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Pacific Oaks College    
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  May 25, 2024
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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 College and is in attendance. FERPA-protected rights include the following:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day Pacific Oaks receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar’s Office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar’s Office, the student shall be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask Pacific Oaks College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If Pacific Oaks College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student shall be notified of the decision and advised as to 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.
  3. The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Pacific Oaks College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Pacific Oaks College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees/Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, 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 official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibility.  Pacific Oaks College may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Pacific Oaks College 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, 20202-4605.

Release of student record information is generally not done at Pacific Oaks College without the expressed, written consent of the student. This includes release to parents or other significant others. As previously mentioned, there are however exceptions authorized by FERPA. For example, at its discretion Pacific Oaks may release Directory Information without the student’s consent. Directory Information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Designated Directory Information at Pacific Oaks College includes the following: student name, permanent address, local address, temporary address, electronic mail address, telephone number, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, theses & dissertation titles/topics, photograph (College use only) , full-time/part-time status, most recent previous school attended, date and place of birth. Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the College Registrar in writing or by submission of a “Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information” form available in the Forms Center and online.

Please note three important details regarding placing a “No release” on your record:

  • The College receives numerous inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the media, and others. Having a “No Release” on your record will preclude release of any directory information or acknowledgment you are a student, even to those people.
  • A “No Release” applies to all elements of directory information on your record. Pacific Oaks College does not apply a “No Release” differentially to the various directory information data elements.
  • A “No Release” request only pertains to release of directory information to those entities not falling within other exceptions authorized under FERPA, such as school officials.

Although the initial request must be filed during the first two weeks of the enrollment period, requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the College for no more than one academic year. Re-authorization to withhold Directory Information must be filed annually with the Registrar’s Office within the first two weeks of Fall semester/session.

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.

Academic Integrity

Academic honesty is essential to a college community’s purpose and pursuits. Thus, academic integrity is expected of all Pacific Oaks College students. A student’s academic work and conduct should always represent the student’s personal effort and thus be above reproach. Those who are dishonest impair their own intellectual and personal growth and development and undermine the integrity of the community that nurtures them. Several forms of dishonesty constitute threats to the interests of Pacific Oaks College and violations of its Academic Integrity Policy. 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.


Violations of academic honesty are prohibited. Violations of academic honesty are acts that seek to secure an academic advantage for a member of the Pacific Oaks College community by illegitimate or unethical means. Such violations include, but are not limited to, committing, knowingly assisting, or acquiescing in one or more of the following:

  1. Plagiarism (via traditional or electronic means): Representing the words, ideas, arguments, or findings of another person or persons as one’s own: For example, plagiarism occurs when one copies portions of another person’s writing with only minor changes in wording or fails to give adequate and appropriate credit for others’ concepts, theories, or conclusions. When making use of someone else’s work, one must credit that person by using quotation marks, references, or footnotes, in accordance with one of the conventional documenting systems (e.g., that of the Modern Language Association [MLA] or the American Psychological Association [APA]). Submitting as one’s own, a homework assignment, a term paper, a laboratory report, or other comparable document prepared wholly or in part by others or downloaded from the Internet is also an example of plagiarism.
  2. Falsifying research data: Presenting falsified data in papers or essays.
  3. “Double dipping:” Using the same or substantially the same written work, research paper, or essay to satisfy the requirements of more than one course, without the permission of the instructors involved.
  4. Forging academic records. Altering academic records, including attendance records, entering the signature of an academic staff member on any College form, presenting false information at an academic proceeding, or intentionally destroying evidence relevant to such a proceeding.
  5. Collaboration on projects where collaboration has been forbidden.

Reporting and Review Process

Upon learning of a possible violation of the Academic Integrity policy, the instructor will speak directly with the student about the alleged offense and impose an appropriate sanction (see Sanctions below) as detailed in the class syllabus. The instructor may consult with the Program Director in arriving at a decision regarding an appropriate sanction. The incident and the sanction shall be documented in a report to be included in the student’s file so that any future incidents may be referred directly to the Associate Vice President of Student Services.

For serious, flagrant, or repeat cases of academic integrity violations, the incident shall be reported by the instructor in writing to the Associate Vice President of Student Services for further action. Examples of serious and flagrant offenses include, but are not limited to violations through which, in the determination of the instructor, the student intended to achieve academic advantage, such as misrepresentation of substantial portions of written work, cheating, and other forms of significant academic integrity violations. The instructor must file, within ten (10) business days of discovery, a report with the Associate Vice President of Student Services detailing the specifics of an alleged instance of serious or flagrant academic dishonesty. The report may suggest the instructor’s preferred sanctions for the offense from the possibilities below. Upon receipt of the report of a serious, flagrant, or repeated case of academic integrity violations, the Associate Vice President of Student Services will initiate proceedings in accordance with the Student Conduct and Disciplinary Policies below.


The sanctions for violating the Academic Integrity policy range from a written warning to dismissal from the College. These sanctions may include one or more of the following or some other sanction, within this range.

For minor offenses, faculty members may propose only sanctions one (1) or two (2). Any violation considered to warrant a sanction other than one (1) or two (2) must be handled as a serious or flagrant offense.

  1. A written warning
  2. No credit on the assignment in question
  3. Disciplinary probation for one or more semesters
  4. No credit for the course
  5. Suspension for one or more semesters
  6. Dismissal from Pacific Oaks College

Student Conduct and Disciplinary Policies

Admission to Pacific Oaks carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves in a manner compatible with Pacific Oaks’ function as an educational institution. Behavior that is disruptive and/or interferes with the educational process is disrespectful of the rights of others and is not acceptable.

Violation of standards of behavior, academic integrity, confidentiality, and discrimination are deemed to be a serious breach of conduct and students doing so will face the possibility of disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from Pacific Oaks.

Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Any violation of Pacific Oaks Policy as outlined in this Catalog & Student Handbook.
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, or distribution of drugs.
  • Being under the influence of non-prescription drugs or alcohol.
  • Inappropriate sexual conduct.
  • Exhibiting behavior which is disruptive including, but not limited to, harassing or discriminatory conduct.
  • Non-Compliance with the reasonable requests of Pacific Oaks representatives who are acting in performance of their duties.
  • Furnishing false information: Honesty requires making an accurate presentation of facts free of known errors or omissions, including a complete gathering of information.
  • Unauthorized use, forgery, or alteration of Pacific Oaks’ documents, name, logo, or seal.
  • Destruction of Pacific Oaks or individual property.
  • Unauthorized possession or use of Pacific Oaks or individual property.
  • Unauthorized use of Pacific Oaks keys, access codes, or scan cards.
  • Possession of firearms, fireworks, explosives, or weapons on Pacific Oaks’ premises.
  • Misuse of Pacific Oaks communication systems: Behavior that disrupts or causes disruption of computer services, including but not limited to, damaging, altering, or destroying data, records, computer systems, software, programs, or networks. Student behavior that is not in compliance with the institutional Computer Systems Use Policy, Computer Software License Policy, Millennium Copyright, and Website Conduct Approval Policy will be considered to be in breach of the Code.
  • Theft of Pacific Oaks or individual property.
  • Unauthorized animals on institutional premises.
  • Disorderly, lewd, or indecent conduct.
  • Divulging confidential information: students who work or volunteer in Pacific Oaks’ administrative offices and have access to confidential information are prohibited from divulging such information under FERPA.
  • Unauthorized use, forgery, or alteration of student identification cards.
  • Violation of federal, state or local law.
  • Abuse of the Student Conduct System, including violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this Code.
  • Inappropriate off-campus conduct.
  • Disrespect for privacy: students may not give directory information or photos of other students to anyone outside the Pacific Oaks community.
  • Inappropriate conduct of guests.
  • Failure to comply with additional Pacific Oaks policies.
  • Committing acts of academic dishonesty.

Students Standards Committee Objectives

The objective of the committee is to provide an impartial review of incidents when the student code of conduct is violated, to provide students with an impartial review of reported incidents, to facilitate opportunity for growth, and to serve as a preventative measure to discourage behaviors that violate the student standards of conduct.

Committee Composition

The SSC will be primarily composed of faculty representatives from each of the three schools, a student representative (i.e., SGA member), and a Student Affairs officer. The committee shall not include members from CARE, Student Advisors, the President, or the Dean of Academic Affairs. There shall be the following five positions to fill:

  • Student Affairs Officer
  • One Faculty Representative from Each of the three Schools (including Committee Chair)
  • Student Representative

Procedures for Reviewing and Deciding Alleged Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

The AVP of Student Services shall review the complaint within ten (10) business days of receiving the complaint and supporting documentation, to determine whether or not there is sufficient
evidence to charge a student with a violation of the Student Standards of Conduct/Student Responsibilities as outlined in the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook. The complaint must generally be filed the same semester as the academic department became aware of the occurrence of the alleged violation, or within a reasonable time thereafter.

If there is sufficient evidence to charge a student with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the AVP of Student Services will notify the student of the charge and refer the matter to the Student Standards Committee for review and a hearing in accordance with this policy.

If Student Admits Culpability:

If the student admits culpability after discussing the matter with the AVP of Student Services and being given an opportunity to respond to the complaint, the AVP of Student Services shall forward the case along with supporting documentation to the Student Standards Committee, to determine what sanctions should be applied to the student. Sanctions can range from reprimand to suspension or dismissal from the College (See Sanctions in the Academic Catalog & Student Handbook).

Possible Sanctions:

Possible sanctions are herein listed, but not limited to the following:

  1. Disciplinary Warning. The student is given verbal or written warning that future misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
  2. Reprimand. The student is given a written censure for failure to meet Pacific Oaks’ standards of behavior. A copy is kept in student’s disciplinary file.
  3. Ineligibility for Graduation and Commencement Exercises. A student who is eligible for graduation will be prohibited from graduating until the case has been decided and sanctions completed.
  4. Suspension from Pacific Oaks is defined as separation of the student from the college for a specific period of time.
  5. Dismissal from Pacific Oaks. Permanent separation of the student from Pacific Oaks barring the student from the premises. Notification will appear on the student’s official transcript
  6. Other Sanctions commensurate with the facts of the case.

Upon receipt of a referral by the AVP of Student Services, the Student Standards Committee will schedule a hearing to occur within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 20 business days after the AVP of Student Services makes the referral.

Frequency of Student Standards Committee Meetings

The committee shall determine a recurring schedule of meetings to review reported incidents. The SSC will take reasonable efforts to deliberate each case in a timely manner (i.e., within 20 business days after the date of the AVP of Student Services’ referral).

  1. 1) The student will receive advance notice of the date, time, and place of an initial hearing in a manner

    appropriate as decided by the Chair of the Committee

    2) The student will receive a statement of the alleged Student Standards Code violations

    3) The student will be informed of the rights afforded the student including:

    a. Adequate time to prepare for the hearing;

    b. The opportunity to respond to the allegation in writing and verbally, and to present supporting information;

    c. Documentation submitted to the AVP of Student Services supporting the charge prior to the hearing;

    d. Witnesses who have pertinent information in regard to the alleged incident of misconduct

    may be called by the student;

    e. The opportunity to question witnesses; and

    f. All matters upon which the decision may be based must be provided to the Student Standards Committee, with a copy to the opposing party, in advance of or up to the close of the hearing.

    4) A sanction may be levied if it is determined that the student committed the violation:

    5) The committee reserves the right to utilize additional remediation and other resources as

    deemed necessary and/or appropriate.

Committee Hearing Procedures

Upon careful review and the completion of all fact-finding, questioning, and presentations, the committee will deliberate the case. Such deliberations are restricted to members of the committee who have not been disqualified for any reason.

  1. The student may request the presence of a person, who will support the student while the student is bearing witness, but may not speak or participate directly in the hearing. The support person must be a member of the campus community (student, faculty member, Academic Advisor, etc.) who has been approved by the Committee Chair.
  2. Hearings will be private except for the presence of the student and the support person if the student so chooses. The student may challenge a member of the hearing panel for personal bias. Committee Chair, or designee, will determine whether or not there is basis for the challenge, and if basis is found the member will be disqualified. If a personal bias or conflict of interest charge is made against the Committee Chair or designee, the committee will determine whether or not there is a basis for the challenge and, if basis is found, the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee shall designate a replacement for the Committee Chair.
  3. The committee will exert control over the hearing to avoid needless consumption of time. A person disrupting the hearing may be removed at the discretion of the committee.
  4. The burden of proof is on the accuser, who must establish the responsibility of the student in the alleged incident of misconduct by a preponderance of the evidence.
  5. Formal rules of evidence and discovery, as in criminal or civil judicial proceedings, shall not be applicable in disciplinary hearings under this Code.
  6. The decision of the committee must include a summary of the testimony, findings of fact, decision, and sanctions and shall be sufficiently detailed to permit an appeal. If all participants agree, a tape recording may be used as an alternate to a summary of testimony.
  7. If the accused is found not culpable, the case is closed. If the accused is found culpable based upon a preponderance of the evidence, the committee will impose appropriate sanction(s).

If the committee concludes that the allegation(s) are substantiated, it will determine the outcome/sanctions of the case. Appropriate sanctions will be determined by the committee and can range from a written warning, a warning accompanied with a personal development plan, or to dismissal from the College. A decision will be communicated to the student within ten (10) business days, after the hearing has taken place.

Conduct that involves a potential violation of POC’s policy on sexual misconduct will be addressed in accordance with the institution’s obligations under Title IX and Campus SaVE. For detailed information regarding the procedures administered in response to complaints of sexual misconduct, please refer to POC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, which can be found in full on the College’s Campus Safety and Sexual Misconduct webpage.

Appeal of Disciplinary Decisions

Students may appeal decisions of the SCC. A student who wishes to appeal a disciplinary action must submit a written request for appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs or designee within ten (10) business days of being notified of the decision. This written request must include:

  1. A specific statement of the decision that the student wishes to appeal;
  2. The action the student wishes the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee to take;
  3. All information that the student wishes the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee to take into account in his/her consideration of the appeal; and
  4. A statement of the student’s views as to how this information justifies the appeal.

The appeals process is not an opportunity for the student to have his or her case reconsidered merely because of the student disagrees with the decision of committee. Rather, all appeals must be based on one or more of the following:

  • New relevant information which becomes available after the time of the committee hearing; or
  • Evidence of improper procedure or lack of due process

Any appeal must be presented in writing and filed with the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee with ten (10) business days after the written notification of the decision/sanction of the committee has been presented. Failure to appeal within this time period will render the decision/sanction final. The appeal must include the reason(s) the student feels the decision/sanction is unjust.

If, in the opinion of the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee, the request for an appeal is clearly without merit or does not meet the requirements set forth above, the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee will reject the appeal and the decision of the committee will stand as the final decision of the school.

If, in the judgment of the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee the appeal is properly constituted, the Dean of Academic Affairs or Designee will render his/her decision on the substance of the appeal within ten (10) business days and so notify the student in writing with a copy sent to the committee chair, faculty advisor, School Director/Lead Faculty or designee, campus student affairs officer, student advisor, and will be filed in the student’s record. This policy is not to be used in substitution for the Grade Appeal Process or the Grievance Process where applicable.

Exceptional Procedures

The Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, may suspend a student for an interim period pending disciplinary proceedings, behavioral, and/or medical evaluation; such interim suspension becomes immediately effective without prior notice whenever there is evidence that the continued presence of the student on Pacific Oaks campus poses a substantial threat to the student, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal Pacific Oaks functions.

Student Disciplinary Records

The Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, will maintain student disciplinary records. These records shall include copies of complaint reports, hearing records, and any sanctions issued.

If the student is found to be guilty of a charge, the records will be kept in accordance with the Records Retention Policy, retained for six (6) years.

Student Grievance Policy

The primary objectives of this Student Grievance Policy are to ensure that students have the opportunity to present grievances to Pacific Oaks regarding a certain action or inaction by a member of the Pacific Oaks community and that Pacific Oaks has a consistent way of resolving those grievances in a fair and just manner. An action or decision is grievable only if it involves a misapplication or misinterpretation of Pacific Oaks policy, regulation, or rule, or a violation of state or federal law. Grievances may not be used to challenge policies or procedures of general applicability. In addition, this procedure may not be used to grieve:

  • Claims based on purchases or contracts;
  • Claims against a Pacific Oaks’ employee on matters that are unrelated to the employee’s job or role at Pacific Oaks;
  • Student disciplinary decisions or formal complaints of harassment or discrimination since there is a separate procedure for them.
  • Where another Pacific Oaks policy and procedure could have been used for the matter being grieved (e.g. academic evaluation, academic honesty, and FERPA grievances).

The procedures set forth below may be used by grievant’s who are enrolled as Pacific Oaks students, or who are participating in a Pacific Oaks-sponsored Educational event, at the time of the incident being grieved. The person filing the grievance must be the alleged victim of unfair treatment; a grievance cannot be filed on behalf of another person. The existence of this procedure does not bar grievant from also filing claims in other forums to the extent permitted by state or federal law.

The formal resolution process described below must be initiated within forty five (45) business days of the decision, action, or events giving rise to the grievance. This time limit may be extended by the Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, if the grievant makes the request for extension within the 45- day period, for good cause shown (e.g., an active effort at informal resolution at the departmental level).

Upon request from any student, the Center for Student Achievement, Resources and Enrichment (CARE) Office will provide guidance about the appropriate system for redress of a particular complaint.

Informal Resolution

Prior to invoking the formal resolution procedures described below, the student should discuss the grievance with the person alleged to have caused the grievance. This is not required in cases where the grievant believes that efforts at informal resolution may result in retaliation or other unfair treatment. The discussion shall be held as soon as the student first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the grievance. Additionally or in the alternative, the student may wish to present the grievance in writing to the person alleged to have caused the grievance.

In either case, the person alleged to have caused the grievance must respond to the student promptly, either orally or in writing.
If unsure of how to proceed, students should enlist the assistance of the CARE Director* to help identify proper courses of action and/or to mediate problems if necessary. A student has the right to end the informal process at any time and move at any time to the formal stage of the grievance process as desired.

*Students have the option to enlist the assistance of another member of the school community (e.g., Faculty Advisor, Student Advisor, Program Director or designee, etc.)

Formal Resolution

Step One:
If informal resolution is not successful, the student may file a grievance by sending a request for hearing along with the following information to the Associate Vice President of Student Services or designee. If the respondent is the Associate Vice President of Student Services, the grievance process shall be administered by the President or designee.

The grievance must:

  • Be in writing;
  • State how the decision or action is unfair and harmful to the grievant and list the Pacific Oaks policies or state or federal laws that have been violated, if known;
  • Name the respondent parties (the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed);
  • State how the respondents are responsible for the action or decision;
  • State the requested remedy;
  • And state whether the grievant will bring a support person to the hearing.

If it is clear on the face of the written grievance that the grievance has not been filed within the time limit, or pertains to a matter not grievable under this procedure, or is from a person without grievance rights under this grievance, Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, shall so indicate in a letter to the grievant and the grievance shall be dismissed. If the grievance is not dismissed, the Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, shall appoint a hearing committee of three persons to hear the grievance and shall provide them with a copy of these procedures and the written request for hearing. Committee members shall include at least one member who is not part of the same office or immediate academic unit as the respondent(s) and one member who is not part of the same office or immediate academic unit as the grievant. If the respondent is the Associate Vice President of Student Services, the Dean of Academic Affairs shall appoint the committee members and oversee administration of the grievance process. Committee members shall have no personal interest in the outcome of the proceeding, and shall not have any personal involvement in earlier stages of the matter.

Step two:

The committee shall meet, elect a chair, and send the grievant’s hearing request to the respondent(s), all within ten (10) business days of being appointed. The chair shall offer the respondent(s) an opportunity to provide a written response to the allegations within ten (10) business days, which will be distributed to the chair. The chair will also instruct the parties that they have ten (10) business days to provide each other and the committee with (i) copies of any documents they wish to rely upon and (ii) a list of witnesses that each party requests that the committee call. The chair may extend the deadlines for submitting a response and for exchanging proposed exhibits upon a showing of good cause.

Step three:
The chair shall notify the parties of the hearing date, time, and place at least ten (10) business days in advance of the hearing. (The committee may schedule additional days for hearing, if needed, after the hearing is underway, so long as all parties receive reasonable advance notice of the additional dates.) The response to the grievance must be distributed to the committee and all parties at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing.

  1. The committee, the grievant, and the respondent have the right to request witnesses whom they believe have pertinent information in regard to the complaint.
  2. The grievant and the respondent may request the presence of a person who will support them during the hearing but may not speak or participate directly in the hearing. The support person must be a member of the campus community who has been approved by the chair.
  3. Hearings will be private except for the presence of the committee, the grievant, the respondent, their support persons, and witnesses.
  4. Prospective witnesses will be excluded from the grievance hearing except during the time of their testimony.
  5. If the grievant or respondent has good cause to believe that a given member of the ad hoc committee is unable to be impartial, the grievant or respondent may request that the AVP of Student Services disqualify that member. Such a disqualification shall be granted only upon the demonstration of sufficient reason. The decision of the AVP of Student Sercies is final.
  6. A person disrupting the hearing may be removed at the discretion of the committee.
  7. The burden is on the grievant to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the grievant has experienced an injury that would entitle the grievant to relief and that such injury is remediable.

Step four:
The committee shall deliberate and reach a decision on the grievance in closed session. Deliberations are not tape recorded or transcribed. The decision must be based solely on material presented in the grievance. The committee should be careful not to substitute its judgment for that of the respondent(s). Rather, the committee should decide if the decision being grieved was the result of a misapplication or misinterpretation of Pacific Oaks policies, regulations, or rules or a violation of state or federal law. The decision of the committee must include a summary of the testimony, findings of fact, the committee’s decision, and shall be sufficiently detailed to permit review as provided in this Policy. The report and official record shall be delivered to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, or designee, with copies of the report to be sent to the parties, within forty five (45) calendar days after the hearing. A dissenting panel member may file a minority report at the same time.

Step five:
The Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, shall issue a written decision within ten business days of receipt of the committee’s report and official record. The decision may adopt the committee report in whole, modify it in part, or reject the report and reach different findings or conclusions for reasons expressly stated. The Associate Vice President of Student Services, or designee, may also remand the matter if clarification of the committee’s report is necessary or additional proceedings to clarify the record or cure procedural error is required. This decision shall be sent to the parties (certified mail return receipt, or personal delivery with a signed and dated receipt, to the grievant) and may be shared with the panel members.

Ex-parte Contacts

Once a hearing (formal resolution) has been requested, there should be no ex parte communication between parties and committee members concerning the merits of the case. An ex parte contact or communication is one sided; it occurs when one person shares information with a panel member without including all other parties. To prevent this from occurring, all communications that (a) occur outside the hearing, and (b) are between one or more parties and one or more committee members, shall be in written form and distributed simultaneously to all parties and committee members.
Discussion of the merits of the case or presentation of evidence outside the hearing should be avoided. The rule against ex parte contacts also applies to communication with the final decision-maker and everyone who is responsible for deciding appeals.

External Complaint


State* Agency Name & Contact Information

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

California An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833,, Phone (916) 431-6924, Fax (916) 263-1897.

Maryland Higher Education Commission


Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education


Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Consumer Protection

*The student 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 unresolved grievance may also be directed to the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC requires that a complainant attempt to resolve the underlying grievance 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 grievance-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 Commission 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 complaint form and process can be found under “Directory” at 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.

Disability Support Services

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require that reasonable accommodations be provided to all qualified students with disabilities in all programs and activities within the control of the institution, provided such accommodations would not impose an undue burden on the school and/or fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity provided. Determination of reasonable accommodations and compliance with ADA and Rehabilitation Act for students are managed by campus administration. No student shall be retaliated against for seeking accommodation under this policy.

Pacific Oaks College is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities equal access to academic courses, programs, and school activities.
Students with disabilities have the right to:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, on-campus jobs, and activities offered by the school;
  • Equal opportunity to learn and receive reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids and services to ensure that they have the opportunity to succeed equal to that of all other students at the school;
  • Confidentiality of information regarding their disability as applicable laws allow;
  • Self-determine who will receive student-released, disability-related materials and information within and outside the school; and
  • All rights and privileges available to other students at Pacific Oaks College.

Students with disabilities have the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, services, and activities;
  • Self-identify as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary in a timely manner;
  • Provide current documentation at their own expense from a qualified professional that reflects the student’s current disability status, and how the disability limits participation in courses, programs, services, and activities;
  • Follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services;
  • Immediately report any problems or concerns associated with granted accommodations;
  • Provide updated information to the CARE Director should his/her needs change; and
  • Provide for his/her own independent living needs or other personal needs related to a disability (i.e., personal care attendants).

A student with a documented disability may request reasonable accommodations by contacting the CARE Director at (626) 529-8260. This request must be accompanied by appropriate documentation that establishes that the student has a specific disability and that supports the accommodation(s) requested.

Pacific Oaks reserves the right to select the specific aids and services it provides, as long as it deems they will be effective for the student and do not fundamentally alter the program or academic standards. Such aids and services are determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student who has identified the need for accommodation.

Accommodation Request for Study Abroad

Student requesting accommodation for study abroad courses must provide additional documentation for accommodation consideration. Students with accommodation requests should contact the CARE Director at (626) 529-8260 prior to applying for study abroad.

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. Upon receipt of the required materials, the CARE Director will contact the student initiating the request and review the next steps in the process. (Note: Pacific Oaks does not provide diagnostic services.)
  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) 529-8260.

Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
POC 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. POC prohibits discrimination and harassment against its employees, students, and applicants based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, marital or parental status, arrest record, military discharge status, or any other impermissible reason. POC prohibits behaviors that include but are not limited to any unwelcome, deliberate or repeated unsolicited verbal, physical, visual, or sexual contact, or solicitations of favors that are offensive, abusive, intimidating, hostile, denigrating, or demeaning.

Harassment can take many different forms. Examples of verbal harassment include derogatory comments, slurs, accusations, or stereotyping. Physical harassment examples include assault, impeding movement, or any physical interference with normal work, or movement directed at an individual, as well as visual forms including cartoons, drawings, graphic materials, or derogatory posters.

Reporting Complaints of Discrimination

Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation on the Basis of Sex, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity

A student who believes he/she has been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, should report complaints in accordance with POC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy below, which covers sexual harassment and sexual violence.  Acts of Sexual Misconduct are forms of sex discrimination. 

See the Sexual Misconduct Policy or refer to the following section, “Sexual Misconduct Policy” for more information.

For the full Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as additional resources, please visit our Campus Safety & Security webpage.

Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation on Other Bases

A student who believes he/she has been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation (other than those related to sex/gender as described immediately above), whether by faculty members, employees, legal training supervisors, visitors, or other students, should bring the issue to the immediate attention of the Associate Vice President of Student Services. Although preparation of a written complaint is encouraged, it is not required. Complaints should include details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved, names of any witnesses, and any documents supporting the complaint.

When the Associate Vice President of Student Services receives a complaint of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation, POC will take prompt and appropriate action. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally (where appropriate), POC will undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation allegations. Complaints and investigations will be handled on a confidential basis, to the extent possible, with due regard for the rights of the Complainant and the Respondent. Information about the complaint and investigation will only be released on a need-to-know basis, or as otherwise required or permitted by law.

If POC determines that unlawful discrimination, harassment, or 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 discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Individuals who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the institution.

POC also bars retaliation against an employee, student, or applicant who files a good faith complaint of discrimination/harassment or otherwise participates in an investigation relating to the same.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

*The text below is adapted from POC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.  For the full Policy on Sexual Misconduct as well as additional resources, please visit our Campus Safety & Security webpage.

POC is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. As such, POC prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms, including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual violence. POC 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 its Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

The Policy on Sexual Misconduct applies to all POC employees, students, and other POC Community Members, regardless of gender/gender identity and sexual orientation, for sexual misconduct occurring on POC’s campuses or in connection with its educational programs, activities, and services, or that puts POC Community Members at risk of serious harm or otherwise creates a hostile learning and/or working environment. 

POC also bars retaliation against any employee, student, or applicant who files a good faith report of sexual misconduct or otherwise participates in an investigation relating to the same.

Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Domestic and/or Dating Violence
  • Stalking

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a threat to the entire College community.  Members from the College community are strongly encouraged to report all incidents that threaten a student’s continued well-being, safety, or security.  Complaints from any member of the College community relating to discrimination, misconduct, harassment, domestic violence, dating or other related violence, stalking, or retaliation based on gender or sex concerning faculty, staff or students may be reported to law enforcement and/or POC.

Making a Report to Law Enforcement

POC encourages community members who have experienced sexual misconduct to immediately report the incident to the local police department or another area law enforcement agency.

Reporting of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the police does not commit the Reporting Party to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for the police to investigate if the Reporting Party decides to proceed with criminal charges. Early reporting makes it more likely that the police will be able gather needed evidence before it is lost or destroyed, and that the Reporting Party will receive timely notice of potentially helpful victim/witness services.

Making a Report to POC

Reporting Parties are also encouraged to report incident(s) of sexual misconduct to POC’s Title IX Coordinator:

Director of Human Resources
Carolyn Mathis
45 Eureka Street, Pasadena, California 91103
Phone: (626) 529-8437

Reporting Parties are not required to report to area law enforcement to receive assistance from or pursue any options within POC.

The Title IX Coordinator will provide the Reporting Party with information about available support services and resources, and also assist the Reporting Party in notifying law enforcement, including the local police, if the Reporting Party elects to do so.

If a Reporting Party discloses an incident to a Responsible Employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, POC must weigh that request against POC’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the Reporting Party.

Procedures When Sexual Misconduct is Reported to POC

Upon receiving a report of sexual misconduct, POC will respond by providing the Reporting Party with supportive resources and interim interventions (where appropriate) and conducting a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation by a trained official.  The response and investigation procedures are designed to provide a supportive process for those who report sexual misconduct as well as fairness and due process for the individual being accused. 

POC recognizes that in certain circumstances, informal resolution of a report of sexual misconduct may be beneficial to the Reporting Party, the Responding Party, other involved persons (, Witnesses), and/or the POC Community at large.  Whether a report of sexual misconduct is appropriate for informal resolution is within the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, except that reports of sexual assault are never appropriate for informal resolution. 

When the Title IX Coordinator determines that informal resolution is not appropriate or formal resolution is requested by either the Reporting Party or Responding Party, POC will launch an investigation. 

Once the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal investigation is appropriate, POC will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation by an individual who has been trained to investigate reports of sexual misconduct. (This may be the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or other designee approved by the President.)

Typically, investigation into reports of sexual misconduct will include a period of fact-finding led by the Title IX Coordinator, during which time the Reporting Party, Responding Party, and other relevant persons will be given the opportunity to participate in the investigation by sharing information with the Title IX Coordinator.  Persons participating in an investigation will have the opportunity to submit a written statement, provide supporting materials, and identify witnesses.

POC investigates reports of sexual misconduct independently of local law enforcement. 

In investigating and determining whether a violation of this policy has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will utilize the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof.  This means that Title IX Coordinator will determine whether it is “more likely that not” that sexual misconduct occurred.

Both parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct will be updated as to the status of the investigation and related proceedings as necessary, or upon request.

Once the Title IX Coordinator has concluded the investigation, POC will simultaneously issue the written findings to both the Reporting Party and the Responding Party.

Advisor Attendance at Interviews, Meetings, or Proceedings

The reporting party and responding party are entitled to have an advisor of their choosing accompany them to any meeting or proceeding related to any alleged violation of this policy, provided that the involvement of the advisor does not result in undue delay of any meeting or proceeding.  The advisor is present to provide support to the reporting party or responding party during any meetings or proceedings and can provide any advice to the reporting party or responding party prior to such meetings or proceedings.  All advisors are subject to the same rules, whether they are attorneys or not.  An advisor may not communicate with an investigator on behalf of the reporting party or the responding party.  If the advisor is an attorney, the attorney is required to act in a supportive role and may not serve as an advocate or formally represent the party.

An advisor who steps out of their role in any meeting or proceeding will be warned once and only once.  If the advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of their role, the advisor will be asked to leave the meeting.  When the advisor is removed from a meeting, that meeting will typically continue without the advisor present.  Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator or a deputy will determine whether the advisor may be reinstated, may be replaced by another advisor, or whether the party will forfeit the right to an advisor for the remainder of the process.

Pacific Oaks College expects that the parties will wish to share documentation related to the allegations with their advisors.  Pacific Oaks College will provide a consent form that authorizes such sharing.  The consent form must be completed before any records will be shared. Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of any records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by Pacific Oaks College.  Pacific Oaks may seek to restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by Pacific Oaks College’s privacy expectations.

Sanctions for Violations of POC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct

Upon finding that sexual misconduct occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will commence the sanctioning process for review and determination of appropriate sanctions. 

In addition to sanctions, the Title IX Coordinator may also recommend that POC or particular POC Community Members adopt additional measures to remediate and/or prevent further conduct in violation of this policy.

POC’s sanctions process is intended to provide an equitable process to both the Reporting Party and Responding Party, demonstrating promptness, fairness, and impartiality.

Sanctions against students may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Formal written warning;
  • Academic Development Plan;
  • No contact order pertaining to certain POC Community Members or physical locations;
  • Removal from specific courses or institutional activities; and/or
  • Dismissal.

In addition, further protections for the Reporting Party may be available.

For the full Policy on Sexual Misconduct as well as additional resources, please visit our Campus Safety & Security Webpage

Withdrawal of Student or Resignation of Employee during Investigation

Students: Pacific Oaks College does not permit a student to withdraw if that student has an allegation pending for violation of this policy, without the express written permission of the Title IX Coordinator. Should a student decide to leave and/or not participate in the investigation or resolution, the process will nonetheless proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution and that student will not be permitted to return to Pacific Oaks College unless all sanctions have been satisfied. The student will not have access to an academic transcript until the allegations have been resolved and may not participate in any course or program offered by Pacific Oaks College until the pending matter is resolved.

Employees: Should an employee resign with unresolved allegations pending, the records of the Title IX Coordinator will reflect that status, and any Pacific Oaks College responses to future inquiries regarding employment references for that individual will indicate the former employee is ineligible for rehire.


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.

Institutional Authority and Local, State, and Federal Penalties

When students violate College regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the College, whether or not their conduct violates local, state, or federal laws. By committing an act of misconduct, a student or organization may be subject to disciplinary action by the College. Conduct regulations apply to misconduct only when the conduct adversely affects some distinct and clear interest of the College academic community. Students who act in concert to violate College regulations, or students who advise or incite to violate College regulations, are also responsible for such violations.

When students violate local, state, or federal law(s), they may incur penalties as determined by local, state, or federal authorities. Institutional actions shall not be used to duplicate functions of general laws, but when the alleged violation of the law also adversely affects the orderly operation of the College, the College may enforce its own regulations regardless of any federal, state, or local legal proceedings or dispositions. College action will be initiated only when the institution’s interest as an academic community is clearly involved.

Teach-out Policy

In order to plan for the protection of students in the event that a program is discontinued or that an instructional site is closed, the following is Pacific Oaks College’s Teach-out Policy:

If a Pacific Oaks College program is discontinued, Pacific Oaks College will take measures to protect the interests of students to complete the program in which they are enrolled with a minimum of disruption in their studies.  Pacific Oaks College will create a teach-out plan to assure that all enrolled students can complete their studies, either at Pacific Oaks College or at a comparable institution and program.

Whenever possible, Pacific Oaks College will continue to provide instruction so that enrolled students can complete their prescribed program at Pacific Oaks College.  Modifications to course requirements may be necessitated, but Pacific Oaks College will make every effort to keep changes to a minimum.

When it is not reasonably feasible for Pacific Oaks College to teach out students at Pacific Oaks College in the same curriculum and with the same faculty and services, a teach-out agreement with one or more other institutions will be developed.  A teach-out agreement is a written agreement between Pacific Oaks College and another institution that provides for the transfer of students to that institution.  Any such agreement will provide for the equitable treatment of students. 

Any such an agreement will ensure, to the extent feasible, the following:

  • That the institution is accredited by a regional accrediting agency equivalent to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and that the institution is in good standing with its accreditor.
  • That students will be treated equitably, considering the following factors:
    • The institution should have the necessary experience, resources, and support services to provide an educational program that is of acceptable quality and reasonably similar in content, structure, and scheduling to that provided by Pacific Oaks College.
    • The institution must have the capacity to remain stable, carry out its mission, and to meet all obligations to the affected Pacific Oaks College students.
    • That the institution should be able to provide students access to the program and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distances.
    • That the institution should charge substantially the same tuition and fees as the students were paying to Pacific Oaks College and must agree to specify additional charges in the agreement and notify the affected students of any additional charges.

Pacific Oaks College will notify WASC of any programs that are being discontinued and seek WASC approval of teach-out plans and agreements.  Further, Pacific Oaks College will notify the Department of Education if required by federal regulation or WASC policy.

Programs at Pacific Oaks College may adopt plans and agreements that provide more protections than those required by this policy, if required by a specialized accrediting agency or otherwise deemed advisable, with the approval of the President.

Student Resources and Support

Academic Advising

Pacific Oaks students are responsible for being familiar with the current Catalog and the requirements for their degrees and programs. All students will be assigned a Faculty Advisor upon admission who counsels them on their academic program, provides support, and monitors their academic progress in their respective program. Students are required to contact their Faculty Advisor regularly to review their academic progress and standing. Students wishing to change their Faculty Advisor should consult with their School Associate Dean. Not all change requests are granted.

Center for Student Achievement, Resources, and Enrichment (CARE)

The Center for Student Achievement, Resources, and Enrichment (CARE) is committed to providing support services that foster academic achievement and professional development. Our staff offers students the resources needed to help navigate the challenges of balancing school with work and family demands. We strive to empower students to reach their highest academic, personal, and professional potential.

The Center assists students in clarifying career goals and objectives, exploring career opportunities, and enhancing their job search techniques. Assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills,
and time management are available through the Center. In addition, students seeking employment opportunities can benefit from the Center’s employment resources and online career resources.

The CARE team is also available to assist students with Preliminary degree audits, special needs accommodations, international student support, and student concern issues. Please contact the CARE team at (626) 529-8260 or for assistance. Additional information can also be found on the CARE page in the MyPacificOaks Student Gateway.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official voice of the student body. The purpose of the SGA is to serve as a representative group for the students of the College, including: representing the student body’s voice, views, and interests and enhancing communication and fellowship among students, faculty, and administration at the College.

The membership of the SGA consists of all students currently registered in degree-seeking programs at the College. Any student not enrolled for one semester will maintain active membership for that semester. Student involvement is essential and students are encouraged to participate in student government.


Tel: (626) 529-8451
Website: http://tcsedsystem.

Library patrons have a variety of resources and services available both on-site and remotely. To protect the integrity of library services, the following guidelines are presented in brief. Students are advised to consult the Library’s website for detailed information on library policies and procedures. Policies and processes may undergo revision at any time.

Library Privileges

The Library’s collections are intended to serve the research needs of students, faculty, and staff of Pacific Oaks College. Alumni have continued access to the library’s physical resources. Pacific Oaks ID cards functions as Library cards. Student ID cards are issued by the Registrar’s Office. Use of library services implies patron agreement to all library regulations. Verification of enrollment is required and as such, this process may necessitate coordination with other campus offices. Registration for library services is not immediate and patrons are advised to contact the library early in order to ensure timely access to collections and resources. Certain materials do not circulate (reference items, etc.) and may be limited to onsite/library use only.

Circulation Policies

Borrowers’ Responsibilities
In order for an account to be considered in good standing, library patrons must:

  1. Present a valid student ID card in order to borrow materials.
  2. Keep track of all items borrowed and know their due dates.
  3. Return or renew materials on or before the due date; the borrower is responsible for the safe return of all borrowed material until the time of check-in.
  4. Return materials to the library without evidence of defacement (including underlining, highlighting or writing/notations be they in pen, pencil or other), or damage.
  5. Notify the Library immediately of changes to patron contact information. Returned mail may result in a temporary suspension of privileges.
  6. Notify the Library and the Registrar’s Office immediately regarding stolen or lost student ID cards.
  7. Respond to library notices (when applicable), and pay fines/charges as applicable.

Please note: Library staff will not mediate disputes caused by the unauthorized lending-borrowing of books between library patrons or patrons and third parties. Item fees and costs are assessed to the account under which the materials were acquired. Patrons are strongly advised not to engage in inter-patron or third party lending of materials.

Patrons are responsible for any items acquired with their ID cards; therefore, it is of critical importance that lost/stolen ID cards are reported immediately. Patrons cannot transfer their circulation privileges to family or friends. The library will only loan materials to students, staff, faculty and alumni with valid Pacific Oaks ID.

Expiration and Renewal of Library Privileges

Withdrawn, dropped, dismissed or inactive students may experience a suspension of library services until such time as they are actively enrolled. This does not affect due dates for items checked-out during a period of active enrollment.

Loan Periods and Due Dates

Due dates are established at the time of checkout, though students are advised to review the Library’s complete policies as detailed on its website for the most current due date schedule. Materials may be renewed via email, by phone, in person, or online. Items requested by other students cannot be renewed and must be returned by their original due date. Distance students enjoy the same library privileges as onsite students, and circulating materials can be mailed to any student by request who live outside a 25 mile radius of the Eureka Campus. Costs associated with return are incurred by the borrower.

Library Fines & Fees

Library late fees for books accrue daily. Separate fees for books vs. other materials may apply. Fines for reserve materials are assessed for each day an item’s return is delayed. Fees are additionally assessed on a per-item basis. For a current schedule of fees, please consult the Library’s website or the Catalog’s Financial Aid & Student Accounts section for further clarification.

Lost, damaged, or defaced items incur fees equal to the cost of replacement plus a $20 materials processing fee. All fines/fees are assessed to the patron’s student account: the Library does not accept direct payment for charges. Questions regarding Library charges may be answered via the Library’s website or by phone/in person at the Circulation Desk. Unpaid Library fines/fees may result in temporary suspension or permanent disbarment.


The Library provides email notices to patrons with valid PO issued email addresses on file, however, this is a courtesy and borrowers are responsible for return of materials, even if notices are not received. The Library’s policy with regard to non-receipt of notices also applies to individuals who are out of town or temporarily removed from contact.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The Pacific Oaks Library participates in resource sharing opportunities around the globe. For items not held by the Library, students may request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Through this process, Library staff request items from other libraries - since these libraries may be out of state, across the nation or, as in some cases, in other countries, ILL requests take time and planning. Furthermore, the timeliness of request response, due date, shipping rate, etc., is at the discretion of the lending library, and is not controlled by Pacific Oaks Library staff. Some items, due to obscurity or limitations of use may not be obtainable or may carry conditions of use or format.

Reference Services

Reference and instructional staff are available by appointment or on a drop-in basis via email, phone, in person or online. Assistance with topic-Specific research on a drop-in basis is available only when reference/instructional staff are not scheduled for other teaching or reference activities.

The goal of the academic reference transaction is to impart retrieval skills to patrons so that they may access material on their own. Library reference staff will not provide print outs of materials encountered during the reference transaction Librarians who provide reference service do not supply answers to students’ assignments, do students’ research, or compile bibliographies of information sources, and they typically refer patrons to the IT department concerning computer hardware and software questions.

Research Resources

Each student is afforded personal login credentials that allow access to the college’s academic databases. Among its more notable database selections are EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete, PsycArticles, PsycBooks, PsycInfo, PsyCritique, Mental Measurements Yearbook, the PEP Archive, ProQuest Theses & Dissertations, as well as a host of other repositories. Library staff strongly encourages students to become familiar with these databases immediately upon admission. It is unwise to wait until an impending research due date looms near: students are advised to begin exploring research resources before course assignments are distributed.

Statement on Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources

Pacific Oaks complies with all state and federal laws that apply to internet use and/or utilization of electronic resources. Additionally, database or other software vendor restrictions, limitations and conditions are upheld and enforced. Library patrons are prohibited from:

  1. Sharing passwords, login Credentials or other access-granting information
  2. Publishing restricted information to the internet as a private individual or a Pacific Oaks community member
  3. Distributing via its networks or posting copyrighted information without expressed permission from copyright/distribution/intellectual property right holders
  4. Using the Library’s systems or networks to explore/browse/download inappropriate content
  5. Using the Library’s systems or networks to download materials unrelated to Education at Pacific Oaks (personal use)
  6. Using the Library’s systems or networks to harass, embarrass, stalk others or attempt to engage others via continued, expressed unwanted contact
  7. Using the Library’s systems or networks for commercial purposes or personal, financial gain
  8. Engaging in activities which violate state or federal law
  9. Engaging in activities which violate any of Pacific Oaks College’s existing policies

Violation of any of these conditions may result in termination of Library privileges. Additional guidelines for use of computers and networks exist within the college’s computer resource and technology use policies.

Collection Development, Acquisitions Criteria and Academic Freedom

The Library’s Collection Development, Acquisitions Criteria, and Academic Freedom policies are available via the Library’s website. The Library encourages the Pacific Oaks Community to be familiar with these policies as they provide an understanding of the academic environment under which the Library operates.

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 Oaks’ 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.

Reproduction of Materials

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 Pacific Oaks College 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. In the opinion of Pacific Oaks College, copying a chapter of a book - and therefore, the entire book - would be considered copyright infringement. Students 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, associate department chair, or vice president of student affairs. For more information, please visit U.S. Copyright Office website, especially their FAQ.

Thesis Submission

General Requirements

Your thesis should be written in a standard font and font size, such as Arial or Times New Roman 12-point font. It should be double spaced, with one inch margins. You must number your pages according to APA guidelines.

You must include a title page, table of content and Reference page. Your table of contents may be as detailed as you choose, but it must at least direct readers to each chapter of your thesis.  You should use APA formatted in-text citations and references, and follow APA standard formatting for headings, tables, etc.

Any images, including diagrams, charts, and photographs, must be created by you, or used with explicit permission of the copyright holder. Please contact the library if you have any questions about copyright. 

Title Page
Your title page should contain the following elements:

  • The title of your thesis.
  • The statement “Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Human Development” or the equivalent statement for your degree.
  • Your full name as it appears in the school’s records. Please do not use nicknames.
  • The full names of committee members, with a line for each of them to sign on
  • Month and year of submission (i.e. May 2012)

Submission to Library

  • Complete thesis submission will include
    1) An electronic copy of the final version of your thesis, in either Word or PDF    
    2) A scanned (PDF) or photocopy of the title page with your committee’s signatures if it cannot be included in the thesis
  • The electronic copy of your thesis should be a single document, and include your title page, a table of contents, the body of your thesis, and your references.
  • Submit your thesis to, with the subject line “Your full name - Thesis submission”.  Submissions should come from PO student emails.  Emails with documents and attachments from unsecure (non-PO) emails will be deleted without review due to electronic security concerns. Photocopied title pages with signatures may be submitted in person or mailed.
  • The library will make a good faith effort to check thesis to ensure they follow correct APA formatting.  Students will be notified via email if they need to re-submit making any necessary corrections.  It’s the student’s responsibility to review and correct necessary changes.  It is advised that all thesis students seeking help with APA make appointments with library staff well in advance of submission deadlines to ensure acceptance of completed thesis.

For thesis due dates, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Loan Periods and Due Dates

Due dates are established at the time of checkout, though students are advised to review the Library’s complete policies as detailed on its website for the most current due date schedule. Materials may be renewed via email, by phone, in person, or online. Items requested by other students cannot be renewed and must be returned by their original due date. Distance students enjoy the same library privileges as onsite students, and circulating materials can be mailed to any student by request who live outside a 25-mile radius of the Eureka Campus. Students assume responsibility of the cost associated with returning library books by their due date.

Student Health and Wellness

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

Pacific Oaks complies with all laws that govern employee and students’ medical records, their review and their dissemination. Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School will not require individuals to waive their health privacy rights as a condition for treatment, payment, enrollment in the health plan, and/or eligibility for benefits. Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School will not intimidate, threaten, coerce, discriminate against, or take other retaliatory action against an individual for exercising health privacy rights.

Student Health Insurance

Domestic Students

The ability to receive adequate services in the event of sickness or injury is critically important to the overall academic experience. Students attending Pacific Oaks College are encouraged to evaluate their current health insurance needs and determine their needs for insurance coverage based on local, state, and federal requirements.

Health insurance options and resources are available to students from independent providers. Information to insurance providers can be found in the My Pacific Oaks Student Gateway. The plans and providers listed are not directly affiliated with or managed by Pacific Oaks College. Students are encouraged to compare the plans before choosing one to ensure that the offered coverage best suits individual needs.

International Students

At Pacific Oaks College, it is required that all international students to have some form of comprehensive health insurance coverage. International students are required to submit proof of eligible health insurance to the CARE Office. For more information, please contact the CARE Office.

Online and Part-time Students

Additional health insurance options are available to students from other independent providers. Links to some independent providers can be found on the Pacific Oaks website. The plans and providers listed are not directly affiliated with or managed by Pacific Oaks College. Students are encouraged to compare the plans before choosing one to ensure that the offered coverage best suits individual needs.

Serious Disease Policy

Employees, faculty, or students with infectious, long- term, life-threatening, or other serious diseases may continue their work or attendance at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School as long as they are physically and mentally able to perform the duties of their job or meet their academic responsibilities without undue risk to their own health or the health of other employees or students.

Serious diseases for the purposes of this policy include, but are not limited to, cancer, heart disease, Multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Pacific Oaks will support, where feasible and practical, Educational programs to enhance employee and student awareness and understanding of serious diseases.

The mere diagnosis of HIV, AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex (ARC), or AIDS virus antibodies, or any other serious communicable disease is not, in itself, sufficient basis for imposing limitations, exclusions or dismissal. Harassment of individuals with or suspected of being infected with any disease is not acceptable behavior at Pacific Oaks and will be strictly censored. The diagnosis of the condition, as any other medical information, is confidential.

In working with faculty, employees or students diagnosed with HIV, AIDS or any other serious communicable disease, Pacific Oaks will proceed on a case-by-case basis. With the advice of medical professionals, these factors will be considered:

  1. The condition of the person involved and the person’s ability to perform job duties or academic responsibilities;
  2. The probability of infection of co-workers or other members of the Pacific Oaks community based on the expected interaction of the person in the Pacific Oaks setting;
  3. The possible consequences to co-workers and other members of the Pacific Oaks community, if infected;
  4. Possible reasonable accommodations and modifications to the individual’s job or other obligations to take account of the condition;
  5. Risk to the person’s health from remaining on the job or in the Pacific Oaks community; and
  6. Other appropriate factors.

Any determination with respect to an employee or student will be made following consultation with the affected employee or student, the employee or student’s treating physician (if available), and such other persons as need to be involved in such a situation. Disclosure will take place only if deemed medically advisable and legally permissible. The appropriate Health Department will be informed.

Alcohol and Drug-Free Environment

In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1986 as amended in 1989, Pacific Oaks College explicitly prohibits the unlawful possession, sale, 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.

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 less than 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.

Sanctions to Be Imposed on Students Who Violate Regulations and Policies

An individual who is determined to be 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.

The following sanctions may be imposed against a student found to violate the Drug & Alcohol Policy:

  1. Warning - Oral warning to the student that he or she is engaging in misconduct by violating college rules, regulations, or policies.
  2. Reprimand - Written warning that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.
  3. Probation - Written notice explaining the serious nature misconduct and outlining the terms of probation. It is possible for the terms of probations to prohibit a student from participation in co-curricular activities.
  4. Suspension - Termination of student status at the college for a specified period of time.
  5. Expulsion - Termination of student status at the college permanently or for an indefinite period of time. A student who has been suspended or expelled will be given notification of the time within which the student is expected to leave the campus after his or her relationship to the college has been terminated.

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 AIDS 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.

Legal Sanctions Under Federal and State Law

Federal penalties and sanctions for illegal possession of a controlled substance are as set forth below. 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.

a.            First conviction: up to one  year imprisonment or a fine of at least $1,000

b.            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

c.             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

d.            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

e.            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

f.             Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, and any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance

g.            Civil penalty of up to $10,000

h.            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

i.              Ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm

j.             Revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, (for example, pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc.) as vested within the authorities of individual federal agencies

k.            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.

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 drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency. Specific programs of counseling or rehabilitation are available within the Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Northern California areas.

Distribution of Policy

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.

Substance Abuse Resources

ComPsych Guidance Student Assistance Program

ComPsych Guidance Resources provides support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. Guidance Resources is company-sponsored, confidential and is provided at no
charge to you and your dependents. Available resources include: confidential counseling; substance abuse counseling; financial guidance and legal support and resources.

Create Your ComPsych Account:
Log on to
Follow: My Support Services
Click on “Student Assistance Program”

Substance Abuse Referral List: A substance Abuse referral list is available in the CARE Office or online on the CARE webpage.

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