Role and Procedures for the Professional Concerns Committee
The Professional Concerns Committee represents the faculty and administration of the Educator Preparation programs of the College of Education for the purpose of providing feedback regarding student dispositions to candidates and to develop recommendations for action of the College administration and/ or the University administration, when required. This committee provides guidance to candidates and on occasion requires a hearing for candidates with professional dispositions concerns. The committee is a standing committee in the College of Education and is composed of representative faculty from the Educator Preparation programs across the University. The Professional Concerns Committee of the College of Education will investigate alleged violations of the Professional Standards of the College of Education or the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline, following the procedures in section 5.61 and 5.62 of that Code.
During the investigation of an allegation, if the student is available, the committee will give the student an opportunity to explain the incident. If the committee concludes that the student has violated a System or component policy, the committee will determine (but not assess) an appropriate disciplinary penalty.
The committee will discuss its findings and determination of an appropriate penalty with the student, if the student is available, and will give the student an opportunity either to accept or reject the committee’s decision.
If the student accepts the committee’s decision, the student will so indicate in writing and waive his or her right to a hearing. The committee may then recommend to the Dean of the College or the appropriate administrator that the disciplinary penalty be assessed.
If the student does not accept the committee’s decision or does not waive his or her right to a hearing, a disciplinary hearing will be scheduled by the Dean of Students in accordance with Subsections 5.7 and 5.10 of the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline.
If the student does not execute a written waiver of the hearing process, then the committee chair shall prepare a written statement of the professional concern(s) and of the evidence supporting such concerns, including a list of witnesses and a brief summary of the testimony to be given by each and shall send a notification of such charges and statement to the Dean of Students and to the candidate by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the address appearing in the Registrar’s records, or shall hand deliver said document with the student signing a receipt.
Student Rights in Deliberations of the Professional Concerns Committee
1.The following rights apply to a student who is referred for action to the Professional Concerns Committee by the College of Education administration, faculty or staff, a University Student Teaching Supervisor or a school district employee at a field experience site.
a. Right to be informed in writing of all concerns before any hearing may proceed.
b. Right to waive the notice of referral,
c. Right to reasonable access to the hearing files, which shall be maintained by the Professional Concerns Committee chairperson,
d. Right to be accompanied by a counselor or advisor who may advise the student privately outside the meeting area. Such a counselor or advisor may not attend the hearing or appear in lieu of the student.
e. Right to review evidence used in disciplinary action against him.
f. Right to appeal the decision through the appropriate University channels. However, neither party may appeal if the committee determines that the concerns about the candidate’s professionalism are true, but the only punishment assessed is verbal or written warning or disciplinary probation.
2. A student may not be expelled or suspended prior to an administrative interview by Dean of Students. However, when the presence of a student on campus poses continuing danger to persons or property or presents an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process on the University campus or a public or private school field experience site, an interim suspension may be imposed. A hearing or administrative interview by the Professional Concerns Committee or the Dean of Students will be scheduled as soon thereafter as practicable.
3. The above stated list of rights is not necessarily exhaustive; and, the student is advised to consult the Code of Student Conduct and the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents, Texas State University System for an unabridged enumeration of his or her rights.