Student Rights and Responsibilities

FVCC students are responsible for knowing the information, policies and procedures outlined in the catalog. The College reserves the right to make changes as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to be aware of the current versions of all policies and procedures.

Student Code of Conduct and Student Complaints

The purpose of this policy is to promote the prompt and efficient resolution of student conduct violations and student complaints about College employees. Complaints involving discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or stalking are addressed in Chapter 1 Section 60 of the Discrimination Grievance Procedure. Copies of this entire policy, procedure, and the Student Complaint Form may be obtained from the Dean of Students.

Core Values of Student Conduct
The core values of student conduct at FVCC are as follows:

  • Integrity: College students exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for truth in all of their dealings.
  • Community: College students build and enhance their community.
  • Social Justice: College students are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community and act to discourage and/or intervene to prevent unjust and inequitable behaviors.
  • Respect: College students show positive regard for each other, for property, and for the community.
  • Responsibility: College students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others, and to the community.

Student behavior that violates these core values as defined in the policy is subject to the sanctions outlined in the posted conduct procedures.

The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students and all College-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the College considers an individual to be a student when the student registers for a class. The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at College-sponsored events, and may also apply off-campus when the Dean of Students or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial College interest.

There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Student Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations. Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the Dean of Students. A responding student facing an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct is not permitted to withdraw from the College until all allegations are resolved.

Eagle Mail is the College’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communications delivered to their College email address.

Student Complaint Against FVCC Employees
The term “complaint” shall mean a claim or allegation by a student that a College employee(s):

  • Significantly failed to carry out their professional responsibilities or failed to deal with a student fairly and impartially;
  • Significantly failed to carry out an assigned responsibility or failed to apply college policy fairly and impartially; or
  • Performed an action which impinged on the rights or activities of a student in the legitimate pursuit of the educative process.

All student complaints must be filed within 30 calendar days after the complainant knew or reasonably should have known about the complaint. Complaints shall be filed using the Student Appeals Complaint Form, available with the Dean of Students.

No reprisal of any kind will be made by either party against any student, College employee, or any participant in the complaint process by reason of such participation.

If a student seeks resolution of a complaint in any form other than that established by this procedure, whether administrative or judicially, the parties to the complaint shall have no obligation to proceed further under the provisions of this procedure.

Student Complaint Procedure

Release of Information

Flathead Valley Community College will release to outside agencies or persons, upon request, the following directory information:

  • Name;
  • Photograph;
  • Phone number;
  • Temporary or permanent address;
  • Home or Campus Email address;
  • Campus;
  • Enrollment status;
  • Dates of attendance;
  • Area of study;
  • Degrees/certificates awarded;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
  • Honors and awards received; and
  • Grade level.

If a student chooses not to have any or all of the directory information released, he/she is required to inform the Admissions and Records Office in writing, by submitting a Release of Information form available in the Admissions and Records Office. The college will not release other information without written permission, unless subpoenaed by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction. (M.C.A.20-25-515).

Students have the right to review and inspect all information pertaining to their educational records, including admissions and academic records. The Admissions and Records Office requires at least 48 hours notice if a student wishes to review his/her records. A student may request an amendment to his/her records on the grounds he/she feels the records are inaccurate, misleading or violate his/her rights. If the amendment is denied, the contents can be challenged through a hearing process with the Dean of Students.

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, a student’s educational records may be disclosed without prior written consent to specific bodies. A record of each request will be kept in the student’s file. Students who believe that FVCC is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may file complaints in writing to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of academic information to third parties without prior written consent of the student. (Exception: the disclosure of educational records, without consent, to another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.)

Academic Probation and Dismissal

A degree-seeking or Running Start student will be placed on academic probation anytime his/her cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.

A student on probation will be required to meet with a retention advisor before starting the next semester to discuss academic goals and barriers and ways to achieve the goals. A review of the academic assistance available at FVCC and the development of a plan to assist the individual in achieving his/her academic goals will also take place.

If a student fails to improve his/her GPA each term while on academic probation, he/she will have two options: choose academic suspension for a period of no less than one year or agree to a plan of extensive remediation developed by the college. If remediation is unsuccessful or if the student fails to comply with the prescribed plan, he/she will be suspended immediately for no less than one year. A student reinstated after being on academic suspension will be required to meet with a retention advisor prior to registering each semester.

Once a student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better, he/ she will be removed from academic probation or suspension status and will no longer be required to meet with a retention advisor.

Academic Dishonesty

The faculty, staff and administration of Flathead Valley Community College believe academic dishonesty conflicts with a college education and the free inquiry of knowledge. Plagiarism, cheating, forgery, facilitating or aiding academic dishonesty, unauthorized access, or otherwise manipulating student records, and computer programs, are all forms of dishonesty that corrupt the learning process and threaten the educational environment for all students.

Plagiarism is using another person’s writing or works as one’s own. Plagiarism is an intolerable offense in the academic community and is strictly forbidden. Students must always carefully acknowledge others’ ideas as well as words.

The consequences of academic dishonesty may vary depending on the situation and the individual instructor involved. Any student involved in academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action imposed by the instructor up to and including administrative withdrawal or a failing grade for the course.

In addition, academic dishonesty is grounds for disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct rules. The student found guilty of academic dishonesty may be reported to the Dean of Students for the initiation of disciplinary sanctions ranging from a warning to expulsion from the college.

Cell Phones

Cell phones and other noise-making devices are required to be turned off or silenced in classrooms, labs, library and study areas and at other functions where they may be disruptive.

Student Publications

Flathead Valley Community College recognizes that student publications are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and intellectual exploration. They serve as vehicles to bring student concerns to the college community’s and public’s attention, and formulate student opinions on various issues.

As citizens, students enjoy the same basic rights and are bound by the same responsibilities as are all citizens. Among these rights are freedom of speech and freedom of press. The Flathead Valley Community College Board, faculty and staff shall not exercise editorial control over student publications, except where specifically provided by FVCC policies and procedures. The college shall not be deemed to endorse the content of these publications unless so stated.

Waiver of Regulations

Rules and regulations contained in this catalog have been adopted by the Flathead Valley Community College faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees and are subject to modification and revision. Students who feel that extenuating circumstances might justify the waiver of any college regulation may file a petition with the Dean of Students.