A Content Analysis of Student Conduct Codes

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Virginia Tech

Scholars in the field of student judicial affairs have recommended that institutions remove all legal terminology and references in student conduct codes and create codes based on student development theory and practice (Dannells, 1997; Gehring, 2001; Stoner & Cerminara 1990; Stoner, 2000). The purpose of this study was to analyze student conduct codes to determine the extent to which college and university administrators have adopted Stoner and Cerminara, Gehring, and Pavela's suggestions.

This study is a content analysis of student conduct codes. The data were collected by using a stratified randomly selected group of Carnegie classified institutions and examining the student conduct code for each institution from the respective institution's website. Descriptive statements were used to code and analyze the data. The study results show that only 20% of the institutions in the study had taken the advice of the judicial scholars and removed all legalistic language. Therefore, the majority of the institutions in this study, regardless of institutional type or size, need to reexamine and modify their student conduct codes.

judicial affairs, student behavior, content or document analysis, conduct codes