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Use of Email for Official Correspondence with Students

Purpose of the Policy

E-mail is an official means for communication at South Central College. There is an expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff and administration at South Central College. This is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness and environmental advantages of using e-mail rather than printed communication.

Implementation of this policy ensures that students have access to this critical form of communication. For the majority of students, this will not represent any change from what is currently done; it will, however, ensure that all students can access, and be accessed by e-mail as the need arises.


This student e-mail policy provides guidelines regarding the following aspects of e-mail as an official means of communication:

  • College use of e-mail
  • Assignment of student e-mail addresses;
  • Student use of and responsibilities associated with assigned e-mail addresses
  • Expectations of e-mail communication between faculty and student and staff and student


  1. College use of email. Email is a mechanism for official communication for South Central College, which has the right to expect that such communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. Official email communications are intended only to meet the academic and administrative needs of the college community.
  2. Assignment of student email.South Central College official email accounts are available for all enrolled students. The email addresses are all of the form [username]
  3. Redirection of email. If students wish to have email redirected from their official address to another email address (e.g.,,, they may do so but at their own risk. South Central College will not be responsible for the handling of email by outside providers. Having email redirected does not absolve students from the responsibilities associated with official communication sent to their accounts.
  4. Expectations about student use of email. Students are expected to check their SCC e-mail account on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with South Central College communications. SCC recommends checking e-mail once a week at a minimum; in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical. Not checking email, an error in forwarding mail and email returned to the college with “Mailbox Full” or “User Unknown” are not acceptable excuses for missing official college communications via email.
  5. Authentication for confidential information. It is a violation of college policy for any user of official email addresses to impersonate a college office, faculty/staff member or student. To minimize this risk, some confidential information may be made available only through MnSCU portals, which are password protected. In these cases, students will receive email correspondence directing them to a MnSCU portal where they can access the confidential information only by supplying their student ID and PIN. The confidential information will not be available in the email message.
  6. Privacy. Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the “reply” command during email correspondence.
  7. Educational uses of email. SCC faculty will determine how electronic forms of communication (e.g., email) will be used in their classes and will specify their requirements in the course syllabi. This “Official Student Email Policy” will ensure that all students will be able to comply with email-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty can, therefore, make the assumption that students’ official accounts are being accessed and faculty can use email for their classes accordingly.


The Department of IT will review this policy as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the Shared Governance Council and the Executive Leadership Team. Students with questions or comments about this policy should contact the Department of IT.


This policy complies with the guidelines as found in:

  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 5.22 - Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Procedure 5.22.1 - Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources

Responsible Organization

The Office of the President and the Department of Instructional Technology will be responsible for this policy.

Appendix A -- Policy Routing

  • This policy was approved by the Executive Leadership Team on April 4, 2005
  • This policy was approved by the Shared Governance Council on May 4, 2005

Date: May 5, 2005

Approved by: Keith Stover, President – South Central College

Author: Wes Taylor, Dean of Technology