Student rights

Students at PCC have the right to various freedoms and protections, such as the right to freedom from harassment and discrimination, freedom of expression, protection from improper evaluation or disclosure, formation of student organizations, participation in creating student policies and fund-raising activities, access their student records, and access college facilities.

Protection from improper academic evaluation

PCC students have the right to clear instructions and grading criteria for assigned work. Your grades will be based solely on academic performance.

You have a right to challenge a grade if you believe you were graded based on standards not outlined in the class syllabus. For example, if you believe your grade was based on opinions expressed in class and/or coursework, on instructor bias, or any other non-academic assessment, you should visit this page for more information on how to file a grade appeal.

Freedom from harassment and discrimination

PCC students have the right to pursue their educational goals in an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination.

PCC does not tolerate unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, native language, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected class by anyone at PCC including PCC employees, faculty, representatives, or other students. If you think you have experienced discrimination or harassment, you are encouraged to file a complaint.

See more: Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy.

Protection from improper disclosure of student records and counseling records

PCC students have the right to the confidentiality of their academic, counseling, and personal information.

All information contained in your PCC record that is personally identifiable will be kept confidential and not released unless you have given written permission to PCC (consent to release form). Your information may be shared within the institution among PCC faculty and staff when PCC has determined that the college has a legitimate educational interest in the information.

See more: Privacy Policies.

PCC counselors are prohibited by the standards of their profession from disclosing any information you share during a counseling session, unless the student releases the information or other specific circumstances apply. These specific circumstances include:

  • Harm to self or others
  • Abuse of a minor, elder, or other vulnerable adult
  • Health/medical emergency
  • Other circumstances required by Oregon law

See more: Counseling at PCC.

Student clubs and organizing

PCC students have the right to form student clubs.

PCC students have the right to form student clubs and organizations under the provisions of the Associated Students of Portland Community College (“ASPCC”) constitution and campus bylaws.

See more: Clubs at PCC.

Support person

PCC students have the right to bring a support person with them to any meeting with a faculty or staff member of PCC.

Examples of who this support person may be: a parent, a friend, an academic advisor, a Disability Services practitioner, another college faculty or staff person, or an attorney. You may be asked to fill out a Consent to Release for that individual to be present. This right does not apply when meeting with a PCC counselor.

See more: Consent to Release Confidential Information.

PCC students have the right to copyright protection.

You own the copyright of your original work produced to satisfy coursework, certificate, and degree requirements at Portland Community College. If a PCC instructor, staff member, or administrator would like to use your original work for any of the following reasons, they must get your permission:

  • Sharing examples of your original work with future classes or at a professional conference
  • Including your original work as a contribution to an open educational resources (OER)
  • Publishing your work to be viewed by people other than your classmates

PCC retains the right to use original student work for administrative or instructional purposes, such as program assessments.

Freedom of expression

PCC students have the right to express their ideas and opinions.

“Freedom of expression” means that you have the right to express your ideas and opinions without fear that the (federal and/or state) government is going to restrict your expression or take action against you for expressing your ideas. As a public college, PCC is a government entity and must comply with the First Amendment. Freedom of expression is protected under the First Amendment, and is one of the most important rights in the United States Constitution.

As a student, an essential part of the college experience is exposure to ideas that challenge your understanding of the world and encourage you to think critically. It can be hard to be part of conversations in which people express diverse, and sometimes offensive, ideas. In the classroom, students cannot engage in harassment or other violations of the PCC Code of Conduct, and at the same time, students cannot be prohibited from expressing ideas because those ideas are unpopular, offensive, or contrary to PCC’s values.

See more: Freedom of expression.