Student Rights and Freedoms

Preamble

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Institutional procedures for achieving these purposes may vary from campus to campus, but the minimal standards of academic freedom of students outlined below are essential to any community of scholars.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. Tennessee Board of Regents institutions have developed policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate the essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn.

Freedom of Access to Higher Education

The admissions policies of each Tennessee Board of Regents Institution are a matter of institutional choice, provided that each institution makes clear the characteristics and expectations of students which it considers relevant to success in the institution’s program. Under no circumstances should a student be barred from admission to a particular institution on the basis of race. Thus, within the limits of its facilities, each institution should be open to all students who are qualified according to its admissions standards. The facilities and services of a TBR institution should be open to all of its enrolled students.

In the Classroom

The professor in the classroom and in conference should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

  1. Protection of Freedom of Expression
    Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
  2. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation

    Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
  3. Protection Against Improper Disclosure

    Certain information about students is protected from public disclosure by Federal and state laws. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances.

Adapted from AAUP Statement of RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF STUDENTS. TBR Policy 3:02:04:00

Student Right-to-Know

Jackson State’s crime statistics reported under the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act are available for public viewing in the foyer of the Administration Building, and on the college’s web site at www.jscc.edu/student-right-to-know-campus-security-act

Program completion rates can be obtained from the Jackson State Office of Institutional Research and Accountability in the Administration Building.

Participation rates, financial support and other information which comply with the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act can be found in the Jackson State Athletic Director’s office located in the Gym.

Release of Student Information

The following items of your student information are classified as directory information and may be released by the college without your consent:

When registering for classes each semester, you may notify the Records Office, in writing, that directory information for you may not be released. This notification is effective only for the one semester for which you are then registering.

Privacy Rights of Students

The education records of current and former Jackson State students are maintained as confidential records under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This act gives students certain rights with respect to access of those records and release of personally identifiable information from those records. The college’s policies and processes for those actions are set forth below.

Any violation of FERPA should be reported to the Registrar. Complaints concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA may be filed with: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Definitions

Education Records
Education Records are those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by Jackson State or by a person acting for the college. They do not include: (1) personal notes, (2) records available only to law enforcement personnel, (3) employment records, and (4) medical and psychiatric records (accessible by the student’s physician).
Student
A student is any person who is or has been enrolled at Jackson State. Wherever “student” is used in reference to personal rights, an eligible parent of a dependent student has similar rights. An “eligible” parent is one who has satisfied Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and who presents proof of such to the Jackson State Registrar. Normally, this will be a written affirmation by the student and the parent confirming the student is a dependent for Federal Income Tax purposes.
Access
To have access to an Education Record is to be allowed to see the original record. It implies the right to obtain copies of that record.

Release of Personally Identifiable Student Education Records

Jackson State shall not permit access to, or release of, any information in the Education Record of any student that is personally identifiable, other than Directory Information, to any party without the student’s written consent, except to:

Note: With the exception of Jackson State officials and staff who have been determined by the College to have legitimate educational interest, all individuals and agencies who have requested access to a student’s Education Record will be noted in an accompanying record. A request must be in writing stating the purpose for the request. This record also will indicate specifically the legitimate interest that the person or agency has in obtaining the information.

Procedures for Accessing Education Records

You, the student, shall ask the record custodian for access to your education record. You may ask for an explanation and/or a copy of the given education record. Copies cost $1 for the first page and 15 cents for each additional page.

After consultation with the custodian, errors may be corrected at that time by the custodian. Afterwards, if you believe the record’s content is correct, you should acknowledge with your signature and the date. If you believe the record’s content is inaccurate, you may submit a request for a formal hearing.

The request and the challenge must be presented in writing to the Registrar who will: (1) appoint an Appeals Record Committee consisting of three record custodians with one of the three designated as chair, and (2) designate a time and place for the committee’s first meeting. The Appeals Committee will meet with you within 45 days from the date of the request and allow you to present relevant evidence. A written decision will be given to you within 45 days after the hearing’s conclusion. You then may submit to the committee a written explanation to be inserted in the record. If the committee believes the statement is pertinent, the explanation will be inserted into the record.

NOTE: This procedure does not provide for a hearing to contest an academic grade.

Right of Access Does Not Include:

Education records may be destroyed, except that you shall be granted access prior to destruction if such is requested.