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Student Handbook

College Policies

Student Right-to-Know Summary Report

In compliance with the federal government, Foothill College provides the following summary of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students entering Foothill College in Fall Quarter 2009:[1]

  • Students completing A.A./A.S./Certificate: 55.61 percent
  • Students who transferred out:[2] 13.22 percent
  • Total completers/transfers:[3] 68.83 percent

[1] The cohort is made up of students entering college for the first time in the fall term, who in the fall term declared a goal of transfer, associate degree or certificate and completed one or more college-level credit courses in the fall term. The year 2008 is the most recent year for which the data are available.

[2] The term "transferred out" is defined as the student who transferred to a University of California campus or California State University campus or another California community college campus.

[3] "Completers" are students who within a degree-year period completed the requirements for an associate degree or certificate, or transferred out of the college, or were prepared to transfer which is defined as successfully completing 84 or more transferable units and achieving a grade-point average equal to or greater than 2.0 (out of a possible 4.0).

-Source: California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Student Outcomes Tracking System;

Affirmative Action Policy

It is the policy of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and of its colleges, Foothill College and De Anza College, to take affirmative action in all its programs and in all aspects of employment and student recruitment where persons with disabilities or persons of a particular race or sex are underutilized, underrepresented or under-served. Refer all concerns to the Vice President, Rose Myers, Room 1920, (650) 949-7343.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Student Access to Education Records

The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) requires educational institutions to provide student access to official education records directly related to the student. The act also says you have the right to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. We must obtain your written consent before releasing personal information from your records to other than a specified list of persons and agencies. These rights extend to present and former Foothill students.

  • Education records generally include documents related to admissions, enrollment in classes, grades and related academic information. These records are filed in the Admissions & Records Office.
  • The registrar is the college's designated records officer.
  • Personal education records will be made available for inspection and review during normal working hours to currently and formerly enrolled students, within 45 days following completion and filing of a written request with the records officer.
  • The college may release certain types of directory information unless you notify the records officer that certain or all information cannot be released without personal consent. Directory information may include (1) student name, (2) major field of study, (3) participation in recognized activities and sports, (4) dates of attendance, (5) degrees and awards received, (6) height and weight of members of athletic teams, which may be released only by the appropriate athletic staff member or athletic director. Directory information may be released unless you notify the records officer otherwise in writing prior to the first day of instruction of any quarter or Summer Session.

Topic Updated: February 15, 2017

Alternate Text

To request a college publication in alternative media, including electronic text, Braille or large print, contact the alternative media specialist at (650) 949-7673 or email

Alternate Path for Requesting Accommodation for a Disability

The student who is requesting accommodations who does not wish to utilize college Disability Resource Center services may call, (650) 949-7332. The student must provide an official Verification of Disability signed by an appropriate professional.

Limited English Skills Policy

Prospective students are advised that a lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission to, or participation in vocational education programs at Foothill College as long as other, if any, program admission standards are met. This notice is a requirement of the Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap (Federal Register, Vol. 44, No 56).

Posibles estudiantes son aconsejados de que la falta del idioma Inglés no será una barrera para la admisión, o participación en programas de educación vocacional en Foothill College, siempre y cuando todos los otros, si existierán, criterios de admisión del programa son completados. Esta nota es un requisito de la Pauta para la Eliminación de la Descriminación y Negativa de Servicios en Base a la Raza, Color, Nacionalidad de Origen, Sexo, e Impedimento (Registro Federal, Vol. 44 No. 56).

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Illegal Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

Foothill College students are prohibited from using the Foothill-De Anza (FHDA) Community College District information network to illegally download or share music, video and all other copyrighted intellectual property. Foothill College supports the Higher Education Opportunity Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including efforts to eliminate the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Under the law, college administrators may be obligated to provide copyright holders with information about users of the FHDA information network who have violated the law.

Be aware that illegal forms of downloading and unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, are violations of the law and may subject you to academic sanctions from the college as well as criminal and civil penalties, including a lawsuit against you by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Learn more at In addition to being illegal, file sharing drains the FHDA network's bandwidth, which slows computer connections for students and employees who are using the network for legitimate academic purposes and ultimately costs the college money. The college has developed policies and consequences to ensure that students respect music and other forms of intellectual property as well as conduct responsible use of the Internet. Review these policies here on this site.

There are plenty of easy, affordable ways to get music online legally. To protect their intellectual property, companies have licensed hundreds of digital partners that offer a range of legal downloading options, including download and subscription services, legitimate peer-to-peer services, video-on-demand, podcasts and CD kiosks. For a list of sources that offer legal downloading sites, access or

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Misuse of Computer Information & Resources Policy

This administrative procedure implements Board Policy 3250: Procedures Regarding Misuse of Computer Information.

Abuse of computing, networking or information resources contained in or part of the district network may result in the loss of computing privileges. Additionally, abuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable district or college policies, procedures, or collective bargaining agreements. Complaints alleging abuse of the district network will be directed to those responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action. Illegal reproduction of material protected by U.S. Copyright Law is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.

Examples of behaviors constituting abuse which violate District Board Policy 3250 include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

System Abuse

  • Using a computer account that one is not authorized to use.
  • Obtaining a password for a computer account that one is not authorized to have.
  • Using the district network to gain unauthorized access to any computer systems.
  • Knowingly performing an act which will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals or networks.
  • Knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or giving to another user, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes but is not limited to programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses and worms.
  • Knowingly or carelessly allowing someone else to use your account who engages in any misuse in violation of Board Policy 3250.
  • Forging email messages.
  • Attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover or exploit security loopholes.
  • Masking the identity of an account or machine.
  • Deliberately wasting computing resources.
  • Downloading, displaying, uploading or transmitting obscenity or pornography, as legally defined.
  • Attempting without district authorization to monitor or tamper with another user's electronic communications, or changing, or deleting another user's files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner, or any activity which is illegal under California Computer Crime Laws.
  • Personal use which is excessive or interferes with the user's or others' performance of job duties, or otherwise burdens the intended use of the network.


  • Using the telephone, email or voice mail to harass or threaten others.
  • Knowingly downloading, displaying or transmitting by use of the district network, communications, pictures, drawings or depictions that contain ethnic slurs, racial epithets, or anything that may be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious or political belief.
  • Knowingly downloading, displaying or transmitting by use of the district network sexually explicit images, messages, pictures, or cartoons when done to harass or for the purposes of harassment.
  • Knowingly downloading, displaying or transmitting by use of the district network sexually harassing images or text in a public computer facility, or location that can potentially be in view of other individuals.
  • Posting on electronic bulletin boards material that violates existing laws or the colleges' Codes of Conduct.
  • Using the district network to publish false or defamatory information about another person.

Commercial Use

  • Using the district network for any commercial activity, without written authorization from the district. "Commercial activity" means for financial remuneration or designed to lead to financial remuneration.


  • Violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws.
  • Publishing copyrighted material without the consent of the owner on district Web sites in violation of copyright laws.


Activities by technical staff, as authorized by appropriate district or college officials, to take action for security, enforcement, technical support, troubleshooting or performance testing purposes will not be considered abuse of the network.

Although personal use is not an intended use, the district recognizes that the network will be used for incidental personal activities and will take no disciplinary action provided that such use is within reason and provided that such usage is ordinarily on an employee's own time; is occasional and does not interfere with or burden the district's operation. Likewise, the district will not purposefully surveil or punish reasonable use of the network for union business-related communication between employees and their unions. Approved 11/17/97; Reviewed by Board 8/16/99, 7/7/03.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Student Access to Education Records and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act requires educational institutions to provide access to official education records directly related to the student; an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate; that the college must obtain the written consent of the student before releasing personally identifiable information about him/her from records to other than a specified list of persons and agencies; and that these rights extend to present and former students of the college.

Education records generally include documents related to admissions, enrollment in classes, and grades and related academic information. The registrar is the designated records officer of the college.

  • Education records will be made available for inspection and review during normal working hours to presently and formerly enrolled students within 45 days following completion and filing of a request form with the records officer.
  • If informal proceedings do not resolve the student's questions, the student may submit a petition to the designated officer. The designated officer will then assign the matter within 20 school days to the Academic Council's calendar.
  • The college may release certain kinds of directory information, unless the student notifies the records officer that certain or all information may not be released without consent. Directory information at this college includes:
  1. student name,
  2. major field of study,
  3. participation in recognized activities and sports,
  4. dates of attendance,
  5. degree and awards conferred,
  6. weight and height of members of athletic teams, which may be released only by the appropriate athletic staff member or the athletic director of the college.
  • Objection to the release of this information must be made in writing each quarter to the records officer in the Admissions & Records Office, Room 8000.
  • The eligible student currently in attendance at Foothill College, or his/her parent(s) if the student is under 18 years of age, has a right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of this act with the U.S. Department of Education.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Course Offering Guidelines

Frequency of offerings-Foothill and De Anza colleges shall ensure students enrolled in two-year degree programs will be able to obtain their degree in two years if they meet basic skill proficiencies at the start of the program and follow the prescribed pattern and sequence of classes. Major requirement courses shall be listed in curriculum sheets at both colleges and shall be offered at one or both of the colleges with appropriate frequency. Both colleges will publicize low-enrolled classes districtwide as resources permit.

Administration of class size-Class sizes are monitored by the vice president of Instruction & Educational Resources who works with appropriate division deans. Sections may be canceled early in the registration process to improve enrollment in remaining sections.

Class cancellation-Foothill College reserves the right to cancel any class in which enrollment is insufficient. Classes with insufficient pre-enrollment may be canceled before the first day of class.

Class size guidelines-Minimum size guidelines apply to all classes. Under special circumstances-e.g., second- or third-quarter or second-year sequential courses; courses required for a major/career subject area; combined same-hour, same-instructor courses; or one-of-a-kind graduation or transfer requirement-a class may continue under minimum enrollment. Other exceptions include limited facilities; law regarding class size, distance learning study, special projects or cooperative education; or other circumstances as identified by the vice president of Instruction & Educational Resources.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Course Repetition

Unless exceptions are specifically indicated in course descriptions in the current Foothill College Course Catalog, you cannot repeat a course you completed with a grade of C or better. State law allows you to repeat a class only once to remove a substandard grade (D, F or NP).

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Academic regulations-Evaluation

Enforcement and interpretation of, and exceptions to academic regulations are the responsibility of the college's Academic Council. Obtain petitions for exceptions from Stephanie Franco, Evaluation Specialist, Room 8300; or call (650) 949-7231.

Academic Disqualification/Course Substitutions/Graduation Requirements

To resolve problems such as disqualification and readmission, course substitutions, and exceptions to graduation requirements, schedule an appointment with a Foothill College counselor. To schedule an appointment, see a counselor in Room 8300; or call (650) 949-7423.

Exceptions to Admissions/Registration Policies

For information about exceptions to registration policies, contact the Admissions and Records office, Room 8101; (650) 949-7325.  To request an exception to published policy, you must file an exception petition available in the Admissions & Records Offices at either campus or on-line at


Expulsion from the college district is conducted through the Student Affairs & Activities Office, Room 2002 in the Campus Center; (650) 949-7241. For due process and appeals information, visit or call this office.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Parking citations/traffic violations

Parking tickets and traffic violations issued at Foothill College by campus police are legal citations that cannot be canceled by the college administration.

Note: You must pay the parking penalty or contest the citation within 21 days of issuance. Failure to do so may result in additional penalties and the loss of your right to contest the citation. A hold may also be placed on your vehicle registration (40215 CVC). In addition, having five or more outstanding citations may result in the impounding or immobilization of your vehicle at your expense without further notice.

Paying by Check or Money Order

Do not send cash. Write the citation number clearly on the check or money order, and mail to:

Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 2730
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2730
If your check fails to clear, a returned check fee may be assessed.

Paying Online by Visa or MasterCard

Use a credit card to pay your citation online by accessing

Contesting a Citation

You may contest the citation via an initial review by writing a letter of explanation and sending it with a copy of the citation to the Office of Parking Violations within 21 days of the issuance of the citation. For more information, access

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Photography (Use of Photography)

Foothill College, a public California community college, reserves the right to use photographs, motion pictures and electronic images of students and visitors, age 18 and older, taken on college property and at college-sponsored events, for marketing and promotional purposes.

Occasionally, the college will conduct media production activities for marketing purposes. The results of such photography and recording may be broadcast throughout the world. If you do not wish to be identified, photographed or recorded, please avoid areas where camera technicians and photographers are working.

Objection to the use of an individual's photograph may be made in writing to the Marketing Office, Room 1944.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Police Actions

Direct concerns about an individual officer first to the officer and then to the chief of Police & Safety, Room 2103 in the Campus Center; or call (650) 949-7313.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Other complaints

If you have problems, other than those named above, with personnel in the college you should see these people in this order:

  1. the employee
  2. the employee's supervisor or division dean
  3. the supervisor's manager or division dean's vice president of that area or division
  4. The Dean of Student Affairs & Activities Pat Hyland, Room 2002 in the Campus Center; or call (650) 949-7241.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

No-Smoking Areas

To provide a safe learning and working environment for students and employees, smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor campus locations, with the exception of designated smoking areas as defined by each campus. Smoking is prohibited in district vehicles. No-smoking signs shall be conspicuously posted on campus. In addition, designated smoking areas will be clearly marked. No tobacco-related advertising or marketing shall be permitted at FHDA or in publications produced by FHDA. The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited. This policy relies on the consideration and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers. It is the responsibility of all employees, students and visitors to observe and follow the guidelines. This policy shall be communicated and published in the colleges' catalogs, handbooks, websites and other appropriate locations.


Smoking violations shall be subject to issuance of citations by the FHDA District Police Department as provided for by state law.

Also see Administrative Procedures 3217, 5510 and 5520 and Board Policy 3217; Amended 3/12/12

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Drug-Free Campus

The unlawful possession, use or distribution of any illicit drug or alcohol by students on district property or at district activities or events is prohibited.

The use of drugs and alcohol may pose significant health risks. Health Services at Foothill College and the Health Office at De Anza College offer additional information on the risks associated with the use of drugs and alcohol. You can also receive referral information for drug or alcohol counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs from both health offices. For more information, call (650) 949-7243.

Employees and students may be suspended or expelled for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol. Appropriate disciplinary action may also include requiring the completion of a rehabilitation program. The standards of conduct for students and the applicable sanctions for violating the standards are published in the Foothill Student Handbook, Beyond the Classroom, The Foothill Student Handbook and Board Policy #4500.

"Where there is no finding that engaging in the forbidden conduct would materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of a school, the prohibition cannot be sustained. Constitutional guarantees do not immunize one for conduct which disrupts class work or invades the rights of others."
-Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District, USSC, 1969, 21 LIED 2d 731.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Been Called to Active Military Duty?

Students who are called to active duty have three options for refund and grading. If you are called to duty prior to the completion of a term, you may choose one of the following:

  1. Refund-You may petition for an official withdrawal with a full refund of enrollment fees, student fees, textbooks and non-resident tuition, if applicable.
  2. Credit-You may petition for an official withdrawal with a credit for enrollment fees, student fees and non-resident tuition, if applicable.
  3. Grade of Incomplete-You may petition for a grade of I (Incomplete).

Forms for all of the above three options are available from the Admissions & Records Office.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Crime Awareness & Campus Security Summary Report

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), Foothill College provides a crime statistics report. The full Clery Act Annual Security Report may be obtained through the Foothill-De Anza Police Department.

See most current statistics.

Source: Foothill-De Anza Community College Police Department

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

General Program Requirements

All beginning freshmen must enroll in the CNSL 5: Introduction to College course, or demonstrate proof that they have completed an equivalent course. If you are eligible for ENGL 1A, you should complete this course by the end of the third quarter of enrollment; you may take a speech course first. If you are eligible for ENGL 110 or 100, you should complete these courses during the first or secondquarter.

You may receive up to 10 quarter units of credit for each score of 5, 4 or 3 on College Entrance Board Advanced Placement Tests. Your Foothill transcript will show units but will not indicate grades. The Evaluation Office, located in the Student Development Center, Room 1930, provides information on how the advanced placement scores are marked on transcripts and the equivalencies for the University of California and California State University.

You may receive up to nine quarter units for each of five generalCLEP tests completed with a score of at least 500. Your Foothill transcript will show elective unit credit for each successful test score. These units may also be used to fulfill certain general education requirements.

If you want to transfer credit from an armed services school or other special institution, you may apply through a counselor. It's possible these credits will be accepted toward the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree once you have successfully completed a minimum of 15 units at Foothill.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

General Registration Information

If you are a new or former student, you must submit the application for admission by the quarterly deadline published in the Schedule of Classes and online. We encourage you to complete the application, complete the assessment process and submit necessarytranscripts as early as possible.

Students planning to transfer to Foothill are advised to submit transcripts from high schools and colleges previously attended. If you plan to receive veterans benefits, apply for financial aid or earn a degree or certificate, you must submit transcripts. Request previous institutions to send your transcripts directly to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022-4599.

To register for Foothill College classes, follow the registration instructions published in the Schedule of Classes and online. To plan up to one year of classes, consult the Foothill Web site. The Schedule of Classes for the current academic year is posted online. Online information is subject to change. We encourage you to check the Web site frequently. For more information, call the Admissions & Records Office at (650) 949-7325.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Residency Requirements

Foothill College generally serves the communities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, and our sister school, De Anza College, generally serves the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale. Both colleges, however, accept students from outside these cities.

If you are an out-of-state student, you are considered a non-resident until you have satisfied current California residency requirements. This rule applies to visa-holding non-citizens eligible to establish residency. Non-resident tuition is required of all students in this category.

If you are an international student with an F-1 Visa, you may beeligible for admission only if you have completed the required special admission procedures. To request an International Student Application Packet, call the International Student Admissions Office, (650) 949-7293.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Unit Limitation

An average class load is 15 units per quarter. The maximum number of allowable units per quarter without a counselor's approval is 20 units. If you intend to enroll in more than 20 units, you must obtain a counselor's approval and submit a petition (PDF) to the Academic Council.

The maximum number of allowable units for Summer Session is 12 units. To complete the petition process, schedule a consultation with a Foothill counselor by calling (650) 949-7423.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017


Please make an appointment with your counselor to resolve problems such as disqualification and readmission, course substitutions, and exceptions to graduation requirements. To schedule an appointment, visit Counseling Appointments in the Student Development Center, Room 8305A, or call (650) 949-7423.

You may be dismissed from Foothill College if you are on probation for three consecutive quarters. If you are disqualified, you will receive notice of dismissal by mail the following quarter. Dismissal will be reviewed by the Academic Council at your request. You may be readmitted after a one-quarter absence (excluding Summer Session). Consult with a Foothill counselor for readmission policies and procedures.

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Academic Regulations

The Academic Council is responsible for academic regulation evaluation, enforcement, interpretation and exceptions. You can obtain petitions from the Evaluations Office, Room 8330A, Student Development Center, or call (650) 949-7231.

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Academic Renewal

The academic renewal process permits students the opportunity to request the exclusion of entire quarters of coursework from the Foothill College GPA up to a maximum of 45 units. Eligibility for academic renewal requires that you meet specific criteria. Consult your counselor for more information.

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Assignments & Examinations Regulations

As a Foothill student, you're expected to do your own work on examinations and course assignments. Each instructor will enforce certain regulations to ensure honesty. If you violate these regulations, you will be dropped from the class, and the circumstances may be entered in your permanent record. Further difficulty in this respect may result in disqualification from Foothill College. See page 43 of this catalog and/or obtain the Honor Code Booklet, available from the Student Affairs & Activities Office, Room 6201.

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Regular and punctual attendance is an integral part of the learning process. As a Foothill student, you are expected to attend all scheduled classes in which you are enrolled. An instructor has the authority to drop a student who violates written attendance policies. Instructors are not obligated to hold seats for students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class meeting.

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Audit Request Procedures

A number of Foothill classes are available for audit. To be eligible, you must have already taken and completed the class at Foothill the number of times permitted, and received a grade of C or better. Audit requests must have the signatures of the instructor and registrar before you submit the request to the cashier. Auditors are admitted on a space-available basis.

The audit fee is $10 per unit. If you're presently enrolled in 10 or more units, fees for the first three audit units are waived. Approved audit requests will be accepted beginning the second week of class.

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Cancellation of Classes

Classes may be canceled when enrollments are lower than planned. Foothill has the authority to change or cancel courses and programs as circumstances require.

Class Preparation/Progress

After prior notification, an instructor may drop students demonstrating insufficient preparation/prerequisites. In addition, any instructor may drop students who persistently neglect class assignments or demonstrate inadequate progress.

Class Size & Frequency

Minimum class-size guidelines apply to all lecture, lecture/lab and laboratory classes at Foothill. While a minimum class size is generally required, special circumstances may necessitate continuing a class that does not meet these guidelines.

Exceptions are based on program needs such as second-quarter, third-quarter or second-year sequential courses; courses required for an identified major or career; combined courses meeting at the same hour with the same instructor; and one-of-a-kind offerings needed for graduation or transfer. Exceptions may also be based on the following:

  • Limited classroom or laboratory facilities
  • Statutory and state regulations mandating class size, independent study, special projects and cooperative education
  • Other circumstances that warrant exception are made by the Educational Resources & Instruction Office.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Student Conduct

For the complete conduct and due process procedures, please read Foothill-De Anza Board Policy, Administrative Procedures AP 5510 - Student Conduct, and Administrative Procedures AP 5520 - Student Due Process and Discipline.

At Foothill, we believe in personal honor based on integrity, common sense and respect for civil and moral law. We expect our students will conduct themselves honorably at all times, both on and off campus. Any breach of student conduct may be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs & Activities. The official policies of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees stipulate that Foothill students have certain rights and privileges, along with certain obligations. To correct unacceptable student conduct, we believe disciplinary proceedings are secondary to counseling and admonition. In the exceptional circumstances when discipline is deemed necessary, the college will observe due process to protect the student from unfair and arbitrary imposition of serious penalties. Various college agencies facilitate due process. Examples are the Multicultural Relations Office and student rights advocate of the Associated Students of Foothill College.

Foothill and De Anza Colleges consider the following principles essential to their educational mission and community life:
  1. Mutual respect between students, faculty and staff;
  2. Pursuit of studies with honesty and integrity;
  3. Respect for College and personal property; and
  4. Compliance with all rules and regulations.

These standards are intended to promote responsible student conduct and fair play.

Students shall be subject to College discipline (as outlined in Administrative Procedure 5520: Student Due Process and Discipline) for any of the following misconduct that occurs at any time on campus or at any off campus facility, including Internet-based courses held on the World-Wide Web, or college-approved or sponsored functions:

  1. Academic dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism (including plagiarism included in student publications), or knowingly furnishing false information to the Colleges, or District;
  2. Unauthorized preparation, giving, selling, transfer, distribution or publication, for any commercial purpose, of any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction, including but not limited to handwritten or typewritten class notes, except as permitted by any district policy or administrative procedure;
  3. Dishonesty, forgery, alteration, or misuse of College or District documents, records or identification;
  4. Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other College or District activities, including its public service functions, or of other authorized activities;
  5. Physical or verbal abuse of any person or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person;
  6. Committing or attempting to commit robbery or extortion;
  7. Causing or attempting to cause damage to College or District property or to private property on campus;
  8. Stealing or attempting to steal College or District property or private property on Campus, or knowingly receiving stolen College or District property or private property on campus;
  9. Willful misconduct that results in injury or death to a student or to College or District personnel or which results in cutting, defacing, or other injury to any real or personal property owned by the College or District or on the campus;
  10. Unauthorized entry to or use of College or District facilities;
  11. Violation of College or District policies or of campus regulations including those concerning registration of student organizations, use of College or District facilities, or the time, place and manner of public expression;
  12. Unlawful possession, use, sale, offer to sell, or furnishing or being under the influence of, any controlled substance as listed in California Health and Safety Code Section 11053 et seq., an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawful possession of, or offering, arranging or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11014.5;
  13. Use, possession, or sale of any firearm, knife, explosive, or other object that could be classified as a weapon (unless the student has specific authorization from a College or District official);
  14. Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or the open and persistent defiance of authority, or persistent abuse of College or District personnel;
  15. Gambling on College or District property;
  16. Hazing or any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces or tends to injure, degrade, or disgrace any fellow student or other persons;
  17. Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent or obscene conduct or expression on District-owned or controlled property, or at District sponsored or supervised functions;
  18. Willful or persistent smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited by law or by regulation of the College or District;
  19. Theft or abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:
    1. unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read or change the contents or for any other purpose;
    2. unauthorized transfer of a file;
    3. unauthorized use of another person's identification and password;
    4. use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or college official;
    5. use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages, or to defame or intentionally harm other persons;
    6. use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system;
    7. use of computing facilities for student's personal benefit;
  20. Committing sexual harassment as defined by law or as set forth in Board Policy 4640;
  21. Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on race, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, or any other status protected by law;
  22. Engaging in expression which is obscene, libelous or slanderous, or which so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on College or District premises, or the violation of lawful College or District regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the College or District;
  23. Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.

See Board Policy 5500-Student Rights and Responsibilities at

Student Discipline

Managing Disruptive Behavior

  1. In an emergency where physical safety is endangered, call Campus Police & Safety at 911.
  2. Many instances of disruptive behavior can be managed by the instructor or staff, and no reporting is necessary.
  3. If the student's behavior seems likely to remain disruptive, immediately speak with your division dean, and then document the incident in writing and send it to the Dean of Student Affairs and Activities. Please do this even if you (faculty or staff) wish to attempt to handle the situation personally. Do try to resolve the issue within the division with help from your dean before requesting help from the Office of Student Affairs and Activities.
    For your convenience, use our online Disruptive Student Incident Report Form. Please do this even if you (faculty or staff) wish to attempt to handle the situation personally. Do try to resolve the issue within the division with help from your dean before requesting help from the Office of Student Affairs and Activities.
  4. If the student is so disruptive that you need to remove the student from class, call campus police. Instructors have the authority to dismiss the student from two class periods (see "Dropping Students", below). During this period, you must notify the Dean of Student Affairs, for further advice. You also must inform your division dean.

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Due Process Requirements & 14th Amendment

  1. The Supreme Court maintains that a fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard.
  2. When conflict arises, due process ordinarily requires: 
    1. Notification of the charges. 
    2. A hearing.
    3. An opportunity to defend with knowledge of adverse evidence.
    4. The names of adverse witnesses.
    5. That substantial evidence support any disciplinary action taken.
  3. Before judicial review, administrative remedies must be exhausted.
  4. Various forms of activities carried on in schools and colleges have compelled courts to define rights and responsibilities of students, faculty and administrators. Courts acknowledge that:
    1. School administrators must be free to invoke fair and reasonable procedures for operation of the school.
    2. Schools do not stand in strict in loco parentis with their students.
    3. Each student has rights and responsibilities vis-a-vis other students.
    4. In contemporary society, the loss of educational opportunities is not taken lightly.
  5. Schools are viewed as a "market place of ideas," but no individual has a constitutional right to prevent a school from carrying out its assigned functions. The school must, however, show that a behavior is disruptive before it can sustain disciplinary action-the school cannot arbitrarily prohibit conduct.

"Where there is no finding that engaging in the forbidden conduct would materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of a school, the prohibition cannot be sustained. Constitutional guarantees do not immunize one for conduct which disrupts class work or invades the rights of others."
-Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District, USSC, 1969, 21 LIED 2d 731.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Instructors Dropping Students or Students Dropping Classes

General Drop Policy

Title 5, Education Code, § 55005.5 "Credit Hour", section (l) states that a student may be dropped by an instructor due to absences. In an online course, lack of correspondence where required by the course is effectively an absence. Article 8 of Title 5 gives the College freedom to expand upon drop policies. The Foothill College Faculty Handbook allows each instructor to construct a drop policy for the specific requirements of the course where absence or tardiness may interfere in a student's progress.

Discipline Drop Policy

According to Education Code, Section 76032, an instructor has the right to remove a student "for good cause" (disruptive conduct) from his or her class for the day of the removal and the next class meeting. However, the instructor must then immediately report this removal to a designated chief administrative officer, in our case, Dean of Student Affairs and Activities, for any further appropriate action, such as long-term suspension or expulsion from the class. As an instructor, you do not have the legal right to suspend a student for more than one class session after the day of removal for a conduct issue. If a student appears to be a danger to others, immediately call the police, and then do not delay notifying your division dean and the dean of student affairs and activities. This will ensure swift appropriate action to legally remove the student from class or campus, without making the college susceptible to a lawsuit. For more complete information, please call the Office of Student Affairs and Activities at x7241.

Students who wish to drop a class should follow the drop procedure on the College website.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Credit by Examination (Challenge)

As an enrolled Foothill student, you may be able to obtain credit by examination in subject matters or fields for which you are especially qualified through training or experience, but for which you have not received credit or advanced placement. Unit credits for courses successfully challenged will not be awarded until you have successfully completed 15 units of additional work at Foothill.

You can only challenge courses recommended by the division and approved by the dean. There are special limitations for challenging foreign language courses, courses that depend on laboratory or activity experiences, or courses in a sequence. You may not challenge a course at a lower level than one you have successfully completed in the same department.

The examination may include written, oral or skill tests, or a combination of all three. It will determine whether you have essentially the same knowledge and skills as students who successfully complete the course. You are not permitted to obtain credit by examination unless you are enrolled in the course and the instructor has fully informed you about the requirements for successful completion. The grade you receive on the exam will be entered on your permanent record.

No course may be challenged after the class has met for two weeks, or during Summer Session. If you have failed a course, you cannot receive credit by examination in that course. Units of credit received through this procedure may not apply toward the minimum of 24 resident units required at Foothill for the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees. A maximum of 20 units of credit may be earned by examination.

Although the University of California and California State University systems accept, within certain limitations, appropriate credits obtained by examination, Foothill College cannot guarantee that other institutions will do so.

You can obtain petitions for credit from your counselor during the first week of classes. The examination will normally be completed by the end of the second week. Units earned under credit by examination will be identified on your transcript.

Transfer Credit from Another Institution

Foothill College accepts credit for lower-division coursework previously completed at a college accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations. Students must have official transcripts sent to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office.

To be official, transcripts must be sent from college to college or hand-delivered in a sealed, unopened college envelope.

Foreign Colleges: Students who want to use coursework completed at foreign institution must have their transcripts evaluated by a foreign evaluation service. Students should meet with their counselors to petition to use any of this coursework toward the associate degree. Coursework from a foreign institution cannot be used for certification to a four-year institution. Students should contact the school to which they want to transfer to determine if any credit will be awarded from the foreign institution.

Non-Regionally Accredited Colleges: Students may petition for individual courses taken at a non-regionally accredited college to be accepted for major requirements. The credit is non-transferable toward a bachelor's degree. Students must have official transcripts sent to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office. To be official, transcripts must be sent from college to college or hand-delivered in a sealed, unopened college envelope.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Final Examinations

Foothill gives final examinations in all courses except physical education, CNSL 5, cooperative education and tutoring courses. We make special arrangements for self-paced courses and classes that only meet once a week. Final examinations normally will not be given in advance of the scheduled time.

You are responsible for taking all assigned final examinations. Failure to take the final examination may result in an F grade. If you miss a final examination for a legitimate reason, communicate with your instructor immediately.

At Foothill, we strive to minimize student activities during the week before final examinations. However, classes and instruction continue as usual. During this period, instructors may assign coursework or have students complete part of the final examination.

Course Grading Categories

Foothill offers course grades in these five categories:

  1. Courses in which all students are graded on a 4.0 scale of A, B, C, D, F.
  2. Courses in which all students are graded on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis.
  3. Students who enroll in a class as a Pass/No Pass option instead of a letter grade must submit a Pass/No Pass Card signed by the student within the first four weeks of the quarter. The form must be submitted to the Admissions Office.
    1. The student may choose to apply to the associate degree no more than 16 units of P-graded courses from this category. Students transferring to a four-year school should consult with a counselor.
    2. Courses in your major must be taken for a letter grade.
  4. Non-credit courses with course numbers ranging from 400-499. Grades earned in these courses shall not be included in the student's degree-applicable grade point average.
  5. Community services non-credit courses for which admission is charged.

In calculating the student's degree-applicable grade point average, grades earned in non-degree-applicable courses shall not be included. Courses that are non-degree-applicable are noted in both the Schedule of Classes and Course Catalog.

Grading Scale

The Foothill College grading scale includes the following:

A Excellent
B Good
C Satisfactory
D Less than satisfactory
F Failing
I Incomplete; cannot be issued prior to the end of the eighthweek. If not made up within the time limit that is assigned by the instructor, not to exceed one year, the I grade may change to F.
W Withdrawal; issued if you withdraw from class after the second week, between the third and eighth weeks. Prior to the end of the second week, no mark will appear on your record. After the eighth week, a grade symbol other than a W must be used and will likely be an F.
IP In Progress; for classes that extend over more than one quarter.
P Pass; at least a C or better in a class offered on a graded/non-graded basis.
NP No Pass; less than a C in a class offered on a graded/non-graded basis.
RD Report Delayed; assigned by the registrar.


For a justifiable, approved reason (serious illness, emergency, etc.), you may ask your instructor for more time to complete coursework. After the end of the eighth week and before the end of the quarter, you must request that the instructor assign a grade of Incomplete (I). The instructor files an Incomplete Contract that explains the reason and precisely outlines the work due, procedure required, and due date for you to complete the work. You should signand keep a copy of the contract.

We do not assign an incomplete because a student is slow or negligent in submitting required work. If you meet the course requirements within one calendar year, the I grade may be changed; otherwise it may be listed as F.

Transcript/Grade Changes

By law, instructors are the only people who can change grades. Section 76224 of the California State Education Code states,"The determination of the student's grade by the instructor shall be final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetency." If you believe corrections should be made within the above restriction, you should first talk to your instructor. Corrections must be initiated within two years after the grade was earned. If an error has been made, and a correction is necessary prior to the two-year period, you may request a review of the records at the Admissions & Records Office. Grades received prior to 1983 may not be changed. Exceptions to this policy include:

  1. a bona fide error in grading and
  2. a course in which an unsatisfactory grade was given is repeated for a satisfactory grade.

Topic updated: February 15, 2017

Withdraw from College

To withdraw from college after the eighth week, you must consult with a counselor and petition the Academic Council to obtain an approved dismissal. This is for your protection, since you may receive an F in all classes after the eighth week if you do not follow these guidelines. The petition must have the instructor's approval signature for each class.

Report Academic Dishonesty and/or Disruptive Behavior
Campus Center Upper Level

We're Here to Help!

Catalina Rodriguez, Acting Dean of Students


Campus Center, Building 2000, Room 2002