Lanier Technical College
2017 - 2018
Catalog and Student Handbook
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Student Notification Requirements
I. VOTER REGISTRATION, 20 U.S.C. §1094(a)(23)(A).
The 1998 Higher Education Act requires all post-secondary institutions to make a good-faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to each degree or certificate-seeking student that attends classes on campus, and to make such forms widely available to students. (The law does not apply in states with no voter registration requirement or where voters can register at the time of voting). The institution must request forms from the state 120 days prior to the deadline for registering to vote in the state. In Georgia, the deadline for registering is usually the fifth prior to the date of the primary or election. The law applies to all general and special elections for federal office (i.e. President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative to the U.S. Congress, see 2 U.S.C §431(3)) and includes elections for Governor and other state chief executive.

II. DRUG FREE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES ACT, ("DFSCA"), 20 U.S.C. §1145(g), 34 C.F.R. §86.1 et seq.
The DFSCA requires institutions receiving federal financial assistance to establish drug and alcohol prevention programs for students and employees. At a minimum, each institution must distribute to all students and employees annually:
  • Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on college property or as part of any college activities;
  • A description of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
  • A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol;
  • A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available to employees and students; and clear statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees (consistent with local, state, and federal law), and a description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution, for violations of the standards of conduct.
  • The law further requires an institution of higher education to conduct a biennial review of its program to:
    i. Determine the program's effectiveness and implement changes if they are needed; and
    ii. Ensure that the sanctions developed are consistently enforced. See 34 C.F.R. §86.100.

Institutions were required to make a one-time certification to the Secretary of Education that the college has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. See 34 C.F.R. §86.4-86.6.

The biennial review of the program and any other records relating to the drug prevention program certification must be retained for three (3) years. Records relating to any litigation, claim, audit or other action involving the records must be retained for three (3) years or until completion of the action and resolution of all issues that arise from such litigation, claim, audit, etc. See 34 C.F.R. §86.103

III. FINANCIAL AID, PROGRAMS AND ATHLETICS INFORMATION, 20 U.S.C. §1092; 34 C.F.R .§668.
Detailed information is required under the Higher Education Amendments regarding financial aid, tuition, fees and other costs of attendance, academic programs, accreditation, handicapped services/facilities, study abroad and completion/graduation, transfer-out rates, as applicable, and athletic program information.

A. Financial Assistance Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.42.
Institutions must publish and make readily available to all current students and all prospective students upon request a description of all federal, state, local, private and institutional student financial assistance programs available to students, including both need-based and non-need-based programs. For each financial aid program described, the information must include:

  1. procedures and forms by which students apply for assistance;
  2. student eligibility requirements;
  3. the criteria for selecting recipients; and
  4. the criteria for determining the amount of a student's award.

These materials must be made available to students via appropriate publications and mailings before they enter into a financial obligation with the institution. 34 C.F.R. §668.42(b).

The institution must describe the rights and responsibilities of students that receive financial assistance under the Title IV, HEA Programs, including specific information regarding:

  1. the criteria for continued student eligibility under each program;
  2. standards which the student must maintain in order to be considered to be making satisfactory progress for purpose of receiving financial assistance and the criteria by which the student who has failed to maintain satisfactory progress may re-establish his/her eligibility for financial assistance;
  3. the method by which financial assistance disbursements are made to students and the frequency thereof;
  4. the terms of any loan received by a student, a sample loan repayment schedule and the necessity for repaying loans;
  5. the general conditions and terms that apply to any employment which is part of a students' financial assistance package;
  6. the institution must provide and collect exit counseling information as required by 34 C.F.R. 674.42 for Perkins Loan Program borrowers by 34 C.F.R. 685.304 for William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program borrowers and by 34 C.F.R. 682.604 for Federal Stafford Loan Program borrowers; and
  7. the conditions under which students receiving Federal Family Education Loan or Ford Direct Loan assistance may obtain repayment deferrals for service under the Peace Corps Act, the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 or comparable volunteer community service. See 34 C.F.R. 668.42.
B. Institutional Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.43.
Institutions must publish and make readily available to all current and prospective students certain required institutional information. This information must be made available to enrolled or prospective students, on request, via appropriate publications, mailings or electronic media before the student enters into a financial obligation with the institution. 34 C.F.R. §668.41(d). The required institutional information must include:
  1. costs of attendance, including tuition and fees, estimates of necessary books and supplies, estimates of typical charges for room and board, transportation costs for students, and any additional costs of a program in which a student is enrolled or has expressed an interest;
  2. a statement of the refund policy for return of unearned tuition and fees or other costs paid to the institution;
  3. the procedures for officially withdrawing from the college;
  4. a summary of the requirements (under 34 C.F.R. §668.22) for the return of Title IV grant or loan assistance;
  5. the academic programs of the institution, including current degree programs and other educational and training programs, the instructional laboratory and other physical facilities that relate to the academic program, and the institution's faculty and instructional personnel;
  6. the names of any entities which accredit, approve or license the institution in its programs, and the procedures by which documents describing that activity can be reviewed pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §668.43(b);
  7. a description of any special facilities and services for handicapped students;
  8. the title of persons designated under 34 C.F.R. §668.44 as those who are available on a full-time basis to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining financial aid and institutional information; and
  9. a statement that enrollment in a study-abroad program approved for credit by the home institution may be considered enrollment at the home institution for purposes of applying for assistance under Title IV, HEA Programs. The institution must also make available to any enrolled or prospective student, upon request, a copy of the documents that describe the institution's accreditation, approval or licensing. In addition, unless a waiver has been granted (pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §668.45(b)), the institution must designate an employee or group of employees that must be available on a full-time basis to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining the financial aid or institutional information specified in 34 C.F.R. §668.43 and §668.44
C. Completion or Graduation Rate Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.45.
An institution is required to prepare annually information regarding completion or graduation rates of certificate or degree-seeking full-time undergraduate students. Institutions whose mission is to prepare students to enroll in another institution must compile information on its transfer-out rate. Guidance on the methods for determining the completion/graduation rate and transfer-out rate is provided in 34 C.F.R. §668.45. An institution must disclose its completion or graduation rate and, as applicable, transfer-out rate information no later than the July 1 immediately following the 12-month period ending August 31 during which 150% of the normal time for completion or graduation has elapsed for all of the students in the group on which the institution bases it completion or graduation rate and, if applicable, the transfer-out rate calculations.

In addition, institutions may, but are not required to calculate a completion or graduation rate for students who transfer in and/or completion or graduation and transfer-out rates for students who leave to serve in the Armed Forces, on official church missions, with foreign aid service of the U.S. or who become totally disabled. Institutions whose mission does not involve preparing students to enroll in another institution may, if they wish, calculate a transfer-out rate.

The Secretary of Education may grant a waiver of the requirements in this Section to any institution that is a member of an athletic association or conference that has voluntarily published the completion or graduation rate data which the Secretary determines substantially comparable to the data required by this Section. 34 C.F.R. §668.45(e).

D. ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT, 20 U.S.C. §1092; 34 C.F.R. §668.47.
The Campus Security Act requires colleges to report crime statistics and other public safety measures, procedures and policies by October 1 of each year. A description of enforcement procedures, as well as crime prevention and education programs, including a campus sexual assault prevention program, must be contained in the Annual Security Report. This report must be distributed to all students and employees and must be made available to all prospective students and employees. Crime statistics must also be reported to the U.S. Secretary of Education per the electronic reporting procedure established by the Secretary. The Annual Campus Security Report must include:

  1. Statistics on the occurrence on campus of the specified criminal offenses and disciplinary referrals set forth in the regulations (34 C.F.R. §668.47(c));
  2. A statement of current campus policies regarding procedures for reporting criminal actions or other emergencies on campus and policies concerning the institution's response, including policies for timely reporting to members of the campus community the occurrence of crimes which must be reported under Section 668.47(c) and policies for preparing the annual crime statistics;
  3. A statement of current policies concerning use and access to campus facilities, including residences, and security considerations in the maintenance of campus facilities;
  4. A statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement, including the enforcement authority and working relationship with state and local police agencies and whether security personnel have arrest powers; policies that encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to campus police and appropriate police agencies; and any procedures that allow pastoral and professional counselors to inform people they are counseling of any procedures for reporting crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis; and
  5. A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage them to be responsible for their own security and the security of others;
  6. A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of crime;
  7. A statement of policy about the monitoring and recording of criminal activity at off-campus locations of student organizations recognized by the institution;
  8. A statement of policy on the possession, use and sale of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of underage drinking laws;
  9. A statement of policy on the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement of federal and state drug laws;
  10. A description of any drug or alcohol abuse education programs (the institution may cross-reference the materials the institution uses to comply with Section 120 of the HEA, codified at 20 U.S.C. §1011(i)).
  11. A statement of policy regarding the institution's campus sexual assault programs to prevent sex offenses, and procedures to follow when a sex offense occurs. This statement must include a description of educational programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape and other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, procedures students should follow if a sex offense occurs, information on a student's option to notify proper law enforcement authorities and a statement that institutional personnel will assist the student in notifying these authorities if so requested, notification to students of existing on and off campus counseling, mental health or other student services for victims of sex offenses, notification to students that the institution will change a victim's academic and living situations after an alleged sex offense, and procedures for campus disciplinary action in the case of alleged sex offenses. These procedures for campus disciplinary actions for alleged sex offenses must include a clear statement that: (1) the accused and the accuser are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding; (2) both the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding alleging a sex offense; and (3) sanctions that the institution may impose following a final determination of an institutional disciplinary proceeding regarding rape, acquaintance rape, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offense.
  12. A statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. This will usually be the local Sheriff's Office having primary jurisdiction for the campus. See 42 U.S.C. §14071(j). Also, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains a searchable web site of registered sex offenders at http://www.ganet.org/gbi.
  13. Requirements for the distribution of the annual security report are set forth in 34 C.F.R. §668.47(b). Each campus of an institution must comply separately with these requirements. The annual security report must contain the required statistics (34 C.F.R. §668.47(a)(6)) for the three (3) calendar years preceding the year the report is issued. Current statistics must be compiled with the definitions used in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. 34 C.F.R. §668.47(b)(3). Under Section 668.47(e), an institution must issue timely warnings of reportable crimes where those warnings may aid in the prevention of similar crimes, or where the crimes are considered by the institution to represent a threat to students and employees.

E. FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 ("FERPA" or "BUCKLEY AMENDMENT"), 20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 C.F.R. §99.1 et. seq.

FERPA regulates the disclosure and maintenance of student records at all institutions that receive federal funds. Since the focus of this summary is notification requirements, the various requirements and prohibitions of FERPA are not discussed. For detailed information and discussion of the requirements imposed by FERPA see:

  • Department of Education Family Compliance Office web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, A Legal Compendium Steven J. McDonald, Editor, published by NACUA
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers: http://aacrao.com
  • Association for Student Judicial Affairs: http://asja.tamu.edu
  • FERPA's notification provision (34 C.F.R. §99.7) requires post- secondary institutions to give students an annual notice describing their rights under FERPA. This annual notice must inform students that they have the right to:
    1. Inspect and review their education records;
    2. Request changes to their education records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's privacy rights; and
    3. Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from their education records, except to the extent FERPA allows disclosure without consent (see 34 C.F.R. §99.63 and 99.64); and
    4. File a complaint with the Department of Education about the institution's alleged failure(s) to comply with FERPA.
The annual FERPA notice to students must also include:
  1. the procedure for exercising the right to inspect and review their education records;
  2. the procedure for requesting amendment of their education records; and
  3. the institution's policy on disclosing education records to school officials (under 34 C.F.R. §99.31(a)(1)) whom the institution has determined have a legitimate educational interest in such records. The required annual notice may be made "by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the …students of their rights." 34 C.F.R. §99.7(b). Institutions must use effective means to notify disabled students. 34 C.F.R. §99.7(b).
     
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