4-1: Workplace Ethics and Code of Conduct Procedures for Marketing, Recruiting, Admissions, and Financial Aid Personnel

  1. Overview
    1. The College’s marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid personnel help students make thoughtful choices about their futures. At SFCC, this work is guided by principles of honesty, integrity, transparency, equity, and respect for students and fellow education professionals.
    2. These values guide our marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid staff as they provide services to students and their families.
    3. This Code of Conduct serves to build trust while ensuring that every student’s dignity, worth and potential is realized through their college journey.
    4. This Code of Conduct follows recommended national best practices and serves as supporting documentation to comply with the Higher Learning Commission Policy Number CRRT.C.10.0100 on Recruiting, Admissions and Related Institutional Practices.
  2. Core Values
    1. We value STUDENT LEARNING and demonstrate our commitment through innovative, high-quality programs, empowerment of students, and accountability for systematic learning assessment.
    2. We value EXCELLENCE and demonstrate our commitment through continuous organizational improvement, transparent and effective systems, and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
    3. We value PEOPLE and demonstrate our commitment through building a community of collaboration and trust, celebrating diversity, and fostering a vibrant system of shared governance.
    4. We value SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY and demonstrate our commitment through leadership in sustainability programs and practices, accessible and affordable education, and ongoing service to and partnerships with our community.
    5. We value INTEGRITY and demonstrate our commitment by modeling respect, honesty, and principled decision making throughout the organization.
  3. Guiding Principles and Rationale
    1. Sharing of Accurate Information
      1. College representatives, including marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid personnel should provide comprehensive and factual information that enables students and members of the public to make informed decisions. These practices include:
        1. Accurately describing, representing, and promoting the College’s offerings, organizations, and services to students and the public.
        2. Sharing information relevant to the College’s enrollment process that is accurate, up to date, and free of misrepresentations of fact or material omissions.
        3. Ensuring that before the student is enrolled or matriculated into courses, the prospective student has sufficient time to:
          1. Review the institution’s policies and procedures;
          2. Understand the amount of federal, state, and institutional financial aid (financial aid award) for which they are eligible;
          3. Learn how many credits, if any, will transfer;
          4. Learn whether the transfer credits will be applied to requirements of the major or general education; and
          5. Inform students of the process and timeline for evaluating those credits.
      2. Providing complete and accurate information about the estimated cost of attendance at SFCC without requesting or requiring that the student confirm enrollment at SFCC prior to awarding a financial aid package (provided students submit and complete necessary financial aid documents in a timely manner);
      3. Ensuring that marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid personnel do not use high-pressure tactics to influence a student to enroll or matriculate.
      4. Ensuring that no staff member applies pressure to students to enroll or register with the promise of cash, goods, and/or services outside of the regular process of scholarship monies, institutional discounting, fee waivers, financial aid, or other assistance.
      5. Following application and commitment deadlines, if any, as outlined by national professional organizations.
      6. If no timelines exist for a given population, the College will ensure that students have sufficient time to make an educated decision about their continued education prior to requesting or requiring an application submission or enrollment commitment.
      7. Complying with requests from students who wish to remove themselves from contact lists.
      8. Information obtained through admissions, recruiting, or other institutional procedures will be handled in accordance with national standards.
      9. Complying with all federal, state, and College non-discrimination policies, including non-discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, protected disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation or marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, citizenship, height, weight, and any other basis prohibited by law.
      10. Answer questions about the student application process for admissions and financial aid, but in no case will such personnel complete applications for students without student permission or apply the signature of a student to an application.
      11. Ensuring students have the right and responsibility to register for each academic term in which they are enrolled.
      12. In no case will the institution automatically register a student in the next term without obtaining that student’s consent and providing the student the opportunity to cancel that registration before the student is assessed tuition or fees for that term.
      13. Communicating the institution’s refund policy and relevant dates with students.
      14. Refraining from speaking disparagingly about other higher education institutions while serving in student recruitment or recruitment-supporting roles.
      15. Citing all sources for job placement statistics, salary information, visa requirements, and other student outcome data publicized as part of the recruiting process.
        1. Cited sources will indicate the portion of the cohort or class represented in outcome data.
        2. Completing students will be included in the published data even if they did not utilize the institution’s career, advising, or other services.
      16. Ensuring that information about employment opportunities are not directly or indirectly guaranteed.
      17. Ensuring that staff members meet the minimum position requirements and receive regular training for their position.
      18. Trained and qualified SFCC personnel must oversee any third-party contractors performing recruitment and/or marketing activities towards prospective students.
      19. Ensuring that alumni/ae, representatives, interviewers and interviewees, third-party contractors, vendors, and other representatives working on the College’s behalf follow these same principles.
  4. Transparency in Marketing Materials
    1. The College’s marketing and student support materials will provide comprehensive, accurate, and current information concerning:
      1. All deadlines for enrollment, scholarships, financial aid, and other topics that impact students directly.
      2. Academic Focus Areas, academic offerings, programs of study and student life, clubs and organizations.
      3. Cost of attendance, types of scholarships and other financial aid.
      4. Significant changes to institutional policies and procedures due to pandemics or other extraordinary circumstances.
    2. Additionally, College marketing and student support materials will:
      1. Not induce or pressure prospective students to enroll by a specific deadline through marketing incentives.
      2. Not feature calls to action to enroll incentivized through prizes, free goods or services, or allude to any quid pro quo offers involving financial aid, institutional discounts, or waiving of fees. This extends to messages distributed at outreach events or external College-sponsored events.
      3. Not contain explicit claims, promises, or guarantees of employment as they relate to credit-earning programs at the College.
      4. Marketing materials may include expected job titles, market and opportunity outlook, but will refrain from referencing any specific likelihood of employment or pay as an implied or guaranteed outcome of its educational offerings.
      5. Ensure that translated materials fully and accurately reflect the meaning of the text in the source language.
  5. Fair and Impartial Marketing, Recruiting, Admissions, and Financial Aid Practices
    1. Advocating for students’ best interest in the marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid process is the primary ethical concern for the College’s recruiting, admissions, and financial aid personnel.
    2. This requires that students receive guidance they can trust.
    3. Conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived and unprofessional conduct undermine that trust. To this end, the College and its personnel will:
      1. Treat students ethically, respectfully, and professionally in SFCC’s marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid process so that students can make informed decisions without being subjected to high-pressure tactics from the College or any of its approved contractors. Prohibited practices include:
        1. Falsely claiming that enrollment spots are limited or taking advantage of students’ lack of understanding to pressure students to enroll;
        2. Pressuring students to make an immediate financial aid decision;
        3. Engaging in repeated unsolicited and undesired contact.
      2. Respond promptly to student requests and inquiries; and communicate clearly on when students can expect a response, additional communication or resolution.
      3. Have appropriate education, job titles, and training for their role and are overseen by the College through the enforcement of this Code of Conduct, employment procedures memoranda, and policies set forth by the College’s accrediting institutions.
      4. Oversee third-party contractors and other personnel who may work with prospective students so that these agents have similar education, experience, and are trained by the College to provide a similar level of service.
      5. Not be compensated by commissions, bonuses, or other incentive payments, based on the number of students referred, recruited, or enrolled.
      6. Not offer or accept any reward or remuneration to influence an enrollment, scholarship, financial aid, or other enrollment-related decision.
      7. Not impersonate the student in submitting enrollment materials, although the College’s marketing, recruiting, admissions, and financial aid personnel, and approved third-party contractors may answer questions and support a student in completing these documents.
      8. Handle student information in alignment with SFCC Policy 7-3 Information Security and its Procedures.
    4. Employees who fail to follow this Policy and any associated procedures may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action), consistent with applicable procedures and Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Contact:       Yash Morimoto, Ph.D., Vice President for Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness, 505-428-1765

Donna Castro, Chief Human Resources Officer, 505-428-1019

Updated:      11/1/2023