Procedure Name: 

Deceased Student


Lisa Inman
Dean, Student Development and Support


Student Engagement, Development, and Support

Effective Date: 

April 2016

Next Review Date:

Academic Year 2019






The procedures outlined here delineate the roles and responsibilities that should be assumed by college personnel following the death of a currently enrolled Durham Technical Community College student. This process has been put into place so that all situations involving the death of an enrolled student are handled in a timely, appropriate, equitable and compassionate manner. This procedure may also be followed for students who were previously enrolled in the college. The Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support (hereafter referred to as “Vice President”) will be the primary point of contact for college personnel involved in this procedure.


  • The College’s Public Information Officer is the official spokesperson for the college.
  • The Chief of Police is the primary contact for law enforcement agencies.
  • The Senior Vice President is the point of contact for the family of the deceased student.
  • Counseling Services provides communications assistance to instructors prior to instructors engaging in conversation about the student’s death with other students.

Steps to be taken by the following offices:

The Vice President (or designee) takes the following actions:

  • Verifies the death via the funeral home, newspaper obituary, family member, or county coroner.
  • Verifies the enrollment status of the deceased student.
  • Notifies the President’s Cabinet, Dean of Student Development, Student Information and Records Office, Business Office and Counseling Services.
  • Notifies current advisor, deans, and instructors if the student is enrolled in the term and informs them that Counseling Services staff are available for student support and support is available for employees through the Employee Assistance Program via our Human Resources office.
  • Writes and mails a note of condolence to the family.

Student Development and Support

  • The Registrar places a block on the student’s record, which inhibits the release of the academic record on the deceased student’s record and indicates that the student is deceased.
  • If the student is currently enrolled, his/her enrollment status should be changed to “Delete” approximately one week from notification of death.
  • Counseling Services staff members contact the instructors of the deceased student via email with a statement that may be emailed or read to classmates enrolled in the same courses as the deceased student.
  • Counseling Services staff members contact advisor(s) of any campus organizations to which the deceased student was a member with a statement that may be sent to other members of the organization.
  • Counseling Services staff members should be available to visit classrooms and provide crisis services as needed.

Business Office staff takes these steps

  • If a student, having paid the required tuition for a curriculum course section or a registration fee for a continuing education course section, dies prior to completing that course section, the college will refund the amount paid by the student for tuition and/or continuing education registration fee once the student’s death is confirmed.
  • Financial Aid refunds are coordinated with the Financial Aid office in adherence with Federal and State Financial Aid return of aid policies.
  • Refunds are sent to the deceased student’s estate.

The President

  • The President (or designee) writes a letter of condolence to the family.