Jul 23, 2024  
2018 ACE Catalog - Volume 14 
2018 ACE Catalog - Volume 14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Handbook - Student Processes Associated with Academic Policies

Academic Integrity General Appeal Process
Commencement Participation Grade Appeal
Complaints Process/Procedures Incomplete Grade
Disability Support Reasonable Accomodation Reques Process Standards of Student Behavior

As a student, it’s imperative to know ACE’s expectations of its students. We expect our students to behave in a professional manner. In addition, we commit to providing you with the same level of respect and consideration for work completed in the past. Please familiarize yourself with the Graduate Catalog and all of the policies within.The section below will provide you with guidance of how to utilize these policies or how they could be applied to you. 

Please note that if the process requires a student form, this will be located in the MyACE Portal. 

Academic Integrity

As a student at ACE, you are expected to maintain the values of the College in your academic work. American College of Education expects students to exhibit academic integrity through their educational experiences and avoid all forms of academic dishonesty. If you are found to be in violation of the Academic Integrity policy outlined in the catalog, the following steps will be taken.

  1. Your faculty member will contact you with your Department Chair in copy for an explanation of why the assignment violated the academic integrity policy. You will have 24 hours to respond. The faculty member will not assign a grade to the assignment while the infraction is being investigated.
  2. Once you have been given the opportunity to respond, your Department Chair and the faculty member will determine the severity of the violation, the appropriate grade for the assignment, and whether the student should receive an informal or formal warning. If you received a previous informal violation, an automatic formal warning will be issued if another violation is verified.
  3. If you receive a second formal warning of violating the academic integrity policy, the following steps will occur: 
  • Your Chair will notify you of the problem immediately, providing documentation of the offense and stating the issue is being escalated to the Academic Disciplinary Committee for review.
  • You will be given the opportunity to either submit a statement for committee review or join the committee
    meeting via phone during the first few minutes to verbally state his or her case.
  • The committee will review the offenses along with your defense and determine the appropriate academic and
    disciplinary sanctions.

Academic and disciplinary sanctions will be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Documented counseling by Instructors, Chairs, Deans, Student Services, Office of Academic Excellence Faculty Advisors, or any college official or administration.
  • A reduction of a grade in the course.
  • Administrative Withdrawal from the course with a grade of F.
  • Dismissal for a specified period of time.
  • Permanent dismissal from the institution.
  • Filing of criminal charges.

Commencement Participation 

Commencement is an exciting time for ACE graduates. ACE will contact individuals whom we consider eligible(as outlined in the Commencement Policy in the ACE Catalog) for commencement months prior to commencement taking place. ACE graduates or potential graduates will need to follow the steps outlined in the communication to request to participate in the ceremony. Once the request is received by ACE, the College will confirm the individuals eligibility in accordance with the Commencement Policy. 

Complaints Process/Procedures

It is our hope you have nothing but a positive experience while at ACE. However, if a complaint should arise, we want to know. The process for making an informal or formal complaint is listed below. Please make sure to review the Complaint Policy in the ACE Catalog.

  1. The student initiates a good faith effort to resolve the issue through discussion with a faculty or staff member or an administrator in the department where the issue originated.
  2. If the issue is not resolved, the student may elect to elevate the issue/s into the formal procedure. This is done by completing the Complaint Form.
  3. The formal complaint procedures require written expression by a student requesting resolution of an issue involving misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or violation of an ACE policy, procedure, or academic standard or legally prohibited.
  4. Once received, the College will route the complaint to the appropriate senior level manager in the department in which the complaint originated.
  5. The College official will have thirty (30) days from the time stamp on the complaint form to investigate the formal complaint, and render a decision. The decision will be communicated to the student.
  6. The student may appeal the decision in writing to the academic dean within 10 business days. 
  7. A final decision will be rendered within 30 days from the date the appeal is received. 
  8. All formal complaints will be recorded in a confidential log in the Student Services Office, and forwarded to the college official responsible for the area in which the issue occurred. The log will contain the date of the complaint, nature of the complaint, steps taken to resolve the complaint and the decision. The information will be made available to regulatory agencies upon request for the purpose of investigating individual complaints elevated to the agency; or to provide mandated reporting assurances that ACE has procedures in place for timely and fair resolution of complaints.

Mandated Reportable Complaints

  • Discrimination - on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, marital status, military status, or other any characteristic protected by law (Reportable).
  • Harassment/Bullying/Hazing.
  • Sexual Harassment/Sexual Misconduct (Reportable).
  • False or Misleading Statements Made About the College or its Programs (including, but not limited to, accreditation, authorization to operate, cost of attendance, transferability of credits, and the legitimacy of an awarded degree).
  • Criminal Misconduct.
  • Violations of Federal, State and Local Laws.
  • Violation of the Standards of Student Behavior (including, but not limited to violation of College policies, plagiarism, cheating, and falsifying information).

Disability Support Reasonable Accommodation Request Process

If you find yourself wanting to request accommodations under Disability Support Services, please utilize the steps outlined

  • Complete and submit the “Request for Disability Support” form.
  • Provide documentation your attending medical professional. Documentation needs to provide the following information concerning your disability:
    • Diagnosis of the disability.
    • The effect of the disability on academic potential.
    • Recommendations for the type of accommodations appropriate to equalize academic opportunities. If recommendations are not provided by the medical professional or the recommendations provided are not reasonable, the Office of Academic Excellence (OAE) will work with the student, as deemed appropriate, to determine the nature of accommodations the College is reasonably able to provide.
    • An end date if the disability is short-term.
  • All documentation must have been issued within the last three (3) years for chronic disabilities and within the last six (6) months for short-term disabilities.
  • All documentation must be on official letterhead identifying the medical professional’s name, professional mailing address and telephone number and must be signed by the issuing medical professional.
    • Documentation must be sent to: 

American College of Education
​Disability Support
101 West Ohio Street, Suite 1200
Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • Requests for accommodations and all supporting documentation must be received no later than one (1) week before a term start to ensure the student receives reasonable accommodations for the entire term. While requests can be made in the middle of a term, accommodations are not retroactive for coursework due before the accommodations were granted. 
  • Once the requests for accommodations and the supporting documentation is reviewed by the Office of Academic Excellence and it is determined accommodations are appropriate, the student will be provided an official Letter of Accommodations detailing the accommodations he or she is granted.

The section above explains the appropriate steps needed to request accommodations. It’s also important to understand what your responsibility as the student is in this process. Below, please find the outline of the Student’s/Your Responsibility in the DSS process.

  1. It is your sole responsibility as the student to send the Letter of Accommodations to your faculty at the start of each term to receive accommodations. OAE will not provide this letter to faculty members on you/the student’s behalf, as it is important for students to keep an open line of communication with his or her faculty. If you do not send the letter to your faculty member at the start of the term, the faculty member is not obligated to provide accommodations for coursework with a due date before the letter was sent.
  2. You should make every effort to keep up with coursework as it is due to gain the most value from a course. When the student is granted time extensions on assignments, the student must notify his or her faculty member each time an assignment will be submitted past a due date, again keeping the communication lines open. It is not reasonable to assume faculty will be more flexible with due dates beyond the accommodations a student is provided. 
  3. You should keep OAE abreast of any problems you experience with receiving granted accommodations. This will allow OAE to intervene as needed to ensure students with disabilities are fully supported.

If you follow the request process outlined above and wish to appeal the decision made in the review, you can appeal this using the process outlined below:

  1. If you are denied reasonable accommodations or feel further accommodations beyond those granted are necessary, you should first contact OAE with a written, informal appeal, discussing why accommodations should be granted or further accommodations should be considered. The informal appeal must be submitted within two (2) weeks from the date the student was first notified by OAE of its decision concerning the student’s accommodations request.
  2. If, after attempting an informal appeal with OAE, you are still not satisfied with the College’s action, you have the right to formally appeal the accommodations decision to the Academic Appeals Committee, which will further investigate the matter in accordance with college appeals policies and procedures and either uphold the decision of OAE or modify the decision. The formal appeal must be submitted within two (2) weeks from the date the student received a response from OAE regarding the informal appeal. 
  3. The Academic Appeals Committee will communicate its decision of the student’s appeal to both the student and OAE. 
  4. If the student does not accept the decision of the Academic Appeals Committee and has further evidence to support his/her position, an appeal may be made to the academic dean whose decision will be final. The procedure for submitting an appeal to the academic dean is in the Academic Appeal Process Policy.

General Appeal Process 

When decisions are made and a dispute arises, students have the opportunity of seeking an appeal. If you wish to appeal a decision or a policy, please follow the appropriate steps:

  • Complete a General Appeal Form.
  • In the appeal, you will need to provide a written justification for the appeal and the desired outcome.
  • The Appeal will be routed to the appropriate department head for resolution.
  • Once a decision is rendered, typically within one week of submission, you will be notified of the decision via email.

*Depending upon the nature of the appeal, it may be reviewed by department leadership, Academic Appeals Committee or Academic Council. In all appeals, the Academic Dean’s decision is final.
**For Grade Appeals, please see process listed in the Grade Section of this Handbook.

Grade Appeal

You have the right to appeal a final course grade which you allege to be the result of arbitrary or capricious grading. “Arbitrary and capricious grading” is defined in the following manner:

  1. A grade assigned on some basis other than performance in the course.
  2. A grade assigned through significant deviation from criteria stated in the course syllabus, assessment rubrics or articulated by the faculty member.
  3. A grade assigned by resorting to standards significantly different from those applied to other students in the course.
  4. A grade assigned as a result of vindictiveness or discrimination.

The grade appeal process may not be used to merely challenge the professional judgment of a faculty member. In all cases, the burden of proof rests with you, as the student. A Grade Appeal Form must be submitted in accordance to the following procedures:

  • Grade Appeal Form is completed and submitted by the Friday in Week 2 of the following term.
  • Once submitted, ACE will work with the faculty for resolution.
  • If resolution is not reached in the above step, the appeal will be escalated to the department chair to research and reach a decision.
  • If resolution is still not reached, you may escalate the Grade Appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee to review and render a decision.
  • If resolution does not occur at the Committee level, the appeal can be elevated to the academic dean to render a final decision.
  • No further escalations are possible after this point as the academic dean’s decision is final.

Incomplete Grade

If you are unable to complete all course requirements within the course term because of unanticipated circumstances arising near the end of the term, and have completed at least half of the course work, you may request a grade of an “I” (Incomplete) from the course instructor.

A grade of “I” provides you with extra time to complete course assignments. To request an incomplete, you must discuss this with your faculty member first. After discussing this, please submit the Incomplete Grade Request form along with required documentation prior to the last day of the course.

If the faculty approves the request, you will be required to complete all components of the course which require completion. Final approval resides with the department chair. Requests for incomplete contracts are limited to two during a program of study. Additional requests will be denied. If you have been granted an “Incomplete”, you will have up until the deadline listed on your incomplete contract to complete the course. The grade earned at the end of the incomplete period, will be the grade of record.

Standards of Student Behavior

A College is a marketplace of ideas, and in the course of the search for truth, it is essential that freedom exists for contrary ideas to be expressed. American College of Education students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible members of the College’s academic community. This requires the demonstration of mutual respect and civility in academic and professional discourse. As such, it is mandatory students interact with other students and all College faculty, administrators, and staff with respect and in a professional manner. 

Conduct that is determined to impair the opportunities of others to learn or that disrupts the orderly functions of the College will be deemed misconduct and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Actions, verbal statements, written statements and/or online statements which may be construed as cyber bullying and/or written statements which may be used to intimidate, threaten or violate the personal safety of any member of the faculty, staff, or other students, or any conduct which interferes with the educational process or institutional functions.
  2. Harassment - sexual, racial, ethnic or otherwise - that has the effect of creating a hostile or offensive educational environment for any student, faculty, or staff member.
  3. Disruptive behavior, such as but not limited to harassment, verbal insults, ethnic and/or racial slurs, that hinders or interferes with the educational process.
  4. Violation of any applicable professional codes of ethics or conduct and College and program dispositions, where applicable.
  5. Failure to comply promptly with any reasonable directive from faculty or College officials.
  6. Failure to cooperate in a College investigation.
  7. Carrying of weapons on campus, at campus sanctioned events, or when meeting with campus personnel.
  8. Using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while in class, at College-sanctioned events, or when meeting with College personnel.
  9. Cheating - using or attempting to conspire to use unauthorized materials, information, copying another student’s work, or study aids in any academic exercise.
  10. Fabrication - falsification or invention of any information, citation, or document, or lying during a College investigation.
  11. Hazing (any action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any College sanctioned organization).
  12. Violation of the academic integrity policy, information technology policy, College regulations and policies, and any violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations that impacts the College’s educational environment.

Disciplinary Action for Student Conduct Behavior:

While an alleged violation of the Standards of Student Behavior is being investigated, a student may be removed from class, College-sanctioned events, or other College functions. If a violation is found, disciplinary action will be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but not be limited to, documented counseling by a College staff member, loss of credit, suspension and/or expulsion. In all cases, College officials will take action in accordance with College policies and procedures.

A student has the right to appeal this decision in accordance to the Appeal Policy.