Admissions

Division: Student Services

All student registration at College of the Sequoias is completed online at www.cos.edu. Individuals without access to a computer can access the internet at the following locations:

  • The Welcome Center and Student Services Resource Lab at the Visalia campus
  • The Welcome Center at the Hanford Educational Center
  • The Welcome Center at the Tulare College Center

Eligibility for Admission

Any graduate of an accredited high school may be admitted to College of the Sequoias. Also, any person having successfully completed the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) or the General Educational Development Test (G.E.D.) with scores of 45 overall and with no subtest lower than 35 may be admitted.

The College may admit other persons 18 years of age or over when the evidence indicates that the individual will benefit from college-level instruction. Students are encouraged to complete high school prior to enrolling in the College.

For dates relating to online registration, check the Academic Calendar or inquire at the Registration Office in the Sequoia Building on the Visalia Campus.

See "Classification of Students - Concurrently Enrolled High School Students/Accelerated Students" below for concurrent enrollment of 7th–12th grade students.

Summary of Admission Requirements

Full-Time Students

Twelve (12) or more units and students planning to take more than six (6) units.

Full matriculation will be required of any student who intends to enroll for seven (7) or more units of credit. Full matriculation shall require that a prospective student:

  1. Prior to the deadline specified in the schedule of classes, complete a COS Admission Application online at www.cos.edu. Detailed instructions are printed in the schedule of classes.
  2. If you are under 21 years of age, request the last high school attended to send one transcript of work completed or attempted. If you have attended college, we require only college transcripts.
  3. If in the last two years you have taken the G.E.D. Test or the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE), have the G.E.D. scores or a copy of the CHSPE Certificate sent to the Admissions and Records Office.
  4. Request each college of attendance to send one complete transcript of work attempted, whether or not credit was earned, to the Admissions and Records Office. Transcripts are to be official copies sent directly from the previous schools to College of the Sequoias. Any high school or college transcript received by College of the Sequoias becomes the property of the College and will not be released to the student or other institutions.

Official Transcripts are to be sent directly from the prior college attended to the following address:

Admissions and Records Office
College of the Sequoias
915 S Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA 93277

Part-Time Students

Six (6) or Fewer Units

  1. Prior to the deadline specified in the school calendar, complete a COS Admission Application online at www.cos.edu.
  2. File one transcript of all previous high school and/or college academic records if the student wishes to:
    1. Apply for a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate Degree.
    2. Apply for financial assistance (EOPS, financial aid, veterans).
    3. Apply for special programs, particularly in the health, arts, and sciences.
    4. Validate that a prerequisite has been met either in high school or at another college.

Classification of Students

  • Freshmen: Students with fewer than 30 units of college credit
  • Sophomores: Students who have completed 30 units or more of college credit
  • Other: Students who have completed more than 60 units of college credit
  • Full-time Students: Students carrying 12 units or more
  • Part-time Students: Students carrying less than 12 units
  • Returning Students: Students who have attended COS, but have missed one or more semesters (not including the Summer semester)
  • Continuing Students: Students who are currently enrolled
  • New Students: Students who have never attended COS
  • Concurrently Enrolled High School Students/Accelerated Students: Seventh - twelfth (7-12) grade students are required to complete an online admission application and submit a high school permission form to the Admissions and Records Office for every semester of attendance. Attendance is on a space-available basis only. High school accelerated students attending a class at COS are not considered “continuing students.” An additional form is required for 7th and 8th grade students. Home-schooled students will need to meet with a Student Services administrator to complete the permission form.

Registration

Students use Web Registration to register, add and drop classes at www.cos.edu.

Resident Regulations

Residency determination shall be made on the basis of a residence statement completed at the time of application.

A “resident” is a student who has physical presence in the state for more than one year immediately preceding the opening day of instruction of the semester (Title 5 §54028; Education Code 68017,680601) and has demonstrated intent to make California his/her permanent home.

A student shall be required to present evidence of physical presence in California; intent to make California his/her home for other than a temporary purpose; and if the student was classified as a nonresident in the preceding term, (s)he may be required to demonstrate financial independence (Title 5 §54022/Education Code 68044) and intent to make California her place of residence.

Physical presence within the state solely for educational purposes does not constitute establishing California residence regardless of the length of that presence (Title 5 §54026). Residents of another state are nonresidents of California (Title 5 §54030). The burden is on the student to demonstrate clearly both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence (Title 5 §54026).

A student who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this state on active duty, except a member of the Armed Forces assigned for educational purposes to a state-supported institution of higher education, is entitled to resident classification only for the purpose of determining the amount of tuition and fees. If that member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is in attendance at an institution is thereafter transferred on military orders to a place outside this state where the member continues to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, (s)he shall not lose his/her resident classification so long as (s)he remains continuously enrolled at that institution. (Education Code 68075).

A student who is a natural or adopted child, stepchild (under 18 years of age), or spouse who is a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this state on active duty shall be entitled to resident classification until (s)he has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident (Education Code 68074). During this time, the student should demonstrate intent to make California his/her permanent home.

Waiver of Nonresident Fees

Assembly Bill 540 (Firebaugh) provides for the waiver of nonresident tuition if:

  1. The individual has attended a California high school for three or more years;
  2. Has graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent; and
  3. Has filed an affidavit with the College if she is an alien without lawful immigration status.

If you have any questions, contact the Admissions and Records.

Transcripts

Applicants who have attended another college or university must file transcripts from each college or university attended. College of the Sequoias grants credit for lower division work from accredited colleges or universities.

Failure to file transcripts may delay or prevent admission or graduation. Transcripts should be sent directly from the high school or college to College of the Sequoias. All transcripts become the property of the College and will not be returned to the student or sent to other institutions.

Exception

The high school transcript requirements may be waived for:

  1. Those who have attended college.
  2. Those who have attained a college degree.
  3. Those who are 21 years or older.

Scholastic Regulations

The scholastic average is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of units for which the student was registered. Grade points are assigned as follows:

  • Grade A – receives 4 points per unit
  • Grade B – receives 3 points per unit
  • Grade C – receives 2 points per unit
  • Grade D – receives 1 point per unit
  • Grade F – receives 0 points per unit

Satisfactory scholarship means at least a “C” (or 2.0) average. To achieve at least a “C” (or 2.0) average, students must have a minimum of twice as many grade points as they have units attempted.

Transfer Students

Any student transferring from another college shall be subject immediately to these same scholastic regulations. Transfer students must supply official transcripts from all other colleges attended and meet with a counselor to evaluate and create a student education plan.

International Students

College of the Sequoias accepts international students each year. In order to keep a well-balanced representation of the various nations of the world, the number of students accepted from any one country may be restricted.

Transcripts of academic records and good health verification are required to qualify for admission. To be admitted, international students are required to qualify for admission. International students are required to achieve a score of at least 500 (173 for computerized test; 61 IBT) on the written Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is administered in their own country or at a test center in the United States. The international student’s annual tuition fees of approximately $7,200 (for those students enrolled in 15 units each semester) are $211 per unit, the same as for other nonresident students. International and nonresident students must also pay the resident tuition of $46 per unit (subject to change) which has been included in the $7,200 annual tuition fee listed above. A $100 Application Fee must be paid upon application to the College. Payment should be by U.S. bank draft or money order and must be received before the Form I-20 will be issued by the College. Tuition for subsequent semesters will be paid at the time of registration.

Students must complete an International Student Application (including financial documentation), TOEFL test (unless English is the student’s native language), AND the online COS application. See International Student website for complete information.

All international students are required to locate and purchase medical insurance (must include repatriation and medical evacuation) the cost of which is approximately $600 for the school year. Students must pay a $200 SEVIS I-90 fee at www.fmjfee.com.

Federal and State financial aid or funding for scholarships is not available to foreign students. Working during the first year is not allowed and students must have sufficient funds to defray expenses. Each application must be accompanied by a certified financial statement indicating sufficient monies are available to pay college costs and living expenses.

Students on an “F” type visa are required to register for a minimum of 12 units and they must maintain the same scholastic standards as other students.

The deadline for application is April 1 for the Fall and October 1 for the Spring semester. Requests for application forms should be sent to the Matriculation Coordinator at monaf@cos.edu.

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

AB 540 and AB 2000

(For Eligible California High School Graduates)

Any student, other than one with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nonimmigrant visa status, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).

Requirements

  • The student must have:
    • Attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, or
    • Attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent or three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years and
  • The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) and
  • The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
  • Students who are nonimmigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption
  • Students who are nonimmigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, are not eligible for this exemption.
  • The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above.
  • Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
  • Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be "nonresidents."
  • The California Dream Act extends Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, Chaffee grants, and institutional financial aid to students that meet these criteria as well as the applicable criteria for eligibility for specific types of financial aid.
  • AB540 does not provide federal student financial aid eligibility for undocumented students. These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid.

Procedures for Requesting this Exemption from Nonresident Tuition

California Community Colleges

Scholastic Honors

Special recognition is granted to top scholars each semester. The President of the College acknowledges, on the Dean’s List, those full-time students who attain a semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better. In addition, he also recognizes on the President’s Honor List those full-time students who attain a semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Qualification for either honor requires enrollment in a minimum of twelve units with a letter grade. A record of these accomplishments becomes a part of the student’s permanent scholastic record.


Fees and Expenses

Fee Assistance

The California Legislature has made funds available to low-income students who are California residents and desire to attend a community college, but who are prevented from doing so by the mandatory enrollment fee. The Board of Governor’s Financial Assistance Program provides several ways to help lower-income students pay the enrollment fee. For eligibility information, visit www.cos.edu/financialaid or contact the Financial Aid Office located in the Sequoia Building.

Student ID Cards

Students can obtain a photo identification card on all District campuses:

  • Visalia: Student Activities & Affairs Office – Giant Forest Bldg. Rm 123
  • Hanford: HUB
  • Tulare: Building A – Student Service

The first ID card is free. A $5.00 replacement fee will be charged if a student needs to replace their ID card for any reason. In order to obtain an ID card, students will need to show a valid photo ID and know their Banner Universal Login information. COS student ID cards also serve as their library card, on-campus printing card, and Bus pass (with valid transit sticker).

Activity Benefits Fee

The ABF fee is $15.00 per semester (for students enrolled in 6 or more units). This fee entitles students to the Activity Benefits Sticker and the privileges, such as the assigned lockers in the Kern Bldg., free admittance to COS athletic games, discounts on tickets for COS music and theater events, consideration for Student Senate scholarships, discounts with local merchants, and more! (This fee may be waived in the first two weeks of the semester only.)

Student Representation Fee

The student representation fee is $1.00 per semester (for students enrolled in six [6] or more units) The SRF is an includable cost in student budgets for students receiving federal and/or state financial aid benefits. (This fee may be waived for religious, political, moral, or financial reasons.)

Student Center Fee

The Student Center Fee shall not apply to a student enrolled in non-credit courses or a student who is a recipient of the benefits under the Aide to Families with Dependent Children State Supplementary Program, or the General Assistance Program. To have the fee waived, a student must provide documentation of participation in these programs through the Financial Aid Office prior to registration.

Transit Fee

The transit pass is an identification sticker that is placed on the front of the student ID card. This fee cannot be waived. Students enrolled in five units or less will be charged $9.00 per semester. Students enrolled in six [6] units or more will be charged $10.00 per semester. It is a benefit for all students to ride the city bus for an entire semester, just by showing their student ID card with the current/valid transit sticker. The Transit Fee was voted in by the associated student body. For more information, visit cos.edu/transit.

Enrollment

An enrollment fee of $46.00 per unit is charged to all students. An enrollment fee of $23.00 is charged per ½ unit. The nonresident fee is an additional $207 per unit.

Health Fee

A mandatory health fee is charged each semester to all COS students enrolled in classes for units or who are repeating a class under the Course Audit Option. The health fee is $19 for the Spring and Fall semesters and $16 for the Summer semester. Fee waivers are available for religious reasons. The health services fee helps support student health services, including student accident insurance.

This list is only a sample of the services available to all currently enrolled COS students who pay the health fee, and all services listed are totally covered by that fee. The student health fee is set by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and approved by the Board of Trustees. The current student health fee is $19.00 per semester, and $16.00 for Summer sessions.

While the College does not provide general health insurance, the health fee does pay for an accident policy which covers accidents students may incur while at school or attending a school-related function. For information regarding an independent health insurance plan available at personal cost to students, brochures are available at the Student Health Center.

Materials Fees

A materials fee may be levied in certain courses approved by the Board of Trustees. Fees vary and are noted in the Schedule of Classes. Materials fees are refunded to students who completely withdraw from class BEFORE the semester begins or if the class is cancelled by the College.

Nonresident Tuition Fees

The nonresident fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is $211 per semester unit, plus applicable enrollment fees payable each semester upon registration. The nonresident tuition fee for foreign students is $200 per semester unit and when the student is both a citizen and a resident of a foreign country, a $100 processing fee must accompany the application which is deducted from the tuition fee at the time of enrollment, plus all applicable enrollment fees. Guidelines and regulations for fee refunds for the nonresident student are the same as for all other students.

Note: Nonresident fees are subject to change annually.

Important Notes

  1. All fees are mandated by the State and are subject to change without prior notice.
  2. Any increase in fees after the student registers will be charged and billed accordingly.

Parking Fees (Optional)

Students wishing to park on campus must pay a fee. Parking permits are purchased on a semester basis. Spring and Fall permits are $25.00 per semester for both full-time and part-time students. Motorcycle and moped parking is free in designated areas. CSU Fresno students may use their Spring or Fall permit from CSU Fresno or purchase a COS permit for $25.00. If you are wanting to purchase an additional parking permit for another vehicle at a discounted rate of $10.00 you will need to bring the registration of both vehicles to the District Police Department for approval.

Students are charged a $10.00 fee for a Summer parking permit. Permits may be purchased online at sequoias.thepermitstore.com.

Students not wishing to purchase a semester parking permit may purchase one-day parking passes for $2.00 from the dispensers located at the following locations:

  • Visalia Campus: Parking Lots 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9.
  • Hanford Campus: Breezeway between the Educational and Public Safety Buildings and Lot 2.
  • Tulare: Lots 1, 2 and 3.

If a permit machine is malfunctioning, please contact District Police at (559) 730-3999. It is your responsibility to obtain a permit prior to parking.

A grace period of two weeks is provided the first two weeks of Fall and Spring Semester. Permits are not required during this time. This does not apply for the summer session.

Important Notes

  1. Purchase of a parking permit does not guarantee a space will be available.
  2. The District is not responsible for losses due to theft or damage.

Student Center Fee Exemptions

The Student Center Fee shall not apply to a student enrolled in non-credit courses or a student who is a recipient of the benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children State Supplementary Program, or the General Assistance program. To have the fee waived, a student must provide documentation of participation in these programs through the Financial Aid Office prior to registration.

Textbooks and Supplies

Textbooks and school supplies average approximately $400 per semester. These costs, however, vary according to the student’s major. New and used textbooks and essential supplies may be purchased at the COS Bookstore.

Payment of Fees

Payment may be made by credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover Card), cash, check or money order. Payment over the Web is only by credit card. Payment by credit card, check, money order, agency payment (Department of Rehab, financial aid), or by any other method may occur in person at the Cashier’s Office or at the Hanford Center. Credit card purchases may be subject to pre-approval. The following policy applies when payment is made by personal check:

  1. Check is for the amount due only
  2. Must provide photo identification
  3. Imprinted checks only
  4. In-state checks only
  5. No personal two-party checks
  6. The non-sufficient funds check charge is $25.00 plus customer bank charge and will be added to all returned checks

Books may also be purchased by Master Card or Visa. Students are encouraged to purchase books after attending the first class session.

To help you meet your educational expenses, College of the Sequoias is proud to offer Nelnet as a convenient budget plan. This is not a loan program. If you have no debt, there are no interest or finance charges assessed, and there is no credit check. The cost to budget your interest-free monthly payment plan is a $15.00 per semester, nonrefundable Nelnet Enrollment Fee. For more information, visit our website, www.cos.edu; look for “Admissions,” then “Payment Plan,” or contact our Cashier’s Office at (559) 730-3956.

Refund Policy

Enrollment and health fees for students who reduce units or completely withdraw (not including short-term classes) from college prior to the end of the SECOND WEEK OF INSTRUCTION will be as follows:

Enrollment and Health Fee Refunds

  • If fees were paid with a credit card, refunds will be applied to the same credit card, except for the BankMobile debit card. If fees were paid with a BankMobile debit card, a refund check will be mailed.
  • Students will be charged a $5 handling fee on enrollment credit refunds, or the refund/credit balance can be carried to the following semester to avoid the $5 handling fee.
  • Petitions for reimbursement will be processed every two (2) weeks.
  • No refunds will be given for classes dropped after the first two (2) weeks of a Fall/Spring semester, the first two (2) days of a Summer session, or the first day of a short-term class.
  • No refunds for material fees will be given unless the class is dropped prior to the first day of the semester, or prior to the first day of a short-term class.
  • For questions regarding refunds on fees, contact the Cashier’s Office at (559) 730-3956.

Parking Fee Refunds

Parking refunds will be available to students withdrawing from school prior to the end of the second week of instruction. Students withdrawing from school after the second week will not receive refunds.

  • A $3 service fee will be deducted from all permit refunds
  • Parking permits must be returned to the Cashier’s Office before refunds will be processed.
  • A refund check will be mailed in 6-8 weeks.
  • Permits must be picked up as soon as purchased as a limited number will be issued.
  • Lost permits may be replaced at the same cost as the original purchase.

Student Rights

Student Rights and Grievances

Administrative Procedure 5530

College of the Sequoias has adopted a student grievance procedure under which students who feel that their rights have been abridged may appeal their cases to a committee composed of representatives from the administration, faculty, and student body. A full description of the procedures is available on the COS webpage or upon request from Student Services. Anyone desiring additional information or wishing to file a complaint in regard to the above statement should contact the Dean of Student Services or the Student Grievance Officer.

Student Rights Grievance Procedure Summary Information

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means of resolving student grievances against the District. These procedures shall be available to any student who reasonably believes a District decision or action has adversely affected her status, rights or privileges as a student.

This procedure does not apply to:

  • Student disciplinary actions, which are covered under BP 5500, 5510 and AP 5501, 5510 and 5520.
  • Police citations (i.e., “tickets”), which are covered under AP 6750.
  • Sex discrimination as prohibited by Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which is covered under AP 3410 and 3430.
  • Sexual harassment, which is covered under separate AP 3410 and 3430, and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Illegal discrimination, which is covered under AP 3410 and 3430, and collective bargaining agreements.
  • The challenge process for prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, and limitations on enrollment.
  • Employee discipline.
  • Challenges to established district policies and administrative regulations.
  • Financial claims against the District.

Furthermore, nothing in this Administrative Procedure can supersede education code or other local, state or federal rules and regulations.

Due Process Procedures

  1. Informal Resolution
    All attempts to solve the grievance by informal resolution shall be documented on the COS Statement of Grievance Form (Appendix A in the Administrative Procedure).
    Step One:
    Each student who has a grievance shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a grievance hearing, and shall attempt to solve the problem with the district representative making the decision that the student is challenging and may be considered for a grievance.
    If the student has a compelling reason for not directly seeking resolution from the district representative, the Grievance Officer and/or the student may seek the assistance of the Dean of Student Services in attempting to resolve a grievance informally. The Dean of Student Services may hold mediation session(s) with the student and the district representative to continue the informal resolution process. The Grievance Officer and/or the student may seek the assistance of the Dean of Student Services in attempting to resolve a grievance at any time during the informal resolution stage (optional). Documentation is required on the Grievance Form (Appendix A).
    Step Two:
    If the grievance is not resolved, then the student shall continue to seek resolution through the informal process with the assistance of the Division Chair and/or Director and the Area Dean. All attempts to solve the grievance by informal resolution shall be documented on the COS Statement of Grievance Form (Appendix A).
    Step Three:
    After exhausting all efforts in Steps One and Two, the student may contact the District’s Grievance Officer. The Grievance Officer shall verify completion of steps 1 and 2 and the required documentation on the Grievance Form (Appendix A).
    Informal meetings and discussion between persons directly involved in a grievance are essential at the outset of a dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution should be sought before persons directly involved in the case have stated official or public positions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. Retaliation by any party stemming from initiating informal discussions or filing of a grievance is prohibited.
  2. Formal Resolution
    A student who is still unsatisfied after the informal resolution process has the right to request a Formal Grievance Hearing by submitting to the District’s Grievance Officer the Statement of Grievance form (Appendix A), which includes a signed written statement specifying the time, place and nature of the grievance, identifying what occurred in the informal resolution process and requesting a hearing before the Grievance Hearing Committee.
    The completed Statement of Grievance form must be submitted with the Grievance Officer no later than twenty (20) school days after the semester concludes that the incident on which the grievance is based occurred. Within five (5) school days following receipt of the Statement of Grievance form, the Grievance Officer shall advise the student of her rights and responsibilities under these procedures, and assist the student, if necessary, in the final preparation of the Statement of Grievance form.

Student Bill of Rights

Preamble

Students of College of the Sequoias, as members of the academic community, have the same rights and freedoms that all citizens have as students, and as students they are accountable to federal and state laws and statutes. In addition, students are also accountable to the College of the Sequoias Board policies and individual college campus rules and regulations.

Students’ Rights

In the context of these concepts, students’ rights consist of the following:

  1. In preparing student publications, the editorial staff and faculty advisors shall be free from censorship and advance copy approval. These publications shall do the following:
    1. Adhere to canons of responsible journalism, such as avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo;
    2. State on the editorial page that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the College or the student body;
    3. Follow district policies, individual publications policies (The Campus and other publications of information) and the free flow of ideas as a public forum.
  2. Students shall have the right to take stands on issues, the right to examine and discuss questions of interest to them, and the right to support causes by orderly means which are in harmony with the regular functioning of the institution.
  3. Students shall have the right to hear speakers on any subject, and on-campus recognized student organizations shall have the right to present speakers on any subject. In addition, students shall have the right of free assembly on campus subject to regulations that concern the regular functioning of the institution, to ensure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event. The recognized organizations, together with the Student Activities and Affairs Office, shall be responsible for following the policies for scheduling and use of facilities for campus activities.
  4. Students shall have the right to form an organization around any particular interest; this right will include the freedom to organize and join student organizations subject to published associated student and district regulations.
  5. Students shall have the right to be informed on all campus matters that can be shown to be directly relevant to them by having a voice in decision making that affects their academic future with the exception of staff appointment, termination, and tenure. In case of conflict in determining what campus matters are relevant to students, the determination will be made by the Committee on Student Conduct and Grievance.
  6. Students shall have the right to have their academic records treated in a confidential and responsible manner with due regard to the personal nature of the information these records contain. Students’ records will be released only on the written consent of the student, or by court order or subpoena, according to the law.
  7. Students shall have the right of protection against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, however, students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
  8. Students shall have the right to receive the quality education as outlined in this catalog and in the California Education Code, Title 5 regulations, and the Code of Ethics of the teaching profession.
  9. Students shall have the right to file a grievance under the procedures of the district student grievance policy which provides a prompt and equitable method of resolution.

Student Record Privacy Rights and Access to Students Official Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Dean, Student Services, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of her right to appeal the decision.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Records may also be released without the student’s written consent for the following reasons:
    1. Pursuant to a court order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    2. A federal court order concerning an investigation or prosecution of terrorism;
    3. To authorized representatives of state or federal agencies where that information is necessary to audit or evaluate state or federally supported programs;
    4. Other public or private schools where the student seeks to enroll;
    5. To agencies or organizations in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
    6. To organizations conducting studies for accrediting organizations or educational agencies;
    7. In connection with an emergency if the knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons; and
    8. To federal military for the purposes of recruitment.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by College of the Sequoias to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4805

Certain kinds of information may be made available without a release. Such information is known as “directory information” and consists of the following items: Student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major, photographs, weight and height of athletes, most recent previous school attended, activities, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and institutions attended. Any student wishing to deny the release of her directory information may do so by indicating under the Family Education and Privacy Act Section on the COS application.

Prohibition of Harassment Policy

Board Policy 3430

Purpose

College of the Sequoias is committed to providing an academic and work environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. This procedure defines unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, and sets forth a procedure for the investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination and harassment by or against any staff or faculty member or student within the College.

Definition of Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment

Unlawful discrimination and harassment is defined as discrimination or harassment on the basis of ethnic group identification, national origin, religion, age, sex (i.e. gender) race, color, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or the perception that a person has one or more of the foregoing characteristics.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome acts of a sexual nature including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical conduct including written communications of an intimidating, hostile or offensive nature, or action taken in retaliation for the reporting of such behavior when:

  1. Submission to such conduct, either explicitly or implicitly, is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic status or progress; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment, promotion, transfer, selection for training, performance or academic evaluation decisions; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment or substantially interferes with an employee’s work performance or a student’s academic performance; or
  4. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available through the College.

Kinds of Sexual Harassment

The definition of sexual harassment encompasses two kinds of sexual harassment.

  1. “Quid pro quo” sexual harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority makes education or employment benefits conditional upon an individual’s willingness to engage in or tolerate unwanted sexual conduct.
  2. “Hostile environment” sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct based on sex is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the conditions of an individual’s learning or work environment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive learning or work environment. The victim must subjectively perceive the environment as hostile, and the harassment must be such that a reasonable person of the same gender would perceive the environment as hostile.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can consist of virtually any form or combination of verbal, physical, visual or environmental conduct. It need not be explicit or even specifically directed at the victim. Sexually harassing conduct can occur between people of the same or different genders. The standard for determining whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment is whether a reasonable person of the same gender as the victim would perceive the conduct as harassment based on sex.

  1. Verbal Sexual Harassment
    Verbal sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, jokes or innuendoes based on a person’s protected status;
    2. Inappropriate comments regarding an individual’s body, physical appearance, attire, sexual prowess, marital status or sexual orientation;
    3. Unwelcome flirting or propositions;
    4. Demands for sexual favors;
    5. Verbal abuse, threats or intimidation of a sexual nature;
    6. Sexist, patronizing or ridiculing statements that convey derogatory attitudes about a particular gender or sexual orientation.
  2. Physical Sexual Harassment
    Physical sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Inappropriate or offensive touching;
    2. Sexual assault, or coerced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts;
    3. Physical interference with free movement or blocking another person;
    4. Kissing, patting, fondling, lingering or intimate touches, grabbing, pinching, leering suggestively, unnecessarily brushing against another person;
    5. Sexual gestures;
    6. Acting in a provocative manner.
  3. Visual or Written Sexual Harassment
    Visual or written sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. The display or circulation of offensive, sexually oriented or other discriminatory visual or written materials;
    2. Posters, cartoons, drawings, graffiti, or other reading materials of a sexual nature;
    3. Computer graphics or electronic media transmissions of a sexual nature.
  4. Environmental Sexual Harassment
    An academic or work environment that is permeated with sexually oriented talk, innuendo, insults or abuse not relevant to the subject matter of the class or activities on the job. A hostile environment can arise from an unwarranted focus on sexual topics or sexually suggestive statements in the classroom or work place. An environment may be hostile if unwelcome sexual behavior or other harassing behavior based on a protected status is directed specifically at an individual or if the individual merely witnesses unlawful harassment in her immediate surroundings.
    The determination of whether an environment is hostile is based on the totality of the circumstances, including such factors as the frequency of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, whether the conduct is humiliating or physically threatening, and whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s learning or work.
  5. Relationships
    Romantic or sexual relationships between supervisors and employees, or between administrators, faculty or staff members and students are discouraged. There is an inherent imbalance of power and potential exploitation in such relationships. A conflict of interest may arise if the administrator, faculty or staff member must evaluate the student’s or employee’s work or make decisions affecting the employee or student. The relationship may create an appearance of impropriety and lead to charges of favoritism by other students or employees. A consensual relationship may change, with the result that sexual conduct that was once welcome becomes unwelcome and harassing. By definition, sexual harassment is not within the course and scope of an individual’s employment with the College.
  6. Academic Freedom with Respect to Sexually Explicit Materials
    A faculty member may use sexually explicit materials or literature in the classroom as a teaching technique to achieve educational objectives or to stimulate dialogue. The faculty member shall state in the course syllabus that such material will be used and the syllabus shall contain a notice to students that they may be excused during the presentation of such materials without consequence to their grade. The faculty member shall also be required to give a copy of the syllabus to the appropriate area dean in addition to the two copies given to the division chair.

To the extent the sexual harassment policy and administrative procedures are in conflict with the College’s policy on academic freedom, the sexual harassment policy and procedures shall prevail. Any dispute arising from such conflict shall be resolved by a committee approved by the Superintendent/President. At least 50 percent of this committee shall be comprised of faculty appointed by the Senate.

Complaint Procedure for Investigation and Resolution of Claims of Harassment

  1. Informal Complaint Procedure
    1. The College Complaint Officer as below shall undertake, where possible, to informally resolve charges of unlawful discrimination or harassment;
    2. The College Complaint Officer shall first advise complainant of her rights and obligations under both the formal and informal complaint process. The College Complaint Officer further advises complainant of her right to file a formal complaint and explain the procedures for doing so.
    3. The College Complaint Officer shall also notify complainant that she need not participate in an informal resolution of the complaint and may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
    4. If the complainant declares her preference for the informal process, the College Complaint Officer shall have complainant read, date, and sign a document containing the basic of complainant’s allegations and describing the formal/informal procedure and indicating that complainant opted for the informal process.
    5. The College Complaint Officer shall assure the complainant that she will not be required to confront or work out problems with the person accused of unlawful discrimination or harassment.
    6. In attempting to resolve the complaint through informal means, the College Complaint Officer shall not conduct any investigation unless the College Complaint Officer determines that an investigation is necessary due to the seriousness of the charges.
    7. Effort at informal resolution may continue after the filing of a formal written complaint.
  2. Filing a Complaint
    1. Complaint Form
      A complaint may be filed directly with the Chancellor’s Office using the Chancellor’s Office complaint form. Where a complaint is initially filed with the Chancellor’s Office, Title 5 §59329 requires the Chancellor to immediately forward a copy of the complaint to the College for investigation and response.
    2. College Complaint Office
      The College will designate an administrator of each gender to act as the College Complaint Officer. Each College Complaint Officer shall be given training, which is current in the proper methods of receiving, investigating, and processing complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment. The Complaint Officer is charged with receiving complaints of sexual or other forms of prohibited discrimination or harassment, and coordinating the investigation. The accused shall have the right to select which College Complaint Officer oversees the investigation; however, if the complainant prefers the other College Complaint Officer, the two Officers will coordinate with one another on the investigation.
      The Complaint Officer may assign the actual investigation to other staff or to an outside person or organization under contract with the College after written notice has been given to the accused. An outside investigating organization shall be utilized whenever the Complaint Officer is named in the complaint or implicated by the allegations of the complaint.
    3. Written Complaint
      A student, staff or faculty member who believes she has a non–employment based complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment must make a written or oral complaint to the College Complaint Officer within one year of the date of the alleged discrimination or harassment, or within one year from the date on which the complainant knew or should have known of the facts underlying the complaint.
      A student, staff or faculty member who believes she has an employment–based complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment must make a written or oral complaint to the College Complaint Officer within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination or harassment, or within 90 days following the expiration of the 180–day period if the complainant first obtained knowledge of the alleged violation after the expiration of the 180 days.
      If the complainant fails or refuses to file a written complaint, the College Complaint Officer shall ask the complainant for permission to tape record her statement and if permission is not granted, the College Complaint Officer shall make a written record of the complainant’s statement and shall give the complainant an opportunity to sign the statement. Any written record of the complainant’s statement shall be in the form of a report and shall be free of subjective interpretation. All complainants must be made aware that failure to reduce a complaint to writing may be a factor when determining her credibility or the severity of her complaint in an administrative or judicial hearing. The College shall have no obligation to notify the Chancellor’s Office of complaints that have not been placed in writing and signed by the complainant.
      Any College employee who receives a harassment complaint shall notify the College Complaint Officer immediately.
  3. Notice to Accused
    The College Complaint Officer will give prompt notice to the person accused of harassment regarding the identity of the complainant, the date, time and place of the alleged incident of harassment, and the nature of the alleged misconduct.
  4. Investigation Process
    1. Witness Interviews
      The College Complaint Officer shall authorize the investigation of the complaint, and supervise and/or conduct a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of the complaint.
      Prior to commencing any investigation and before interviewing the accused, the Complaint Officer shall notify an accused employee by telephone that a harassment complaint has been lodged against him and that he is entitled to union representation at any and all meetings with the Complaint Officer or designee, and without divulging names and/or the specifics of the matters in issue, the Complaint Officer shall also immediately notify the President or designee of the employee’s union by telephone to alert the union that the employee may need assistance with regard to a harassment complaint. Within one (1) working day of notice to the accused employee and his respective union, or as soon thereafter as possible, the Complaint Officer shall recontact the accused employee to set a date and time to meet with the accused employee. The College Complaint Officer shall meet with the accused before interviewing any witnesses. At this meeting, the accused shall have the right of Union representation as provided in this section.
      The investigation will include interviews with the complainant, persons who may have relevant knowledge concerning the complaint and the accused harasser. The accused and the complainant may recommend witnesses to be interviewed. The process may include interviews with victims of similar conduct.
    2.  Analysis of Information Gathered
      The Complaint Officer will review the factual information gathered through the investigation to determine whether the alleged conduct constitutes harassment giving consideration to all factual information and the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
    3. Written Report
      The Complaint Officer will prepare a written report that sets forth the results of the investigation. The written report shall include a description of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint, a summary of the testimony of each witness, an analysis of any relevant data or other evidence collected during the investigation, a specific finding as to whether harassment did or did not occur with response to each allegation in the complaint, and any other appropriate information.
    4. Notice to Complainant and Accused
      Within ninety (90) days from the date the College received the written complaint or reduced the complainant’s verbal allegations to writing, the Complaint Officer will provide the complainant and the accused with a summary statement of the findings. The summary statement will also include the determination of the Complaint Officer as to whether harassment did or did not occur with respect to the allegations in the complaint, the proposed resolution to the complaint, a statement regarding action taken, if any, and notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the College’s Board of Trustees and the State Chancellor’s Office.
  5. Appeal Process
    1. Board of Trustees
      If the complainant is not satisfied with the result of the Complaint Officer’s determination, she may, within fifteen days, submit a written appeal to the Board of Trustees.
      The Board of Trustees shall review the original complaint, the investigative report, the Complaint Officer’s decision and the appeal documents. If the Board does not act on the appeal within forty-five (45) days, the Complaint Officer’s decision shall be deemed final. Otherwise, the Board shall issue a written decision within forty-five (45) days after receiving the written appeal. A copy of the decision rendered by the Board shall be forwarded to the complainant and to the State Chancellor’s Office. The decision shall also include notice to the complainant of the right to appeal.
    2. Notice to the Chancellor’s Office
      Within 150 days of receiving a written complaint, the College shall forward to the State Chancellor’s Office the complaint, investigative report, notice to the complainant and accused of the final decision of the Complaint Officer, the decision of the Board of Trustees or the date upon which the decision of the Complaint Officer became final, and a copy of the notice to the complainant of her appeal rights. If, due to circumstances beyond its control, the College is unable to comply with the 150-day deadline for submission of materials, the College may file a written request with the Chancellor’s Office, within ten (10) days of the deadline, for an extension of time to submit the documents. The College has no obligation to notify the Chancellor’s Office of complaints that have not been placed in writing and signed by the complainant.
    3. Appeal to State Chancellor’s Office
      The complainant may file a written appeal with the State Chancellor’s Office within thirty (30) days of the date the Board of Trustees issues the final decision or in the event the Board elects to take no action on the appeal within thirty (30) days of the date the Complaint Officer’s decision is deemed approved. The appeal to the Chancellor’s Office shall be processed pursuant to the provisions of the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 59350.
  6. Remedial Action
    1. Conclusions
      If the College concludes that the charge of harassment is meritorious, it will provide timely notification to the accused of any corrective action proposed by the College.
    2. Discipline
      If harassment occurred, the College shall take disciplinary and/or remedial action against the harasser. The action will be prompt and commensurate with the severity of the offense. If discipline is imposed, the nature of the disciplinary action will not be communicated to the complainant.
      Disciplinary actions against faculty, staff and students will conform to all relevant statutes, regulations, personnel policies and procedures, including the provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
    3. Right to Grieve
      An employee accused of harassment who is subject to disciplinary action as a result of the complaint shall have the right to proceed to advisory arbitration only after he has attempted a settlement at the mediation level. The parties agree to use the State Mediation and Conciliation Service to mediate the dispute. The mediation will be conducted as confidential settlement negotiations such that if the parties fail to reach agreement none of the information or proposals exchanged in the mediation may be used in any subsequent advisory arbitration hearing. If mediation fails to generate a settlement, the parties agree to request a list of arbitrators from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service and to select an arbitrator using a “strike-off” process.
    4. Confidentiality and Prohibition of Retaliation
      The College shall take reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of the investigation and to protect the privacy of all parties. The College shall also take reasonable steps to protect the complainant from further harassment and to protect the complainant from retaliation as a result of filing the complaint. The College shall take reasonable actions to ensure that neither the accused person nor the accuser, nor their representatives, shall engage in any retaliation or intimidation toward each other or the witnesses. The College shall make every effort and take all necessary steps in order to protect personnel from the consequences of false accusations relating to sexual harassment.
  7. Dissemination of Policy and Procedures
    The College’s policy and procedures related to harassment will be provided to all students, faculty members, administration and staff, and will be posted in each department office on campus.
    At the time of initial hire, employees will be supplied with a copy of the current harassment policy and harassment complaint procedure of the District; and they will sign a statement acknowledging that they have received the policy and procedures. The signed statement will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. In addition, the most current policy and procedures will be incorporated into the College’s General Catalog and orientation materials for new students.
  8. Training
    Training of faculty and staff should be conducted annually emphasizing the prohibition of harassment in the classroom and work environment and should include a review of the Board Policy 3430, Prohibition of Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment and the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedures.

Reference: Education Code sections 2.2.1, 66252, 66M2.5; Government Code sections 12900 – 12996; Labor Code sections 1101, 11021; California Code of Regulations, Title 5, §59320 42 U.S.C. sections 2000d, 2000e et.seq. (Title VI, VII) 42 U.S.C. section 2000h – 2 (Title IX) Title 5, §59320, et. seq.

Student Standards of Conduct

The Superintendent/President shall establish Codes of Conduct and procedures for the imposition of discipline on students in accordance with the requirements for due process of the federal and state law and regulations. (BP 5500)

The procedures shall clearly define the conduct that is subject to discipline and shall identify potential disciplinary actions including, but not limited to, the removal, suspension, or expulsion of a student.

The Board shall consider any recommendation from the Superintendent/President for expulsion. The Board shall consider an expulsion recommendation in closed session unless the student requests that the matter be considered in a public meeting. Final action by the Board on the expulsion shall be taken at a public meeting.

The procedures shall be made widely available to students through the college catalog and other means.

  1. The following conduct shall constitute good cause for discipline, including but not limited to the removal, suspension, or expulsion of a student:
    1. Causing, attempting to cause, or threatening to cause physical injury to another person.
    2. Possession, sale or otherwise furnishing any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, including but not limited to any facsimile firearm, knife or explosive, unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the student has obtained written permission to possess the item from a District employee, which is concurred in by the Superintendent/President.
    3. Unlawful possession, use, sale, offer to sell, or furnishing, or being under the influence of, any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the California Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawful possession of, or offering, arranging or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11014.5.
    4. Committing or attempting to commit robbery or extortion.
    5. Causing or attempting to cause damage to District property or to private property on campus.
    6. Stealing or attempting to steal District property or private property on campus, or knowingly receiving stolen District property or private property on campus.
    7. Violation of the District’s smoking policy.
    8. Committing sexual harassment as defined by law or by District policies and procedures.
    9. Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on race, sex (i.e., gender), religion, age, national origin, disability, or any other status protected by law.
    10. Willful misconduct which results in injury or death to a student or to College personnel or which results in cutting, defacing, or other injury to any real or personal property owned by the District or on campus.
    11. Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or the open and persistent defiance of the authority of, or persistent abuse of, College personnel.
    12. Cheating, plagiarism (including plagiarism in a student publication), or engaging in other academic dishonesty.
    13. Dishonesty; forgery; alteration or misuse of College documents, records or identification; or knowingly furnishing false information to the District.
    14. Unauthorized entry upon or use of College facilities.
    15. Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct on District-owned or controlled property, or at District-sponsored or supervised functions.
    16. Engaging in expression which is obscene, libelous or slanderous, or which so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on College premises, or the violation of lawful District administrative procedures, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the District.
    17. Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.
    18. Unauthorized preparation, giving, selling, transfer, distribution, or publication, for any commercial purpose, of any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction, including but not limited to handwritten or typewritten class notes, except as permitted by any District policy or administrative procedure.
    19. Misrepresentation of oneself or of an organization as an agent of the District.
    20. Violation of any order of the Superintendent/President, notice of which has been given prior to such violation, and which order is not given by publication in the College newspaper, or by the student bulletin which is posted on bulletin boards designated for this purpose.
    21. Soliciting or assisting another to do any act which would subject a student to expulsion, suspension, probation, or other discipline pursuant to this policy.
    22. Violation of any District Board Policy.
    23. Any other cause identified as good cause by the Education Code or other laws governing a community college.
  2. Students who engage in the above are subject to the procedures outlined in AP 5520, which include:
    1. Reprimand — Written warning that continued misconduct will result in more serious disciplinary action.
    2. Temporary Exclusion — Removal from class or College activity for the duration of its scheduled period.
    3. Short-term Suspension — Exclusion from classes, activities, and/or student privileges for a specified number of days, up to a maximum of ten days.
    4. Long-term Suspension — Exclusion from classes, activities, and/or student privileges for the remainder of the school term or for one or more terms.
    5. Expulsion — Termination of student status at this College.
  3. Certain members of the campus community are authorized to impose the above penalties as follows:
    1. Any instructor may temporarily exclude the offending student from the class for the remainder of the class session and the next class meeting. Furthermore, an instructor may lower a grade, including giving an “F” or no credit on an assignment, essay, project, test, or quiz that involves cheating or plagiarism.
    2. Any administrator may temporarily exclude the student from any District-sponsored activity for the remainder of the activity time.
    3. The Dean of Student Services (Admissions and Records) may reprimand or temporarily exclude the student, or may recommend suspension or expulsion.
    4. As per California Penal Code, the District Police may restrict students from campus or facilities.
    5. The Superintendent/President of the District may impose suspension or recommend expulsion.
    6. The Board of Trustees may impose expulsion.

See AP 5501, 5520, and 5530.

Student Discipline Procedures

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means to address violations of the Standards of Student Conduct, which guarantees to the student or students involved the due process rights guaranteed them by state and federal constitutional protections. This procedure will be used in a fair and equitable manner, and not for purposes of retaliation. It is not intended to substitute for criminal or civil proceedings that may be initiated by other agencies. A full description of the procedure is available on the COS webpage or upon request from Student Services.

These Administrative Procedures are specifically not intended to infringe in any way on the rights of students to engage in free expression as protected by the state and federal constitutions, and by Education Code Section 76120, and will not be used to punish expression that is protected (AP 5520).

Student Responsibilities

Attendance

Regular class attendance not only is essential to the maintenance of satisfactory grades, but also is the means by which the College obtains financial support. So absences hurt the student and mean a loss of revenue to the College.

STUDENTS MAY BE WITHDRAWN FROM ALL CLASSES IN WHICH THEY WERE ABSENT ON THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEMESTER.

If unusual circumstances prevent the student from attending, the student should notify the Dean of Student Services, Admissions and Records. However, the decision to retain a student in the class is the decision of the faculty member. However, it is the student’s responsibility to drop a class in which she no longer wishes to be enrolled.

NON-ATTENDANCE DOES NOT RELEASE THE STUDENT FROM THIS RESPONSIBILITY.

NO PERSON MAY ATTEND OR PARTICIPATE IN CLASS WITHOUT BEING PROPERLY ENROLLED DUE TO INSURANCE STIPULATIONS. STUDENTS PROPERLY ENROLLED SHOULD NOT BE ACCOMPANIED IN THE CLASSROOM BY CHILDREN, NOR SHOULD CHILDREN BE LEFT UNATTENDED ON THE CAMPUS WHILE PARENTS ATTEND CLASS.

Each instructor has her own attendance policy which she will announce early in the semester.

Students should be aware that some courses and activities include trips and that they are responsible, first, for informing their instructors when they will be absent because of these trips and, second, for completing the work missed. If the instructor is late for class, students are obligated to wait for 10 minutes from the time the class is officially to begin before leaving.

If a student has PRIOR knowledge of a scheduled absence, she should obtain permission from the instructor prior to the absence. If advance notice is not possible, students should follow the instructor’s instructions for reporting an absence.

Dropping a Class

It is the student’s responsibility to drop a class in which she no longer wishes to be enrolled. Non-attendance does not release the student from this responsibility. Classes may be dropped online through your Banner Web account.

Eating

Eating is allowed in the Student Union (Carl’s Jr, TACOS), the food courts and areas outside of buildings, BUT IS NOT permitted in classrooms or conference rooms.

Liquor and Drugs

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of alcohol or any controlled substance is prohibited on District property, during District sponsored field trips, activities or workshops, and in any facility or vehicle operated by the District.

Violation of this prohibition will result in appropriate action up to and including termination of employment, expulsion, and referral for prosecution, or as permitted by law, may require satisfactory participation in an alcohol or drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Messages

College staff cannot relay any personal communication for such things as medical appointments, car breakdowns, lost keys, employer contacts, transportation problems, jury duty, etc. In the case of an emergency, contact Campus Police: (559) 730-3999.

Pets

Pets are not permitted on campus without approval.

Posting of Materials

Clearance must be obtained from the Student Activities and Affairs Office for posting or distribution of any materials on campus. Approved postings will be stamped and dated for up to 30 days. If there is any question of appropriateness, materials may be referred to the Student Services Dean for clearance. Materials may be posted only on the student bulletin boards that have a sign “Approved for Posting” at the top. All other boards belong to departments and programs. For more information, visit cos.edu/studentactivities.

Service Animals

The District will allow an individual with a disability to use a service animal in District facilities and on District campuses in compliance with state and federal law.

The District will allow an individual with a disability to use a miniature horse as a service animal in District facilities and on District campuses if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability and the District has determined, based on the assessment factors provided in this procedure, that a reasonable accommodation can be made.

The District will allow an individual with a disability to be accompanied by his service animal in all areas of the District’s facilities where members of the public, invitees, clients, customers, patrons, or participants in services, programs or activities, as relevant, are allowed to go.

These procedures shall also be applicable to an individual who is training a service animal.

Service Animal Defined

A service animal for purposes of this procedure means any dog (or miniature horse, as provided herein) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Miniature horses will be approximately 24-34 inches in height and 70-100 pounds in weight.

Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

Exceptions

The District may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:

  • The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
  • The animal is not housebroken.

If a service animal is excluded under one of these exceptions, the District will give the individual with a disability the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations or to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.

Assessment Factors for Miniature Horses

The District shall consider the following factors:

  • The type, size, and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features;
  • Whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse;
  • Whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and
  • Whether the miniature horse’s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.

Control

The service animal must have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether; or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

Care or Supervision

The District is not responsible for the care or supervision of the animal.

Inquiries by the District

The District may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

  • Whether the animal is required because of a disability; and
  • What work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

The District will not make either of these inquiries when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

An individual may choose to produce a county service dog license or identification tag as proof that the animal is a service animal. Licensure or certification is not required in order to meet the definition of service animal under this procedure. There are no licensing or certification requirements for miniature horses.

No Surcharge

The District will not ask or require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If the District normally charges individuals for damage caused by pets, an individual with a disability may be charged for damaged caused by his service animal. (AP 3440)

Speech: Time and Place

The students and employees of the District and members of the community shall be permitted to exercise their rights of free expression subject to the time, place and manner following the established procedures outlined below and other applicable Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.

The colleges and campuses of the District are non-public forums, except for the areas designated by the Superintendent/President, or designee, and those areas designated as public forums. These designated areas are generally available to students, employees, and the community and are reserved for expressive activities which do not violate District policy and which are lawful. These areas are chosen to provide visibility and allow communication to a large number of students, administrators, faculty, and others walking or traveling on campus but also not to disrupt educational and other activities of the District on behalf of students.

Areas Designated For Use As Public Forums

Visalia: Grass in front of Moro Building (east side)

Tulare: Lower walkway between Building A and B on the ground floor

Hanford: Patio behind Student Lounge

Other:
The Superintendent/President, or designee, shall have the discretion to modify the designated area of a campus in accordance with the following limitations: The newly designated area must be reasonably comparable in size and pedestrian traffic to the former area as possible given the layout of the campus in question and use of the surrounding buildings. This discretion is not to be exercised on a case-by-case basis but only to the extent necessary when all or part of a designated area becomes inaccessible or not safe (such as when construction is undertaken in the designated area or in the event of a natural disaster) or when the use of the area or part of the area for speech activities in general interferes with the educational and administrative activities of the District (such as when noise caused by public speakers significantly and repeatedly interferes with classes and other activities taking place in surrounding buildings).

The areas generally available to students, employees and the community are limited public forums. The areas are available during days when District classes are held and during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The District reserves the right to revoke that designation and apply a non-public forum designation. The District reserves the right to designate areas as non-public forums as necessary to prevent the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the College.

Areas of the District that are non-public forums specifically include campus offices, classrooms, warehouses, maintenance yards, or locker rooms.

The use of areas generally available to students, employees and the community is subject to the following:

  1. Persons using areas generally available to students, employees and the community and/or distributing material in the areas generally available to students and community shall not impede the progress of passersby, nor shall they force passersby to take material.
  2. No persons using areas generally available to students, employees and the community shall touch, strike or impede the progress of passersby, except for incidental or accidental contact, or contact initiated by a passerby.
  3. Persons using areas generally available to students, employees and the community shall not use any means of amplification that creates a noise or diversion that disturbs or tends to disturb the orderly conduct of the campus or classes taking place at the time.
  4. No persons using the areas generally available to students, employees and the community shall solicit donations of money, through direct requests for funds, sales of tickets or otherwise, except where he is using the areas generally available to students, employees and the community on behalf of and collecting funds for an organization that is registered with the Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation or is an approved Associated Students organization or club.
  5. Outside vendors may be approved by the Vice President, Administrative Services, or designee, to come to a campus to promote their business and provide information to students. A $50.00 per day charge (in advance) will be collected and deposited to an account as designated by each campus. To reserve a date on the Visalia campus and to be included on the District’s master calendar, a vendor must secure, complete, and submit an Activity Date Request two weeks prior to the promotion date to the Student Activities and Affairs Office. For the Hanford Campus, Activity Date Requests will be submitted to the Hub. In Tulare the requests will be submitted to the Tulare campus administrator. Each campus will handle scheduling their individual calendars. No commercial business will be allowed which is in direct competition with the District or with vendors with whom the District has exclusive agreements.
  6. Members of the public are welcome to speak and/or distribute written materials within the designated area(s) of each campus subject to the time, place, and manner outlined in this procedure and any other applicable Board Policy or Procedure.
    Prior to speaking and/or distributing written materials, members of the public who are not students or employees of the District shall provide notice of their intent to speak and/or distribute written materials to the Office of the Superintendent/President, or designee(s), for Sequoias Community College District. This notice shall not be provided more than three days prior to the use of the designated area(s). This notice shall include the person’s name and contact information and the dates and times he will be speaking and/or distributing written materials on campus. This notice does not involve any application or approval process, and therefore, the ability to use the designated area(s) cannot be denied. This notice is only intended to provide the District with knowledge of the community member’s presence on campus so the District can notify the appropriate members of its staff whose services might be needed or impacted by the use of the designated area(s).
  7. No amplified sound devices shall be used for any event other than approved Student Senate functions at times deemed acceptable so as not to interfere with scheduled classes.
    All persons using the designated area(s) of the District shall be allowed to distribute petitions, circulars, leaflets, newspapers, and other printed matter. Such distribution shall take place only within the designated area(s). Material distributed in the designated area(s) that is discarded or dropped in or around the designated area(s) other than in an appropriate receptacle must be retrieved and removed or properly discarded by those persons distributing the material prior to their departure from the designated area(s) that day.

Distribution and/or posting of materials on campus is subject to the following:

  1. Students shall be provided with bulletin boards for use in posting student materials at campus locations convenient for student use. All materials displayed on a bulletin board shall be approved by the Superintendent/President, or designee, and shall clearly indicate the author or agency responsible for its production and reflect the date of posting. Materials displayed shall be removed after two weeks or after the date of the event. If a student’s request for posting of materials is denied, he may meet with the Dean, Student Services, or designee, to appeal the decision.
  2. Unacceptable items include:
    • So-called “HATE” literature which scurrilously attacks gender and sexual orientation (actual or perceived), ethnic, religious and racial groups; other irresponsible publications aimed at creating hostility and violence; hardcore pornography; and, similar materials are not suitable for distribution on campus.
    • Materials denigrating to specific individuals in or out of school.
    • Materials designated for commercial purpose to advertise a product or service for sale without providing a discount to students.
    • Materials which are designed to solicit funds, unless approved by the proper authorities.

Smoking on Campus

Smoking is prohibited on all district property with the exception of designated parking lots. Please check the campus maps for which parking lots are allowed. Violation of this policy may result in a $35.00 fine being assessed.

In an effort to provide a healthy, productive work and learning environment, the Superintendent/President will assure that students and employees alike have access to information regarding programs that reduce tobacco product use initiation, reduce consumption, and/or support cessation efforts (Reference: Government Code 7596-7598; 19994.30-19994.33; Education Code 76030-76037).

NOTE: For all COS Board Policies and Administrative Procedures visit the Board Policies and Administrative Procedures webpage.