SH.02 - Academic Policies


SH.02.A – Academic Integrity Policy

About This Policy

Students at Tulsa Community College are expected to behave as responsible members of the College community and to be honest and ethical in their academic work. TCC strives to provide students with the knowledge, skills, judgment, and critical thinking needed to function in society. To falsify or fabricate the results of one's research; to present the words, ideas, data, or work of another as one's own; or to cheat on an examination corrupts the essential process of higher education and is a disservice to the student, faculty, and staff community. All members of the TCC community share the responsibility and authority to challenge and report acts of academic dishonesty.

Guidelines for Academic Integrity

  • Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the coursework they submit.
  • Students must do their own work and submit only their own work on examinations, reports, and projects unless otherwise permitted by the instructor.
  • Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
  • Students may benefit from working in groups. However, students must not collaborate or cooperate with others on graded assignments, examinations, or other academic exercises unless clearly directed to do so by the instructor.
  • Students must follow all written and/or verbal instructions given by instructors or designated College representatives prior to taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.
  • Students are responsible for adhering to course requirements as specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Actions constituting violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following: cheating, plagiarism, misuse of academic materials, complicity and facilitating academic dishonesty, fabrication, and multiple submission.

Cheating

Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying from another's assignment or receiving unauthorized assistance from another during an academic exercise or in the submission of academic material.
  • Using a cell phone, calculator, computer, or other materials when not authorized by the instructor.
  • Collaborating with another student or students during an academic exercise without the consent of the instructor.

Plagiarism

Representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise. The following are considered to be forms of plagiarism:

  • Word-for-word copying of another person's ideas or words.
  • Misciting or incorrectly quoting another person's ideas or words.
  • Interspersing one's own words within a document while, in essence, copying another's work.
  • Rewriting another's work, yet still using the original author's fundamental idea or theory.
  • Inventing or counterfeiting sources.
  • Submitting another's work as one's own.
  • Neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged.

Misuse of Academic Materials

The misuse of academic materials includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stealing or destroying College or library materials, or computer equipment and/or programs.
  • Stealing or destroying another student's notes or materials or having such materials in one's possession without the owner's permission.
  • Receiving assistance in locating or using sources of information in an assignment when such assistance has not been authorized or is forbidden by the instructor.
  • Illegitimate possession, disposition, or use of examinations, test banks or answer keys to examinations.
  • Unauthorized alteration, forgery, or falsification of academic records.
  • The sale or purchase of examinations, papers, projects, or assignments.

Complicity and Facilitating Academic Dishonesty

Knowingly contributing, helping, or attempting to help another's acts of academic dishonesty.

Fabrication

Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Multiple Submission

Unauthorized submission of academic work for which academic credit has already been earned and when such submission is made without authorization.

Academic Misconduct

When an incident of academic misconduct occurs, the faculty member has the autonomy to address the incident directly and immediately. This includes any grade implications. The faculty will then follow the process set forth by the program or the school in which the misconduct occurred. The Office of Conduct and Community Standards may also respond with appropriate institutional sanctions. This includes, but is not limited to probation, suspension, or expulsion in addition to possible educational sanctions which will be added to a student's conduct file. When an incident of Academic Misconduct occurs outside of class or is reported after the fact, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards will investigate the situation. Once a finding has been determined, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards will relay information to the responsible faculty member.

A student has a right to appeal all proceedings. In order to appeal the grade, the student must follow the Course Grade Appeal Procedures (SH.02.G.PR01 – Course Grade Appeals). If the student wants to appeal the institutional sanction(s), the student may appeal the conduct decision through the conduct appeal process (SH.11.E – Student Conduct Code Procedures).

SH.02.B – Academic Advising Policy

TCC Advising Purpose

Academic Advising is central and plays a significant role in the process of educating students for success. Academic Advisors assist students with course selection, clarification of career and major, and with creating a success plan. The advisor-student relationship is dependent upon effective communication and exchange of information between the student and their advisor.

The goal of Academic Advising is to educate the whole student and teach them the knowledge of academic planning, their responsibilities, and the College expectations required for their success.

TCC Advising Requirements

All students seeking a degree or certificate are required to see an advisor to determine their career and educational goals. During these sessions, an advising curriculum is followed which incorporates Appreciative Advising and includes a checklist of items based upon the student’s education level and standing. In addition to degree and certificate-seeking students, those who have the following status: Academic Notice, Probation or Suspension, and Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Suspension, are required to see an advisor prior enrollment to discuss their academic progress. It is the responsibility of non-degree seeking students to seek assistance and engage in the advising process.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify fields of study that are consistent with interests, abilities, and life goals.
  • Develop and implement a meaningful education plan through completion.
  • Access appropriate support services to accommodate unique needs.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Ensure advisors exhibit care, respect, and knowledge in interactions with students.
  • Collaborate with students to develop and implement academic plans and educational experiences that reflect individual ability and interest.
  • Teach students to utilize resources available to achieve their goal — whether it be degree completion, transfer and/or transition to employment, or personal enrichment — so they can maximize their individual potential.

SH.02.C – Academic Program Dismissal

A program director, dean, or provost may place on probation, suspend, or dismiss a student from a program of study for academic and/or performance reasons. Each academic program has specific procedures governing this process which a student can access by contacting that academic program office.

SH.02.D – English Proficiency

Tulsa Community College diligently strives to provide students with faculty who have competence in written and oral communication. Pursuant to 70 OK Stat § 70-3224 and § 70-3225 (2001), all instructors shall be proficient in speaking the English language so that they may adequately instruct students.

SH.02.E – Attendance

The College does not have an official policy on attendance, but faculty will communicate the importance of attending class and make the consequences of non-attendance clear on the syllabus. Some faculty establish attendance policies that stipulate how many classes student can miss without jeopardizing their final grade, and some faculty choose to “drop” or administratively withdrawal (by assigning an AW as the final grade in MyTCC) students who consistently miss class or fail to turn in several assignments, so students should carefully read the course syllabus.

Pursuant to 38 O.S. § 38-37 (2014) TCC faculty or staff cannot take any adverse academic action against the student for missing class due to jury duty. Proof of said duty may be required.

SH.02.F – Grades

After the close of the course, final grades are placed on the student’s records and may be obtained via the MyTCC portal. Official transcripts with updated academic standing are available for students approximately two business days after the faculty grade-posting deadline at the close of the semester/term. For courses ending throughout the term, final grades normally appear on the unofficial student transcript one week after the course end.

SH.02.G – Course Grade Appeals

Principles

The Tulsa Community College Course Grade Appeal Procedures are based on the following principles:

  • A student has a right to appeal a grade that the student believes was contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.
  • A student’s grade should reflect the student’s mastery of the subject matter of the course.
  • Students are entitled to a fair and impartial evaluation of their work.
  • Students and faculty should communicate regularly and openly about course requirements, assignments, tests, grading procedures, and grades.
  • The college faculty is responsible for creating the curriculum and establishing the standards by which students will be evaluated in each course.
  • Faculty members are entitled to the presumption that the grades they assign are an accurate reflection of the performance of the students in their courses.
  • A course grade may only be changed by the course instructor or by the final recommendation of the Grade Appeal Board. College administrators may not alter any students’ grades.

Rights and Responsibilities

Both students and faculty members have rights and responsibilities in the grading process:

  • Students who wish to appeal a final grade are responsible for demonstrating that the grade they received was contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record. The following questions outline reasons for an appeal:
    1. Were errors were made in calculating the final grade?
    2. Was the student clearly informed of the process the instructor used to determine the final grade?
    3. Did instructor consistently and fairly apply the grading system to all students?
    4. Did the instructor change the grading system during the semester in a way that put the student at a serious disadvantage or without adequately communicating the change to the students in the class?
    5. Were all students given a chance to improve their grades when grade adjustment opportunities were made available during the course of the semester?
    6. Did the instructor single the student out for discriminatory or random treatment?
  • Faculty members have a responsibility to provide their students with syllabi that clearly explain how student grades will be assigned.
  • Faculty members are responsible for providing their students with timely feedback on their performance on tests, papers, projects, and other graded assignments.
  • Faculty members are responsible for keeping course records, final exams, and other materials on which grades are based (that have not been returned to students) for one long semester.
  • Faculty members have a right to have the grades they assign upheld unless it is clearly demonstrated that a grade was contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.
  • Both faculty members and students have a right to have grade appeals resolved in a timely fashion (as prescribed in the timelines given in this document).
  • Both faculty members and students have a responsibility to attempt to resolve grade disputes informally.

Grading Disputes during a Semester

Faculty members and students should communicate regularly and openly about all grading issues. A student who is dissatisfied with an instructor’s grading decision during a semester should first discuss the issue with the instructor and attempt to resolve the matter informally. A student who believes that a grading issue has not been satisfactorily resolved should speak with the instructor’s department chair or program director1 about the matter. The department chair should work with both the student and the instructor to address the issue.

Students may not file a formal course grade appeal during the semester. Grading issues that remain unresolved during the semester may become the basis for a course final grade appeal once the semester has ended and a course final grade has been assigned. The formal process may be used only for grading issues that impact the course final grade. For example, if a student disagrees with a grade given on an assignment but changing the grade on that particular assignment will not affect the student’s course final grade, then the issue is not appropriate for a formal appeal. In this situation, the student may submit a student concern form about the instructor’s grading practices through the academic concern process: Report It!. The instructor’s grade stands unless the Grade Appeal Board determines by the preponderance of the evidence that the grade was contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.


1 For the remainder of this document, the term “department chair” may also refer to program directors within workforce development departments.

Grounds for a Course Final Grade Appeal

A student may file a course final grade appeal if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The student has attempted to resolve the dispute informally.
  • The grading issues at stake impact the course final grade. (A course final grade appeal may not be filed until the term has ended and a course final grade has been assigned.)
  • The student believes that his or her course final grade was assigned contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.
  • The course final grade appeal is filed no later than the last day of the subsequent semester (whether fall, spring, or summer). Students who fail to file a grade appeal within the time limit may ask the department chair1 for an exception, but the exception must be based on extraordinary circumstances.

Students enrolled in a selective admission program should be aware that the grade appeal petition may affect progression in the academic program due to the timing of the grade appeal meeting.

Filing A Course Final Grade Appeal

A student can file a course final grade appeal by completing the Course Grade Appeal Form and submitting it to the main office of the appropriate school either in person or via TCC e-mail (for example, to the office of the School of Business and Information Technology) or to the Academic and Campus Services (ACS) Office on any campus. The school or ACS office will route the appeal form to the appropriate department chair1. The form asks the student to provide a written statement that clearly and specifically states the grounds on which the grade appeal is based. The student must explain why he or she believes that the assigned grade was contrary to procedures as specified in the course syllabus or was assigned on some basis other than performance in the course, by using standards different from those applied by the same instructor to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.

The student must attach supporting documentation to the form including:

  • a copy of the course syllabus
  • a copy of the graded assignment on which the formal course grade appeal is based (if available)
  • examples of the student’s other graded work from the course, including papers, projects, homework, tests, and other assignments (if available)
  • any other documents the student believes are relevant to the resolution of the course grade appeal, including email correspondence between the student and instructor. Communications from other students will only be allowed in rare instances when it directly pertains to the grade and are allowable at the discretion of the Grade Appeal Board.

The burden of providing documentation resides with the student who files the course grade appeal. Without documentation attached to the Course Grade Appeal Form, the Grade Appeal Board may decline to review the appeal.

Informal Resolution

Upon receipt of a Course Grade Appeal Form, the department chair1 should contact both the student and the instructor involved to attempt to resolve the dispute informally. If the instructor is no longer with the college or is unavailable, the department chair1 shall appoint another instructor to represent faculty interests in the appeal.

The faculty member representing the absent instructor shall act as a good faith representative of the faculty whose goal is to resolve the grading dispute fairly. The instructor may agree to resolve the dispute informally if he or she believes it is appropriate. For example, if the dispute involves a computational or clerical error and the instructor representing the absent faculty member agrees with the student, he or she may simply sign the Change of Grade Form to change the grade rather than force a Faculty Grade Appeal Panel to resolve the issue. The department chair1 will inform the student of the status of the appeal. The results of the informal resolution will be documented on the grade appeal form.

Instructor Response

When informal resolution is not successful, the department chair1 shall give the instructor a copy of the Course Grade Appeal Form submitted by the student and ask the instructor involved to prepare a written response to the appeal. The instructor’s response should be submitted to the department chair1 within 14 working days and include the following:

  • a copy of the course syllabus
  • a copy of the class grade book for the student
  • a copy of any relevant graded assignments that had not been returned to the student
  • a written statement responding to the issues raised by the student
  • any other documents that are relevant to the resolution of the course grade appeal including emails and/or narrative which addresses any of the following questions that pertain to the appeal:
    • Were errors were made in calculating the final grade?
    • Was the student clearly informed of the process the instructor used to determine the final grade?
    • Did instructor consistently and fairly apply the grading system to all students?
    • Did the instructor change the grading system during the semester in a way that put the student at a serious disadvantage or without adequately communicating the change to the students in the class?
    • Were all students given a chance to improve their grades when grade adjustment opportunities were made available during the course of the semester?
    • Did the instructor single the student out for discriminatory or random treatment?

The department chair1 should continue to pursue an informal resolution to the dispute if he or she believes that a resolution is possible. The chair may share the instructor’s response with the student in hopes of finding common ground between the two. If appropriate, the chair may wish to give the student the opportunity to address issues raised in the instructor’s response that the student has not previously addressed. Upon receipt of the instructor’s response, the department chair1 will inform the student as to the status of the appeal.

The Grade Appeal Board

If attempts at informal resolution of the grading dispute fail, the department chair1 shall send all relevant documentation to the chair of the Grade Appeal Board for review at its next scheduled meeting. The board is comprised of faculty members, a representative from Student Affairs, and a representative from the Student Government Association, whose appointments and terms are described below.

The Chair of the Grade Appeal Board

The deans or associate deans of the academic schools chair the Grade Appeal Board on a rotating basis and serve a two-year term as a non-voting member. Should a grade appeal case come before the board from that dean’s school during his or her term as chair, the incoming chair will chair the board during the review of the case to ensure the grade appeal process is fair and impartial.

The Membership of the Grade Appeal Board

The following appointments and lengths of terms shall determine the composition of the Grade Appeal Board. Annual training will be provided and documented in consultation with general counsel.

Faculty

One faculty member from among the full-time faculty of each academic school shall be selected to serve on the Grade Appeal Board for the initial length of term identified below. After the initial appointment, all subsequent appointments will be for three-year terms.

Student Affairs

The Senior Student Affairs Officer or designee shall appoint one director from Student Affairs to serve as the Student Affairs representative to the Grade Appeal Board for a three-year term. Two other directors shall be named as substitute members should the appointee be unavailable to attend a meeting of the board.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Associations, through consultation, shall appoint one student representative to the Grade Appeal Board for a one-year renewable term. Two other students shall be named as substitute members should the appointee be unavailable to attend a meeting of the board.

Quorum

The Grade Appeal Board must have a quorum of voting members in order to meet and conduct business. Regular meetings will be scheduled but held only when grade appeals have been submitted to the board for review.

Responsibilities and Procedures of the Grade Appeal Board

The chair of the Grade Appeal Board is responsible for ensuring that the grade appeal process is completed in a timely fashion. Exceptional circumstances to this timeline may be determined by the chair. The chair also is responsible for ensuring that the instructor has at least a week to prepare a response to the grade appeal.

The Grade Appeal Board is responsible for determining the facts in the dispute and making a judgment on the merits of the course grade appeal. The board shall review the materials submitted both by the student and the instructor. The board may request any other information it deems necessary, including additional instructor records and input from third parties.

The board will conduct its review based on the written materials supplied by the parties and whatever other information the board may request. The board’s deliberations shall take place in private. Documents generated by the Grade Appeal Board will be filed and kept confidential following the conclusion of the board’s review.

Once the members of the Grade Appeal Board have determined that they have sufficient information to make a decision, they will vote either to grant or reject the grade appeal. A simple majority of those in attendance at the board meeting is sufficient to decide the issue. If the board grants the appeal, it determines the appropriate course grade for the student. The chair shall prepare a written report stating the board’s decision and the justification for that decision. This report is the only written decision from the board concerning the grade appeal case and should reflect the majority opinion of the Grade Appeal Board. Copies of the report must be conveyed to the student, the instructor, the department chair1, and the dean or associate dean of the respective school from which the appeal was filed. If the board determines that the student’s grade shall be changed, the chair of the Grade Appeal Board will prepare a Grade Change Form and submit it to the department chair1 for processing with the board report attached. The stated reason for the change of grade will be “the determination of the Grade Appeal Board.” The chair will sign the form instead of the course instructor, and the department chair1 will notify the student of the outcome of the appeal.

Sometimes a course grade appeal raises issues that go beyond the resolution of grading issues. These issues could include questions about compliance with ADA guidelines, concerns about an instructor following departmental or college procedures, or questions of a student’s academic integrity. At its discretion, the Grade Appeal Board may prepare a supplementary report addressing those issues and present it to the dean or associate dean.

Appealing the Board’s Decision

The decision of the Grade Appeal Board is final.

SH.02.H – Denial of Admission or Readmission of Applicants

The Senior Student Affairs Officer shall have authority to deny admission or readmission of applicants to attend the College after review and consideration of any applicant's previous action or law violation, misconduct, rule violations, or any acts interfering with the orderly conduct of the College, separately or in combination. In making determinations on the admission or readmission of applicants, the College is controlled by the rules established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.