Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog & Student Handbook 
2024-2025 Catalog & Student Handbook

Student Rights and Responsibilities



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 this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

    1. Freedom of Access to Higher Education

      Motlow State Community College is open to all students who are qualified according to its admissions standards.
    2. Evaluation in the Classroom

      Students are free to pursue their educational goals. Appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus are provided by the College. Student performance will be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
    3. Protection of Freedom of Expression

      Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled.
    4. Protection against Improper Academic Evaluation

      Students have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
    5. Protection against Improper Disclosure

      The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards regarding the confidentiality of and access to student records, and this Act is adhered to by the College.

    ​This notice is intended to comply with the Tennessee Higher Education Freedom of Expression and Transparency Act (the “Act”) and to reflect the Board of Regents’ and institutional commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom.
    1. Definitions
      1. Divisive Concept means a concept that:
        1. One (1) race or sex is inherently superior or inferior to another race or sex;
        2. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
        3. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;
        4. An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;
        5. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
        6. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;
        7. A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress another race or sex;
        8. This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;
        9. Promotes or advocates the violent overthrow of the United States government;
        10. Promotes division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people;
        11. Ascribes character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex;
        12. The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups;
        13. All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
        14. Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law;
        15. Includes race or sex stereotyping; or
        16. Includes race or sex scapegoating.
      2. Faculty means any person, whether or not the person is compensated by the institution, and regardless of political affiliation, who is tasked with providing scholarship, academic research, or teaching. “Faculty” includes tenured and nontenured professors, adjunct professors, visiting professors, lecturers, graduate student instructors, and those in comparable positions, however titled. “Faculty” does not include persons whose primary responsibilities are administrative or managerial.
      3. Race or sex scapegoating means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex, because of their race or sex, and includes any claim that, consciously or subconsciously, and by virtue of a person’s race or sex, members of a race are inherently racist or inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.
      4. Race or sex stereotyping means ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
    2. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, and Academic Freedom
      1. Nothing in this notice or the Act shall be interpreted to:
        1. Infringe on freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution, or the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu;
        2. Infringe on the rights of academic freedom of faculty and other instructors as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution, or the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu;
        3. Require an employee to:
          1. Violate any federal or state law, rule, or regulation; or
          2. Fail to comply with any applicable academic accreditation requirement;
        4. Prohibit an institution from training students or employees on the nondiscrimination requirements of federal or state law; or
        5. Prohibit an institution from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, provided that those efforts are consistent with State law.
    3. Prohibited Activity
      1. Neither the institution nor any employee shall penalize, discriminate against, or engage in any adverse treatment due to a student’s or employee’s refusal to support, believe, endorse, embrace, confess, act upon, or otherwise assent to one or more divisive concepts.
      2. Neither the institution nor any employee shall require a student or employee to endorse a specific ideology or political viewpoint to be eligible for hiring, tenure, promotion, or graduation.
      3. Neither the institution nor any employee shall ask the ideological or political viewpoint of an applicant for admission, student, job applicant, job candidate, or candidate for promotion or tenure. This Section shall not be construed to prohibit classroom instruction or discussion, to prohibit any other teaching or pedagogical activity, to interfere with academic freedom, or to violate the Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as explained in Freedom of Speech and Expression : | policies.tbr.edu.
    4. Investigation and Resolution of Complaints
      1. A student or employee who believes that the institution or an employee has engaged in Prohibited Activity may file a complaint by submitting a complaint to Submitting a Comment, Complaint or Request | Tennessee Board of Regents (tbr.edu).


The education records of current and former students at Motlow State Community College are maintained as confidential records pursuant to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended. Students have the right of access to their own education records as hereinafter set forth, and personally identifiable education records of students are not released to persons, agencies, or organizations without the consent of the student unless release is authorized by law and by this institution.

Directory information concerning students is treated as public information and is released to the public unless otherwise requested by the student. “Directory information” includes the following: the student’s name, address, email address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, class schedule, full-time/part-time status, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and the degrees and awards received by the student. Directory information is released to other students for car pool purposes. At the time a student registers for courses, the student may request in writing that any or all directory information concerning the student not be released as public information. This request for non-disclosure shall be made each semester to remain in effect. If the student does not wish directory information to be released, the student’s name will not appear in public listings released by the College such as Dean’s List, Honor Roll list, or Graduation list.

A student’s right to access his/her education records includes the right to inspect and review content of such records. A request by a student for access to his/her education records should be directed to the Assistant Vice President of Student Success and will be granted within a reasonable period of time not to exceed forty-five days after the request has been made. The student has the right to seek amendment of the records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.

The student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Any student who believes that information contained in the education records is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy rights of the student may request that the records be amended. After a reasonable period of time, if the institution decides to refuse to amend the education records, the student shall be informed in writing and shall be advised by the Assistant Vice President for Student Success of his or her right to a hearing before the Student Affairs Committee and the procedures for the hearing. Following a hearing, if the institution decides that the records should not be amended, the student shall have the right to place a written statement in the records concerning the contested information; this statement shall be maintained by the institution as long as the contested information is maintained and which shall be disclosed to any party to whom the contested information is disclosed.

Information concerning education records which is personally identifiable with a particular student, other than directory information shall not be released to persons, agencies, or organizations other than those hereinafter described unless:

  1. There is written consent from the student specifying the records to be released, the reason for the release, and to whom the information is to be released, with a copy to the student if requested; or
  2. Such information is furnished in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena, provided that advance notice of the receipt of the order or subpoena shall be provided to the student prior to compliance, if possible. Personally identifiable education records may be released to other school officials of the institution, including members of the faculty who have legitimate educational interest.

In addition, such information may be released to the following described persons, agencies, and organizations:

  1. MSCC officials — A College official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on staff at the Tennessee Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another College official in performing his or her tasks. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility;
  2. Officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
  3. Auditors or evaluators of compliance with educational programs, including accrediting agencies;
  4. Those involved in connection with a student’s application for receipt of financial aid;
  5. Organizations conducting studies on behalf of the institution;
  6. Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if such knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other person;
  7. Law enforcement officials in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena;
  8. Officials serving the student in the juvenile justice system;
  9. Directory information;
  10. Disclosure to an alleged victim of any violence, as that term is defined in Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code, of the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the college against the alleged perpetrator of the crime with respect to that crime.

A record of access shall be maintained by the institution in the Office of Student Success reflecting all individual agencies or organizations having requested or obtained access to a student’s education records and specifying the legitimate interest of the party obtaining the information; this record shall be available to the student.


Unless prevented by circumstances beyond his/her control or absent on the basis of an institutionally approved absence, a student is expected to attend regularly all classes for which he/she is registered. Regardless of the cause or nature of the absence, the student is responsible for the material covered or assigned during the absence.

Each faculty member is responsible for explaining, in writing, at the beginning of each course his/her practice in the treatment of absences. When regular attendance is a definite part of the total performance expected for the satisfactory completion of a course, an unsatisfactory attendance record may adversely affect the final grade recorded for the course.

Students may be given an institutional excuse for absence on the basis that the student represents the College at a public event in the interest of the College or is engaged in an activity such as a field trip, which contributes to the education of the student. In granting an institutional excuse for absence, the College does not excuse the student from the responsibility for material covered or assigned during the absence.


Motlow College strives to provide the best instructional atmosphere and level of service to all students. At times, however, students may have an issue, concern, or complaint regarding their educational experience. In such cases, the College strives to resolve issues as quickly as possible and at the level closest to the issue.

Students should follow the procedures listed below to resolve their concerns or complaints for matters not involving grade appeals or disciplinary matters. The process for grade appeals and all disciplinary matters are described in the MSCC Catalog in the Academic Affairs section of the catalog.

Informal Resolution

The first step a student should take in resolving a concern or complaint is to directly address the faculty member or staff member in question.  There may be some cases in which a student might feel uncomfortable directly addressing the faculty or staff member.  If this is the case, the student should speak to the academic department head in the case of a faculty member or to the supervisor in the case of a staff member.  If there is no resolution at that level, the student may file a formal, written complaint.

Formal Resolution

Students who have attempted to resolve their complaints informally and need further resolution may file a formal complaint. Students should fully complete and submit the electronic student complaint form, available via MyMotlow.  This form will be submitted to the appropriate Vice President or administrator over the unit in question.  An investigation will be conducted within ten (10) working days of receiving the complaint.  A decision, as a result of the investigation, will be communicated to the student no more than thirty (30) working days of receiving the complaint.  A written appeal may be filed within five (5) days of the decision to the appropriate Vice President over the unit in question.  The Vice President will communicate his/her decision on the appeal within ten (10) working days.  The decision of the Vice President is final.


Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at the institution may submit a Student Complaint Form to the Tennessee Board of Regents at 1415 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 340, Nashville, Tennessee 37217, or by going online and filling out the Program Integrity Student Complaint Form. Under Tennessee’s open records law, all or parts of complaints will generally be available for review upon request from a member of the public.

Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, Telephone: 404-679-4500.

Complaints of fraud, waste, or abuse may be made by email at reportfraud@tbr.edu or by calling the Tennessee Comptroller’s Hotline for Fraud, Waste and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454.


As an institution of higher education, Motlow State Community College must preserve conditions which will permit a proper learning and work environment at all times. Students, faculty, and staff are not approved to leave minors unsupervised on campus. It is not the intent of this policy to prevent children in the accompaniment of an adult from visiting the campus. However, consideration for the learning environment of the students, the work routine of staff employees, and the safety of the children requires that if children on campus with their parents become disruptive, their parents will be asked to remove them. When extenuating circumstances occur, children will be allowed to accompany parents to class only with the prior approval of the instructor.

In certain circumstances, children may be on campus for classes held for their benefit (programs for the academically talented, field trips, etc.). At such times, it is expected that the instructor or responsible adult will supervise the activities of the children and that before and after the class, an area will be designated for the children to await their parents’ arrival. It is the responsibility of the supervisor/instructor of these activities to explain these restrictions to the children and to monitor the enforcement where feasible.

In all circumstances related to children on campus, it is the expectation of the institution that good judgment be exercised in preventing disruption of the office routine or learning environment while at the same time exhibiting concern about the safety of children who are visitors to the campus. Where conditions exist which do not appear to be covered by this policy, inquiry should be made through the appropriate Campus Academic Dean or Assistant Academic Dean, who will work in consultation with the Dean of Students.