Nov 29, 2021  
ACE Catalog - Volume 33 
  
ACE Catalog - Volume 33

Student Processes Associated with Academic Policies


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 College 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

American College of Education expects students to exhibit academic integrity through their educational experiences and to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty.  

Academic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, abuse of resource materials, fabrication, conspiracy to plagiarize, publicly posting or utilizing unauthorized publicly posted work on ACE systems or third-party websites or domains, or cheating on an examination or other academic work, is subject to disciplinary action.  

Student work created for a specific assignment in a course will be subject to plagiarism sanctions if reused for any other purpose.  

Exception: If a student retakes a course, the student is required to meet all course requirements, including current discussion board postings. The student may resubmit assignments from the same course. All coursework in the retaken course will be reevaluated. The student is responsible for communicating with the instructor about the re-submission of assignments.  

Students are allowed to reference course materials while taking quizzes and tests due to their emphasis on application; however, exams must be taken independently.  

All alleged violations of academic integrity must follow these steps:  

  1. The faculty member will enter a grade of zero in the gradebook and a comment that the assignment has been flagged for a potential academic integrity violation. The faculty member will also ask the student to provide any explanation they might have to include in the documentation submitted for review. The faculty member will update the grade once the investigation is complete. 
  2. The faculty member will submit documentation of the suspected violation including the student’s response. The program or department designee (PDD) will determine whether the report is to be dismissed or considered for an informal or formal warning based on the severity of the violation and the student’s previous record. If the student has had a previous violation, an automatic formal warning will be issued. All formal warnings are issued by the Office of Academic Excellence. 
  3. Suggested grading information will be provided to the faculty member as part of the response from the PDD. 

If a student receives a second formal warning of violating the academic integrity policy, the following steps will occur: 

  1. The PDD will notify the student of the problem immediately, providing documentation of the offense and stating the issue is being escalated to the department’s committee (DC) for review. 
  2. After the student is notified of DC referral, the committee chair will contact the student via email to provide them the opportunity for due process by submitting a written statement to address the violation. 
  3. The DC will review the offenses along with the student’s response 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:  

  1. Documented counseling by faculty members, department chairs, program directors, representatives from Student Services or the, Office of Academic Excellence or any college official or administration.
  2. A reduction of a grade in the course.
  3. Administrative Withdrawal from the course with a grade of F.
  4. Dismissal for a specified period of time.
  5. Permanent dismissal from the institution. 
  6. Filing of criminal charges.  

Students have the right to appeal the department committee’s (DC) decision to the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC), which will further investigate the matter in accordance with College appeals policies and procedures.

Commencement Participation

Commencement is an exciting time for ACE graduates. ACE will contact individuals whom we consider eligible (as outlined in the Commencement Policy ) 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. 

Complaint Process

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. 

  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 by completing a Complaint Form with documentation of specific facts of the issue. 
    • In this complaint form, the student should request the resolution they are seeking. The formal complaint procedures requires written expression by a student requesting resolution of an issue involving misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or violation of an ACE policy, procedure, academic standard, legally prohibited action, or any other issue a student determines to be a concern of which the college should be aware.
  3. The ACE office will review the complaint to determine if it is mandated to be reported.
  4. Once the complaint is received, the program or department designee will have ten (10) business days from the time stamp on the complaint form to investigate the formal complaint and render a decision.  
  5. If the complainant disagrees with the decision of the program or department designee, they may escalate the complaint to Department Committee (DC) or department’s senior leader (DSL) within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the decision. As part of the escalation for the complaint, the complainant must provide a formal rebuttal to include the following:
    • The specific policy or procedure not followed by college personnel; 
    • A clear statement of the action being requested of the college; and 
    • Any additional evidence not available at the time of the original complaint.  
  6. The DC or DSL will have ten (10) business days upon receipt of the escalated complaint to review, render a decision, and notify the complainant. 
  7. If the complainant disagrees with the decision of the DC or DSL, they may escalate the complaint to the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) for review within ten (10) business days of the decision.  As part of the escalation for the complaint, the complainant must provide a formal rebuttal to include the following: 
    • The specific policy or procedure not followed by college personnel;
    • A clear statement of the action being requested of the college; and 
    • Any additional evidence not available at the time of the original complaint.  
  8. The AAC will have thirty (30) business days upon receipt of the escalated complaint to meet, render a decision, and notify the complainant. 
  9. If the complainant still disagrees with the decision of the AAC, they may escalate the complaint within ten (10) business days to the chief academic officer and provost (CAOP).  As part of the escalation for the complaint, the complainant must provide a formal rebuttal to include the following:
    • The specific policy or procedure not followed by college personnel;
    • A clear statement of the action being requested of the college; and
    • Any additional evidence not available at the time of the original complaint.     
  10. The CAOP will have ten (10) business days to render a decision and notify the complainant. The CAOP’s decision is final.  
  11. If a complaint cannot be resolved to the student’s satisfaction after exhausting the College’s student complaint procedure the student may file a complaint with the relevant state official or agency that would handle a student’s complaint, regardless of whether the state regulates the institution. American College of Education provides contact information for filing complaints with the relevant state official or agency that would handle a student’s complaint in the College Catalog.  

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)
  • Criminal Misconduct
  • Violations of Federal, State and Local Laws
  • College Misconduct

Disability Support Reasonable Accommodation Request Process

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

  • Complete and submit the Request for Disability Support Form found in the MyACE Portal. The form will ask the student to submit documentation from the student’s attending medical professional. The documentation should address and meet the following guidelines:
  1. Diagnosis of the student’s disability.
  2. The effect of the disability on the student’s academic potential.
  3. Recommendations for the type of accommodations appropriate to equalize the student’s academic opportunities. If recommendations are not provided by the medical professional, the Office of Academic Excellence (OAE) will provide the student with the standard accommodations described below. If any of the medical professionals recommendations are not reasonable for ACE to provide, OAE will work with the student, as deemed appropriate, to determine the nature of accommodations the college is reasonably able to provide.
  4. An end date if the disability is short-term.
  5. All documentation must be current by meeting one of the following:
  • Be issued within the last five (5) years for chronic disabilities or within the last six (6) months for short-term disabilities;or
  • Specify a permanent physical condition which may impact academic performance; or    
  • (For documentation related to learning or cognitive disabilities) include results from an evaluation instrument normed and designed to be administered to adults AND conducted no earlier than at the high school level.
  1. All medical documentation must be on official letterhead identifying the medical professionals name, professional mailing address, telephone number, and must be signed by the issuing medical professional.
  • Requests for disability 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 are 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 they are is granted. The Letter of Accommodations will be sent to the email the student has on file with ACE.
  • A student has the right to appeal, per the appeal policy found in the Student Handbook, any decision rendered regarding accommodations.

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.

  • It is the student’s sole responsibility to send via email the Letter of Accommodations to their faculty member(s) at the start of each term to receive accommodations. OAE will not provide this letter to any faculty member on the student’s behalf, as it is important for students to keep an open line of communication with their faculty member(s). If the student does not email the letter to their faculty member(s) 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 to the faculty member(s).
  • To gain the most value from a course, students should make every effort to keep up with coursework as it is due. When the student is granted time extensions on assignments, the student must notify their faculty member(s) each time an assignment will be submitted past a due date, again keeping the communication lines open. It is not reasonable to assume faculty members will be more flexible with due dates beyond the accommodations a student is provided.
  • Students should keep OAE abreast of any problems they 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:

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • The Academic Appeals Committee will communicate its decision of the student’s appeal to both the student and OAE. 
  • If the student does not accept the decision of the Academic Appeals Committee and has further evidence to support their position, an appeal may be made to the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs 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

A student may challenge a policy, procedure, or decision by submitting a general appeal for review. Students have the right to escalate appeal or escalation decisions by submitting the escalation form within ten (10) business days of the decision date. In the escalation form, students must provide a formal rebuttal that includes the following:

Appeals Related to Policy or Procedure

  • The specific policy or procedure not followed by college personnel;
  • A clear statement of the action being requested of the college; and
  • Any additional evidence not available to the student at the time of the original appeal.

Appeals Related to Sanctions Due to Academic Integrity or Student Conduct Violations

  • Why the sanction does not align with the severity of the violation.
  • A clear statement of the action being requested of the college.
  • Any additional evidence to demonstrate how a violation did not occur.

Appeal Decision and Escalation Hierarchy

  • Program or Department Designee (PDD)
  • Department Committee (DC) or Department Senior Leader (DSL)
  • Academic Appeals Committee (AAC)
  • Chief Academic Officer and Provost (CAOP)

Timelines

  • Initial appeals will be decided by the PDD within five (5) business days of appeal form submission.
  • Appeal decision escalations to the DC or DSL will be decided within ten (10) business days of appeal escalation form submission.
  • Appeal escalations to the AAC will be decided within thirty (30) business days of the escalation form submission.
  • Appeal escalations to the CAOP will be decided within ten (10) business days of the escalation form submission.

Procedural Notes

  • The DC or DSL will review the escalation request and render a decision.
  • The AAC may uphold or modify the DC’s or DSL’s decision. 
  • The CAOP’s decision will be final.

Non-Retaliation Statement

No individual will be retaliated against for making a complaint about harassment or discrimination, or for participating in the investigation of such a complaint, or for submission of an appeal of any kind to the College. We consider retaliation to be serious and a violation of College policies. We will investigate and resolve complaints of retaliation in accordance with standard investigative practices. 

Grade Appeal Process

A student may appeal a final course grade alleged to be the result of arbitrary or capricious grading by submitting a grade decision appeal for review.  “Arbitrary and capricious grading” is defined as a grade assigned:

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

The 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 the student. Students have the right to escalate appeal or escalation decisions by submitting the escalation from within ten (10) business days of the decision date. The grade decision appeal must include evidence to support the initial or escalation requests, as well as a clear statement of the action being requested of the College.

Appeal Decision and Escalation Hierarchy

  • Program or Department Designee (PDD)
  • Department Committee (DC) or Department Senior Leader (DSL)
  • Academic Appeals Committee (AAC)
  • Chief Academic Officer and Provost (CAOP)

Timelines

  • Initial appeals will be decided by the PDD within five (5) business days of appeal form submission.
  • Appeal decision escalations to the DC or DSL will be decided within ten (10) business days of appeal escalation form submission.
  • Appeal escalations to the AAC will be decided within thirty (30) business days of the escalation form submission.
  • Appeal escalations to the CAOP will be decided within ten (10) business days of the escalation form submission.

Procedural Notes

  • The DC or DSL will review the escalation request and render a decision.
  • The AAC may uphold or modify the DC’s or DSL’s decision. 
  • The CAOP’s decision will be 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Disruptive behavior, such as but not limited to harassment, verbal insults, ethnic and/or racial slurs, that hinders or interferes with the educational process.
  • Violation of any applicable professional codes of ethics or conduct and College and program dispositions, where applicable.
  • Failure to comply promptly with any reasonable directive from faculty or College officials.
  • Failure to cooperate in a College investigation.
  • Carrying of weapons on campus, at campus sanctioned events, or when meeting with campus personnel.
  • Using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while in class, at College-sanctioned events, or when meeting with College personnel.
  • Cheating - using or attempting to conspire to use unauthorized materials, information, copying another student’s work, or study aids in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication - falsification or invention of any information, citation, or document, or lying during a College investigation.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Violations of this policy will be reviewed by ACE administration and escalated accordingly. Students will receive communication about the process. Students have the right to appeal this policy and potential sanctions via the appeal process.

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.