An Example of a Student Conduct Policy and Disciplinary Process for International Programming
Using Kent State University’s student disciplinary procedures provided for in the University Policy Register (www.kent.edu/policyreg) as a template (policies 3342-4-02, 3342-4-02.1, and 3342-4-02.101), the following policy is an adaptation providing for a draft student disciplinary policy for use in the study abroad environment:
(A) Purpose. Students enrolled at the university who are engaged in educational opportunities outside of the United States (i.e. study abroad, student exchange, semester immersion, etc.) shall be responsible for engaging in conduct consistent with the standards provided in the university student conduct policy, as well as compliant with any additional conditions agreed to relevant to the education opportunity.
This policy provides for the disciplinary process available for complaints of misconduct or violations of the student code of conduct that occur when a university student is enrolled in an educational opportunity abroad. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the immediate address of conduct issues due to the unique circumstances involved in disciplinary problems while engaged in an international educational opportunity. This policy does not replace the student code of conduct and its administration as already provided for by policy.
(1) All students enrolled in university programming or those students enrolled in a study abroad, exchange, or other educational opportunity abroad approved by the university are eligible under this policy.
(1) Student. For the purposes of this policy, a “student” is a person formally enrolled in a university or a student participant in a university-sponsored educational opportunity.
(2) International educational opportunity. For the purposes of this policy, an “educational opportunity” is a program, course, or experience that is conducted by the university or sponsored through a relationship with the university that involves international travel outside of the United States.
(1) Pre-departure form. Prior to the start of any international educational opportunity under this rule, each student must read and sign the “Student Code of Conduct for International Programs.” A copy of the signed form must be kept on file for the duration of the international educational opportunity in the office of global education, or in the departmental office responsible for the faculty member leading the opportunity whichever is appropriate.
(2) Applicability and notice. While engaged in the international educational opportunity, the student will be responsible for following all other university rules regarding student conduct, as amended by the “Student Code of Conduct for International Programs.” By signing the form provided for in paragraph (D)(1) of this rule, the student expressly agrees and consents to be subject to any additional provisions provided within such form even if such may be stricter than the student conduct code as found within this Administrative Code.
(a) The student code of conduct applies to all aspects of the international educational opportunity occurring on university premises or premises secured by the university for hosting the educational opportunity, during university-sponsored activities such as field trips or day trips, and to conduct committed generally by the student that adversely affects the university community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.
(3) Oversight. The office of student conduct will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy in coordination with the office of education abroad. The office of student conduct is responsible for the periodic review of this policy to ensure consistency with current university procedures and the minimum requirements of due process.
(4) Administrative process for violations.
(a) Venue. If the violation occurs outside the borders of the United States, the on-site faculty and/or staff member will be responsible for determining the appropriate venue to hold any necessary disciplinary process.
(b) Offenses. The student will be deemed to be in violation of the student code of conduct while engaged in an international educational opportunity in the following situations:
(i) Behavior in violation of university policies or procedures;
(ii) Behavior in violation of the terms of sanctions imposed under this policy;
(iii) Behavior deemed detrimental or disruptive to the university community, the international educational opportunity, and/or prohibited by local, state, federal, or international law.
(c) Procedural standards. In the event that the on-site faculty and/or staff member receives a complaint of an alleged violation or determines for him/herself that such alleged violation has occurred, the on-site faculty and/or staff member shall ensure that the certain minimum requirements are met before rendering a final determination:
(i) The student shall have notice of the alleged violation prior to any action; and
(ii) The student shall have the opportunity to respond, explain and defend against the alleged violation prior to any action.
(d) Standard of review. The on-site faculty and/or staff member shall evaluate the points of view presented by the parties in conflict and shall determine by the preponderance of the evidence if it is more likely than not that the accused student engaged in behavior that is in violation of this rule. However, during the course of this process, the technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal U.S. cases shall not apply.
(e) Impartial hearing. The student will be provided with an impartial hearing. If the student questions the impartiality of the hearing prior to the rendering of a decision, the student must contact the director of the office of student conduct at the home university campus. In extreme cases, the office of student conduct at the campus may preside over the process through remote technology.
(E) Sanctions. Upon review of the materials and facts as presented, if the on-site faculty and/or staff member (or other party as provided for in paragraph (D)(4)(e) of this rule) determines that the student engaged in the behavior at issue, the on-site faculty and/or staff member has the sole discretion to apply sanctions to the student as appropriate. Sanctions include but are not limited to:
(1) Written warning/probation. Unless applicable to paragraph (D)(4)(b)(iii) of this rule, a student will generally be placed on formal probation and given a written warning for their first offense. The on-site faculty and/or staff member has sole discretion in determining the appropriateness of this sanction and terms of the probationary period.
(2) Additional sanctions as determined at the discretion of the on-site faculty and/or staff member including but not limited to suspension of field trip privileges, access restrictions, and remuneration in the event of damages to property.
(3) Immediate removal. For behavior deemed detrimental, disruptive and/or dangerous to the student, other students, or the international educational opportunity, the student may be immediately dismissed and removed from the program and subject to the terms contained in the “Student Code of Conduct for International Programs.” Immediate removal is also appropriate in situations when a student violates the probationary terms provided for in paragraph (D)(4)(b)(iii) of this rule.
(1) Students may appeal the decisions in section (E) of this rule to the vice president for student affairs. No additional appeal will be heard.
(2) Appeals are limited to the following reasons:
(a) The decision is not in accordance with the facts presented;
(b) The decision was reached through a procedure not in accordance with this rule;
(c) New information is available which may suggest modification of the decision; or
(d) To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the conduct violation that the student was found to have committed.
(3) An appeal must be in writing (email is acceptable), must state clearly the rationale for the appeal and must be submitted within seven calendar days of the date of the decision.
(G) Reports and records.
(1) All reports and records created pursuant to this policy will be administered in accordance with university policies.
While the above provides a sample policy based upon one institution’s current student conduct policy, any college or university would be well served by also considering the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad when drafting their policies, notably Standard 5.b. which applies to student conduct codes.