Grievances Involving Academic Rights of Students | ECTC

Grievances Involving Academic Rights of Students


Students have the ability to file appeals when they believe a violation of their academic rights has occurred. Students have the academic right to:

  • timely receive information about course content
  • timely receive information about course grading criteria
  • hold and express a contrary opinion
  • fair and impartial academic evaluation
  • confidentiality of academic records
  • informed evaluation of student character and ability

More information about student academic rights may be found in the Student Bill of Rights, particularly #6, 7, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, and 20 (shown below).

6. Students shall have access, if needed and desired, to student services that provide reasonable accommodations as required under US laws and state laws relevant to the establishment of an equal opportunity to succeed in academic endeavors. 

7. KCTCS colleges respect the right of all students to learn, study, and grow in an environment that is free of any discrimination that reduces students to classes rather than recognize students as individuals. 

9. As a “marketplace of ideas,” the academic setting at KCTCS shall respect divergent viewpoints and the right to express them with respect and civility toward fellow students. 

10. Students have the right to participate in a community devoted to scholarship and are encouraged to inquire, debate, think, and express as individual scholars within that community. This expression includes both agreement with the main and dissent with others. The exercise of this right shall not interfere with the rights of others to the academic experience and shall not target, harass, intimidate, or threaten another participant in the academic process in such a severe or offensive manner that the target of this conduct is effectively denied access to the academic community at KCTCS. This is so whether the conduct occurs during course time, after class, or using electronic or other means rather than face-to-face debate.

17. KCTCS students have the right to know with accuracy and clarity information that assists them in successfully meeting the established academic standards in their classes. 

18. KCTCS students have the right to clear and comprehensible course objectives and requirements. This right shall extend to have access to a consistent grading policy used to evaluate student performance established by their class instructors.

19. A student has the right to receive a grade based only upon a fair and just evaluation of performance in the course as measured by the standards presented in the first or second class session or in the introductory materials for a distance learning course. 

20. KCTCS students have the right to know and understand the graduation requirements for their course of study and their type of degree. This right shall include to the students’ knowledge and understanding of course transfer requirements. 

The entire list of Student Rights can be found on our Know Your Student Rights and Responsibilities webpage.

Lying, misrepresenting, or omitting relevant facts otherwise known at the time may subject students, faculty, or staff to disciplinary action, possibly up to and including dismissal or termination.


Step 1: Informal Resolution

If a student encounters a problem in a class and wishes to file a grievance, he/she should first speak with the instructor and try to resolve the issue. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the student should proceed to Step 2 below. 

Step 2: Formal Grievance

When a student believes his/her academic rights have been violated, the student shall submit a formal written appeal specifying the alleged violations to the appropriate division chair as soon as possible following the occurrence of the violation. In order to be considered, a student appeal must be filed no later than five (5) business days after the first day of class of the following semester. Appeals received after that will be declared untimely and will not be considered. Upon receipt of the student appeal, the division chair will attempt to resolve the issue. If no resolution is agreed upon by all parties within 15 business days, the division chair will refer the case to the KCTCS College President or Provost/CAO. 

Step 3: Formal Appeal

The KCTCS College President or Provost/CAO will attempt resolution. If no resolution can be agreed upon within 15 business days, the College President or Provost/CAO must notify the student in writing. The student may choose to move to Step 4 by filing a written request for a hearing on the issue before College Appeals Board. 

Step 4:  CAB Hearing

If the student does not accept the decision of the KCTCS College President or Provost/CAO, the student has ten (10) business days to submit a written request for a hearing before the College Appeals Board. No new matter may be appealed which was not included in the student’s original appeal to the division chair.

Contact Information of Division Chairs

Division Division Chair Email
Phone Location
Arts & Humanities Jacqueline Hawkins 270-706-8538 JSO 117B
Biological and Health Sciences Joshua Druen 270-706-8649 RPC 301
Physical Sciences Dr. Shawn Kellie 270-706-8549 SCI 213
Social & Behavioral Sciences Dr. John Waldron 270-706-8545 SCI 207
Technical Tim Cordova 270-706-8681 OTB 107L

Discipline Process for Academic Violations Committed by Students

Incidents of academic dishonesty and misconduct which occur within the context of a specific course are resolved by the academic department in accordance with the College academic honesty policy. In such a case, the instructor or academic department determines if academic dishonesty or misconduct occurred, and what the academic penalty should be. 

Sanctions for a finding of academic dishonesty or misconduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Requiring the student to resubmit the assignment;
  2. A lower grade on the assignment or in the course;
  3. A zero for the assignment or exam;
  4. A failing grade in the course;
  5. Removal from the course;
  6. Referral for disciplinary actions beyond the above sanctions. 

A student who receives an academic penalty as a result of academic dishonesty or misconduct may not withdraw from the course in order to avoid the academic penalty. 

Step 1:  Within ten (10) business days of the occurrence or discovery of the occurrence of an alleged student academic offense, the instructor shall submit to the division chair or chief academic officer a written description of the activity that resulted in the accusation of academic dishonesty and the sanction implemented as a result.

Step 2:  The instructor shall notify the student in writing of the academic offense, explain the sanction, and inform the student of his or her right to appeal the fact of guilt and/or severity of the sanction when a failing grade is assigned. 

Step 3:  The student may protest the fact of guilt and/or severity of the sanction to the instructor. The instructor may then confer with the appropriate division chair or chief academic officer to determine appropriate sanctions for the student. All academic misconduct actions must be reported to the chief academic officer for record keeping purposes. 

Appeals of Student Academic Offenses

If a student has protested a finding of having committed an academic offense to a faculty member and the sanction has been upheld, the student has further appeal rights described below. 

Step 1:  Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of their protest to the faculty member may submit an appeal to the division chair of the department. The division chair shall attempt to resolve all cases referred by student appeal to the satisfaction of the instructor and the student. If the division chair upholds the decision of the instructor, the student may appeal, in writing, within ten (10) business days of notification of the division chair’s decision, to the College President or designee. 

Step 2:  Upon reviewing the basis of the student appeal, the College President or designee shall attempt to resolve the matter. If no resolution is reached within ten (10) business days, the student may submit a written appeal to the College Appeals Board (CAB).

Student Grievances and Appeals

The College Appeals Board (CAB) serves as a hearing body for appeals of violations of academic rights, of findings of academic misconduct, and for non-academic/behavioral violations. 

KCTCS Code of Student Conduct

View the entire KCTCS Code of Student Conduct.