Individualism is paramount to an understanding of the general student life and conduct philosophy of Amberton University. Each student is considered a unique individual, divinely created, and capable of becoming better each day. Amberton University never combines students into general groups, nor does the University respond to petitions or group demonstrations that diminish individualism. The University is committed to academic excellence rooted in personal integrity. The philosophy of Amberton University is committed to the belief that talent without discipline is useless, and knowledge without character is perilous.
The University operates on an honor system, and honesty and integrity are essential characteristics of all who are associated with the institution. Because the University’s reputation is ultimately determined by those who earn a degree, Amberton University insists upon evidence of personal integrity in addition to academic excellence. The personal integrity of a student will be proven by the student’s ability to handle his/her academic, financial, personal affairs, and conduct in a straightforward manner consistent with the rules and regulations outlined in the University catalog.
Amberton University strives to provide education in an atmosphere consistent with the ethical standards and principles set forth in the New Testament of the Bible. The maintenance of high standards of personal behavior is essential to the preservation of the academic and moral atmosphere of the University. Personal integrity and high moral standards are central to the educational process. By enrolling at Amberton University, a student signifies his or her willingness and agreement to live in accordance with the standards set forth by Amberton University. Attendance at Amberton University is a privilege, not a right. If, in the judgment of the University, a student’s academic performance or personal conduct is substandard, the University retains the right to deny the student further enrollment.
Ethical Standards Expected of Students
Amberton University caters to working adults. Each student’s behavior is to reflect a refined maturity and attitude that complies with the standards outlined in the University catalog. In addition, all students admitted to the University Master of Arts – School Counseling EPP are expected to adhere to the Educators’ Code of Ethics and attest to their compliance.
- Loud discord, language designed to intimidate or bully, abusive or belligerent actions, or any continuing annoyance to others is unethical.
- Physical, verbal, or written abuse, or any type of harassment is unethical.
- Stealing, lying, cheating, cursing, verbalizing or writing vulgarities, or threatening in any manner is unethical.
- Failure to respect the personal rights, safety, and health of others is unethical.
- To be disruptive or disrupt the study of others or to disrupt any University activity is unethical.
- To damage or misuse the property belonging to others or to damage or misuse University equipment, property, or facilities is unethical.
- Failure to carry proper identification and provide such identification when requested by any University official is unethical.
- The possession, use, or distribution of any form of alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs while on the property of Amberton University is unethical.
- Failure to take care of University related business, including financial obligations, is unethical.
- Failing to refrain from smoking in any portion of the facility is unethical.
- Possessing any type of firearm or weapon while in any Amberton University facility is unethical except where permitted by law.
- The leaving of an unsupervised minor anywhere on Amberton University property is unethical.
- Dress that fails to appropriately support the adult, modest, professional atmosphere desired by the University’s faculty and administration is unethical.
- Soliciting and/or distributing (selling, surveying, petitioning, etc.) any materials or merchandise on University property without administrative authorization is unethical.
- Failure to comply with a directive from a University official is unethical.
- Using the University’s name or logo without written permission is unethical.
- The improper or non-academic use of Amberton’s equipment and/or technologies is unethical.
- Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct, including assault, stalking, or any form of sexual harassment, is unethical. See the University’s web site for the complete Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Statements.
Violations of the ethical standards expected of students may result in disciplinary action. Such action may take the form of a reprimand, probation, suspension, legal sanctions, and/or expulsion from the University. Suspension and any discipline short of expulsion are not considered punishment but a part of the educational process. A student may be suspended for an indefinite period of time, depending upon the offense. Expulsion is permanent.
Due Process in Handling Violations of the Ethical Standards
Should a student be accused of violating the ethical standards of the University, “due process” in handling the violation will be as follows:
- The Administration and Faculty of the University, by virtue of their positions, exercise initial jurisdiction whenever circumstances dictate disciplinary action.
- The student may accept the initial judgment of the Administration or Faculty or may appeal, in writing, to the President.
- Upon written appeal, the President of the University may render immediate judgment on issues not subject to expulsion or may appoint an Ethical Review Board to hear the appeal. All cases that could result in expulsion are presented to an Ethical Review Board. The following guidelines will be observed in an Ethical Review Board appeal:
- Prior to the hearing of an appeal case, the accused student shall be informed in writing of the charges against him/her and he/she will be allowed up to three days of preparation prior to the convening of the Ethical Review Board.
- During the meeting of the Ethical Review Board, the student and qualified witnesses will be permitted to testify and present applicable statements (all witnesses shall attest to a statement regarding the accuracy of the testimony to be given). Reasonable cross-examination privileges are extended. Hearings are closed to all except members of the Ethical Review Board, the student, administrative personnel, and witnesses approved by the Board.
- The findings and recommendations of the Ethical Review Board shall be submitted to the President of the University. The President may accept or reject the recommendations of the Ethical Review Board. The decision of the President shall be final and will be provided to the student within forty-eight hours after the conclusion of the Ethical Review Board.
Should an applicant violate an ethical standard of the University, admission will be denied or withdrawn without recourse.
Students’ Rights – Educational Records
Annually, Amberton University informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA). This act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of education records and afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- Inspection and Review – Students have the right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit a written request to the Vice President for Strategic Services that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the University official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- Request Amendment – Students have the right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights under FERPA. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record; clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision in writing and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- Consent to Disclosure – Students have the right to provide consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA permits the University to disclose such information without the student’s consent. Exceptions that permit (but do not require) disclosure without consent include:
- To school officials with a legitimate education interest. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has asked or contracted to provide institutional services and functions (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, contractor, consultant, or volunteer); such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the office needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- To official of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The student shall receive notification of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure. Such a disclosure must relate to the student’s enrollment and transfer, but may include updating and correcting information after the transfer or enrollment is complete.
- To school officials or lending institutions, in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary in determining eligibility, amount, conditions for the aid or enforcing the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions.
- To accrediting organizations.
- To parents of dependent students if the student is a verified dependent for tax purposes under Internal Revenue Code 1986, Section 152.
- To parents of students under the age of 21 who have violated University policies related to alcohol or controlled substances.
- To provide final results of disciplinary proceedings against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a violent crime (18 U.S.C. § 16) or non-forcible sex offense, if the University finds that the student committed a violation of the University’s rules or policies. The University may also disclose information to a victim of an alleged crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense regardless of whether the violation was proven under the University’s rules and policies.
- To persons whose knowledge is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. This requires the University to determine that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health and safety of a student or other individuals.
- To comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
- Information the University has designated as “Directory Information”, unless a hold has been placed upon the release of information by the student. The following information is considered to be directory information and may be disclosed by the University for any purpose, at its discretion: Name, classification, identification number, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time or part-time status, and degree(s) conferred (including dates).
- Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of “Directory Information”. To withhold disclosures, written notification must be received in the Vice President for Administrative Services Office within 12 calendar days from the first day of a session. Forms requesting the withholding of “Directory Information” are available on the University’s website under ‘Forms & Publications’. Amberton University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of “Directory Information” indicates approval for disclosure.
- File a Complaint – The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University 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
Student Grievance and Appeal
A student who feels that he/she has been improperly treated concerning finances, grading, registration, or any other student service, has the right to file a grievance to correct the wrong. The following procedure shall be followed in filing a grievance: (The terms “grievance” and “complaint” are used interchangeably.)
I. First, whenever possible, the matter in question should be discussed directly with the person causing the grievance. Every effort should be made to resolve the grievance on a one-on-one basis. If the grievance concerns a grade earned in a class, the student must understand that he/she cannot challenge the judgment of the instructor but only the accuracy of the grade and/or fact.
II. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the one-on-one effort (or if the student does not know who the specific individual is who caused the grievance), the student may contact the appropriate administrator for assistance (Academic Dean for academic-related and student services appeals; Vice President for Administrative Services for financial appeals). The appeal to an administrator should be in writing.
- The student’s written grievance should be explicit and include any support materials.
- The University will respond to all written grievances and include them as a part of institutional records.
- All grievances will be processed expeditiously.
III. If the student is dissatisfied with the solution proposed by the administration, the student may appeal, in writing, to the President. The student may include additional information or facts in the written appeal. The President may make a final decision immediately or elect to form a grievance-hearing committee to consider the complaint. The committee, if appointed, will review all written documents and forward their recommendation to the President, whose decision shall be final.
All student grievances must first be addressed internally. If the internal resources have been exhausted and the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the student may file a written complaint with the:
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Office of General Counsel
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711-2788
IV. Complaint Process for the Educator Preparation Program
The Texas Administrative Code (Rule §228.70) requires that Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) maintain a process for filing and resolving complaints and provide information for filing formal complaints with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). If you have a complaint about the Amberton University Educator Preparation Program, please follow the institution’s “Student Grievance and Appeal” Process.
Texas Education Agency Complaint: If you believe that the Amberton University EPP has violated state law or rule in resolving your complaint, you may file a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency. The complaint process allows for an applicant, candidate, employee, or former employee of an EPP, a cooperating teacher, a mentor, or an administrator in a school district, charter school, or private school to submit a complaint about an EPP for investigation and resolution.
The complaint process allows individuals to seek redress in areas where they feel that the program did not fulfill requirements for certification or for actions that the individual feels are wrong. Educator preparation programs may also file a complaint about the actions of other EPP programs when it involves a candidate’s transfer into or out of a program.
Not all complaints fall under the authority of TEA. TEA has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of noncompliance regarding specific laws and rules, generally related to state and federal requirements. Complaints may address educator preparation program requirements listed in Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§ 227, 228, 229, ethics (TAC §247), fingerprinting (TAC §§227, 232) and certification (TAC §§230, 231, 232, 239, 241, 242). TEA staff and the SBEC do not have jurisdiction over complaints related to contractual arrangements with an EPP, commercial issues, obtaining a higher grade or credit for training, or seeking reinstatement to an EPP.
Further information on the TEA Complaint Process and access to the TEA Complaint Form may be found on the TEA web site, https://tea.texas.gov.