Jun 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Gaston College Student Handbook 


Appendix A: 14-18.1 Academic Forgiveness Policy


The Academic Forgiveness Policy allows Gaston College students who have experienced academic difficulty at Gaston College to have one opportunity to have grades below a ‘C’ excluded from the cumulative grade point average (GPA). Academic difficulty is defined as less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average at Gaston College. This policy provides for raising the cumulative grade point average by excluding all grades of ‘D’ and/or ‘F’ earned prior to the date of eligibility for Academic Forgiveness. A student may be granted Academic Forgiveness only once.

Criteria for Applying for Academic Forgiveness

  • A student must have been out of school for at least three sequential semesters OR have changed his/her major.
  • Grades must reflect at least a 2.00 grade point average in at least 12 semester hours in the new major before a student is eligible to apply for Academic Forgiveness.

Procedures for Academic Forgiveness

  • Students who are interested in applying for Academic Forgiveness must obtain the Academic Forgiveness Petition and information from the Office of Records and Registration.
  • Once completed by the student, the Office of Records and Registration will review the petition to determine basic eligibility. Eligible petitions will be forwarded to the student’s divisional dean for review and a final decision.
  • The student’s divisional dean will act upon the petition and return it to the Office of Records and Registration
  • If forgiveness is approved, the Office of Records and Registration will notify the student of the decision and include an updated student transcript, which will reflect the excluded grades.
  • The new GPA calculation on the updated student transcript will exclude all ‘D’ and/or ‘F’ grades. All other grades that are ‘A’, ‘B’, and/or ‘C’ will be included in the GPA calculation and will count toward graduation requirements unless other policies supersede this policy.
  • The student’s GPA will be calculated based upon the date of eligibility and all criteria being met. The excluded courses will remain on the student’s transcript but will not count toward program/graduation requirements or be calculated in the student’s grade point average. No courses are removed from the transcript. If Academic Forgiveness is approved, the excluded course grades will be preceded by an ‘E’ on the student’s transcript.
  • If forgiveness is denied, the Office of Records and Registration will notify the student with a letter of explanation.
  • Review and processing of Academic Forgiveness generally takes two to four weeks.

Exclusions and Limitations of Academic Forgiveness

  • Any credits for courses earned with a grade of ‘D’ are not retained.
  • Students who plan to transfer to another college or university should know that the receiving institution is not required to disregard the excluded course grades. Once approved, Academic Forgiveness cannot be reversed.
  • The minimum grade point average needed for admission for specific programs may or may not utilize the new grade point average.
  • Financial Aid policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress are still applicable. Students who receive any type of financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for Forgiveness.

Appendix B: Student Petition for Academic Forgiveness

Click here to view the Academic Forgiveness Policy  form.

Appendix C: Academic Dishonesty

In this section defining student violations of academic integrity: (a) “Intent” refers only to the intent to commit the dishonest action; (b) “Authorization” is legitimate only if given by the faculty member responsible for the evaluation of the student s work.

CHEATING - Intentional use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or other assistance in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information during an academic exercise.

Typical Examples: Copying from another student’s paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during a quiz, test or examination using books, notes or other devices (e. g., communication devices) when these are not authorized; procuring without authorization tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise (including discussion of the substance of examinations and tests when it is expected they will not be discussed); copying reports, laboratory work, computer programs or files and the like from other students; collaborating on laboratory work, computer work or online work without authorization and without indication of the nature and extent of the collaboration; having a substitute take an examination, do an assignments or do online work; receiving assistance in locating or using sources of information in an assignment where such assistance has been forbidden by the instructor.

FABRICATION AND FALSIFICATION - Intentional alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Falsification refers to the alteration of information; fabrication refers to the invention or counterfeiting of information.

Typical Examples: (Fabrication) inventing or counterfeiting data, research results, information or procedures inventing data or faking research procedures to make it appear that the results of one process are actually the results of several processes; counterfeiting a record of internship or practicum experiences; (Falsification) altering the record of data or experimental procedures or results; false citation of the source of information (e.g., reproducing a quotation from a book review while indicating that the quotation was obtained from the book itself); altering the record of or reporting false information about practicum or clinical experiences; altering grade reports or other academic records; submitting a false excuse for absence or tardiness in a scheduled academic exercise; altering a returned examination paper and seeking regrading.

Intentionally misleading a College official investigating a case of alleged academic dishonesty is also a form of fabrication and falsification.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS - The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization.

Typical Examples: Submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without instructor permission; making minor revisions in a credited paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work. (Different aspects of the same work may receive separate credit; for example, a report in history may receive credit for its content in a history course and for the quality of presentation in a speech course.)

PLAGIARISM - Intentional presentation of the work of another as one’s own without proper acknowledgment of the source. The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas or information are common knowledge.

Typical Examples: Submitting as one’s own the work of a “ghost writer” or commercial writing service; directly quoting from a source without citation; paraphrasing or summarizing another’s work without acknowledging the source using facts, figures, graphs, charts or information without acknowledgment of the source. Plagiarism may occur orally and in writing. It may involve computer programs and files, research designs, distinctive figures of speech, ideas and images, or generally any information, which belongs to another.

COMPLICITY IN ACADEMIC DISHONESTY -Intentionally helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

Typical Examples: Intentionally allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; intentionally distributing test questions or substantive information about the material to be tested before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported; taking an examination or test for another student, or signing a false name on an academic exercise. This applies to traditional or online instruction. (Note: Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty. Instructors should make expectations about collaborations clear to students. Students should seek clarification when in doubt.)

Appendix D: Drug and Alcohol Policy

Drug and alcohol use and abuse are growing concerns in our society. The associated problems are typically very complex and are difficult to resolve. Drug or alcohol use may impair a person’s well being and jeopardize his or her personal safety and the safety of others. To help prevent the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, College policy prohibits distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace, on College premises, or as part of any College-sponsored activities. Exceptions to this policy may only be made by the College’s Board of Trustees and/or the President. Students who are impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance while on College premises or during a College-sponsored activity are also subject to this policy.

Any student violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment and/or expulsion and referral for prosecution. The specifics of the policy are as follows:

  1. The term alcoholic beverage includes beer, wine, whiskey, and any other beverage listed in Chapter 18B of the General Statutes of North Carolina. The term “controlled substance” means any drug listed in 21 CFR Part 1308 and other federal regulations, as well as those listed in Article V, Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Generally, these drugs have a high potential for abuse. Such drugs include, but are not limited to heroin, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, and “crack.” They also include “legal drugs” which are not prescribed by a licensed physician.
  2. Students employed under the College Work Study-Program are considered to be employees of the college if the work is performed for the college in which the student is enrolled. For work performed for a federal, state, local public agency, a private nonprofit or a private for profit agency, students are considered to be employees of the college unless the agreement between the college and the organization specifies that the organization is considered to be the employer.
  3. Gaston College does not differentiate between drug users, drug pushers, or sellers. Any student who possesses, uses, sells, gives, or in any way transfers a controlled substance to another person, or manufactures a controlled substance while in the workplace, on college premises, or as part of any college-sponsored activity, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion and referral for prosecution.
  4. The college may require a person to successfully undergo a drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation program sponsored by an approved private or governmental institution as a precondition for continued employment and/or enrollment at the College.
  5. Each student is required to inform the college, in writing, within five (5) days after he or she is convicted for violation of any federal, state, or local criminal drug statute where such violation occurred while on college premises, or as part of any college-sponsored activity. A conviction means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or the imposition of a sentence by a judge or jury in any federal or state court.

Appendix E: Communicable Disease Policy

The College is committed to assure, insofar as possible, that each student enjoys safe and healthful work and/or study conditions. To this end, the college offers the following information for students and employees.

Persons infected or reasonably believed to be infected with communicable diseases shall not be excluded from enrollment or be restricted of access to the institution’s services or facilities unless medically based judgments in individual cases establish that exclusion or restriction is necessary to the welfare of the individual or other members of the institution.

Persons who know or have a reasonable basis for believing that they have an infectious/communicable disease which may pose a threat to others have an obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with such knowledge so as to protect themselves and others. Employees and students should report such information to Human Resources and the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management respectively. All information will be kept confidential except to those persons as determined who have a need to know. These persons will be informed after the individual is advised that such action will be taken.

  1. Students or Applicants Currently Infected
    1. Any applicant or currently enrolled student in a health or related program who has tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis B infection, or other communicable diseases will be individually evaluated and all enrollment decisions concerning the individual shall be based upon a consideration of the following factors:
      1. The potential harm that the individual poses to other people
      2. The ability of the individual to accomplish the objectives of the course or curriculum
      3. Whether or not a reasonable accommodation can be made that will enable the individual to safely and efficiently accomplish the objectives and/or tasks of the course or curriculum in question without significantly exposing the individual or other persons to the risk of infection
    2. All students who have a communicable disease will be assessed as needed by a college approved physician(s) in keeping with the current standards, requirements, and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and in keeping with the provisions of this policy.
    3. The evaluation of an applicant or currently enrolled student with a known communicable disease will include a physician’s statement of the individual’s health status as it relates to the individual’s ability to adequately and safely accomplish the essential objectives of his/her course or curriculum.
    4. All students who are involved with nursing are required to adhere to universal precautions including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments.

The College will give the following instructions to nursing and allied health students as well as any student who is identified as positive for communicable diseases. These instructions are consistent with CDC Universal Guidelines used by affiliating agencies.

The student must be made aware by the College of the potential risks associated with patient care and the student will, at all times, follow recommendations regarding positive HIV/HBV or other infectious diseases for health care workers from the affiliating clinical agencies.

In each instance, a determination will be made as to an appropriate and limited release of the student’s infectious disease status to the student’s clinical instructor or Chairperson in order that performance may be adequately reviewed and supervised on an ongoing basis. When a student is known to be positive for HIV/ HBV or other infectious diseases, the student’s College approved physician and the Dean of Health Sciences programs will carefully evaluate whether or not someone in the clinical agency needs to be informed of the student’s positive infectious disease status. The student will be advised of this release of information.

In the event a patient is exposed to a student’s blood or body fluids, the student will immediately report the incident to the clinical instructor who will report the incident to the infection control nurse/site physician. The clinical instructor will complete an accident/incident report and send it to the Dean of Health Sciences and the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. This procedure of reporting applies to ALL students regardless of their HIV/HBV status.

Appendix F: Sexual Harassment

In accordance with College Policy and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), Gaston College is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from harassment of any kind and specifically sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment also includes when submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction or participation in any college activity; when submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is threatened to be used, or is used, as a basis for academic decisions; or when it is reasonably determined that such conduct would interfere with a freedom to learn or participate in College-related activities.

Students, employees, and third parties are encouraged to report incidents of sexual offenses and harassment. Incidents involving students should be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (Title IX Deputy Coordinator), or designee. Incidents involving College employees should be reported to the Chief Administrative Officer (Title IX Coordinator), or designee. Reports must be complete, truthful, and in writing. Reports may be submitted by using a Conduct Violation Form and must include the following:

  • The name of the person(s) directly involved in the incident(s)
  • The name of the person(s) who are, or may be, a witness to the incidents(s)
  • A description of the incident(s), including date(s), time(s), and location(s)
  • The specific Code(s) of Conduct that is believed to be violated
  • Any action(s) that have been taken regarding the matter

Internal interference, coercion, restraint or reprisal against any student who files a complaint concerning an occurrence of alleged sexual harassment is prohibited. Requests for confidentiality will be considered in light of the College’s ability to fully investigate the matter. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Policy 3-20, Violations of Employee Standards of Conduct. Third parties will be subject to appropriate action such as issuance of a “Do Not Return” order and notification of law enforcement agencies.

Victim’s Rights

  • Confidential on- and off-campus counseling.  Counseling resources are provided in the following section under College and Community Resources.
  • Notify or not notify appropriate campus and/or local law enforcement authorities. If requested, the College will assist with notifying appropriate agencies and authorities.
  • When reasonably possible, a change in class assignment, a no-contact order, or a change in working environment to prevent unwanted contact or close proximity with the accused.
  • Have a person present to support and accompany you throughout the College proceedings.
  • Be notified of the outcome of the investigation and the procedures for appeal.
  • Not be retaliated against for filing a complaint of a sexual crime or related offense, including sexual harassment.

If you are the victim of a sex crime, you should:

  • Clearly state your sexual limits to the other person and say “no” forcefully if pressured for unwanted sex.
  • If the other person does not respond to “no,” try to get away by running and scream for help.
  • To preserve any evidence, DO NOT wash your hands, bathe, shower, douche, change clothes or disturb the area.
  • Try to get to a safe place and contact Campus Police, another law enforcement agency, rape crisis or counseling center, and/or a friend or family member.
  • Get medical attention as quickly as possible. The physician should collect specimens and make detailed notes about the physical evidence, such as bruises, cuts, torn clothing, and traces of bodily fluids. You should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. If you are female, you should be tested for pregnancy.

Reporting is your choice. If you do not report, write down the details of the assault and save them in case you change your mind. Whether you report or not, get medical attention for treatment of external and/or internal injuries and test for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy and consider counseling.

College and Community Resources

The following on- and off-campus counseling services are available to you. Gaston College does not endorse a particular community agency over another.





Gaston College Counseling and Career Development Center

704.922.6220  or 704.748.1051

Carolina Center for Counseling


Family Services, Inc.


Partners Behavior Health Management Referral Services


Phoenix Counseling Center


Piedmont Psychological Associates


Crisis Lines



Assault and Victimization, Intervention and Deterrence (AVID)



AVID of Gaston County



AVID of Lincoln County



AVID 24 hour Crisis Hotline


National Sexual Assault Hotline



Appendix G: Computer Resources - Acceptable Use Policy

  1. General
    1. College owned or operated computer resources are intended for the use of its faculty, students, staff and other authorized individuals for purposes directly related to instruction and administrative activities. Access to these resources is a privilege. Those granted privileges are responsible for using resources in an effective, ethical and lawful manner. The College does not attempt to articulate all required or unacceptable behavior by its users of the computer resources at Gaston College. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies relating to the use of computers and technology.
    2. Each user is required to read and certify that he or she understands this policy relating to acceptable use of Gaston College computer resources.
  2. Acceptable Use Policies
    1. Access and privileges of College’s information systems are assigned and managed by the Chief Technology Officer. Users may not, under any circumstances, transfer or confer these privileges to other individuals. Any account assigned to an individual shall not be used by others.
    2. Computer resources and access accounts are to be used only for the purpose for which they are assigned and are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-college related activities.
    3. All computer software is protected by the federal copyright law and most is proprietary and protected by legal binding agreements in addition to the copyright law. Users are responsible for being aware of and compliant with the licensing restrictions for any software used on any system.
    4. Gaston College provides access to outside networks which furnish electronic mail, information services, bulletin boards, conferences, etc. Users are advised that they may encounter material which may be considered offensive or objectionable in nature or content. Gaston College does not assume responsibility for the content of any of these outside networks.
  3. Users are expected to comply with legal and ethical standards. Certain behaviors are forbidden, including but not limited to:
    1. Damage or disruption to hardware or communications, such as virus creation and propagation.
    2. Deletions, examinations, copying or modification of data files belonging to Gaston College or other users without their prior consent.
    3. Use of systems and or networks in an attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote systems or to view or capture data.
    4. “Spoofing,” i.e., unauthorized electronic communications so it appears to be from, or created by, someone else.
    5. “Snooping,” i.e., unauthorized access to electronic files or information with no substantial College business purpose.
    6. It will be understood that some materials retrieved from Internet sites, especially graphics files, are inappropriate for College purposes and offensive to many users. Display of offensive or inappropriate materials on public workstations is expressly forbidden and may result in revocation of computing privileges. Any attempt to create, display, transmit or make accessible threatening, racist, sexist, obscene or harassing language or materials, such as broadcasting unsolicited or sending unwanted mail, is strictly forbidden.
    7. Further, it is not permissible to deliberately attempt to damage and/or sabotage institutional computers, computer software or computer networks.
  4. Reservations of Rights & Limits of Liability
    1. Gaston College reserves all rights in the use and operation of its computer resources, including the right to monitor and inspect computerized files, resources and/or computer support services, or to terminate service at any time and for any reason without notice.
    2. The College makes no guarantees or representations, either explicit or implied, that user files and/or accounts are private or secure.
    3. The College and its representatives are not liable for any damages and/or losses associated with the use of any of its computer resources or services.
    4. The College reserves the right to limit the allocation of computer resources for users, i.e., bandwidth, computer crime, disk space, etc.
  5. Electronic Mail
    1. Access and Use of Electronic Mail
      1. Only Gaston College faculty, staff, and students and other persons who have received permission under the appropriate College authority are authorized users of the College’s electronic mail systems and resources.
      2. The use of any College resources for electronic mail must be related to College business, including academic pursuits. Incidental and occasional personal use of electronic mail may occur when such use does not generate a direct cost for the College. All uses of electronic mail utilizing Gaston College computer resources are subject to the provisions of this policy.
    2. Monitoring and Disclosure of Electronic Mail
      1. Gaston College will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its electronic mail systems, but users are advised that those systems should in no way be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Because of the nature and technology of electronic communication, the College can assure neither the privacy of an individual user’s use of the College’s electronic mail resources nor the confidentiality of particular messages that may be created, transmitted, received, or stored thereby.
      2. The College will not monitor electronic mail as a routine matter but it may do so to the extent permitted by law as the College deems necessary for purposes of maintaining the integrity and effective operation of the College’s electronic mail systems. Any user of the College’s electronic mail resources who makes use of an encryption device to restrict or inhibit access to his or her electronic mail must provide access to such encrypted communications when requested to do so under appropriate College authority.
      3. To the extent permitted by law, the College reserves the right to access and disclose the contents of faculty, staff, students’, and other users’ electronic mail without the consent of the user. The College will do so when it believes it has a legitimate business need including, but not limited to, those listed below, and only after explicit authorization is obtained from vice president responsible for technology services:
        1. in the course of an investigation triggered by indications of misconduct or misuse
        2. as needed to protect health and safety
        3. as needed to prevent interference with the academic mission, or
        4. as needed to locate substantive information required for College business that is not more readily available by some other means
      4. The College will inspect and disclose the contents of electronic mail when such action is necessary to respond to legal processes and to fulfill the College’s obligations to third parties.
  6. Public Inspection and Archiving of Electronic Mail
    1. Electronic mail of students may constitute “education records” subject to the provisions of the federal statute known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The College may access, inspect, and disclose such records under conditions that are set forth in the statute.
    2. North Carolina law provides that communications of College personnel that are sent by electronic mail may constitute “correspondence” and, therefore, may be considered public records subject to public inspection under North Carolina General Statutes 121 and 132.
    3. Electronic files, including electronic mail, that are considered to be public records are to be retained, archived and/or disposed of in accordance with current guidelines established by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
  7. Violations
    1. Violations of this policy will be treated in accordance with College disciplinary procedures for employees and students.
    2. Criminal violation will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and may result in the immediate suspension of computing privileges.


Issued: 5/16/06, Technology Services Policy only, not included in this policy and procedure manual.

Revised: 6/1/11, added to the Policy and Procedure Manual; prohibited unauthorized “Spoofing” and “Snooping;” banned attempts to damage or sabotage College computers, software, and networks; established guidelines for computer monitoring, inspection, disclosure of computer-related information, and public inspection and archiving of electronic mail; and set forth revised guidelines for violations of the policy.

Appendix H: Academic Complaint By Student Procedure

Most academic matters generally will be left to the discretion of the faculty member. Instructors have the academic freedom to cover the material on the departmentally approved syllabus in a variety of ways. Some instructors may have primarily lecture formats while others may have class discussion/participation driven formats. Some classes, by nature of the course, cover controversial topics. This does not mean the instructor personally espouses a particular point of view (lifestyle, religious affiliation, ethnic view, etc.).

Students may follow the procedure below concerning academic complaints. Academic complaints are defined as complaints regarding course design and content, teaching performance, and instructor conduct. No retaliation or adverse action will be taken against the student for filing the complaint.

  1. The student must notify the instructor of the complaint within five (5) working days of the incident that generates the complaint.
  2. The instructor will discuss the matter with the student within five (5) working days of this notice. Most complaints will be resolved at this informal level.
  3. If the complaint is not resolved between the student and instructor, or if there is good reason for the student not to speak directly with the faculty member, the student must complete the form titled “Academic Complaint by Student.” This form must be submitted to the appropriate Department Chair within five (5) working days of the last relevant step in this policy. (If the academic complaint involves a Department Chair, the form must be submitted to the appropriate academic dean.) The form may be found in the Student Handbook (online print) or in any academic division office.
  4. The supervisor must respond to the complaint within five (5) working days of the receipt of the complaint.
  5. If the matter is still not resolved, the student will have five (5) working days to present the written complaint to the next level supervisor (the dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs).
  6. If the matter is still not resolved, the student will have five (5) working days to present the written complaint to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In all cases, the decision of the vice president will be final.

Appendix I: Academic Complaint By Student Form

Click here to view the Academic Complaint  form.

Appendix J: Student Complaint Procedure


A complaint is a College-related problem or condition, which a student believes is unfair, inequitable, or a hindrance to his or her participation in the College learning experience. Complaints are due to misunderstandings about College practices and expected standards. Communications between the individuals involved usually clears misunderstandings. Students are required to follow these guidelines to resolve problems. It is the responsibility of the faculty member, staff member, and administrator to fulfill his or her role in accordance with these procedures.


  1. Complaint Regarding a Condition or Another Person
    1. If the complaint is regarding a condition, the student should make an appointment with the appropriate person. If the complaint is regarding another person, the student should make an appointment to discuss the situation with that person. The simplest, quickest, and most satisfactory solution may be accomplished at this level.
    2. If the situation is not resolved at this level, the student should make an appointment to discuss the situation with the first level supervisor, if applicable.
    3. Students seeking further recourse should make an appointment with the next level supervisor. If the student has difficulty in determining the sequence of supervisors, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management should be contacted for assistance.
    4. If all the preceding contacts have been made and the complaint is still not resolved, and the student chooses to appeal, the process is as follows:
      1. A written appeal is made to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management stating the sequence of events leading to the appeal and any personal interpretations related to the complaint. This written appeal must be made no later than one month after the alleged complaint occurred.
      2. If the complaint is about a person, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management notifies the person against whom the complaint has been made. If the complaint is regarding a condition, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management notifies the appropriate person in the organization. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management activates a committee to hear the student’s appeal. Membership of the committee is as follows:
        1. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or designee who serves as the Chair of the Appeals Committee.
        2. If a complaint involves a Gaston College employee, the Chief Administrative Officer or designee.
        3. If the complaint involves a Gaston College faculty member, the appropriate divisional vice president.
        4. A faculty or staff member selected by the student making the appeal. If the complaint is against a faculty member, a faculty member will be selected. If the complaint is against a staff member or administrator, a staff member or administrator will be selected.
        5. If the complaint involves a faculty member, that faculty member will select another faculty member. If the complaint involves a staff member or administrator, the staff member or administrator will select another staff member or administrator.
        6. A faculty, staff member, or administrator as appropriate (faculty if complaint is against faculty, staff if complaint is against staff, administrator if complaint is against administrator) selected by the president of the Student Government Association.
        7. One additional person may be selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, if needed, to insure a balanced representation.
        8. If attorneys are present, they may advise their clients. They may not present the complaint or defend the complaint before the committee. They may address the committee only at the choice of the Chair.
    5. A meeting of the Appeals Committee is scheduled by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
      1. The committee examines the evidence and discusses the complaint with both parties.
      2. The committee arrives at a decision which is sent as a recommendation to the person against whom the complaint was filed. The student, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and appropriate supervisor will be informed of the recommendation.
      3. If appropriate, the recommendation will be sent to Human Resources to be made a part of the records of the individual against whom the complaint was brought.
      4. If the recommendation of the committee is not followed by the person against whom the complaint was made, the President’s Executive Council will determine an appropriate course of action.
    6. After the Appeals Committee has heard the student’s complaint, the process is complete.

Appendix K: Disability Grievance Procedure

Background and the Law

(Draft Revised 10/18/2004)

The law requires institutions, such as Gaston College, to have a set of grievance procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging actions prohibited by Section 504 or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provide that qualified persons with disabilities cannot be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination by any service, program or activity of a postsecondary institution. In order to meet the needs of students with disabilities and fulfill its legal obligations under Section 504 and the ADA, the Special Needs Counselor at Gaston College assists students with disabilities in accessing reasonable accommodations through the College’s accommodations process.

Procedures for Filing a Complaint

If any student believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of a disability by any Gaston College employee, he/she has the right to seek review of such concerns. Students have the option of pursuing either an informal complaint or a formal grievance. If a student opts to pursue an informal complaint, he/she may later pursue a formal grievance if not satisfied with the resolution of the informal process. At any point in the complaint process, students may file a complaint of discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights. However, the Office of Civil Rights encourages students to first follow the institution’s grievance procedures, although this is not required by law.

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
202.205.5413; 1.800.421.3481
FAX: 202.205.9862; TTY: 877.521.2172
E-mail: OCR@ed.gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr/

Informal Procedures for Resolving a Complaint

Prior to initiating a formal grievance as outlined in this procedure, students should use the identified organizational levels of administration or supervision to resolve their concerns. It is encouraged that concerns and complaints be resolved in a respectful discussion at the most direct level. It is strongly recommended and expected that the student first discuss his/her complaint with the person against whom the complaint is being made. If the circumstances of the complaint prevent the student from having this discussion, or if the complaint is not resolved within five business days, the student should discuss the complaint with immediate and other supervisors involved.

Formal Grievance Procedures

The formal grievance is advised when the informal procedure has not brought about a satisfactory conclusion to a concern or complaint about a College policy or procedure or a state or federal law.

All formal grievances from students should be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Gaston College and should be filed within 30 days of the incident. The location and phone number are Gaston College, Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034, 704.922.6217.

All formal grievances should include the following:

  • The exact nature of the complaint and how the student feels his/her rights have been denied and the person(s) they believe are responsible;
  • The date, time and place of the incident (s);
  • The names of witnesses or persons who have knowledge of the incident;
  • Copies of any available written documentation or evidence;
  • Actions that could be taken to correct the violation.

The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs will investigate the complaint within seven (7) business days to determine whether or not College policy has been followed. If College policy has not been followed, the vice presidents will take steps to correct policy violations and to address the consequences that may have resulted.

If the Vice Presidents determine a hearing is warranted as a part of the investigation, they shall conduct such hearing providing full due process to the grieving party. The grieving party has the right to have legal counsel, faculty, staff or another student present to act as his/her representative or advocate. The student must provide the name of the representative or advocate three (3) days prior to the hearing. The person believed to be responsible for the complaint will be provided a copy of the formal complaint.

The Vice Presidents shall reach a decision within five (five) business days of the review. The student and other appropriate parties will be sent a written copy of the findings and the decision upon completion of the investigation. The decision shall include a summary of the complaint, the decision, a statement of the student’s right to appeal, and instructions regarding the appeal process.


A student who believes that a grievance has not been resolved to his or her satisfaction after a written finding is completed may appeal the outcome to the President of the College within 10 business days of receiving the written finding from the Vice Presidents. All appeals shall be made in writing and signed by the student. The President shall make a determination on the appeal and promptly inform the student in writing of that determination. The decision of the President is final.


A student who makes use of the grievance procedures shall not be retaliated against.

Appendix L: Tobacco-Free Campus

Gaston College is committed to providing a healthy, safe, comfortable, and productive environment for its students, employees, and visitors. Smoking and the use of any tobacco products are prohibited on College property and at College events. College property includes any College buildings, facilities, vehicles, and outside grounds owned and/or leased by the College. College events include any lectures, conferences, meetings, and social/cultural events held by the College.

Smoking is defined as the use or possession of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or any other lighted tobacco product, or the use of an electronic inhaler that employs a mechanical heating element, battery, electronic circuit of similar device to heat a liquid nicotine solution or other product (e.g., vapor cartridge), such as an electronic cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Other tobacco products are defined as any type of tobacco that is chewed or used in any form. Examples include chewing tobacco, loose leaf, pellets, plugs, twist, pastes, dipping, pouches, dissovable, and nasal/dry snuff.

The success of this tobacco-free policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of tobacco users and non-tobacco users. All students, employees, and visitors are responsible for adhering to this policy.