The Chicago School of Professional Psychology requires the highest standards of professional and personal conduct from all students. Each student must abide by the policies and procedures of the school and comply with its standards. Failure to comply with the standards of conduct may result in the implementation of an Academic Development Plan (ADP) and/or disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the school.
It is the policy of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology to encourage freedom of inquiry, discourse, teaching, research, and publication and to protect members of the faculty against influences that would restrict the exercise of these academic freedoms in areas of scholarly interest. As such, TCSPP subscribes to the principles of academic freedom formulated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as summarized below:1
||The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
||The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but s/he should be careful not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his/her subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
||The teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When s/he speaks or writes as a citizen, s/he should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an institutional community member, the teacher should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by the teacher’s utterances. Hence the teacher should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that the teacher is not speaking for the institution.
1 By adopting the AAUP statement regarding academic freedom, TCSPP does not adopt or endorse AAUP interpretive statements or other policies.
In pursuit of its mission and in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to providing all students with equal access to academic courses, programs, and school activities.
A student seeking accommodation for a disability should contact their ADA Liaison at their home campus upon enrollment. The student must provide materials from a healthcare provider who has the credentials to diagnose and treat the condition explaining and documenting the disability, the prognosis, the barriers the student faces given the disability, and suggestions for accommodations that are designed to overcome the barriers without imposing an undue burden on the school and/or fundamentally altering the nature of the service, program, or activity at issue.
In accordance with the ADA, TCSPP will facilitate reasonable accommodations for a student with impairments that either substantially affect a major life function and/or are expected to last six or more months. Temporary impairments with an expected duration of fewer than six months will be reasonably accommodated if they impact a major life activity.
Accommodations will be granted on the basis of reasonableness and may not necessarily be the preferred accommodation expressed by the student. The reasonableness of an accommodation is dependent upon the objective reasonableness of the request under the circumstances and should meet the needs of the student to the extent that they are able to perform the essential portions of their classwork with the accommodation. Accommodations that create an undue hardship for the program or the student, or which fundamentally alter the nature of the program, are not considered reasonable.
Ultimately, the decision as to what accommodations, if any, will be provided lies with TCSPP. Reasonable accommodations may include adaptations in the way specific course requirements are accomplished, the use of auxiliary equipment and support staff, and other modifications including testing procedures. Such aids and services are determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student who has identified the need for accommodation.
Accommodations are not retroactive and will be acted upon at the time the student presents said information to the institution.
Instructional Technology Accessibility
TCSPP is committed to providing information technology (“IT”), including but not limited to digital academic resources, distance learning systems, and digital library materials, that has been designed, developed, or procured to be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies. TCSPP strives to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same services and content available to people without disabilities. An accessible IT environment generally enhances usability for everyone.
This policy is a living document that will change over time as IT changes. It will be reviewed on a regular basis. Whenever this policy is updated or amended, TCSPP will communicate those changes and amendments to the TCSPP community.
To implement this policy, TCSPP will offer training and resources to faculty, subject matter experts and all others in the TCSPP community who design courses for TCSPP students to provide guidance in how to make IT accessible. In addition, TCSPP will consider accessibility issues and functionality in its procurement of new IT that will be used by students, faculty and others.
Accessible: means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology allows service animals on its campuses as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities. The student must be able to articulate whether the animal is a service animal and what function it serves in accommodating the disability.
Although not required, TCSPP recommends that the student take the following steps when bringing a service animal on campus, so that the members of the Facilities Department can best support and accommodate them: 1) register the service animal and/or provide signage to designate its status, and 2) connect with Student Support Counseling Manager on the home campus in advance to discuss accommodation needs. The service animal must be continuously accompanied by the student and must not present a threat to other members of the TCSPP community.
A student with an emotional support animal, which is not considered a service animal, should go through the accessibility accommodations request process outlined above.
The photocopying or reproduction by other means of copyrighted materials is a right granted under the federal Copyright Act that defines the rights of a copyright holder and how they may be enforced against an infringer. The unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material is strictly prohibited. Students identified as having violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including but not limited to dismissal from the institution, or legal action as appropriate, or both.
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under Section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
All students of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology are subject to the restrictions imposed by the Copyright Act. The copyright law applies to all forms of photocopying, whether it is undertaken at a commercial copying center, at the school’s copying facilities, or at a self-service machine.
Reproduction of copyrighted material without prior permission of the copyright owner is prohibited except as permitted under the doctrine of “fair use,” an exception that must not be abused. The “fair use” doctrine allows, under certain conditions, the reproduction of copyrighted material for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.
A student must exercise prudent judgment when reproducing the works of others so as to not violate the copyright law. Any concern about a student’s reproduction of materials should be brought to the attention of the student’s Department Chair or Campus Dean.
For more information, please visit U.S. Copyright Office website, especially their FAQ.
Acceptable Use of Online Services
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provides students with access to online services such as the Internet. The school expects that students will use these services in a responsible way for education-related purposes. TCSPP does not allow inappropriate use such as accessing, downloading from, or contributing to sites that contain gross, indecent, or sexually-oriented content, gambling activities and the like.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notification and Response Plan
In compliance with additional requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), TCSPP prohibits unlawful file sharing of copyright materials. In particular, TCSPP’s plan requires students, employees and visitors using TCSPP networks or computers to comply with pertinent U.S. and international copyright laws. Failure to comply with the policies in the DMCA plan may result in disciplinary action as well as civil and criminal penalties.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a basic overview of the course evaluation process, the types of courses that are evaluated, and the policies adhered to by the Office of Institutional Research.
The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) offers TCSPP students the opportunity to participate in online course evaluations each term. These evaluations are intended to assist instructors in improving student learning on an ongoing basis. Evaluations are conducted online through an external vendor. All student responses are anonymous.
Course evaluations are the student’s primary means of anonymous feedback on the quality of courses at TCSPP. They are used by instructors to improve courses for future students, to make them more relevant, and to improve their effectiveness as teachers. In addition, the Faculty Development and Promotion committee and the department chairs use the course evaluation results as one of the many data points for consideration during annual reviews and promotion hearings. A department chair also reviews the results of their own department quite closely, looking for ways to improve not only individual courses but also the programs offered by their departments. Lastly, because the base evaluation questions are the same for all courses, course evaluations allow us to compare courses delivered within and even across departments (when the results are statistically significant).
All results appear in aggregate form based only on submitted course evaluations. Results do not take into consideration the number of incomplete course evaluations.
Course Evaluation Eligibility
The following types of courses qualify as atypical student experiences and are NOT administered evaluations:
- Courses enrolling 3 or fewer students (to maintain student anonymity)
- Dissertation Maintenance Courses
- Thesis Maintenance Courses
- Comprehensive Exam Courses
Basic Evaluation Information
Students are notified through the school’s email system at the beginning of each evaluation period. Each email includes instructions regarding how to complete the course evaluation process. Students use their assigned TCSPP email and Canvas password to login to the evaluation system. Any questions about login information should be directed to the IT Service Desk at 800.787.8367 or 312.467.8600.
Midterm Course Evaluations
Midterm course evaluations are administered to eligible classes (all 15 week courses that are not atypical) approximately the fifth week of the fall and spring terms (summer terms and online sessions are not provided with midterm evaluations due to their length). Once launched, midterm course evaluations remain open for two weeks.
Final Course Evaluations
Final course evaluations are administered during the final two weeks of each term for all eligible courses (all 7 week or 15 week courses that are not atypical) with the exception of study abroad and field experience classes.
Study Abroad and Field Experience Courses
Final course evaluations for all study abroad and field experience classes must be completed within the first two weeks of the semester following the course experience. Students will have two weeks to complete the course evaluations which will begin on the first day of instruction of the following semester. Students enrolled in study abroad and/or field experience classes that occur in the fall, for example, should receive their evaluation the first day of instruction in the spring semester.
If an evaluation form is filled out incorrectly, and the evaluation period is still open, a student may email OIR@thechicagoschool.edu to have the form reset. Course code, course number, and course section must be included in the email message when making a request to have a form reset.
Students should also contact OIR in the event of an incorrect course name or instructor listing so that appropriate changes can be made. Online course evaluations may not be completed once the evaluation period has ended and once closed online evaluations cannot be reopened.
Questions regarding the use of course evaluation results should be directed to program managers or Department Chairs.
Instructors are notified through the school’s email system a week prior to each evaluation period. At that time, instructors should log in to evaluation system to check that all courses are represented accurately. Instructors may also add custom questions to his/her evaluations at this time. If an instructor believes that not all of his/her courses are in the system then they should contact OIR, OIR@thechicagoschool.edu with the course code, course number, and course section immediately.
Evaluation results are released by OIR after grades are due. Results are available through the evaluation system.
Criminal Background Check
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology requires all degree-seeking and graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis students (domestic and international) to complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC) as a condition of acceptance and matriculation. There are four main reasons for this requirement:
- Protection of Public Safety: Individuals working in the professions served by TCSPP are entrusted with the health, safety, and welfare of those with whom they work, have access to confidential and sensitive information, and operate in settings that require the exercise of ethical judgment and professional behavior. Thus, assuring the absence of serious criminal convictions in a student’s background is imperative to promote the highest level of safety.
- Compliance with Training & Community-Engaged Scholarship Partners: Applied learning experiences are essential elements of TCSPP degree programs. A student who cannot participate in such experiences due to serious criminal convictions may not be able to fulfill the requirements of the degree program. Therefore, it is in both the student’s and school’s interest to identify such restrictions upon entry.
- Early Identification of Licensure or Certification Ineligibility: Similarly, serious criminal convictions may prevent a graduate’s ability to attain a professional license or certification in their chosen field of study. Both the student and the school should quickly identify such limitations.
- Campus Safety: All members of the TCSPP community are entitled to work and study in a safe environment. Identification of violent backgrounds through CBCs reduces the possibility of criminal acts on or around campus.
Completion of the CBC is required by the add/drop deadline of the second semester of enrollment for an on-ground student or the third term for an online student. A student will be placed on a registration hold during their first term/semester until the requirement is complete. Failure to complete the background check by the designated deadline may result in a student being administratively withdrawn from their program.
The results of the CBC will generally be honored for the student’s entire length of study so long as the student does not have a break in enrollment for more than 364 days. However, the school reserves the right to require an additional CBC during the student’s course of study, on a discretionary basis. Additionally, if the student is convicted of criminal activity while enrolled, the student is responsible for informing their Student Support Counselor. Criminal activity that is not reported by the student but becomes known by the institution may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
An offer of admission or permission to continue enrollment may be reversed if the CBC results are incompatible with eligibility to meet relevant degree, licensure, or certification requirements or if they increase risk to the school and its inhabitants and/or partner agencies and the people with whom they work. Designated school officials retain the right to refer questionable CBC findings to the student’s academic department for review, hearings, deliberation, and issuance of supportive or disciplinary actions per existing policy (e.g. participating in an Academic Development Plan). An active student who wishes to file an appeal or complaint for any actions taken as a result of the CBC report may do so under existing school policy.
For additional information about the school’s Criminal Background Check, click here.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Intellectual Property Policy (“IP Policy”) clarifies the rules that govern the ownership rights of intellectual property created by its employees and independent contractors.
It is the policy at The Chicago School that any intellectual property created by a “covered person” within the course and scope of employment or engagement by TCSPP, or during a time period while required or expected to be performing services as an employee or independent contractor of TCSPP, will be owned by TCSPP unless it constitutes Scholarly Work. (A “covered person” consists of all individuals who receive compensation from TCSPP, including student employees, student researchers, employees, and independent contractors.) Generally speaking, TCSPP will also own the research data and results created by a covered person.
“Scholarly work” means scholarly or educational publications, artworks, musical compositions and literary works related to the author’s academic or professional field regardless of the medium of expression (and need not have been created for a specific course), exclusive of any research data or results reflected therein, and includes but is not limited to works authored by students, professionals, faculty and non-faculty researchers.
Each student subject to the IP Policy will be required to sign a written document agreeing to abide by all of the terms of the IP Policy.
Policy on Discrimination and Harassment
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology acknowledges its ethical and statutory responsibility to afford equal treatment and equal opportunity to all persons and thus affirms its policy of compliance with all applicable laws and directives that promulgate nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity through affirmative action. TCSPP prohibits discrimination against and harassment of members of its community, including but not limited to its applicants and students based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, religion, creed, age (40 years or older), national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, status as an individual with a disability, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, military or veteran status, political activities/affiliations, or any other category protected by law (“Protected Categories”).
The University is not permitted to discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in its education programs and activities. Sexual harassment and gender harassment, including sexual violence and gender violence, are forms of prohibited sex discrimination and gender discrimination. Examples of covered acts are found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Discrimination is adverse action taken against or harassment of an individual based on membership in any Protected Category.
Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on membership in any Protected Category. Harassment becomes impermissible where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition for any academic-related purpose or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create an academic environment that a reasonable prudent person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents will not rise to the level of violation of a TCSPP policy or rule. To be considered a violation, the conduct must create an environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to a reasonable prudent person.
Offensive conduct may include but is not limited to jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, or interference with academic performance.
Reporting an Allegation of Discrimination and/or Harassment
A student who believes they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination and/or harassment (other than related to sexual misconduct as defined in the Policy on Sexual Misconduct), whether by a faculty member, employee, supervisor, visitor, or other student should bring the issue to the immediate attention of their Department Chair or Dean of Academic Affairs who shall immediately forward the allegation to the Dean for Student Success. The report should include details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved, names of any witnesses, and any documentation supporting the allegation. Although preparation of a written report is encouraged, it is not required.
When the Dean for Student Success receives a report of unlawful discrimination and/or harassment, prompt and appropriate action will be taken. If the allegation cannot be resolved informally, where appropriate, TCSPP will undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation. Complaints and investigations will be handled on a confidential basis, to the extent possible, with due regard for the rights of the Reporting Party and the Responding Party. Information about the incident and investigation will be released on a need-to-know basis only or as otherwise required or permitted by law.
If it is determined that unlawful discrimination and/or harassment has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken in accordance with the circumstances of the incident. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future unlawful discrimination and/or harassment. An individual who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from the institution.
TCSPP bars retaliation against any member of the school community who files a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment or who otherwise participates in an investigation relating to the same. Retaliation is an adverse action taken against or harassment of an individual as a result of engaging in the following activities:
- Opposing practices that the individual reasonably believes discriminates against individuals, in violation of this policy or anti-discrimination laws; or,
- Filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these policies or anti-discrimination laws.
Reporting an Allegation of Retaliation
A student who believes they are being retaliated against as defined above must immediately notify the Dean for Student Success. If the allegation cannot be resolved informally, where appropriate, TCSPP will undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation. Complaints and investigations will be handled on a confidential basis, to the extent possible, with due regard for the rights of the Reporting Party and the Responding Party. Information about the incident and investigation will be released on a need-to-know basis only or as otherwise required or permitted by law.
If it is determined that unlawful retaliation has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken in accordance with the circumstances of the incident. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future unlawful retaliation. An individual who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from the institution.
Exceptions to certain TCSPP institutional policies may be granted on a discretionary basis after review by the Committee on Policy Exception. Should a current or former student (hereafter referred to as “petitioner”) face an extenuating circumstance that necessitates a request for exception to certain institutional policies, the petitioner may present a case for their desired exception using the Petition for Policy Exception. An extenuating circumstance is defined as a documented serious medical issue such as illness or injury of the student; a documented death, serious injury, or severe illness of a primary family member (spouse or partner, child, parent or guardian, grandparent, or sibling); an institutional error; or other similar specified reason.
Filing a petition in no way guarantees that a policy exception will be granted. All decisions made by the Committee on Policy Exception are final and cannot be overturned or appealed.
The Petition for Policy Exception cannot be used to appeal a disciplinary decision, appeal a grade, change a curriculum or timeframe of a degree program, and/or request an exception to academic department policy. The petition may not be used for accessibility accommodation. A student requiring accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act must follow the process outlined in the Accessibility Accommodations section of this Catalog.
Completed petitions and all supporting documentation must be submitted via email to Office of the Dean for Student Success. Required signatures must be applied before documents are submitted. Petitions must be submitted by the Add/Drop deadline of the term/semester subsequent to the one in which the extenuating circumstance occurred. The Add/Drop deadline is posted on the Academic Calendar.
Outcomes granted by a policy exception include but are not limited to tuition forgiveness, assignment of a “W” grade, or waiver of certain fees. Non-refundable institutional fees such as Add/Drop, Student Institutional Service, Payment Plan Enrollment, Late Payment, Late Registration, and Degree Conferral fees may not be petitioned. When requesting tuition forgiveness, courses dropped after 60% of the term/semester has expired are eligible for up to 50% maximum tuition forgiveness only.
Petitions that fail to comply with this policy may be rejected by the Dean for Student Success who will provide written notification to the petitioner. Additional information, including the petition form, is available from Student Support Counseling and the Office of Student Accounts.
TCSPP is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. As such, TCSPP prohibits sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, family, marital, or parental status in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage.
Typically, pregnancy will be treated like a temporary disability. Under this policy, a student may be permitted to make up missed work (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), provided with tutoring, allowed to engaged in independent study, granted access to complete courses online, be given extended deadlines, be assigned an Incomplete grade, and be provided with other ergonomic and assistive supports where indicated.
For the student policy on Pregnancy and Related Conditions, click here.
TCSPP is committed to diversity and nondiscrimination in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, and the institution supports all students in their religious affiliation or non-affiliation. As such, TCSPP will reasonably accommodate a student’s religious observance or practice unless such accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of a course or academic program or is deemed unreasonable.
A student who needs to miss a class meeting, examination, or other course or program requirement due to religious observance or practice must request an accommodation by the Add/Drop deadline using the Religious Reasonable Accommodation Request form. A form must be submitted to the instructor of record for the course for each impacted course.
Upon receiving a request form, the instructor of record for the course will work with the student to determine reasonable alternatives that would allow an opportunity to make up any missed work, without penalty, unless granting such an opportunity would fundamentally alter the nature of the course or academic program and/or create undue hardship for the institution or another student. An approved absence from a class meeting, examination, or other requirement under this policy will not count against any mandatory attendance requirement. However, absence does not relieve a student from responsibility for any missed course requirements.
An approved accommodation must be documented on the request form.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to supporting student success. Where a student needs individualized support to remediate a behavioral or academic concern, an Academic Development Plan may be used.
Academic Development Plans
Academic Development Plans (ADP) are used to assist a student in the successful completion of a degree program. A student who is experiencing academic or professional comportment difficulties including a failure to progress according to academic standards or expectations may be placed on an ADP as deemed necessary by the faculty advisor, the Department Chair or designee, and/or the Student Affairs Committee. ADPs do not constitute disciplinary action; as such, they do not affect academic standing and cannot be appealed.
In the creation of an ADP, information may be solicited from any TCSPP employee, supervisor at practicum or internship site or other community partner agency, supervisor of school-required workplace activity, and/or any other party involved in the student’s education and training. In conversations with outside education and training partners, the school may inform supervisors about the student’s ADP to assess the extent to which the concerns in question have affected the student’s performance at the site and to ensure continuity of training and education between the site and the school.
The development of an ADP requires involvement of the student, their Faculty Advisor, and the Department Chair or designee, though others may be involved as deemed necessary and appropriate. The student is expected to actively participate in the development of the plan. Refusal to participate in creating and/or refusing to sign an ADP may result in a referral to the Student Affairs Committee for consideration of disciplinary action and does not absolve the student’s responsibility to meet the requirements of the plan.
ADPs must clearly identify the concern(s) in question and the steps necessary to resolve them within a specified timeframe. Additionally, the plan must identify who will oversee the plan and when and how feedback will be delivered to all parties involved. Finally, the plan must clarify the consequences if the terms of the ADP are not fulfilled. Depending upon the situation, the school may require a student to take immediate steps to address identified concerns before an ADP has been finalized. Based on the student’s progress in meeting the requirements set forth, ADPs may be modified, including adding additional or removing existing requirements. Such changes must be made in writing, either directly or as an appendix to the original ADP, and require the signatures of all involved parties. A copy of the ADP is kept in the student’s records.
Should a student on an ADP transfer into a new degree program, the ADP will accompany the student to the new department. As the ADP may contain program-specific requirements, the new degree program may opt to either discontinue the ADP or revise the ADP to account for program requirements and expectations. This revision will be managed by the new academic department in consultation with the appropriate representative of the old academic department, where practicable.
TCSPP is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. As such, TCSPP prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms, including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual violence. TCSPP will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual misconduct, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior in violation of this Policy.
This policy applies to all employees, students, and other TCSPP Community Members, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. TCSPP has jurisdiction to investigate conduct occurring on TCSPP’s campuses, in connection with its educational programs, activities, and services, or that puts TCSPP Community Members at risk of serious harm or otherwise creates a hostile learning and/or working environment.
TCSPP bars retaliation against any employee, student, or applicant who files a good faith report of sexual misconduct or otherwise participates in the complaint resolution procedures relating to the same.
To report an incident of sexual misconduct, click here or contact the Title IX Coordinator at titleIX@thechicagoschool.edu or 213-615-7264.
For the policy on sexual misconduct, click here.
For additional information on sexual misconduct, click here.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology recognizes that the Internet provides the community with unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information on particular topics using a wide array of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and wikis. A student is advised to use appropriate and professional judgment when using social media. The school expects a student to adhere to the following guidelines and rules regarding use of social media. Furthermore, TCSPP encourages open and transparent dialogue consistent with the ethical and professional comportment guidelines set forth in the Catalog.
When participating in any social networking activity, a student is representing oneself and TCSPP. This policy is not intended to restrict the ability of any individual to have an online presence or to mandate what a student can and cannot say or post. Social networking is a very valuable tool, and TCSPP encourages each student to practice responsible involvement in this space.
Failure to adhere to TCSPP’s social media policy will be considered grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal from the school. A former student in withdrawn or dismissed status may not claim to be an active student of The Chicago School on any social networking site.
- Social media should never be used in a way that violates any other TCSPP policies or student responsibilities.
- A student may blog or post information or photos and video at their own risk and are personally and legally responsible for personal postings and online comments. The institution does not assume any liability or risk for a student’s blogging or posting online. The following are illustrative of the types of relevant laws implicated by the use of social media tools, but it is not intended to be comprehensive: privacy, libel, defamation, harassment, copyright, data theft, disclosure of material non-public information, and disclosure of confidential intellectual property or trade secret information.
- A student is encouraged to include on personal blogs, blog postings, or websites a disclaimer similar to the following: “The opinions expressed on this (blog, website, etc.) are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.”
- Personal use of social media should not involve unlawful content or interfere with another student’s learning environment.
- If a student is required to use social media as part of classes or curriculum, the student should do so in compliance with the policies in the Catalog.
- It is recommended that a student refrain from posting any content, including photos and video, that is harassing, discriminatory, defamatory, threatening, disparaging, libelous, or otherwise illegal or injurious to other students, client groups, or faculty or staff members of TCSPP.
- A student is encouraged to use good judgment. The student must always strive to be accurate in communications about TCSPP and fellow students.
- A student must be respectful to other students, faculty, and staff of TCSPP and must refrain from posting anything that violates TCSPP policy, including ethnic slurs, sexist comments, discriminatory comments, or obscenity.
- A student may not infringe on copyrights or trademarks. A student may not use images without permission and must properly cite quoted material.
- A student may not use TCSPP logos, trademarks, or other intellectual property without the school’s written permission. The institution monitors the use of its name, copyright, trademarks, website, and other information on the Internet. Requests for permission to use TCSPP brand or intellectual property must be submitted to the Director of Communications.
- A student must be aware of and remain in compliance with applicable patient confidentiality rules and regulations.
- A student may not transmit confidential information such as educational classifications, psychological diagnoses, psychological reports, and research data in such a way that clients and/or research participants can be identified.
- A student studying abroad are expected to comply with all local legal social media requirements (as long as the requirements do not violate US law) and are expected to be considerate of any subject matter that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory at a regional level, especially with regard to local culture, politics, or religion.
- A student contacted by a member of the media are expected to forward inquiries to the Director of Communications.
- Prior to engaging in any form of social media as a representative of TCSPP, a student must receive permission from the academic department in consultation with the school’s communications staff members.
- A student representing TCSPP in an official capacity via social media, i.e. Student Ambassadors, Community Moderators, or Blog authors shall be held to the same policy conditions as employees of the institution.
- A former student in withdrawn or dismissed status may not claim to be an active student of TCSPP on any social networking site. A former student who fails to remove references to active status will be subject to a cease and desist order.
Students Affected by Declared Disaster or Emergency
A student who resides in an area located with the United States that is declared a major disaster or emergency area as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may be eligible for accommodations. A major disaster or emergency is defined by FEMA as:
Major disaster: Any natural catastrophe (including hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq., to supplement the efforts and available resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
Emergency: Any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President of the United States, federal assistance is needed to supplement state and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.
A student affected by a declared disaster or emergency as defined above must contact their faculty advisor, Student Support Counselor, or Department Chair within 10 business days (online programs) or 20 business days (on-ground programs) to discuss circumstances and determine whether it is possible to continue with studies during that term/semester. The department representative will engage Student Support Counseling to determine how to best protect the student from potential academic or financial penalties, when possible.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to mutual respect and the effective resolution of student complaints through an efficient and fair procedure. The institution seeks to maintain an environment that encourages all community members to work together to address student complaints using informal resolution. When informal resolution is not possible, TCSPP is committed to a fair and reasonable resolution of issues through a formal complaint process.
A complaint from any member of the University community relating to discrimination, misconduct, harassment, domestic violence, dating or other related violence, stalking, or retaliation based on gender or sex concerning a faculty, staff, or student(s) must report it in accordance with the Policy on Sexual Misconduct.
A student who believes they have been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation (other than related to sex/gender and/or sexual misconduct) whether by faculty members, employees, supervisors, visitors, or other students, should raise the matter per the guidance provided in the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is an allegation of unfair treatment resulting in adverse effects caused by decisions, actions, or inactions that were made by employees or agents of the school. This includes all items deemed eligible for review as listed below.
Issues Eligible for Review: Issues eligible for review include the implementation of policies and procedures, and issues concerning transcripts, financial aid, classroom issues, course scheduling, personal hardship matters, student accounts, military benefits matters, access accommodation-related matters, and advising.
Issues Ineligible for Review: Issues ineligible for review include the substance of any duly adopted policy or procedure, the substance that forms the basis for student performance evaluation, academic performance, grade appeals, transfer credits, course content, decisions regarding a student’s academic status (including SAP), content or quality of services that do not arise from a specific act or incident and/or where a student cannot show disadvantage or unfair treatment; comments about the general content or provision of a course or program, and general allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior by students.
The complaint procedure may be used by a currently-enrolled TCSPP student or by an individual who was participating in a TCSPP-sponsored educational event at the time of the incident being reported (hereafter referred to as the Reporting Party). The Reporting Party must be the alleged victim of unfair treatment. A complaint may not be filed by one party on behalf of another party.
Should an attorney file a complaint with TCSPP on behalf of a Reporting Party, it will be referred to the Office of the General Counsel.
A complaint must be received no later than forty-five (45) business days after the Reporting Party first became aware of the facts which gave rise to the complaint. The time limit may be extended by the Dean of Academic Affairs if the Reporting Party requests an extension within the 45 business day period for good cause shown (e.g. an active effort at informal resolution, etc.).
Informal Complaint Resolution
Prior to invoking the formal complaint resolution procedure described below, the Reporting Party is strongly encouraged to make active efforts to resolve matters through professional and direct discussions with the person or persons directly involved (hereafter referred to as the Responding Party). These efforts should take place as soon as the Reporting Party first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the complaint. If unsure of how to proceed, the Reporting Party may enlist the assistance of another member of the school community (faculty advisor, Department Chair) to help identify a proper course of action and/or to mediate problems, if necessary. The Reporting Party has the right to end the informal complaint resolution process at any time and move to the formal stage of the complaint process, as desired.
Formal Complaint Resolution
The student complaint procedure is an institutional process not a judicial one, so the presence of legal counsel, whether in person or virtual, is prohibited for any party to the complaint. This policy cannot be substituted for other appeal processes.
Filing a Complaint
The submission of the Student Complaint Intake Form and supporting documentation is used to invoke a formal review of a complaint. The Reporting Party must submit all documentation to the Dean of Academic Affairs of the home campus. If the Reporting Party has good cause to believe that the Dean of Academic Affairs is unable to be impartial, they may request the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) assign the complaint to another Dean of Academic Affairs. The complaint filing must include a completed intake form and:
- Be in writing;
- State how the decision or action is unfair and harmful to the Complainant and list the school policies or state or federal laws that have been violated, if known;
- Name the Responding Party;
- State how the Responding Party is responsible for the action or decision; and
- State the requested remedy.
Should an attorney file a complaint with TCSPP on behalf of a Complainant, it will be referred to the Office of the General Counsel.
Processing a Formal Complaint
The Dean of Academic Affairs must initiate the formal complaint resolution procedure within ten (10) business days of receipt of the complaint.
The Dean of Academic Affairs will determine whether the complaint may be reviewed in accordance with the criteria set forth in this policy. If the matter is deemed not eligible for review, it will be dismissed and a letter will be submitted to the Reporting Party stating the same. If the matter is deemed reviewable under this policy, the Dean of Academic Affairs will appoint an ad hoc committee that will review the complaint.
Selecting the Ad Hoc Committee
The ad hoc committee is comprised of two faculty members and one student. The Dean of Academic Affairs will designate one of the two faculty members appointed to the ad hoc committee to serve as chairperson. At any time during the formal complaint review process, the Dean of Academic Affairs and ad hoc committee may make further attempts to resolve the complaint informally.
If the Reporting Party has good cause to believe that a member of the ad hoc committee is unable to be impartial, they may request that the Dean of Academic Affairs disqualify that member. Such a disqualification shall be granted only upon the demonstration of a conflict of interest. The decision to alter or preserve the composition of the ad hoc committee rests solely with the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the decision is final.
Ad Hoc Committee Procedures
All proceedings of the ad hoc committee are confidential.
The chairperson will communicate the opening of the investigation in writing to the Reporting Party and the Responding Party. Typically, the committee procedures consist of reviewing the Reporting Party’s written submission, holding hearings during which the committee members will question the Reporting Party, Responding Party, and witnesses, and analyzing any written statements or other documentation,
The chairperson will send the complaint to the Responding Party within five (5) business days of being appointed, giving the Responding Party five (5) business days to return a written response to the allegations along with any exhibits they wish to introduce as evidence. The chairperson will concurrently inform the Reporting Party of their right to submit an addendum to their complaint within five (5) business days of the date on which the Responding Party was notified. The chairperson may extend the deadline for submitting a response and for exchanging proposed exhibits upon a showing of good cause.
In performing its functions, the ad hoc committee will have the right to call any witnesses and to require the introduction of any relevant data or information. The ad hoc committee will be the final judge of what testimony or data is relevant. Throughout the investigation, the Reporting Party may invite a TCSPP faculty member or staff member to serve as their support person during committee proceedings.
Ad Hoc Committee Deliberations
Once the investigation is complete, the ad hoc committee will deliberate to evaluate the merits of the complaint and make findings of fact. Deliberations will be restricted to members of the ad hoc committee. The committee’s decision must be based solely on material presented in the investigation. A majority vote of the ad hoc committee will be required to make an affirmative decision on the complaint. The chairperson will have the right to vote.
Upon reaching a conclusion, the ad hoc committee will communicate its findings in writing to the Reporting Party, the Responding Party, the Dean of Academic Affairs, and to the appropriate institutional representative(s) who shall implement any actions recommended by the ad hoc committee within thirty (30) business days after the close of the committee proceedings, if applicable.
Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the committee’s decision, any party who has been adversely impacted may seek further review by submitting a written appeal together with the committee’s written decision to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). The appeal must state the grounds for appeal including a list of alleged errors in the decision or decision-making process. It must include a requested remedy and be dated and signed by the appealing party. An appeal received more than ten (10) business days after the ad hoc committee’s decision was rendered will not be considered.
The action of the VPAA or their designee will be limited to a review of the basis for the committee’s decision. The VPAA or their designee will render a decision based on review of the complaint record and the written notice of appeal. No party has a right to a hearing or to make an oral presentation in appeals.
Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal, the VPAA or their designee will submit a decision in writing to the Reporting Party and the Responding Party. The written disposition will include the reasons for the decision, and it shall direct a remedy for the appealing party, if any. The decision on the appeal is final and is not subject to further review.
The chairperson of the ad hoc committee will compile an official record of the proceeding that includes a copy of all correspondence with all parties, all evidence submitted to the committee, a summary of the committee’s decision, and anything else considered by the committee in reaching its determination. The chair of the committee will be responsible for ensuring that a written report is prepared that addresses and resolves all material factual issues in dispute and recommends remedies to the complaint, as appropriate. The report and official record will be kept in the Reporting Party’s educational record.
All complaint records are confidential in nature and will be treated accordingly. A copy of the complaint, any decision of the committee, and any decision of the VPAA will be retained for seven (7) calendar years following the year in which the complaint is resolved.
A member of the Student Support Counseling team tracks complaints and reports activity to the Campus Dean on a quarterly basis.
Complaints to External Agencies
A student is expected to follow TCSPP’s internal procedures before making a report to an external agency. A student who exhausts all internal complaint procedures and who is dissatisfied with the results may wish to raise the issue with the relevant state agency under which the institution operates.
*The Reporting Party is advised to find the state of residence. If the state of residence is not listed, the state in which the home campus is located should be selected.
An external complaint may be directed to the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC requires that a Reporting Party attempt to resolve an issue with the institution prior to filing a complaint. The Commission’s complaint procedures are for the purpose of addressing significant non-compliance with the Standards of Accreditation and Commission policies. Thus, WSCUC will not interpose itself as an adjudicatory or complaint-resolving body in individual matters including admission, granting or transfer of academic credit, grades, fees, student financial aid, student discipline, or collective bargaining, faculty or staff appointments, promotion, tenure, contractual rights and obligations, and dismissals or similar matters.
The Commission’s staff will investigate a complaint in order to determine whether it appears that a standard or policy was violated and, if such is the case, it will take appropriate action within the range of options that are available to it under Commission Standards and Policies. The WSCUC complaint form and process can be found under “Resources” at www.wascsenior.org. Inquiries may be directed to: Western Association of Colleges and Schools, Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, Phone: (510) 748-9001.
A student of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is expected to engage in behaviors demonstrating both academic integrity and professional comportment. Concerns about a student’s academic integrity (cheating, plagiarism, fabrication) and/or professional comportment (interpersonal and professional competence, self-awareness and self-reflection, openness to feedback, problem solving skills) may be raised by any member of the learning community and should be directed to the student’s faculty advisor, Department Chair or designee, or Dean of Academic Affairs.
Should a student desire to make a report about another student and have concerns about keeping a report anonymous, the student may seek consultation from any of the school officials listed above. If the situation warrants anonymity, efforts will be taken to protect the reporting student; however, anonymity cannot be guaranteed. Depending on the nature of the report, a student may be required to meet with their faculty advisor and/or Department Chair or designee who may take one of the following courses of action: decide that the report does not merit further investigation or action, implement an Academic Development Plan if it is concluded that the complaint merits immediate intervention, or send the case to the Student Affairs Committee for review and consideration of disciplinary action.
Code of Conduct
A student is required to behave in a manner that is suitable for professional study and practice. Violation of this standard includes, but is not limited to, conduct that contravenes the General Principles and Standards set forth in the Ethics Code promulgated by the American Psychological Association. Additionally, academic departments may require compliance with other discipline-specific ethical codes (e.g. the American Counseling Association’s Ethical Code for Counselors, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts, the National Association of School Psychologists’ Principles for Professional Ethics, and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics). A student should consult with their academic department for clarification of all applicable ethical codes to which they are accountable.
Additionally, a student is prohibited from engaging in conduct that is detrimental to the University, poses a threat to the welfare of the University’s employees or students, is prohibited by University policies, or is illegal. In extreme circumstances, a University official may ban individuals believed to pose a significant risk to others from events and programs; such a ban would restrict the individual’s ability to enter school property for an indefinite amount of time until the matter can be thoroughly investigated and a final disposition can be rendered. A student may be restricted from campus or disciplined for improper or illegal conduct whether it occurs on-campus or off-campus, including cyberspace, and regardless of whether the conduct is specifically tied to a University activity.
While it is impossible to list all types of misconduct, the following illustrates the types of activities that will subject a student to disciplinary action:
- Violations of any policy, procedure, or regulation of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to, knowingly or recklessly furnishing false information to the school, forgery, and alteration or misuse of school documents, records, or identification and any materials submitted to employers (e.g. application, CV/résumé, cover letter, portfolio)
- Disorderly, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression, including inappropriate conduct in online environments such as abusive language toward or about faculty, classmates, staff members, and administration
- Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, other TCSPP activities, or the freedom of expression of others
- Conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety, or welfare of any person, including threats of violence toward others and any action that unreasonably interferes with the psychological well-being of another
- Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of any guns, weapons, or other unreasonably dangerous instruments
- Unauthorized entry into or use of the school’s facilities or services
- Theft or conversion of property or services belonging to TCSPP, members of the school community, or others
- Intentional or reckless destruction, damage, abuse, or misuse of school property or the property of others
- Illegal or unauthorized possession, use, sale, or distribution of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances defined as such by local, state, or federal law
- Violation of TCSPP’s published technology and computer use guidelines
- Failure to comply with directions of TCSPP officials acting in the performance of their duties including but not limited to a requirement to provide unprivileged testimony at a disciplinary hearing, refusal to comply with the provisions of academic and financial aid warning or with an academic development plan, or non-compliance with sanctions imposed by a Sanctions Panel or the Student Affairs Committee
- Violations of federal, state,or local laws, or any other conduct not included above, which unreasonably or unlawfully interferes with the operations of TCSPP, or which renders a person unfit or unsuitable for practice within their profession
A student may be held independently accountable to both external authorities and to TCSPP for acts that constitute violation of law and/or school policies, regulations, or procedures. Disciplinary action will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed, reduced, or are in process.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology expects a student to function within an environment of trust relative to other students, faculty, staff, and administration. Moreover, the school expects all students to conduct themselves ethically, with personal honesty, and with professionalism. Academic misconduct violates one of the most basic ethical principles in an academic community.
All suspected incidents of academic misconduct must be reported to the Department Chair or designee. Depending on the egregiousness of the violation, the Department Chair or designee will either refer the matter to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), the school’s student conduct entity, or place the student on a mandatory ADP that is filed with SAC. Whether a student referred to SAC for academic misconduct will have their case heard by the committee is dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the referral.
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
Cheating is acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage. Examples of cheating include but are not limited to copying another person’s work with or without permission, giving or receiving aid on a test, giving or receiving test materials prior to official distribution, collaborating on assignments or exams without instructor permission, submitting another’s work as one’s own (including purchased papers), taking credit for group work to which one did not contribute significantly or meet one’s obligations, and intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. Facilitating cheating by providing another student with course, testing, evaluation or other materials that they otherwise would not have authorized access to is considered cheating. This specifically includes allowing someone other than the enrolled student to participate in online discussion forums using the identity and authentication of the enrolled student or allowing another person to complete and submit in electronic or paper format written assignments or other academic assessments or exercises on behalf of the enrolled student to represent the work as that of the enrolled student. A student may be asked to provide proof of identity prior to exams.
Plagiarism is intentionally or unintentionally representing words, ideas, or data from any source as one’s own original work. The use or reproduction of another’s work without appropriate attribution in the form of complete, accurate, and properly formatted citations constitutes plagiarism. Examples of plagiarism, include but are not limited to, copying the work of another verbatim without using quotation marks, revising the work of another by making only minor word changes without explanation, attribution, and citation, paraphrasing the work of another without the appropriate citation. A student is expected to produce original work in all papers, coursework, dissertation, and other academic projects (including case studies from internship or practicum sites) and to follow appropriate rules governing attribution that apply to the work product.
Carelessness, or failure to properly follow appropriate rules governing source attribution (for example, those contained in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association), can be construed to be plagiarism when multiple mistakes in formatting citations are made in the same paper. Further, a single example of failing to use quotation marks appropriately may be considered plagiarism.
Fabrication is intentionally inventing information, data, or citations in any academic or clinical exercise. Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to, falsifying research or other findings, citing sources not actually used in writing a research paper, submitting work done in previous classes as if it were new and original work, resubmitting work for retake courses, and changing, altering, or being an accessory to the changing and/or altering of any officially recorded grade.
If a student is unsure if their conduct may represent a form of academic misconduct, they should seek out consultation from a course instructor or their faculty advisor.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology recognizes the importance of personal and professional competencies in addition to traditional academic skills. The institution embraces the model training policy statement adopted by the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and holds that:
Professional practitioners of psychology and health services are expected to demonstrate competence within and across a number of different but interrelated dimensions. Programs that educate and train professional practitioners of psychology also strive to protect the public and profession. Therefore, faculty, training staff, supervisors, administrators, employees, and fellow students at The Chicago School have a duty and responsibility to evaluate the competence of students and trainees across multiple aspects of performance, development, and functioning.
It is important for students and trainees to understand and appreciate that academic competence is defined and evaluated comprehensively. Specifically, in addition to performance in coursework, seminars, scholarship, comprehensive examinations, and related program requirements, other aspects of professional development and functioning (e.g., cognitive, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, technical and ethical) will also be evaluated. Such comprehensive evaluation is necessary in order to appraise the entire range of academic performance, development and functioning of their student-trainees (Adapted from CCTC/APA, 2004).
Each TCSPP student is holistically evaluated by all members of the learning community on standards of professional performance, development, and functioning that include, but are not limited to, interpersonal and professional competence (consistently establishing positive interpersonal relationships, demonstrating an active commitment to education and training, communicating professionally, demonstrating integrity, affirming individual and cultural differences); self-awareness and self-reflection (awareness of own various roles in diverse contexts, recognizing limitations and training/learning needs, awareness of own cultural values); openness to feedback; and proactive, engaged resolution of issues that may interfere with professional development or functioning. A student’s professional performance, functioning, and development may be evaluated both within and outside of the classroom, whether it occurs on- or off-campus (including cyberspace), and regardless of whether it is specifically tied to a school activity.
Concerns about a student’s professional comportment should be directed to the Department Chair. A student will be alerted to concerns about professional comportment (professional performance, functioning, and development) and receive advisement, remediation, and support as deemed necessary and appropriate. If there is a question that the student’s problems in the area of professional comportment cannot be resolved in a reasonable time period and/or rises to the level of potential disciplinary action, the matter will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee.
A student who is alleged to have engaged in behaviors inconsistent with academic integrity and/or professional comportment standards will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) for an impartial review. Such behaviors may include but are not limited to:
- Academic misconduct, such as cheating, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and/or fabrication;
- Conduct that violates professional comportment standards such as evidence of behaviors that substantially interfere with the development of professional competence or professional relations, inadequate progress towards the development of clinical skills, failure to act in accordance with school rules and/or policies, unprofessional conduct, illegal conduct, and/or conduct contrary to the ethical standards upheld by the profession.
The policy addresses matters of academic integrity and/or professional comportment only. It cannot be used as a substitution for the Grade Appeal policy, the Student Complaint policy, allegations made under the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, or the sanctioning and appeal procedures set forth in the Policy on Sexual Misconduct and/or Title IX, where applicable.
Student Affairs Committee (SAC)
The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) conducts disciplinary proceedings upon a referral that a student has committed an act of academic misconduct or has violated professional comportment standards as articulated in TCSPP policy. SAC is committed to ensuring that a student receives fair treatment while maintaining the integrity of TSCPP’s mission and philosophy. In the process of arriving at decisions, the committee strives to maintain respect for individual and cultural differences.
SAC is a campus-based entity that may be divided into the following committees:
- SAC - Academic Integrity (SAC-AI) hears matters of academic integrity;
- SAC - Professional Comportment (SAC-PC) hears matters of professional comportment; and
- SAC - Clinical Psychology (SAC-CP) hears matters of professional comportment and academic integrity for students enrolled in a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program.
SAC-AI reviews matters involving academic misconduct, and SAC-PC reviews matters of professional comportment. If concerns are raised about both academic integrity and professional comportment, the referring department will determine which committee will hear the concern. Academic integrity and professional comportment concerns for students in the Clinical Psychology program will be heard by SAC-Clinical Psychology, a committee comprised primarily by faculty from the Clinical Psychology program.
Some campuses may divide SAC into three committees while others may divide into one or two. Where a campus has only one SAC, that committee hears all concerns, regardless of the reason for referral. Typically, the SAC referral is managed by a committee on the student’s home campus as listed in the student information system.Where a campus does not have a SAC, student referrals will be heard by another campus.
Referral. A SAC referral may be submitted by a student’s Department Chair or Associate Department Chair only and must be presented to SAC in writing. The referral must include a referral letter detailing the specifics of the allegation(s), an unofficial transcript, and all supporting documents held by the referring party.
SAC notifies the student of the referral by sending a letter of notice and supporting documents to the student’s TCSPP-issued email address. The letter of notice will list the members of SAC and include the hearing date, time, and location.
An inactive student with pending SAC action will have their case heard upon their return to TCSPP.
Hearing Preparation. A student must take several steps in preparation for their SAC hearing.
A. Response Deadline - Determined by SAC and communicated to student in letter of notice
- Written Response: A student has the right to present a written response to the referral that explicitly addresses its contents. If the student submits a written response after the deadline, SAC is not obligated to consider it.
- Hearing Attendance: An on-ground student is expected to attend their hearing in person. If the on-ground student faces extenuating circumstances that make in-person attendance impossible, the student should present those circumstances to SAC in writing by the response deadline.
B. Two (2) Business Days Before the Hearing
- Hearing Postponement: A student may request postponement of a hearing. The student must make their request in writing at least 2 business days before the scheduled hearing time. It must detail the grounds upon which the postponement request is based. SAC has sole discretion to approve or deny a request for postponement depending on its reasonableness. SAC’s decision regarding postponement is final.
- Recusal: A student may request the recusal of a committee member who they believe cannot be impartial. To do so, the student must write to SAC at least two (2) business days before the hearing to articulate the reasons why they believe that the committee member should be recused. SAC will evaluate the request and make a final decision.
- Support Person: A student may have one (1) TCSPP faculty member or one (1) TCSPP non-student staff member present during the hearing to provide advice and support. The student should provide the support person’s name and position to SAC in writing at least two (2) business days before the hearing.
C. Five (5) Business Days Before the Hearing
- A student with a qualified need who requires accommodation in order to participate in their hearing should submit a written request to SAC at least five (5) business days before to the hearing.
Hearing. The SAC hearing provides time for all parties to present their perspectives on the matter. The hearing will be held within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the referral.
An on-ground student is expected to attend their hearing in person, unless other arrangements are approved in accordance with A2 above. An online student is expected to attend their hearing using online meeting technology provided by TCSPP. If a student does not attend their scheduled hearing, the hearing shall proceed without them. Any person who is not an employee of TCSPP may not attend the hearing in any capacity except as part of an approved disability accommodation. Since this procedure is institutional and not judicial, a student may not have legal counsel present.
The referring Department Chair or Associate Department Chair orally presents the referral during the hearing. Additional written materials may not be presented during the hearing. Where the referral originates from a specific incident, the faculty member or staff member who initiated the referral may be called to provide pertinent information. Where the referral relates to training, an OPT representative must be present. The committee may also ask other faculty members or those with knowledge of the facts of the referral to be available either in person or via online meeting technology or to submit written material in lieu of their presence.
The student has the right to orally present their response during the hearing. Additional written materials may not be presented during the hearing. A student’s failure or refusal to respond to the allegations set forth in the referral will be deemed an admission of the factual matters contained therein.
Once all material has been presented and all questions answered, all non-committee attendees are dismissed from the hearing.
Deliberation. Deliberations are restricted to members of the committee who have neither been disqualified or recused for any reason.
Hearing Outcome. A hearing outcome may include but is not limited to: dismissal of the case, requirement of an Academic Development Plan, or disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from TCSPP. SAC will notify the student of the decision in writing via their TCSPP-issued email address within ten (10) business days of the hearing.
Typically, a dismissal decision is effective immediately. The decision will impact the student’s access to TCSPP facilities, their TCSPP-issued email account, and other TCSPP electronic systems. The student’s grade(s) may be impacted. See the Administrative Grades policy for more information.
Appealing a SAC Decision
A student has the right to appeal a SAC decision to the Dean of Academic Affairs of their home campus. The student should submit their appeal as soon as possible and within ten (10) business days after being notified of the SAC decision. If the DAA of the home campus has had direct involvement in a disciplinary matter such that their ability to be impartial may be impacted, the appeal will be considered by another Dean of Academic Affairs. In such cases, the Dean for Student Success will reassign the appeal.
The appeal process is not an opportunity to have the case reconsidered merely because of the student’s dissatisfaction with the decision. Rather, all appeals must be based on one or more of the following:
- New evidence;
- Evidence of improper procedure; or
- New arguments that could not be provided at the time of the original hearing.
The student must submit their own written appeal; no one, including legal counsel, may submit an appeal on behalf of the student. The written appeal must include:
- A specific statement of the decision that the student is appealing;
- A specific statement of the action the student wishes the DAA to take;
- All information that the student wishes the DAA to take into account in consideration of the appeal; and
- A statement of the student’s views as to how this information justifies the appeal on one or more of the above bases.
The Dean of Academic Affairs will render a decision as soon as possible and within ten (10) business days after receipt of the appeal. If the DAA upholds the decision, the appeal will be rejected and the decision of the committee will stand as final. This decision may not be appealed. If the Dean of Academic Affairs overturns the decision, the case will be remanded to SAC for another hearing. This hearing must occur as soon as possible and within ten (10) business days after the DAA issues the decision. The hearing must focus on the information supporting the granting of the appeal.
Disciplinary Process for TCSPP-sponsored Education Abroad Programs
A student is expected to adhere to the policies and procedures of TCSPP and of their degree program at all times while engaged in activities related to TCSPP including participation in Education Abroad Programs. The following procedure is used to address allegations that a student participating in an education abroad program sponsored by TCSPP has violated the Student Code of Conduct or any policy or rule enforceable under the Code or the student’s international education rights and responsibilities agreement (including this policy).
For first time allegations of a non-serious nature, the Faculty Lead of the program and/or other qualified TCSPP representative will attempt to address the allegations by meeting directly with student to resolve the violation. If no further conduct violations occur, the issue may be considered resolved.
For repeated allegations or an allegation of a serious nature, the Faculty Lead and/or other qualified TCSPP representative will send the student a written notice via TCSPP email of the alleged infraction(s). The notice will describe the allegations and cite the policy or rule violated. If the Faculty Lead determines that the allegations pose a health or safety risk, the Faculty Lead may immediately dismiss the student from the program, resulting in a potential failure of the course and in creating non-reimbursable costs. The Faculty Lead will copy the student’s Department Chair and the Dean for Student Success on all written notifications. The Department Chair may elect to refer the student to SAC for review and, if merited, sanctioning.
A student participating in any sponsored or endorsed education abroad opportunity e.g. sponsored work, internship, volunteer, service-learning, co-sponsored programs, exchanges, or outside programs are subject to the disciplinary process of the host university/partner that may supersede that of the institution. TCSPP will be notified when a warning has been issued and/or when a student is in the process of being dismissed. In the case of outside or non-sponsored programs, it may not be possible for TCSPP to intervene on behalf of the student.
Student Learning Assessment
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment. Data collected from the results of student assessment and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.
All degree programs report annual assessments (and periodic self-studies) of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process
A student is responsible for keeping current with TCSPP their personal information, contact information, and emergency contact information.
The Chicago School must protect the identity of a student and maintain the integrity of their record when changing their name, social security number, birthday, or citizenship status. Changes to this information must be submitted using the Student Personal Information Change Request form and include a copy of applicable documents:
- Government-issued identification card
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage License
- Divorce decree
- Court order
- Social Security Number/New Taxpayer ID Number
A student may change their legal sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or pronoun by click on My Contact Information under My Records on myChicagoSchool.
A student is responsible for keeping current with TCSPP their mailing address, telephone number, and email address. TCSPP is not responsible for lost items mailed to an incorrect address. To update contact information, click on My Contact Information under My Records on myChicagoSchool.
A student is responsible for providing TCSPP with an emergency contact. The student must provide the emergency contact’s name, relationship to the student, and telephone number. To update emergency contact information, click on My Contact Information under My Records on myChicagoSchool. Failure to provide an emergency contact may impact a student’s ability to register for courses.
A student may elect to receive text messages from TCSPP. TCSPP will not text message a student who does not opt into the service. To opt into this service, click on My Contact Information under My Records on myChicagoSchool. The student must provide their mobile phone number and service provider and choose “Yes” to Receive SMS Alerts. A student may “opt out” of the service at any using the link above. Mobile service provider standard messaging and data rates apply.
Preferred First Name
A student may choose to identify themselves with a preferred first name that differs from their legal first name. The student’s preferred first name will appear in place of the student’s legal first name in selected TCSPP databases and documents except where the use of the student’s legal first name is required by law or other applicable policies.
Legal name: A student’s first name as it appears on a legal or government-issued document such as a birth certificate, social security card, court order, or passport.
Preferred name: A name commonly used that differs from an individual’s legal first name.
A student’s preferred first name may be used for class rosters, on student identification cards and in student email. A student’s preferred first name may also be disclosed as directory information unless the student declines to permit such disclosure. For further information on disclosure of directory information, please refer to the FERPA policy in the Student Handbook. All official documents including but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, payroll records, and financial aid documents will include a student’s legal first name.
Generally, students can use any preferred first name. TCSPP reserves the right to deny or remove, with or without notice, a preferred first name if it is used for inappropriate purposes including but not limited to misrepresentation, avoiding legal obligation, offensive or derogatory language, or to perpetrate fraud. A preferred first name must consist of alphabetical characters, hyphens, and spaces.
To request the use of a preferred first name, visit the Academic Portal and navigate to My Contact Information.
Suspension or Revocation of a Professional License or Certification
A student who has ever voluntarily surrendered or had a professional license or certification suspended, or revoked for any reason must disclose this information at the time of application to the institution. A regularly-enrolled student who has a license or certification suspended or revoked or who surrenders a license or certification must disclose this information to the Department Chair within ten (10) business days of the event occurring. In such circumstances, the case will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee for consideration of calling a formal hearing and deliberation. Likewise, a student who at any time fails to disclose such information will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee for consideration of disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the school.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment (20 USC S. 1232g), affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. FERPA rights begin upon the student’s enrollment, which occurs when the student has been admitted to the university and attends any portion of a course. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not attend the institution.
For purposes of compliance with FERPA, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology considers all students independent. Questions about FERPA and education records may be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
Education records contains information that personally identifies a student including the student’s name, student identification number/social security number, student address, parent/family member names, and a list of personal characteristics. Education records are official and confidential. Education records include a range of information that is maintained in any recorded way such as handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche. Education records include but are not limited to:
- Parent(s) and/or guardian addresses, and parent(s)/guardian contact information;
- Grades, test scores, courses taken, academic specializations and activities, and official letters regarding a student’s status in school;
- Special education records;
- Disciplinary records;
- Medical and health records that the school creates or collects and maintains;
- Documentation of attendance, schools attended, courses taken, awards conferred, and degrees earned;
- Personal information such as a student’s identification code, social security number, picture, or other information that would make it easy to identify or locate a student.
Personal notes made by school officials not shared with others are not considered part of the education records. Admissions documents become part of the education records once the student attends courses. Educational records are permanently maintained and stored in the Office of the Registrar both electronically with a secure backup file and/or in secure fire-resistant file cabinets.
TCSPP is the custodian of education records for the California Graduate Institute (CGI). This includes education records for individuals who received a degree from or became an inactive student of CGI prior to October 7, 2008. TCSPP is the custodian of record for Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI) education records for all graduates. Information on records for both institutions is available from email@example.com.
Right to Inspect and Review
A student has the right to inspect and review their education records within forty-five (45) business days after the school receives a written request for access using the Request to Review/Amend Education Records form. The form must identify the education records to be inspected and must be submitted by the student to the Office of the Registrar. The University Registrar or designee will make arrangements for access and notify the student of next steps for inspecting the record. If the Office of the Registrar does not retain the record requested, the student will be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
TCSPP will not issue a printed copy of the education records unless extenuating circumstances prevent viewing it in person. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Right to Request Amendments
A student has the right to request an amendment of education records if the student believes the record is inaccurate or misleading. To request an amendment, the student must submit the Request to Review/Amend Education Records and a formal letter clearly identifying the part of the record to be changed and specifying why the record is inaccurate or misleading.
Right to Request a Hearing
The institution has the right to decide whether to amend the education records as requested by the student. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the school will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. To request a hearing, the student submits a Request to Review/Amend Education Records form. The University Registrar will refer the request to the Chief Academic Officer who will either act as the hearing officer or appoint a designee to conduct a formal hearing according to the following procedures:
- The student will be permitted to present information and materials in support of the assertion that the education records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise erroneous.
- A representative of TCSPP will be permitted to present information and materials that support the school’s position.
- Each party will be present during the hearing and may challenge information and materials of the other party.
- If a student is unable to attend the hearing in person due to distance, the student may be offered the opportunity to participate via a phone conference or online meeting.
- The hearing officer will render a decision on the matter generally within five (5) business days after the conclusion of the hearing. FERPA does not provide a process to be used to question substantive judgments, which are correctly recorded. For example, the rights of challenge do not allow a student to contest a grade in a course because the student believes a higher grade should have been assigned.
Right to Consent to Disclosures
A student has the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the school has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or official of the U.S. Department of Education or other federal agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the education records in order to fulfill professional responsibility.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology may disclose education records in certain other circumstances:
- to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena
- to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
- to officials of another school, upon request, at which a student seeks or intends to enroll
- in connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
- to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, to state and local educational authorities in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs
- to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
- to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of TCSPP
- the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence may be released to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime
Additionally, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology must, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the school against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense.
Alleged victims and perpetrators in sexual misconduct and sexual harassment incidents have a right to be informed of the outcome and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation, and to be kept apprised of the status of investigations.
If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the information shall be provided, upon written request, to the next of kin of the alleged victim.
Right to File a Complaint
A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by TCSPP to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20202-5920.
Right to Restrict Directory Information
A student has the right to restrict the release of “directory information” except to school officials with legitimate educational interests and others as indicated above. To restrict the release of directory information, a student must make the request in writing to the Office of the Registrar. Once filed, this request becomes a permanent part of the student’s record until the student instructs TCSPP, in writing, to remove the request.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology designates the following as public or “directory information”:
- Student name
- Email address(es)
- Telephone number(s)
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Degree sought
- Expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
- Grade Level
- Degrees and awards received
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)
- Previous educational agency or institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- Class rosters within the classroom
Access to Electronic Systems
Each Chicago School student is provided with a school-sponsored email account. The student is responsible for all information communicated through email in the same way and to the same extent as if published in hard copy and distributed through other means. The student must regularly check this account for information transmitted by various departments of the school. The school will not direct electronic correspondence from official school email accounts to personal email addresses; the student is expected to utilize the institutional email addresses for all electronic communication about school matters.
Files and email messages that travel using the school’s network are not private. A user’s privacy is superseded by the school’s requirement to maintain the network’s integrity and the rights of all network users. For example, should the security of the network be in danger, user files and messages may be examined under the direction of the Director of Information Technology. The school reserves its right, as owner of the network and the computers in question, to examine, log, capture, archive, and otherwise preserve or inspect any messages transmitted over the network and any data files stored on school-owned computers, should circumstances warrant such actions. All members of the community must recognize that electronic communications are by no means secure, and that during the course of ordinary management of computing and networking services, network administrators may inadvertently view user files or messages.
Should a student withdraw or be dismissed from The Chicago School, access to the institution’s electronic systems including, but not limited to, the library databases, the Office of Placement and Training (OPT) database, the wireless network, the campus access control system, school-provided email, and other systems will be suspended. This suspension will remain in place for at least one year from the dismissal or withdrawal date, after which time the accounts may be deleted.
A student who graduates from The Chicago School is granted lifetime access to email. Access to all other electronic systems is removed after graduation. In cases where an alumnus is dismissed from a subsequent enrollment, TCSPP reserves the right to revoke alumni benefits where necessary.
Audio and Visual Recordings
As a general policy, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology records important school events that will most benefit students, faculty, and staff. This policy applies to audio, video, or other electronic recordings of TCSPP events, including classes and non-class events.
Classes include regular and make-up sessions in all delivery modalities (on-ground or online). It is the sole discretion of each instructor of record for the course whether to record regular and/or make-up class meetings. Recordings of class sessions are posted on Canvas and accessible only to the instructor of record for the course and enrolled students for the duration of the course. These recordings may be reproduced, edited, or distributed for educational purposes within The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
When recording a class in either small sections or its entirety, the instructor of record for the course must provide students with prior notice through one or all of the following methods:
- Verbal announcement to students at start of the class session
- Attendance sign-in sheet with notice
- Placement of sign in classroom/lecture hall
- Syllabi notice
- Posting in Canvas Class Shell
A student who does not wish to be recorded must inform the instructor of record for the course verbally or in writing prior to the recording. The instructor of record for the course may continue to hold class without the student present as long as reasonable and adequate accommodations are made for the student to access class content. A student who opts not to be recorded will be assigned an “excused” absence which should not directly impact the student’s performance in the course. Faculty members should never record classes where clinical case material might be discussed or presented. Class sessions that include discussion or presentation of identifying information about unknown third parties should not be recorded.
Non-class events, which may be simple or complex, include those sponsored or coordinated by The Chicago School of Professional Psychology or one of its departments such as:
- Career Services sessions or panels
- Academic success or faculty development workshops
- Events with guest speakers
- Faculty colloquia
- Keynote speakers
- Presidential addresses
These recordings may be reproduced, edited, duplicated, or distributed for educational or marketing purposes.
When recording an event in either small sections or its entirety, the event organizer must provide the audience prior notice through one of the following methods:
- Verbal announcement to audience at the start of the event
- Attendance sign-in sheet with notice
- Placement of sign in room/lecture hall
- Notice in promotional materials
Further information on the recording of class and non-class events is available from the Communications Department. Private conversations and/or meetings may not be recorded without the informed consent of all parties involved. Failure to obtain permission to record may result in disciplinary action.
In order for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology to use a student’s likeness or information in any advertising, publicity, commercials, displays, interactive publication or interactive student learning, the student must sign a “Photography and Recording Release Form”. A student may revoke permission at any time. More information is available from the Communications Department
Electronic Communication Etiquette
Electronic communication is the posting or exchange of information via email, social media, discussion forums or other online course media, video conferencing, instant messaging, text messaging, phone, fax, and other virtual means. A student is expected to demonstrate professional behavior when communicating electronically and is advised to follow the standards listed below in all interactions with TCSPP community members.
- Be respectful, professional, and careful about what is said and how it is said.
- Be aware of the image being projected. As message recipients cannot read nonverbal cues or may not be able to easily interpret the tone of electronic communication, words and manners of expression must clearly indicate the intended meaning. This is particularly important when using humor, sarcasm, or similar techniques.
- Be concise and to the point.
- When disagreeing, be professional and collegial.
- On message boards or in discussion forums, use the subject line appropriately, employing meaningful and succinct labels so that recipients may immediately grasp the topic being advanced.
- Use clear writing and good form including proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- When someone else errs or does not follow proper protocol, consider whether it is necessary to provide correction. If correction is in order, be polite and, if discretion is advised, address the issue privately rather than in a public way.
- Avoid using ALL CAPS, especially when disagreeing. This is perceived as shouting and considered rude.
- Comply with all copyright laws.
- Be mindful of compatibility concerns. Be sure that files uploaded to online platforms can be viewed by others.
- Be aware of issues that might arise due to cultural and languages differences.
- Do not to violate the privacy of others. Do not send commercial advertisements or SPAM.
- Respect the chain of command when seeking assistance, raising questions, or sharing concerns. A student is encouraged to communicate with their course instructor, faculty advisor, or student support counselor first when trying to obtain information or solve a problem.
E-mail Communication Standards
- Use a meaningful subject, professional greeting, and appropriate closing signature. Start an email with the appropriate salutation to set the tone for communication. Choose a subject that accurately describes the content of the email. A student’s signature block should include their name, degree program, and preferred contact information.
- Use a standard structure, font type and size, punctuation, and layout. Generally, writing in short paragraphs and inserting blank lines between each paragraph is appropriate. When making points, number them or mark each point by inserting a bullet in front of each item in a list. Limit the use of exclamation points, question marks, and other special punctuation.
- Avoid using abbreviations, emoticons, emojis, or non-standard characters. The use of such items is generally not appropriate in professional emails.
- Review an email before sending it to ensure that it is clearly written and error free. Consider asking another person to review the communication before sending, if appropriate. Include the contents of the original email message with a reply. Use the ‘Reply All’ function only when the message is relevant to all copied parties.
- Avoid discussing confidential information such as protected health information, personally identifiable information, or privileged information via e-mail.
Expect that it may take a community member up to one to two business days to respond to an email. References to self-harm, violence, sexual misconduct, or similar matters will be referred to the appropriate school personnel for action.
In June 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) was signed. The law provides that electronic signatures, contracts, and other records related to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is an electronic form, or because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology defines an electronic signature as any electronic process signifying an approval to terms, and/or ensuring the integrity of the document, presented in electronic format. An electronic signature identifies and authenticates an individual as the source of any electronic consent or process. In addition, the electronic signature indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.
An e-signature may be accepted in all situations if requirement of a signature/approval is stated or implied as prescribed under any other TCSPP policy. To the fullest extent permitted by law. TCSPP accepts e-signatures as legally binding and equivalent to handwritten signatures to signify an agreement. TCSPP also reserves the right to designate specific transactions that are to be conducted as e-transactions or maintained as e-records, and that are to be fulfilled by e-signature under this policy. However, this guideline does not supersede situations where laws specifically require a written signature or must meet specific requirements regarding e-signature.
A student may be asked to use electronic signatures to register for courses, accept financial aid awards, pay bills, obtain unofficial transcripts, complete electronic forms, etc. or to increase the efficiency of internal transactions that require authorization. TCSPP may require that students use electronic signatures to conduct certain transactions that previously required handwritten signatures and approvals on paper documents.
It is a violation of this policy for an individual to sign a transaction on behalf of a student unless the student has been granted specific authority by the student. The student must report immediately any suspicious or fraudulent activities related to electronic signatures to any manager or supervisor in the appropriate administrative department or to the Director of Information Technology. A student who falsify electronic signatures or otherwise violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct and criminal prosecution under applicable federal and state laws.
Projectors, laptops, video recorders, cameras, and other equipment are available for use by a student or a faculty member. In Washington, D.C. and TCSPP @ XULA, students and faculty may borrow equipment through the campus library. In Chicago and Southern California, video and camera equipment are lent by the library while other equipment is available through the IT department. Contact the IT Help Desk to inquire about borrowing specialty items. Equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. The student is responsible for any lost or damaged equipment.
Use of Computing Resources
The Department of Information Technology (IT) provides access to the school network for students, faculty, and staff. The network consists of an institution-wide backbone network, wireless network, and many shared computers in addition to personal desktop computers. It provides communication as well as academic and administrative functions.
Members of TCSPP community have certain rights regarding the school’s network and its services.
- Intellectual Freedom: The school is a free and open forum for the expression of ideas; the school’s network is the same. Opinions may neither be represented as, nor construed as, the views of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
- Improper Contact: While the school cannot control unwanted or unsolicited contact, network users who receive threatening or other improper communications should bring them to the attention of the Campus Dean. All electronic communications are treated in a similar fashion as are voiced or written communications. If the threatening or other inappropriate message was sent by another student, staff or faculty, the Department Chair or Administrative Manager should be notified in addition to the Campus Dean.
- Privacy: Generally, data files and messages traversing the school’s network are private. However, a user’s privacy is superseded, for example, by the school’s requirement to maintain the network’s integrity and the rights of all network users. Should the security of the network be in danger, or for other good reason, user files and messages may be examined under the direction of the Information Technology management team. As owner of the network and computers in question, the school reserves the right to examine, log, capture, archive, inspect and preserve any messages transmitted over the network in all cases, as well as any data files stored on school owned computers, should circumstances warrant such actions. All members of the community must recognize that electronic communications are by no means secure and that during the course of ordinary management of computing and networking services, network administrators may inadvertently view user files or messages.
Network users are expected to comply with the responsibilities delineated below. A student who violates a network responsibility risks suspension of network access. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, the student could be referred to the Student Affairs Committee. Acts that violate federal, state, or local laws will result in referral to the appropriate legal authority as well as subject the user to institutional discipline.
The following illustrates the types of responsibilities that a student is expected to uphold with regard to network use:
- A student is responsible for the use of their own personal network ID (“user ID”) and password. The student may not give anyone else access to the personal user IDs or computer accounts, which includes allowing anyone else access to log in and post, retrieve, download, upload, or copy any content from any TCSPP password-protected domain including, but not limited to, the school’s learning management system. A student is prohibited from using a user ID or a TCSPP computer account other than the account assigned. A student may not try to obtain a password for another user’s user ID or computer account in any way. The user ID remains the property of the institution.
- A student may not misrepresent themselves or their data on the network.
- A student is responsible for the security of passwords. This includes changing passwords on a regular basis and making sure no one else knows them.
- A student must not use TCSPP’s network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote computers.
- A student must not deliberately perform an act that will impair the operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or the network.
- A student must not run, install, or give to another a program that could result in the eventual damage to a file or computer system and/or the reproduction of itself on any of the institution’s computer systems.
- A student must not attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or exploit security loopholes.
- A student must abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws. The student may not make copies of, or make available on the network, copyrighted material, unless permitted by a license.
- A student must not be wasteful of computing resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of other users.
- A student must not attempt to monitor another user’s data communications, nor may any student read, copy, change, or delete another user’s files or software, without permission of the owner.
- A student who withdraws, is dismissed, or otherwise leaves the institution may not use TCSPP facilities, accounts, access codes, network privileges, or information for which they are not authorized in their new circumstances.
- A student must maintain appropriate technology requirements for the degree program.
TCSPP may offer software to a student at no cost. While software may be provided at zero cost, it is not free. TCSPP pays for the appropriate licensing in order to provide this software. As such, if a student chooses to install and use such software, the student is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the license by not sharing it or any activation/license key with anyone. By installing the software and the license key provided by TCSPP, the student is agreeing to this responsibility. If the student does not protect the provided key, TCSPP’s licensing of the software will be at risk for everyone. Violations may make a student ineligible for future software installations provided by TCSPP.
Computing and networking resources are provided to support the mission of the school. These resources may not be used for commercial purposes. All Chicago School computing and networking facilities are provided for use by faculty, staff, and students solely for relevant academic, research, or administrative use.
Violations of computer regulations and policies and information about potential loopholes in the security of any computer system or network at TCSPP should be reported to the Campus Dean. Depending on the nature of any violations, the Campus Dean may notify the student’s Department Chair.
Tobacco, Drug, and Alcohol Regulations
Smoking is prohibited, including within 15-feet of building entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes. This smoke-free policy includes cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, and it covers all areas owned or operated by TCSPP. If a local law or ordinance provides greater protection for the rights of non-smokers, it shall apply.
In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1986 as amended in 1989, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology explicitly prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs by students or employees on school premises or as part of any of its activities. In addition, the school prohibits the misuse of legal drugs including alcohol.
Counseling, Treatment, or Rehabilitation Programs
Any student who fails to abide by the terms of the Tobacco, Drug, and Alcohol Regulations and Policies may be required to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state or local health officials, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency. Specific programs of counseling or rehabilitation are available within the greater Chicago, Dallas, Southern California, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas.
General State Laws of Alcohol Possession and Consumption
Individuals younger than 21 years old may not purchase, accept as a gift, or possess alcoholic beverages on any street or highway or other public place. Consumption by minors is expressly prohibited. Licensees to sell alcoholic beverages are prohibited from selling, giving, or delivering alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age. It is unlawful for anyone of legal age to purchase or obtain alcoholic beverages and then sell, give, or deliver them to a minor.
Health Risks Associated with Use of Illicit Drugs, the Misuse of Legal Drugs, and Alcohol Abuse
There are health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and abuse of legal drugs and alcohol including impaired functioning of the following major organs: liver, kidneys, brain, and other aspects of the central nervous system including impaired immune functioning and impaired lung and pulmonary functioning. The effects are both immediate and long-term. Immediate effects include impaired judgment, impaired attention span, and impaired gross and fine motor control. Long-term effects include the risk of premature death. The use of needles to inject drugs into the blood stream engenders the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis. These health risks may affect one’s daily life activities, as well as familial, social, and working relationships.
Drug and alcohol abuse causes physical and emotional dependence, in which users may develop a craving for a particular substance. Thus, their bodies may respond to the presence of such substances in ways that lead to increased drug and alcohol use.
Certain drugs, such as opiates, barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine create physical dependence. With prolonged use, these drugs become part of the body chemistry. When a regular user stops taking the drug, the body experiences the physiological trauma known as withdrawal.
Psychological dependence occurs when taking drugs becomes the center of the user’s life. Drugs have an effect on the mind and body for weeks or even months after drug use has stopped. Drugs and alcohol can interfere with memory, sensation, and perception. They distort experiences and cause loss of self-control that can lead users to harm others as well as themselves.
Institutional Policy on Alcohol Consumption
Beverage alcohol may be served to and consumed by persons of legal drinking age on school premises or practicum and internships sites in conjunction with a specifically authorized function. Individuals consuming alcohol should do so in a responsible manner.
Legal Sanctions Under Federal and State Law
Federal penalties and sanctions for illegal possession of a controlled substance are as follow.
- First conviction: up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of at least $1,000
- After one prior drug conviction: at least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years, and a fine of at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both
- After two or more prior drug convictions: at least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years, and a fine of at least $5,000
- Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine: mandatory sentencing of at least five years in prison, not to exceed 20 years, and a fine of up to $250,000, or both, if the first conviction and amount of crack possessed exceeds five grams, the second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds three grams, third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds one gram
- Forfeiture of personal property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance, if that offense is punishable by more than a one-year imprisonment
- Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, and any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance
- Civil penalty of up to $10,000
- Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, for up to one year for first offense or up to five years for second and subsequent offenses
- Ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm.
- Revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, (for example, pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, and so on.) as vested within the authorities of individual federal agencies
- Any person convicted of drug trafficking occurring within 1,000 feet of an academic institution is subject to prison terms and fines twice as high as listed above with a mandatory prison sentence of one year for each offense
This list has been included for reference purposes only. The most current information can be found on the website of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sanctions to Be Imposed on Students Who Violate Regulations and Policies
As a condition of matriculation to TCSPP, students agree to abide by the terms of these regulations and policies and agree to notify TCSPP of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring on campus no later than five (5) business days after such conviction. TCSPP, through the Student Affairs Committee or campus leadership, will take appropriate action (consistent with local, state, and federal law) against a student who violates the standards of conduct contained herein, up to and including dismissal from the institution and referral for prosecution.