Bakersfield College

Policies

Please select from the following:

Academic Policies

Academic Honesty

The administration, faculty, and staff at Bakersfield College believe that students are entitled to the finest education that the college can make available to them. At the same time, however, a student’s achievement and proficiency in subject matter must include the realization that there are standards of academic honesty which should prevail in all one’s endeavors.

Accordingly, this realization further requires that each student exerts every effort to maintain these standards.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Source: Regulations at California State University, Long Beach, General Catalog, 2011-12.

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own, without giving credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived at through independent reasoning or logic or where the thought or idea is common knowledge. Acknowledgment of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the submission of a work, whether in part or in whole, completed by another
  • failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another
  • in written work, failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even part thereof
  • close and lengthy paraphrasing of another’s writing or programming.

A student who is in doubt about the extent of acceptable paraphrasing should consult the instructor.

Students are cautioned that, in conducting their research, they should prepare their notes by (a) either quoting material exactly (using quotation marks) at the time they take notes from a source; or (b) departing completely from the language used in the source, putting the material into their own words. In this way, when the material is used in the paper or project, the student can avoid plagiarism resulting from verbatim use of notes.

Both quoted and paraphrased materials must be given proper citations.

Definition of Cheating

Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means.

Examples of cheating during an examination include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • copying, either in part or in whole, from another’s test or examination
  • discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor
  • giving or receiving copies of an examination without the permission of the instructor
  • using or displaying notes, cheat sheets, or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions, as when a test of competence includes a test of unassisted recall of information, skill, or procedure
  • allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same.

Also included are plagiarism as defined and altering or interfering with the grading procedures.

It is often appropriate for students to study together or to work in teams on projects. However, such students should be careful to avoid the use of unauthorized assistance, and to avoid any implication of cheating, by such means as sitting apart from one another in examinations, presenting the work in a manner which clearly indicates the effort of each individual, or such other method as is appropriate to the particular course.

Every instructor has the responsibility and authority for dealing with such instances of cheating and plagiarism as may occur in class. An instructor who determines that a student has cheated or plagiarized has a range of many available options which may be as severe as giving a student a failing grade for the course, if the assignment or test for which the student cheated or plagiarized is of sufficient weight to merit a failing grade for the course.

The student may face a range of sanctions as stated in the college’s Student Conduct Policy.

Finally, it must be understood that a student who knowingly aids in another student’s cheating or plagiarism e.g., permitting the other student to copy a paper or examination question, is as guilty as the other of the offense.

A student charged with cheating or plagiarism is entitled to appeal that charge by means of the college’s Student Conduct Policies and Procedures.

Catalog Rights/Continuous Enrollment

Bakersfield College students have the right to elect to meet the graduation requirements in effect during the academic year of first enrollment or at the time of graduation. To maintain catalog rights to graduation requirements, a student must remain in continuous enrollment at Bakersfield College. This means the student must earn a grade of A, B, C, D, F, NP, P, I, IP, RD or W in at least one course each academic year. For the purposes of continuous enrollment, an academic year begins with the fall semester and includes the following spring and summer terms. Petitions for exceptions should be directed to the Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs and Student Services.

Catalog rights apply only to Bakersfield College graduation and program requirements. If other institutions change their requirements for entrance, graduation, satisfaction of general education patterns, or in other ways it may be necessary for the student to meet the new requirements upon transfer, even if continuous enrollment has been maintained.

Academic Freedom

The district, the colleges and unit members will adhere to the following in regard to academic freedom:

  1. Education in a democracy depends upon earnest and unceasing pursuit of truth and upon free and unrestricted communication of truth.
  2. Faculty members shall be free to exercise academic freedom, including freedom of investigation, freedom of discussion in the classroom, freedom to select texts and other instructional materials, freedom of assignment of instructional exercises, and freedom of evaluation of student efforts.
  3. Faculty members acknowledge that in the exercise of academic freedom they have a responsibility to be accurate and comprehensive in making reports, to be fair-minded in making interpretations and judgements, to respect the freedoms of other persons, to exclude irrelevant matters from classroom discussions and instructional exercises, and to make appropriate distinctions between statements of fact made as faculty subject matter specialists and opinions made as private citizens.
  4. The college recognizes the fundamental right of the faculty member to be free from any censorship or restraint that might interfere with the faculty member’s obligation to pursue truth and maintain his/ her intellectual integrity in the performance of his/her teaching functions.

Course Admission

The policy of the College is that, unless specifically exempted by statute or regulation, every course, course section, or class reported for state aid, wherever offered and maintained by the College, shall be fully open to enrollment and participation by any person who has been admitted to the college and, when applicable, a relevant program, and who meets established prerequisites.

Prerequisites

Many Bakersfield College courses have basic skills or course prerequisites. These prerequisites are established to assist students in selecting courses for which they have the entry level skills. Students who believe that they have the entry level skills without the appropriate assessment test score or previous course may challenge the prerequisite.

Students have the right to:

  1. Appeal a prerequisite course requirement because the required course is not available
  2. Challenge any prerequisite believed to be discriminatory
  3. Challenge any matriculation regulations/procedures that have the effect of being discriminatory based on how the services are applied to you
  4. Be provided alternative services for the matriculation process if necessary for ethnic and language minority students and students with disabilities

Any challenge or appeal should be addressed to the Dean of Students.

Credits allowed from other institutions

Students who wish to receive Bakersfield College credits for work completed at other colleges should have official copies of transcripts from such colleges sent to the Office of Admissions and Records.

Upon student completion of a Request for Evaluation in the Office of Admissions and Records, those transcripts will be reviewed and credit given where appropriate.

Bakersfield College only accepts transfer credits from schools that are accredited by regional accrediting commissions of schools and colleges. Transcripts from foreign institutions must be evaluated by an approved international academic credential evaluation service. Information is available at the Office of Admissions and Records.

Evaluations made and credits allowed by Bakersfield College are subject to review and evaluation by any college or university to which a student may transfer. Granting credit toward a Bakersfield College degree or certificate does not guarantee that pass through general education will be granted. (See Transfer Guide.)

Repeating a course

Certain Bakersfield College courses are identified in the course description sections of the catalog as repeatable, with the number of times they may be repeated indicated.

Other courses may be repeated once for credit if a grade lower than “C” or its equivalent has been earned. A student who has repeated a course under this condition may file a petition with the Office of Admissions and Records to have the previous grade and credit disregarded in the calculation of the GPA. Only second attempts will replace the first substandard grade. The original and subsequent grades will remain a part of the student’s permanent record.

If a student earns any combination of “D,” “F,” or “W” on two attempts in a course taken in the Kern Community College District, that student can only register for a third time with the signature of the faculty chair of the department on a Request to Repeat a Course Beyond the Limit form.

Grades & Credits

Grading System

Grades are earned and awarded in each course and are recorded on the student’s permanent record at the end of each academic term.

Evaluation of student achievement will be made in relation to the attainment of the specific objectives of the course. At the beginning of a course, the instructor will explain these objectives and the basis upon which grades are determined. A student’s work is considered satisfactory when he/she maintains an average of “C” (grade point average 2.0) or higher.

Grade Grade Points
A-Excellent 4 per unit
B-Good 3 per unit
C-Satisfactory 2 per unit
D-Passing, Less Than Satisfactory 1 per unit
F-Failing 0 per unit
AU-Audit 0 per unit
P-Pass Not computed in GPA
NP-No Pass Not computed in GPA
I-Incomplete Not computed in GPA
W-Withdrawn Not computed in GPA
IP-In Progress Not computed in GPA
RD-Report Delayed Not computed in GPA

AU-Audit

This grade is issued to students who enroll in classes in an audit status. It will not count in GPA.

Pass-No Pass

Some courses are offered on a pass-no pass basis; the credit, no credit option will no longer be available. Upon successful completion of such a course, unit credit will be awarded. However, courses taken on a pass-no pass basis are not used in the computation of a student’s grade point average.

Regulations for such courses are:

  1. A maximum of 12 units may be taken on a pass-no pass basis and applied toward the AA and AS degrees at Bakersfield College
  2. A maximum of three units per semester may be taken on a pass-no pass basis. Exceptions to this rule may be made by the Dean of Students in cases involving Nursing, Radiologic Technology, and special remedial programs
  3. In courses in which pass-no pass is authorized, the pass grade is granted for performance which is equivalent to the letter grade of “C” or better
  4. Combination classes (pass-no pass or grades) must have an A, B, C, D, F and pass-no pass system.
  5. Petitions for pass-no pass must be filed with the Admissions and Records Office no later than the first day of the third week of the semester or the last day of the first week of summer session
  6. When a student has established the basis for grading as pass-no pass or a letter grade, he/she may not elect to change after the established deadline
  7. Courses in which pass-no pass grading may be used must be so designated by the department involved. A department may require majors to obtain letter grades in that department’s major subjects

Pass-no pass forms are available in the Office of Admissions and Records. The following courses are approved for pass-no pass grading:

ACDV B5a, B66, B68, B70a-f, B91, B190, B195, B201a, B201b, B201c, B292; ADMJ B60, B61, B63, B81; ANSC B11, B78; APPR B60cs, B60ec, B60fa, B60fb, B60pe, B60pt, B65xf; ART B1, B2, B4, B17; AUTO B67abc, B68, B106, B112; BIOL B255; BSAD B1, B2, B9, B18, B19, B250, B255; CADM B54, B55, B56, B57, B58, B70a, B70b, B70c, B70d, B70e, B70f, B70g, B70h, B70i, B70j, B70k, B70l, B70m, B70n, B70o, B70p, B70r, B70s, B70t, B70u, B70v, B70w, B70x, B70z, B71a, B71f, B71g, B71h, B71i, B71k, B71L, B71m, B71n, B71o, B71p, B71q, B72, B73, B74, B75, B76, B77, B78, B79; CHDV B70b, B71m; COMS B2, B3, B5, B10, B14, B27, B35, B40, B51, B52a, B57a, B62a, B73, B74a, B74b, B74c, B74e, B74f, B75c, B76b, B77, B78, B82, B92, B95, B96, B110, B201; CRIM B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B8, B9, B10, B55; EDUC B24; ELET B55a, B63; ENGL B34, B60, B255; ENSL B22, B50, B51, B60, ENSL B61, B70, B71ab, B71cd, B80, B300N, B301N, B302N, B303N, B304N; FDSV B71; FIRE B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B25f, B25h, B29,B71a, B72h; GEOL B35a, B35b; INDT B10, B274; JAPN B3; LIBR B55; MATH B24, B25, B255; MEDS B52, B65, B66, MFGT B4; MUSC B5ab, B20ma, B230abc; NURS (VNRS) all clinical components of nursing courses; NURS B52, B70, NURS B100, B201abcd, B252, B253, B254, B255, B256, B257; VNRS B1LV, B85LV, B86LV, B87LV, B95LV, B96LV, B97LV; NUTR B255; ORNH B2; PHED B3adp, B6da, B6fcx, B6kx, B6pl, B6py, B6t, B6wt, B6y, B7fb, B7w, B9t, B9tr, B32, B44sb, B44so, B44vb; PHIL B7, (Philosophy majors may not take Philosophy courses for Pass/No Pass grading); RADT B4a, B4b, B6, B7, B10, B13; SPST B48, B201/B201L; STDV B1, B2, B3, B6, WOOD B1, B2, B5, B65a, B65b; WEXP B250

I-Incomplete

Students may request that instructors issue “I” grades when they have an unforeseeable emergency and justifiable reasons at the end of the term. The instructor must submit a statement of the requirements for clearance of the incomplete and also indicate the grade to be assigned in lieu of the “I” if the requirements are not completed. An “I” must be made up no later than one year following the end of the term in which it was assigned. An “I” may not be assigned as a withdrawal grade. If the work stipulated is not completed within the time limitation, the grade assigned in lieu of the work being completed will be entered on the permanent record.

W-Withdrawn

The student has withdrawn from a course or has been dropped from a course by the instructor between the dates indicated in these regulations.

IP-In Progress

The “IP” indicates the course extends beyond the normal end of an academic term and work is in progress, or the course is listed as an open-entry/open-exit course, and has been approved by the instructor to register and complete course requirements in the succeeding semester in order to receive credit and a course grade. The grade and unit credit will appear on the student’s permanent record for the term in which the course work is completed. The “IP” cannot be given more than twice for any particular course. If a student enrolled in an open-entry, open-exit course is assigned an “IP” at the end of an attendance period and does not re-enroll in that course during the subsequent attendance period, the instructor shall assign a grade (A, B, C, D, F, P, or NP) to be recorded on the student’s permanent record for the course.

RD-Report Delayed

The “RD” is a symbol assigned by the Office of Admissions and Records when there is a delay in reporting the grade of a student due to circumstances beyond the control of the student.

Grade Reports

Final grades will be made available to students on the Bakersfield College web registration system as soon as possible after the end of each academic term. There will be no additional notification of grades completed or corrected.

Grade Changes

The instructor of each course shall determine the grade to be awarded to each student. The determination of the student’s grade by the instructor shall be final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence. A judgment to change or expunge a grade for reasons of fraud, bad faith, or incompetence shall be made by the College Chief Academic Officer after consultation with the student, the instructor, and the Division/Department Chair. All parties noted above shall be notified in writing of any changes. Reasons for any grade change shall be documented.

When students request a grade change, provisions shall be made for another faculty member to substitute for the instructor if the instructor is not available or does not respond to communications within a reasonable length of time, the student has filed a discrimination complaint, or the District determines that it is possible there has been gross misconduct by the original instructor.

Attendance Policies

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected of all students enrolled in the college. It is especially important that students attend the first sessions of each class, for it is during those classes that instructors may distribute syllabi and course requirements and explain what is expected in terms of attendance.

The attendance policy for each course is established by the instructor and communicated to each class, preferably in writing. Attendance policies will be reasonably related to course objectives, the requirements of institutional reporting and legitimate absences.

Instructors are responsible for maintaining accurate attendance and scholarship records.

While it is the responsibility of instructors to communicate attendance policies and to apply them equally to all students, it is the responsibility of the student to know the policy in each of their classes and to be aware of their current attendance status.

Students who have been absent from a class should notify the instructor of the reason for the absence. Absence in no way relieve students of responsibility for work missed.

Excessive absences may result in the student being dropped from the course.

Instructors may drop a student from a course when absences number the equivalent of two weeks of class recorded from the first day of instruction. If particular circumstances warrant and can be justified academically, faculty members may drop students after less than two weeks of absences.

Faculty members may give consideration to excusing students from classes to participate in scheduled college activities (athletics, music, field trips, etc.). The student must make arrangements in advance to make up the work to be missed.

First-Day Drop Policy

Because many classes become filled and are closed students in lecture and/or lab courses may be dropped if they do not attend classes during the first two weeks without notifying the instructor.

Students in open entry courses may be dropped if they do not begin attending during the first week of classes.

Distance Education Attendance and Non-Participation Policy:

All students enrolled in Distance Education courses must log in to the course(s) and complete any assignment(s) or other activities, to be determined by the instructor, that are required during the first week. Students who fail to complete first-week assignments/activities within the instructor’s deadline will be dropped.

After the first week and during the time period before the final withdrawal date, students are responsible for officially withdrawing from any class or classes in which they no longer wish to be enrolled.

Instructors may drop a student from a course when absences number the equivalent of two weeks of class recorded from the first day of instruction. In the case of Distance Education, “absences” shall be defined as “non-participation”. Non-participation shall be defined as, but not limited to:

  • Not following the instructor’s participation guidelines as stated in the syllabus
  • Not submitted required assignmentsNot contributing meaningful discussion in required chat rooms, discussion boards or other online     forums
  • Not participating in scheduled activities
  • Failure to communicate with the instructor as required

Simply logging into the course does not constitute participation. Students must demonstrate that they are actively participating in the course by submitted required assignments, contributing to discussion forums, etc., as outlined above.

Student Conduct

Statement of Student Rights & Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees of the Kern Community College District, in support of public education and the exercise of general supervision of the campuses of the district, believes that student conduct must reflect the standards of good behavior expected by society. Furthermore, since the people of the District furnish public education, it becomes a privilege for students to have this opportunity to further their education. The District expects students to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the educational purposes of the College. Student conduct should reflect consideration for the rights of others, and students are expected to cooperate with all members of the College community.

Society’s ability to successfully address a broad range of social problems is determined by the cumulative actions of thousands (if not millions) of individuals. Students shall respect constituted authority. This shall include conformance to California state laws, Board regulations, Bakersfield College regulations, and applicable provisions of civil and criminal law.

Students are expected to observe high personal standards of decency, morality, honesty, and social relationships. Students are members of both society and the academic community with rights and responsibilities. Students are expected to make themselves aware of and comply with the law, and with College and District campus policies and regulations.

Failure to respect the standards as set forth by Bakersfield College may be cause for disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Student Conduct

Students are encouraged to access all services available for achieving their personal and professional/career goals. At the same time, students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the College’s function as an educational institution and demonstrate the following:

  1. Respect among all students, faculty, classified staff and administration.
  2. Responsibility for reading and following Bakersfield College rules and regulations.
  3. Professional conduct in the classroom by doing the following:
    • Reading and following the course syllabus
    • Attending all classes and arriving to class on time
    • Completing assignments and projects on time
    • Doing your own work and never plagiarizing the work of others
    • Meeting with the instructor/professor during office hours as needed to clarify course requirements and/or resolve any issues not resolved in class
  4. Respect for all program and support services guidelines and requirements
  5. Respect for College equipment, buildings and grounds

Conduct in College Buildings

Consistent with State of California statute, smoking is NOT PERMITTED in any Bakersfield College building or facility or within 20 feet of any entryway, window, and vent to any facility or building on campus.

Principles of Discipline

As an institution of higher education, Bakersfield College is committed to providing an orderly and safe educational environment that is conducive to student learning. The College’s policies and procedures are designed to preserve a healthy learning environment. Accordingly, the College will restrain student conduct and/or discipline students if their conduct interferes with a safe and healthy learning environment.

Bakersfield College students will be entitled to an impartial hearing in instances where College rules, regulations or procedures are violated.

However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an immediate suspension where such a suspension is required in order to protect lives or property, or in conformance with applicable legal requirements.

In instances where a student is deemed a minor, the student’s parents or guardian shall have all of the rights and privileges set forth herein. Students may also be subject to civil and criminal authority.

Prohibited Conduct

By enrolling in Bakersfield College, students agree to be responsible members of the College community, obey the law, comply with the published rules and regulations of the College, respect the rights, privileges and property of the other members of the College community, and not interfere with legitimate College affairs.

Students should be aware that the rules on student misconduct do not only apply when on campus or in class. Rather, students can be found to have engaged in misconduct:

  • When on campus
  • When in a College-operated facility
  • When off campus, if acting as a student employee or representative of the College.
  • When participating in Bakersfield College-related field trips, club activities, conferences or other College sponsored events. This includes all hours of the day or night while the student is under the supervision of the College
  • When off-campus conduct adversely affects the College and/or pursuit of itsobjectives

A student may be disciplined for good cause and in accordance with the disciplinary procedures set forth in this handbook. Good cause includes, but is not limited to the offenses outlined in Board Policy 4F8.

Discipline can include receiving a warning, censure, probation, restitution, temporary removal, suspension or expulsion.

The following misconduct is strictly prohibited by KCCD Board Policy 4F8, Bakersfield College, and California Education Code Section 76037:

4F8D1
Persistent or gross acts of willful disobedience and/or defiance toward College personnel
4F8D2
Assault, battery, or any other form of physical abuse of a student or College employee
4F8D3
Verbal abuse of a student or College employee. This includes, but is not limited to defamation, obscenity, or “fighting words.”
4F8D4
Any conduct that threatens the health or safety of the individual or another, including any such action that takes place at an event sponsored or supervised by the College
4F8D5
Theft of or damage to the property of the College, another student or staff
4F8D6
Interference with the normal operations of the College (e.g., disruption of teaching and administrative functions, disciplinary procedures, pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or other College activities, including its public service functions)
4F8D7
Use of personal portable sound amplification equipment and other electronic devices (radios, cell telephones, pagers, and tape players, etc.) in a manner that disturbs the privacy of other individuals and/or the instructional program of the College
4F8D8
Unauthorized entry into, or use of, College facilities, equipment, materials or supplies.
4F8D9
Abuse of and/or tampering with the registration process
4F8D10
Forgery, falsification, alteration or misuse of College documents, records, or identification
4F8D11
Dishonesty such as cheating, plagiarizing, or knowingly furnishing false information to the College and its officials
4F8D12
Disorderly, lewd, indecent or obscene conduct
4F8D13
Extortion
4F8D14
Breach of the peace on College property or at any College-sponsored or supervised function
4F8D15
The use, sale, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance prohibited by law, on campus or at any function sponsored or supervised by the College
4F8D16
Illegal possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other weapons on College property or at College-sponsored activities
4F8D17
Smoking and/or the use of tobacco products inside all campus buildings and other unauthorized campus areas.
4F8D18
Failure to comply with directions of College officials, faculty, staff, or campus public safety officers who are acting in performance of their duties.
4F8D19
Failure to identify oneself when on College property or at a College- sponsored or supervised event upon the request of a College official acting in the performance of his/her duties.
4F8D20
Gambling
4F8D21
Harassment (verbal, physical, or sexual) of any student or member of the College community. (Harassment is defined as an activity, that causes substantial emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose.)
4F8D22
Abuse of computer resources
4F8D23
Abuse of or disruption to the student conduct and/or complaint process including but not limited to:
  1. Failure to obey the summons of a College official or appropriate committee
  2. Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a College official or appropriate committee
  3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of an official College proceeding
  4. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of an official committee prior to and/or during the course of an official College proceeding
  5. Harassment and/or intimidation of any person involved in the conduct and/or complaint process, prior to, during and/or after the proceeding
  6. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Conduct Code
  7. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct or complaint process system
  8. Repeated filing of frivolous and/or capricious complaints against College personnel
4F8D24
Hazing
4F8D25
Violation of other applicable Federal, State, and local laws (e.g., hate crimes) and College rules and regulations.
4F8D26
Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper behavior.
4F8D27
Assisting another person or soliciting another person in the offenses listed in this policy.
4F8D28
Other

Student Disciplinary Procedures

General Disciplinary Procedure Notes

Procedural due process is basic to the enforcement of the College’s policies and regulations. The Board of Trustees has established procedures for handling student conduct cases in accordance with basic standards of due process. Any breach of student conduct may be reported to the Dean of Students. The official policies of the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees stipulate that Bakersfield College students have certain rights and privileges, along with certain obligations.

To correct unacceptable student conduct, Bakersfield College staff believes disciplinary proceedings are secondary to counseling and admonition. In the exceptional circumstances when discipline is deemed necessary, the College will observe due process to protect the student from unfair and arbitrary imposition of serious penalties.

The College attempts to be fair in the handling of student conduct cases. The procedures outlined in this handbook represent the steps employed to reach a resolution in cases of alleged misconduct.

Questions concerning these procedures may be addressed to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Student Conduct Hearing Panel Proceedings

When a student has been suspended or recommended for expulsion, the student is entitled to a hearing within ten instructional days of the suspension or expulsion recommendation. The Dean of Students Office prepares the letter and packet to notify the student of the suspension and the date of the hearing panel.

The Dean of Students Office establishes a timeline for the hearing, challenge of panel members and notification of witnesses.

  • A Hearing Panel is scheduled within ten (10) instructional days after notifying student of suspension.
  • The suspended student must respond to the Dean of Students within five (5) instructional days or the student waives his/her hearing option. If the student elects to not respond, the Hearing Panel will still take place.
  • A student may challenge hearing panel members not less than five (5) instructional days prior to the hearing.
  • Challenges will be consider ed by the College President or Dean of Students. If a challenge is upheld, the President or Dean of Students will direct an alternate to be appointed.

The Dean of Students Office provides the recording device for the hearing. All proceedings, including testimony before the panel is recorded and the record shall is the property of the College and/or District. All reports, records, transcripts, recordings, etc., that are made part of the hearing are retained in the office of the appropriate Vice President and such reports, records, transcripts, recordings, etc., made part of the hearing are held confidential, except as required by law.

Right to Representation & Right to an Adviser

The student and staff member may represent themselves or be represented by another student or staff member.

The student has the right to be assisted by any adviser he/she chooses. The adviser shall not be allowed to address the Hearing Panel, cross-examine witnesses or make arguments on behalf of his/her advisee. The adviser can attend the hearing, but shall not be permitted to participate directly in the proceedings.

Guidelines for Hearing

The student and witnesses are to arrive 15 minutes before the hearing starts.

The Chair shall notify the student and parties who will be testifying to wait to be called. The hearings are closed and confidential.

The hearing is set for one hour. If a second meeting is required, the Chair sets a date for the next meeting.

The chair is responsible for:

  • Calling the hearing to order
  • Introducing the parties (panel members)
  • Announcing the purpose of the hearing
  • Reading the alleged violation(s) aloud

Chair notifies panel members of the following:

  • The chair presides over the hearing.
  • The chair makes decisions regarding procedures. All decisions are final.
  • The chair has the discretion to admit (or not admit) any person to the hearing.
  • The hearings shall be closed and confidential.
  • Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. It is a preponderance of evidence that will determine the outcome. All relevant evidence is admissible, including, but not limited to, statements of witnesses and relevant documents. The chair shall decide on these matters. The chair will rule on the admissibility of evidence. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted for consideration of the Hearing Panel at the discretion of the chair.
  • Both parties shall be provided the opportunity during the hearing to refute or contest any evidence presented.
  • The College, the student and the Hearing Panel shall have the right of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of cross-examination.
  • All witnesses shall be excluded from the hearing except when testifying.
  • Witnesses shall only be identified at the hearing.
  • Each party shall be afforded the opportunity to make a closing argument.
  • The hearing shall take place whether the accused student attends or not so that the charges and supporting evidence shall become part of the official record.
  • If a consensus cannot be achieved, the decision or recommendations shall be made by a simple majority vote.

The actual hearing process:

  • The Chair asks the student and College representative to come into the room.
  • The student and College each has a limit of 30 minutes to present:
    • Opening statements
    • Witnesses
    • Cross-examinations
    • Closing statements
  • Testimony can include oral testimony or written affidavits of witnesses.
  • Both parties are excused and informed that they will be notified in writing of the President’s decision.
  • The panel deliberates in private to determine whether the accused has violated the Student Conduct Code sections as charged.

Procedures Subsequent to the Hearing

  1. Within five (5) instructional days of the hearing date, a written recommendation action is made to the College President.
  2. The President renders a decision within five (5) instructional days and communicates the decision in writing to all parties involved.
  3. In all cases of suspension, the student receives official notice from the President or designee.

Appeals Process

Under certain circumstances, the accused has the right to appeal the College President’s decision.

  1. The appeal may be made on the following grounds ONLY:
    • The Student Conduct Policy and/or Procedures were violated, and the violation resulted in demonstrable unfairness to the accused; or
    • Relevant new evidence exists which was previously unavailable and which would substantially affect the findings of the Hearing Panel.
  2. Appeals must specify the grounds for the appeal and must be submitted in writing using the “Appeal of the President’s Decision Appeal Form” (on the website) to the College President within:
    • Five (5) instructional days of written notification of the decision when delivered in person with a signed receipt, or
    • Eight (8) instructional days of written notification of the decision when sent by registered mail and return receipt requested
  3. Following a review, the College President may:
    • Affirm the findings or sanction(s),
    • Remand for a full or partial rehearing,
    • Modify the sanction(s), or
    • Dismiss the charge(s) against the student(s)
  4. Within ten (10) instructional days after receipt of the written appeal, the College President shall forward to the student(s) and to all parties involved a written notice of his/her decision regarding the appeal. The decision of the College President is final

Student Sanctions

Interim Action

At any time following the submission of a referral, the Dean of Students - as designee of the College President - may suspend a student for an interim period prior to resolution of the disciplinary proceeding if the Dean believes that the information that supports the allegations of misconduct is reliable, and determines that the continued presence of the student on the College campus poses a threat to any individual, property or College function.

The Dean of Students may impose other forms of interim action, such as immediate removal from the campus or exclusion from one or more classes, or other locations, or campus sponsored activities or events.

In accordance with the provisions of Education Code Sections 76031 and 76037, the Board of Trustees provides for the following sanctions for violations of the Code of Student Conduct, and more than one (1) of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for any single violation:

Warning
Verbal notification of the student by a faculty members or administrator that continuation of the conduct may be cause for further disciplinary action.
Censure
A written reprimand or warning to the student by a faculty member or administrator; written referral of the student to a College office or community agency for counseling or rehabilitative treatment
Probation
Prohibition of the student by the Administration from participating in designated privileges of College activities for a period of up to one (1) semester or other stipulated requirements to conform to specified standards or conduct
Restitution
Reimbursement to the College, as directed by the Administration, for repair or replacement of District property misused, misappropriated, or damaged by the student

Temporary Removal

Education Code, Section 76032, gives an instructor the right to remove a student “for good cause” from class for the day of the removal and the next class meeting. However, the instructor must then immediately report this removal to the Department Chair and the Dean of Students, for any further appropriate action, such as suspension or expulsion from the class.

Whenever a minor is removed from a class, the parent or guardian shall be notified in writing by the Dean of Students. If the student removed from class by a faculty member is a minor, the Dean of Student shall ask the parent or guardian of the student to attend a parent conference regarding the removal as soon as possible. If the faculty member or the parent or guardian so requests, a College administrator shall attend the conference.

During the period of removal, a student shall not be returned to the class from which he/she was removed without the concurrence of the faculty member of the class. (Education Code Sections 76031 and 76032)

Once the student is removed from class, any communication regarding the removal from class must be directed to the Dean of Students’ Office in CC4, 395.4614.

Suspension

Exclusion from any or all classes and activities of the College and from use of any District facilities. The College President or Dean of Students may suspend a student for good cause as follows:

  • From one (1) or more classes for a period of up to ten (10) days of instruction
  • From one (1) or more classes for the remainder of the school term
  • From all classes and activities of the College for one (1) or more terms

In all cases of suspension, the student will receive official notice from the Dean of Students. No student shall be suspended unless the conduct for which he/she is to be disciplined is related to College activity or campus attendance.

Suspensions of any student from the College will be accompanied by a prompt hearing, unless the charges have been disposed of administratively by mutual consent, or the student sends a written notification to the Dean of Students indicating that he/she does not want to proceed with the hearing.

If an immediate suspension is required in order to protect lives or property and/or to ensure the maintenance of order, a reasonable opportunity shall be afforded the suspended person for a hearing within ten (10) days of the suspension. (Education Code Sections 66017 and 76030)

During the period of suspension, a student will not be permitted to enroll in any College in the District. (Education Code Section 76031) Violation or violations of any law, ordinance, regulation, or rule regulating, or pertaining to, the parking of vehicles, shall not be cause for the suspension or expulsion of a student from a community College. (Education Code Section 76036)

The College President reports all suspensions of students to the Chancellor of the District. (Education Code Section 76031) Whenever a minor is suspended from the College, the College President and/or the Dean of Students shall notify the parent or guardian in writing. The parent or guardian of the student shall be asked to a conference regarding the removal. (Education Code Sections 76031 and 76032

Expulsion

Termination of the student status by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the Chancellor.

No student can be expelled, unless the conduct for which he/she is to be disciplined is related to College activity or campus attendance.

Expulsion of any student from the District shall be accompanied by a prompt hearing.

If an immediate expulsion is required in order to protect lives or property and/or to ensure the maintenance of order, a reasonable opportunity shall be afforded the expelled person for a hearing within ten (10) days of the expulsion. (Education Code Sections 66017 and 76030)

In cases of expulsion, the Chancellor recommends action to the Board of Trustees after receiving the College President’s recommendation and supporting documentation, including the hearing panel’s recommendation and the hearing record.

After Board action, the Chancellor or designee notifies the student by registered mail, return receipt requested. The expulsion may be for a specified or unspecified time and shall be from all Colleges, programs, and activities of the District.

In expulsion for an unspecified time, the student may, after a reasonable time, request the College President to remove the expulsion. If the College President approves the request, the President shall make that recommendation to the Chancellor or designee who may recommend to the Board that the expulsion be removed.

The Chancellor notifies the student of the Board’s action.

The Dean of Students reports any violation of Penal Code Section 245 (assault with a deadly weapon) or Civil Code Section 52.1 and Penal Code Sections 422.6 through 422.95 (hate crime) to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. (Education Code Section 76035)

Student Complaints

General Student Complaint Notes

The Student Complaint Procedures are established so that students can resolve difficulties/problems they encounter in College-related activities. The Student Complaint policy is designed to consider an alleged wrong against a student. Efforts will be made to resolve a complaint in a timely and fair manner. Students who contend they have been treated unfairly have the right, without fear of reprisal, to use a written procedure in their attempt to right an alleged wrong.

Student complaints are taken seriously; therefore, the complaint must be of a compelling, substantive, and verifiable nature. Repeated filings of the same complaint, filings of a frivolous nature, or capricious complaints against school personnel will be considered abuse of the student conduct and/or complaint process.

Such repeated filings will be referred to the College President for a decision.

Staff Responsible for Student Complaints

Student Complaint Procedures apply to student complaints such as those listed below:

Area of Complaint Responsible Staff
Course content Dean of Students
Access to classes Dean of Students
Verbal or physical abuse by faculty, staff or students Dean of Students
Faculty member refusal to confer with student(s) Dean of Students
Grades (mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence) Appropriate Vice President
Harassment Human Resources Director
Sexual Discrimination Human Resources Director
Sexual Harassment Human Resources Director

Assignment of Grades

Title 5, Section 55760

  1. The instructor of each course determines the grade to be awarded each student.
  2. The determination of the student’s grade by the instructor shall be final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence.
  3. A judgment to change or expunge a grade for reasons of fraud, bad faith, or incompetence shall be made by the appropriate Vice President after consultation with the student, the instructor, and the Division/Department Chair.
  4. All parties noted above will be notified in writing of any changes.
  5. Reasons for any grade change will be documented

General Complaint Procedure

  • Filing of complaints against any party is a serious undertaking.
  • Prior to filing a written complaint, and within ten (10) instructional days of the incident leading to the complaint, the student(s) should contact the staff member involved in an attempt to orally resolve the issue.
  • fort meets with no success, the student is encouraged to meet with the respondent’s immediate supervisor, i.e. Department Chair, Program Director.
  • If these attempts are not feasible, or do not resolve the problem, the student(s) may initiate Level I action by contacting the appropriate administrator, i.e. Dean.
  • Complaints may not be filed after ninety (90) instructional days from the date of the incident leading to the complaint.
  • If a complaint is filed within the last thirty (30) instructional days of the semester or the last ten (10) instructional days of summer school, the appropriate administrator may delay any further action on the complaint until the next academic term.
  • At the written request of the student, action on a complaint may be delayed until the term of the class is completed. In this event, the appropriate administrator may delay any further action on the complaint until the next semester.
  • In the event of a group complaint, at most two (2) students shall be chosen to carry the complaint forward.
  • Notices sent to the last address in the College records and deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, shall be presumed to have been received and read. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that contact information is current at all times.
  • All student complaint-related forms are available in the supervisor’s office, Dean of Students’ office (CC4) and on the Bakersfield College website.
  • All formal level proceedings are recorded using audio and/or video recorders by the appropriate administrator. To protect the integrity and confidentiality of the proceedings, no other recording or transcription is allowed.
  • Recordings are confidential and the exclusive property of the College/District. Recordings become a part of the complaint file and are maintained by the designated administrator.

Level I Complaint Procedure

The student(s) should contact the office of the staff member’s immediate administrator, i.e. Dean.

  1. At the time of contact, the student completes and submits a Level I “Initial Student Complaint Form.”
  2. Within ten (10) instructional days of notice of the occurrence to the alleged incident, the student receives an appointment to meet with the appropriate administrator, i.e. Dean at this time.
  3. In an effort to resolve the complaint, subsequent to the student meeting with the administrator, the administrator/designee meets and confers with the staff member(s) involved. If possible, this meeting shall be within five (5) instructional days of the student meeting with the immediate supervisor/designee.
  4. The student and the administrator meet and attempt to resolve the issue in a satisfactory manner.
    1. The conference(s) may be recorded with the concurrence of both parties.
    2. If the complainant fails to appear for the scheduled appointment, the complaint process is terminated.
    3. The complainant will have no further recourse.
  5. After meeting with student and staff member(s), the administrator notifies the parties involved of the suggested resolution.
  6. If this resolution is acceptable to the complainant, the administrator completes the Level I “Information/Disposition Form” and submits copies of it to the complainant and the staff member. The original is maintained in a suitable file.
  7. If the administrator does not resolve the complaint to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complainant may, within ten (10) instructional days of the decision, file with the appropriate administrator a request to move the complaint to Level II.

Level II Complaint Procedure

  1. Under certain circumstances, and in the interest of fairness to all parties, the administrator, i.e. Dean, may refer the Level I complaint to Level II immediately.
  2. The immediate administrator notifies the student, staff member(s) and appropriate administrator when the referral has been advanced to Level II.
  3. If the complainant(s) choose(s) to move the complaint to Level II, the student(s) must complete and submit to the appropriate administrator a “Request to Appeal Level I Recommendation Form.”
    1. Within ten (10) instructional days of receiving the request the appropriate administrator investigates the allegations and convenes a conference of the student(s), the staff member(s), and the staff member(s)’ immediate supervisor/designee.
    2. At this meeting, an attempt is made to resolve the issue(s) and agree upon the remedy.
    3. The student(s) bringing the complaint and the staff member(s) being complained against must be present at this conference.
    4. Under compelling circumstances, this meeting may involve teleconferencing.
  4. If the complainant fails to appear for this conference, except for demonstrated good cause, the complaint process is terminated, and the complainant has no further recourse.
  5. Following the Level II conference, the appropriate administrator, within five (5) instructional days, provides a written decision and the basis for the decision. Copies of this decision are sent to the student(s), the staff member(s), the immediate supervisor/designee, and the appropriate Vice President.
  6. The student(s) bringing the complaint and/or staff member(s) being complained against may challenge the Level II decision by proceeding to Level III.

Level III Complaint Procedure

  1. If the student and/or the staff member(s) challenge(s) the Level II decision, the student/staff member must file with the appropriate Vice President a written Level III Appeal using the Level III “Request to Appeal Level II Recommendation Form” - within ten (10) instructional days of notification of the Level II decision.
    1. The appropriate Vice President/designee receives copies of all written materials, recordings, and any other documents generated regarding the complaint at Levels I and II.
    2. Within ten (10) instructional days of receiving the referral, the appropriate Vice President assembles the complainant(s), the staff member(s), the appropriate administrator from Level II, and the immediate supervisor/designee.
  2. If the appropriate Vice President is able to resolve the complaint(s),
    1. A resolution is established in written form and is validated by the signatures of all parties involved.
    2. This agreement becomes part of the file, and copies of the agreement are made available to the complainant(s), staff member(s), appropriate administrator, and immediate supervisor/designee.
  3. If the appropriate Vice President is unable to resolve the difference(s)/complaint(s),
    1. The Vice President assembles the Hearing Panel within ten (10) instructional days of that determination.
    2. The Vice President provides the Hearing Panel with the procedure to be used and answers any procedural questions.
Kern Community College District