Printer-friendly versionPDF versionSend by email

An Equal Opportunity Institution

Statement Of Nondiscrimination Policy

It is the policy of the College that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy be subjected to any discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended; Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and other applicable laws, regulations and Executive Orders. This policy applies to recruitment, employment and subsequent placement, training, promotion, compensation, continuation, probation, discharge and other terms and conditions of employment over which the College has jurisdiction as well as to all educational programs and activities.

The College has designated a Civil Rights Coordinator, who serves as the College’s Title IX Coordinator and the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, to carry out its commitment to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.  Inquiries or complaints by students or employees regarding the College’s nondiscrimination policies may be addressed to: 

Dr. Valencia 'Lynn' Beaty
Assistant Vice President for Civil Rights
Office of the President
P.O. Box 897
Dover, DE 19903
(302) 857-1903
civilrights@dtcc.edu

Policy Statement On Sexual Harassment

All students have a right to attend the College in an environment that is free of discrimination and sexual harassment. Therefore, it is the policy of the College that no student may sexually harass another member of the College community while present on any property owned or controlled by the College or while participating in any College-related activity or event.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that individual; or
  3. If non-physical, such conduct is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that the victim is effectively denied equal access to the College’s resources and opportunities.

Sexual harassment may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Sexual harassment is most frequently associated with those situations in which a power differential exists between persons involved; however, it also may occur between individuals of the same College status, i.e., student-student.

The College is also committed to the principles of free expression and academic freedom. Delaware Tech encourages academic exploration and recognizes that our campuses contribute to the marketplace of ideas. Consistent with the College’s academic mission, this Student Sexual Harassment Policy is not intended to restrict student speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution in the academic setting. However, non-physical expressive activity that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that the victim is effectively denied equal access to the College’s resources and opportunities is not legally protected and does not promote free inquiry on our campuses.

Examples of severe and pervasive non-physical conduct, which may constitute sexual harassment when such expression is so objectively offensive that it denies the victim equal access to the College’s resources and opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other  non-physical conduct of a sexual nature;
  2. Sexually explicit statements, comments, questions, pictures, objects, jokes, or anecdotes;
  3. Unwelcome use of the electronic mail or telephone communication system to communicate prohibited conduct or activities; or
  4. Graphic comments about a person’s clothing or body.

However, physical conduct, such as unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, and sexual assault, is not protected under free speech principles and need not be repeated in order to constitute sexual harassment. Thus, physical conduct of a sexual nature results in sexual harassment when it is unwelcome, intentional, and so severe and/or pervasive that it denies the victim equal access to the College’s resources and opportunities under the circumstances presented.

Sexual harassment is a violation of the Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct Policy and will not be tolerated by the College. Sexual harassment complaints involving a student will be resolved according to the Procedure for the Resolution of Student Sexual Harassment Complaints as contained in the Student Handbook.

Any student that violates this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal from the College. In addition, the College reserves the right to notify law enforcement authorities of incidents of sexual harassment alleged to have occurred on any property owned or controlled by the College or during any College-related activity or event upon reasonable belief that such incidents rise to the level of criminal activity.

Procedure For The Resolution Of Student Sexual Harassment Complaints

It is the policy of the College that no student may sexually harass another member of the College community while present on any property owned or controlled by the College or while participating in any College-related activity or event. The College does not tolerate sexual harassment and is firmly committed to resolving sexual harassment complaints in a prompt and equitable manner.

As a result, the College has adopted the following procedures to provide an internal mechanism to resolve sexual harassment complaints. These procedures shall be utilized whenever a student is accused of sexual harassment by another student, employee, or third party in violation of the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment.    Employees who are accused of sexually harassment by a student shall be subject to the Procedure for the Resolution of Sexual Harassment Complaints Against An Employee as contained in Section XIII of the College’s Personal Policy Manual.

No individual shall be subject to retaliation at any time for making a claim of sexual harassment or for participating in these procedures. It is a violation of College policy for any member of the College community to retaliate against the Complainant, any individual who participates in any sexual harassment investigation or proceeding, or against the Respondent who has been accused of engaging in sexual harassment. While all sexual harassment allegations will be reviewed in accordance with these procedures, the College Community is advised that a claim of sexual harassment is not proof of prohibited conduct. Anyone who believes that he/she has been subject to retaliation arising from sexual harassment allegations is encouraged to report such behavior to a College official as set forth below. Students accused of engaging in retaliatory conduct shall be subject to the College’s Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct Policy and the disciplinary action set forth therein, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Making a false or malicious accusation of sexual harassment and/or retaliation is also prohibited by the College. A student who is found to have made an allegation of sexual harassment against another student or employee that is intentionally false, or made in reckless indifference or disregard for the truth, shall be subject to the College’s Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct Policy and the disciplinary action set forth therein, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Additionally, at any stage of these procedures, the Dean of Student Affairs at the campus where the alleged sexual harassment and/or retaliation is alleged to have occurred (hereinafter the “Dean”) shall have the authority to take any and all reasonable steps necessary to protect all parties involved under these procedures from harassment and retaliation. The occurrence or non-occurrence of any protective measure initiated by the Dean is neither an indicia of guilt nor innocence under these procedures. Any such steps taken by the Dean to protect members of the College community from harassment and retaliation shall be final pending the resolution of the allegation as set forth under these procedures.

Furthermore, these procedures, and all aspects thereof, will be kept confidential to the maximum extent provided by state and federal law, including, but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). The College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to complaints in a confidential manner. Complainants, however, are advised that the College’s ability to investigate and to respond to complaints may be limited in circumstances where the Complainant does not wish to disclose his or her identity.   The College reserves the right to notify law enforcement authorities about allegations of sexual harassment upon reasonable belief that such incidents rise to the level of criminal activity. The use of these procedures does not preclude a Complainant from seeking recourse through the appropriate state or federal criminal law enforcement agencies at any time. College personnel will assist the Complainant in notifying these authorities in the event that the Complainant requests such assistance.

Reporting Procedures 

The College encourages any student who believes that he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment at the College to report the offensive conduct to a College official as soon as possible. For purposes of these procedures, a College official shall include any faculty member, academic counselor, administrator, or Public Safety Officer on the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred. Students may also contact the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator to report incidents of alleged sexual harassment.

The College’s Civil Rights Coordinator shall be notified of all claims of sexual harassment involving a student as soon as reasonably practical.   The Civil Rights Coordinator shall promptly appoint a Sexual Harassment Review Officer (“Review Officer”) from the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred to investigate the claim. The Review Officer shall advise the alleged offender that a complaint of sexual harassment has been filed against him/her and explain the College’s prohibition against retaliation. The Review Officer shall document receipt of the complaint by letter or other written communication to the alleged offender and to the Complainant, a copy of which shall also be provided to the Dean and to the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator. The Review Officer shall investigate the complaint to determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to support a charge of sexual harassment as set forth in the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment. The Review Officer shall encourage and/or assist the Complainant to reduce his/her claims to writing, which shall serve as the basis for the complaint of sexual harassment. Whenever possible, the investigation shall include interviews with both parties involved in the complaint and/or may include interviews with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have relevant knowledge of the incident. The Review Officer shall also have access to such written documents in the possession of the College, including student records, that he/she believes may contain relevant information or which may lead to the discovery of relevant information.

The Review Officer shall make a written determination regarding whether or not sufficient evidence exists which, if true, would constitute sexual harassment. All evidence shall be viewed by the Review Officer in the light most favorable to the Complainant when making the determination of whether or not a claim has been stated or substantiated. The determination shall be made within ten (10) working days following the Review Officer’s appointment, include the grounds and findings upon which the determination was based, and be delivered to the parties, the Dean, and the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator. In extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to those incidents that require evidence gathering by law enforcement officials, the Review Officer may extend the ten (10) working day deadline to make the determination. The parties, as well as the Civil Rights Coordinator, shall be notified in writing by the Review Officer about the reasons for the delay and the time frame in which the determination shall be made. 

The Complainant may appeal a determination that insufficient evidence exists to support a claim of sexual harassment to the Civil Rights Coordinator. An appeal must be submitted in writing within ten (10) working days following the date of the Review Officer’s determination. The decision of the Civil Rights Coordinator regarding the sufficiency of the allegations, or the evidence in support thereof, shall be final.

In the event the Civil Rights Coordinator determines that further proceedings are warranted, the Complainant shall be offered the opportunity to mediate the claim or to have the matter submitted to the Dean for a Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing.           

Note:   Mediation is not required to resolve a sexual harassment complaint. The Complainant may end mediation at any time in favor of a Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing. In addition, mediation is not available to resolve claims involving allegations of sexual violence as defined by state and/or federal law.

Mediation

Mediation is an informal and confidential way for the parties to resolve the complaint with the help of the Review Officer. The Review Officer will not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision. Instead, the Review Officer will help the parties work out their own voluntary solution to the complaint.

Mediation should begin as soon as reasonably practical following an election by the Complainant but in no event greater than 10 working days absent agreement by the Complainant or extenuating circumstances that make commencement of the process impractical within the 10 day limit. Except as limited by the foregoing, in the event efforts to mediate do not begin within 10 working days, then the matter shall proceed to a Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing. Examples of such mediated options include, but are not limited to:

A.    One or more meetings between the Complainant and the Respondent, mediated by the Review Officer, to discuss and resolve the alleged sexual harassment to the satisfaction of both parties. 

B.    In the event that the Complainant does not wish to confront the Respondent, one or more meetings in which the Review Officer meets separately with the Complainant and the Respondent to discuss options to resolve the matter. The Review Officer shall notify the parties in writing if a settlement is reached, and shall attach a proposed form of agreement for signature. The failure or refusal of a party to execute the agreement within a reasonable time shall result in the matter proceeding to a Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing.

C.    An agreement between the parties and delivered in writing to the Review Officer containing: 1) a statement describing the alleged sexual harassment and requesting that such alleged conduct stop, signed by the Complainant; and 2) and acknowledgement of the complaint without admission of guilt and affirmation that the Complainant will not be the subject of sexual harassment in the future, signed by the Respondent. 

Mediation may be discontinued: at any time by the Complainant; by the Review Officer, when he/she feels that further efforts will be non-productive; or when a voluntary agreement has been reached. The Review Officer shall prepare a written report documenting the success or failure of mediation to the Civil Rights Coordinator, the Dean, and the parties. If the mediation results in a voluntary settlement, a copy of the agreement, signed by the parties, shall be included, together with a statement that the College considers the matter to be closed. In the event that mediation resolves the matter, all documentation arising out of the allegation of sexual harassment, including the mediation agreement shall be separated from the student’s educational file.   In the event mediation is unsuccessful, the matter shall proceed to a Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing.

Sexual Harassment Review Committee Hearing

A Sexual Harassment Review Committee shall hear and determine claims of sexual harassment against a student in situations where mediation is not available, unsuccessful, or declined by the Complainant. The Committee shall consist of the Civil Rights Coordinator, who shall serve as the Committee Chairperson, one Sexual Harassment Review Officer on the campus who was not involved in the investigation of the allegation; and the Dean.

The College Civil Rights Coordinator shall provide written notice to the parties of the date, time, and place for the Sexual Harassment Review Committee hearing. Such notice shall also include the following:

  1. A copy of the complaint or a summary of the allegations;
  2. A copy of the Review Officer’s report; and
  3. A summary of the rules that will govern how the hearing will be conducted.

Absent extenuating circumstances, or an agreement by the parties, the hearing shall take place within ten (10) working days following receipt of notification from the Review Officer that mediation was unsuccessful, unavailable or declined by the Complainant. The role of the Committee shall be to hear and consider testimony and other relevant, reliable evidence and make findings of fact related thereto. In addition, the Committee shall be charged with determining by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not a violation of the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment has occurred. 

The Committee shall submit a written report to the parties setting forth the findings of fact and its determination as to whether a violation of the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment has occurred within five (5) working days following the conclusion of the hearing. In the event a violation is found to have occurred, the report shall also include a recommendation of appropriate relief and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.  

The Committee’s decision may be appealed by either party to the Vice President and Campus Director at the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred (hereinafter the “Campus Director”). The Committee’s decision shall be final unless a timely appeal is made by one or both parties. A recommendation that the Respondent be dismissed from the College shall automatically be reviewed by the Campus Director.

Either party may appeal the Committee’s decision, or any recommended relief and/or disciplinary action contained therein. All appeals shall be made in writing and delivered to the Civil Rights Coordinator within ten (10) working days following the date of the Committee’s decision. The Campus Director’s decision to affirm, deny, or modify the Committee’s recommendations and determinations shall be based upon the record of the proceedings made by the Review Committee.   All such decisions by the Campus Director are final and shall be delivered in writing to the parties within ten (10) working days following receipt of the appeal.  

In the event that a violation of the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment is determined through this hearing process, all documentation arising out of the allegation of sexual harassment, including any and all resulting disciplinary action imposed to resolve the matter, shall be maintained in the student’s educational file.

Guide To Requesting Academic Accommodations And/Or Auxiliary Aids

GETTING STARTED

Delaware Technical and Community College is committed to providing reasonable academic adjustments for students with disabilities which may include auxiliary aids and/or accommodations that do not alter a fundamental requirement of our academic programs.   Since every disability manifests itself differently in each individual, every attempt will be made to tailor all academic adjustments to meet individual needs. Students with disabilities who wish to request academic adjustments must see the campus ADA contact.   The campus ADA contact will evaluate the request and engage in an interactive process to determine what, if any, academic adjustments are warranted.   Students seeking academic adjustments must request the same at least 4 weeks prior to the start of each semester for which academic adjustments are sought. Academic adjustments requested by students who fail to follow these procedures may be denied or may not be available prior to the start of classes. 

CAMPUS ADA CONTACTS

The following individuals are the ADA contacts for their respective campuses. They will assist you in fulfilling the requirements to obtain reasonable and necessary academic adjustments.

Dover
Charles Mundell
(302) 857-1349
cmundell@dtcc.edu

Georgetown
Carla Tingle
(302) 259-6045
ctingle3@dtcc.edu

Stanton
Heather M. Statler
(302) 454-3927
hstatler@dtcc.edu

Wilmington
Victoria Chang
(302) 434-5553
vchang1@dtcc.edu

In addition, inquiries or complaints pertaining to this Guide may be addressed to the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator, who serves as the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, at the following:

Dr. Valencia 'Lynn' Beaty
Assistant Vice President for Civil Rights
Office of the President
P.O. Box 897
Dover, DE 19903
(302) 857-1903
civilrights@dtcc.edu

DOCUMENTATION

Students should provide the campus ADA contact with documentation of their disability. This information may include diagnosis of disability, functional limitations, psycho-education testing results, most recent IEP (if available), and any other information that may provide insight, clarification or support of the student’s condition and how that may impact the student’s ability to perform in an academic setting. Since many types of disability remain unchanged over the course of a student’s lifetime, information may be accepted in cases where the campus ADA contact determines in his or her sole discretion that a meaningful interactive process can occur and reasonable adjustments can be approved. In some instances, discussion between the student and the campus ADA contact may be sufficient to determine the appropriate assistance. In other situations, a professional evaluation will be necessary to enable the campus ADA contact to understand how the disability impacts the student’s ability to function in a college setting. If documentation is necessary, the student must sign a release authorizing the information to be given to the campus ADA contact. PROVIDING THIS DOCUMENTATION IS THE OBLIGATION OF THE STUDENT, AT THE STUDENT’S SOLE EXPENSE.

The student and the campus ADA contact (together with such other parties as may be designated by the Campus ADA Contact) will discuss which academic adjustments are appropriate for the student’s individual situation and coursework.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The ADA campus contact will maintain appropriate confidentiality of records or communication, except when disclosure is authorized by the student or by law.             

EXAMPLES OF ACADEMIC ADJUSTMENTS PROVIDED BY THE COLLEGE

In providing academic adjustments, we do not lower or effect substantial modifications to essential technology requirements nor do we make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a program. 

Examples of the types of academic adjustments which may be provided are as follows:

Accessible Furniture: Providing classroom furniture, which is most appropriate for the student in light of their disability.

Assistive Listening Device: An amplification system designed to help the student hear better by minimizing background sounds and amplifying desired sound. 

Clear View/Lip-Reading: The process of viewing the speaker’s lips to facilitate communication (requires unobstructed view of the speaker).

Course Reductions which do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program: Students may elect to attend on a part-time basis. Part-time study may impact the length of time to complete program requirements and/or financial aid. 

Course Substitutions will be considered so long as the modification does not fundamentally alter the nature of a program. 

Early Access to Course Syllabus: Providing the student with a course syllabus prior to the beginning of the term. A student who needs class material in alternate format or who requires additional time to complete reading or writing assignments will benefit from having early access to course requirements. Early access to the course syllabus allows the accommodation process to begin early and reduces chances of delays in services.

Large Print Handouts: Enlarging written material on standard photocopier or word processor to facilitate reading for a student with various processing or sensory impairments.

Note taker/Scribe: Individual assigned to assist a student by recording class lecture notes of instructor’s spoken words. The scribe may also assist student to record in-class assignments.

Priority Seating: Allowing the student to choose the class seating arrangement which is most appropriate in light of the disability.

Sign Language Interpreter(s): A person who translates spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) and vice versa for students with significant hearing loss or deafness. A student using an Interpreter should be allowed to choose classroom seating which is most appropriate for that student’s particular need. The college will provide the interpreter; it is not reasonable to expect the College will pay for an interpreter you have used before or currently use on a daily basis.

Tape Recording/Transcribing Lectures: Recording spoken material presented in the classroom using a tape recorder. 

Visual Media: Using graphics or other visual methods, such as PowerPoint slides or handouts, to supplement class lecture and spoken information.

The following is a list of testing adjustments which may be made, depending upon the course and the needs of the student:

Alternative Test Design: Changing test format or design to allow the student to demonstrate mastery of course material while minimizing the interference of their disability. For example, one might use a multiple-choice design instead of an essay design.

Alternative Test Location: The student is assigned to take an exam in a mutually agreeable location. Arranged and coordinated by the ADA campus contact.

Computer Usage: Use of a personal computer during testing allowing the student to use a spellchecker, word processing capabilities, or special assistive software required for their specific disability needs.

Distraction – Free Environment: An environment free from noise and other distractions (classroom activities, phones, loud talking, operating machinery) that might interfere with the testing process.

Electronic Speller/Dictionary: An electronic speller is a portable device, which assists the student in spelling correctly.

Extended Time: Additional time given to complete a test. Length of extension varies according to the student’s needs and documented disability. The standard time extension is “time and a half.” 

Individual Test Proctor: Individual assigned to personally administer a test to the student.

Large Print Test: Enlarging tests to provide the student with visual access to the test.

Oral Test: Administering test orally to the student and allowing the student to provide oral responses.

Reader: Individual assigned to read test directions and/or test questions to the student with a disability.

Scribe: Individual assigned to record test responses of the student with a disability but who does not offer assistance with content of test responses.

Sign Language Interpreter(s): A person who translates directions and/or information given during test administration from English into American Sign Language (ASL). It may also include allowing the student to ask questions for further clarification using his/her ASL interpreter during test questions.

Test on Tape: Tape recording test questions so the students can listen to the questions. This might include allowing the student to tape record the answers.

Voice Calculator:   A calculator that provides voice output of mathematical data and mathematical processes.

EXAMPLES OF REQUESTS WHICH ARE NOT REASONABLE

The following is a list of services that the college will not provide. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather provides examples of unreasonable requests. The ADA campus contact may be able to provide community referrals to these services, if appropriate. 

  1. Providing personal attendants (aides)
  2. Feeding students
  3. Administering and storing of medications
  4. Assisting with personal hygiene (catheter bags, etc.)
  5. Writing and proofreading papers
  6. Tutoring (will be referred to campus tutorial support)
  7. Psychological counseling
  8. Storage of medical supplies and equipment (oxygen tanks, wheelchairs, etc.)
  9. Diagnosis of disability condition
  10. Providing care for service animals

COMMUNICATION WITH FACULTY

 The ADA campus contact will send notification to faculty and campus offices of the academic adjustments that will be provided. Students are encouraged to discuss their academic adjustment (s) with their instructors; however, students are NOT obligated to self-disclose the nature of their disability to the instructors. Students are responsible for communicating the effectiveness of the academic adjustment(s) with the instructors and the campus ADA contacts.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

If a student is not satisfied with the academic adjustment(s) that, after discussion with all parties, has been determined to be appropriate by the campus ADA contact, then s/he may use the following grievance procedure.

Students who are unsatisfied with the academic adjustments approved by the campus ADA contact or otherwise feel they have been the subject of discrimination on the basis of disability shall state their concerns in writing to the appropriate Dean of Student Affairs. The inquiry shall be made as soon as reasonably possible after the action occurs but in no case later than 10 working days after such occurrence. The time for filing a grievance can be waived for good cause at the discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs. 

The Dean of Student Affairs, or designee, shall conduct a thorough investigation of the grievance, affording all interested persons and their representatives an opportunity to submit relevant information. The Dean of Student Affairs shall consult with the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator, or designee, and shall issue a written response, with a description of the resolution, if any, to the grievant and other appropriate persons within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint.

 The decision of the Dean of Student Affairs shall be final.

 Nothing in this procedure prevents any individual who believes he or she may have been discriminated against from pursuing any and all legal remedies.

RETURNING STUDENTS

 Accommodation(s) plans are NOT carried over from semester to semester.   A new request for academic adjustments must be made for each semester that adjustments are desired. Once a request is made, students must allow the campus ADA contact up to four weeks to facilitate appropriate academic adjustments.

Procedure For The Resolution Of Discrimination Complaints Against A Student

Introduction

It is the policy of the College that no student shall be subject to unlawful discrimination in the educational programs and activities over which the College has jurisdiction.  The College does not tolerate discriminatory conduct and is firmly committed to resolving complaints of discrimination in a prompt and equitable manner.

As a result, the College has adopted the following procedures to provide an internal mechanism to resolve complaints of discrimination. These procedures shall be utilized whenever a student is accused of engaging in discriminatory conduct in violation of the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy. However, complaints against another student or employee for violating the College’s Policy Statement on Student Sexual Harassment or the College’s Policy on Employee Sexual Harassment, respectively, shall be reviewed under those procedures. In addition, student complaints pertaining to academic accommodations shall be reviewed under the College’s Guide to Requesting Academic Accommodations and/or Auxiliary Aids. Furthermore, complaints made against an employee who is accused of violating the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy shall be reviewed under the Procedure for the Resolution of Discrimination Complaints Against an Employee as contained in Section XIII of the College’s Personal Policy Manual.    

No individual shall be subject to retaliation at any time for making a complaint of discrimination or for participating in these procedures. It is a violation of College policy for any member of the College community to retaliate against the Complainant, any individual who participates in any discrimination investigation or proceeding, or against the Respondent who has been accused of engaging in discrimination. While all discrimination allegations will be reviewed in accordance with these procedures, the College community is advised that a claim of discrimination is not proof of prohibited conduct. Anyone who believes that he/she has been subject to retaliation arising from discrimination allegations is encouraged to report such behavior to a College official as set forth below. Accusations of retaliatory conduct are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Making a false or malicious accusation of discrimination and/or retaliation is also prohibited by the College. A student who is found to have made an allegation of discrimination against another student or employee that is intentionally false, or made in reckless indifference or disregard for the truth, shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to the College’s Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct Policy and the disciplinary action set forth therein, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Additionally, at any stage of these procedures, the Dean of Student Affairs at the campus where the alleged discrimination and/or retaliation is alleged to have occurred (hereinafter the ”Dean”) shall have the authority to take any and all reasonable steps necessary to protect all parties involved under these procedures from further discriminatory conduct and/or retaliation. The occurrence or non-occurrence of any protective measure initiated by the Dean is neither an indicia of guilt nor innocence under these procedures. Any such steps taken by the Dean to protect members of the College community from further discriminatory conduct and/or retaliation shall be final pending the resolution of the allegation as set forth under these procedures. 

Furthermore, these procedures, and all aspects thereof, will be kept confidential to the maximum extent provided by state and federal law, including, but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). The College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to complaints in a confidential manner. Complainants, however, are advised that the College’s ability to investigate and to respond to complaints may be limited in circumstances where the Complainant does not wish to disclose his or her identity.   The College reserves the right to notify law enforcement authorities about allegations of discrimination upon reasonable belief that such incidents rise to the level of criminal activity. The use of these procedures does not preclude a Complainant from seeking recourse through the appropriate state or federal criminal law enforcement agencies at any time.

Reporting Procedures 

The College encourages any student who believes that he/she has been subjected to discrimination to report the offensive conduct to a College official as soon as possible. For purposes of these procedures, a College official shall include any faculty member, academic counselor, administrator, or Public Safety Officer on the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred. Students may also contact the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator to report incidents of alleged discrimination.

The College’s Civil Rights Coordinator shall be notified of all claims of discrimination as soon as reasonably practical.   The Civil Rights Coordinator shall promptly appoint a Civil Rights Review Officer (“Review Officer”) from the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred to investigate the claim. The Review Officer shall advise the alleged offender that a complaint of discrimination has been filed against him/her and explain the College’s prohibition against retaliation. The Review Officer shall document receipt of the complaint by letter or other written communication to the alleged offender and to the Complainant, a copy of which shall also be provided to the Dean and to the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator. The Review Officer shall investigate the complaint to determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to support a charge of discrimination as set forth in the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy. The Review Officer shall encourage and/or assist the Complainant to reduce his/her claims to writing, which shall serve as the basis for the complaint of discrimination. Whenever possible, the investigation shall include interviews with both parties involved in the complaint and/or may include interviews with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have relevant knowledge of the incident. The Review Officer shall also have access to such written documents in the possession of the College, including student records, that he/she believes may contain relevant information or which may lead to the discovery of relevant information.

The Review Officer shall make a written determination regarding whether or not sufficient evidence exists which, if true, would constitute discriminatory conduct in violation of the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy. All evidence shall be viewed by the Review Officer in the light most favorable to the Complainant when making the determination of whether or not a claim has been stated or substantiated. The determination shall be made within ten (10) working days following the Review Officer’s appointment, include the grounds and findings upon which the determination was based, and be delivered to the parties, the Dean, and to the College’s Civil Rights Coordinator. In extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to those incidents that require evidence gathering by law enforcement officials, the Review Officer may extend the ten (10) working day deadline to make the determination. The parties, as well as the Civil Rights Coordinator, shall be notified in writing by the Review Officer about the reasons for the delay and the time frame in which the determination shall be made. 

The Complainant may appeal a determination that insufficient evidence exists to support a claim of discrimination to the Civil Rights Coordinator. An appeal must be submitted in writing within ten (10) working days following the date of the Review Officer’s determination. The decision of the Civil Rights Coordinator regarding the sufficiency of the allegations, or the evidence in support thereof, shall be final.

In the event the Civil Rights Coordinator determines that further proceedings are warranted, the Complainant shall be offered the opportunity to mediate the claim or to have the matter submitted to the Discrimination Review Committee for a hearing.

Note: Mediation is not required to resolve a complaint of discrimination. The Complainant may end mediation at any time in favor of a hearing before the Discrimination Review Committee.

Mediation

Mediation is an informal and confidential way for the parties to resolve the complaint with the help of the Review Officer. The Review Officer will not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision. Instead, the Review Officer will help the parties work out their own voluntary solution to the complaint.

Mediation should begin as soon as reasonably practical following an election by the Complainant but in no event greater than 10 working days absent agreement by the Complainant or extenuating circumstances that make commencement of the process impractical within the 10 day limit. Except as limited by the foregoing, in the event efforts to mediate do not begin within 10 working days, then the matter shall proceed to a hearing before the Discrimination Review Committee. Examples of such mediated options include, but are not limited to:

A.    One or more meetings between the Complainant and the Respondent, mediated by the Review Officer, to discuss and resolve the complaint of discrimination to the satisfaction of both parties.  

B.    In the event that the Complainant does not wish to confront the Respondent, one or more meetings in which the Review Officer meets separately with the Complainant and the Respondent to discuss options to resolve the matter. The Review Officer shall notify the parties in writing if a settlement is reached, and shall attach a proposed form of agreement for signature. The failure or refusal of a party to execute the agreement within a reasonable time shall result in the matter proceeding to a hearing before the Discrimination Review Committee.

C.    An agreement between the parties and delivered in writing to the Review Officer containing: 1) a statement describing the allegation of discrimination and requesting that such alleged conduct stop, signed by the Complainant; and 2) and acknowledgement of the complaint without admission of guilt and affirmation that the Complainant will not be subjected to discriminatory conduct in the future, signed by the Respondent. 

Mediation may be discontinued: at any time by the Complainant; by the Review Officer, when he/she feels that further efforts will be non-productive; or when a voluntary agreement has been reached. The Review Officer shall prepare a written report documenting the success or failure of mediation to the Civil Rights Coordinator, the Dean, and the parties. If the mediation results in a voluntary settlement, a copy of the agreement, signed by the parties, shall be included, together with a statement that the College considers the matter to be closed. In the event that mediation resolves the matter, all documentation arising out of the allegation of discrimination, including the mediation agreement shall be separated from the student’s educational file.   In the event mediation is unsuccessful, the matter shall proceed to a hearing before the Discrimination Review Committee.

Discrimination Review Committee Hearing

A Discrimination Review Committee shall hear and determine claims of discrimination against a student in situations where mediation is not available, unsuccessful, or declined by the Complainant. The Committee shall consist of the Civil Rights Coordinator, who shall serve as the Committee Chairperson, one Civil Rights Review Officer who was not involved in the investigation of the allegation, and the Dean. The College Civil Rights Coordinator shall provide written notice to the parties of the date, time and place for the hearing before the Discrimination Review Committee. Such notice shall also include the following:

  1. A copy of the complaint or a summary of the allegations;
  2. A copy of the Review Officer’s report; and
  3. A summary of the rules that will govern how the hearing will be conducted.

Absent extenuating circumstances, or an agreement by the parties, the hearing shall take place within ten (10) working days following receipt of notification from the Review Officer that mediation was unsuccessful, unavailable or declined by the Complainant. The role of the Committee shall be to hear and consider testimony and other relevant, reliable evidence and make findings of fact related thereto. In addition, the Committee shall be charged with determining by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not a violation of the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy has occurred. 

The Committee shall submit a written report to the parties setting forth its findings of fact and its determination as to whether a violation of the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy has occurred within five (5) working days following the conclusion of the hearing. In the event a violation is found to have occurred, the report shall also include a recommendation of appropriate relief and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.  

The Committee’s decision may be appealed by either party to the Vice President and Campus Director at the campus where the conduct is alleged to have occurred (hereinafter the “Campus Director”). The Committee’s decision shall be final unless a timely appeal is made by one or both parties. A recommendation that the Respondent be dismissed from the College shall automatically be reviewed by the Campus Director.

Either party may appeal the Committee’s decision, or any recommended relief and/or disciplinary action contained therein. All appeals shall be made in writing and delivered to the Civil Rights Coordinator within ten (10) working days following the date of the Committee’s decision. The Campus Director’s decision to affirm, deny, or modify the Committee’s recommendations and determinations shall be based upon the record of the proceedings made by the Discrimination Review Committee.   All such decisions by the Campus Director are final and shall be delivered in writing to the parties within ten (10) working days following receipt of the appeal.  

In the event that a violation of the College’s Statement of Nondiscrimination Policy is determined through the hearing process, all documentation arising out of the allegation of discrimination, including any and all resulting disciplinary action imposed to resolve the matter, shall be maintained in the student’s educational file.