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SBCTC Policy Manual
Chapter 3: Student Services

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This chapter contains policies related to the admission, enrollment, and operations of support services and student-related activities in the two-year college system. Links are provided in the respective policy statements to RCWs, WACs, procedures and guidelines that are relative to that particular policy

Community and technical colleges shall design student services functions appropriate to the college’s populations and employ qualified student services staff to provide services in the following areas:

  1. Developmental and Maintenance: Academic Advising, Career and Student Employment, Counseling, Financial Aid, Health and Wellness programs, Housing Assistance, and Testing.
  2. Administrative: Admissions, Discipline, Records, and Registration.
  3. Support: Child Care, Multicultural and Diversity Programs, Women’s Programs, and Services for Students with Disabilities.
  4. Programs and Activities: Co-curricular and Extracurricular Programs, Student Government, Student Publications, Athletics, and Student Center.
  5. Teaching: Orientation Programs, Study Skills, Job Search Skills, Career Planning and Life Planning courses, and International Student Programs.

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
1998 Student Services Manual no longer in use   Removed 03/10/2010  08/30/2013
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-2016 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

3.20.10 Admission to a community or technical college

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges:

  1. Requires college districts to maintain an open door policy in admitting students (see RCW 28B.50.090 (3)(b)).
  2. Sets minimum standards for governing the admission of students to community or technical colleges (see RCW 28B.50.090 (7)(d); WAC 131-12-010), including the requirement that all international students must demonstrate proficiency in both written and oral English as a prerequisite for enrollment.
  3. Expects colleges to have a written policy on admitting students under 18 who are not admitted under the provisions of Running Start or another local enrollment options program (see WAC 131-12-010 (1)(e)).
  4. Requires colleges to establish rules and procedures that provide for intercampus and inter-college enrollment of students (see WAC 131-12-040) and for interdistrict registration of students (see RCW 28B.50.095; WAC 131-12-041). 

3.20.20 Access for students of color

The State Board believes Washington’s community and technical colleges are the key points of access to higher education for people of color. The Board supports this belief through an earmarked allocation to colleges for the recruitment and retention of students of color. In addition, the Board believes the colleges should:

  1. Be leaders in improving access for students of color.
  2. Continuously seek mechanisms to improve the success for students, faculty, and staff of color.
  3. Incorporate institutional goals for campus diversity and participation by people of color into the college’s strategic plan. Institutional goals should be consistent with statewide goals (see Community and Technical College Student Access and Success by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status Progress Reports).
  4. Provide progress reports to the Board with an assessment of the college’s effort upon request.

3.20.30 Access for students with disabilities

  1. Community and technical colleges shall provide students with disabilities the appropriate core service(s) to ensure equal access to higher education. Reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities shall be provided for all aspects of college life, including nonacademic programs and services (see RCW 28B.10.910 through RCW 28B.10.918). The State Board supports the colleges to provide services and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities through an earmarked allocation.
  2. Washington State community and technical colleges shall provide appropriate, effective, and integrated  access to technology for students employees, and external community members.  This policy applies to the procurement, development, and implementation of instructional, administrative, or communications technologies and content.  Further, the policy applies to both current and emerging technologies, including both hardware and software, in use or being evaluated for purchase or adoption throughout the community and technical college system. The policy encompasses, but is not limited to, college websites, learning management tools, student information systems, training materials, instructional materials, and assessment tools.

3.20.40 Residency status

The State Board requires that community colleges must:

  1. Determine a student’s residency status at the time of initial admission by any college for tuition and fee purposes (see WAC 131-12-020; RCW 28B.15.012 through RCW 28B.15.014; Community College Tuition Waivers and Residency). However, for students enrolled exclusively in “ungraded”, contract, and/or student funded courses, residency determination for the purpose of assessing tuition and fees is prohibited.
  2. Provide for the recovery of fees for improper resident classification consistent with the rules adopted by the Washington Student Achievement Council (see RCW 28B.15.015).

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 16-03-08 State Board approved updated policy improving access to technology. 03/24/2016
SBCTC Resolution 09-05-05 (effective FY 2010 budget) State Board removed earmark for Disability Accommodation Pool.   07/01/2009
Disability Support Services Council (DSSC) requested reporting and payment for Disability Accommodation Reserve Funds be changed from quarterly to annual allocation. 3.20.30 updated “Quarterly Disability Accommodation Reserve Fund” with the name of the new online annual reporting system – “Disability Accommodation Pool”.   07/01/2008
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

The State Board authorizes community and technical colleges to:

  1. Employ qualified persons to administer its student financial aid programs in accordance with federal/state regulations and institutional policies;
  2. Write policies and procedures to ensure consistency in and compliance with the implementation of regulations for federal and state financial aid programs;
  3. Deposit a minimum of three and one-half percent of revenues collected from tuition and services and activities fees in an institutional financial aid fund (see RCW 28B.15.820 and WAC 131-36).

3.30.10 Financial aid guidelines

Each academic year, the SBCTC will develop and distribute guidelines to help colleges administer:

  1. Worker Retraining Financial Aid and Training Completion Aid – Financial assistance to help dislocated and unemployed workers, including displaced homemakers to gain and upgrade skills for employment.
  2. Work-based Learning Tuition Assistance and WorkFirst Work-Study – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low income working parents/students to help in wage and skill progression.
  3. Opportunity Grant – Financial assistance to help low-income adults reach the educational tipping point — and beyond — in high-wage, high-demand careers. Reaching the tipping point allows the least prepared individuals to complete 45 credits, receive a credential, and increase job skills and knowledge through career pathways (see RCW 28B.50.271, RCW 28B.50.272, RCW 28B.50.273).

Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
HB 1096 (2007)  created the Opportunity Grant Program. 3.30.10 added Opportunity Grant Program and moved SBCTC guidelines for financial aid programs from policy 3.40.30 to policy 3.30.10 for consistency. 08/15/2008
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

3.40.10 Intercollegiate athletic programs

The State Board requires that:

  1. District boards of trustees adopt rules to assure that intercollegiate athletic programs afford opportunities for participation to the interests of each college's student population and local community as possible.
  2. Intercollegiate athletics will be conducted according to guidelines and policy as established by the designated college athletic association.
  3. Colleges will strive to accomplish the state’s gender equity goals (see RCW 28B.15.455).

3.40.20 Services and activities fee

The State Board sets the maximum student and activities fee colleges can collect from students. Community and technical colleges are:

  1. Authorized to establish services and activities fees, not to exceed the maximum amount set by the State Board.
  2. Authorized to collect services and activities fees for the express purpose of funding student activities and programs consistent with the needs of their institution (see RCW 28B.15.041; SBCTC Policy Manual, Chapter 3 Appendix A: Student Programs and Activities).
  3. Establish an activities fee committee, with students representing a majority of the members, for recommending to the administration and the Board of Trustees a yearly budget for use of the services and activities fees (see RCW 28B.15.045 (3)).

3.40.30 Student rights and responsibilities

Community and technical colleges are required to:

  1. Adopt and publish rules establishing student rights and responsibilities, provide for students involvement in such activity, and file all such rules with the state director (see WAC 131-12-050, WAC 131-12-060, RCW 28B.50.140 (13)).
    Adopt rules for hazing violations and sanctions imposed on individuals or groups (see RCW 28B.10.900 through RCW 28B.10.902).
    Ensure confidentiality of student records - SBCTC Policy Manual, Chapter 5 Appendix C: Confidentiality of Student Records and Data.

Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
Passage of E2SSB 5182 (2011) Repealed the requirement for intercollegiate athletics compliance reports to the governor and legislature. Colleges report directly to U.S. Department of Education. 08/24/2011
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

Community and technical colleges must provide information to students, prospective students, parents and the general public on:

  1. State support for higher education students including information on the amount of state subsidy and financial aid received (see RCW 28B.15.0681).
  2. The abuses of alcohol in particular and the illnesses consequent from alcohol in general (see RCW 28B.10.295), for community colleges with state-owned residence halls, the availability of student housing where all use of liquor is prohibited (see RCW 28B.10.575), and a process for reporting violations and complaints of illegal liquor and drug use (see RCW 28B.10.575).
  3. Methods of transmission of AIDS and the AIDS virus (see RCW 28B.50.205).
  4. State financial aid programs labeled an “opportunity pathway” (see RCW 28B.76.500).
  5. Policies and procedures for handling complaints of sexual harassment (see RCW 28B.110.030 (8)).
  6. Courses that can be fulfilled by taking the AP, IB, or CI dual credit exams.  Each college must post the qualifying exam score and college course equivalencies on the campus website (see RCW 28B.10.054).
  7. Transferable college-level courses and course lists for one-year academic completion and transferable degrees. Lists must be published in admission materials and easily accessible on the college’s website (see RCW 28B.50.785).
  8. Voter registration.  Each college must have an active prompt on its course registration website that will link the student to the secretary of state’s voter registration website (see RCW 29A.08.310).
  9. Expenditure of services and activities (S&A) fees.  Annually, by September 30 post services and activities fees expenditure information for the prior academic year on the college website (see RCW 28B.15.045(11)).
  10. Options for course placement: Colleges are required to post all the available options for course placement on their website and in their admissions materials (see RCW 28B.50.090).
  11. Financial aid counseling curriculum must be provided to institutions of higher education with state need grant recipients. The curriculum must be available via a website (see RCW 28B.76.502).
  12. Foster Youth: Each college shall include on their applications for admission or on their registration materials a question asking whether the applicant has been in foster care together with an explanation that financial and support services may be available (see RCW 28B.117.040).
  13. Veterans: Colleges must include on their applications for admission an opportunity to advise the institution that they are veterans who may need assistance (see RCW 28B.15.910).

Campus and student directory information must be made available to military recruiting representatives providing students information on educational and career opportunities if the college provides the same access to other persons or groups (see RCW 28B.10.360). 

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
Passage of SB 5712 (2013) Added requirement for colleges to post course placement information online and in admissions materials.  07/28/2013
Passage of SHB 2352 (2012) Added requirement to post service and activity fee expenditure information on college websites. 06/07/2012
Passage of SHB 6121 (2012) Added requirement to provide financial aid counseling curriculum. 06/07/2012
Passage of HB 2254 (2012) & ESHB 1131 (2007) Added requirement identifying former foster care youth and helping them gain postsecondary education and student aid. 07/01/2012
Passage of SHB 2259 (2012) State requirement for reporting crime statistics repealed. Federal Clery Act requires campus security reporting. 06/07/2012
Passage of E2SHB 1795 (2011) Added requirement for colleges to post lists of transferable college-level courses. 08/24/2011
Passage of E2SHB 1808 (2011) Added requirement to post AP & IB scores on college websites. 07/22/2011
Passage of SSB 5270 (2009) Added requirement for colleges to post link to Secretary of State’s voter registration website. 07/26/2009
Passage of E2SHB 2021 (2009) Added disclosure requirements for college tuition billing statements and requirement for state financial aid programs must use the “Opportunity Pathway” label on all communications. 08/01/2009
Passage of HB 2233 (2006) Added requirement identifying veterans and helping them gain information on assistance available. 06/07/2006
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

Community and technical colleges shall not discriminate in admission enrollment, financial aid, student employment, recreational activities, including athletics, student services, and/or any other program or service offered to all students on the basis of gender (see RCW 28B.110.040).

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

In the 2003 legislative session the legislature passed a law (RCW 28B.10.695) that requires community and technical colleges to adopt policies and procedures to expedite students’ progress toward their program goals (see WAC 131-12-080). The intent of the legislation is to encourage students enrolled in degree or certificate programs to complete their programs with limited additional credits. The policies and procedures should address:

  1. Students who accumulate more than one hundred twenty-five percent of the number of credits required to complete an associate degree or certificate;
  2. Students who have a pattern of dropping more than twenty-five percent of their course load; and
  3. Students who remain on academic probation for more than one quarter.


Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 03-10-28 adopting WAC 131-12-080 3.70.00 added. Passage of SB 5135 (2003) required the SBCTC to develop policies to ensure enrolled undergraduates complete degree and certificate programs in a timely manner. 03/10/2005
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

RCW 28B.15.041 provides that the "services and activities fee shall be used as otherwise provided by law or rule or regulation of the board of trustees or regents of each of the state's colleges or universities for the express purpose of funding student activities and programs of their particular institution."

RCW 28B.15.041 grants to each board of trustees the final authority to determine the permissible uses of the services and activities fees, consistent with the law.

The uses of services and activities fees will vary from district to district and from campus to campus, as well as from any given year to another. Such diversity is to be viewed as consistent with the college system and functions and should be encouraged.

A yearly budget for the expenditure of services and activities fees in support of student programs should be prepared by the services and activities fee committee required by RCW 28B.15.045 with the committee presenting its budget and recommendations to the board of trustees. A process for resolving program and budget conflicts should be established in the event that the board of trustees does not accept the proposed program and budget.

Funds collected or revenues produced by the use of student and activity fees should be deposited with and expended through the office of the chief fiscal officer of the college district and/or campus and are subject to the applicable policies, regulations, and procedures of district boards of trustees, the State Board, and the Budget and Account Act.

With the expressed prior approval of the State Board and, when required, approval of the appropriate legislative body, services and activities fee revenue may be used to acquire real property and fund capital projects and may be used as matching funds for such purposes.

When authorized and approved in a manner consistent with these guidelines, student services and activities fee revenue may be used for, but shall not be limited to, the additional following purposes:

  1. Social events, seminars, workshops, retreats, and conferences; student governmental organizations; professional consulting fees; clubs and societies; musical, dramatic, artistic and forensic presentations of an extracurricular nature; student publications and other mass media activities; tutorial services; day care centers; intramural and intercollegiate sports.
  2. Equipment, supplies and materials required for the operations of student programs and activities.
  3. Travel and per diem for students and professional staff members participating in student programs and activities.
  4. Premiums for liability and casualty insurance coverage for students serving in official capacities or participating in such programs and activities.
  5. Dues for institutional memberships in recognized student governmental or activities organizations provided that the legality of such expenditures is first established in consultation with the legal advisor of the college.
  6. Student salaries and compensation.


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Last Modified: 9/9/20 9:37 AM

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