Standards of Student Conduct

Student Discipline

The MiraCosta College District Board of Trustees and the college community support a harmonious, safe, and productive learning environment. To promote such an environment, the board and the superintendent/president have established a set of standards for student conduct. The Standards of Student Conduct policy and the procedures associated with it clearly delineate and define student conduct expectations and the resolution steps associated with due process. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner consistent with a safe and harmonious campus environment.

MiraCosta College Student Code of Conduct

Students must refrain from engaging in any of the following behaviors or face the possibility of disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion:

  • Causing, attempting to cause, or threatening to cause physical injury to another person.

  • Possessing, selling, or otherwise furnishing any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, including but not limited to any facsimile firearm, knife, or explosive, unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the student has obtained written permission to possess the item from the vice president of Student Services.

  • Unlawfully possessing, using, selling, offering to sell, or furnishing, or being under the influence of, any controlled substance listed in California Health and Safety Code §§11053 et seq., an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawfully possessing, or offering, arranging, or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code §11014.5. MiraCosta College does not permit students to use medically prescribed marijuana at any college site or at any college-sponsored activity. While the distribution or sale of alcohol is permitted at events sponsored by the MiraCosta College Foundation, students serving as representatives of the college at such events are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages.

  • Committing or attempting to commit robbery or extortion.

  • Causing or attempting to cause damage to district property or to private property on campus.

  • Stealing or attempting to steal district property or private property on campus, or knowingly receiving stolen district property or private property on campus.

  • Smoking or using any tobacco products at any district site (see Administrative Procedure 3570: Tobacco-Smoke-Vapor-Free Campus).

  • Committing sexual assault or sexual exploitation regardless of the victim's affiliation with the district.

  • Committing sexual harassment as defined by law or by district policies and procedures. 

  • Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.

  • Engaging in intimidating conduct or bullying against another student through words or actions, including direct physical contact; verbal assaults, such as teasing or name-calling; social isolation or manipulation; and cyberbullying.

  • Behaving in a manner that results in injury or death to a student or to district personnel or which results in cutting, defacing, or other injury to any real or personal property owned by the district or on campus.

  • Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or the open and persistent defiance of the authority of, or persistent abuse of, college personnel.

  • Cheating, plagiarizing, or engaging in other academic dishonesty as defined by Administrative Procedure 5505: Academic Integrity/Academic Dishonesty.

  • Behaving dishonestly, committing forgery, altering or misusing district documents, records, or identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to the district.

  • Entering or using district facilities without authorization.

  • Engaging in lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on district-owned or controlled property or at district-sponsored or supervised functions.

  • Engaging in expression that is obscene, libelous, slanderous, or that incites others, creating a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on college premises, or the violation of lawful district regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the district.

  • Disrupting of teaching, administration, or other college activities or programs or refusing to obey lawful directions of college personnel.

  • Violating district or California Education Code regulations pertaining to student organizations, distribution of literature, and place and manner of public expression.

  • Illegally obtaining or altering college records, electronic information, or computer applications and committing any computer-related crimes as defined in California Penal Code §502.

  • Preparing, giving, selling, transferring, distributing, or publishing for any commercial purpose any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction, including but not limited to handwritten or typewritten class notes without authorization, except as permitted by any district policy or administrative procedure.

Students who engage in any of the above are subject to the procedures outlined in the student discipline procedures listed below.

Student Discipline Procedures

The purpose of the student discipline procedures is to provide a prompt and equitable means to address violations of the Student Code of Conduct, which guarantees to the student or students involved the due-process rights afforded them by state and federal constitutional protections.

These procedures will be used in a fair and equitable manner and not for purposes of retaliation. They are not intended to substitute for criminal or civil proceedings that may be initiated by other agencies.

These procedures are specifically not intended to infringe in any way on the rights of students to engage in free expression, as protected by the state and federal constitutions and by California Education Code §76120, and will not be used to punish expression that is protected.

The superintendent/president has designated the vice president of Student Services as the administrator responsible for student discipline procedures.

Definitions

  • The college: the MiraCosta Community College District (commonly referred to as MiraCosta College).
  • Student: any person currently enrolled as a student at any site, online, or in any program offered by the district.
  • Faculty member: any academic employee of the district in whose class a student subject to discipline is enrolled, or counselor who is providing or has provided services to the student, or other academic employee who has responsibility for the student's educational program.
  • Removal from class: exclusion of the student by a faculty member for the day of the exclusion and the next class meeting, or if the exclusion is from an online class, for a period of time that equates to two class sessions.
  • Short-term suspension: exclusion of the student from the college by the vice president of Student Services or designee for good cause for a period of up to 10 consecutive days during which MiraCosta is in session.
  • Long-term suspension: exclusion of the student from the college by the vice president of Student Services or designee for good cause for a period of 11 days during which MiraCosta College is in session up to one calendar year.
  • Expulsion: permanent exclusion of the student from the college by the board of trustees.
  • Disciplinary probation: a letter indicating a reason for the action being taken and specifying that any violation of the MiraCosta College Student Code of Conduct may result in suspension from the district.
  • Written or verbal reprimand: An admonition to the student to cease and desist from conduct determined to violate the MiraCosta Community College District Student Code of Conduct. A record of the fact that a verbal reprimand has been given may become part of a student's discipline record at the college for a period of up to one year.
  • Nonstudent removal: withdrawal of consent by the MiraCosta Community College District Police for any person to remain on campus, in accordance with California Penal Code §626.4, where the police have reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the district.
  • Days: unless stated otherwise, days when the MiraCosta Community College District is open.

Short-term Suspensions

If the vice president of Student Services or designee determines that a student is a danger to himself/herself or others, the student may be suspended for a period of 10 days during which MiraCosta College is in session (California Education Code §66017).

  • The student will be notified either in person or in writing by the vice president of Student Services or designee of the reason for suspension within 10 days of the event that caused the decision to suspend.
  • The student may request a meeting with the vice president of Student Services or designee. The meeting will be held within 10 days of the student request. At the meeting, the student will be presented with the information that caused the decision to suspend and will be given an opportunity to respond to the accusation. If the suspension is lifted or modified as a result of the meeting, the student will be notified in writing by the vice president of Student Services or designee. The decision of the vice president of Student Services or designee for a suspension up to 10 days is final.

Long-term Suspension

If the vice president of Student Services or designee determines that a student disciplinary infraction requires a long-term suspension, the student will be notified in person or in writing within 10 days of the incident that the vice president of Student Services intends to impose a long-term suspension that may last from 11 days up to one calendar year.

  • A student facing a long-term suspension has the right to request a formal hearing before a long-term suspension is imposed. The request must be submitted in writing to the vice president of Student Services or designee within 10 days of receipt of notice of intent to impose a long-term suspension. The hearing will take place within 10 days of the student request.
  • The hearing to appeal a long-term suspension will be conducted by an academic administrator who is not involved with the incident that caused the decision to suspend. The student may bring an advocate to the hearing. If the advocate is an attorney, the vice president of Student Services must be notified at least 5 days in advance of the formal hearing so that college legal representation may also be present. The vice president of Student Services or designee will present the case for suspension and the student will be provided an opportunity to respond and provide evidence in support of the appeal. If attorneys are present, they may provide advice to the people they represent, but they are not part of the formal hearing and will not participate unless invited to do so by the academic administrator in charge of the hearing.
    • Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in hearings. Relevant evidence, including hearsay, is admissible if it is the type of evidence that reasonable members of the college community would rely upon in the conduct of their affairs. The academic administrator conducting the hearing shall have the discretion to determine admissibility of evidence.
    • The academic administrator in charge of the hearing makes a decision based on a preponderance of the evidence, which is whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the MiraCosta Community College District Student Code of Conduct.
  • The hearing will be audio-recorded.
  • The academic administrator will notify the student within 5 days of the formal hearing whether or not the suspension will be upheld.
  • If the suspension is upheld, the student may make a final appeal in writing to the college superintendent/president who will respond in writing within 5 days.

The decision of the college superintendent/president is final.

Expulsion

If the vice president of Student Services or designee determines that a student violation of the MiraCosta Community College District Student Code of Conduct is so egregious that it warrants expulsion from MiraCosta College, the student will be notified in writing of the intention to expel within 10 days of the college administration being made aware of the incident. While an expulsion decision is pending, the student will be suspended from the college.

  • If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the vice president of Student Services or designee to recommend to the board of trustees expulsion, he or she must request a formal hearing in writing to the vice president of Student Services within 10 days of receipt of the notice of intent to expel.
  • The hearing for an appeal of an expulsion decision will be held within 15 days of receipt of the student request for a hearing. The hearing will be conducted by an academic administrator who is not involved with the incident that caused the decision to expel. The student may bring an advocate to the hearing. If the advocate is an attorney, the vice president of Student Services must be notified at least 5 days in advance of the formal hearing so that college legal representation may also be present. The vice president of Student Services or designee will present the case for expulsion, and the student will be provided an opportunity to respond and provide evidence in support of the appeal. If attorneys are present, they may provide advice to the people they represent, but they are not part of the formal hearing and will not participate unless invited to do so by the academic administrator in charge of the hearing.
    • Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in hearings. Relevant evidence, including hearsay, is admissible if it is the type of evidence that reasonable members of the college community would rely upon in the conduct of their affairs. The academic administrator conducting the hearing shall have the discretion to determine admissibility of evidence.
    • The academic administrator in charge of the hearing makes a decision based on a preponderance of the evidence, which is whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
  • The hearing will be audio-recorded.
  • The academic administrator will notify the student in writing within 5 days of the formal hearing whether or not a recommendation for expulsion will be forwarded to the college superintendent/president. The college superintendent/president may support, modify, or reject the recommendation for expulsion. If the superintendent/president supports the recommendation for expulsion, the recommendation will be forwarded to the board of trustees for action within 30 days of the superintendent/president’s decision.
  • The board of trustees will consider a recommendation for expulsion at the next regularly scheduled meeting after receipt of the recommendation from the college superintendent/president. The board will consider an expulsion recommendation in closed session unless the student has requested the matter be considered in a public meeting (California Education Code §72122). The student will be notified in writing by certified mail at least 3 days prior to the board meeting at which the expulsion recommendation will be considered. The notification will include the date, time, and place of the board meeting. The student may request the hearing be held as a public meeting. The request must be in writing to the college superintendent/president and must be made at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If, despite the request for a public hearing, a right to privacy conflict occurs, the board may conduct the expulsion hearing in closed session. The board may accept, modify, or reject the recommendation for expulsion, and the decision of the board is final. The board decision shall be announced at a public meeting.
  • If the student is expelled by the board of trustees, he or she will be permanently excluded from enrolling at MiraCosta College.

Suspension from a Class or College Office by a Faculty Member or Staff Member (California Education Code §76032)

A faculty or staff member may remove a student from a class or from an office for the day of the removal and one additional day of class or of office privileges. The removal of the student must be reported to the vice president of Student Services or designee immediately. The vice president of Student Services or designee will meet with the student to determine whether or not the student will be returned to the class or regain office privileges and under what circumstances reinstatement will be possible. If the behavior that caused the removal is egregious, the vice president of Student Services or designee may determine that the student should be suspended from the class, office, or the district.

Nonstudent Removal

The MiraCosta College Police may notify any person who is willfully disrupting the orderly operation of college classes or activities that permission to remain on campus has been withdrawn. The person may be issued an order to stay away from all district sites for up to 7 calendar days from the date on which permission to remain on campus was withdrawn. Any person violating a stay-away order will be subject to arrest (California Penal Code §626.6).

Exception to Due Process: Athletic Rules Violations

Athletes who violate rules of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, the California Community College Athletic Association, or the MiraCosta College Athletic Department may be suspended immediately from intercollegiate competition.

  • A student athlete may appeal the suspension in writing to the director of Athletics within 10 days of the suspension. The director of Athletics will uphold, modify, or rescind the suspension within 10 days of receiving the appeal.
  • If the director of Athletics upholds the suspension, the student athlete may make a final appeal in writing to the vice president of Student Services, whose written response to the student athlete will be final.

(Sources: MCCD Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 5500 and MCCD Administrative Procedure 5520. All MiraCosta College board policies and administrative procedures are located on the Board of Trustees webpage.)