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Criminal History in Admissions Policy

Purpose

The College is committed to the safety and well-being of all members of the College community, including its students, staff, faculty and visitors. To help ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community, the College requires that all applicants for admission disclose certain criminal history to the College as part of the admissions process. Set forth below is information pertaining to criminal history disclosed by applicants during the admissions process and how the College will process and evaluate the same.

Scope

This policy applies to all applicants for admission to the College.

Policy

All applicants seeking admission to the College are required to answer "Yes" or "No" to the following question (or similar question) that is included in the application for admission: "Have you ever been convicted of, pled guilty to, or pled nolo contendere to a felony or to two or more misdemeanors?"

If the applicant answers "Yes" to this question, the applicant will be contacted, in most cases within one week, by the College and informed of the initiation of the review process for affirmative answers to this question. An affirmative answer to this question is not an automatic disqualifier to admission, but will initiate a review process and will be evaluated as part of the College's admissions process. During the review process the applicant will provide additional information and details regarding his or her felony and/or misdemeanor history. The applicant will typically be required to provide an explanation of each felony and/or misdemeanor, with the option to include official documentation of the same, letters of recommendation, a release to obtain related documentation and information, and additional information the applicant would like considered by the College. The College's Application Process Coordinator is responsible for working with the applicant and compiling the information for the Conviction Review Committee ("CRC") to review.

If convictions exceed more than one misdemeanor or any number of felonies, the Application Process Coordinator will forward the conviction information onto the CRC.

The CRC will review the information provided by the applicant and make a determination as to whether or not to offer admission to the applicant, assuming all other application requirements are satisfied. The CRC is comprised of the Director of Campus Safety, Student Affairs Conduct Officer, and the Director of Campus Support for AHE or their designees.

Factors considered by the CRC as part of the review process include, but are not limited to:

  • Amount of time that has passed since crime or offense
  • Successful completion of sentence
  • Severity of the crime or offense
  • Nature of the crime or offense
  • Other educational programs attended since time of crime or offense
  • Nature of the academic program in which the applicant seeks to enroll

Admission may be denied to an applicant based on prior criminal convictions, including but not limited to in instances where admission creates a risk to the safety or welfare of the College community, to specific individuals or to the public, or where admission poses a potential risk to property. After evaluating all information provided by the applicant as well as other information available to the CRC, the CRC will endeavor to make a determination within a reasonable amount of time given the individual circumstances as to whether or not the applicant will be offered admission to the College and the applicant will be informed of the same in writing.

Applicants who are denied admission by the CRC may appeal this determination to the College's Director of Admissions. Appeals must be submitted in writing within ten (10) days of the CRC's determination to the Director of Admissions. Appeals will be reviewed, additional potentially relevant information may be obtained, and a decision will be made within a reasonable amount of time given the individual circumstances. The Director of Admissions may consult with the Dean for Student Affairs or other campus official as appropriate. The applicant will be informed of the outcome of the appeal in writing. This decision is final and is not appealable.

The College reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant and to deny and/or rescind admission to any applicant consistent with College policies, including for applicants who provide false or misleading information to the College.

Members of the CRC will receive training and education on this subject annually and this policy will also be evaluated periodically.

For privacy, consistency and other reasons, admissions decisions involving criminal history shall be made by the centralized CRC and not at individual College locations. All campus locations are expected to abide by this policy and process.

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