Conduct & Responsibilities
The University requires all students to be responsible individuals who possess the highest standards of integrity, honesty and personal conduct. These traits are prerequisites to independent learning, professional development, the successful performance of academic and clinical assignments, and the conduct of one’s personal life. Accordingly, students are expected to adhere to a standard of behavior consistent with the University’s high standards at all times off and on campus. Compliance with institutional rules and regulations, in addition to city, state and federal laws, is required of all students.
Code of Professional Conduct
It is not possible to enumerate all forms of inappropriate behavior. The following, however, are examples of behavior that could constitute a violation of University policy. Accordingly, KCU has established the following Code of Professional Conduct, indicating behavior that is subject to disciplinary action:
- Harassment, harm, abuse, damage, or theft to or of any individual or property;
- Physical or verbal abuse or the threat of such abuse to any individual;
- All forms of dishonesty: cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the University, forgery, alteration or unapproved use of records;
- Entering or using KCU or hospital/clinic/research facilities without authorization;
- Disrupting teaching, research, administrative or student functions of the University;
- Actions resulting in being charged with a violation of federal, state or local laws, excluding minor traffic violations; and/or failure to report such charges/violations to KCU administration within 48 hours;
- Participation in academic or clinical endeavors at KCU or its affiliated institutions while under the influence of alcohol, non-prescribed controlled substances or illicit drugs;
- Unlawful use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, non-prescribed controlled substances, or alcohol at any time
- Placing a patient in needless jeopardy;
- Unethical disclosure of privileged information;
- Behavior or appearance that demonstrates abusive or disrespectful conduct toward members of the faculty, administrative or professional staff, employees, students, patients or visitors of the University;
- Violation of any established rules, regulations, and policies of KCU, KCU-endorsed organizations, KCU departments or affiliated institutions;
- Failure to report an observed violation.
- Conspiring, planning or attempting to achieve any of the above acts.
Inappropriate & Unprofessional Behaviors
During scheduled classes, the following behaviors are considered inappropriate and unprofessional by students, including but not limited to:
- Any disruptive behaviors that detract from learning by other students (e.g., talking, making excessive noise, playing games).
- Any disrespectful behaviors toward the faculty member (e.g., talking, inappropriate questions, inattentive behaviors).
Students exhibiting inappropriate and unprofessional behaviors may be referred to Student Services and may face disciplinary action.
The University holds its students to the highest standards of intellectual and professional integrity. Therefore, the attempt of any student to pass any examination by improper means, present work which the student has not performed, or aid and abet a student in any dishonest act will result in disciplinary action, which may include immediate dismissal. Any student witnessing or observing a perceived violation of academic integrity is required to report it. Students failing to report an observed violation will also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal.
Alcohol & Drugs
A link to the Drug and Alcohol Policy is available on the KCU intranet here.
KCU is committed to providing a safe, healthy learning community for all its members. The University recognizes that the improper and excessive use of alcohol and other drugs may interfere with the University’s mission by negatively affecting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. It is due to the harm caused by excessive and illegal use that the University has a vested interest in establishing policies to prohibit unlawful behavior and sanctions to address policy violations by members of the University community.
Under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) and in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (EDGAR), the University is required to have a drug and alcohol abuse and prevention policy and distribute this policy annually to all employees and students. This policy must outline the University’s prevention, education and intervention efforts, and consequences that may be applied by both the University and external authorities for policy violations. The law also requires that individuals be notified of possible health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and sources of assistance for problems that may arise as a result of use.
This policy applies to all employees, students, applicants for employment, customers, third-party contractors and all other persons who participate in the University’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the University community). This policy addresses drug and alcohol abuse and prevention efforts.
Drug & Alcohol Abuse and Prevention
KCU Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy
For the purpose of this policy, the term ‘drug’ includes:
- Controlled substances, as defined in 21 USC 802, which cannot be legally obtained,
- Legally controlled substances which were not legally obtained, including:
- Prescribed drugs when prescription is no longer valid (e.g. use of medication after a course of treatment is completed);
- Prescribed drugs used contrary to the prescription;
- Prescribed drugs issued to another person
All members of the campus community also are governed by laws, regulations and ordinances established by the state and local municipalities, and will be held accountable by law enforcement representatives of those entities for any illegal activity. It is the responsibility of all campus members to be aware of these laws.
The dispensing, selling or supplying of drugs or alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years old is prohibited. Employees, students, faculty and campus visitors may not unlawfully: manufacture, consume, possess, sell, distribute, transfer or be under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or controlled substances on University property, while driving a University vehicle, or while otherwise engaged in University business. University property, as defined in this policy, includes all buildings and land owned, leased or used by the University, and motor vehicles operated by employees, including personal motor vehicles, when used in connection with work performed for or on behalf of the University unless approved by the provost or president and chief executive officer.
Any person taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication is personally responsible for ensuring that, while taking such drugs or medications, he/she is not a safety risk to themselves and others while on University property; while driving a University or privately-owned vehicle; or while otherwise engaged in University business. It is illegal to misuse prescription medication, e.g., continue to use medication when the prescription is no longer valid, use prescribed drugs contrary to the prescription, and give or sell prescribed drugs to another person. Misusing prescription drugs can result in disciplinary action at KCU and, potentially, conviction with jail time.
Additional information pertaining to employee drug and alcohol use along with the University’s right to require post-accident drug and alcohol screening or screening based on reasonable suspicion can be located in the KCU employee handbook.
KCU Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Strategies
The University uses evidence-based strategic interventions, collaboration, innovation and the incorporation of wellness programs to reduce harmful consequences of alcohol and other drug use. Strategies include:
- Providing education and awareness activities
- Offering substance-free social and extracurricular, and public/community service options
- Creating a health conscious environment
- Restricting the marketing and promotion of alcohol and other drugs
- Limiting availability of alcohol
- Developing and enforcing campus policies and enforcing laws to address high-risk and illegal alcohol and other drug use
- Providing early intervention and referral for treatment.
For more detailed information on the University alcohol and other drug prevention strategies, contact Student Services at 816. 654.7210 (student-related inquiry) or Human Resources at 816.654.7010 (employee-related inquiry).
The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs increases the risk for a number of health-related and other medical, behavioral, and social problems. Below is a general description of the health risks associated with drug use.
Can cause short-term effects such as loss of concentration and judgment and behavior problems. Long-term effects include risk of liver and heart damage, malnutrition, cancer and other illnesses. Use of alcohol can be highly addictive to some persons.
Can cause short-term effects such as rushed, careless behavior and pushing beyond your physical capacity, leading to exhaustion. Tolerance increases rapidly. Long-term effects include physical and psychological dependence and withdrawal, which can result in depression and suicide. Continued high doses can cause heart problems, infections, malnutrition and death.
Can cause short-term effects such as slow reflexes, increase in forgetfulness, altered judgment of space and distance; can aggravate preexisting heart and/or mental health problems. Long-term health effects include permanent damage to lungs, reproductive organs and brain function. Can interfere with physical, psychological, social development of young users.
Can cause short-term effects such as impaired judgment; increased breathing, heart rate, heart palpitations; and anxiety, restlessness, hostility, paranoia and confusion. Long-term effects may include damage to respiratory and immune systems, malnutrition, seizures and loss of brain function. Highly addictive.
Designer Drugs/Synthetic Cannabinoids (Bath Salts, K2, Spice)
Can cause short-term effects such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure; chest pain; and hallucinations, seizures, violent behavior and paranoia. May lead to lack of appetite, vomiting and tremor. Long-term use may result in kidney/liver failure, increased risk of suicide and death.
Hallucinogens (PCP, LSD, Ecstasy, Dextromethorphan)
Can cause extreme distortions of what is seen and heard. Can induce sudden changes in behavior, loss of concentration and loss of memory. Increases risk of birth defects in user’s children. Overdose can cause psychosis, convulsions, coma and death. Frequent and long-term use can cause permanent loss of mental function.
Inhalants (Nitrous Oxide, Amyl Nitrite, Butyl Nitrite, Chlorohydrocarbons, Hydrocarbons)
Can cause short-term effects such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, slurred speech, hallucinations or delusions. May lead to rapid and irregular heart rhythms, heart failure and death. Long-term use may result in loss of feeling, hearing and vision. Can result in permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.
Opiates/Narcotics (Heroin, Morphine, Opium, Codeine, Oxycodone, China White)
Can cause physical and psychological dependence. Overdose can cause coma, convulsions, respiratory arrest and death. Long-term use leads to malnutrition, infection and hepatitis. Sharing needles is a leading cause of the spread of HIV and hepatitis. Highly addictive, tolerance increases rapidly.
Can cause reduced reaction time and confusion. Overdose can cause coma, respiratory arrest, convulsions and death. Withdrawal can be dangerous. In combination with other controlled substances, sedatives can quickly cause coma and death. Long-term use can produce physical and psychological dependence. Tolerance can increase rapidly.
Tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco)
Can cause disease of the cardiovascular system, in particular smoking being a major risk factor for a myocardial infarction (heart attack), diseases of the respiratory tract, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and emphysema and cancer, particular lung cancer and cancers of the larynx and mouth. Nicotine is highly addictive.
KCU is a tobacco-free campus.
For an extensive list of health-related risks, visit The National Institute on Drug Abuse at http://www.drugabuse.gov
Counseling & Treatment Programs
The University encourages individuals with alcohol- or other drug-related problems to seek assistance.
KCU-Kansas City Counseling Services
Beth Epley, PsyD - 816.654.7223
Kristen Sager, MSW, PhD - 816.654.7213
KCU-Joplin Counseling Services
Brandi Norman, PsyD - 417.208.0731
Caitlin Overfelt, EdS, LPC - 417.208.0743
Emergency Contact for Students, Faculty & Staff
KCU Safety & Emergency Management
Kansas City: 816.654.7911 (Emergency back-up line when power is out - 816.474.7261)
Joplin: 417.208.0800 (Emergency back-up line when power is out - 417.758.9999)
ERS Employee Assistance Program
1.800.292.2780 - www.mylifeexpert.com
ERS, an external student assistance program that connects students and their families to free and confidential counseling services.
Missouri Physician’s Health Program
800.274.0933 - Toll-free, 24-hour hotline - http://www.themphp.org/
Professional Renewal Center
785.842.9772 - http://prckansas.org/
National Clearinghouse for Drug & Alcohol Information
800.729.6686 - Toll-free
The clearinghouse provides resources for specialists and referrals to local self-help groups.
The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs also increases the risks of behavioral and social problems such as negative effects on academic work performance; conflicts with classmates, co-workers, family, friends and others; conduct problems resulting in disciplinary action, including dismissal from an academic program; and legal problems resulting in ticketing, fines and imprisonment.
University policies, local ordinances, state laws and federal laws prohibit the unlawful possession, and use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.
Violation of University policies will be subject to campus disciplinary review pursuant to University policies and consistent with local, state and federal laws. Disciplinary action may include dismissal of individuals and/or sanction of organizations in violation of this policy. Violators may also be subject to the loss of financial aid.
The University community has established expectations for nonacademic student conduct within this catalog and handbook that specifically address the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs as follows:
KCU’s Code of Professional Conduct outlines behaviors subject to disciplinary action, including:
- Participation in academic or clinical endeavors at KCU or its affiliated institutions while under the influence of alcohol, non-prescribed controlled substances, or illicit drugs.
- Unlawful use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, non-prescribed controlled substances or alcohol at any time.
- Being under the influence of illegal drugs at any time, whether they are on or off University-owned or controlled property.
- Possession or use of cannabis. Although cannabis may be legal under some state laws, the possession or use of cannabis is a violation of federal law (with or without a prescription). The possession or use of cannabis shall be deemed a violation of federal law, and students are subject to immediate dismissal.
- Sale, use, possession or storage of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited on KCU property and affiliated institutions.
KCU’s Code of Professional Conduct and disciplinary actions for violation of KCU’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy is administered by the Office of Student Services. The Office of Student Services is charged with facilitating the resolution process used to determine responsibility. The Office of Student Services, under the authority of the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services, works with parties to determine appropriate educational measures and sanctions. These measures cover a wide range of educational sanctions, including but not limited to suspension and expulsion from the institution. Student Services may delegate portions of the conduct process to other units of the University who have a vested interest in the conduct of smaller student communities.
Faculty & Staff
Sanctions for violations by faculty and staff are governed by the KCU employee handbook. KCU has zero tolerance for violation of this policy. Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program. Such violations may also have legal consequences.
Violations of laws and ordinances may result in misdemeanor or felony convictions accompanied by the imposition of legal sanctions, which include but are not limited to, the following:
- Fines as determined under local, state or federal laws
- Imprisonment, including up to life imprisonment, for possession or trafficking of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs
- Forfeiture of personal and real property
- Denial of federal benefits such as grants, contracts and student loans
- Loss of driving privileges
- Required attendance at substance abuse education or treatment programs.
A full description of federal sanctions for drug felonies can be found at: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/drug_of_abuse.pdf#page=30.
This section is not intended as legal advice; individuals should seek independent legal counsel for advice.
Employee Reporting Requirement
Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act, in addition to the other requirements of this policy and University standards, KCU requires all employees who work in any capacity under a federal grant or contract to notify his/her University supervisor or department head in writing of his/her conviction for a violation of any criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace or on work-related activities no later than five calendar days after such conviction. The supervisor or department head will notify KCU Human Resources, who will consult with the appropriate staff to satisfy the University’s reporting obligations.
Alcohol Marketing Standards
The University will refuse advertising inconsistent with the fundamental mission of the University, or in conflict with the image the University seeks to project or the well-being of the University community. Examples of advertisements that will not be accepted include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Sex as a product
- Paraphernalia associated with illegal drugs
- Dishonest, deceptive, or illegal advertising.
Distribution of Policy
A copy of the policy statement will be distributed to all faculty, staff and students annually via email at the beginning of the fall semester and/or at the time a student enrolls during the year if outside of the fall semester. New employees will be provided a copy of the policy upon hire.
Review of University Prevention Program & Policy
Biennially, KCU shall review its Drug & Alcohol Abuse and Prevention Policy and program to determine effectiveness and implement changes, if needed, and to ensure that the University’s disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
For More Information
For more information concerning this policy, contact the University’s chief compliance officer, Stacy Jackson.
Chief Compliance Officer
Prior to matriculation and prior to beginning third-year clinical rotations, all KCU students will have a criminal background check performed at their own expense. The background check is to be performed by a certifying organization retained by KCU. The purpose of the background check is to satisfy federal, state and individual hospital requirements for students participating in clinical activities involving patient care. Any criminal activity occurring prior to or for Enrollment and Student Services. Failure to report may result in dismissal.
Note: Discovery following admission or matriculation of intentional misrepresentation or omission of any information used in the application process or omission of information relative to scholastic records or test records will subject the student to disciplinary action, including rescinded admission, probation, suspension, or dismissal. Matriculation will be denied to applicants who have failed to maintain a good record of scholastic performance and/or personal conduct between the time of their acceptance and matriculation at the University. The University reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant for any reason the University deems sufficient.
Students must maintain a neat and clean appearance befitting students attending a professional school. Therefore, all KCU students must use professional judgment when determining what to wear on KCU’s campus.
On campus the mode of dress is determined by each student’s professional judgment, unless a department, laboratory or instructor has a dress code for particular activities (an example would be interacting with a real or simulated patient).
Clothing having caricatures, messages, symbols, etc., that can be construed based on societal norms to be vulgar or offensive or contribute to creating a hostile learning environment, are considered to be unacceptable attire and demonstrate inappropriate professional judgment that is subject to review and action by Student Services.
Students are strongly discouraged from seeking off-campus employment during the academic year. Curriculum requirements preclude off campus employment.
Firearms, Explosives & Weapons
The possession or use of firearms, weapons or explosives is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, rockets, roman candles, sparklers, or other devices containing any combustible or explosive substance used to propel another object.
The policy prohibiting bringing or possessing weapons on this institution’s property does not apply in the following circumstances:
- Local, state or federal law enforcement personnel coming onto the institution’s property in their law enforcement capacity or in accordance with other lawful authority.
- Use or possession for a legitimate educational purpose under the sponsorship of a faculty member or other institution official, provided the faculty member or official has first obtained appropriate approvals, including the approval of the institution’s director of campus operations.
- Use or possession for a lawful purpose within the scope of a person’s employment at the institution (e.g., campus security, police).
The University’s director of campus operations is the delegated contact for any exceptions to the above-stated prohibitions for authorized activities.
Off-campus activities are subject to the same laws and penalties governing all citizens. “Campus” refers to all entities owned or operated by the University or its associated corporations.
University Property & Responsibility
Students will be held responsible for damage to University property caused by their negligence or a willful act. Students must pay fully for damages within 15 days after receipt of invoice through the Office of Finance. Damage to University property is charged to the responsible student(s) at the total cost of repair or replacement. The student(s) will be subject to disciplinary action, dismissal and/or prosecution on criminal charges. The University is not responsible for the damage, loss or theft of personal property under any condition. The University is also not responsible for the payment of medical services not performed on campus.
Student Progress Committees
COM Student Progress Committee
The Student Progress Committee (COM-SPC) is a committee made up of University faculty and staff who actively identify, monitor, and work to assist and guide students who display difficulty in their academic, personal, and professional progress. The COM-SPC reviews the academic records of students who have failed specific required elements for graduation: a course, clerkship exam, national board examination, failure to comply with a remediation plan, and/or any student who has failed to show adequate academic progress in his/her path of study and/or demonstrated concerning lapses in professionalism. The committee shares responsibility for students within the COM at both the Kansas City and Joplin campuses, with representation from faculty and staff at each campus.
The COM-SPC has broad authority to review students’ records, decide how best the University can assist the student in getting back on track academically and can recommend a broad number of professional options for consideration as part of any final decision. As a part of the committee’s comprehensive review, decisions of the COM-SPC may consist of, but are not limited to the following: remediation, repeating an academic year in the COM, or dismissal.
Subcommittees within the COM-SPC are responsible for the oversight of the remediation plan of any student in that year who has experienced a failure of a course required for graduation or has otherwise failed to show adequate academic progress. Each campus of the COM will have a subcommittee(s) that meets with students following failure of a course, clerkship, and/or national board examination. The subcommittee is chaired by a year-specific phase director and may include a learning specialist, academic advisor, and campus psychologist.
For academic-related failures, the COM-SPC process is outlined below. Note: Failures of a course, course remediation, clerkship, and/or national board examination accrue cumulatively over a student’s academic career. For example, if a student has failed one course in the first year and fails another in the second year, the failure is considered the student’s second cumulative academic failure.
- For a first-time academic failure, the student will be notified of the failure via email and will be asked to meet with a subcommittee of the COM-SPC to formulate a remediation plan for the failed coursework. A student’s failure to comply with the agreed upon remediation plan may result in a required meeting with the full COM-SPC.
- In the event of a second cumulative academic failure, the student will be asked to meet with the subcommittee again to review their prior remediation plan and to make adjustments as necessary to ensure success. All resources that are brought to bear in order to assist a student are at the discretion of the subcommittee chair. If it is determined that there are aggravating circumstances contributing to the student’s lack of success, the student can be referred, by the subcommittee chair, to the full SPC for review.
- For students accumulating a third academic failure in a single year, the student will face automatic suspension, and may be allowed to repeat the entire year of the COM curriculum after meeting with and at the discretion of the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services. The student is required to pay full tuition and fees for the repeated year. The student is allowed no more than two attempts for a particular year. (i.e., a student who has one or more failures while repeating a year is required to meet with SPC to determine whether or not the student will be allowed remediate the failure(s).) If a student is unable to successfully complete the entire repeat year, the student will be dismissed from the University.
- For students accumulating a third academic failure over more than one academic year, the student will be required to attend a formal meeting of the COM-SPC for review.
- Students who have two academic failures in the second year and receive a third failure on the COMLEX Level 1 exam will be required to attend a formal meeting of the COM-SPC for review and may be subject to repeating the second year, regardless of the timing of the COMLEX Level 1 score being delivered.
- Students having a fourth or fifth academic failure will be required to attend a formal meeting of the COM-SPC for review.
Prior to the formal meeting with the full COM-SPC, the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services will provide the student with instructions outlining the committee hearing process and will provide guidance on how to prepare for the committee meeting.
COM-SPC Appeal Process
Students have the right to appeal the decision of the COM-SPC for the reasons outlined under Student Discipline Assurances. The appeals process will be communicated to the student at the time the decision is delivered. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the COM-SPC, he/she will submit a written appeal to the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services. The Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services will notify the appropriate deans, or their designees, that the appeal has been filed. (See Student Discipline Assurances for specific instructions on appeals.)
PsyD Student Progress Committee
The PsyD Student Progress Committee (PsyD-SPC) is a committee made up of University PsyD core faculty, along with other appointed University representatives, all of which will be charged with being the primary team responsible for review of the totality of PsyD students’ academic, professional, training, and other student records and performance.
Students must demonstrate satisfactory achievement in all of the program’s education and training profession-wide competency areas throughout their time in the program. The PsyD-SPC reviews any student’s academic and professional record that is identified as having problems within any evaluative domain in the program. The committee addresses all academic and professional issues according to the policies published in this catalog and handbook.
The PsyD-SPC also aims to proactively identify at-risk students and develop interventions that would assist students who are struggling. The following are examples of issues or problems that may lead a student to be brought before the PsyD-SPC: course failure; issues with professionalism, that do not implicate the University Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, (e.g., recurrent tardiness, turning in assignments late, making inappropriate comments, inappropriate social media activity), and an inability to meet the Health Service Psychology’s technical standards. This list is not exhaustive and students can be referred to Student Services or the PsyD-SPC for additional issues or violations. When being referred to the PsyD-SPC, students will be provided with formal, written notification of the issue(s) from the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services, as well as an opportunity to represent themselves before the PsyD-SPC regarding the issue in question.
As a part of a comprehensive review, the PsyD-SPC establishes and mandates protocols and recommendations appropriate to the individual student. The committee has broad authority to review student records, decide how best the program and/or the University can assist the student, and can recommend a broad number of options for consideration as part of any final decision. (See Sanctions Related to the Academic Review Process and Violations of the Code of Professional Conduct.)
For academic-related failures and review, the PsyD-SPC process is, generally speaking, as follows:
- The student is notified, by the Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services, via email/digital letter, of his/her academic issue. The student is informed of the date and time the PsyD-SPC will meet to review the issue. The student is invited to submit any relevant documentation and address the committee at the hearing.
- The student is instructed to meet with the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services to better understand the PsyD-SPC hearing, how to best prepare for the hearing, and to ask any questions.
- Once the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services has provided notice of the hearing and an opportunity for the student to meet, as identified directly above, the PsyD hearing will take place. The student may or may not choose to be present at the hearing; however, the committee will render a decision even in situations where the student chooses not to attend the hearing.
- After a thorough discussion and review of relevant policies, the issue in question, and the student’s response, the PsyD-SPC will vote and determine a decision. The PsyD-SPC Chair will then communicate the decision to the student via email/digital letter.
- The student can appeal the decision of the PsyD-SPC. The appeals process is explained to the student in writing when the decision is delivered. For specific instructions regarding appeals, see Student Discipline Assurances.
COB Student Progress Committee
The COB Student Progress Committee (COB-SPC) is a committee made up of University faculty and staff charged with being the primary team reviewing the totality of COB students’ academic performance and professional conduct. COB-SPC reviews any academic, professional or other student matters. As a part of the comprehensive review, COB-SPC establishes and mandates protocols and recommendations appropriate to the individual student. The committee directs and requests students to be subject to further review and action by the COB-SPC for academic or professional violations.
COB-SPC has broad authority to review students’ records, decide how best the University can assist the student, and can recommend a broad number of options for consideration as part of any final decision.
For academic-related failures and reviews, the COB-SPC process is, generally speaking, as follows:
- The student is notified of his/her course failure via email/digital letter from the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services, and informed that he/she will appear before COB-SPC for review.
- The student is instructed to meet with the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services to better understand the COB-SPC hearing, how to best prepare for the hearing, and to ask any questions.
- The student is notified via email of the time and place of the COB-SPC hearing.
- The student meets with the COB-SPC.
- The COB-SPC then makes a recommendation to the Chair of the COB-SPC, who communicates the final decision to the student via email/digital letter.
- The student is given time to consider the decision and can appeal the decision. The appeals process is explained to the student in writing when the decision is delivered. For specific instructions regardin appeals, see Student Discipline Assurances.
Student Discipline Procedures
Complaints involving alleged misconduct by students in both Kansas City and Joplin will be handled according to the following procedures except in those cases where different procedures are prescribed by another University policy (e.g., allegations of sexual harassment, research misconduct). KCU has established a multi-dimensional approach to adjudicating student misconduct, poor academic performance and/or disciplinary issues. The following steps are to be followed in any case where a student is alleged to have violated the Code of Professional Conduct as enumerated in this handbook:
- All reports of code violations shall be reported to Student Services and/or to the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services. Reports must be filed in writing and must be signed by the reporting party.
- Student Services will review the report and determine if the charge is of the nature to merit an investigation of the allegation(s).
- If the charge is of a nature to merit an investigation, Student Services, along with the vice provost will gather, analyze and investigate the information. (This will be done as quickly as possible, but sometimes the nature of such investigations takes longer to gather evidence and speak with potential witnesses.)
- After all information is gathered, the vice provost will apply a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard in making a judgment about the validity of the grievance and will then decide how best the alleged misconduct should be adjudicated. The multidimensional nature of KCU’s disciplinary system allows for cases to be heard by the Student Progress Committee (SPC), the student-run Honor Council or administrators within Student Services.
- The vice provost will make the final decision as to how the case will be heard and will make a referral to the specific adjudicating body for disposition of the case. The student will also be notified in writing to appear before the appropriate body to have their case heard.
- In cases where the information does not merit referral to the SPC or the Honor Council, the case will be dealt with by Student Services staff.
- Once the case has been formally adjudicated, the vice provost will then communicate in writing the outcome to the individual(s) involved.
The University reserves the right to address inappropriate behavior that does not clearly fall within the identified Code of Professional Conduct.
Student Disciplinary Committees
University Honor Council
The Honor Council is made up of University students representing each year within COM and COB. The University Honor Council has authority for and addresses the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professional conduct, as well as all student Code of Professional Conduct/Honor Code policies. The KCU Honor Council shall consider cases involving alleged violations of the Code of Professional Conduct/Honor Code, and shall make a recommendation of its determination to the applicable SPC. The applicable SPC shall review the recommendation of the Honor Council and any evidence submitted by the student at issue as well as the student’s record and will issue a written decision. The student can appeal the decision of the applicable SPC. For specific instructions regarding appeals, see Student Discipline Assurances.
Student Discipline Assurances
The following assurances are granted to students in the handling of all alleged academic progress issues and violations of the Code of Professional Conduct/Honor Code:
- Disciplinary Notification: Any student with applicable academic progress issues or who is charged with an alleged violation of the Code of Professional Conduct/Honor Code will be given written notice. Email notification may serve as written notice.
- Hearing: The KCU disciplinary system is a multi-dimensional system that allows the student the right to a formal hearing through the Student Progress Committee, Honor Council, or a hearing through Student Services.
- Appeal: All students who are charged and found responsible for a lack of academic progress or a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct/Honor Code have the right to appeal the decision of the Student Progress Committee, or any decision made by staff members within Student Services. Within five (5) business days after the initial decision is delivered (verbally or in writing, whichever is first) to the student, the student must submit an appeal in writing to the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services who will provide notice of the appeal to the appropriate deans or their designees.
In appealing a decision of the Student Progress Committee, the appeal must fall into one of the following categories:
- The student has new evidence, material to the decision rendered, that was not available prior to the original hearing. In this case, the matter will be returned to the appropriate SPC for reconsideration.
- The judicial process as outlined was not adhered to during the student’s hearing.
- The sanction(s) do not relate appropriately to the violation.
Appeals that do not fall into one of these categories will not be heard and will be automatically dismissed. Appeals must clearly outline the sanction(s) the student is appealing along with any compelling argument as to why the decision should be overturned.
Appeals will be heard by a panel made up of the deans, or where appropriate their designee, of each college, the COM, COB and CDM.
The appeal is considered by the deans’ appeal panel with the autonomy to uphold the appealed decision, reverse the decision all together, or change the decision by making the decision either more or less severe. Students can expect a written decision on their appeal within a reasonable period of time from the appeal submission date. Decisions of the deans’ appeal panel are final and no further appeals will be granted. Students cannot file a grievance contesting the decision of the SPC or Appeal Panel.
Sanctions Related to the Academic Review Process Violations of the Code of Professional Conduct
The following are examples of sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the disciplinary and/or academic review process and may be levied as a result of a disciplinary or academic review hearing. This list is not exhaustive and sanctions are based on the circumstances of the charges. The merits of each case will be considered before sanctions are levied. It is the intent of the disciplinary process that the sanction(s) imposed are in response to the academic record, student’s professional behavior, any patterns of inappropriate personal behavior, and disciplinary history of the individual student.
An official response from the disciplinary body indicating that no action be taken in regards to the student’s case.
Documented warning that the behavior/academic performance demonstrated was unacceptable.
Required corrective academic action. This is required only after a student has failed a course, section, clerkship and/or national examination. Remediation is not guaranteed for any student who has failed a course, section, clerkship and/or national examination.
Should a professionalism issue arise and remediation is a possible action, the details of that remediation will be developed by Student Services and COM leadership and implemeted in an appropriate time frame. Remediation being granted does not guarantee successful completion of program requirements.
Official stipulations required of the student in order for the student to reconcile his/her behavior. Stipulations may include, but are not limited to the following:
Academic Probation: An official status of warning from the University, stating that the student is under the most sensitive academic monitoring and improvement plan, which becomes a part of the student’s record for the period of time they are on probation. For specific information regarding academic warning, please review:
Academic Probation - DO
Academic Probation - PsyD
Academic Probation - Biosciences
Academic Warning: A status of warning from KCU to the student indicating that the University is concerned about the student’s academic performance. See the program for specific information regarding academic warning:
Academic Warning - DO
Academic Warning - PsyD
Academic Warning - Biosciences
Clerkship Alterations: Required change(s) to a student’s clerkship that might increase the student’s likelihood of successful completion of said clerkship (e.g., changing location, repeating the clerkship, repeating an entire year, repeating a shelf exam, completing an independent study)
Counseling Intervention: Required referral to a mental health provider for counseling when a student’s behavior indicates that counseling may be beneficial.
Disciplinary Probation: An official state of warning from the University which states that if the student violates any University policy during the probationary time, he/she could face up to suspension or dismissal depending upon the severity of the violation. The probationary status of the student may be communicated to the student’s academic advisor, faculty or any other person who has legal access to this information.
First-Year Curricular Change: A formal decision that a first-year student withdraw from COM and transfer to COB, with the possibility of readmission to COM, after meeting specified academic criteria.
Partial (nonacademic) Suspension: A partial suspension of a student’s normal right to participate in extra-curricular, co-curricular and other nonacademic activities. The student will continue to attend classes and may use all academic resources. The student will not be in good standing during the time of the suspension.
Referral to Outside Agency: The University may refer a student to the Missouri Physician’s Health Program (MAOPS PHP) or other similar programs, for assessment and treatment.
Required Tutoring/Learning Support: The University has the authority to require a student to seek mandatory tutoring and/or assistance from a learning specialist if it is deemed appropriate in assisting the student with academic performance issues.
Restrictions/Stipulations of Behavioral Activity: The University may restrict a student’s behavioral activity this is deemed appropriate, including but not limited to restricting the student’s contact with another student.
Restitution or Monetary Fine: Financial accountability for damage to property, and/or continued disciplinary problems, caused by the student, or a fine that is deemed appropriate for the offense.
Restorative Service: A project or amount of community service hours served by the student for the good of the community. This is usually completed within the community. If the service is approved to be done off-campus, it must be at a not-for-profit organization and the student cannot receive pay for his/her work.
A formal separation of the student (without refund) from the University during a specific period of time. The period of suspension can range from one semester to an indefinite period of time. The student will not be in good standing during the suspension.
Permanent separation of the student from KCU (without refund). Dismissal is permanently noted on the student’s KCU transcript.
Other Appropriate Actions
The University reserves the right to place a variety of disciplinary and/or academic sanctions upon a student that are not specifically outlined above, as long as they are approved by the SPC and/or campus dean of COM, the University Honor Council, and/or a member of Student Services.
KCU is committed to treating all members of the University community (administrators, faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment, third-party contractors, all other persons that participate in the University’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus) fairly with regard to their personal and professional concerns. The student grievance policy ensures that concerns are promptly dealt with and resolutions reached in a fair and just manner. The University’s grievance procedure enables students to bring complaints and problems to the attention of the University’s administration. KCU forbids any retaliatory action against students who present concerns and complaints in good faith.
A grievance is a complaint arising out of any alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by an individual (e.g., student, faculty, staff, administrator) that in any way adversely affects the status, rights or privileges of a member of the student body. Such complaints may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Academic programs or courses
- Accreditation standards or processes
- Financial aid
- General mistreatment
- Harassment, including sexual violence
- Privacy of student educational records
- Privacy of student health records
- Security and safety
- Student health.
University policy strongly encourages students who believe they have a concern/grievance to use all appropriate avenues for informal resolution before initiating the formal grievance procedure. Students wishing to informally resolve an issue can contact Student Services or any other academic or administrative office, on campus, which might appropriately handle said issue. If the office contacted cannot resolve the issue for the student, they will refer the student to the appropriate office and provide the student with a specific faculty/staff member who can assist them.
Should such an informal resolution be impossible, the student may pursue the following options if they wish to file a formal grievance.
Grievances relating to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence fall under the purview of Title IX and will be dealt with under separate procedures. For further details on the basis for these kinds of grievances see the Title IX & Sexual Misconduct Policy .
All other formal grievances should be submitted in writing to the Office of the Provost. The Provost, acting in their professional capacity will review all formal grievances, with the goal of attempting to resolve the issue for the student.
Students submitting a formal grievance to the Provost should be as specific as possible regarding the action that precipitated the grievance:
- Individuals involved (including witnesses)
- Summary of the incident
- Efforts made to settle the matter informally
- Remedy sought.
Except as noted above or as otherwise stated in the University’s policies, grievances will be evaluated and investigated in accordance with the Student Discipline Procedures. If deemed necessary, the issue will also be referred to Human Resources or other appropriate administrative leadership team member.
A record of all formal grievances, including written findings of fact and any transcripts or audio recordings, will be kept on file in the Office of the Provost and in the student’s permanent educational file. An annual report of formal student complaints will be provided to the leadership team by June 1 of each year. Reports will be provided to the leadership team on a more frequent basis if necessary. The University uses student complaints in its ongoing performance improvement process.
Filing a Complaint with the University’s Accrediting Agencies
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA) and the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) recognize their responsibility to provide complainants the opportunity to utilize their organizations as a vehicle to deal with specific grievances as well as being a mechanism for reviewing and finally resolving complaints. Complaints that cannot be addressed by the University may be filed with HLC-NCA or COCA at the following addresses:
Department of Accreditation
American Osteopathic Association
142 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2864
1.800.621.1773 - Toll free
312.202.8200 - Fax
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
1.800.621.7440 - Toll free
312.263.7462 - Fax
Information for Crime Victims About Disciplinary Proceedings
The University will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense or, if the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense to the alleged victim’s next of kin the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense. Requests for such documentation should be directed to Student Services.