2021-2022 Catalog

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Goal: To provide an atmosphere of sound intellectual and academic development.


Student Responsibilities:

To be knowledgeable of and comply with the directives, regulations, and laws of duly constituted civil authorities. In addition, the following list of student responsibilities was approved by the Berkshire Community College academic council in May 1997:

  • To observe the dates set forth in the college academic calendar.
  • To be familiar with the requirements of his/her academic program and to consult with his/her advisor about graduation requirements, registration, and other academic concerns.
  • To prepare for class by reading assigned material, completing assignments, and utilizing laboratories, where appropriate.
  • To attend classes and labs regularly and on time and to notify his or her instructors in case an emergency prevents attending.
  • To utilize peer tutoring, the writing lab, and study skills workshops, as appropriate, to maximize class performance.
  • To take advantage of library resources and services to develop research skills and information literacy.
  • To respect faculty and staff and the academic rights of other students.
  • To act civilly and to conduct oneself in such a way as to not impair other students' opportunity to learn.

Student Rights:

  • To have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
  • To have the freedom to exercise the rights of citizenship, association, inquiry, and expression.
  • To have the right of privacy and confidentiality.
  • To have the right of voting representation on all recommendations to the president of the college on matters of concern, including but not limited to academic standards, student affairs, and curriculum changes.
  • To have the right of quality education, including but not limited to:
  • The right to assistance in overcoming educational, cultural, emotional, and economic disadvantages which hinder the educational process;
  • The right to receive in writing from each faculty member during the first week of classes, of every quarter, or semester, a brief written course description outlining the material to be covered, course requirements including a specific list of information and techniques, which the student is expected to acquire, attendance policy, and the grading system to be utilized.
  • To have the right to fair and equal treatment, including but not limited to instruction, evaluation, and services by faculty, staff, students, and administrators.
  • To have the right to procedural due process in grievance and disciplinary hearings.

Right to Protest

The following policy was adopted by the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges on April 11, 1969 Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged in a sustained and independent search for knowledge. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community, students, faculty, and staff. Each college will respect and defend the right of its members to lawful exercises of free speech and assembly in behalf of causes, whether popular or unpopular. These rights are properly exercised only when due regard for the rights of others is assured, and actions denying the rights of others to move or speak freely, whether or not such interference is their motive, lie outside constitutional guarantees and the obligation of the college to defend them. Therefore, if in the judgment of the president or his/her designee, persons are attempting to interfere with the freedom of movement or speech of members or guests of the college community, or the orderly operation of the college, the president of the college or his/her designee is authorized to:

  • Advise such persons of the impropriety of their activity and request immediate desistance from such activity. Call the appropriate authority to remove such interfering person(s) who fail to desist.
  • Suspend temporarily such members of the college community as have participated in such interference and persist in such activity.
  • Grant as soon as reasonably possible, a hearing before an appropriate committee to any person appealing such suspension. Following such a hearing, the committee will make a recommendation to the president.
  • Taking into account the committee's recommendation, the president will determine his/her disposition of the case.

Any person who involves him/herself in the willful destruction of college or personal property will, in addition, be answerable to charges filed with the civil authority