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Pacific Oaks College    
2011-2012 PO Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  Jun 15, 2024
2011-2012 PO Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Student Handbook: Institutional Policies

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the right of reasonable exercise of civil liberties and responsibilities in an academic setting.

It is the policy of Pacific Oaks College to give its students the freedom, within the bounds of collegial behavior, to pursue what seems to them productive avenues of inquiry, to learn unhindered by external or nonacademic constraints, and to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion. All members of the College must recognize this fundamental principle and must share responsibility for supporting, safeguarding, and preserving this freedom.

In order to preserve the rights and freedoms of the students, the College has a formal process for adjudication of student grievances and cases of academic dishonesty. Please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy  for additional information.


Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, last amended on July 1, 2003, protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. The Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998 allows, but does not require, colleges and universities to contact the parents of students in disciplinary cases involving drugs and alcohol. 

The Family Education and Privacy Act was enacted by Congress to protect the privacy of student educational records. This privacy right is a right vested in the student. Pursuant to FERPA, eligible students (those over 18 years of age) and parents[1] have the right to inspect and review their education records maintained by the school. Pacific Oaks College is not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Pacific Oaks College may charge a fee for copies.

There are some records to which the student has no right of access. These are:

  1. Professional mental health treatment records to the extent necessary, in the judgment of the attending physician or professional counselor, to avoid detrimental effects to the mental health of the student or of others. These records may, however, be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice.
  2. Financial information furnished by the student’s parents in support of an application for financial aid.
  3. Confidential letters of recommendation that were placed in the student’s file prior to January 1, 1975.
  4. Confidential letters of recommendation concerning admission, employment, or honorary recognition, for which the student has waived access. (Pacific Oaks may not require a student to sign a waiver in order to obtain services, but a person writing a recommendation may insist on a waiver as a condition for writing it).
  5. Personal notes made by a faculty member or counselor that are accessible only to that person and are not shared with others.
  6. Materials in any admissions files, until the student has been admitted to, and has attended Pacific Oaks.


Students Right to Review and Correct Records

Eligible students have the right to request in writing with the Registrar, who is Pacific Oaks’ FERPA Compliance Officer, that Pacific Oaks College correct records that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. Please note that Pacific Oaks College is not required to consider requests for amendment under FERPA that:

  1. Seek to change a grade or disciplinary decision; or
  2. Seek to change the opinions or reflections of a school official or other person reflected in an education record.

The Registrar will review the request and inform the student in a reasonable amount of time after receiving the request whether the record will be amended. If the Registrar refuses to amend the record, the student has the right to request a hearing to appeal the Registrar’s decision. The request shall be in writing and presented to the Vice President of Administration, or designee. A hearing officer appointed by Vice President of Administration, or designee, will conduct the hearing. The hearing will be held within a reasonable amount of time after the request for the hearing has been received. The hearing officer will notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.

The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised. One or more other persons may accompany the student but not address the hearing officer. The hearing officer will make a decision in writing based upon the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.

If the hearing officer supports the complaint, the education record will be amended accordingly and the student will be so informed. If the hearing officer decides not to amend the education record, the student has the right to place in the education record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or stating the reasons for disagreement with the decision. This statement will be maintained as part of the education record as long as the contested portion of the record is maintained, and whenever a copy of the education record is sent to any party, the student’s statement will be included. 


Release of Information from a Student’s Education Records

Generally, schools must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (additional exceptions not included below can be found in 34 CFR §99.31): 

  1. School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  2. Other schools to which a student is transferring (including disciplinary records and information concerning registered sex offenders, pursuant to the pertinent provisions of the Wetterling Act, 42 U.S.C. 14071 and applicable Federal guidelines);
  3. Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  4. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student or the result of a judicial or quasi-judicial hearing;
  5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  6. Accrediting organizations;
  7. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  8. To comply with Ex-parte Orders issued under the USA PATRIOT ACT;[2]
  9. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  10. State and local authorities pursuant to specific State law.

Additionally, Pacific Oaks must, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence, or a nonforcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the school against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime of offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the information shall be provided, upon request, to the next of kin of the alleged victim.

Pacific Oaks College may disclose any items (Bold) listed below without the students’ prior written consent, unless the student completes a Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form. This form is available in the Registrar’s Office.

Students name, address*, email address, telephone number*, date & place of birth, major field of study, enrollment status (full or part time), dates of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities, degrees and awards received, student’s photograph, the most recent educational institution attended.

*Address and phone number will NOT be given out except to legitimate institutions.


Filing Complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office

Students have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605, concerning any alleged failure by Pacific Oaks to comply with FERPA.


Student Record Release under the Solomon Amendment

The Solomon Amendment (10 USC §983, effective January 2000) is a federal law that mandates colleges and universities receiving federal financial aid funding to provide student-recruiting information upon request to military recruiting organizations. The request and information released by the College is limited to military recruiting purposes only. The request for information must be in writing on letterhead that clearly identifies the military recruiting organization. Military recruiters must be from one of the following military organizations:

  1. Air Force;
  2. Air Force Reserve;
  3. Air Force National Guard;
  4. Army;
  5. Army Reserve;
  6. Army National Guard;
  7. Coast Guard;
  8. Coast Guard Reserve;
  9. Navy;
  10. Navy Reserve;
  11. Marine Corps; and
  12. Marine Corps Reserve.

The release of student recruiting information follows the FERPA guidelines defining student directory information (see above). Students are not permitted under federal law to restrict the release of this information specifically to military organizations, but if students withhold the release of directory information generally, then Pacific Oaks may not release this information to military organizations. The directory information released is limited to the current semester or the previous semester. If the request is received between semesters, the requestor must specify previous semester or upcoming semester. Further, students must be in an enrolled status (incomplete and complete registration status).

FERPA Footnotes

[1] According to the Buckley Amendment, information contained in the educational records of students who are eighteen years of age or olderor enrolled in post-secondary institutions may be sent to the parents without the written consent of the student only if the student is a financial dependent of the parents. (The term dependent is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code as an individual’s son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter of a taxpayer who receives over half of the individual’s support from the taxpayer during the given calendar year.) 

[2] Orders Issued Under USA PATRIOT ACT - order signed by judge ex parte (without notice to subject); to authorize release of education records must be issued under 20 USC 1232g(j), and certify there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe the education records contain information relevant to investigation or prosecution of an offense under 18 USC 2332b(g)(5)(B) or 2331 (terrorism-related). No subpoena required; fax plus mailed copy are generally sufficient service. Steps to Take include: Contact the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs; 
 Copy requested documents, redacting out non-public data not ordered disclosed.


Copyright Policies


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), Pacific Oaks developed a policy in order to combat unlawful file sharing of copyright materials. In particular, Pacific Oak’s plan requires students, employees and visitors using Pacific Oaks 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 full policy can be found here.


Disability Services

Pacific Oaks is committed to providing program accessibility to all students. Students seeking accommodations for documented physical and/or academic challenges must self-identify themselves to the Center for Student Achievement, Resources and Enrichment Office (CARE) prior to the beginning of classes. Students who do not require accommodations do not need to make their disabilities known.

Accommodation Request Procedures

  1. Students at all Pacific Oaks sites who are requesting disability accommodations must complete an accommodation request form and submit current documentation of their disability (no older than three years) to the CARE Office located on the  Eureka Campus. (Note: Pacific Oaks does not provide diagnostic services.) Upon receipt of the required materials, the CARE Director will contact the student initiating the request and review the next steps in the process.
  2. The accommodation request and documentation will be reviewed and a determination made as to the nature and extent of accommodations that will be provided. The student will be notified in writing of the accommodations and the next step for obtaining those accommodations.
  3. Students for whom accommodations have been granted must contact the CARE Director in a timely manner to arrange accommodations for the semester.
  4. Specific accommodations will be coordinated directly with the CARE Director or a director designee.
  5. As appropriate and with the permission of the student, individual faculty will be informed of the need for accommodations to be made and the nature of the accommodation. 

Additional information regarding disability support services can be found here.  Any questions regarding accommodations or the process for receiving assistance should be directed to the CARE Director at (626) 397-1338.


Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policies

Pacific Oaks is committed to providing an academic environment that is free of discrimination and harassment of any type. In keeping with this commitment, Pacific Oaks maintains a strict policy prohibiting all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, marital status, pregnancy, age, medical condition, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information or characteristics protected by the state or federal employment discrimination laws.

Retaliation against an individual making an informal or formal allegation of discrimination, sexual harassment, or harassment of any type will be considered a separate incident of discrimination, sexual harassment, or harassment. All complaints, whether formal or informal, will be investigated. 

Harassment includes verbal, written, physical, and visual conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile study, or learning environment or that interferes with educational opportunities.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual contact of any nature, communication (either verbal or pictorial) of a sexual or gender-based nature, or solicitation of sexual contact of any nature, when any of the above contacts or communications is not mutually agreeable to both parties and any of the following conditions apply: 

1.  The submission to such contact, communication, or solicitation is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic process;

2.  Submission to or rejection of such contact, communication, or solicitation by an individual is used or threatened as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual;

3.  Such contact, communication, or solicitation has the purpose or effect of being sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and objectively offensive that it could alter the conditions of education or employment, by interfering with an individual’s work, academic performance, living conditions, or status.


Retaliatory Harassment

Retaliatory harassment is defined as situations where any person retaliates using, for example, intimidation, threats, actual violence, ridicule, taunting, bullying, or ostracism against a person or their property, as a result of that person’s decision to object and/or report sexual harassment or seek assistance to remedy gender based discrimination.


Reporting and Redress of Complaints

All faculty, staff, students, and other individuals associated with Pacific Oaks are subject to and responsible for complying with this policy. Any member of the Pacific Oaks community who believes to have been subjected to harassment or discrimination in violation of this policy or suspects the occurrence of forbidden harassment or discrimination shall report the matter at once so that Pacific Oaks may promptly deal with it.

Pacific Oaks provides a variety of avenues by which an individual who believes to have been harassed or discriminated against may proceed, so that each person may choose an avenue appropriate to their particular situation. Volume II of the Pacific Oaks Policy Manual provides guidelines for reporting discrimination or harassment.



Investigations under this policy shall be conducted in a manner that will protect, to the extent possible, the confidentiality of all parties. Pacific Oaks, however, cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the Pacific Oaks obligation to investigate meaningfully and, where warranted, to take corrective action.


Sexual Assault Policy 

Pacific Oaks College is committed to creating and maintaining an educational and working environment where respect for the individual and human dignity is of paramount importance. Pacific Oaks College does not tolerate sexual assault in any form.

In the event of a sexual assault, DIAL 9-1-1. While reporting the sexual assault to the police, be certain to also request medical treatment. If the incident occurred at a Pacific Oaks College location or at the Children’s School, the victim is also encouraged to report the assault to Human Resources.


Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy

Pacific Oaks College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical handicap, medical condition, genetic information or characteristics, veteran status, or any other condition or characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. Pacific Oaks takes affirmative action to increase ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity; to employ qualified disabled individuals; and to provide equal opportunity to all students and employees.

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for equal employment opportunity, implementation of affirmative action programs, and coordination of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Act of 1974, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For further information about these provisions, or about issues of equity, discrimination or fairness, contact the Director of Human Resources.


Alcohol and Other Drug Usage

The 1986 Higher Education Amendments include a stipulation that schools and colleges take action to prevent alcohol and drug addiction on their campuses. This is in response to national research showing that drug use and alcohol abuse are high among the traditional college age population.

An alcohol and chemical dependency treatment referral list is available in the Office of the Marriage Family Therapy (MFT) department. In addition, Pacific Oaks offers a course in substance abuse through the MFT department for students and college credit.

Pacific Oaks prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students or employees on Pacific Oaks property, or as any part of institutional activities. Individuals are to be reminded that in accordance with California law, only individuals who are 21 years or older are allowed to consume, possess, or transport alcohol. Moreover, individuals are forbidden to sell, purchase, or serve alcoholic beverages to persons younger than 21.

An individual who is determined to be impaired or who becomes impaired (impaired meaning that the individual’s normal physical or mental abilities have been detrimentally affected by the use of substances) while on Pacific Oaks property is guilty of a major violation of institution policy and is subject to severe disciplinary action, which can include suspension, dismissal, termination, or other penalty deemed to be appropriate under the circumstance.

Use, possession, transfer, or sale of any illegal substance on Pacific Oaks property is prohibited and violators are subject to severe disciplinary action including the notification of appropriate authorities.

This policy is distributed annually to all students and employees pursuant to Public Law 101-226 (The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989).

Pacific Oaks will regularly review the terms of this policy to:

  1. Determine its effectiveness;
  2. Implement changes, as needed, and
  3. Ensure that sanctions are consistently reinforced.


Pet and Animal Policy

There are significant health and safety hazards and nuisances created by unrestrained pets on campus.  Accordingly, the following guidelines shall be enforced:

  1. Pets are not permitted on Pacific Oaks property. Only service animals are allowed. 
  2. Strays should be reported to the Facilities Manager.


Smoking Policy

In keeping with Pacific Oaks goals for a healthy and safe workplace, as well as applicable state and local laws, smoking is prohibited inside any College or Children’s School building or within twenty five (25) feet of all Pacific Oaks buildings. Furthermore, smoking is prohibited in all partially enclosed areas such as covered walkways, breezeways, and walkways between sections of buildings, bus-stop shelters, exterior stairways, and landings.

Smoking is permitted generally in outside grounds areas beyond twenty five (25) feet of all campus buildings except at public gathering areas or if it unavoidably exposes people entering and leaving adjacent buildings to smoke, or when it is explicitly prohibited during a particular event or activity scheduled in the area (such as row seating at Commencement).

Lit tobacco products must be extinguished, and tobacco residue must be placed in an appropriate ash can or other waste receptacle located outside of non-smoking areas.

The sale or promotional distribution of tobacco products on Pacific Oaks property is also prohibited. This policy applies equally to all employees, students, customers and visitors.


Information Technology Policies   


Conditions of Use of Computing, Learning & Networking Facilities

  1. It is the policy of Pacific Oaks that its computing, learning, and networking facilities are intended for use for teaching, learning, research and administration in support of the Pacific Oaks mission. Although recognizing the increasing importance of these facilities to the activities of staff and students, Pacific Oaks reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend access to them.
  2. All persons using the Pacific Oaks computing, learning, and networking facilities shall be responsible for the appropriate and reasonable use of the facilities provided as specified by the “Codes of Practice” of this policy, and shall observe conditions and times of usage as published by the Custodian of the system.
  3. It is the policy of Pacific Oaks that its computing, learning, and associated network facilities are not to be used for personal, commercial, or non-Pacific Oaks -related purposes without written authorization from Pacific Oaks. In any dispute as to whether work carried out in any of these areas is internal is the decision of the CIO or the area Custodian. Their decision shall be final.
  4. Users will not knowingly record or process information/data that infringes any patent or breach any copyright.
  5. Pacific Oaks will endeavor to protect the confidentiality of information and material furnished by the user and will instruct all computing personnel to protect the confidentiality of such information and material, but Pacific Oaks shall be under no liability in the event of any improper disclosure.
  6. Pacific Oaks will endeavor to safeguard the possibility of loss of information within Pacific Oaks’ computing, learning and networking facilities but will not be liable to the user in the event of any such loss. The user must take all reasonable measures to further safeguard against any loss of information within Pacific Oaks’ computing, learning, and networking facilities.


Electronic Devices Policy

Cellular phones, pagers, and other electronic devices shall not be used in a manner that causes disruption in the classroom, library, or within any Pacific Oaks owned or operated facility. Abuse of cellular devices with photographic capabilities, use of devices for purposes of photographing test questions, or other notes and materials is prohibited. Photographing individuals in secured areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, or other areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, and/or taking photographs of an individual against their will is strictly prohibited. Electronic transmission of photographs of any person without express permission is strictly prohibited.


Campus Safety and Security

Pacific Oaks College is strongly committed to crime prevention. The Pacific Oaks College considers the personal physical safety of its students, faculty, and staff necessary for a successful learning environment.

Educational campuses, like all other communities, are not immune to crime. Members of the Pacific Oaks community are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their conduct and safety. Adopting a posture of individual responsibility will enhance the quality of life for all on the Pacific Oaks campuses. The cooperation and involvement of students, faculty, and staff in campus safety is essential to minimize criminal activity and injury.  In addition to the information provided below, Pacific Oaks also places important safety and security information on the website.


Campus Crime Reporting (Clery Act)

In accordance with the Federal Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, Public Law 101-542 amended into the Jeanne Clery Act of 1998, crime statistics are available to all students and staff on the Pacific Oaks Security web page: Annual Security Report.


General Crime Prevention Measures

Part of crime prevention is individual safety consciousness and awareness of personal environment. Pacific Oaks suggests the following crime prevention measures, which can contribute to the safety and security of the Pacific Oaks community. 

  1. When using a personal vehicle, keep the doors locked at all times. Before entering a vehicle, always look under thevehicle and in the back seat.
  2. Keep personal keys (car, apartment, home, etc.) in your possession at all times.
  3. At night, travel in well-lighted areas and in pairs if possible. Avoid short cuts and deserted areas.
  4. Notice and be aware of suspicious persons and conditions.
  5. Do not leave valuable items in your car, including personal items and school related materials such as textbooks.
  6. Do not park in isolated areas.
  7. Do not prop doors open.
  8. Leave items of high monetary value at home.
  9. Do not leave personal property unattended.
  10. Do not carry more cash than necessary and certainly do not advertise what you have.
  11. Keep your purse, backpack, or briefcase close to your body.
  12. Avoid giving out personal information or making appointments with strangers over the phone.
  13. Mark personal items that you bring on campus. This includes marking textbooks, laptops, and calculators with your name or some other traceable identification.
  14. Do not bring any kind of firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or lethal materials onto Pacific Oaks property. Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of these or other potentially dangerous items on Pacific Oaks premises or at Pacific Oaks activities, whether or not a federal or local license to possess the same has been issued, is strictly prohibited and subject to discipline and/or criminal prosecution.
  15. If anything makes you feel unsafe or threatened, dial 9-1-1.


Reporting of Crimes

Pacific Oaks encourages students, faculty and staff to report all criminal activity and emergencies that have occurred at a Pacific Oaks College location or at Children’s School to the local authorities as well as to the Pacific Oaks Facilities Manager


Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

The Pacific Oaks community is committed to the safety and security of all its members. In times of emergency, the college will provide an appropriate campus-wide response to assure everyone’s safety and to minimize losses.

Information regarding Pacific Oaks emergency response and evacuation procedures can be found in the Disaster Preparedness Manual, which is available on the website and provided to all entering students. The manual is intended to assist all faculty, staff, and students in responding to emergencies which may occur while they are on a Pacific Oaks campus. Such emergencies can occur at any time and without warning, but their effects may be minimized if proper emergency procedures are followed.

Students are encouraged to read and become familiar with the contents of the guide before an emergency occurs. 


Crime Log and Timely Warning Policy 

Pacific Oaks College is required by the Department of Education to publish Campus Crime Statistics and a Security Crime Survey by October 1st of each year. The survey statistics are available to the public at (OPE ID 00125500). In addition, Pacific Oaks must provide a timely warning of crimes reported to campus security and local police agencies in a manner that is intended to prevent similar crimes from recurring and to protect the personal safety of students and employees.


Campus Security Contact Information

Nick Wright, Facilities Director, 5 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103.  Main 626-786-2237, Direct 626-397-1360.


Pasadena Police Department, 207 N. Garfield Ave.,Pasadena, CA 91101   626-744-4501


Parking Policy

Each Pacific Oaks location has designated student parking areas. It is critical that students use the designated areas in consideration of others as well as the communities in which Pacific Oaks resides. In some locations, parking permits may be required.

Parking for 45 & 55 Eureka Street is available in the Eureka complex parking lot.

Parking for Westmoreland is available on Westmoreland Place in front of buildings 5 & 6, on Orange Grove Blvd., in the Neighborhood Church parking lot and in the Scott Methodist Church parking lot. Parking is prohibited on any of the sidestreets northwest of the College, on either side of Westmoreland Place in front of the Gamble House and in the driveway in front of 5 or 6 Westmoreland Place (unless the driver has a disabled placard).

Parking for the Children’s School is available in the Children’s School parking lot and on California Blvd. Parking is not allowed on La Loma Road along the south end of the Children’s School.

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