Academic Information

Academic Integrity and Classroom Conduct

Academic dishonesty is considered serious breach of trust within the Vanguard community, as it both violates the regard for truth essential to genuine learning and Christian consistency, and disadvantages those students who do their work with integrity.  It demonstrates a deep disrespect for fellow students, the faculty, the University, and one’s own commitment to the integrity that should mark the life of the practicing Christian.  Academic dishonesty may consist of plagiarism, cheating, or falsification. It is the prerogative and responsibility of the instructor to determine if academic dishonesty has occurred and the seriousness of the infraction. The Office of the Provost is to be notified of instances of academic dishonesty. Information on the Academic Integrity and Classroom Conduct is available under Academic Policies.

Computer Usage: Student Guidelines 

(Excerpted from the Vanguard University Student Handbook)

General Use Guidelines

As an educational institution, VU is firmly committed to the discovery of truth, the life of the mind, and the free interchange of ideas. The University recognizes that in order for the best learning to take place, students will be exposed to hostile, offensive, and even subversive ideas, so that the students can confront and wrestle with the whole range of ideas and philosophies in the intellectual marketplace. It is therefore the position of the University that students should use maturity and self-discipline in accessing potentially offensive material. At the same time, VU is more than just an educational institution: it is a spiritual community committed to nurturing its members, providing them with good values and an atmosphere as positive and wholesome as possible. The Information Technology (IT) Department, therefore reserves the right to regulate or prohibit the access (such as by way of the Internet) to obscene, pornographic, and unlawful materials and the distribution of such materials over the campus network. Students using University computing and network resources are required to use them in a manner consistent with the University’s standard of conduct. The framework of responsible, considerate, and ethical behavior expected by the University extends to cover the use of campus facilities and network resources and networks throughout the world to which electronic access has been provided by the University. Computing and network resources and user accounts are owned by the University and are to be used for university-related activities only. Computer equipment and accounts at VU should be used for legitimate instructional, research, and administrative or other approved purposes. In addition to these guidelines members of the VU community are expected to abide by all other published technology use policies.

Student Computing and Network

VU makes available computing and network resources for use by the University’s students. As a VU student, you have certain privileges. They include:

  1. Use of Campus LAN and Wireless
  2. E-mail
  3. Use of Internet
  4. Priority over non-VU users and/or guests when using campus computer labs
  5. Use of computers and printers in the campus computer labs
  6. Use of electronic library resources

Student Responsibilities

To protect the quality and reliability of computing and network resources students must observe the following responsibilities. The list is not comprehensive, but it includes some of the responsibilities which you accept when you choose to use the University’s computing resources and/or network which the university provides:

  1. Student use of the campus network, the Internet, and e-mail will be consistent with the mission and character of VU. VU’s information technology resources may not be used for any unauthorized purposes or for any activity that is harmful, illegal, obscene, or harassing.
  2. Applying for a user ID under false pretenses is prohibited. Once you have received a user ID for access to the VU network, e-mail and computer systems on that network, you are solely responsible for all actions taken while using that user ID.
  3. Sharing or using another person’s user ID, password or e-mail account is prohibited. Never leave your terminal or PC logged on and unattended for more than a few minutes. Never write down your user ID and password. Change passwords frequently.
  4. You must not intentionally seek information about, browse, copy, or modify a file belonging to another person, whether at VU or elsewhere, unless you have been granted explicit permission by the owner of the file.
  5. You are authorized to use only computer resources and information to which you have been granted access. If you encounter or observe a gap in system or network security, you should immediately report the gap to the manager of that system. Abuse of a discovered gap rather than reporting it can result in disciplinary action.
  6. If you are not certain you have permission to copy, compile or manipulate software or data, assume that you do not have permission.
  7. The University’s policies on harassment apply equally to electronic displays and communications as they do to more traditional means of display and communication. You must not display or transmit images, sounds or messages that could create an atmosphere of discomfort or harassment for others.
  8. Messages, sentiments, and declarations sent as electronic mail or postings must meet the same standards for distribution or display as printed documents.
  9. You are not permitted to send spam e-mail to faculty or staff on campus. Email regarding official VU business or events must receive approval through the IT Department and be routed through the division or department sponsoring the event.
  10. Use of your network folder is a privilege for academic purposes. You are expected to stay within the space limits posted in the main lab.
  11. You must not degrade computing or network performance in any way that will prevent others from meeting their educational or university business goals. Academic work by students takes precedence over personal usage.
  12. You must not create or willfully disseminate computer viruses. You should be sensitive to the ease of spreading viruses and should take steps to ensure your files are virus-free.
  13. You must not install any additional software on VU computer equipment.
  14. Equipment and supplies for VU labs should be treated with care. These items are purchased with student fees for lab use only. Anyone who abuses equipment or takes supplies from the labs will lose lab privileges and be charged the cost of repair or replacement. Anyone who steals equipment will be prosecuted under the law.
  15. Members of the VU University Community are expected to observe federal, state and local laws which govern computer and telecommunications use, as well as the University’s own regulations and policies as outlined in the Student Handbook.
  16. Students are required to utilize their Vanguard email account for all university business including communicating with professors and staff.

Computer Dishonesty

Plagiarism

There are three forms of plagiarism involving the use of computers and electronic storage of text.

  1. Printing two or more copies of the same research paper which are used to fulfill the requirements for more than one class without the consent of the professor(s). Some professors permit multiple submissions of papers, but others require that a paper be unique and original for each course. Submitting a paper previously used in another class, submitting a duplicate copy of a paper being used in another class or revising a paper used in an earlier class or used in another class during the same semester is unacceptable, unless you have obtained the express permission of your professor(s). If you are not sure about your professor’s policy on the use of papers for more than one class, be sure to ask rather than turn in your work based upon an assumption of what will be accepted.
  2. Using material from another student’s paper. Block copying allows the transportation of whole sections or paragraphs of one paper to be merged into another paper. Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s words or ideas without crediting that person, with or without the permission of the original writer to use his/her ideas. All material borrowed verbatim must be put in quotation marks and credited appropriately, regardless of the source. All ideas borrowed and turned into your own words must also be credited appropriately. You are prohibited from transporting whole sections of text from one student’s paper into another student’s paper, regardless of how much revision is done to the copied material.
  3. Two or more students handing in copies of the same research paper or assignment, with each student claiming individual credit for the work. To avoid the accusation of collaboration in plagiarism, a student should not lend his/her disks to another student, who might copy an assignment from the disk.

Violation of Copyright

Copyrighted programs and printed documentation may not be copied, distributed to others, or used on any machine outside of the computer labs, unless permitted under the terms of the software licenses between VU and the software manufacturers. Unauthorized copying is theft. Moreover, students with personal computers on campus are expected to not participate in software pirating or use pirated software.

Invasion of Privacy

The files and programs of other people are private property. It is unethical for you to read, alter, or copy such private programs or files, unless you have explicit permission to do so by the owner.

Disciplinary Procedures

If you violate any of the above guidelines, disciplinary action will be taken. The University reserves the right to monitor traffic on the network, including contents, and to examine files on the system which are connected to the network. Depending upon the seriousness of the offense, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. You may be required to perform community service.
  2. You may be required to pay a designated fine. If computer equipment is damaged, you will be required to pay for replacing the damaged equipment.
  3. You may have your computer privileges temporarily or permanently revoked.
  4. You may lose credit for the assignment, test, or even the entire course.
  5. You may be dismissed from the University.
  6. In serious cases, your name and a description of the violation(s) may be reported to the police. California Penal Code Section 502 makes certain computer abuses a crime, and penalties can range up to a $10,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

You may appeal any decision to the Student Conduct Committee.

Internet Material

All members of the VU community are encouraged to practice discretion and restraint in the materials that they access over the Internet. Obscene, pornographic, or unlawful materials accessed over the Internet are neither educationally nor spiritually purposeful and therefore should be avoided. Student use of the Internet is a privilege which can be revoked for cause.

Course Attendance

Due to the concentrated scheduling and the emphasis upon participatory learning, students need to be in attendance every week. Students who miss more than one class meeting (or more than five class hours) in any given course will automatically receive a failing grade and need to retake the course to obtain a passing grade. If an instructor deems that a student’s second absence was under extremely unavoidable and unusual circumstances (i.e., an auto accident), the professor may file an academic petition on behalf of the student to the Dean. If the academic petition is approved, the student will be given a “W” (Withdrawal) in place of a failing grade. The student will still be required to retake the course.

Bar-From-Attendance

A student may be barred from attending classes for failure to: present official transcripts certifying previous institutional work, comply with admission requirements, respond to official notices, settle unresolved financial obligations when due, or comply with the community participation standards listed earlier.

Drop Policy

Students must notify their coordinator if they knowingly desire to drop a course (the course must be then taken at a later date).  Dropping courses will have financial aid implications.  Be sure to discuss the decision with your Student Success Coordinator and a Financial Aid Counselor. Student using G.I. Benefits or Tuition Assistance Funds (TA), should consult with the University’s VA Certifying Official prior to dropping a course.

Students absent from both week 1 and week 2 of class will be automatically dropped from the course with a full refund given. 

Note: All students attending at least one week of class will not be dropped automatically from class; therefore, the standard refund policy will be upheld. 

Five to Seven Week Classes                         Academic Action
Prior to 2nd Class  Meeting                                Complete drop off  record
After 2nd Class and Prior to 4th                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)             
After 4th class meeting                                        “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)                              

Eight to Ten Week Classes                         Academic Action
Prior to 2nd Class  Meeting                                 Complete drop   
After 2nd Class and Prior to 5th                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)             
After 5th class meeting                                        “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)

(Refer to the SPS Refund Schedule section for financial implications).

Students receiving a failing grade for a course must repeat the course again at their earliest convenience. The Student Success Coordinator will assist with the registration process for the repeated course. Prevailing tuition charges for the repeated course will be effective.

Non-Attendance Drop Policy (Online Courses)

Students who do not login to their online course by 11:59 P.M. (PST) of the second day of class, will be automatically dropped from the course with a full refund given. To remain in good academic standing, a written request to drop must be provided to the SPS Office before the third week of class.

Standard Drop Policy (Online Courses)

Students must contact the SPS Office in writing of their intention to drop. Unless written notification is received the student will remain officially registered in the class/classes listed on their registration form and will be financially and academically responsible. Only those courses specified in the drop request will be dropped. Students who have registered for more than one session will not be automatically dropped from the remaining sessions unless written notice is provided. If a student chooses to switch a class from one session to another, this is the same as dropping a class and the drop/refund policies will apply in this situation. The drop will be processed using the date the student’s written notification is received by the SPS Office.

Students who wish to drop must include the following information in their drop request: semester date and class/classes they wish to drop as well as their full name and contact information. Students who email their drop requests are advised to make a copy of the email with date and time stamp as well as receiver confirmation (if possible). Students should also confirm with their respective Student Success Coordinator the following VU work day, via phone, that the email request to drop was received. If the written request to drop is made via mail, the student must ensure the request is mailed in plenty of time for it to reach the Professional Studies office before the beginning of the course session. Vanguard University is not responsible for drop requests sent via email that are routed incorrectly and result in non-receipt of the request by the SPS Office.

Five to Seven Week Classes                                            Academic Action
Prior to 11:59 P.M. (PT) on Sunday before Week 2            Complete drop off  record           
After 2nd class and prior to 11:59 P.M. (PT)
on Sunday before Week 4                                                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)           
After 11:59 P.M. (PT) on Sunday before Week 4               “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)

Enrollment Certification for G.I.Benefits and Tuition Assistance Funds (TA)

See Veterans Enrollment Certification and Benefits section in University Policies.

University Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Policy 

Information on the University's Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Policy can be found under Academic Information.

Military Leave of Absence Policy

Military Leave is available for Veteran students who, due to documented deployment or drilling, need to leave the University during the semester without completing their current coursework, or to withdraw from the University for up to two consecutive semesters.  Veteran students on military leave are not regarded as having permanently withdrawn and need not apply for readmission.  Military leave information can be found on the Veteran Enrollment Certification and Benefits page under Academic Information.

Grade Appeals

See Grade Appeals section in the Academic Information section of the catalog.

Incomplete Grades

See Incomplete Grades section in the Academic Information section of the catalog.

Grade Change Policy

See Grade Change Policy section in the Academic Information section of the catalog.

Course Repeat Policy

See Course Repeat Policy section in the Academic Information section of the catalog.

Grade Reports

See Grading System section in the Academic Information section of the catalog. Students are required to receive a “C” or better in their upper division writing course MILD-364 Crit.Thinking & Writ. for Min., PSYD-367 Writing and Research Skills in order to fulfill writing requirements for graduation. A student receiving a C- or lower must retake and complete the upper division writing course with a C or better to be granted his/her degree.  NOTE: These upper division courses should be repeated as soon as possible. Only continuing education or professional development courses may be offered with Credit/ No Credit grading.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, students must:

  1. Complete all coursework in prescribed major.
  2. Complete a minimum of 120 semester hours as required by your respective academic program.
    1. At least one-half of the major units must be completed at Vanguard.
    2. At least 40 units of coursework must be upper division.
  3. Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above for work taken at VU.
  4. Complete the General Education Requirements (or transfer equivalents) as stated in the Official Evaluation provided by the Office of the Registrar.
  5. Submit an application for graduation to the Office of the Registrar no later than the beginning of the term in which graduation is anticipated.

Commencement Participation

Students desiring to participate in commencement ceremonies in May should be aware that they will be approved to “walk” only if they have no more than three courses to be completed during the summer term immediately following commencement. Successful completion of off-campus testing for academic credit, such as CLEP, must be verified by the Office of the Registrar prior to the beginning of spring semester to be considered for the May ceremony. Additional information on degree requirements for graduation and academic honors can be found under the Academic Information section of the catalog.  

Honors

The Academic Honors list, produced at the end of each semester, honors all degree-seeking students with nine or more units who have earned a GPA of 3.5 or above for that semester. Students must complete a minimum of 45 units at Vanguard to have honors recorded on their transcript and diploma.   Students who have completed, by the end of the Fall semester, no fewer than 36 units (bearing letter grades) at Vanguard may be eligible to participate with provisional honors in the Commencement ceremonies ahead of actual completion of all courses required for graduation. Students’ official honors, however, will be based upon their GPA at the completion of all coursework required for graduation and will be indicated on the permanent transcript and on the diploma. Additional information on degree requirements for graduation and academic honors can be found under the Academic Information section of the catalog. 

Student Honor Societies

Student honor societies exist to recognize superior academic performance, provide academic enrichment to the Vanguard community, and to provide opportunity for students to gain greater exposure to academic disciplines. Undergraduate students in the Professional Studies programs may be accepted into the University’s chapter of the following honor societies:

  • Psi Chi - Psychology
  • Sigma Beta Delta – Business
  • Sigma Theta Tau – Nursing 

Academic Probation

“Academic Probation” is a term used to designate a period of close academic supervision, generally including reduced allowable activities, imposed to improve unsatisfactory academic performance.  Students on academic probation may not register for more than nine units during the probation period.  A student’s official transcript may reflect academic probation following a full semester in which a student’s current or cumulative grade point average drops below a “C” average (2.0).  This academic standing will remain on the transcript unless the student receives a change of grade prior to the end of the following semester. Academic probation will continue for the student  until the current and cumulative GPA’s are raised to 2.0.

Academic Disqualification

A student is subject to academic disqualification based on the guideline below.

  • If after acquiring Probationary status the previous semester, the student earns a current GPA below “C” (2.0) in the subsequent semester.
  • If after being accepted provisionally.

If the student’s current GPA is "C" average (2.0) or higher, but the cumulative remains below a “C” average (2.0), the student will remain on Academic Probation status until both the current and cumulative GPA are above a “C” average (2.0).

A disqualified student must submit the following in order to be considered for re-admission into the university:

  • An application for Re-Admission
  • The Re-Admission Fee
  • A petition explaining the previous academic performance and outlining the steps that have been taken to improve future academic performance.
  • Official transcripts for any coursework completed since being disqualified from VU. Transcripts must provide evidence that a minimum of 6 units of coursework at another accredited institution have been completed since being disqualified from VU with grades above a “C” average (2.0).
  • Any other required items

For students who have been disqualified due to reasons of health, family emergency or other similar life changing events, their applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a case by case basis.  For students in this category who were not accepted on a provisional basis but had a circumstance beyond their control, all of the above steps must be followed (minus the additional course work and transcripts).

After all re-admission items have been received, the Admissions Committee will, in consultation with the Program Chair of the student’s intended major, review the student’s file and render an admissions decision.  This decision will be communicated to the student via letter.  Decisions may be appealed to the Dean and then to the Office of the Provost.

Students who have been readmitted to the program after a disqualification will be admitted on probation and will have their status reviewed at the end of the semester in which they return. Students who have achieved a current and cumulative 2.0 GPA or who have received a grade of “B” or better in each course taken during the probationary or disqualification term may enroll in the next term without petitioning. Students who have not met one of these criteria must submit a petition for further consideration of re-enrollment.

Note: Often registration for subsequent terms occurs before completed grades for the previous term are submitted by instructors. Students are advised that they may acquire Immediate Probation or Immediate Disqualification status from the previous term well after starting their new term. Students in jeopardy of Immediate Disqualification should register for the next term at their own risk. Should Immediate Disqualification occur the student will be dropped from all subsequent courses.

Student Records

Records submitted for the purpose of admission or for recording supplemental work become part of the student’s permanent record file and may not be reclaimed or duplicated.

Transcript Requests

Student requests for transcripts of their course work may be made through the website of the Office of Registrar at https://www.vanguard.edu/academics/registrar/transcripts. A fee for each transcript is required, payable at the time of request. All records are withheld from students who have any outstanding financial obligations to the University or have defaulted on a Federal Perkins Loan. Transcripts will be issued only after all financial obligations are settled with the University. Transcript orders are generally sent within 5-7 business days. A rush order will be processed within 48 business hours for an extra fee. Transcripts issued contain only course work completed at Vanguard University.

Writing Standards

Writing standards are introduced to all Professional Studies students in CORE-110 Vanguard Foundations of College Writing I. Students are expected to adhere to VU writing standards immediately.

At the very least, VU writing standards include:

  • APA or MLA formats. These standards are further detailed in the writing courses for each major.
  • Unless otherwise directed by the course instructor, all work submitted is to be typed and printed or submitted via learning management system.
  • Title pages and plastic covers are not required unless requested by the course instructor.
  • Only double spaced and typewritten work with a 10-12-point font will be accepted.
  • Work should be submitted in black ink except when color graphs and documents are used.

Books and Materials

Books required for courses are available from the Vanguard University Bookstore on campus. Students may also order books online by accessing http://www.bkstr.com/vanguarduniversitystore/home/en.