Athens Technical College
An Achieving The Dream College
800 U.S. Highway 29 North * Athens, GA 30601 * 706-355-5000 * www.athenstech.edu
Student Right-to-Know Information
Students wishing to file complaints concerning the administration of laws, policies, standards, or procedures related to the operations of Athens Technical College should complete the following steps:
- Appeal Submission
Students must address complaints in writing to the chair of the program or director of the office that is the subject of the complaint.
- Review of Complaint at Chair/Director Level
If the subject of the complaint is within the purview of the program chair or office director, the chair or office director will provide a written resolution to the complaint in a timely manner, preferably within ten business days. The program chair or office director will make a record of the complaint, the resolution, and the process used to adjudicate the matter. The program chair or office director will forward a copy of the record to the appropriate vice president.
- Review of Complaint at Vice President Level
If the subject of the complaint is outside the purview of the program chair or office director, the program chair or office director will forward the complaint to the vice president or designee who has authority to resolve the matter. The vice president or designee will provide a written resolution to the complaint in a timely manner, preferably within ten business days. The vice president or designee will make a record of the complaint, the resolution, and the process used to adjudicate the matter. If the designee resolves the complaint, that person will furnish a copy of the record to the vice president. If the vice president resolves the complaint, he/she will furnish a copy of the record to the president.
In cases when complainants are not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, they must follow the procedure outlined:
- Appeal to Vice President or Designee
If a program chair or office director resolves the complaint, the complainant may appeal to the appropriate vice president or designee. Complainants must file written appeals to the vice president or designee within three business days. The vice president or designee will provide a written resolution to the complaint in a timely manner, preferably within ten business days. The vice president or designee will make a record of the complaint, the resolution, and the process used to adjudicate the matter. If the designee resolves the complaint, that person will furnish a copy of the record to the vice president. If the vice president resolves the complaint, he/she shall furnish a copy of the record to the president.
- Appeal of Designee Ruling
If complainants are not satisfied with the resolution adjudicated by the designee, they may appeal in writing to the appropriate vice president within three business days. The vice president will provide a written resolution to the complaint in a timely manner, preferably within ten business days. The vice president will make a record of the complaint, the resolution, and the process used to adjudicate the matter. The vice president will furnish a copy of the record to the president.
- Appeal of Vice President Ruling
If complainants are not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint adjudicated by a vice president, they may appeal the adjudication to the president. Complainants must file written appeals within three working days. The president will provide a written resolution to the complaint in a timely manner, preferably within ten business days. The president will make a record of the complaint, the resolution, and the process used to adjudicate the matter. The president may, at his/her discretion, appoint an ad hoc committee to review the process and to make recommendations for further action. The decision of the president is final.
Computer Use and Internet Access
Colleges have moved into the information age by providing computer systems, email addresses, and Internet access for students and employees. In making decisions regarding access to the Internet and the use of its computers, the Technical College System of Georgia considers its own stated educational mission, goals, and objectives.
Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to the preparation of citizens and future employees. The Technical College System of Georgia expects faculty to blend thoughtful use of the Internet throughout the curriculum and provide guidance and instruction to students in its use. As much as possible, faculty members should structure access to Internet resources that they have evaluated prior to use. While students may move beyond those resources to others not previewed by college staff, instructors should provide guidelines and lists of resources particularly suited to learning objectives. Students and employees utilizing college-provided Internet access are responsible for good behavior online just as they are in classrooms or other areas of the college.
Using a computer without permission is theft of services and is illegal under state and federal laws. Federal law prohibits the misuse of computer resources. In addition, Georgia laws prohibit the following specific computer crimes (GA Code §16-9-90 et seq.):
- 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)
- Misleading transmittal of names or trademarks (providing false identification or falsely claiming to speak for other people or organizations by using their names, trademarks, logos, or seals)
Maximum penalties for the first four crimes on this list are a $50,000 fine and 15 years of imprisonment plus civil liability. The maximum penalties for computer password disclosure are a $5,000 fine and one year of imprisonment plus civil liability. The purpose of college-provided Internet access is to facilitate communications in support of research and education. To remain eligible as users, student use must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of Athens Technical College. Access is a privilege, not a right. Access entails responsibility. Additionally, all Athens Technical College students and employees shall abide by all computer policies as set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia.
Users should not expect files stored on Athens Technical College computers to be private. The college will treat electronic messages and files stored on college-owned computers like other property temporarily assigned for individual use. Administrators may review files and messages to maintain system integrity and to ensure that users are acting responsibly. Moreover, Athens Technical College and Technical College System of Georgia officials shall cooperate with law enforcement officials authorized to search computers and computer systems owned by Athens Technical College or the Technical College System of Georgia.
All information items created, stored, or transmitted on college computers or networks are subject to monitoring for compliance with applicable laws and policies. College policies prohibit the following uses of computers, networks, and Internet access:
- To access, create, or transmit sexually explicit, obscene, or pornographic material
- To create, access, or transmit material that could be considered discriminatory, offensive, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or attempting to libel or otherwise defame any person
- 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, including the use of college-owned computers, networks, or Internet access for private purposes such as business transactions, private advertising of products or services, and any other type of activity meant to foster personal gain
- To knowingly endanger the security of the college's computers or networks
- To willfully interfere with another person's authorized computer usage
- To connect any computer to any college network unless it meets technical and security standards set by the college
- To create, install, or knowingly distribute a computer virus, "Trojan Horse," or other surreptitiously destructive program on any college computer or network facility, regardless of whether any demonstrable harm results
- To modify or reconfigure without proper authorization the software or hardware of any computer or network owned by the college
- 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 of, corruption of, prevention of rightful access to, or unauthorized distribution of data and information owned by Athens Technical College and/or the Technical College System of Georgia
- To create, access, or participate in online gambling
College policy does not consider the occasional access to information or website of the Georgia Lottery Corporation as a form of inappropriate use. Occasional personal use of Internet connectivity and email that do not involve any inappropriate use as described above may occur. Any such use should be brief, infrequent, and shall not interfere with the user's performance, duties, or responsibilities.
Users of college computers and computer systems are subject to the Technical College System of Georgia policy on the development of intellectual property. Any violation of this policy and rules may result in disciplinary action against employees or students. When and where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.
Athens Technical College makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for the computers, computer systems, email systems, and Internet access it provides. The college shall not be responsible for any damages users suffer, including but not limited to, the loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions of service.
The college shall not be responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information gathered through college diskettes, hard drives, or servers, nor for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information gathered through college-provided Internet access. Athens Technical College shall not be responsible for personal property used to access its computers or networks or for college-provided Internet access. Athens Technical College shall not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from college-provided access to the Internet. The foregoing standards are equally applicable to employees and students of the college.
Penalties: Violations of these policies incur the same types of disciplinary measures as violations of other college policies or state or federal laws, including criminal prosecution.
Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amended the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act to require certain convicted sex offenders to notify states of each institution of higher education at which the individual is a student or employee. The act also requires states to make such information available promptly to law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction of the location of the applicable institutions of higher education. The act also specifies that local law enforcement officials must enter this information into appropriate state records or data systems. The act also requires institutions to notify the campus community where they can obtain from law enforcement agencies' information concerning registered sex offenders. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains a searchable database to obtain this information. The address for this site is www.ganet.org/gbi/sorsch.cgi.
Sexual Assault and Other Sex Crimes
It is important for all students, faculty, and staff members to know where to turn for help and what to do if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted or raped. Whether the assailants are strangers, acquaintances, close friends, or dates, everyone needs to know how to get necessary treatment, counseling, and other services. Sexual assault and other sex crimes are criminal offenses subject to prosecution under the law. These acts are also violations of the Student Conduct Code.
Studies show that "acquaintance rape" occurs more frequently among college-age students than among any other group. This form of rape is one of the most unrecognized and under-reported crimes because few people identify it as a crime punishable by law.
Steps to take to reduce your risk of being a victim of sex crimes include:
- See the Personal Safety and Crime Prevention section for steps to follow for your own personal safety
- Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist; practice possible responses to situations so that you can recall them, even under the stress of a real encounter
- Realizing that you could be a victim is the first step in self-protection
- Use awareness and common sense to avoid potentially dangerous situations
- Participate in a self-defense training class
With regard to date rape and acquaintance rape, remember the following precautions:
- Know your own sexual values, expectations, wishes, and intentions, and communicate them clearly and openly
- Be observant of your acquaintance's or date's attitudes toward you
- Avoid using mood-altering chemicals such as drugs and alcohol (Studies have shown that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs contributes to increased incidences of date rape.)
- Be assertive about your needs and rights (Reinforce your verbal "no" with physical resistance, unless you feel this will further endanger you. Tell your assailant that he or she is committing a sexual act to which you do not consent and that he or she is breaking the law.)
If You are a Victim
You need to be aware of your capabilities and limitations. Your judgment and thinking will be your best weapons. Evaluate the situation for possible avenues of escape. Your first concern should be for your safety and survival. Use your judgment to do what is necessary to save your life. That may mean making a scene and drawing attention to yourself so that the assailant leaves. It may buy you enough time to escape. This action may mean fighting back. It may mean not physically resisting. If you choose not to physically resist the attack, it does not mean that you have asked to be raped. It means that you did what you needed to do to survive. Remember - There is no one "right" way to respond. The person under attack is the best judge of which options will work well in that situation.
If someone assaults or attempts to assault you or someone you know, you should get to a safe place as soon as you can. Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not bathe, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing. Consider calling the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia at (706) 353-1912. The center accepts collect calls. The center will provide counseling, resources, and referrals on issues of sexual abuse. These services are available at no charge. The center keeps all calls completely confidential.
If the attack occurred on campus, contact the vice president for student affairs at (706) 355-5029, the vice president for operations at the Elbert County Campus at (706) 213-2100, the director at the Walton County Campus at (770) 207-3130, or the Director at the Greene County Campus at (706) 453-7435. If the attack occurred off campus, immediately contact a local law enforcement agency by dialing 911. Get medical attention as soon as possible to determine the presence of physical injury, sexually transmittable diseases, or pregnancy. Medical personal can also obtain evidence to assist in criminal prosecution.
Sex crimes can cause psychological after-effects. Counseling is a good idea, whether or not you think you need it. Remember, sex crimes are never the victim's fault. Contact the director of student support services at (706) 355-5081 for assistance.
The Office of Student Affairs will, upon request, help address any judicial and academic concerns victims might have because of an assault. The college will also assist victims in changing their academic or living situations after the assault if requested and reasonably available. If the assailant is a student, the victim may file a written complaint with the vice president for student affairs. Under the Student Code of Conduct, the college affords both the accused and the accuser the same rights.
The Student Activities Office and the Office of Student Support Services schedule seminars on rape and sexual assault prevention throughout the academic year. Staff from these offices posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, electronic message boards, and the college website.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, formerly the Campus Security Act of 1990, requires Athens Technical College to disclose to the public specific crime-related information on an annual basis. In compliance with this legislation, the college must report campus crime statistics, campus offenses, and security measures to all students and employees by October 1 of each year.
Prospective students and employees shall receive either a copy of the report or a notice of its availability and a brief summary of its contents. The college may publish the report electronically, but the college must give students, employees, and potential students or employees a paper copy upon request and individually inform them of the availability of the report in electronic format. The college sends official annual notifications of the availability of the new report to all currently enrolled students via their @student.athenstech.edu address and to all faculty and staff via their official college email address.
The report is available on the college website (www.athenstech.edu; select General Information and then Campus Security before selecting the Campus Crime Report (PRF) link. The college posts the annual reports on the website no later than October 1. Current students, faculty, and staff, as well as prospective students and employees, may contact the director of computer technology training and campus security at (706) 357-0050 for clarification or additional information.
Athens Technical College reports statistics on the following crimes and offenses annually:
- Criminal Homicide - murder and non-negligent and negligent manslaughter
- Forcible or Non-forcible Sex Offenses - any sexual act directed against another person, forcible and/or against that person's will or not forcible or against that person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent (such as when the victim is intoxicated
(Non-forcible sex offenses are acts of "unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse." This definition encompasses incest or statutory rape.)
- Robbery - the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the control, custody, or care of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear
- Aggravated Assault - an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury (Usually, this offense occurs by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.)
- Burglary - the unlawful entry (breaking and entering) into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft
- Arson - willful or malicious burning or an attempt to burn a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property
- Motor Vehicle Theft - the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle
- On-campus arrests for alcohol, drug, and illegal weapon violations.
- Certain referrals for campus disciplinary actions for alcohol, drug, or illegal weapon violations (If these referrals are included in the report as an arrest, the college does not need to report the referral under this category.)
- Hate Crimes - crimes that fall into the above list, crimes involving bodily injury, or crimes reported to campus security or local police(Athens Technical College must report hate crimes by category of prejudice - race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability - as part of the campus crime statistics.)
Furthermore, Athens Technical College must provide the following geographic breakdown of the crime statistics:
- On campus
- In a non-campus building or on non-campus property
- On non-campus public property including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, or parking facilities that are within the campus or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus
Personal Safety and Crime Prevention
All members of the campus community share responsibility for ensuring their personal safety and securing their personal property. Athens Technical College places a priority on safety and security through its commitment to providing a safe and secure environment. The majority of crimes occurring on college campuses across the United States are preventable crimes of opportunity.
Following these safety tips helps reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime:
- Avoid dark, secluded places when alone
- Walk with others, making sure to stay in well-lit areas
- Lock car doors while on campus and keep valuables locked in the automobile trunks and/or out of sight
- Tell someone where you are going and when you can be expected to return
- Vary your route and schedule if you exercise outdoors on a regular basis
- Do not overload yourself with books or other items; keep your hands free
- Carry a purse close to your body, preferably in front, and be prepared to let it go if snatched
- Give thieves what they want if you are confronted by thieves; do not pursue the thieves
- Get a detailed description and call campus security at (706) 621-9860 or (706) 621-9817 on the Athens Campus or (706) 213-2100 on the Elbert County Campus or the police immediately. If the incident occurs at the Greene (706-453-7435) or Walton (770-207-3130) campuses, please notify the respective director or local police immediately
- Never leave laptop computers, textbooks, cellular telephones, book bags, purses, or other valuables unattended in classrooms, the library, common study areas, or outdoor spaces
- Head to an area with other people present if a stranger approaches you and you feel concerned or uncomfortable
Students and employees should participate in safety seminars offered throughout the academic year. The director of student activities posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, the electronic message boards, and the college website.
Confidentiality of Student Records
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment), Athens Technical College accords all rights under the law to students who are declared independent. Congress designed the act to protect the privacy of educational records and to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their non-privileged educational records. The act also provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal or formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act. Athens Technical College also provides a mechanism whereby students may file complaints within the college.
The college informs students about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 annually by publication in the Catalog and Student Handbook. The college also notifies students of their rights during the New Student Orientation, which is available on the college website (www.athenstech.edu; select Current Students and then Orientation). This policy applies to current and former students of Athens Technical College.
The Office of Registration and Records maintains and safeguards student academic records. The college preserves all official current and former student records, and these records are private and confidential. College personnel may maintain separate record files for the following categories: academic, medical, psychiatric/counseling, financial and financial aid, placement, disciplinary, and veterans affairs. The vice president for student affairs shall maintain records of disciplinary action.
Educational records include any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by the college or the Technical College System of Georgia that are directly relate to a student except:
- A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute of the maker of the record, and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool. Records that contain information taken directly from a student or that are used to make decisions about the student are not covered by this exception
- Records created and maintained by a technical college law enforcement unit for law enforcement puposes
- An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student
- Records made or maintained by a physician, psyhiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student an made available only to those persons providing the treatment
- Alumni records that contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the university and which do not relate to the person as a student
Student Access to Records
Students have the right to review their official academic record, disciplinary record, and financial aid record with the following exceptions:
- Any and all documents to which access has been waived by the student
- Any and all records which are excluded from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act's definition of educational records
- Any and all financial data and income tax forms submitted in confidence by the student?s parents in connection with an application for, or receipt of, financial aid
- Any and all records connected with an application to attend a Technical College if the applicant never enrolled
- Those records that contain information on more than one student. The requesting student has the right to view only those portions of the record that pertain to his or her own educational records
All requests shall be directed to the registrar's office at the student's technical college. Requests to review student records will be granted as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 45 days after the date of request. No documents or files may be altered or removed once a request has been filed. A student may receive a copy of any and all records to which he or she has lawful access upon payment of any copying charge established by TCSG or the technical college except when a hold has been placed on his or her record pending the payment of debts owed the technical college, or when he or she requests a copy of a transcript, the original of which is held elsewhere.
Hearings to Challenge Accuracy of Records
If, upon inspection and review of his or her record, the student believes that the record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of his or her privacy rights, he or she has the right to ask that the record be changed or insert a statement in the file. Such request shall be submitted in writing to the registrar?s office a the student's technical college.
The registrar's office shall process the student?s request and notify the student of the technical college's decision in writing. Should the request for a change be denied, the student will be notified of the technical college's decision and advised of the right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's privacy rights. The student has 30 days to appeal the decision to the president and ask for a hearing.
On behalf of the president of the technical college, a hearing officer shall conduct a hearing at which the student shall be offorded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student mayb assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney. The hearing officer will consider only challenges to the accuracy of the records. Hence, whether or not a grade has been incorrectly recorded on a student's transcript may be considered but not whether the student should have been awarded a grade different from the one given.
The hearing officer shall prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final, save for any review that may be granted by the president of the technical college.
If the technical college decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will notify the student of the right to place in the education record a statement commenting on the challenged information and a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision. Such a statement shall become a part of he information contained in the education record and will be disclosed with it.
A student may make a specific waiver of access to evaluations solicited and/or received under condition of confidentiality.
Release of Information: Athens Technical College will disclose information from educational records only with the written consent of students. The college may release educational records without written consent of students when disclosure is to college officials who have legitimate educational interests in the records. A college official is:
- A person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including health and medical staff
- A person appointed to the technical college's Board of Directors
- A person employed by or under contract to the college (such as an attorney or auditor) to perform a special task
- A person employed by college security
- A student serving on official committees such as disciplinary or grievance committees or who is assisting technical college officials in performing their tasks
College officials have legitimate educational interests if they are:
- Performing tasks specified in their position descriptions or contract agreements
- Performing tasks related to students' educations
- Performing tasks related to the discipline of students
- Providing services or benefits relating to students or their families such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid
- Maintaining the safety and security of the campus
The college may release educational records without written consent of students when disclosure is:
- To officials of other schools, upon request, in which students seek or intend to enroll. Students shall receive notification of the disclosure unless they initiated the disclosure
- To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement purposes, or state and local educational authorities (subject to the conditions set forth in 34 C.F.R. §99.35)
To officials of the college, Technical College System of Georgia, or lending institutions in connection with financial aid for which students submitted applications or for which they received if the information is necessary for such purposes as to:
- Determine eligibility for the aid
- Determine the amount of the aid
- Determine the conditions for the aid
- Enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
- To state and local officials or authorities pursuant to the state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974, that specifically requires the reporting or disclosure of such information if the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and the system's ability to effectively serve students whose records the college releases (The college may also release or report information to state and local officials or authorities pursuant to a state statute adopted after 1974 which concerns the juvenile justice system and the system's ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, students whose records the college releases. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the state from further limiting the number or type of state or local officials who will continue to have access to student records.)
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction (The college will release information only if organizations conduct such studies in ways that will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations, and the organizations will destroy such information when they no longer need the information for the original stated purposes or projects.)
- To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions
- To parents of dependent students as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (Parents must provide copies of their most recent federal income tax returns establishing the dependency of the students. The college shall give full rights under the act to either parent unless the institution receives evidence that a court order, state statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody specifically revokes those rights.)
- To appropriate parties to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals in emergencies with the understanding that the college will release only that information that is essential to the emergency
- To comply with judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas provided the college makes a reasonable effort to notify students of the orders or subpoenas in advance of compliance (The college cannot notify students if it receives federal grand jury subpoenas or any other subpoenas that state that the college should not notify students. The custodian of the records shall consult the director of legal services at the Technical College System of Georgia prior to the release of the record.)
- To alleged victims of any crime of violence as Section 16 of Title 18 of the United States Code defines that term or a non-forcible sex offense regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the technical college against alleged perpetrators of those crimes or offenses with respect to those crimes or offenses (The custodian of the records shall consult the director of legal services at the Technical College System of Georgia prior to the release of the record.)
- To Veterans Administration Officials pursuant to 38 USC §3690 ©
- To the court those records that are necessary to defend the college when students initiate legal action against the college and/or the Technical College System of Georgia
- To any parent or legal guardian of students under the age of 21
(The college may disclose any information about a violation of any federal, state, or local law or any rule or policy of the technical college governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the institution determines that students committed disciplinary violations with respect to such use or possession.)
- To third parties requesting information that the technical college designates as "directory information" unless students place holds on their educational records thus preventing the release of this information
(Directory information includes student names, addresses (local, permanent, and email); telephone listings (local and permanent); dates of registered attendance; schools or divisions of enrollment; major programs of study; nature and dates of diplomas, degrees, and awards received; and participation in student organizations and activities. The college may give directory information to an inquirer in person, by mail, or by telephone, and the college may otherwise make directory information public. If an individual submits an inquiry in person or by mail, the college may release a student's date and place of birth or confirm a signature. The college shall communicate its disclosure policy on directory information to presently enrolled students through the publication of these guidelines so that individual students currently enrolled may request that the college not disclose such directory information. Students may prohibit the release of directory information by submitting a written request to the executive director of registration and records within 10 days of registration. Former students who do not want directory information disclosed should make such a request in writing to the executive director of registration and records.
The custodian of the records will determine whether a legitimate educational interest exists on a case-by-case basis. When the custodian has any questions regarding the request, the custodian should withhold disclosure unless the custodian obtains consent from the student or obtains the concurrence of a supervisor or other appropriate official to release the record.
The college shall maintain a record of requests for and/or disclosures of information for educational records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request and what records, if any, that person received, the legitimate interest in the records, any additional party to whom the original requestor may redisclose information, and the legitimate interest the additional party has in requesting or obtaining the information. Students may review this record. The college does not have to maintain these records if the request was from or the disclosure was to:
- The student
- A school official determined to have a legitimate educational interest
- A party with written consent from the student
- A party seeking directory information
- A federal grand jury or law enforcement agency pursuant to a subpoena that by its terms requires nondisclosure
Discrimination or Harassment
Athens Technical College affirms to all students their right to study and learn in an educational environment free of discrimination or harassment based on their race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or required by law) (see Statement of Non-Discrimination).
Harassment, which is a specific form of sex discrimination, is sometimes difficult to talk about to other people. It is uncomfortable and seems ambiguous; it is also something that the college is committed to preventing and resolving if it does occur. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Men and women, who believe they are victims of sexual harassment, as well as those who observe sexual harassment, should report such incidents at the earliest possible time.
College officials will not condone any form of harassment either by its employees or by another student. Any student acting alone or in concert with others who harasses other members of the college community is subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal/expulsion. A student aggrieved by an employee of the college or by another student may contact the vice president for student affairs or the individuals identified in the statement of non-discrimination. Harassment includes:
- Any slurs, innuendos, or other verbal or physical conduct reflecting an individual's race, ethnic background, gender, or disabling condition which has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive educational environment; has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's school performance or participation; or otherwise adversely affects an individual's educational opportunities
- The denial of or the provision of aid, benefits, grades, rewards, employment, faculty assistance, services, or treatment on the basis of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
- Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the perpetrator explicitly or implicitly makes the submission to such conduct a term or condition of an individual's educational career; when the perpetrator uses submission to or rejection of such conduct as a basis for educational decisions affecting the individual; or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment
Drug-Free Campus Policy
In accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Athens Technical College implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. College standards of conduct clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, or other illegal or dangerous drugs on campus or as part of any student-sponsored activities.
College policies prohibit the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs on the campuses, in college facilities, or at college-related functions. College policies also prohibit students under the influence of alcohol or nonprescription drugs from appearing on the campuses, at clinical facilities, or at student-related functions and activities.
As noted in the Student Code of Conduct, the college will impose sanctions up to and including dismissal and referral for prosecution for the violation of these standards. The Office of Student Affairs at Athens Technical College assists students with drug- or alcohol-related problems by referring them to appropriate community resources designed to address these problems.
Alcohol/drug use and substance abuse
Much has been written in recent years about the health benefits of moderate alcohol use. Unfortunately, that information has also been viewed by some as permission to continue their ongoing abuse of alcohol. Likewise, while there are valid medical reasons to take legally prescribed drugs, it is not uncommon for an individual to lose control over their use of those medications and, in some instances, advance to such risk-taking behavior as seeking illegal drugs as substitutions.
Once an addiction begins, it can carry a host of additional issues, including the loss of self-control, judgment, motivation, memory, and the ability to learn. People who choose to abuse alcohol and/or drugs run the risk of incurring serious health problems such as high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism, drug addiction, brain damage, and, in extreme cases, sudden death. Additionally, individuals with substance abuse problems pose a serious risk to themselves and to others when they elect to drive under the influence.
College officials encourage students who suspect that they or a friend might have a problem with alcohol or drug use to contact one of the following for assistance:
- Director of student support services, (706) 355-5081, Room H-749 on the Athens Campus
- Advantage Behavior Health Systems - Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, 196 Miles Street, Athens, GA (706) 369-5745
- Alcoholics Anonymous, Athens, GA (706) 543-0436
The Student Activities Office schedules alcohol and substance abuse seminars throughout the academic year. The director of student activities posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, electronic message boards, and the college website.
Federal law prohibits the possession, manufacture, or distribution of various controlled substances. Penalties for these offenses vary depending upon the severity of the convictions, but may include imprisonment of up to 40 years with large fines. Penalties double when the offenses occur within 1,000 feet of a postsecondary educational institution.
Georgia law states that public educational institutions shall, as of the date of conviction, suspend students convicted of any felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug except for cases in which the institution previously took disciplinary action against the students for the same offense. Such suspension shall be effective as of the date of conviction even though the educational institution may not complete all administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension until a later date, except for cases in which the institution previously imposed sanctions for the term, quarter, semester, or other similar period for which students were enrolled as of the date of conviction, students shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for that term, quarter, semester, or other similar period. The educational institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspensions.
Georgia law specifies that college-sanctioned student organizations that, through its officers, agents, or responsible members, knowingly permits or authorizes the sale, distribution, serving, possession, consumption, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or dangerous drug in violation of state laws at any function shall have its recognition withdrawn. Furthermore, state laws also specify that the college must expel that organization from campus for a minimum of one calendar year from the year of determination of guilt.
The Georgia Penal Code prohibits the possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 or providing alcohol to such a person. State laws also specify fines for violators in the amount of $1,000 and a prison sentence of 12 months.
Drug Testing/Background Checks
Certain host sites require students to complete drug testing and/or criminal background checks prior to allowing students to participate in internship, practicum, or clinical activities at those sites. Athens Technical College follows the policies and procedures established by the Technical College System of Georgia and by the requirements of the facilities that serve as internship, practicum, and clinical sites for students.
Unless otherwise noted, students are responsible for the costs associated with drug testing and/or criminal background checks. Based on program and internship/practicum/clinical host site policies, the results of background checks and/or drug tests may prevent students from completing the internship, practicum, or clinical components of their programs of study. Although they may be allowed to continue in the classroom portion of the course and/or programs of study, students with unsatisfactory background checks and/or drug tests must understand that they may be ineligible to graduate from their program of study because they will be unable to fulfill program requirements.
The college will contact the following radio and television stations as early as possible to announce college closings due to hazardous weather conditions:
|WGAU - AM 1340||Athens|
|WRFC - AM 960||Athens|
|WSGC - AM 1400||Elberton|
|WDDK - FM 103.9||Greensboro|
|WGMG - FM 102.1||Athens|
|WLVX - FM 105.1||Elberton|
|WNGC - FM 106.1||Athens|
|WHLR - FM 92.1||Lavonia|
|WAGA - Channel 5||Atlanta|
|WGCL - Channel 46||Atlanta|
|WSB - Channel 2||Atlanta|
|WXIA - Channel 11||Atlanta|
Since Athens Technical College serves a large geographic area and since conditions may vary on occasion in areas outside of Clarke, Elbert, Greene, or Walton counties, students should use their own judgment regarding travel conditions. In case of hazardous weather (tornados or severe thunderstorms), campus personnel will provide notification. When possible, the college will post closings on its website at www.athenstech.edu.
The emergency action plan posted in each classroom and laboratory recommends the actions that members of the college community should take to protect their safety and welfare. The plan displays the locations of the safest areas on campus.
To further its goal of making education accessible to as many people as possible, the Technical College System of Georgia owns the intellectual property rights in all works produced by or for the department and its member colleges. In order for the department to utilize the best and fullest extent of all works produced for it and provided for the department's use, anyone producing work for the department and anyone providing work for the department's use, represents and warrants that such works:
- Do not violate any law
- Do not violate or infringe any intellectual property right (including but not limited to copyright, trademark, patent, or right of publicity) of any person, company, or firm
- Do not libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any person or firm
ATC Policy: Intellectual Property Rights
Athens Technical College (ATC) encourages innovation and creativity and condones the development of intellectual property-property created by the human mind that is subject to protection by trademark, patent, copyright, or trade secret law. In most instances, intellectual property refers to intangible assets such as literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works; computer software, multimedia presentations, games, or videos; and designs, discoveries, or inventions. Athens Technical College acknowledges and agrees that all students and faculty or staff members shall have exclusive property rights to any and all intellectual property they create on their own time and without the use of ATC resources.
Rights of ownership thus reside with the student or faculty/staff member when the following criteria are met:
- The product or work results solely from individual initiative and not as a result of a college class assignment in the case of students or a college work assignment in the case of faculty or staff members; AND
- The product or work did not require substantial use of college facilities, equipment, or supplies, and did not emanate from any other college-owned copyright.
Students are specifically prohibited from using college-owned equipment or resources for creation of works for hire; however, both students and employees are permitted to include works they?ve created, even those resulting from course or college assignments, as items representative of their skills and abilities in a personal portfolio.
Student Right-to-Know Act
Athens Technical College provides the following graduation/completion statistics in order to comply with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The rates reflect the graduation of full-time, first-time students for whom 150 percent of the normal time-to-completion rate elapsed. The college established cohorts of students and began tracking this information during Fall Quarter 1991. The graduation rates for the 2005, 2006, and 2007 cohorts are 23 percent, 28 percent, and 29 percent respectively.
Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials
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.
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. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorney's fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Section 504 and 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. For more information, please see the website for the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov) and their frequently asked questions at www.copyright.gov/hel/faq.
Technical College System of Georgia Policy II.C.4 prohibits the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials via systems or networks owned by the Technical College System of Georgia and its affiliate technical colleges. 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 described above.
Legal Alternatives for Downloading or
Otherwise Acquiring Copyrighted Materials
For a list of legal alternative sites for downloading copyrighted materials, please visit www.educause.edu/legalcontent.
Visitors on Campus
As a public, taxpayer-supported institution, Athens Technical College welcomes and encourages members of the community to visit its various campuses. Visitors shall be defined as individuals other than current students, employees, or board members of the college or its affiliate foundation.
For security purposes, visitors must sign in upon their arrival on campus and display visitor dash cards in their vehicles. Sign-in sheets and parking dash cards are available in the director's offices at the Greene and Walton campuses and in the Student Affairs Office at the Elbert County Campus. Visitors to the Athens Campus must sign in and obtain parking dash cards from the Office of Student Affairs, the Library, the Office of Economic Development Services, or the Office of Administration and Finance. Visitors who come onto the Athens Campus during evenings and weekends must sign in at the library. Vendors and invited guests obtain parking dash cards from the person they are to meet with while on campus. Visitor parking spaces are available in front of Building H - the Student Affairs/Student Center Building - on the Athens Campus.
All visitors are subject to Athens Technical College rules and regulations including, but not limited to, rules of student conduct as described in the Student Code of Conduct. Campus visitors who violate the rules and regulations of Athens Technical College shall be served with a warning notice that such behavior is not acceptable and may result in their being denied on a long-term basis the opportunity to be present on college property. Visitors who continue to violate college rules and regulations after receiving a warning notice will be barred from college property for a specified period of time.
Upon consulting with the college president, the vice president for student affairs is responsible for issuing warning notices and letters barring visitors from college property.
The 1998 Higher Education Act requires all postsecondary institutions to make a good-faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to each degree, diploma, or certificate-seeking student who attends classes on campus and to make such forms widely available to students.
The director of student support services on the Athens Campus has voter registration forms available for students. Students may also obtain voter registration forms from the Student Affairs Office on the Elbert County Campus, the Director's Office at the Greene County Campus, and the Director's Office on Walton County Campus. Students can also register to vote online through the Georgia Secretary of State's Office.
A direct link to the Secretary of State's Office is available within the New Student Orientation website (www.athenstech.edu; select Current Students and then Orientation. Click the Begin Student Orientation link).