Student Handbook 2020-2021

Student Code of Conduct

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the wellbeing of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for knowledge.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic conditions in the classroom, on the campus, other college sites, and in the community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility. As members of the academic community, students are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. As members of the larger community of which the college is a part, students are entitled to all rights and protection accorded them by the laws of the community. Nothing in this Code of Conduct shall be interpreted to interfere with any person’s right to free speech as provided by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

By the same token, students are also subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instances, college discipline will be initiated if the presence of the student on campus is considered a possible threat to persons or property, or if that person’s presence may disrupt the educational process of the college. However, when a student’s violation of the law also adversely affects the college’s recognized educational objectives, or violates the college’s Student Code of Conduct, the college will enforce its own regulations. When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the college whether or not their conduct violates the law.

It is the policy of the Technical College System of Georgia to provide technical and adult education programs for the people of Georgia. Technical Colleges must provide opportunities for intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth. Technical College students assume an obligation to act in a manner compatible with the fulfillment of the mission. The Technical College community recognizes its responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to growth. With these principles in mind, the Technical College System of Georgia establishes this Student Code of Conduct.

Students who are experiencing problems in the classroom need to see the vice president for academic affairs. Students experiencing any other problems will need to see the vice president of student affairs. For further information refer to Grievance Procedures found in this handbook.

Article I: Definitions

Appellate Board: as defined in the Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.

  1. Faculty Member: any person hired by Georgia Northwestern Technical College to conduct teaching, service, or research activities.
  2. Hearing Body: as defined in the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
  3. Member of the Technical College Community: any person who is a student, faculty member, contractor, Technical College official, or any other person/s involved with Georgia Northwestern Technical College or the community or employed by Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
  4. Policy: the written regulations of Georgia Northwestern Technical College as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbook(s), GNTC Catalog, and the Policy Manual approved by the State Board for the Technical College System of Georgia.
  5. Student: all persons taking courses at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, including full-time, part-time, dual enrollment, joint enrollment, non-credit, and credit. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with Georgia Northwestern Technical College are considered “students.”
  6. System: the Technical College System of Georgia.
  7. Technical College Official: any person employed by Georgia Northwestern Technical College performing assigned administrative responsibilities on a part-time, full-time, or adjunct basis.
  8. Technical College Premises: all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by Georgia Northwestern Technical College (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).

Article II: Proscribed Conduct

Any student found to have committed any of the following types of misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in the Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.

A. Academic

Academic Misconduct Definitions

Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Aiding and Abetting Academic Misconduct - Knowingly helping, procuring, encouraging, or otherwise assisting another person to engage in academic misconduct.
  2. Cheating
    1. Use and/or possession of unauthorized material or technology during an examination, or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade, such as tape cassettes, notes, tests, calculators, computer programs, cell phones, and/or smart phones, or other electronic devices.
    2. Obtaining assistance with or answers to an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade from another person with or without that person’s knowledge.
    3. Furnishing assistance with or answers to an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade to another person.
    4. Possessing, using, distributing or selling unauthorized copies of an examination, computer program, or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade.
    5. Representing as one’s own an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade taken by another person.
    6. Taking an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade in place of another person.
    7. Obtaining unauthorized access to the computer files of another person or agency and/or altering or destroying those files.
    8. Obtaining teacher edition text books, test banks, or other instructional materials that are only intended to be accessed by Technical College Officials, college administrator or Faculty Member.
  3. Fabrication - The falsification of any information or citation in an examination or any other written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or a grade.
  4. Plagiarism
    1. Submitting another’s published or unpublished work in whole, in part or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, quotation marks, citations, or bibliographical reference.
    2. Submitting as one’s own original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material.
    3. Submitting as one’s own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.

B. Non-Academic Misconduct

Non-Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Behavior
    1. Indecent Conduct: The Technical College prohibits lewd or indecent conduct; or distribution of obscene or libelous written or electronic material.
    2. Classroom Behavior - Discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter are recognized as necessary to the educational process, but students have no right to interfere with the freedom of instructors to teach or the rights of other students to learn. The instructor sets the standards of behavior acceptable in the classroom by announcing these standards early in the term and may also be included in class syllabi and/or program handbook. If a student behaves disruptively in class even after the instructor has explained the unacceptability of such conduct, the instructor can dismiss the student for the remainder of the class. If, upon return to the classroom, the disruptive behavior continues, the faculty member should dismiss the student from the classroom and on that same date complete the Student Code of Conduct complaint form and submit it to the Student Disciplinary Officer with a copy of the complaint form given to the Dean.

      The Student Disciplinary Officer will notify the faculty member and the Dean of the disposition of the complaint.

      If, after a determination has been made that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Disciplinary Officer or his/her designee may impose one or more of the following sanctions: restitution, reprimand, restriction, or disciplinary probation. In addition, the Student Disciplinary Officer may recommend disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion to a hearing body, which may uphold the recommendation or impose one or more of the sanctions listed above.

      Any instructor needing assistance may call Security, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, the evening coordinator or campus manager.

      Grades are awarded for student academic achievement. No academic grade will be reduced as a disciplinary measure for student behavior unrelated to academic achievement unless such grade is part of a clinical or internship requirement; however, a student’s Work Ethics grade should directly reflect the student’s in-class behavior.

    3. Violence: The Technical College prohibits physical abuse of any person (including dating violence, domestic violence or sexual violence) on Technical College Premises or at Technical College-sponsored or Technical College-supervised functions, including physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons. This includes fighting and/or other disruptive behavior, which includes any action or threat of violence which endangers the peace, safety, or orderly function of the Technical College, its facilities, or persons engaged in the business of the Technical College. Note: Certain physical abuse may also be considered unlawful harassment.
    4. Harassment: The technical college prohibits unlawful conduct based on race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, genetic information, political affirmation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam Era or citizenship status addressed directly to any individual or group that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and objectively interfering with that individual or group’s: (1) performance, (2) work or educational environment or (3) ability to participate in an educational program or activity. The technical college also prohibits stalking, or other behavior which objectively and unreasonably interferes with another's legal rights or creates an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. (This also includes the display of or navigation to pornography and other inappropriate websites and materials and inappropriate behavior on social media and/or networking applications.) Impermissible harassment may include verbal, non-verbal and/or physical conduct.
    5. Disruption: The Technical College prohibits activities not otherwise protected by law including the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which intentionally obstructs or interrupts teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other technical college activities, including public service functions and other duly authorized activities on technical college Premises or at technical college-sponsored activity sites.
    6. Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with lawful directions of Technical College Officials and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  2. Professionalism
    1. Personal Appearance

      Refer to Georgia Northwestern Technical College Student Appearance and Dress Code policy seen in a separate section in this handbook.

  3. Use of Technical College Property
    1. Theft and Damage: The Technical College prohibits theft of, misuse of, or harm to Technical College Property, or theft of or damage to property of a Member of the Technical College Community or a campus visitor on Technical College Premises or at a Technical College function.
    2. Occupation or Seizure: The Technical College prohibits illegal occupation or seizure in any manner of Technical College property, a Technical College Premises, or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
    3. Presence on Technical College Premises: The Technical College prohibits unauthorized entry upon Technical College Premises; unauthorized entry into Technical College Premises or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use; unauthorized presence in Technical College Premises after closing hours; or furnishing false information to gain entry upon Technical College Premises.
    4. Assembly: The Technical College prohibits participation in or conducting an unauthorized gathering that objectively threatens or causes injury to person or property or that interferes with free access to technical college facilities or that is unprotected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and objectively harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or functions of the technical college.
    5. Fire Alarms: The Technical College prohibits setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment on Technical College Premises or at Technical College-sponsored activity sites, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment. In the event of a fire alarm sounding, Students must evacuate the building unless otherwise directed by a Technical College Official.
    6. Obstruction: The Technical College prohibits obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on Technical College Premises or at Technical College sponsored or supervised functions. Refer to the GNTC Parking Policy.
  4. Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances

    Substances referred to under this policy include all illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, and misused legal drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter).

    1. Alcohol: Georgia Law and the Technical College prohibit possession or use of alcoholic beverages on Technical College Premises unless used for educational purposes or for a religious ceremony. Alcohol is also prohibited by the Technical College at Technical College-sponsored or supervised functions unless permitted by the Technical College President. College-sponsored or supervised functions will be permitted only if the event takes place at (1) a Technical College business conference center capable of accommodating more than two hundred persons or (2) at an off-campus facility and all provisions of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia Policy II.C.6. must be followed. The Technical College further prohibits Students being in a state of intoxication on Technical College Premises or at Technical College-sponsored or supervised functions (including off- campus functions) or in a Technical College-owned vehicle.
    2. Controlled substances, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia: The Technical College prohibits possession, use, sale, or distribution of any controlled substance, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the conduct or consequences of his/her actions.
    3. Food: The Technical College prohibits eating and/or drinking in classrooms, shops, library and labs or other unauthorized areas on Technical College Premises, unless otherwise permitted by Technical College Officials.
    4. Tobacco: The technical college prohibits smoking, or using other forms of electronic, alternative smoking devices or other forms of tobacco products in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas on technical college Premises. Refer to the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Tobacco Policy.
  5. Use of Technology
    1. Damage and Destruction: Destruction of or harm to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Technical College or to others is considered unacceptable usage. This may include altering, downloading, or installing software on Technical College computers, tampering with computer hardware or software configuration, improper access to the Technical College’s network, and disconnection of Technical College computers or devices.
    2. Electronic Devices: Unless otherwise permitted by Technical College Officials, the Technical College prohibits use of electronic devices in classrooms, labs, and other instructional, event, or support facilities on Technical College Premises. Such devices include, but are not limited to cell phones, beepers, walkie talkies, cameras, and other electronic devices, which may cause unnecessary disruption to the teaching/learning process on campus. The Technical College also prohibits attaching personal electronic devices to college computers under any circumstances.
    3. Harassment: The technical college prohibits the use of computer technology to objectively interfere with another’s legal right to be free from harassment based on that individual’s race, color, creed, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, political affirmation or belief, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam Era or citizenship status.
    4. Unacceptable Use: Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another Student, Faculty Member or Technical College Official. This includes the unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.

      Georgia Northwestern Technical prohibits any additional violation to the Department’s Acceptable Computer Use Guidelines. Refer to the Acceptable Computer Use Guidelines in this handbook.

  6. Weapons - The Technical College System of Georgia is committed to providing all employees, students, volunteers, visitors, vendors and contractors a safe and secure workplace and/or academic setting. The possession, carrying, or transportation of a firearm, weapon, or explosive compound/material in or on college building or property shall be governed by Georgia state law. All individuals are expected to comply with the related laws. Failure to follow laws pertaining to weapons is considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Relevant Georgia laws to be aware of and compliant with include but may not be limited to:

    O.C.G.A.§ 16-8-12(a)(6)(A)(iii); O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-80; O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-81;O.C.G.A.§ 16-7-85; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-121; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-125.1; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-126; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-127; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-127.1; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-129; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-130 O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-133; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-135; O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-137; O.C.G.A.§ 43-38-10

  7. Gambling - The Technical College System of Georgia prohibits the violation of federal, state or local gambling laws on Technical College premises or at Technical College sponsored or supervised activities.
  8. Parking - The Technical College prohibits violation of Georgia Northwestern Technical College regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles on or around Technical College Premises.
  9. Financial Irresponsibility - The Technical College prohibits failure to meet any and all financial obligations to the Technical College. All tuition and fees must be paid prior to the first day of class. Theft or misappropriation of any technical college, student organization or other assets is prohibited.
  10. Violation of Technical College Policy - Violation of published System or Technical College Policies, rules or regulations including, but not limited to, rules imposed upon Students who enroll in a particular class or program, internships, externships, practicum, clinical sites, co- operative, or any academic sponsored programs or activities, student organizations.
  11. Aiding and Abetting - Aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to do an activity which otherwise violates this Code of Conduct is prohibited.
  12. Falsification of Documentation Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student who falsifies any documentation related to the technical college either to the technical college or to others in the community, including, but not limited to falsification of:

    technical college transcripts; transcripts or other documentation from other institutions to obtain credit from or admission to the technical college; technical college report cards or other grade reports; documentation related to a student’s citizenship status; tests, homework, attendance records; signature of any technical college employee in his or her official capacity; signatures of any employee of a clinical or internship site where the student is participating in an educational program associated with the technical college or records related to any clinical, internship or other academic activity associated with the technical college.

  13. Violation of Law
    1. If a Student is convicted or pleads Nolo Contendere to an off-campus violation of federal, state, or local law, but not with any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct that is detrimental to the Technical College’s vital interests and stated mission and purpose.
    2. Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a Student charged with violation of a law that is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to criminal arrest and/or prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings.
    3. When a Student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the Technical College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his/her status as a Student. The Technical College will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual Students, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
  14. Abuse of the Student Judicial Process, including but not limited to
    1. Failure to obey the notification of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the technical college president's designee, Hearing Body, Appellate Board, or Technical College Official.
    2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information in a judicial proceeding.
    3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding.
    4. Initiating a judicial proceeding knowingly without cause.
    5. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the judicial process.
    6. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Disciplinary Officer, Judicial Body, or Appellate Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the judicial proceeding.
    7. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Disciplinary Officer, Judicial Body, or Appellate Board prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding.
    8. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code.

Interim Addendum To Student Code of Conduct

COVID-19 and Public Health-Informed Campus Policies

Georgia Northwestern Technical College intends to perform its educational mission while protecting the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff, and minimizing the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, within the community.

Risks of COVID-19

In order to understand the risks that you face by returning to campus, you must understand that COVID-19 is a highly infectious, life-threatening disease declared by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 at this time. 

COVID19’s highly contagious nature means that contact with others or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the virus, may lead to infection. Additionally, individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic for a period or may never exhibit symptoms at all.

Because of its highly contagious and sometimes “hidden” nature, it is very difficult to control the spread of COVID-19 on campus or to determine whether, where, or how a specific individual may have been exposed to the disease. Georgia Northwestern Technical College is taking steps recommended by public health authorities to minimize the risk of spreading this disease on our campus.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College cannot and does not guarantee a COVID-19-free environment, and there remains a risk that you may contract COVID-19 if you come onto campus to live and/or attend classes.  We are providing you with the following notice as well regarding the risk of contracting COVID-19 when you enter upon our campus:


Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.

In order to minimize the risks associated with COVID-19, the policies and guidelines below are incorporated into the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Student Code of Conduct and are applicable to all students.
Your compliance with these requirements is essential to assisting the college in minimizing the risks to you and other members of the community.

General Principles:

You are subject to all guidelines for individuals related to the COVID-19 pandemic established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, the State of Georgia has issued guidelines for personal behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic and you must comply with such guidelines at all times. You understand that both sets of these guidelines may change, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you understand and comply with these guidelines at all times.

From time to time, the College may implement additional requirements restricting your behavior and you agree to comply with such requirements.

You understand that these conditions and limitations on your personal behavior are necessary in order to reduce the risk of transmitting and/or being infected by the COVID-19 virus and that your failure to comply with these responsibilities may jeopardize your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others in the campus community, potentially causing severe illness and death.


Students will comply with governmental, state, and campus directives concerning maintaining required physical distancing (six feet) between themselves and other individuals on campus;

Students will use a face covering of their choosing that conforms to CDC guidelines anytime that they are in an indoor space where the College deems that social distancing is not practical, including but not limited to academic spaces and dining areas (except while eating) unless given different instructions by authorized college personnel;

Students will engage in frequent hand-washing and follow proper sneeze and cough etiquette, as recommended by the CDC;

Students understand and agree that they may be subject to regular testing for the COVID-19 virus and contact tracing, if testing and contact tracing is available, and they agree to submit to this testing and tracing, and the confidential reporting of the results to the College, without objection;

If students develop any symptom of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, they will immediately:

Inform the College by notifying appropriate personnel;

If required by the College, agree to remain in self-quarantine for a time period determined by the College, in consultation with public health authorities.

The above conditions may change, and students agree to follow all college directives relating to COVID-19 and public health requirements.

Any failure to adhere to any of the above directives is a violation of the Code of Conduct that may result in sanctions, including but not limited to suspension or dismissal from the College.