Board Policies and Administrative Procedures
Faculty play a key role in working with students on issues related to behavior, student standards for conduct or issues related to academic integrity and academic honesty. The college has established very clear guidelines, procedures, rights, and sanctions for each of these important student issues. It is your responsibility as a faculty member to become familiar with the District's Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.
Each Vice President also has responsibility for a part of the collective processes and policies related to these topics and are happy to assist you with questions and guidance.
- Vice President of Academic Affairs – Academic Honesty and Academic Integrity including what to include in the syllabus, cheating, plagiarism, providing false information to an instructor, grading policies, classroom management issues, etc. This vice president also guides the college’s policies related to issues of academic freedom.
- Vice President of Student Services – Standards of Student Conduct including threats or injury to others, possession of weapons, controlled substances, damage to district property, theft, smoking, willful misconduct, disruptive behavior, abuse of college personnel, forgery/honesty on college documents, unauthorized use of facilities, lewd/obscene conduct, etc.
- Associate Vice President of Human Resources – Civil rights complaints, gender equity, sex discrimination/harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), or disability discrimination complaints (ADA).
What is disruptive behavior?
Disruptive behavior includes behavior which interferes with the legitimate instructional, administrative or service functions of the college. However, should any behavior threaten the personal safety of any student, faculty, or staff, or be displayed with such emotional intensity that it causes fear or concern in others, at that point such behavior is classified as a CRISIS and will necessitate a call to campus security.
- First: Dial ‘911’ for fire, medical, police. (On campus, dial ‘8’ first.)
- Second: Dial ‘10’ for campus emergency support.
- Third: Contact campus security at (408) 710-7490.
Handling Disruptive Students in Class:
- Disruptive behavior in the classroom is seldom a black and white matter. Picture it as a continuum with mild disruption that could easily be handled with minimal classroom management approach on the one end and totally disruptive behavior that has to be dealt with immediately through removal from class on the other end. There is a lot of gray area or middle ground here that calls upon the judgment and people skills of the instructor. Subjectivity can also come into play: Sometimes what one instructor will tolerate, another may not.
- Mild disruption in the classroom calls for mild action on the part of the instructor, and extreme disruption calls for extreme action on the part of the instructor. That goes without saying.
- When the not so severe disruption first occurs, students should be given verbal warning, preferably privately, but if warranted, in the presence of the class where that behavior occurred. Persistence of the disruptive behavior requires more serious discipline, including written warning to the effect that if the behavior persists, you will have to ask him/her to leave the class. This is the concept of progress discipline. It is not advisable to say or do nothing to the student about the continual disruption, and then lower the boom and remove the student. Deliberations in petitions and legal challenges often raise the question, “Have you told the student that his behavior is unacceptable?” or “Have you warned the student that further disruption will have serious consequences?”
- When this disruptive behavior persists after verbal or written warnings, or if there is an extreme disruption, even without a history of disruption (e.g. student yelling at the instructor in front of the class and would not desist), the instructor can remove the student for up to two class meetings including that class. For example, the instructor can say, “I would like you to leave. You are disrupting the class.” If the student ignores your direction, you can say, “If you don’t leave on your own, I will have to have you removed.” Usually that will work, but if that doesn't’t, then calling the campus security at (408) 710-7490 is appropriate.
- The more severe the discipline, the more due process rights the student will have. For instructor-initiated removal up to two class meetings, the instructor should document the incident and send it to his Chair and Dean. Documentation should be factual, descriptive of what you saw or what happened, use behavioral terms, and not use quasi-diagnostic or speculative language. One example: “He yelled for 5 minutes and refused to sit down when I asked him to,” is documented behavior and an acceptable form of documentation. Another example: “He yelled for 5 minutes because I think he has psychological problems,” contains unwarranted speculation. We are not qualified to make that statement because the second half of that statement may or may not be true.
- Any longer suspension—such as “I don’t want you in my class at all” requires administrative action by Ed Code. Discuss with your Dean beforehand who will in turn notify the Vice President of Student Services or his/her designee who is responsible for student discipline.
Important: What constitutes unacceptable behavior is listed in the College Catalog under Standards of Conduct and Problem Resolution. The language is pretty standard, taken from the California Ed Code. Please familiarize yourself with that section. The trickier part of student discipline is often the behavior in the gray area of the continuum where it is harder to discern whether it calls for classroom management or student discipline. Feel free to consult with the Vice President of Student Services if you have questions.
Student Standards of Conduct and Due Process
The Standards of Conduct Policy identifies potential disciplinary actions that may be taken for violations of the standards of conduct described in this policy, including but not limited to the removal, suspension or expulsion of a student.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means to address violations of the Standards of Conduct (BP 5500 Standards of Conduct) in accordance with students’ rights to due process and free expression as protected by state and federal laws and regulations.
Prohibition of Harassment Policy
All members of the Gavilan College community share the responsibility to participate in an environment that is free of any forms of harassment.
The Harassment Policy of the College specifically identifies four forms of harassment: verbal, physical, visual, and sexual (5.0004). It is the policy of the Board to prohibit harassment of an employee, applicant or student by a District employee on the basis of race, religious creed, color, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, sex or age.
In the case of any form of harassment you should report the incident immediately and directly to the appropriate Dean. Harassment Grievances can be filed based upon Section 504 and Title IX. Contact either the Vice President of Administrative Services or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources for further information.
Final Grade Challenge
The instructor of the course shall determine the grade to be awarded to each student. The determination of the student's grade by the instructor is final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency.
Students may obtain a change to a final course grade only when the student can provide proof that the final course grade reflects mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency.
Non-criminal complaints are referred to the dean, manager, or supervisor of the area involved. Non-criminal complaints are:
- Inappropriate behavior of faculty, staff, and students;
- Physical conditions on campus; and
- Assignments: A student may file a complaint if he or she believes a faculty member has given the student an assignment that is unreasonable or unsafe, e.g., an assignment that subjects a student to unreasonable demands or requirements, or to unsafe conditions.
The process for such a complaint begins with an attempt by the parties involved to resolve the complaint informally. If the complaint is not resolved at a lower level there are a series of formal steps leading to a final determination by the Board of Trustees of the College.
The procedures and guidelines on the filing of an student complaint are available from the Vice President of Student Services, or his/her designee.
The Student Problem Resolution Process outlined in the Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Academic Standards Handbook also provides a prompt and equitable means to address complaints as applied to and regarding academic, administrative, and instructional matters relating to students. This process will involve the appropriate vice president and area dean depending on the nature of the conflict and the employees involved. This procedure is not appropriate for situations regarding alleged discrimination or harassment around race, ethnicity, sexual harassment, disability, religion, gender, color, national origin, and/or age. There are separate policies administered by the Vice President of Administrative Services for these situations.
Student Records & Transcripts
The Office of Admissions and Records will maintain all student records such as applications, petitions, Advanced Placement (AP), and College Level Examination program (CLEP) scores for the period of time required by law. These records, as well as a permanent record for all academic work completed at the College, are maintained by the Director of Admissions and Records. Students may obtain transcripts of their Gavilan College permanent academic record by submitting a Transcript Request through the MyGav Portal under Transcripts Plus.
Students' Right to Privacy and FERPA
Occasionally, Gavilan College receives requests from various agencies seeking directory information on our students. These agencies can be public, private or governmental in origin, e.g., scholarship search companies, public or private colleges and universities, U.S. Military (Department of Defense), and others.
Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires student records are protected from access by third parties.
Please refer all such requests to Admissions and Records.