2018-2019 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook 
    Dec 01, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate and Professional Studies Community Expectations

Integrity in Personal Conduct

Civility in All Communications

Abstinence from Drugs, Alcohol, and All Forms of Tobacco

Respect for Self, Others, and for University and Personal Property

Conduct Process

Student Appeals



Point Loma Nazarene University recognizes each graduate and professional student as an adult member of the PLNU graduate learning community.  While the university understands that students come from a broad range of faith or values traditions which shape their behavior away from the PLNU graduate and professional learning community, each graduate and professional student is expected to abide by the academic policies and the behavior expectations of the PLNU graduate and professional  learning community during:

  • Attendance in traditional or online classes;
  • Activities sponsored, authorized or resulting from status at Point Loma (internships, site visits, etc), as well as
  • Activities resulting from our educational and business partnerships.

The community behavior expectations, drawn from our Wesleyan faith and social tradition, are expressed within the context of four broad community values:

  1. Integrity in personal conduct;

  2. Civility in all communications;

  3. Abstinence from drugs, alcohol and all forms of tobacco; and

  4. Respect for self, others, and for university property.

Students who violate university behavioral standards may be subject to responses ranging from a caution placed in the student file to expulsion from the university, depending on the severity and history of violation.

Integrity in Personal Conduct

Students should demonstrate personal integrity and integrity in adherence to  university standards and values.

  • Demonstrate Academic Honesty
    • The Point Loma Nazarene University community holds the highest standards of honesty and integrity in all aspects of university life.  Any violation of the university’s commitment is a serious affront to the very nature of Point Loma’s mission and purpose.

      Violations of academic honesty include cheating, plagiarism, falsification, identity fraud, aiding academic dishonesty, and malicious interference.

      Cheating is the use of unauthorized assistance that results in an unfair advantage over other students. It includes but is not limited to: bringing and/or using unauthorized notes, technology or other study aids during an examination; looking at other students’ work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; attempting to communicate with other students in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; obtaining an examination prior to its administration; allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own; submitting work done in one class for credit in another without the instructor’s permission.

      Plagiarism is the use of an idea, phrase, or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that source. It includes but is not limited to: the use of an idea, phrase, or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that specific source in a work for which the student claims authorship; the misrepresentation and/or use of sources used in a work for which the student claims authorship; the use of papers purchased online as all or part of an assignment for which the student claims authorship; submitting written work, such as laboratory reports, computer programs, or papers, which have been copied from the work of other students, with or without their knowledge and consent.

      Falsification is the alteration of information or forging of signatures on academic forms or documents. It includes but is not limited to: using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; altering graded work and submitting it for re-grading; falsifying information on official academic documents such as drop/add forms, incomplete forms, petitions, recommendations, letters of permission, transcripts or any other university document; misrepresenting oneself or one’s status in the university.

      Academic identity fraud is the act of allowing a person to impersonate the registered student, by doing the academic work and by submitting it as if it were the work of the registered person. This encompasses both face to face and online environments. It includes, but is not limited to: having another person complete a course assignment, take an examination, respond to discussion board questions, or complete any kind of academic exercise on behalf of the registered student. In such cases, it may be considered collusion to commit fraud on the part of both parties.

      Aiding academic dishonesty is assisting another person in violating the standards of academic honesty. It includes but is not limited to: allowing other students to look at one’s own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; providing information, material, or assistance to another person knowing that it may be used in violation of academic honesty policies; providing false information in connection with any academic honesty inquiry.

      Malicious intent is misuse of academic resources or interference with the legitimate academic work of other students. It includes but is not limited to: removing books, journals, or pages of these from the library without formal checkout; hiding library materials; refusing to return reserve readings to the library; damaging or destroying the projects, lab, or studio work or other academic product of fellow students.

      A student remains responsible for the academic honesty of work submitted in PLNU courses and the consequences of academic dishonesty beyond receipt of the final grade in the class and beyond the awarding of the diploma. Ignorance of these catalog policies will not be considered a valid excuse or defense. Students may not withdraw from a course as a response to a consequence.

  • Encourage Adherence to Community Values
    • No student should condone, enable or assist another student or staff member to violate PLNU graduate learning community expectations. All students share responsibility when a community standard is violated.
  • Cooperate with University Officials
    • Students are expected to comply with all lawful requests of any university official, including requests to see Student ID, and to respond truthfully to any questions posted by university officials. PLNU requires that all students be able to show proof of current student status (Student ID) upon request by officials of a university official; specifically university staff and faculty, public safety personnel and resident assistants. The ID remains the property of the university.
  • Maintain Accurate Academic and Financial Records
    • Students must not alter, aid, abet or assist in the alteration of any official university record, including but not limited to academic transcripts, ID cards, faculty recommendations. A student who deliberately writes “bad checks” (insufficient funds) or commits a forgery will be subject to student conduct and/or legal action.
  • Dress Professionally and in Keeping With University Ethos
    • The PLNU community affirms that the appearance of students should be consistent with an environment of professionalism and respect for the faith tradition of the university. Simplicity, modesty and professionalism are values that should be reflected in personal appearance for all university-related experiences. Common sense and personal discretion by the members of the community are essential.

Civility in All Communications

Students should use communications appropriately and treat each other, faculty and staff with respect in all university-related interactions.

  • Use Official Communication Channels

    • The university’s official mode of communicating with students is each student’s personal pointloma.edu e-mail address. Students are required to monitor this address regularly for official communications.
  • Speak and Use Media Responsibly

    • Vulgar, foul, obscene,  profane or threatening language are not to be tolerated in any university-related venue.
    • Communications by PLNU students in print, broadcast, social or other public media which reference PLNU in ways counter to our mission and core values or which demonstrate an unsatisfactory level of professionalism, maturity and integrity are also not to be tolerated.
    • Pornographic materials or media (i.e. music, images, video), obscene literature and pictures are also not to be tolerated. All films (other than those shown in a classroom situation) shown by groups or individuals under the sponsorship or on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University must have prior approval from their program director or designee.
    • The university agrees that the right to dissent is essential to the maintenance of academic freedom in the university. However, dissent or protest against a particular position, action or situation can be permitted only when such protest does not restrict the freedom of thought and movement of others who hold different views. Those who dissent, particularly in an academic community, should be willing to permit the free expression of ideas and positions other than their own, and in a manner consistent with the university’s mission. Attempts by unauthorized persons to counter such protests will not be condoned. Anyone who engages in any form of protest which impedes or obstructs others in the exercise of their freedom, or which interferes with the orderly procedures and activities of the university or is destructive, may be subject to student conduct and/or legal action.
  • Practice Appropriate Computer Use
    • Point Loma Nazarene University encourages the use of technology for learning, communication, and collaboration. It is the responsibility of anyone using Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), or educational and business partner technology resources to use them in a responsible, legal, and ethical manner. Users must respect the rights and privacy of others and act in compliance with all university policies and standards as well as federal, state, and local laws.
    • Actions which are detrimental or inappropriate when accessing university and Internet resources include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Sending harassing, intimidating and/or threatening messages through electronic mail or other means;

      • Using foul or abusive language on the network or any electronic communication;

      • Using university computers, systems, and/or services for commercial purposes or unauthorized financial gain;

      • Soliciting for charity or other benefits without written university authorization;

      • Initiating or encouraging the promulgation of chain letters, unauthorized automated or mass postings, or other types of unauthorized large‐scale distributions;

      • Accessing and/or disseminating pornography;

      • Copying for oneself or distributing to others commercial or other copyrighted software or proprietary data which has not been placed in the public domain or been distributed as freeware;

      • Installing and/or using personal wireless access points on the university network;  

      • Removing any computer equipment (hardware, software, data, etc.) without authorization;

      • Intentionally intercepting, disclosing, or using any electronic communication to which authorized access is not explicitly provided; authorized access includes mail directed to or from an individual and those messages intended for public consumption (newsgroups, bulletin boards, broadcast messages);

      • Providing others with access to one’s personal computer account(s) or gaining or attempting to gain access to the personal computer accounts, files, or electronic information of others or to accounts, files, or systems to which authorized access has not been granted;

      • Supplying or attempting to supply false or misleading information or identification in order to access another user’s network account or information;

      • Attempting through “hacking” or related behavior to compromise university computer security or the security of remote systems accessed through university equipment or systems;

      • Accessing or using data, systems, or networks without written university authorization, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of a system or network to breach security or authentication measures;

      • Tampering with or obstructing the operation of the network/computer systems owned by the university, students attending the university, or other third parties;

      • Using an unauthorized IP address;

      • Monitoring or sniffing of data on any network or system without express authorization of PLNU Information Technology Services;

      • Creating or releasing computer viruses or engaging in other destructive or potentially destructive programming activities;

      • Interfering with service to any user, host, or network, including, without limitation, mail bombing, flooding, deliberate attempts to overload a system, and broadcast attacks; and/or

      • Using university computers, systems, and/or services to perpetrate fraud, misrepresentation, or illegal activity.

    • The university reserves the right to restrict the use of its computer facilities and limit access to its networks when faced with evidence of violations of university policies or standards, of contractual obligations, or of federal, state, or local laws. The university has the right to remove or limit access to material posted on or transmitted by its computers. By connecting to the campus network, the user agrees to the terms and conditions of this Acceptable Use Policy.

    • Sanctions imposed as a result of violations of this Acceptable Use Policy may include, but are not limited to the following:

      • Network resource suspension or termination;

      • Suspension or termination from the university;

      • Monetary reimbursement to the university or other appropriate sources;

      • Prosecution under applicable civil and/or criminal laws.

    • Information Technology Services maintains the PLNU networks and monitors network traffic in accord with university, local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  • Respect and Follow Copyright Policy
    • Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) respects the intellectual property rights of others and makes every attempt to uphold all copyright laws.
    • PLNU does not tolerate the willful violation of copyright laws by any staff, faculty, student, or affiliate of PLNU. Violation of copyright laws may result in disciplinary action for employees and students of PLNU and, where such violations are a crime under federal law, may be prosecuted.
    • All parties submitting material on PLNU premises, property, virtual property, official PLNU website, internal portal, third party portals contracted with PLNU (such as iTunes U), and published material, also known collectively as PLNU venues, are required to comply with all copyright laws.
    • Individuals uploading or acquiring material posted or authenticated on PLNU venues agree to hold PLNU harmless for any errors created to indemnify PLNU for any damages that result from the acquisition of said material. Material or content in third party web pages linked to official PLNU web pages are not under the control of PLNU and therefore are not governed by PLNU’s copyright policies. PLNU is not responsible for content and material on third party web pages.
    • The intent of this copyright policy is to provide PLNU staff, faculty, students, and affiliates of PLNU basic information regarding copyright compliance and PLNU’s position relative to copyright laws.
    • Please refer questions about copyright laws and related issues to the Director of Ryan Library.

Abstinence From Drugs, Alcohol and All Forms of Tobacco

Students should abstain from use of any non–prescription drug, alcohol and all forms of tobacco or electronic smoking products during any university-related activity.

  • Abstain from Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco

    • The university expectation of abstinence arises out of its commitment to student academic success and health as well as the historic commitment of its sponsoring denomination to marginalized people. One of the major impediments to student success in higher education is alcohol. Students who drink alcohol have been found to have lower grades, lower rates of retention to the institution, and are less likely to graduate than students who do not. Elements of that policy follow:
      • The substance policy applies to graduate and professional students when they are on campus and in all other university-connected activities away from campus (internships, site visits, etc).
      • The university requires that students abstain from the use or possession of alcoholic beverages, use or possession of marijuana and other illegal drugs, use or possession of tobacco and smoking products and/or electronic smoking devices during any university-connected activities. The university does not recognize the validity of “medical” marijuana.
      • A student who uses or who is in possession of alcohol, smoking tobacco products, or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia is in violation of university policy and subject to disciplinary action.
      • A student’s refusal to test for alcohol or illegal drugs while on campus property or engaged in university activity will be interpreted as an admission of guilt and is subject to disciplinary action.

Respect for Self, Others, and for University and Personal Property

Students should demonstrate respect for people and property during all university-related activities.

  • Treat Other Students, Faculty and Staff with Respect

    • A supportive community cannot exist where threats occur or where people fear injury or harm.Therefore, activities that endanger the lives or safety of any student or other individual,  threats of violence or violence against persons or other instances of disturbing the peace during any university-related activity will result in immediate removal from university property and from the university.
    • The university 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 at 619-849-2484 or jeffreycarr@pointloma.edu.
      • Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed any form of harassment should report the incident to a campus administrator or to the University Sexual Harassment Officer Dr. Caye Smith, available 619-849-2479 or cayesmith@pointloma.edu.
    • The university is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from sexual harassment.
      • In keeping with this commitment, we do not tolerate sexual harassment by anyone, including students, faculty, staff or vendors of the university. The Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education defines sexual harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as consisting of “verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, imposed on the basis of sex, by an employee or agent of a recipient that denies, limits, provides different, or conditions the provision of aid, benefits, services, or treatment protected under Title IX.”Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. This may include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct based on sex when:

        • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
        • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual; or
        • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.
      • Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed harassment should, when possible, inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. If the student does not wish to confront the harasser, or, if confrontation has not been effective, then the following courses of action should be taken:

        • Sexual harassment should be reported to the University Sexual Harassment Officer, the Vice President for Student Development, Dr. Caye Smith, available in office 303, third floor of Nicholson Commons, and at 619.849.2479.–check
        • 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. (check) Crimes or suspected crimes can also be reported anonymously on the DPS web site.  
        • The university will investigate all such complaints thoroughly, impartially, and promptly. The university will keep all complaints and the terms of their resolutions, according to the legal guidelines established under Title IX. If an investigation confirms that harassment has occurred, the university will take corrective action, up to and including expulsion or termination.
        • In the case of sexual assault on a PLNU campus, contact the Office of Public Safety.
  • Treat University and Personal Property with Respect
    • Students must not destroy or deface university property or the property of others, and must not remove university or personal property without permission.

      • The possession of, sale of, or firing of fireworks, firecrackers, explosives (including, but not limited to, pipe bombs, dry ice bombs, and other such homemade devices), guns of any kind including recreational firearms and other items of similar nature is prohibited by PLNU and by city, county and state law.
      • Public Safety requires that fire‐extinguishing equipment, fire alarms, smoke detectors and any other emergency equipment be kept only for authorized use. The law prohibits any other use.
      • Entering into any university building, facility or area without authorization is prohibited.
      • The possession of keys by students, or the making of duplicate keys to campus properties without being specifically issued by authorized campus personnel, is prohibited.
      • Unauthorized presence on or improper use of, any Point Loma Nazarene University property is prohibited. This includes the unauthorized use of university facilities (i.e. private parties, misuse of student lounge areas, unauthorized solicitation or distribution of advertising materials on university property). It also includes an individual’s presence in an area from which he or she has previously been banned.
      • Disposing of refuse of any kind on university property except in the appropriate receptacles provided, is prohibited.
  • Observe the Student Vehicle and Parking Policy
    • The Department of Public Safety is responsible for the enforcement of all parking and traffic regulations on the Point Loma campus and has the authority to issue citations. Regulations are contained in full in the University Vehicle Code (UVC), which is maintained by the Department of Public Safety and made available in its office and on its web site.
    • The UVC requires that all vehicles operated by students enrolled in courses at the Point Loma campus be registered with DPS and that all drivers obey posted road signs and traffic rules, in accordance with both the UVC and California Vehicle Code. Students who are enrolled only in courses at a university branch campus are NOT required to register their vehicle.
    • Students who are not enrolled at the Point Loma campus but have business to conduct there, are considered visitors and must obtain a visitor parking permit upon arrival as outlined in the UVC.
    • Owners who wish to leave a vehicle at either the Point Loma or Mission Valley campus during ANY academic break, even for university-sponsored travel, must get approval from the Department of Public Safety in advance. All vehicles, bicycles, trailers, etc. left on either campus without written approval from the Director of Public Safety will be subject to being towed at the owner’s expense.
    • Storage of vehicles at any other PLNU campus (Bakersfield, Inland Empire, Liberty Station) is governed by the rules and regulations of the property as set forth by property management.
    • When parking at an educational or business partnership site, students must abide by PLNU vehicle and parking policy as well as abiding by the policy of the partner site.
    • When parking on community college partner sites, check with your program advisor or student success advisor to ensure that you have the proper parking pass visible to avoid being ticketed.

Conduct Process

The Graduate  Student Behavior Expectations standards contained in the Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook are applicable to all PLNU graduate and professional students during attendance in traditional or online classes or at any other activities sponsored, authorized or resulting from status at Point Loma (internships, site visits, etc), and in educational or corporate partnerships.

When a student behavior issue arises in a particular PLNU graduate or adult degree completion program, the faculty or program director should first attempt to resolve the issue with the student. If unsuccessful, the program director or designee should convene an ad hoc program student behavior committee consisting of two Graduate and Professional Studies faculty not associated with the behavior and the program director or designee to carry out the following steps:

  1. Notifying the Vice Provost for Academic Administration before initiating a conduct process;

  2. Informing the student officially of the alleged violations of university policy and the steps in the procedure;

  3. Offering the student a fair and reasonable opportunity for explanation;

  4. Evaluating the evidence presented;

  5. Communicating to the student the appropriate consequence for the action and whether it is a final decision or subject to appeal; and

  6. Providing an avenue of appeal, when previously indicated.

Depending on the nature and number of incidents, academic misbehavior can result in a warning letter, behavioral probation or a suspension or expulsion from the program. Not all cases will follow the preceding escalation. 

Student Appeals

When indicated by the ad hoc student behavior committee, students may appeal using the following steps:

  1. Prepare and submit via e-mail a written appeal to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (infovpaa@pointloma.edu)  within 48 hours of the decision by the ad hoc program student behavior committee.

  2. In order to be considered the appeal must include all information, documentation (copies of papers, relevant e-mails, medical information) and any supporting statements from witnesses.

  3. The Vice Provost for Academic Administration will review the appeal materials submitted by the student, the documents and decision supplied by the ad hoc program student behavior committee, and the relevant university policy.

  4. Once the review is completed, the VPAA will communicate to the student, to the program director and the dean of the school either that the decision of the ad hoc program student behavior committee is being upheld, that it is being modified, or that it is being overturned. If the decision is to expel the student, the communication will indicate whether the student is or is not eligible for readmission and the conditions for application for readmission, if relevant. The decision of the appeal process is final and not subject to further appeal.

  5. A copy of the final decision will be placed in the student’s file, and the appropriate academic and student services offices will be notified and given information about steps to be taken as a result of the decision.