G-33-5 Student Death

The Dean of Student and Enrollment Services will be the primary point of contact for the family of the deceased; the Director of Admissions/Registrar (or appointee) will be the primary coordinating person for ensuring that the following on-campus action steps are taken:

  1. COCC is notified of a death of a student. Notification can be from a newspaper article, obituary, from a family member or family representative, police report, etc. If notified in person, the college representative should ask what the family is willing to share about the death, using his/her judgment on what information will be shared with the campus community. Additionally, the college representative will summarize how the school will respond, that the Dean of Student and Enrollment Services will be the primary contact person should the family have any questions, and ask who the school should contact if the school has questions about the student's account. As possible, the college representative will confirm the death without causing undue distress to the family; a death certificate will not be required.
  2. The Director of Admissions and Records will contact the Financial Aid Office, the Cashier's Office, Payroll/Fiscal Services, ASCOCC, the student's instructors and advisors, Human Resources, Office of Student Life, Instructional Dean's Office, Office of College Relations, Dean of Student and Enrollment Services Office, President's Office and any campus organization with which the student was involved. When contacting these groups, the Director will use discretion as to what information can be released about the student and his/her death.
  3. The Admissions and Records Office inactivates the student's address and indicates "deceased" on the address line.
  4. If the student dies at any point between the time they registers for classes and the last day of the term, the student's registration is backed out of the system and a full refund is sent to the family. All fees or fines (parking, library, etc.) are backed out of the student's account. If a refund is owing, the Cashier's Office immediately issues a check to be included with the President's letter of condolence (see #11).
  5. The Records Office will award an honorary degree for current degree-or certificate-seeking students. A notation will be placed on the diploma indicating that it is an honorary degree. The appropriate degree/certificate will be included with the President's letter of condolence (see #11).
  6. The Records Office will award an honorary degree for any current or former degree-or certificate-seeking student who is killed in action while serving in the military. A notation will be placed on the diploma indicating that it is an honorary degree. The appropriate degree/certificate will be included with the President's letter of condolence (see #11).
  7. A posthumous degree indicating that the student had completed the degree/certificate requirements at the time of death may be awarded at the discretion of the President.
  8. The Payroll/Fiscal Services Office determines if the student is owed any money due to campus employment. If so, a check is immediately issued and forwarded to the Admissions and Records Office to be included with the President's letter.
  9. The Human Resources Office determines if the student is an employee receiving COCC benefits via health insurance, life insurance, etc. If so, the Human Resources Office will contact the next of kin to discuss the appropriate information.
  10. he Financial Aid Office contacts the next of kin to explain the forgiveness policy regarding the student's loans. All financial aid records are backed out of the system.
  11. The President or designee writes a letter of condolence to the family. This letter will include: notation that the appropriate campus offices and instructors have been contacted; refund and payroll check (if applicable); information stating the student has been dropped from his/her classes; degree/certificate (if applicable); statement that the Dean will be the campus contact person.