Student's Rights and Responsibilities

Student's Rights and Responsibilities

Preamble

Existing for the pursuit of knowledge, academic institutions should encourage students to enlarge their capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. In this respect, free inquiry and free expression are essential when appropriate to the mode of instruction. Scholars have rights and responsibilities deriving from their highest standards. As members of this community, students have the duty of exercising and cherishing the freedom to learn. Therefore, appropriate opportunities in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community should prevail for such a purpose. This document enumerates some conditions conducive to freedom of learning. Students should exercise their rights with maturity and responsibility. The advance advancement of higher learning should be the obligation of all members of the academic community. The College has a duty to develop policies and procedures which safeguard academic freedom. In consonance with this social process, the student's rights and privileges as citizens or residents of Cyprus shall not be abridged.

 

Academic Advice

Students have the responsibility to seek academic advice throughout their enrolment at this College. To meet this responsibility, they have the right to reasonable access to professional advice relative to all segments of their academic programs and to their career goals related to those academic programs. From academic major advisors students should expect advisement relative to the appropriate selection of major and support courses and of General Education courses related to their goals and interests, and matters relating to most College, and all school department regulations and procedures. From other appropriate College offices students should expect advice on matters relating to state and College regulations and procedures. Students have the responsibility to consult the requisite catalogues, schedules, and handbooks for rules and regulations concerning their major and support courses.

 

In the Classroom

When appropriate to the mode of instruction in the classroom as well as in conference and advisement, the professor should encourage open inquiry and free expression. Students shall be evaluated solely on the basis of their academic performance, not on their opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic performance.

 

  1. Freedom of Expression. Students are responsible for mastery of the content of any course in which they enrol, but they are free to take reasoned exception at appropriate times to the interpretation of data or opinions offered.
  2. Academic Evaluation. Students are responsible for meeting standards of academic performance established by their professors. Evaluations based on standards other than academic performance in the course being offered shall be considered arbitrary or capricious. The measurement of a student's performance is the responsibility of the professor. The assignment of a final grade is the responsibility solely of the professor.
  3. Instructional Practice. Students have the right to substantial instruction in the course content at the time scheduled for class meetings except in mitigating circumstances.
  4. Writing and Plagiarism. Plagiarism is a direct violation of intellectual and academic honesty. While it exists in many forms, all plagiarisms refer to the same act: representing somebody else's words or ideas as one's own. The most extreme forms of plagiarism are a paper written by another person, a paper obtained from a commercial source, or a paper made up of passages copied word for word without acknowledgement. But paraphrasing author's ideas or quoting even limited portions of their texts without proper citation is also an act of plagiarism. Even putting someone else's ideas into one's own words without acknowledgment may be plagiarism. In any of its forms, plagiarism cannot be tolerated in an academic community. It may constitute grounds for a failing grade, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

One distinctive mark of an educated person is the ability to use language correctly and effectively to express ideas. Teaching Personnel assign written work for the purpose of helping students achieve that mark. Each professor will outline specific desiderata, but all expect every student to present work that represents the student's understanding of the subject in the student's own words. It is seldom expected that student papers will be based entirely or even primarily on original ideas or original research. Therefore, to incorporate the concepts of others may be appropriate with proper acknowledgment of the sources; and to quote others directly by means of quotation marks and acknowledgments is proper. However, if a paper consists entirely of quotations and citations, the paper should be rewritten to show the student's own understanding and expressive ability. The purpose of the written assignment (i.e., development of communication and analytical skills) should be kept in mind as each paper is prepared. It should not be evaded through plagiarism.

 

Student Official Records and Information

  1. Separation of Records and Information. To minimize the risk of disclosure to unauthorized persons, discipline, counselling, medical, and activities records shall be kept separately from the official College academic records. Transcripts of academic records shall contain only information about academic status, except that student participation in academic governance may also be recorded pursuant to policies adopted by the College.
  2. College Access to Records and Information. Information from disciplinary, counselling, academic, medical, or activities files shall be available only to authorized persons within the College who require such records in the normal course of performing the assigned duties of their position.
  3. Extra-Institutional Access to Records and Information. Students have a right to expect that their records will not be subject to unauthorized disclosure or access. Custodians of student records should be aware that the law prohibits release of most student information without prior consent, except within the College or Government agencies, and only when the persons receiving the information have a "legitimate educational interest." Students should be aware that there are circumstances under which "directory information" can be released in extra-institutional parties unless a student specifically prohibits it by filing a request with the Registrar's Office.
  1. The College shall make a good-faith effort to notify a student in writing upon receipt of a subpoena of student records and information, the judicial authority requesting the records, the specific records requested, and the action taken by the College.
  1. Student Access to Records and Information. Unless their right to access has previously been waived, currently-enrolled and former students shall have the right to know about existing student record systems and to examine their own records, including letters of recommendation, by following procedures that are established by the office responsible for keeping records. Persons making recommendations have a right to know in writing whether access rights have been waived. Students may challenge the record's accuracy or the appropriateness of its retention. In addition, students shall have the right to include in their individual records any additional information or responses bearing on information they find objectionable. Students must furnish copies of such additional information to the individuals, departments, or administrative officers who originated the information found objectionable.
  2. Confidentiality of Acquired Information. All College personnel shall respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work.
  3. Political Files. No records or files shall be kept reflecting the political beliefs or political activities of students.
  4. Disciplinary Files. Any person or entity holding disciplinary records shall destroy disciplinary files five years after the expiration of disciplinary action or immediately after the decision that there shall be no disciplinary action.
  5. Copies of Student Records. A student may receive a copy of a record which the student has requested or consented to be released. Students must pay a charge for copies of records for which such a charge has been established.

 

Freedom of Information

  1. The student shall have the right to reasonable access to College, school, and department policies, procedures, standards, and regulations which affect the right of a student to enrol, remain enrolled, or withdraw from any course or program of study.
  2. The College's Bulletin shall be the principle means by which such academic information as enumerated above shall be transmitted to students.
  3. The College, schools, departments, and interdisciplinary groups shall not initiate and implement policies, procedures, standards, and regulations which affect the right of a student to enrol, remain enrolled, or withdraw from any course or program of study except through established College procedures.
  4. Students shall have the right to information from each instructor at the first class session as to the general requirements and goals of a course in which they are enrolled, and the general criteria upon which they will be evaluated in that course. Such information must be made available in the form of a written syllabus by the second meeting, and preferably at the first class session. A copy of the syllabus shall be available for review in the department office. The syllabus shall include but not be limited to the following:
    • General course description including the course prerequisites, if any
    • Course objectives.
    • Topical Outline of course.
    • Requirements-policies and procedures (e.g., attendance, assignments, readings), and basis for evaluation (e.g., written work, examination or quizzes, term papers, portfolios, projects, laboratory or field work assignments, etc.).
    • Grading system and its relation to achievement of the requirements in (4).
    • Date and time of the final examination.
    • Instructor's office location and office hours.
  5. Just as it is the students' right to know the policies, procedures, standards, and regulations which affect their rights, so shall it be their responsibility to obtain and act appropriately on such information, and their ignorance of such information which has been made accessible to them shall not be cause to waive such policies, procedures, standards, and regulations.