Academic Policies

Faculty Response Time

Faculty are expected to be available to students by responding to student questions, comments, and emails within one business day and to participate in online discussions regularly, where assigned. Graded assignments should be returned within five business days of the assignment’s due date. Discussion forum grading should be completed within two days of the end of the online instructional week.

Writing Standards

Unless otherwise noted in course assignments, all written assignments should be prepared using the American Psychological Association (APA) style format. A link to “Basics of APA Style” appears in the Assignment Helps within the course pages, and as link to Library tutorials made available in each course’s Support Resources folder. Links to writing helps can also be found on the front page of the course portal. Helps for assignments requiring formatting guidelines other than APA are available within the course assignment pages or from the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The mission of University College includes cultivating in each student not only the academic skills that are required for a university degree, but also the characteristics of academic integrity that are integral to a sound Christian education. It is, therefore, part of the mission of the university to nurture in each student a sense of moral responsibility consistent with the biblical teachings of honesty and accountability. Furthermore, a breach of academic integrity is viewed not merely as a private matter between the student and a professor, but rather as an act that is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose and mission of the entire university.

The maintenance of academic integrity is the responsibility of each student at University College and each student is responsible for understanding and upholding the Academic Integrity Policy. Students should familiarize themselves with the expectations specified by the professor in each class concerning what is and is not permitted, especially in matters of group projects, reports, and the attribution of research to sources (footnoting).

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:
(This is an abbreviated list of academic dishonesty. For a more detailed list and description of each, please refer to the university catalog that is linked from the front page of the University College course portal -- link opens in a new window.)

  • Plagiarism: Representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.
  • Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized material, information, or study aids in any academic exercise including unauthorized collaboration.
  • Fabrication: Falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, or allowing someone else to represent your work.

By virtue of their registration at University College, learners agree to uphold the following pledge: “As a student at this Christ-centered university, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors, nor will I accept the actions of those who do. I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably in all my academic activities as an University College student.”

Sanctions for first violations are determined by the instructor in consultation with the Discipline Chair or designee, may include, but are not limited to, an F in the class, an F on the assignment, or less severe action based upon the nature of the violation.

The standard sanction for a repeated offense or for a flagrant violation (e.g., submitting a purchased paper or allowing someone else to represent you online) is suspension or dismissal from the university. All flagrant violations will be referred to the Discipline Chair or designee. Learners may appeal a sanction they believe to be unfair or unjust as described in the “Grievance Policy” in the catalog.

Disability Accommodations

University College partners with the Learning Enrichment Center (LEC) at Azusa Pacific University to coordinate accommodations for undergraduate and graduate students with specific disabilities. Accommodations are individualized based on the learning needs of each student and upon documented verification of disability. Please see the Disability Accommodations page on our website for more information and instructions on requesting disability accommodations.

Withdrawals, Add/Drops, Grade Appeals, etc.

Academic policies governing course withdrawals, grade appeals, and other issues appear in the University catalog, which can be accessed on the University College course portal.

Guidelines For Online Communication

Free discussion, inquiry, and expression are encouraged in every class including online discussions. The ability to communicate effectively and professionally is especially critical in an online educational environment where other cues such as verbal tone and facial expression are absent. Communication guidelines for members of the online learning community are critical for creating an environment conducive to learning. These guidelines, commonly called “netiquette,” include the following for both students and instructors:

  • Be Courteous: Since your emails, texts, and posts are the only means of communicating in an online environment, be aware of what you write. Could your message be interpreted as rude, disrespectful, insulting, or discriminating? How would you view the message if you were to receive it? Extend to others the same courtesy you would want extended to you.
  • Be Encouraging: The amount of online experience in an online classroom varies from person to person. Some learners may spend more time observing and reading than posting. Craft your posts in such a way that they provide encouragement for positive and critical conversation.
  • Be Helpful: Even a well-presented course may not be clear. Sometimes it is easy to get lost among links and other sites. When students lose their way, offer guidance in the right online direction so they can gain confidence in navigating a course site.
  • Be Patient: UC works in an asynchronous environment, which means the instructor or other students may not be online when you are. Be aware instructors have up to 24 hours to respond to an email. If you require immediate attention, it may be helpful to pick up the phone and give the instructor a call. Please do not assume instructors or other students are ignoring you or are being negligent. Give others the benefit of the doubt you would want others to give to you.
  • Be Respectful: Treat each other with respect. Read and respond to others in a way that cultivates a positive learning environment. As a member of the learning community, be aware that others learn from your posts and emails. Respectful communication is a foundation for rich learning.

“Shouting”: Shouting is when a message is written in all capital letters, and is considered a rude method of communicating. Avoid using all capital letters in your online communications.

  • “Flaming”: Flaming or cyberbullying is a term of general disrespect. This behavior occurs when a writer “shouts,” curses, bullies, threatens, intimidates, humiliates, or discriminates against other members of the online community. Flaming or cyberbullying will not be tolerated.
  • Discriminatory language: Inappropriate and derogatory statements about race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and veterans will not be tolerated.

Violations to these guidelines could result in disciplinary action (see catalog for details).

Academic Reuse Policy

Another form of plagiarism occurs when a student uses information from a paper previously written and resubmits it in another assignment or course without acknowledgment. In reality a student is academically ‘double-dipping’ - seeking to receive credit for work already submitted. Such unauthorized and uncited reuse of a student’s academic work is considered self-plagiarism and carries the same consequences as other forms of plagiarism. Therefore, before reusing material from previous papers for assignments, learners must:

  1. Receive prior written permission from the instructor to reuse information from previous work. Instructors may ask to view the material to be reused and have the authority to decide whether or not to accept this work in fulfillment of their course requirements. Permission is inferred when the assignment instructions specifically articulate the use of previous work, such as when an assignment builds on previous work within the same class.

  2. If permission is received, limit the reuse of previously submitted work to no more than 20% of the new assignment (i.e. a paper must include at least 80% new material). In special cases, learners may exceed the 20% limit with written permission by the instructor.

  3. Cite the material previously used in the paper in accordance with APA format. Learners must cite themselves as the previous author and include a reference entry even though it is information that the general reader may not be able to access. Learners should use this format when referencing their work:

    Author, A. B. (Year). Title of paper. Unpublished paper, Course prefix/Number—Title of course, University Name, City, State.

Incomplete Grades

The grade Incomplete (I) is given only under special circumstances such as a verifiable serious illness. An “I” grade may be given upon recommendation of the instructor with the permission of the appropriate Discipline Chair. To obtain an incomplete, the student must fill out an official incomplete form. An incomplete may be granted for up to four weeks from the final date of the course. Incomplete coursework not made up within the allotted period will not be counted toward the final grade.

Attendance Policy (for face-to-face courses)

Attendance at classes is critical due to a large portion of constructive learning that takes place during class meetings. Many of the designed activities are dependent upon each student's contribution to the discussions that take place. As such, if a student misses more than two class meetings in a session, he/she may be required to retake that course. An instructor, with approval from the Assistant Dean, may allow a student to continue if there has been a serious situation like an extended hospitalization, death in the immediate family or some other serious event.

Undergraduate Late Work Policy

For Online Courses:

  • Assignments are considered late if they are not posted by either the stated time for any given assignment or by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on the day they are due. Late assignments receive a 10 percent deduction for each day they are late, beginning one minute after the assignment is due, with no credit given for work submitted after 72 hours from the original due date with the exception of the final week, which ends on Friday at 11:59 p.m. PT. No late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8. Late work will not be accepted for online discussions after the close of the week. In applying the deduction, it is recommended that lecturers should round the deduction to the nearest whole number.
  • Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.
  • Graded assignments are due on the days listed in the Course Calendar. All deadlines refer to Pacific Time. The UC course week begins at 8 a.m. PT Monday and ends at 7:59 a.m. PT the following Monday, with the exception of the final week, which ends on Friday at 11:59 p.m. PT. Therefore, no late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8.
  • Learners who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Learners experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.
  • Learners may not make up threaded discussions, which are time sensitive. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, learners may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a discussion topic and prompts, provided it meets the applicable performance criteria for the missed discussion.

For Face-to-Face Courses:

  • Assignments are considered late if they are not submitted electronically to the Course Portal by the beginning of the class session. Late assignments receive a 10 percent deduction for each day they are late, beginning one minute after the assignment is due, with no work accepted after 72 hours of the original due date/time. However, in the final week, which ends at the end of the final class session, no late work will be accepted. No late work is accepted after the end of the final class session. In applying the deduction, it is recommended that lecturers should round the deduction to the nearest whole number.
  • Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.
  • Learners who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Learners experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.
  • Learners who miss a class do not receive any class participation available for that class. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, learners may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a topic assigned by the lecturer. Performance criteria for such an essay will be the prerogative of the lecturer.

Updated 08/29/2016

Graduate Late Work Policy

For Online Courses:

  • Assignments are considered late if they are not posted by either the stated time for any given assignment or by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on the day they are due. Late assignments receive a 5 percent deduction for each day they are late, beginning one minute after the assignment is due, with no credit given for work submitted after 72 hours from the original due date with the exception of the final week, which ends on Friday at 11:59 p.m. PT. No late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8. Late work will not be accepted for online discussions after the close of the week. In applying the deduction, it is recommended that lecturers should round the deduction to the nearest whole number.
  • Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.
  • Graded assignments are due on the days listed in the Course Calendar. All deadlines refer to Pacific Time. The UC course week begins at 8 a.m. PT Monday and ends at 7:59 a.m. PT the following Monday, with the exception of the final week, which ends on Friday at 11:59 p.m. PT. Therefore, no late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8.
  • Learners who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Learners experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.
  • Learners may not make up online discussions, which are time sensitive. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, learners may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a discussion topic and prompts, provided it meets the applicable performance criteria for the missed discussion.

For Face-to-Face Courses:

  • Assignments are considered late if they are not submitted electronically to the Course Portal by the beginning of the class session. Late assignments receive a 5 percent deduction for each day they are late, beginning one minute after the assignment is due, with no work accepted after 72 hours of the original due date/time. However, in the final week, which ends at the end of the final class session, no late work will be accepted. No late work is accepted after the end of the final class session. In applying the deduction, it is recommended that lecturers should round the deduction to the nearest whole number.
  • Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.
  • Learners who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Learners experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.
  • Learners who miss a class do not receive any class participation available for that class. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, learners may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a topic assigned by the lecturer. Performance criteria for such an essay will be the prerogative of the lecturer.

Updated 08/29/2016