2016-2017 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook 
    Jan 28, 2022  
2016-2017 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

State and Federal Policies



Federal Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) & Directory Information

Education Records

The family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These include:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access,
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading,
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, and
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Point Loma Nazarene University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Directory Information

The university has defined directory information as name, address (including electronic mail), telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. Students can update their privacy settings through their student portal. This information may be provided as public information or to individuals who demonstrate a need to contact students. Students choosing not to release this information must electronically update their portal prior to the second Monday of each semester.

Periodically, PLNU conducts formal and informal (casually taken around the campus) photo and video shoots for use in university publications, promotional videos/commercials, and the PLNU Web site. Students who require that no identifiable image be used by the university must notify Marketing and Creative Services in writing prior to the second Monday of each semester (office located in Starkey B). In addition, PLNU may submit information about students’ participation in school activities to media outlets. Students who require that their names be excluded from such stories must notify Marketing and Creative Services in writing prior to the second Monday of each semester (office located in Starkey B).

The university may disclose education records to college officials with legitimate educational interests. A college official is a person employed by the university; a member of the Board of Trustees; or an individual serving on a committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committees. PLNU also includes among college officials a student appointed to an official committee or assisting another official in performing tasks. A college official has a legitimate educational interest if the information aids the official in fulfilling professional functions. For more information please visit the FERPA web site.

Harassment and Discrimination

PLNU prohibits any form of harassment or discrimination against any member of the university community on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, or disability and/or veteran status. Such actions are prohibited not only by university policy, but also by federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence.  Any type of harassment or discrimination may subject individuals or groups to disciplinary action, and may also have legal consequences.

Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed discrimination on any basis other than sex against any member of the university community should report the incident to the Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Carr, available in office 306, third floor of Nicholson Commons, and at 619-849-2484.

Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed any form of harassment should report the incident to a campus administrator the University Sexual Harassment Officer Dr. Caye Smith, available in office 303, third floor of Nicholson Commons, and at 619.849.2479.  Anonymous reports can also be filed online at Alert Line or be calling the Alert Line Hotline at 1-877-874-8416.  Click on the following link to read the full text of PLNU’s 2014-15 Sexual Harassment Policy  .

Sexual assaults should be reported to the Department of Public Safety at (619) 849-2525, the University Sexual Harassment Officer at (619) 849-2479 and/or to the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000.  Crimes or suspected crimes can also be reported anonymously on the DPS web site.  Click on the link to read the full text of PLNU’s 2014-15 Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking Policy  .

Jeanne Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. PLNU is in compliance with the various provisions of the law, including the maintenance of a daily crime log, issuance of timely warnings for ongoing threats, the provision of educational information on crime prevention, and the publication of the Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report each October.

More information about the Clery Act and PLNU’s campus safety can be found at the Department of Public Safety web page.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Point Loma Nazarene University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, or national origin. Furthermore, as required by the Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, Point Loma Nazarene University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies. Point Loma Nazarene University also provides equal opportunity for qualified persons with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 2008 and the Amended Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Although we do seek to recruit students of the Christian faith and to create an institutional environment conducive to their growth in Christ, we do not require that students be confessing Christians. We welcome and value as students persons of every background and faith. As a Christian community, we expect that all of our students will respect the nature of our community, learn about our traditions and participate in our community practices. PLNU affirms that a Christian liberal arts education includes an understanding of and appreciation of the differences in faith, living, and practice.

The Director of the Disability Resource Center provides advice and support to students with disabilities (619) 849-2486.

Human Resources will provide advice and support to faculty and staff persons with disabilities (619) 849-2534.

It is the responsibility of all responsible persons to report violations or suspected violations of this Policy or applicable laws. If an employee or student becomes aware of a suspected violation, whether before or after it has occurred, they must promptly report it to university officials and as noted below. Alternately, anyone may report violations or suspected violations anonymously by using Alert Line (a third party company) or by calling the The Alert Hotline at 1-877-874-8416.

Inquiries and appeals regarding compliance with these federal requirements may be directed to PLNU’s Title IX compliance officer, the Vice President for Student Development, Caye Smith, Psy.D., Nicholson Commons, Office 303, (619) 849-2479, or the PLNU Chief Diversity Officer, Jeffrey Carr, Ed.D., Nicholson Commons, Office 306, (619) 849-2484.

Religious Expression

Founded in 1902, Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) is a Christian university committed to the liberal arts and professional preparation. A combination of challenging academics, deep spirituality, and service-centered action prepares students for living purpose-filled lives and integrating knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions.

Being of Wesleyan heritage, and affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, we strive to be a learning community where grace is foundational, truth is pursued, and holiness is a way of life. We also strive to provide a learning and living environment that promotes safety, transparency, personal integrity, civility, mutual respect, and freedom from unlawful discrimination.

This integration of faith and learning is recognized by the United States and California Constitutions and many state and federal laws. For example, exemptions in Title IX(1) and the California Equity in Higher Education Act(2) recognize the right of religious educational institutions such as PLNU to incorporate religious beliefs into all aspects of university life and maintain faith-based standards of behavior to which all community members voluntarily agree to follow. A full statement of PLNU’s mission and community expectations for faculty, staff and students can be found at:

Student Standards of Conduct: Graduate and Professional Students

  1. 20 U.S.C. Section 1681(a)(3).
  2. Cal. Ed. Code Section 66271.

Student Consumer Complaint Process

The U.S. Department of Education has amended the Higher Education Act (HEA) authorizing the “Program Integrity Rule.” This amendment provides, among other things, regulations associated with the federal student financial aid program that require colleges or universities authorized to offer postsecondary education in one or more states to ensure access to a complaint process 34 CFR 668.43(b) that will permit student consumers to address the following:

  1. Alleged violations of State consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;

  2. Alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and

  3. Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

To access a copy of PLNU’s student complaint process, click here.
An individual may contact the Department of Consumer Affairs of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The Bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA , 95833, at their website: http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint, via email at bppe@dca.ca.gov, or by phone or fax at (916) 431-6959 PH, (916) 263-1897 FAX.