Student Affairs and Policies
|Before applying to Westchester Community College all students should familiarize themselves with the following Policies and Procedures:Click here to view the complete Student Handbook
“Westchester Community College no discrimina en contra de ninguna persona debido a su raza,color de piel, religión, sexo, edad, estatus matrimonial, acionalidad, origen, orientacion sexual limitaciones físicas.”
Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Westchester Community College students are expected to bear individual
responsibility for their work and to uphold the ideal of academic integrity. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.
Cheating harms the college community in many ways. Honest students are frustrated by the unfairness of cheating that goes undetected and therefore unpunished. Students who cheat skew the grading curve in a class, resulting in lower grades for students who worked hard and did their own work.
Definition of Academic Dishonesty:
Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research, or writing as your own. Examples include:
- Copying another person’s actual words without both the use of quotations and documentation.
- Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without documentation.
- Using information that is not considered common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
- Using a paper writing “service” or having a friend write the paper for you.
Note: The guidelines that define plagiarism also apply to information secured on internet websites. Internet references
must specify precisely where the information was obtained and where it can be found.
You may think that citing another author’s work will lower your grade. In some unusual cases this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material. But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your thinking. Your professors write this kind of paper all the time. The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else’s begins.
Cheating is the attempted or unauthorized use of materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Examples include:
Tests and Exams:
- Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work.
- Using unauthorized notes during a closed book examination.
- Using unauthorized devices during an examination.
- Asking or allowing another student, or anyone else, to take an examination for you.
- Changing a corrected exam and returning it for more credit.
- Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book (exam booklet) before an examination.
- Taking an examination for another student.
- Taking an examination or any examination material out of an examination room at any time without the expressed permission of the instructor who created that examination.”
Take Home Tests and Individual Assignments:
- If tutors or others aid the student in the preparation of an assignment, the submitted assignment should represent the student’s current level of ability.
- Unauthorized collaborating on a take home assignment or examination.
- Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to two classes without consulting the second instructor.
- Using a paper writing “service” or having someone else write the paper for you.
- Preparing an essay or assignment, or allowing one’s essay or assignment to be copied by someone else.
- Borrowing all or part of another student’s paper or using someone else’s outline to write your own paper.
- Intentionally citing inaccurate or nonexistent source materials.
Collaborative (Group) Assignments:
- Failure to acknowledge group members on homework and lab assignment.
- Turning in another group members work as an example of your individual work.Notes: Group projects require careful division of responsibility and careful coordination to control the quality of the final product. Group work calls for a different kind of effort, not less of it. When group projects are assigned, the instructor is usually interested in the mastery of group process as well as the subject. Ask the instructor to clarify individual responsibilities and suggest a method of
- In computer programming classes, borrowing computer code from another student and presenting it as your own.
- Copying a lab report, or allowing someone else to copy one’s report.
- Using another student’s data unless specifically allowed by the instructor.
- Allowing someone else to do the lab report.
- Faking laboratory data.
Abuse of Library
Any attempt to deprive others of equal access to library resources constitutes a violation of academic integrity. This includes the hiding or deliberately misshelving of library books for the use of an individual or group, a repeated failure to respond to recall notices and the removal or attempt to remove library materials from the college library without authorization. Defacing, stealing or destroying books,
articles or other library materials meant to serve the entire college community also constitutes a violation of academic integrity.
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:
If a student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, faculty members have the right to either:
- Fail the student for the assignment/test.
- Fail the student for the course.
- File a letter of complaint, describing the infraction, with the Associate Dean of Student Developmentand Support Services.or any combination of the above.
A second reported infraction may result in suspension. A third reported infraction may result in expulsion at the discretion of the Vice President and Dean, Student Development and Support Services.
Because of the relationship between attendance and course achievement, students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.
It is the responsibility of each faculty member at the start of the course to provide a clear written statement of the methods used to evaluate student achievement. Each faculty member also has the responsibility to advise students of his/her policies on make-up tests or assignments and on the treatment of missed assignments. Faculty members are encouraged to take into consideration extenuating circumstances when making individual decisions.
Traditionally, faculty members allow up to two hourly absences for each credit hour (i.e., six absences from a course which meets three times per week in a fifteen-week semester) strictly for personal emergencies. There are some courses (i.e., clinical, laboratory, performance, etc.) that may demand different attendance. This information should be specified to the student at the onset of the
Student attendance cannot be the sole determinant of a final grade in a course (i.e., although a student’s grade can be affected by poor attendance, a faculty member cannot assign a grade of “F” solely for absences); however, students are strongly cautioned to be mindful of how professors link attendance requirements to other aspects of how they are evaluated. This can seriously affect their grade, and even result in failure.
Students have the right to appeal the grade according to the established college procedure as stated in the “Student Rights & Responsibilities” document, available in the Student Affairs Office.
Students Unable to Attend Courses on Certain Days Because of Religious Beliefs Section 224a, Paragraph 6-a, of the New York State Education Law regarding absence from classes for religious observance states that “… each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on
any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.”
A grade will be assigned for each credit course in which a student enrolls, in accordance with the following grading system:
|Grade||NumericalEquivalent||Quality PointsPer Credit Hours|
The following grades do not affect grade point averages:
Incomplete (must be made up within one regular semester or converts to “F” at the end of the following semester)
|W||=||Student Initiated Withdrawal|
|WP||=||Faculty Initiated Withdrawal Passing|
|WF||=||Faculty Initiated Withdrawal Failing|
Required Continuation (student is expected to retake the course during the next available fall/spring semester). Not a passing grade for financial aid.
|NC||=||Audit (No Credit)/No Credit (Discontinued as of Summer 2010)|
|P or F||=||In a course which is graded only “P” (Pass) or “F” (Fail)|
|J||=||Student did not satisfy attendance requirements.(Discontinued as of Spring 2014)|
|WN||=||Student did not satisfy attendance requirements (Formerly “J” until Spring 2014)|
|AU||=||Audit/No Credit (Formerly “NC” until Summer 2010)|
Grade Points, Credit Hours, Index
The credit hour value of a course is determined by the number of hours per week for which the course is scheduled during a regular semester. In general, one credit hour is given for each hour of class (lecture-recitation) per week and one-third or one-half credit hour for each hour per week of laboratory or courses where outside preparation is less extensive.
Grade points are obtained by multiplying credit hours by the quality points corresponding to the letter grade earned in the course. For example, a grade of “A” in a three-credit-hour course would give a total of 4 quality points x 3 credit hours = 12 grade points. A grade of “B” in the same course would give a grade point total of 3 x 3 = 9 points.
The grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned in all courses by the number of credit hours attempted (withdrawals are not considered attempts). If all grades are “A,” the index would be 4.0; B = 3.0; C = 2.0; D = 1.0; F = 0.0.
Full-time students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.5 to 3.74 will have their names placed on the Dean’s List; those who achieve a grade point average of 3.75 to 4.0 are placed on the President’s List.
Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. This includes maintaining appropriate academic standards (specified GPAs based on attempted credits) and passing a minimum number of the courses for which they are enrolled each semester.
President’s List (Semester Average – must be enrolled as a full-time student for 12 or more credits) and Graduation with Highest Distinction (Cumulative Average)
Dean’s List (Semester Average-must be enrolled as a full-time student for 12 or more credits) and Graduation with Distinction (Cumulative Average)
|2.00||Cumulative average required for graduation|
If the student has attempted 48 credits or more, his or her cumulative index must be 1.75 or above
If the student has attempted 32 to 47 credits, his or her cumulative index must be 1.50 or above.
If the student has attempted 21 to 31 credits, his or her cumulative index must be 1.00 or above
It is college policy to provide all possible assistance to students so that their courses will be successfully completed and their educational goals achieved. Accordingly, instructors must be explicit in presenting course requirements, including attendance policy, especially at the beginning of the term.
As soon as grades are posted at the end of each semester, a student can access his or her grades online by visiting www.sunywcc.edu/grades. This grade report (which can be easily printed by the student) will show the current academic index as well as the cumulative average. The student copy of the grade report cannot be used as an official transcript. In order to receive credit and a grade for a course, a student must register and pay for the course prior to the
registration deadline for that semester or summer session. Students who wish to receive a hard copy of their grade report can do so, at no charge, by contacting the Registrar’s Office either by phone (914-606-6810) or by sending an email to Registrar@sunywcc.edu
A student whose work is not satisfactory is so informed by the instructor at mid-term. An informal conference is usually held with the instructor in order to discuss difficulties and suggest withdrawal or plan a course of action which should result in improvement and satisfactory achievement by the end of the semester.
Students who have passed fewer than 32 cumulative credits are placed on probation if their semester grade point averages (SGPA), based on 9 credits
or more attempted, are below 2.0. Students on probation may take no more than 14 charged credits per semester. Students on probation are mandated to meet with the designated counselor. Probationary students who receive a subsequent SGPA of 2.0 or above for 9 or more charged credits are taken off probation. *Students who receive a subsequent SGPA of 1.75-1.99 are retained on probation; those who earn a subsequent SGPA lower than 1.75 are placed on Academic Restriction.
|Academic Standard for Probation**|
Credits Earned: Below 32
Semester GPA: Below 2.0
|Academic Standards for Students on Probation*/**|
SGPA of 2.0 or above
SGPA of 1.75-1.99
Retained on Probation
SGPA of below 1.75
Put on Academic Restriction
A student, either matriculated or non-matriculated, whose academic record does not meet college standards (see chart below) shall be Academically
Restricted and may subsequently register for a maximum of eight charged credits per semester, after meeting with the designated counselor. A matriculated student’s status is changed to non-matriculated.
Academic Standards for Dismissal**
|Cumulative Credits Attempted||Cumulative GPA|
|48 or more||below 1.75|
Students may be reinstated (and thereby regain matriculated status and the right to take more than eight charged credits):
1. By raising their academic averages to satisfactory levels (by repeating or taking new courses), students are automatically reinstated into the former curriculum.*** Alternatively, after raising their averages, students may work with the Counseling Office to transfer to a new curriculum.***
2. By working with the Counseling Office, a student may petition the right for reinstatement to a former or new curriculum. Where circumstances warrant, a student may be accepted back into full-time matriculated status or the college may accept a student back into an academically restricted status (see previous page).
Deadlines for Reinstatement
Students wishing to attend the next regular semester after their dismissal must complete the reinstatement process by July 31 for the fall semester or by the first week of class for the spring semester. Students reinstated for a given semester may not claim retroactive reinstatement to a previous semester.
Academic Reinstatement After an Absence Students who have not registered for an academic year, may be permitted to return to classes full-time on a provisional, non- atriculated basis by working through the Counseling Office. Full Academic Reinstatement will still require compliance with either paragraph 1 or 2 of this section.
* The status of students taking fewer than nine charged credits while on Probation will be based on their SGPA for the most recent two semesters attempted.
** When the semester and the cumulative GPA’s each yield a different academic status, the more severe status will have priority.
*** Reinstatement or entry to Nursing, Dietetic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Radiologic Technology, and Human Services requires the permission of the curriculum chair.
Note: Reinstatement to a curriculum does not automatically mean financial aid reinstatement, since some financial aid programs are governed by independent standards
For students returning to Westchester Community College after a prior unsuccessful start and a lengthy absence, our institution offers the Fresh Start Program. Students who have not enrolled in credit classes at the college for, at least, the three prior years, and who have poor grades on their transcripts may apply. This program allows all prior grades to be made non-applicable in a student’s program. Fresh Start can be used by each student only once, and students must apply for the Fresh Start program through the
Counseling Office prior to re-registering for the first semester back at the college.
Students must first meet with a designated counselor, who will provide an application, interview the students and determine their eligibility.
Students will be advised of other options to improve their records:repeating courses, changing majors, and course withdrawals.
The counselor, after meeting with the student, will decide whether torecommend the student for the program.
Eligibility for program consideration:
Student must not have enrolled for credit-bearing courses at Westchester Community College for, at least, the 6 consecutive Fall and Spring semesters prior to application.
Students who have attended other colleges during the prior three years must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at those other institutions.
All students admitted into the program, with the exception of those with transfer credit equivalent to Composition & Literature I and a 100-level math course,would have to take the placement test again on a one-time basis.
Criteria required to receive the fresh start:
Students must take a minimum of 12 academic credits provisionally at the college.
Students may be required to complete College Success with a grade of C+ or better.
Students must obtain a minimum grade point average of 2.50 during the semester(s) necessary to complete the credits.
Forgiveness after meeting the criteria:
After meeting the criteria above, all the student’s prior courses are discounted from the overall GPA and given asterisks (*) on the transcript. From the forgiveness point, the transcript will be marked with the term “Fresh Start.”
Students who are denied registration privileges for financial or disciplinary reasons cannot have these restrictions over-ridden. Courses discounted will still enter into the FederalFinancial Aid calculations for credits attempted. The student cannot apply for additional fresh starts. All criteria must be met, no exceptions.
An official transcript is one bearing the seal of the college and the signature of the Registrar. Transcripts cannot be sent by FAX. An advance notice of at least one business day is required for the Registrar’s Office to fulfill a transcript request. There is a $10.00 fee per transcript.
Transcripts can be requested online, in person at the Registrar’s Office, or via mail-in request to the Registrar. If a student owes money to the college from any previous semester, no academic transcripts will be forwarded to any other institution until the debt is paid.
An unofficial transcript is one given to the student for his or her own use and is marked “unofficial” or “student copy.” A student can also obtain an unofficial transcript by visiting www.sunywcc.edu/transcripts
Confidentiality of Student Records
The academic and personal records, which the student establishes at Westchester Community College, are considered by this institution to be confidential information, and information contained in the student’s records will be furnished to other parties, including parents, only upon receipt of a release signed by the student, or to duly authorized officials.
Access to Other Records
In response to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as it is currently understood, enrolled students have the right to inspect and review all official records, files, and data directly related to them which are maintained by Westchester Community College (except confidential documents dated before January 1, 1975, certain financial records, and medical records). While the college will make every attempt to assist students at the time of their requests, it should be understood that office responsibilities
such as registration, placement, grading, etc. may require that a later, mutually convenient appointment be arranged for document review. Under the law providing access to institutional records, students have the right to:
A list of the types of educational records which are maintained by the institution and are directly related to students
Inspect and review the contents of those records
Obtain copies of those records at the expense of the eligible student
A response from the institution to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of those records
An opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of those records.
Student records are maintained by the Office of the Registrar, Room 107, Administration Building, where Request Forms for record access may be obtained.
Any questions concerning the procedure to be followed in requesting such a hearing should be directed to the Dean of Student Affairs.
The information given below will help you determine what courses to take, help you decide what to take first, and inform you of exams, evaluations or courses you may have to take before registering for certain courses or programs. The procedures for making changes in your curriculum and withdrawing from courses are also explained.
Maximum Credit Load
Students enrolling during the Fall and Spring semesters may not register for more than 19 credits without obtaining special permission from both their Curriculum Chair and the appropriate Associate Dean.
Students entering or continuing at the college who are required to take Basic Writing along with a non-credit mathematics course (Computational Skills or Beginning Algebra) or College Reading and Study Skills may take no more than 14 charged credits.
Students may not register for more than two courses in any single Summer session.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Students should read carefully the stated prerequisites and corequisites listed in the course description section of this catalog. A prerequisite to a course is a requirement that must have been completed prior to enrollment in that course. A corequisite to a course is a requirement to be taken at the same time that a student is enrolled in that course.
Students should see an academic counselor or their Curriculum Chair for more specific information about taking courses in proper sequence.
Students with a GPA below 2.0 at Westchester Community College require special permission from a counselor to register for a fully online course.
On a one-time basis, students may repeat courses* they have completed with a grade of “D”** or “F.”
Taking a course more than twice** requires approval from the Chairperson of the department in which the course is given, your Curriculum Chairperson, an Associate Dean or a counselor.
Repeating a course in which a grade of “C”** or better was earned previously also requires approval of one of the persons listed above.
Students may be asked to leave a course if they do not have the necessary approval to take the class.
When two or more grades exist for the same course, all grades will remain on the transcript; however, only the highest grade will be used to calculate the cumulative grade point average. Courses repeated after graduation will not change the graduation average.
* Certain health science and field experience courses are restricted.
** Financial aid may not apply. See Financial Aid, Pursuit and Progress Standards and General Financial Aid Guidelines.
A student who wishes to audit a credit course must formally register and pay for the course after obtaining permission to do so from the instructor. This permission must be obtained no later than the first day of class. Students who are permitted to audit a credit course are subject to payment of all tuition and fees. The audit grade shall be designated as “AU.”
A mature adult student (60 years or older) who wishes to audit a credit course must formally register and pay for the course through the Mainstream Office (914-606- 9793), not through the Office of the Registrar. Once registered they must obtain permission from the instructor. Only two mature adult auditors are permitted in class, however not all classes are open to mature adult auditors. Mature adult auditors shall not be included on class rosters and will not receive a grade. They pay only a $8.00 fee for
Withdrawal Policies and Procedures
Withdrawal from a Course: Last Day of Ninth Week of Semester
Withdrawal from College: Last Day of Classes Before Final Exams
Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course
The deadline for withdrawal from a course with a grade of “W,” no penalty, is the last day of the ninth week of the semester. For non-regular semesters, an equivalent date will be established.
While it is the right of a student to withdraw from a course, withdrawal without following the procedure listed below may result in the student’s failure of the course. To withdraw from a course:
Obtain a withdrawal form from the Counseling Office or Registrar’s Office.
Hand the form in to the Registrar’s Office prior to the deadline date. Students receiving financial aid must notify the Financial Aid Office when they withdraw from courses.
Faculty Initiated Withdrawal from a Course
After the ninth week, the course instructor may allow the student to withdraw by assigning a grade of WP (withdrawal-passing) or WF (withdrawal-failing). This is not a student right and is reserved only for unusual and extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control (not merely poor attendance or grades).
Student Initiated Withdrawal from the College (All Courses)
Final date to withdraw from all courses at the college without penalty (for emergency reasons) is the last day of classes before final examinations. To withdraw from the college:
Obtain a withdrawal form from a counselor. Allow enough time to complete it, obtain the required signatures, and submit the form to the Registrar before the deadline date.
Notify all instructors of the withdrawal. As part of the procedure, the withdrawing student must check with the Library and the Financial Aid Office to determine if there are outstanding obligations.
Students who withdraw from the college and wish to register for the next semester may do so.
Credit for Work Completed Elsewhere
Matriculated students may obtain credit for college level work completed in addition to their regular college courses. A few basic rules apply. The college can grant credit only for specific equivalent coursework in the student’s curriculum, and the number of credits for each specific course cannot exceed the credit value of that course. To obtain a degree, the student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 32 credits of acceptable coursework in the degree curriculum at the college.
A student may be granted a maximum of 32 credits obtained through one or more of the following methods:
Advanced Standing. Transfer credit can be granted in equivalent courses completed at other accredited institutions of collegiate rank. (See Admissions, Admission With Advanced Standing.)
College Level Examination Program (CLEP). See www.collegeboard.com/CLEP for testing sites in New York State.
Advanced Placement (AP). AP courses and examinations are given at most high schools.
Students who wish to have CLEP or AP scores evaluated to satisfy Westchester Community College degree requirements should apply with the Transfer Credit Evaluator at the Office of Admissions.
A student cannot earn duplicate credit for examination programs and college studies covering the same material.
For further information contact:
Transfer Credit Evaluator, Office of Admissions, Westchester Community College or The College Level Examination Board (CLEP) College Entrance Examination Board, Box 1824, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 or The Advanced Placement Program (AP) at your high school.
Procedures for students wishing to make curriculum changes:
Make the request to change your curriculum before selection of courses for the next semester.
Obtain a Curriculum Change Request Form from your counselor.
Consult with your counselor, then see the Curriculum Chair of the program you wish to enter.
After obtaining the signature of the chairperson of the curriculum being entered, take the form to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
See your Academic Counselor and/or Curriculum Chairperson to be sure you will have satisfied all degree requirements by the time you plan to graduate.
Requirements for the Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), and Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, and all certificate programs are as stated in the appropriate curriculum descriptions (See Programs of Study).
The minimum cumulative grade point average required for graduation is 2.0.
Students who have completed four or more honors courses will be designated as Honors Program Graduates.
Candidates for the Associate degree must pass two semesters of Physical Education (one health/fitness, one sport). Those students who are physically unable to participate in physical education activities can fulfill their P.E. requirement by completing the Health and Sports for Life class. Students who become temporarily incapacitated due to accident or injury during the school term must contact the Student Health Center as soon as possible regarding withdrawal from physical education for that term.
All students are responsible for communicating their anticipated graduation date to their Curriculum Chairperson and for submitting an Application for Graduation Form to the Registrar’s Office during the January prior to May graduation. Students expecting to complete their degree requirements in December must do this by November of their final Fall Semester. The student is responsible for ensuring that all graduation requirements have been met. If graduation requirements are not successfully completed by the
deadline, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Registrar’s Office to change the Application for Graduation to indicate a new anticipated date of graduation. Under no circumstances can a degree be conferred retroactively.
Graduation Honors and Distinctions
Graduation with Distinction. Graduation recognition for students with a cumulative average of 3.50-3.74.
Graduation with Highest Distinction. Graduation recognition for students with a cumulative average of 3.75 or higher.
Honors Graduate. Graduation recognition for students who have completed four or more Honors courses.
Honors Program Graduate, a student who:
is graduating from the college with a minimum GPA of 3.25
has successfully completed a minimum of four Honors courses
has a minimum GPA for all Honors courses of 3.25.
Graduation and participation in Commencement are not automatic. Students must initiate the process themselves. Those intending to graduate in May must file for graduation in the Registrar’s Office during the January prior to May graduation.
Students who complete their graduation requirements at the end of the fall semester, or during the summer sessions, are also invited to participate in the May commencement ceremony by filing an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office by this deadline.
Additional Degree or Certificate
A matriculated student who is admitted for an additional degree at Westchester Community College is required to complete, in addition to all specific course requirements, a minimum of 15 additional credits at the college encompassing the required courses for the additional degree.
Matriculated students for an additional certificate, or a certificate in a different discipline area from the Associate degree, must complete an additional number of credits equal to at least one-half the requirements of that certificate at the college. Such credits must encompass the required courses for the certificate.
A student who has successfully completed a certificate may apply those credits earned, where appropriate, to fulfill the requirements or electives in an Associate degree program.
In the interest of establishing and maintaining an appropriate learning environment, maximizing the educational benefit to all students, maintaining an atmosphere of safety and comfort, and clarifying the faculty and students’ expectations of classroom conduct, the College has established the following policy:
- Students are expected to arrive on time. If you are unavoidably late and the instructor permits you to enter, please do so quietly and seat yourself quickly.
- Students are expected to refrain from participating in personal conversations during class.
- Every student is expected to focus on the class lesson. Please refrain from doing other class work, reading newspapers or magazines, eating, drinking or sleeping.
- Students are expected to use appropriate language at all times and be polite to one another.
- Students are expected to remain seated during class, unless the student has notified the instructor or in case of an emergency.
- Students must silence cell phones prior to the beginning of class. In the event of a college-wide emergency, this provides access to notification by the emergency alert system.
- Visitors are only allowed with permission from the instructor. Children are not permitted in class at any time.
- Students are expected to refrain from packing up and preparing to leave until the instructor has dismissed the class. (It is the instructor’s responsibility to dismiss the class at the proper time.)
Alcohol and drug abuse are devastating both to the user and to the college community. In addition to impacting the lives of others in dangerous ways, users of illegal drugs and alcohol subject themselves to serious health problems both now and for years into the future, including addiction, disease, and loss of physical skills. Substance abuse is a major cause of accidents, and can seriously affect academic performance and campus morale. Possession, use, and distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol on college property or at college-sponsored events are forbidden. Infractions will result in serious disciplinary action; students could be expelled. Employees could be fired.
The college, therefore, discourages students and employees from covering for co-workers or fellow students who are users but rather encourages them to assist users in getting help. Students should seek out faculty members, counselors, the Student Health Office (914-606-6610) or Student Affairs (914-606-6731). Employees can go to their immediate supervisors or to Westchester County’s Employee Assistance Program (914-995-6070).
In addition, under local, state, and federal laws, illegal use of drugs and alcohol is a serious crime. Conviction of a felony carries serious consequences, including loss of citizenship rights during the period of sentence and a possible jail term. Convictions may also jeopardize future employment opportunities.
Further information on the legal consequences of alcohol and drug abuse can be found in the Library/Educational Technologies Center under Public Law 101-226.Additional information is also available from the Associate Dean of Student Development and Support Services Office, Room 219, the Office of Student Affairs, Room 109, or the Security Department, Room 113, in the Student Center Building..
If a student owes money to the college from a previous semester, no academic transcripts will be forwarded to any other institution, nor can the student re-register at Westchester Community College, until the debt is paid.
Westchester Community College is without dormitories or resident students. Parking lots, walkways, and areas surrounding each building are well lighted, and the campus is regularly patrolled by the 24-hour guard service. While there have been occasional incidents of crime, the campus has generally been a safe and secure environment.
In order to maintain this status and improve upon it, all members of the campus family are required to maintain up-to-date identification cards which are available, free of charge, from the Security Office in the Student Center. There is a $10 fee to replace lost ID cards. In addition, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are advised to:
- pay careful attention to your personal belongings,including textbooks, at all times
- lock your car, each time you leave it,leaving nothing inside within view; and
- have your car keys in hand beforeleaving a building.
Blue Light Phones
There are 15 strategically located emergency blue light phones on campus that connect directly with the County Police without having to dial. These phones are for emergencies requiring immediate police assistance. Directions for proper use are printed on the inside of the call box in English and Spanish. In addition, the Security Department emergency phone number is 6-911.
In addition, the college has free emergency cell phones available for any student, faculty, or staff member. Please contact our Security Office in the Student Center.
Incidents occurring at the EOC-W are reported to the Assistant Dean for EOC, and records are kept. Reports are made to the Yonkers Police Department (914-337-7900) if appropriate. Copies of these incidents/reports are sent to the Security Director of Westchester Community College for reporting
purposes. Ossining and Peekskill Extension Site statistics are also available in the Security Department.
Emergency procedures to follow for fire or injuries or other medical emergencies, techniques on how to avoid becoming a crime victim, and lists of resources are available to students and employees in the brochures, “Campus Safety and Law Enforcement” and“Sexual Assault Prevention,” widely distributed to all incoming students. Additional copies of these brochures can be obtained from the Security Office in the Student Center.
Lastly, Westchester Community College has free emergency cell phones available for any student, faculty, or staff member. Please contact our Security Office in the Student Center.
Westchester Community College is committed to creating a community free from violence. Sexual Assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence and stalking as defined by State and Federal law will not be tolerated at Westchester Community College, college supported events or activities, or at functions of recognized student organizations, on or off campus. Westchester Community College will take action, as needed, to discourage, prevent, correct and if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this standard of conduct. Rape and sexual assault constitute crimes. Federal and New York State Law and college policy prohibit such behavior.
Confidentiality is fundamental to all aspects of cases dealing with sexual assault. The names of sexual assault victims shall not be revealed by persons responsible for implementing and enforcing the provisions of this policy, except with consent of the victim.
The college recognizes the necessity of a community which is open and intellectually stimulating, where diversity of ideas is valued and every person’s safety, dignity and autonomy is respected whether they are students, faculty, or staff, and regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, class, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
General Definition of Terms
Sexual Assault is defined as any sexual contact/intrusion/penetration that is absent or without consent by all parties. Examples include, but are not limited to: a) touching breasts or another’s genitals without their consent (through clothing or skin to skin contact), b) having sexual contact/intrusion/penetration with someone who is incapacitated (one who is incapable of making a rational decision; e.g. from alcohol/drug usage), c) continuing sexual activity after either party has made clear, either verbally or by conduct, that they do not wish to have physical contact.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive Federal financial assistance. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Colleges must promptly respond to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence in a way that limits its effects and prevents its recurrence.
Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”)
Under The Violence Against Women Act, colleges and universities are required to: (1) report dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates; (2) adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and (3) adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular respects pertinent institutional personnel.
Annual Fire and Security Report (Clery Act):
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to report annual statistics on crime, including sexual assault and rape, on or near the campus, and to develop and disseminate prevention policies.
Sex discrimination includes all forms of: sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or third parties. Students, College employees, and third parties are prohibited from harassing other students and/or employees whether or not the incidents of harassment occur on the College campus and whether or not the incidents occur during working hours.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Sexual violence is physical sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Such acts include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.
Consent is the agreement to engage in specific sexual contact, which may be given by verbal agreement or active and willing participation in the sexual activity. Consent to sexual contact or any specific sexual act cannot be given if an individual is incapacitated or impaired because of a physical or mental condition or the ingestion of drugs or alcohol, or under the age of 17. Silence, previous sexual relationships, current relationships, or the use of alcohol and/or drugs is not an indication of consent. The use of force, threat of force, threat of immediate or future harm, or use of physical intimidation to secure compliance with sexual activity is evidence of lack of consent. Consent may be initially given, but it may be revoked at any point, either verbally, through physical resistance, or by losing consciousness. Failure to cease sexual contact promptly in response to a withdrawal of consent constitutes prohibited nonconsensual sexual contact. “No” or any other negative statement or acts/physical gestures supporting the desire to cease contact in response to sexual contact or an invitation to sexual contact will be regarded as a denial of consent to such sexual contact.
Dating violence is any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the victim’s statement and with consideration of the type and length of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Two people may be in a romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; however, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context shall constitute a romantic or intimate relationship. This definition does not include acts covered under domestic violence.
Domestic violence is any violent felony or misdemeanor crime committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person sharing a child with the victim, or a person cohabiting with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
The term stalking means intentionally engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to causes a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, repeatedly following such person(s), repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy such other person(s) and that serve no legitimate purpose, and repeatedly communicating by any means, including electronic means, with such person(s) in a manner likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm him or her.
Policy on Cultural Diversity and Racism
Westchester Community College Policy on Cultural Diversity and Racism
Westchester Community College endeavors to establish and maintain an environment in which individuals of various groups and backgrounds learn to live together in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Furthermore, the College asserts that the students’ education is inadequate unless they have acquired knowledge and appreciation of human diversity, and have established sets of values with which to function positively in a pluralistic society.
Respect for, and understanding of, cultural diversity in all forms is a strong antidote for prejudice, racism, discrimination and harassment based on religion, national origin, ethnic grouping, color or other socially derived attempts to deny people their human rights. Accordingly, the College strived, and continue to strive, to find the common elements that unite us, and the positive differences that strengthen us.
Westchester Community College, therefore, endeavors to:
- Provide all students with experiences in and out of the classroom that enhance their understanding and respect for differences in race, national origin, ethnic identity, gender, sexual preference, age, socio-economic background and physical ability;
- Sensitize the faculty and staff to regard cultural differences as the norm, not the exception, while recognizing our common needs and aspirations;
- Encourage diverse groups to participate in cooperative endeavors and interactions;
- Explain that in the context of organizational life diversity is about individual differences that can be drawn upon and developed to promote the goals of affirmative action;
- Emphasize that there is no scientific validity that race is a determinant of human abilities, and that various racial groups constitute a hierarchy in which one group is regarded as superior to others.
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, sexually explicit derogatory remarks, and sexually discriminating remarks which are offensive or objectionable to the person at whom they are directed or which cause a person discomfort or humiliation.
On campus, sexual harassment destroys the trusting relationship that should exist between students and others in the academic community. For employees who are its victims, it can put jobs in jeopardy, threatening salaries, promotions, and working conditions. In all cases, the harasser has introduced a personal element into what should be a sex-neutral situation, and has prevented people from benefiting fully from their education or employment.
Whether verbal or physical, sexual harassment is an act of aggression. It is a violation of both federal law (section 703 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX Education Amendments of 1972) and state law (New York State Human Rights Act).
In order to maintain an educational environment fully conducive to learning and academic freedom and to ensure employment free of intimidation, Westchester Community College has both a moral and legal obligation to investigate all complaints of sexual harassment and to pursue sanctions when warranted. The college encourages students and employees to confront sexual harassers, to report incidents, and/or to seek advice and assistance. Help is available from the college’s sexual harassment specialist, Rocanne Santiago (914-606-7787) and Dr. Ruben Barato (914-606-6777). They are charged with the responsibility of investigating sexual harassment complaints and with instituting the more formal procedures in existence for resolving them. Students may also speak with the Title IX Compliance Officer, Saul Yanosky, (914-606-8539), with guidance counselors, and with faculty advisors.
The college has prepared a brochure on sexual harassment to define the subject and suggest ways of handling incidents. A fuller statement of the college’s sexual harassment policy, explaining procedures in more detail, was adopted in the Fall of 1992 and published in the Faculty Handbook. Both brochure and statement are available from any of the persons listed above, and from the offices of the Associate Deans. In addition, complying with policies adopted by Westchester County and mandated bylaw, all administrators, staff, and full-time faculty have been undergoing training about sexual harassment. This training program will continue for new employees and faculty members..
It is the policy of Westchester Community College to make every effort to protect the environment, especially in the following ways:
- Promote awareness of environmental issues.
- Minimize consumption of natural resources, especially paper and energy.
- Encourage recycling and/or reuse of materials.
- Use only products known to be environmentally safe.
- Follow regulations and standards for safe use, storage and disposal of materials.
- Follow regulations and standards for safe use of machinery, equipment and technical processes.
- Require periodic monitoring and reporting of progress toward implementation.