Campus Policies

Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Free Campus

ACHE supports the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, and the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006.

It is the policy of ACHE to maintain and promote a safe and healthy environment for its students and employees. Therefore, the College policy prohibits the use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of drugs, (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substance Act, 21 U.S.C. 812) alcohol, or tobacco products and vapor products on College property which is used for academic purposes or during College activities by its’ students, staff, or faculty, regardless of the type of employment. This policy is in effect 24 hours a day, year-round. ACHE will not condone criminal activity on its property, or on property under its direct control, and will take appropriate personnel action up to and including termination or required participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. It is also a violation of this policy to report to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Violation of this policy constitutes grounds for disciplinary action including termination.

Federal and state laws provide additional penalties for such unlawful activities, including fines and imprisonment (21 U.S.C., 84 et seq, Ark. Code. Ann.§5-64-401). Local ordinances also provide various penalties for drug and alcohol-related offenses. A list of state or federal penalties for alcohol and drug violations may be viewed at or The College is bound to take all appropriate actions against violations, which may include arrest, referral for legal prosecution or requiring the individual to participate satisfactorily in an approved alcohol, tobacco, or drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Students may receive alternate or additional sanctions for violations drug or alcohol related offenses. For additional information, see the “Complaints Regarding Student Misconduct” section of the ARCOM Student Handbook & Academic Catalog. A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table. (

If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance: Ineligibility period is:

1st offense – 1 year 2nd offense – 2 years

3rd offense – indefinite

The sale of a controlled substance: Ineligibility period is:

1st offense – 2 years 2nd offense – indefinite

With the approval of the President in advance, alcohol or tobacco products may be permitted for special events or circumstances. Alcoholic beverages for personal consumption by students over the age of twenty-one (21) is allowed in student housing.

Individuals who are paid by ACHE from federal grants or contracts must notify the College of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace within five (5) days after such conviction. An employee who fails to report a conviction may be subject to disciplinary action including termination.

The College is required to notify the appropriate federal contracting or granting agency within ten (10) calendar days of receiving notification of conviction. The directors of projects receiving external funds through grants or contracts shall be responsible for notifying the funding agency (after coordination with the Chief Academic Officer/Dean and obtaining approval from the Office of the President) within ten days of receiving notice from an employee or otherwise receiving the actual notice of an employee’s drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

The scope and impact of health risks from alcohol and drug abuse are both alarming and well- documented, ranging from mood-altering to life-threatening, with consequences that extend beyond the individual to family, organizations and society at large.  There are physical emotional, spiritual, social and occupational risks involved with the use of alcohol and drugs. Some of the physical health risks of drug use include, but are not limited to, heart problems, infections, malnutrition, convulsions, respiratory paralysis, emphysema, high blood pressure, and possible death. Drug use can also lead to legal problems, financial hardships, and social and occupational difficulties. Some of the physical risks of using alcohol are chronic addiction, blood disorders, brain damage, cirrhosis, hepatitis, heart problems, lung infection and stomach ulcers. Mentally, there may be increased stress, depression, contemplation of suicide, impaired thought process, memory loss, and increased incidents of psychosis.

Additionally, ACHE acknowledges that long-term health hazards may impact individuals who use tobacco products or who are subjected to second-hand smoke. Understanding the addictive nature of tobacco products, ACHE will make every effort to assist those who wish to stop using tobacco.

Employees and their families seeking resources for preventing drug and alcohol abuse as well as treatment information or tobacco cessation programs should contact the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) by calling (800)624-5544 or visiting the EAP website (login code is: acheedu). The EAP is available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Information about the service as well as additional assistance may be obtained through the Office of Human Resources.

Students seeking drug or alcohol abuse treatment information or tobacco cessation programs should contact The Guidance Center, 3111 So. 70th Street, Fort Smith, AR at (479)452-6650. For Emergency/After Hours call 1-800-542-1031 or contact the Mercy Clinic at 7003 Chad Colley Boulevard, Barling AR 72923, Phone: (479) 431-3500. Students may also seek assistance, treatment or prevention information by utilizing the services of the Student Assistance Program by visiting the SAP website (login code: arcomedu) or calling (800)624-5544. The Student Assistance Program is available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.

All individuals associated with ACHE shall be responsible for compliance with these policies related to alcohol, tobacco and drugs. It is expected that all faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors will voluntarily comply.

The success of these policies, including the promotion of healthy lifestyles and a safe environment will depend on the consideration and cooperation of all. Disciplinary policies applicable to students, faculty, and staff shall be invoked, if necessary, to secure compliance.

Violations of these policies will be enforced in the following manner:

  1. Violations by faculty and staff should be brought to the attention of the employee’s
  2. Violations by students should be brought the attention of Student
  3. Violations by visitors should be brought to the attention of the ACHE Police and Security
  4. Violations by contractors should be brought to the attention of the department for whom the contractor is working or to the Director of Buildings and Grounds, as applicable.

There shall be no reprisals against anyone reporting violations of these policies.

Distribution of Materials

Annual notification of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Free Campus and Workplace Policy is provided to all students, faculty and staff. Notification of this policy and distribution of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse materials will be made by email, social media, colleges webpages and distribution in the employee and student handbooks. New students, faculty and staff members will receive a copy of this policy during their orientation.

Program Review

The Office of Student Affairs will conduct a biennial review of the College’s Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Free Campus and Workplace Policy and associated prevention programs. This review will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the policy, the consistency of the disciplinary sanctions and recommend needed changes, if any, to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.


Gambling is not permitted on ACHE property, at any ARCOM affiliated education site, or at any ARCOM sponsored event.

Firearms and Weapons

ACHE and ARCOM are committed to providing a safe, healthy learning and working environment and to making adequate provisions for the safety and health of its students, staff, faculty and the public and will not permit its students or employees, as well as visitors, to act in ways that may endanger themselves or others.

The possession, carrying, storage or use of any handgun, firearm or weapon is prohibited on any property owned or controlled by ACHE and ARCOM, except when specifically authorized by the President to maintain the safety and security of the ACHE and ARCOM students, faculty and staff. This policy also covers employees of ACHE and ARCOM while they are on duty or while they are operating ACHE and/or ARCOM vehicles/equipment or operating personal vehicles for ACHE and/or ARCOM purposes. Individuals are permitted to carry mace, pepper spray and pocket knives with blades no longer than four inches as long as they are stored in a pocket, purse, briefcase or other personal belongings.

ACHE and/or ARCOM reserve the right, based upon reasonable suspicion of a violation of this policy, to search an office, desk, and other property under the control of the visitor, student, or employee, as well as the packages, purses, lunch boxes, briefcases, and students’ or employees’ vehicles parked on its premises. Individuals may also be required to remove a jacket or sweater and to turn out their pockets. Reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify a search may be based on a clear and reasonable belief, through observation or information provided by a reliable and credible source, that an employee is in violation of this policy. Searches of ACHE and ARCOM property under the control of the visitor, student, or employee are subject to being conducted without notice, once the reasonable suspicion standard has been met. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination.


ACHE and ARCOM expects and requires all students and employees to display common courtesy and respect for others and to engage in safe and appropriate behavior at all times. Visitors are also held to this standard.

Any involvement in incidents of physical violence is considered unacceptable behavior which violates this policy. “Physical violence” means any unwanted or hostile contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving, slapping, or throwing objects. Racial or ethnic slurs, sexually harassing remarks, threats of violence, provocative comments or language, or actions deemed to be a “threat of violence” also violate this policy will not be tolerated. A “threat of violence” means an expression (verbal or otherwise) of a present or future intention to cause physical harm. Individuals who threaten violence or otherwise engage in provocative conduct towards co-workers, students, visitors, or other individuals ordinarily are held at least equally at fault for an ensuing physical altercation, even if they do not strike the first blow or otherwise initiate a physical confrontation.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physically striking/injuring another
  • Engaging in behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury in another
  • Possession, brandishing, or using a weapon while on ACHE’s premises or engaged in its
  • Intentionally damaging office property, property of students, employees, visitors, or the general
  • Threatening to injure an individual or to damage
  • Verbally threatening behavior, such as direct or veiled threats of
  • Harassment or sexual harassment that blurs into conduct threatening an individual’s safety, including unwanted and offensive physical touching and
  • Threats or acts of intimidation that create fear or extreme emotional
  • Obscene telephone calls, e-mails, or other electronic
  • Bullying of any kind.

This policy applies to 1) visitors, students, and employees while on ACHE premises, 2) students and employees traveling on business or representing ACHE, 3) students and employees off the premises who are working or representing ACHE, and 4) employees while off duty and students away from ACHE where the violence, threats of violence, or other violations of this policy are directed toward a fellow employee, student, or other individual and the behavior has an actual or potential negative impact upon the ACHE community or its interests.

The ACHE Office of Police and Security will promptly investigate any physical or verbal altercation, threats of violence, or other conduct by visitors, students, and employees that threatens the health or safety of other visitors, employees, students, or the public or that otherwise might involve a violation of this policy. All complaints will be investigated in a timely manner. Information will be released only to those persons directly involved in the investigation and to law enforcement as necessary. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent practicable. ACHE will take reasonable action to guard the reputations of the complainant and the accused.

All employees have a duty to report to a member of administration or Office of Police and Security any workplace activities, situations or incidents that they observe or of which they become aware that involve other students, employees, and visitors that appear to violate this policy. This includes threats or acts of violence, aggressive behavior, offensive acts, threatening or offensive comments and remarks. Reports pursuant to this policy will be held in confidence to the maximum extent possible under the circumstances. ACHE will not condone any form of retaliation against any employee for making a report under this policy, and individuals have an immediate duty to report any retaliation they experience or observe to the Office of Human Resources.

Students likewise have a duty to warn the Office of Police and Security or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs of any activity, situation, or incident they observe, or of which they become aware that involves other students, employees, and visitors that appear to violate this policy. Reports will be held in confidence to the maximum extent possible under the circumstances, and ACHE will not condone any retaliation against a student for making a report under this policy. Students should immediately report any retaliation they experience or observe to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

All individuals who commit violent acts, or who otherwise violate this policy, are subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination. ACHE may seek prosecution of those who engage in violence on its premises or against its students or employees.