Sep 15, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog/Handbook 
    
2019-2020 Catalog/Handbook

General University Policies


Diversity Policy

Diversity at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) is defined in three ways:

  1. Representation of the student, faculty, and staff across all campuses
  2. Allowing for diverse thought, leadership styles, and work environments
  3. Encouraging diverse ways to teach, to promote student cultural awareness, and to engage in scholarly pursuits

Representation of the student, faculty, and staff across all campuses: The University aims to support diversity by recruiting and retaining students and employees at all levels by

  • recognizing that continued success in meeting the needs of our students requires the full and active participation of talented and committed employees who represent a variety of religions, disabilities, ages, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, and genders. Diversity of employees also includes personal and work history, education, functional ability, personality, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, geographic origin, longevity with the organization, degree-program matriculation, and level of employment within the organization;
  • supporting admission to students regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation; and
  • offering educational support to all students, but especially to those with identified special needs.

Diverse thought, leadership styles, and work environment: The University believes that diversity encompasses the way we work, the work environment, and respect for people and ideas. It also encompasses varying management styles and ways of thinking, leadership abilities, skill levels, experiences, viewpoints, expression of thoughts, and differing ways of delivering services, provided there is consistency in the values we share. By fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and support, we value and appreciate the strengths afforded by the differences, styles, ideas, and organizational contributions of each person. For it is through diversity that our institutional core values and mission can best be met.

Encouraging diverse ways to teach, to promote student cultural awareness, and to engage in scholarly pursuits: The University supports faculty who offer diverse clinical expertise and approaches to patient management as a way to promote health science professional curricula that allows graduates to work with a diverse client population. Efforts are made to support cultural competence throughout the curricula and meet expected student learning outcomes in this area. Faculty are encouraged to promote diverse scholarly endeavors that involve various clinical, patient management, health promotion, and education research topics, with careful attention to the safety, confidentiality, and privacy of all research subjects.

Diversity is inclusion. It stresses equal opportunity, recognizes and respects the multitude of differences that employees and students bring to our workplace and classrooms, and acknowledges the changing face of the community we serve. The affirmation of diversity and full cooperation by all managers, supervisors, employees, and students is expected.

Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy

It is the policy of USAHS that each member of the University community be permitted to work or attend class in an environment free from any form of discrimination, including race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (e.g., cancer or genetic characteristics), marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression,or veteran status, as prohibited by state and federal statutes. This policy applies to students, faculty, employees, and applicants for admission or employment.

For sexual discrimination concerns, refer to the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Grievance Reporting Policy & Procedures below.

For disability discrimination concerns, refer to the Accommodations and Accessibility policy below.

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Grievance Reporting Policy and Procedures

The United States Department of Education (DOE) mandates that institutions comply with specific requirements under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. USAHS is committed to providing a safe educational and working environment for its students, faculty, staff, and other members of the University community.

USAHS believes that all members of the University community should be free from all acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and discrimination, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and stalking. All members of the USAHS community and all visitors, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression are advised that any sexual misconduct by any student, employee, or third party is prohibited. Any attempt to commit sexual misconduct, or to assist or willfully encourage any such act, is a violation of this Policy. Sexual misconduct is contrary to the basic values of USAHS, which include promoting a sense of community, fostering learning, instilling integrity, and achieving excellence. USAHS is committed to providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of all complaints of sexual misconduct.

This Policy applies to all complaints of sexual misconduct in USAHS’s education programs and activities. It prohibits conduct that occurs on campus or other University property; occurs in connection with University educational programs or activities, whether on or off-campus; or otherwise affects the University community. This Policy prohibits sexual misconduct by all third parties (including but not limited to visitors, guests, volunteers, and contractors) on USAHS campuses and during university activities. It also applies to applicants for admission to or employment with USAHS.

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the university for students and termination of employment for faculty and staff. When used in this Policy the term “complainant” refers to a person claiming that a violation of this Policy occurred, and the term “respondent” refers to a person accused of violating this Policy.

  1. Definitions

Consent: Consent is defined at USAHS as a clear, unambiguous, and conscious agreement expressed in mutually understandable words or actions to voluntarily engage in specific sexual or intimate activity or conduct. Conduct will be considered “without consent” if no clear affirmative consent, verbal or otherwise, is given. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Affirmative  consent is not present (1) if obtained through the use of force, threat, coercion, or intimidation; or (2) when an individual is incapacitated, such as by consumption of drugs or alcohol or being unconscious or asleep; or (3) if given by someone who is not able to effectively communicate or to understand the nature of the conduct being engaged in. Silence or an absence of resistance on the part of the individual does not imply or constitute consent. Past consent does not imply future consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. The intoxication or recklessness of a respondent is not an excuse for him or her not receiving affirmative consent from the complainant before engaging in a specific sexual activity.

Relationship Violence: Relationship violence means a violent act committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic nature or intimate nature with the complainant, as determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Relationship violence includes dating violence and domestic violence.

Retaliation: Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because the individual made a report of a claim of sexual misconduct or participated in any way in the investigation or resolution of such a report or complaint, or exercised any right or responsibility under this Policy.

Sexual Discrimination: Sexual discrimination for the purpose of this Policy is defined as including, but not limited to, treating individuals differently because of their gender or sexual orientation, in connection with the terms and conditions of employment or educational opportunities. Discrimination does not occur, however, when an individual is treated differently than another individual for legitimate reasons.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature. Sexual assault includes rape and any other acts using force, threat, intimidation, or coercion, or taking advantage of a victim’s inability to make reasoned decisions about sexual activity. This includes:

  1. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by one person upon another, which is without consent and/or by force. It includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force, threat or intimidation. It includes intentional contact with the genitals, breasts, thighs, buttocks, anus, or groin, touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts, any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by genitals, breasts, thighs, buttock, anus, groin, mouth or other orifice. It also includes attempted non-consensual intercourse.
  3. Statutory rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction.

Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples include but are not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy, prostituting another student, non-consensual video or audio-taping or photography of sexual activity, distributing sexual or intimate information, images or recordings of another without that individual’s consent, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as allowing friends to hide in the closet watching consensual sex), voyeurism, knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another student, exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances or inducing another to expose his/her genitals, and sexually-based bullying, including, but not limited to, through social media.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment can include, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature; e-mails containing inappropriate sexual content; obscene or harassing phone calls or jokes of a sexual nature; suggestive gestures, sounds, stares, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when

 a. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a student’s academic progress;

  b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for decisions affecting assessment of academic progress; or

  c. Such conduct, by instructors, staff, or students, including between students, has the purpose or effect of interfering with academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

 Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual discrimination, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. While USAHS may use different standards and definitions than state criminal codes, sexual misconduct often overlaps with crimes under applicable criminal codes.

 Stalking: Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress or to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others. A course of conduct means two or more acts in which a person follows, monitors, observes,   surveils, communicates with another person, threatens, intimidates or communicates with or about another person, or vandalizes another person’s property.

  1.    Reporting Violations of This Policy

Students, faculty, or staff members who believe that they are a victim of sexual misconduct should contact the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for receiving and processing, in a timely manner, reports from students, faculty, staff, and administrators regarding rights and responsibilities concerning sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX.

Any questions or complaints regarding Title IX may be referred to USAHS’s Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Deputy Coordinators or to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights – Regional Division Offices listed below.

Filing a Criminal Complaint: Students, faculty, and staff members have the right to file both a criminal complaint and a Title IX complaint simultaneously.

To file a criminal complaint please contact the local police department for your campus listed below.

USAHS’s Florida Campuses

  Title IX Coordinator U.S. Department of Education - Regional Office IV
  Ryan Davis
Office: 737-202-3373
Email: [email protected]
61 Forsyth St. SW, Suite 19T40
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404-974-9450
Email: [email protected]
     
  Local Police, St. Augustine Campus:
St. Augustine Police Department
151 King St. St Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: 904-825-1074
Local Police, Miami Campus:
Coral Gables Police Department
2801 Salzedo St #1 Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone: 305-442-1600

USAHS California Campus

  Title IX Coordinator
Ryan Davis
Office: 737-202-3373
Email: [email protected]
U.S. Department of Education - Regional Office IX
50 Beale Street, Room 9700
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-486-5700 Email: [email protected]
     
  Local Police:
San Diego County Sheriff’s San Marcos Station
182 Santar Pl, San Marcos, CA 92069
Phone: 760-510-5200
 

USAHS Austin Campus

  Title IX Coordinator
Ryan Davis
Office:737-202-3373
Email: [email protected]
U.S. Department of Education - Regional Office VI
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, Texas 75201-6810
Phone: 404-974-9450 Email: [email protected]
     
 
Local Police:
Austin Police Department
404 Ralph Ablanedo Dr 
Austin, TX 78748
Telephone: 512-974-5037
 

USAHS Dallas Campus

                   
Title IX Coordinator                                                  
Ryan Davis
Office 737-202-3373
U.S. Department of Education - Regional Office VI
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, Texas 75201-6810
Phone: 404-974-9450 Email: [email protected]
     
 
Local Police:
Irving Police Department
305 N O’Connor Rd, Irving, TX 75061
Telephone: 972-273-1010
 

Students, faculty, and staff members must report an incident of alleged discrimination to a “Responsible Employee.” For the purposes of this policy, the “Responsible Employees” are the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Coordinator’s designee, the Executive Director of Student Administration, and the Program Director. For complaints where both the complainant and respondent are employees, “Responsible Employees” is the Human Resources Campus Manager.

USAHS takes all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and, upon receiving notice of any alleged violation of this Policy, shall take immediate steps to conduct a thorough, prompt, and appropriate investigation of the complaint.

A complainant who contacts the Title IX Coordinator or Responsible Employee with an allegation of Sexual Misconduct will be notified of his or her right to confidentiality and his or her right to remain anonymous and how that may affect the University’s ability to conduct an investigation. Please note that there are certain situations where the University may not be able to guarantee confidentiality or anonymity. If the complainant wishes to move forward with the process, he or she will be asked a series of questions to provide information. If the complainant prefers, he or she may complete the information from the form and submit it to the Title IX Coordinator. The Sexual Misconduct or Discrimination Complaint Incident Report is available from the Title IX Coordinator or by downloading here: Sexual Misconduct or Discrimination Complaint Incident Report. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary for the complaint to go forward even if the complainant does not consent to that course of action.

USAHS strongly supports the complainant’s right to confidentiality in cases involving sexual misconduct. All members of the USAHS community have the right to ask that their names not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrators. However, there are limited situations in which the university must override a complainant’s (person alleging sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual discrimination) request for confidentiality in order to meet the institution’s legal obligations under Title IX (for example, one individual’s safety or the safety of others). In these situations, the information will only be shared with individuals who are responsible for handling the University’s response to incidents of sexual violence. Given the sensitive nature of reports of sexual violence, the University shall ensure that the information is maintained in a secure manner. If the complainant requests that his or her name not be revealed to the alleged perpetrator or if complainant asks the university not to investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, the University of St. Augustine will be limited in its ability to respond fully to the incident, including taking disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator. If the complainant still requests that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, or that the university not investigate or seek action against the alleges perpetrator, the Title IX Coordinator will need to determine whether or not the institution can honor such a request while providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, faculty, and staff.

  1. Determination of interim measures

Upon notification of an incident of sexual misconduct, USAHS shall take steps to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities and protect the complainant as necessary, including taking interim measures before the final outcome of an investigation. These measures are designed to protect the Complainant and provide the Complainant with options to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator. These measures may include a change in academic activities, living, transportation, dining, and working situation as appropriate. After the initial report of alleged sexual misconduct, possible immediate interim suspension can be invoked on the accused (“Respondent”) if there is a reasonable cause to believe the Respondent’s behavior is of such a nature as to pose a threat of harm or injury to the Complainant or any other member of the campus community. The Title IX Coordinator shall work with the Complainant to determine what, if any, interim measures shall be implemented.

  1. Student Amnesty Policy and Bystander Intervention

USAHS encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct. Sometimes, students may be reluctant to come forward and report an incident of sexual misconduct, or serve as a witness, because they are concerned that they may be charged with violating other campus policies, such as USAHS’s alcohol or drug policy. In order to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct, students who report an incident of sexual misconduct, or who serve as witnesses to an incident of sexual misconduct, will not face disciplinary sanctions for their own personal consumption of drugs or alcohol-related to the incident as long as any such violations did not place the health or safety of any other person at risk.

  1. Advisors

For complaints of sexual misconduct where the complainant or respondent is a student, the complainant, and the respondent may be accompanied throughout the investigation and appeal process by an advisor of their choice. Advisors should be from the University community unless otherwise approved, and must agree to keep the matter confidential. However, the advisor may not be a witness or possible witness in the case, a person involved in the University’s disciplinary process, or a complainant or a respondent in the case. The purpose of the advisor is to provide advice to the student in a manner that is not disruptive to the proceedings. The advisor may accompany the party to any meeting or hearing held pursuant to this Policy. The advisor may not provide verbal, written, or other input during the investigation or appeal process other than to the student being advised; the advisor may not speak on the party’s behalf or otherwise participate or address or question the investigator, Resolution Officer, or other parties or witnesses.

  1. Informal Resolution

If the complainant and respondent agree, certain cases may be resolved informally, including through mediation in appropriate cases. Cases involving allegations of sexual assault are not suitable for mediation. The Title IX Coordinator may also determine that informal resolution is not appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. All informal resolutions will be conducted or overseen by the Title IX Coordinator or designee. Under no circumstances will a complainant be required to resolve a matter directly with the respondent.

If both parties are satisfied with a proposed informal resolution, and the Title IX Coordinator considers the resolution to satisfy USAHS’s obligations to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment, the resolution will be implemented and the informal resolution process will be concluded. If informal resolution does not resolve the matter, the resolution process will proceed to a formal investigation. At any point in the process, either the complainant or the respondent may elect to end the informal process in favor of proceeding with a formal investigation.

  1. Investigations

If informal resolution is inappropriate, unsuccessful, or not desired by the complainant and the respondent, a formal investigation will be conducted. The investigation of a report of sexual misconduct will begin promptly. Notice will be provided simultaneously to the complainant and the respondent in writing that a complaint has been received by USAHS and will be investigated under this Policy. The notice shall specify any interim measures that have been implemented.

USAHS shall determine, given the circumstances surrounding the complaint, the proper party to conduct the investigation. The proper party may or may not be the Title IX Coordinator, and shall be the person best able to conduct an impartial and fair review of the complaint. The investigation will normally include interviewing the complainant(s), the respondent(s), witnesses, and other relevant parties and will include a review of any relevant documents and other information. It may include reviewing law enforcement investigation documents (if applicable) and reviewing student and personnel files. Both the complainant and the respondent may provide the investigator(s) with the names of witnesses, documents, and other information. The investigator(s) will exercise their discretion in deciding which individuals identified as witnesses during the investigation should be interviewed and which documents or other information should be reviewed. The interviews, meetings, and other proceedings are not recorded by USAHS and may not be recorded by others. The complainant and the respondent are afforded equal procedural rights during the investigation. No expert witnesses shall be permitted.

The complainant’s prior sexual relationships or conduct are neither relevant nor admissible during the investigation and will not be considered, other than the prior sexual relationship or conduct with the respondent if the respondent alleges consent. The fact that a complainant may currently have or had in the past a dating or sexual relationship with the respondent that was consensual is not sufficient by itself to constitute consent and does not preclude a determination that sexual misconduct occurred.

At any time prior to or during an investigation, the respondent may accept responsibility for some or all of the alleged violations. The matter will then proceed to the sanctioning phase and any appeal of the sanctioning decision.

  1. Preparation of Investigation Report

Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare a report summarizing the interviews conducted and the evidence reviewed. The report will include the investigator’s finding of fact, an assessment of the credibility of the parties and witnesses when appropriate, and a recommended determination as to whether a violation of this Policy has occurred. In reaching this conclusion, the investigator shall use the preponderance of evidence standard.

  1. Resolution Procedures
    1. Cases involving allegations of employee violations

If the Respondent is a non-student employee, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will report his or her findings to University Human Resources and Leadership. If Leadership determines, based on the contents of the report, that no violation of University Policy has occurred, the incident will be closed.

If Leadership determines, based on the contents of the report that a violation of University Policy has or may have occurred, University Leadership will determine an appropriate resolution including remedial and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of the employee. University Leadership will determine if a hearing is appropriate prior to the determination of the sanctions based on the particular facts presented, including but not limited to the identity of the complainant (student or employee), the nature and/or severity of the offense, and the evidence presented by the investigative report. The resolution, sanctions, and appeals will be governed by the procedures in University’s personnel policies or Faculty Handbook, if applicable, in accordance with the requirements of Title IX.

  1. Cases involving allegations of student violations

Sexual misconduct complaints involving student respondents will be governed by the following process. Upon the completion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator shall present the investigative report to University leadership which may include, as appropriate, the Executive Director for Student Administration and/or the Chief Academic Officer. The individual or individuals charged with making a determination as to the resolution of the complaint, and sanction, and any remedies for the complainant shall be referred to herein as the “Resolution Officer,” although more than one individual may be charged with resolving the complaint. The Resolution Officer shall then determine the appropriate resolution to the complaint, considering factors including but not limited to the identity of the complainant (student or employee), the nature and/or severity of the offense, and the evidence presented by the investigative report. The Resolution Officer shall determine whether any hearing is appropriate prior to the imposition of any sanction. Generally, a hearing will be provided if the probable sanction to be imposed is suspension or expulsion if the respondent is a student, or termination of employment if the respondent is an employee.

The Resolution Officer shall provide written notice to both the complainant and the respondent of the process to be used to resolve the complaint. If no hearing is to be held, both complainant and respondent may make a written submission to the Resolution Officer if they choose. If a hearing is held, the proceedings shall be closed. The complainant and respondent and their respective advisors may be present for all or any portion of the hearing. Either the complainant or respondent may request, or be asked, to hear or view the proceedings via audio or video transmission from a separate room. Any witnesses may only be present in the hearing room when being questioned by the Resolution Officer.

Neither party shall be permitted to ask questions at the hearing, although either party may submit to the Resolution Officer requested questions for the other party or witnesses. It shall be at the discretion of the Resolution Officer whether or not to ask the submitted questions, in whole or in part.

The Resolution Officer shall provide both parties with written notice of its findings and the reasons for such findings. The Resolution Officer shall use the preponderance of evidence standard in making his or her findings. If a violation of this Policy is found, the notice shall provide the sanctions to the respondent and to the complainant, as appropriate under Title IX.

The notice shall set forth either party’s right to appeal, the identity of the Appeal Officer, and the process and time limit for such an appeal.

In addition to discipline against the respondent, resolutions may include remedies for the complainant, which may include steps such as reassignment of a course section or residency, counseling services, medical services, academic support services, or changes to the school’s overall services or policies, including altering withdrawal penalties within courses. Any remedies offered would be separate from, and in addition to, any interim measure that may have been provided prior to the conclusion of any investigation. Resolutions may also include remedies for the broader University population, such as training or changes to policies or services.

  1. Appeals

Appeals for sexual misconduct complaints involving non-student employee respondents will be governed by the procedures in University personnel policies or Faculty Handbook, as applicable. If any right of appeal is granted through those policies, both the complainant and the respondent shall have equal rights of appeal.

In cases involving student respondents, both parties have the right to appeal the Resolution Officer’s finding of responsibility and/or imposition of sanctions. Any appeal must be filed in writing within five (5) days from the notice of resolution. The University will determine the appropriate individual in University leadership to hear any appeal (“Appeal Officer”), depending on the circumstances of the case, including the identity of the respondent. There is a presumption that the decision, and any sanction or discipline, was made properly, and the Appeal Officer may not substitute his or her judgment for that of the Resolution Officer. The sole grounds for appeal are: (1) a procedural error that substantially impacted the determination or sanction; (2) new information that was not available at the time of the investigation or hearing and that could reasonably have had had a substantial impact on the determination or sanction; and (3) excessiveness or insufficiency of the sanction. The sanction may be increased only if the complainant appeals on the ground that the sanction was insufficient, and may only be decreased if the respondent appeals on the ground that the sanction was excessive.

The Appeal Officer shall give both parties timely notice of the receipt of an appeal. Both parties shall be provided the opportunity to make a written submission to the Appeal Officer. The Appeal Officer shall be limited to the record below, including any information that was part of the investigation or the resolution hearing. The Appeal Officer shall not conduct another hearing but may conduct interviews with the complainant, respondent, or witnesses in his or her discretion. The party appealing shall have the burden of proof in any appeal. The Appeal Officer shall use the preponderance of evidence standard in the determination of any appeal.

The Appeal Officer shall give written notice to both parties of the outcome of the appeal and the reasons for his or her decision. The decision of the Appeal Officer is final.

Retaliation: Title IX includes protections against retaliation. USAHS will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine if retaliation due to the reporting of sexual misconduct or discrimination occurs.

Training: All individuals with responsibilities under this Policy shall have appropriate training in this Policy and in the requirements of Title IX and related laws. Training shall include training relating to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking as defined in this Policy.

Time Frames for Process: While each situation is different and there can be no way to determine how long an investigation will take, the Title IX Coordinator shall use her best efforts to reach a resolution within 60 days from the time the complaint is reported to notice of the resolution, exclusive of any appeals.

Sources of Counseling, Advocacy, and Support: Victims of Sexual Misconduct can receive assistance immediately by calling the local police department (911, if an emergency) and local counseling resources listed by campus below. USAHS employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by contacting Compsych Guidance Resources at 800-697-0353 or online at www.guidanceresources.com (username: USAEAP). EAP is a free, “Confidential Resource” at USAHS which means that all conversations will remain confidential and will not initiate any type of investigation into the incident. Sexual assault reports must be made by contacting the University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators, who are the appropriate University Officials for receiving reports of sexual assault. USAHS students can contact the following off-campus resources for counseling services: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).  For students at the USAHS Florida Campuses: The Betty Griffin House 24-hour crisis hotlines, Telephone: (904) 824-1555. For students at the USAHS California Campus: North County Family Violence Center Prevention Services, 330 Rancheros Dr., San Marcos, CA 92069, Telephone: (760) 798-2835.  For students at the USAHS Austin, Texas, Campus: Victim Services Resources 24-hour crisis hotlines, Telephone: (512)472-4357.  For students at the USAHS Dallas, Texas, Campus: Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARC-C), Telephone: (972) 641-7273

Accessibility & Accommodations

USAHS is committed to and embraces diversity in all forms. The Office of Student Affairs can help if a student requires an accommodation during his or her coursework or clinical site because of a disability, religion, pregnancy, or breastfeeding status. Students seeking an accommodation should follow the steps outlined below and submit such request as soon as reasonably practicable.

Disability Accommodations

In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), USAHS is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations to any student with a disability. The University has developed a list of essential functions that a student should possess in order to successfully complete some programs. This list is provided to prospective students as part of the application packet and to newly admitted students as part of the acceptance process. Each student must endorse that he or she has reviewed and understands the list of essential functions.

To request a reasonable accommodation, a student must complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form available through myUSA, Student Services tab, Disability Services link. Students should submit the completed form and appropriate documentation to [email protected] as early as possible. A delay in submitting the request may result in not having approved accommodations for their assignments or other academic requirements. The Office of Student Affairs will review the request and inform the student in writing of the decision. The student will be asked to sign a form indicating his or her agreement to the accommodations being provided and will be responsible for notifying his or her instructor(s) of the approved accommodations.

Faculty are to adhere to the approved accommodations and are encouraged to seek clarification from The Office of Student Affairs should there be a question or concern about providing the accommodations. Should a student request something different than the approved accommodations, he or she should contact Disability Services via [email protected]. Faculty members, Advisors and/or Program Directors are unable to alter the approved accommodations.

Religious Accommodations

USAHS is committed to providing an academic and work environment that is respectful of the religious beliefs of its students. As part of this commitment, USAHS will make good faith efforts to provide reasonable religious accommodations to students whose sincerely held religious beliefs conflict with a University policy, procedure, or other academic requirements unless such an accommodation would create an undue hardship. To request an accommodation, a student must complete the Religious Accommodation Request Form available through myUSA.

Pregnancy Accommodations

USAHS is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students. Students may request reasonable accommodations because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary based on the student’s circumstances, but may include: academic accommodations, leave of absence or flexibility (such as breaks during class, excused absences, rescheduling of tests, and alternatives to make up missed work).

In addition, USAHS supports students who choose to continue breastfeeding their children after they return to campus. USAHS shall provide clean, private rooms that are easily accessible to nursing students. All designated lactation spaces shall be equipped with a table, chair, electrical outlet, window coverings (as needed), and lock from inside. Students planning to breastfeed should do so around their scheduled class times to the extent possible.

Students who wish to discuss or request accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions should complete a Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form available through MyUSA.

Pets and Service Animals

USAHS prohibits bringing a pet (a domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship) to campus or having a pet in USAHS controlled buildings and premises, with the exception of service animals providing ADA reasonable accommodations for a person with disabilities. As established by the ADA, service animals may not be excluded from University facilities or activities except as provided below. Students requiring a service animal may experience limitations in the number of clinical sites available to them and their desired geographic location.

Definition of Service Animal

The ADA defines a service animal as follows:

“… any … animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

Under the ADA, service animals are limited to dogs and other animals that are approved and recognized that meet specific federal and/or state criteria. A service animal must be specifically trained to perform a service function to work on campus for the benefit of an individual with a disability. If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. Companion or therapy animals are not considered service animals and are not allowed unless otherwise required by law.

Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or is disruptive to the campus community may be excluded regardless of training or certification. Students who utilize a service animal must submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form available through MyUSA.

Responsibility of Service Animal Owner/Partner

The service animal’s owner/partner is at all times solely responsible for the cost of care, arrangements, any responsibilities connected to the well-being of a service animal, and any property damage caused by the service animal. Students with off-campus internships, clinical labs, service-learning opportunities, or other University-related activities must abide by the service animal policy at the off-campus entity.

Requirements of service animals and their owners/partners on campus include the following:

  • Animals must meet all public place requirements as mandated by state or local ordinances.
  • All animals need to be immunized against rabies and other diseases common to that type of animal.
  • All vaccinations must be current.
  • Animals must wear a rabies vaccination tag.
  • All animals must be licensed per state law.
  • Service animals must wear an owner identification tag which always includes the name and phone number of the owner.
  • The owner/partner must follow local ordinances in cleaning up after the animal defecates; individuals with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animal are not required to pick up and dispose of feces.
  • Animals must be in good health.
  • Animals must be on a leash, harness, or another type of restraint always unless the owner/partner is unable to retain an animal on leash due to a disability.
  • The owner/partner must always be in full control of the animal; the care and supervision of the animal is solely the responsibility of the owner/partner.
  • The removal of service animals may be requested in certain situations, including if a service animal:
    • is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself),
    • threatens the health or safety of another individual,
    • displays signs of illness, or
    • is unclean, malodorous, and/or bedraggled.

If improper behavior happens repeatedly or if owners/partners are noncompliant with requirements, they may be told not to bring the service animal into any facility until they take significant steps to mitigate violations. The University is not liable if the service animal causes harm to the University or an individual.

Areas Off-Limits to Service Animals

To ensure safety there may be areas on the campus that are off-limits to service animals. The natural organisms carried by dogs and other animals may negatively affect the outcome of the research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the research may be harmful to service animals. Areas such as research laboratories, mechanical rooms, custodial closets, and areas that require protective clothing may be restricted. Final decisions regarding restricted areas will be made based on the nature of research or machinery and in the best interest of the animal. Exceptions to determinations may be made by a Dean or the Dean’s designee. The natural organisms carried by dogs and other animals may negatively affect the outcome of the research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the research may be harmful to service animals.

Anti-Retaliation

USAHS prohibits retaliation against students for requesting an accommodation or otherwise engaging in protected conduct under these policies. If you feel you have been discriminated or retaliated against, please follow the complaints process outlined in this publication.

Student Rights

All students enrolled at the University are accorded the basic rights as set forth by the Board of Directors. Student rights are as follows:

  • The right of respect for personal feelings.
  • The right to freedom from indignity of any type.
  • The right to expect an education of the highest quality.
  • The right to make the best use of one’s talents and time toward the objectives that brought him or her to the University.
  • The right to inquire about and to recommend improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of students.
  • The right for students and/or their representatives to meet with the appropriate Program Director, Chair, Dean, and the President.
  • The right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as defined by the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the states of Florida, California, or Texas.
  • The right to participate in dialog during public discussions that provide a diversity of opinion.
  • The right to join organizations for educational, political, social, religious, and cultural purposes within the limits imposed by their responsibilities to each other and to the student life of the University.
  • The right of due process.
  • The right to freedom of the press and media (newspaper, radio, television, etc.) to publish and distribute materials will be granted when identified by authorship and sponsorship.

Student Responsibilities

The University expects its students to be responsible for helping to maintain a healthy academic climate where students can grow and develop as mature individuals with a commitment to lifelong learning. Student responsibilities include the following:

  • The responsibility of assuming the consequences of one’s own actions and of avoiding conduct detrimental to fellow students and University employees.
  • The responsibility of taking the initiative to volunteer for service on committees.
  • The responsibility for ensuring that the essential order of the University is maintained.
  • The responsibility for academic work and clinical education requirements.
  • The responsibility to be fully acquainted with and to adhere to the University’s Catalog/Handbook and other published policies and procedures.

Compliance with University Regulations

USAHS seeks resolution of all issues through the process of reason and expects all members of the University community to be governed by this principle. However, should a student, faculty member, staff member, visitor, invited guest, or other licensee, acting individually or collectively, while on University property engage in violence, destruction of property, or any act that disrupts or interferes with the functioning of the University or disturbs the academic processes of the classroom and ignore or refuse to comply with official directives to desist, the University shall eject said violator from the campus or other University property. In addition, the University may seek to impose such penalties as provided by law. Where circumstances require, USAHS may employ injunctive procedures or call on the civil authority to maintain order. University students, faculty, or staff engaged in such acts are subject to immediate suspension and a subsequent hearing, which may lead to expulsion or dismissal.

Complaints Policy

USAHS is committed to providing a learning and working environment in which complaints are addressed fairly and resolved promptly. All complaints are taken seriously. The procedure for handling complaints from current students encourages informal conciliation, facilitates early resolution, and maintains individual privacy and confidentiality. Please note that complaints regarding sexual misconduct policy should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. Complaints related to academic dismissals or professional misconduct should follow those procedures outlined in this publication.

Students are encouraged to address concerns or complaints promptly, generally within 5 business days of the date of the incident or occurrence that has given rise to the concern or complaint. USAHS endeavors to resolve all concerns and complaints; however, delayed reports of a concern or complaint may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

Open Door

Students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy and address issues directly with faculty and staff, before filing a formal complaint. Open communication between students, faculty, and staff is strongly encouraged, and students are free to speak directly with all members of the USAHS community regarding any complaints or concerns that they have. Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs is available to discuss and assist with any concerns or complaints.

Conflict Resolution Assistance

Students may seek conflict resolution assistance from the Office of Student Affairs. Assistance may be a simple clarification of a University policy or information regarding options for resolving the conflict. The Office of Student Affairs may assist by arranging a face-to-face meeting with the other individual involved in the conflict, if possible and appropriate under the circumstances. In all cases, USAHS will try to secure a mutually agreeable solution to any situation.

Formal Complaint Process

While students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy described above, students may also use USAHS’ Formal Complaint Process, described in this section, to resolve a complaint.

Step 1

The Formal Complaint Process requires students to complete the Student Complaint Form located on the MyUSA portal, which will be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Student Affairs will direct the complaint to the responsible party to investigate and attempt to resolve the complaint. A written summary of any resolution reached will be provided to the student by the Office of Student Affairs, generally within 10 business days after receipt of the written complaint.

Step 2

Students may appeal a Step 1 decision, in writing, to the Grievance Committee by completing the Grievance Form within 5 business days after the Step 1 response was issued to the student. The Grievance Committee will investigate the complaint and give the student an opportunity to discuss the complaint. The Office of Student Affairs will seek to provide the student with a written response from the Grievance Committee within 60 business days.

Step 3

The student may request a reconsideration of the Grievance Committee’s decision, in writing, to [email protected] within 5 business days after the Step 2 response was issued to him or her. Requests for reconsideration will be forwarded to the President or their designee. In most cases, a Dean will serve as the designee for the President. For purposes of a request for reconsideration, the President or designee will review the existing record from the previous investigations. The Office of Student Affairs will provide the student with a written response to the request for reconsideration at the conclusion of the process.

Confidentiality

All information submitted as part of a student complaint will be treated as confidential and will be available only to the appropriate/involved parties. The student should also respect the need for confidentiality throughout the complaint process. A student who submits a complaint should be aware that complete confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed if effective action is to be taken. USAHS accepts and endeavors to resolve anonymous complaints; however, anonymous complaints may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

No retaliation

No adverse action will be taken against a student as the result of the submission of a complaint through the USAHS complaint procedure. This protection against retaliation shall apply even if the findings of an investigation do not support the nature of the report, so long as the report was filed in good faith; however, students who knowingly file misleading or false reports or without a reasonable belief as to truth or accuracy, will not be protected by this policy.

Unresolved Complaints

If a complaint cannot be resolved after following the procedures above, the following agencies can be contacted directly. This information will be posted and kept current on the University website.

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
    • Complaints may be filed with the University’s institutional accrediting body by contacting the WSCUC at http://www.wascsenior.org/comments and reviewing the Policy on Complaints and Third-Party Comments to ascertain the appropriate means to communicate comments and complaints.
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
    • To submit a complaint against the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, contact the APTA Accreditation Department at 703-706-3245 or at [email protected] to obtain the necessary materials for complaint submission.

  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
    • In addition to opportunities for providing public comment regarding a program’s accreditation status, the CAA has separate procedures for filing a formal complaint about a CAA-accredited program or one seeking a CAA accreditation status. Individuals who wish to file a formal complaint should contact the Accreditation Office to obtain a copy of the complaint procedures, or refer to the Procedures for Complaints Against Graduate Education Programs on the CAA website.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Complaints may be directed to the CCNE Complaints Administrator and sent to the CCNE office at 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
    • Complaints may be directed to 12000 Findley Road, Suite 275, Johns Creek, GA  30097.
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • In California
  • In Florida
    • For information on the Commission for Independent Education’s complaint process go to http://www.fldoe.org/policy/cie/file-a-complaint.stml or contact the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education at 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399, (toll-free number) 888-224-6684.
  • In Texas

Additional States

USAHS has taken the necessary steps to apply and/or receive authorization to deliver education, to market, and to affiliate with clinical education sites in most states. For information on a specific state or to file a complaint go to https://www.usa.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Complaint-Process-for-all-states-7-2018.pdf.

Appeal Process

The student has the right to appeal to the appropriate University committee and, if applicable, to the President of the University in the event of a decision to dismiss and/or suspend from the University.

Proper Conduct/Student Code of Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, which upholds the integrity of their profession and the University.

Admittance to USAHS carries with it an obligation and responsibility to abide by federal, state, and local laws, respective county and city ordinances, as well as all University rules, regulations, and procedures. Admission to the University is a privilege, not a right, and is extended to those individuals who meet all admission criteria. All students, faculty, guests, patients, and staff of the University have a responsibility to report violations of the Student Code of Conduct to the appropriate officials. As a student, you will be asked to read and acknowledge this as part of the enrollment process.

The following behaviors are to be adhered to at all times while on University property or using University facilities or when associated with the University in any manner:

  • The University is a tobacco and e-cigarette free, drug-free, and alcohol-free environment; therefore no smoking or being under the influence of banned substances or intoxicants is permitted.
  • The use of profane language is not acceptable.
  • Weapons are not permitted.
  • Violence, or the threat of violence in any form, is not tolerated.
  • Sexual or other forms of harassment will not be tolerated.
  • The Internet Acceptable Use Policy must be adhered to at all times.
  • It is expected that students will:
    • conduct themselves with professionalism, courtesy, and respect for others in all dealings with institution staff, faculty, and other students;
    • present qualifications and background truthfully and accurately for admission and other academic-related documentation to the institution;
    • observe the institutional policies and rules on submitting work, taking examinations, participating in online discussions, and conducting research;
    • never turn in or present another person’s work or ideas or scholarship as one’s own;
    • never ask for, receive, or give unauthorized help on graded assignments, quizzes, or examinations;
    • never divulge the content of or answers to quizzes or examinations to fellow students;
    • never improperly use, destroy, forge, or alter the institution’s documents, transcripts, or other records; and
    • never divulge one’s online username and password.

The following interpersonal behaviors are expected at all times:

Of paramount concern is that students and graduates of the University display and present a positive and respectful attitude to their patients/clients, colleagues, supervisors, faculty, staff, community, and to the University. This attitude is a key ingredient to the successful completion of studies at the University and to excel as health care professionals. Students will endeavor at all times to

  • utilize titles and surnames when addressing authorized University personnel;
  • respect the worth and individuality of every person (e.g., listen/pay attention while others are speaking and promote constructive feedback);
  • refrain from disruptive behavior;
  • refrain from proselytization (proselytization is defined as aggressively and/or harassingly trying to convert, recruit, or induce someone to join one’s own political cause or to espouse one’s own doctrine); and
  • respect confidentiality.

Always report any violations of the Code of Conduct to the appropriate institutional official, and report any evidence of cheating, plagiarism, or improper conduct on the part of any student of the institution when there is direct knowledge of these activities. Failure to observe the Student Code of Conduct is professionally unacceptable and could negatively impact academic progression.

Classroom and Laboratory Conduct and Standards

Students are expected to arrive at lectures and lab sessions on time and with the appropriate clothing and equipment. The following behaviors are also expected in all lectures and lab sessions:

  • No food or drinks (except in spill-proof containers) are permitted in the lecture or lab areas. Gum chewing is allowed only during written examinations. No bubbles may be blown.
  • Students are expected to assist the instructors in the organization of equipment before and after the lab activity.
  • Students will operate lab equipment in a safe and respectful manner.
  • Shoes may not be work while on the lab tables or mats.

Flex courses may include labs for learning hands-on skills. Lab sessions are typically scheduled for Saturday and Sunday; however, some PT coursework requires weekday attendance. Students are notified of the lab schedule for the next trimester approximately 2 months before the start of the trimester.

Professional Dress and Appearance Code

USAHS students are highly visible to the public and should be sensitive to this fact. The following guidelines will be interpreted and enforced in a manner determined by the faculty and administration to be in the best interest of both the University and the health sciences professions. Further, the University is free to change these guidelines without prior notice to students, although every effort will be made to provide such notice.

It is intended that daily appearance on campus be analogous to the daily appearance of a health professional in the future and as an ambassador for the University and profession. A high level of professionalism comes naturally when practiced at a high level daily.

Students must abide by the following policies regarding professional dress and appearance while on the University campus. The University’s campus consists of the entire physical plant, which includes the student parking lot, faculty and staff parking lots, all classrooms, laboratories, lounges, hallways, lobbies, and libraries. The University is a 7-day-a-week campus and a professional environment. This dress code is in effect during scheduled classroom and lab hours.

  • University ID: The University ID must be properly exposed above the waist on the front collar or on a lanyard at all times.
  • Grooming: Students will portray the well-groomed appearance of a responsible health professional. Hair will be clean, neat, of natural color, and, in the case of both men and women, will not be excessively long. Nails must be groomed to ¼-inch or less with neutral polish only (no artificial nails). Men must be cleanly shaven or well-groomed; beards or mustaches are acceptable. No heavy makeup, perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
  • Accessories, jewelry, body piercings, and tattoos: All accessories and jewelry shall be free of writing, pictures, symbols, or any other insignia that are crude, vulgar, profane, obscene, libelous, slanderous, or sexually suggestive. Any accessory or jewelry that creates a safety or health concern or causes or threatens to cause a disruption to the educational process is prohibited. Dark glasses, sunglasses, hats, caps, visors, and other head coverings shall not be worn indoors. No tattoos may be visible.
    • Unacceptable for men: Earrings or other body piercing jewelry are prohibited on campus.
    • Unacceptable for women: Body piercing jewelry other than lobe earrings is prohibited on campus. A maximum of 2 earrings per lobe is permitted.
  • Swimsuits: Recreational and instructional swimsuit attire must not be disruptive or distracting. For women, one-piece swimsuits are preferred. Suits must fully cover the chest and buttocks. For men, mid-thigh swimsuits are preferred. All swimsuits must remain nontransparent when wet. A person wearing inappropriate swimsuit attire will be required to wear shorts and a shirt.

All students must maintain high standards as individuals in order to uphold the reputation of the University and professions. Being neatly dressed, well-groomed, and avoiding faddish modes of dress is required. It is University policy that students maintain University dress code while on the University’s campus or while participating in any coursework outside the University’s campus. The following outlines the required Professional Dress and Appearance Code for scheduled events.

Lecture Attire

  • Acceptable attire for men: Only collared shirts (e.g., button-down oxford or polo shirt) are permitted. Shirts must be of a length that can be tucked into and remain in the pants. A student should be able to do three full-extension jumping jacks without the shirt becoming untucked. Dress or walking shorts (i.e, just above the knee) or casual dress pants are preferred. Jeans are acceptable provided they are in good condition. Dress sandals (e.g., Teva or Birkenstocks), clean tennis or running shoes, or any other closed-toed shoe with socks are acceptable.
    Unacceptable attire for men: Shirts without collars, T-shirts, tank tops, sleeveless tops, low-cut shirts, grunge-look pants, and bib overalls are not acceptable neither are thong-type, beach casual, or flip-flop sandals. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of gluteal fold is permitted.
  • Acceptable attire for women: Shirts should have sleeves; however, a professional-looking sleeveless blouse is acceptable. Shirts must be of a length that can be tucked into and remain in the pants. A student should be able to do three full-extension jumping jacks without the shirt becoming untucked. Dress or walking shorts (i.e., just above the knee) or casual dress pants are preferred. Jeans are acceptable provided they are in good condition. Skirts and dresses may not be unreasonably short for a practicing health professional. Dress sandals, clean tennis or running shoes, or any other closed-toed shoe with socks/stockings are acceptable.
    Unacceptable attire for women: T-shirts, tank tops, low-cut shirts, yoga, hip-hugger pants, grunge-look pants, bib overalls, and beach casual or flip-flop sandals are not acceptable. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of midriffs, cleavage, or gluteal fold is permitted.

Guest Lecture Attire

On occasion, students are required to wear business attire on days when guest lecturers and/or others are visiting the University. Students may also be required to wear business attire when giving formal presentations or case presentations as a part of their coursework. Appropriate business attire for men is a business suit including jacket, dress shirt, and a tie, or a blazer and dress pants with a dress shirt and tie. Appropriate business attire for women is a business suit (skirt or pants) including jacket and blouse. Skirts may not be unreasonably short for a professional health care environment (i.e., skirt hems should be no higher than three inches from the top of the patella). Shoes are to be closed-toe and closed heel. Course instructors reserve the right to modify or further specify the required dress for guest lectures or presentations. Refer to individual course syllabi for further requirements.

Laboratory Attire

Certain labs require laboratory dress and some require special dress for physical assessment or manual techniques inducing perspiration or for the handling of special materials. Unless otherwise noted in the class syllabus, students may arrive on campus in laboratory attire if lab is their first scheduled class of the day. However, students must change from laboratory attire into lecture attire for the remainder of their scheduled classes. Students without lab as their first scheduled class must arrive on campus in lecture attire and change into laboratory attire immediately prior to a lab session.

Specifications for alternate lab attire as defined in the course syllabi are as follows:

  • Solid color gym shorts that allow for modesty and free movement and a plain, solid-colored T-shirt are acceptable. T-shirts should be devoid of any print or pictures with the exception of the official USAHS logo, which is permissible. T-shirts must be clean, properly sized, and be of a length that can be tucked into and remain in the pants.
  • When T-shirts are approved for University-sponsored activities, students will be notified if they are also approved as lab wear. Athletic shoes with socks are required. Nails must be groomed to ¼-inch or less with neutral polish only (no artificial nails).
    • Scrubs, to include matching tops and bottoms, are acceptable for certain labs (e.g., Anatomy dissection and Neuroscience) as defined by class syllabi.
    • For many labs, women will need to wear a sports bra, halter-top, or a bathing suit top that exposes the scapulae and may be unfastened at the back.
  • Unacceptable lab attire for both men and women: Jean shorts, cargo-style, cutoffs, or bright neon shorts are not acceptable. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of midriffs, cleavage, or gluteal fold is permitted.

Students requiring medical or cultural allowances for certain policies, including dress and appearance code, must have the approval of their respective Program Director.

Clinical Affiliation Attire

Please refer to the Clinical Education Handbook.

Miami Campus Dress Code 

Acceptable attire for men and women:

Solid color polo-type shirts are permitted. Shirts must be tucked into and remain in the pants/shorts. A student should be able to do three full-extension jumping jacks without the shirt becoming untucked. Dress or walking shorts (chino-style and above the knee) or casual dress pants are required.  Acceptable color for pants and shorts are brown, black and shades of brown and black.  A belt must be worn.   

Shoes: Must be clean tennis or running shoes, or any other closed-toed shoe is acceptable. Socks are required and must be a solid colored and ankle length. 

Unacceptable attire for men: Shirts without collars, T-shirts, tank tops, sleeveless tops, low-cut shirts, grunge-look pants, cargo pants and bib overalls, are not acceptable; neither are thong-type, beach casual, or flip-flop sandals. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of gluteal fold is permitted.

Unacceptable attire for women: T-shirts, tank tops, low-cut shirts, hip-hugger pants, grunge-look pants, cargo pants, leggings (e.g., yoga pants), bib overalls, and beach casual or flip-flop sandals are not acceptable. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of midriffs, cleavage, or gluteal fold is permitted.

Guest Lecture Attire

On occasion, students are required to wear business attire on days when guest lecturers and/or others are visiting the University. Students may also be required to wear business attire when giving formal presentations or case presentations as a part of their coursework. Appropriate business attire for men is a business suit including jacket, dress shirt, and a tie, or a blazer and dress pants with a dress shirt and tie. Appropriate business attire for women is a business suit (skirt or pants) including jacket and blouse. Skirts may not be unreasonably short for a professional health care environment (i.e., skirt hems should be no higher than three inches from the top of the patella). Shoes are to be closed-toe and closed heel. Course instructors reserve the right to modify or further specify the required dress for guest lectures or presentations. Refer to individual course syllabi for further requirements.

Laboratory Attire

Certain labs require laboratory dress. These are scrubs. Scrubs for labs must be a solid color, with matching tops and bottoms (i.e., Rehab Professional).  

Alternate Lab Attire

Some labs require special dress for physical assessment or manual techniques inducing perspiration or for the handling of special materials. Students are required to change to and from lecture and laboratory attire immediately preceding and after laboratory class.

Specifications for alternate lab attire as defined in the course syllabi are as follows:

  • Above the knee gym shorts (2- 6 inches above the knee) must be a solid color that allows for modesty and free movement and a plain, solid-color T-shirt are acceptable. T-shirts should be devoid of any print or pictures with the exception of the official USAHS logo, which is permissible. T-shirts must be clean, properly sized, and  of a length that can be tucked into and remain in the pants.
  • When T-shirts are approved for University-sponsored activities, students will be notified if they are also approved as lab wear. Athletic shoes with ankle socks are required. Nails must be groomed to ¼′-inch or less with neutral polish only (no artificial nails). 
  • Shoes: Must be clean tennis or running shoes, Socks are required and must be a solid colored and ankle length. 
  • Jewelry must be removed.
  • For many exercises and manual therapy labs, women will be required to wear a sports bra, halter-top, or a bathing suit top that exposes the scapulae and may be unfastened at the back. Please note an appropriate T-shirt or polo shirt must be worn over this until asked to remove it.
  • Unacceptable attire for both men and women: Jean shorts, cutoffs, or bright neon shorts are not acceptable. Underwear is not permitted to show outside or through the clothing. No exposure of midriffs, cleavage, or gluteal fold is permitted.

Students requiring medical or cultural allowances for certain policies, including dress and appearance code, must have the approval of their respective Program Director.

Clinical Affiliation Attire

Please refer to the Clinical Education Handbook.

Suspension or Dismissal

The University, through its faculty or appropriate committees, reserves the discretionary right to suspend or dismiss any student from the University for failure to maintain:

  • a satisfactory academic record, or
  • acceptable personal and professional behavior.

Professional Misconduct

The following sections describe USAHS’s Professional Misconduct (PMC) Policy.

Reporting a Professional Misconduct Violation

A student, faculty member, or any other member of the community may submit a report related to a student’s professional misconduct. Reports for student misconduct should be submitted to [email protected] and will be routed to the Chair of the Professional Misconduct Committee. The Professional Misconduct Committee, which consists of faculty and staff selected from across the USAHS campuses, is vested with the authority to adjudicate all matters of student misconduct as outlined in this procedure.

All reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the offending event occurs, generally within 5 business days of the incident or occurrence that has given rise to the report. USAHS endeavors to review and investigate all professional misconduct reports; however, delayed reports may make the matter harder to investigate.

Misconduct Behaviors

Students who are found in violation of University policies, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct, and Academic Integrity policies may be subject to disciplinary action. Although not inclusive, the following list of misconduct behaviors provides examples of acts that may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal:

Note: Refer to the Academic Integrity Policy for a definition of Level One, Level Two, and Level Three Academic Dishonesty violations.

  • Repeated Level One, such as lazy plagiarism or failure to cite.
  • Level Two, such as receiving assistance and failing to acknowledge, or submitting the same work to satisfy the requirement of more than one course.
  • Level Three academic dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism, falsification of records, unauthorized possession of examinations or parts of examinations, intimidation, and any other actions that may affect the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement.

Additional Misconduct Behaviors include:

  • Disruption of teaching, research, administration, and disciplinary proceedings or other institutional activities.
  • Physical and/or mental abuse of any person or any form of harassment as defined under the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.
  • Failure to follow directives of authorized University personnel acting in the performance of their duties.
  • Destruction, misuse, damage, or defacement of any University property, or property leased or controlled by the University.
  • Violation of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Violence, hazing, or the threat of violence including possession or use of firearms, fireworks, explosives, incendiary devices, or other weapons of any description, including knives, air rifles and pistols, on the University campus.
  • Unauthorized participation in, agitation of, or instigation of any activity that interferes with ingress or egress from University facilities and/or that interrupts any activities of the University community in its normal functioning.
  • The use, possession, sale, or distribution of nonprescription and prescription-controlled substances.
  • Permitting or engaging in unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys, passwords, or access cards to any University premises, hardware, software, or services.
  • Any action without authorization from the University that modifies, destroys, discloses, or takes data, programs, or supporting documents residing in or relating in any way to a University computer, computer system, or computer network, or causes the denial of computer system service to an authorized user of such a system.
  • Repetitive violation of any University policy.
  • Commission of an act that would constitute a crime under federal, state, or local law.
  • Unprofessional behavior during any clinical education experience or any off-campus activity when representing the University.

Faculty Role in Professional Misconduct Violations

In lieu of a referral to the PMC, at the faculty’s discretion, an incident of professional misconduct may result in a final grade course reduction of 10%. Repeated or egregious incidences of professional misconduct should be reported to [email protected].

Program Director Role - Interim Suspension

The student may be placed on an interim suspension by the Program Director (or designee) when necessary in order to protect the health and safety of students or the community; preserve University property; pursue an investigation and/or hearing; protect academic integrity, or prevent disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University. In such situations, the student will be placed on an interim suspension, pending a PMC Hearing.

PMC Process

Notice of Hearing

Once a report is received, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the student in writing of the allegations against him or her and the date and time of the PMC hearing. The office of Student Affairs makes every attempt to schedule the PMC hearing and notify the student within 5 business days of receipt of the complaint. The hearing provides the student with an opportunity to respond and present his or her version of events, facts, and evidence in his or her defense.

PMC Hearing Procedure

  1. The committee chair will introduce each member of the committee to the student, providing the name and title of each member.
  2. The committee chair will review the general procedures for the meeting and answer any questions the student may have.
  3. The committee will direct questions to the student regarding the report of misconduct
  4. The student will provide truthful and full responses to the committee’s questions.
  5. The committee members may take written notes throughout the meeting.
  6. The student may present evidence that was not submitted with the student’s appeal letter to the committee chair. Determinations as to the relevance of the evidence are at the discretion of the committee chair.

Confidentiality

The PMC hearing is a closed, confidential process. However, a student may bring a single advisor with him or her to the appeal hearing after completing a FERPA release form and notifying the committee 3 business days prior to the hearing. The notification must include the name of the advisor and his or her relationship to the student.  The advisor is to be present for support purposes only and is not presenting on behalf of the student. The student will be the only person speaking to the appeal committee on behalf of the student. An advisor who causes disruption to the process will be asked to leave the proceedings. Further, the student is not to bring outside witnesses to the meeting. Statements from outside witnesses can be submitted for the committee’s consideration as part of the review process.

Notice of Outcome

After reviewing all evidence and information regarding the allegation, the Professional Misconduct Committee use the preponderance of evidence standards to determine responsibility and appropriate sanctions.

If the Professional Misconduct Committee finds that the facts do not support the allegation(s), the student will be found not responsible and notified of the outcome.

If the Professional Misconduct Committee finds the facts support the allegation(s) against the student, the student shall be found responsible, and the Professional Misconduct Committee will assign sanctions.

The student will be informed of the Committee’s decision through a formal decision letter to the student provided via email from the Office of Student Affairs to the student’s University-issued email address. Decisions are not final until this letter is sent to the student. The PMC will seek to issue its decision within 3 business days after the hearing but may require additional time to render the decision

Sanctions

Sanctions are determined based on the severity of the violation, past conduct history, and any aggravating or mitigating factors. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed on any student for any single violation of University policy.

Status Sanctions

  1. Warning: The student will receive a written notice stating he or she violated University policy and/or rules. The written notice will specify that inappropriate and unacceptable actions have occurred and that more severe disciplinary action will result should the student be involved in other violations while the student is enrolled at the University.
  2. Suspension: The student is separated from the University for a specified period, and upon the satisfaction of specific conditions, the student is eligible to return. Separation includes physical and electronic removal from the University. The Registrar’s Office will withdraw the student from all classes for the term. The student will be required to complete those classes during the term in which they return from suspension. During the suspension, students will not have access to Blackboard.
  3. Dismissal: The student is permanently separated from the University. The student is barred from being on campus and the student’s presence at any University-sponsored activity or event is prohibited. Separation includes physical and electronic removal from the University. The Registrar’s Office will withdraw the student from all classes for the term and access to Blackboard will be removed. IT will deactivate the student’s ID badge.

Educational Sanctions

The following Educational Actions can be assigned in addition to the issuance of a warning letter or suspension.

  1. Educational Program: Requirement to attend, present, and/or participate in a program related to the violation. It may also be a requirement to sponsor or assist with a program for others on campus to aid them in learning about a specific topic or issue related to the violation for which the student was found responsible.
  2. Community/University Service Requirement: For a student to complete a specific supervised University service.
  3. Behavioral Requirement: Includes required activities such as, but not limited to, seeking academic counseling, counseling assessment, personal counseling, and writing a letter of apology.
  4. Research Projects: This includes required activities such as, but not limited to, writing papers or creating educational materials and bulletin boards.

Restrictive Sanctions

Restrictive sanctions modify a student’s privileges.

  1. Banning/Trespass: The student’s privilege to be present at or utilize certain buildings, facilities, classrooms, and the like are restricted. Temporary exceptions to banning/trespass for University-related business may be granted upon request.
  2. Eligibility Restriction: The student may be deemed ineligible to hold any office in any student organization recognized by the University or hold an elected or appointed office at the University, or the student may be deemed ineligible to represent the University to anyone outside the University community in any way including participating in the study abroad program, attending conferences, or representing the University at an official function, event or intercollegiate competition.
  3. Loss of Privileges: The student will be denied specified privileges for a designated period.
  4. Confiscation of Prohibited Property: Items whose presence is in violation of University policy will be confiscated and will become the property of the University. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the Professional Misconduct Committee

Restorative Sanction

These sanctions are intended to repair damage that is caused by misconduct.

  1. Apology: The student will compose an apology letter
  2. Restitution: Compensation for damage caused to the University or any person’s property. This is not a fine but, rather, a repayment for destroyed, damaged, consumed, or stolen property.

Failure to Follow Through on Conduct Sanctions

All students, as members of the University community, are expected to comply with conduct sanctions within the time frame specified by the hearing officer. Failure to follow through on conduct sanctions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in a conduct hold being placed on a student’s account or suspension from the University. The Office of Student Affairs will track the completion of all sanctions in cooperation with relevant parties and departments.

PMC Appeal Process

Right to Appeal

Any student may appeal a PMC decision to a Dean if it meets any of the following criteria:

  1. The PMC failed to comply with the procedural requirements outlined herein and/or elsewhere in this Catalog/Handbook.
  2. There is relevant and material evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or was improperly excluded at the hearing before the PMC.
  3. The evidence presented at the PMC hearing was not enough to justify the final decision.

Requesting an Appeal

To request an appeal, the student must provide to the Office of Student Affairs a completed PMC Appeal Request Form (available with procedures on MyUSA, Students tab, Forms link) along with a written statement of the basis for his or her appeal within 5 business days from the date the decision letter is emailed to the student’s USAHS email address. If the Office of Student Affairs has not received the completed form and written statement (email or letter is acceptable) within the specified time frame, the decision of the PMC will be final and no further appeals are available to the student. If an appeal is filed, the Office of Student Affairs, within 10 business days, will forward to the Dean of the Division in which the student is enrolled, or the Dean’s designee, the student’s completed PMC Appeal Request Form and written statement, along with copies of all materials provided to the PMC, and the written decisions of the PMC. Please note if a student is suspended or dismissed, he or she will remain in that status and is not considered an enrolled student during the appeal period and is therefore not eligible for financial aid.

Role of the Dean

Upon receipt of the PMC Appeal Request Form, the Dean will review any evidence the student has provided. The Dean is not required to meet with the student but may do so if there are questions regarding the evidence the student provided. The Dean may meet with the PMC Chair if the student’s request for appeal is due to an assertion that the PMC hearing did not follow meeting procedures as outlined in this policy.

Dean Decision

Upon receipt of the request for an appeal, the Dean will determine if an appeal is warranted.

  • If reconsideration is NOT warranted, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the student of the Dean’s determination and the decision of the Professional Misconduct Committee will stand.
  • If an appeal is warranted, the Dean has the authority to uphold, overturn, or modify the decision of the Professional Misconduct Committee. The Dean will seek to notify the student of his or her decision within 5 business days from receipt of the student’s appeal letter. The student will receive the decision letter from the Office of Student Affairs via the student’s University-issued email address. Once a final appeal decision is rendered by the Dean, the student does not have access to the appeal process for the same issue again.

Request for Reconsideration to the President

Students may, under limited circumstances described below, make a request for reconsideration to the President. Requests for reconsideration of the decision of the Dean must be made in writing by emailing the Office of Student Affairs at [email protected] within 5 business days of the date of receipt of the Dean’s decision letter. The request for reconsideration letter should be addressed to the President and should not be the same letter sent to the Dean for the appeal.

A request for reconsideration to the President will only be granted if sanctions include suspension or dismissal. Additionally, a request for reconsideration must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The student can provide evidence that the Dean did not follow the procedure as outlined in this policy.
  • There are material new developments that did not occur prior to the PMC hearing or the appeal to the Dean.

Role of the President

Upon receipt of the request for a reconsideration letter, the President will determine if reconsideration is warranted.

  • If reconsideration is warranted, the President will review the record provided. The President is not required to meet with the student but may do so if he or she has questions regarding the record. The President may meet with the Dean and/or AAC Chair to verify the information. Once the President concludes his or her review, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the student of the President’s decision to uphold, overturn, or modify the decision of the Dean.
  • If reconsideration is NOT warranted, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the student of the President’s determination and the decision of the Dean will stand.

Academic Progression during the PMC Appeal Process

Students will have the option to continue attending class during the appeal process however they will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.  By signing this agreement, the student agrees not to discuss his or her appeal with other students. The student may continue to participate in academic and co-curricular activities until a final determination is made, including any appeal, except where the immediate suspension is reasonably required for the safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff, or University property. However, if a student is suspended or dismissed by the PMC, he or she is not considered an enrolled student during the appeal period and is therefore not eligible for financial aid.

Faculty/Staff-Student Relations

The University is concerned that faculty/staff-student consensual romantic or sexual relations may be perceived to negatively affect the integrity of the institution. Those who supervise or evaluate the work of students must be perceived to be making their decisions fairly and without favoritism.

Faculty and staff are cautioned that consensual romantic or sexual relationships with students can prove to be unwise and problematic and must be avoided. When consensual relationships occur any of the following issues may arise:

  • Such relationships may undermine the real or perceived integrity of the supervision provided and the particular trust inherent in the faculty/staff-student relationship.
  • Relationships in which one party is in a position to review work or influence the academic career of the other may provide grounds for a complaint when that relationship appears to give undue access or advantage, restricts opportunities, or creates a hostile or unacceptable environment for others.
  • Such relationships may, in fact, be less consensual than the individual whose position confers power believes. The relationship is likely to be perceived in different ways by each of the parties in it, especially in retrospect. While some relationships may begin and remain harmonious, they are susceptible to being characterized as unprofessional and disrespectful to others.

Additionally, any of the situations above have the potential to create charges of harassment, which could lead to legal problems for a faculty or staff member and the University. Therefore, faculty and staff must not engage in consensual romantic or sexual relationships with current students and will be subject to disciplinary action if found to be in contravention of this policy.

If a faculty or staff member has a preexisting consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a student, the faculty or staff member must immediately notify his or her supervisor and in direct collaboration with their Program Director or supervisor,  remove him- or herself from the academic decisions concerning the student.

Faculty and staff must be cognizant that the professional relationship with students extends to off-campus interactions, including conference or seminar attendance and other social gatherings.