2021-2023 Catalog and Student Handbook

Mitchell Tech Policies and Administrative Rules

Board Policies

The South Dakota Board of Technical Education and the Mitchell School Board of Education are the governing boards of Mitchell Tech. Policies are approved by the board and apply to all students, administrators, and employees of the college. Many policies are referred to in this publication; they are readily accessible in their entirety on the Mitchell Tech website under the About  link.

Mitchell Tech Catalog and Student Handbook

Many practices and procedures affecting students are found within this document. This publication is updated annually and is available on the Mitchell Tech website. Students are informed that they are responsible for the content of the Catalog and Student Handbook and it is their responsibility to comply with the provisions therein. (See Policy MTC 1003.)

Nondiscrimination Statement

Policies designed to eliminate discriminatory practices have been instituted.

Mitchell Tech does not discriminate in its employment of policies and practices, or in its educational programs on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or ancestry, military/veteran status, genetic information or any other category protected by law.

Freedom of Expression

Mitchell Tech employees and students, as well as groups or individuals not affiliated with the college, may use campus public areas to engage in freedom of expression activities, so long as those activities are not substantially disruptive to the operations, functions, and activities of the college. [See Policy MTC 111.]

Sexual Harassment Title IX

Mitchell Tech is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, that are free from sexual harassment. To ensure compliance with federal and state civil rights laws, MTC has adopted Policy MTC 117 and related procedures to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of sexual harassment as defined by this policy. MTC values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties during what is often a difficult time for all those involved. For further information, see Policy MTC 117.

Student Complaints

Mitchell Tech recognizes that there may be conditions that are in need of improvement and that students and others should have some means by which their concerns may be effectively expressed, considered, and dealt with fairly.  Such means can do much to maintain harmonious relationships between the College and the students, employees, and community.
 
Mitchell Tech desires that all types of complaints be handled informally at the level closest to the origin of the complaint, but also, that channels be provided for filing official complaints when resolution is not achieved.  Mitchell Tech will follow approved policies and procedures for handling complaints.  (Students wishing to file an official complaint or appeal with the College should refer to Policy MTC 1045.  Students wishing to file a grievance alleging a violation of federal or state civil rights laws, rules, and regulations should refer to Policy MTC 1046.)
 
For all complaints, the first course of action must be to try to resolve the complaint directly with MTC through informal or formal processes. To formally file a complaint, please submit the Complaint Intake Form, https://www.mitchelltech.edu/complaint-intake-form.  

Student Due Process

All students are entitled to due process when they are subjected to disciplinary actions such as suspension or expulsion. See Policy MTC 1044. The Board and Mitchell Tech officials have the legal authority to deal with disruptive students and student misconduct. Due process, for most situations, shall be met when:

  1. The student is given oral or written notice of the charges against him/her;
  2. The student is given an oral or written explanation of the facts that form the basis of the proposed suspension disciplinary action;
  3. The student is allowed to have an advisor present during any proceedings, including interviews with Mitchell Tech officials; and
  4. The student is given an opportunity to present his/her version of the incident.

The student may appeal the imposed disciplinary action as specified in Policy MTC 1045.

Weapons on Campus

Students are not permitted to carry, possess, use, store, distribute, transfer, or transport a weapon on any school property, vehicle, or premises, except as explicitly stated in Policy MTC 1033. Students in violation of this policy may be subject to sanctions in accordance to Mitchell Tech’s Non-academic Probation, Suspension, and Expulsion policy. (See Policy MTC 1036.)

Copyright

Mitchell Tech encourages students to familiarize themselves with copyright law and the Fair Use Guidelines. MTC Policy 551 provides guidelines on adhering to Fair Use Guidelines.

Mitchell Tech also has policies in place that prohibit the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. See MTC Policy 744. Furthermore, in compliance with requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Mitchell Tech is required to inform students and staff of further civil and criminal penalties that could be applied towards individuals who engage in the practice of illegally downloading copyrighted material, as follows:

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws - Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ’s at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Mitchell Tech Name and Logo

Mitchell Tech places great value on its name and logo. These represent the College and all the staff and students within. Therefore, students and members of the public should be aware that they need to secure permission from the Mitchell Tech Marketing Office in order to use the College trademark which includes all names (Mitchell Technical College, Mitchell Tech, etc.), logos, and trademarks. Unauthorized use of any of the above may result in legal action against all persons involved in the production, design, manufacture, sales, or distribution of items. This includes T-shirts, jackets, and all other material. (See Policy MTC 105.)

Fundraising

Fundraising may be approved to supplement Mitchell Tech funds where the President or the Dean of Student Success feels it is appropriate to meet the educational needs of students. Such fundraising programs or activities shall have prior approval of the President or the Dean of Student Success, have a Mitchell Tech advisor overseeing the fundraising efforts, serve the educational goals of Mitchell Tech and be used for the direct benefit of the students or Mitchell Tech programs. In addition, the Student Organization Fundraising Application must be completed and submitted to the Dean of Student Success for approval at least two weeks prior to the event. (See MTC Policy 1084.)

Distance Education

Mitchell Tech believes that distance education courses can be an effective means of instruction for students, providing increased accessibility and flexibility in the delivery of instruction. Programs and courses delivered online will be consistent with Mitchell Tech’s instructional goals, curriculum frameworks and assessments, and will meet program standards. Mitchell Tech expects that a student’s submitted work (assignments, quizzes, tests, reports, etc.) will be that of the student’s own work. Mitchell Tech will assure the integrity of its distance education coursework through the methods of proctored testing, secure log-ins, and/or pass codes. These processes will protect the student’s privacy and assure that the students who register in such courses are the same students that participate in, complete, and receive credit for the courses. See Policy MTC 977.

Smoking/Tobacco Use/Vaping

Mitchell Tech is a tobacco and vape free campus in all buildings, building interior and exterior entrances, and Mitchell Tech vehicles. Outside designated smoking areas are provided throughout campus. These are the only locations where tobacco, smoking, or vaping is permitted. Disciplinary action may result for students who do not follow this regulation. (See Policy MTC 518.)

Drug and Alcohol Conduct Guidelines

Mitchell Tech is a Drug-Free Workplace. It is the goal of Mitchell Tech to provide a drug and alcohol-free environment. Mitchell Tech students shall not be involved with the use, possession, or sale of drugs, alcohol, or any controlled substances in any manner that may impair any person’s ability to perform assigned tasks or otherwise adversely impact their behavior. Furthermore, no student shall possess alcoholic beverages in the workplace, classroom, laboratory, vehicle, or at any intramural sports event, class trip, or campus function or consume alcoholic beverages in association with said places during working, classroom, laboratory, or vehicle operating hours or at any time prior to performing safety-sensitive functions which may impair that person’s ability to perform their duties.  

It is the policy of the Mitchell Tech that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, or being under the influence of a controlled substance on property of Mitchell Tech or while a student of Mitchell Tech is engaged in an activity assigned as part of his/her involvement with Mitchell Tech is prohibited unless said controlled substance is used as prescribed by a doctor. A description of applicable legal sanctions is listed in Policy MTC 1035.

Financial aid may be affected if violations occur.  Students convicted of the possession of illegal drugs while receiving Title IV financial aid may have their financial aid suspended for one year. If a student is convicted of selling drugs, they may have their financial aid eligibility suspended for two years. Additional convictions will add at least two years to the above suspensions.

These guidelines will be interpreted, administered, and amended by Mitchell Tech as necessary within its discretion.

 

Threats of Terrorism (South Dakota Codified Law)

22-8-12. Act of Terrorism, Felony: Any person who commits a crime of violence, as defined by subdivision 22-1-2(9), or an act dangerous to human life involving any use of chemical, biological, or radioactive material, or any explosive or destructive device, with the intent to do any of the following:

  1. Intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  2. Influence the policy or conduct of any government or nation;
  3. Affect the conduct of any government or nation by assassination or kidnaping; or
  4. Substantially impair or interrupt public communications, public transportation, common carriers, public utilities, or other public services;

is guilty of making a terrorist threat. A violation of this section is a Class 5 felony.

22-8-13. Terriorist Threat, Felony: Any person who threatens to commit a crime of violence, as defined by subdivision 22-1-2(9), or an act dangerous to human life involving any use of chemical, biological, or radioactive material, or any explosive or destructive device, with the intent to:

  1. Intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  2. Influence the policy or conduct of any government or nation;
  3. Affect the conduct of any government or nation; or
  4. Substantially impair or interrupt public communications, public transportation, common carriers, public utilities, or other public services;

is guilty of making a terrorist threat. A violation of this section is a Class 5 felony.

22-14A-26. Persons Convicted of Certain Crimes May Be Ordered to Make Restitution: The court may, after conviction or adjudication of any violation of § 22-11-9.2, 22-14A-24, or 22-14A-25, conduct a hearing to ascertain the extent of costs incurred, damages, and financial loss suffered by local, county, or state public safety agencies, and the amount of property damage caused as a result of the crime. A person found guilty of violating § 22-11-9.2, 22-14A-24, or 22-14A-25, may upon conviction, be ordered to make restitution to the local, county, or state public service agency for any cost incurred, damages, and financial loss or property damage sustained as a result of the commission of the crime.

22-14A-27. No Cause of Action Against Good Faith Response to Terrorist Act: The provisions of § 22-11-9.2, 22-14A-24, or 22-14A-25 may not be construed to create any cause of action against any person based upon or arising out of any act or omission relating to any good faith response to a felonious threat or an attempted felonious threat.

Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources

The Mitchell Tech community understands that information technology has become an integral resource in fulfilling our mission of teaching, learning, research, public service, and administrative responsibilities. The College therefore encourages students, faculty, and staff to acquire computer literacy and technological skill. Computers and networks empower us openly to find, consider, and disseminate information developed at Mitchell Tech and elsewhere; to communicate and collaborate with others near and far; and to build the technological skills base on which the twenty-first century depends. With this empowerment, however, comes commensurate responsibility. Each of us is obliged to support and abide by the ethical and legal standards that apply to information technology, including rights of authorship, confidentiality, privacy, and dissemination. In doing so, we respect the codes of honesty, integrity, and intellectual freedom upon which institutions of higher learning rely.

Usage Consistent with Law
Usage of Mitchell Tech computing resources shall be consistent with local, state, and federal law.

Copyright Law

It is the policy of Mitchell Tech to respect the ownership of all intellectual material protected by copyright laws.

Users shall not make or use illegal copies of copyrighted materials, store such copies on College systems, or transmit them over College networks.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ’s at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Systems Security

Compliance with policies that ensure the security and integrity of all campus information systems is mandatory and critical to ensure continuing provision of computer resources to the entire Mitchell Tech community.

User Accounts

The College owns the computer facilities, resources, and accounts. The Office of Technology must approve all access to central computer systems, including the issuing of passwords. Access to administrative systems is limited.

All Mitchell Tech students and employees are eligible to receive a computer system account. Members of employees’ families, who are not members of one of the above categories, are not eligible for computer system accounts.

Only the Dean of Technology may grant others access to Mitchell Tech electronic resources and then only in those cases where the activity will significantly benefit the College as a whole.

Users shall not provide false or misleading information to obtain access to computing resources or facilities.

Confidentiality and Privacy
Users of Mitchell Tech’s electronic resources should not consider this usage to be confidential. Electronic communications are in many cases archived with federal law and are subject to review by administration or their designee. Mitchell Tech does require confidentiality in regard to the public release of certain information under FERPA, HIPAA, and other legal requirements and local policy.

Interception of Network Traffic
Users shall not intercept network traffic for any purpose unless engaged in authorized network administrative duties.

Damage or Disruption

Users may not damage computer systems or knowingly cause disruptions in its operations or use. Users shall not use the network to disrupt network users, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unapproved advertising, propagation of computer “worms” and viruses, and sustained high volume network traffic that substantially hinders others in their use of the network.

Personal Gain
Users shall not use the computer systems for personal gain such as selling access to a USER ID or by performing work for profit with College resources in a manner not authorized by the College.

Billable Services
Users shall assume responsibility for any charges associated with billable services unless appropriate authorization has been obtained.

Acceptable Uses of Electronic Mail

Electronic mail may be used for a wide variety of on- and off-campus communication. Examples include professional communications, notices of College activities, personal correspondence, scheduling of committee, administration and board activities, announcement of College policies, schedules and announcements.

System-Provided Mailing Lists
Only messages relating to Institute activities should be sent to the system-provided mailing lists, e.g., All Users, All Faculty, All Staff, etc. Such mailing lists are for notification of Institute events, communication of official Institute messages, and notification of bulletin board discussions. System-provided mailing lists shall not be used for “classified ads” (e.g., “For Sale,” “For Lease,” etc.) or “free items” (e.g., free kittens, free books, etc.). Users shall not use the system-provided mailing lists for commercial or partisan political purposes.

Guidelines
To determine if sending to a mailing list is appropriate please refer to these questions. If your answer is NO, the e-mail should not be sent to an Mitchell Tech distribution group. If you cannot answer the questions, please contact the Dean of Technology for further guidance.
 
1. Does the e-mail pertain to all Mitchell Tech employees or students?
2. Is the e-mail or event sponsored by or directly supported by Mitchell Tech?
 
Also, remember that the distribution system may not be used to sell items or to solicit monetary donations unless the event is sponsored by or directly supported by Mitchell Tech.

Students are not allowed access to College distribution lists without permission from the Dean of Technology.

User-created Mailing Lists
Users may also create their own mailing lists. When creating and using a mailing list, users shall ensure that everyone on the list agrees to be included on the list.

Unacceptable Uses of Electronic Mail
Electronic mail is not to be used for the following:
    •    commercial ventures
    •    personal profit
    •    solicitations for contributions for non-College sponsored entities
    •    chain letters
    •    pyramid schemes
    •    any activity inconsistent with Mitchell Tech policies
    •    or any illegal activity or unlawful purpose. Users shall not use email to harass or intimidate another person. (See Policy MTC 115 for the full harassment policy.)

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a form of harassment over the Internet or other forms of electronic communications and social media, including cell phones. Students and staff will refrain from using communication devices or Mitchell Tech property to harass or stalk one another. Mitchell Tech’s computer network and the Internet, whether accessed at school or away from school, during or after school hours, may not be used for the purpose of cyber bullying. All forms of cyber bullying are unacceptable and viewed as a violation Mitchell Tech’s acceptable computer use policy and procedures.

Users are responsible for the appropriateness of the materials they transmit. Hate mail, harassment, discriminatory remarks, or other anti-social behaviors are expressly prohibited.

Cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings, including blogs. It is also recognized that the author (poster or sender) of the inappropriate material is often disguised (logged on) as someone else.

Students and community members, who believe they have been victims of such misuses of technology, as described in this policy, should not erase the offending material from the systems. A copy of the material should be brought to the attention of the Mitchell Tech Title IX Coordinator in the Mitchell Tech Administrative office.

Malicious use of Mitchell Tech’s computer system to develop programs or to institute practices that harass other users to gain unauthorized access to any entity on the system and/or change the components of an entity on the network is prohibited.

Intellectual Freedom
Mitchell Tech recognizes the right of all users to use resources of their choosing. Computer resources are available for the interest, information, and enlightenment of the Mitchell Tech community. Information will not be proscribed, censored, or removed by the College because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. In compliance with Child Internet Protection Act, Mitchell Tech does provide a content filtering system that prevents the viewing of pornographic material and reserves the right to block peer to peer file sharing that consumes bandwidth required for instructional purposes.

Respect for Rights of Others
Computer users at Mitchell Tech have a responsibility to be aware of materials that may be objectionable to others when using computers in public areas. Monitors and printers in public areas, such as open access computer labs and offices that more than one person may share, should not be used to display or print materials that might be defined as harassing or disruptive. Users are reminded that any state and federal laws dealing with these or related matters apply to Mitchell Tech facilities and are encouraged to use good judgment.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Dean of Technology is responsible for administering and enforcing these regulations. Questions should be directed in writing to the Dean of Technology.

Violations should be reported in writing to the Dean of Technology. When potential damage to College computing resources or data is immediate, the Dean of Technology may suspend the alleged violator’s access to such resources immediately. Notice of such suspension shall be communicated to the alleged violator. Ordinarily the Dean of Technology will discuss the alleged violation with parties involved and/or the individual’s supervisor, instructor, or dean, as appropriate. If the problem cannot be resolved, the Dean of Technology may refer alleged violations of this policy to the appropriate administrator or judicial body.

If a Web page mounted on a College computing resource, in the opinion of the Dean of Technology, violates this Appropriate Use Policy or the Web Page Policy, access to that Web page may be temporarily suspended pending prompt adjudication of the matter as described in the paragraph above.

Any violations of the regulations included in this document may result in penalties as described below. Students may face review for disciplinary actions. These may include, but are not limited to, the suspension of or loss of access to campus computer resources, suspension or expulsion from the College, and referral to law enforcement.

Faculty and staff may face review for disciplinary action as described in the Mitchell Tech Faculty & Non-Faculty Personnel Handbooks. These may include, but are not limited to, the suspension of or loss of access to campus computer resources, and other penalties listed in the handbooks, including possible termination of employment by the College. Appeals from penalties assessed under this policy will follow the appropriate grievance procedure as stated in the handbooks.

Student Laptop Computers on Campus
Required by Program – Full Access
Students who purchase computers from Mitchell Tech for use in their programs will have full use of the campus network services. This includes, but is not limited to, wireless network connectivity, printing, and other services provided by Mitchell Tech. The laptops are distributed and supported by the Mitchell Tech Information Technology Office.

Bring your own Device – Full Access

Students enrolled in programs that require a laptop but are not provided by Mitchell Tech gain access to our network through our Cisco Network Access Control (NAC) client. The client is self-service and can be installed at your leisure. Current system updates and current anti-virus definitions are required to have full network access. Systems that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted onto the network until those conditions are met.

The Mitchell Tech Acceptable Computer Use policy applies to all laptop computers used on the Mitchell Tech network.

Mitchell Tech Student E-mail

E-mail is considered an official method for communication at Mitchell Tech because it delivers information in a convenient, timely, cost effective, and environmentally aware manner.

For the majority of the student population, this Mitchell Tech Student E-mail Policy does not represent a change from current practice. However, the policy does ensure that all students have access to this important form of communication. Furthermore, it ensures that students can be accessed through a standardized channel by faculty and other staff of the College as needed.

 Appropriate Use of E-mail

E-mail is an official method for communication at Mitchell Tech. The College may send communications to students via e-mail. Students are responsible for the consequences of not reading in a timely fashion Institute-related communications sent to their official Mitchell Tech student e-mail account.  Mitchell Tech utilizes automated technologies to protect the network.  It is possible that those technologies may block legitimate messages. It is the recipient’s responsibility to follow up on any undelivered any e-mail that is expected, but has been blocked by the filter.

Application for Student Email Accounts

All students taking classes at Mitchell Tech campus are required to obtain an official Mitchell Tech student e-mail account. A student e-mail account created by the Office of Technology is the official e-mail address to which the College will send e-mail communications. This official address will be recorded in the College’s electronic directories and records for that student.

Expectations Regarding Student Use of Email

Students are expected to check their Mitchell Tech official e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to remain informed of College-related communications. The College recommends checking e-mail every day.

Responsibility for Security of Accounts

An account is given to an individual for the exclusive use by that individual. It is against College policy for a user to give someone his or her password or allow others to use his or her account. However, this is not to preclude others temporarily assisting a user in the performance of his or her College functions (for example faculty helping a student with a computer project; associates showing a new feature of the computer system) while supervised by the user. Users are responsible for all activity on their accounts.

Attempting to discover another user’s password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person’s files or mail is prohibited. The only exception will be when technology personnel are working on the security of the computer system.

In the event a student loses or forgets a password, there will be a $5.00 charge to change a password. All password changes will be made by the Office of Technology.

Faculty Expectations and Educational Uses of E-mail

Since faculty members determine how email is used in their classes, faculty can require students to check their email on a specific or more frequent basis. Messages sent to College-provided aliases of official Mitchell Tech student email addresses are also considered official communication.

Appropriate Use of Student Email

In general, email is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information.

All use of email will be consistent with other College policies, including the Mitchell Tech Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources.

All use of email will be consistent with local, state, and federal law, including provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and all subsequent amendments to the original act.

Communications sent to a student’s official Mitchell Tech email address may include notification of College-related actions.

Redirecting Email

Students may elect to redirect (autoforward) messages sent to their Mitchell Tech official student email address. Students who redirect email from their official address to another address (such as AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, or any email server other than the official Mitchell Tech servers) do so at their own risk. Having email lost as a result of redirection does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official email address. The College is not responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or unofficial servers.

Changes to this policy will be authorized by approval of the administrators of the College. Questions or comments about this policy should be directed to the Dean of Technology.

Withdrawing from School

When withdrawing from Mitchell Tech, access to the Microsoft Office Suite of products (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) and Mitchell Tech e-mail will be terminated.