2015-2016 College Catalog 
    Sep 21, 2021  
2015-2016 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Rights, Records & Responsibilities

Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities of Students

Pellissippi State embraces the following excerpts from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students:

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.

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. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn.

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.

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.

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.

Protection against improper disclosure. Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors should be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.

Student responsibilities. Pellissippi State Community College students have certain responsibilities to uphold as part of their membership in the academic community. These include the following:

  • Students are responsible for their own academic success. This includes maintaining academic integrity and taking advantage of academic support services provided by the College.
  • Students are responsible for conducting themselves in an appropriate manner while in the classroom, on campus, and in their communication with other members of the college community. This includes being respectful of others and refraining from disciplinary offenses as outlined by Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:00 Student Code of Conduct and Due Process (www.pstcc.edu/ppm/pdf/04-02-00.pdf).
  • Students are responsible for following college policies relevant to them.
  • Students are responsible for meeting deadlines. This includes meeting deadlines in the classroom and meeting deadlines published by the College.
  • Students are responsible for reading all communications sent to them by the College. This includes all forms of electronic and written communication.

If students believe their rights have been violated, they may file a written complaint at www.pstcc.edu/complaint.

Student Conduct

Pellissippi State Community College (Pellissippi State) students are citizens of the state, local, and national governments, and of the academic community and are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times.

Admission to Pellissippi State carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by nonstudents. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between the College and the academic community that it seeks to serve, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) has authorized the president of Pellissippi State under its jurisdiction to take such action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the College and its educational environment.

Pursuant to this authorization and in fulfillment of its duties to provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits flourish, the College has developed the following regulations that are intended to govern student conduct on the campus. In addition, students are subject to all national, state, and local laws and ordinances. If a student’s violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects Pellissippi State’s pursuit of its educational objectives, the College may enforce its own regulations regardless of any proceedings instituted by other civil or criminal authorities.

For the purpose of these policies, a “student” shall mean any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at Pellissippi State for any academic period. This shall include any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of classes for any academic period. It also will include any period that follows the end of an academic period through the last day for registration for the succeeding academic period, and during any period while the student is under suspension from the institution. Finally, “student” also shall include any person subject to a period of suspension or removal from campus as a sanction that results from a finding of a violation of the regulations governing student conduct. Students are responsible for compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and Due Process and with similar institutional policies at all times.

Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violation of the policies that occur on institutionally owned, leased, or otherwise controlled property, while participating in international or distance learning programs, affiliated clinical sites, and off campus, when the conduct impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any institutional activity or the mission, processes, and functions of the institution. Institutions may enforce their own regulations regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted in any other forum, including any civil or criminal proceeding.

These regulations, and related material incorporated herein by reference, are applicable to student organizations as well as individual students. Student organizations are subject to discipline for the conduct and actions of individual members of the organization while acting in their capacity as members of, or while attending or participating in any activity of, the organization.

Confidentiality of discipline process. Subject to the exceptions provided pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g and/or the Tennessee Open Records Act, T.C.A. § 10-7-504(a)(4), a student’s disciplinary files are considered “educational records” and are confidential within the meaning of those acts.

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:00 Student Code of Conduct and Due Process (www.pstcc.edu/ppm/pdf/04-02-00.pdf) for additional information.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Harassment Prevention

Pellissippi State Community College strives to maintain a safe campus environment, free of harassment and discrimination. As such, the College will not tolerate sexual misconduct, which includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and sexual violence, including stalking, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and dating violence. Sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other gender-based harassment occurring in the college setting implicates a federal law called Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and which triggers certain responsibilities on the part of the College.

Tennessee Board of Regents Definitions

Sexual Violence

Consent. An informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or is under duress, threat, coercion, or force. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Stalking. Stalking is a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested and that actually causes the accuser to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Harassment means conduct directed toward the accuser that includes but is not limited to repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the accuser to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. (See TCA 39-17-315.)

Sexual assault. The nonconsensual sexual contact with the accuser by the accused or the accused by the accuser when force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, the sexual contact is accomplished without consent of the accuser, and the accused knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the accuser did not or could not consent. Sexual contact includes but is not limited to the intentional touching of the accuser’s, the accused’s or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the accuser’s, the accused’s or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

Rape. Unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; the sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim, and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent; the defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or the sexual penetration is accompanied by fraud. Rape is a Class B felony.

Domestic violence. Violence against a person when the accuser and accused

  1. Are current or former spouses,
  2. Live together or have lived together,
  3. Are related by blood or adoption,
  4. Are related or were formally related by marriage, or
  5. Are adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above. 

Domestic violence includes but is not necessarily limited to,

  1. Inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means;
  2. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm;
  3. Physical restraint;
  4. Malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or
  5. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. (See TCA 36-3-601.)

Dating violence. Violence against a person when the accuser and accused are dating, or who have dated, or who have or had a sexual relationship.  “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals solely in a business or non-romantic social context.  Violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to,

  1. Inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means;
  2. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm;
  3. Physical restraint;
  4. Malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or
  5. Placing a victim in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. (See TCA 36-3-601(5)(c).)

Reporting Options

If you are a victim or know of a victim of sexual violence, you are encouraged to report the incident in one of two ways: confidential or formal reporting.

Confidential Reporting

If you desire that details of the incident be kept confidential, you may speak with on-campus counselors or off-campus sexual violence crisis resources who can maintain confidentiality.  Pellissippi State counselors are available to talk to you about your reporting options during regular business hours. Off-campus resources are located in the Community Resources section of this brochure. You can also call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Formal Reporting

You have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct to be taken seriously by the College when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures.  Formal reporting means that only people who need to know will be told about the incident and information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.

If the sexual misconduct involves an allegation against an employee:

All incidents must be reported to the Title IX coordinator:

Director, Human Resources
(865) 694-6607
Goins Administration Building, Room 262

If the incident involves an allegation by a student to another student, the Title IX coordinator will refer the situation to the dean of students:

Mary Bledsoe, Dean of Students
(865) 694-6415
Goins Administration Building, Room 114

Individuals with complaints of sexual misconduct also have the right to file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline: (800) 421-3481
Fax: (202) 453-6012
TDD#: (877) 521-2172
Email: OCR@ed.gov
Web address: www.ed.gov/ocr

For more information regarding the investigation process, please contact one of the Title IX officers above or visit the following websites.



Student Records

Admission records. Admission files are maintained in Enrollment Services and on an imaging system. Each file contains the application for admission and, for a degree-seeking student, ACT scores if required, high school transcripts, official high school equivalency diploma score reports if required, transcripts from all colleges and universities that the student previously attended, immunization documentation and miscellaneous working papers and letters as required. The assistant vice president of Enrollment Services is responsible for the maintenance and security of files in the Enrollment Services office.

A student may obtain a copy of his or her transcript in these ways:

In person: Enrollment Services, Room 102, Goins Building, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, Tennessee

By fax: (865) 539-7016

By mail: Enrollment Services, Pellissippi State Community College, P.O. Box 22990, Knoxville, TN 37933-0990

Electronically: records@pstcc.edu

Online: www.pstcc.edu/records

Include name, signature, contact telephone number, Pellissippi State identification number, the last four digits of Social Security number or date of birth, and address to which the transcript should be mailed. Transcript Request forms are available online through Enrollment Services: www.pstcc.edu/records.

Disclosure of directory information. Pellissippi State may disclose directory information consistent with this policy to any person requesting such information without the consent of the student:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended

Students who do not wish directory information released without consent should provide written notification to Enrollment Services prior to the first day of classes each semester.

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:03:00 Student Records Confidentiality (www.pstcc.edu/ppm/pdf/04-03-00.pdf) for additional information.

Computer Usage Guidelines

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 08:13:05 Computer System Use (www.pstcc.edu/ppm/pdf/08-13-05.pdf) for additional information.

Minors on Campus

Students, faculty and staff may not bring minors to campus, except for acceptable visitation purposes. Minors may not be cared for on the campus while their parent(s) or guardian(s) is in class or engaged in other college business. Neither may a minor be left unsupervised.

Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy

Smoking is prohibited in all college buildings and indoor facilities, on campus grounds and walkways, and in all areas where nonsmokers cannot avoid environmental smoke. Additionally, smoking will not be allowed in any college vehicle. All campus entrances are to be posted designating the campus as “smoke-free” and designating areas where smoking is permitted. Please note that smoking is permitted in private vehicles in nondesignated parking areas.

Smoking is permitted in the following areas (Visit www.pstcc.edu/maps for campus directional and parking maps):

  • Hardin Valley Campus—outer areas of the O1, O2, O3, O6, O8 and O9 parking lots
  • Blount County Campus—far ends of the O1 and O2 parking lots
  • Division Street Campus—lower Open parking lots
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus—far end of the main Open parking area
  • Strawberry Plains Campus—outer areas of the Open and GSA parking lots

Note: Cigarette urns identify designated smoking areas on all campuses.

The use of chewing tobacco (to include electronic cigarettes, dipping, chewing, etc.) is prohibited in all Pellissippi State buildings, facilities and vehicles.

The intent of the policy is to allow a smoke-free environment for all persons using our campuses. Tobacco use even in designated areas must be at least 25 feet from walkways, crosswalks and other intended pedestrian traffic areas.

This policy applies to the entire college community, including employees, students and visitors. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students to adhere to, to enforce, and to inform visitors of the College’s smoking policy. If a student continues to disregard the tobacco use policy, he/she will be reported to the dean of students or designee. If a nonstudent continues to disregard the posting, he/she will be reported to the appropriate administrator.

Traffic and Parking Regulations

See Pellissippi State Policy 05:11:00 Parking and Traffic Regulations (www.pstcc.edu/ppm/pdf/05-11-00.pdf) for additional information.