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:
Integrity in personal conduct;
Civility in all communications;
Abstinence from drugs, alcohol and all forms of tobacco; and
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
Maintain Accurate Academic and Financial Records
- 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.
- Students are expected to comply with all communicated health guidelines. Failure to do so will be considered a violation of the Graduate and Professional Studies Student Handbook and can result in student conduct sanctions up to and including removal from the classroom or suspension. These sanctions will be communicated by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.
- 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.
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.
Respect for Self, Others, and for University and Personal Property
Students should demonstrate respect for people and property during all university-related activities.
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:
Notifying the Vice Provost for Academic Administration before initiating a conduct process;
Informing the student officially of the alleged violations of university policy and the steps in the procedure;
Offering the student a fair and reasonable opportunity for explanation;
Evaluating the evidence presented;
Communicating to the student the appropriate consequence for the action and whether it is a final decision or subject to appeal; and
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.
Leave of Absence
Voluntary General Leave of Absence
Currently enrolled full-time students, or three-quarter-time for Adult Degree Completion students, in good academic/conduct standing may apply for a one semester Leave of Absence from their program of study. A “Leave of Absence” is when a student is still enrolled in the university during their leave or time away from the university, and where the student does not need to reapply for admission into the university when they want to return to the university. The maximum Leave of Absence allowed is one academic term, not to exceed 180 days in any 12 month period. Students receiving financial aid will continue to be considered “in-school status” only for institutional aid. Students receiving federal or state financial aid will not be considered “in-school status” for Title IV loan repayment purposes.
Students who wish to apply for a Leave of Absence form should obtain an application from their Student Success Counselor, Program Director, or the Office of Records. The application must be signed by the university officers indicated, a length of leave proposed, and the application returned as indicated. Any courses proposed to be taken for credit during an approved Leave of Absence must have prior written approval. Upon return to campus, students must schedule an appointment with their academic advisor. Also upon return, students are subject to availability of course offerings and course sequencing.
The completed Leave of Absence form is filed either with the Student Success Counselor or with the Office of Records. Failure to return to campus and resume taking courses following the approved Leave of Absence period will result in an administrative withdrawal from the university as of the start date of the Leave of Absence. This withdrawal may also have financial aid implications, such as the expiration of a loan’s grace period which may cause a student loan to immediately be in repayment, and may affect a student’s eligibility for further financial aid.
Filing Dates: Current students must file for a Leave of Absence by the end of the tenth week of the semester, for the following semester.
Notification Dates: A decision regarding a Leave of Absence application will be communicated by the end of the last week of classes via university email.
The Associate Vice President for Student Services, Cindy Chappell, in consultation with other university officials, is responsible for the administration of this policy.
Voluntary Medical Withdrawal or Leave of Absence
Point Loma Nazarene University cares for its students. Therefore, when medical situations arise that impede the ability of the student to function in relation to academics and/or community, professional staff will work with the student and the student’s medical providers and family members to assess whether the student should be granted a voluntary medical withdrawal or Leave of Absence. A “withdrawal” is when a student is no longer enrolled in the university during their withdrawal or time away from the university, and where the student needs to reapply for admission into the university when they want to return to the university. Voluntary medical withdrawal and leave procedures are intended to assist in developing support systems, simplify re-entry into the university, and provide structure during a stressful event. Students who take a voluntary medical Leave of Absence and who receive financial aid will continue to be considered “in-school status” only for institutional aid. Students who take a voluntary medical withdrawal and who receive financial aid will no longer be considered “in school status” for institutional aid. Students who take a voluntary medical Leave of Absence or a medical withdrawal and who receive federal or state financial aid will not be considered “in-school status” for Title IV loan repayment purposes. It is important to note that upon return to campus, students are subject to availability of course offerings and course sequencing.
The Associate Vice President for Student Services, Cindy Chappell, in consultation with other university officials, is responsible for the administration of this policy.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal, Leave of Absence or Safety Interventions
When necessary to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment, the university may impose safety interventions or require a student to be placed on an involuntary medical withdrawal or leave of absence. The university has established a Safety Intervention Policy that describes the criteria and process the university will use before making such decisions that limit the student’s access to programs and activities.
When presented with credible information that a student has engaged or threatened to engage in behavior that poses, or may reasonably pose, a significant risk to the health or safety of individuals or to the university community, the university will conduct an individualized risk assessment to make a determination about the student’s continued participation in academic and extracurricular programs and activities. Depending on the nature and immediacy of the risk, the university may take interim action, including temporarily removing the student or restricting the student’s access to some or all of the university’s campuses, housing, resources, services, or other activities. Initial actions may also include contacting law enforcement officials and a student’s parents/guardians.
Throughout the risk assessment process, the student will be provided with opportunities to participate and provide information relevant to the question of whether the student poses a significant risk of harm. The student may be required to submit medical information from treating licensed health care providers and/or undergo an independent medical assessment. In conducting the risk assessment, the university will consider whether there are any reasonable accommodations or other mitigating measures that would allow the student to remain enrolled and safely continue to participate in some or all campus activities.
The risk assessment process may result in no limitation on a student’s access to programs or activities. The process may also result in the student agreeing to take a voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal or comply with other measures to reduce the risk of harm. In situations where the university determines the student poses a substantial safety risk and a voluntary agreement is not reached, the university may determine that a safety intervention or involuntary leave of absence or withdrawal is necessary to prevent harm to the health and safety of individuals or of the university community. Safety interventions may include, but are not limited to, housing relocation, compliance with a behavioral contract, reduced course load, other academic adjustments, consultations with licensed health care providers, compliance with licensed health care provider recommendations and treatment plans, or restrictions on participation in campus programs or activities.
A student seeking to return to the university after an involuntary withdrawal or leave of absence will be required to demonstrate that the student can participate in the university’s programs without posing a threat to the health or safety of individuals or to the university community. The student will also be required to demonstrate that all conditions and requirements for return or readmission have been satisfied. Finally, a student seeking readmission to the university after a withdrawal will be required to demonstrate that the student meets all relevant academic requirements for readmission. If a student is approved to return to the university, students are subject to availability of course offerings and course sequencing.
Full details about the criteria and process used by the university to conduct a risk assessment, as well as a student’s appeal rights, can be found in the Safety Intervention Policy. Questions about the policy can be referred to the Vice President for Student Services.
When indicated by the ad hoc student behavior committee, students may appeal using the following steps:
Prepare and submit via e-mail a written appeal to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org) within 48 hours of the decision by the ad hoc program student behavior committee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Safety Intervention Policy
Click here for the full text of our Safety Intervention Policy.
Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy
Note: ESA provisions do not apply to Grad or ADC students.
Click here for the full text of our Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy.