2017-2018 College Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2017-2018 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Institutional Policies and Guidelines

A complete text of all institutional policies is available in the office of the Dean of Student Services and is located on the TRCC website.

Affirmative Action Policy/Nondiscrimination Statement

The Community College System of the state of Connecticut will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, genetic information, marital status, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning disability, or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness, or prior conviction of a crime, unless the provisions of sections 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b), or 46a-81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups. With respect to the foregoing, discrimination on the basis of sex shall include sexual harassment as defined in section 46a-60(8) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Although it is recognized that there are bona fide occupational qualifications, which provide for exception from employment prohibitions, it is understood these exceptions are to be applied pursuant to section 46a-68-33 of the administrative regulations. Further, the system will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of political beliefs or veteran status.

Title IX (Discussion, Reporting Process)

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This applies to recruitment, admissions, counseling, financial aid, academic access, discipline, single-sex education, athletics, and employment.

“Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or making charges, testifying or participating in any complaint action under Title IX” (US DoEd).

The following person has been designated to handle student inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Victoria Baker, Interim Title IX Coordinator, Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360 (860) 215-9208 or vbaker@threerivers.edu.

Racism and Acts of Intolerance Policy

The Community Colleges have long been committed to providing educational opportunities to all who seek and can benefit from them, as evidenced in the mission statements and policies concerning student rights, affirmative action, and equal opportunity. The Board and the Colleges recognize that an important part of providing opportunity is creating a welcoming environment in which all people are able to work and study together, regardless of their differentness. At the same time, colleges and universities have traditionally been at the cutting edge of protection of our most cherished freedoms, most notably freedom of speech and non-violent action, which protect even unpopular or divisive ideas and perspectives. Such constitutionally-protected expression can contribute to an unwelcoming and even offensive social and educational environment for some individuals in the college community, particularly when it concerns race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or ethnicity, and the first amendment does not preclude colleges from taking affirmative steps to sensitize the college community to the effects of creating such a negative environment. Therefore, the Community Colleges recognize that they have an obligation not only to punish proscribed actions, but also to provide programs which promote pluralism and diversity and encourage the college community to respect and appreciate the value and dignity of every person and his or her right to an atmosphere not only free of harassment, hostility, and violence but supportive of individual academic, personal, social, and professional growth. Acts of racism or harassment directed against individuals or specific groups of individuals will not be tolerated and will be dealt with under the employee affirmative action grievance procedures and the student grievance and disciplinary procedures. Each college will provide a comprehensive educational program designed to foster understanding of differentness and the value of cultural diversity. This will include plans to (1) promote pluralism, (2) educate the college community about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors to increase sensitivity and encourage acceptance, and (3) widely disseminate this policy statement to the entire college community.

People with Disabilities Policy

The Board of Regents of Community-Technical Colleges and all of the colleges under its jurisdiction are committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for people with disabilities in the Community Colleges. To that end, this statement of policy is put forth to reaffirm our commitment to ensure that no qualified person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity on a Community College Campus or in the Central Office of the Board of Regents. The Board recognizes that a physical or functional impairment is a disability only to the extent that it contributes to cutting the person off from some valued experience, activity, or role. Higher education is therefore especially important to people with disabilities, since it aims to increase every student’s access to valued experiences, activities, and roles. Improving access for students and employees means removing existing barriers that are physical, programmatic, and attitudinal; it also means taking care not to erect new barriers along the way. The efforts of the Community Colleges to accommodate people with disabilities should be measured against the goals of full participation and integration. Services and programs best promote full participation and integration of people with disabilities when they complement and support, but do not duplicate, the regular services and programs of the college. Achieving the goal of full participation and integration of people with disabilities requires cooperative efforts within and among institutions of higher education. The Board of Regents will work with the board of governors to achieve a higher level of services and appropriate delivery methods at all Connecticut Community Colleges. This statement is intended to reaffirm the Board’s commitment to affirmative action and equal opportunity for all people and in no way to replace the equal opportunity policy statement.

ADA Grievance Procedure for the General Public

A grievance is an allegation that an agent of the college has discriminated against the grievant on the basis of disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et. seq. (ADA).  The following procedure shall apply only to members of the public.

How to file a grievance:  A grievance must be submitted in writing to the ADA coordinator or such other college official as the president may designate within thirty days of the date the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation.  The written grievance shall describe the discriminatory action and state briefly the underlying facts. 

Procedure for grievance resolution:  The ADA coordinator shall investigate the grievance in consultation with the college’s affirmative action person and, within thirty days from the time the grievance was submitted, recommend to the president a disposition of the grievance.  The president may accept or reject the recommendation or direct such further investigation as he or she deems appropriate.  The president shall notify the grievant of the final disposition of the grievance within fifteen days of receiving the recommendation.        (Adopted December 21, 1992)

Aids and Other Communicable Diseases Policy

The Community College System reaffirms its commitment to provide a safe and healthy educational environment, safeguard the rights of individuals, and comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. Sound and compassionate legal, ethical, moral, and educational principles require that students and employees with AIDS, HIV infection, and other communicable diseases be accorded the same rights and assume the same responsibilities as all other members of the Community College community. It is recognized that the best method of allaying fears and promoting understanding is education: the dissemination of information based on fact and current scientific knowledge. People with AIDS and other communicable diseases shall be accorded the same rights as all other students and employees. State and federal laws and regulations prohibit discrimination against and harassment of individuals solely because of disability. No individual shall be discriminated against in any college programs, services, or employment solely because of his or her status as AIDS or HIV-infected or having any other communicable disease. Each college shall provide information and educational programs and activities concerning AIDS and other communicable diseases for students and employees. Such information and programs shall rely on the most current knowledge about such diseases and shall focus on how such diseases are and are not transmitted, how they can be prevented, and the rights of persons with such diseases. Each college president shall designate an individual responsible for coordination, delivery, and evaluation of the college AIDS education program. A committee representative of the college community should be involved in formulating educational and information activities. Restrictions shall not be placed on admission, programs, services, or employment offered to an individual on the basis of a diagnosis of AIDS, HIV infection, or other communicable disease, except in individual cases when it has been medically determined that there is risk of infection or danger to others or in programs from which individuals with specific communicable diseases are excluded by law or regulation. Colleges shall not require testing of students or employees for AIDS, HIV infection, or other communicable diseases for participation in employment, programs, or services of the college, except as required by law or regulation. Where possible, colleges shall maintain a listing of local referral sources for such testing and shall publish such listing with other educational information. All student or employee information related to inquiries, testing, and disclosure of AIDS, HIV, or other infection status shall be treated confidentially as all other health records. All reasonable steps shall be taken to protect the identity of an individual with AIDS. Students and employees involved in the direct delivery of health care services and those who might otherwise come in contact with blood and other body fluids (such as in science laboratories or allied health practica) shall at all times follow the guidelines regarding precautions to be taken in the handling of such fluids disseminated by the Department of Health Services (January 1987) or other approved guidelines. Violations of any part of this policy shall be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedures for students or employees. This policy shall be published in all college catalogs and student handbooks and shall be made available to all employees.

Drugs and Alcohol in the Community Colleges Policy

The Board of Regents of Community-Technical Colleges endorses the statement of the network of colleges and universities committed to the elimination of drug and alcohol abuse, which is based on the following premise: American society is harmed in many ways by the abuse of alcohol and other drugs - decreased productivity, serious health problems, breakdown of the family structure, and strained social resources. Problems of illicit use and abuse of substances have a pervasive effect upon many segments of society - all socio-economic groups, all age levels, and even the unborn. Education and learning are especially impaired by alcohol abuse and illicit drug use. The Board recognizes that education regarding alcohol and substance abuse is an appropriate and even necessary part of contemporary college life. Since the unauthorized use of controlled substances, in addition to the potential harmful effect it may have on students and employees, is contrary to state and federal law and regulation, it must be prohibited in any college activity, on or off the college campus. Although the conditions of alcohol and drug dependency may be considered disabilities or handicaps under state and federal law and regulation and Board of Regents policy, and employees and students will not be discriminated against because they have these disabilities, all students and employees are considered to be responsible for their actions and their conduct. These provisions shall apply to all colleges under the jurisdiction of the Board:

  1. No student or employee shall knowingly possess, use, distribute, transmit, sell, or be under the influence of any controlled substance on the college campus or off the college campus at a college-sponsored activity, function, or event. Use or possession of a drug authorized by a medical prescription from a registered physician shall not be a violation of this provision.
  2. All colleges shall develop and enforce policies regarding the sale, distribution, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus, subject to state and federal law. Consistent with board policy, the consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus may only be authorized by written permission of the president for special events as appropriate.
  3. All colleges shall provide educational programs on the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and referral for assistance for students and employees who seek it. Colleges are encouraged to establish campus-wide committees to assist in development of these programs in response to particular campus needs and identification of referral resources in their respective service planning regions. Failure to comply with this policy will result in invocation of the appropriate disciplinary procedure and may result in separation from the college and referral to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.`

Student Rights Policy

Section 1: Rights of Students

It is the policy of the Board of Regents of Community- Technical Colleges that the educational offerings of the Community Colleges be available to students without regard to the individual’s race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, genetic information, marital status, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning disability, or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness, or prior conviction of a crime (unless the provisions of sections 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b), or 46a- 81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide educational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups). With respect to the foregoing, discrimination on the basis of sex shall include sexual harassment as defined in Section 46a-60(8) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Further, the system will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of political beliefs or veteran status. Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to impartial treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. The student should not be forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political action or his or her own part in society. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, religion, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs. Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study, but they are responsible for learning the content of the course of study as defined by official college publications. Community College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens they enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that other citizens enjoy, and as members of the academic community they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership.

Section 2: Student Grievance Procedure

  1. Definition: A grievance is an allegation by a student that, as to him or her, an agent of the college has violated board or college policies relating to students other than assignment of grades or other academic evaluation (see Section 3).
  2. How to file a grievance: A grievance is to be submitted in writing to the dean of students or such other college official as the president may designate (hereinafter, the dean of students), within thirty days of the date the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation. The written grievance shall specify the right claimed to have been violated and state briefly the underlying facts.
  3. Procedure for grievance resolution: The dean of students shall investigate the grievance and, within thirty days from the time the grievance was submitted recommend to the president a disposition of the grievance, except as provided hereinafter:
    1. In the course of each investigation, the dean of students shall consult with the dean responsible for the area of college operations in which the grievance arose
    2. In the case of a grievance alleging discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, marital status, mental retardation or physical disability, prior conviction of a crime, political beliefs, veteran status, or sexual preference, the dean of students shall consult with the college’s affirmative action person during the course of the investigation
    3. In the case of a grievance against a dean, the grievance shall be filed with the president. The president may accept or reject the recommendation, or direct such further investigation as he or she deems appropriate. The president shall notify the student of the final disposition of the grievance within fifteen days of receiving the recommendation, except for good cause or as provided in number 4.
  4. Advisory Committee:
    The president may establish an advisory committee of students and staff which may be charged with the responsibility of making recommendations at either the level of the deans or the president. The president may appoint and remove members of the committee. If an advisory committee is appointed, the president shall establish a reasonable time frame within which the committee must make recommendations.

Section 3: Review of Academic Standing

A student may seek review of the assignment of a grade or other decision affecting academic status in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. The grade or academic decision affecting academic status should be discussed informally with the instructor or official responsible for the decision within fifteen calendar days of the student’s awareness of the decision.
  2. If the matter is not satisfactorily adjusted within ten calendar days of this appeal or the instructor is not available, the student may refer the matter to the academic dean by filing a written appeal. The appeal must be filed with the academic dean within thirty calendar days of the student’s awareness of the decision, which is being appealed. Upon receipt of such appeal, the dean shall meet with the instructor, if he or she is available, to determine that step 1 has taken place or is not possible and to receive relevant information from the instructor responsible for the decision. The dean may then refer the matter to the academic supervisor for informal consideration prior to step 3.
  3. The academic dean or other designated official(s) shall afford review as provided below. The president may designate an official or an academic appeals committee to provide review at this step in lieu of the academic dean.

    The student shall be afforded the right to present a statement of appeal and relevant information in support of it. It is the student’s responsibility to show that the decision in question is arbitrary (i.e., without a reasonable basis) or was made for improper reasons in violation of section 1 of this policy. The student is entitled to a written response within thirty days of the completion of his or her presentation. A decision to change the grade or modify the decision, which has been appealed, is advisory to and subject to the approval of the president.
  4. The foregoing decision may be appealed to the president by filing a statement of appeal within ten calendar days of the date of the decision. Review by the president shall be on the basis of the written record unless he or she decides that fairness requires broader review. The decision of the president shall be final.
  5. The time frames provided herein may be modified by the president for good cause.

Policy on Student Conduct

Section 1: Student Code of Conduct Policy




Sexual Misconduct Reporting, Support Services and Processes Policy



Weapons on College Campuses Policy

The use or possession of weapons (as defined in Section 53-206 of the Connecticut General Statutes) is prohibited on college campuses or at college activities except as authorized by Board or college policies. Colleges are hereby authorized to develop policies, which allow for specific exemptions to the extent permitted by law.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is permitted on Three Rivers Campuses only in specifically designated locations. Smokers may refer to the college web site for information about current locations or refer to signage posted at the college. This policy also includes electronic cigarettes also known as e-cigarettes.

  • Since the success of this program is largely dependent on the support of the entire college community, everyone, including smokers and non-smokers are asked to comply or assist with the following new rules:
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products/e-cigarettes in front of either main campus nor within 100 feet of any entrances or windows (unless in a specifically designated smoking area).
  • To the fullest extent possible try to extinguish smoking materials before leaving your vehicle.
  • Only light up and use tobacco products/e-cigarettes within the designated areas…not en-route to these locations.
  • Dispose of used tobacco products only in the trash receptacles provided…not on the ground.
  • If violations are noted, please remind students, staff or visitors involved about these new rules and about the location of authorized smoking areas.
  • Please report any habitual or flagrant violations to any of the Three Rivers’ management staff.

Disturbances on Campuses Policy

In the interest of assisting in the preservation of academic freedom, including the important characteristics of access to sources of knowledge, freedom to reach unpressured conclusions, and respect for freedom of movement, and the performance of responsibilities relating to this, the Board of Regents of Community-Technical Colleges sets forth the following policies to guide faculty, students, and administrators in cases of disruptions on campuses of the public Community Colleges of Connecticut.

  1. College staff, faculty, and students shall be free to exercise their rights as professional staff, students, and citizens of the United States or as foreign nationals protected by the laws of the United States respecting those professionals and humane courtesies which contribute to the success of the academic community.
  2. The president, staff, faculty, and students should work to maintain study and research of ideas and facts of humanity and the universe, lawful free assembly, access to sources of knowledge, and the freedom of staff to perform teaching and administrative functions.
  3. The Board of Regents believes that activities as listed below and those akin to them might result in the need to take disciplinary action to maintain the right and opportunities for all segments of the campus community to learn and to teach and to administer:
    1. occupying and preventing authorized use of facilities
    2. damaging, removing, or destroying college property
    3. preventing instruction, research, or other authorized activity by disorderly conduct and/or interfering with access to facilities
    4. physically detaining or removing any person engaged in lawful and/or normal college functions
    5. failing to comply with directives from college officials or law enforcement personnel issued in the performance of their duties.


Campus Security

In compliance with State of Connecticut Campus Safety Act, P.A. 90-259 and Public Law 101-542, Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act, Three Rivers Community College hereby publishes the following summary of institutional security policies and uniform crime reporting procedures. This information is intended to raise the awareness of all members of the College community to campus safety issues in hopes that this awareness will foster continued attention to and improved security for all college students and staff.

Uniform Campus Crime Report

Annually, each institution of higher education within the State is required to prepare a Uniform Campus Crime Report (UCCR), which is consistent with the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR). The report is to reflect the crime statistics on the property of the institution for the preceding calendar year and covers crimes such as rape, assault, burglary, larceny, and arson.

Distribution of Crime Statistics and Security Reports

These crime statistics and security reports are published in the student handbook. Copies of the student handbook are distributed annually to all students and employees. Prospective students and prospective employees will be advised of the availability of this information, a description of its contents, and information on how to obtain a copy. Information will be provided as requested. Copies of the crime report will also be on file in the library, in the office of each Dean, and on the College web site. The College is also required to monitor and report on any liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and weapons violations occurring on each campus. Copies of these crime statistic reports are available upon request in the office of each Dean and in the library.

Campus Guidelines


Hazing, bullying, menacing or abuse of students or staff members will not be tolerated. Any staff member, employee or student who engages in an act that injures, degrades, or disgraces another student or staff member is disrupting the educational process and interfering with a student’s opportunity to obtain an education. See Code of Conduct.

Cell Phones

Cell phones and beepers are allowed only if they are turned off or turned to silent mode in classrooms, academic support areas and the Library.  Under no circumstances are phones to be used in class.  If there are extenuating circumstances, the student is to make specific arrangements with their instructor before the class begins.

Children/Adolescents on Campus

Children (defined as ages 11 and under) on campus must be attended to at all times.  With the instructor’s permission, children may be permitted to be with their responsible adult in a general classroom if space is available. Adolescents (defined as ages 12 to 17) should only be on campus if they are attending a specific program or event, or accompanying a responsible adult who is either a student or attending a College program.  Adolescents are permitted to read or work quietly in the College Library or Cafeteria, and the adult responsible for them is to periodically check on them throughout their time at the College. For safety reasons, children and adolescents are not permitted in the College laboratories (except for controlled demonstrations and selected classes), workshops, lockers and storerooms, kitchen and food prep areas, children’s center playground and unsupervised offices or classrooms.

Use of Hoverboards

CSCU System Office offers the following guidance regarding the use of “hoverboards” or other electronically operated skateboard type devices. 

Due to safety concerns about both fire and rider safety, hoverboards shall not be allowed to be either charged, operated or stored on CSCU campuses. This prohibition is consistent with the CSCU Student Code of Conduct, Article I, Part D., Section 12 which prohibits “behavior or activity which endangers the health, safety or well-being of others.”  Further, the practice of prohibiting hoverboards on CSCU campuses is consistent with other colleges and universities across the country.

This guidance is offered due to the concern about fire safety and collisions. Due to the abundance of reported safety issues with the devices, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the safety of hoverboards. Moreover, the National Association of Fire Marshals has also issued a warning regarding fire safety due to spontaneous fires potentially linked to the battery which powers the board.  Given the warnings and concerns of these organizations, CSCU has issued this prohibition.

Service Dogs

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require public colleges and universities to modify their policies, practices and procedures to permit the use of trained dogs that qualify as service animals by individuals with a disability. The ADA’s definition of a service dog is one that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.

A College need not accommodate/make an academic adjustment for a service animal if the owner cannot effectively control it, if the animal is not housebroken, if the animal’s behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, if its presence fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity, if the animal is disruptive, if its presence would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others, or if it substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment by others.  In addition, the owner of the animal is required to meet all requirements for the service animal regarding vaccination, licensure, leash control, cleanup rules, animal health, etc.

When responding to a request for an accommodation/academic adjustment regarding a service animal, a College is not permitted to inquire about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal.   A College may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.   A College shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, a College or any public entity may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

Support Dogs

Emotional support, comfort or companionship animals are not considered service animals.  There is a clear distinction between service dogs that are trained to respond to an individual’s needs and untrained “emotional support” animals whose mere presence may positively affect a person’s disability. Service Dogs with their recognition and response training, are covered under the ADA, while Support Dogs - therapeutic as they may be to the disabled individual - are not covered and are not allowed on Campus.

In extenuating circumstances, a student may request approval from the Disabilities Office to have a Support Dog accompany them to class.  Such requests will be considered on a case by case basis consistent with applicable laws. 

Hallway Lockers

Lockers with combination locks are available to currently enrolled students for the academic year ending in May. Locker availability is limited, so if you wish to secure a locker for the academic year, please inquire at the Security Desk, located at the main entrance to the college, and complete a locker usage form. Lockers will be swiped of all contents at the end of each spring semester in May.