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Howard College - Big Spring, Lamesa, San Angelo, SWCID

Howard College    
  Nov 23, 2017
Student Handbook

Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities of Students in the Academic Community


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. Responsibility for good order in the classroom is vested in the instructor, and responsibility for maintaining order elsewhere is set forth in the "Code of Student Conduct and Discipline ."

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 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.

Academic Integrity

The instructor assigned to a course has the responsibility for determining a grade and for judging the quality of academic performance. A grade can be formally appealed only where there is demonstrable evidence that prejudice, arbitrary or capricious action on the part of the instructor has influenced the grade. The burden of proof that such an unfair influence has affected a grade rests with the student who appeals the grade.

  1. Student's Responsibilities
    1. It is the responsibility of the complaining student to comply with each step set out in Appendix C . Failure of the student to continue his/her appeals at the appropriate level will result in a dismissal of the student's complaint.
    2. The student may be represented at any level of the complaint.
    3. If the complaint involves a problem with an instructor, the student must discuss the matter with the instructor within three college working days of the incident.
      NOTE: The Student Academic Grade Grievance Procedures/Student Complaints Related to Instruction is found in Appendix C  of this handbook.
  2. Instructor's Responsibilities
    The instructor of a course is responsible for initiating action in cases where there is an admitted act or substantial evidence of academic misconduct. Before taking such action, the instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student(s). If the suspected misconduct involves a final exam, the instructor should withhold the course grade until an attempt can be made to contact the student(s) as soon as reasonably possible.
  3. Instructor Sanctions
    If it is determined by the instructor that academic misconduct has occurred, a failing grade may be assigned for either the assignment or the course grade. When a student is given a failing course grade in a course as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor must report the facts of the case in writing to the Primary Student Services Official. A disciplinary penalty of a grade of "F" shall not be implemented until either the instructor or the Primary Student Affairs Official has met with the student.
  4. Repeated Academic Misconduct
    In cases of repeated violations, either the instructor or the instructional administrator of the division may refer the case to the Primary Student Services Official for further disciplinary proceedings.
  5. Referrals to the Primary Student Services Official
    Academic misconduct is entitled to all substantive and procedural guarantees provided in the Code of Student Conduct .
  6. Disposition by the Primary Student Services Offical
    The decision made by the Primary Student Services Official will be sent to the appropriate instructional administrator and to the student.

Disruption or Obstruction of College Activities or Functions

College officials are charged with the responsibility for 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 "Code of Student Conduct and Discipline " 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.

Student Publications

The college supports the concept of a student press that adheres to the principles of responsible journalism.

Student Identification

  1. The student identification (ID) card is issued in the first semester of enrollment. Students are encouraged to obtain an ID card prior to the first day of classes. Please see the campus Student Services  office for campus procedures in obtaining an ID card.
  2. The student ID card is the property of Herring Bank. The student ID card is linked to a checking account at Herring Bank and thus regulated by state and federal laws.
  3. 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.
  4. Upon request, students are required to present their student ID card to any member of the college faculty, staff, or administration.
  5. The student ID card entitles you to free admission to most student activities including athletic events, dances, movies and much more.
  6. The ID card provides identification at the library for checking out materials.
  7. The ID card provides residence hall students access to the cafeteria.
  8. The ID card will be the primary tool the college will use to deliver remaining financial aid funds, student loans, and other funds to students.
  9. Lost ID cards may be replaced for a $25.00 charge payable to the HC Business Office.
  10. The ID card is void upon termination or interruption of enrollment and when not properly validated three years from date of issuance.
  11. For more information on the student ID card, please visit the website at or contact the Campus Student Services office.

Solicitation and Advertisement

Without prior written approval from the Student Services office, 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 HC 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 Student Services office is also prohibited. The solicitation and sales policy is set forth in the Solicitations, Advertisement, and Printed Materials  portion of this Handbook.

Financial Responsibility

Students are to meet all financial responsibilities due the college. The writing of checks on accounts with insufficient funds, the non-payment or delinquent payment of outstanding loans, and the failure to meet any other financial obligations to the college are considered a lack of financial responsibility. Such financial irresponsibility can subject the student to fines, suspension of check writing privileges, denial of registration, withholding of transcripts, and other disciplinary sanctions outlined in the "Code of Student Conduct and Discipline ." Generally, failure to meet financial obligations to the college will result in the following actions:

  1. Cancellation of the student's registration if tuition and registration fees are not paid by the due date as indicated by the Howard College Business Office or if a returned check given in payment of tuition and fees is not redeemed by that time. Unpaid financial obligations may result in dismissal from the college.
  2. A processing fee will be assessed to any person who writes a check to the college that will not clear the payee's bank for any reason other than bank error. The college will not accept checks from anyone who has written more than two returned checks.
  3. Loss of college check writing privileges and possible criminal prosecution for writing insufficient fund checks and for failure to pick up a returned check.
  4. A hold preventing future registration placed on student's academic records.
  5. A hold on sending of official college transcript until the obligation is paid in full.
  6. Non-payment of room and board installment contracts can result in suspension from the Residence Hall.

Please see the Howard College Catalog for additional identification requirements for writing a check and the returned check policy. Additionally, students are encouraged to check their student accounts at least once or twice a semester.

Children of Adult Students

Students should not bring children to the campus and then leave them unattended while involved in class, studying, or for any other campus business. Children should not attend class with their parents. Information regarding available childcare services in the area is available in the Student Services office.


Students enrolling at Howard College for the first time should attend orientation. Orientation information can be obtained by contacting the Student Services office. You can also find orientation information on the Howard College website under future students. Students entering SWCID for the first time are required to attend New Student Orientation and should contact the SWCID Counseling Office for information.

Cost for SWCID New Student Orientation $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. Student 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 college website. In case of conflict, students may appeal through the academic appeals process.

Intellectual Property

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. When instructional material developed by a student is sold in the college 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.

Student Complaint Procedures

All students have the right to inquire about, criticize, or propose improvement to college policies, procedures, and regulations. 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.

All student complaints should be communicated to the Primary Student Services Official. The Primary Student Services Official will attempt to resolve the matter and will provide a written response to the student.

Complaints may be submitted anonymously. However, in order to resolve a complaint in some cases, the complaint may not be able to remain anonymous. Permission to reveal the sources of the complaint will be obtained from the source before being revealed. If the student chooses to remain anonymous, the ability to fully resolve a complaint may be compromised, but every effort will be made to resolve the complaint.

If the student is not satisfied with the efforts or response of the Primary Student Services Official to resolve the complaint, the student may appeal his/her complaint to an Administrator appointed by the President. This administrative officer will call a committee of two faculty, one staff, and two students to review the complaint and the proposed solution. The decision of this committee is final.

This policy does not apply to complaints regarding student discipline, grade appeals, sexual harassment or discrimination. Grievance procedures for these matters are outlined in Student Grievance Procedures  and in the Appendices  of this handbook (Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C).

In cases of complaints regarding academic concerns, students should first try to resolve matters directly with the instructor. If unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily, the student should consult the instructor's supervisor. The matter can be advanced through all supervisory levels with final consideration at the highest level of instructional administrator on each campus.

If a grievance matter is not resolved to the student's satisfaction through the Howard College's internal procedures, prospective and current students who live within the State of Texas may then file their complaint with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board at Out of state students may refer to the student grievance contact information for individual states which provides contact information for state education agencies.