Employee Policies

  • Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • Commercial Solicitation Policy - Employees

    Policy Statement 

    The purpose of this policy is to provide employees with guidelines for engaging in commercial activities on the campuses of Southwestern Michigan College.

    Policy

    Except as permitted by Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), soliciting by employees for personal or business gain is not allowed at Southwestern Michigan College. This includes selling goods or services, distributing commercial information, or otherwise seeking financial support on College property. This solicitation policy has been developed to maintain the integrity and productivity of the working environment and the privacy of community members.

    College employees may assist with or otherwise support the approved fundraising activities of officially recognized student organizations (official clubs). Employees’ personal charitable fundraising activities (such as for a child’s school or team) is permitted solely at the discretion of that employee’s direct supervisor and should be limited in scope to a private area such as a departmental break room.

    Questions concerning solicitation should be directed to the Director of Human Resources.

    Please note: Posting flyers on campus by all parties and commercial solicitation by students or outside organizations are subject to separate College policies.

    Policy Violations

    This policy was designed to meet the needs of both students and SMC employees. Progressive disciplinary action will be enforced if employees are in violation of this policy. 

  • Criminal Background Checks Policy
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employer Recruiting Policy

    Policy Statement

    The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for SMC staff members to follow when outside employers request access to students. 

    Policy

    A. Covered Employers
    This Policy applies to all employment recruitment activities on the campuses and in the buildings of Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) conducted by all private sector and public sector employers, third-party recruiters (employment agencies, temporary agencies, search firms or agents) and all branches of the United States armed services, both full time and reserve service, and the Michigan National Guard (collectively referred to as “Employment Recruiters”).  All Employment Recruiter activities involving SMC students shall be consistent with and limited to the practices and activities set out in this Policy. Employment Recruiters are welcome to contact SMC’s Chief of Staff with any questions or concerns regarding this Policy.


    B. Non-Discrimination
    All Employment Recruiters must comply with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act and Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act.  SMC is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, height, weight, disability, or veteran status regarding employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.  Inquiries or complaints regarding discrimination by Employment Recruiters should be made to SMC’s Chief of Staff. 

    C. Employment Offers
    Employment Recruiters shall refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects job acceptances. Such practices include undue time pressure for acceptance of employment offers and encouragement of revocation of acceptance of another employment offer.  Employment Recruiters must make a good faith effort to communicate employment acceptance or denial decisions to candidates within agreed-upon time frames.

    D. Employment Recruiter Access to Campus Property/Buildings

    1. Job Postings.
      Employment postings, offers, posters or other forms of written communication for the purposes of employment recruitment activities are prohibited on SMC properties and buildings and shall be removed.  The one exception will be the job board on the first floor of the David C. Briegel Building outside the Academic Advising and Resource Center (AARC), where printed postings may be placed upon receiving written permission from either SMC Human Resources or the Manager of the AARC. Materials will be posted for an appropriate, but limited, period of time and then removed. Employment Recruiters violating this Policy will be subject to the Sanctions set out in this Policy.
    2. Recruiter Activities on Campus.
      Any and all face-to-face employment recruitment activities conducted on any SMC campus (including campus parking lots) or in any SMC buildings shall be solely limited to Employment Recruiter participation in SMC’s scheduled Campus Bash activities or Internship & Career Fairs. Employers will not have access to restricted areas such as academic buildings, residence halls or the Student Activity Center on an everyday basis. Employment Recruiters desiring participation in scheduled events must follow the application and authorization procedures established by the SMC contacts below.
      • For Campus Bash: Student Activity Center, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, MI, 49047, Phone: 800-456-8675, x1484, Email: sac@swmich.edu.
      • For Internship & Career Fairs: School of Business and School of Advanced Technology, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, MI 49047, Phone: 269-782-1495, Email: career-fair@swmich.edu; or the School of Nursing and Health Services, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, MI, 49047, Phone: 269-782-1236, Email: nhs@swmich.edu
      • For scheduled events at the Niles Campus: Executive Director of the Niles Campus, 33890 US Highway 12, Niles, MI 49120, Phone: 269-687-1600, Email: niles@swmich.edu.

    E. Fees Charged to Job Candidates
    Employment Recruiters that require job candidates to purchase a franchise, purchase supplies or products for later sale, pay for training or orientation, invest or pay a start-up or application/access fee or recruitment/finder fee as a condition of a job offer or employment shall not be allowed to engage in any employment recruitment activities at or through SMC.

    F. Sanctions
    Any Employment Recruiter that fails to comply with any provision of this Policy will be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, exclusion from future on-campus recruiting privileges and events, ejection from SMC buildings and campus properties, prosecution for trespass, or such other legal action as SMC deems appropriate. 

  • Fraud Reporting Policy

    Policy Statement

    Sound business conduct requires that each employee, as a basic condition of employment, assume responsibility for safeguarding and preserving the assets and resources of the College, particularly those for which he or she is responsible. The following policy statements serve to remind us of that basic commitment and responsibility.

    Policy

    1. All revenues generated by the College, and all expenditures for goods and services, must be recorded and accounted for within the financial accounting system of the institution.
    2. No false or artificial entries are to be made in the accounting records of the College for any reason. Moreover, no payment on behalf of the College is to be approved or made with the understanding that any part of such a payment is to be used for any purpose other than that described by the documents supporting the payment.
    3. The use of College funds or assets for any personal, unlawful, or improper purpose is prohibited.
    4. The use of any College equipment, supplies, or facilities for revenue that benefits an individual employee is strictly prohibited without the express written approval of the College.
    5. No person in a supervisory or management position is to use the authority of that position to assign an employee to perform non-employment related tasks.
    6. Managers have the responsibility to develop and implement controls to minimize opportunities for fraud to occur.

    In conjunction with the policy guidelines stated above, every employee is further expected to report any instance of suspected fraud to the Vice President/Chief Finance Officer. If an instance of suspected fraud is reported instead to a supervisor, dean, director, or other responsible person, that person is to report the instance to the Vice President/Chief Finance Officer. If the suspected fraud involves the Business Office report the instance to the President of the College.

    If presented with reasonable evidence of a suspected fraud, the Controller, at the direction of the President, will conduct an audit to determine if the reported suspicions of fraud are valid. The Controller will also inform the supervisor of any employee under investigation. If, based on the results of the audit, the Controller has reason to believe that fraudulent activities have occurred, he will report the findings to the President/CFO.

    The Controller will compile a report for the President’s review outlining the following information: (a) the amount of the fraud; (b) the individual(s) involved; (c) how the fraud was identified; (d) how the fraud was perpetrated; and (e) the controls to be implemented to prevent recurrence of the fraud.

  • Hiring Students Policy

    Policy Statement

    To clarify the requirements and guidelines for student employment.

    Policy

    The reason for student employment is to assist in meeting the needs of Southwestern Michigan College students with financial support in pursuit of their academic goals, and provide opportunities for job experience. The job duties and responsibilities of student employees vary greatly, and may or may not be related to their field of study. A student employee is defined as an individual who is:

    • Enrolled at the College on a full-time or part-time basis (minimum of 6 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and 3 credit hours during the summer semester); for the purpose of this policy, contact hours will not be used to meet the 6 credit hour minimum. High-school students who are dual enrolled are eligible for student employment, they must meet the credit hour requirement
    • Enrolled or continuing their education with a four-year College partner, on the campus of SMC, and is enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours and at least 1 SMC credit hour during the fall and spring semesters and 3 credit hours and at least 1 SMC credit hour during the summer semester
    • Appointed to a student employee position

    Policy Guidelines

    1. Enrollment and Appointment
      1. Enrollment, as used in the definition of student employment, includes fall semester, spring semester and summer semester.
      2. Student employees will meet one of the following two appointments:
        1. Work Study - Students who apply for financial aid may also qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program. This program gives financial aid students the chance to earn money toward their education while going to college.
        2. Regular Student Employment - Students not qualifying for Federal Work-Study may be appointed as regular student employees, assuming department funds are available for this purpose.
    2. Applying for Employment
      Students who meet federal work-study program eligibility requirements may be referred for employment opportunities from the Student Financial Aid office, which oversees the implementation of financial regulations. Available student employment positions will be posted on the SMC On-Campus Student Jobs channel in SMC Wired. All students interested in Work Study and Regular Student Employment must apply to available positions listed through the SMC On-Campus Student Jobs channel.
    3. Terms of Employment
      1. Student employees must have a background and reference check acceptable to the College on file in Human Resources prior to the hire date.
      2. Hours of Work and Benefits
        1. Student employees are appointed on a temporary, part-time basis.
        2. Student employees may hold multiple student appointments with the approval of all supervisors. They may not work more than 20 hours total per week.
        3. Student employees are not eligible for employee benefits offered by the College.
    4. Level II Student Positions
      1. Level II student positions require students to handle sensitive information or are employed in a capacity where the work requires a higher level of knowledge, skills and abilities.
      2. Level II positions require prior authorization by the Director of Human Resources.
    5. Eligibility and Details for Student Employment
      1. All student employees must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for student employment. This requirement may be waived under certain circumstances and with approval from the respective vice president and Director of Human Resources.
      2. Departments must receive prior approval. The request and approval should occur during the College’s annual budget cycle.
      3. Departments must receive prior approval. The request and approval should occur during the College’s annual budget cycle.
        Students must have been employed on campus or in the Department for at least one-full semester prior to moving to a Level II.
      4. Students must have a satisfactory evaluation in their Personnel File with HR prior to moving to a Level II.
    6. Pay Rates
      1. Level I positions are paid at minimum wage. This rate is determined by the higher of Federal, State or Local mandated minimum wage.
      2. Level II positions are paid $0.60 higher than minimum wage as previously described.

    If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Southwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

  • Tuition Reimbursement Program

    Policy Statement

    Southwestern Michigan College offers a Tuition Reimbursement Program that provides reimbursement of tuition for courses or certifications taken outside of Southwestern Michigan College. The purpose of this program is to encourage and increase development opportunities for faculty and staff and provide reimbursement of tuition for classes or certifications through institutions of higher education or recognized professional organizations.

    Policy

    Eligibility

    You are eligible to apply for the program if:

    • You are a full-time employee. 
      • Staff employees must complete two or more years of consecutive full-time service at SMC before becoming eligible.
    • You are in good standing with a satisfactory performance record and your application is approved by your supervisor.
    • Supervisor requests that the employee obtain a credential required for the current or promoted position. 

    Limitations/Requirements

    • Not all individuals who apply will be selected into the program.  Tuition reimbursement may be awarded but not limited to; job necessity, eligible funds or length of service.
    • Tuition Reimbursement funds are allocated between faculty and staff.  75% of the funds are allocated to faculty and 25% of funds are allocated to staff.
    • If the employee is pursuing a degree program they must provide documentation of acceptance into that program. This program may grant a candidate preliminary approval, which may be contingent on admission into an approved program.
    • Once selected into the Tuition Reimbursement Program, the participant must successfully complete at least one course every 12 months.  Otherwise, the participant will be required to reapply to the program for the following fiscal year.
    • The program will not award more than $5,250 in any calendar year and has a personal lifetime maximum of $15,000 towards undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and $25,000 towards a doctorate degree program. Certifications are excluded from lifetime maximum reimbursement.
    • The educational institution must be a recognized professional organization or accredited by one of the 7 regional accreditors:
      • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
      • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
      • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
      • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
      • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)
      • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
      • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
    • Proof of accreditation must be provided with the application.
    • Assistance may be denied in cases where Administration determines that the course, credential or the degree pursued is not of sufficient benefit to the College, or if they College has already reached its annual limit of funding for this program.

    Course Eligibility

    To be eligible for reimbursement, courses must meet the following guidelines:

    • Must be related to the employee’s current job or continued career growth at SMC.
    • Must provide academic credit or legitimate certification.
    • The program of study must include a face to face component.
      • This is waived if the education institution is regionally accredited.
    • Must be documented as part of the employee’s professional development plan.
    • Must be completed with a grade of “B-” or better, or “Pass” or “Satisfactory” if a grade is not provided. 

    Not Covered

    • Transportation costs, textbooks, supplies, or other relative student fees or other similar costs are not eligible for reimbursement. Schools and/or organizations which are not accredited are not eligible for reimbursement.

    Eligible Coursework or Certifications

    Examples of courses or certifications which are deemed of benefit to the College and to the employee may include:

    • Courses or programs which provide knowledge and skills directly related to maintaining or improving current job skills;
    • Courses mandated by law or regulation in order for the employee to retain the job;
    • Courses or credentials directly related to the profession in which the employee is currently working;
    • Courses which provide for career development within the College including those which are a necessary elective for completion of such degree. 

    How to Apply for the Program

    • Discuss your professional development plan with your supervisor.
    • Once your plan is approved by your supervisor, you and your supervisor should then complete and submit the Tuition Reimbursement Application Form to the Department of Human Resources.
    • Be sure to include the following:
      • Completed application form
      • Proof of the educational institution’s accreditation
      • Proof of acceptance into the program

    The selection committee will meet to review applicants. If approved for your requested program or certification, SMC Human Resources will send you confirmation and details of how to proceed.

    Applications for new applicants who are not currently in the program must be submitted every year by June 1.  Decisions are made July 1.

    Selection Committee

    Vice President of Instruction and the Director of Human Resources.

    How to Get Reimbursed

    • After successfully completing the course, send:
      • Official institutional documentation of successful completion (a “B-” grade or better, “Pass” or “Satisfactory”)
      • Proof of the tuition payment (copy of your receipt and copy of the paid bill) to SMC Human Resources

    *NOTE* You can only be reimbursed for costs incurred in the current calendar year. Reimbursements cannot be retroactive.

    • Reimbursement for career-related certificate, undergraduate and graduate courses are subject to the tax provisions of IRC 127 (26 USC §127, Internal Revenue Code §127 Educational Assistance Programs) which excludes up to $5,250 in educational assistance from the annual personal gross income.  This means you must submit the costs incurred in the same calendar year for reimbursement, and those costs cannot exceed $5,250.

    What Happens If You Leave SMC

    Participants must remain at SMC for two years after reaching the personal lifetime maximum reimbursement limit OR completion of the degree or certification OR last issued payment, whichever occurs first.  If the employee voluntarily terminates employment before completing two years of service at SMC, the employee must repay 100% of the amount reimbursed.

  • Volunteer Policy

    Policy Statement 

    The purpose of the Volunteer policy is to provide guidance and direction to staff and volunteers. These policies do not imply a binding personnel agreement. The College retains the right to change any of these policies at any time and volunteers must adhere to the policies.

    Policy

    Volunteer Program

    It is the scope of this program to actively promote a mutually rewarding relationship between Southwestern Michigan College and its volunteers who offer their skills and time, and staff who support them in their efforts.

    Section 1 – General Policy

    Definition
    • Volunteer – A volunteer is anyone, who without compensation, performs a task at the direction of the Department in which they are volunteering. A “volunteer” must be officially registered by the College prior to performance of the task. Volunteers shall not be considered “employees” by Southwestern Michigan College. Volunteers should not be utilized to displace any paid employees from their position(s).
    • Employees as Volunteers - The College accepts the services of staff as volunteers. This service is accepted provided that the volunteer service is:
      • Provided without any coercive nature
      • Involves work which is outside the scope of normal staff duties
    Scope of Volunteer Involvement
    • Volunteers may be utilized in many programs and departments, which are in need of a variety of skills and abilities. The scope of volunteer involvement will be determined by the Department Supervisor. As part of a comprehensive volunteer program, the Department Supervisor should provide a general overview prior to the volunteer performing tasks, this should include:
      • General responsibilities of volunteers
      • Recordkeeping of hours
      • Training and orientation prior to performing work
    Screening of Volunteers
    • Where volunteers are placed in direct contact with students, additional screening procedures will be instituted. These procedures may include reference checking and background investigations. Volunteers who refuse permission to conduct these checks or who fail to submit the prior information will not be accepted for placement. The College shall provide a copy of the response from the various checks performed on the prospective volunteer upon request.

    Section 2 – Rights and Responsibilities

    Maintenance of Records
    • A system of records will be maintained on each volunteer, including dates and hours of service and position held. Volunteers and appropriate staff shall be responsible for submitting all appropriate records and information to the Human Resources in a timely manner. Volunteer records will be handled with the same confidentiality and care as employee records.
    Recording Time
    • Volunteers and the Department Supervisor are responsible for recording their time. Volunteers working at the College must sign in when beginning service and sign-out when service is completed for that day on the volunteer log.
    Confidentiality and FERPA
    • Access to confidential records will be restricted for volunteers. There may be volunteers at the College, which will work in positions that require volunteers to be trained in FERPA. All volunteers who work directly with students will be subject to FERPA training prior to their work on campus. FERPA training will be conducted by the Department Supervisor.
    Resignation
    • Volunteers may resign from volunteer service with the Department at any time. The Department Supervisor must notify Human Resources as soon as possible when a volunteer resigns or intends to take a leave from their volunteer responsibilities.

    Section 3 – Recruitment and Training of Volunteers

    Staff Requests for Volunteers
    • Requests for volunteers shall be submitted by the Department Supervisor to Human Resources, complete with a description of the nature of the volunteer duties.
    Orientation
    • All volunteers will receive a general orientation, conducted by the Department Supervisor. As the scope of duties may be different for each volunteer, it will be determined, as appropriate by the Department Supervisor the nature of additional training and orientation activities.
    Identification
    • All volunteers should wear an ID badge indicating their volunteer status. The College will issue a picture ID badge for volunteers who need access to copy codes or areas requiring specific identification. If a picture ID badge is not issued, the Department Supervisor should have available an appropriate ID indicating the volunteer status.