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Policies 2024-04-01T08:33:11+00:00


Board of Trustees (1000s)

College assets may be named for individuals or entities making significant contributions that support the College’s mission and goals, enhancing College programs, services, facilities and/or grounds.

The Board of Trustees of Highline College has the authority to name individual college buildings and major land areas, at the recommendation of the President.

The Board of Trustees of Highline College delegates to the President the authority to name individual college rooms, lecture halls and other centers of activity.

Original Signed March 13, 2003 Michael J. Allan, Chair Highline College Board of Trustees

In keeping with Board Resolution No. 35-85, the following outlines the procedure for developing new Board or College policies or changing existing policies. It provides for involvement in identifying matters to be addressed through policy and for the formal review of the policy by major campus organizations before policy statements are presented to the President.

Organizations included are Administrative Cabinet, Faculty Senate, Highline College Student Government, Instruction Cabinet, Student Affairs Council, and the Washington Public Employees Association. Final action on Board policies is by the Board of Trustees, for College policies by the President.


Board Policy A general principle which serves as a guideline; a fundamental, philosophical basis for operation; a statement against which practices, procedures, and programs can be tested for general consistency with the institutional mission statement.

Board policies are usually few in number, broad in scope, and are usually unchanged by alterations of operational practices and procedures. Board policies include items specifically required by law such as delegation to the President, check cashing, commercial operations, etc or those items like the College Strategic Plan that are broad statements of purpose and direction.

College Policy Statements governing college wide operations, that do not require Board approval, and express the intent of the college community concerning the work of administrators, faculty and staff who have the daily responsibility for operating the College. College policies are adopted through the Policy Development Process as described in this document.

Procedure An ordered statement of actions, steps, processes to be followed in carrying out the work, assignments, or functions, of an organization or institution. Procedures must be consistent and in harmony with the policies that govern the organization or institution and approved and disseminated by the appropriate Vice President, posted on the College web site, and when affecting more than one area, approved by the College’s executive staff.

Policy Development Council The Policy Development Council (PDC) shall be composed of the chairs, or their representatives, of the organizations listed above.

The purpose of this organization shall be to define all proposals as a Board or College policy or college procedure and to track the proposal through the various Councils in a timely fashion. Since the President presides over the Administrative Cabinet, it is suggested that the President appoint a Cabinet member to the Policy Development Council. The President will appoint the Administrative Cabinet representative who will coordinate the meetings and agendas. The Council will elect its own chair on an annual basis.

The Role of the Policy Development Council

  1. Any of the above listed organizations may submit a proposed Board or college wide policy to the Policy Development Council with the exception of those covered by Section 901 of the negotiated agreement of the College and the Highline College Education Association. Within two weeks, the Council will then send it to the other organizations for their approval, disapproval, or recommended changes. All responses will be forwarded to the Policy Development Council no later than two weeks following the receipt of the policy. If the organization fails to respond, it will be assumed they concur with the proposal. The council may determine that the proposal does not meet the definition of a College wide policy and refer it back to the sponsoring council. The Policy Development Council will act within two weeks of receiving any revisions back.
  2. The Policy Development Council will then consider the original proposal and any submitted modifications. The Policy Development Council may send the revised proposal back to the organizations for their consideration or send the original and the revised proposal on to the President with its recommendation. If the revised proposal is sent back to the organizations, their written response about the new, revised proposal must be submitted by the new deadline.
  3. Any staff member or student or groups of either may submit a policy proposal to the Policy Development Council. The Council will then try to find a sponsoring organization from one of the organizations listed above. If there is an organization that will sponsor the proposal, then the Council will follow the same procedure as stated in #1 and #2. If there is no sponsoring organization, the proposal dies.
  4. Within two weeks of receiving the proposal the President will take action and communicate this action. These actions could include but are not limited to:
    1. Present the Policy Development Council endorsed proposal to the Board of Trustees with recommendation.
    2. Present the Policy Development Council endorsed proposal to the Board of Trustees without recommendation.
    3. Return the proposal to the Policy Development Council requesting consideration of the presidential revisions.
    4. Present a presidentially revised proposal to the Board of Trustees along with the proposal forwarded by the Policy Development Council.
    1. Accept or reject the College policy.
    2. For Board policies:

Approved by the Board of Trustees October 10, 2002

Original signed on October 10, 2002 Michael J. Allan, Chair Highline College Board of Trustees

In accordance with RCW 43.03.050, 43.03.060, 43.03.240 and OFM’s SAAM 10.70, Highline College Board of Trustees shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as follows:

  1. Reimbursement for Per Diem Meals and Lodging ExpensesThe Trustees shall be reimbursed for per diem meals and lodging expenses under Option 1 of SAAM 10.70.30.b, when and while conducting regular board business. Under Option 1, the Trustees shall be reimbursed for meals and lodging at the current per diem rate regardless of whether the meeting occurs during meal periods or is overnight. No receipts are required from the Trustees under this Option 1.Claims for reimbursement should be submitted on the Travel Expense Voucher after the travel has occurred. As allowed under RCW 43.03.050, 43.03.060, 43.03.240 and OFM’s SAAM 10.70, Option 1 provides for expeditious processing of paperwork for the Trustees, whom were “appointed to serve without compensation on any state board, commission, or committee…” (RCW 43.03.50).
  2. Reimbursement for All Allowable Travel Expenses (in addition to Meals & Lodging)The Trustees shall be reimbursed for all allowable travel expenses, in addition to meals and lodging, under Option 2 of SAAM 10.30.30.b while in travel status (ref 10.70.60). For example, when attending an out-of-town conference, the Trustees shall be reimbursed for airfare, taxi, meals, lodging and all other allowable travel expenses, on the same basis, and under the same regulations, as regular state officials and employees.Travel Authorization Form should be completed prior to the actual date of travel. Claims of reimbursement should be submitted on a Travel Expense Voucher after the travel has occurred. Under Option 2, all required receipts, except for per diem meals, must be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher for proper accounting.

Signed by the Board of Trustees February 20, 2020

*View the complete list of Board of Trustees practices

Academic Affairs (2000s)

Academic freedom allows all faculty to seek and present knowledge in their respective disciplines. Faculty members are free to explore problem and issues, without fear of interference from administrators, the Board of Trustees, governmental agencies, the public, students or parents of students. Faculty members have a basic responsibility to promote freedom of thought, expression and the pursuit of knowledge.

Faculty members have an obligation to protect students’ rights to freedom of inquiry. In using potentially controversial materials, the faculty member has the obligation to ensure the material meets the valid educational objectives of the class. Faculty members have the responsibility to exercise reasonableness and good judgment in their presentations and to function within the ethics and standards of their respective disciplines and the teaching profession.

Students are expected to maintain a high standard of honesty in their academic work. Cheating and plagiarism are specifically prohibited under the college’s Student Rights and Responsibilities provisions.

Acts of cheating may include submitting for credit work that is not the student’s own, copying examination answers from fellow students or other sources or assisting other students in acts of these kinds.

Plagiarism, the presentation of another’s writing or ideas as one’s own, can take a number of forms – failing to cite sources, copying source text or online sources without quotation, or inadequately paraphrasing or synthesizing source materials.

Students who are unsure of what might constitute plagiarism or cheating are encouraged to consult their instructors, class materials and other college resources for guidance.

Students are expected to attend all sessions of their classes. Some instructors may require class attendance as part of their grading criterion. Only students in a valid status may attend classes.
Highline’s catalog contains general information about the college and its programs, courses, services, staff and policies. Information is subject to change between catalog updates. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with all academic and administrative regulations and procedures that relate to his or her course of study.
Students are responsible for meeting the requirements of any course in which they are enrolled. Instructors will inform students of course requirements in the course syllabus.

College Credits

Courses offered during the instructional year are assigned credit values of one of more credits. In general, a class that meets two hours a week awards two hours of credit per quarter; one that meets five hours a week awards five credit hours. Some classes, such as laboratories, may vary from this pattern.

Necessary preparation time will also vary according to the class and the student’s background.

Credits are earned only for courses in which students are officially enrolled.

One semester credit hour is equivalent to one and one-half quarter credit hours.

Credit Load

Students intending to enroll in more than 18 credits must meet the following conditions:

Have completed at least 15 credits of college level (100 or above) coursework

Have a 3.0 or better college-level GPA

Have a 3.0 or better college-level GPA The maximum enrollment is 23 credits per quarter.

Students seeking an exemption from the policy must submit a written request to their advisor of record. When the advisor of record is a faculty member, the request may be approved by that instructor or that instructor’s division chair. When there is no assigned advisor of the assigned advisor is a Student Services staff member, the request may be approved by the Vice President for Student Services (or designee). In either case, the decision of the reviewer is final.

Placement Information

Advanced Placement: Students may receive college credit for a score of three or above on an Advanced Placement test taken in high school. In some subjects, 10 to 15 credits may be awarded for a score of five. Advanced Placement credit may be used to satisfy distribution or elective requirements.

For a list of Advanced Placement course exams and their credit equivalency, see the “Advanced Placement Equivalency Table“.

Military Service Schools, Military Experience, DANTES, Clep and Other Training: Credit may be granted for training received at other institutions as recommended by the American Council on Education. To receive credit, a student must present evidence of satisfactory completion of such education to the credentials evaluator in the Registration office in Building 6. Credit for this type of learning may be used for restricted /grey area credit only and is limited to 15 credits for the transfer associate degree.

Examination of Challenge: A currently enrolled student who believes previous professional, business or educational experience, or private study has provided the skills and knowledge required for passing a course offered by Highline may be permitted to challenge that course by examination.

Courses that may be challenged and procedures for challenging can be obtained from the department that schedules the course.

Credit for this type of learning may be used for distribution or elective credit and is limited to 15 credits for the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. For details, speak with the credentials evaluator in the Registration office in Building 6.

International Baccalaureate: Highline will grant five credits for each higher level subject in which a score of five or higher is achieved. These credits may be used to satisfy distribution or elective requirements.

Note: International Baccalaureate credits used at Highline may not transfer to other colleges or universities. Students need to check with the individual schools. To request your IB official transcript, please see the following:


In order to evaluate/transfer your AP/IB courses, you must request this from Registration and Records. Please visit Registration and Recordsto find form and directions.

Departmental Placement: Individual departments have different requirements.

English: All English writing courses have prerequisites of either previous courses, high school transcripts, or minimum scores on either the Reading COMPASS or ESL COMPASS placement tests. Students should check the quarterly class schedule before enrolling in an English course.

Mathematics: Most MATH or MATH& courses have prerequisites of either a previous course in college or high school or a minimum score on the MyMathTest (MMT), Highline’s placement test. Students should check the quarterly class schedule before enrolling in a mathematics course. For information, contact a mathematics instructor.

Reading: Many courses require a minimum COMPASS reading score.

World Languages: Most world language courses have prerequisites of a previous course, grade and/or minimum score on the COMPASS placement test. Students can usually select the right level for their first college foreign language course by using these guidelines:

  • Students who have not studied – or who have very minimal study in – a foreign language, enter 121;
  • Students who have successfully completed (grade 2.0 or better) two years of a high school language are ready for 122;
  • Students who have successfully completed three years of a high school language are ready for 123;
  • Students who have successfully completed more than three years of a high school language enter 221;
  • Students who have considerable preparation other than high school and college and some fluency in the language can enter 221;
  • Native speakers of a language must register for 221 or higher.

Students are urged to discuss preparation for world language study with their adviser or the instructor of the language so that satisfactory placement can be made. Instructors will help place students through the end of the registration period.

Caution: Some four-year colleges and universities do not grant credit for 101 or 121 to students who entered college in fall 1987 or later if they had two or more years of that language in high school.

Transfer Credits

Highline College grants academic credits toward its degrees for courses completed at other regionally accredited institutions. To have other colleges’ transcripts evaluated, an official transcript must be sent to the credentials evaluator in Building 6, along with a “Request to Evaluate Official Transcripts from Other Institutions” form. The form is available in the Registration office in Building 6. Students will receive a copy of the transcript record upon completion of the evaluation.

All examinations must be taken at the times scheduled by the instructors. A request to take an examination at any other time must be approved by the instructor.
A final examination or evaluation is part of each course. Students are required to take the final examination or participate in the evaluation at the scheduled time in order to complete the course and receive credit. A final examination schedule is included in the quarterly class schedule.
A student completing an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree who achieves a college-level cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 is eligible for honors at graduation. The transcript will indicate “Honors”. Winter quarter GPA is used for students who are scheduled to complete degree requirements during spring or summer quarter.

College Year: The college instructional year consists of fall, winter and spring quarters of approximately 11 weeks each and a summer quarter of about eight weeks.

During the instructional year, class sections are offered during the early morning, late afternoon and evening hours at the college and at other sites throughout the district. Transfer, professional-technical and basic skills courses are offered during summer quarter, as well.

College Quarters: Highline offers classes on a quarterly schedule. Fall quarter classes begin in late September, winter quarter begins in January and spring quarter begins in late March or early April. Summer quarter begins in June.

Highline College provides a process through which students can seek resolution of complaints about instructional matters. Typically, these matters include grades and classroom practices. An attempt should be made to resolve all instructional complaints in an informal manner. The interests of all are best served when complaints are resolved at the lowest possible level of the administrative structure. Any employee of the College receiving a complaint concerning a faculty member shall encourage the student to discuss the situation with the faculty member involved before meeting with anyone else. In the case of a student not wishing to discuss the matter with the faculty, employees should direct the student to the appropriate Division Chair or Office of Academic Affairs (who will help refer the student to the appropriate Division Chair). Complaints against faculty members, even when arising out of student conduct remain the purview of academic affairs as noted in the HCEA contract.

Reports will be evaluated in order to determine the appropriate institutional response. Excluded from this process are those complaints for which other specific remedies are provided such as Title IX, faculty against faculty, and administration against faculty, or non-academic complaints. Reports indicating concern for discrimination or harassment will be immediately referred to the Title IX Officer. If the person has already discussed the matter with the faculty member or refuses to do so, and desires to pursue the complaint, the person will be directed to meet with the Division Chair. Complaints must be initiated within 120 calendar days of the end of the quarter in which the precipitating incident(s) occurred.

Informal Process
Upon hearing the complaint, the Chair should attempt to facilitate resolution by encouraging further discussions between the student and the faculty member. During this informal process, the Chair may decide to meet with both parties separately or together, and collect and review
course information as necessary to move towards a resolution, such as syllabi, information in Canvas, etc. If attempts at an informal resolution fail, the following steps must occur.

Formal Process
Step 1 The student must create a written version of the complaint, including the steps they have taken to try and resolve the concern, and deliver this to the Division Chair.
Step 2 The Chair will promptly forward a copy of these materials to the faculty member. In addition, the Chair will document the formal complaint in a shared drive and notify the CAO. If the faculty member is an adjunct, the Chair will also notify the appropriate Coordinator.
Step 3 At this point, the student, the Division Chair, and/or the faculty member may request that a different Division Chair conduct further review. The re-assignment of the new Chair will be facilitated by the CAO, or designee.
Step 4 After receiving the materials from the Division Chair, the faculty member may choose to send the chair a written response to the complaint.
Step 5 After reviewing the complaint with the parties involved, the Chair will provide, in a timely manner, a written response to the student and faculty member which includes the Chair’s resolution to the complaint.
Step 6 The Chair will document the resolution in the shared drive and notify the CAO, and Coordinator when necessary.
Step 7 Failure of the faculty member to comply with the resolution will be considered the same complaint and will be appealed to the Chair. At this point, the Chair has the option of either continuing to facilitate the resolution or to refer it to the CAO.

Referral to CAO
If the student wishes to pursue the matter, the student will be directed to provide a narrative appeal specifying the reason(s) why to the CAO (or designee).

CAO Response
Upon reviewing the complaint, the CAO (or designee) will provide an opportunity for the faculty member and the student to submit additional materials related to the written complaint. The CAO (or designee) may consider other related complaints in reaching a resolution. Prior to
receiving a formal written response from the CAO, the faculty member will have the opportunity to review all written materials that have been considered in resolving the complaint(s). Copies of the CAO’s (or designee) resolution will be sent to the student and the faculty member.

Further Consultation with CAO
The faculty member can ask for further consultation with the CAO (or designee) regarding the decision. The faculty member and the CAO (or designee) have the right of representation in any meeting.

Faculty Right to Pursue Grievance
If, after these events have transpired, the faculty member disagrees with the recommended solution, the faculty member may seek appropriate resolution through the formal grievance procedure.

Conditions for Disciplinary Action
No disciplinary action may be taken against any faculty member as a result of any complaint unless there has been compliance with the above procedures. The student should first discuss the situation with the faculty member involved, before meeting with anyone else. Any employee of the college receiving a complaint concerning a faculty member shall encourage the complainant to meet with the faculty member involved.

Policy updated by the BOT September 8, 2022

Grade Point Average

Grade point average (GPA) is a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement. GPA is computed on both a quarterly and cumulative basis from those courses in which students have received grades. The cumulative GPA shown on the student’s transcript is based solely on courses taken at Highline and specifically excludes transfer credits.

GPA is computed by dividing the total cumulative grade points by the total possible credits for courses taken. Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credits by the numeric value of the grade for each course. The sum of the grade points is then divided by the total possible credits.

Credit or pass grades are printed on the transcript as CR and do not count in the quarterly or cumulative GPAs, but do count as credits earned. I, N, W and NC grade symbols do not count in the quarterly and cumulative GPAs and do not count as credits earned toward graduation.

Students are encouraged to review their transcripts carefully. Questions about grades, grade points or credits should be immediately presented to the instructor of the class or the registrar.

Grade Report

Grades are available approximately five days after the quarter ends through ctcLink.

Grading System

Highline uses a numerical grading system to measure and evaluate student performance. Instructors are responsible for measuring and evaluating the performance of their students and must provide a course syllabus that clearly defines the grading requirements for each course.

Instructors may report numerical grade points within a range of 0.7 to 4.0, in 0.1 increments. The grade of 0.0 does not satisfy minimum academic standards for earning credit.

Numerical grades measure achievement according to the following standards:

4.0 Highest achievement 2.0 Satisfactory achievement 0.7 Minimum achievement for credit 0.0-0.6 No credit

Note: Students are responsible for checking with appropriate departments for minimum grades required for program completion or as prerequisites for higher-level courses.

Other Grading Symbols

In addition to numeric grades, the following letter grades are also used. Of these, only the CR (credit) grade will be awarded college credit. Explanations of each symbol follow this list:

CR Credit

I Incomplete

N Audit

NC No Credit

R Repeated Class

W Withdrawal

CR: Credit. A grade of Credit (CR) may be granted for completion of course requirements at the 2.0 level or above. A CR grade must be initiated by the student at the time of registration or by the 15th instructional day of the quarter (an equivalent date is listed in the quarterly class schedule for summer).

The instructor will provide a numerical grade point evaluation, and if it is 2.0 or above, it will automatically be converted to CR by the registrar’s office. Otherwise, the numerical grade given by the instructor will be entered.

Only 15 CR credits are applicable toward the Associate of Arts Option A degree. CR credits may or may not be recognized by other institutions. Other degrees and programs will designate the maximum number of applicable CR credits. Divisions may designate specific courses which are only graded CR/NC.

I: Incomplete. An instructor may issue an I when the following conditions apply:

A student was still registered for the class after the official withdrawal date;

A student satisfactorily (grade of 2.0 or higher) completed at least 80 percent of the total coursework but was not able to complete all coursework due to extenuating circumstances;

A student and instructor have agreed on a date of completion to occur within the following 12 months;

A student and instructor have completed an “Incomplete Grade Contract” and submitted to Registration.

The I will be converted to a numerical grade or CR/NC upon completion of the course requirements. If the I is not removed through the completion of the requirements after 12 months, it will be converted to the grade earned, as shown on the “Incomplete Grade Contract.” This converted grade may not be changed. If an I grade is submitted and the instructor and student fail to file an Incomplete Grade Contract within one quarter, the grade will automatically convert to a 0.0.

N: Audit. Students may enroll for a course on an audit (N) basis. Regular tuition and fees are charged. The N does not carry decimal points.

NC: No Credit. NC indicates a student did not satisfactorily complete course requirements at the 2.0 level to receive credit. The NC grade is used only for courses designated by an instructional division as CR/NC, and carries no GPA calculation.

R: Repeated Class. The symbol R prefixed by a numerical grade or CR, such as 3.2R, indicates the class was repeated. See statement on repeating a course following this section.

W: Withdrawal. The W grade indicates that the student withdrew from the course, in keeping with college withdrawal policies. The W carries no credit, indicates neither passing nor nonpassing work at the time of withdrawal and does not affect GPA. Some courses, identified in the catalog and/or quarterly class schedule, require group participation and are not eligible for a W without the instructor’s permission.

If a withdrawal to the registrar’s office is submitted on or before the 15th instructional day of the quarter (an equivalent date will be listed in the quarterly class schedule for summer) the class will not be reported on the transcript.

First-week nonattendance. In order to accommodate students waiting to register for a course, instructors have the discretion to initiate a withdrawal at the end of the first week of the quarter (or its equivalent for summer). This withdrawal may be authorized when students do not attend at least 60 percent of the class time during the first week. Students should contact their instructors to request an exception to this policy so that in the event of unavoidable absences they will not be withdrawn.

*: Missing Grade. An asterisk (*) indicates that no grade was received from the instructor.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat courses taken at Highline in order to improve their skills or GPA. To repeat a course, a student must reregister and pay all necessary fees. Upon completion of the repeated class, a student must notify Registration and Records to request the GPA recalculation be performed. A course may not be repeated more than twice to improve the cumulative GPA.

Grade Forgiveness Policy

(Approved by Faculty Senate, June 2, 2010)

This policy provides an option for qualified students to set aside or exclude quarters previously attempted or completed from the GPA, when the coursework does not reflect their true academic ability.

With written approval of the adviser, students who meet the conditions outlined below may petition the Registrar to exclude from their transcript grades that negatively affect their cumulative credits and cumulative GPA. All courses and credits prior to the selected quarter will be excluded.

Option 1

  • Student has not been enrolled for at least 1 year.
  • Student must have completed 15 credits with a 2.5 GPA or better (since returning to Highline).

Option 2

  • Student has less than a year’s break in enrollment.
  • Student must have completed 30 credits with a 2.5 GPA or better (after the most recent quarter to be excluded)

Further conditions:

Students cannot select individual courses or quarters for forgiveness. For example, if a student wishes to exclude courses in which failing or poor grades were received during the fourth quarter at Highline, all work taken during the first four quarters would be excluded.

Credits and grade points for excluded courses will be changed to zero (0) and will not be included in the Highline credit total and GPA. The course number, course title, and original grade will remain on the transcript.

Once forgiven, courses and credits may not be reinstated, may not be used as prerequisites, and may not apply toward degree requirements. Students will be allowed to have Grade Forgiveness applied once.

Financial Aid does not honor Grade Forgiveness.

Although Highline College makes provisions for Grade Forgiveness, students should not assume that other colleges to which they transfer will compute the GPA in the same manner. Only the Highline record can be set aside; the College cannot set aside records from other colleges.

Grade Forgiveness Request” forms are available at the Registration Office, Building 6, lower level.


An official transcript is a grade report of academic achievement and carries the signature of the registrar and the college seal. Institutions receiving a transcript will interpret it according to their own policies.

Transcript request forms are available at the Registration office and www.studentclearinghouse.org. A fee for each transcript is payable at the time of the request. Current fees are available through Registration and Records.

For an unofficial copy of a transcript, visit Registration and Records

Transcripts from Other Schools

Highline does not release or certify copies of transcripts from other institutions. Transcripts that have been submitted to Highline from previously attended secondary schools and colleges become part of Highline’s official file and may not be returned to the student or the college.

Official transcripts from previously attended schools and colleges must be received by the Registration office in Building 6 directly from the sending institution.

There is no inherent right to bring non-enrolled individuals (guests or children) into classes. Faculty members have full authority to deny such access to classrooms and to discourage such requests. To that end, faculty members are encouraged to include in course syllabi a statement about guests and children. However, faculty members may use their judgment in permitting guests or children to remain in class on an emergency or one-time/limited occasion basis. In determining the appropriateness of approving a request to permit a child or guest in class, faculty members should consider the following:

  • Under no circumstances should children (non-enrolled individuals under 18) be allowed into any laboratory or other hazardous area. If a student wishes to invite an adult guest into a laboratory or other hazardous area, specific arrangements with the instructor must be made beforehand. In such cases, the instructor should pay special attention to the guest’s understanding of safety precautions.
  • Neither guests nor children should be brought into any class on a regular basis.
  • The college environment should remain conducive to teaching and learning. Guests or children who are distracting either to the students or to the instructor should be asked to leave.
  • Children should remain under the supervision of the responsible parent/guardian while on campus, whether they are in classrooms, offices, or public areas.

Adopted by Instruction Cabinet October 14, 2002

In the use of human participants in instructional activities, Highline Community College’s policy is to protect the rights, well being, and personal privacy of individuals, to assure a favorable climate for the acquisition of technical skills and the conduct of academic inquiry, and to protect the interest of Highline Community College.

The policy for the Use of Human Participants in Instructional Activities addresses classroom, laboratory or clinical activities in which learning by students requires the use of human participants as part of the training procedures, demonstrations, and/or classroom experiments. This policy does not pertain to medical patients seen in clinical settings.

In accordance with RCW 28B.137.010, Highline College will grant reasonable accommodation for students who request to be absent for reasons of faith or conscience, or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Such absences must be requested in writing to the faculty member within the first two weeks of the quarter and may not incur additional fees for students. Students should notify faculty within the first two weeks of the course.

Faculty must include the approved language referencing this policy in their syllabi. This policy and the associated procedure will be posted on the college website.  Students who have concerns about approval or a grade impact may utilize the student grievance procedure for concerns not directly related to grades, or to the grade appeal process in cases impacting a final grade.

Reasonable accommodation is defined as coordinating with the students on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for completion of the class and/or program and includes rescheduling examinations or activities or offering different times for examinations or activities.

Adopted by The President November 3, 2022

This policy is in compliance with SBCTC requirements and uses the language of SBCTC 02-09-16 Chapter 5 Appendix A: Reporting Enrollment Repeat Course Rule.

A student may enroll in a course no more than three times (the original enrollment plus two repeats). If a course is repeated for a higher grade, students will receive credit for the course only once. Only the highest grade will be included in the calculation of the Highline GPA. 

The repeat course rule is automatically applied to repeated courses in which a grade is earned, including classes in which a “W” withdrawal is earned.

Grade replacement in GPA calculations cannot be applied retroactively once degree or certificate credentials are posted to the transcript.

Exceptions may include: 

A. Extenuating Circumstances—At the discretion of the college, students with extenuating circumstances may receive permission to enroll in a course for a fourth attempt. These extenuating circumstances may include, but not limited to, medical or military withdrawals as defined in state statute, course required for a certificate or degree with limited or no substitute option, significant break in enrollment, grade forgiveness process, or mandated training for employment.

B. Variable Credit Courses — A student may enroll in a variable credit course as many times as necessary to complete the entire curriculum and credit value of the course. However, a student may not repeat any portion of a variable credit course that has already been completed.  A student cannot earn duplicate credits for the same variable-credit course, but they can take the course to earn a higher GPA

Students who retake a previously passed course more than once may become ineligible for federal or state financial aid. Students who receive veteran benefits cannot be certified for or receive compensation for repeating a course they have previously passed.

Adopted by The President March 7, 2022

Student Services (3000s)

  • Satisfactory Academic Standing: Satisfactory Academic Standing is a status indicating a student is meeting the academic standards policy requirements by maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.
    • Early Notification: Early notification is provided to students who are meeting the academic standards policy, but whose quarterly GPA is below a 2.0. This emphasizes the importance of academic standards and the availability of campus support services. Students on early notification are encouraged to utilize campus resources and services to maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher.
  • Academic Probation: Academic Probation is a status indicating a student is not meeting the academic standards policy requirements. Students are on Academic Probation if both their cumulative and quarterly GPAs are below a 2.0. Students on Academic Probation receive notification about campus resources and services to increase their GPA to 2.0 and above.
  • Academic Alert: Academic Alert is a status indicating a student is not meeting the academic standards policy but making quarterly progress to increase their cumulative GPA. Students are on Academic Alert if their cumulative GPA is below a 2.0 and quarterly GPA is 2.0 or above. Students on Academic Alert are encouraged to utilize campus resources and services to increase their GPA to 2.0 and above.
  • Academic Suspension: Academic Suspension is a status indicating a student has repeatedly not met the academic standards policy. Students are on Academic Suspension if their cumulative and quarterly GPAs are below 2.0 for two or more consecutive quarters. A registration block is placed on Academic Suspension students, preventing the enrollment of courses. Students are required to complete a Student Success Plan to have the block lifted. The written Student Success Plan may include additional participation activities, including but not limited to: meeting with an advisor or counselor, attending a workshop, utilizing tutoring, and enrolling in College 101 course.


The Provisional Academic Standards Policy was approved by Dr. Penn, Interim VP for Student Services on Oct 4, 2023 and will be provisionally adopted through Spring Quarter 2024


Students and other interested persons can access information on completion and/or graduation rates; district security policies and crime statistics; athletic program participation rates and financial support data; completion and/or graduation rates for student-athletes; information regarding student records under the Family Education Rights and Privacy act (FERPA); and the alcohol and drug policy by visiting Highline’s Website.

Paper copies of the above documents may be obtained from the executive assistant for Student Services in Building 6, room 218.

Highline College

MS 6-11, P.O. Box 98000

Des Moines, wA 98198-9800

(206) 592-3077

Students at Highline College have certain rights regarding their educational records. These rights are part of the federal legislation known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Student Rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Highline College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
  5. The right to obtain a copy of Highline College’s student records policy. You can obtain a copy of the policy from the Registrar’s office.
June commencement is a ceremony for those students who have completed or plan to complete their degree or certificate during fall, winter, or spring of the current academic year, or the summer quarter immediately following. Participation is not required. Ceremony participation does not guarantee degree completion.

Highline encourages all students to apply for graduation at least two quarters prior to the anticipated graduation date. The “Application for Graduation/Request for Graduation Evaluation” form is available at the Registration office in Building 6, lower level or online. Submission of the application form initiates an evaluation of all coursework applicable to the degree indicated. Upon completion of this process, students are notified of the results. A degree or certificate evaluator has determined all required coursework has been successfully completed. A student may not earn more than one transfer degree (AA-DTA) at Highline College.

The Graduation Review Board considers requests for substitutions and waivers to degree requirements. Such requests must be submitted in writing to the Graduation Review Board at the Registration office in Building 6.

The Student Complaint Procedure, also known as the “Nonacademic Complaints against College Employees” provides guidelines that promote constructive dialogue, understanding, and informal resolution of complaints and concerns that arise against college employees outside the instructional setting. This process also provides an avenue for formal procedures should an informal approach be ineffective. A complaint is defined as a statement that expresses a student’s dissatisfaction with the performance or action of a college employee, which the student believes to be unfair or inconsistent with college policy or procedure.

Steps for the Student Complaint Procedures

  1. Step 1: Discuss complaint with staff member. The complainant should discuss the complaint informally and thoroughly with the staff member to whom the complaint is directed. Both parties should openly discuss the complaint/concern and attempt to understand the other’s perspectives, explore alternatives, and arrive at a satisfactory resolution to the complaint. If the complainant and staff member are unsuccessful at finding a resolution, if either of the parties is unwilling to meet, or if the complainant is dissatisfied with the complaint resolution, they should then move to step 2.
  2. Step 2: Express complaint in writing. Within ten business days of meeting or attempting to meet with the staff member, and the issue remains unresolved, the complainant shall draft a written complaint and forward the written complaint to the staff member and the staff member’s immediate supervisor.
  3. Step 3: Supervisor conference. Upon receiving the complainant’s written complaint, the staff member’s immediate supervisor will ask the staff member for a written response. The supervisor may request supporting materials from either the staff member or complainant. At this step, the supervisor’s primary goal is to facilitate a resolution of the matter between the parties. To that end, at his or her discretion, the supervisor may hold a conference with the involved parties, may meet with each individually, or may communicate a proposed resolution(s) in writing. Within fifteen business days of the date the written complaint was received, the supervisor shall provide a written copy of his/her decision to each involved party.
  4. Step 4: Executive conference. If the decision of the immediate supervisor does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, the executive director of human resources or his or her designee shall, on request of the complainant, convene a conference of all affected supervisors within ten business days. All written statements and supporting materials from involved parties will be provided to the executive director of human resources or his or her designee prior to the conference. The executive director of human resources or his or her designee and the affected supervisors may opt to meet, individually or collectively, with the involved parties. Written materials will be retained in the human resources office. If after discussion, mediation, and review of materials at the conference, the involved parties are unable to find a mutually acceptable resolution, the executive director of human resources or his or her designee shall within five business days render a written decision on the complaint and will provide copies to all involved parties. The decision of the executive director of human resources or his or her designee will be final.

Additional information about the Student Complaint Procedure can be found here.

Assistance with the Student Complaint Procedure

If you would like further assistance with the Student Complaint Procedure, contact our Dean of Advising and Enrollment Services or Dean of Student Support & Retention Services at studentcomplaints@highline.edu.  

Highline College is committed to ensuring a welcoming, inclusive and safe learning environment for all students. The Student Conduct Code (SCC) is a contractual agreement between the enrolled student and the College, and it is important that students be informed and knowledgeable about behavioral expectations and responsibilities to ensure their academic success. A student’s admission into Highline constitutes acceptance to comply with the Student Conduct Code. The process and procedures are not intended to be punitive, but rather to focus on students’ development and learning. Conduct administrators are dedicated to ensure respect, due process and fundamental fairness in the administration of the SCC.

Highline students have guaranteed rights within the limitations of statutory law and college policy as deemed necessary to achieve the educational goals of the college. Know your rights!

For complete information on Student Rights and the Code of Conduct, visit Student Services.

Students at Highline College have certain rights regarding their educational records. These rights are part of the federal legislation known as the FERPA.

Students have the right to the following:

  • Inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of the day that the college receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar in Building 6 a written request that identifies the record(s) that they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • Request the amendment of the students educational record(s) that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students have up to thirty (30) days after the quarter ends to request the college amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The process for submitting such a request is to complete a Registration Petition Form, which is available on the Registration and Records website. The from must identify the change that needs to be made and why the record is inaccurate or misleading. Please note: There is a separate process for students who wish to file an Instructional Grievance to challenge a properly recorded grade. Information on the Instructional Grievance process is available from faculty, advisers and deans. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the registrar will notify the student of the decision in writing.
  • Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records may be made to Registration and Records. School officials with a legitimate interest may access academic records. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

A school official is a person employed or contracted by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including campus safety officers). Additionally, it may include a person, company or agency with who the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, public service agency, education agency or school); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. Volunteers and interns serving in any of these capacities are also considered school officials.

Upon request, the college may disclose education records without student consent to officials of another school in which a student is concurrently enrolled, or seeks or intends to enroll. The college also may publish or provide the following directory information to any person who requests it: Student name, address, program of study, quarters of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities or sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, or degrees and awards received.

In addition, the college provides to military recruiters the following additional directory information: date and place of birth and level of education.

Students who do not wish the college to release their directory information must notify the registrar in writing.

Students may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints should be sent to the office that administers FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-5920

To comply with federal laws and assure students may take advantage of education tax credits, Highline College must request your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This information is used to report information for potential educational tax credits, to administer state/federal financial aid, to verify enrollment, degree and academic transcript records, and to conduct institutional research. If you do not submit you SSN/ITIN, you will not be denied access to the college; however, you may be subject to IRS civil penalties (refer to Internal Revenue Service Treasury Regulation 1.6050S-1(e)(4) for more information). Pursuant to state law (RCW 28B.10.042) and federal law (FERPA), the college will protect your SSN from unauthorized use and/or disclosure.

Hazing Prevention Policy

Hazing is prohibited within the Highline College community. Hazing is any conduct committed as part of a person’s recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student organization, athletic team, or living group (collectively “student groups”) or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such a student group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending Highline College, including causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of such harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. “Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions. This prohibition applies to conduct that may occur both on and off campus. In compliance with 2SHB 1751 (2022), the College will implement procedures and programs, including offering students and employees hazing prevention training and programming, implementation of a mandatory reporting procedure, creation of a hazing prevention committee, and publication of a hazing report.

Procedure: 3070.1

Title:  Hazing Prevention Procedure

  • Definition: As used in RCW 28B.10.901 and 10.902, “hazing” includes any act committed as part of a person’s recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student organization, athletic team, or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization, athletic team, or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending a public or private institution of higher education or other postsecondary educational institution in this state, including causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of such harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. “Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.
  • Employee Mandatory Reporting:
  • If, as a result of observations or information received in the course of employment or volunteer service, any employee, including a student employee, or volunteer at Highline College has reasonable cause to believe that hazing has occurred, the employee or volunteer shall report the incident, or cause a report to be made, to Public Safety or the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. The employee or volunteer shall make the report at the first opportunity to do so.
  • “Reasonable cause” means a person who witnesses hazing or receives a credible written or oral report alleging hazing or potential or planned hazing activity.
  • A person who witnesses hazing or has reasonable cause to believe hazing has occurred or will occur and makes a report in good faith may not be sanctioned or punished for the violation of hazing unless the person is directly engaged in the planning, directing, or act of hazing reported.
  • Nothing in this section shall preclude a person from independently reporting hazing or suspected hazing activity to law enforcement.
  • As used in this section, “employee” means a person who is receiving wages from Highline College and is in a position with direct ongoing contact with students in a supervisory role or position of authority. “Employee” does not include a person employed as medical staff or with an affiliated organization, entity, or extension of a postsecondary educational institution, unless the employee has a supervisory role or position of authority over students. “Employee” does not include confidential employees.
  • Hazing Prevention Committee: The Highline College Hazing Prevention Committee shall promote and address hazing prevention. The committee shall have a minimum of six members including a designated chair appointed by the president of the institution. Fifty percent of the committee positions shall include students currently attending the higher education institution with at least one position filled by a student from a student organization, athletic team, or living group. The other fifty percent of the committee positions shall include at least one faculty or staff member and one parent or legal guardian of a student currently enrolled at the institution. Student input shall be considered for committee membership. A student who is a member of a student organization, athletic team, or living group that was affiliated with a finding of a hazing violation within the last twelve months may not participate in or be a member of the hazing prevention committee. The Chair of Highline College’s Hazing Prevention Committee is the Student Conduct Manager or Designee.
  • Training: All “employees” including student employees must receive hazing prevention training, either electronically or in person, on the signs and dangers of hazing, as well as the College’s prohibition against hazing.

The College must provide students with educational programming on hazing that includes information on hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the College’s policies prohibiting hazing. This programming can be provided either in person or electronically and must be part of the College’s new student orientation sessions. The program must also be posted on the College’s public website for the public, including parents, legal guardians, and volunteers to review.

Approved for Adoption by The President: January 5, 2023

Highline College has an open access admissions policy and provides equal opportunity access to its educational programs. The college admits students based on provisions of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). In accordance, Highline College maintains an open-door policy and no student will be denied admission because of the location of the student’s residence or because of the student’s educational background or ability. Highline adheres to established minimum standards for admission to a Washington State community or technical college, as follows.

Admissions Standards

Highline College admits anyone

Admission to the college does not guarantee admission to any specific program, course, class or selective admissions program. Generally, admitted students may enroll in any instructional programs offered by Highline college as long as the student meets the requirements for enrollment. Highline College reserves the right to determine admission to the college and/or the ability of students to enroll in certain classes.

Underage Admissions Policy: Exception for applicants 17 years old or younger

Applicants who will be 17 years of age or younger on the first day of instruction in the quarter of enrollment who do not meet general admissions standards and are not seeking admissions through one of Highline’s enrollment options, must petition the Dean of Advising & Enrollment Services, or their delegate, for an exception to Highline’s general admission standards.  Emancipated minors (as stated in RCW 13.64) may act on their own behalf without consent of a parent or guardian.

Underage students and their parents/guardians are advised that Highline College:

  • Is an institution of higher learning and, as such, is an adult environment.
  • Makes no special allowances or accommodations to students because of age.
  • Does not grant parental access to a student’s educational records without written consent from the student.
  • Holds all students accountable to the same high academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Reserves the right to request additional information and/or deny any underage enrollment.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The college provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran of war. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of various types). The Executive Director, Office of Human Resources,  [(206) 592-3812, hrstaff@highline.edu] can answer nondiscrimination policy questions. Receive this information in an alternate format by contacting Access Services (206) 592-3857; TTY (206) 870-4853.

Approved for Adoption by The President: March 21, 2024

*For more information regarding student rights, view Highline’s Policies and Procedures.

General Operations (4000s)

Highline College is committed to providing access to classrooms and educational spaces for all. The College will assist in finding a classroom that is accessible, upon request by the student. Revised November 2016 by Policy Development Council
The center for Leadership and Service maintains exterior campus bulletin boards for on-and off-campus events and activities. Anyone wishing to post materials should go to the Center for Leadership and Service for approval and posting procedures.

Highline College actively promotes and supports a learning and work environment which ensures social justice, mutual respect, understanding, civility, and non-violence. Highline College is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on biological sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnic background, national origin, class, economic status, age, military and veteran status, disability, language, culture, and religious beliefs.

Original Signed January 14, 2016 Dan Altmayer, Chair Highline College Board of Trustees Approved by the Board of Trustees January 14, 2016

All possession, consumption, and distribution of alcohol at Highline College shall be in accordance with all applicable Washington State laws and Highline College policies and procedures.

Alcoholic beverages may only be served at on-campus events with the prior written approval of the Vice President for Administration. No alcohol may be served at on-campus College events and activities during the regular business hours of 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday.

No college employee may possess or consume alcohol while on pay status.

Alcohol may not be served or consumed at any event sponsored or funded by student clubs or organizations, regardless of on or off campus.

Possession, consumption, and distribution of alcohol to and by anyone under the age of 21 is strictly prohibited on Highline College premises, including in all buildings owned, occupied, managed, or used by the college.

Revised November 2016 by Policy Development Council

Highline College may pursue collection efforts on any outstanding debts as authorized by RCW 19.16.500. In addition, the College may withhold services, including registration and transcripts, for outstanding debts as described in WAC 132I-122.

College debts include outstanding tuition and fees, returned checks, library fines, bookstore rentals, financial aid repayments, late fees, Student Tuition Easy Payment Plan (STEPP) payments and fees, parking citations, and other fees and fines owed to Highline College. Students and other debtors are responsible for paying all financial charges owed to Highline College upon the due date.

Revised November 2016 by Policy Development Council

Highline College strictly prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of controlled substances, including marijuana, on the college premises.  The college premises is defined as all buildings and spaces owned, occupied, managed, or used by Highline College.

While Washington State I-502 decriminalizes the possession and use of marijuana under state law, the initiative prohibits the consumption of marijuana in public spaces, limits the use of marijuana to persons aged 21 years or older, and prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana.  Initiative 502 does not repeal regulations prohibiting the use of marijuana and other controlled substances on college campuses.  Federal laws criminalizing the manufacture, sale, and use of marijuana remain in place, as do federal regulations that require institutions of higher education to maintain drug-free campuses to qualify to receive federal financial aid (Attorney General of Washington, 2012).

Revised and updated April 27, 2018

On these occasions during the year Highline College closes its campus offices one hour early at 4:00 p.m.:

The day before the Thanksgiving holiday

The day before the Christmas holiday

The day before the New Year’s Day holiday

For information about emergency closures, visit the Suspended Operations Procedure page on the Human Resources site.

Exceptions to this are any services required for the operation of evening classes, security and maintenance. Those areas will maintain regularly scheduled hours.

The Highline College Board of Trustees herein reaffirms its policy of equal employment regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, genetic information or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran.

The Board is committed to affirmative action for Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, women, persons age 40 and over, persons with disabilities, disabled veterans, and Vietnam era veterans.

This policy applies to all levels and in all segments of the College involving both academic and staff employees. The goal of the College is to ensure that there is truly equal opportunity for everyone. To this end, all matters relating to compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoff, college sponsored training, education, tuition assistance, social and recreation programs will be free of discriminatory practices without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran. The College, consistent with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), will not obtain any genetic information (including family medical history) from applicants or employees. It is the obligation of the Board, administration, and other supervisory personnel to ensure that faculty and staff at all levels carry out the intent and the spirit of this Equal Employment Policy and Affirmative Action Program.

The President of Highline College has the overall responsibility for assuring that the equal employment opportunity program is carried out, and has designated the Executive Director of Human Resources, (206) 592-3320 , as the Affirmative Action Officer for Highline College. It is the Board’s intent that this policy be carried out as a positive commitment by Highline College staff at all levels.

The President, on an annual basis, will publish a statement to all staff expressing commitment to this policy.

Report discrimination to: Executive Director of Human Resources MS 99-200, P.O. Box 98000 Des Moines, WA 98198-9800 (206) 592-3320

Highline College strictly prohibits the possession of any weapon on campus, except for commissioned law enforcement personnel, legally authorized military personnel, or approved contractors, while in performance of their duties.  Weapons are defined as any firearm, cutting or stabbing instrument, club, explosive device, or any other objects designed or likely used to inflict bodily harm.

Employees, students, and visitors with a valid concealed weapons permit may store a firearm in his or her vehicle parked on campus in accordance with RCW 9.41.050 (2) or (3), provided the vehicle is locked and the weapon is concealed from view.

The president or designee may grant permission to bring a weapon on campus upon a determination that the weapon is reasonably related to a legitimate pedagogical purpose. Such permission shall be in writing and shall be subject to such terms or conditions incorporated in the written permission.

Adopted April 27, 2018

Highline College and the State of Washington are committed to the safety and well-being of their employees. The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) maintains industrial insurance through the Washington State Fund to protect both workers and employers from the financial impact of a work-related injury or occupational disease. It pays for an injured worker’s approved medical, hospital and related services that are essential to his/her treatment and recovery. An injured worker who is temporarily unable to work may also receive partial wage replacement payments.

It is the policy of Highline College to provide equal opportunity in education and employment and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran of war as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, RCW 49.60.030 and their implementing regulations. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of various types).

Highline College recognizes the need for sustainable waste management and the need to protect natural resources. Therefore, the College will support a cost effective program that recycles products such as paper, glass, aluminum and plastic.


All requests to withdraw from classes must be received by the Registration office. Students may withdraw from a class via Web registration or at the Registration office. Tuition and fee refunds are issued according to the schedule published in the quarterly class schedule or visit https://registration.highline.edu/registration/dates-and-deadlines/.

Refunds require three weeks to process. Students receiving any form of financial assistance must consult with the Financial Aid office to determine the appropriate refund amount.

Summer Quarter, Late Start, Short Courses

Refunds for these courses will be computed on the basis of the number of instructional hours offered before withdrawal documentation is received in the Registration office. If the number of instructional hours offered is equivalent to five instructional days or less of the regular academic quarter, 100 percent of the amount paid will be refunded.

Canceled Classes

When a class is canceled by the college, the total amount paid for that class will be refunded unless the student enrolls in a replacement class. If the replacement class is for fewer credits than the canceled class, the difference will be refunded.

Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Educational Amendment and is against Highline College’s policies and will not be tolerated in any form. It shall be the policy of Highline College, consistent with its efforts to respect the dignity and integrity of employees, students and the general public, to provide an environment free of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted verbal or physical sexual attention that is repetitive and one-sided. Report sexual harassment to:

Director of Human Resources

MS 99-200, P.O. Box 98000

Des Moines, WA 98198-9800

(206) 592-3812

Smoking is prohibited on campus except in designated areas (WAC 132I-124-010). In compliance with state law (Chapter 70.160 RCW), smoking of all kinds, including the use of electronic cigarette, is prohibited inside all buildings owned, occupied, managed, or used by the college. Smoking is also prohibited within twenty-five (25) feet from entrances, exits, windows, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area. Smoking is prohibited in all college-owned and leased vehicles.

Revised November 2016 by Policy Development Council

Highline College will commit to operate in a sustainable manner that simultaneously meets the economic, environmental, and social equity responsibilities of the College. The College will actively pursue currently implemented and innovative methods of sustainability in all three areas. Such practices will be applied throughout the campus, as a part of College’s relevant instructional practices, purchasing procedures, and resource management.

Developed by Associated Students of Highline College
Approved by Jack Bermingham Highline College President April 7, 2011

Highline College supports the concept of telecommuting and encourages the practice in those circumstances where telecommuting does not detract from the efficient or effective delivery of the services of the college. The benefits of telecommuting include: increased productivity and compliance with the State’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion during peak periods. Final approval for telecommuting is granted by the appropriate member of the Executive Staff.

This Meals & Light Refreshment policy was recommended for adoption by PDC on December 7, 2017, and updated on February 7, 2024, due to changes in OFM Policies 70.10 and 70.15.

Meals & Light Refreshments

Per Office of Financial Management (OFM) Policies 70.10, 70.15, and in accordance with RCW 43.03.050, meals, coffee and light refreshments may only be served to college (state) employees at meetings or formal training sessions where:

  1. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct state business or to provide formal training that benefits the state; and
  2. The meals/coffee or light refreshment is an integral part of the meeting or training session; and
  3. The meeting or training session takes place away from the employee’s official worksite; and
  4. The college obtains a receipt for the actual costs of the meals/coffee or light refreshments. Cost per person may not exceed allowable per diem; and
  5. The Vice President for Administration or designee has approved, in writing, the purchasing and serving of meals/coffee and light refreshments PRIOR to the event.

Expenditures for meals/coffee and light refreshments are prohibited in the following situations, regardless of location:

  • For anniversaries of agencies, receptions for new, existing, and/or retiring employees or officials.
  • Any “hosting” activities, including but not limited to activities intended for lobbying a legislator or government official.
  • Election celebrations
  • Social events
  • Normal daily business of Highline College employees, including staff meetings.

In addition, Meals served must take place during the following time blocks:

  • Breakfast: 7:00AM to 9:00AM
  • Lunch: 11:00AM to 1:00PM
  • Dinner: 5:00PM to 7:00PM

The following funding sources are exempted from this policy:

  • Student Services & Activities (S&A) funds – which shall be in accordance with RCW 28B.15.031 and RCW 28B.15.045, as well as any requirements or restrictions instituted by the Center for Leadership & Service.
  • Grants, contracts, or external third-party funds – where meals and/or refreshments are specifically allowed.
  • Highline College Foundation funds.

Policy recommended for adoption by PDC on December 7, 2017
Policy updated February 8, 2024

It is the policy of Highline College that its employees uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior as applicable under the Ethics in Public Service law (RCW 42.52).

All newly hired employees must complete the Washington State Executive Ethics Board training within the first 90 calendar days of their employment.

The Vice President for Administration shall serve as the Chief Ethics Officer for Highline College and shall be responsible for providing and interpreting guidelines, advisory opinions, information, and training as applicable per the Washington State Executive Ethics Board rules.

Recommended for adoption by PDC December 7, 2017

Highline College provides individuals with disabilities, who require the assistance of a service animal, with equal opportunity to access College property, courses, programs, and activities. This policy complies with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended (revised 2009); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Washington Law against Discrimination Chapter 49.60 RCW.

In accordance with the ADA Title II and Title III, a service animal is defined as “any dog (or any miniature horse) individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” All other animals are not allowed inside buildings operated, owned, or leased by Highline College.

Animals owned or used by Highline College for instructional and programmatic purposes are exempted from this policy. The department or program responsible for these animals must comply with all appropriate procedures and practices to ensure the safety of the animals as well as of the employees and students.

Policy approved and adopted by the President June 17, 2020

Highline College is a State-supported public educational institution. All of its facilities, including campuses, buildings, and properties, shall be reserved at various times during the day for the exclusive and priority use of activities relating to the educational mission and normal operations of the college. At other times and to the extent space is available, certain designated facilities may be made available for use by community groups and individuals for purposes compatible with Highline College’s educational mission and strategic goals.

Approved and adopted by the President June 17, 2020

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act (34 CFR 668.46(b)) the Public Safety Office at Highline College is designated as the official reporting authority for crimes, including all Clery reportable crimes, occurring at Highline College campus and the immediate Clery geographical area.

All members of the College community, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, are encouraged to report all crimes and other public safety concerns to Public Safety in a timely manner. If an emergency situation arises that poses an immediate threat to the life and safety of a person or others, the reporting party should first dial 911 to notify the appropriate local law enforcement or emergency responder. Des Moines Police Department has primary jurisdiction for Highline College campus, Campus View Student Housing, and the MaST Building. Kent Police Department has primary jurisdiction for Building 99 Outreach Center, due to its location within the Kent City limits.

All witnesses to a crime and crime victims, including crime victims who elect not to or are unable to make a formal complaint or who do not want to pursue action within the college or the criminal justice system, are encouraged to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis to the Public Safety Department. The Public Safety Department can file a confidential report detailing the incident without revealing the identity of a victim or witness, to the extent allowed by state and federal laws.


  • On Campus Clery Act geography includes any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls.


  • This policy has been created to meet compliance with Federal Jeanne Clery Act (34 CFR 668.46(b)).

Adopted by the President June 17, 2020

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act (CA Handbook Section 6-12), Highline College Public Safety Office will issue “timely warning” notifications about crimes, occurring on campus or within our Clery Act geography area, that have been reported to the Public Safety Department or local law enforcement AND are considered by the college to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees.

The primary intention of “timely warning” notifications is to provide pertinent information to enable the campus community members to protect themselves. The decision to issue a timely warning is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account of the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts. “Timely warning” notifications will contain relevant information about the crime, including the potential of an on-going threat, AND safety guidelines to help in the prevention of similar crimes. As pertinent information is available the Public Safety Office will issue “timely warnings” utilizing various means to reach as many students and employees as possible, including email, text alerts, and posted notifications around the campus.


  • On Campus Clery Act geography includes any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls.


  • This policy has been created to meet compliance with Federal Jeanne Clery Act (34 CFR 668.46(e)).

Adopted by the President June 17, 2020

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act Missing Student Notification Requirements (Policy Disclosure Citation 34 CFR 668.46(b)(14)) this policy is intended to provide process for reporting, investigating, and notifying emergency contacts concerning a missing student.

Any individual who believes that a student living in on-campus housing is missing should notify the Public Safety Department immediately. Once a report is filed with the Public Safety Department, an investigation will commence.

A person is presumed missing when their absence is inconsistent with their established patterns of behavior and the deviation cannot be readily explained. Before presuming that a person is missing, reasonable measures should be taken to determine that no one familiar with the person has seen or heard from the person for an unusual period of time or is aware of where they may be. At that point, they need to notify Public Safety at 206-592-3218. Should the investigation result in the conclusion that the student is a missing person, the Public Safety Department will notify the Des Moines Police Department.

No later than 24 hours after determining that a student is missing, the Public Safety Department will notify the student’s emergency contact (for students 18 and older) and the parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18 and not emancipated) that the student is believed to be missing.

Emergency Contact – All students living in on-campus housing have the option to confidentially identify and register one or more individuals to be contacted if the student is determined to be missing. The contact person may be anyone and is not limited to parents/guardians. Contact information will be accessible only to authorized campus officials, and it may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.


  • In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, the College’s missing student regulations relate only to students who reside in on-campus housing.
  • On-campus housing is defined as any student housing facility that is owned or controlled by the institution, or is located on property that is owned or controlled by the institution, and is within the reasonably contiguous geographic area that makes up the campus is considered an on-campus student housing facility.
  • This policy is in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act Missing Student notification policy disclosure 34 CFR 668.46(b)(14).

Adopted by the President June 17, 2020

The Public Safety Department is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for all of Highline College campus and other property owned or controlled by The College. All buildings on campus are secured by either an electronic or mechanical lock. During regular business hours, all public spaces are open to all students, employees, and visitors. Other spaces including faculty offices, specialized classrooms, and labs may only be accessed by authorized individuals with issued keys or key cards. All requests for keys and access control are managed by the Public Safety Department. The Department also maintains and monitors a camera surveillance system for the exterior parking lots.

Highline College student housing complex, a leased property, is currently managed by a contracted property management company. Only student residences are issued key-card access to the housing complex. A camera surveillance system monitors the lobby and exit to the building.

Facilities and landscaping are maintained in a manner that minimizes hazardous conditions. The Facilities and Public Safety departments are responsible for insuring pathways and parking lots are well lit and landscaping is trimmed to increase visibility. Other members of the College community are encouraged to report unsafe conditions to the Highline College Facilities Department at (206) 592-3260.


  • This policy has been created to meet compliance with Federal Jeanne Clery Act (34 CFR 668.46(b)).

Adopted by the President June 17, 2020

To ensure a transparent and collaborative process, The Policy Development Council (PDC) will have the responsibility for evaluating, assessing, and making recommendations on all proposals for a new or a change in a Board or College policy.  In addition, at the request of a respective Executive Cabinet member, the PDC may also be asked to review and make recommendations on a new or a change in a college procedure.

The Policy Development Council shall compose of the executive, chair, or their respective representative, of the following campus divisions and major organizations:

  • Instructional Cabinet
  • Student Services/Affairs Cabinet
  • Administrative Services Division
  • Institutional Advancement Division
  • President’s Office
  • Faculty Senate
  • Faculty Union (HCEA)
  • Classified Staff Union (WPEA)
  • Student Government

The President may appoint additional members to PDC based upon input of the Council.

Adopted by The President October 2020


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that necessary records and documents of Highline College are adequately maintained, and to ensure that records that are no longer needed or are of no value to Highline College are discarded at the proper time.


To ensure the appropriate retention and disposal of records, Highline College follows the records retention schedule outlined by the State of Washington, State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the federal Department of Education regulations, as well as the Veterans Administration policies where appropriate.

Washington Community and Technical College Records Retention Schedule (v2.0 – February 2020)

Department Of Education Records Management

Veterans Affairs Information

38 U.S.C.  3690(c) 

38 CFR 21.4209


PDC first reading Jan 21, 2021

Second reading Feb 4, 2021

Approved by PDC Feb 18, 2021

Adopted by the President March 16, 2021

The college values professionalism among its employees and representatives in carrying out the college’s mission. Professionalism includes demonstrating excellence, integrity, respect, compassion and accountability in all our work interactions and responsibilities. College employees demonstrate professionalism by treating their positions as a public trust, using their official powers and duties and the resources of the college only to advance the public interest.

Civility in the workplace contributes to our institutional ability to cultivate and maintain a climate of justice. We recognize the terms “civility” and “respect” have historical contexts and may be interpreted differently based on individual backgrounds. The intent of the policy is to protect all employees’ well-being in the workplace. The definitions and process here also provides a framework for the college to address undeniable realities such as the existence and pervasiveness of discrimination, oppression, racism, white privilege, sexism, and individual biases.

All employees, volunteers or others representing the college are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner that promotes a safe, inclusive, healthful and productive work environment. Employees are expected to perform job responsibilities, adhere to workplace principles in matters of personal conduct, and exhibit a high degree of personal integrity, ethics and professionalism at all times while on the job. Employees are expected to be courteous, respectful, and helpful to students, vendors, customers, visitors and other employees in all their work assignments. Employees are to support the mission and values of Highline College and perform their assigned duties and responsibilities in a manner deserving of the public trust.

Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Behaviors (such physical assault, uninvited physical contact, verbal assault) or language (written or verbal) that offend, degrade, or humiliate members of the college community.
  • Actions, communication, or behaviors that interfere with another employee’s work performance or their ability to do their job.
  • Threats or similar intimidating behavior.
  • Retaliatory actions (e.g., sabotage).
  • Obstruction of established operational goals, beyond what would be considered respectful dissent.
  • Contributing to a hostile work environment, typically caused by discriminatory workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, genetics, age, or sex; or it is caused by retaliation in violation of a discrimination law; or based on language fluency.
  • Violates rules of professional ethics.
  • Insubordination.

Inappropriate behavior does not include

  • The expression of controversial or differing viewpoints that may be offensive to some persons, so long as (1) the ideas are presented in a respectful manner, and (2) such expression does not materially obstruct college operations.
  • Regular supervisory-subordinate interactions, including but not limited to, corrective action, discipline, unsatisfactory evaluations, plans for improvement, or probation.

Supervisor Responsibility

It is the responsibility of supervisors and managers to address inappropriate behavior.

Supervisors are expected to demonstrate leadership in exhibiting and promoting professionalism, civility, and respect. This includes setting clear expectations and managing performance of those they supervise in accordance with these standards through regular communication and timely performance reviews. This also includes respecting diversity of opinion and not retaliating against subordinates as a consequence of their offering respectful, dissenting views. Finally, supervisors are expected to address professionalism, civility, and respect concerns and deficiencies through counseling, discipline, or other action as appropriate in accordance with labor agreements, and policies and procedures of the college.

Any employee, volunteer, or others representing the college who displays inappropriate behavior is subject to disciplinary action. The college may impose sanctions on employees who violate the Workplace Civility and Respect Policy, consistent with appropriate college policies and collective bargaining agreements.


For employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, supervisors and managers are expected to apply this policy in a manner consistent with the principles of due process, just cause, progressive corrective action, and any applicable requirements of the labor agreements.

Workplace civility and respect requires that issues be addressed by a process that is fair, with a true desire for conflict resolution and without undue delay. The best resolution occurs when the parties work out agreements privately among themselves and/or with the assistance of their supervisor. However, if assistance is needed, then any party may bring the issue to their supervisor, human resources, union representative, or the next higher individual of authority if concerns involve the supervisor. Faculty may engage their union or Faculty Senate, as appropriate.

The human resources department can provide individuals with advice and strategies to attempt to resolve these issues at the most informal levels between or among employees and with their supervisors.

If an employee’s inappropriate behaviors persist, college employees should initiate complaints formally (in writing) or informally with the appropriate supervisor. Copies of any written complaints and responses shall be sent to the executive director for human resources.

Adopted by The President January 5, 2023

Public Information and Institutional Advancement (5000s)


Highline College values engaging with our greater Highline community and stakeholders. The college is committed to free and open expression and supports its faculty, staff and students in the use of social media to promote student engagement, learning and achievement and to build valuable relationships and establish a meaningful presence within Highline College’s communities.

Social media accounts created on behalf of Highline College are the sole property of the college. Use of social media must comply with Highline College’s established social media guidelines, best practices and procedures. Employees or students who create social media on behalf of the college are required to notify Communications and Marketing before the account is created.

Definition of Social Media:

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Adopted by The President March 1, 2023

You can find the Social Media Policy, Guidelines and Best Practices under Institutional Advancement Marketing.

Social Media Policy, Guidelines and Best Practices

Information Technology (6000s)

Highline College has a strong commitment to intellectual growth and extended access of educational resources and opportunities. It is the intent of HC to maintain access for its community to local, national and international sources of information and to provide an atmosphere that encourages access to knowledge and the sharing of information. It is also the intent of the College to provide and maintain up-to-date, quality computing resources that allow for efficient and effective performance of instructional and administrative functions.

It is expected that members of the College community will use College computing resources with respect for the public trust through which they have been provided and in accordance with policy and procedures established by the College and its operating units.

This policy applies to all employees, students and the general public when using the college’s computing resources. It is each individual’s responsibility to use these resources in a manner that is efficient, ethical and legal.

In this policy, computing resources are defined as those computers (e.g.; personal digital assistants, laptops, desktops), peripherals, software, networks, electronic messaging systems (email, voice mail, facsimile) and imaging systems operated by or for the benefit of the students and employees of the College.

General Provisions

All users of Highline’s computing resources shall adhere to both the letter and spirit of this policy, to ensure a predictable and secure computing environment for all and compliance with Washington State ethics rules, statutes and regulations as well as the mission, policies and procedures of Highline College.

Links to relevant statutes, rules and policies:

  1. RCW 42.52.160
  2. WAC 292-110-010
  3. Executive Ethics Laws and Rules
  4. Title 132 WAC
  5. Executive Order 91-10

Failure to comply may result in loss of access to College computing resources, as well as administrative, civil or criminal action under Washington State or federal law.

  • HC computing resources shall be used in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
  • HC computing resources shall not be used to transmit any communication in any form (e.g., text, images, sound) where the content or meaning of the message or its transmission or distribution would violate any applicable law or regulation. (e.g.:http://ethics.wa.gov/RESOURCES/FAQ.htm) Users must comply with licensing agreements and copyright laws. Duplication or use of software, images, music or other intellectual materials, which violates licensing agreements and copyright laws, is not permitted.
  1. It is the obligation of College employees to be aware of and comply with the governing law, rules, and guidelines set forth in Chapter 42.52 RCW, Ethics in Public Service Act (Link #1 above) and WAC 292-110-010, Use of state resources (Link #2 above).
  2. It is the obligation of College students to be aware of their responsibilities as outlined in the Students Rights and Responsibilities policy (Link #4 above).
  3. It is the obligation of members of the general public using college computing resources to be aware of their rights and responsibilities as outlined in this policy, copies of which will be available at the Circulation Desk of the Library.

Users shall respect the rights and property of others and not improperly access or attempt to access, misuse, misappropriate or violate security of computing resources.

  • Sharing of passwords constitutes a violation to network security, which may lead to unauthorized use or misuse of campus resources. All computer account passwords are confidential and should not be shared with anyone. Individuals will be held accountable for any activity occurring through the use of their respective passwords.
  • Using someone else’s password, regardless of how it was obtained, is also a violation of this policy.
  • Running or installing a program intended to damage or create excessive load on any computer system or network is forbidden.
  • Using the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system is forbidden.

In accordance with the SBCTC Accessible Technology Policy, technology and electronic content procured, developed, maintained, and used by Highline College (HC) will provide substantially similar functionality, user experience, and information access to individuals with disabilities as provided to others. This policy encompasses, but is not limited to, digital instructional materials, hardware, software, and Highline College websites.

Recommended for adoption by PDC December 7, 2017

*Additional Information Technology Policies: