|Section IV-3: Academic Policies and Procedures
Accountability and Credibility Plan Procedures for Noncredit Classes
|Privacy of Student Information
||Accommodations for Students
||Self-Support Class Policy
||Student Records Policy
|Academic Honesty Policy
||Allocation and Use of Information
Student Clubs and Organizations Policy
||Background Checks and Drug Testing Policy
||Substantive Change Policy
||Credit Hour Determination Policy
|Durham Tech is committed to providing adequate and appropriate assistance to all registering students; those admitted to career technical and university transfer programs, those who have not yet declared a major, and those entering as visiting students who wish to increase their knowledge and skills without earning a degree, diploma, or certificate. All students admitted to curriculum programs will have assigned academic advisors. Those enrolled as visiting students have access to faculty and professional staff advisors. The primary responsibility of the college’s advising system is to provide accurate and up-to-date information about career and university transfer plans of study, course content, program requirements, class schedules, registration, and other college offerings and support services.
Updated: May 4, 2009
Durham Technical Community College endeavors to promote a positive
atmosphere for learning and for inquiry by supporting and encouraging
all faculty members' scholarly pursuit of knowledge and excellence
in their respective field. Moreover, the college's Board of Trustees
ensures the instructors’ right to academic freedom. Within
the scope of Durham Tech's mission and purpose, academic freedom
includes the right to pursue responsible academic endeavors without
the imposition of censorship or unreasonable limitations.
Responsibility must accompany the rights and privileges of academic
freedom. Throughout the educational process, instructors are expected
to be accurate, objective, and respectful of others. While instructors
and students are encouraged to explore various points of view,
any controversial material that is presented or discussed must
be related to the course's subject matter. The discussions, assignments,
and materials presented must be relevant to the course objectives
presented in the course outline.
The support of academic freedom is not intended to protect the
incompetent or negligent instructor. The college will continue
to evaluate the work of each instructor on a regular basis. Ultimately,
each instructor is responsible for working toward accomplishing
the college’s educational objectives.
Consistent with the college’s mission, the Instructional
Services Division facilitates and encourages life-long learning
throughout the college community. Learning is defined for this
purpose as the intentional process of acquiring knowledge or skills.
This process requires the engagement of the learner and leads
to a demonstrable change in the way the learner relates to his/her
environment. The college ensures that its graduates have acquired
the knowledge and/or skills necessary for future academic, technical,
or professional success. Graduates will also demonstrate the following
- The ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and respectfully
both orally and in writing;
- The ability to recognize cultural differences among peoples,
to develop tolerance for differences, and to act appropriately
with individuals of varying cultures;
- The ability to contribute positively to the academic and
workplace environment by demonstrating expected behaviors (e.g.
integrity, demeanor, attendance, punctuality) and by working
with others to solve problems;
- The ability to learn how to learn and to possess critical
thinking and problem-solving skills necessary in an ever-changing
- The ability to recognize ethical dilemmas and to identify
The Instructional Services Division believes that as learning
occurs, changes begin within the person and transcend to interpersonal
relationships, groups, community, and to the greater global environment.
See also the Instructional Services
Division Reference Manual for additional academic policies
|Academic Honesty Policy
Durham Technical Community College demands complete academic integrity from each member of the academic community. The purpose of the academic honesty violation procedure is to provide a process for addressing academic dishonesty.
Durham Technical Community College establishes and follows a process for defining and addressing academic dishonesty when it occurs either inside or outside the classroom.
Student Violation Procedure
Academic dishonesty is the participation or collaboration in specific prohibited forms of conduct. Participation or collaboration may be active (such as submitting a term paper which includes plagiarized work) or passive (such as receiving a copy of a test before class). Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:
- Unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials on examinations or other academic exercises such as
- Sharing information about an exam with a student who has not taken that exam;
- Obtaining information about the contents of a test the student has not taken;
- Unauthorized use of PDAs, programmable calculators, or other electronic storage devices;
- Text messaging or other forms of communication during an exam;
- Unauthorized or inappropriate file sharing and use of Internet and computer resources as specified in the Appropriate Use Policy; and
- Unauthorized use of translation software and assistance from native speakers or advanced-level students in foreign language classes.
- Plagiarism, which is defined as the representation of another person’s work, words, thoughts, or ideas, including material from the Internet, as one’s own. This includes, but is not limited to, copying material and using ideas from an article, book, unpublished paper, or the Internet without proper documentation of references.
- Unauthorized use and/or possession of any academic material, such as tests, research papers, assignments, or similar materials.
Reports of Academic Honesty Policy violations are kept on file in the office of the Chief Instructional Officer. Violations of the Academic Honesty Policy do not expire.
The following violation procedure applies to alleged instances of academic dishonesty.
Any student who commits acts of academic dishonesty as described above shall be disciplined in the following manner:
- In the case of a first offense of classroom dishonesty as described above, a grade of zero shall be given on that particular classroom exercise. The instructor must notify, in writing, the student and the Chief Instructional Officer via the instructor’s immediate supervisor of the assigned grade of zero within seven working days. The Chief Instructional Officer will then notify the instructor in a timely manner about any prior violations of classroom dishonesty against the student.
- Upon notification that the student’s offense is a second offense of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall withdraw the student with a grade of F for the course, and the student shall become ineligible for any and all scholarships funded by the college.
Students who are removed from a class for academic dishonesty cannot receive a grade of W for the course. The Office of the Chief Instructional Officer will notify the student about the assignment of the grade of F and the scholarship ineligibility in writing.
If the student appeals the second finding of academic dishonesty via the Student Grievance Procedure, the student shall be allowed to remain in the class until the appeal is resolved.
- Upon notification that the student’s offense is a third offense of academic dishonesty, the Office of the Chief Instructional Officer will request that the student meet with the Chief Instructional Officer for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The student must meet with the Chief Instructional Officer within three working days after notification by the college. If, upon review of the evidence, the Chief Instructional Officer deems the student to be not guilty of the act of dishonesty, the student will be allowed to resume class attendance immediately and allowed to make up any work missed due to the suspension. If the Chief Instructional Officer finds that the student has committed a third offense of academic dishonesty, a punishment for the student will be recommended to the college’s President. Punishment will normally include suspension from the college for a period of time that the President determines to be appropriate. If a student is found guilty of an Academic Honesty Policy violation and suspended from the college due to the violation, the student’s suspension will be recorded on the student’s official college record.
- Any instance of academic dishonesty in a clinical practicum or workplace setting shall be treated as equivalent to a third offense of academic dishonesty in the classroom. The student shall be referred to the Office of the Chief Instructional Officer for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Students may appeal decisions concerning issues addressed by this policy through the Student Grievance Procedure.
Employee Violation Procedure
Academic dishonesty is considered “conduct unbecoming a member of the faculty or staff” and is addressed through the college’s Due Process Policy.
|Accountability and Credibility Plan Procedures for Noncredit Classes
1) Visits to Off-Campus Classes
- Off-campus classes are those class sections held at locations that are not under the direct supervision of a college employee. Distance education classes are those classes that are delivered primarily or exclusively on the Internet (“online” classes) or that are delivered primarily or exclusively by television or video (“telecourses”). College administrators will conduct unannounced visits to at least 50 percent of all noncredit off-campus classes held each semester.
- Division heads, including the Vice President for Corporate and Continuing Education, Vice President for Student Learning, Development, and Support, and Executive Director of the Center for the Global Learner, or a designee appointed in writing by the President, will visit a randomly-selected sample of 10 percent of off-campus class sections as described above. These visits will occur with no prior notification to the instructor or the instructor’s supervisor.
- Classes of 12 hours or less, self-supporting courses, and community service courses are excluded from this class visitation plan.
1.2) Visits to On-Campus Classes
- On-campus classes are those class sections held at locations that are under the direct supervision of a college employee. College administrators will conduct unannounced visits to at least 25 percent of all noncredit on-campus classes held each semester. The purpose of these unannounced visits is to verify that students are properly registered and enrolled and that the instructional activity is taking place in accordance with the approved course outline. The administrators who conduct these visits are the supervisors of the instructors assigned to teach these on-campuses classes or a designee approved in writing by the division head responsible for the course.
- Classes of 12 hours or less, self-supporting courses, and community service courses are excluded from this class visitation plan.
2) Student Membership Verification
Student membership is verified as follows:
- Evidence of payment of the applicable registration fee or evidence of a registration fee waiver; and
- Attendance records signed by the instructor or lead instructor or verified through an electronic signature.
Program auditors must have access to any system the college uses to conduct electronic visitations of Internet classes so that they may conduct unannounced class visits for these class sections in the same proportion that unannounced class visits are conducted for other adult education and continuing education class sections.
3) Instructor Verification
- Each instructor will complete the Employment Verification I-9 form and all other college employment documents. The Human Resources Department will maintain these files.
- Each instructor is required to sign an instructional contract for each class and sign the attendance sheet at the end of the course to verify that contracted instructional services have been rendered.
- Instructor salaries are certified by their supervisor for payment after all course materials and instructor records are completed. This certification is then submitted to the Business Office for instructor payment.
4) Institutional Process for Conducting Noncredit Classes
- The President’s designee is responsible for approving all noncredit classes. The process for approving and conducting noncredit classes shall be consistent with the mission and role of the community college.
- The college will maintain an up-to-date master schedule, including the day, date, time, and location for all noncredit classes. Directions to all noncredit off-campus classes must be on file in the Corporate and Continuing Education office.
5) Institutional Responsibility for Accuracy in Conducting Noncredit Classes
- The Vice President for Corporate and Continuing Education is responsible for compiling the class visitation report and submitting it to the President at least twice a year.
- The President, having overall responsibility for college administration, will take appropriate measures to ensure that the Accountability and Credibility Plan will be maintained and that the college will comply with these procedures. The President will report the internal audit findings to the Durham Technical Community College Board of Trustees at least once a year.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
|The college is obligated to provide equal access to students with
disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students requesting accommodations
due to disabilities for any college activity should be directed
to contact the Advising, Counseling, and Student Development Office
for services available through the Students with Disabilities
program. Should an employee of the college receive a request from
a student for accommodations on the basis of a disability, the
employee is obligated to refer the student to the Advising, Counseling,
and Student Development Office so the request can be documented
and verified. Failure to respond appropriately to a student’s
request for accommodations may constitute discrimination under
As a comprehensive community college, Durham Technical Community College is committed to providing adults an opportunity to better themselves through education and training. The college does reserve the right to deny admission if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the student or appropriate to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment.
Durham Technical Community College follows an open-door with guided placement admissions policy as established by the State Board of Community Colleges and consistent with 23 SBCC 02C .0301. The college is an affirmative action, equal opportunity, American Disabilities Act, Section 504 institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex or sexual orientation, color, age, religion, national origin, or disability in admitting students. The college reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant during any period of time that the student is suspended or expelled from any other educational entity.
Allocation and Use of Information
|Information technology resources are used to support the college's
educational mission to provide comprehensive educational programs
to the residents in its service area. Division and department
planning activities and a Computer and Information Technology
Planning Committee (CITPC) drive the resource allocations. Contact
the Information Technology Services Department for further information
about procedures for allocating and using information technology
resources. See also Information Technology
Services in this Employee Handbook and the Appropriate
Use of Computing Resources Policy.
Credit Hour Determination Policy
Durham Technical Community College is a constituent member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), which serves as the college’s regional accrediting body. SACS-COC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation enables its member institutions to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. To maintain its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education, SACS-COC has incorporated certain federal requirements into the Principles of Accreditation. Among those requirements is one that requires institutions to define the manner in which it defines a “credit hour.” In addition, Durham Technical Community College is an individually accredited member of the North Carolina Community College System that abides by the policies, standards, and regulations set forth by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges and the North Carolina Administrative Codes for the determination of credit hours awarded for courses and programs.
Consistent with the North Carolina Administrative Code 23 NCAC 01A.0101, a credit hour at Durham Technical Community College is calculated according to the following formula as based on a 16-week semester: 1 hour of classroom instruction per week equals 1 credit hour; 2 hours of supervised laboratory instruction per week equal 1 credit hour; 3 hours of supervised manipulative laboratory, shop, or clinical practice per week equal 1 credit hour; and 10 hours of work experience, practicum, or internship per week equal 1 credit hour.
Privacy of Student Information
The following is considered directory information and may be released
to the public without student consent:
- Dates of enrollment;
- Program in which enrolled;
- Degree, diploma, or certificate earned; and
- Credit hours enrolled.
Information about former students is available through the Student
Records Office. The Registration Office maintains information
about currently enrolled students. Only the Registration Office
and the Records Office are authorized to give out student information.
Students may request in writing on a yearly basis that directory
information not be released.
The Board of Trustees of Durham Technical Community College authorizes the collection of certain fees for individual courses or groups of courses within programs offered on a self-support basis. Under the terms of this policy, all students enrolled in self-support courses pay a pro-rata share of the amount of direct and indirect costs involved in the course or program sequence. The following are considered direct costs:
- Instructor salary including benefits, travel, course development costs, etc.;
- Instructional supplies and materials;
- Rental of building, and other directly assignable costs;
- Advertising and printing costs associated with brochures, postage, mailing, etc.;
- Equipment associated with instruction of self-support classes;
- Other costs necessary for and directly assignable to a self-support class (can include administrative/clerical support costs if verified as directly assignable.)
Indirect costs include the following:
- Utilities, custodial, and security;
- Coordination, administration, or clerical salaries and fringe benefits.
Courses Offered on Self-Support Basis:
The Board of Trustees authorizes the college administration to designate certain classes as “self-supporting” in nature. The cost of a self-supporting class will be determined by calculating the total of all direct costs associated with that particular class and adding a minimum 25 percent mark-up to the direct cost total. Each student enrolled will pay a pro-rata share of the cost of that self-supporting class. This fee is determined by dividing the cost of the self-supporting class by the number of estimated students that will register for that class or by dividing the cost of the class by the registration fee which will then determine the minimum number of students needed to register.
Funds in excess of direct and indirect expenditures will be used for the direct benefit of the students at the discretion of the president. Following are examples of the activities upon which excess funds may be spent:
- Educational activities for college personnel to enhance student success;
- Student aid and/or scholarships;
- Program development;
- Other expenditures of direct benefit to students (such as funding of positions for financial aid and student activities, etc.);
- Other similar expenses authorized by the Board of Trustees (such as new faculty positions for a start up of new programs, counselors, equipment, construction, etc.)
Student Records Policy
Policies applicable to students are published in the college’s
Catalog and Student Handbook in the section “Student Records
and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
The Student Records policy lists the information considered to
be part of the permanent record. The college follows the records
retention and disposal policies as outlined in the Public Records
Retention and Disposition Schedule for Institutions in the Community
College System, published by the N. C. Community College System.
Information release policies are followed as published in A Guide
to Postsecondary Institutions for Implementation of the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended, published
by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions
Student Clubs and Organizations Policy
Durham Technical Community College encourages and supports an active student body. To ensure consistency , oversight, and transparency in chartering clubs, promoting membership participation, and providing funding through the use of student activity fees, the college is setting forth in policy and in published guidelines the expectations and requirements for such activities and funding.
Durham Technical Community College provides a variety of activities, clubs, and organizations for students and the broader community. Educational, cultural, and social activities must support the college's mission, values, and strategic goals. The college establishes and follows processes and guidelines to encourage student engagement; foster student leadership; charter official student clubs and organizations; coordinate and provide administrative oversight of activities, clubs, and organizations; provide access to and information about related funding and expenditures; maintain a safe learning environment; and ensure compliance with college policies and with state, and federal laws.
Procedures related to this policy are included in the Student Activities Guidelines and Procedures publication produced by Student Learning, Development, and Support staff. This publication outlines the purpose of student activities, college employees who are responsible for student activities, characteristics of successful student organizations, requirements for student clubs and organizations, information about how to request a club charter, expectations and responsibilities of Student Senate members and club officers as well as club advisors, guidelines for requesting and requirements for using student activity fee funds made available through the Student Senate, fundraising ideas, available college resources, regulations involving serving or the sale of food, and other pertinent information.
Substantive Change Policy
Durham Technical Community College is a constituent member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), which serves as the college’s regional accrediting body. SACS-COC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation enables its member institutions to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. To maintain its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education, the SACS-COC has incorporated federal requirements into its substantive change policy and procedures. Some of those requirements specify that an institution seek and receive approval prior to the initiation of a substantive change so that the change can be included in the institution’s scope of accreditation.
The following policy establishes institutional procedures for recognizing and approving substantive changes and for ensuring timely notification to SACS-COC.
Durham Technical Community College provides written notification to its accrediting agency, SACS-COC, of substantive changes at the college in accordance with Commission policies and timetables.
A “substantive change” is a significant modification or expansion in the college’s nature and scope.
A “prospectus” is a concisely worded narrative that describes a proposed substantive change and is written in the format which SACS-COC specifies.
The “Accreditation Liaison” is the college employee appointed by the President to oversee the college’s compliance with SACS-COC accreditation requirements and policies.
The procedure for notifying the SACS-COC about a substantive change is as follows:
- The Accreditation Liaison is responsible for providing information about the SACS-COC substantive change policy to the college President, Division Heads, Deans, and Directors at the beginning of the academic year or more frequently if updates are required by SACS-COC action.
- The Vice President for Student Learning, Development, and Support or his/her designee is responsible for informing the Accreditation Liaison of changes to the college’s educational programs that might prompt the initiation of a substantive change notification. The Vice President is responsible for providing the Accreditation Liaison with the details of the substantive change, including the following items (if necessary):
- A description of the educational program(s) involved;
- The nature of the change;
- The academic and professional qualifications of faculty members assigned to coordinate and teach in the program(s);
- The manner in which the college will provide educational and academic support for students enrolled in the program(s) involved; and
- The plans for ensuring students enrolled in programs being discontinued will be able to complete the program in good order (“Teach-Out Plans”).
- The Accreditation Liaison is responsible in turn for notifying the President of proposed changes in the college’s educational programs and services that might prompt the substantive change.
- The President is responsible for notifying SACS-COC of possible substantive changes; for ensuring the Board of Trustees is properly notified of planned revisions to educational programs or services; and, when applicable, for seeking Board approval for adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum or other substantive changes to college programs or services.
- The Accreditation Liaison is responsible for coordinating any required follow-up action requested by SACS-COC in response to substantive change notification, including any on-site visits to the campus, as applicable.
The following is a list of possible notices the college will provide SACS-COC:
- The college will submit a “Letter of Notification” to SACS-COC when the change involves adding online coursework to an existing program such that students can complete between 25 percent and 49 percent of the required coursework for the degree online. The college will also provide a “Letter of Notification” when it adds a degree program that is clearly aligned with and similar to existing approved programs and does not require significant new investment in personnel, equipment, or space. Should the change require a “Letter of Notification,” the Accreditation Liaison is responsible for providing the President with a draft.
- The college will submit a “prospectus” for larger scale changes, such as adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum or offering a majority of the coursework needed to complete a degree, certificate, or diploma online. Should the change require submission of a prospectus, the Vice President for Student Learning, Development, and Support or his/her designee is responsible for coordinating the preparation of the prospectus. The prospectus should be submitted to the President at least six weeks prior to a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting to ensure the Board has sufficient time to take action to approve new program offerings. The college will provide written notification to SACS-COC at least six months in advance of implementation of a substantive change requiring a prospectus and will submit the prospectus at least three months in advance of the initiation of the proposed program.
- Durham Technical Community College is a Level I institution approved to offer programs at the associate’s degree level. North Carolina General Statutes prohibit the college from offering coursework at a more advanced level. In the event of any statutory change, the college will amend this policy and procedure to ensure compliance with all appropriate SACS-COC policies.