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Student Success

Student Rights & Responsibilities


Central Washington University is a community that exists for the generation, acquisition, diffusion, and preservation of knowledge, the growth of all its members, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. All members of the University community are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth in an atmosphere of academic freedom. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom as well as elsewhere on campus. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the University community. The University has developed policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom, within the framework of general standards, and with the broadest possible participation of the members of the University community. This document articulates the general policies that provide for the academic freedom of students in this University community and forms the basis on which more specific policies such as the Student Conduct Code, rules on students records, etc., have been formulated and adopted.


Access to CWU

Admissions, Retention and Graduation

Central Washington University supports equal educational opportunity for all regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, handicap, religion, disability or status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran. Persons seeking admission to the University have the right to be admitted if they meet the admission standards established for the University by the Board of Trustees of Central Washington University. Admission to the University does not automatically admit students to those programs which have special standards for admission or which may restrict admissions on the basis of available resources. To be eligible for continued enrollment in the University and for graduation from the University, students are responsible for meeting the University's published requirements for retention and graduation.

University Facilities and Services

All regular students have the right to make full use of the facilities and services of the University which are generally available to students. There are, however, some limitations on the availability and use of University resources. Students are expected to use University facilities and services responsibly and with consideration for other members of the University community. Offices responsible for providing facilities and services will, upon request, furnish guidelines for their use.

Student, Faculty, Staff Relationship

In the Classroom

Student Rights

A student who enrolls in a course has the following rights:

  1. to know from the instructor the goals and content of the course;
  2. to know from the beginning the instructor's expectations and grading methods;
  3. to be evaluated on the materials of the course and not on extraneous matters; and
  4. to consult with the instructor outside the classroom on matters related to the course.

Student Responsibilities

A student who enrolls in a course has responsibility to observe the standards of academic performance defined by the instructor and the standards of conduct established by the instructor so as to assure the freedom of the instructor
to teach and the freedom of the other students to learn.

Outside the Classroom

Students have a right to the services provided by faculty and staff, including such services as academic advising, counseling over a broad range of problem areas, dissemination of information, and clarification of University policies and procedures, including those involving grievances. Because of the size and complexity of the University, students have the primary responsibility for initiating requests for such services, although faculty and staff are expected to be sensitive to students' needs and to offer assistance if students appear to need it.

Student Records

Student Records Rules

The University has adopted rules which govern the form and variety of student records collected and maintained by the University, the nature of information collected, and the way in which student information is recorded, maintained and eventually disposed of, consistent with federal and state regulations. Copies of the rules-The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is available on the University's website (Resources and Reports). Students have a right to expect that information about themselves of a private, personal or confidential nature which they share with faculty and staff will be disclosed only according to student record rules. Faculty and staff may provide judgments of a student's ability and character to others in appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student concerned, and in accordance with the University's rules on students records.

Students' Rights

The rules on student records also define the following rights of students with respect to their records and the procedures to be followed to guarantee those rights:

  1. the right to inspect and review information contained in their educational records;
  2. the right to challenge the contents of their educational records;
  3. the right to submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the educational record if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory;
  4. the right to prevent disclosure, with certain exceptions, of personally identifiable information;
  5. the right to secure a copy of the University rules, which includes the location of all education records; and
  6. the right to file complaints with the appropriate federal and state agency(ies) concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with applicable laws, rules and their implementing regulations.

Students' Responsibilities

Students are responsible for furnishing, completely and accurately, such pertinent information as required by the University so that it may perform its proper function as an educational institution. If students' circumstances change, e.g., name, address, financial situation, etc., they are responsible for seeing that proper University officials are informed of such changed circumstances.

Student Success

Student Success encompasses a broad area including the freedoms to form associations, to inquire and express opinions, and to participate in institutional government.


Students have the right to form organizations and to join associations to promote their common interests. In doing so, they have the responsibility to follow University policies and procedures, copies of which are available in the office of the Director of Campus Life.

Inquiry and Expression

Students and student organizations have the right to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, to express opinions publicly and privately, to support causes and to invite and hear any person of their own choosing. Such activities shall not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the University. Students and student organizations are responsible for following the policies and procedures related to these activities, copies of which are available in the office of the Director of Campus Life.

Student Participation in Institutional Government

Students have the right to express their views by lawful procedures on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body and to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs. Student government, the Associated Students of Central Washington University, is the primary vehicle for student participation in institutional government, and its role is explicitly stated in its constitution and bylaws, copies of which are available in the office of the Director of Campus Life. Other opportunities for involvement in academic and student affairs areas may be found in the various departmental or administrative offices. Having become involved in institutional governance, students are responsible for fulfilling the obligations they have undertaken.

Student Conduct

Students are members of both the University community and the larger community outside the University. As members of the University community, students are guaranteed those rights described in this document. As members of the larger community, students are afforded those rights guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions, the authority of which extends across both communities.

At the same time, both communities have established standards of conduct designed to protect their essential purposes. The University community has defined in its Student Conduct Code that conduct in which its members may not engage without penalty. The larger community has defined such behavior in its laws.

Outlined below are the standards in disciplinary proceedings established by the University with respect to student conduct which violates the norms of either the University or the larger community.

The University Community

The Student Conduct Code enumerates proscribed behavior and describes procedures followed in cases where students are alleged to have engaged in such conduct. These procedures guarantee procedural due process to the accused students and are fully described in the Student Conduct Code, copies of which are available in the office of the Dean of Student Success.

The Larger Community

If a student's behavior results in charges that both the law of the larger community and the proscriptions of the University's Student Conduct Code have been violated, the University does not waive the right to initiate proceedings in accordance with provisions of the Student Conduct Code.