Student Misconduct Charges at Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University is a for-profit online university founded in 1965 and headquartered in Colorado Springs. Colorado Technical University enrolls well over 20,000 students. Colorado Technical University's undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs cover business, management, computer science, engineering, healthcare, information technology, nursing, security studies, and criminal justice.

Like other for-profit higher-ed institutions, Colorado Technical University advertises programs made affordable, flexible, and accessible online. But like other for-profit schools, Colorado Technical University shows high student-loan default rates and low graduation rates compared overall to public and private nonprofit schools.

Colorado Technical University has also faced government scrutiny. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission reached a $30 million settlement with Colorado Technical University and related entities after suing for deceptive advertising practices. Schools must not lure students into programs only to unfairly dismiss them for failing to progress or on exaggerated misconduct charges, while keeping tuition-loan proceeds.

Misconduct Policies at Colorado Technical University

National academic-misconduct attorney and advisor Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm wishes to educate you about your student rights at Colorado Technical University, under the university's conduct code, sexual-misconduct policy, and satisfactory-academic-progress policy. Higher education prohibits various forms of academic misconduct. Read here for additional information about college academic misconduct. Knowing and enforcing your rights can keep the university from ignoring its own policies and procedures to treat you unfairly in a misconduct proceeding.

Conduct Code. Colorado Technical University's student handbook includes a student-conduct policy that prohibits students from the following conduct, progressive sanctions for which include reprimand, written notice, suspension, and dismissal:

  • academic or administrative dishonesty;
  • violating the University's Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy;
  • violating the University's Anti-Discrimination and AntiHarassment Policy;
  • violating the University's Technology Use Policy;
  • forgery, alteration, misuse, or mutilation of university documents, records, identifications, educational material, or property;
  • obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or any other university activity;
  • physical or verbal abuse of any student, faculty, staff, or member;
  • conduct threatening or endangering health or safety;
  • theft of or damage to university property;
  • unauthorized entry to university facilities or use of resources;
  • intentional unauthorized interference with access to university facilities;
  • possession, use, or distribution of any illegal drug on campus or at a university activity;
  • rioting or aiding, abetting, encouraging, or participating in or inciting a riot;
  • aiding, abetting, or inciting others in committing any act of misconduct;
  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorized solicitation of students, faculty or staff on campus or online for any product or service;
  • other threatening behavior or actions;
  • breach of information security processes
  • failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  • engaging in fraudulent financial activities; and
  • failure to comply with the policies and procedures.

Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations. All colleges and universities receiving federal funding, which would include Colorado Technical University, must comply with new federal Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020. Read here about those recent Title IX interpretive changes. The current federal interpretation limits Title IX's reach to only these three forms of sexual misconduct, each of which the Title IX reference in Colorado Technical University's student handbook and a separate Colorado Technical University Title IX policy also prohibit:

  • sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking;
  • quid-pro-quo harassment (attempting to trade favors for sex); or
  • unwelcome conduct so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to deny equal access to education based on sex.

In addition to its Title IX policy, Colorado Technical University's student handbook includes in its conduct code a prohibition on disorderly, lewd, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for favors of a sexual nature, physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, and indecent or obscene conduct or expression. The prohibition expressly states that it applies to conduct that the Title IX policy does not reach. Sanctions for violation of the sexual-misconduct policy include reprimand, written notice, suspension, and dismissal. Sanctions for violation of the university's Title IX policy include written or verbal apology, prevention education, verbal, written or final warning, no-contact order, probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Colorado Technical University also has a separate Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation referring to Colorado Technical University's Title IX policy for prohibitions and their definitions but then lists these additional examples of misconduct, beyond Title IX's reach:

  • jokes or epithets about another person's protected status;
  • teasing or practical jokes directed at a person based on his or her protected status;
  • the display or circulation of written materials or pictures that degrade a person or group based upon a protected characteristic; and
  • verbal abuse or insults about, directed at, or made in the presence of an individual or group of individuals in a protected group.

Misconduct Procedures at Colorado Technical University

Procedures are important to a disciplinary proceeding's outcome, especially when an accused student disputes the charge. Consider this outline of Colorado Technical University's student-misconduct procedures for each of its student-conduct codes.

Conduct Code. The conduct-code procedures within Colorado Technical University's student handbook state that misconduct complaints go to a Student Conduct Committee composed of the Provost and four other chosen university officials. The procedures state that investigation occurs as appropriate. The procedures do not state the nature of any hearing or other rules guiding the Student Conduct Committee. The procedures further provide that if the president or Provost impose dismissal, the student may appeal to the Student Conduct Committee. The appeal procedure appears to depend on the submission of evidence and arguments rather than in-person hearing.

Title IX Procedures. Colleges and universities receiving complaints about Title IX sexual misconduct must follow federal Title IX regulations when determining whether misconduct occurred. Changes to those federal Title IX procedures in 2020 guarantee the accused a hearing at which the accused has the right to attend and cross-examine the accuser and other witnesses to expose false allegations.

The Colorado Technical University conduct code's sexual-misconduct prohibitions in the university's student handbook, beyond the university's separate Title IX policy, would apply the above conduct-code procedures. Colorado Technical University's student handbook refers to a separate Title IX Investigative and Grievance Procedure for the university's Title IX procedures. Title IX misconduct complaints go to the university's Title IX coordinator, who may attempt an informal resolution. Formal proceedings before an unspecified hearing council or hearing officer guarantee the accused student the right to present information and witnesses to the university, and to retain an attorney advisor to cross-examine witnesses at a hearing of the charges. A student may appeal an adverse decision through an appeal officer.

An Attorney-Advisor's Role

Colorado Technical University's multiple policies and complex definitions could confuse or intimidate any student. Highly experienced in all issues which affect students, attorney Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is a national academic-misconduct advisor who can help you navigate and successfully defend against misconduct charges. Federal Title IX regulations and the procedures that Colorado Technical University has adopted to comply with those regulations enable attorney-advisor Joseph Lento to evaluate allegations, identify evidence to present, challenge the complainant's evidence, cross-examine witnesses in a Title IX proceeding, and analyze and appeal adverse findings, to defeat false or exaggerated charges.

An experienced attorney-advisor should play a critical role in your defense of student-misconduct charges to avoid harm to your reputation, education, and career. Hundreds of college and university students nationwide have retained Joseph D. Lento at the Lento Law Firm to defend and defeat misconduct allegations. Joseph D. Lento has the expertise to help you navigate, defend, and defeat a misconduct charge at Colorado Technical University and to address any school-related issue or concern. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or use the online service.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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