Expectations of Student Performance
- Students are not to use, possess, sell or transfer any alcoholic beverage or any illegal, illicit, or designer drugs on campus or while engaged in any college instructional activity.
- Drug and/or alcohol testing can occur in "for cause" situations when academic or clinical performance, conduct, or other actions indicate possible alcohol or drug use. The student is responsible for the cost of the drug and/or alcohol testing.
- Students are required to participate in drug screening protocols established by clinical agencies utilized by the College.
Students, employees and visitors at Midland College, by the nature of their citizenship and residence, have certain individual rights and freedoms established by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the State of Texas and the respective communities where they live. The possession of the personal rights is neither increased nor diminished by reason of a person's association with Midland College.
- Midland College recognizes and accepts the following rights and freedoms as being essential to the educational process:
- Freedoms of expression in the classroom consistent with commonly accepted standards of decency and respect for others;
- Freedom from improper, unfair, or capricious academic evaluation;
- The right to have one's academic record maintained in accordance with applicable law such as FERPA;
- Freedom of association;
- Freedom of inquiry and expression consistent with commonly accepted rules governing libel, slander and good taste;
- Freedom of exercise in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship;
- Guarantee of procedural due process in disciplinary proceedings; and
- The right to distribute or post printed material in compliance with the College's posted policy.
- Midland College expects employees, students, visitors and guests of the College to accept the following responsibilities:
- Compliance with and support of duly constituted civil authority;
- Respect for the rights of others and cooperation to insure that such rights are maintained, whether or not one agrees with the views of those exercising such rights;
- Maintenance of ethical and commonly accepted standards of decency and respect for others and stewardship of college resources;
- To exercise disagreement in a responsible manner and within the framework compatible with the orderly resolution of differences;
- Knowledge of and active support of college regulations.
- Students with identified disabilities should report their need for accommodation to the Disability Specialist located in Student Services. Students with grievances related to discrimination on the basis of a disability may contact the Disability Specialist, for informal resolution or referral to the Student Due Process procedure.
See Policy 03:04:01 - Student Rights, Responsibilities and Due Process
Student Conduct Regulations
Midland College has declared that the following actions constitute an interference with the lawful and orderly use of the College premises, facilities and activities to accomplish the objectives of the College. These actions are therefore strictly prohibited on the Midland College campus and other college property and facilities and during all college-sponsored activities wherever occurring:
- Disrupting or obstructing or attempting to disrupt or obstruct, any lawful activity of the college.
- Interfering with, or attempting to interfere with, the lawful exercise of freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of peaceable assembly, or other rights of individuals or groups.
- Illegally possessing, using, selling, or transferring, or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or any illegal, illicit, or designer drugs on campus or while engaged in any college instructional activity.
- The College prohibits possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on Midland College property. Any exception must have prior approval from the Board of Trustees.
- The College strictly enforces the state law that prohibits the possession and consumption of alcohol by those under the age of 21.
- The College strictly prohibits attending classes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The College prohibits possession or use of controlled substances or alcohol in its residence halls or at any off-campus college-sponsored event.
- The College strictly enforces the local, state, and federal laws which prohibit the sale of controlled substances on its campus.
- Drug and/or alcohol testing can occur in "for cause" situations when academic or clinical performance, conduct, or other actions indicate possible alcohol or drug use. The student is responsible for the cost of the drug and/or alcohol testing.
- Students are required to participate in drug screening protocols established by clinical providers utilized by the College.
- Possessing or using firearms, weapons, or explosives, unless authorized by the College. A person commits an offense if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club or prohibited weapon on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institutional, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the Midland College Administration (Texas Penal Code 46.03). This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, fireworks of any kind, illegal knives, clubs and razors.
- In addition, Midland College prohibits the same weapons from being brought onto any campus of the College.
- Lockers and vehicles on any campus of Midland College may be inspected by school personnel if there is reasonable cause to believe that they contain weapons, drugs or other contraband items.
- In the event a student possesses a license to carry a concealed handgun under state law, the possession of such weapons on any campus of the college is prohibited. Beginning August 1, 2017, persons licensed to carry a handgun may do so on campus provided that the weapon is carried in a concealed manner and not carried in in excluded areas.
- Only local, state and federal authorities are authorized to carry firearms on their person when on the campus of Midland College, either as a visitor or a student.
- Conduct which constitutes sexual harassment, which may be defined as either unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by anyone employed by the college or any student, and includes, but is not limited to, circumstances when:
- Submission by a student to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of status in a course, program, or activity; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the student; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance; or
- Such conduct, in intent or effect, creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for learning.
Additional conduct regulations:
- Advocating the overthrow by force or violence of any legally constituted governmental body, system, or any local, state, or federal law, or any rule, regulation or policy of the Board of Trustees and administrative officials of the College.
- Engaging in physical assault, harassment, or obscene, profane, reckless, tumultuous, destructive or unlawful course of conduct.
- Hazing in all forms, as defined and prohibited in the Texas Education Code Sections 37.151 to 37.157 and any addendum thereto.
- Academic cheating or plagiarism; willfully submitting false information with the intent to deceive; forgery, alteration, or misuses of college documents or records.
- Initiating malfeasance in an elective or appointive office of any college endeavor.
Refusing to present an appropriate appearance in dress and grooming while participating in or attending a college activity. Students who dress so unconventionally or in a bizarre manner that causes disturbances, disrupts campus life, or calls undue attention to such student will be asked to conform to a more conventional form of dress. At Midland College, individual members of faculty and staff are given a considerable amount of discretion in determining what is appropriate for the educational activity under their responsibility. Whatever is clearly stated by those responsible as being appropriate or not appropriate will be the prevailing standard in that particular area of activity.
- Refusing or failing to comply with lawful order of any college or public official acting in the performance of duties in the administration and enforcement of these policies.
- Participating in theft, vandalism, defacement or destruction of college or student property.
- Failing to meet financial responsibilities to the institution promptly including, but not limited to, making any payment to the college by check when there are insufficient funds to cover such check.
- Failing to return, defacement of, or destruction of, college property which has been issued as educational equipment, such as, but not limited to, tools, cameras, recorders, musical instruments, etc.
- Violating an established safety and health requirements in laboratory, shop or other educational settings.
- Violating campus housing regulations.
Failing to maintain the security of student's username and password for Campus Connect, Canvas and Midland College email, or engaging in prohibited or unauthorized activities as related to Midland College computer equipment or facilities.
An individual may be denied participation in College courses, programs or activities in accordance with the following procedures:
In the event an individual timely completes and submits an Institution of Higher Education Sex Offender Notification, (Notice) to the College, as required by applicable law, the Chief of Police (Chief) will review the Notice and determine whether participation is permissible under applicable law, whether the individual poses a threat or a potential threat to the college community, or whether the participation is in the best interest of the College. An individual who fails to timely provide Notice in accordance with applicable law will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and/or prosecution.
- If applicable law does not prohibit the participation of the individual, the Chief will conduct an individualized, case-by-case assessment to determine whether the individual's participation is in the best interest of the College and does not pose a threat or a potential threat to the security and safety of the College community.
- In conducting the assessment, the Chief may consider factors such as type of offense, age of offender and victim, length of time since conviction, type of education course being sought, and/or recommendation of the offender's parole officer. The Chief may consult with others and may request additional information from the individual.
- When the assessment is completed, the Chief or a designee will communicate the decision to the individual. If the individual disagrees with the Chief's decision, the individual may appeal the decision in accordance with the College's applicable grievance procedure.
- Notification of Participation to College Personnel. If a registered sex offender is allowed to participate , the following notifications may be made:
- For Level I offenders in addition to the Midland College Police Department, relevant administrators, the child care facility, and the Early College High School Principal may be notified of the participation.
- For Level II offenders in addition to those who receive Level I notices Faculty and staff in whose program and/or course and/or activity the individual is participating may be notified.
- As Level III offenders pose the greatest risk to the community, such offenders will normally not be allowed to participate, but in the event that they are allowed to do so, all persons receiving Level I and Level II notices may be notified.
See Policy 03:08:01 - Denial of Participation in College Courses, Programs or Activities
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
Use of the term "sexual harassment" includes sexual violence unless otherwise noted. Sexual violence refers to the physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment and are covered under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The college encourages students who believe they have been sexually harassed by other students or employees to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment to the Vice President of Student Services for a referral to a Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will investigate all allegations promptly, and Midland College officials will take prompt and appropriate disciplinary actions against students and employees found to have engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment of students. The College shall exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct any sexually harassing behavior and develop preventive or corrective measures to address sexually harassing behavior.
- Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome, sex or gender based verbal or physical conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting or denying someone the ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation. Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcomed sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence; stalking; and gender-based bullying.
- Discrimination: Any distinction, preference, advantage for or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based upon an individual's actual or perceived gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion or sexual orientation that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or activities.
- Discriminatory Harassment: Detrimental action based on an individual's actual or perceived gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or activities.
- Retaliatory Harassment: Intentional action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate non-discriminatory purposes, that harms an individual as reprisal for filing or participating in a civil rights grievance proceeding.
Sexual Harassment of a Student by another Student
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a student toward another student that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or activities.
Sexual Harassment of a Student by a Faculty /Staff Member
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a faculty or staff member toward a student are held to constitute sexual harassment when:
Submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating an individual's educational development or performance; or
Such conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or activities
While a particular interaction must be offensive to both a reasonable persona and to the victim to be defined as harassment, faculty and staff members and other persons of authority should be sensitive to questions about mutuality of consent that may be raised and to the conflict of interests that are inherent in personal relationships that result from professional and educational interactions., Harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in the faculty/staff relationships with students, whether overtly, implicitly, or through misinterpretation, is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution.
- Any student violating policies and general rules on student rights, responsibilities, conduct and privacy shall be subject to immediate removal from any college premises, facilities, or activities. Such removal or exclusion shall not prejudice or interfere with subsequent disciplinary action by the College. There are occasional exceptional situations where a student's physical or psychological condition is such that action needs to be taken to withdraw the student from the College. The action could occur, for instance, if the conditions were such that the student could not benefit from the educational program, was threatening to self and/or others, or was disruptive to others.
- Complaints regarding student behavior may be originated by students, faculty, staff members, or citizens outside the college community. The Vice President of Student Services or his or her designee will investigate any complaints and notify the student in writing of all charges, the name of the person lodging the charge, the disciplinary action, and the right to a hearing.
- Disciplinary action may include:
- admonition and warning
- formal written warning
- loss of privileges
- formal disciplinary probation
College-imposed sanctions are additional to any action taken by law enforcement officials.
Student Due Process
Midland College provides due process procedures for students to assure that specific problems are addressed in a fair, reasonable, and timely manner. Students may seek review of decisions or redress of grievances related to participation in college programs or activities including:
- disciplinary action
- assignment of a final course grade; all challenges to a final course grade shall be processed in accordance with the Grade Appeal Policy No 03:04:02
- denial of admission to, dismissal from, or denial of readmission to a limited access program, or
- perceived discriminatory action based on race, color, age, natural origin, sex, disability, marital status, religion, or any other condition prohibited by law
Students are encouraged to seek informal resolution of problems by discussing issues directly with the College staff member involved and/or that individual's supervisor. In the event that informal discussions do not resolve disputed issues, students may request a formal hearing. The decision in dispute and related circumstances will be reviewed, and students will have an opportunity to present their viewpoints
- Hearing Procedures
- Students seeking a formal hearing of a disputed decision must submit a Request for Formal Hearing to the Vice President of Student Services within 15 working days of the date of decision being disputed. The request must describe the disputed act, the parties involved and the action requested.
- The Vice President of Student Services will assure that appropriate College personnel are informed, and a hearing will normally be scheduled within 15 working days of the filing of a grievance. A due process facilitator will be appointed to conduct the hearing and ensure that a "fair" hearing occurs.
- The hearing panel will consist of a balanced group including a member of the department or division involved, an individual outside the department or division involved, and a representative from the instructional area or the Student Services area, as appropriate. The student may provide written support documentation to present to the panel members. A campus liaison will be available if the student needs assistance in the hearing procedure. The Midland College employee involved in the dispute may also have a campus liaison and provide written support documentation. All materials to be considered in the hearing must be submitted to the Vice President of Student Services 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. It is the policy of the College that legal counsel will not be involved in dispute resolution until all internal remedies have been exhausted.
- The hearing panel may uphold, overturn or revise the disputed decision, and the facilitator conducting the hearing will notify all involved parties of the panel's decision.
- Actions which result from disputed decisions and which affect student status or participation in Midland College programs or activities will be deferred until after a formal hearing unless otherwise directed by either the Executive Vice President or the Vice President of Student Services.
- When either the Vice President of Student Services or the Executive Vice President has been directly involved in the disputed action with a student, he or she shall designate a representative to serve in his or her stead during hearings or appeals.
- If a party believes that improper action occurred during the hearing that resulted in a lack of substantial due process fairness ("Procedural Allegation"), such party may present the alleged Procedural Allegation in an appeal. Only Procedural Allegations may be appealed. A party seeking to appeal the decision of the hearing panel based upon a Procedural Allegation must file a written request with the Vice President of Student Services within ten days of receipt of the hearing panel's decision. This request must state the alleged Procedural Allegation and identify that corrective action requested. The request will be forwarded to the appropriate vice president for review.
- If a need for an appeal hearing is determined, the Vice President of Student Services and the Executive Vice President will handle appeals in each other's areas of supervision including selecting balanced panels to hear appeals and chairing appeal hearings.
- A decision will be given regarding an appeal within 10 working days of filing the request. The appeal decision is final and binding unless action by the President is taken as set forth below.
- The President has the right to overturn any decision from a hearing or an appeal.
See Policy 03:04:01 - Student Rights, Responsibilities and Due Process
Scholastic Dishonesty and Academic Misconduct
Midland College encourages high academic standards, including student responsibility for original work. As a part of this stance, Midland College endorses the following definitions and guidelines regarding scholastic dishonesty and academic misconduct, including the areas of cheating, plagiarism, and collusion.
Academic misconduct is the actual or attempted tampering or misuse of academic records or materials such as transcripts and examinations. Examples are: stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining all or part of an un-administered test or academic exercise; selling, buying, or giving away all or part of an un-administered academic exercise or any information about it; changing or altering a grade book, test, "drop form," or other official academic record of the college; unauthorized entry into a building or office for the purpose of changing a grade or tampering in any way with grades or examinations.
Cheating is defined as the deliberate use of unauthorized materials and/or actions or fraudulent acquisition in order to obtain information for an examination or assignment.
Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another's work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one's own written work offered for credit. A student commits plagiarism if he/she:
- Fails to acknowledge the sources of any information in a paper which is not either common knowledge or personal knowledge. A student can acknowledge a source through in-text citations cross referenced to a works cited page, attribution lines, footnotes, or other forms of documentation approved by the instructor. (Common knowledge is the basic information within a field or discipline, as well as most historical dates and facts, and many ordinary observations.)
- Fails to acknowledge direct quotation either by using quotation marks or (for longer passages) indentation. Without the quotation marks or indentation, passages copied directly from a source might be considered plagiarized even if it is followed by an in-text citation or a footnote. The citation or footnote acknowledges that there is a source, but it does not indicate that the writer has used someone else's exact words.
- Merely paraphrases the original words of the source. Some students think they can avoid a charge of plagiarism by changing a few words in each sentence that they copy or by rearranging the shape of phrases or the order of sentences in a paragraph. This is not true. When taking notes students, must be careful to put ideas in their own words or to use direct quotations when relying on phrases directly taken from a source.
- Uses the ideas, examples, or structure of the source without acknowledging it. A student can be guilty of plagiarism if he/she systematically borrows the ideas and organization of a source, even if the language of the piece is on a major news event, by using exactly the same ideas in the same order as they appear in an article in any popular news magazine.
- Takes, buys, or receives a paper written by someone else and presents it as the student's own.
- Uses one paper for two different courses, or re-uses a paper previously submitted for credit, without the prior approval of the instructor or instructors.
Collusion is defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work offered for credit or collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any section of these rules on scholastic dishonesty. A student commits collusion if he/she:
- Allows someone else to edit papers or correct assignments without the instructor's knowledge or permission. It is scholastically dishonest for students to employ tutors to correct, edit or modify papers or assignments in any substantive fashion. The same reservations and restrictions apply, within reason, to any outside assistance a student may receive from a parent, friend, roommate, or academic tutor. Any changes, deletions, rearrangements, additions, or corrections made in papers or assignments should represent the student's own work. (Midland College provides many tutorial services. Tutors in these college facilities offer advice without editing or completing the required work.)
- Reveals test information to another student enrolled in the same course.
If a student has any questions or doubts about the way he/she is employing sources or assistance in any given assignment, he/she is advised to consult the instructor before handing in the assignment. The penalties for any type of scholastic dishonesty described in this statement can be severe and can adversely affect the student's permanent academic record. The instructor has the primary responsibility for recommending the penalty in cases of academic dishonesty after consultation with the Division Dean and the student. Students may seek review of the decision or redress of a grievance related to their participation in college programs or activities.
The instructor does have the right to enforce any one of the following penalties for scholastic dishonesty at his/ her discretion and in response to each particular case:
- Failure of the assignment;
- Failure of the course;
- Recommendation for disciplinary action, including institutional suspension or dismissal.
It is the responsibility of students to know the policies and procedures associated with absences. These policies are set by instructors. Excused absences may include, but are not limited to, illness, severe weather, and death in the family. Instructors will determine whether or not an absence is excused.
In the case of excused absences, it is the obligation of the student to notify the instructor as soon as possible and make up all missed work.
When a student represents Midland College at an official event and will miss class, the student must notify instructors prior to the event.
See Policy 03:03:01, Student Attendance
Requests for withdrawal must be made using the College's accepted withdrawal methods. Students must complete an official withdrawal form either in person in the Student Services office, online or by written request. Midland College reserves the right to decline approval of a withdrawal request for any reason. Such reasons may include, but are not limited to: submitting incomplete information on the request, not submitting request by the deadline, having six course withdrawals when request is submitted, not submitting current contact information for the student, not resolving any questions concerning the authenticity of the document, disciplinary actions, outstanding debts, TSI liability, etc.
Students who withdraw and have outstanding debts in any area of the College will not be given clearance to re-enroll until these debts are paid. Students who receive warning notices concerning non-attendance may complete the withdrawal request portion of the notice and return it to Student Services.
The last day for withdrawal for each registration period is published on the Academic Calendar in the catalog and is on the web page. Online withdrawal requests must be made on or prior to the dates listed.
Section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code- Limiting the Number of Course Drops (Withdrawls) for Undergraduate Students at Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas.
Beginning with new state college and university enrollments in the Fall 2008 semester, a student may drop (withdraw from) no more than six courses over the duration of his/her collegiate experience. This six-course limit applies cumulatively to all Texas public institutions of higher education in which the student has been enrolled. The following are the only exceptions to this legislative limit:
- A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course;
- 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;
- The death of a person who is 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 a showing of good cause;
- Active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is 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 a showing of good cause; or
- A change in 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.
Please be aware of this policy as you consider dropping any courses during the semester.
See Policy 03:03:02, Student Withdrawals
Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their concerns regarding a grade directly with the involved faculty. If the disputed issue is not resolved, the next step is an informal meeting with the academic dean who is the direct supervisor of the involved faculty.
If the issue has not been resolved after a final course grade has been filed with the registrar, the student may request a formal hearing. During the hearing, the student and the faculty member will have an opportunity to present their viewpoints and relevant materials. Actions which result from disputed decisions and which affect student status or participation in Midland College programs will be deferred until after the formal hearing unless otherwise directed by the Vice President of Instruction.
A student seeking a formal hearing of a disputed action must submit a written notice to the Vice President of Student Services within 20 college working days of the beginning of the academic semester following the filing of the grade. The request must describe the disputed act, the parties involved, and the action requested.
The Vice President of Student Services will inform appropriate college personnel, including the Vice President of Instruction and the Division Dean, of the hearing. The Vice President of Student Services or the designee will provide the student with the Grade Appeal Hearing Guidelines to assist the student with the appeal procedure. Facilitators and resource persons will be selected by the Vice President of Student Services and will receive training in grade appeal procedures and standards.
A hearing will be scheduled within 20 college working days of the student's written request. The facilitator will schedule the hearing, receive information from the parties involved, assemble a panel and distribute relevant information to the panel members. Panel members will include a member of the division involved, an individual outside the division involved, and a representative from Student Services.
The hearing panel shall render its final decision regarding the disputed grade, and the facilitator shall provide a written statement of its decision to all involved parties. Either party may appeal the panel's decision, based upon procedural issues arising out of the hearing only, to the Vice President of Instruction.
See Policy 03:04:02 - Grade Appeal
A permanent record is defined as a student's accumulated academic record including data confirming a student's eligibility for admission and proof that registration requirements have been met. Procedures for the preparation and maintenance of all records are thorough and in keeping with standard practices. The permanent records are kept in the Registrar's Office.
The transcript of college work is an official copy of the student's permanent record in the computer bearing the college seal and the signature of the Registrar. Copies of a student's transcript are available upon written request from the Registrar's Office.
Students' Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords 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 postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Midland College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, 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.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
- A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
- If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The school discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Midland College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Midland College who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Midland College.
Upon request, Midland College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Midland 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
See the list below of the disclosures that postsecondary institutions may make 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 -
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the [School] 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))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To 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 postsecondary 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)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as "directory information" under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school's rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
Maintenance of Student Records
The retention of records has been established by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The schedule establishes mandatory minimum retention periods of student records. Midland College adheres to the schedule as provided. A copy of the Retention Schedule for Records of Public Junior Colleges is available online.
This is the information which may be released to the general public without the written consent of the student. A student may request that all or part of the general information be withheld from the public by contacting the Registration Office. The following is included as general information:
- date and place of birth
- major field of study
- number of hours currently enrolled
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of athletic team members
- dates of attendance
- degrees candidacy, degrees, and awards received
- most recent educational agency or institution attended
- photographs that may be used in Midland College publications, videos or internet
- Midland College email address
See Policy 03:01:04, Student Records
Solicitations and Sales on Campus
All solicitations, including sales of publications, on the campus of Midland College, must have some benefit for the College, its students, faculty and staff, in its primary educational mission. If the purpose of a solicitation project is to raise money, it shall be clearly identified in terms of its contribution to the educational, intellectual, or cultural growth and development of the institution and/or its members of the academic community. Persons may not solicit on the campus without the permission of the Vice President of Student Services or designee.
- Solicitation is defined as requesting money, seeking agreement to pay, taking subscriptions, selling merchandise or tickets, and offering any other comparable materials and privileges in person, by handbills or the like, to promote sales.
- Examples of exceptions allowed: sales intended to provide community-wide benefits such as symphonies, and theater productions, service projects, solicitations or contributions for charitable purposes, public or particular.
- Individuals not affiliated with Midland College (i.e., either student, faculty or staff) may not distribute handbills, leaflets, or any type of printed materials on the campus. All announcements and posters shall be subject to the following regulations:
- No advertising of a commercial nature shall be allowed. Notice of a benefit performance for a worthy group, however, will be accepted.
- Approved announcements of a personal nature (item for sale or rent, roommate wanted, etc.) may be placed on the bulletin boards in the Scharbauer Student Center and the Allison Fine Arts Building.
- Posters shall not ordinarily exceed 24" x 28" in size. Exceptions may be approved by the Student Activities Coordinator.
- Posters may be placed in the Scharbauer Student Center and in other locations as designated by the Student Activities Coordinator.
- Leaflets, activities announcements or other material displayed should be approved by the Vice President of Student Services.
See Policy 03:07:01, Solicitations & Advertising
Privacy Procedure for Distance Learning
Midland College complies with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and protects the privacy of students' educational records regardless of delivery mode. The Registrar's Office enforces FERPA and is the main point of contact for all FERPA related issues. The Registrar's Office is responsible for ensuring that faculty and staff receive training in their responsibilities of unauthorized release of confidential records or information. Because an online environment creates a record of student activity, it is subject to FERPA privacy rights, unlike verbal exchanges in a physical classroom.
Identity Verification in Distance Learning Courses
The identity verification process for online courses protects student's privacy through the use of a secure portal, a secure login and password. Online courses are hosted on Midland Colleges secure learning management system, Canvas. Faculty post assignments and exams within the learning management system to ensure the privacy of student information.
Student's records are kept private by faculty, except in cases where academic staff or administration access the course, with legitimate educational interest under FERPA guidelines.
It is the student's responsibility to keep his/her login and password confidential. Password reset is completed through a security question protocol.
Only work submitted to open forums, like discussion boards, can be accessed by other students; other assignments, grades and correspondence are not viewable by other students.
Both students and faculty are responsible for maintaining the security of their secure-portal passwords.
Fully online courses may require students to come to campus for proctored exams or may allow proctoring through online proctoring services in order to verify student identity and maintain academic integrity.
Midland College students are encouraged to use their assigned e-mail address to communicate with online instructors or contact the instructor through the communication feature of the learning management system. This is to ensure that electronic communications with the instructor are secure.
Midland College provides data and communications services for students in residence halls, classrooms and labs. On the main campus and at some remote facilities, data access is also provided via a secure wireless network. Each student is responsible for maintaining the security of his/her username and password by not sharing this information. Midland College provides data network and the connection to the Internet to enhance the College's programs and services. Only authorized devices may be connected to the College's network. Authorization is obtained through the Technical Services office of the Information Technology and Facilities department. Certain activities on the College's network are prohibited. Engaging in prohibited activities may result in the loss of computer privileges. Among these activities are:
- Unauthorized access of third-party computers using MC computer equipment or facilities.
- Destruction, theft, alteration, or any other form of sabotage of MC computer equipment or facilities including, without limitation, software and data files.
- Using hacker programs and trying to access computer systems using hacker techniques.
- Attempting to hack into external computer systems using MC computer equipment or facilities.
- Running "file share" software on computer equipment or facilities.
- Using MC computer equipment or facilities to store or transmit junk mail or other unsolicited commercial e-mail.
- Using MC computer equipment or facilities in any manner that violates federal, state or local laws or other policies of Midland College, including harassment, intimidation or attempts at such.