General Policies and Procedures
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Student Conduct Code
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for knowledge.
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic conditions in the classroom, on the campus, other college sites, and in the community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility. As members of the academic community, students are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. As members of the larger community of which the college is a part, students are entitled to all rights and protection accorded them by the laws of the community. Nothing in this Code of Conduct shall be interpreted to interfere with any person’s right to free speech as provided b the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
By the same token, students are also subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instances, college discipline will be initiated if the presence of the student on campus is considered a possible threat to persons or property, or if that person’s presence may disrupt the educational process of the college. However, when a student’s violation of the law also adversely affects the college’s recognized educational objectives, or violates the college’s Student Code of Conduct, WGTC will enforce its own regulations. When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by WGTC whether or not their conduct violates the law.
It is the policy of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to provide technical and adult education programs for the people of Georgia. Wiregrass Georgia Technical Colleges must provide opportunities for intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth. WGTC students assume an obligation to act in a manner compatible with the fulfillment of the mission. The WGTC community recognizes its responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to growth. With these principles in mind, the Technical College System of Georgia establishes this Student Code of Conduct.
Generally, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on WGTC premises, off-campus classes, activities or functions sponsored by WGTC, an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade, or which otherwise adversely affects members of the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Community and/or the pursuit of the Technical college’s objectives.
Any Wiregrass Georgia Technical College student, acting individually or in concert with others, who violates any part of the Student Conduct Code, shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in the Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure. If and when it is necessary to discipline students to maintain safety, order, discipline, and other educational process, the instructor of the training area may refer any person from the training area to the appropriate administrative office. In doing so, the instructor will identify the reason for the referral. When any student has been instructed to leave the instructional area due to unruly or disruptive behavior, the Vice President for Academic Affairs must be notified immediately. No student will be allowed to return to the instructional area until counseling and/or disciplinary action has been taken.
Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Aiding and Abetting Academic Misconduct – Knowingly helping, procuring, encouraging, or otherwise assisting another person to engage in academic misconduct.
- Use and/or possession of unauthorized material or technology during an examination, or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade, such as tape cassettes, notes, tests, calculators, computer programs, cell phones and/or smart phones, or other electronic devices.
- Obtaining assistance with or answers to an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade from another person with or without that person’s knowledge.
- Furnishing assistance with or answers to an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade to another person.
- Possessing, using, distributing or selling unauthorized copies of an examination, computer program, or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade.
- Representing as one’s own an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade taken by another person.
- Taking an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade in place of another person.
- Obtaining unauthorized access to the computer files of another person or agency and/or altering or destroying those files.
- Obtaining teacher edition text books, test banks, or other instructional materials that are only intended to be accessed by technical college officials, college administrator or faculty member.
3. Fabrication – The falsification of any information or citation in an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade.
- Submitting another’s published or unpublished work in whole, in part or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, quotation marks, citations, or bibliographical reference.
- Submitting as one’s own original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material.
- Submitting as one’s own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.
- Indecent Conduct: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits lewd, or indecent conduct, or distribution of obscene or libelous written or electronic material.
- Violence: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits physical abuse of any person (including dating violence, domestic violence or sexual violence) on the college premises or at technical college-sponsored or technical college-supervised functions, including physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons. This includes fighting and/or other disruptive behavior, which includes any violence or threat of action which endangers the peace, safety, or orderly function of the college, its facilities, or persons engaged in the business of WGTC. Note: Certain physical abuse may also be considered unlawful harassment.
- Harassment: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits unlawful conduct based on race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, genetic information, political affirmation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam Era or citizenship status addressed directly to any individual or group that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and objectively interfering with that individual or group’s: (1) performance, (2) work or educational environment or (3) ability to participate in an educational program or activity. The WGTC also prohibits stalking, or other behavior which objectively and unreasonably interferes with another’s legal rights or creates an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. (This also includes the display of or navigation to pornography and other inappropriate websites and materials and inappropriate behavior on social media and/or networking applications.) Impermissible harassment may include verbal, non-verbal and/or physical conduct.
- Disruption: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits activities not otherwise protected by law including the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which intentionally obstructs or interrupts teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other technical college activities, including public service functions and other duly authorized activities on technical college Premises or at technical college-sponsored activity sites.
- Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with lawful directions of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College officials and/ or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
2. Professionalism – Personal Appearance
- Please refer to the “Dress Code” portion of this catalog.
3. Use of Technical College Property
- Theft and Damage: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits theft of, misuse of, or harm to technical college property, or theft of or damage to property of a member of the technical college community or a campus visitor on technical college Premises or at a technical college function.
- Occupation or Seizure: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits illegal occupation or seizure in any manner of technical college property, a technical college Premises, or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
- Presence on Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Premises: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits unauthorized entry upon technical college Premises; unauthorized entry into technical college Premises or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use; unauthorized presence in technical college Premises after closing hours; or furnishing false information to gain entry upon technical college Premises.
- Assembly: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits participation in or conducting an unauthorized gathering that objectively threatens or causes injury to person or property or that interferes with free access to technical college facilities or that is unprotected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the
- United States of America and objectively harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or functions of the technical college.
- Fire Alarms: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment on technical college Premises or at technical college-sponsored activity sites, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment. In the event of a fire alarm sounding, students must evacuate the building unless otherwise directed by a WGTC official.
- Obstruction: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on technical college Premises or at technical college sponsored or supervised functions.
- Refer to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Parking Policy and Regulations.
4. Drugs, Alcohol, and Other Substances
- Substances referred to under this policy include all illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, and misused legal drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter). Please refer to the “Drug-Free Campus” section of this catalog for more information.
- Alcohol: Georgia Law and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibit possession or use of alcoholic beverages on technical college Premises unless used for educational purposes or for a religious ceremony. Alcohol is also prohibited by WGTC at technical college-sponsored or supervised functions unless permitted by the technical college President. College-sponsored or supervised functions will be permitted only if the event takes place at (1) a technical college business conference center capable of accommodating more than 200 persons or (2) at an off-campus facility and all provisions of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia Policy II.C.6. must be followed. The technical college further prohibits students being in a state of intoxication on technical college Premises or at technical college-sponsored or supervised functions (including off-campus functions) or in a Wiregrass Georgia Technical College-owned vehicle.
- Controlled substances, illegal drugs, and drug paraphernalia: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits possession, use, sale, or distribution of any controlled substance, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the conduct or consequences of his/her actions.
- Food: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits eating and/or drinking in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas on WGTC Premises, unless otherwise permitted by WGTC officials.
- Smoking/Tobacco: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits smoking, electronic, alternative smoking devices, or using other forms of tobacco products in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas on WGTC Premises.
5. Use of Technology
- Damage and Destruction: Destruction of or harm to equipment, software, or data belonging to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College or to others is considered unacceptable usage. This may include altering, downloading, or installing software on technical college computers, tampering with computer hardware or software configuration, improper access to the technical college’s network, and disconnection of technical college computers or devices.
- Electronic Devices: Unless otherwise permitted by Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Officials, the college prohibits use of electronic devices in classrooms, labs, and other instructional, event, or support facilities on college premises. Such devices include, but are not limited to, cell phones, beepers, walkie-talkies, cameras, and other electronic devices, which may cause unnecessary disruption to the teaching/learning process on campus. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College also prohibits attaching personal electronic devices to college computers under any circumstances.
- Harassment: The Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits the use of computer technology to objectively interfere with another’s legal right to be free from harassment based on that individual’s race, color, creed, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, political affirmation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam Era or citizenship status.
- Unacceptable Use: Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or Wiregrass Georgia Technical College official. This includes the unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits any additional violation to the Department’s Acceptable Computer and Internet Use Policy. Please see the “Computer Use Policy” section of this catalog for more information.
The Technical College System of Georgia is committed to providing all employees, students, volunteers, visitors, vendors, and contractors a safe and secure workplace and/or academic setting. The possession, carrying, or transportation of a firearm, weapon, or explosive compound/material in or on college buildings or property shall be governed by Georgia state law. All individuals are expected to comply with the related laws. Failure to follow laws pertaining to weapons is considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Relevant Georgia laws to be aware of and compliant with include but may not be limited to:
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-8-12(a)(6)(A)(iii)
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-127.1
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-80
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-129
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-81
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-130
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-85
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-133
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-121
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-135
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-125.1
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-137
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-126
- O.C.G.A.§ 43-38-10
- O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-127
The Technical College System of Georgia prohibits the violation of federal, state or local gambling laws on technical college premises or at technical college sponsored or supervised activities.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College prohibits violation of regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles on or around WGTC premises.
9. Financial Irresponsibility
The Technical College System of Georgia prohibits failure to meet any and all financial obligations to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. All tuition and fees must be paid prior to the published deadline.
10. Violation of Technical College Policy
Violation of published Technical College System of Georgia or Wiregrass Georgia Technical College policies, rules or regulations including, but not limited to, rules imposed upon students who enroll in a particular class or program.
11. Aiding and Abetting
Aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to do an activity which otherwise violates this Code of Conduct is prohibited.
12. Falsification of Documentation
Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student who falsifies any documentation related to the Technical College either to the Technical College or to others in the community, including, but not limited to falsification of: Technical College transcripts; transcripts or other documentation from other institutions to obtain credit from or admission to the Technical College; Technical College report cards or other grade reports; documentation related to a student’s citizenship status; tests, homework, attendance records; signature of any Technical College employee in his or her official capacity; signatures of any employee of a clinical or internship site where the student is participating in an educational program associated with the Technical College or records related to any clinical, internship or other academic activity associated with the Technical College.
13. Violation of Law
- If a student is convicted or pleads Nolo Contendere to an off-campus violation of federal, state, or local law, but not with any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct that is detrimental to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s vital interests and stated mission and purpose.
- Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law that is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to criminal arrest and/or prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings.
- When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his/her status as a student. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
14. Abuse of the Student Judicial Process
- Failure to obey the notification of a Student Disciplinary Officer, Judicial Body, Appellate Board, or Technical College Official.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information in a judicial proceeding.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding.
- Initiating a judicial proceeding knowingly without cause.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the judicial process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Disciplinary Officer, Judicial Body, or Appellate Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the judicial proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Disciplinary Officer, Judicial Body, or Appellate Board prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code.
Student Disciplinary Procedure
A. Filing a Complaint
1. Any person may file a complaint with the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee against any student for an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The individual(s) initiating the action should complete a Student Code of Conduct Complaint Form, and provide it to the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee.
2. Academic Misconduct may be handled using this procedure or a separate Academic Misconduct Procedure at the discretion of the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President.
3. Investigation and Decision
- Within five business days after the Student Code of Conduct Complaint Form (the “Complaint”) is filed, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee shall complete a preliminary investigation of the incident, and schedule a meeting with the student against whom the complaint was filed in order to discuss the incident and the allegations. In the event that additional time is necessary, the student will be notified. After discussing the complaint with the student, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee shall determine whether the student committed the alleged conduct, and whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- The student shall have 5 business days from the date contacted by the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee to schedule the meeting. This initial meeting may only be rescheduled one time. If the student fails to respond to the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee within 5 business days to schedule the meeting, reschedules the meeting more than once, or fails to appear at the meeting, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee will consider the available evidence without student input and make a determination.
- In the event that a complaint alleges violations of the Student Code of Conduct by more than one student, each student’s disciplinary proceeding, as well as any appeals relating to that proceeding, shall be conducted individually.
- If the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee determines that the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, he/she shall impose one or more disciplinary sanctions consistent with those described below. If the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee determines that the alleged conduct did not occur, or that the conduct was not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, he/she shall not impose any disciplinary sanctions on the student and the investigation shall be closed.
B. Disciplinary Sanctions
Based on the severity of the incident, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee may take one of two actions:
1. After a determination that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee may impose, without referral to the Hearing Body, one or more of the following sanctions. Notification shall be sent to the student and the person(s) who initially filed the complaint.
- Restitution – A student who has committed an offense against property may be required to reimburse the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College or other owner for damage to or misappropriation of such property. Any such payment in restitution shall be limited to the actual cost of repair or replacement.
- Reprimand – A written reprimand may be given to any student. Such a reprimand does not restrict the student in any way, but signifies to the student that he/she is in effect being given another chance to conduct himself/herself as a proper member of the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College community, and that any further violation may result in more serious sanctions.
- Restriction – A restriction upon a student’s privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include but is not limited to denial of the right to represent Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in any way, denial of use of facilities, alteration or revocation of parking privileges, or restrictions from participating in extracurricular activities.
- Disciplinary Probation – Continued enrollment of a student on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to specified terms. Any student placed on probation will be notified of the terms and length of probation in writing. Any conduct determined after due process to be in violation of these terms while on probation may result in the imposition of more serious disciplinary sanctions, as specified by the terms of probation.
- Failing or lowered grade – In cases of Academic Misconduct, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee will make a recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee who may authorize the instructor to award a failing or lowered grade in the course, or a loss of credit on the assignment or examination.
2. After a determination that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee may recommend the imposition of one of the following sanctions if appropriate. The Vice President for Enrollment Management’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Hearing Body, which may impose one or more of the following sanctions, as well as those described above, following a hearing. A copy of the written recommendation shall be provided to the student and the person filing the complaint.
- Disciplinary Suspension – If a student is suspended, he/she is separated from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College for a stated period of time. Conditions of reinstatement, if any, must be stated in the notice of suspension.
- Disciplinary Expulsion – Removal and exclusion from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, WGTC controlled facilities, programs, events, and activities. A record of the reason for the student’s dismissal is maintained by Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee. Students who have been dismissed from WGTC for any reason may apply in writing to the Vice President for Enrollment Management for reinstatement twelve (12) months following the expulsion. If approval for reinstatement is granted, the student will be placed on disciplinary probation for a specified term. The probationary status may be removed at the end of the specified term at the discretion of the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee.
- System-Wide Expulsion – Where a student has been expelled or suspended three times from the same or different colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia in the past seven years, the student will not be permitted to register at any college in the Technical College System of Georgia for a period of ten years after the most recent expulsion/suspension.
3. Violation of Federal, State, or Local Law
- If a student is convicted or pleads nolo contendere to an off-campus violation of federal, state, or local law, but not with any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct that is detrimental to the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s vital interests and stated mission and purpose.
- Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law that is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to criminal arrest and/or prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings.
- When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his/her status as a student. WGTC will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
4. Interim Disciplinary Suspension – As a general rule, the status of a student accused of violations of the Student Code of Conduct should not be altered until a final determination is made regarding the allegations against him/her. However, interim suspension may be imposed upon a finding by the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee that the continued presence of the accused student on campus constitutes a potential or immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the accused student or any other member of the WGTC community or its guests, or that the continued presence of the student on campus creates a risk of substantial disruption of classroom or other college-related activities. If an interim disciplinary suspension is imposed, the matter must be referred as soon as possible to the Hearing Body. The student need not request an appeal.
5. Conditions of Disciplinary Suspension and Expulsion
- A student who has been suspended or expelled from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College shall be denied all privileges afforded a student and shall be required to vacate college premises at a time determined by the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee.
- In addition, after vacating WGTC premises, a suspended or expelled student may not enter upon the college premises at any time, for any purpose, in the absence of written permission from the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee. A suspended or expelled student must contact the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee for permission to enter the college premises for a limited, specified purpose.
- If the student seeks to submit a signed Disciplinary Sanction Appeal Form, the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee must accept the form by mail or fax if he/she refuses the student’s request to enter the college premises for that specified purpose.
- A scheduled appeal hearing before the Hearing Body shall be understood as expressed permission from the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee for a student to enter the college premises for the duration of that hearing.
1. At the discretion of the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President the college may adopt a mediation procedure to be utilized prior to the appeals set forth herein. Mediation may never be used in cases of alleged sexual misconduct.
D. Hearing/Appeals Procedure
1. A student who wishes to appeal a disciplinary decision by the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee regarding an assigned sanction of restitution, reprimand, restriction, disciplinary probation, or failing or lowered grade must file a written notice of appeal through the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President’s office for review by the Hearing Body within five business days of notification of the decision. The person filing the initial complaint against the student must be notified of the hearing date.
2. If the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee recommended a sanction of disciplinary suspension, disciplinary expulsion, interim disciplinary suspension, or system-wide expulsion, the matter will be referred to the Hearing Body by the Vice President for Enrollment Management. The student need not file a written notice of his or her desire to appear before the Hearing Body. The person filing the initial complaint shall also be given notification of the hearing.
3. The student will then have the right to appear in a hearing before a Hearing Body assigned by the WGTC President or his/her designee within 10 business days to present evidence and/or testimony. If the student has been placed on an interim disciplinary suspension, the hearing must be held as soon as possible, preferably within five days. The student has the right to be assisted by any single advisor he/she chooses, at his/her own expense. The student is responsible for presenting his/her own case and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a Hearing Body. The Hearing Body may consist of a single person or a group of people drawn from the technical college community. There shall be a single official record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before the Hearing Body. The official record shall be the property of the technical college. The standard of proof in all hearings shall be a preponderance of the evidence. The chairperson of the Hearing Body shall notify the WGTC President and the Vice President for Enrollment Management in writing of the Hearing Body’s decision. The WGTC President or his/her designee will notify the student in writing of the Hearing Body’s decision.
4. If the student appeared before the Hearing Body to appeal the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/her designee’s sanction of restitution, reprimand, restriction, disciplinary probation, or failing or lowered grade, the Hearing Body’s decision regarding the appeal is final. A copy of the Hearing Body’s written decision will be provided to both the student and the person who filed the original complaint.
5. If the student appeared before the Hearing Body after the Vice President for Enrollment Management or his/ her designee recommended disciplinary suspension, disciplinary expulsion, interim disciplinary suspension, or system-wide expulsion, the student shall have the opportunity to appeal directly to the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President.
6. If entitled to an appeal to the WGTC President, the student shall have 5 business days after receiving written notification of the Hearing Body’s decision to request in writing an appeal. The student shall ensure that all relevant information is included with this request. The person who filed the original complaint shall be notified of the student’s appeal.
7. The President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College or his/her designee’s review shall be in writing and shall only consider evidence currently in the record, new facts not brought up in earlier stages of the appeal shall not be considered. The WGTC President or his/her designee shall deliver the decision to the student and the person who filed the original complaint within 10 business days. The decision of the WGTC President or his/her designee shall be final and binding.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College complies with the Campus Crime and Security Act of 1990 and publishes the required campus crime and security report on or before October 1 of each year. The report is available online, from the Campus Police Department, or by calling 229-468-2241.
The approach to campus security is service-oriented and multi-purposed. The primary focus is to protect life and property. In addition, the approach serves to enhance and assist the educational process by providing a safe environment in which to learn and work. Obeying laws and regulations is part of being an educated, contributing member of society.
Campus security information is given out each semester at student orientation. In addition, faculty and Student Government Association meetings are used as forums to provide security and safety information. The Wiregrass Georgia Tech Safety Committee reviews all reports of incidents involving health and safety violations on campus. The goal of the information program is to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.
Section 1601 of Public Law 106-386 is a federal law enacted on October 28, 2000, that provides for the tracking of convicted sex offenders enrolled in or employed by institutions of higher education. Information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained from the local Sheriff’s office and by searching the Georgia Bureau of Investigation web site at www.ganet.org/gbi/sorsch.cgi, or at the Welcome Center desks on each campus of the college.
The procedure for reporting criminal actions and emergencies is for any faculty, staff, student, or visitor to report any questioned activity/incidents to any administrative office in the college. An Associate Vice President, a Vice President, or the President will respond. Current procedures require that at least one designated college official be available to respond to any situation as required. The Welcome Center Assistant is always aware of whom to contact in an emergency. Please note that this procedure is in no way meant to prohibit or impede the reporting of an emergency directly to the appropriate party (i.e., police department, fire department, hospital/ambulance, etc). Emergency procedures and the 911 emergency numbers are posted in all areas of the college.
All staff members at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College are informed of the need to be alert to campus emergencies or possible security violations. All suspicious activity is reported and responded to as indicated above.
Security considerations are emphasized during the general maintenance of campus facilities. Shrubbery is cut back; areas are well lit and maintained as needed. In general, the physical plant is regularly checked and maintained to provide a safe environment.
Incident Report, Statistics, and Other Notifications
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College reports all violations of federal, state, and local laws to the following offices for appropriate action:, Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Department, Irwin County Sheriff’s Department, Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Douglas Police Department, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department, and MAFB 23rd Security Forces Squadron. Officers are dispatched to investigate all reports. Law enforcement reports applicable to incidents on campus are obtained and are on file in the Campus Police Department office on each campus.
Crime statistics are kept by the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Campus Police Department main office in compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. These statistics include the occurrence on campus of the following criminal offenses: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, arson, weapons (carrying and possession), and motor vehicle theft. In addition, statistics are kept for the following crimes occurring on campus: liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and weapons possessions.
Students are responsible for equipment, books, personal articles, and materials brought onto campus. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College will not be liable for any personal items that are stolen or broken while on campus, including vehicles that may be brought in for repair. Suspected thefts should be reported to the Campus Police Department office on each campus.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College makes every effort to ensure that effective drug and alcohol abuse prevention information is made available to students and employees. Assistance is provided to students through the Student Affairs Office.
No student or employee may engage in the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol on the college’s property or as part of any of its sponsored activities. Such unlawful activity by students may be considered sufficient grounds for serious punitive action, including expulsion and incarceration. Violations by employees shall result in disciplinary action in keeping with the Technical College System of Georgia policy. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College reserves the right to have random drug screens. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College honors the federal Drug Free School and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (Public Law 102-226). Any violations should be reported to the Vice President for Administrative Services and also the Campus Police Department. All violations should be reported as follows: student violations should be reported to the Vice President for Enrollment Management; employee violations should be reported to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources; all violations, student or employee, should be reported to the campus Police Department.
- The Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (Public Law 102-226) contains Section 22, Drug-Free Schools and Campuses, which was enacted to ensure that any institution of higher education that receives funds under any federal program has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drug and abuse of alcohol by students.
- If a student is convicted (including a plea of nolo contendere) of committing certain felony offenses involving any criminal drug and/or alcohol statute of any jurisdiction, regardless of whether the alleged violations occurred at the college or elsewhere, the student will be suspended immediately and denied state and/or federal funds from the date of conviction.
- The college shall notify the appropriate state/federal funding agency within ten days after receiving notice of the conviction from the student or otherwise after receiving the actual notice of conviction.
- Within 30 days of notification of conviction, the college shall with respect to any student so convicted:
- Take additional appropriate action against such student up to and including expulsion as it deems necessary.
- Provide such student with a description of any drug or alcohol counseling treatment, or rehabilitation or reentry
programs that are available for such purposes by a federal, state or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.
Student Drug/Alcohol Screenings and Criminal Background Checks
Students participating in programs which require visits to clinical sites, internships, practicums, or on-the-road experience may be required to submit to a drug/alcohol screening and/or criminal background check. The screening process will depend on the individual program. Students in these programs are subject to random screenings throughout the duration of the program. Review the program section of the WGTC Student Catalog or the WGTC website for more detailed information.
Students enrolled in many of the Allied Health programs at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College are required to complete drug screening and national criminal background checks. Students entering their program of study must have a national criminal background check and drug and alcohol screen completed prior to the beginning of clinical rotations at the designated clinical facility. A positive drug screen or criminal background report may prevent the student from participating in clinical rotations and a grade of W (Withdrawal) will be assigned to the course. IMPORTANT: All drug screens and criminal background checks must be completed and results reported prior to MIDTERM in order to issue a W grade for students. Students are responsible for all fees associated with the drug and alcohol screening and criminal background checks. If additional random/non-random drug/alcohol screens or criminal background checks are requested by the College or the clinical facility based on questionable actions, behavior, or as part of an additional drug screening, students will assume the costs for all fees associated with the additional drug and alcohol screening.
The College encourages the development, writing, invention, or production of intellectual property designed to improve the productivity of the College or to enhance the teaching/learning environment.
Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, any copyrightable subject matter or material(s), patentable inventions, online courses, computer software or materials, or works of art that might be normally developed on a proprietary basis. Intellectual property also includes the common meaning, definition and description of intellectual property as established by the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). Intellectual and creative works that can be copyrighted or patented, such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer software, multimedia presentations, inventions, etc., are “intellectual property.”
Unless otherwise provided in a separate agreement, the College owns all rights to a copyrightable or patentable work created by the employee or student with College support. The ownership of a copyright or patent resulting from the development of intellectual property and any rewards or recognition attributed to the copyright or patent will be determined according to the following conditions:
Ownership resides with the employee or student if the following criteria are met:
- The work is the result of individual initiative, not requested or required by the College.
- The work is not the product of a specific contract or assignment made as a result of employment or enrollment with the College.
- The work is not prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or course/program requirements.
- The work is not completed using equipment or resources provided by the College.
Ownership resides with the College if the above criteria are not met and/or if the following criteria apply:
- The work is prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or course/program requirements.
- The work is the product of a specific contract or assignment made in the course of the employee’s employment or student’s enrollment with the College.
- The development of the work involved facilities, time, and/or other resources of the College including, but not limited to, released time, grant funds, College personnel, salary supplement, leave with pay, equipment, or other materials or financial assistance.
- Ownership refers to a legally binding agreement specifying the named party or parties to whom the intellectual property belongs and who will be attributer as the owners of the intellectual property in the general public.
- College resources include, but are not limited to, offices, computers, standard office equipment and supplies, libraries, labs, funds, and personnel.
Computer Use Policy
Guidelines and procedures for the use of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College computers, technology, peripherals, and internet.
Students and employees, utilizing Wiregrass Georgia Technical College provided Internet access are responsible for good behavior on-line just as they are in a classroom or other area of the college. Using a computer without permission is theft of services and is illegal under state and federal laws. Federal law prohibits misuse of computer resources. In addition, the following specific crimes are prohibited by state law in Georgia (O.C.G.A. 16-9-90 et seq):
a. Computer Theft
b. Computer Trespass
c. Computer Invasion of Privacy
d. Computer Forgery
- Computer theft (including theft of computer services, intellectual property such as copyrighted material, and any other property);
- Computer trespass (unauthorized use of computers to delete or alter data or interfere with others’ usage);
- Computer invasion of privacy (unauthorized access to financial or personal data or the like);
- Computer forgery (forgery as defined by other laws, but committed on a computer rather than on paper);
- Computer password disclosure (unauthorized disclosure of a password resulting in damages exceeding $500 – in practice, this includes any disclosure that requires a system security audit afterward); and
- Misleading transmittal of names or trademarks (falsely identifying yourself or falsely claiming to speak for a person or organization by using their name, trademark, logo, or seal).
- Malware (malicious software programs and applications designed to damage or cause other unwanted actions on a computer system).
The purpose of WGTC-provided Internet access is to facilitate communications in support of research and education. To remain eligible as users, students’ use must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the TCSG System. Access is a privilege, not a right. Access entails responsibility.
Users should not expect files stored on Wiregrass Georgia Technical College-based computers to be private. Electronic messages and files stored on WGTC-based computers shall be treated like other WGTC premises that are temporarily assigned for individual use. Administrators may review files and messages in an effort to maintain system integrity and in an effort to ensure that users are acting responsibly. Moreover, TCSG System and technical college officials shall cooperate with law enforcement officials who are properly authorized to search System and technical college computers and computer systems.
All information created, stored, or transmitted by WGTC computers or networks is subject to monitoring for compliance with applicable laws and policies.
The following uses of WGTC-provided computers, networks and Internet access are not permitted:
- To create, access or transmit sexually explicit, obscene, or pornographic material;
- To create, access or transmit material that could be considered unlawful conduct based on race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, genetic information, political affirmation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam Era or citizenship status addressed directly to any individual or group that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and objectively interfering with that individual or group’s: (1) performance, (2) work or educational environment or (3) ability to participate in an educational program or activity;
- To violate any local, state or federal statute;
- To vandalize, damage, or disable the property of another individual or organization;
- To access another individual's password, materials, information, or files without permission;
- To violate copyright or otherwise use the intellectual property of another individual or organization in violation of the law, including software piracy;
- To conduct private or personal for-profit activities. This includes use for private purposes such as business transactions, private advertising of products or services, and any activity meant to foster personal gain;
- To knowingly endanger the security of any System or technical college computer or network;
- To willfully interfere with another's authorized computer usage;
- To knowingly connect any computer to any of the System or technical college networks unless it meets technical and security standards set by the System;
- To create, install, or knowingly distribute a computer virus, rootkit, keystroke logger, "Trojan horse," “Malware”, or other surreptitiously destructive program on any System or Technical College computer or network facility, regardless of whether any demonstrable harm results;
- To modify or reconfigure the software or hardware of any Agency computer or Network without proper authorization;
- To conduct unauthorized not-for-profit business activities;
- To conduct any activity or solicitation for political or religious causes;
- To perform any activity that could cause the loss, corruption of, prevention of rightful access to, or unauthorized distribution of Agency data and information;
- To create, access, or participate in online gambling. Occasional access to information or websites of the Georgia Lottery Corporation shall not constitute nor be considered inappropriate use;
- To capture and/or record network traffic without authorization;
- To knowingly transmit copyrighted material using peer to peer file sharing technology;
- To knowingly evade Internet content filtering or other traffic monitoring tools using VPN, Proxy Services, Tor or similar technologies.
Occasional personal use of Internet connectivity and e-mail that does not involve any inappropriate use as described above may occur, if permitted by the college. Any such use should be brief, infrequent, and shall not interfere with the User’s performance, duties and responsibilities.
Users of System and technical college computers and computer systems or hosted services are subject to the System’s Information Security Standards. The college makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, for the computers, computer systems and Internet access provided. The college shall not be responsible for any damages users suffer, including but not limited to loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions in service. The college shall not be responsible for the accuracy, nature or quality of information gathered through college-based computer hard drives or servers; nor for the accuracy, nature or quality of information gathered through college-provided Internet access. The college shall not be responsible for personal property used to access its computers or networks or for provided Internet access. The college shall not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from provided access to the Internet.
Users of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College computers and computer systems are subject to the System’s policy on the development of Intellectual Property. Any violation of the policy and rules may result in disciplinary action against the student. When and where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved. For more information on acceptable computer and internet usage, please visit the Technical college System of Georgia State Board Policy and Procedures Manual – 3.3.4p. Acceptable Computer and Internet Use.
See also: 3.3.4p.a1 TCSG Information Security Standards
Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Disclosure Statement
Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials is Against Federal Law
The unauthorized copying and distributing of copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, is a violation of United States copyright law and may result in civil and criminal liability and prosecution.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for Copyright Infringement include Civil and Criminal Penalties
In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials is Prohibited by TCSG Policy
TCSG State Board Policy II.C.4 prohibits the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials via TCSG systems or networks. Maximum penalties under Georgia Law are a $50,000 fine and 15 years of imprisonment, plus civil liability in addition to the potential federal penalties listed above.
Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog
The information in this College Catalog and Student Handbook accurately reflects current policies and procedures at the time of publication. Students are admitted to the College under and are subject to the provisions of the WGTC Catalog and Student Handbooks for the term they initially enroll. Students in all programs are admitted under and are subject to the provisions of the College Catalog and Student Handbook and applicable addendums for the term they are admitted to the program at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. If for any reason a break in enrollment occurs, students must reapply and satisfy the College Catalog and Student Handbook requirements for the term of their re-entry to any program. The provisions of this catalog are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and the student. The College reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time.