Expectation of Good Citizenship
The college’s primary function is to provide education for those persons who enroll within the system. The goal of the college is to provide an educational environment which will include the opportunity for academic, social, and personal growth. Enrollment in a tax‑supported educational institution of higher learning is not compulsory. It is optional and voluntary. The voluntary entrance of a student in such institutions is an entrance into the academic community by individual volition. By such voluntary entrance, the student assumes obligations of performance and behavior reasonably imposed by the institution of choice relevant to its lawful missions, processes, and functions. These obligations are generally much higher than those imposed on all citizens by the civil and criminal law.
Freedom of discussion, inquiry, and expression is protected and nurtured in the classroom as the safeguard of the freedom to learn. Students are expected to exercise their freedom to learn in a manner consistent with the maintenance of good order.
The college assumes that the student has earnest educational purpose and maturity of reasonable behavior. This assumption continues until the student demonstrates otherwise. Every student is subject to federal, state, and local laws and is expected to be familiar with the requirements of such laws. Any student who violates any provision of those laws is subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion, despite any action or nonaction taken by civil authorities on account of the violation. The privilege of exercising rights of citizenship under the Constitution of the United States is reaffirmed by the college to each student. The college strives to assure due process and to outline specific ways of appeal in case of disagreement with administered discipline (see Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process).
Students’ Role in College Decision-Making
Student participation in decision-making at Howard College is an important institutional value. This participation occurs in several ways: the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process, course and instructor evaluations, focus groups, service on the Student Fee Advisory Committee, through the Student Government Association, and by attending the college President’s roundtable meetings.
Disruption or Obstruction of College Activities or Functions
College officials are charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order on college-owned or college-controlled property and at college-sponsored events. Examples of actions for which disciplinary action may be taken can be found in the Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process section of this handbook.
The Student Government Association is recognized as the official organization representing students. Students are free to identify with off‑campus programs and activities as individuals but not as representatives of the college.
The college supports the concept of a student press that adheres to the principles of responsible journalism.
Student Identification Card
- Students are encouraged to obtain a student identification (ID) card prior to the first day of classes.
- Students have the option to use a checking account (through Herring Bank) that is linked to the Student ID Card. If a student chooses to use the optional checking account offered by Herring Bank, the student ID card will function as a debit card regulated by the terms and conditions of the checking account.
- Students shall not allow their student ID card to be used by other persons and students shall not alter their student ID card in any way.
- Upon request, students are required to present their student ID card to any member of the college faculty, staff, or administration.
- The student ID card entitles students to free admission to most student activities including athletic events, dances, movies and much more.
- The student ID card provides identification at the library for checking out materials.
- The student ID card provides residence hall students access to the cafeteria.
- The student ID card will be the primary tool the college will use to deliver remaining financial aid funds, student loans, and other funds to students.
- Lost student ID cards may be replaced for a $25.00 charge payable to the Howard College Business Office.
- The student ID card is void upon termination or interruption of enrollment and when not properly validated three years from date of issuance.
- For more information on the student ID card please visit the website at www.myHCcard.com or contact the Student Services office.
Solicitation and Advertisement
Without prior written approval from the judicial officer, solicitation and sales on college premises or in college‑owned or college‑controlled buildings, including but not limited to residence halls, the bookstore, or student union building, and/or via the email/web systems is prohibited. The distribution of advertising leaflets or handbills or the use of sound trucks and equipment to promote sales on college premises without prior written approval from the judicial officer is also prohibited. The solicitation and sales policy is set forth in the Solicitations, Advertisement, and Printed Materials section of this Handbook.
Students are responsible for all financial obligations due to Howard College. Students cannot receive an official transcript from Howard College until all financial obligations to the college have been cleared. Registration is not complete until all accounts for the semester are paid and/or proper financial arrangements are made. Unpaid financial obligations may result in dismissal from the college. Students with outstanding financial obligations to the college will not be allowed to re-enroll until these obligations are cleared. Students who have outstanding financial obligations to the college may be allowed to enroll for workforce training and continuing education classes when these classes are required by and/or paid for by an employer or third party. In these cases, transcripts will not be issued to the student; however, evidence of completion of the course will be provided to the employer. Unpaid balances may result in referral for collection and the student will be responsible for all collection costs.
New Student Orientation
Students enrolling at Howard College for the first time should attend orientation. Orientation information can be found on the college website or by contacting the appropriate campus. Students entering SWCD for the first time are required to attend New Student Orientation and should contact the SWCD Counseling Office for information. Cost for SWCD New Student Orientation is $300.
Student Absences on Religious Holy Days
In accordance with Senate Bill 738, codified in Section 51.911 of the Texas Legislature, a student shall be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A religious holy day is defined as a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code. A student whose absence is excused under this provision may not be penalized for the absence and shall be allowed to take an examination and/or complete an assignment for which the student is excused within one week after the absence. An instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete assignments and/or exams. Students must notify their instructor(s) in writing prior to the proposed absence on a form provided by the institution. In some cases, a letter of verification of the observed holy day from the religious institution may be required. Forms are available in the Student Services office and on the website. In case of conflict, students may appeal through the academic appeals process.
Students of Howard College are encouraged to publish, copyright, invent, and/or patent materials and objects of their own creation which will contribute to the advancement of knowledge. The college encourages and protects this interest and its students in relation to disclosure of scientific and technological developments including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas which may have monetary value. It is also the responsibility of the college to ensure that public funds and property are not used for personal gain. The author, creator, or inventor is free to benefit from royalties and monies accruing from such publication or invention, subject to the following guidelines:
- All classes of intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas, created on the student’s own time, and without the use of college facilities, equipment, materials, or support shall be the sole property of the creator.
- All classes of intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas, created by students at college expense or on college time or by using college facilities or equipment shall be the property of the college. The college, in return for unrestricted license to use and reproduce original work without royalty payment, shall transfer to the creator of that work full ownership of any present or subsequent copyright/patent in accordance with that which follows.
- In the event that intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas, are sold to entities outside the college, all income will go to the college for that project, including stipends paid to the developer (over and above contract salary), prorated support staff salaries, supplies and other expenses related to the intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas.
- The college will ensure equity and management participation on the part of the inventor or inventors in business entities that utilize technology created at the institution.
- No college student shall realize a profit from intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas sold exclusively to Howard College students.
- When instructional material developed by a student is sold in the Bookstore for profit, the publisher of the materials must be approved by the instructional administrator.
Any college student who intends to create any intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas developed wholly or partially using college time, equipment, materials, facilities, and/or personnel who intends to copyright, patent, or otherwise merchandise those intellectual property, scientific, and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas will inform the president of the college of his/her intent through the instructional administrator. The president will have final approval. At that time the college will initiate a review of scientific and technological disclosures, including consideration of ownership and appropriate legal protection.
It is the responsibility of the party(ies) having ownership of the intellectual property, scientific and technological developments, materials, or objects, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas, to secure any licenses, copyrights, or patents. These licenses, copyrights, or patents are secured at the expense of the party(ies) having ownership.
Personnel of college units whose function is to produce educational materials may not realize a profit from the sale of those materials. In the case of any materials produced exclusively by these units, copyright will be held by Howard College. Materials produced under an externally funded grant will be guided by the terms of the grant.
All students have the right to inquire about, criticize, or propose improvement to college policies, procedures, regulations, services. Channels of expression include bringing the concern to the attention of the Student Government Association, an appropriate college committee, or an appropriate college official. Every effort will be made to resolve the problem. When possible, students should first address their concerns through informal conferences with those immediately involved; formal due process is available when informal resolution cannot be achieved.
Formal complaint procedures vary depending on the type of complaint. Regulations and procedures for the various types of complaints can be found in the following sections of the Student Handbook:
- Complaints about General Policies, Procedures, Regulations, Facilities, and Services
- Complaints about College Employees
- Disputes about aGrading Policy or Specific Assignment Grade
- Grade Disputes
- Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions
- Appealing Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty/Misconduct
- Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment of Students on the Basis of Disability
- Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment of Students on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin
- Prohibition of Sexual Discrimination or Sexual Violence Against or Sexual Harassment of Students