Howard Community College (HCC) offers a wide range of academic pursuits and extracurricular activities for students of all ages and walks of life.
More than 10,000 students pursue studies at HCC in a variety of academic programs leading to transfer to four-year colleges or immediate employment upon graduation. An additional 16,000 students take courses for personal or professional development.
HCC is the leading choice for Howard County residents. More than 46 percent of all undergraduates from Howard County are enrolled at HCC. HCC has a reputation as one of Maryland’s most technologically advanced campuses for online classes taught via the Internet, and state-of-the-art multimedia computer labs for mathematics, English, world language, and computer training.
Conveniently located in the heart of Howard County, the HCC campus features a Science and Technology Building, and a new Health Sciences Building. The Dwight A. Burrill Galleria is a spacious two-story windowed atrium for quiet study, informal gatherings, or special events.
The Mary Ellen Duncan Hall for English, Languages, and Business houses classrooms and labs for reading, writing, ESL, world languages, multimedia computer technology, and IT courses including certification, computer science, business, and office technology.
The Athletics & Fitness Center features a 25-yard, eight-lane pool; large gymnasium; and weight room. Fourteen acres of athletic fields support hardball, softball, soccer, track, and lacrosse.
Arts programs take center stage at HCC with the Peter & Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, Alfred J. Smith, Jr. Theatre, Studio Theatre, and the outdoor Dreier Stage. The Horowitz Center features a recital hall, theatre, piano and multimedia labs, art galleries, a photography center, studios for music, sculpture, painting and ceramics, and much more.
The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF) is a central source for admissions, registration, advising, testing, financial aid services, and other student services. The RCF Hall also houses the bookstore and Cafe on the Quad.
Other facilities include the James Clark Jr. Library Hall with more than 40,000 volumes of reference materials and online databases, and the Patrick and Jill McCuan Hall which contains offices, classrooms, and the HCC-TV studio.
A Student Activities Center provides an exclusive domain for student government, newspaper and other student activities.
The Children’s Learning Center offers full-year child care for infants through preschool.
Founded by the Board of Education of Howard County, HCC was formally authorized by the Howard County Commissioners and approved by the State of Maryland in 1966. The first classes were held in October 1970.
NONDISCRIMINATION, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
The Board of Trustees of Howard Community College is committed to providing equal opportunity through its employment practices, educational programs, admissions and the many services it offers to the community. The board of trustees has committed the college to undertake an affirmative action program to enhance equality of opportunity and the recruitment of minorities. It is the policy of the college to abide by all applicable requirements of county, state, and federal law so that no person shall be discriminated against or otherwise harassed on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, religion, sex, color, ancestry or national origin, age, political opinion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, occupation, source of income, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, familial status, or physical or mental disability of otherwise qualified individuals. The college will adhere to applicable laws and regulations affecting affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.
VISION AND MISSION
A place to discover greatness in yourself and others.
Providing pathways to success.
Innovation, Nurturing, Sustainability, Partnerships, Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Service
ACCREDITATION AND MEMBERSHIP
Howard Community College is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and authorized by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to offer programs of learning and to award the associate of arts degree, the associate of arts in teaching degree, the associate of applied science degree, the associate of science in engineering degree, and the certificate.
The college’s associate degree nursing and practical nurse certificate programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Upon approval of the Maryland Board of Nursing, associate degree graduates may take the national licensure examination for registered nurse and those completing the practical nurse certificate may apply to take the licensed practical nurse examination.
The Cardiovascular Technology Program is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Graduates sit for the national certification examination to become a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist.
Effective November 7, 2012, Howard Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
The Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic Program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to take state and national certification examinations.
The Radiologic Technology Program is acccredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Exam.
Howard Community College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
The college also holds membership in a number of professional organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, the National Association of Community College Trustees, the National Accrediting Commission, National League for Nursing, and Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals.
Howard Community College’s programs of learning are fully approved by the Veterans Administration for veterans benefits.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Howard Community College Board of Trustees is composed of seven volunteer members who are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Maryland Senate. Each trustee term is six years and trustees can be appointed for two terms. The board of trustees serves as the college’s governance board and is responsible for the accountability of the college and supporting its mission of providing pathways to success. It operates the college as a public trust for the benefit of the citizens of Howard County.
Established in 1978, the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (HCCEF) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds to support student scholarships, programs and the facilities of Howard Community College.
The HCCEF Board of Directors invests, manages, and disperses funds, assists donors in making gifts appropriate to the college, and advises planned giving prospects. The HCCEF accepts private support in the form of tax-deductible restricted and unrestricted donations, deferred and in-kind gifts. For more information about giving at Howard Community College, call 443-518-1970 or visit howardcc.edu/foundation.
HCC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The HCC Alumni Association was established in 1988 to create opportunities for graduates and former students to stay connected with the college and participate in activities to support and enrich the institution. The Association is administered through the Development Office. For information, call 443-518-1970 or visit howardcc.edu/alumni.
STUDENT RECORDS POLICY
CONFIDENTIALITY–Howard Community College’s policies concerning confidentiality are written and published in accordance with the amended federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. The college accords all rights under the act to its students. No one outside the college shall have access to, nor will the college disclose any personally identifiable information, from a student’s record without the student’s written consent. This policy applies to all enrolled students. Exceptions include the following within the limits of the need to know:
- college officials including contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other parties to whom the college has outsourced institutional services or functions
- officials of other institutions in which students intend to enroll or are already enrolled
- persons or organizations providing students with financial aid, veterans benefits, tuition assistance
- accrediting agencies carrying out their accrediting function
- persons complying with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
- those who in the event of an emergency must protect the health or safety of students or others
- authorized representatives from federal, state or local educational authorities
- organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, HCC
- parents of a dependent for IRS tax purposes
- victims of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense
- to the general public, the final results of disciplinary proceedings, if the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence on non-forcible sex offense in a violation of HCC’s code of conduct
- to parents of students under the age of 21 who violate federal, state, local, or institutional laws or rules governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. All these exceptions are permitted in accordance with FERPA.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION–FERPA allows the release of student directory information. Directory information includes names, addresses, photographs, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, high school attended, program of study, enrollment dates, degrees, honors, and awards or lack thereof, participation in officially recognized college activities or sports, and HCC athletes’ weight and height. However, the college generally releases only the following directory information: students’ names, enrollment dates, earned degrees, honors and awards, or lack thereof. Directory information may be withheld. Students may request their directory information be withheld by submitting a written request to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. The college honors such requests until revoked in writing.
ACCURACY OF RECORDS–Students must notify the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs in writing of record changes involving name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, or social security numbers. Currently enrolled international citizens should inform the Office of Admissions and Advising of immigration status changes. Students who are no longer enrolled at the college should still officially change their address and other contact information with the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. The Office of Admissions and Advising must also be notified in writing about area of study changes; students must obtain an advisor’s signature as part of this process. Change of Information and Change of Area of Study forms are available online at howardcc.edu/admissions; select Important Forms or howardcc.edu/rrvaforms.
Record Inspection–FERPA gives students the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records and to challenge the content of their records. The registrar coordinates the inspection and review procedures for student education records. Students seeking to review their records should contact the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs (RCF-233, 443-518-1240, email@example.com).
In accordance with FERPA, students may request inspection and review of all or part of their records by writing to the registrar. Records covered by FERPA will be available within 45 days of the request.
Education records include admissions, financial, academic, and financial aid files as well as cooperative education and placement records. Education records do not include records of instructional and administrative personnel, if the record remains in the sole possession of the maker.
Disciplinary records are held by the vice president of student services separate from education records in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Alumni, student health, and security records are not considered education records.
Students may not review financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters and recommendations tied to admissions, employment, job placement, or honors to which they have waived inspection and review rights; or records involving more than one student. In that case, the college will allow access only to the part of the record involving the inquiring student.
Also, the college is not required to let students review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975 if they were collected under established policies of confidentiality and used only for purposes for which they were collected.
Any student who believes his or her rights were abridged may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202.
Transcripts and Enrollment Verification
TRANSCRIPTS—Students in good financial standing with the college may request official copies of their transcripts through myHCC; by mailing a written request to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs; or visiting the office in person (photo identification required for in-person requests). Online requests through myHCC include include a $2.25 charge (subject to change) per transcript. The Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs processes requests for official transcripts within two business days of receiving an official request; there is no charge. Students may find more information about the transcript request process at howardcc.edu/hcctranscript.
Students may view and print unofficial copies of their transcripts in myHCC. Students with certain holds on their accounts will be unable to obtain a transcript until the obligations are satisfied. Students may see their holds in myHCC.
ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION–Instant enrollment verification certificates are available free of charge from the National Student Clearinghouse. Visit howardcc.edu/enrollverify for more information.
The cost of education in Maryland community colleges is supported by student tuition, aid from the State of Maryland, and contributions from the sponsoring political subdivisions. The appropriate levels and percent of support by students and state and local governments are specified in state law and are provided in state and local appropriations. Equity in funding requires that the level of tuition and governmental support be computed based upon a student’s place of legal residence or legal domicile except as prescribed by law.
A student is a state or county resident for tuition purposes if the student maintains legal residence in the state or county and has done so for a period of not less than three months before the first regularly scheduled day of a term.
Students whose legal residence is outside the state of Maryland pay a higher tuition rate than those whose residence is within Maryland. Similarly, students residing in Maryland, but outside the county or counties that support a community college, pay a higher rate than county residents, but a lower rate than the rate charged for out-of-state residents. For these reasons, it is essential that the college be informed of the legal residence of each student.
General policies of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and the policies of the board of trustees of this college require that each student, at the time of initial enrollment, sign a legally binding statement affirming legal residency for tuition classification purposes. The statement need not be notarized, but must be affirmed as being true, correct, and complete to the best of the student’s knowledge and belief. The college is entitled to request more than one form of proof including government issued ID, and a photo ID. Students who refuse or fail to properly complete such a statement and do not provide requested proof, can be admitted to the college, but will be assessed tuition at the out-of-state rate.
In the course of the admissions process for enrollment in credit courses, each student may be required to show proof of residency upon request. Students may be required to show proof of residency at the time they change their address; students requesting a change of residency status must submit an Application for Change of Residency Status and supporting documentation to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. Requests will be considered for the current term during the refund period for that term. After that time, requests will be considered for the next term. Students who have signed the required statements and who can verify through factual evidence that they legally reside in Maryland or Howard County will be afforded the appropriate lower tuition rates and limited preference for some selective admissions programs, such as nursing.
According to General Policies of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the following factors may be considered as substantiation of legal residency:
- Ownership or rental of local living quarters in which the student resides (Please note: Post office box addresses are not sufficient proof of legal residence.)
- Substantially uninterrupted physical presence, including the months when the student is not in attendance at the college
- Maintenance in Maryland and in the county of all, or substantially all, of the student’s possessions
- Payment of Maryland state and local piggy back income taxes on all taxable income earned outside the state
- Registration to vote in Howard County and/or the state
- Registration of a motor vehicle in the state, with a local address specified, if the student owns or uses such a vehicle
- Possession of a valid Maryland driver’s license, with a local address specified, if the student is licensed anywhere to drive a motor vehicle.
The only exceptions to residency requirements for tuition purposes are those designated by state law, including:
- Health Occupation Shortage and Statewide Programs (page 20)
- Active duty military and their dependents, Maryland National Guard, and honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces (page 19)
- State-approved consortium agreements and partnerships such as tuition entitlements for students participating in the Mid-Maryland Allied Healthcare Education Consortium (page 22) and for Prince George’s County residents taking HCC classes at the Laurel College Center (page 6)
- State law allows the three month residency requirement to be waived for individuals and their dependents relocating to Maryland due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). Those residing in Howard County will be entitled to in-county tuition rates; those residing in another Maryland county are entitled to in-state tuition rates. Specific procedures must be followed.
An international citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States may be considered a resident for tuition purposes if the student otherwise meets the residency requirements as defined by state law. The applicable tuition rate for other international citizens is based upon their ability to establish legal residence/domicile in accordance with state law. Refer to page 22 for further details.
General questions about residency and tuition classifications should be directed to the Office of Admissions and Advising. Inquiries regarding specific provisions for active duty military personnel and their dependents, veterans and their dependents, members of the Maryland National Guard, BRAC, or international citizens should also be directed to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs.
Persons who have made false statements or have presented false verification in regard to residency shall be charged the higher rates of tuition and may be subject to further college disciplinary measures. In addition, a person may be charged with perjury in a criminal action.
Change of Address and Other Contact Information
Students must provide accurate contact and legal residency information to the college and update it when a change has occurred. To officially change a name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address, a student must complete a Change of Information Form and submit it to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. Proof of residency for address changes may be requested. The Change of Information Form is available on the college website at howardcc.edu/rrvaforms.
Students whose immigration/citizenship status has changed should come in person to the Office of Admissions and Advising. See Academic Persistence and Catalog Requirements on page 43 for information about change of learning program.
Howard Community College does not provide medical coverage for students who are accidentally injured during classes or who suffer injuries as a result of incidents between students. All students are encouraged to obtain their own medical insurance, especially if they participate in classes and/or activities which require physical activity or exposure to other health risks (e.g. nursing classes, science labs, physical education activities, dance and theater classes, clubs and student government activities, etc.) Students with injuries or illnesses can contact Public Safety at 443-518-5500 or for emergencies call 911.
STUDENT HEALTH AND INSURANCE
Nursing and allied health students are required to meet specified health requirements. Documentation is required for proof of freedom from TB and immunity to rubella, rubeola, mumps, and varicella through vaccination or titer. Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) or declination is also required and immunization for tetanus. Other requirements may apply. The college does not administer a student medical insurance plan. Information on how students can obtain health insurance on their own is available in a brochure entitled “Student Health Insurance Plans.” This brochure can be found in the following offices:
Academic Support/Career Services
Admissions & Advising
Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Health Sciences Division
Learning Assistance Center
Student Support Services
International students attending the college on F-1 student visas are required to have health insurance that provides coverage for health care in the United States. For further information about these requirements, contact the Office of Admissions and Advising.
LATE OPENING POLICY
If the college will be opening late and there is more than 30 minutes of time left in a scheduled class at the late opening time, that particular class will meet for the remainder of the class time.
EARLY CLOSING POLICY
If the college will be closing early and there will be more than 30 minutes of time available for a scheduled class before the college closes, that particular class will meet during the available time.
STUDENT ID CARDS, ID and SSN NUMBERS AND IDENTITY PROTECTION
Howard Community College has established processes to enable student to protect identity and confidentiality rights. Students are expected to have their college photo ID cards with them at all times when on campus. If a Public Safety officer requests that a student to show their ID, they are expected to comply. These cards are required to transact college business, to utilize certain college facilities, such as, but not limited to, the athletic and fitness center and computer labs, and to attend college functions. They are also required to check out materials from the HCC Library.
ID cards are issued to students at the Public Safety Office (RCF-117) after registering for classes. Students must have their card re-validated following registration each term.
To obtain an ID card, you need:
- Proof of HCC enrollment (tuition receipt or class schedule)
- A valid photo ID
- Vehicle Parking Permit Number and Vehicle Tag Number
All students are responsible for knowing their student ID number, which is required for many transactions. Whenever possible, students are urged to provide their student ID number rather than their social security number. The college is required to collect and report SSNs to the IRS for students who register for credit classes. A SSN is also required to apply for financial aid, and use veterans benefits, DoD tuition assistance, the State disability waiver, and National Student Clearinghouse Services. Students are also strongly advised to safely maintain all documents that have identifying information on them, especially ID or SSN.
TRAFFIC RULES AND REGULATIONS
The following regulations apply to all persons who operate a motor vehicle or bicycle on any part of the Howard Community College campus and supersede any expressed or implied regulations previously issued.
Regulations are intended to inform visitors, staff and students of available parking facilities on campus, and define authorization of use for each area; promote pedestrian and vehicular safety; and ensure access at all times for ambulance, fire fighting equipment and any other emergency vehicles. All vehicle operators are subject to Howard Community College’s traffic rules and regulations while on campus. Any vehicle found in violation of these regulations is subject to receiving a Howard Community College parking citation and possible removal at the owner’s or operator’s expense. Vehicle and traffic violations include the following:
- Pedestrians must be given the right of way at all times.
- Vehicle speed and manner of operations should be conducive to safe operation with consideration of weather and road conditions and pedestrian traffic. Maximum speed is 20 miles per hour.
- All traffic signs must be obeyed at all times.
Parking is defined as stationing a vehicle, with or without a driver in attendance and irrespective of time of day or length of time the vehicle is stationed.
All students driving vehicles on campus are required to register their vehicles. Parking hang tags are obtained from the Security Office in the Rouse Company Foundatioin Building. The responsibility of finding a legal parking space rests with the motor vehicle operator. It is impossible to mark with signs or paint curbs in all areas of the college where parking is prohibited; parking is therefore restricted to designated parking areas only. Lack of space is not considered a valid excuse for violation of these regulations. The fact that one disregards any regulations and does not receive a citation does not mean that the applicable regulation is no longer in effect.
- Parking regulations are in effect 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Parking is limited to designated parking areas only; as it is impossible to mark all areas of the college where parking is prohibited. Lack of space is not considered a valid excuse for violation of these regulations.
- Vehicles may park only in the areas to which they are assigned and must display the appropriate hang-tag permit, stickers, or dashboard temporary pass indicating authorization. Spaces designated by signs and blue, green or yellow lines may be used by persons with the proper hangtags, license plates, stickers or permits. Blue lines designate disabled spaces, green lines designate low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles and carpool parking, and yellow lines designate staff spaces.
- Vehicles must park in such a manner as to use only one parking space.
- Vehicle operators must notify the Public Safety office if they need to leave their vehicle in the college’s parking lot overnight. However, the college is not responsible for theft of or damage to the vehicle or to the contents of the vehicle.
The fact that an operator parks a vehicle in violation of any regulation without receiving a citation, does not mean that the applicable regulation is no longer in effect.
In order to obtain a parking permit you will need:
- Proof of enrollment at the college
- A valid photo ID
- Vehicle information, including tag number and vehicle description
Motorcycles are permitted to park within a single space or in the designated “Motorcycle Only” parking area on the second, third and fourth floors of the parking garage at the Burrill Galleria entrance. In addition, motorcycles are permitted to park within a single space or in the designated “Motorcycle Parking Only” area on level 1 and level 2 of the West parking garage near the Hickory Ridge building. All levels of the West Garage have red marked areas that are for motorcycle parking.
All vehicles parked on campus must display a valid parking permit. Students must register their vehicle and obtain a parking permit from the Public Safety Office in the Rouse Company Foundation Building. Student parking permits are valid for one academic year (beginning in August) and allow parking only in the student-designated lots. Unauthorized parked vehicles are subject to traffic citations and/or towing at the owner’s expense.
Spaces designated by signs and blue, green or yellow lines may be used by persons with the proper hangtags, license plates, stickers or permits. Blue lines designate disabled spaces, green lines designate low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles and carpool parking, and yellow lines designate staff spaces.
A listing of low emission and high efficiency (LEHE) vehicles is maintained by the US Green Car Council. To apply for the (LEHE) vehicle sticker, documentation (i.e., vehicle manual) must be provided to the Public Safety office. Public Safety will issue stickers for approved vehicles that must be placed on the right rear bumper.
Carpool spaces are reserved for vehicles with at least three occupants and display a valid carpool permit from the sustainability office.
Parking citations are issued at the rate of one per violation. Vehicles improperly parked in handicapped spaces, reserved parking areas, fire lanes, and no-parking areas will be issued a parking citation. Each citation carries a penalty of $50.
Vehicles without the appropriate parking decal displayed will be identified by license plate number. Any fees associated with identifying parking violators by license plate number through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will be charged to that violator.
All parking fees issued by the College are payable to Howard Community College at the Cashier’s office and official transcripts will be held if not paid in full. In addition to receiving a parking citation from the college, an individual parked in a handicapped space, fire zone, or no-parking zone is subject to additional fines from the Howard County Police Department. Howard County fines are imposed at $350 per violation in a handicapped space, $150 per violation in a fire zone, and $40 per violation in a no-parking area. All fines issued by Howard County are payable to Howard County Police Department.
Persons who feel they have received a traffic citation unjustly may appeal in writing to the Director of Public Safety.
Howard Community College assumes no responsibility for damage or loss of private property while on campus.
For safety purposes, it is recommended that the following rules be adhered to while on Howard Community College campus.
- Pedestrians will be given the right of way at all times.
- Maximum speed is 20 m.p.h.
- All traffic signs must be obeyed at all times.
Any vehicle parked on campus 30 days or more, or after hours in designated areas and lots, risks being towed at the owner or operator’s expense.
Penalties may be paid to the college Cashier’s office during the hours of 8:45 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday. Towed vehicles will not be released until all penalties owed to the college are paid.
Bicycle racks are placed in various locations throughout the campus and are to be used by all non-licensed two-wheel vehicles.
Students will not be permitted to bring bicycles into buildings or secure them to lampposts, sign posts or fences under any circumstances. Staff members are permitted to disassemble the front wheel of the bicycle and secure it in their office. Under no circumstances will bikes be left in hallways or stairwells. Violators will be subject to confiscation of vehicles, a citation, and a fine of $50.
Skateboarding, rollerblading, and similar activities are not permitted on campus.
SMOKING ON CAMPUS
Howard Community College is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Therefore, smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited. The following smoke and tobacco free policy applies to all members of the college community including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, contractors, and vendors. Smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited on all college owned, leased, and controlled properties including parking lots and garages, and at all college-sponsored activities. Smoking is prohibited in all vehicles. Faculty, staff and students are expected to observe smoking and tobacco policies of neighboring organizations, facilities and adjacent neighborhoods. Every member of the HCC community shares responsibility for adhering to and respectfully communicating the smoke-free and tobacco-free policy.
Smoking is defined as the lighting, burning or use of tobacco or any other material in any type of smoking device or equipment.
Tobacco includes but is not limited to smoking tobacco, chew, snuff, snus, and dipping tobacco. Cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, clove cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, bidis, blunts, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco or any item which simulates any of the previously mentioned products are also prohibited.
HCC Public Safety will issue a citation in the amount of $50 for each incident of smoking or tobacco use. In addition to receiving a citation from the college, students and employees may be subject to disciplinary action for code of conduct violations and all persons are subject to additional fines imposed by Howard County. Howard County can impose a fine up to $250 for smoking within 15 feet of any doorway. College related penalties must be paid to the college Cashier’s office. Grades will be held if not paid in full. Parents, visitors, contractors and vendors will be subject to fines, and will be asked to leave campus if they refuse to adhere to the rules.
Persons who feel they have received a smoking and tobacco use citation unjustly may appeal in writing to the Director of Public Safety.
Penalties may be paid to the college Cashier’s office during the hours of 8:45 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.
Welcome and Information Center
The Welcome and Information Center operates the campus switchboard and also staffs counter service locations throughout the campus, including the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF), the Hickory Ridge Building and the Burrill Galleria. The center provides general information regarding college programs, courses, and services. The center also provides information regarding office hours, locations, and directions to and from the campus. Notary services, voter registration information, and various college publications, such as the catalog and credit and noncredit class schedules, student handbook, and campus maps, are also provided through the Welcome and Information Center. The Welcome Center oversees the Student Ambassadors Program. Students interested in participating in this program should contact the welcome and information center at 443-518-1000 or visit the main Welcome and Information Center location (RCF first floor).
Current students are eligible to have their school-related documents notarized free of charge. To take advantage of this service students must come to one of the Welcome Center locations and present a current HCC student identification card, a photo identification card from another academic institution, or an unexpired government-issued photo identification document (e.g., driver’s license, passport) with a current photo, and proof of enrollment at the college.
The Library offers a comfortable environment for quiet study. Group study rooms may be reserved on the library website. The Library has print and electronic books, periodicals, music CDs, DVDs, and streaming audio/video. Computers are available for research and writing, and there are also wireless/power outlets for mobile devices. From off campus, HCC faculty, staff, and students may access the resources on our website via HCC user id and password. howardcc.edu/students/campus_services/library/index.html.
LAUREL COLLEGE CENTER
The Laurel College Center in downtown Laurel is one of eight Regional Higher Education Centers in Maryland. The center was founded in 2001 by Howard Community College and Prince George’s Community College, which offer credit and noncredit classes at the LCC. Four-year partners are Notre Dame of Maryland University, the University of Maryland University College, and the University of Maryland College Park. The institutions form a higher education community that, working collaboratively, provides convenient and multi-level higher education opportunities to people who live and work in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. For information, visit laurelcollegecenter.org.
MOUNT AIRY COLLEGE CENTER FOR HEALTH CARE EDUCATION
The Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education is a partnership between Carroll Community College, Frederick Community College and Howard Community College to provide affordable health care programs in a convenient location. The state-of-the-art center offers credit degree programs, noncredit allied health courses, certification preparation, and continuing professional education in a number of high-demand health care occupations. Students from Carroll, Frederick and Howard Counties can take offerings at the Mount Airy location at in-county tuition rates. For information visit mtairycollegecenter.com.
MEDIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION CENTER
The Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center offers free and confidential mediation services to all students, faculty, and staff of Howard Community College who need assistance in resolving interpersonal conflicts that occur both on and off-campus. MCRC does not mediate conflicts that are handled by the college’s grievance and disciplinary procedures.
Mediation is the primary process used to help resolve conflicts. This process involves trained mediators, who are neutral and objective, helping those in conflict to tell their stories to each other, explore underlying issues, brainstorm potential resolutions of the conflict, and reach an agreement that meets the needs of both as much as possible. Mediation sessions are held on days and at times and locations convenient to the parties. The Center also provides facilitation services to groups experiencing conflict.
INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA SERVICES
Instructional Media Services provides a wide variety of media resource support for instruction and administration in the audiovisual/instructional technology areas. Services include Instructional Design and Learning Environments, A/V Equipment Services and Checkout, and Multimedia Development and Lecture Capture.
Instructional Design and Learning Environments involves the design and production of instructional materials and spaces for HCC faculty and students to facilitate learning.
AV Equipment Services supports the wide range of projection, audio, and video equipment that is distributed or permanently installed in classrooms, conference rooms, and lecture halls throughout the campus. These services empower the HCC community to use AV technology in teaching, learning, and community service.
Multimedia Development and Lecture Capture assists faculty with recording of instruction and production of web-based media for online classes. Onsite courses, distance learning courses, and other instructional initiatives are supported. Products include digital and web streaming video, interactive tutorials, learning objects, and presentations.
HCC provides a variety of computer services and state-of-the-art classrooms and labs to meet the changing technology needs of students and faculty.
HCC Login ID and password
Use your HCC Login ID and password to access myHCC, HCC e-mail, campus computers, password services, and the HCC wireless network. HCC’s online password services tool, available at howardcc.edu/PasswordServices, allows students to initially set up and manage their HCC login credentials and reset forgotten passwords. Your HCC Login ID usually consists of the first initial of your first name + the first seven digits of your last name + the last four digits of your student ID number. For example, if your name is “Art Vandelay,” and your Student ID number is 1234567, your HCC Login ID would be “avandela4567.”
Password services will walk you through the initial set up of your identity and password and with changing your password every 6 months thereafter.
myHCC is the center of your digital life at Howard Community College! Use it as the starting point for many online services. After logging into myHCC with your HCC Login ID and password, you can view college calendars and announcements, check e-mail, use password services, and access HCC Express to:
- Register: add, drop, or withdraw from classes
- Pay your bill
- Order transcripts
- View class schedules, grades, advising assignments, financial aid and scholarship status, and academic course history.
- View tuition refund and withdrawal deadlines.
The college recognizes e-mail as an official method for communication with students. Students are expected to act upon all official communications received at their college e-mail address. Access e-mail within myHCC, or directly from https://owa.howardcc.edu by using your HCC login ID and password. Check your e-mail regularly, delete messages that you no longer need, and empty the deleted items folder to ensure you will be able to continue sending and receiving college e-mail. Students may forward their e-mail to an external e-mail account. It is recommended that sutdents who choose that option select the “forward and delete” setting. For instructions on e-mail, visit howardcc.edu/email.
Your student HCC e-mail address is usually firstname.lastname@example.org. Your instructor’s college e-mail address is usually their email@example.com.
Canvas and Online Courses
Canvas is the primary course delivery system used by HCC for online classes. Many classroom instructors also use Canvas for supplemental materials, quizzes, and class activities. If you are registered for an online course, once the term starts you can access Canvas through myHCC or log in directly by clicking on the Canvas link on howardcc.edu. Enter your HCC Login ID; your password is your full 7-digit student ID number. Use the Google Chrome browser to ensure full functionality of Canvas. Visit the eLearning website at howardcc.edu/academics/elearning for more information.
Wireless Internet Access
Using your personal laptop or other device, open a browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and log in to the student wireless network, HCCOPEN, using your HCC Login ID and password.
HCC’s Mobile Alert system enables you to receive instant notification of important campus information and emergency announcements to your cell phone, email, pager, or desktop RSS application. Subscribing to the service is optional and free; however, standard text messaging charges from your carrier may apply. Visit howardcc.edu/mobilealert to learn more and sign up.
Computer Labs and Printing
HCC provides two open computer study labs, which offer a quiet academic environment where students can study, do research, and complete class assignments. These labs are equipped with PCs and Macs offering Internet access, scanners, printers, CD/DVD writers, and software based upon the needs of the academic community. Credit students may log in using their HCC Login ID and password. Computer lab and help desk staff are stationed within these labs to assist users with logging in, software, and other questions.
Students can print up to 500 black ink pages (250 sheets) per semester at no charge. Purchase Debitek cards in the labs for color or higher volume printing. The free printing allocation is shared across other campus computers available in the Library, Learning Assistance Center, and Health Sciences open lab.
Computer Study Lab Locations and Hours
Fall & Spring Semesters
Room DH-110 443-518-4602
Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Room CL-129 443-518-4504
Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Computers and personal workspaces are located inside the Café on the Quad (RCF Building) for students to enjoy a beverage or lunch while working on group projects or just surfing the Internet in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Other informal sites are located in the DH Lounge, outside Student Life, and the second floor of the Health Sciences Building.
Students are encouraged to use flash (USB, thumb) drives for storage of personal files in the classrooms and computer labs. College computers in the open labs automatically log off and erase files after ten minutes of inactivity. Refer to http://studentweb.howardcc.edu/ftpaccess.htm for information on web file storage available for students, or stop by the computer labs for assistance in setting up a student web storage folder.
The Help Desk offers laptops for full-time credit students to use for periods from 4 hours to 24 hours. To check out a laptop, go to the computer lab in CL-129, Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Technology Help Desk
The Help Desk provides a central point of contact for students with questions or problems concerning email, myHCC, online course access, wireless access, registration, software, and other technology problems. Drop by the Help Desk located inside the computer labs in Room DH-110 or CL-129, call 443-518-4444, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit howardcc.edu/helpdesk.
The arts at HCC come alive in the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. The Horowitz Center is home to the Arts and Humanities Division, performance and instructional classroom/studios.
To bring the college community closer to quality artistic expression, HCC has established a professional theatre in residence at the college. Rep Stage is HCC’s award-winning professional, Equity theatre company. The college also operates the Rouse Company Foundation Art Gallery, hosting exhibitions of professional artists and the Art Department Gallery hosting student, alumni, and community exhibitions. Additionally, HCC supports the Arts Collective, offering theatre and dance performance and technical theatre opportunities to students, alumni, and local artists, via full-length productions, showcases and special events. HCC’s Arts Collective also features an improv group, free workshops, open mics, original works and more. HCC’s Arts and Humanities Division also showcases student arts performances at the close of the fall and spring semesters, and includes student exhibits, dance recitals, music concerts and more. The HCC Music Concert Series includes guest artists, faculty concerts, student ensembles and spotlight concerts. Arts faculty and staff perform and/or exhibit artistic work regularly on campus as well. As part of its community outreach program, the college has also established noncredit arts programs for both youth and adults through The Music Institute.
Students explore the arts in an academic setting, and create their own works, in the Horowitz Center’s instructional classroom/studios. State-of-the-art ceramics, photography, painting, drawing, design and digital arts studios are available, as well as a music rehearsal hall, sound-proof practice rooms, piano lab, digital music lab, and dance studios.
For more information visit the Arts and Humanities website at howardcc.edu/horowitzcenter.
HCC-TV AND HCC-RADIO
Howard Community College Television, HCC-TV, is an educational access channel for Howard County. The staff of HCC-TV creates local programming with an effort to feature HCC. HCC-TV:
- provides script to screen production support to the college’s faculty and staff and mission;
- provides, maintains, and updates a state-of–the-art cable facility to accomplish the core work of a 24 hours per day/7 days per week program schedule;
- produces quality original programming that is educational and informational, and encompasses community and college interests;
- acquires additional quality programming that is educational, informational, and diverse;
- provides production personnel to record and rebroadcast live county council and county executive hearings;
- creates and provides a monthly programming schedule on the college’s website for community viewership; and
- creates and provides, through the Howard County government website, a 24 hours per day/7 days per week programming schedule for community viewership. HCC Radio, The Dragon, is an internet-based radio station that is part of the radio curriculum. Students in radio production classes help to create content. The radio staff also creates original programming and acquires programs from outside sources that are of interest to the college community.
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
Sources of the Code of Conduct:
- Gary Pavela, Esq., University of Maryland, College Park
- Occidental College, California
- Edward N. Stoner, II & John Wesley Lowey, A Twenty-First Century Model Student Code of Conduct, Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 31, No. 1.
- Columbus State Community College, Ohio
- National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM)
Purpose of the Disciplinary System
Human beings grow and mature in communities. Living in a community requires depending upon the knowledge, integrity, and decency of others. In turn, the best communities help individuals mold habits and values that will enable them to achieve the highest personal satisfaction, including the satisfaction associated with helping to make a better world.
The objectives of the conduct process at Howard Community College are:
- To protect members of the campus community from harm resulting from the indiscretions of the few members of the community who are unable, or unwilling, to respect the rights of others;
- To create an environment that enhances the opportunity for learning;
- To protect the rights of members of the college community; and
- To assure students due process when they have been accused of violating college rules and/or regulations
Students accused of disciplinary violations are entitled to the following procedural protections:
- To be informed of the specific complaints against them.
- To be allowed to request an informal resolution of the complaint.
- To be allowed reasonable time to prepare a response.
- To hear and respond to all evidence upon which a charge is based.
- To call and question relevant witnesses.
- To be assured of privacy, in accordance with the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
- To be allowed to request that any person conducting a disciplinary conference, or serving as a discipline committee member or chair, be disqualified on the grounds of personal bias.
- To be provided with a copy of these rights prior to any conference or discipline hearing.
- To be considered not responsible until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
Authority for Student Discipline
Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the Board of Trustees of Howard Community College. Discipline authority has been delegated to college administrators, faculty members, and committees, as set forth in this code, or other appropriate policies, rules or regulations adopted by the board.
The college reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community. Such action may include taking disciplinary action against those students whose behavior off college premises indicates that they pose a substantial danger to others.
The college will not routinely invoke the disciplinary process for student misbehavior occurring off college premises. Nonetheless, it will be necessary to endeavor to protect the campus community when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a student may pose a substantial danger to others. Normally, such “substantial danger” will be manifested by a pending criminal charge, usually relating to a crime of violence, harassment, stalking, burglary, substantial theft or fraud, the distribution of illegal drugs, or the possession of substantial quantities of illegal drugs.
Students are asked to assume positions of responsibility in the college student conduct system in order that they might contribute their skills and insights to the resolution of disciplinary cases. Final authority in disciplinary matters, however, is vested in the Board of Trustees, and in the college administration.
When used in this code:
- The term “classroom, lab, or office disruption” means behavior a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct of class, lab or college business. Examples range from persisting in speaking without being recognized to resorting to physical threats or insults.
- The term “person of his or her choosing” includes students, faculty, staff, or others who provide advice to complainants or respondents. This person may not address hearing bodies, speak in disciplinary conferences, or question witnesses. Furthermore, third parties who are representatives of external organizations or who provide legal representation are not permitted in college disciplinary proceedings, whether informal or formal. However, legal representation is permitted when the student faces concurrent criminal charges.
- The term “college” means Howard Community College, college owned or controlled property, and all college departments, programs and college sponsored activities.
- The term “reckless” means conduct which one should reasonably be expected to know would create a substantial risk of harm to persons or property or which would otherwise be likely to result in interference with normal college or college-sponsored activity.
- The term “student” includes all applicants for credit and noncredit courses and programs sponsored by the college, and any person for whom the college maintains education records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and related regulations.
- The term “college premises” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled, or supervised by the college.
- The terms “college-sponsored activity” means any activity on or off college premises that is specifically initiated or supervised by the college.
- The term “complainant” usually means a person who filed the complaint against the student/respondent. In matters of serious misconduct requiring a hearing by the discipline committee, the complainant may be the vice president of student services or designee recommending suspension or expulsion.
- The term “respondent” is defined as the student accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “preponderance of evidence” means information that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it is more likely than not that a student violated the Student Code of Conduct
- The term “will” is used in the imperative sense. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
Violations of the Law and College Regulations
Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the college for acts that constitute violations of law and this code. Disciplinary action at the college will be independent and will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal proceedings, and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.
Student Groups and Organizations
Student groups and organizations may be charged with violations of this code. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code, by those associated with the group or organization, have received the consent or encouragement of the group or organization or of the group’s or organization’s leaders or officers.
Howard Community College expects its students to adhere to high standards of honor and good citizenship. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible manner, which reflects credit upon themselves and the college. Acts of misconduct subject to disciplinary action include but are not limited to the following:
- Academic dishonesty (see section on academic honesty).
- Forgery or alteration of college records or college identification cards.
- Intentionally furnishing false information to the college.
- Deliberate destruction of, damage to, malicious misuse of, or abuse of property. (Students are financially liable for the repair or replacement of property when the damage is a result of their willful destruction, reckless and intentional behavior, or malicious misuse.)
- Sexual assault, sexual harassment, or sex offenses as defined by Maryland state law (see section on sexual harassment) and promulgated by the United States Equal Empment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the sexual violence definition promulgated by Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972 (see section on Sexual Harassment).
- Physical abuse, threat, harassment, aggressive or threatening behaviors, or stalking of any member of the college community or visitor to the college, or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of such person. Students are not permitted to contact faculty or staff members off campus, unless prior permission is given and communication is necessary and related to academic issues.
- Theft or attempted theft of college or private property which is physically located on college-owned or controlled property.
- Theft or unauthorized use of another individual’s identity, password, access to information, and/or the identity theft of any member of the college community or visitor to the college.
- Misuse of HCC’s computer network, equipment, and Internet access for other than educational purposes. This includes, but is not limited to the following: (1) copying or duplicating proprietary software or files stored on college-owned computers that are protected by copyright laws; (2) transmission of communication in any form (e.g., text, images, sound) where the content, meaning, and/or distribution of the message would violate applicable law or regulation, or be deemed obscene or threatening; or (3) any violation of HCC’s Acceptable Use of Technology Policy.
- Disorderly, disruptive, obscene or indecent conduct on college-owned or controlled property, or at off-campus functions sponsored by, or participated in by the college.
- Illegal possession, manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, marijuana, hypnotics, sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants, hallucinogens, and other similar known harmful or habit-forming drugs or chemicals, and the abuse or misuse of prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or chemicals on college-owned or controlled property, or during an off-campus college sponsored activity.
- Drunkenness or being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or other substances on college-owned or controlled property or during an off-campus college sponsored activity.
- Intentional violation of the college policy on controlled substances and alcohol.
- Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other college activities, including the college’s public service functions or other authorized activities on college-owned or controlled property, or during an off-campus college sponsored activity.
- Participation in, or organization of, any unauthorized activity to interrupt the functions of the college.
- Intentionally and substantially interfering with the freedom of expression of others.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession or use of knives, firearms, fireworks, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or arms classified as weapons on college-owned or controlled property. An instrument designed to look like a weapon, which is used by a student to cause reasonable apprehension or harm, is expressly included within the definition of weapon. Note: Students who are employees of law enforcement organizations and are required to carry a weapon on campus must notify the director of public safety in writing of their intent to carry a licensed weapon at the beginning of each semester. Failure to disclose this information is a violation of this code.
- Unauthorized entry to or use of college-owned or controlled facilities, including all buildings and grounds.
- Demonstrations that interfere with the rights of other members of the college community or with the normal function of the college.
- Deliberate disobedience or resistance of properly identified college authorities acting in the line of duty.
- Initiation of, or causing to be initiated, any false report, warning, or threat of fire, bomb explosion, or other emergency.
- Unauthorized or fraudulent use of the college’s facilities and equipment, including but not limited to the phone, mail, computer, and transportation systems.
- Hazing. This includes any act or causing any situation which recklessly or intentionally subjects a student to the risk of bodily injury or endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission in a student organization.
- Unattended Children. Students must not bring children under the age of 16 on campus and leave them unattended while attending classes or campus activities. Students who violate this policy may be subject to the penalties of the Family Law Article, Section 5-801, et seq. This restriction does not apply to younger students enrolled under special admission procedures.
- Bringing children to class.
The college recognizes students may have difficulty with day care for their children; however, HCC views the classroom as an adult-learning environment, and one that should be free from potential distractions.
- Classroom, office, or lab disruption.
- Knowingly violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this code.
- Failure to identify oneself when requested by a college official, public safety officer, or faculty member, or failure to comply with instructions from college officials or public safety officers carrying out public safety functions. College officials may question students or campus visitors when there is a reasonable basis for believing that the person being stopped has committed an offense against the rules of the college or the State of Maryland.
- Gambling on college-owned or controlled property, or during college sponsored activities.
- Excessive parking violations (see section on parking).
- Smoking and/or excessive smoking violations (see section on smoking)
- Use of cellular phones and mobile devices in the classroom or lab is at the instructor’s discretion. Unless otherwise directed by the instructor, students who must bring such devices to class must disengage or place devices on inaudible signal so as not to disturb or interfere with classroom activities.
- Any unauthorized audio or video recording of any person on college premises or at college sponsored activities at other sites, without his/her prior knowledge or without his/her consent when such a recording has the potential to cause injury or distress. Students with disabilities who have been vetted through the office of Disability Support Services to record lectures must notify their instructor via their accommodation memo of their intent to record and are restricted to using these recordings for educational purposes only. All other students who wish to record lectures must obtain prior permission from their instructors authorizing audio and/or video recording and are restricted to using these recordings for educational purposes only.
- Any act or behavior which fails to comply with or violates the rules of the college or laws of the state of Maryland or of the United States.
Standards of Classroom Behavior
Primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. Longer suspensions from a class or dismissal on disciplinary grounds must be preceded by a hearing or disciplinary conference, as set forth in the student conduct process. Commentary: The term “prohibited acts” would include behavior prohibited by the teacher (e.g., eating in the classroom, persistently speaking without being called upon, refusing to be seated, disrupting the class by leaving and entering the room without authorization, etc.). It must be emphasized that this provision is not designed to be used as a means to punish classroom dissent. The lawful expression of a disagreement with the teacher’s viewpoint is not itself “disruptive” behavior.
STUDENT DISCIPLINE PROCESS
Howard Community College will not tolerate violations of accepted standards of student behavior.
When such violations occur, the college will take appropriate disciplinary action. The college has adopted procedures to allow due process, as required by law.
Any member of the college community may refer a student, student group, or organization suspected of violating this code to the vice president of student services or designee. All case referrals must be submitted in writing.
Those referring cases are normally expected to serve as the complainant, and to present relevant evidence in hearings or conferences.
Discipline Hearing Referrals
The vice president of student services or designee will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether the alleged misconduct might result in expulsion or suspension from the college. Students subject to suspension or expulsion will be entitled to a hearing before the discipline committee. Cases not so referred will be resolved after an informal disciplinary conference with the vice president of student services or designee.
Students accused of offenses that may result in penalties less than suspension or expulsion, are subject to a disciplinary conference with the vice president of student services or designee. Normally, a disciplinary hold will be placed on the respondent’s account, restricting registration activities until the disciplinary conference is held. The following procedural protections are provided to respondents in disciplinary conferences:
- Written notice of the specific complaint at least two business days prior to the scheduled conference.
- Reasonable access to the case file prior to and during the conference. The case file consists of materials which would be considered “educational records,” pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Personal notes of college staff members or complainants are not included.
- An opportunity to respond to the evidence and to call appropriate and relevant witnesses.
- A right to be accompanied by a person of his or her choosing, as defined in this code.
The conference procedure is designed to reduce unnecessary proceduralism and contentiousness in disciplinary proceedings. A disciplinary conference will normally consist of an informal, non-adversarial meeting between the respondent and the vice president of student services or designee. Complainants would not be required to participate, unless questioning was necessary to resolve a dispositive factual issue. Documentary evidence and written statements could be relied upon, so long as the respondent was given access to them in advance, and allowed to respond to them at the conference. Respondents would also be allowed to call relevant witnesses.
The vice president of student services or designee may impose institutional sanctions based on presented evidence in the absence of the respondent. This type of disciplinary action may be imposed for offenses that may result in penalties less than suspension or expulsion.
The vice president of student services or designee may suspend a student from the college for an interim period pending disciplinary or criminal proceedings, or medical evaluation. The interim suspension will become immediately effective without prior notice whenever there is evidence that the continued presence of the student at the college poses a substantial and immediate threat to him/herself or to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal college functions. A student placed on interim suspension who is unable to complete course work for the semester in which the interim suspension was issued will be given a “W” grade(s).
A student suspended on an interim basis will be given a prompt opportunity to appear personally before the vice president of student services or designee in order to discuss the following issues:
- The reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct, including the matter of his or her identity.
- Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on college premises poses a substantial and immediate threat to himself or herself, to others, or the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
In the event that a discipline hearing is necessary, the vice president of student services or designee will contact the chairperson of the discipline committee within seven business days to initiate the discipline process. The chairperson of the discipline committee will confer with committee members, set a hearing date, and notify the respondent and committee members in writing. The notification will include the specific violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Discipline Committee Membership
The discipline committee will be formed at the beginning of each semester at the request of the vice president of student services or designee. The committee consists of, but is not limited to five members. Three members will be college employees, one of whom will serve as chair. Two members will be students. A quorum consists of the chair and two members of the committee, at least one of whom will be a student.
Faculty members will be selected by the appropriate division chairperson, as needed, upon request by the vice president of student services or designee. Student members will be selected by the student government association and the director of student life, as needed.
Members of this committee who do not feel that they can render an impartial decision in regard to a specific case may be excused if they give notice to the chairperson of the committee prior to the notification of the scheduled hearing of the respondent. The chairperson will contact the constituency for the selection of an alternate. The respondent or complainant may request the replacement of any member of the committee if evidence of personal prejudice is provided. Objections to a committee member must be stated in writing and submitted to the committee five business days after notification. A decision will be rendered by the chairperson of the committee.
Discipline hearings will be closed. The assistant to the vice president of student services or designee serves as a recorder during discipline hearings. Hearings may be conducted in person, or by mail, telephone, or other electronic means. In the case of hearings conducted via mail, materials, statements, evidence, etc. would be sent to and from the respondent by mail. Once the file is complete, the disciplinary committee would still meet for a disciplinary hearing. Although the respondent would not be physically present, it is possible that witnesses or other persons presenting information, either on behalf of the respondent or the complainant would be present. Hearing proceedings will be recorded by and shall be the property of the college. Deliberations will not be recorded. The hearing recordings will be made available for review to the respondent or the complainant upon written request.
The chairperson of the committee will notify the respondent of all charges, membership, and hearing date in writing at least 10 business days in advance of the scheduled hearing.
Failure of the respondent to appear at the hearing, after proper notice, will result in the committee making a decision in the respondent’s absence.
Prior to the hearing, the respondent may be granted access to review photographs, documents, or other tangible objective evidence to be introduced by the complainant. If new evidence comes to light during the hearing, a recess may be granted upon request.
Both the respondent and the complainant have the right to be accompanied and advised by a person of his or her choosing. Only the respondent, the complainant, and witnesses can participate in the proceedings. Furthermore, legal representation is not permitted in college disciplinary proceedings, whether informal or formal. However, legal representation is permitted when the student faces concurrent criminal charges.
The committee may request the appearance of any person that each party wishes to have appear and testify. The committee has no authority to compel the appearance of any person who is neither respondent nor complainant. The chairperson of the committee will have the duty of maintaining order at the hearing and will have the right to exclude any party or witness from the hearing, temporarily or permanently.
Order of Presentation:
- Chairperson’s opening remarks.
- Opening statements of complainant and respondent, if desired by each.
- Presentation of evidence by complainant, then respondent.
- Questions by members of the hearing panel.
- Closing statement by the complainant and the respondent.
- Private deliberation by the committee.
- Committee decision.
At a disciplinary hearing, the technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases shall not apply. Evidence will include all facts based on oral testimony of witnesses who are present before the committee and all tangible objective evidence including photographs, charts, papers, electronic or other recorded statements. Written statements by witnesses not present at the hearing may be admitted into evidence, but the committee will decide how much weight, if any, will be given to such statements.
Evidence of a student’s past record may be introduced if a pattern of similar behavior has been demonstrated. The sanction phase of the hearing will consider evidence of pattern behavior.
- Any party may present witnesses subject to the right of questioning by other parties.
- Witnesses are excluded from the hearing room, but brought in individually before the committee to provide testimony. (This provision does not apply to the complainant and respondent.)
- At the close of all testimony and after the admission of all evidence, the complainant and the respondent will be allowed a closing statement. Closing statements may include a summation of all evidence (as admitted) and arguments or theories behind the stated position of each side. The committee will, after hearing all evidence and summations, retire for deliberation. The chairperson of the committee will announce the decision promptly.
The committee will issue and make available a written report which is shared with all parties, including the complainant. The chairperson of the committee will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within two business days.
Significant mitigating or aggravating factors will be considered when sanctions are imposed, including present demeanor and past disciplinary record of the respondent, as well as the nature of the offense, and the severity of any damage, injury or harm resulting from it. The following are examples of institutional sanctions. More than one institutional sanction may be imposed for any single violation:
- Letter of warning.
- Fines: Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
- Restitution of property or personal relationships with others, denial of certain privileges, or restriction of activities.
- Loss of privileges – Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Discretionary sanctions: Including, but not limited to, work assignments, essays, service to the college, mandated assessment and/or counseling, workshop attendance, behavioral contracts, and monitoring or related activities.
- Disciplinary probation: Prohibits the student from representing the college or participating in student activities. Probation also subjects the student to immediate suspension if found in violation of another offense during the period of probation.
- Administrative withdrawal from course(s): Student is withdrawn from the course(s) where the violation occurred for the remainder of the academic term.
- Suspension: Exclusion from college premises, and other privileges or activities, as set forth in the suspension notice.
- Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status, and exclusion from college premises, privileges and activities.
- Revocation of admission and/or degree: Admission to or a degree awarded by the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, providing other false information, or other violation of college standards in obtaining the degree or admission to the college.
Students who are members of athletic teams, work study programs, the Silas Craft Collegians program, Rouse Scholars program, or other learning communities at the college may be subject to additional disciplinary action as set forth by the rules of those organizations. These organizations will be informed of any infractions.
Any disciplinary determination resulting in suspension or expulsion from the college may be appealed by the respondent to the vice president of student services. The appeal must be in writing, sent to the office of the vice president of student services by certified mail, return receipt requested. The appeal must be received by the office of the vice president of student services within seven business days after the notice of suspension or expulsion was delivered to the address on record for the student in the office of records and registration.
The vice president of student services will act on appeals based upon the report filed by the hearing committee chairperson, the student’s written brief, and any written response or memorandum prepared by college officials. All written materials considered by the vice president of student services will be subject to inspection, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. New evidentiary hearings will not be conducted in appeal. The decision of the vice president of student services is final.
The following standards will apply when appeals are considered:
- Sanctions may be reduced or removed if found to be substantially disproportionate to the offense.
- Cases may be remanded for rehearing only if specified procedural errors or errors in interpretation of college regulations were so substantial as to effectively deny the student a fair hearing, or if new and significant evidence became available that could not have been discovered by a properly diligent student before or during the original hearing.
- Cases may be dismissed if the finding is held to be unsupported by any evidence.
Disciplinary Files and Records
Case referrals may result in the development of a disciplinary file in the name of the respondent, which will be voided if the student is found innocent of the charges. Voided files will be so marked, will not be kept with active disciplinary records, and will not leave any student with a disciplinary record. Voided files will normally be destroyed after three years.
The files of students found guilty of any charge will normally be retained as a disciplinary record for seven years from the date of the letter providing notice of final disciplinary action. Files of students who are suspended or expelled will be retained.
Disciplinary records may be voided by the vice president of student services or designee, for good cause, upon written petition of the respondent. Factors to be considered in review of such petitions include:
- The present demeanor of the student.
- The conduct of the student subsequent to the violation.
- The nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.
A student suspended as a result of the student conduct process may be entitled to complete his/her academic work, including examinations during the regular term without extension of time. Since the student is prohibited from entering the campus without permission, coordination will be through the office of the vice president of student services and the division chair will be notified. An expelled student has no right to complete academic work.
Campus Crime Reports and Registered Sex Offender Information
In accordance with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, colleges and universities are required to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime, security policies and procedures, and registered sex offenders. Schools must publish an annual report every year by October 1 that contains three years of campus crime statistics and certain Public Safety policy statements. This report is made available to all students and employees at howardcc.edu/students/departmentofpublicsafety.
The Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to clarify that nothing in that Act may be construed to prohibit an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders; and requires the secretary of education to take appropriate steps to notify educational institutions that disclosure of this information is permitted.
To find the sex offender registry for Maryland, go to www.dpscs.state.md.us/sorSearch or access the web link through HCC’s website public safety page listed above. This site provides information on registered sex offenders enrolled and/or employed at all Maryland institutions of higher education.
In addition, sex offenders are required to register at the college’s Public Safety Office prior to registering for any course or program at HCC. The college will not hire any convicted sex offender; therefore, sex offenders should not apply for vacant positions. Disclosure of information provided to the Public Safety Office will be provided to the vice president of administration and finance and the vice president of student services accordingly. Additional campus notifications will be initiated as deemed necessary. Failure to register with the college’s Public Safety Office will result in disciplinary action including expulsion, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
Stalking and Harassment Policy
Stalking, cyber stalking, and harassment are criminal offenses under Maryland state law and are prohibited at Howard Community College (HCC). HCC is committed to providing a safe and secure learning and working environment that is free from stalking, harassment, and other threats. An individual who is found guilty of stalking is guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted, is subject to penalty according to state law.
Howard Community College and the State of Maryland define stalking as “a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows, or reasonably should have known, the conduct would place another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, an assault in any degree, rape or sexual offense, false imprisonment, and/or death.”
Harassment is defined by the college as intentionally following another person in or about a public place or maliciously engaging in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the person with the intent to do so after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop.
Stalking, cyber stalking, and harassment behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Repeated, unwanted/unsolicited contact that includes face-to-face contact, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, electronic mail, instant messages, written letters, or unwanted gifts;
- Repeated, unwanted/unsolicited communication on public and college community internet sites;
- Disturbing messages online;
- Persistent physical approaches or requests for dates, meetings, etc.;
- Threats that create fear for one’s life or safety, or fear for the safety of one’s family, friends, roommates, or others;
- Unwanted touching;
- Pursuing or following another person; repeatedly showing up or waiting outside a person’s home, classroom, place of employment, or car;
- Using surveillance or other types of observation, either in person or through the use of electronic devices or software to track or obtain private information;
- Harassing another person, either in person or through a third party;
- Use of threatening gestures;
- Trespassing or breaking into a person’s car or residence; or
- Vandalism destruction of a person’s personal property.
The scope of the HCC stalking and harassment policy applies to all students, employees, and visitors equally. Engaging in stalking (including cyber stalking) and harassment is a violation of HCC standards of conduct. The college reserves the right to administer additional sanctions to an offender if the incident affects the academic or work environment of the college. College disciplinary procedures are independent of any and all criminal procedures. A substantiated charge against an employee of the college will subject that employee to disciplinary action, which may include dismissal. A substantiated charge against a student or employee of the college will subject that person to disciplinary action.
The board of trustees of Howard Community College concurs in the action of the Maryland Higher Education Commission in recognizing that sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence, seriously damages the integrity of the educational institution, destroys the institution’s positive work and educational atmosphere, and causes psychological and physiological damage to the victim. The board condemns such illegal activity and is strongly committed to promoting an educational and work environment free from sexual harassment of any form. For the purpose of these guidelines, the board adopts the sexual harassment definition promulgated by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the sexual violence definition promulgated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
It is a violation of this policy for any member of the college staff to harass a student or employee through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below. It is also a violation of this policy for students to harass other students through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below or for students to harass staff. The scope of this policy also extends to visitors of the college.
Definitions—Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate oral, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made by a member of the college staff to a student or another employee or when made by a student to another student or to staff constitute sexual harassment when:
a) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment;
b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or
c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or employment performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic or employment environment.
Sexual harassment, as defined above, may include but is not limited to the following:
- verbal harassment or abuse;
- pressure for sexual activity;
- repeated remarks to a person, with sexual or demeaning implications;
- unwelcome touching;
- suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, job, etc.;
- displaying pornographic or sexually suggestive images in a place or manner where others could view such images and be offended;
- using sexually suggestive language in a place or manner where others could hear such language and be offended.
Sexual violence, as defined by Title IX, refers to physical sexual acts against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or an intellectual or other disability. Examples of sexual violence include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual assault, and sexual battery.
Complaints of sexual harassment by students, employees, or visitors should be filed and will be investigated in accordance with the college’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures (63.01.01). A substantiated charge against an employee or student of the college will subject that person to disciplinary action.
Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures
The following procedures are adopted to process complaints alleging violations of the college’s policies on Non-discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity, Equal Education Opportunity, Affirmative Action or Sexual Harassment (which includes sexual violence), and will be in addition to any complaint or charges an employee, applicant or student files with law enforcement or county, state or federal agencies. These procedures apply to all complaints of discrimination or harassment made against either an employee or a student. Howard Community College will conduct its own investigation and will respond to the complaint, regardless of the reporting party.
Initiation of Complaint
Any employee or employment applicant who alleges a violation of college policy on non-discrimination, equal employment opportunity, equal educational opportunity, affirmative action, or sexual harassment by an employee should file a complaint in writing, including the grounds for the complaint, with the associate vice president of human resources. If the complaint is against the associate vice president of human resources, the reporting person should file the complaint with the vice president of administration and finance. Any student who alleges a violation of college policy on non-discrimination, equal employment opportunity, equal educational opportunity, affirmative action, or sexual harassment should file a complaint in writing with the vice president of student services. The associate vice president of human resources and the vice president of student services serve as co-coordinators of Title IX activity for the college and are authorized to investigate sexual harassment complaints under Title IX as well as any other type of complaint referenced in this policy.
Complainants should be aware that the college is obligated to make its best effort to investigate each written complaint, even if the complainant does not desire an investigation. The college is also obligated to conduct its own investigation in cases where law enforcement or county, state, or federal agencies are also investigating. A complainant’s request for anonymity during the investigation will be honored to the extent possible, but the complainant should be aware that protecting anonymity may hamper the investigation.
Investigation of Complaint
The associate vice president of human resources (or the vice president of administration and finance) will investigate complaints made against an employee, and the vice president of student services will investigate complaints made against students. In cases where the parties in the complaint involve both employees and students, the investigation may occur jointly between the associate vice president of human resources and vice president of student services.
During the investigation all parties in the case are allowed the same opportunity to obtain legal representation and present evidence and witnesses. The investigator(s) will use the “preponderance of evidence” standard to evaluate whether discrimination or harassment occurred. The investigator(s) will issue their written outcome of the complaint within 60 calendar days after the initial written complaint is received, barring unusual complexity or delays. Each party in the case will receive the written outcome. If criminal conduct is suspected to have occurred, the college may refer the matter to law enforcement if they are not already involved.
Either party has the right to appeal the outcome of the complaint if not satisfied with the result. A written appeal must be filed in writing to the president of the college within 15 calendar days after the initial outcome is received. The appeal should state the grounds for the appellant’s belief that the outcome is unsatisfactory. The president will review the appeal and issue a written decision within 30 calendar days after its receipt. The president’s review may or may not include meetings with either party or any witnesses or participants in the case. The president’s decision on the appeal is final.
Confidentiality and Reprisals
All parties and staff will keep the complaint, fact-finding process and outcome confidential, except to the extent that it is necessary to investigate and process the complaint. Furthermore, all student records and access to student records will comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Persons filing complaints of harassment or discrimination will be protected against reprisals by actions that are appropriate to the circumstances.
Those persons filing deliberate false complaints will be subject to disciplinary action.
Substantiated complaints of violation of the policies referenced above may subject the offending party to disciplinary action.
Drugs and Alcohol On Campus
The Board of Trustees of Howard Community College directs the college to provide a drug-free, healthy, safe and secure educational environment. Employees are expected and required to be in appropriate mental and physical condition for work. Students are expected to contribute to the desired environment by conducting themselves within the guidelines of the student code of conduct.
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of illicit drugs and the illegal use of alcohol on campus or as a part of any Howard Community College activity whether on or off college premises is prohibited, in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Alcohol is not permitted on college owned or controlled property, or at any college sponsored program or activity, whether on campus or off campus except under the conditions specified in procedures for Alcohol on Campus and Liquor Licenses. Employees or students who violate this policy will be subject to will be subject to disciplinary action. In addition, any violations may have legal consequences consistent with federal, state, and local law. The college will cooperate with appropriate health and law enforcement agencies.
The college recognizes drug or alcohol abuse as an illness and major health problem as well as a potential safety and security issue. Students and employees who need help in dealing with such problems are encouraged to use community or campus assistance programs. Voluntary participation in an assistance program in and of itself will not jeopardize continued employment or enrollment at the college and will not be noted in the personnel or student record provided that job or classroom performance or behavior is consistent with established standards. However, voluntary participation in an assistance program will not prevent disciplinary action for violation of this policy, nor will it prevent corrective action for performance or behavior problems in the workplace or classroom before, during, or after participation in an assistance program.
Employees who show evidence of being under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances while at the college may be subjected to an immediate drug screening in accordance with the college’s procedure for Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing.
Employees, as a condition of employment, must abide by the terms of this policy and report any crimes for which they have been convicted under a criminal drug statute for violations occurring on or off college premises. Reports of convictions must be made immediately to the employee’s supervisor.