The KCTCS Student Bill of Rights
Policy Number: 6.0
Current Effective Date: 05/20/2022
Original Effective Date: 05/20/2022
Revision Dates: 0
This policy establishes the rights of KCTCS students under the applicable federal, state and local laws.
This policy applies to all students enrolled and attending any KCTCS institution.
- Students are members of our academic community as well as our local, state, national,
and global communities. KCTCS recognizes the freedoms, rights, and privileges of
our students but also demands of our students those responsibilities, obligations,
and duties that are part of good citizenship. This Bill of Rights sets out the rights
of students engaged in KCTCS education programs and activities.
- KCTCS students enjoy the rights considered basic human rights memorialized in the
United States Constitution and in the federal laws passed to support and defend that
- KCTCS students also enjoy the rights set forth in the Kentucky Constitution and in
the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- The Rights associated with the US and Kentucky Constitutions most prominently include
the right to be enrolled in and to attend any KCTCS College without fear or threat
of discrimination on the basis of any immutable characteristic or protected status,
including but not limited to race, gender, ethnicity, color, nationality, age, and
- All KCTCS students shall enjoy the protections of all state and federal laws as well
as any KCTCS policies that respect the gender identity, the gender presentation or
the sexual orientation of students.
- KCTCS students will not be discriminated against based on military service.
- Students shall have access, if needed and desired, to student services that provide
reasonable accommodations as required under US laws and state laws relevant to the
establishment of an equal opportunity to succeed in academic endeavors.
- KCTCS colleges respect the right of all students to learn, study, and grow in an environment
that is free of any discrimination that reduces students to classes rather than recognize
students as individuals.
- KCTCS students shall have the right of free speech but shall understand the responsibilities
that govern that right. Those constraints and restraints that limit and protect First
Amendment Rights also constrain and restrain the rights of students.
- As a “marketplace of ideas,” the academic setting at KCTCS shall respect divergent
viewpoints and the right to express them with respect and civility toward fellow students.
- Students have the right to participate in a community devoted to scholarship and are
encouraged to inquire, debate, think, and express as individual scholars within that
community. This expression includes both agreement with the main and dissent with
others. The exercise of this right shall not interfere with the rights of others
to the academic experience and shall not target, harass, intimidate, or threaten another
participant in the academic process in such a severe or offensive manner that the
target of this conduct is effectively denied access to the academic community at KCTCS.
This is so whether the conduct occurs during course time, after class, or using electronic
or other means rather than face-to-face debate.
- KCTCS students’ right to free speech shall include the right to form and to participate
in student presses at their colleges. Student press shall include academic and literary
publications and journals. The right to participate in student organizations with
the primary goal of written or oral speech shall not be arbitrarily abridged by the
colleges but all students shall recognize the correlation between the rights of speech
and responsibilities of speech. Students shall exercise responsible speech, including
ethical journalistic guidelines as well as any editorial or regulatory guidelines
that carry the weight of law or policy.
- As members of the KCTCS educational community, students have the right to expression
but also responsibility to attribute the expression to its rightful owner. This responsibility
includes written, oral, or any other type of creative expression. Said plainly students
shall express themselves but shall not claim the expression of others as their own.
The foundation of the academic community relies on free expression and freedom from
theft of expression.
- KCTCS students have the right to assemble and to participate in the social, religious,
and political activities available in a free and open society.
- The right to assemble shall include participation in KCTCS recognized organizations.
Groups of students seeking to create or be part of an organization officially recognized
shall have the right to petition for recognition and must follow all rules, regulations,
policies, and procedures necessary for KCTCS recognition.
- KCTCS students have the right to participate meaningfully in the governance of KCTCS,
including, when appropriate, representation on college or System committees as well
as representation on the KCTCS Board of Regents. All colleges shall provide students
the means to participate in local governance through a student government association.
- KCTCS students have the right to privacy in their educational, academic, and financial
records. This right to privacy shall be consistent with the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). FERPA is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable
information contained in student education records. KCTCS shall adhere to policies
and procedures for identification of directory information and for any release of
information that is not identified as directory information and therefore protected
by FERPA. KCTCS students shall also enjoy, when relevant, the protections of KRS 164.283.
- KCTCS students have the right to know with accuracy and clarity information that assists
them in successfully meeting the established academic standards in their classes.
- KCTCS students have the right to clear and comprehensible course objectives and requirements.
This right shall extend to have access to a consistent grading policy used to evaluate
student performance established by their class instructors.
- A student has the right to receive a grade based only upon a fair and just evaluation
of performance in the course as measured by the standards presented in the first or
second class session or in the introductory materials for a distance learning course.
- KCTCS students have the right to know and understand the graduation requirements for
their course of study and their type of degree. This right shall include to the students’
knowledge and understanding of course transfer requirements.
- The rights expressed in this KCTCS Bill of Rights shall not be abridged or removed
without providing students with appropriate due process. The level of due process
owed for academic and disciplinary offenses may vary but shall always include these
essential parts – knowledge of the allegations against the student, a right to express
a defense, the right to know the findings, and a right to an appeal.
- Colleges shall not sanction students academically or behaviorally when the regulation,
rule, or policy is imposed ex post facto. In other words, regulations, rules, or
policies effective after an alleged offense shall not be enforced against students
when addressing that offense. New regulations, policies, or rules will only be applied
from the effective date forward.
- KCTCS students enjoy the rights considered basic human rights memorialized in the United States Constitution and in the federal laws passed to support and defend that Constitution.
- With these rights come responsibilities, and KCTCS expects our students to exercise both. KCTCS recognizes that this Bill of Rights has no meaning without the full disclosure and publication of substantive rules for participating in KCTCS educational programs and activities, and the possible sanctions students might face when found to have violated those rules. To ensure both substantive and procedural due process, KCTCS establishes and maintains as current the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct (Code). All KCTCS students are presumed by the act of enrollment to know and to agree to abide by the Code.