Code of Student Conduct
The Office of Student Conduct is committed to an educational and developmental process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the Ocean County College community. The Code of Student Conduct in Policy #5247 (PDF) is designed to address all student misconduct excluding gender-based misconduct. Gender based misconduct is covered by Title IX and addressed by Policy #2410 (PDF), Sexual Harassment.
Student Conduct works collaboratively with other offices and departments to create a safe, secure and civil environment where learning, growth and development can take place both inside and outside of the classroom. We provide an environment in which all college community members are treated with respect and dignity through utilizing a variety of methods for both individuals and groups.
- To develop, interpret, and enforce campus policies
- To ensure compliance with Federal Title VI, Title VII, and Title IX laws and reporting requirements
- To facilitate and encourage a community of respect
- To administer a disciplinary process that maintains the integrity of the academic community and to uphold due process rights of students
- To provide learning experiences for all students and especially those who participate in the conduct process
Due Process, Standard of Evidence, and Sanctioning
The student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Student conduct procedures and rights are managed with fairness to all but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts. Due process, as defined within this code, assures written notice, a thorough and equitable investigation, and the right to appeal in writing a finding or sanction, or both, based on specific grounds, as outlined in this document. Preponderance of the evidence is the evidence standard for this code. No student will be found in violation of Ocean County College policy or the Code of Student Conduct without information showing that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred, and sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.
When a concern regarding a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct is reported to us through our web based forms, campus security reports, or a police report, the process for investigating the concern follows the processes and procedures outlined in Ocean County College Policy #5247 (PDF).
Incident reports, campus security reports, and police reports are reviewed by the Office of Student Conduct. Involved individuals will be invited to discuss the incident with a Student Conduct Investigator.
- Student engages in or observes behavior that may be against policies
- A concern is reported to the Conduct Office from a reporting party (https://www.ocean.edu/student-services/report-a-concern/).
- Office of Student Conduct receives the report
- Case is assigned to a Student Conduct Investigator for investigation
- Notice of Investigation and Alleged Violation sent to all parties (reporting party and responding party). NOTE: Interim measures may be enacted while the investigation proceeds to support involved parties.
- Conduct Administrator meetings will begin with students to go over incident report. NOTE: If additional alleged violations are found during the investigation, an additional Notice of Alleged Violations will be sent to the responding and reporting parties.
- Conduct Administrator determines whether the responding party is or is not responsible for the alleged violation(s) and forwards their report to the Executive Director of Student Services.
A Notice of Responsibility will be delivered to all parties of the finding(s) and sanction(s).
If there is insufficient evidence through the investigation to support reasonable cause, the allegations will be closed with no further action.
Student Accepts Findings
Student accepts the findings by not responding to the notification and allowing seven business days to pass. In this case, the sanctions are applied and the process ends.
Student Rejects Findings
Student rejects the finding(s) and/or the sanction(s) by filing an appeal within seven business days to the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA).
- The VPSA will review all appeal requests and determine if there is the reasonable cause as defined by the code that the grounds for an appeal have been met.
- Denied basis for an appeal – the responding student will be notified within seven business days. This decision is final end ends the process.
- Approved basis for an appeal – the responding student will be notified and the case/appeal will be reviewed by an Administrative Review Panel (ARP) within 10 business days of the approval.
- ARP confidentially reviews all case documentation and decides if the appeal is approved or denied by a simple majority vote.
- Appeal approved – the panel may remove or revise the sanctions. In this case the process ends and no further appeals may be filed by any party.
- Appeal approved (procedural error) – A new investigation begins with a new Conduct Administrator as the lead. If the outcome of this investigation finds the responding party responsible, a trained Administrator from the ARP with no connection to the case will determine and issue the appropriate sanction(s).