Oct 18, 2019  
Handbooks 
    
Handbooks

MAC - Program/University Operations


Continuous Registration

Students must maintain continuous registration until completion of the degree.  If a student must miss a term, a written request for a leave of absence must be made to the Director who will grant permission if the reason is deemed suitable.  Failure to do so prior to the term can result in dismissal.

Students who have been on leave of absence for more than two terms or students who have been suspended from the program can only reenter the program with the recommendation of the SSPRC and approval from the Director.  Students seeking readmission to the program will provide a formal request for readmission.  This request will include:

  1. Documentation of the reason for leave, withdrawal, or suspension from the program;
  2. Description of relevant personal, professional, or life changes since leave, withdrawal, or suspension;
  3. A comprehensive statement describing the current "fit" between the potential student's assets and aspirations and the program resources and requirements. 

The Student Screening and Progress Review Committee will review this readmission request at their next regularly scheduled meeting.  If the statement is unacceptable, the Student Screening and Progress Review Committee will request, one time only, further explanation or the Committee will not recommend reinstatement of the program.  

If the statement of application for readmission is acceptable to the SSPRC they will schedule an interview with the prospective student and two SSPRC members and one senior intern appointed by the Director.   The purpose of this interview is to once again discuss the sense of "fit" between the prospective student's strengths and interests and the program's resources and requirements.  If there is a positive "fit" the SSPRC will provide the Director with a recommendation to readmit the prospective student.

Students should note that readmission to the program is not automatic and not to be taken for granted.  It is a process that requires significant preplanning, thought, and time to accomplish.

Student Requested Withdrawal from Courses

Graduate students are expected to complete courses for which they have registered, unless unusual circumstances require withdrawal. Mere cessation of class attendance does not constitute withdrawal, either academically or with respect to tuition charges. Students who wish to withdraw from classes must contact their Academic Advisor to complete the withdrawal process. 

Attendance

Class attendance is required for all courses in the program. Generally, students who miss two (2) classes or more in one nine-week session will not receive a passing grade. Additionally, students will forfeit all tuition and fees associated with the class.

Statute of Limitations

Students must complete all requirements for the degree within seven years of matriculation.

Graduation Policies

Upon successful completion of all candidacy requirements and upon the recommendation of the SSPRC and the Director, students are awarded the degree of Master of Arts in Counseling.

Diplomas are not issued to students who have outstanding balances on their accounts.

Transcript Requests

Official Doane transcripts are available to students for a fee. The transcript may be requested from the Doane web site at www.doane.edu The form can also be printed or picked up on campus and faxed or submitted to the registrar's office.

Students who request transcripts should allow 7-10 days for them to be prepared and issued.  During periods at the beginning or following the end of a term, at least one week should be allowed for issuance. Transcripts are not issued for students who have outstanding financial obligations to Doane.

Copies are not made of transcripts or records on file from other institutions.  Any additional copies must be requested by the student directly from the original issuing institution. Once students graduate or discontinue attendance at Doane University, subsequent credits from other academic institutions do not become a part of their Doane University transcript.

Student Advising

Advising is an integral part of the MAC program. During their education at Doane, students will work with two advisors; academic and practica/internship advisors.  Students will work with the Assistant Director as their academic advisor beginning with their entrance into the program. The role of the academic advisor is to support students throughout their educational career at Doane.  The academic advisor answers students' questions, listens to concerns, offers support and helps students understand the educational system.  The role of the practica/internship advisor is to guide students through the mental health practitioner experience.

Academic Planning and Registration

Each student will schedule a meeting with the academic advisor/assistant dean during his/her first term to develop an individual academic plan. The plan will be accessible to the student through Web Advisor, (wa.doane.edu) in Student Planning. Once the schedule is released for the upcoming term, the student will select the course and specific section of the class and request Advisor approval. After the selected courses have been approved, the student will complete his/her registration by logging back into Registration in Student Planning, and clicking Register Now.  A more detailed description of the steps for registration is below.

MAC 10 easy registration steps  

Faculty Advisors

Students are required to meet with their instructor in their professional identity development seminar regularly to review their professional development as well as their academic and practicum training.  Students must attend ten (10) professional identity development meetings  in each calendar year.  Also, each student is required to meet with the Assistant Director for a semi-annual review of the student's program plans.  Regular review by the SSPRC is part of the advising process of the program.

The primary responsibilities of the academic advisor include:

  1. Providing information to prospective students.
  2. Supporting and guiding new students through admission.
  3. Assisting each student to develop, maintain and at least semi-annually review or plan a schedule of classes that will facilitate progression through the program.
  4. Distributing class schedules.
  5. Advising students on class selections.
  6. Processing requests for dropping or withdrawing classes.
  7. Providing information about Doane website resources, Doane bookstore, and available payment options.        
  8. Supporting students in problem solving and addressing personal concerns that affect academic and professional progress.
  9. Referring students to outside sources of information/support when necessary and appropriate.
  10. Providing answers to questions on procedures and policy.
  11. Processing graduation audits and guiding students through the steps for graduation (including filing graduation applications, handling cap and gown orders, assisting with planning of graduation ceremonies and celebrations, and payment of graduation fees.)
  12. Assist in filling out the application for a Provisional Licensed Metal Health Practitioner.

Advising Expectations

  1. The Assistant Director must approve the student's program plans before registration for each term.  The program plan includes courses, practica, and internships.  The plan should be revised as circumstances change and will be reviewed as part of the annual review of student's progress.  The Assistant Director will also review academic and professional performance with the student.
  2. The Assistant Director places a report of each meeting in the student's advising file, which is retained in the Assistant Director's office.
  3. The student should review career planning in relation to past experiences, current needs, and future professional goals with both their PID instructor and with the Assistant Director, in seminars and planning meetings. The Assistant Director as well as the PID instructor will be available to discuss personal concerns which affect academic and professional progress.
  4. The Assistant Director or the PID instructor will refer the student for additional help when necessary and appropriate.

Personal Psychotherapy

Graduate study is often stressful for students.  As a consequence many students elect to enter counseling to resolve personal issues.  This is viewed as a positive practice and is at times recommended or required by the program. Additionally, potential students may be provisionally admitted to COU 595 with the requirement of engagement in personal counseling. A list of providers will be available to all students and will be given to those student recommended or required to seek outside personal counseling.

Transfer of Credit Policy

The program accepts transfer credit for substantially equivalent graduate-level course work completed from other CACREP accredited counseling programs.  Applications for transfer of credit are made to the program Director.  Application should be made during the first term after matriculation into the Counseling Program.

The program has the following limitations of credit transfer:

  1. A maximum of twelve (12) credit hours may be transferred.
  2. Transfer is granted only for courses in which the grade earned was a B- or above.
  3. Credit is transferred in as "P" (Passed).
  4. The credit must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
  5. The credit may be no older than seven years at the time of graduation from Doane.
  6. Satisfactory performance on a competency evaluation may be required before granting transfer credit and is required for any course taken more than five years prior to admission.
  7. Transfer credit can be awarded only for required courses. 
  8. If a student has completed a course at another institution that, in the judgment of the Director, is substantially equivalent to a required course in the program, a course substitution may be granted after approval by the instructor and demonstrated competence in the course content.
  9. Transfer credit cannot be granted for practica or internships.
  10. Credit must be from a CACREP accredited counseling program.

Incompletes

An Incomplete (I) grade may be given if a student is not able to complete the work by the last day of the course due to sickness or other extenuating circumstance that the student has discussed with the instructor. When awarding an incomplete, the instructor will assign an expiration date no later than the last day of the next term. If the expiration date passes without a grade change from the instructor, the incomplete grade will automatically convert to an "F". This is a final grade and will not be changed, per the grade change policy.

In order to receive an incomplete (I), a student must have completed at least 75% of the coursework required for the course. For courses such as practicums or internships, which are intended to last longer than a single term, instructors will submit a grade of "In Progress" (IP) at the end of the first term. Master of Arts in Counseling students need to obtain a form from Blackboard that will allow the teacher and the student to detail the coursework required to remove the incomplete.

Withdrawal From A Course

Graduate students are expected to complete courses for which they have registered, unless unusual circumstances require withdrawal. Mere cessation of class attendance does not constitute withdrawal, either academically or with respect to tuition charges.

The grade of "W" (Withdrawal) indicates that a student was doing passing work and was permitted to withdraw from a course. Students desiring to withdraw from classes must submit  the proper withdrawal form to the Counseling Office. Failure to follow this procedure results in a grade of "F" instead of a "W."

Students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program can withdraw from a course through the fourth week of a term. A grade of W will appear on the transcript.  To be considered for withdrawal from a course after the fourth week of the term, the student must provide additional documentation (doctor's note, jury duty). The request will be forwarded to a committee for a decision.  

A student may be administratively withdrawn from any program by the Director if it is determined that the student: 1) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the person or property of others; 2) interferes with the rights of other members of the Doane University community; or 3) is unable to meet the institutional requirements for continued enrollment. Except in emergency situations or in the case of financial noncompliance, a student shall, upon request, be accorded a hearing by the appropriate committee prior to a final decision concerning his/her continued enrollment at Doane University.

Course Repeats

The following guidelines apply if a student receives a grade below B- in a course:

  1. The course must be repeated in the next term in which the course is offered.
  2. If the course is repeated, the second grade is computed in the cumulative grade point average.
  3. The original grade remains on the student's transcript, but is not included in the calculation of the grade point average.
  4. A course may only be repeated once.  Unsuccessful completion of a course after a second attempt will result in dismissal from the program.

Grades 

All grades are issued to students over the web via web advisor at www.doane.edu/wa. Grade point calculation information is in the Doane University Catalog.

Standards For Student Conduct

The University requires that all students adhere to the ethical principles of the counseling profession (as set forth in the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics), and to the regulations of the Nebraska Department of Health, Bureau of Examining Boards, in accordance the Nebraska Mental Health Practice Certification Act; and to the laws of the State of Nebraska and the United States of America.

Nebraska statutes prohibit independent practice in mental health by non-licensed individuals.  Regardless of previous credentials, participation in a counselor training program indicates that the student is committed to developing a professional identity as a mental health counselor and to developing professional skills within this framework.  The development of this identity occurs throughout graduate-level training.  It is appropriate for students, whatever their previous experience, to view themselves as counselors-in-training.  Engagement in any relevant professional activities should be done in such a way that reflects and respects these commitments and maintains professional integrity.

In addition:

  1. The program requires the highest standards of professional and personal conduct from all students.
  2. The University requires each student to abide by the policies and procedures of the program and to comply with the program's standards as well as the University Code of Conduct.
  3. A student may not establish or continue a therapeutic relationship with any faculty member while registered in her or his course.
  4. Failure to comply with these standards of conduct will result in disciplinary action and may lead to dismissal from the program.

Academic Integrity

The faculty expects students to pursue their work with academic integrity.  All faculty members are encouraged to take positive, proactive measures to encourage academic integrity.  Discovered instances of dishonesty in examinations and coursework will be dealt with as serious violations of policy.  A formal complaint will be filed with the Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling program who will forward the complaint to the Academic Affairs Office. 

Every instance of dishonesty must be reported to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.  Copies of any documents of evidence must be provided to the Academic Affairs Office. A detailed statement of policies and procedures for academic integrity are distributed to all students and reprinted below. 

a.   Academic Integrity Policy

  1. In order for the Doane University  community to provide, clarify, and preserve an atmosphere in which individuals can strive for academic excellence, the following policy has been adopted to deter acts of academic dishonesty.  Academic dishonesty, the act of knowingly and willingly attempting or assisting others to gain success by dishonest means, is manifested in various ways.
  2. "Issues and Perspectives on Academic Dishonesty" (Gehring, et al, 1986) suggest four categories of academic dishonesty: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism.  These categories have been adopted and appropriately modified for use at Doane.  Provided with each category is the respective Gehring definition and a list of isolated, but not inclusive, examples of infractions.  It must be noted that the essential, qualifying characteristic that must be implied with each is that the grading instructor must consider the alleged offense to be dishonest.

b.   Academic Dishonesty

  1. Cheating

A)  "Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized information or study aids in any academic exercise" (Gehring, et al., p. 6.)

i)  Intentionally using an unauthorized source to complete an objective.  This may include looking at another's paper during an exam, using unauthorized, prewritten responses and electronically-scored information such as crib notes and computer disks, and/or stolen test materials.

ii) Submitting someone else's work as one's own research or data.

iii) Allowing another to complete an exam in one's place.

iv) Submitting a project that has been or is currently being used to satisfy requirements from another course without the explicit permission of both instructors.

v) Improper collaboration on projects beyond that permitted by the instructor.

vi) Sharing information between exams in multiple sections of a course.

  1. Fabrication

A)  "Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise" (Gehring, et al., p. 6). Examples:

i)   Supplying fabricated, "dry lab" data or altered data for an experiment or laboratory project.

ii)  Fabricating all or a portion of a bibliographic entry for a documented project.

  1. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty

A)  "Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of dishonesty." (Gehring, et al., p. 6) and/or coercing others to do the same.  Examples:

i)   Allowing one's own work to be submitted as another's work for a course project.

ii)   Providing or offering unauthorized aid to another for a course objective.  This would include allowing another to observe one's answers on an exam.

iii)  Making threats or offers of compensation to others in order that those threatened or coerced will provide unauthorized aid for course projects.

iv) Unauthorized acquisition or subsequent possession of stolen test materials.  This would include acquiring, distributing, and/or possessing the stolen materials.

  1. Plagiarism

A)  "Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercises (either oral or written)" (Gehring, et al., p. 6).  Examples:

i)   Purchasing a paper from a commercial or private source, using a paper from an organization's files, copying sections or chapters from reference works, or borrowing or stealing another's paper and submitting it as one's own work.

ii)   Failing to indicate a direct quote from a reference source by using quotation marks and proper citation of the source.

iii)   Attempting to represent the work, words, and ideas of another (paraphrasing) as one's own without proper citation or documentation.

iv)  Failing to acknowledge information obtained in one's reading or research which is not common knowledge.

c.   Academic Integrity Process

The process is initiated when a faculty member files a complaint for alleged act(s) of academic dishonesty or misconduct.

The faculty member will write up the incident and file a copy of the formal complaint with the Director who will forward the complaint to the Academic Affairs Office. Copies of any documents of evidence must be provided to the Academic Affairs Office.   Before the Charge of Academic Integrity Violation complaint form is filed, the student must sign the form to show that he/she has been informed of the charges.  Only the Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee will check to see if this is a first or subsequent charge(s) for the student.

The faculty member will retain discretion with regard to the sanctions for the offense in the case of a first offense. However, sanctions will not be imposed until the faculty member receives written notification from the Academic Integrity Committee concerning the outcome of the meeting between the committee and the student.  If a student is charged and found guilty of a subsequent offense, the faculty member may impose sanctions for the course; however, the committee may impose additional sanctions. In cases where the faculty member is a parent or close relative of the student involved, the faculty member is required to submit documents related to suspected academic dishonesty to the Director or Vice President for Academic Affairs for evaluation and processing pursuant to the steps below (see the Student Handbook or the Faculty handbook for a list of possible sanctions, up to and including receiving a failing grade in the course).

First Offense: 
  1. Once the charge has been filed, the student will be notified of when to appear before the Academic Integrity Committee. At this time students will be notified that they may have an advocate appear before the committee with them.  If the student fails to appear at the set time without an excuse acceptable to the Committee, the charges will automatically be confirmed. 
  2. If the student admits to the charge he/she will appear before the committee to discuss academic integrity.  The complaint and accompanying documentation will be filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The faculty member will be informed concerning the outcomes of the meeting and will impose sanctions for the course.
  3. If the student decides to appeal the charges, he/she is required to notify the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee in writing within 72 hours after receiving the initial notice.  Committee members will hear testimony from the student and the faculty member (who has been asked to be available at the time of the meeting) and will have the opportunity to ask the student questions as well as inform the student on issues related to academic integrity. Students may provide evidence on their behalf.  
  4. Based on the testimony, the Committee will either confirm or rescind the charges.  [NOTE:  If the charges are rescinded, the student is exonerated, and all documentation sent to the Academic Affairs Office and the Chair of the Committee will be destroyed immediately.  If the charges are confirmed, the complaint and accompanying documentation will be kept only in the Academic Affairs Office and only for a period of seven years for record keeping purposes (i.e., to establish whether or not a student has a prior complaint).  At the end of the seven-year period, all documents concerning this charge are destroyed.]
  5. If appealing or denying the charges, the student will be informed at the end of the meeting when the written decision of the Committee will be sent to the student through campus mail and that the student will need to sign for the letter during the next two weeks.  The student has the right to appeal the Committee's decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within 72 hours after receiving the Committee's written decision.  If the student has not signed for the written decision in the two weeks after the date of the letter, it will be assumed that the student does not wish to appeal.  The faculty member will be informed of the Committee's decision and will impose sanctions for the course.
  6. If the charges are confirmed, the student's advisor will also be informed of the charges and the sanction(s) in writing.
  7. If the faculty member is a member of the committee, the faculty member will recuse themselves from that particular case, and the chair will draw a name from the remaining academic standing faculty members and ask if they will be willing to serve.  Similarly, faculty members can recuse themselves from the committee if they feel there is a conflict of interest.
Subsequent Offense(s):

If a complaint is filed by a faculty member and it is determined that this is a subsequent offense for the student, the following procedures will take effect:

  1. Procedures for the first offense are followed.
  2. If the Committee confirms the charges, the Committee has the right to impose additional sanctions for the second offense, including possible suspension or expulsion from the university . 
  3. The student has the right to appeal the Committee's decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within 72 hours after receiving the Committee's written decision.

Allegations of Misconduct

Allegations of misconduct against a student must be made in writing.  When a formal allegation is made, the Director will consider the allegation and decide whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant formal procedures.  If there is sufficient evidence, the Director will notify the student who is the subject of the allegation within ten working days of the decision.  Notice will include the specifics of the allegation and will be sent by either registered or certified mail.

The student will be presumed to be innocent of the allegation until such time as it is substantiated by admission, default, or formal hearing.  The student will have the right to respond to the allegation. If the student wishes to respond, she or he must do so in writing within ten working days after receipt of the letter from the Director.  Failure or refusal to respond will be deemed as agreement with the factual matters contained in the allegation, and the Director will proceed as appropriate.

Upon receipt of the response, or upon expiration of the deadline for response, the Director may determine whether a hearing is warranted.  If so, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) or her/his designate and the student will be notified.  The hearing will be held within two weeks of the Director's determination of need.  Decisions about requests for postponement and the grounds upon which the decisions are made will become part of the formal record.  The hearing will be conducted by a committee of three faculty members appointed by the VPAA or her/his designate.  This committee will have the right and obligation to make a full and thorough investigation of the allegation(s).

If the student accused of misconduct has good cause to believe that a given member of the committee is unable to be impartial, she or he may request that the VPAA or designate disqualify that member.  Such disqualification will be granted only upon demonstration of good cause. The decision on this matter will become a formal part of the record. The disqualified member will be replaced by a faculty member appointed by the VPAA or designate.

The chairperson of the committee will ordinarily ask the complainant to identify herself or himself to the respondent.  Whenever possible, the identity of all parties to the complaint will be revealed.  Refusal by a complainant to permit her or his identity to be made known to the respondent may serve as a basis for forfeiting the complaint process.  The student against whom the allegation has been made will have the right to examine the evidence, to know the identity of the person(s), and to confront the accuser(s) and any other witness (if physically possible).  All hearing committee deliberations will be confidential.  If the committee concludes on the basis of the evidence that the allegation has been substantiated, the committee, with approval of the Director, will determine the penalty to be imposed, up to and including dismissal from the University.  In case of disagreement between the recommendation of the committee and the Director, the decision of the VPAA will be final.

The student will be notified in writing of the decision of the committee within two weeks of the hearing.  The committee's formal hearing will be audio taped, with the cost born by the program.  Except when directed otherwise by court order, the College will retain the tape in a safe and confidential place for a maximum period of one year.

Right of Appeal of Nonacademic Disciplinary Decisions

The decision of the hearing committee may be appealed by the student involved.  The appeals process is not an opportunity for the student to supersede the judgment of the hearing committee, but rather an opportunity for the student to have her or his case heard again on the basis of new evidence, evidence of deviation from established procedure, or new arguments which could not be provided at the time of the original hearing by the committee.

The student who wishes to appeal a decision of the hearing committee must make a written request for re-evaluation to the VPAA or designate, within two weeks of being notified of the committee's decision.  This request must include:

  1. A specific statement of the decision which the student wishes to appeal;
  2. The action which the student wishes the committee to take in place of the action which was taken and which the student is appealing;
  3. All data that the student wishes the committee to take into account in its re-evaluation, other than data already possessed by the committee, and;
  4. A statement of the student's views as to how these new data justify the appeal.

In order to obtain a re-evaluation and/or hearing on an appeal, a student must furnish some data or basis of appeal, which was not available to the committee at the time of its original hearing.  The VPAA or designate will not accept requests for appeal when the basis is merely dissatisfaction on the part of the student with the decision of the hearing committee.  If, in the opinion of the VPAA or designate, the request for an appeal is clearly without merit or does not meet the requirements set forth above, she, or he may reject the appeal in writing.  In this case, the decision of the hearing committee will stand as the final decision of the program.

If the basis for the rejection of the appeal is a student's failure to provide the required information or statements, the student will receive written notification of the deficiencies of the appeal.  In such cases, the appeal may be resubmitted within a two-week period for consideration, provided the required information and statements have been supplied.

If, in the judgment of the VPAA or designate, the appeal may have merit and is properly constituted, she or he will refer the appeal to an ad hoc committee.  The committee shall consist of one student and two faculty members appointed by the VPAA or designate.  The appellant will have the right to reject any member of the committee on the basis of prejudice and/or bias, subject to that rejection being approved as having merit.

The ad hoc Committee will review all data and statements provided by the student in the appeal as well as any other data considered necessary to render judgment, including data considered previously.  In reaching a decision on the appeal, the ad hoc committee may elect to grant the action sought by the student in her or his appeals statement or take any other action based upon the data provided.  The ad hoc committee may also decide to sustain the decision of the previous hearing committee.  The decision of the appeals committee will be the final decision of the University in the case.

Should allegations be found to be without merit at any point in the process, the record of the proceedings will be expunged.

Grievance

The program is committed to effective solution of student problems through an efficient, fair, and systematic procedure.  This process is to be used when students feel that they have been adversely affected by decisions, differences, misunderstandings, or problems that have arisen with faculty, staff, administrators, or other students.  No student will be penalized in any way for pursuing problems in good faith through this procedure.  However, in initiating and pursuing a grievance, a student is obligated to proceed in candor and good faith at all times and may not initiate or pursue a grievance for abusive or obstructionist purposes.  In addition, this policy in no way usurps administrative judgment, but instead serves to focus and facilitate the decision making process.

The purpose of the program's grievance procedure is to resolve student grievances in a manner that allows constructive relationships to be maintained throughout the program.

  1. The procedure may be used whenever a student believes that she or he has been adversely affected by an action of another member of the program's community in one or more of the following ways:

a. Violation of a duly adopted University or MAC Program policy as described in the handbook or other publication,

b. Illegal discrimination under any federal, state, or local law,

c. Unethical conduct according to accepted professional standards.

  1. In the absence of these conditions, this procedure may not be used to dispute the legitimate exercise of professional judgment by the University's faculty, administration or staff, including:

a. The substance of any adopted policy or procedure,

b. The substance which forms the basis of grades or student performance evaluation,

c. A decision regarding a student's academic status made by a designated administrative officer or by a college committee charged with reviewing grades or student performance evaluations,

d. A procedural or final decision regarding a previous grievance,

e. Any action taken more than one year prior to the grievance.

  1. All grievance procedures and records are confidential in nature and will be treated accordingly.  Since this procedure is an academic rather than a judicial process, the presence of legal counsel for any party of the grievance at any meeting or hearing is prohibited.

Grievance Procedures

Step 1: Informal Consultation:

  1. Any student with a program-related problem involving academic or administrative policy, procedure, decision, or conduct should make an attempt in good faith to resolve the problem through discussions with the person(s) most directly involved.  The grieving student may choose to enlist the assistance of another member of the faculty to help mediate the problem.
  2. If the problem cannot be resolved in this most direct way, the student should then seek the assistance of the Director or to facilitate mediation.
  3. If the problem is still not resolved to the satisfaction of the student after discussion at informal levels, the student may proceed with Step 2.

Step 2: Inquiry Ruling:

  1. If the problem is unresolved after informal discussion with the appropriate individuals, the student may present the situation to the Director in writing.  A formal meeting with the Director shall then be held requiring a complete presentation of the problem by the student, including all available evidence supporting the grievance.  Following the presentation, the Director will investigate the complaint to determine whether the problem is grievable according to the established criteria and will inform the student of the decision within 14 days.
  2. If the problem is determined to be grievable, she or he will further investigate by gathering additional information from appropriate members of the program.
  3. If the grievance is made against actions of the Director in the exercise of her or his administrative duties, the Dean of the College of Professional Studies or his/her designate shall perform all the functions of the Director regarding the grievance.
  4. At any point in time during the investigation of the grievance, the Director may make further attempts to resolve the grievance informally.  If the Director is unable to resolve the grievance either during or following the investigative process, the Dean of the College of Professional Studies or designate will then appoint an ad hoc committee of two faculty members and one student to evaluate the merits of the complaint and make a ruling.

The VPAA or designate will appoint one of the faculty members as chairperson of the ad hoc committee and that individual will have the right to vote.  A majority vote of the ad hoc committee is required to make an affirmative finding that a complaint has merit.

In appointing the ad hoc committee, the Dean of the College of Professional Studies or designate will take care not to appoint anyone who is an interested party to the grievance.  If the student who has brought the complaint has good cause to believe that a given member of the ad hoc committee is unable to be impartial, the student may request in writing that the member be disqualified.  Such disqualification shall be granted only upon the demonstration of good cause.  The decision of the VPAA or designate in this matter will be final.

Hearing

In making an investigation, the ad hoc committee will have the right to call any witnesses and to require the introduction of any relevant data or information.  The ad hoc committee will be the final judge of what testimony or data is relevant.  All deliberations of the ad hoc committee will be confidential.

The student will be notified in writing of the decision of the committee within two weeks of the hearing.  The ad hoc committee's formal hearing will be audio taped with the cost borne by the program.

Except when directed otherwise by court order, the college will retain the tapes in a safe and confidential place for a maximum period of one year.

Decision of the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee

The decision of the ad hoc grievance committee will be the final decision of the University regarding the grievance.  Upon reaching a decision, the committee will communicate its findings to the Director, who shall then implement any recommended actions.

University Grievance Procedure

updated August 2019

Doane University wants to ensure prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any discrimination or other conduct prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (20 U.S.C. 794.)  If at any point a student, faculty or staff member believes that there has been a violation of ADA or Section 504, he or she should follow these steps:

  1. To file a grievance, the student, faculty or staff member must contact the University's Section 504 Coordinator within 30 working days of the alleged discrimination or other conduct. (In special circumstances an extension may be granted for filing a grievance.) All grievances should be filed with Laura Northup, Director of Human Resources and the University's designated Section 504 Coordinator. She may be contacted at (402) 826-6773 or via email at laura.northup@doane.edu.
  2. The 504 coordinator will make contact with the student or employee filing the grievance within two business days. The 504 coordinator will make a record of the meeting and may request person filing the complaint to present the grievance in writing. 
  3. Upon review of the documentation and information gathering, the 504 coordinator will render a findings report to Doane University, the student bringing forth the grievance and the parents or guardian of the student if FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) permits or employee within 30 days after its filing.
  4. The person filing the complaint may request reconsideration of the report determination and findings if he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution.  This request should be made to the Section 504 Coordinator within 10 working days. With such a request, the findings report will be provided to the appropriate Vice President (e.g., Enrollment and Student Experience, Finance and Administration, or Academic Affairs). The designated Vice President will be responsible for reviewing the report findings and resolution and making a determination.  A copy of their written determination will be provided to the person filing the grievance within 10 working days of the request. The written determination will also be filed with the 504 Coordinator.  

Access/Services for Students with Disabilities

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides that "no otherwise qualified disabled individual in the United States...shall, solely on the basis of disability, be denied access to, or the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity provided by any institution receiving federal financial assistance."  This regulation requires that Doane programs are accessible to the disabled, but it does not require that every building or part of a building on campus is accessible.  Some of the architectural barriers on  campus cannot be removed in the immediate future.  Thus, it will be necessary to reschedule classes to accessible buildings or take other steps to open some of our programs to students with mobility impairments.

Students interested in services related to a disability should notify the University of any special circumstances that would affect their ability to compete equally in the academic environment.  To assist the University in providing services, qualified professionals upon request must provide documentation of such disabilities.

Students are encouraged to self-identify at any time by initiating the process described in number one above.  To initiate this process, students are encouraged to contact the office of the Director or the Assistant Director before arriving on campus so their needs can be anticipated, reviewed, and accommodated:

Privacy of Educational Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts of 1974 (commonly referred to as "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment") is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. The Act affords students certain rights with respect to their Education Records. They are:

  1. Access to Education Records: students have the right to inspect and review their Education Records within 45 days of the day the University receives a written request for access, anytime after their matriculation. See below for the following categories related to Access to Educational Records:
    1. Definitions
    2. Types, locations and custodians of records
    3. Procedure to inspect records
    4. Right to refuse access
    5. Refusal to provide copies
    6. Fee for copies of records
    7. Annual Notification
  1. Request for Amendment of Education Records: students have the right to request amendment of Education Records if they believe the records are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. See below for information regarding destruction of records.
  2. Disclosure of Education Records: students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in Education Records, except to the extent that the Act or any other superseding law authorizes disclosure without student consent. See below for the following categories related to Disclosure of Education Records:
    1. School officials defined
    2. Legitimate educational interest
    3. Consent for disclosure
    4. Record of disclosures
    5. Directory Information
  3. Compliance: students have the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office with complaints concerning the University's compliance with the requirements of FERPA.

Accuracy and Completeness of Records

Briefly, the safeguards for the accuracy and completeness of student educational records are:

  1. Students have the right to review and inspect their educational records upon written request to the Registrar or the Director's office (except letters of reference when the student has waived their right to review the letter). 
  2. Students have the right to request that their record be changed if they believe that it is inaccurate, misleading, or violates  their right of privacy or other rights.  Students should, , first inform and discuss this problem with their PID instructor or the Director.  If the Registrar determines that the record is incorrect because of obvious error, and that it is a simple matter to correct it to the satisfaction of the student, then she or he may make the change.
  3. If the Registrar cannot change the record to the student's satisfaction, the student has the right to a hearing to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or that it violates the right to privacy or other rights.
  4. A mutually acceptable individual shall be appointed by the VPAA or her/his designate for the purposes of such a hearing.  At the hearing, the student making the request will be allowed a full and fair opportunity to present evidence and testimony to support her or his belief that the challenged material in the educational record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student.  The program and University reserves the right to challenge evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and it will allow the student making the request to challenge evidence it presents and cross-examine witnesses it calls into hearing.  A written decision and summary of the evidence from the hearing will be made by the appointed individual.  This information will then be presented, along with recommendations, to the VPAA or his/her designate, who will notify the student in writing.
  5. If the Hearing Officer's decision is to leave the educational record unchanged, the student shall be notified.  The notice to the student will include:
    1. The decision not to change the record;
    2. A summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and a written statement of the reasons for the decision;
    3. Advice to the student that a written statement giving reasons for disagreement with the Hearing Officer's decision and the basis for the student's belief that the record is incorrect may be placed in the educational record.
  6. After the hearing, the College will maintain the student's statement as part of the educational record as long as it maintains the questioned part of the record.  If and when the questioned part of the record is disclosed, the explanatory statement will also be disclosed.

Smoking Policy

The university prohibits smoking inside the classrooms or in the building.  In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986, Doane University explicitly prohibits unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and/or alcohol by students or employees on the premises or as part of any of its activities.  Beverage alcohol may only be used in conjunction with specifically authorized functions by those of legal drinking age. There are applicable legal sanctions in Nebraska for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.

Drug Policy

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace is prohibited.  Students who violate this prohibition will be subject to immediate corrective action.

Depending on the nature and circumstances of the violation, corrective action may include immediate discharge, disciplinary suspension, mandatory treatment and rehabilitation, some combination of the above, or other action deemed appropriate to the circumstances.  Other policies relating to corrective discipline or substance abuse may provide guidance in determining an appropriate response but shall not limit the university's authority to implement any corrective action deemed appropriate.

This policy shall apply to all students and compliance shall be a condition of enrollment. 

Anti-Harassment Policy

A fundamental policy of the University is that employees and students should be able to work and study in an environment free of discrimination and any form of harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, or sexual orientation  Harassment is counterproductive to the University's goals and will not be tolerated.  Such behavior is unacceptable because it is a form of unprofessional behavior threatening to the academic freedom and personal integrity of others.  Failure to follow this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

The type of harassment that is prohibited may take many forms and includes, without limitation, verbal harassment (derogatory comments and/or slurs), physical harassment (assault or physical interference), visual harassment (posters, cartoons, drawings), use of the Internet or e-mail to harass or embarrass, and innuendo or false rumors. Further, harassment includes conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment.  Harassment is prohibited both during normal work or school hours and outside the normal work or school hours if such harassment is determined by the University to affect the normal working or student/faculty/staff relationships.

Harassment can take a number of forms, but of particular concern is sexual harassment, which is a violation of state and federal law.  It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, and other verbal or physical conduct, or visual forms of harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following forms:

  1. Unwelcome or unwanted advances, including sexual advances.  This means patting, pinching, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, or any other similar physical contact.
  2. Unwelcome requests or demands for favors, including sexual favors.  This includes subtle or blatant expectations, pressures or request for any type of favor, including a sexual favor, whether or not it is accompanied by an implied or stated promise of preferential treatment or negative consequences concerning academic or employment status.
  3. Verbal abuse or kidding that is oriented toward a prohibited form of harassment, including that which is sexually oriented and considered unwelcome.  This includes offensive comments which harass an individual based upon his or her sex, race, age, national origin, disability, or marital status, or sexual orientation; telling "dirty jokes" that are inappropriate and considered offensive, or any tasteless, sexually oriented comments, innuendoes, or actions that offend.
  4. Creating a work or academic environment that is intimidating, hostile, abusive, or offensive because of unwelcome or unwanted conversations, suggestions, requests, demands, physical contacts, or attentions, whether sexually oriented or otherwise related to a prohibited form of harassment.

Consensual amorous relationships between faculty and students are also considered unethical under this policy because of the inherently asymmetrical nature of the relationship between student and faculty.  Due to the possibility of abuse of power, or the appearance of such abuse, faculty members are warned that any romantic involvement with a student makes them subject to formal disciplinary action.

Faculty may not participate in activities or decisions that may reward or penalize a student with whom the faculty member has or has had a consensual amorous relationship.  Any person adversely impacted may make a complaint for a violation of this rule.

The University's  concern is to provide a working and academic environment that is comfortable, conducive to the academic enterprise, and free from this type of behavior.  This policy is written to be sure that everyone understands our intent to provide an academic and working environment free of harassment.

Obviously, the University cannot prevent violations of this policy unless such behavior is observed or the University is told of the violations.  The procedures regarding complaints of harassment are described below.

All persons are assured that they will not suffer negative consequences as a result of bringing their concerns to the University's attention. Failure of any person involved in the investigation of a harassment complaint to keep the complaint confidential shall be a separate violation of this policy.  A separate violation shall also occur if any retaliatory action is taken against or directed at any person who has made a harassment complaint.  Violations will result in disciplinary action.  The University reserves the right to provide information regarding any harassment complaint or retaliatory conduct to the necessary legal authorities if the University, in its sole discretion, believes illegal conduct has occurred.

  1. All members of the University community who believe that they have been the victim of harassment as defined above may bring the matter to the attention of the individuals designated to handle complaints of harassment.  For Master of Arts in Counseling students, reports should be made to the Director or the Assistant Director.  When this is not practical or inappropriate, the following are available to handle complaints: If the potential offender is a staff member, reports should be made to the Vice President for Finance.  If the potential offender is a faculty member, reports should be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  If the potential offender is a student, reports should be made to the Director of Students.  If the potential offender is an outside party, such as a vendor or contractor of the University, reports should be made to the Vice President for Finance and the procedures for handling complaints against staff members shall apply.  Any person shall also have the option of reporting the concern to the the Human Resources Coordinator who will inform the appropriate individual of the concern.   If the person designated to receive the report is part of the problem, a report can be made to any other person designated to handle complaints of harassment.
  2. The complainant should present the complaint as promptly as possible after the alleged harassment occurs. 
  3. The initial discussion between the complainant and the person designated to receive the complaint should be kept confidential, with no formal written record.  The person receiving the complaint, however, can and should provide to the complainant a written memorandum advising the complainant that in order for the University to address the complaint a written complaint is required in order that the University can further address the complaint under these procedures.  
  4. If the complainant, after the initial meeting with the person designated to receive the complaint, decides to proceed, the complainant must submit a written statement to the person designated to receive the complaint describing with particularity the alleged harassment.  The written statement should identify any persons with knowledge of any facts relevant to the harassment complaint.
  5. All written complaints of harassment shall be kept confidential, except as reasonably necessary to investigate the written complaint and to give the person accused of harassment an opportunity to respond.
  6. The written complaint shall be promptly forwarded to the person accused of harassment and the person accused of harassment shall submit a written response to the allegations within seven days.  The response should identify any persons with knowledge of any facts relevant to the harassment complaint.
  7. Upon receipt of the response, the person designated to receive the complaint or an impartial investigator appointed by the person receiving the complaint shall promptly investigate the complaint.  Normally, the investigation period should not exceed 21 days.  During the investigation, the person receiving the complaint shall take whatever steps he or she deems appropriate to effect an informal resolution of the complaint acceptable to the University, the person making the complaint and the person accused of harassment.
  8. Upon completion of the investigation and if an informal resolution has not been reached, the person receiving the complaint shall promptly provide a written statement of the findings of the investigation and any discipline to be imposed to both the person making the complaint and the person accused of harassment. 
  9. Either the person making the complaint or the person charged with harassment may appeal the findings or the decision to impose or not to impose disciplinary action by filing a written appeal within two business days of receipt of the findings. 
  10. If the person accused of harassment is a staff member, the appeal shall be directly to the University President in accordance with the Grievance Procedures set forth in the Employee Handbook. 
  11. If the person accused of harassment is a faculty member, the appeal shall be communicated to the University President who shall convene a Committee to hear the appeal.  The Committee shall consist of three tenured faculty members from three different divisions, except if the complainant is a student, the President will appoint a student who shall also sit on the Committee.  The Committee may conduct its own investigation, call witnesses, and gather whatever information it deems necessary to assist it in reaching a determination of the merits of the allegation. Once such a determination has been reached, the Committee shall communicate its findings in writing to the person making the complaint and the person accused of harassment. If the Committee determines that no harassment has occurred, its decision shall be final.  A finding that harassment has occurred requires a majority vote of Committee members.  Prior to communicating its decision, the Committee shall also have the opportunity to seek an informal resolution of the matter satisfactory to the College and the commendations of the Committee.  If the person accused of harassment holds a tenured faculty position and the potential discipline includes dismissal, the College President, in reviewing the matter, shall comply with the procedures for dismissal proceedings for faculty on continuous tenure as set forth in the Faculty Handbook.
  12. If the person accused of harassment is a student, the appeal shall be communicated to the University President who shall convene a Committee to hear the appeal.  The Committee's composition shall be determined by the status of the complainant and the respondent (i.e. student to staff, student to faculty, etc).  In any case where both the complainant and the person accused of harassment are students, the Committee shall be selected by the College President.  The Director shall chair the Committee.

The Committee shall observe the following guidelines:

  1. An opening statement by the chair regarding the nature of the case, the identity of the parties, and the nature of the allegations.
  2. Sequence of presentation of evidence:
    1. Complainant presents evidence;
    2. Person accused of harassment presents evidence;
    3. Complainant presents rebuttal evidence;
    4. Chair or investigator presents additional evidence from initial investigation of the matter;
    5. Closing statements from complainant, person accused of harassment, and Chair or investigator.

The Committee shall then determine, by majority vote, if a violation of the harassment policy occurred.  If a violation is found, the Committee shall then determine, by majority vote, the appropriateness of the discipline to be imposed.  The Chair shall forward the Committee's written findings regarding harassment and discipline to the complainant and the person accused of harassment.  Either the complainant or the person accused of harassment may appeal the Committee's findings regarding harassment or discipline to the University President by filing a written appeal within two business days or receipt of the findings.  The President shall promptly review the matter and the President's decision is final.

13. All written records of harassment complaints shall be kept in a separate confidential file in the President's office and not in the faculty evaluation files, staff personnel files or student permanent records.  All files shall be labeled generically by type of complaint.

Formal Procedure/Appeal Procedure

  1. Hearing Panel Formation

If the investigator finds that the complaint should be adjudicated through a formal procedure because informal resolution was impossible or if either the complainant or respondent appeals the investigator's informal resolution, such complaining or appealing party shall file a complaint or appeal with the President.  In this event, the following procedures will apply:

  • A formal hearing panel shall be convened of the various constituencies of the College (faculty, administrative staff, support staff, and students) to include an appropriate combination of faculty, staff, and/or students.
  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall chair the hearing and select the panel, conferring with appropriate Directors/Vice Presidents/Directors.
  1. The Hearing Panel may consist of:
  • A combination of two/three faculty members to represent the faculty.
  • Two/three administrative staff to represent the administrative staff.
  • Two/three support staff employees to represent the support staff.
  • Two/three student leaders to represent the student body.

Both the complainant and the respondent may challenge the participation of any member of the formal hearing panel.  If a challenge is granted by the Chair, substitutes will be selected by the Chair as long as the composition includes equal membership of each group represented in the case.

The purpose of the hearing will be to hear the evidence that had been presented and uphold or recommend a change in the disposition of the complaint.  New evidence may be introduced at this time.  The complainant and respondent will both be present for the hearing.

Hearing Panel Procedures

The Hearing Panel shall observe the following guidelines:

  1. An opening statement by the chair regarding the nature of the case, the identification of the parties involved, and the nature of the allegations.
  2. Sequence of presentation of evidence:
  • Complainant presents evidence.
  • Respondent presents evidence.
  • Complainant presents rebuttal evidence.
  • Respondent presents rebuttal evidence.
  • The investigating administrator presents additional evidence that was accumulated during the initial investigation of the incident.
  • Closing statements.

Hearing Panel Decision

The Hearing Panel shall determine, by majority vote, if a violation of the Harassment Policy occurred and the appropriateness of the disciplinary action.  The Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall forward the Committee's written recommendation to the complainant and the respondent.

Final Appeal

Because of the nature of harassment and because it affects everyone connected with the college, the formal procedures/appeal procedures are designed specifically for cases involving harassment.  Both complainant and respondent may appeal the decision of the Formal Procedure/Appeal Procedure Hearing Panel to the College President.  The President's decision is final.

Confidentiality

All communications from the time the complaint is filed will be confidential.  All of the members of the hearing panel are required to refrain from discussing the contents of the case with anyone.  The confidentiality of the proceedings is of the utmost importance to all of the parties involved.

Information about harassment cases will not be released publicly, unless it is deemed necessary and approved by the President to prevent alarm among college employees and students and external publics (i.e., prospective students and parents).  If information about a case is released, the names of all parties involved will remain confidential.

Withdrawal of the Complaint

The complainant may withdraw his or her complaint at any time during the procedures.  If the complaint is withdrawn prior to final resolution, all records of the investigation and proceedings will be kept in a confidential file in the office of the appropriate administrators and there will be no notation of the incident on either party's educational or employment records.

Definition of Terms

Complainant means a person who alleges harassment.

Respondent means a person against whom harassment is alleged.