The College Catalog documents the approach to interactions between the College and students, administration, staff, and faculty. It provides guidance on how policies and processes function within the framework of an academic environment and supports students and faculty in understanding the protocols established by governance and regulatory agencies. Given this established purpose, additional guidance may be required for specific situations and events. General information and definitions are provided below.
When decisions are made and a dispute arises, students have the opportunity of seeking an appeal. For additional information on specific steps, review the information in the Student Handbook .
Potential students have the right to appeal a decision in regards to their admission to the College. An applicant appealing a decision should submit a written request with a full description of the rationale and supporting evidence as to why an admissions appeal should be granted. Complete the Admissions Appeal form provided by contacting Enrollment or Admissions.
Complaint and Appeals
American College of Education provides fair, consistent, and equitable procedures for addressing student complaints or appeals. This policy addresses formal procedures for resolving complaints and appeals related to perceived misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or violation of an ACE policy, procedure, or academic standard, legally prohibited action, or any other issue a student determines to be a concern of which the College should be aware.
Issues for which a complaint or appeal may be submitted include but are not limited to the following:
- Perceived incorrect or inconsistent application of policies by College personnel.
- Arbitrary and capricious grading, defined in the following manner:
- A grade assigned on some basis other than performance in the course.
- A grade assigned through significant deviation from criteria stated in the course syllabus, assessment rubrics or articulated by the faculty member.
- A grade assigned by resorting to standards significantly different from those applied to other students in the course.
- A grade assigned as a result of vindictiveness or discrimination.
- An academic decision or action.
- Prior student conduct violation decision, academic integrity violation decision, or other disciplinary decision.
- Harassment or misconduct in any form.
- Discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability in admissions, employment, or the provision of services.
Issues for which a complaint or appeal cannot be submitted include the following:
- Graduation requirements including requirements for academic recognition
- Non-transferrable courses
- Statuses as a result of Satisfactory Academic Progress (Warning/Probation/Dismissal)
- Grade Point Average (GPA) progression statuses
- Grade appeals submitted after ten (10) business days following the posting of final grades in the course
- Exceeding the maximum number of course repeat attempts unless it is a Dissertation Chapter course
- Exceeding the Maximum Time to Completion policy terms
- Removing a grade from the student’s record (for example a W)
- Registration holds, re-entry, and re-admittance due to delinquent payment of any sum under any financing option
- Re-entry and re-admittance after expulsion
- Complaint and appeal escalation requests for a college-level review submitted after ten (10) business days of the receipt of the program or department designee’s decision
No individual will be retaliated against for making a grievance about harassment or discrimination, for participating in the investigation of such a grievance, or for submission of an escalation request of any kind to the College. We consider retaliation to be serious and a violation of College policies. We will investigate and resolve grievances of retaliation in accordance with standard investigative practices. If a student is found submitting false allegations in an effort to retaliate against a College faculty or staff member or is otherwise abusing this process in violation of the College’s code of conduct policy, the student may be subject to disciplinary action according to College, state or accreditor policy.
In the very unfortunate instance that a student should pass away, the College will work with the deceased’s family members to close their academic record and assist the student’s family members with any additional requests (i.e. academic/financial records, posthumous diploma, etc.).
The family member should contact the registrar for notification and requests. The requests should include the following: student’s name while enrolled, student’s ID (if known) or last four digits of the student’s social security number, student’s date of birth, student’s dates of enrollment, and death certificate (copy is preferred).
The requester must also provide the following personal information with the written request: their name, their mailing and e-mail address, phone number, documentation of relationship with the deceased (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.), reason for request, signature, and date of request.
Once received, the registrar will coordinate with other departments at the college to fulfill requests and/or communicate with the requester about additional items.
The College permits a student to request an exception to policies and procedures due to extenuating circumstances by completing an appeal form stating the reason the requested exception should be made. The student should provide any appropriate documentation to support the request. The College, pending on the request and rationale, can grant an exception to policy or procedure. If a student is unsatisfied with the decision, they can escalate the request/appeal through the appeal escalation path.
ACE faculty and staff cannot accept gifts of any kind, cash or otherwise, from students, family members of students, or anyone representing a student.
American College of Education will make reasonable accommodations for students who are not able to access their courses due to extreme weather conditions that prevent internet access in their respective cities, states, or regions. ACE considers any weather situation that would cause an individual to evacuate from their home or lose internet access for more than 24 hours as inclement.
Examples include hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, blizzards, tornadoes, etc. When a student is impacted by such a situation, ACE faculty members will work with the student, without prior notification, by accepting late assignments.
- College faculty will accommodate students through late submissions because of the known event.
- Students are responsible, once they have access to communication channels again, for communicating the situation with their faculty members. Students will provide some sort of reasonable documentation (this can be as simple as an address to verify it is in the impacted area).
- If the situation cannot be appropriately and reasonably handled through late submissions alone, ACE administration will work on a plan to assist students to include the use of the Incomplete Policy.
Natural Disaster and Emergency
American College of Education is an online institution that serves students from across the world. As a result, it is likely that ACE students may be impacted by natural disasters or emergencies that do not result in closure of the College. In these instances, students may be unable to complete assignments or even access the learning management system (LMS). In instances of natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires) where students lose access to the learning environment, students will be provided extra time for assignments, without penalty. The same applies to emergencies (e.g. disease outbreaks, pandemics, epidemics) where students cannot complete assignments or access the learning management system.
In instances where students are impacted by natural disasters or emergencies, the students will be afforded a 48-hour extension on due dates. Specifically, students will have 48 hours from the time their normal access or ability is restored to complete coursework and assignments without penalty (e.g. discussion boards, assessments, papers) that were due during the time period impacted by the natural disaster or emergency.
In the case of more extenuating circumstances (prolonged period of time without internet access caused by a natural disaster; severity of the disaster and its impact, etc.) or College deadlines coinciding with a natural disaster or emergency (such as a College end of term, etc.), the 48-hour extension for the completion of coursework and assignments without penalty will be modified and extended to accommodate the circumstances. In these instances, the College will provide additional guidance to faculty and students. Furthermore, if the extenuating circumstance extends beyond the term, the student and College may utilize the Incomplete Policy and/or Leave of Absence Policy to best support students during these challenging times.
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 stalking/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 unauthorized study aids in any academic exercise.
- Fabrication - falsification or invention of any information, citation, data, 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.
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.
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 dismissal. In all cases, College officials will take action in accordance with College policies and procedures.
A student has the right to appeal this decision.