Faculty and Staff are integral in building and maintaining a strong and active campus community. Interactions with students are what make our work so exciting and WCC employees are all dedicated to the growth, learning, and development of our students. This means that faculty and staff are often the first to notice a student who is experiencing distress or exhibiting concerning behaviors.

  • Speak to the student in private and express your concern for them directly.
  • Respect and acknowledge the difficulties the student is experiencing.
  • Suggest the student seek out assistance.

How to refer:

Office of Community Standards 360.383.3074

The Office of Community Standards is a good first contact for WCC employees concerned about a non-emergent student or issue. Staff will work together to discuss the concern, explore options, and determine next steps. This is a contact office for both student conduct concerns and our Behavioral Intervention Team.

Counseling Office 360.383.3080

Counselors can help students with a variety of stressors and concerns including career planning, academic success strategies (stress management, test anxiety, etc.), crisis management, chemical dependency issues, communication skills, and more. This is a confidential resource and our counselors can receive information but cannot share information back out to others without a student’s permission.

Campus Safety & Security 360.383.3394 or 911 for emergencies

Whatcom uses an answering service (360.715.2418) for receiving calls regarding campus emergencies and other issues after normal business hours. Use this number to report facilities problems, potential hazards, unusual situation and other campus problems during evenings and weekends.

The College works closely with, and depends on, the Bellingham Police Department when responding to serious threats on campus. The BPD is provided with detailed campus mapping information and is consulted in the development of Whatcom’s emergency plans. If there is an immediate or impending threat or emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Faculty & Staff FAQ

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I never heard back after I submitted a report.

We often reach out to connect with anyone who has submitted a report to gather more information about the concern, identify support strategies, and collaborate on informal resolutions as appropriate. However, due to FERPA regulations, we may not be able to follow up with you about your report or provide specific information about the resolution of the incident. Rest assured, if you receive the confirmation message from Maxient, your report has been submitted, and someone will be investigating and addressing the concern according to our college policies and procedures.

I think a student filed a complaint about me.

The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards is a resource for students and investigates/adjudicates alleged policy violations committed by students or general behavioral concerns about students.

When a student has a complaint about an instructor, class, or grade, the Student Complaint Process is used. Our office is not part of the official Student Complaint Process. You are always welcome to call us for a consult, but if you have concerns about your rights or treatment, please connect with Human Resources or your immediate supervisor.

WAC 132U-126-025 CLASSROOM CONDUCT. Faculty have the authority to take appropriate action to maintain order and proper conduct in the classroom and to maintain the effective cooperation of the class in fulfilling the objectives of the course.

Any instructor has the authority to exclude a student from any single class session during which the student is disruptive to the learning environment. The instructor shall report any such exclusion from the class to the vice president for student services, or designee, who may summarily suspend the student or initiate conduct proceedings as provided in this procedure. The vice president for student services, or designee, may impose a disciplinary probation that restricts the student from the classroom until the student has met with the student conduct officer and the student agrees to comply with the specific conditions outlined by the student conduct officer for behavior in the classroom. The student may appeal the disciplinary sanction according to the disciplinary appeal procedures.

Do I need to file a plagiarism report?

Yes. Just because you file a report with us does not mean the student will receive further sanctioning or penalties. It is helpful if you state in your report how the incident has already been addressed (The student received an ‘F’ grade, took the IRIS plagiarism module, etc.) so we know how best to respond. The attached document outlines how academic integrity cases are generally handled by our office.
Download the Academic Dishonesty Guidelines for Instructors.

It is also necessary that we keep a centralized file of all academic integrity cases because, while it may appear that this is the first time a student has made this violation, they may have committed similar violations in other classes, or may have a larger underlying challenge that needs to be addressed.
Fill out the Academic Integrity Reporting Form.

What if it's not a conduct issue?

If you have concerns that a student is having difficulty coping with emotional, mental, or social stressors that have caused disruption in the classroom the incident reporting form should be used for this purpose as well. Our BIT process is designed to be supportive in nature and to ensure the success of individual students while being attentive to the health and safety of teaching and learning environments.

I have a disruptive student in my class / office.

Faculty have the right to determine appropriate classroom expectations and to set boundaries to maintain and effective teaching and learning environment. An instructor may dismiss a student from any single class session during which the student is being disruptive and has not responded to requests or directions to change their behavior.

After such an event, an incident report should be filed. The student has the right to return the next class day and try to abide by expectations again. Depending on the egregiousness or seriousness of the concern, there may be some options for delaying return to the classroom until an issue has been formally resolved through student conduct. Please contact the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards for more information.

I don’t feel comfortable calling 911.

Because we do not have an on-campus police department, all potentially dangerous or emergent situations must be reported directly to Bellingham Police by calling 9-1-1.

Whatcom’s incident management procedure is “Manage, Refer, Report”. That means that staff and faculty members should be prepared to: address and mitigate behavioral concerns and difficult situations appropriately and within their own comfort levels (manage); connect students to resources or offices that may assist in resolving an issue (refer); and, file an incident report – even if the concern appears to be resolved (report). This process provides tracking and holistic health and safety management at WCC.

You are the best and most capable person to de-escalate a situation before police need to get involved. There is little you can do that will make the situation worse. Use your instincts and communicate.