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Pierce College Policy Manual
Chapter Three: Student Personnel

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Title: Student Rights and Responsibilities/Student Code of Conduct

Policy Status: Revised

Date: 11/00

Number:  3.01.0000

Pierce College, an agency of the State of Washington, exists for the development of students and the general well being of society.  To fulfill this purpose, the college provides a variety of continuing educational opportunities, which include programs of general education, including university-parallel transfer courses, developmental-remedial programs, vocational-technical curricula and the opportunities to examine the cultural, social and recreational aspects of society.

Students are encouraged through free inquiry and free expression to develop their capacity for critical judgment and to engage in sustained and independent search for knowledge.  The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community.  Student should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The student is in the unique position of being a member of the community at large, having rights and responsibilities of any citizen, and of being a member of the college community.  Admission to Pierce College carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves as responsible members of the community.  This includes an expectation that students will obey the law, will comply with rules and regulations of the college; will maintain a high standard of integrity and honesty; will respect the rights, privileges and property of other members of the college community; and will not interfere with legitimate college affairs.

Pierce College may take appropriate disciplinary action when student conduct unreasonably interferes with the college’s educational responsibilities, its subsidiary responsibilities, or to protect the health and safety of persons on or in college facilities, to maintain and protect college property or private property on college facilities, to protect college records, to provide college services, and/or to sponsor non-classroom activities such as lectures, concerts, athletic events and social functions.

The responsibility and commitment to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn, and self-development is shared by the student, faculty and staff at Pierce College.

Copies of the Students Rights and Responsibilities/Student Code of Conduct are available in the Office of the Vice President of Learning and Student Success.

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Title: Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids & Services for Students with Disabilities

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  7/03

Number:  3.02.0000

Policy Statement

No student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination on the basis of his or her disability, under any college program or activity. Pierce College District Eleven is committed to providing qualified students with a disability an equal opportunity to access the benefits, rights, and privileges of college services, programs and activities, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the student's needs, in compliance with Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and State of Washington Laws of 1994, Chap. 105.

Pierce College is committed to providing academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services to qualified students with disabilities. The purpose of this policy is to identify the rights and responsibilities of students under the ADA and Section 504 and to establish clear guidelines for seeking and receiving academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services.


To receive academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, students are responsible for requesting such adjustments and documenting the nature and extent of their disability in a timely manner with the Disabilities Support Services Office.

Pierce College will make those academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, that (1) are reasonably necessary to ensure that circumstances without such adjustments, do not discriminate, or have the effect of discriminating against a qualified student with a disability based on that disability and (2) do not impose an undue hardship on the college or require alteration of essential program requirements.

Academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, will be provided to qualified students with disabilities for recruitment, the application process, enrollment, registration, financial aid, course work, academic counseling, and non-academic programs and service.

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Title: Student Records

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  11/00

Number:  3.03.0000

Pierce College District Eleven recognizes the rights of students provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.  District rules regarding the confidentiality of student educational records are codified at WAC 132K-122.  Copies of those rules may be obtained from the Registration Office.

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Title: Grading

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  11/00

Number:  3.04.0000

Pierce College District Eleven grading system is designed to indicate a student’s performance and achievement in a variety of skills and programs.  It provides for a permanent record of grade evaluations which reflect, in various ways, successful course and program completion.

Grades are reported in numeric fractions to the nearest tenth.  The numeric grades shown in the first column below appear on the student’s record.  The letter equivalent and/or explanation of the grade appears beside it.

Numeric Letter Equivalent grade
4.0 - 3.5 A Superior achievement
3.4 - 2.5 B Above average achievement
2.4 - 1.5 C Average achievement
1.4 - 1.0 D Lowest passing grade
0.0 F Indicates student did not do passing work in the course, did not attend during the quarter, or did not officially withdraw.

Grade Symbols

W - Withdrawal
Student initiated by following official withdrawal procedures.

I - Incomplete
Issued when a student has been delayed in completing the required work.  To receive an “I” the student and instructor sign an Agreement to Complete Form, by the last day of the instructional quarter.  Remaining work must be completed within four academic quarters, including the quarter in which the student initially registered.  Instructor may convert “I” to “0.0” or allow it to remain as “I” if the student has not completed work by completion deadline.

Z - In-Progress
Student is currently in progress toward the attainment of course objectives.  Use only for continuous enrollment classes.  Time limit for removal of “Z” grade is determined by the instructor, but not to exceed four quarters following the quarter in which “Z” grade was issued.  Instructor may convert “Z” to “0.0” or allow it to remain as “Z” if the student has not completed work by completion deadline.

Y - In-Progress
Student is currently in progress toward the attainment of course objectives.  Used only for continuous enrollment courses.  Students must re-register for the course to complete course objectives.  Grade cannot be changed.

NC - No Credit
Faculty-initiated grade (for example, if a student appears on class roster but never attends class).  This grade is not computed in the grade point average and cannot be changed.

P/NP - Pass/No Pass
Is not computed in GPA.  No credit attached to NP.  Instructor and student must sign a Pass/No Pass contract by the last instructional day of the quarter.

R - Repeated
The “R” shows beside the lower grade received and only the course higher of the two grades is computed in the GPA.

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Title: Admission

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  11/00

Number:  3.05.0000

Pierce College District Eleven has an open door admissions policy, practices equal opportunity and does not discriminate in its educational programs.  No one is denied admission to the college because of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, or disability, in accordance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil rights act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

In the matter of admitting students, Pierce College shall be governed by the provisions of RCW 28B.50.090 (3) (B), which requires that the State Board, “ensure through the full use of its authority … that each community college district shall maintain an open door policy, to the end that no student will be denied admission because of the location of residence or because of his educational background or ability…”

Admission by the college district shall entitle the student to enroll in instructional programs offered by any campus or college operated by the district, provided that the student shall meet the rules and the requirements for enrollment.  Admission to the college does not guarantee admission to any specific program, course, or courses.

Minimum Admissions Standards

Any applicant for admission to Pierce College shall be admitted when he/she is 18 years of age or older, or whose high school class has graduated, or is a high school graduate or has earned a GED  or has qualified for admission through the Running Start or a successor program and competent to profit from the curricular offerings of the college;  and would not, by his or her presence or conduct create a disruptive atmosphere within the community college inconsistent with the purpose of the institution.

Applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age who do not meet the minimum admissions standards must obtain written permission from the school district in which they reside before being accepted for admission and/or enrolling in Pierce College courses.  All other applicants are considered by the college district as underage applicants.  Underage applicants may by admitted to the college only as provided in this policy and the implementing procedures.

As a policy, Pierce College does not admit students under the age of 16 years.  Under extraordinary circumstances, special consideration may be given to students who petition for an under-age admission exception.  Any student who petitions for an admission exception must abide by the Under Age 16 Admission Exception Procedure.  Special programs will be allowed to enroll under-age students, provided that each underage student enrolled meets program criteria.

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Title: Use of Human Subjects

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  7/14/2004

Number:  3.06.0000

The Use of Human Subjects policy is established at Pierce College District Eleven to ensure that the students and personnel of the college are protected pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 46.101 and consistent with RCW 42.48, Release of Records for Research. Pierce College will maintain a clearly defined set of procedures and maintain a “Guide to Researchers.” Pierce College District Eleven will convene an Institutional Review Board which will carry out the approval process.

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Title: Academic Standards

Policy Status: Revised

Date:  2/14/96          

Number:  3.07.0000

The Academic Standards policy is established at Pierce College District Eleven to ensure that the resources of the college are used in the best interest of all its current and potential students and to encourage students to assume responsibility for their own formal education.  Academic standards also help to ensure that students with academic difficulties are made aware of the opportunities provided for them at Pierce College.  Pierce College will maintain a clearly defined set of standards which includes standards for academic honors, academic deficiency, and reinstatement.

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Title: Scholarship Committee

Policy Status: New

Date:  6/14/95

Number: 3.08.0000

The basis for establishing a Pierce College Scholarship Committee reflects the college’s intent to ensure that consistent and equitable processes are applied to all scholarship requests when selecting scholarship recipients.  In the best interest of the college, all scholarship funds that are donated to the college, where we choose the recipients, will be managed by the Pierce College Foundation.  Additionally, the Scholarship Committee will review all application formats and ensure that they reflect the criteria defined by the donor.

Some scholarships are related to specific departments or programs where special expertise is needed to choose the recipient.  In those cases, the committee will either invite members of the department to join the committee for deliberations, or ask the department to deliberate and send its results to the committee for affirmation.  Any individual or group granted permission to choose the recipient shall abide by the guidelines established by the college committee.

The district Chancellor or his/her designee will be responsible for developing procedures to meet the intent of this policy.

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Title: Hazing

Policy Status: New

Date:  12/96

Number:  3.09.0000

Hazing is prohibited.  Hazing means any method of initiation into a student organization or living group or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending any institution of higher education or post secondary institution.  Excluded from this definition are “customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.”


Any organization, association or student living group that knowingly permits hazing shall : a) be liable for harm caused to persons or property resulting from hazing and b) be denied recognition by Pierce College as an official organization, association or student living group on all Pierce College campuses.  If the organization, association or student living group is a corporation, whether for profit or nonprofit, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for damages.

A person who participates in the hazing of another shall forfeit any entitlement to state-funded grants, scholarships or awards for a period of time between one (1) and four (4) quarters, as determined by the Vice President of Learning and Student Success, with the possibility of permanent forfeiture, based upon the seriousness of the violations.

The Student Code of Conduct is also applicable to hazing violations as defined in WAC 132K.16.150, (1) Assault, reckless endangerment, etc.  These offenses are subject to disciplinary action.

Hazing violations are also misdemeanors punishable under state criminal law according to RCW 9A.20.021.

Sanctions for Impermissible Conduct not amounting to Hazing

Impermissible conduct associated with initiation into a student organization or living group or any pastime or amusement engaged in, with respect to the organization or living group, will not be tolerated.

Impermissible conduct which does not amount to hazing may include conduct which causes embarrassment, sleep deprivation or personal humiliation, or may include ridicule or unprotected speech amounting to verbal abuse.

Impermissible conduct not amounting to hazing is subject to any sanction available under the Student Code of Conduct, depending upon the seriousness of the violation.

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Title: Service Animals at Pierce College Facilities Policy

Policy Status: Approved (new)

Date:  November 12, 2003

Number:  3.10.0000

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals into all Pierce College facilities.

A service animal is defined as “any animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Under the law, a service animal is not considered a pet.

The health and safety of other students, faculty and staff may also be taken into consideration. Every attempt will be made to insure that neither the student with a service animal or others on campus will be negatively impacted by the presence of the animal in class or other areas on campus. A service animal may be excluded from the college’s premises or specific areas of the college if:

1. The animal is out of control and the owner does not take effective action to control it, OR
2. The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

Although the college may exclude a service animal that is out of control or a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the individual with a disability who uses the service animal will be given the option of continuing to utilize or participate in college services without having the service animal on the premises.

The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. Proof of vaccination may be required in accordance with state and local laws.

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Title: Grade Forgiveness

Policy Status: New

Date:  January 12, 2005

Number:  3.11.0000

Purpose: To give students who wish to continue their education at Pierce a “fresh start” from previous grades that are detrimental to their present and future educational endeavors.

A student who desires to apply for grade forgiveness needs to meet the following criteria:

If the petition is approved, grades and credits for the designated quarter shall be forgiven. Students have an option to have the designated quarter only or the designated quarter and all previous quarters forgiven if so requested at the time of the original petition.

The original grade(s) and credit(s) will remain on the transcript. The forgiven grades will no longer be calculated into Pierce College’s GPA.

All amendments to a student’s transcript shall be made by the Registrar’s Office. If a petition is approved, an adjusted copy with an appropriate indicator of the forgiven grade(s) shall be sent to the student’s address of record. Grades forgiven through this Pierce College policy may not be applicable to the transferability of courses to any other college or university.

The student will complete the petition and submit it to the Registration Office at each college or military site at McChord AFB and Fort Lewis. All petitions will be processed through the Office of the Registrar, Fort Steilacoom.

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