South College, through the Department of Student Services, assumes the responsibility of offering programs, enhancing student life, and adding to the educational experience.
The mission of the Department of Student Services is two-fold: (1) to afford students an opportunity to grow personally and professionally through student interaction, activities, and leadership opportunities within the college and the community; and (2) to provide students with services and guidance that lead to effective problem-solving skills and personal satisfaction with their learning community and their learning experiences.
The following goals of the Department of Student Services are an extension of the philosophy and goals of the college. They serve to inform, educate, support, and encourage students in their endeavors. These goals are:
- To provide an orientation which will inform students of college policies, programs, and activities.
- To provide support and assistance to students in making realistic decisions regarding academic and non-academic concerns.
- To provide career services and resources.
- To provide programs and activities which encourage student involvement and participation in campus life and community service.
- To provide academic accommodations to students with disabilities in the classroom.
- To provide avenues for students to obtain resources that supplement academic endeavors.
- To provide fair and sound disciplinary and grievance procedures.
- To employ measures that promote a safe and secure environment.
The college provides online orientation modules for student review in the New Student Orientation course in Canvas. Campus Welcome Sessions are also scheduled each term. Information provided is designed to acquaint new students with academic life and college services. All new students and those students re-entering after an absence of one year or more are asked to participate. Information regarding both the New Student Orientation Course and the Welcome Sessions are provided by the Admissions Department or by the Student Success Advisors.
Advising & Counseling Services
Students who are experiencing academic concerns should first contact their faculty members who are directly involved in the concern. Concerns not reconciled at this level should then be addressed with the dean/department chair and subsequently the Chief Academic Officer (Parkside Campus), the Dean of Academics (Online), or the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville, Atlanta, Main, or Nashville campuses). Career and job advising can be addressed with the Director of Alumni & Career Services (Main Campus & Parkside Campus) or the Director of Student Affairs/Success (Asheville, Atlanta, Nashville campuses, or Online). Students with non-academic concerns should contact the Director of Student Affairs (Main Campus/Parkside Campus or Online) or Director of Student Success (Asheville, Atlanta, or Nashville campuses). Students may request advising via telephone, email, or in-person.
The Student Assistance Plan (SAP) through ComPsych provides South College students and their family members with 24-hour access to licensed clinicians via toll free phone line, chat, or email. These clinicians will immediately triage the situation and then refer the student to a face-to-face counselor for up to three sessions free of charge. ComPsych has a large network of counselors throughout the United States so all of our students (regardless of where they are) have access to counseling. Students may even select counselors based on gender or religious preferences.
South College does not discriminate on the basis of disability in education programs and activities pursuant to the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Rehabilitation Acts Amendments of 1974, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. A disability is a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students with disabilities means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.
Students who seek reasonable accommodations should notify the Director of Student Affairs (Main Campus/Parkside Campus, & Online), Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville Campus), Director of Student Success (Atlanta & Nashville campuses) of their specific limitations and, if known, their requested accommodations.
- Director of Student Affairs (Main Campus & Parkside Campus), 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: (865) 251-1822
- Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville Campus), 140 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: (828) 398-2566
- Director of Student Success (Nashville Campus), 616 Marriott Drive, Nashville, TN 37214, Phone: (629) 802-3000
- Director of Student Success (Atlanta Campus), 2600 Century Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: (470) 322-1212
- Director of Student Affairs (Online), 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: ((865) 392-4733
- Director of Student Services (Indianapolis Campus), 301 Pennsylvania Parkway, Indianapolis, IN 46280, Phone: (317) 819-7920
- Director of Student Services (Orlando Campus), 4901 Vineland Rd, Suite 140, Orlando, FL 32811, Phone: (407) 447-6900
At the initial meeting, students will be asked to complete the Registration Form for Disability Services to disclose their specific limitations and requested accommodations, which can include auxiliary aids or academic adjustments or services. Students will be asked to provide medical documentation from a healthcare professional of the need for accommodations. Students are encouraged to request accommodations and provide the required documentation at least one month prior to beginning classes for the first time in order to allow time for the request to be evaluated appropriately and for the accommodation to be arranged. Classroom accommodations are not retroactive and are effective upon the instructor(s) receipt of the approved accommodation letter.
The request for accommodations is considered complete once the student submits the Registration Form for Disability Services and the medical documentation to the Director of Student Success (Main Campus/Parkside Campus & Online), the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville Campus), and the Director of Student Success (Atlanta & Nashville campuses. A decision to grant or deny requested accommodation(s) will be provided to the student in writing within two (2) weeks of the completed request or as soon as possible following the date of the request.
In the case of denials of accommodation(s), the written notice will explain the reason(s) for the denial and the procedures for appealing such decisions. Denial of auxiliary aids, academic adjustments, or other aids or services will not occur without consideration by the College of at least the following factors: (a) the extent of the student’s disability; (b) the student’s prior use of auxiliary aids; (c) the nature and complexity of program content and the modes through which course content is presented; and (d) whether the requested adjustment, aid or service would effectively accommodate the student’s disability in the context for which it is requested.
Once an accommodation is approved, Director of Student Success (Main Campus/Parkside Campus & Online), the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville Campus), and the Director of Student Success (Atlanta & Nashville campuses) will provide an accommodation letter to each of the student’s instructors as soon as possible and within one (1) business day of the accommodation approval if the quarter is already in session or by the first day of the quarter if classes have not commenced. When an accommodation is approved, the official listed above at the associated campus will inform the student in writing. In each subsequent quarter, students must submit a request for continued services to the Director of Student Success (Main Campus/Parkside Campus & Online), the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville Campus), and the Director of Student Success (Atlanta & Nashville campuses prior to the beginning of the quarter.
Appeal of Accommodation Decision
Students have the right to appeal an accommodation request denial. Within ten (10) business days after the initial accommodation decision, students must submit a request in writing outlining how the requested accommodation relates to his/her disability in an educational capacity to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services, 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: 865-293-4563. The Vice Chancellor of Student Services will review the request and send a decision in writing to the student within seven (7) business days of the student’s request.
Should the student wish to continue the appeal process once a decision has been received, then the student can appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness. Within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the decision, students must submit a request in writing outlining how the requested accommodation relates to his/her disability in an educational capacity to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness, 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: 865-251-1800. Following review of the request, a decision in writing will be sent to the student within seven (7) business days of receipt of the request. The decision of the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness is final and cannot be appealed.
Section 504 Grievance Procedure
It is the policy of South College not to discriminate on the basis of disability. South College has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville, Atlanta, Main, Parkside, or Nashville campuses) and the Dean of Academics (Online) have been designated to coordinate the efforts of South College to comply with Section 504.
Any student who believes he/she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability may file a grievance with the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville, Atlanta, Main, Parkside, or Nashville campuses) or the Dean of Academics (Online). If the complaint is against either the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville, Atlanta, Main, Parkside, or Nashville campuses), or the Dean of Academics (Online), it should be filed with the Chief Academic Officer, 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: 865-251-1815. Retaliation against any person who files a grievance or assists South College in the investigation of a complaint under this policy is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal by South College.
The complaint must be submitted in writing within fifteen (15) business days of the date the alleged discriminatory action and must state the problem or action alleged to be discriminatory and the remedy or relief sought. The Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville, Atlanta, Main, Parkside, or Nashville campuses) and the Dean of Academics (Online) (or the Chief Academic Officer, in the case of a complaint against either of those individuals) will investigate the grievance, including providing both the student and South College an opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other relevant evidence. The investigator will issue a written decision no later than thirty (30) days of receipt of the grievance, which includes the basis for his/her decision.
Once a decision has been rendered, the student may appeal the decision by writing to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services, 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: 865-293-4563, within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the decision. The Vice Chancellor of Student Services will issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the appeal.
Should the student wish to continue the appeal process once a decision has been received, then the student can appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the decision. Students should submit a request in writing to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness, 3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909, Phone: 865-251-1800. The Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness will review the request and send a decision in writing to the student within thirty (30) business days. The decision of the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness is final and cannot be appealed.
South College provides students with an institutional email account. This is considered the student’s primary email account while enrolled. All email communication from the institution is sent to the primary email account. Students may add a secondary email account, however, the institution will not send official communication to the secondary account.
Student Activities and Organizations
South College supports and encourages participation in student organizations and campus activities. The college values inclusive participation and leadership development for all students and therefore does not recognize any group of students as an elected or appointed student government. Participation in student organizations, community service and other campus activities provides students with opportunities to develop career related skills such as multi-tasking, prioritizing and teambuilding.
Student Advisory Committee
Each campus has a Student Advisory Committee (SAC). This Committee is comprised of elected or appointed students from each school and department offered at the campus. SAC membership is for one year; to be eligible, students must be in good standing with South College and approved by the Director of Student Affairs/Success. SAC meets quarterly to discuss topics pertinent to student organizations, to exchange ideas about student involvement in the college community, and to provide constructive input to administration and faculty regarding college-wide activities and events.
Other Student Organizations
Each campus offers a variety of student organizations which enhance students’ co-curricular experience. Student organizations with missions that specifically support educational goals and career interests can be easily formed and are welcomed at South College. Students interested in starting a club or organization should contact the Director of Student Affairs/Success.
Program, Department, or School-Specific Student Organizations
An academic program, department, or school may endorse or sponsor a program-specific student organization. The purpose of student organizations is to support education and career goals, organize community service projects and student events, and provide appropriate feedback to academic leaders.
Student Organization Approval and Recognition Process
All student organizations must apply and be approved as a recognized organization by South College. Students interested in forming organizations should contact the Director of Student Affairs (Main Campus/Parkside Campus or Online) or the Director of Student Success (Asheville, Atlanta, or Nashville Campus) to obtain the application materials. All student organizations must have a designated faculty/staff advisor. For program-specific organizations, the faculty advisor must be approved by academic leadership. All student and program-specific organizations must submit a mission/purpose, bylaws, and a plan for organizational structure as part of the application. Once the student organizations is approved, any changes to the mission, constitution, bylaws, or organizational structure (e.g. new sub committees or subgroups under the umbrella organization) must be approved by the faculty/staff advisor, campus leadership, and academic leadership (for program-specific student organizations only). Completed application materials should be submitted to the Director of Student Affairs/Success for review. Final approval must be granted by campus leadership and by academic leadership (for program-specific student organizations only).
If final approval to establish a student organization is not granted, the student organization may appeal the decision in writing within five (5) business days to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services. The appeal must contain copies of the application, constitution, and by-laws. The Vice Chancellor’s decision regarding the appeal is final.
Events, Activities, and Official Statement Approval
Once a student organization is approved, all events, activities, and official statements or declarations must be pre-approved. Preparation and advertisement of events or activities are prohibited until the student organization receives full approval for the event or activity. Student organization officers may obtain the required form to have an activity or event (including fundraising) from the faculty/staff advisor or the Director of Student Affairs/Success. Final approval must be granted by campus leadership. For program-specific student organizations, academic leadership for the respective program must also be obtained.
Annual Renewal Requirement
All student organization shall renew their charter each year. The renewal request will include a summary of accomplishments, financial activity, and a list of the organization’s goals for the next year and should be submitted to the faculty/staff advisor and the Director of Student Affairs/Success.
Career services are provided for South College students and graduates at no charge. While the primary focus is to assist students upon graduation, any enrolled student may seek employment information through this office.
Although employment in full-time positions cannot be guaranteed, it is vitally important to both the graduate and the college that each graduate obtains appropriate employment. Therefore, as students approach the last quarter of their program, specific and personalized instruction is provided in the preparation of professional resumes and cover letters, as well as job search strategies and interviewing skills.
Currently enrolled students and graduates should contact the Director of Career & Alumni Services (Main or Parkside campuses), the Director of Student Success (Asheville, Atlanta, or Nashville), or Director of Student Affairs (Online) for more information on career counseling, resume writing, and job-search strategies.for more information on career counseling, resume writing, and job search strategies.
Military students are encouraged to seek information and utilize all institutional services including academic support, financial aid advising, disability services, or career services. Financial Aid staff members at South College campuses are available to assist veteran students with benefit information. Please see the Financial Aid office at the designated campus for more information. A Student Success Advisor/Faculty Advisor works with all students to assist with course scheduling. Students must remain knowledgeable regarding the length of time required to complete their program of study, as well as the number of remaining months of eligibility to receive military benefits. Communication of this information should be provided by the student to the advisor in order to maximize education benefits during the eligibility period. The Director of Student Affairs (Main & Parkside campuses & Online), the Dean of Academic and Student Services (Asheville), or the Director of Student Success (Atlanta & Nashville) should be contacted with questions regarding disability services.
Resource Center/Library Services
South College provides easily accessible resource center/libraries and quality academic services to meet the research needs of its students, faculty, and staff. The Resource Center/Library at each campus is open to accommodate the needs of day and evening students. Specific hours are posted at each location. The library website provides accessibility to all students to the collection and resources, including online students and those participating in off-campus experiential requirements.
The library’s collections include general and reference books (both print and electronic), print and online periodicals, multi-media software, online services, and other print media. An online catalog is available on the library’s web page. Through membership in Tenn-Share and LYRASIS, the library department is able to expand access to resources outside of its own facilities through intercollegiate borrowing. Participation in state library resources, Tennessee Electronic Library, NC Live, and GALILEO gives the South College community at all campuses additional access to a selection of multidisciplinary full text databases from the Gale collection, plus other resources. Internet access allows library users the opportunity to locate and retrieve information from libraries, colleges, database services, and various other institutions throughout the world. The library also offers a strong collection of non-print media to assist library users with their research and studies.
Library orientations are given each quarter to students enrolled in introductory courses. These orientations are designed to inform students of the types of resources available and to provide instruction as to how to use library resources to the greatest advantage. An online orientation course is also available to all students in Canvas.
Writing Lab/Math Lab/Tutoring
The Writing Lab is available to all students and faculty who wish to gain feedback during their writing processes. Writing Lab tutors include English faculty members who are trained to help with any writing assignment or project.
Math tutoring is available to all students who wish to improve their math skills. Both faculty and peer tutoring are available.
At the Main Campus and Parkside Campus, schedules and information for both the Writing Lab and the Math Lab campus-based tutoring are listed in the student newsletter, the Southern Digest. Schedules are also posted via the campus digital signage. At the Asheville Campus, the schedules are posted via the campus digital signage and in The Times quarterly newsletter. At the Nashville Campus, the schedules are posted via the campus digital signage and in the quarterly student newsletter, The Nashville Note. At the Atlanta Campus, the schedules are posted via the campus digital signage and in the quarterly student newsletter, The Peachtree Post. All tutoring is available to students at no cost. For Online, schedules and information are posted on the Student Portal and through quarterly communication from the Director of Student Affairs.
Smarthinking is an online tutoring resource for students. Students can access individual learning support (at no charge) from expert online tutors across a variety of subjects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students access Smarthinking by clicking on the Smarthinking link in their course menu within Canvas. Some of the areas in which students can receive help include math, writing, anatomy and physiology, statistics, mock job interviews, resume and cover letter review, and much more. Students chat with a live tutor, have their writing reviewed, ask offline questions, and utilize a variety of academic resources.
A Barnes and Noble/South College Bookstore is maintained at the main campus in Knoxville and the Nashville campus for the convenience of students. All necessary books and some supplies may be obtained at the bookstore. The price of books and supplies is not included in the tuition. Hours of operation and policies/procedures relating to purchases and returns are posted at http://south.bncollege.com.
Students at the Asheville and Atlanta Learning Sites and Online may also purchase books and supplies through the Barnes and Noble/South College Bookstore. Purchases may be sent to the student’s home or to the applicable Learning Site. Students are not required to purchase books from the college bookstore. Some textbooks are reusable and can be purchased from other students if desired. A current list of textbooks in use at the college is posted on the B&N South College Bookstore website.
South College does not provide health services. Referrals to local sources for healthcare services are available in the Department of Student Services.
There are no dormitory facilities at South College. Students who are not within commuting distance must secure their own residence. Resources are available from the Department of Student Services.
South College does not provide transportation for students. The Main Campus (Lonas Drive) is on a Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) bus route and a bus stop is located on campus. South College is also part of the KAT College Program system. Student may purchase a bus pass. A valid South College student ID is required at the time of purchase. The Asheville Learning Site is on the Asheville (ART) bus route. The Nashville Learning Site is on the Nashville (MTA) bus route. The Atlanta Learning Site is on the Marta Bus Route 47. The Orlando Learning Site is on the Orlando (LYNX) bus route.
College Publications/Directory Information
The South College Academic Catalog is an information book and reference guide addressing most aspects of the college. It is published annually and includes a listing and description of all courses offered by the college.
During orientation, a Student Handbook is distributed to each new student. The handbook contains the South College Academic Honor Code and the Student Conduct Standards and Regulations, as well as helpful information about a variety of topics. Copies are available in the Student Activities Coordinator’s, Dean of Student Services’, and the Executive Vice President and Provost’s offices.
A President’s List and a Dean’s List are published at the end of each quarter. These lists contain the name of all eligible students.
At graduation each year, the Commencement Bulletin contains the name, degree/certificate to be awarded, and major field of study of all graduates
A monthly newsletter, the Southern Digest, provides members of the South College community with information relating to campus news, upcoming activities, and student organization updates. This newsletter is developed by the Student Activities Coordinator. The newsletter is posted on the Student Portal.
Expressions, the student literary magazine, is a collection of student writing and is published once each year.
- Students have the right to refuse to permit the disclosure of directory information except to the extent that FERPA otherwise authorizes disclosure without consent.
Directory information is information contained in a student’s education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.
South College has designated the following as directory information: (1) name, (2) local address, (3) local and mobile telephone number, (4) permanent address, (5) permanent telephone number, (6) e-mail address, (7) major field of study, (8) classification, (9) dates of enrollment and enrollment status, (10) degrees and awards received, (11) previous educational institution(s) attended, (12) participation in institutional activities, and (13) photograph if available.
The information in the Directory, President’s and Dean’s Lists, Southern Digest, and Commencement Bulletin is considered public information and is released without the written approval of the student.
Students who want their directory information withheld from disclosures as set forth in this policy, must give written notice to the Registrar prior to the first day of classes for the fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters.
- Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by South 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 20202-5901
Honor Code and Conduct Regulations
Enrollment at South College constitutes full acceptance of the South College Honor Code and the Student Conduct Standards and Regulations. All students have access to the Student Handbook that contains this information, the disciplinary procedures, and the appeals process. Instructors are not expected to jeopardize the progress of a class by permitting the continued presence of any student whose behavior could adversely affect the class. Inappropriate behavior includes but is not limited to cheating, disruptive behavior, plagiarism, and any other actions which are not considered proper conduct for a college student. The Student Conduct Standards and Regulations also cover inappropriate actions of students on campus while not in the classroom or while participating in college-sponsored activities off campus. Alleged violations will be reported to the Director of Student Affairs (Main Campus/Parkside or Online) or the Director of Student Success (Asheville, Atlanta, or Nashville campuses). See the Disciplinary Procedures section of the Student Handbook for specific details.
South College reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student who in the administration’s judgment is undesirable and whose continued enrollment is detrimental to fellow students or whose presence is disruptive to the learning environment or the orderly operation of the college.
A dress code, describing appropriate attire for South College students, is a part of the Conduct Standards and Regulations. Students may be asked to leave class because of inappropriate attire. They will not be permitted to return unless they return properly dressed.
Copyright Compliance Policy
No member of the South College community shall share files with peers without authorization, and/or illegally download and/or distribute copyrighted materials using the institution’s technology systems without authorization. Under certain circumstances, applicable laws allow the use of copyright materials, such as for the purpose of private study, scholarship, teaching, or research, without permission. However, there is no blanket exception from liability for students or faculty/staff of educational institution. If reproduction of copyrighted material is used for purposes in excess of what constitutes “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Infringement of another individual’s copyright is a violation of federal law (U.S. Copyright Act, Title 17, U.S. Code) and may include fines and other penalties, such as civil and criminal liabilities. Legal penalties for copyright infringement can include: Infringer paying the annual dollar amount of damages and profits; a penalty ranging from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed; infringer paying all attorney fees and court cost, the Court issuing an injunction to stop the infringing acts, the Court can impound the illegal works; the infringer can go to jail.
Most text, music, movies, television shows, software, games, and images found on the Internet are protected by federal copyright law. The owner of the copyright in these works has the right to control their distribution, modification, reproduction, public display, and public performance. Therefore, it is generally illegal to use file sharing networks to download and share copyrighted works without the copyright owner’s permission unless “fair use” or another exemption under copyright law applies. If a violation of this policy is observed or reported, South College will respond by investigating pursuant to procedures outlined in the Student Handbook or Employee Handbook, whichever is appropriate. During such an investigation, the user’s privileges may or may not be suspended. Once the investigation is complete, if the user is determined to have violated this policy, appropriate discipline and/or corrective action will be taken. Users may be held responsible for any liability damages or expenses resulting from misuse of South College computing resources.
Complaint and Grievance Processes
Several avenues exist within the framework of the college by which students, employees, or members of the public may express concerns, complaints, or grievances. South College policy prohibits any retaliatory action against any person for reporting, inquiring, testifying, or assisting with an investigation of a complaint. South College will not tolerate any form of retaliation for making a good faith report of potential college-related legal or policy violations. Any attempted or actual retaliatory action will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal by South College. Any alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to South College. The following describes the appropriate procedure for resolving issues.
Informal Complaint: An Informal complaint is an informal allegation, concern, or expression of dissatisfaction regarding a service, policy, procedure, behavior, or outcome. An informal complaint is made verbally or via email to the College employee responsible for the area of concern or to their immediate supervisor. If an informal complaint cannot be resolved through these channels, a Formal Complaint may be filed.
Formal Complaint: A Formal Complaint is a written allegation submitted on the Formal Complaint Form that one has been harmed by being treated arbitrarily, unfairly, or in ways which violate established laws, rules, policies, or procedures. The Formal Complaint Form is submitted to the respective campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (Online). Further directions are found on the form. The Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) will involve all necessary parties to resolve the grievance. All grievances will be addressed within 10 business days of submission. This process applies to all types of formal complaints, including those from members of the public.
Grievance: A grievance is a formal allegation of discrimination specifically involving one’s disability or sex. Concerns regarding discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, or any other forms of discrimination not including disability or sex should be reported using the Formal Complaint process described above.
- ADA (Section 504) Grievance - A student, employee, or member of the public who believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination due to a disability should file a grievance with the respective campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) or for employees, the Vice President of Talent Management & HR. This process, as well as the appeals process, is more fully outlined in the Disability Services section of the Catalog.
- Title IX (sexual harassment, discrimination, or abuse) Grievance - A student, employee, or member of the public who believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination due to sex should notify the respective campus’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. This process, as well as the appeals process, is more fully outlined in the Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy section of the Catalog.
Formal Complaint Appeal: Every attempt will be made to resolve complaints with the respective leaders of the responsible organizational units (e.g., admissions, financial aid, academics, etc.). However, in instances where this is not possible and the Formal Complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved through the normal procedures, the grievant may appeal in writing within three business days to the respective Campus President (for the Knoxville campuses this appeal must go to the Dean of Academic and Student Services - for online students it must go to the Dean of Academics). Appeal of the Formal Complaint will be responded to within 10 business days of submission.
Following communication of the decision of the Campus President, a final appeal may be made to the Chief Academic Officer within three business days of receiving the decision. The Chief Academic Officer’s decision is final so far as institutional formal complaints are concerned. This process applies to all types of formal complaints, including those from members of the public.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal: South College is required to hold its students to the standards of SAP. Students who do not comply with these standards will be suspended/dismissed. The explanation of SAP and the process for appealing suspension/dismissal due to SAP are outlined in the Academic Information /SAP section of the Catalog.
Assignment Grade Dispute: The dispute of an assignment grade is handled between the student and instructor. If needed, the instructor’s direct supervisor may be involved. Campus or college level personnel are not involved in individual assignment grade disputes. In addition, a student may not dispute the specific point reduction as found in the syllabus or program handbook for an assignment that was submitted past the deadline.
Course Grade Appeal: The determination of a final course grade is at the heart of the faculty member’s responsibility and involves academic expertise, experience, and judgement.
Consideration of a grade appeal is limited to an evaluation of whether the final grade awarded was determined in accordance with the policies/standards/objectives/rubrics outlined in the course syllabus. A course instructor’s failure to follow the policies/standards/objectives/rubrics outlined in the course syllabus-for example, a grade calculation error-would constitute a valid reason to appeal a grade.
Process for Appealing a Grade:
- STEP 1 - Discuss the matter with the course instructor.
- STEP 2 - If the matter remains unresolved, the student may request an additional meeting following the academic chain of command (e.g., department chair, program director, or associate dean and then dean - if applicable). The academic leader may request the instructor to be present during the meeting.
- STEP 3 - If the matter still cannot be resolved, the student may challenge the final grade by submitting a Course Grade Appeal Form within three business days after grades are posted to the respective campus Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online). The Dean may act upon the appeal or choose to refer the appeal to the Appeals Committee. The Course Grade Appeal Form is found in the Student Portal under the Student Services tab.
- STEP 4 - If necessary, following decision of the Dean or Appeals Committee, a final appeal may be made to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). The CAO will base his or her decision on the same information presented to the Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) or the Appeals Committee. The CAO will not entertain new evidence, claims, positions, or arguments from any party. The CAO’s decision is final so far as grade appeals are concerned.
Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal: Students may be dismissed or disciplined for poor academic performance and professional misconduct, including violation of the South College Academic Honor Code, based on the rules of the College or the respective school, program, or department. A dismissal or disciplinary action based on academic performance or professional misconduct is an academic decision and involves academic expertise, experience, and judgement. If a student is dismissed from the College, s/he is still financially responsible for the cost of the education received up to that point.
Process for appealing a dismissal or disciplinary action:
- STEP 1 - Follow any applicable appeal process internal to the specific program, which is contained in the program handbook. This may include an appeal to program leadership (e.g., Department Chair, Program Director, or Dean). Students should complete a Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form to submit their appeal. The Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form is found in the Student Portal under the Student Services tab. The same information, evidence, claims, position, or arguments must be submitted at each level of appeal.
- STEP 2 - Once the appeals process for the specific program has been followed, the student may appeal to the respective campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) by submitting their Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form and documentation within three business days of being dismissed or receiving disciplinary action. The same information, evidence, claims, position, or arguments must be submitted at each level of appeal. The Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (Online) may act on the appeal or refer it to the Appeals Committee.
- STEP 3 - If necessary, following decision of the Dean or Appeals Committee, a final appeal may be made to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) within three business days of the notice to the student of the previous decision. The same Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form and documentation must be used. The CAO will base his or her decision on the same information presented to the Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (Online) or the Appeals Committee. The CAO will not entertain new evidence, claims, positions, or arguments from any party. The CAO’s decision is final so far as dismissals are concerned.
In the event that a dismissal disciplinary action appeal includes information related to a course grade appeal, the campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) may combine the two appeals into one. When this occurs, the Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (Online) may decide to have the student use just one Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form.
Appeals Committee Hearing Procedures
Should the Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (Online) involve the Appeals Committee, the following procedures will be followed:
- Once the appeal is received, the student will be notified by email of:
- the nature of the charges;
- the time and date of the hearing;
- the right to present applicable evidence in her/his behalf.
Additionally, the student will be given the opportunity to talk to or meet with the Chair of the Appeals Committee to go over the procedures that will be followed during the hearing.
- The student must attend the hearing and present his/her case to the Committee. Students are not permitted to bring guests/representatives to the hearing.
- The Committee will review the case at the hearing. Members of the Committee are appointed annually, except for the student member who is appointed as hearings are needed. The Chair of the Committee is the campus Director of Student Affairs, Dean of Academic and Student Services, or Dean of Academics (Online). As the facilitator of the hearing, the Chair is a neutral party and has no vote on the decision.
Voting members (at least 5) of the Committee include:
- at least one Dean/Department Chair outside of the School/Department of the student appealing;
- one student outside of the School/Department of the student appealing;
- at least one faculty member outside of the School/Department of the student appealing; and
- at least one staff member.
In cases when the Chair is not available, a designee will be appointed for the hearing. The review shall consist of a careful and thorough hearing. Those participating in the hearing in any way should maintain confidentiality of information. A final determination, by majority vote, will recommend one of the following actions:
- removal of the charges and/or penalties against the student;
- confirmation that the charges/penalties against the student remain;
- administrative reprimand;
- disciplinary probation, which may or may not be recorded on the student’s permanent record;
- disciplinary suspension for a specified period of time;
- dismissal from the college; or
- other action the Committee deems appropriate.
The Committee’s decision may be made on the date of the hearing or additional deliberation may require further research/discussion and will be made as soon as possible. The Committee’s decision will be sent by email to the student within ten business days of the hearing.
In all cases in which academic and/or disciplinary warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal from the college has been det ermined, a copy of the proceedings will be maintained by the Department of Student Services in conjunction with the institutional retention of records policy. In cases where appeals are made, those reviewing the appeal may request and review all related information regarding the associated occurrences.
State Formal Complaint Procedures
Tennessee/Online - Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institutional level, a student or member of the public may contact the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243-1102, (615) 741-5293. website: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization.html.
North Carolina - Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institutional level, a student or member of the public may file a North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaint to the University of North Carolina General Administration c/o Student Complaints, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688, (919) 962-4550, email: email@example.com. website: http://www.northcarolina.edu/complaints.
Georgia - Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student or member of the public may contact the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, Georgia 30084-5305, Office: (770) 414-3300, website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/student-resources. website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/gnpec-student-complaint-rules.
Indiana - Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student member of the public must contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education using the provided complaint form. Procedures for filing a complaint can be found at https://www.in.gov/che/student-complaints/.
Florida - Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student member of the public may contact the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education at 325 West Gaines St., Ste. 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400, toll-free telephone number (888) 224-6684, website: https://www.fldoe.org/sara/complaint-process.stml.
Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA
Student or member of the public complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution. Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html). For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA. For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students or members of the public residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.
As the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors is always a primary consideration, South College strives to have a safe and secure environment for the campus community. Off duty officers provide security services for the college, thus enhancing the college’s efforts to prevent crime and maintain a safe campus. The college publishes an annual security report that contains information on policies and procedures relating to campus security, crimes and emergencies, drug and alcohol use, preventive measures, campus law enforcement, and access to campus facilities. The annual security report also includes statistics concerning the occurrence of specified types of crimes on campus and on the public property surrounding the campus. The security report is published each year by October 1 and distributed to current students and employees. The report contains statistics for the three most recent calendar years. A copy of the most recent annual security report may be obtained via the Student Services tab on the institutional website as part of the Clery Report (www.south.edu). In addition to the annual security report, South College maintains a crime log recording all reported crimes. The crime log is available for public inspection during business hours at the Main campus from the Director of Administrative Support (main campus). The log specific to any Learning Site may be obtained from the office of the Campus President at that campus. South College will notify the campus community in a timely manner of any criminal action includable in the annual security report that is reported to campus security or local police and that is considered to be a threat to students or employees.
The cooperation of all campus community members is needed in order to maintain a safe campus. South College reminds all students and employees that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions regarding their safety and welfare.
Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy
South College is committed to fostering an environment that is free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, as defined in 34 CFR §106 (et seq.) and explained below. The institution takes steps to increase awareness of sexual harassment, to thoroughly investigate reports of sexual harassment, and to take fair and appropriate actions as warranted. Creating a safe and non-discriminatory campus environment is the shared responsibility of all members of the South College community.
Consistent with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, South College does not discriminate against students, faculty, staff, third parties, or applicants based on sex in any of its programs or activities, including but not limited to educational programs, employment, and admission. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a kind of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title IX and by the institution. Individuals who engage in such conduct are subject to disciplinary action. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, third parties, and applicants regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Further, this policy applies to discrimination based on sex that involves an applicant, student, employee, or third-party affiliate against a student at any location in the United States, including campus/clinical/student teaching/ practicum/internship/fieldwork site or any locations, events, or circumstances over which South College exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by South College.
Inquiries about the application of Title IX and this part may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, or both.
Sexual harassment includes a broad range of behaviors that will not be tolerated in the South College’s education programs or activities. The federal rules governing Title IX define sexual harassment broadly to include any of three types of misconduct on the basis of sex, all of which jeopardize the equal access to education that Title IX is designed to protect:
- any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a school’s employee;
- any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access; or
- any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VA WA).
Sexual harassment can occur between strangers, acquaintances, or people who know each other well, including those who are involved in an intimate or sexual relationship, and can be committed by anyone regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity. South College does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.
Questions regarding Title IX and the Campus SaVE Act may be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator or to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
Retaliation means taking any adverse action or attempting to take adverse action, including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this policy, constitutes retaliation.
Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the grievance procedures for sex discrimination included herein.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute prohibited retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this part does not constitute prohibited retaliation, provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.
Retaliation against any person who alleges a violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy or who reports or assists South College in the investigation of a complaint under this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal by South College. Retaliation against any person who is a respondent to an alleged sexual harassment violation is prohibited as well. South College will take steps to protect all parties from retaliation or harm and will work with the complainant to create a safety plan. Any alleged retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Definition of Actual Knowledge
Actual knowledge means notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to the College/Institute’s Title IX Coordinator or to another designated South College official.
Definition of Complainant
An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Definition of Respondent
An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Definition of Consent
Consent must be affirmative. Consent means a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
- Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
- Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.
- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
- Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated.
- Consent cannot be when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, threat of harm.
When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
Definition of Incapacitation
Incapacitation (or incapacity), for purposes of this policy, is the state in which an individual’s perception or judgment is so impaired that the individual lacks the cognitive capacity to make or act on conscious decisions. The use of drugs or alcohol can cause incapacitation. An individual who is incapacitated is unable to consent to a sexual activity. Engaging in sexual activity with an individual who is incapacitated (and therefore unable to consent), where an individual knows or ought reasonably to have understood that the individual is incapacitated, constitutes Title IX Sexual Harassment as defined by this policy.
Definition of Supportive Measures
Supportive measures mean non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College/Institute’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures. The College must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College/Institute to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.
Definition of Third Party
Third party refers to any individual who is not a College/Institute student, a faculty member, or a staff member (e.g., vendors, alumni/ae, or local residents).
Definition of Witness
Witness refers to any individual who shares information relating to an allegation of prohibited conduct under this policy.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment means prohibited conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
a. An employee of the recipient conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
b. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity;
c. Any form of sexual assault. ”Sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Forcible sex offenses means any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent; these offenses include:
i. Rape: The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
ii. Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
iii. Sexual Assault with an Object: To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
iv. Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
d. Nonforcible Sex Offenses (Except Prostitution Offenses) means unlawful, nonforcible sexual intercourse; these offenses include:
i. Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; or
ii. Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
e. ”Dating violence” means violence committed by a person-
i. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
(A) The length of the relationship.
(B) The type of relationship.
(C) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
f. ”Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
g. ”Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to- (i) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.
The Title IX Grievance Process
Reporting Policies and Protocols
South College is committed to responding promptly and effectively when it learns of any form of possible discrimination based on sex that involves an applicant, student, employee, or third-party affiliate against a student at any location, including campus/clinical/student teaching/practicum/internship/fieldwork site or any locations, events, or circumstances over which South College exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by South College. South College’s Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are responsible for overseeing all Title IX incidents reported to the institution and for implementation of this policy, including but not limited to, identifying and addressing any systemic gender-based harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct.
Allegations should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator using the Sexual Harassment (Title IX) Incident Form as soon as possible following the alleged incident of sexual harassment. All applicants, employees, students, and third parties can access the Sexual Harassment (Title IX) Incident Form on the South College Portal and on the South College website. Reports can be submitted at any time, including non-business hours, in person, by mail, by telephone, or by email using the contact information listed below:
Title IX Coordinator for South College
Ms. Gabriella Fischer, Vice Chancellor of Student Services
3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Main Campus and Parkside Campus
Dr. A.J. Chase, Dean of Academic and Student Services
3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909
Deputy Title IX Coordinator at the Asheville Campus
Dr. Lisa Satterfield, Dean of Academic and Student Services
140 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803
Deputy Title IX Coordinator at the Nashville Campus
Mrs. Jennifer Carroll, Dean of Academic and Student Services
616 Marriott Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
Deputy Title IX Coordinator at the Atlanta Campus
Dr. Danielle Kwasnik, Dean of Academic and Student Services
2600 Century Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30345
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Online
Dr. Mari-Kathryn Arnold, Director of Student Affairs
3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Indianapolis Campus
Dr. Kim Priesmeyer, Dean of Academic and Student Services
301 Pennsylvania Pkwy., Indianapolis, IN 46280
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Orlando Campus
Mr. Jerry Scott, Director of Student Success
4901 Vineland Rd. Suite 140, Orlando, FL 32811
Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Employees)
Mr. Randall Carr, Vice President of Talent Management & Human Resources
3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909
Although violations of this policy should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator, South College understands that from time to time other employees may learn of potential violations of this policy. South College has assigned certain employees authority to institute corrective measures, and those employees are required to respond to any complaint of sexual harassment promptly, reasonably, and equitably including referring the complainant to the Title IX Coordinator to make a formal report, if the complainant opts to do so. The issue will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator using the Sexual Harassment (Title IX) Incident form. To the extent possible, the information reported will only be shared with the employees charged with handling the College’s response to the report.
If the College receives a report of alleged sexual harassment by someone other than the complainant (e.g., friend or roommate, resident advisor) or from an anonymous source, the College’s Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the complainant of the report, and inform the complainant of the available resources and assistance, and will follow the process outlined in this policy.
The following employees (or categories of employees) are authorized by the College to institute corrective measures:
- Institutional Leadership: Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness, Vice Chancellor of Student Services, and Chief Academic Officer
- Dean of Academic and Student Services
- Director of Student Success/Affairs
- Vice President of Talent Management and Human Resources (for employees)
South College encourages complainants of sexual harassment to talk to somebody about what happened so that complainants can get the support they need, and so that South College can
respond appropriately. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a complainant’s confidentiality.
Professional, licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator without a complainant’s permission. These counselors will provide information to the College if there is a serious threat to the safety of students and employees.
If a complainant discloses an incident to an authorized employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the institution will weigh that request against its obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant. If the request for confidentiality is honored, a complainant must understand that the institution’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited. Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a complainant’s request in order to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for all students. All requests for confidentiality will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
Release of Information
South College will otherwise keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of Title IX and this policy, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising thereunder.
Supportive Measures for Reported Complainants of Sexual Harassment
When South College learns of any form of possible discrimination based on sex, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures, inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures (with or without the filing of a formal complaint), and explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. Supportive measures may also include informing the complainant(s) of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement and provide the complainant(s) with assistance if determination is made to do so.
Emergency Removal of Respondent
If upon receiving a report of sexual harassment, the College undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, and determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal, a respondent may be removed from the College’s education program or activity on an emergency basis. The College will provide the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.
Administrative Leave of Respondent Non-Student Employee
The College may place a non-student employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of a grievance process.
Formal Complaint Process
“Formal complaint” means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient with which the formal complaint is filed. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information required to be listed for the Title IX Coordinator. As used here, the phrase ”document filed by a complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by email) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
South College will send written notice to both parties (complainant and respondent) of the allegations upon receipt of a formal complaint. In the written notice, South College will include notice of the College’s grievance process, including any informal resolution process, the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known. The written notice will include a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. The written notice will also inform the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be an attorney, but is not required to be, and may inspect and review evidence. The written notice will also inform the parties of any provision in South College’s code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.
Informal Resolution Process
In some cases, the parties may feel that a situation can be remedied without going through the formal investigation and hearing process. If the parties both give voluntary, informed, written consent to attempt informal resolution, the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator will work with the complainant and respondent to determine a resolution to the complaint. A complainant may also request to go through the Informal Resolution Process after a formal investigation has been completed. South College will allow an informal complaint to proceed only if the potential remedies to the alleged misconduct do not involve the possibility of serious disciplinary action (e.g. suspension or dismissal). Informal resolution process is not available if the allegations relate to an employee sexually harassing a student.
The informal resolution process is a voluntary, remedies-based process designed to provide parties with an option to resolve disputes with other students in a forum that is separate and distinct from the College’s formal grievance processes under the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy. The purpose of the informal resolution process is to address the conduct which has been reported by the complainant, and place the parties in a position to pursue their academic and non-academic interests in a safe, respectful, and productive educational and working environment. Under this process, there will be no disciplinary action taken against a respondent, and the resolution will not appear on the respondent’s disciplinary record.
The College will not require as a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right, waiver of the right to an investigation and adjudication of formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment. Similarly, the College will not require, encourage, or discourage the parties from participating in the informal resolution process. The College will not offer the informal resolution process unless a formal complaint is filed.
At any time, either party may elect to transition the proceedings to the Formal Complaint Process.
Conflict of Interest
All individuals who have responsibilities in administering the grievance process under this policy must be free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent and will be trained as provided by federal regulations. Parties will be notified at the appropriate junctures of the identities of the individuals serving as investigators, Title IX Conduct Committee members, and Appeal Panel members. A party who has concerns that one or more of the individuals performing one of the aforementioned roles has conflicting interest or is biased must report those concerns to the Title IX Coordinator within 48 hours of being notified of their identities and include a brief explanation of the basis for the conflict or bias concern. The Title IX Coordinator will assess the allegations of conflict or bias to determine whether or not the identified individual(s) can fulfill their duties in an impartial way. If the Title IX Coordinator concludes that the facts and circumstances support the claim of conflict or bias, the pertinent individual(s) will not participate in the case.
Once South College is aware of a reported incident of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties in writing of the initiation of the investigation, and will assign an investigator to conduct an investigation of the complaint, and to gather evidence to determine if the allegation(s) meet the definition of sexual harassment as outlined in this policy. The results of the investigation will be submitted to the Title IX Conduct Committee.
The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility for a violation of this policy rest on South College and not on the parties.
Notice of Investigation
Following the receipt and review of the formal complaint by the Title IX Coordinator, and it being determined that the matter properly falls under this Title IX/Sexual Harassment policy, the parties will be informed in writing of the initiation of the investigation. The written information shall include:
- The identities of the parties, if known.
- A concise summary of the alleged conduct at issue (including when and where it occurred, if known).
- Notice of the allegations potentially constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment.
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
- A statement informing the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.
- A statement informing the parties that they may request to inspect and review evidence.
- A statement informing the parties that knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process may constitute a violation of College/Institute policy.
- Information regarding the applicable grievance procedures, including the informal resolution process.
- If, during the investigation, additional information is disclosed that may also constitute prohibited conduct under this policy, the respondent and complainant will be informed in writing that such additional information will be included in the grievance process.
The following guidelines will govern an investigation:
- Title IX investigations should be concluded within (60) days of receipt of a report, unless there are extraordinary circumstance in which a longer period will be permitted. Both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) will be notified in writing should an extension be required.
- South College will provide both complainants and respondents written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
- Both parties will be given the opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained in the investigation that directly pertains to the allegations. Each party will have 10 days to submit a written response to the Title IX Coordinator, which will be considered prior to the completion of the investigative report.
- The final investigative report will be provided to both parties and the party’s advisor for their review and written response at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
- If the investigation results indicate that the complaint should not proceed to a review by the Title IX Conduct Committee, for the reasons set forth below, both parties (complainant and respondent) will be informed in writing within (14) business days of the decision that the complaint was dismissed without further proceedings and the reasons therefor. Should the complainant wish to appeal this decision, he/she should follow the Appeal Process listed in the last section of this policy.
- South College must dismiss a formal complaint if the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment even if proved, did not occur in the College’s educational program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States.
- South College may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation or hearing: a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by South College; or specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein. In the case of such a dismissal, South College will inform both parties in writing within (14) business day of the decision and the reasons therefor. Should the complainant wish to appeal this decision, he/she should follow the Appeal Process listed in the last section of this policy.
- If the investigation results indicate that a complaint should proceed to a review by the Title IX Conduct Committee, both parties (complainant and respondent) will be informed within (14) business days of the decision. The formal, live hearing by the Title IX Conduct Committee will then occur within (14) business days of the notification. The final investigative report will be provided to both parties and the party’s advisor for their review and written response.
While not required, each party may choose an advisor (attorney or otherwise) at his/her own expense to assist during the investigation and hearing process. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the South College will provide, free of charge, an advisor of the school’s choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney in order to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
While the advisor may be present, s/he cannot verbally participate in the investigation process but will be permitted to participate in the live hearing. All statements and testimony must come solely from the parties and their witnesses. If the desired advisor is an employee of the institution, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that there is a conflict of interest and require that an alternative advisor be used.
At least (3) business days prior to the hearing, both the complainant and the respondent will schedule a pre-hearing consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and/or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator to discuss the issues and facts that will likely be presented at the hearing, submit written questions for the opposing party, provide any witness or advisor information, ask procedural questions, submit a written statement, and submit evidence to be presented during the hearing if desired.
The following guidelines will govern the Title IX Conduct Committee:
- The Title IX Conduct Committee will be composed of a minimum of three trained South College officials.
- The Title IX Conduct Committee will be unbiased, charged with reviewing all evidence objectively, and will not make credibility determinations based on an individual’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.
- The parties will receive the names of the Committee Members in advance of the hearing and will have (2) business days to object to the membership based on alleged bias or conflict of interest. The Title IX Coordinator and appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator will jointly decide the merits of the objection and will replace a Committee Member if necessary.
- An audiovisual recording or transcript of the hearing will be available to the parties for inspection and review.
- The decision of the Committee will be based on a preponderance of evidence standard (i.e. “more likely than not”).
- The Title IX Coordinator and/or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator will deliver the investigation report and be present throughout the hearing but will not act as a Committee Member and is not a decision maker at the hearing.
- The Chair of the Committee will be selected by the Committee Membership. The Chair will ask questions submitted by the parties and may rephrase or omit them based on professional judgment. All Committee Members may ask questions, the Chair may rephrase or filter if necessary.
- The parties, through their advisor if requested, may also be allowed to ask relevant questions at the discretion of the Chair. If a question is deemed not relevant, the Chair will explain the decision to exclude a question as not relevant.
- Each party’s advisor may ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. Such cross-examination must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally.
- Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant unless offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
- If a party of witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Committee must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, but the Committee cannot draw any inferences regarding responsibility based solely on the absence or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
- In all cases, whether the respondent is present or not, the evidence in support of the allegations shall be presented and considered. Should the respondent fail to appear for the hearing, a plea of “not in violation” shall be recorded for the respondent’s behalf and the hearing will proceed.
- In all cases, the respondent shall not be deemed responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
- Either the complainant or respondent may request to participate in the proceedings via video conferencing. Participation via telephonic conferencing alone is not allowed. At the request of either party, the Committee will provide for the entire live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the parties to see and hear each other in real time.
- The complainant and the respondent have the right to hear all evidence, present evidence, testify, and have their advisors question witnesses. All initial questions for witnesses must be submitted by the complainant and respondent prior to the hearing; the Title IX Conduct Committee Members determine if the questions are appropriate and control the questioning.
- After the hearing, the Committee will determine by majority vote whether a violation of the Title IX policy has occurred and will notify both parties of the decision reached on each allegation, and the supporting rationale for each, in writing within (14) business days.
- If it is determined that a violation has occurred, both parties will have (3) business days from the time they receive the Committee’s written decision to submit a written impact statement if they choose. An impact statement allows the parties to express what penalty they feel is deserved and what impact that might have on them.
- Within (14) business days of receiving the impact statement(s), the Committee will simultaneously notify all parties in writing of the Committee’s findings, remedies provided, and sanctions imposed, if any, and information about how to file an appeal.
Extensions for Good Cause
The timeframes and deadlines listed in this Policy may, for good cause, be extended or otherwise modified by South College. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
Remedies to Complainants
Following a determination that a violation of this Title IX policy has occurred, remedies may be provided to complainant. Available remedies may include the same services listed above as Supportive Measures.
Sanctions for Sexual Harassment
The following sanction(s) may be imposed upon any individual student found to be in violation of this policy. Following a determination that a violation of this Title IX policy has occurred:
- Issuance of a formal, written warning and reprimand (status of probation may be imposed)
- Issuance of a suspension or a required leave of absence for a period of time, contingent upon the student meeting specified conditions
- Dismissal from the college without possibility of re-admission
In cases of third parties and employee sanctions, South College will take prompt and effective action to stop the harassment and prevent its recurrence upon notice of the harassment. The sanctions taken by South College will differ depending on the level of control that the College has over the third party. For employees, the following sanction(s) may
be imposed upon any individual employee found to be in violation of the South College Employee Handbook/Title IX rules:
- Issuance of a verbal warning
- Requirement of training
- Issuance of a suspension (with or without pay), contingent upon the employee meeting specified conditions for returning
- Issuance of a written warning with formal counseling (status of probation may be imposed)
- Termination of employment
Should the complainant and/or respondent wish to appeal the decision of the investigation, or the decision of the Title IX Conduct Committee, an appeal must be submitted within (7) business days of delivery of the decision. The appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness. The appeal may be filed on the following bases: to determine whether the investigation or hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity of the procedures, if new evidence that was not available at the time of the determination that could affect the outcome, or if the Title IX coordinator, investigator(s), or Title IX Conduct Committee members had a conflict of interest or bias against the complainant or respondent that affected the outcome. An appeal received that does not address one of these areas will be dismissed without further consideration. A complete review of the appeal will be made by the Vice Chancellor within (14) business days after receipt of the appeal and additional information. In the event an extension is needed for this review, the individual making the appeal will be notified. A written decision will be issued to the respondent, complainant, and the Title IX Coordinator and/or Chair of the Title IX Conduct Committee.
South College’s other Title IX Obligations
The College will either provide appropriate training, or ensure appropriate training is provided by a qualified third party, to the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Deputies, investigators, Title IX Conduct Committee members, Appeal Panel members, and any individual who facilitates the informal resolution process. Such training will cover the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the scope of the College’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes under this policy, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.
The College will ensure that Title IX Conduct Committee members receive training on any technology to be used at a hearing and on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including questions and evidence about the irrelevancy of complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior. The College will ensure that investigators receive training on issues of relevance in order to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. These training materials are publicly available on the College’s website and will be made available for in-person review upon request. In addition, College officials with responsibilities under this policy will receive training related to intersectionality.
South College will maintain for a period of seven years records of:
- Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript of the hearing, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, and any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.
- Any appeal and the result therefrom.
- Any informal resolution and the result therefrom.
- All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process. A recipient must make these training materials publicly available on its website, or if the recipient does not maintain a website the recipient must make these materials available upon request for inspection by members of the public.
For each South College response required under Title IX, South College will create, and maintain for a period of seven years, records of any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment. In each instance, the College will document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity. If the College does not provide a complainant with supportive measures, then the College will document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The documentation of certain bases or measures does not limit the College in the future from providing additional explanations or detailing additional measures taken.
Modification and Review of Policy
The College reserves the right to modify this policy to take into account applicable legal requirements or extraordinary circumstances. At regular intervals, the College will review this policy to determine whether modifications should be made.