CONCERNS ABOUT A CLASS OR ACADEMIC ISSUES
Virginia Peninsula faculty are committed to student success and to delivering high quality service to students. Virginia Peninsula values student comments, requests, and concerns, and students have the right to have them heard and considered as described below. For concerns about an academic issue such as grading, assignments, teaching methods, or communication, the student should contact the instructor. An office visit, phone call, or email is recommended. Virginia Peninsula instructors have the authority to set class policies, conduct classes, issue assignments, and grade student work in the manner they deem appropriate, and students must abide by legitimate direction from the instructor and requirements and expectations in the college catalog, student handbook, and course syllabus. Instructors are expected to consider students to resolve issues. Students should use email or other means to document their concerns and whatever resolutions were reached.
If the instructor violates a requirement stated in the college catalog, student handbook, or course syllabus, the student should notify the instructor and request that the issue be resolved. If the issue persists, the student should contact the academic division that supervises the instructor. Contact information for academic divisions can be found in the course syllabus in Canvas. Students may also submit a Report an Incident or Concern by going to the Virginia Peninsula website, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking on Report an Incident or Concern. The student's concern will be forwarded directly to the Academic Dean for that division. For especially serious issues such as a violation of law, sexual harassment, physical threat, or student safety, students should submit a report through the Report an Incident or Concern link at the bottom of every Virginia Peninsula webpage. A Virginia Peninsula administrator will initiate action on that report within one business day. For concerns that are not violations of the law, sexual harassment, physical threat, or student safety, students may initiate the Student Grievance Procedure, below. For instances of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, age, religion, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors, or disability, students may initiate the Student Racism and Discrimination Procedure and Policy.
Repeated Course Policy
A student will be limited to two enrollments in the same credit course. If a student requests to enroll in the same course more than twice, the request must be documented and approved by the Dean for Retention and Student Success. Please note that auditing or withdrawing from a course is considered an "attempt" for purposes of repeating a course.
Officials of Virginia Peninsula certify successful completion of work for degrees, diplomas, and certificates when satisfied that the absolute integrity of the student has been maintained in the completion of such work. It is imperative that students maintain a high degree of individual honor in their scholastic endeavors. Scholastic dishonesty will not be condoned under any circumstances.
If a student is suspected of scholastic dishonesty, the faculty member directly involved will investigate the matter. If the faculty member suspects the student of scholastic dishonesty, the faculty member will complete a Report an Incident or Concern, which is found at the bottom of each Virginia Peninsula webpage. The form will be directed to the appropriate Academic Dean along with the action that the instructor has taken. The action may involve a grade reduction for the work in question, the assignment of a failing grade for the course, and/or a recommendation for possible dismissal from the College. If the faculty member recommends that the student should be dismissed from the College, then the Academic Dean must contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The Dean will immediately forward all written records to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee. When the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee receives information that a student has allegedly violated a rule, regulation, policy, or procedure, then the administrator will initiate the Scholastic Dishonesty Disciplinary Proceeding Procedure. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will contact the Vice President for Workforce Development in the case of Workforce Development courses.
Generally, scholastic dishonesty is interpreted as cheating on an examination or quiz, which includes giving or receiving information; copying, using unauthorized materials in tests; collaborating during examinations; substituting for another person or allowing substitutions during examination; plagiarizing, submitting of work other than one's own; and colluding with another person or persons in submitting work for credit unless such collaboration is approved in advance by the instructor.
Webster's International Dictionary defines plagiarism as follows:
Plagiarism--to steal and pass off as one's own the ideas or words of another; to use without crediting the source; to present as new and official an idea or product derived from an existing source; to commit literary theft. A student's diction and phraseology should always be his or her own except where he or she clearly indicates otherwise. It is not dishonest to copy an author's words in quotation marks and give credit to the source by footnoting or by acknowledging the source in the text of a paper. If you paraphrase a writer's words, you must acknowledge your indebtedness to the writer.
Ideas and Thoughts: Give credit to the source of any opinion, idea, or conclusion not your own. For example, the statement "Emily Bronte, unlike her contemporaries, was not concerned with the social injustices of her time," is a conclusion derived from an extensive knowledge of nineteenth-century fiction. If you really have such knowledge, you can honestly draw such a conclusion, but if you have stolen the thought from a critic or other authority, you are plagiarizing. Another example, "Because Gray found new ways to be boring, people thought that he was a genius," is merely a plagiarism of Samuel Johnson's: "He [Gray] was dull in a new way, and that made people think him great." Plagiarism at Virginia Peninsula Community College may constitute a dismissible offense, and the use of syndicated research papers, essays, etc., constitutes a violation of this rule.
Grade Appeal Procedure
The evaluation of a student's work and assignment of a grade are the responsibility and the prerogative of the individual instructor. If you think, however, that the final grade you received in a course was assigned in a manner inconsistent with the course syllabus or was assigned using a method other than that used to compute other students' grades in that course, you may resolve the matter through an informal or a formal procedure.
Informal Final Course Grade Procedure
Students are encouraged to resolve grade discrepancies with the instructor and/or the appropriate academic dean on an informal basis. If the instructor agrees that an error was made, he or she will submit a Grade Change Form to the appropriate academic dean who will forward it to the Admissions, Records/Registration Office for action.
Formal Final Course Grade Appeal Procedure
This process considers whether the objective grading procedure stated in the course syllabus was followed. The formal grade appeal process is designed only to dispute the final course grade; it is not designed to dispute grades on individual assignments.
In those situations where the instructor is no longer an employee of the College, the appeal process moves immediately to Step 2, and the appointed arbitrator assumes the role of the absent instructor.
1. Any student wishing to appeal a Final Course Grade must meet with the instructor no later than twenty (20) working days after the beginning of the next regular semester (spring semester for a fall grade and fall semester for a spring or summer grade).
2. If no agreement is reached between the instructor and the student, the student may notify the applicable Division Dean within ten (10) working days. The Division Dean will assign an arbitrator to review the appeal. The arbitrator may be the Assistant Division Dean or another designee but must be different from the instructor involved.
3. The arbitrator, after reviewing the matter and meeting with the student, may resolve the matter in the instructor's favor and explain the basis for the decision to the student. If the student disagrees, the appeal process moves immediately to Step 4. In the situation where the arbitrator finds that the student's view has validity, the arbitrator will meet with the instructor to try to resolve the dispute. If the instructor is no longer an employee, the arbitrator will determine the acceptable grade, meet with the student, and, if the student agrees, change the grade, and submit the proper forms to the dean, at which time the appeal process is complete.
4. If the student disagrees with the arbitrator's decision, or if the instructor and the arbitrator cannot agree on a decision, the arbitrator will inform the Division Dean who will in turn convene a review committee within ten (10) working days of the arbitrator's notification.
a. The committee will consist of three faculty members. One faculty member will be chosen by the instructor, one by the student, and one by the Division Dean.
b. Committee members may not include the arbitrator, class instructor, or Vice President for Academic Affairs.
5. The committee's decision will be based on a simple majority vote and reported to the Division Dean.
6. If the committee agrees with the instructor/arbitrator, the Division Dean will notify the student, explaining the committee's decision. If the committee agrees with the student, the Division Dean will meet with the instructor or arbitrator, explain the rationale or the committee's decision and request that the grade be changed. The Division Dean will notify the student of the final decision. Regardless of the committee's finding, only the instructor or arbitrator can change the grade.
7. If the issue is not resolved at this point, the student or the instructor can appeal within ten (10) working days to the Vice President for Academic Affairs whose decision on the matter, issued within ten (10) working days, is final.
8. Final distribution of all documentation will reside in the student's file in the Admissions, Records/Registration Office on the Hampton Campus.
Virginia Peninsula Community College reserves the right to administratively withdraw those students who are not actively pursuing course objectives as established by their instructor. Students may also be withdrawn for emergency or disciplinary reasons or if they are enrolled in courses not consistent with placement testing and course prerequisites. However, students have the obligation to initiate their own withdrawals from classes. To remain in compliance with Title IV funding regulations, Financial Aid personnel will review the last date of attendance data and may take necessary withdrawal action, on behalf of the student.
Virginia Peninsula Community College places a high priority on providing a safe and supportive learning environment that contributes to student success. When a student demonstrates conduct that violates the Student Code of Conduct or other college policies, that conduct will be addressed through the appropriate disciplinary process. The Involuntary Withdrawal Policy is not intended to be disciplinary in nature. Rather, it outlines the criteria and procedures for when and how a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the College for demonstrating behavior that threatens the health or safety of any member of the college community or others, or that unreasonably disrupts the learning environment and orderly operation of the College. There may be situations in which both this policy and the Student Code of Conduct and/or other college policies apply.
A student may be withdrawn involuntarily from Virginia Peninsula if the College determines that the student demonstrates behavior that is unreasonably disruptive to the normal education processes and the orderly operation of the College; or demonstrates behavior that endangers any member of the College community or others. Any staff, faculty, or student may notify the Dean for Retention and Student Success of a situation that may appear to be disruptive to the learning environment that is not otherwise addressed within the Student Code of Conduct. The Dean for Retention and Student Success will proceed with fact finding to determine whether the situation meets the criteria for this policy. If so, the Dean for Retention and Student Success and the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success will meet with the student and decide.
The Joint Committee on Transfer recommended a statewide policy to facilitate transfer between state supported community colleges and senior colleges and universities. The State Policy on Transfer provides a mechanism for community college students to transfer to a four-year institution. Although community colleges typically recommend that students complete the associate degree prior to transfer, many students choose to transfer before graduating. A certificate of general education was adopted by the committee that provides a recommended program of study for students who begin at the community college without a clear sense of their future educational goals, assists students in planning a rigorous and well-rounded program of study prior to transfer, and provides them with certain guarantees about the acceptability of courses in this program of study. For more detailed information about transfer, please see your Academic Advisor.
Hampton Campus, Wythe Hall
Historic Triangle Library, Room 100
The library offers a wealth of information resources in all formats for students and faculty. In addition to a circulating print collection, the library provides access to hundreds of online database resources, including periodicals, ebooks, and streaming media. Librarians are available to assist with research requests during the library's operating hours. Research inquiries can also be submitted after hours through the Ask a Librarian chat box located on the library homepage. The library participates in the Virginia Tidewater Consortium program that allows students, faculty, and staff of member institutions to borrow materials and use the facilities of consortium libraries. Interlibrary loan services allow students to borrow materials from other