What Happens in a College Disciplinary Hearing?

If a college your university has accused your son or daughter of a criminal offense, your child will probably face an administrative disciplinary hearing. This process can be very frightening, but it is very important when it comes to a college student’s rights. Although every school in Illinois has different rules, here is a basic overview of a disciplinary hearing at the college level.

The hearing process: what to expect

Let’s say that your college-age child has been accused of committing a crime. The state does not need to have convicted your child for their school to discipline them. The college or university will hold an administrative hearing where both sides can present their cases.

Every post-secondary school has its own unique rules. However, you can expect a hearing to follow this general structure:

  1. Your son or daughter will receive a notice of the hearing, including its date and location.
  2. Your child has the chance to prepare their side of the case by hiring a lawyer, gathering evidence and putting together and argument.
  3. At the hearing, representatives from the school will be present. They might include deans, board members, administrators and attorneys for the school.
  4. The school will present its evidence; then, the student has the chance to present theirs.
  5. Finally, the school officials will issue its decision regarding disciplinary measures. This could mean probation, suspension or even expulsion.
  6. Students have the right to appeal the school’s decision and have another hearing.

Academic consequences are separate from criminal consequences. The Illinois justice system may still press charges against your son or daughter for a criminal offense.

The importance of a good outcome

Any college student can make a poor decision. Their future should not have to suffer because of it. Parents and their children should do everything in their power to prevent a disciplinary hearing from resulting in negative consequences. After all, an expulsion or other penalty could haunt a young person forever.