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.

In order to appeal a course final grade, the student must follow the Course Final Grade Appeal Procedures (SH.02.G). If the student wants to appeal the institutional sanction(s), the student may appeal the conduct decision through the conduct appeal process (SH.11.F.7).

SH.02.B – Academic Advising Policy

TCC Advising Mission

Academic Advising engages students in exploring, defining, and achieving their academic and career goals.

TCC Advising Purpose

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

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

  • Students will identify fields of study that are consistent with interests, abilities, and life goals.
  • Students will develop a meaningful education plan in collaboration with an academic advisor.
  • Students will develop and implement a meaningful education plan through completion.
  • Students will access appropriate support services to accommodate unique needs.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • 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, 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. Some academic programs have 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 students can miss without jeopardizing their final grades, and some faculty choose to administratively withdraw (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 Final Grade Appeals

Principles

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

  • A student has a right to appeal a course final 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 faculty member 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 members should communicate regularly and openly about course requirements, assignments, tests, grading procedures, and grades.
  • The college faculty member 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 be changed only by the faculty member who taught the course or by the final recommendation of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee. 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 course final grade (assigned at the conclusion of a semester) 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 faculty member to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record. Students must present clear and convincing evidence to support their request for an appeal.

The following questions outline reasons for a course final grade appeal and must be considered in preparing and reviewing an appeal:

  • Is there evidence to support that there was an error made in calculating any grade that affected the course final grade?
  • Is there evidence to support that the processes of determining the assignment of grades and the course final grade was not clearly communicated to the student? The course syllabus should communicate the grading system for the course.
  • Is there evidence to support that a change to the grading system during the semester may have put the student at a serious disadvantage? Was this change adequately communicated to the entire class?
  • Is there evidence to support that all students were given a chance to improve their grades IF grade adjustment opportunities were made available during the course of the semester?
  • Is there evidence that the faculty member was inconsistent or unfair in applying the course grading system?
  • Is there evidence to support that the final course grade was negatively influenced by improper or irregular course grade recording/posting by the faculty member? In other words, did the student get grades returned in a timely enough manner to understand their standing in the class?
  • Is there evidence that the faculty member singled the student out for discriminatory treatment?

Faculty Responsibility:

  • 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 (16-week) semester.

Rights of Faculty and Students:

  • Faculty members have a right to have the grades they assign upheld unless the student provides clear and convincing evidence 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 faculty member 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 together.

Grading Disputes during a Semester

Students may not file a course final 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 course final grade appeal process may be used only for grading issues that affect 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 an appeal. In this situation, the student may submit a Student Classroom Concern Form about the faculty member’s grading practices through Report It! on the TCC website. The faculty member’s grade stands unless the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee determines there is clear and convincing 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 faculty member to other students in the same course, or used different standards than what is listed on the syllabus of record.

Prior to Filing a Course Final Grade Appeal

Resolution of a Grade Dispute with the Faculty Member

  • The student must attempt to resolve the grade dispute with the faculty member prior to filing a Course Final Grade Appeal.
  • The student should contact the faculty member using TCC email and explain their concerns including specific details of their dispute.
  • The student must initiate the dispute within 30 calendar days after the close of the semester.
    • The student should save a copy of this letter/email for use in a Course Final Grade Appeal if the dispute is not resolved.
  • If the faculty member is no longer with the college or is unavailable, the student must attempt to resolve the grade dispute with the faculty department chair or program director of the appropriate academic school for the course. The faculty department chair will appoint a replacement faculty member to act as a representative of the absent faculty member.

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 chair 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 Final Grade Appeal Form. 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 faculty member 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 letter/email communication to the faculty member about the dispute
  • 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 final grade appeal, including email correspondence between the student and faculty member. 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 Course Final Grade Appeal Committee.

The burden of providing documentation resides with the student who files the course final grade appeal. Without documentation attached to the Course Final Grade Appeal Form, the faculty department chair and dean will be unable to fully review the appeal and consider if it meets the established criteria.

Academic School Review of Course Final Grade Appeals

Faculty Department Chair Review of Appeal

Upon receipt of a Course Final Grade Appeal form, the faculty department chair will review the appeal and attempt to resolve the appeal with the faculty member and student. The faculty department chair may meet with the student and/or faculty member and may also request additional information. The faculty department chair shall, within ten (10) instructional days inform the student if a resolution has been reached. If the faculty member approves the grade appeal, a Grade Change Form shall be completed. If the faculty member denies the appeal, the student shall be informed and may continue with the grade appeal process.

If the faculty member is no longer with the college or is unavailable, the faculty department chair shall appoint another faculty member to represent the faculty member’s interests in the appeal. The faculty member representing the absent faculty member shall act as a good faith representative of the faculty member, whose goal is to resolve the grading dispute fairly. The alternate faculty member may agree to resolve the dispute without going through the process further if he or she believes it is appropriate. For example, if the dispute involves a computational or clerical error and the faculty member representing the absent faculty member agrees with the student, he or she may simply sign the Grade Change Form to change the grade rather than force the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee to resolve the issue. The faculty department chair will inform the student of the status of the appeal. The results will be documented and archived in the school dean’s office.

Faculty Member Statement of Response to Appeal

If the Course Final Grade Appeal cannot be resolved after initial review with the faculty department chair, the faculty member will be asked to prepare a written response to the appeal. The faculty member will be provided with the Course Final Grade Appeal form submitted by the student. The faculty member’s response should be submitted to the department chair within ten (10) instructional 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

The faculty department chair should continue to pursue a resolution to the dispute if he or she believes that a resolution is possible. The chair may share the faculty member’s response with the student in hopes of finding common ground between the two. If appropriate, the faculty department chair may wish to give the student the opportunity to address issues raised in the faculty member’s response that the student has not previously addressed. Upon receipt of the faculty member’s response, the faculty department chair will inform the student as to the status of the appeal. The faculty department chair’s response and the faculty member’s response will be sent to the school dean’s office to be stored with all records related to the appeal.

School Dean Review of Appeal

If the faculty department chair denies the appeal, the student may consult with the appropriate dean within ten (10) instructional days to request that the Course Final Grade Appeal Process continues. The dean may meet with the student, faculty department chair, and/or the faculty member, request additional information, review the documentation that the faculty department chair previously completed, or make a recommendation based solely on the submitted information. The dean shall inform within ten (10) business days the student if a resolution has been reached. If no resolution is reached, at this point the academic dean can end an appeal if the dean determines there are no grounds for the appeal to proceed, or the dean can recommend the appeal continue to the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee. The dean’s decision is final and will be communicated to the student, faculty member, and faculty department chair in writing. The dean’s written response shall be stored with all records related to the appeal.

The Course Final Grade Appeal Committee

If previous attempts at resolution of the grading dispute fail and the school dean recommends the appeal proceeds, the school office shall send all relevant documentation to the chair of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee for review at its next scheduled meeting. The committee is comprised of faculty members, student facing staff, and a representative from the Student Government Association, whose appointments and terms are described below.

The Membership of the Grade Appeal Committee

The following appointments and lengths of terms shall determine the composition of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee. Faculty, student, and student service area directors/supervisors comprise the voting membership. Annual training will be provided and documented in consultation with general counsel.

The Chair of the Grade Appeal Committee

One dean or associate dean from an academic school shall chair the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee and will serve a three-year term as a non-voting member. An incoming chair will also be appointed, and will be available to serve as an alternate chair as needed until their term as chair begins. Should a grade appeal case come before the committee from the current chair’s school during his or her term as chair, the incoming chair shall chair the committee during the review of the case to ensure the grade appeal process is fair and impartial.

Faculty

Up to six faculty members shall serve on the grade appeal committee. Faculty should be evenly balanced between transfer and workforce programs, striving for a wide representation from academic schools. Faculty appointments are for three-years, and terms should be staggered.

Student Service Area Representatives

The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee shall appoint two representatives from a student service area of the college to serve as a representative to the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee for a three-year term.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Associations, through consultation with the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, shall appoint one student representative to the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee 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 committee.

Responsibilities and Procedures of the Grade Appeal Committee

The chair of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee is responsible for ensuring that the grade appeal process is completed in a timely fashion. Regular meetings will be scheduled but held only when grade appeals have been submitted to the committee. Exceptional circumstances to this timeline may be determined by the chair. The chair also is responsible for ensuring that the faculty member and student have at least a week to prepare to appear before the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee. Meetings may be conducted in person or virtually.

The Course Final Grade Appeal Committee must have a quorum of five voting members in order to meet and conduct business. Faculty, student facing staff, and Student Government Association members comprise the voting membership. The chair votes only in case of a tied vote.

The Course Final Grade Appeal Committee is responsible for determining the facts in the dispute and making a judgment on the merits of the course final grade appeal. The committee shall review the materials submitted both by the student and the faculty member. The committee may request any other information it deems necessary, including additional faculty member’s records and input from third parties.

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

Both the student and the faculty member have the right to appear before the committee separately. Each will be given up to thirty (30) minutes to present new evidence, answer questions from the committee, or present a statement. Each may bring one (1) support person, but the support person may not address the committee. Attendance at the Course Final Grade

Appeal Committee is optional and non-attendance will not negatively affect or influence the committee’s review of the appeal. If a faculty member or student chooses not or are unable to attend, they are given the option to send a statement to the Chair of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee to be shared on their behalf at the committee meeting.

Once the members of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee have determined that they have sufficient information to make a decision, they will vote to either grant or reject the grade appeal. A simple majority of voting members in attendance at the committee meeting is sufficient to decide the issue. If the Committee grants the appeal, it determines the appropriate course grade for the student. The committee chair shall prepare a letter stating the committee’s decision and the justification for that decision. This letter is the only written decision from the committee concerning the grade appeal case and should reflect the majority opinion of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee. Copies of the letter must be conveyed to the student, the faculty member, the faculty department chair, and the dean of the respective school from which the appeal was filed. If the committee determines that the student’s grade shall be changed, the chair of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee will prepare a Grade Change Form and submit it to the faculty department chair for processing with the letter attached. The stated reason for the change of grade will be “the determination of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee.” The chair will sign the form instead of the course faculty member, and the faculty department chair 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 a faculty member following departmental or college procedures, or questions of a student’s academic integrity. At its discretion, the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee may prepare a supplementary report addressing those issues and present it to the dean.

Appealing the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee’s Decision

The decision of the Course Final Grade Appeal Committee is final.

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

The Vice President of Student Affairs 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.