The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, and California Education Code 67-100ff provide, generally that students have the right of access to their educational records, and educational institutions shall not release educational records without consent of the student, subject to exceptions provided by law. In this notice, “students” refers to former students, and does not include applicants who have not previously attended Pacific States University.
Right of Access
With a few exceptions provided by law, students at PSU may see any of their educational records upon request. Access must be granted no later than 15 working days after written request. Students also have the right, under established procedures, to challenge the factual accuracy of the records and to enter their viewpoints in the records. Students may waive their right of access to recommendations and evaluations in the cases of admissions, applications for employment, and nominations for awards.
The University may not require students to sign a waiver of their right of access to their records, but students and prospective students should be aware that users of recommendations and evaluations made without a signed waiver may discount their helpfulness and validity.
Disclosure of Student Records
With several exceptions provided by law, the University cannot release information concerning students to prospective employers, government agencies, credit bureaus, etc., without the written consent of the student. Students and alumni applying for jobs, credit, graduate school, etc. can expedite their applications by providing the University with written permission to release their records, specifying which records and to whom the release should be made.
The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for federal income tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission to the University of a signed statement or other evidence of federal income tax dependency.
The University has designated the following categories of information as directory information which may be released to the public without consent of the student: student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most previous public or private school attended by the student.
Students may request that certain categories of directory information may not be released to the public without their written consent. Such requests should be submitted in accordance with the Student Records Policy of the University.
The procedure for the resolution of student academic complaints is a three-step process. The University anticipates that most disputes either will be resolved through step #1, informal discussions or step #2, the intervention of an ombudsman. Only a few cases should require step #3, the judgment of an informal hearing panel.
- First, a student who feels that the faculty, staff, administration, or other students have treated him unfairly is advised to seek informal counsel with the offending party or the University Dean in the interest of a speedy resolution of the problem.
- Second, if this step does not lead to satisfaction of the student, he/she should petition for a grievance review, a formal procedure at the University. The petitioner should write a letter to the University Dean requesting the assignment of an ombudsman. The letter must outline the specifics of the complaint, all pertinent information, and steps taken to remedy the situation through the informal process. The University Dean will act promptly in assigning an ombudsman and informing the Executive Vice President of the grievance. The University Dean will outline some possible steps to the ombudsman in solving the problem. These may include interviewing the grievant, contacting the offending party, and/or convening all parties to the grievance. The ombudsman will notify in writing the University Dean of the outcome of the intervention with recommendations. These will be sent to the Executive Vice President who will confer with the University Dean to guarantee that the cause of the grievance is removed.
- Third, if the grievant is unable to receive a satisfactory resolution of the complaint he/she should notify in writing the Executive Vice President who will convene an impartial hearing panel for a judgment. For further redress the student may contact the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA): Physical Address, 1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite S-308, Sacramento, CA 95834. Tel: (916) 574-8200. Fax: (916) 574-8613.
The following regulations apply to any person who is enrolled as a Pacific States University (PSU) student. These rules are not to be interpreted as all–inclusive of situations in which discipline will be invoked. These rules are illustrative, and the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action in appropriate circumstances not set out in this catalog. The University reserves the right to exclude at any time students whose conduct is deemed undesirable or prejudicial to the University community’s best interest.
The disciplinary procedure described herein affords procedural fairness to the accused student and flexibility to the administration to sanctions based on the individual circumstances of each case. Students accused of improper conduct shall be given adequate notice of the charges and an opportunity to respond to the charges made against them. Where a student is disciplined for improper conduct, the student may submit a grievance with regard to the decision in accordance with the University’s Grievance Policy, which can be obtained from the Dean’s Office. While disciplinary action against a student is pending, the student poses a significant threat to the University community. The disciplinary action taken may be reflected in the student’s permanent record, as part of the disciplinary punishment. Behavior resulting in disciplinary action may involve, but is not limited to, one or a combination of those listed below:
- Dishonesty in any form, including plagiarism, illegal copying of software, and knowingly furnishing false information to the University
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of University documents, records, or identification.
- Failure to comply with written or verbal directives of duly authorized University officials who are acting in the performance of assigned duties.
- Interference with the academic or administrative processes of the University or any of its approved activities.
- Theft or damage to property.
- Violation of civil or criminal codes of local, state, or federal governments.
- Unauthorized use of or entry into University facilities.
- Violation of any state policies or regulations governing student relationship to the University.
The disciplinary procedure described herein affords procedural fairness to the accused student and flexibility to the administration to sanctions based on the individual circumstances of each case. Students accused of improper conduct shall be given adequate notice of the charges and an opportunity to present their case to an impartial appeals committee. Written notice of the specific charge(s) made against a student shall be given at least ten days before the student is to appear before the committee. While disciplinary action against a student is pending, the student’s status does not change unless it is found that the student poses a significant threat to the University community. Hearings are private. The accused student is afforded the opportunity to rebut all charges. The University establishes the charges by a preponderance of the evidence. The student has the right to appeal the disciplinary action to the University Dean, but only on the grounds that fair procedure was not followed by the committee or that the evidence in the record does not justify the decision or the sanction. A record will be kept of the disciplinary action taken, and the basis for this decision. The disciplinary action taken may be reflected in the student’s permanent record, as part of the disciplinary punishment. Disciplinary action invoked by the committee may involve, but is not limited to, one or a combination of the alternatives listed below:
Dismissal: Separation of the student from the University on a permanent basis.
Suspension: Separation of the student from the University for a specified length of time.
Probation: Status of the student indicating that the relationship with the University is tenuous and that the student’s record will be reviewed periodically to determine suitability to remain enrolled. Specific limitations and restrictions on the student’s privileges may accompany probation.
University policy stipulates that a student dismissed from either the University or a course will not receive a refund of tuition or other fees. Students dismissed from the University for disciplinary reasons must exclude themselves from University classes, activities, facilities, and buildings. Any exception must be approved by the President.
Students found culpable of any of the foregoing violations will be subject to disciplinary action. A student who is dismissed may reapply for admission after two quarter’s leave.
Students who have not fulfilled their financial obligation to the University are in violation of the University contract. Said students may be denied the right to graduate, take examinations, receive degrees, and obtain or request transcripts of their grades.
For students to remain in good standing at the University, they must:
- Maintain academic standards, attend classes, and meet all financial obligations.
- Be courteous and respectful in dealing with faculty, administrators, and fellow students.
- Adhere to the federal, state, and municipal laws of the U.S., as well as to the rules and policies of the University.
In addition, international students must:
- Enroll in a minimum of twelve (12) units per quarter in the undergraduate program, and a minimum of eight (8) units per quarter in the graduate program.
- Complete three consecutive quarters before being entitled to a one-quarter leave of absence. Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of thirty-six (36) units of study per year, and graduate students must complete twenty-four (24) units of study per year.
Cheating: The act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for work by use of dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.
Plagiarism: The act of taking ideas, words, or specific substances of another and offering them as one’s own.
One or more of the following actions are available to any faculty member who suspects a student of cheating or plagiarizing. The choice of action taken is guided by the extent to which the faculty member considers the cheating or plagiarism reflective of the student’s lack of scholarship or lack of academic performance in the course.
- Review-no action.
- Oral reprimand with emphasis on counseling aimed at preventing further occurrences.
- Requirement that the work be repeated.
- Assignment of a F grade for the specific work in question.
- Assignment of a F grade for the course.
- Referral to the University Dean and/or the appropriate committee.
Students accused of cheating or plagiarism are entitled to and may petition for due process. Regulations in their entirety are published in the Faculty Handbook and the Student Handbook.
PSU strongly supports the goals of “Drug-Free Schools and Campuses” and a “Drug-Free Workplace.” It is PSU’s policy that no person shall manufacture, distribute, possess, or use illegal drugs, a controlled substance, on its premises or as a part of any of its activities. A controlled substance includes, but is not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, cocaine derivatives, heroin, “crack,” amphetamines, barbiturates, LSD, PCP, and substances typically known as “Designer Drugs” such as “ecstasy” or “eve.” Possession of paraphernalia associated with the illegal use, possession, or manufacture of a controlled substance is also prohibited. The President has designated the University Dean to act in all matters pertaining to the enforcement of this policy with regard to students and faculty and the Executive Vice President to act in all matters pertaining to this policy in regard to staff. When ever possible or reasonable University personnel will counsel offenders and make available sources of rehabilitative services. At the discretion of the administration, the University may impose the following sanctions:
- A warning to the student, staff member, or faculty member.
- Administrative suspension of the student or suspension of employment of the staff or faculty member.
- Administrative dismissal of the student or termination of employment of the staff or faculty member.
University policies concerning the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages do not contravene federal, state, or municipal law. Gatherings on University premises or as part of University activities, at which alcoholic beverages are to be served, must receive prior approval from the Executive Vice President.
It is the policy of PSU that smoking is prohibited in all University facilities. At the discretion of the administration, outside areas may be set aside within the University facilities to accommodate students, staff members, and faculty who smoke. Violations of the smoking policy may result in suspension or termination of academic status or employment.
Students not conforming to University standards are subject to probation, suspension, or dismissal from the University. Faculty or staff members may initiate proceedings through an Associate Dean, who will refer the matter to the University's Executive Council for a final decision.
Students who feel they have been treated unfairly may petition a grievance review through the Academic Affairs Committee.
Faculty members encountering unruly and unmannerly conduct in class will report such instances to the appropriate administrator for appropriate action.
Examples of unacceptable conduct requiring non-academic disciplinary action are as follows:
- Lighting a fire on campus
- Possessing or displaying a weapon
- Defacing University property
- Use of obscene language
- Insolence or insubordination toward faculty, administrative personnel or any University employee
- Unauthorized possession of University property
- Cheating, or otherwise duplicating the work of another student
- Excessive absence from class
- Intoxication or being under the influence of a controlled substance
- Hazing, humiliating, or intimidating other individuals
- Offering bribes for special favors from faculty
Any student found culpable of any of the foregoing violations will be subject to disciplinary action. A student who is dismissed may reapply for admission after two quarter's leave.
Any student who has not fulfilled their financial obligation to the University are in violation of the University contract. Said student may be denied the right to graduate, take examinations, receive degrees, and obtain or request for transmission transcripts of their grades.