- Copyright and Duplication of Course Materials
- Religious Holy Days
- Complaints and Grade Disputes
- Student Criminal Background Check
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Students' Role in College Decision-Making
- Student Standards of Conduct and Discipline Policy
Copyright and Duplication of Course Materials
The Austin Community College District recognizes and respects intellectual property ownership, including copyrights. Copyright infringement violates the reasonable expectations of the copyright owner to have exclusive control over the materials they create, and is illegal. Copyrights are property rights and are protected by federal statute. Copying or reproduction of materials without permission of the copyright owner, or distribution or republication of those materials without permission, is copyright infringement. This includes the making and disseminating of copies by or on electronic media, as well as the more familiar method of copy machine reproduction. In particular, the posting of materials on the Internet, or the transmission of documents by electronic mail, is an infringing use of materials when it is done without permission.
The ACC District expects its students to respect the rights of the college and of their professors and other instructors or staff who use or permit the use of copyright protected materials for instruction. Of course, textbooks and other commercial publications used as text or supplemental materials are copyright protected. It is copyright infringement to make or disseminate copies of such materials in whole or part without permission. Most, if not all, other course materials - course syllabi or outlines, course bibliographies or reading lists, lecture or other supplemental handouts, review notes or outlines that are handed out, tests or individual test questions, test answers, and other instructional materials provided to you by your professor or other instructors - are also copyright protected materials. The content of materials does not belong to the student. The student enrolled in a course has only limited permission, a non exclusive license, to use those materials, and that permission is limited to use strictly in conjunction with that student's participation in the course in which the student is enrolled.
Following the intent of the Administrative Rule 4.02.007 of the ACC District, no instructional materials may be reproduced or disseminated by students except for the exclusive use of students enrolled in the course in which such materials have been provided. In particular, course materials may not be posted on the Internet without express written permission. Violations are subject to civil penalties or criminal prosecution under the federal Copyright Act of 1976, as amended. In addition, students who violate this rule regarding copyright infringement are subject to college disciplinary action. It is a condition of a student's enrollment in courses at Austin Community College that he or she respect the copyrights of others and adhere to the Copyright Administrative Rule.
If a student has any questions about whether he or she is permitted to make copies of or disseminate instructional materials the student should inquire at the associate vice president of instructional resources and technology (223.7667).
In compliance with Senate Bill 738, ACC permits students to be absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day. "Religious holy day" means a day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Tax Code.
ACC permits students to be absent, without penalty, from examinations or from completing assignments scheduled for that day. It is the student's responsibility to work with the course instructor when absent for a religious holy day in order to complete required assignments within two days following the absence. The instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.
Complaints and Grade Disputes
Student Complaint Procedures
Student complaints may include (but are not limited to) issues regarding classroom instruction, college services and offices as well as discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Grade disputes and sexual or sexual harassment complaints are handled separately.
The following procedure applies to complaints about an instructor or other college employee. You must complete each step before proceeding to the next one.
- First meeting. Attempt to resolve the complaint immediately with the person directly involved, in a meeting outside of the classroom environment. Bring materials pertaining to the complaint. Each individual should take notes of the meeting for mutual clarification. There may be instances when you cannot meet with the individual; if this is the case, proceed to step 2. Note: This step can be completed by telephone conference.
- Meeting with supervisor. If unable to resolve the complaint with the individual involved, you must request a meeting with the employee's supervisor within 10 business days after the first meeting (excluding weekends, holidays, and scheduled breaks). The supervisor will respond to the request by scheduling a meeting within 10 business days to discuss the issue with you and, if desired, with the employee. All parties should make every effort to resolve the complaint at this level.
- Written complaint. If you cannot resolve the complaint in the meeting, you must submit a formal, written complaint to the supervisor within 10 business days. Complaint forms are available from the campus administrative office, department chairs, instructional deans, assistant deans, and the Student Services office at any campus. Write the complaint as briefly and succinctly as possible. Counselors from Student Services may advise you on the process of preparing your written statement. This completed form must be submitted to the supervisor within 10 business days of the meeting in Step 2. The supervisor will sign the form to acknowledge that a joint meeting has occurred. This does not constitute agreement to your complaint.
- Written complaint forwarded to dean or next level supervisor. Ask the supervisor to forward the complaint with written statements from the parties involved to the appropriate dean or next level supervisor. This form and written statements should be forwarded to the next level in the supervisory chain within five business days of the complaint having been submitted to the supervisor. The dean or next level supervisor will acknowledge receipt of the student's complaint within five business days.
- Meeting with dean or supervisor next level. The dean or next level supervisor will schedule a time to meet with you. At this time you can discuss the complaint with the dean or next level supervisor. Bring all supporting documentation to the meeting. The dean or next level supervisor will deliver a decision in writing within 10 business days of the meeting.
- Appeal to vice president. If the complaint has not been resolved, you may appeal the dean's or next level supervisor's decision within 10 business days to the vice president overseeing the department involved in the complaint. Your written appeal, including all supporting documentation, will then be forwarded to the department's vice president, who may request an appointment with you to discuss the appeal or may choose to make a decision based upon a review of the written documentation.
- Determination. The vice president will make a decision concerning the complaint and notify you of the decision in writing within 10 days of receiving the appeal. The decision of the vice president is final.
Sexual and Racial Harassment
- The person receiving the complaint (department chair, assistant department chair, associate dean, dean) meets with the student in a private area to discuss the student's complaint.
- If the student has not already done so, the person receiving the complaint asks the student to write a statement of everything that happened regarding the complaint. The statement should include dates, times, places, witnesses, and specifics of what was said and done.
- The person receiving the complaint notifies the academic or workforce dean of the situation. The dean will specify a person to conduct an investigation.
- The investigator appointed by the academic or workforce dean reviews the written material submitted by the student and meets with the student to discuss the complaint. The investigator also meets with any witnesses and secures a witness statement of what they saw, heard, or witnessed. The investigator may consult with the associate vice president for human resources to identify alternatives.
- The investigator will meet with the faculty member to review the complaint, analyze the data presented by the student and witnesses, and give the faculty member an opportunity to respond to the complaint. The faculty member also may identify witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator will determine from this meeting any additional information that needs to be gathered or considered.
- After meeting with the faculty member and concluding the investigation, the investigator will make a recommendation, in writing, to the academic or workforce dean. The recommendation will state the following: complaint, findings of the facts, persons interviewed, conclusions, and recommendations.
- If the student has also filed a grade appeal for the faculty member's class, the student has the option of pursuing the grade appeal first so as to not jeopardize that process.
- The dean, in consultation with the appropriate vice president, will determine the final action to be taken on the complaint. The faculty member will be advised in writing of the outcome. The investigator or dean also will meet with the faculty member to discuss the findings and the outcome.
- The investigator or dean will notify the student of the disposition of the complaint.
- If dissatisfied with the resolution, the faculty member or the student may appeal to the appropriate associate vice president. The final appeal is to the executive vice president.
All course grades are awarded by the instructor of record. At the beginning of the course, your instructor will inform you of course requirements and grading policies. Your instructor shall exercise professional judgment in the application of those policies and the awarding of grades. All grades are final except in the case of college error.
Resolving disputes about a grading policy and/or a specific assignment grade
If you have a question about a grading policy and/or a specific assignment grade, you must raise your question while enrolled in the course. Meet with your instructor and discuss your questions or objections. Document in writing what you discuss and the outcome of that discussion in case you later request a formal "Review of Final Course Grade."
If you are unable to resolve your questions or objections with your instructor, make an appointment with the department chair to discuss the matter or, if the instructor is the department chair, with the dean. If you need help locating the department chair or dean, visit Student Services on any campus, or refer to the website at www.austincc.edu/dept.
Resolving disputes about final course grades
If you have questions about your final course grade, you must contact your instructor within three months after the grade was awarded. If you cannot contact the instructor, contact the department chair. (If the department chair is also the instructor who awarded the grade, the appropriate dean or vice president shall act in place of the department chair.)
If the grade awarded was not the grade your instructor intended, your instructor will initiate a Grade Change Request Form to correct the error. Address any follow-up questions to your instructor or the department chair.
If the grade awarded was the grade your instructor intended, but you believe there was an error, you may request a formal "Review of Final Course Grade."
Formal 'Review of Final Course Grade'
- A request for a formal "Review of Final Course Grade" may be submitted only if a student is unable to resolve the dispute either with the course instructor or with the assistance of the department chair. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with an ACC counselor to discuss the process before preparing a formal request.
- In order to begin this process, you must submit your written request including evidence of college error and relevant supporting documentation to the department chair within three months after the grade was awarded. The department chair will forward your request to the dean who oversees that department. Late requests or deadline extensions will be approved only if there are documented extenuating circumstances.
- The dean will give your instructor a copy of your written request and ask the instructor to provide a written response. The dean will give you a copy of the instructor's written statement. If the college no longer employs the instructor who awarded the grade, the dean will make a diligent effort to locate the instructor to obtain a written statement. (If the instructor is unavailable, the dean, in consultation with the department chair, will give you a written statement containing all relevant information available to them.) During the process of writing and exchanging statements, the instructor may choose to change the grade or you may withdraw your request for review. If neither of these occurs, the dean shall appoint a three-member faculty Grade Review Committee to consider the request.
- The Grade Review Committee will consist of three members, including a required representative outside the discipline. None of your current instructors, at the time the committee meets, will be on the committee. You may exercise your option to have a Student Government Association representative participate on the committee. If possible, one of the committee members will be an adjunct faculty in the discipline. The committee members will determine the steps they take in reviewing your request. There is no requirement for you to appear before the committee, but you may request to do so. You will not be present when the committee considers your request.
- The Grade Review Committee will meet in private to protect the confidentiality of all student records. Only committee members will be present during committee deliberations. The dean will explain the committee's decision in writing to you, your instructor, and the department chair. The committee's decision is final. If the decision requires a grade change, the dean will initiate the paperwork to make the grade change.
Student Criminal Background Check
The Austin Community College District is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students and to supporting all federal and state regulations protecting individuals receiving services from ACC students. As part of this commitment, ACC will identify all programs where criminal background checks are required by law or as a condition of the program approval/accreditation. ACC will require criminal history checks of students in these identified programs and will refuse admission to or continuation in these programs where necessary to meet such regulations or accreditation standards.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students at the college have the rights accorded by the U.S. Constitution to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association. These rights carry with them the responsibility to accord the same rights to others in the college community and not to interfere with or disrupt the educational process. Opportunity for students to examine and question pertinent data and assumptions of a given discipline, guided by the evidence of scholarly research, is appropriate in a learning environment. This concept is accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility on the part of the student. As willing partners in learning, students must comply with college rules and procedures.
Enrollment in the college indicates acceptance of the rules set forth in this policy, which is administered through the office of the campus dean of student services. Due process, through an investigation and appeal process, is assured to any student involved in disciplinary action.
The purpose of this policy is to identify the rights and responsibilities of ACC students, to specify acts prohibited and standards of conduct required, and to set a range of appropriate penalties when rules are violated.
College disciplinary procedures respect the due process rights of students.
Provisions are included to protect the college and members of the college community in emergencies and other instances requiring immediate action. Even in such instances, the college will take reasonable steps to provide for due process.
Administration of Discipline:
The campus dean of student services or the appropriate facility administrator shall have primary responsibility for the administration of student discipline. The campus dean of student services works cooperatively with faculty members in the disposition of scholastic violations.
Students' Role in College Decision-Making
The participation of students in ACC decision-making is an important institutional value. Participation occurs in several ways: program and instructor evaluations; monthly Student Government Association presentations to the Board of Trustees; and participation in the Student Government Association, focus groups, and the Student Activity Fee Advisory Committee. During orientation, new students receive information about the Student Government Association. The association appoints students as voting members to many college and campus committees in order to influence decisions on a variety of issues, from the budget to the registration process to the remodeling of college facilities.
Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process
This section pertains to the full Administrative Rule 1.04.006. Click here to access the rule from ACC's administrative rule website for the current rule, including any amendments.
Learn more about ACC's vision, mission, and values by reading Board Policy A-1.