Chapter VII Student Services

Chapter VII Student Services

B7.1 Counseling and Advising Services:   A full range of services is provided by trained professional staff. Counseling and Advising Services staff are located on both the East and the West campuses to provide services which include: academic advising, career decision-making information, stress management, personal development seminars, referral services, transfer planning, new student information sessions, and short-term personal counseling.

A7.1.1 Advisement:  Course and degree advisement at Del Mar College is delivered through a decentralized model with teaching faculty responsible for advising students with declared majors and counselors and/or intervention specialists responsible for advising students who have declared a Liberal Arts major or who are undeclared or undecided about their major.

A7.1.1.1   Advisement activities for the College are administered by the  Director of Counseling and Advising Services.

A7.1.1.2   The goal of advisement is to assist the student in forming and achieving an educational goal.

A7.1.1.3   Career information guidance is available in the offices of Counseling and Advising Services.

A7.1.2 External Testing:  Testing activities external to the classroom are coordinated and administered by the Director of Testing who reports to the Dean of Student Outreach and Enrollment Services.

A7.1.2.1   Testing services include, but are not limited to, (a) tests required for entrance or placement in college classes; (b) tests required for certification and licensure; (c) General Education Development (GED) and (d) correspondence examination.

A7.1.2.2   A schedule of currently approved fees for testing services is available in the Counseling and Testing Offices.

B7.2 Financial Aid:   Financial Aid is money in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment to help students meet their educational expenses. A full range of financial aid services is available to students. Funding comes from the federal and state government, the College, and public and private sources. The College will implement procedures to award and disburse funds to eligible students and ensure compliance with federal, state, and College rules and regulations. The rules, regulations or types of financial assistance are available for review on the Del Mar College's website, the College catalog, the Student Handbook, or by contacting the Director of Financial Aid.  

A7.2.1 Grants:  The following grants are awards of money with no repayment being necessary and are available for students who have established financial need.  

A7.2.1.1  Pell Grant- a type of federal aid which may be combined with other forms of aid to help students meet the cost of education. Unlike most grants, this grant is also available to students who are enrolled for less-than-half-time.

A7.2.1.2  Leveraging Education Assistance Program- a grant that combines Federal and State funds to assist students. A student must be qualified to pay instate tuition rates, must demonstrate financial need, and be an undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours).  

A7.2.1.3  Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant- a federal grant program that can provide up to $2,000 per academic year for students with high financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) to be considered for this grant.  

A7.2.1.4  Del Mar Student Grant- designed to provide assistance for tuition and fees.  

A7.2.1.5  Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program- a State funded grant available to Texas residents who graduated with the recommended or advanced high school curriculum, and who demonstrate financial need.  Students must receive their first disbursement of this grant within sixteen (16) months of graduating from high school.  

A7.2.2 Loans:  The majority of the educational loans available to students are long-term, low-interest loans, on which the student does not start making repayments until the student has ceased to carry a half-time (½-time) course load.

A7.2.2.1  Direct Student Loan Programs are long term loans made through the U.S. Department of Education. The College determines the student's loan eligibility and originates the loan information to the Loan Origination Center. The student must sign a promissory note and must attend a Loan Entrance Counseling session before loan proceeds may be received. Students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.  

A7.2.2.2  Emergency Short-Term Loan is a College loan fund established to assist students with payment of tuition and fees for the applicable enrollment period. Students may borrow up to $150 and must pay the loan within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the funds.  

A7.2.3 Scholarships:   Money provided by the State of Texas, various Del Mar College departments, foundations, organizations, memorial funds, individuals, and businesses is awarded to students on the basis of varying criteria, including scholastic achievement, financial need and,  or, in the case of foundation scholarships, criteria established by the specific benefactor. Students should visit or contact the Del Mar College Financial Aid Office and the Del Mar College Foundation Office regarding eligibility criteria and application processes. 

A7.2.3.1  State-Funded Scholarships are administered through the Financial Aid Office

A7.2.3.2  Del Mar College Departmental scholarships are processed through the Financial Aid Office. Recipients are selected by the applicable Department Scholarship Sub-Committee.  

A7.2.3.3  Foundation scholarship awards are routed and/or processed through the Del Mar College Foundation Office. Students attending Del Mar College are eligible to apply for Foundation scholarships online at http://www.delmar.edu/scholarships during the annual application period (January 14th –April 30th). Paper applications are no longer accepted. Recipients are selected by the Del Mar College Foundation Scholarship Committees.  

A7.2.3.4  Most scholarships require the completion of a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) at  http://www.fafsa.ed.gov  prior to application. Students should visit or contact the Del Mar College Financial Aid Office and the Del Mar College Foundation Office regarding all requirements for application.  

A7.2.4 Employment:  All student employment on campus is coordinated by the Financial Aid Office, where students should report first to fill out necessary forms and submit the appropriate financial statement by the deadlines in the catalog. Determination of eligibility is made by the   Financial Aid Office.

A7.2.4.1  The College Work-Study Program is a federal campus-based aid program that provides part-time employment for students with financial need and with at least half-time enrollment.  

A7.2.4.1.1  During regular enrollment periods, and during the academic year when classes are in session, a student may not work more than fifteen (15) hours per week without prior approval by the Financial Aid Office. Work-study employees are paid at a standard rate determined by the College.  

A7.2.4.1.2  Students attending Del Mar College during the summer only are not eligible for work-study employment.  

A7.2.4.1.3  The Student Employment Form refers a work-study student to a supervisor, who has requisitioned a worker for a designated number of hours per week.  

A7.2.4.1.4  Instructions for acceptance, termination, and evaluation will be provided by the Financial Aid Office.

A7.2.4.1.5  The Texas College Work-study Program is a state-funded work program similar to the Federal program. Students must be Texas residents in order to work under this program. These funds are available only during the Fall and Spring semesters. 

A7.2.4.2  Student Assistance Employment is an employment program for currently enrolled students who are not required to show financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) and must be available to work up to 15 hours per week. Any exceptions to the half-time enrollment requirement must be documented and approved by the Assistant Dean of Financial Aid. Students may not begin employment until all payroll documents are completed and verified by the Financial Aid Office. Department budget managers must have budgeted funds to hire a student assistant.  

A7.2.4.2.1  During regular enrollment periods, a student may not average more than fifteen (15) hours per week without special permission from the  Financial Aid Office; during non-enrollment periods, a student may not work more than forty (40) hours per week without prior approval of the department supervisor and the Financial Aid Office. Students not enrolled during the summer may be authorized, through the Financial Aid Office, to work the summer so long as they have documented their intent to enroll for the subsequent fall semester. Students assistants are paid at a standard rate determined by the College.  

A7.2.4.2.2 Instructions for acceptance, termination, and evaluation will be provided by the  Financial Aid Office.

A7.2.4.3 Student Employment Records:  The supervisor and the student must complete and sign a color-coded time report and turn it in to the  Financial Aid Office on the last working day of the month. Supervisors must ensure that the time sheets are signed, accurate and submitted on a timely basis.

A7.2.4.3.1  Supervisors are required to keep a sign-in/sign-out record. Any deviation from the normal fifteen (15) hours per week must be shown on the time record, for example, overtime (with prior approval).  

A7.2.4.3.2  Payment is made on the fifteenth (15th) of the month for the prior month's work. Student workers are paid at a standard rate determined by the College.

A7.2.5 Installment Payment Plan:  As mandated by the state, installment payment plans are available for the payment of tuition and fees. (See B3.22)  

A7.3 Retention:  Positive student retention efforts being vitally important to the success of the  College Mission , this policy affirms the commitment of this open-door institution to use every reasonable means to encourage students to remain enrolled and make regular progress toward realizing the full potential of their abilities.  

A7.3.1 Encouragement of Student Retention:  All employees of Del Mar College are expected to demonstrate respect for each student and to promote an atmosphere that encourages the retention of students and facilitates their success.  

A7.3.1.1  To meet the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) and to promote the retention and success of all students, Del Mar College provides a systematic process of advising designed to meet the needs of all students. All first-time students should meet with the staff of the Department of Counseling and Advising Services for the purpose of developing long-range and short-range educational/career goals and assessing individual strengths and weaknesses. Students with undeclared and liberal arts majors will continue to work with staff in the Department of Counseling and Advising Services to develop career decision-making strategies. Students who have chosen a major will meet with a faculty advisor from their major. This systematic process of advising will provide students with (a) support and critical retention information such as educational and career counseling; (b) advice regarding courses and programs; (c) recommendations for success workshops, seminars, and small group presentations and (d) referrals to academic departments and other offices.  

A7.3.1.2  The Department of Counseling and Advising Services will assist Department Chairs and departmental faculty advisors with information and resources, and will coordinate their advisement  activities with those of teaching faculty.  

A7.3.1.3  Faculty advising should include the mentoring of students, helping them to develop their education plans, providing them with materials, schedules, policies, and transfer criteria, and referring them to other student services when appropriate.  

A7.3.1.4  Department Chairs should ensure that their faculty are thoroughly informed of their responsibilities as student advisors in their disciplines. This may be done through in-service workshops within the individual departments or collectively through the various programs of the College.  

A7.3.2 Services:  Retention efforts include, but are not limited to, the maintenance of a positive classroom environment, effective advisement, efficient recruitment and registration, personal and career counseling, new student orientation, mentoring, workshops, and specially-designed courses.   

B7.4 Special Record Registration:  The administration may permit special record registration for the purpose of establishing a transcript at Del Mar College. Application for exception or waiver of any of the following regulations must have the recommendation of the Registrar, and the appropriate Dean, and the approval of the Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO).  

B7.4.1 Time:  Such registration will he held any time during regular office hours except during regular registration times.  

B7.4.2 Eligibility:  Registration will be permitted only to those persons who wish either to convert to semester hours credit previous non-credit bearing studies in which the applicant has appropriate professional certification or to take advanced standing examinations and receive credit for courses offered in the current catalog.  

B7.4.3 Cost:  The cost of special registration will be the same as the minimum tuition.

B7.4.4 AA/AAS Associate's Degrees:  In cases where an associate's degree is desired, all course and residency requirements stated in the catalog must be met and validated.  

B7.5 Admissions:  Del Mar College has an open admissions policy, in accordance with Texas Education Code 130.0011, that ensures that all persons who can benefit from post-secondary education have an opportunity to enroll. The College shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity/transgender status, sexual orientation), age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status. Admission to the College does not guarantee admittance to a particular course or program of study. A student may be required to satisfy certain requirements before enrolling in particular courses of study. The College Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or designee shall develop procedures for student admissions. The admissions procedures, including academic calendars, grading policies, cost of attendance and refund policies, shall be published in the College catalog, on the College website, and other relevant College publications.

B7.5.1 Admissions Policies & Practices for Specific Programs and Level of Degrees:  Del Mar College’s Admission criteria for specific programs and level of degrees are driven by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board requirements and accrediting bodies for specific disciplines, which are supported by published DMC Board of Regent Rules and Procedures. Admissions processes are consistently applied, using identified steps and checklists available to applicants based upon their education intentions and applicant type. All prospective student information, both online and print-based, is consistent in its redirection of the student to the application process. Del Mar College generates and distributes publications regarding admissions policies consistent with the mission of the college. One of Del Mar College’s key values that supports our mission is to provide transparency in providing access to college policies, processes and procedures. To this end, admissions policies and procedures are widely published and disseminated to various audiences including prospective students, current students, the public, and faculty and staff who administer the policies.

A7.5.1 Admissions and Registrar:  The College maintains offices which coordinate admissions and related enrollment functions for the College. These Offices are responsible for admissions, registration, graduation, scholastic records, reporting of enrollment data to the state, and veterans programs. These offices are responsible for maintaining official records of all student enrollments and necessary related information and documentation.  

A7.5.1.1 Scholastic Records:  The Registrar's Office prepares and maintains permanent scholastic records on all students--past, present, and prospective, verifies enrollment information for various agencies, and handles all subpoenas for student records. 

A7.5.1.1.1  The initial contact with prospective students and foreign students, for whom eligibility for admission is determined and the necessary forms prepared, is made by this Office. 

Amended section/notification of deletion:   

A7.5.1.2 Registration:  The Registrar's Office prepares the class schedule; coordinates registration activities, including legal residence classification; organizes and processes schedule changes; coordinates computer operations related to appropriate functions; distributes and collects class rolls and final grades, and determines scholastic standing of students.

A7.5.1.3 Graduation:  The Registrar's Office responsibilities include certification of graduates and oversight of graduation activities, including preparing diplomas, planning the ceremony and other related activities. 

A7.5.1.4 Agency Reports:  The Registrar's Office is responsible for producing and certifying Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reports. The basis of these reports determines funding allocations for the college from the state.

A7.5.1.5 Room Reservations:  Rooms are scheduled by each department that have authority of oversight of selected rooms and buildings across campus.

A7.6 Career Advising and Placement:   The College offers information, assistance, and guidance to current and former students seeking employment, planning a new career, or changing careers.  

A7.6.1 Availability:  Services are provided to assist current and former students in finding part-time, full-time, or summer/holiday positions and career positions upon graduation. 

A7.6.1.1  Inquiries for services can be completed by visiting the offices located at the South Campus, or by visiting the website at  www.delmar.edu/placement

A7.6.2 Support Service:  The staff assists students in receiving services that assist in the development of pre-employment job search skills and interviewing techniques.  The Stone Writing Center on the East Campus supports students in the development of resumes. Utilizing job market information, interest inventories, and other resources, the Counseling Center on the East Campus assists currently enrolled students planning a new career, changing careers, or choosing a career.

A7.6.3 Opportunities:  The office works with Work in Texas to provide off-campus job referrals. Job Opportunities are posted on "DMC Student Job Bank" listed on the Career Advising and Placement web page.

A7.7 Student Leadership & Campus Life:  The Office of Student Leadership & Campus Life promotes campus life and student leadership through cultural, social and leadership development.  Student Leadership is supported by a strong and unique learning environment through more than 30 clubs and organizations by providing students exposure to community projects, leadership and volunteer opportunities as well as campus life engagement activities.  These resources and opportunities enable our students to succeed in their academic career and beyond.  

A7.7.1 Services:  This office has oversight of more than 30 clubs and organizations, campus activities/events, student orientation, campus governance, service/community involvement, student leadership and student conduct.  

A7.7.2 Student Services Committee: This is a student-directed committee that provides input in the planning and implementing of activities and events for students. The Committee advises the administration on the type, amount, and expenditures of compulsory fees for student services. The committee is composed of the following nine members: five (5) student members who are enrolled for not less than six semester credit hours and are student leaders in the Student Government Associations; and four (4) student members who are representative of the entire institution, appointed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the College from student members of the Registered Student Organization or students at large (Texas Code 54.5031).  

A7.8 Services for Students with Disabilities:  Revised June 1, 2021 Del Mar College and the  Disability Services  Office staff are committed to equal access to College services, programs and activities for qualified students with disabilities, in compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Texas state laws. The ADA and Section 504 prohibit discrimination against qualified students with a disability. Students shall not be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity at the College. Students with disabilities experiencing difficulties with physical or structural barriers impeding access to the Del Mar College campus should contact the Department of Campus Security and Safety with any complaints or requests for redress.

A7.8.1 Mission and Services: The Disability Services Office (DSO) staff provides support services for students with disabilities to remove obstacles in their education (i.e., reasonable accommodations) to promote their maximum academic potential, participation in the college experience, and self-sufficiency. In order to receive the maximum benefit of services provided by the DSO staff, a student requesting services due to a disability should adhere to the guidelines and timelines set forth herein.  Disability Services Office professionals evaluate student disabilities via an iterative process including student disclosure and student-supplied documentation in an attempt to identify agreed-upon reasonable accommodations which--when implemented-- enable the student to perform academic requirements or participate in other College activities in compliance with state and federal law.    

A7.8.2 Requesting Accommodations Based on Disability:  Students requiring an accommodation based on disability must properly identify himself/herself to the DSO staff when requesting assistance and services.  The DSO staff will evaluate a student's disability via (a) documentation submitted by the student (physical, mental, psychological, and/or psycho-educational assessment reports), (b) consultation with--and disclosure by--the student and, (c) if necessary, the student’s medical provider, to identify the reasonable accommodation(s) which will enable the student to perform academic requirements or participate in other activity at the College in compliance with state and federal law

A7.8.2.1 Documentation Supporting Student Accommodation Requests:  Students with disabilities requesting accommodations at Del Mar College are encouraged to submit current physical, mental, psychological, and/or psycho-educational assessment reports to the DSO staff in support of their requests for auxiliary aids, assistance, or services subject to the requirements set forth herein.  Documentation is not a prerequisite for services from the DSO.  While certainly useful and assistive during the accommodation approval process, documentation is not required.  It is not a substitute for--but rather complementary to--the iterative process.  Without documentation, Student Disability Specialists must skillfully ask the requisite questions of the student to determine existence of the disability, life-activity limitation effects, impact in the education environment, and--if warranted--applicable reasonable accommodations.

A7.8.2.2 Qualified Professionals:  Supporting documentation is prepared by qualified professionals (e.g. licensed medical doctors, psychologists, school psychology specialists, licensed counselors/therapists, certified education diagnosticians, other professionals specially licensed to assess and provide diagnoses or recommendation regarding student disability accommodations).

A7.8.2.3 Document Currency and Requirements:  Documentation from a qualified professional should reflect a diagnosis relevant to assessing the student's current accommodation need(s).  Documentation should include a diagnosis of the student's medical condition and functional life activity limitations that affect the student's ability to access and/or participate in the college educational process.  where applicable, documentation should also include relevant testing results or physical functionality assessment reports to assist in developing--along with the student's disclosure and input--a reasonable accommodation plan.  Where possible, documentation from a qualified professional should also include an assessment fo the student's needs and recommended accommodations.

A7.8.3 Vacant

A7.8.3.1 Educational / Classroom Accommodations  

(a) Intake/Request for Disability Support Services:  Students seeking educational /classroom accommodations at Del Mar College must first complete a Request for Disability Support Services. While there may be circumstances where a student may not learn of the need for a specific accommodation until after semester start, early notification allows the DSO staff and student to gather documentation on the disability, decide on appropriate accommodations, and arrange the necessary services/auxiliary aids. Students who request services on or after semester start may encounter a delay in accommodations.

(b) Intake Meeting with Student Disability Specialist:  After completing and submitting the Request for Disability Support Services to the DSO staff, the student must initiate and schedule a meeting with a student disability specialist for the purpose of identifying and discussing accommodation needs.  Intake may occur face-to-face or virtually.  Documentation is not a prerequisite for services. 

In those cases where the student does not have supportive documentation at the time of the intake meeting, or the Student Disability Specialist determines that the documented diagnosis is no longer useful (i.e., outdated) nor representative of the student’s current needs, or the documentation does not accurately reflect the nature of the disability and how it affects the student’s ability to access and participate in the college educational process, the student will likely be asked to obtain additional documentation.

(c) General Consent for Services:  During intake, students initial/sign a General Consent for Services.  Signature permits DSO staff to notify faculty of the accommodation(s) approved for the student as described in the Classroom Accommodation Notification

(d) Classroom Accommodation Notification:  Following the initial intake/continuation of services meeting, the Student Disability Specialist prepares and signs the Classroom Accommodation Notification identifying to faculty the classroom accommodation(s) to be provided based on the review of the student’s diagnosis, recommendations by qualified professionals responsible for creating the supporting documentation, and disclosure from the student during the intake meeting. The Student Disability Specialist then forwards the signed Classroom Accommodation Notification  to the student for signature.  If the student agrees with the listed accommodation(s), the student signs and returns the Classroom Accommodation Notification to the Student Disability Specialist. If the student disagrees with the listed accommodation(s) or believes that any requested accommodation has been denied, the student may appeal the decision as provided by  A7.8.5.    

(e) Faculty Notification:  Once signed by the student, the Student Disability Specialist will email the signed Classroom Accommodation Notification to faculty  (students are carbon copied).  Letters signed by students prior to semester start are emailed to faculty (students are carbon copied) no earlier than Convocation (e.g., Fall, Spring) and no later than first day of class start (e.g., Fall, Spring, Maymester, Summer, second 8-weeks).  Letters signed after semester start are emailed to faculty (students are carbon copied) as soon as possible upon receipt of student signature.  Upon receipt, faculty will review the Classroom Accommodation Notification in a timely manner.  If the faculty find the listed accommodation(s) applicable given the course's modality, instructional methodology, and method of assessment, they sign and return (e.g., email, hard copy, hand carry) the Classroom Accommodation Notification to the Student Disability Specialist in a timely manner, complying with the accommodation(s) identified in the letter through the entirety of the semester.  If faculty believe the accommodations are not applicable (i.e., modality, instructional methodology, method of assessment) to the course, do not sign the Classroom Accommodation Notification.  Rather, connect directly with the Student Disability Specialist listed in the signature block for further instructions.  If faculty object to the reasonableness of the listed accommodation(s) on the basis provision fundamentally alters the nature of the course and/or creates an undue administrative or financial burden, faculty will (a) sign the Classroom Accommodation Notification indicating it is “with objection” and (b) connect directly with the Student Disability Specialist listed in the signature block.  NOTE:  Except for issues of safety, faculty are expected to provide the accommodation(s) as listed during the period while the process outlined in  A7.8.4 is underway.  

(f) Student's Subsequent Semester Continuation of Disability Services:  Students seeking continued accommodations for subsequent semesters must submit a valid enrollment record (i.e., classes, faculty, dates/time) to the DSO staff initiating the process outlined in A7.8.3.1(c) and beyond.  Continuing students requiring a modification of existing accommodations or seeking new or additional accommodations must first comply with the process outlined in A7.8.3.1(a) and (b).  

(g) Student Withdrawal of Request for Accommodation(s):  Students choosing to withdraw their request for accommodation(s) after having signed the Classroom Accommodation Notification submit their decision to the DSO staff in writing.  

A7.8.4  Resolving Faculty Objections Regarding Student Accommodations:  The following steps will be followed to address/resolve faculty objections to providing student accommodations.

A7.8.4.1 Instructor Objection:  Faculty will submit the reason(s) they contend the accommodation(s) listed on the Classroom Accommodation Notification fundamentally alters the nature of the course or creates an undue administrative or financial burden in writing to the: Student Disability Specialist listed in the signature block; Directing of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services; Department Chairperson; and Division Academic Dean.

A7.8.4.2 Faculty/Student Disability Specialist Meeting:  The faculty and Student Disability Specialist will meet to discuss the objection.  If the faculty and Student Disability Specialist agree accommodation implementation fundamentally alters the nature of the course or creates an undue administrative or financial burden, the faculty, Student Disability Specialist, and the student confer to establish alternative accommodation(s) that will meet the student's needs.  If agreement is reached, a new Classroom Accommodation Notification will be drafted by the Student Disability Specialist for student and faculty signature.  If the student believes the alternative accommodation offered does not meet their needs and, therefore, results in the denial of a reasonable accommodation, the student may appeal the decision as provided at A7.8.5.

A7.8.4.3 Review of Faculty Objection by Department Chair and Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services:  If the faculty and Student Disability Specialist cannot resolve the objection, the Student Disability Specialist notifies the Department Chairperson and the Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services (carbon copy to the student).  The Department Chairperson and Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services will meet to discuss the objection.   A resolution will be sought at this level.  Department Chairperson approval of the initial accommodations will terminate the objection process.  The Department Chairperson will sign the Classroom Accommodation Notification and the faculty will provide accommodation(s) despite objection.

A7.8.4.4 Final Determination of Faculty Objection by Division Academic Dean:  If the Department Chairperson and Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services cannot resolve the faculty objection, the Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services notifies the appropriate Division Academic Dean for final determination.  The determination of the Division Academic Dean is final.  The matter is closed; the faculty will not have any other levels of redress at which to object to the accommodation within Del Mar College.  Division Academic Dean approval of the initial accommodations will terminate the objection process.  The Division Academic Dean will sign the Classroom Accommodation Notification and the faculty will provide accommodation(s) despite objection.  If the Division Academic Dean agrees with the faculty objection then the division Academic Dean will notify the Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services of the decision in writing.  The Director of Counseling, Disability, and Retention Services will notify the student, in writing, of the decision providing a specific explanation of how the requested accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of the course or creates an undue administrative or financial burden.  If the student believes the final determination resulted in the denial of a reasonable accommodation, the student may appeal the decision as provided at A7.8.5.

A7.8.5 Student Appeal of Denial of Accommodation Request:  A student may appeal a decision by the College regarding a request for accommodation, including the College's decision to offer an alternative accommodation, where the student believes the decision has resulted in the denial of a reasonable accommodation.  

 A7.8.5.1 Denial of Accommodation Request Must Be in Writing:  DSO staff will notify the student at any stage in the accommodation request process when an accommodation request is either denied.  DSO staff will provide the student a specific written explanation of why the accommodation cannot be provided, including an explanation of how the requested accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of the course and/or creates an undue administrative or financial burden and therefore must be denied or an alternative accommodation provided.

A7.8.5.2 Student Appeal Process

(a) Appeal Deadline:  Within five (5) working days of receipt of notice by the DSO staff that a requested accommodation cannot be provided or the student disagrees with a proposed alternative accommodation, the student shall submit his or her notice of appeal in writing to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention (carbon copy to the DSO staff). The student will specifically identify the basis for the appeal, including a description of the accommodation requested and denied plus documentation which supports the basis for the appeal.  In the event the student determines that the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention should have access to the documentation contained in the student's file maintained by DSO staff, the student should complete a Consent to Release Supporting Documentation (available at the DSO) at the time the appeal is submitted.  If the student determines that alternative accommodations would be acceptable in lieu of those already requested, the student should identify those alternative accommodations for the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention's review and consideration. 

(b) Document Review: Within 1 working day of receiving notice of the student’s appeal, the DSO staff will provide the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention with all documentation from the instructor objection process at A7.8.4.1 (if applicable) along  with documentation or written explanations provided to the student by the DSO regarding the requested accommodation. Where the student has completed a Consent to Release Supporting Documentation, the DSO staff will submit the supporting documentation to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention under cover of confidentiality.       
   
(c) Final Decision by Dean of Student Engagement and Retention:  Within 15 working day of receiving notice of the student’s appeal, the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention will render a written decision to the student (carbon copy to the DSO staff).  The decision of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention is final.  The matter will be closed and the student will not have any other levels of redress within Del Mar College.    

A7.8.6 Placement Testing and Other Non-Classroom Accommodations:  Students with disabilities seeking accommodations for placement exams (e.g., Texas Success Initiative Assessment) or other non-classroom college activities (i.e., continuing education, KidsCamp, graduation) may seek assistance at the DSO as outlined in A7.8.3.1(a).   

A7.8.7 Service Animals:  Del Mar College is committed to complying with all federal, state, and local guidelines related to the use of service animals by students with disabilities.  Given service animals are not accommodations per se, students with disabilities served by service animals need not register with the DSO unless seeking other reasonable attendance accommodations.  Subject to certain restrictions set forth in A7.8.7.3, a service animal is allowed to accompany a student with disabilities into any area of the College to which a student without disabilities or other members of the public or invitees would ordinarily have access, including--but not limited to--public dining facilities.  Neither faculty nor staff are required to provide care for--nor supervision of--a service animal.

A7.8.7.1 Definitions:  

Service Animal:  A service animal is a dog specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for the direct benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to: guiding individuals with impaired vision; alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one; reminding a person to take prescribed medicine; alerting hearing impaired individuals to potential dangers; pulling a wheelchair; picking up dropped items. 

Therapy/Emotional Support Animal:  A therapy/emotional support animal is an animal that provides a sense of safety, companionship, or comfort or is designated by a healthcare provider to play a part in the therapeutic treatment process of an individual with a disability. However, a therapy/emotional support animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times. Thus, therapy/emotional support animals are not service animals and are not covered by A7.8.7.2, except under certain circumstances as provided herein.  

A7.8.7.2 Requirements of Service Animals and Their Owners:  

Registration and Documentation:  Students with disabilities are not required to register service animals nor provide any type of documentation such as proof of handler disability or proof of training, licensure or certification for the service animal.  When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, limited inquiry is allowed.  Faculty and staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal because of a disability, and (2) what work or task the dog has been trained to perform.  Faculty and non-DSO staff cannot ask about the student's disability, medical documentation, training documentation, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.  In the event a service animal arrives unannounced in a classroom and faculty have concerns, connect directly with the DSO staff for assistance.   

Service Animal Management:  Service animals must be under the control of its student handler through the use of a harness, leash, or other tether. In those cases where the student handler is unable due to disability to use a harness, leash or other tether, or where the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, the service animal must otherwise be under the student handler's control (i.e., voice control, signals).

A7.8.7.3 Restrictions and Exclusion of Service Animals:  Service animals can be excluded from campus if (a) the animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it or (b) if the animal is not housebroken.   When there is a legitimate reason to ask that the service animal be removed, Del Mar College must offer the student with the disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without the animal present. 

A7.8.7.4 Treatment of Service Animals by the Del Mar College Community:  Employees and students of the College community will abide by the following practices: allow service animals to accompany a student with disabilities at all times and in all places on campus to which a student without a disability or other members of the public or invitees would ordinarily have access, except as provided by A7.8.7.3; touching or petting of a service animal is prohibited unless invited to do so by the handler; feeding of a service animal is prohibited except by the handler; avoid deliberately startling the service animal; and no action should be taken to separate a student with disabilities from his or her service animal, except under emergency situations should it become necessary.   

A7.8.7.5 Conflicting Disabilities, Allergies, or Fear:  Students with disabilities utilizing service animals will not be denied access to other students or employees of the College who have medical conditions affected by animals including, but not limited to, respiratory diseases, asthma, or severe allergies.  Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to students with disabilities accompanied by service animals.  When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a student with disabilities accompanied by a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, they both should be accommodated by assigning them--if possible--to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility or different schedules. The employee or student asserting the medical condition affected by a service animal will be accommodated as necessary and as provided by law.  Students or employees of the College with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals should contact the Disability Services Office (students) or the Human Resources Department (employees) if they have a concern about exposure to a service animal. 

A7.8.7.6 Exceptions for Emotional Support Animals:  The College may exercise its discretion in determining whether a student may be allowed the use of an animal whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support as an accommodation under certain circumstances. In those instances where a student with a disability is able to establish a medical need for an emotional support animal through documentation from his or her medical provider, a student may be allowed to use an emotional support animal on campus. If a student with a disability is allowed the use of an emotional support animal, policy regarding the management and exclusion of service animals set forth herein will be applicable.  

  A7.8.8 Confidentiality:  Any and all documentation submitted in support of the student’s accommodation request will be maintained by the DSO staff as confidential and subject to the protections of applicable State and federal law. 

A7.8.9 Prohibition of Disability Discrimination:   The College strictly prohibits discrimination against students based on disability as defined by the ADA (as amended). If a student believes he or she has suffered discrimination based on disability, including the denial of an accommodation after exhausting the appeal process at A7.8.5, the student should immediately contact Student Services as provided by Chapter VII B7.19.  

A7.9 Out-of-Town Travel:  The sponsor of any group of students making out-of-town trips must complete in advance the proper forms, which may be obtained in the Student Activities Office. (Travel procedures are covered under B3.14.) 

A7.10 Student Publications:  The journalism teacher is the editor of the College newspaper,  The Foghorn, published regularly and distributed without charge to students and faculty.  

A7.11 Intramural Sports:  The College has an extensive intramural-recreational program, including flag football, tennis, racquetball, weightlifting, swimming, soccer, badminton, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, bowling, ultimate Frisbee, golf, and many other activities. Student organizations are welcome to field teams in the various events.  

B7.12 Student Complaint Policy:  The Student Complaint Policy is based on the belief that such complaints are best resolved at the level closest to the issue that led to the complaint. Resolutions to such complaints must be reached through the participation of all parties involved in the issue that led to the complaint.  All procedures developed in relation to this policy will be applied in an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner and will protect the rights of all parties.  The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the College is responsible for developing these procedures.  A copy of the policy and procedures may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, the College's website (http://www.delmar.edu/policymanual/pmcurrent/ch7/index.html), the College Catalog or the Student Handbook. 

Abuse of the process by a complainant will be subject to disciplinary action.  A complaint shall be considered an abuse of the process if the finding of facts shows that the complaint has absolutely no merit and/or is presented by the complainant in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment.  A respondent shall be considered to have abused the process if the finding of the facts shows that the respondent has acted in bad faith or with egregious disregard for the complaint, complainant, and/or the complaint process.  

There will be no retaliation, interference, or harassment toward any party to a complaint. Should a Complainant or Witness experience any reprisal or retaliation as a result of filing a complaint pursuant to this policy, the Complainant should immediately report the retaliatory action to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention for intake, investigation and resolution as provided herein.

A7.12.1 Definitions:  A student’s disagreement with the application of a specific College rule, practice and/or policy is processed through this procedure.  Sexual harassment issues will be processed in accordance with Board Policy B7.19.  

A7.12.1.1 Student:  The “student” is an individual officially enrolled at the College in a college-level credit or non-credit course, including GED courses, in the semester in which the complaint took place. For the purpose of this procedure, an individual who is not enrolled in a course or program is not a student at the College and unable to file a complaint under this procedure.  

A7.12.1.2 Student Complaint Review Board:  The“Student Complaint Review Board”, also known as the “Review Board” consists of appointed members from the College’s constituency groups to hear complaints, afford due process, deliberate on the facts, and render a final decision on a complaint.  

A7.12.1.3 Respondent The “respondent” is an individual against whom a complaint is filed.

A7.12.1.4 Observer:  The “observer” is an individual who may attend the hearing, at the request of the complainant or respondent. (Either party may bring in an observer.)  The observer may  not take an active role in the hearing, i.e., ask questions, make statements/comments, or cross-examine other parties involved, nor represent the complainant or the respondent in the hearing process.  The observer may serve as an advisor outside of the hearing.

A7.12.1.5 Mediation:  “Mediation” is a discussion held at an informal level between the complainant and respondent involved in a dispute with the Dispute Resolution Center, a neutral agency, to effect an agreement, settlement, compromise, or to reconcile differences prior to filing a formal complaint.  

A7.12.1.6 Complainant:  The “complainant” is a student who believes there has been an unfair breach or misinterpretation of College policy, procedures, applicable rules, or practices within the College.

A7.12.1.7 Non-Academic Complaint:   The “Non-Academic Complaint” is a complaint by a student which does not involve grades or any academic issues.  This procedure does not include a complaint by a student against another student. A student with a complaint against another student will consult with the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention on the proper procedure to follow when filing this type of complaint.

A7.12.1.8 General Academic Non-Grade Complaint:  The “General Academic Non-Grade Complaint” is a complaint by a student who has any academic disagreement not directly related to the assignment of a grade(s). A complaint of this nature may not seek to limit or lessen faculty’s rights to full freedom in the classroom to discuss the subject(s) that they teach, as protected by Board Policy B6.1.

A7.12.1.9 Grade Complaint:  The “Grade Complaint” is a complaint filed by a student related to a grade dispute.  

A7.12.1.10 Confidentiality:  Complaints generally involve sensitive matters.  All parties involved in a complaint shall take the process seriously and respect the privacy of the complainant, the respondent, the reviewer(s), and any witnesses. . Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent provided by law.

A7.12.1.11 Reprisal  or Retaliation:    There will be no retaliation, interference, or harassment toward any party to a complaint.   Retaliation occurs when action is taken against a student because the student filed a student complaint or participated as a witness as provided by this policy.

A7.12.1.12  Business Day:    The “business day” is defined as regular College hours of operation, Monday through Friday.  

A7.12.2 Non-Academic Complaint:      The Non-Academic Complaint is a complaint by a student which does not involve grades or any academic issues. The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee shall review the complaint procedure with the complainant. The complainant that has a non-academic complaint will take the following steps in an effort to reconcile a complaint. 

A7.12.2.1 Step One: The complainant may: 1) informally discuss the nature of the complaint with the respondent; or 2) submit a written complaint (appropriate form provided by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention) to the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office no later than fifteen (15) business days after the semester of the occurrence. The respondent will inform the complainant in writing of a decision on the complaint presented within five (5) business days of receipt of the written complaint.  

A7.12.2.2 Step Two: If the complainant has attempted an informal discussion and/or has submitted a written complaint and received a written response and remains dissatisfied, then the complainant may request mediation. The respondent may also request mediation in the event that a resolution was not achieved by informal discussion or written response.  A mediation session will take effect only after agreement by both the complainant and respondent. If either party chooses not to participate in mediation, the complainant may proceed to Step Three.

The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention will  arrange the mediation session. If the complaint is against a faculty or staff member, the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention will consult with the Director of Human Resources. Any proposed resolution from the third party mediation session(s) will be reviewed by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention to make sure that all points are within Del Mar College policies, procedures, and practices.  If the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention is unclear whether the proposed resolution is within College policies and procedures, then the mediation session will continue at a later date after clarification has been obtained.

A7.12.2.3 Step Three:  If the complainant remains dissatisfied after Step One (or Two), he or she,  after receipt of the written response, has five (5) business days to appeal in writing to the Student Complaint Review Board through the Office of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention. Using the appropriate form, which may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, the complainant shall address only one subject in any one complaint. A written complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the complaint, referring to the actual policy that is alleged to have been violated, where appropriate, the date the incident took place, the issue involved, and the remedy sought. The Review Board shall hold a hearing, produce a tape recording and written record, and issue a written recommendation to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention.

A7.12.2.4 Student Complaint Review Board Membership:  At the beginning of each academic year, the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention will appoint the Student Complaint Review Board. The Review Board shall consist of seven (7) members randomly selected by the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention from a pool of representatives previously recommended by the Faculty Council, Council of Chairs, Nonexempt Personnel Advisory Council, the Exempt Personnel Advisory Council and students.

The Student Complaint Review Board shall consist of one faculty member, one Department Chair, one Exempt staff member, one Nonexempt staff member, and three students. The students on the Review Board will be randomly selected.  At the beginning of each fall semester,  the Director of Student Leadership and Campus Life will be asked  for the names of three (3) student leaders  to serve on the Review Board.  The names will be forwarded to the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention’s office.

The complaint hearing will be  a closed hearing unless both the complainant and respondent agree, in writing, to an open hearing. The hearing is considered an administrative process and not subject to legal proceeding requirements.

A7.12.2.5 Hearings:  The complainant and/or respondent may have an individual of choice to attend the hearing as an observer to counsel and advise them.  The observer may not take an active role in the hearing, i.e., ask questions, make statements/comments, cross-examine other parties nor represent the complainant or respondent in the hearing process. The Review Board shall hold its hearings within ten (10) business days of the date that the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention is notified in writing that Step One (or Two) of the complaint process is being appealed. A decision by the Review Board will be forwarded to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee who will evaluate the Review Board’s recommendation for matters of compliance with policy and procedure only. Within five (5) business days of receipt of the Review Board's decision, the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall provide the complainant a written notice of the Review Board's decision. The Review Board’s decision is considered final and will exhaust all administrative requirements for the complainant.

A7.12.2.6 Time Limits:  If the complainant fails to meet the time limits at any step, the complaint is automatically considered dropped; if the administration or College personnel, at any step, fails to meet the time limits, the complaint is automatically advanced to the next step.  Extension of time limits, for extenuating circumstances, may be requested in writing, by the complainant, respondent, or Review Board through the  Chief Academic Officer (CAO)or designee.  All parties affected by the complaint will be notified of the extension through the  CAO or designee.

A7.12.3 General Academic (Non-Grade) Complaint:  The General Academic Non-Grade Complaint is a complaint by a student who has any academic disagreement not directly related to the assignment of a grade(s).  A complaint of this nature may not seek to limit or lessen faculty’s rights to full freedom in the classroom to discuss the subject(s) that they teach, as protected by Board Policy B6.1. [See A7.12.4 for complaints concerning grade assignments.]

The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall review the complaint procedure with the complainant.  A complainant who has a non-grade-related academic complaint against a faculty or staff member will take the following steps in an effort to reconcile the complaint.

A7.12.3.1 Step One:  The complainant may: 1) informally discuss the nature of the complaint with the respondent; or 2) submit a written complaint (appropriate form provided by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention) to the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office no later than fifteen (15) business days after the semester of the occurrence.

A7.12.3.2 Step Two:   A written decision by the respondent should be given to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office within five (5) business days of receiving the written complaint. The decision will be forwarded to the complainant by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office. That decision is final unless the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision.

A7.12.3.3 Step Three:  If the complainant remains dissatisfied after Step Two, he or she, after the receipt of the written decision, has five (5) business days to complete part C of the complaint form and forward to the Student Engagement and Retention Office  The Department Chair or the staff member’s Immediate Supervisor will consult with the Director of Human Resources regarding the complaint. The complainant shall address only one subject in any one complaint. A written complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the complaint, referring to the actual policy that is alleged to have been violated, where appropriate, the date the incident took place, the issue involved, and the remedy sought.

A7.12.3.4 Step Four:  The Department Chair or the Immediate Supervisor has five (5) business days from receipt of the appropriate form to investigate, reach a decision, and notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the decision.

A7.12.3.5 Step Five:  If dissatisfied with the results of the decision at Step Four, the complainant may appeal in writing within five (5) business days of receipt of the Department Chair’s or Immediate Supervisor’s decision.  The complainant will complete part E of the Complaint form and the Student Engagement and Retention Office will forward the form to the appropriate Academic Dean. The Dean has five (5) business days from receipt of the appeal to investigate, reach a decision, and notify the complainant and respondent, in writing, of the decision. The decision of the Dean is final.

[If the respondent is a department chair, the complainant will have five (5) business days to appeal the case to the  appropriate Academic Dean, who will review the complaint and render a written decision. If the Immediate Supervisor of the staff member does not report to a Dean, then the next level Supervisor will make the final decision.  The Dean’s or next level Supervisor’s decision is final.  If the  respondent is a Dean, the appeal is made to the Department Chair and then the CAO, who is the final decision maker.]

[A prospective complainant denied admission to any special program of the College may appeal to the appropriate Department Chair.  If dissatisfied, the complainant may then appeal to the appropriate  Academic Dean. The decision of the  Academic Dean is final.]

A7.12.3.6 Time Limits:  If the complainant fails to meet the time limits at any step, the complaint is automatically considered dropped; if College personnel, at any step, fail to meet the time limits, the complaint is automatically advanced to the next step. Extension of time limits, for extenuating circumstances, may be requested in writing, by the complainant, the faculty or staff member, the Department  Chair, Academic Dean or Immediate Supervisor through the CAO, or designee. All parties affected by the complaint will be notified of the extension by the CAO, or designee.

A7.12.4 Grade Appeals:  The evaluation of academic work is the prerogative of the instructor and the rules for determining final course grade should be established by the instructor and provided to the students in an electronic or printed course syllabus at the beginning of the semester.  A student who believes grounds exist for the appeal of a final grade must first consult with the instructor. If the appeal cannot be resolved, a student may proceed to the grade appeal process.

A7.12.4.1 Step One:   The complainant shall submit a written complaint (appropriate form provided by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention) to the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office no later than the last day of the following long semester after final grades have been posted.  The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office will forward the complaint to the respondent.

A7.12.4.2  The respondent will inform the  Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office and Department Chair in writing on the appropriate form of a decision on the complaint within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written complaint form. If resolved,  the complaint ends. If unresolved, the respondent will complete part D and the Student Engagement and Retention Office will inform the Department Chair.

A7.12.4.3 Step Two:   If unresolved the Department Chair will meet with the complainant and respondent within 10 business days of receipt of the written complaint. If resolved, the Department Chair will submit the original written complaint form to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention. If unresolved, the Department Chair will submit a copy to the  complainant, the respondent and the  Academic Dean and the original written complaint to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office.

A7.12.4.4   If unresolved, the student may request a hearing within ten (10) business days of receiving the response/complaint form. The student will complete Part D of the form and the Student Engagement and Retention Office will forward the hearing request to the Department Chair and Academic Dean within (3) three business days.

The Academic Dean will review all complaint materials submitted by the complainant and respondent in Step 1 and Step 2. Within five (5) business days of receiving the hearing request, the Academic Dean will determine if there is evidence that supports the reason(s) checked on the Grade Appeal form by the complainant. Evidence that supports other reasons on the form that were not checked, may also be considered in the decision.

If there is no evidence that supports one or more of the reasons on the form, the Grade Appeal process ends and may not be appealed further. The Academic Dean will complete part F of the complaint form and forward the original to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention. The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office will send copies to the complainant, the respondent, and the Department Chair.

If there is evidence that supports any of the reasons on the form, the Academic Dean will forward the complaint form back to the Department Chair to convene a Grade Appeals Committee. The Academic Dean will also notify the Student Engagement and Retention Office of the decision.

The Department Chair will convene a Grade Appeals Committee within ten (10) business days of receipt of the decision of the Academic Dean. Copies of the grade decision will be submitted on the proper form to the Academic Dean.

A7.12.4.5  The  Academic Dean shall review the process, all related materials, and minutes within five (5) business days of receiving all materials. If the  Academic Dean certifies that the policy was followed, the grade appeal is completed. If the  Academic Dean finds substantive errors in the process a separate Grade Appeal Committee shall be initiated by the Dean. If the Grade Appeal Committee rules in favor of a grade change, the instructor or  Academic Dean shall, by way of official grade change forms available at the Registrar’s office, initiate the grade change.

A7.12.4.6  The  Academic Dean will complete the complaint form and forward the original to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention.  The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Office will send copies to the complainant, the respondent, and the Department Chair.

Decisions reached through this process are final and may not be appealed.

If at any point a deadline is not met by faculty/administrator, the process moves to the next procedural level. If at any point a deadline is not met by the student, the process ends. An extension of time limits, for extenuating circumstances, may be requested in writing by the complainant or the respondent through the  Academic Dean or Designee.

The procedures described in this policy are available only for appeal of a semester or term grade based on one or more of the following reasons:

1.  A mathematical error in calculation of the grade or clerical error in recording of the grade that remains uncorrected;

2.  The assignment of a grade to a particular student by application of more exacting requirements than were applied to other students in the course;

3.  The assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than performance in the course;

4.  The assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the faculty member’s previously announced standards;

5.  Extenuating circumstances such as illness, incapacity, or absences of the instructor generate uncertainty regarding appropriateness of the grade assigned.

Grades given as a result of academic dishonesty cannot be appealed under the grade appeal procedure, but should be made under the provisions of the Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty  B7.13.6 .

The detailed procedures for submitting a grade appeal are available in the office of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention. They shall also be published in the Student Handbook and the procedures reviewed, periodically, by the College’s Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.  

B7.13 Standards of Student Conduct Policy:  This policy is applicable to all students enrolled in Del Mar College to ensure that all practices and actions of the College are applied to students in an equal and nondiscriminatory manner.  

B7.13.1 Student Rights:  

B7.13.1.1  The right to exercise the privileges of an American citizen in a college setting.   

B7.13.1.2  The right to inquire about and to recommend improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of the students. Students may contact the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention for guidance on the processes available to recommend improvement in policies or in exercising their rights.   

B7.13.1.3  The right to notice of the charges and evidence against the student, the right to counsel, and to a fair hearing when a finding of misconduct is made and a disciplinary action for misconduct, as defined by B7.13.5 and A7.13.9, is proposed for the student as an individual or as a group member.  

B7.13.2 Student Obligations and Responsibilities:    

B7.13.2.1  The obligation to be fully acquainted with published rules, regulations, and policies of the College and to comply with them in the interest of maintaining an orderly and productive College community. A copy of the published rules, regulations and policies may be found in the College catalog, Student Handbook, the College's website, or in the Office of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention.  

B7.13.2.2  The obligation to respect the rights and property of others.  

B7.13.3 Non-Scholastic Student Misconduct:  The following are types of non-scholastic student misconduct which, if established, will result in appropriate disciplinary action.  

B7.13.3.1  Knowingly furnishing false information to the College or filing or making known false charges against the College and/or a member of its faculty or staff.  

B7.13.3.2  Destruction, damage, unauthorized possession, or misuse of College property, including Library and laboratory materials and equipment, or of private property on the campus.  

B7.13.3.3  Forgery, alteration, unauthorized possession, or misuse of College documents, records, or identification cards.  

B7.13.3.4  Physical or verbal abuse of another person in the College community. Any verbal threat or abuse or physical action against any College employee and/or student, where there is imminent danger that the continued presence of the student on College premises poses a substantial threat to themselves, to others, or disrupts the stability and continuance of normal College operations, is considered sufficient grounds for interim suspension from the College, pending a disciplinary review and student-initiated appeal in the case where a finding of misconduct is made.  

B7.13.3.5  Participation in hazing in contravention of the Texas Education Codes, Sections 4.51 to 1.58, inclusive.  

B7.13.3.6  Use, distribution, or possession of "alcoholic beverages" 1/ , "dangerous drugs" 2/ , or "controlled substances" 3/ , while on College property or at any authorized activity sponsored by or for any College-related organization, whether on or off campus. 

1/ As defined in Section 1.04(1) of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.

2/ As defined in Article 4476-14, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes.

3/ As defined in Article 4~76-15 (Texas Controlled Substances Act) Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes or in 21 U.S. Code Section 801 et seq.

B7.13.3.7  Disorderly conduct which inhibits or interferes with the educational responsibility of the College community or which disrupts the administrative or service functions of the College to include social-educational activities.

B7.13.3.8  Actions which violate State and federal law or city or county ordinances.

B7.13.3.9  Malfeasance or misuse of elected or appointed office in a student organization, or endangering its members, or the welfare of the College community.

B7.13.3.10  Incorrigible or persistently irresponsible behavior.

B7.13.3.11  Gambling on campus or on College property.

B7.13.3.12  Possession of any "weapon" 4/ on campus or on College property or at any activity sponsored by the College or in any vehicle owned by the College, unless duly authorized by law or approved for instruction in specialized programs (see Board Policy B3.13). 

4/ "Weapon" is defined to include any firearm, handgun (whether or not licensed under TRCS art. 4413 (29ee)), illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon as defined or listed in Sections 46.01 and 46.05 (a) of the Texas Penal Code. 

B7.13.3.13  Conduct which  disrupts teaching with detrimental effects upon other students.

B7.13.3.14  Any disruption of on-going educational activities of the College which warrants disciplinary action.

B7.13.3.15  Harassment, sexual misconduct, or other discriminatory treatment of a College employee or student, or retaliation against a College employee or student for complaining of discrimination, sexual misconduct, or harassment, or for cooperating in an investigation of alleged harassment or discrimination as described in B5.50, B7.19, B9.1.  

B7.13.3.16  Failure to comply with established Del Mar College Board Policies and/or Administrative Procedures.

B7.13.4 Non-Scholastic Misconduct Disciplinary Actions:  In response to non-scholastic student misconduct defined in B7.13.3, any one or more of the following disciplinary actions may be proposed and imposed by the College after notice and opportunity for a student-initiated appeal and hearing: 

B7.13.4.1  Admonition and warning  with or without educational counseling sessions (Specific to the breach of conduct).  

B7.13.4.2  Loss of privileges.  

a. Removal from elective or appointive office.  

b. Loss of such other privileges which may be consistent with the offense committed and the rehabilitation of the student.

  1. Restriction from specific college buildings, areas, or facilities.
  2. No contact with designated persons.
  3. Academic Registration block.
  4. Loss of college privileges, including social privileges, co-curricular privileges.

B7.13.4.3  Disciplinary probation with or without loss of designated privileges for a specified period of time. The violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or the infraction of any College rule during the disciplinary action will result in automatic suspension.

B7.13.4.4  Suspension from the College for a definite period of time.

B7.13.4.5  Expulsion from the College. 

B7.13.4.6  Additional sanctions may be imposed as warranted.

A7.13.5   Non-Scholastic, Student Misconduct Review Procedure:   Revisions Adopted August 24, 2015 Complaints or information regarding a student’s violation of B7.13.3 should be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee. When the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee receives information or a complaint that a student has allegedly engaged in non-scholastic misconduct, as defined by B7.13.3, a review of the allegations will be conducted by the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee.  

A7.13.5.1  Within ten (10) business days of receiving information or a complaint that a student has allegedly engaged in non-academic misconduct as defined by B7.13.3, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee will conduct and complete a review of the allegations.  

A7 .13.5. 2     In conducting a review pursuant to A7.13.5, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee will meet with the student alleged to have engaged in the misconduct, giving the student an opportunity to present his/her side of the situation.  

A7.13.5.3  Within three (3) business days after completion of the review, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee may dismiss the allegation(s) as unfounded, or proceed administratively and make a preliminary finding that the allegations are supported. The Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee may propose a disciplinary sanction, as set forth in B7.13.4, where the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee finds that the allegations are supported. Any findings, dismissals and, or recommendations for disciplinary action will be presented in writing to the student, with a copy to the dean.  

A7.13.5.4  A student may appeal a preliminary finding of misconduct and proposed disciplinary action, prior to the imposition of any proposed disciplinary action, as provided by   A7.13. 6.

A7.13.6  Hearing Procedure for Student Disciplinary Actions Involving Non-Scholastic Misconduct:  In those cases where a preliminary finding of non-scholastic misconduct is made and disciplinary action is proposed against a student, as defined by  B7.13.4, the student will be entitled to appeal the finding and proposed disciplinary action, as provided herein, before the imposition of any such proposed disciplinary action.

A7.13.6.1  Within five business (5) days of receiving such notice of findings and proposed disciplinary action from the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee, the student may appeal the findings and proposed disciplinary action, in writing, to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, to take place within ten (10) business days of the student’s notice of appeal.  

A7.13.6.2   Upon receipt of the student’s notice of appeal, the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention will give prompt notice to the student and the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee that a hearing has been scheduled. Seven (7) business days prior to the scheduled hearing, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee shall forward to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, the complete record of the matter, including the investigative file, findings, and recommendations. Such record may be considered by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention in reaching a decision.  

A7.13.6.3   The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall review the case and conduct such hearing utilizing the following procedural framework:  

A7.13.6.3.1   The student shall be given prompt notice of the hearing date. The hearing shall be held within ten (10) business days of the student’s notice of appeal to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, unless the parties mutually agree to a delay.

A7.13.6.3.2   Five (5) business days prior to the date on which the hearing will be held, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee and the student shall meet to exchange documents to be utilized during the hearing and exchange the names of any witnesses who may be relied upon, including a written general statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness.

A7.13.6.3.3  The hearing shall be conducted privately unless the student requests that it be open. If the hearing is conducted privately, only the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, the student, the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee, and their representatives and witnesses may be present. Witnesses may be excluded from the hearing until it is their turn to present evidence.  The student and the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee may each have a representative to offer private counsel or adviceNotice, at least two (2) business days in advance of the hearing, shall be given by each party intending to have a representative, including the name of the representative. Failure to give such notice may result in postponement of the hearing. 

A7.13.6.3.4   The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall control the conduct of the hearing, the general order of which shall be as follows:  

a.) The Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, or his or her designee, shall present such proof by documents or testimony, identified pursuant to  A7.13.6.3.2, in  support of his/her position.

b.) The student, may cross-examine any witnesses offered by the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee.   His/her representative may not cross-examine witnesses.

c.) The student, may present such witness testimony or documents, identified pursuant to A7.13.6.3.2, to support the student’s position or to rebut that of the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee.  

d.) The Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, or his/her designee, may cross-examine any witnesses offered by the student and offer rebuttal witness testimony or documents to any of the student's witnesses.  

e.) Closing arguments may be made by each party.  

A7.13.6.3.5   A record of the hearing shall be made if requested by either the student or the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention or designee.

A7.13.6.3.6  The Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall issue a written decision no later than ten (10) business days after the termination of the hearing. The decision of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention is final.

A7.13.6.4   The Chief Academic Officer (CAO),  Chief Workforce Development Officer or the Chief Student Affairs Officer may place a student on interim suspension immediately and without prior notice for an interim period pending a disciplinary hearing when there is imminent danger that the continued presence of the student on College premises poses a substantial threat and danger to themselves, or to others, or disrupts the stability and continuance of normal College operations.  

A7.13.6.5   The effective date of disciplinary action shall be the date of abandonment of the Del Mar College appeal process by the student or the decision of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, whichever comes first.  

A7.13.6.5.1  A student is considered to have “abandoned” the Del Mar College appeal process when he or she fails to meet identified deadlines, including the deadline for appeal, or attend any scheduled meeting or hearing date, absent written notice to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, or a written request to the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention for an extension of time to hold the scheduled meeting or hearing date, either of which must be received by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention prior to the meeting or hearing date.    The request must be supported by evidence of impossibility or other explanation of inability to meet identified deadlines, with plausibility determined by the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention. Should a student without an approved extension fail to attend scheduled meetings, meet identified deadlines, appear for his/her hearing or choose to limit or withhold a response to charges against him/her, the review or hearing will proceed as if the student had responded “not responsible to the charge(s)”. An accused student shall not be found responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Code solely because he/she chooses to remain silent.

B7.13.7 Student Scholastic Dishonesty:  Faculty members are expected to maintain the good reputation and the integrity of Del Mar College and of their own profession by guarding against scholastic dishonesty by students.

Students are expected to maintain the integrity of the College by avoiding dishonesty in their own behavior and by expecting honest behavior from their fellow students. One of the requirements for passing the courses students take at Del Mar College is that students do their own work. Meeting this requirement means avoiding plagiarism, collusion, and cheating.

A7.13.7.1 Students Must Not Plagiarize:  Plagiarism occurs when a student takes another’s words or ideas and uses them as if they were the student's own. This can happen in three (3) ways: 

A7.13.7.1.1  A student copies another’s words without using quotation marks and without giving the source.

A7.13.7.1.2  A student puts another's ideas into the student’s words but does not give the source.

A7.13.7.1.3  A student duplicates another’s structure of thought or organization of ideas but does not give the source. 

A7.13.7.2 Students Must Not Commit Collusion:  Collusion occurs when someone else writes all or any part of a student's paper.  

A7.13.7.3 Students Must Not Cheat:  Cheating includes, but is not limited to, a student looking at another's work or using unauthorized materials or electronic devices during a test or written assignment; or fabricating data, methodology, results, findings from those in an official document, publication, or research and claiming them to be authentic.  

A7.13.8 Student Scholastic Dishonesty Disciplinary Actions:  If a faculty member has reasonable grounds upon which to conclude that a student has plagiarized, committed collusion, or cheated, the faculty member may recommend one or more of the following disciplinary actions:

A7.13.8.1  Give the work an F.

A7.13.8.2  Give the work a zero.

A7.13.8.3  Drop the student with a W.

A7.13.8.4  Give the student an F for the course and dismiss the student from the course. The issuance of this grade by the instructor takes precedence over a student's prior or subsequent attempt to withdraw from the course to avoid penalty under this policy.

A7.13.8.5  Suspension or dismissal from the College.

A7.13.8.6  The degree of presumed intent to commit an act of scholastic dishonesty will be a factor in the faculty member's recommendation(s) from among the penalties listed in A7.13.8.  

A7.13.9  Student Scholastic Dishonesty Review Procedure:  When a faculty member receives information that a student enrolled in a course taught by the faculty member has allegedly engaged in scholastic dishonesty, as defined by  B7.13.7, a review of the allegations will be conducted by the faculty member.  

A7.13.9.1  Within ten (10) business days of receiving information that a student has allegedly engaged in scholastic dishonesty as defined by  B7.13.7, the faculty member will conduct and complete a review of the allegations.  

A7.13.9.2     In conducting a review pursuant to  A7.13.9, the faculty member will meet with the student alleged to have engaged in the misconduct, giving the student an opportunity to present his/her side of the situation.  

A7.13.9.3   If the student denies dishonesty during the faculty member’s review, the faculty member has the option to give the student an opportunity to reconstruct or reproduce the work in a way agreeable to and under the supervision of the faculty member to prove that no dishonesty has occurred or the faculty member can proceed to  A7.13.9.4.  

A7.13.9.3.1  The student may decline an opportunity to reconstruct or reproduce the work without penalty. If the student declines the opportunity to reconstruct or reproduce the work, the faculty member will proceed with the review and his/her recommendation.  

A7.13.9.3.2  If the student agrees to reconstruct or reproduce the work and produces what the faculty member agrees constitutes proof that the work is indeed the student’s work, then the matter is closed and the faculty member will grade the student accordingly. If the student produces what he or she believes constitutes proof that the work is indeed his or her own work, and the faculty member disagrees, the faculty member may proceed with the review and make a recommendation as provided by  A7.13.9.4.  

A7.13.9.4   Within three (3) business days after completion of the review, the faculty member may dismiss the allegation(s) as unfounded, or proceed and make a preliminary finding that the allegations are supported. The faculty member may propose a disciplinary sanction, as set forth in  A7.13.8, where the faculty member finds that the allegations are supported. Any findings, dismissals and, or recommendations for disciplinary action against a student for scholastic dishonesty must be submitted through the department chair to the academic dean, in writing, with a copy provided to the student. [If the faculty is the department chair, the recommendation is submitted directly to the dean; if the faculty is the dean, the recommendation is submitted to the CAO.]  

A7.13.9.5  A student may appeal a preliminary finding of scholastic misconduct and proposed disciplinary action, prior to the imposition of any proposed disciplinary action, as provided by   A7.13.10. 

A7.13.10  Hearing Procedure for Student Disciplinary Actions Involving Scholastic Dishonesty:  In those cases where a preliminary finding of scholastic dishonesty is made and disciplinary action is proposed against a student, as defined by  A7.13.8, the student will be entitled to appeal the finding and proposed disciplinary action, as provided herein, before the imposition of any such proposed disciplinary action.    

A7.13.10.1  Within five calendar (5) days of receiving such notice of findings and proposed disciplinary action from the faculty member, the student may appeal the findings and proposed disciplinary action to the appropriate academic dean, to take place within fifteen (15) business days of the student’s notice of appeal.    

A7.13.10.2   Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student's notice of appeal, the appropriate academic dean will convene an Academic Ethics Committee.  The Academic Ethics Committee will consist of the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, three faculty and two students.  Faculty will be recommended by each department to generate a rotation pool of faculty, three of which will be appointed by the respective academic dean as needed.  Faculty will not be appointed from the same discipline from the case being heard.  Students will be selected on a rotation basis from a pool generated from the active Registered Student Organizations. On the day of the hearing, but prior to the commencement of the hearing, the Academic Ethics Committee shall select a Chair. If the Academic Ethics Committee is unable to reach consensus as to the selection of a Chair, the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention shall serve as the Chair of the Committee. 

A7.13.10.3  The appropriate academic dean will give prompt notice to the student and the recommending faculty member that a hearing has been scheduled. Two (2) business days prior to the scheduled hearing, the faculty member shall forward to the members of the Academic Ethics Committee a complete record of the matter, including the investigative file, findings, and recommendations. Such record may be considered by the Academic Ethics Committee in reaching a decision.  

A7.13.10.4  The Academic Ethics Committee shall review the case and conduct such hearing utilizing the following procedural framework.

A7.13.10.4.1   The student shall be given prompt notice of the hearing date. The hearing shall be held within fifteen (15) business days of the student's notice of appeal to the appropriate academic dean, unless the parties mutually agree to a delay.  

A7.13.10.4.2   Five (5) business days prior to the date on which the hearing will be held, the faculty member and the student shall meet to exchange documents to be utilized during the hearing and exchange the names of any witnesses who may be relied upon, including a written general statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness.  

A7.13.10.4.3  The hearing shall be conducted privately unless the student requests that it be open. If the hearing is conducted privately, only the Academic Ethics Committee, the student, the faculty member, and their representatives and witnesses, may be present. Witnesses may be excluded from the hearing until it is their turn to present evidence. The student and the faculty member may each be represented by a person designated in writing to act for them. Notice, at least two (2) days in advance of the hearing, shall be given by each party intending to be represented, including the name of the representative. Failure to give such notice may result in postponement of the hearing.  

A7.13.10.4.4   The Chair of the Academic Ethics Committee shall control the conduct of the hearing, the general order of which shall be as follows:  

a.) The faculty member, or his or her representative, shall present such proof by documents or testimony, identified pursuant to A7.13.10.4.2, in support of his/her position.

b.) The student, or his/her representative, may cross-examine any witnesses offered by the faculty member,

c.) The student, or his or her representative, may present such witness testimony or documents, identified pursuant to A7.13.10.4.2, to support the student's position or to rebut that of the faculty member.

d.) The faculty member, or his/her representative, may cross-examine any witnesses offered by the student and offer rebuttal witness testimony or documents to any of the student's witnesses. 

e.) Closing arguments may be made by each party.

A7.13.10.4.5   A record of the hearing shall be made if requested by either the student or the faculty member.  

A7.13.10.4.6  The Chair of the Academic Ethics Committee shall submit a written decision to the appropriate academic dean, reflecting the consensus decision of the entire Academic Ethics Committee, no later than ten (10) business days after the termination of the hearing. The appropriate academic dean will notify the student of the decision. The decision of the Academic Ethics Committee is final.  

A7.13.10.5  The appropriate academic dean may place a student on interim suspension immediately and without prior notice for an interim period pending a disciplinary appeal hearing when there is imminent danger that the continued presence of the student on College premises poses a substantial threat and danger to themselves, to others, or disrupts the stability and continuance of normal College operations.  

A7.13.10.6  The effective date of disciplinary action shall be the date of abandonment of the Del Mar College appeal process by the student, or the decision of the Academic Ethics Committee, whichever comes first.  

A7.13.10.6.1  A student is considered to have "abandoned" the Del Mar College appeal process when he or she fails to meet identified deadlines, include the date to appeal, or attend any scheduled meeting or hearing date, absent written notice to the appropriate academic dean, or a written request to the appropriate academic dean for an extension of time to hold the scheduled meeting or hearing date, either of which must be received by the appropriate academic dean prior to the meeting or hearing date.

B7.14 Graduate Guarantee for Job Competency:  Del Mar College guarantees that if an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or a Certificate of Achievement graduate is judged by the graduate's employer to be lacking in technical job skills identified as exit competencies for a specific degree or certificate program, the graduate will be provided up to nine (9) tuition-free credit hours of additional skill training by Del Mar College under the conditions of this guaranteed graduate policy. Special conditions which apply to this guarantee are as follows:  

A7.14.1 Date of Degree:  The graduate must have earned the A.A.S. degree or a certificate beginning May  1993, or thereafter, in a technical program identified in the College  Catalog .  

A7.14.2 Degree Requirements:   The graduate must have completed the A.A.S. degree or certificate at Del Mar College (with a minimum of seventy-five percent [75%] of the credits being earned at Del Mar College) and must have completed the degree or certificate within a four (4) year time span.  

A7.14.3 Employment:  Graduates must be employed full-time in an area directly related to the area of program concentration as certified by the appropriate Division Dean.  

A7.14.4 Date of Employment:  Employment must have commenced within twelve (12) months of graduation.  

A7.14.5 Additional Skills Training:  A request to develop an educational plan for additional skills training by the College may be initiated by the graduate and employer through a written contact with the office of the appropriate Division Dean. The employer must certify in writing that the employee is lacking entry-level skills identified by Del Mar College as the employee's program competencies and must specify the areas of deficiency within ninety (90) days of the graduate's initial employment.  

A7.14.6 Educational Plan for Retraining:  The employer, graduate, and College representatives assigned by the College Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will develop a written educational plan for retraining, which may include individually directed study in the area of deficiency and/or up to nine (9) credit hours of course work.  

A7.14.7 Limitation on Enrollment:   Enrollment in credit courses will be limited to those classes regularly scheduled during the period covered by the educational plan.  

A7.14.8 Retraining Time Limit:    All retraining must be completed within one (1) calendar year from the time the educational plan is developed.  

A7.14.9 Course-Related Expenses:  The graduate and/or the employer is responsible for the cost of books, insurance, uniforms, fees, and other course-related expenses.  

B7.14.10 Guarantee Limitation:  The guarantee does not imply that the graduate will pass any licensing or qualifying examination for a particular career.  

B7.14.11 Limit on Claim for Remedy:   The graduate's and/or the employer's sole claim for remedy against Del Mar College for skill deficiencies shall be limited to the enforcement of the obligation to provide nine (9) credit hours of tuition-free education under the conditions described within this policy.  

A7.15 The Procedure for Courses Requiring Reading, English, and Mathematics Assessment Levels (REMs):  The Policy on Courses that Require Reading, English, and Mathematics Assessment Levels (REMs):  Technical Courses (generally those courses in certificate programs and A.A.S. degree programs) will not be required to list any required assessment levels (the current REM notations may be omitted entirely for these courses). For all other non-technical courses in A.A.,  A.S., and A.A.S. degree programs, the program faculty and the Department Chair, with the approval of the appropriate Dean, will decide on the appropriate assessment levels using the following guidelines:  

A7.15.1   Areas Listed:  Only those areas (reading, writing, or math) needed for a course will be listed.  For example, ENGL 1301 will list only an R level and an E level (a math level is not needed).  

A7.15.2   Noted Assessment Levels:    Only assessment levels 2 or 3 need to be noted.  An assessment level of 1 is the "default” and need not be noted.  

A7.15.3   Transfer Courses Assessment Level:  Most college-credit transfer courses will require an assessment level of 3 in at least one area (reading, writing, or math). If a Chair determines that a course does not require students to be at level 3 in any area (reading, writing, or math), a brief written rationale will be given to the appropriate Dean and the Chief Academic Officer (CAO).  

A7.15.4   REM Levels Not Required:  REM assessment levels usually will not need to be stated for courses that have another course as a prerequisite.  Only the prerequisite course need be stated, unless REMs higher than those needed for the prerequisite course are also required.  

A7.15.5   Special Approval:  A Department Chair may give “special approval” to permit a student who does not meet the assessment levels for a course to enroll in that course.  This “special approval” may be used to enroll students only into courses in the Chair’s department.  (See A7.17.4.1)  

A7.16 Student Withdrawal or Excused Absence for Active Military Service:  

A7.16.1 Student Withdrawal for Military Service:  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules (Chapter 21 Section 21.5) indicate, "If a student withdraws from an institution because the student is called into active military service, the institution, at the student's option shall:  

(1) refund the tuition and fees paid by the student for the semester in which the student withdraws; 

(2) grant a student, who is eligible under the institution’s guidelines, an incomplete grade in all courses by designating “withdrawn-military” on the student’s transcript; or  

(3) as determined by the instructor, assign an appropriate final grade or credit to a student who has satisfactorily completed a substantial amount of course work and who has demonstrated sufficient mastery of the course material.”  

A7.16.2 Excused Absence for a Student Called to Active Military Service :  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules (Chapter 4 Rule 4.9) indicate that “[u]pon notice from a student required to participate in active military service, an institution shall excuse a student from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations. A student shall not be penalized for an absence which is excused under this subsection and shall be allowed to complete an assignment or take an examination from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.”  

A7.16.2.1 Maximum Excused Absence:  A student called to service as a member of a reserve military component or the Texas National Guard will not be penalized and shall be excused for absences accrued during the period of active military service for a period of active duty no longer than 25% of the total number of class meetings or the contact hour equivalent (not including the final exam period) for the specific course or courses in which the student is currently enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service.  (Example:  During a 16 week semester with 32 planned class meetings, no more than 4 weeks and 8 class meeting absences may be excused.)

A7.16.2.2 Retention of Student’s Work:  Faculty members will retain the student’s coursework completed during the portion of the course prior to the student being called to active military service to be used when the student returns and completes the course requirements in order to ascertain a proper grade award.  

A7.16.2.3 Course Syllabus or Instructional Plan:  The course syllabus or other instructional plan that was in effect when the student was called to active military service shall be retained for future use so that the student will be able to complete the course without prejudice and under the same course requirements that were in effect when the student enrolled in the course.  

A7.16.2.4 Completion of Assignments and Examinations:  The student shall be granted a reasonable period of time after the absence to complete assignments and examinations.  A reasonable period of time shall be defined as “within 30 calendar days of completion of active service period or one week prior to the final examination date scheduled, whichever occurs first.”  

A7.16.2.5 Failure to Complete Assignments and Examinations:  If a student fails to complete missed assignments and examinations as provided by  A7.16.2.4 , the student will not receive credit for uncompleted assignments and examinations and will be awarded a course final grade accordingly.  

A7.16.3 Complaints:  Students alleging a violation of any section of  A7.16  may follow the complaint procedures outlined in section  B7.12 Student Complaint Policy.

A7.17 Del Mar College Developmental Education Plan:  This plan identifies how Del Mar College will meet the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).  This plan receives oversight from the College-wide Developmental Education Council (DEC). 

A7.17.1 Exemptions:  The following students are exempt from the parts of TSI listed:  

A7.17.1.1 ACT:  composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English (exempt from developmental reading and writing) or a minimum of 19 on the mathematics test (exempt from developmental mathematics);  

A7.17.1.2 Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) taken before March 2016: a combined reading and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the reading (exempt from developmental reading and writing) or a minimum of 500 on the mathematics test (exempt from developmental mathematics). After March 2016, a minimum score of 480 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing (exempt from developmental reading and writing) and a minimum score of 530 on the math test (exempt from developmental mathematics).

A7.17.1.3 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS):  a minimum scale score of 1770 on the writing test, a Texas Learning Index (TLI) of 86 on the mathematics test and 89 on the reading test (exempt from all parts of TSI).  TAAS must have been taken no more than three (3) years prior to enrollment.

A7.17.1.4 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS):  taken in the eleventh grade a minimum scale score of 2200 on the ELA (English Language Arts) with a minimum essay score of 3 (exempt from developmental reading and writing) or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the mathematics test (exempt from developmental mathematics).  TAKS must have been taken no more than five (5) years prior to enrollment.  Students can be exempted through a combination of ACT, SAT, and TAKS scores.  

A7.17.1.5  Graduates with a baccalaureate or associates degree from an accredited public institution of higher education in Texas (exempt from all parts of TSI).  

A7.17.1.6  Transfer students from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education who have satisfactorily completed college-level course work in courses related to reading, writing or mathematics (exempt from developmental reading, writing, or mathematics, depending on course work).  

A7.17.1.7  Students who have previously attended any accredited public institution of higher education in Texas and have been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.

A7.17.1.8  Students continuing in a Level-One certificate program may complete their certificate without additional assessment.

A7.17.1.9  Non-degree-seeking students who register for ESOL classes only.  

A7.17.1.10 A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course under Texas Education Code §28.014 is exempt for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. The student must enroll in the student's first college-level course in the exempted content area in the student's first year of enrollment at Del Mar College.

This exemption applies only to those students who have graduated from a school district in which Del Mar College has a Memorandum of Understanding.

A7.17.2 Assessment:    

A7.17.2.1  Del Mar College assesses each entering student prior to enrollment.  Under exceptional circumstances, a student may enroll in freshman-level academic course work without assessment but will be required to be assessed not later than the end of the first semester of enrollment in freshman-level academic course work.  

A7.17.2.2  Del Mar College will not use the assessment or the results of the assessment as a condition of admission.

A7.17.2.3 Assessment Instruments:    The following assessment instruments are used at Del Mar College:  

A7.17.2.3.1   COMPASS by ACT; 

A7.17.2.3.2  Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) (formerly TASP Test) by National Evaluation Systems, Inc.

A7.17.2.3.3  Accuplacer by College Board.  Although Accuplacer is not administered at Del Mar College, Accuplacer scores are accepted from transfer students.  

A7.17.2.3.4  The standards used by the College to determine readiness for academic coursework are shown on a placement chart, published in the Catalog and class schedule.  

A7.17.3 Advisement:

A7.17.3.1  Appropriate developmental course work will be determined by a student’s test scores and the placement chart developed by Del Mar College shown in the Catalog and Class Schedule.  Students who pass the developmental courses required by their test scores are considered ready for academic course work corresponding to their current placement levels.

A7.17.3.2  Each student who has earned 24 or fewer credit hours will be required to meet with an advisor prior to registration.  The appropriate developmental education for that individual student is available to the advisor through the College Student Information System.  Undeclared and liberal arts majors will meet with staff from the Department of Counseling, Advising and Special Services.  All other students will meet with faculty from their major.  Students may request a copy of their education plan from their advisor.

A7.17.4 Determination of College Readiness:  

A7.17.4.1  All courses offered by Del Mar College have been assigned placement levels for Reading, English and Mathematics.  Students may concurrently enroll in developmental classes and college-credit classes as long as they meet all three placement levels by assessment test scores or by passing the previous level of developmental class, unless they are given special approval by the Department Chair to enroll in a course in the department.

A7.17.4.2  Students who do not initially score at college-level according to the Del Mar College Placement Chart shown in the College Catalog and Schedule of Classes can either retest and score at college level or complete the developmental education required to be eligible to enroll in courses in their degree plan.  

A7.17.4.3  The successful completion of the following developmental courses will be used to determine that the student has met the Texas Success Initiative:  

READ 0306 for the Reading component, ENGL 0307 for the English component and MATH 0371 for the Math component.  (MATH 0371 does not meet the college standard to take college level coursework but is approved to meet the Texas Success Initiative standard).

A7.17.5 Retesting:  

A7.17.5.1  Students are not required to retest but may choose to retest to improve their test scores.  

A7.17.6 Evaluation:  Overview of the College’s developmental education program is provided by the Department of Communications, Languages and Reading, the Department of English, Philosophy, and Education and the Department of Mathematics and Physics.  All developmental education and the student services that support it are coordinated by the College-wide DEC (Development Education Council).   

A7.18  Limit on Dropped Courses:   Del Mar College shall comply with Texas Education Code 51.907 and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regulations concerning the limitations on the number of courses that may be dropped under certain circumstances by undergraduate students.  The College shall ensure that adequate processes are established and implemented to address state statutes and regulatory requirements.  

A7.18.1  Applicability of Limit on Dropped Courses:  Beginning with the fall 2007 academic term and applying to students who enroll in higher education for the first time during the fall 2007 academic term or any term subsequent to the fall 2007 term, students will not be permitted a total of more than six dropped courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education, unless  the student shows good cause for dropping more than that number, including but not limited to a showing of:  

(A) a severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student ’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course;  

(B) the student’s responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or  needy person if the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course;

(C) the death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s death is considered to be a showing of good cause;

(D) the active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United Stated of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a  sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s active military service is considered to be a showing of good cause; 

(E) the change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the  control of the student, and that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course; or

(F) other good causes, including

Crises beyond a person’s control such as the loss of home due to fire or a natural disaster;

Loss of employment;

Misadvising by a Del Mar College advisor;

Complete drop from a program such as Registered Nursing, Cosmetology, etc., as required by the program coordinator. 

A7.18.2  Definitions Applicable for this Policy:

A7.18.2.1  A “dropped course” is defined as a course in which a student has enrolled for credit, but did not complete, under these conditions:  

(A) the student was able to drop the course without receiving a grade or incurring  an academic penalty

(B) the student’s transcript indicates or will indicate that the student was enrolled in the course past the census date; and

(C) the student is not dropping the course in order to withdraw from the institution.    

A7.18.2.2     A “member of the student’s family” is  defined to be the student’s spouse, child, grandchild, father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, first cousin, step-parent, step-child, or step-sibling; a “person who is  otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student” is defined to include any other relative within the third degree of consanguinity, plus close friends, including but not limited to roommates, housemates, classmates, or other persons identified by the student, for approval by the institution on a case-by-case basis. 

A7.18.2.3   A “grade” is defined to be the final grade assigned upon the student’s completion of a course.  A “grade” under this definition does not include incompletes.  

A7.18.3 Procedures for Limit on Dropped Courses:  

A7.18.3.1 Documentation:   The student must state the reason for withdrawing from a course on the withdrawal form and sign the withdrawal form.  If the student drops a course(s) because he/she was misadvised, then the student must provide a letter from the advisor or the signed degree plan that indicates the student was enrolled in the course(s) in question due to misadvising.  

A7.18.3.2 Course Exemptions:    The following courses are exempt from being counted as a withdrawal towards the six drop limitation:

  • Developmental courses (These courses are already subject to the 27-hour rule limitation for state funding.) 
  • ESOL courses (Students taking these courses are not always familiar with the educational system and have limited understanding of the English language. Further, many students enrolled in ESOL classes must maintain full-time enrollment because of their visa status, so they are not able to drop except under exceptional circumstances.)
  • FSEM 0101 – Freshman Seminar which is linked to developmental course ENGL0307.
  • Courses linked together such as a lecture/lab class that must be dropped will be counted as only “one” withdrawal.

A7.18.3.3  Students Still Enrolled in High School:   The Coordinating Board rules state that students enrolled in high school are not affected by the state statute on the limit for dropped courses.  Any course dropped by a student while he/she is still enrolled in high school will not be counted toward the six drop limit.  This includes students in dual credit, early admission, or the Collegiate High School. 

A7.18.3.4 Withdraw from the Institution:   “Withdraw from the Institution” applies to any student who has dropped all courses for the semester, including any mini-semesters.  

A7.18.3.5 Tracking Responsibility:   The Office of the Registrar is responsible for tracking the number of drops that students have accumulated at Del Mar College and from any transfer institution of public higher education in Texas.  

A7.18.3.6 Faculty Withdrawals:   Faculty may withdraw students.  If a faculty member withdraws a student and the student has exceeded the six drop limit, the withdrawal slip is sent back to the faculty member with an indication that the student can no longer be withdrawn from classes due to exceeding the “six drop limit”.  Under these circumstances, the faculty member must give the student a grade in the class.  

A7.18.3.7 Appeal Process:    Students appealing to have a drop excluded from the count towards the six drop limit must provide written documentation to the Registrar that explains the nature of the reason for the withdrawal.  The appeal must be made within 30 days after the end of the semester or summer term during which the course is dropped.  The decision of Registrar is final.  

B7.19 Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Policy for Students  Del Mar College, in its continuing effort to seek equity in education and act in compliance with federal and state law, provides a complaint procedure for the prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of complaints of unlawful retaliation, or discrimination and/or harassment of students based on their race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status.

This complaint procedure excludes complaints that are covered in the District’s Policy B9.1 Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct that constitute the grievance procedures for complaints alleging unlawful sex discrimination and sexual misconduct as required under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

As used herein, “complaint” is synonymous with “grievance.”  This procedure may be used by any student of the College.  

A7.19.1 Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints: Revised June 1, 2021    The Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint procedure provides a process through which the College may receive, respond to, and prevent incidents of alleged retaliation or discrimination and, or harassment of students based on their race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status.  

A7.19.2  Exclusion:   Student grievances and general complaints that do not contain allegations of retaliation, discrimination, or harassment based on the student’s race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status are excluded from this process.  Such complaints will be addressed under B7.12 for student issues that do not contain complaints of retaliation, discrimination or harassment. Complaints of sex based retaliation, discrimination or harassment (including pregnancy, gender identity/transgender status, sexual orientation) will be addressed under the District’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct( B9.1).  

A7.19.3 District Student Complaint CoordinatorThe District Student Complaint Coordinator, who is the Dean of Student Engagement and Retention, shall receive any complaint of alleged retaliation, discrimination or harassment as identified herein, assist the Complainant in the use of the complaint form, and provide the Complainant with information about various internal and external mechanisms through which the complaint may be filed, including applicable time limits, if any, for filing with external agencies. The District Student Complaint Coordinator may identify a designee to receive and, or assist with the investigation of complaints. If any Del Mar College employee receives a complaint of retaliation, discrimination or harassment from a student, he or she will immediately notify the District Student Complaint Coordinator of the complaint.

A7.19.4 Complainant’s Rights:   The Complainant is always free to file a complaint with any appropriate state or federal agency at any point during the complaint process.  

A7.20 Confidentiality  and Freedom from Reprisal or Retaliation Complaints involve sensitive student matters and potential personnel matters.  All parties involved in a complaint shall take the process seriously and respect the rights of privacy of the Complainant, the Respondent, the reviewer(s), and any witnesses or parties engaged in the complaint process. Del Mar College will endeavor to maintain confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. There will be no retaliation, interference, or harassment toward any party to a complaint. Should a Complainant or witness experience any reprisal or retaliation as a result of filing a complaint pursuant to this section, the Complainant should immediately report the retaliatory action to the District Student Complaint Coordinator for intake, investigation and resolution as provided herein.  

A7.21 Definitions:  

A7.21.1  Discrimination on the Basis of Protected Characteristic(s):  Discrimination occurs where action adversely affecting the student’s education is taken against a student by another student or Del Mar College employee, including Del Mar College administration, faculty or staff, or third parties participating in activities, work or programs of Del Mar College based on the student’s race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status.  

A7.21.2  Harassment on the Basis of Protected Characteristic(s):   Harassment is conduct of an oral, written, graphic or physical nature directed towards a student by another student or Del Mar College employee, including Del Mar College administration, faculty or staff, or third parties participating in activities, work or programs of Del Mar College based on the student’s race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran or military status that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to unreasonably interfere with the student’s education such that an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment is created.  

RetaliationRetaliation  occurs when action is taken against a student because the student filed a complaint of discrimination or harassment as provided by this policy, filed an OCR charge of discrimination or harassment, participated as a witness in an investigation pursuant to this policy, or brought/participated in a lawsuit of discrimination or harassment.

A7.21.4  Complainant:  The Complainant is the student who initiates a complaint of retaliation, discrimination or harassment pursuant to  A7.23.  

A7.21.5  Respondent:   The Respondent is the student or employee named in a complaint of retaliation, discrimination or harassment, initiated pursuant to  A7.23, as having engaged in retaliation, discrimination or harassment against the Complainant.    

A7.22  Informal Consultation and Counseling:    The District Student Complaint Coordinator, on an informal basis, may receive initial inquiries, reports and requests for consultation and counseling. Assistance will be available whether or not a formal complaint is contemplated or even possible. It is the responsibility of the District Student Complaint Coordinator to respond to all such inquiries, reports and requests as promptly as possible and in a manner appropriate to the particular circumstances.  Although in certain instances verbal complaints may be acted upon, the procedures herein rest upon the submission of a written formal complaint that will enable a full and fair investigation of the facts. If a student is unable to draft a written complaint, the District Student Complaint Coordinator shall meet with the student and complete the form and intake information, which shall be reviewed and approved by the student. It is the Complainant’s responsibility to be certain that any complaint alleging retaliation, discrimination and, or harassment is filed.  

A7.23  Reporting a Student Formal Complaint:  Students should meet with and file a written complaint with the District Student Complaint Coordinator as soon as possible following the alleged retaliatory, discriminatory or harassing act or the date on which the Complainant first knew or reasonably should have known of such act. All such complaints should be submitted on the form provided by the College in order to insure the prompt processing and investigation of complaints. However, students may also utilize personal memorandums or letters to describe their complaints. Any such memorandums or letters will be attached to the College’s Student Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment form and will be used for the initiation of a complaint.  

A7.23.1  The written complaint shall contain:  

A7.23.1.1  The name, local and permanent address(es), and telephone number(s) of the Complainant.  

A7.23.1.2  A statement of facts explaining what happened and what the Complainant believes constituted the unlawful retaliatory, discriminatory or harassing acts in sufficient detail to give each Respondent reasonable notice of what is claimed against him/her. The statement should include the date, approximate time and place where the alleged acts of unlawful discrimination or harassment occurred.  If the acts occurred on more than one date, the statement should also include the last date on which the acts occurred as well as detailed information about the prior acts.  The names of any potential witnesses should be provided.

A7.23.1.3   The name(s), and address(es) and telephone number(s) (if known) of the Respondent(s), i.e., the person(s) claimed to have committed the act(s) of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

A7.23.1.4  Identification of the title and/or status of the persons charged whether student, administration, faculty, or staff.  

A7.24 Complaint Review Procedure:    

A7.24.1  Complaint proceeding is commenced by the filing of a complaint as detailed in  A7.23.1

A7.24.2  The complaint, together with a statement, shall be documented in a complaint file.  

A7.24.3  The District Student Complaint Coordinator, or designee, shall begin a review and investigation of the complaint within 3 working days from the filing of the complaint. Steps will be taken immediately to insure the safety and well being of a Complainant student where necessary.  

A7.24.4  Upon receipt of a complaint, the District Student Complaint Coordinator, or designee, will provide an initialed, signed, date-stamped copy of the complaint to the Complainant. Within 3 working days after the date of filing of the complaint, the District Student Complaint Coordinator, or designee, will provide notice of the complaint and a detailed explanation of the nature of the complaint to the Respondent(s).  Alternatively, such notice of the complaint may be given by email or personal delivery, provided such delivery is made by the District Student Complaint Coordinator, or designee, and that proper proof of such delivery, including the date, time and place where such delivery occurred is documented.  

A7.24.5  Confidentiality of the identity of the Complainant shall be maintained, but not guaranteed, except to the degree or point where the review of the complaint cannot be continued without identification of the Complainant. Any dissemination of information regarding the student(s) (Complainant or Respondent) and the student’s complaint will be subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  

A7.24. 6  The District Student Complaint Coordinator, or designee, shall review all relevant information and interview pertinent witnesses .   Both the Complainant and the Respondent(s) shall be entitled to submit oral, recorded, and transcribed statements or other relevant and material evidence to the written record compiled by the District Student Complaint Coordinator or designee The District Student Complaint Coordinator shall apply a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in determining whether the Complainant’s allegations can be substantiated.  

A7.24. 7  No later than 20 working days, from the acceptance of a complaint, the District Student Complaint Coordinator or designee shall prepare a summary of findings and recommendation(s) for further action to be taken with regard to the Respondent. If the Respondent is an employee of Del Mar College, the Respondent’s supervisor and the Director of Human Resources shall be provided with the summary of findings and recommendations for further action to be taken by the supervisor(s) of the Respondent. If the Respondent is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the findings and recommendations of the District Student Complaint Coordinator shall be submitted to the Board of Regents for review and action.  

A7.24.8  Revised August 24, 2015   If the District Student Complaint Coordinator determines that the complaint was substantiated against a Del Mar College employee, the Respondent’s supervisor(s) may take such disciplinary action as he/she deems appropriate in consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Disciplinary action will be taken to prevent recurrence of any retaliatory, discriminatory or harassing acts and correct the effects of such acts on the Complainant and others by taking remedial and corrective steps, including but not limited to termination, demotion, reassignment, suspension, reprimand, or training.   

If the District Student Complaint Coordinator determines that the complaint was substantiated against another student, the District Student Complaint Coordinator shall recommend to the Assistant Dean of Student  Engagement and Retention that disciplinary action be taken to prevent recurrence of any retaliatory, discriminatory or harassing acts and correct the effects of such acts on the Complainant and others by taking remedial and corrective steps against the student as deemed appropriate by the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention pursuant to  B7.13.4.   

If the CEO is the Respondent, the Board of Regents shall advise the District Complaint Coordinator of any action to be taken by the College to prevent recurrence of any retaliatory, discriminatory or harassing acts and correct the effects of such acts on the Complainant and others by taking remedial and corrective steps.     

In the case of a student Respondent, any determination as to the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken with regard to a Respondent shall be made within 5 working days of the receipt of the summary findings by the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention.         

In the case where the Respondent is a Del Mar College employee, any determination as to the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken with regard to a Respondent shall be made within 5 working days of the receipt of the summary of findings by the Respondent’s supervisor.

If the Respondent is the CEO, the Board of Regents shall notify the District Student Complaint Coordinator of the action to be taken against the CEO, as soon as practicable, as permitted by the Texas Open Meetings Act.  

A7.24. 9  No later than 3 working days following the determination of appropriate disciplinary action to be taken, a letter shall be issued to the Complainant and to the Respondent(s), subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, advising them of the findings of the investigation and the action to be taken by the College, if necessary.

If the Respondent is a Del Mar College employee, the Respondent’s supervisor shall issue the letter to the Respondent, subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, advising the employee of the findings of the investigation and action to be taken by the College, if necessary.  

If the Respondent is a student, the District Student Complaint Coordinator shall issue the letter to the student, subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, advising the student of the findings of the investigation and action to be taken by the College, if necessary.  

If the Respondent is the CEO, the Board of Regents shall receive the determination and findings of the District Student Complaint Coordinator and issue the letter to the CEO, subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, advising the CEO of the findings of the investigation and action to be taken by the College, if necessary.  

In all cases, the Complainant will be issued a letter by the District Student Complaint Coordinator, subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, notifying him or her of the determination and findings of the District Student Complaint Coordinator, and the of the action to be taken with regard to the Respondent if necessary.   

A7.24.10  The Complainant and the Respondent may appeal findings and recommended disciplinary actions as provided by  A7.27.   

A7.25 Extension of Time Limits:  During the pendency of the complaint review process, any party may request an extension of time limits stated herein to deal with emergent exigencies.  Such request must be approved by the College CEO and all parties must be advised of any approved request.   

A7.26 Filing Externally:     If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the findings and determination and, or remedial action taken, the Complainant may elect to file a complaint with an appropriate state or federal agency.  The District Student Complaint Coordinator will provide general information on state and federal guidelines and laws, as well as names and addresses of such agencies.  

A7.27 Appeals:    Investigation findings and recommended disciplinary actions shall be appealed/grieved as provided herein. Determinations by hearing officers or panels, in any applicable policy, shall utilize a preponderance of the evidence standard.  

a. Student Complaints Against Employee Respondents:  Employee Respondents may appeal/grieve findings and, or disciplinary actions as provided by  A5.50.8(b).  

Student Complainants may also appeal findings and proposed disciplinary actions as provided by  A5.50.8(a).

b. Student Complaints Against Student Respondents: Student Respondents may appeal findings and proposed disciplinary actions as provided by   B7.13.6 Open hearings will not be permitted under   B7.13.6,  except upon agreement by the Complainant and the Respondent. Complainants shall be given an equal opportunity to present witnesses, evidence, and their side of the story during the  B7.13.16 process utilized by the Respondent.

Student  Complainants may also appeal findings and proposed disciplinary actions as provided by  A5.50.8(a).  

A7.28 Academic Freedom/Free Speech:   Nothing contained in this policy shall be construed either to limit the legitimate exercise of the right of free speech or to infringe unlawfully upon the academic freedom of any student or employee of Del Mar College.  

B7.29 Awarding Credit:  The Board of Regents and the Chief Executive Officer have determined that the award of college credit (from regionally accredited institutions) shall be based on the standards of good practice in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the American Council on Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the National Association of Foreign Student Administrators. The Del Mar College standard administrative policy for awarding credit hours is designed to ensure that credit hours awarded for courses conform to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and are consistent with commonly accepted practices in higher education. (Title 19 Texas Administrative Code 4.6)

B7.29.1 Academic Achievement for Evaluating and Awarding Credit:  Academic credit may be granted through alternative methods to students who meet certain criteria and meet processing requirements.  This option is reserved for students who are currently enrolled and have a declared major appropriate for the credit.  DMC cannot guarantee credit received through alternative methods will be recognized by transfer institutions and recommends students verify transferability prior to applying for credit.  The request will be reviewed for appropriateness and approval.  The various methods of approved credit are published in the college catalog.

B7.29.2 Prior Learning Assessment:  Assessment of prior learning may be requested related to credit by exam, credit by license, certification, state registration and continuing education credits (noncredit), or by departmental exam via the Petition to Record Credit form. Coursework taken on a noncredit basis at Del Mar College may be awarded credit through this process when there is documentation that the noncredit coursework is equivalent to a designated credit experience with a letter grade assigned to the noncredit coursework. 

B7.29.3 Counting Credits toward Multiple Degrees:  Del Mar College offers four types of degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching. If a student is seeking a second degree, the degree must be significantly different from their first degree. All subsequent degrees must differ from the first degree by 20% of the required semester hours.

This policy applies to degree and certificate programs. However, a student may pursue a degree or certificate that does not meet the 20% requirement if the certificate or degree is a stackable credential with a previously issued certificate. All degrees and certificates must still fall within the acceptable range of credit hours set by the state.

If a student applies for subsequent degrees or certificates that are not significantly different from previously issued degrees/certificates, as defined by this policy, the application for graduation will be declined. If a student applies for multiple degrees or certificates that are not significantly different in the same term, the student will be notified and required to declare which degree they wish to obtain.

B7.29.4 Graduating from Del Mar College:  Students graduating from Del Mar College must earn at least 25% of semester credit hours toward any degree or certificate from Del Mar College. In order to graduate, students must meet all requirements outlined in the catalog for their catalog year. Credits earned through non-course based options do not count toward the 25%; per SACSCOC 2018 Resource Manual “this would include competency-based credits or credit equivalents for competencies or skills exhibited after the institution offered instruction on that skill or competency.”

B7.31 Student Research/Publication:  Subject to the conditions specified in the College’s Intellectual Property Policy at  A6.27.4,  students enrolled at Del Mar College are free to do research, to invent, to publish, and to copyright as they see fit and to benefit from all royalties and monies which accrue from their creations.  

B7.32 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  

B7.32.1 Purpose:   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.)   

B7.32.2 Rights:  FERPA rights include:

1.  The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the College receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the Registrar, Dean of Student Outreach and Enrollment, Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO), or other appropriate official, 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 College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College 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. 

Disclosures without consent:  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 postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –

a) To other school officials, including teachers, within the College whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)( 1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)( 2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))

b) 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)) 

c) To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State post-secondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs.  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.  (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)

d) 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))

e) 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))

f) To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  ((§99.31(a)(7))

g) To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§99.31(a)(8))

h) To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.  (§99.31(a)(9))

i) To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.  (§99.31(a)(10))

j) Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37.  (§99.31(a)(11))

k) 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))

l) 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))  

m) 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))

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College 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

B7.33 Distance Learning:  Del Mar College offers distance learning courses and programs. These courses and programs are conducted in accordance with:

  1. Applicable state and federal law.
  2. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regulations and guidelines.
  3. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges standards and guidelines.
  4. Del Mar College policies and procedures.

 The Chief Academic Officer is charged with developing procedures to implement this policy.

 

Page last updated July 6, 2021.