicle accidents
  • Jumpstart vehicles
  • Unlock vehicles when keys locked inside
  • Notary Public services
  • Safety and education training

Reporting Crimes and Emergencies

Amarillo College Police officers are on duty from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and observe all official AC holidays.

Emergency medical or criminal calls during off hours must be directed to 9-1-1, and there will not be an AC Police response.

Locations:

Washington Street Campus:
Durrett Hall, Room 111-A
371-5911 (non-emergency, call 371-5163)

East Campus:
East Campus Student Services Center, Room 103
371-5911 (non-emergency, call 371-5163)

West Campus:
371-5911 (non-emergency, call 371-5163)

Downtown Campus:
371-5911 (non-emergency, call 371-5163)

Moore County Campus:
911 (non-emergency, call 934-7220)

Everett and Mabel McDougal Hinkson Memorial Campus in Hereford:
911 (non-emergency, call 363-7120)

The Amarillo College Police Department encourages the prompt and accurate reporting of all crimes and emergency situations. Crimes or emergency situations occurring on any of the Amarillo campuses or at off-campus events sponsored by the College should be reported to the Amarillo College Police Department as noted above. AC Police Officers will respond to the crime or emergency, conduct an investigation, and file appropriate reports. At the Moore County Campus and Everett and Mabel McDougal Hinkson Memorial Campus in Hereford, local Police Department officers will respond to the situation, conduct an investigation, and send a copy of the report to the AC Police Department. For more information, visit www.actx.edu/police

The Amarillo College Police Department has been given the responsibility of assisting victims of both violent and non-violent sexual crimes on campus or while participating in approved off-campus activities. Victims assistance in the form of counseling, medical referral and legal help can be obtained through the Police Department, 371-5163. Any form of unwanted sexual activity should be reported to the Amarillo College Police Department. The Police Department provides training to the College community as required by the Clery Act.

CONSUMER INFORMATION

$1,000 Tuition Rebates

The Texas Education Code provides for tuition rebates of up to $1,000 to undergraduate students who complete their baccalaureate degree with a minimum of “excess” courses. You may qualify for this rebate if:

You enrolled for the first time in the Fall of 1997 or later.
You request your rebate for your first baccalaureate degree received from a Texas public institution.
You were a resident of Texas while attempting all of your course work at Texas public institutions.
You attempted no more than three semester credit hours in excess of the minimum required for your degree.

This rebate will be given by the institution granting the baccalaureate degree, not by Amarillo College. Some credit hours earned exclusively by exam may be excluded.

For more information, visit http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/index.cfm?objectid=F0EFCF71-D6FB-4079-BC54E83CEB3A9C2C

Additional Tuition Charges - Early Warning

In accordance with Texas Education Code §54.014 (§54.068 renumbered in 2005), students who have attempted 45 or more credit hours beyond the amount required for their degree at Texas public colleges or universities may be charged additional tuition, up to the level of out-of-state tuition. This includes all credit hours in which a student was registered as of the official census day for the semester (i.e. repeated courses, failed courses, and courses from which the student withdrew after census day); this does not include credit hours for which the student paid out-of-state tuition, courses designated as developmental, any hours removed from admission consideration under Academic Fresh Start (Texas Education Code §51.931), or hours accumulated toward a previous baccalaureate degree. Students who entered higher education for the first time prior to fall 1999 while classified for tuition purposes as a Texas resident are exempt.

Students enrolling in fall 2006 or later may pay a higher tuition rate if they have attempted 30 or more credit hours beyond the amount required for their degree.

Withdrawal Limitations for Students Enrolled at Texas Colleges and Universities

The Texas Education Code stipulates that students attending Texas institutions of higher education may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic careers, including courses from which transfer students have withdrawn at other Texas institutions of higher education. There are certain exceptions to this policy and petitions for exceptions should be directed to the Registrar.

Three-peat Supplemental Fee

The Texas General Appropriations Act of 2003 resulted in the establishment of the following Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board policy. “Public institutions of higher education may not submit for formula funding credit or contact hours attempted by students who have enrolled in courses containing the same content for a third or more times at institutions since September 1, 2002.”

Beginning fall 2011, Amarillo College students who attempt a course with the same content more than twice will be charged an additional $50.00 per credit hour fee for that course.

Students affected by this policy are those who register for a course at AC (Amarillo College) which they have already attempted twice since the fall 2002 term. The policy does not apply to courses taken at other institutions. Students enrolled by the official reporting date for any given course will be counted as having attempted the course, even if they later drop the course.

Certain types of coursework are exempt from the provisions of this policy. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Student Right-To-Know Act of 1990

Title I of the Act known as the “Student Right-to-Know Act”, requires the Amarillo College to disclose institution-wide graduation rates of certificate-seeking or degree-seeking, full-time students entering the institution. AC’s four-year average Student Right to Know Completion or Graduation Rate is 17%. The four-year average Student Right to Know Transfer-out Rate is 12%.

Completion and Graduation Rates

AC’s four-year average Student Right to Know Completion or Graduation Rate is 15%. The four-year average Student Right to Know Transfer-out Rate is 14%.

Campus Security Act of 1990

Title II of the Act, known as the “Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990,” requires the college to disclose certain information on campus crime statistics and campus security policies.

Please visit the Amarillo College Police Department site for information and statistics: http://www.actx.edu/police/index.php?module=article&id=58

Books for courses(s)

Books may be purchased from the Amarillo College bookstore. However, students are not obligated to purchase these books from the Amarillo College Bookstore.

ACADEMIC INFORMATION

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for knowing and understanding Amarillo College’s requirements relating to registration and academic standards. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their academic advisors and to contact the Registrar’s Office with questions about academic procedures, policy, or regulations.

Academic Grievances

A student who has a grievance concerning an academic course in which he or she is enrolled should make an appeal in the following order:

1. Instructor

2. Department Chair/Program Director

3. Dean

4. Vice President of Academic Affairs

5. College President

Student Academic Freedom

Students shall be free to be guided by scholarly research, study the substance of a given discipline, examine pertinent data, question assumptions, take reasoned exception to information and views offered in the classroom, and reserve judgment about matters of opinion.

Testing

Visit the Amarillo College website (www.actx.edu/testing) for information regarding testing and developmental education in Texas.

Semester Load

The minimum semester load for full-time status in a fall or spring semester is 12 credit hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than 21 hours must have approval from the Director of Enrollment Services.

A summer semester consists of a variety of variable length terms. The normal summer semester load is six to eight hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than nine hours must have the approval from the Director of Enrollment Services.

Adding a Course

To add a course, students should consult an academic advisor. If a fee is required, the charge may be paid at any of the AskAC Centers or online via ACConnect.

Withdrawing from a Course

It is the responsibility of the student to officially drop or withdraw from a course. Failure to withdraw may result in a grade of “F” for the course. A grade of “W” will be given for student-initiated withdrawals that are submitted on or before the withdrawal deadline for the traditional 16-week schedule (certain classes meet outside the traditional 16-week schedule; see the current class schedule or access your ACConnect account for effective dates). Students who wish to withdraw from a class, must have permission from their instructor.  Students must either email or meet with their instructor to begin the withdrawal process. 
 

Changing from Credit to Audit Status

Students who are enrolled for credit may change to audit status no later than the census date for each semester or term (census date information is available via your ACConnect account). Permission of the instructor is required. The election to change to audit status will be irreversible. No credit will be awarded and a grade of “AU” (audit) will be assigned.

Tuition/Fee Refunds

If a class does not materialize and is canceled by the College, 100 percent of all tuition and fees charged will be refunded. Students who officially withdraw from Amarillo College prior to the sixth day of class for full-length courses and by third class day for summer will be refunded 100 percent of their mandatory tuition and fees. If a transcript received by Amarillo College after a student has completed enrollment shows that the student is suspended at the last college attended, the student is subject to being withdrawn with forfeiture of all tuition and fees. Likewise, any student who provides false information regarding TSI testing or scores will be subject to withdrawal and forfeiture of tuition and fees.

Tuition and fees paid directly to Amarillo College by a sponsor, donor or scholarship shall be refunded to the source rather than directly to the student.

Please refer to the current class schedule for specific refund dates and information. Or, visit the Amarillo College website at: www.actx.edu/bus.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to attend class in accordance with the requirements of the course as established by the instructor. Attendance and/or participation requirements in courses delivered electronically (telecourses and on-line courses) will be unique to the individual course.

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped from the classes they have not attended.

Religious Holy Days

Amarillo College shall excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities including examinations for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused for this observance may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.

Amarillo College may not excuse absences for religious holy days which may interfere with patient care.

If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day, or there is a similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the President of Amarillo College or his or her designee. The student and the instructor shall abide by the decision of the President or the designee.

Grading Practices and Reports

Faculty must inform their students in writing at the start of the semester of the following:

1. The grading policy.

2. The procedure for determining grades and course averages.

3. The attendance policy.

A student may request current grade information at any time from his/her instructor.

End of semester grades in all courses are filed in the Registrar’s Office and are maintained as official records of the College. A final grade will be reported at the close of each semester. A grade once earned and recorded cannot be removed. If a student repeats a course, however, the higher grade earned is the one counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. For further information regarding Amarillo College grading practices and reports, refer to the Amarillo College General Catalog (http://catalog.actx.edu/).

Academic Probation

Placement
A student will be placed on academic probation when the student’s semester grade-point average falls below a 2.0 and the student’s cumulative grade-point average is less than 2.5. For purposes of determining academic probation, all course work taken during the summer terms in a given year will be considered as one semester.

Conditions
Academic probation is effective for at least one semester. The summer term may serve as a probation semester. An administrative hold will be placed on the student’s account, and in order for that hold to be released the student must attend mandatory academic advising with his/her advisor. A student on probation is also encouraged to meet with an academic advisor.

Removal
A student is removed from academic probation when a 2.0 grade-point average or better is earned on all work attempted at Amarillo College during the semester that the student is on probation.

Academic Suspension

Placement
A student who is on suspension from Amarillo College or any other college will not be allowed to attend classes during his/her one semester of suspension. After the student sits out of one semester, the student can return to school on academic probation.

If a student transfers to Amarillo College from another institution, and was placed on academic suspension at that institution, the student will not be allowed to attend classes until the suspension term(s) has been completed.

Appeals for Reinstatement During Suspension
Students on academic suspension who have not completed their term of suspension may appeal to the Academic Appeals Subcommittee for immediate reinstatement when extenuating circumstances exist. Students must complete the Academic Suspension Appeal Form found at www.actx.edu/registrar and submit to the Registrar’s office by the appropriate deadline to be considered. Students will receive notification of the decision from the Academic Appeals Committee prior to start of the term.

Removal
After the suspension semester, the student is eligible for readmission to Amarillo College the next semester on academic probation.

Graduation

A complete description of graduation requirements are stated in the College Catalog. Briefly, the requirements are as follows:

  1. Completion of degree or certificate requirements with a 2.0 grade point average.
     
  2. Discharge of all financial obligations to the College.
     
  3. Graduation application completed according to specific dates listed in the Class Schedule.
     
  4. Meeting all TSI requirements.

Application for Graduation

Graduation is an automatic process.  If you are in your final term of completing requirements, you will receive a notification email from the Registrar’s Office.  Please check your Amarillo College email account for all official college communication including graduation notification.  Degrees are posted to the student transcripts at the end of each term.  Diplomas are available 7-10 days after the end of the term and may be picked up at the AskAC Counter.

Amarillo College reserves the right to post degrees and/or certificates for current and former students.

Commencement

Amarillo College holds graduation ceremonies at the end of the spring and fall semesters. Summer graduates are encouraged to participate in one of these ceremonies. If you plan on attending a graduation ceremony, you can find detailed information regarding the date, time and instructions on the commencement procedures at our website:  www.actx.edu/registrar.  Your name will appear on your diploma as it appears on the official college record.  Only legal names can appear on the diploma.

STUDENT CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Student Code of Conduct

Amarillo College expects a high standard of conduct from its students. Students are expected to comply with the law, respect proper constitutional authority, and obey College policies, rules and regulations. Unacceptable conduct is defined as an action or behavior that is contrary to the best interest of a fellow student or students, the faculty or staff, the College, or the teaching/learning process. Students failing to perform according to established standards may be subject to disciplinary action. Policies, standards, rules and regulations apply to students attending College activities whether the activity takes place on or off campus.

Each student shall be responsible for becoming knowledgeable of the contents and provisions of College policies, rules, and regulations concerning student conduct. In some cases, individual programs may have approved policies for student conduct which also apply to student conduct in those programs.

All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct. In addition to activities prohibited by law, the following types of behavior are prohibited:

  1. 1. Scholastic dishonesty, punishable as prescribed by Board policies, shall include, but not be limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion.

“Cheating on a test” shall include:

  1. Copying from another student’s test paper.
  2. Using test materials not authorized by the person administering the test.
  3. Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test without permission from the test administrator.
  4. Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting, in whole or in part, the contents of a pending test.
  5. The unauthorized transporting or removal, in whole or in part, of the contents of the pending test.
  6. Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for one’s self, to take a test.
  7. Bribing another person to obtain a pending test or information about a pending test.

“Plagiarism” shall be defined as the appropriating, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s own written work.

“Collusion” shall be defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of course requirements.

  1. Violations of the penal Statutes of Texas, or of the United States, occurring on College property or in connection with College-sponsored activities may also constitute violations of the College’s rules and regulations when such violations affect the educational process and goals of the College.
     
  2. Obstruction or disruption of any authorized College operation or activity. Disorderly conduct shall include any verbal or physical abuse, intimidation, or the subjection of another person to inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demeaning actions.
     
  3. Use of alcoholic or intoxicating beverages and use of drugs not prescribed by a physician.
     
  4. The illegal use, possession, transmissions, and/or sale of drugs or narcotics, as those terms are defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
     
  5. Gambling in any form.
     
  6. Hazing with or without the consent of a student; a violation of that prohibition renders both the person inflicting the hazing and the person submitting to the hazing subject to appropriate discipline. Initiations by organizations may include no feature that is dangerous, harmful, or degrading to the student; a violation of this prohibition renders the organization subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
     
  7. Failure to comply with a directive from a College administrator, faculty member, or Police Officer.
     
  8. Falsification of admission forms or alteration of student records.
     
  9. Unauthorized solicitation.
     
  10. Smoking of any tobacco products and the use of electronic or vapor smoking devices are prohibited on all Amarillo College property and in buildings and facilities on all campuses and locations, including parking areas, green spaces, and walkways. The use of tobacco products which are smokeless and vaporless is prohibited inside any College building. This policy does not apply to East Campus Housing. Effective August 1, 2016. 
     
  11. Possession of firearms or any type of weapon unless special authorization has been approved by the administration.
     
  12. Holding rallies, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering without prior approval of the Vice President of Enrollment Management, or conducting an activity that causes College officials to interrupt their scheduled duties to intervene, supervise, or observe activities in the interest of maintaining order.
     
  13. Exhibiting behavior that gives reasonable cause to question, in the opinion of the College, whether the student is able to satisfactorily function in institutional programs or institutional activities in which the student is engaged.
     
  14. Interference with teaching, research, administration, or the College’s subsidiary responsibilities through “disorderly conduct or disruptive behavior.”
     
  15. Failure to pay a debt to the College or writing an “insufficient funds” check to the College.
     
  16. Disorderly conduct which shall include any verbal or physical abuse, intimidation or the subjection of another person to inappropriate, abusive, threatening or demeaning actions on property owned or controlled by the College or at College-sponsored functions. Students who behave in a disorderly fashion may be required to leave the premises, withdraw from a club or organization, or withdraw from the College.
     
  17. Dressing in a manner which does not observe health and safety regulations and appropriateness to a learning environment. Students shall be informed of special dress requirements for any particular course or program. Students failing to comply with such requirements may be subject to disciplinary action. In cases where a student’s dress or hygiene interferes with learning, the appropriate College official shall conduct initial counseling with the student.
     
  18. Damaging or destroying College property.
     
  19. Sexual assault or harassment which includes any unwanted sexual advances or contact. Violation of such may result in disciplinary action as well as prosecution under state, federal, or local laws.
     
  20. Unauthorized access, reconfiguration, modification, copying or misuse of College or other students’ computer files, including inappropriate use of e-mail, data or software. Violation may lead to disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure

The sexual harassment complaint procedure can be found under the heading “FORMAL STUDENT COMPLAINTS.”

Student Conduct/Disciplinary Procedures

Any student violating the student conduct policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension, in accordance with College policy. The principles of due process apply in all student conduct disciplinary cases at Amarillo College. These procedures have been instituted to protect the rights of the students and the rights of the College.

Alleged Violations
A student may be summoned to appear in connection with an alleged violation of any disciplinary or traffic-related regulation.
A student may be placed on disciplinary probation without a hearing for failure to comply without good cause to a letter or summons. The College may also elect to proceed with a formal hearing. Alleged student violations of College policies, rules, or regulations may be reported by students, College personnel, or any other person who witnesses or has knowledge of such alleged violations. Where possible, the accused student will be informed of the alleged violation and its disciplinary consequences by the College official responsible for maintenance of the appropriate policy, rule, or regulation.

Preliminary Hearing
The Vice President of Enrollment Management shall be notified in writing of the alleged violation, and will conduct a preliminary hearing with the student to review the allegations along with the relative facts and evidence. In some cases the preliminary hearing may be extended for continued review to interview witnesses and to gather additional information. Based upon the findings of the preliminary hearing, the Vice President will either dismiss the allegations or present the student with formal charges. If formal charges are warranted, the student has the right to waive a formal hearing in writing, and accept an administrative disposition of the case by the Vice President.

Emergency Suspension or Withdrawal
The Vice President of Enrollment Management, Vice President of Academic Affairs, or the College President may take immediate disciplinary action, including suspension, pending a hearing against a student for policy violations if the continuing presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property or poses an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process.

Formal Hearing
In cases in which the accused student disputes the facts and formal charges are filed against the student, the Vice President of Enrollment Management will conduct a formal hearing within five class days. The student will be notified in writing at least three days prior to the hearing. The student may review the charges and evidence against him or her prior to the hearing. Legal counsel may be present at a hearing only with the prior consent of the College. If counsel is present, the counsel may not participate in the hearing or present the student’s case, but only advise the student of his or her rights.

During the formal hearing, the student may admit guilt or deny the formal charges. In the formal hearing, the student is entitled to present his or her case, to present witnesses who may provide substantiating evidence, and be confronted by witnesses against him or her.

Hearing Panel
A panel composed of at least one student appointed by the Student Government Association President, one faculty member appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate, and one administrator appointed by the President of the Administrators Association shall hear the facts and testimony, and see any evidence presented in the hearing. The panel will recommend to the Vice President of Enrollment Management an opinion as to whether the accused student has violated the code of conduct and recommend penalties, if appropriate.

Decision in Hearing
Based upon the findings of the formal hearing and recommendations from the hearing panel, the Vice President of Enrollment Management will determine the student’s guilt or innocence and any penalties assessed. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the hearing within three days of the hearing.

Penalties
If the student is found guilty, penalties that may be imposed include:

  1. Reprimand.
     
  2. Curtailment of privileges.
     
  3. Requirement to participate in training.
     
  4. Requirement to participate in community service.
     
  5. Disciplinary probation.
     
  6. Exclusion from class with an assignment of a grade of F.
     
  7. Termination of student employment.
     
  8. Temporary disciplinary suspension.
     
  9. Restitution.
     
  10. Prosecution under federal law, state law, or city ordinances.
     
  11. Permanent suspension from the institution for repeated violations of the code of conduct.

Suspended Students
No students who have been suspended for disciplinary reasons from the College shall be permitted on any campus or other facilities of the College during the period of suspension without the prior written approval of the Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Appeals
Students who wish to appeal a decision must submit a written letter of appeal to the Vice President of Enrollment Management within seven calendar days. Appeals will be reviewed based upon the following criteria:

1. The severity of the penalty.

2. Adherence to disciplinary policies and procedures of the College.

The Vice President will conduct a review and render a decision in writing within seven days.

Appeal to President
Any student disciplined pursuant to this policy may, within 15 days of receiving notice of the decision from the Vice President of Enrollment Management, petition in writing the College President to review the decision. The student’s petition will state with particularity why the decision is believed to be incorrect or unfair. The College President may choose to allow oral argument on the petition, in which case the parties will be provided notice of the date, time, and place of the review within seven days of the receipt of the appeal request. The College President will notify the student, in writing, of the results of the review within seven days.

Disciplinary Record
Amarillo College will maintain an official disciplinary record for any Amarillo College student who has been assessed a disciplinary penalty. This record will reflect the nature and disposition of the charge, the penalty assessed, and other pertinent information. The disciplinary record shall be separate from the student’s academic record and shall be treated as confidential. The contents shall be available to College officials who have a need to know, but shall not be revealed except upon request of the student or in accordance with applicable state or federal laws.

Interrogations and Searches
College officials have a limited right to search students or their property when such search would be in the interest of the overall welfare of other students, or when necessary to preserve the good order and discipline of the College. Even if no search warrant is obtained, any prohibited item within “plain view” is subject to seizure.

Areas such as lockers and desks which are owned and controlled by the College may be searched by College officials when they have reasonable cause to believe that stolen items or items prohibited by law or by Board policy are contained in the area to be searched. Indiscriminate searches in the nature of “fishing expeditions” shall be prohibited.

Stolen items and items which are forbidden by Board policy or law may be impounded and may be used as evidence in internal College disciplinary proceedings against the student.

The above policies shall not apply in the event that law enforcement authorities are involved in a search. College searches conducted with assistance from law enforcement authorities are governed by the Fourth Amendment standards that are applicable in the criminal law context.

STUDENT GRIEVANCES

General

Procedure for Communicating and Resolving Student Concerns

COURSE OR GRADE COMPLAINTS

Academic
A student who has a grievance concerning an academic course in which he or she is enrolled should make an appeal in the following order to the:

1. Instructor.
2. Department Chair/Program Director.
3. Dean.
4. Vice President of Academic Affairs.
5. College President.

STUDENT COMPLAINTS

Student Complaint Policy

Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to secure at the first possible level prompt and equitable resolution of student complaints, including those alleging discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Representation
The student may be represented at any level of the complaint.

PROCEDURE FOR COMMUNICATING AND RESOLVING COMPLAINTS BY CURRENT, FORMER AND PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Level One

Formal student complaints must be submitted in writing and directed to the Vice President of Enrollment Management. To ensure that concerns are addressed and resolved as quickly as possible, students are encouraged to use the web form available at the following location: http://www.actx.edu/admission/complaint.

The Vice President of Enrollment Management will evaluate all written complaints and, when necessary, assign the complaint to an appropriate Amarillo College administrator for attention and/or action.

Level Two

If action is requested by the student, then the administrator to whom the complaint is assigned will arrange to hold a conference with the student within 15 class days. During the conference, the student will provide any evidence relevant to the complaint. The administrator and the student will work together to resolve the complaint.

Level Three

If the outcome of the conference at Level Two is not to the student’s satisfaction, then the student has 15 class days to request a conference with the College President, who shall schedule and hold a conference with the student. Prior to, or at the conference, the student shall submit written statements and/or evidence provided at Level Two. The President and the student will work together to resolve the complaint.

After exhausting Amarillo College’s complaint process as described above, current, former, and prospective students may initiate a complaint with The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Directions are available at the following location: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=C9BD55D4-C5A3-4BC6-9A0DF17F467F4AE9

Discrimination

Discrimination Complaints
Any student who believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by the institution or its personnel may informally discuss the complaint with the Vice President of Enrollment Management with the objective of reaching a reasonable solution. The Vice President of Enrollment Management shall advise the student of his or her options in the situation. In addition, the Vice President of Enrollment Management will notify the College’s Equal Opportunity Coordinator in cases where Amarillo College employees may be involved.

If the aggrieved student believes the complaint has not been resolved at the informal discussion, he or she may submit a written complaint stating his or her name, the nature and date of the alleged violation, names of persons responsible (where known), names of any witnesses, and requested action within 30 class days of the date of the informal discussion, to the Vice President of Enrollment Management. The Vice President of Enrollment Management shall ensure that the aggrieved student’s rights to appropriate due process procedures are honored. If a hearing is held, the Vice President of Enrollment Management shall conduct the hearing. The Vice President of Enrollment Management will consult with the College legal counsel and render a decision in writing on the complaint within ten class days. If this decision is not to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may appeal the decision to the President within ten class days of the receipt of the written decision according to procedures at Level Three above.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure

Sexual harassment includes such behavior as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward an employee, student, or job applicant, particularly when one or more of the following circumstances are present.

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education.
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual.
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

A student who believes he or she has been or is being subjected to any form of sexual harassment shall bring the matter to the attention of the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

Contact information:

Amarillo College Title IX Coordinator

Washington Street Campus

Student Service Center, Suite 290

806-371-5040

In determining whether alleged behavior constitutes sexual harassment, Amarillo College will examine the record as a whole and all aspects of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

If the allegation of sexual harassment involves an administrator, faculty member or classified employee of the College, provisions of the “Discrimination” policy stated above will be followed. If the allegation involves a student or students, it will be handled in keeping with the “Student Conduct/Disciplinary Procedures” as stated in this publication. If a student has questions concerning these policies or procedures, he/she should contact the Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Disability Accommodations

Students with disabilities needing accommodations must make requests through the disAbility Services Department. Any approved accommodation will be based on appropriate documentation and discussion with the student and will be evaluated in accordance with state and federal guidelines. If a student disagrees with the accommodation decision and desires to appeal the decision, the appeal should be made in the following order:

  1. Coordinator of disAbility Services - The student will contact the Coordinator to discuss the grievance with the objective of arriving at a satisfactory resolution of the complaint.
     
  2. Vice President of Enrollment Management - If the complaint is still not resolved, the student may submit a written appeal within 5 business days to the Vice President who will investigate the complaint and render a written decision within 10 business days.
     
  3. College President - If the complaint is still not resolved, the student may submit a written appeal within 5 business days to the College President, who will render a written decision within 10 business days.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the (United States Department of Education) Office for Civil Rights at any point in this process.  Please visit the following website to learn more about the Office for Civil Rights:  http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

TRAFFIC INFORMATION

Parking

The College has certain designated parking areas for faculty and staff that have authorized permits. All other parking areas are available to students.

General traffic regulations of the state and city are applicable on Amarillo College campuses. Students who have three or more unpaid parking citations will be contacted by the Police Department. If parking citations are not paid and problems resolved, repeat violations may have their vehicle impounded and/or lose on-campus parking privileges. Questions regarding parking can be directed to the Police Department, 371-5163, located in Room 111, Durrett Hall.

Traffic Citation Appeal Procedure

Students appealing traffic citations must complete an appeal form (available at the AskAC Centers or AC Police Department), include a copy of the citation, and submit to the Police Department within seven days of the ticket date. An appeals committee consisting of students and College employees will meet on a regular basis to review traffic citation appeals. Failure to submit an appeal within the prescribed seven day period voids the right to appeal.

CAMPUS PROCEDURES AND NOTIFICATIONS

Notification of Penalty for False Alarm or Report

It is a state jail felony (under Section 42.06, Texas Penal Code) for anyone to knowingly initiate, communicate or circulate a report of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency regarding a public institution of higher education that the initiator knows to be false or baseless.

Posting Guidelines

Before posting or distributing petitions, handbills, signs, or pieces of literature, the student or registered student organization, individual, or group must submit a copy of the material to be distributed to one of the following for approval:

  • East Campus - East Campus Student Services Center, Room 149
  • Hereford Campus - Student Services Counter
  • Moore County Campus - Student Services Counter
  • Polk Street Campus - Workforce Development Office
  • Washington Street Campus - Student Affairs Offices, SSC 228; or Student Activities Office (CUB Basement 3B) for student organization postings
  • West Campus - AskAC Center (West Campus Lecture Hall)

The material to be posted or distributed must meet the following guidelines.

  • Signs or materials of any kind which promote a business that is in direct competition with any Amarillo College class or service is strictly prohibited from posting on any Amarillo College Campus.
  • The student or registered student organization, individual, or group distributing the information must be identified on the material to be posted.
  • If the item is a petition, it must contain the name and signature of the initiator. If the initiator is a student organization the petition must contain a statement signed by the organization’s advisor that the advisor is aware of the petition. The text of the petition must also be printed on each page that contains supporting signatures.
  • The item(s) must show a College approval stamp on the material.
  • The material must not contain non-permissible solicitation, and must not be obscene or libelous.
  • The material to be posted should not be larger than 14” x 22” unless special permission is given by the approving office.
  • Materials must be posted only in designated areas (bulletin boards) on Amarillo College property.
  • The items must not be displayed on windows, glass doors, painted walls, banisters, or columns of buildings except as designated or specially approved.
  • Materials which promote commercial enterprises may be posted only in designated areas.
  • No person may remove material posted without permission from the approving office, the student, individual or group, or the registered student organization.
  • No student or registered student organization may distribute literature by accosting individuals or by hawking or shouting.
  • Distribution must not interfere with free and unimpeded flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, and must not disturb or interfere with academic or institutional activities.
  • POSTED MATERIALS SHOULD BE REMOVED BY THE STUDENT OR ORGANIZATION no later than 14 days after posting or, if it relates to an event, not longer than 24 hours after the event to which it relates has ended. At the time of removal, care should be taken not to litter the area around which the material was posted.

Solicitation

No solicitation (sale or offer for sale of any property or service, and the receipt of or request for any gift or contribution) is allowed on any AC campus, except with the prior written consent of the Vice President of Business Affairs or the Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Participation in Political Activities

Before a representative or speaker for any political group may speak on campus, the representative must be invited by a recognized student organization. The student organization must be one which has been established in accordance with Amarillo College policy and which has been approved by the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. Time and location will be scheduled by the Vice President.

Recognized political party representatives who wish to contact students may have a table set up in the lobby of the College Union Building after being registered by the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Political party representatives wishing to place posters or announcements on the campus must use the bulletin boards of the College. The placing of posters must be governed by the same policy which applies to distribution of other printed materials such as posters and handouts.

The Vice President of Enrollment Management shall require two working days advance notice from the recognized student organization(s) for participation in politics to determine final approval or disapproval of the event.

Weather Closing Policy

If Amarillo College campuses are closed because of inclement weather, an official announcement will be made through all local television stations and KGNC radio. The message will also be posted on the college website and the College’s main telephone number (806) 371-5000.

Morning closings will be announced by 6:30 a.m. The decision to close or change evening classes will be made by 3:00 p.m. If a decision to cancel classes or close a campus is made during the day, students will be notified through the media and website. If no announcement is made, the College is open as normally scheduled.

Please listen closely to weather announcements as one campus may be closed while others remain open.

Student and Community Use of College Facilities

Conduct on College Premises

Conduct on College Premises
Amarillo College property, facilities, and personnel are primarily dedicated to use and access by College faculty, staff, and enrolled students. They are also available to citizens of the community who have legitimate business at the College. “Legitimate business” is defined as activities reasonably related to enrollment, employment, or contractual relation with the College or the seeking thereof; and persons on College property at the invitation of the College. The College may limit community access to property, facilities, and personnel if that access is believed to be disruptive to the normal and orderly functioning of the College’s operations, or is deemed inappropriate to the College’s purposes. In addition, but not in lieu of definitions of “disruption” and “disruptive behavior,” the term “disruptive” means any activity calculated or otherwise which has the effect of disturbing students, faculty, or staff in the performance of their studies, activities, or jobs. The College reserves the right to establish reasonable conditions regarding the access of any person to the College’s property, facilities, and personnel. Any individual or group activity considered by the College to be disruptive to the orderly functioning of the College may result in access limitations being prescribed by the President or designee.

Any person who has no legitimate business interest at the College, and/or is disruptive to the normal and orderly functioning of the College’s operations as defined above, is an undesirable person and may be ejected from College property upon his or her refusal to leave peaceably on request. Identification may be required of any person on the College property at any time, and inquiry may be made of said person as to his or her reason for being on College property. In addition to the criminal penalties as allowed by law, students who refuse to identify themselves fully in accordance with College policy may be subject to discipline, including suspension.

Minor Children and Pets on Campus
From time to time, classes and activities are offered at Amarillo College for minor children and pets. On these occasions, they are invited to avail themselves of these opportunities. At other times, however, students are cautioned that minor children and pets are not permitted to remain unattended on campus or to attend classes with students.

Guidelines for Visiting Employers
Amarillo College welcomes business and industry representatives to our campus for the purpose of providing information to students regarding employment opportunities under the following guidelines:

  1. Access to our campuses will be determined in part by availability of appropriate space in our facilities.
     
  2. Displays will be set up only in designated areas as assigned and cannot interfere with the free flow of pedestrian traffic or interfere with College activities.
     
  3. Requests must be made at least 5 business days in advance.
     
  4. Employers should not actively pursue students on campus, but simply be available for students to approach if they choose.
     
  5. The employer must have current job openings for which they are recruiting.
     
  6. Display materials and business activities must be appropriate to a college campus, not be obscene or libelous, and must prominently display the name of the business represented.
     
  7. Behavior and dress of employer representatives must be in a manner which is appropriate to a learning environment.
     
  8. Flyers that advertise the visit may be posted in accordance to Amarillo College’s posting policy.
     
  9. The Vice President of Enrollment Management or his/her designee reserves the right to deny or terminate access to our campus as he/she deems prudent.
     
  10. College retains its prohibition against organizations selling products/ services on campus.

Contact Career & Employment Services for information or to make requests, 371-5147.

Student Clubs and Organizations

An organization in which membership is limited to students, staff, and faculty may become a registered student organization by complying with the registration procedures established by the Director of Student Life. Regulations governing clubs and organizations are located in the Student Life Office in the CUB basement.
Membership is governed by the constitution and bylaws of each organization, subject to the following limitations:

  1. 1. Membership shall be confined to students of the College and to persons officially connected with the College.
     
  2. 2. Any student who is placed on academic probation shall be considered on social probation as well, and the student shall participate in organizational activities only to the extent of attending regular meetings. The student shall not hold any office, either elective or appointive, nor serve on committees. A minimum of 2.0 grade point average is required of all members unless higher standards are stipulated by the club or organization constitution.

HEALTH INFORMATION

Communicable Diseases

Students and their children with communicable diseases including but not limited to Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever, Active Tuberculosis, Measles, and Influenza should exercise care not to infect College students or staff with their illnesses. This can best be done by following medical recommendations concerning quarantine. Ill children should not be brought to College classes. Further information concerning these issues can be obtained by contacting the Police Department at 371-5163.

Immunizations

Amarillo College recommends that students entering this institution be fully vaccinated prior to enrollment and preventative vaccinations be taken when required. The consequences of not being fully immunized for diphtheria, rubella, mumps, tetanus and poliomyelitis are severe. An outbreak of any of these diseases can have a devastating impact on the campus community. Immunization is an integral part of preventative health care.

All students majoring in health care related fields must provide documented proof that they have been fully immunized prior to admission to the program. Students in Allied Health and Nursing programs should consult with the program chair regarding mandatory immunization requirements.

Student Health Insurancee

Amarillo College does not provide health insurance for students. However, information from various insurance carriers is kept on file in the office of the Vice President of Enrollment Management for students to consider for individual purchase.

Bacterial Meningitis Information

Beginning with the spring 2012 semester, all new Amarillo College students under the age of 30 will be required to show proof of Bacterial Meningitis vaccinations 10 days prior to starting classes.

Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast - so take utmost caution. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that cause meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100-125 on college campuses, leading to 5-15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.

Symptoms

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Rash or purple patches on skin
  • Vomiting
  • Light sensitivity
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion and sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures

There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

Transmission

  • The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.
     
  • Increased Risks
     
  • Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
     
  • Living in close conditions (such as sharing a room/suite in a dorm or group home).

Possible Consequences

  • Death (in 8 to 24 hours from perfectly well to dead)
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Learning disability
  • Hearing loss, blindness
  • Limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) that requires amputation
  • Gangrene
  • Coma
  • Convulsions

Treatment
Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.

Vaccinations are available and should be considered for:

  • Those living in close quarters
  • College students 25 years old or younger
  • Vaccinations are effective against 4 of the 5 most common bacterial types that cause 70% of the disease in the U.S. (but does not protect against all types of meningitis).
  • Vaccinations take 7-10 days to become effective, with protection lasting 3-5 years.
  • The cost of vaccine varies so check with your health care provider.
  • Vaccination is very safe - most common side effects are redness and minor pain at injection site for up to two days.
  • Vaccination is available from local health care providers.

For More Information

· Contact your own health care provider.

· Contact your local or regional Texas Department of Health office at 655-7151.

· Informational web sites:

· http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html or http://www.acha.org.

Student Assistance Program for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Students who wish to receive confidential assistance from the College in dealing with alcohol or chemical substance abuse problems are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Advocacy and Resource Center located on the first floor of the Ware Student Commons (Washington Street Campus), or by calling 371-5446. Students who seek assistance may have the opportunity to receive a screening session with a mental health professional contracted with the College through the Student Assistance Program. The cost of the initial screening session will be covered by Amarillo College and no record regarding the contact with the Advocacy and Resource Center, the referral to an outside agency, or actions taken as an outcome of that referral will be entered as part of the student’s permanent record.

Students who believe that they may have an alcohol or substance abuse problem are encouraged to seek immediate assistance. Information regarding legal sanctions and health risks is available online at the following location:  http://www.actx.edu/admission/files/filecabinet/folder2/Substance_Abuse_Prevention_Program_1.pdf