2024-2025 College Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 College 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 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.
  • 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. See Pellissippi State Policy 00:03:00 Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination in Education and Employment for information regarding filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. Other complaints can be submitted on the Student Affairs website.

Student Conduct

Pellissippi State students are citizens of the state, local and national governments and also 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, TBR - The College System of Tennessee 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.

In order to fulfill these duties and provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits flourish, the College has developed behavioral expectations 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” is defined as any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at Pellissippi State for any academic period. This includes any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of classes for any academic period. It also includes any period that follows the end of an academic period through the last day for registration for the succeeding academic period and any period during which the student is under suspension from the institution. Finally, “student” also includes 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 at 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 behavioral expectations 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 for additional information.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Harassment Prevention

Pellissippi State 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. See Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:03 Sexual Misconduct for additional information.

Parts of that policy are listed below.

This policy is adopted by Pellissippi State specifically to address the offenses defined herein. All other forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, also are strictly prohibited. Allegations that are not within the scope of this policy are subject to the procedures described in TBR Guideline P-080, as adopted and implemented by Pellissippi State Policy 00:03:00 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Education and Employment and Policy 06:23:01 Discrimination and Harassment Complaint and Investigation Procedure. 

I. Scope: These procedures shall be utilized by the following persons: 

A. Any employee or student who has been a victim of sexual misconduct, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression

B. Former employees or students if the conduct took place during the time of employment or enrollment at Pellissippi State and the conduct has a reasonable connection to the institution 

C. All third parties with whom Pellissippi State has an educational or business relationship if the conduct has a reasonable connection to the institution

II. Definitions 

A. 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 who 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. 

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

  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 [TCA § 36-3-601(5)(c)]

C. 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 the following actions: 

  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 (TCA § 36-3-601)

D. 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. 

E. Sexual Misconduct—for the purposes of this policy, “sexual misconduct” is defined as dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. 

F. Stalking—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 refers to 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. (TCA § 39-17-315)

III. Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct 

Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Pellissippi State is committed to eliminating any and all acts of sexual misconduct and discrimination on its campuses. As set forth in this policy, sexual misconduct includes dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Pellissippi State strictly prohibits these offenses. Any allegation of sexual misconduct as defined herein will be investigated and adjudicated according to this policy.

IV. Immediate Actions a Victim Should Take 

A. In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or similar event, the most important thing is for the victim to get to a safe place. 

B. When a feeling of safety has been achieved, the victim should seek medical attention, regardless of his or her decision to report the crime to the police. It is very important for the victim of sexual assault to seek medical attention immediately so that the victim can be screened for sexually transmitted diseases/pregnancy/date rape drugs, obtain emergency contraception, and receive treatment for any physical injuries. 

C. A victim has the right to accept or decline any or all parts of a medical exam. However, critical evidence may be lost or missed if not collected or analyzed. 

D. Valuable physical evidence can be obtained from the victim and the victim’s clothing. A victim should make every effort to save anything that might contain the offender’s DNA. Therefore, a victim should not

  1. Bathe or shower
  2. Wash his/her hands
  3. Brush his/her teeth
  4. Use the restroom
  5. Change clothes
  6. Comb his/her hair
  7. Clean up the crime scene or
  8. Move anything the offender may have touched

E. Even if the victim has not yet decided to report the crime, receiving a forensic medical exam and keeping the evidence safe from damage will improve the chances that the police can access and test the stored evidence at a later date. 

F. Victims of sexual misconduct are encouraged to preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages or other communications and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to investigators. 

V. Reporting Sexual Misconduct 

The College encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened so they can get the support they need and so the College can respond appropriately. Though reports will be kept as confidential as possible, the College cannot guarantee the confidentiality of every report or complaint. The following provisions detail the confidentiality options available to individuals. 

A. Reporting Confidentially 

If a victim chooses to report an incident of sexual misconduct in a confidential manner, the victim can report the incident to the following counselors: 

Pellissippi State Counseling Services

Hardin Valley Campus 

Nancy Truett, LPC-MHSP, Director, 865-694-6430, nttruett@pstcc.edu

Blount County Campus  

Rhoda Stone, Ph.D., 865-971-5218, rgstone@pstcc.edu

Magnolia Avenue Campus

Strawberry Plains Campus 

Heather White, M.S., 865-225-2312, hnwhite1@pstcc.edu

If the victim chooses to report in a confidential manner, the College may be unable to conduct an investigation into the matter or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged offender.

B. Filing an Institutional Complaint 

Reports of acts of sexual misconduct to any other employee of the College must be then reported to the Title IX coordinator, and the College will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. 

  1. The College shall not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement. 
  2. Before a complainant reveals any information to an employee, the employee must ensure that the complainant understands the employee’s reporting obligations. 
  3. If the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee must direct the victim to confidential resources as detailed in Section V. A. of this policy. 
  4. If the complainant wants to tell an employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee must advise the complainant that the College will consider the request but cannot guarantee that it will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX coordinator, the employee will also inform the coordinator of the complainant’s request for confidentiality. 
  5. When sexual harassment or sexual violence has occurred and is brought to the attention of the Pellissippi State Title IX coordinator, he or she will take steps to end the harassment or violence, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects.

All incidents must be reported to the Title IX coordinator: 

George Underwood
Executive Director of Institutional Compliance
Title IX Coordinator/Title VI Officer/ADA Coordinator/Affirmative Action Officer
Goins Administration Building, Room 258

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

Travis Loveday
Dean of Students
Goins Administration Building, Room 111

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:03 Sexual Misconduct for additional information.

Student Records

Admission records. Admission files are maintained on an imaging system. All submitted documents pertinent to admission are scanned and are part of the student record. 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:

Electronically: through the National Student Clearinghouse

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

By fax: 865-539-7689 

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

Email: records@pstcc.edu

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 through Enrollment Services.

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:

  • Student name
  • Address
  • College email address
  • Telephone number
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of athletic team member
  • Photographs
  • Enrollment status - Part-time, Full-time
  • 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 for additional information.

Computer Usage Guidelines

Please see Pellissippi State Policies 08:13:01 Information Technology Acceptable Use and 08:13:06 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for additional information.

Minors on Campus

Minors visit our campuses for a variety of reasons, which include participation in programs and activities sponsored by the College; acceptable visitation purposes as minor children of students and employees; and programs and activities sponsored by third parties using College facilities and resources. The College is committed to preventing, recognizing, reporting and addressing child abuse and child sexual abuse, as detailed in Policy 08:19:00 Minors on Campus.

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 non-smokers 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. Smoking is permitted in private vehicles.

Smoking is permitted in the following areas (Visit the campus directional and parking maps webpage):

  • Blount County Campus—far ends of the O1 and O2 parking lots
  • Hardin Valley Campus—outer areas of the O1, O2, O3, O6, O8 and O9 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, vaporizers, vaping, 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.

The 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, enforce, and to inform visitors of the College’s smoking policy. If a student continues to disregard the posting, the student will be reported to the dean of Students. If an employee continues to disregard the posting, the employee will be reported to the appropriate administrator. Please see Pellissippi State Policy 08:06:00 Smoking/Tobacco Use for additional information.

Traffic and Parking Regulations

See Pellissippi State Policy 05:11:00 Parking and Traffic Regulations for additional information.


Divisive Concepts and Freedom of Expression

This notice is intended to comply with the Tennessee Higher Education Freedom of Expression and Transparency Act (the “Act”) and to reflect the Board of Regents’ and institutional commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom.


  1. Definitions


A.   Divisive Concept means a concept that:


  1. One (1) race or sex is inherently superior or inferior to another race or sex;
  2. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
  3. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;
  4. An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;
  5. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  6. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;
  7. A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress another race or sex;
  8. This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;
  9. Promotes or advocates the violent overthrow of the United States government;
  10. Promotes division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people;
  11. Ascribes character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex;
  12. The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups;
  13. All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
  14. Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law;
  15. Includes race or sex stereotyping; or
  16. Includes race or sex scapegoating.


B.   Faculty means any person, whether or not the person is compensated by the institution, and regardless of political affiliation, who is tasked with providing scholarship, academic research, or teaching. “Faculty” includes tenured and non-tenured professors, adjunct professors, visiting professors, lecturers, graduate student instructors, and those in comparable positions, however titled. “Faculty” does not include persons whose primary responsibilities are administrative or managerial.


C.   Race or sex scapegoating means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex, because of their race or sex, and includes any claim that, consciously or subconsciously, and by virtue of a person’s race or sex, members of a race are inherently racist or inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.


D.   Race or sex stereotyping means ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.


  1. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, and Academic Freedom


  1. Nothing in this notice or the Act shall be interpreted to:
  1. Infringe on freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution, or the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu;
  2. Infringe on the rights of academic freedom of faculty and other instructors as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution, or the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu;
  3. Require an employee to:
    1. Violate any federal or state law, rule, or regulation; or
    2. Fail to comply with any applicable academic accreditation requirement;
  4. Prohibit an institution from training students or employees on the non-discrimination requirements of federal or state law; or
  5. Prohibit an institution from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, provided that those efforts are consistent with State law.


  1. Prohibited Activity


  1. Neither the institution nor any employee shall penalize, discriminate against, or engage in any adverse treatment due to a student’s or employee’s refusal to support, believe, endorse, embrace, confess, act upon, or otherwise assent to one or more divisive concepts.
  2. Neither the institution nor any employee shall require a student or employee to endorse a specific ideology or political viewpoint to be eligible for hiring, tenure, promotion, or graduation.
  3. Neither the institution nor any employee shall ask the ideological or political viewpoint of an applicant for admission, student, job applicant, job candidate, or candidate for promotion or tenure. This Section shall not be construed to prohibit classroom instruction or discussion, to prohibit any other teaching or pedagogical activity, to interfere with academic freedom, or to violate the Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu.


  1. Investigation and Resolution of Complaints


  1. A student or employee who believes that the institution or an employee has engaged in Prohibited Activity may file a complaint by submitting a complaint to Submitting a Comment, Complaint or Request | Tennessee Board of Regents (tbr.edu)