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Student Responsibilities & Rights

Student Rights

As residents of Massachusetts or the United States, students have rights including, but not limited to:

  • the right to exercise the rights of citizenship
  • the right to freedom of association, inquiry and expression
  • the right to privacy and confidentiality
  • the right to security from unreasonable or unauthorized search or seizure
  • the right to freedom from any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, political views, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability

As students at Northern Essex Community College, students have rights including, but not limited to:

  • the right to expect a good learning environment on campus
  • the right to expect prompt and appropriate action if the safety of that environment is violated by threats or violence
  • the right to competent instruction in courses and to assistance in attempting to overcome educational, cultural, emotional and economic disadvantages which hinder the educational process
  • the right to fair and equal treatment in instruction, evaluation and services by faculty, staff, students, and administrators
  • the right to voting representation on campus governing and advisory bodies as provided in their bylaws
  • the right to procedural due process in grievance and disciplinary hearings

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for:

  • obeying all federal and state laws, and all civic and college regulations, and for insuring that any guests they bring on campus follow the codes of behavior required of students
  • respecting the property of individuals, groups, and the college itself
  • behaving, on campus and elsewhere while under the auspices of NECC, in ways that enable the college’s mission of teaching and learning to be fulfilled in an atmosphere of safety and encouragement for all
  • maintaining high standards of academic honesty and integrity

Academic Ethics and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very serious violation of Academic Ethics and the NECC Code of Conduct. The college expects all students to maintain high standards of academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism is defined by the College to be the use of any other person’s research, images, words or ideas as though they were your own, without giving appropriate credit to the original source. If you use another person’s research, images, words or ideas you must give credit to the original source through proper citation (consult your instructor about this requirement), regardless of whether you use a direct quote, or incorporate an idea into your own work. Instructors are required to provide students with a clearly written definition of plagiarism applicable in their discipline as part of the course syllabus that they provide during the first two weeks of each course. Plagiarism may range in severity from unintentional omission of credit, to intentional, dishonest representation of borrowed work as one’s own. In most cases, plagiarism will be dealt with by the faculty member in charge of the course, and students will be sanctioned according to the severity of the offense. Students’ academic offenses are usually handled by faculty members and/or their academic supervisors.

Right of Grievance

Students have the right to file a grievance if they feel that the faculty’s informal action taken in the alleged incident discriminated or abrogated their individual or student rights.

Due Process for Students

All Northern Essex students possess the following Due Process rights:

  • the right to be clearly informed of the problem or behavior in question;
  • the right to have an opportunity to modify the condition or behavior; and
  • the right to have a clear understanding of the consequences of not modifying the condition or behavior


All NECC students are responsible for their own actions. Almost all NECC students are law-abiding citizens or residents and intellectually honest scholars, seeking to use the College’s resources to their best individual advantage. The regulations governing student conduct seek to assure an atmosphere in which lively debate, many varieties of student activity, and a constant quest for knowledge and truth can take place within a context of full academic freedom and personal safety.